Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 21, 2020

Book Giveaway: WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY by Darlene Beck Jacobson

Darlene Beck Jacobson has a new middle grade book, WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY published by Creston Books. Darlene has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Darlene, especially at this stressful time, when authors and illustrators need to promote their books completely online.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Eleven year old Jack misses his Dad who is MIA in Vietnam. It’s been months since he and his family had word of his whereabouts. The last thing Jack wants to do is spend summer with his grandparents. Mom believes it will be good for them all – Jack, his sister Katy, Mom, Gran and Pops – to be together while they wait for word about Dad. Keeping busy will keep them out of trouble and help them think of other things.

Jack expects the worst summer of his life. The first summer without. Without Dad, without friends, without his room and all the things that remind him of Dad. When Jack meets a girl named Jill – a girl with a brother who makes trouble for both of them – things they believe are turned upside down. Welcome to a summer of fishing, camping, bullies, and a fish who grants wishes. A fish that could be the answer to Jack’s problem. But when Jill makes wishes of her own, things don’t turn out the way they expected.  Every wish has a consequence.

Will the fish grant Jack’s biggest wish?  Will Jack be brave enough to ask?


The idea for Wishes, Dares, and How to Stand Up to a Bully came to me in a dream, or rather the twilight between dreaming and full wakefulness, that moment when you’re not quite ready to jump out of bed. I am not a person who usually remembers dreams. It frustrates me that no
matter how often I try to pull at the threads of a pleasant dream, they drift away like so much dandelion fluff.

On one particular morning in early June 2018, I awoke with the name JACK and a number of four letter words circling around my thoughts
like a mantra. The more these words circled, the more they took shape and began shouting at me. “Here’s the title!” “Here’s the premise…of a boy
missing his father who is at war.” “This is how you’re going to write Jack’s story –in free verse” I repeated these words, phrases, titles, like a song I wanted to memorize so I wouldn’t forget.

Before I headed to the shower, before I ate, before I did anything in my normal morning routine, I raced out of bed, grabbed a notebook and
pencil, and wrote down everything circling in my brain. Pages and pages filled the notebook, including a list of four letter words I hoped to use in
the story. Several pages later, when I felt relief that I hadn’t lost this dream – this gift every writer hopes for – I breathed a sigh and began my day.

Out of all the manuscripts I’ve ever written, none has been more joyful to write. I met Jack each day with a new word. He told me his story and I wrote it down, just as he spoke it. The muse from my dream was the voice of an eleven year old boy.


Darlene Beck Jacobson is a former teacher and speech therapist who has loved writing since she was a girl.  She is also a lover of history and can often be found mining dusty closets and drawers in search of skeletons from her past. She enjoys adding these bits of her ancestry to stories such as her award-winning middle grade historical novel WHEELS OF CHANGE (Creston 2014) and WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY (Creston 2020).

Darlene lives and writes her stories in New Jersey with her family and a house full of dust bunnies. She’s caught many fish, but has never asked one to grant her a wish. She’s a firm believer in wishes coming true, so she tries to be careful what she wishes for.

Her blog features recipes, activities, crafts, articles on nature, book reviews, and interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators.

Twitter: @DBeckJacobson

Previous Blog tour posts from April 14:

Darlene, thank you for sharing you book and journey with us. I still can’t believe how writing this book in Lyrical pose just flowed out of you. The rhythm of the words made me sail through the book wanting to turn each page to the end. I love how you took the old saying “Be careful what you wish for” and gave us such a creative heartwarming story in Wishes, Dares, and How to Stand Up to a Bully. Great job!

Talk tomorrow,




  1. So excited to read this one. Thank you for a chance. I will definitely retweet this one! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Darlene your book sounds goooood! And yet another reason to keep that journal and pen by my bed.
    Thanks Kathy for a wonderful blog. I am signed up and I also tweeted (@erikammon13).

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you stopped by Erik, and thanks for the kind words about the book.


  3. This really sounds great! Adding it to my TBR list now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the idea of this book and can’t wait to read. Most of my ideas come at exactly the same time in what i call REM sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve started keeping a pen and paper next to my bed now, Elizabeth. So far…nothing has shown up! Thanks for the kind words.


  5. I wish…I wish…I wish for all the very best for you and yours, Kathy and Darlene. And I wish USPS would hurry up and deliver my copy of WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY 🙂 (I am a blog subscriber)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Donna…you are so sweet! I have been waiting awhile for some books to arrive…what’s up with that? Let me know if you’d like me to send you a signed book plate for your book…happy to do so! Thanks for your kind wishes! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Darlene is one of my favorite people and I am so very excited for her about her new book! (I’m your blog subscriber, Kathy)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah Teresa…you are one of my favorite people as well. Sending you BIG hugs and thanks for the book love and for your friendship! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Kathy, BIG thanks for hosting me today. I LOVE how you highlighted some of the artwork from the story. So excited to share WISHES with your followers. xo.


    • Thanks for noticing the artwork I added. It took me over an hour and a half to make that happen. I think it was a good addition to the feature.


  8. Congrats, Darlene! (I’m signed up for emails.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wishes and hopes fascinate me. They shape us, but scare us, too. It sounds like Jack has that dilemma. I look forward to reading about him (and especially the wish-granting fish!). Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the interest in the book Janet. It was fun to think about how wishes work and how they can change things for better or worse.


  10. Such a great topic. This sounds like a wonderful book to read! Love the cover! Congratulations!

    I will tweet this and I follow your blog by email, Kathy. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the book love and kind words Angie. The cover is awesome and it was fun to actually have some input on it. Many of the final colors and objects were my suggestion, so I am thrilled that they made it to the cover.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nice!


  11. Sounds awesome!! I receive the newsletter. Thanks for all the helpful tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. How inspirational to write a book this way. Can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Emsch, I appreciate your kind words and interest. Good luck!


  13. I was so busy working on my own books, I wasn’t keeping up with SO many posts,but going through things and saw this one 😀 I have this book, LOVE this book, and HIGHly recommend it. Just fantastic story and writing…I gobbled it up! ❤


  14. Reblogged this on Darlene Beck-Jacobson and commented:
    Even though this post appeared back in the spring, I am happy to give away another copy of the book if anyone would like to leave a comment and share something kind witnessed during an episode of bullying.

    Liked by 1 person

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