Hello lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Teymour Shahabi and his new book, “The Secret Billionaire”! For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.
Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a print copy of his featured book, “The Secret Billionaire,” with a personal message to ONE lucky winner!! Also, come back daily to interact with Teymour and to increase your chances of winning!
Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!
The Secret Billionaire
by Teymour Shahabi
GENRE: Young Adult Mystery
March 24. Billionaire Lyndon Surway takes off in his private plane and never returns.
His will leaves the entirety of his wealth—one of the largest fortunes in history—to his “dear friend Lucian Baker.” Only there is no trace of anyone by that name. And the fortune itself is nowhere to be found.
Andrew Day knows nothing of wealth and privilege, but he won a scholarship to study at the most exclusive school in the country, in the town where the mystery, decades later, remains unsolved. There he discovers friendship and danger with the aristocratic Cameron and the beautiful Olivia. But watchful eyes follow him everywhere... Until, one night, he comes across a secret that will change his life. As he begins to unravel what really happened to the Surway fortune, the question remains: who is Lucian Baker?
Winner: Northern California Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016
Winner: Great Midwest Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016
Winner: Florida Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016
They continued to follow the fence on the sandy path along the road. But the House remained hid-den. The elms on the other side of the fence barred their sight. They all sensed, without saying so, that the trees would thin out. They were so hopeful for a clearing that they could picture it as they went, lying just beyond the shadow of the last trunk they could see. But the last trunk kept receding, and the curtain of trees kept on going beyond it, as silent and unhelpful as the empty road alongside.
All of a sudden, Olivia stopped. Her eyes were fixed on the ground. Neither Cameron nor Andrew could make out what she was staring at in the sand of the path. She brought a hand over her knee and crouched. The boys gathered closer. Their shadows mingled over her. She looked up into their faces. After a few seconds, she asked,
“What do you guys think?”
“What do we think of—?” Cameron began, taking another step closer, when suddenly she shouted,
She jumped up and held out her arms.
“What the hell was that?” he yelled out.
“Don’t step on it!”
“Don’t step on what?”
“The footprint!” she answered in a whisper, as if just remembering the sound of her own voice. She glanced over both shoulders, gave Cameron and Andrew a significant look, and slowly lowered herself once more to the ground. The two of them mirrored her movement.
All at once, Andrew saw it. It was a footprint, unmistakable, elementary, like a picture in a comic book, a single elongated shape with a line separat-ing the heel. Cameron asked in a muted voice,
“What kind of shoe is that? It doesn’t have any—any details.”
Olivia rolled her eyes. Not even whispering could soften her contempt.
“It’s a boot,” she said.
“A boot,” Cameron repeated. And after a sec-ond’s reflection, “So it’s a boot. So what? People leave footprints every day on every path in the world. Some of them wear boots.”
But he didn’t dare to go back to his normal voice.
Olivia continued to study the print as if he hadn’t spoken. It was Andrew who answered,
“But no one leaves footprints on this path.”
Cameron and Olivia looked up.
“There’s nothing along this road, nothing for miles in either direction, right? Nothing but the gate of the Surway House.”
They stared at him without reply.
“Well,” he went on, examining the footprint, “as-suming that’s the case, then there’s really no reason for anyone to have come here recently—no reason other than...” His eyes turned to the fence.
Olivia’s gaze followed his.
“It’s not just the fact that someone was here re-cently—” she began.
“How do you guys know it’s so recent?” Cameron broke in. “The print could go back several days, anytime since the last rainfall. For all we know, someone could have left it over the weekend. No one here’s an expert in detection.”
“No,” Olivia rejoined, “but I’m an expert in shoes. That’s how I know it’s a boot.”
What It Feels Like to Read a Review for Your Book
It is terrifying to read someone’s review of your book. The seconds before you start reading—when perhaps you’ve recognized a dreaded subject line in your inbox, or you’ve noticed a higher number of reviews on your book page since you last checked—are filled with horror. I check the page about once a week, and I employ more creativity in procrastinating against that moment than I could ever pour into any book. It’s not the nervousness you feel before jumping off a cliff, or when you’re about to take the stage, or when the audience is suddenly silent, just a few feet away from the piano, waiting for you to play. Those are active, empowering fears. The moment is yours to strike back; you can attack and be victorious. When you’re reading a review, you’re defenseless. It’s the trepidation you feel when the person you care about more than anyone else in the world has heard your deepest truth, has seen your soul bare, sees you with all you have, with every effort you could ever make, and is about to respond. Maybe there’s a thrill in it. But mostly, it’s agony.
Then it comes. You start to read. You hear what you cannot change. It’s an intimate moment but you are mute. Bad reviews come in two kinds. There are the bad ones that are wrong. I received two stars on Amazon not long ago from a woman who had read another book, which apparently had lots of sex. I don’t have the power to remove the review, but I can get over it. You can’t parade yourself in the sun all day without the occasional bird dropping on your coat. But there are bad ones that could be right, bad ones that could feel right. And those are painful. But the pain is surmountable. The pain is what you feared a moment ago, and in the mere revelation of that fear, there is relief. Then there are the medium reviews. These are almost harder, because their edges are dull, and their words can take their time against your defenses. With those, it is best to try to learn something, and to feel grateful that you may have a chance to do better with your next book.
Finally, there are good reviews. And there are shades of good reviews, just as there are shades of good weather—but even the worst shade is still good, just as every beautiful day is joyous. Good reviews are the happy ending. They’re the applause you never knew you were waiting for. On your side of the book, there are years of toil and doubt, mountains of loneliness and fear. But the review is on the other side; and with a good review, that side wins out. It’s when you read a good review that you realize the fear was worth it, that you recognize you were never alone. I read a review this morning from a fifteen-year old girl. A few months ago, I read one from a young man in Australia. And one of the Facebook friendships of which I am most proud, of which I am most protective, is with a sixty-eight-year-old woman I’ve never met, who reached out to tell me how much she loved my book. People think writing is solitary, but the kindness of a reader is a friendship entire.
It is not easy to read a review. But it is not easy to write a book. And for years—about two decades—I wrote for myself. That is no longer true. Reviews have made me realize that all this time I was writing towards a dream, both a blessing and a privilege: that of writing for someone else.
Teymour Shahabi was born in Paris of Persian parents in 1985. He moved to the United States to study Comparative Literature and Mathematics at Harvard University. He lives in New York City where he’s spent the last few years among serious professionals, many of whom probably prefer to read nonfiction. The Secret Billionaire is his first published book.
You can watch him try to figure out writing and life at www.facebook.com/Teymour.Shahabi.
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Teymour will be awarding print copy of "The Secret Billionaire" with a personal message (International Giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
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This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.