Friday, October 14, 2016

Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: Useless bay (MJ Beaufrand)

Author: M.J. Beaufrand
Pub. Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 240
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

A gritty, psychological thriller about a mythic set of sixteen-year-old quintuplets searching for a young boy.
On Whidbey Island, the Gray quintuplets are the stuff of legend. Pixie and her brothers have always been bigger and blonder than their neighbors, as if they were birthed from the island itself. Together, they serve as an unofficial search-and-rescue team for the island, saving tourists and locals alike from the forces of wind and sea. But, when a young boy goes missing, the mysteries start to pile up. While searching for him, they find his mother’s dead body instead—and realize that something sinister is in their midst. Edgar-nominated author M. J. Beaufrand has crafted another atmospheric thriller with a touch of magical realism that fans of mystery and true crime will devour.

Find it:
Mary Jane grew up in Gresham, Oregon. She’s a graduate of Wellesley College and has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Program. Currently she lives in Seattle with her husband, two children, and dogs. In the eighties she had a bad perm.

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

 Years ago, we had a dog trainer to help us with our out-of-control puppy. Later on the trainer was murdered, his body dumped in the Puget Sound. That, coupled with the beautiful wildness of Useless Bay (yes, that’s a real place) on Whidbey Island made me wonder, what would happen if a human corpse washed up there?

 Who is your favorite character in the book?

 It started out being Pixie and Henry, but then wound up being Pixie’s brothers. I’ve known teenage boys who come home with bleeding head wounds and say, “Hey, check it out, how many points is this worth?” And their single mothers just sort of shake their heads take them to the ER. 

Which came first, the title or the novel?

The title, like the novel, came from the landscape. I sometimes want to talk to the person on the Vancouver Expedition who named some of these gorgeous places around Puget Sound, like Useless Bay, Point No Point, and Desperation Pass. I love that they’re beautiful but wacky-sounding at the same time. 

 What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

I love the scenes of magic realism, where Pixie is plucked out of time and talks to the tall man. I’d like to tell you his identity, but don’t want to spoil it. But I love their instant bond, and how he scares her but she’s reluctant to leave him at the same time. 

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

 I love it when characters take on a life of their own. There was a moment when I looked down and thought, “Wait a minute, I didn’t plan for the Gray clan to do this.” But they did, and it fit. In this case, it was their first search and rescue. I’d originally planned for them to be a bunch of big, dumb jocks, but then I realized, “They have a bloodhound. They’re going to use it.” I think that scene informs the rest of the story. 

 What do you like most about the cover of the book?

 I love the critter to the far left of the cover that’s just cresting the surface and looks like a jellyfish with teeth. It gives me the feeling that something’s coming up from the depths to get me. It gives me chills, but in a good way. 

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2016?

 “Goldenhand” by Garth Nix. I love his rich imagination. Especially anything that takes place in the world of Sabriel. Currently I’m reading Jonathan Stroud’s “The Creeping Shadow” in his “Lockwood and Co” series. It’s also creepy in a good way. 

What was your favorite book in 2015?

 I had three. There was “Bone Gap” by Laura Ruby, “The Game of Love and Death” by Martha Brockenbrough. “Up to this Pointe” by Jen Longo came out in January 2016 but let’s count it as 2015. 

 What’s up next for you?

 Currently I’m working on a book with the working title “Parliament,” about a girl and an owl who are trying to find a creature who’s shredding hikers in the Cascade mountains. Of course, creepy and atmospheric but hopefully in a good way. 

Is there anything that you would like to add?

As a writer, I would be delighted if you read and enjoyed “Useless Bay.” As a mother of teenagers, I would be delighted if you read and enjoyed anything. Go out to your libraries and independent bookstores. Ask the salesperson or librarian what you think you might enjoy. There’s an embarrassment of good reading material out there. Find what’s right for you.

And finally, Pixie wasn’t afraid to get out and explore. Get outside. Look around. See what treasures you turn up.

3 winners will receive a finished copy of USELESS BAY. US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/10/2017- The Autumn Bookshelf- Interview

10/11/2017- Zach's YA Reviews- Review

10/12/2017- The Alchemy of Ink- Review

10/14/2017- Curling Up With A Good Book- Interview

Week Two:

10/18/2017- In a bookish world- Excerpt

10/19/2017- The Bookworm Central- Review

10/20/2017- Eli to the nth- Review

10/21/2017- Owl Always Be Reading- Excerpt


  1. This sounds like a thrilling read. I love the cover art and title too!

  2. I love thrillers and mysteries and magic and this book has them all! The cover is also eye-catching.

  3. This sounds like a really fun story. I'd like to enter to win a copy but the rafflecopter link seems to be broken. Thanks

  4. This mystery sounds intriguing and captivating.