Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 16, 2021

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

Darlene Beck Jacobson has agreed to help celebrate the holidays by sharing a copy of her middle grade book, WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY published by Creston Books 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. DArlene sounds like my kindred spirit. I too was a teacher and speech therapist and have been writing forever. Although I have caught fish, I haven’t asked one grant a wish…next summer’s to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So great of you to comment Antoinette. I’ve never asked a fish for a wish either, but when I turn my wishes into prayers, they often come true! xo


  2. Thanks for this lovely post Kathy and for your kind words about the book. Holiday blessings to you and your family…may your wishes come true! xo


  3. Darlene, what an amazing story of how this book came to you. I will be sharing this post in my Creative Juice feature on tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m excited for your book, and I loved hearing the story. Putting that notebook near my bed! – congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kind words Stephanie! The notebook is a good idea…❤


  5. Darlene, this book sounds really interesting and a possible mentor text for my WIP. Wishing you huge success with it. Kathy, I’m a subscriber and will share on Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I shared on Pinterest, Twitter, and FB. thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have a personalized copy of this book and absolutely loved every minute of my time reading it. There is so much heart inside and I can’t recommend it enough. Every reader who enjoys middle grade should read this emotional book with its well-drawn characters and bit of magical realism that felt possible to me while reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Danielle…your kind words about the book absolutely made my day! Thanks for taking time to share them. It means a lot. xo Happy Holidays

      Liked by 1 person

      • Happy holidays!


  8. Wow! What an amazing story behind the story! May your future books be every bit as joyful to write. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A very much needed book! Congrats!

    I follow by email and tweeted this post.

    Liked by 1 person

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