Greystone Secrets 3: The Messengers Blog Tour, Author Interview, and Giveaway

Friday, April 9, 2021

 Greystone Secrets 3: The Messengers 
 Written by Margaret Peterson Haddix
 Ages 8-12 | 416 Pages 
 Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books | ISBN-13 : 978-0062838438 

Publisher’s Synopsis: As book three of the Greystone Secrets series opens, the Greystone kids have their mother back from the evil alternate world, and so does their friend Natalie. But no one believes the danger is past. 

 Then mysterious coins begin falling from unexpected places. They are inscribed with codes that look just like what the Greystones’ father was working on before he died. And with the right touch, those symbols transform into words: PLEASE LISTEN. And FIND US, SEE US, HELP US...

The coins are messengers, telling the Greystones and their allies that their friends in the alternate world are under attack—and that the cruel, mind-controlling forces are now invading the better world, too. After another spinning, sliding journey across worlds, the Greystone kids must solve mysteries that have haunted them since the beginning: what happened when the Gustanos were kidnapped, what created the alternate world, and how a group of mismatched kids can triumph once and for all against an evil force that seems to have total control. 

Available for purchase here or here.     

Author Bio
Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm in Ohio. As a kid, she knew two girls who had the exact same first, middle, and last names and shared the same birthday—only one year apart—and she always thought that was bizarre. As an adult, Haddix worked as a newspaper reporter and copy editor in Indiana before her first book, Running Out of Time, was published. She has since written more than forty books for kids and teens, including the Greystone Secrets series, the Shadow Children series, the Missing series, the Children of Exile series, and lots of stand-alones. Haddix and her husband, Doug, now live in Columbus, Ohio, where they raised their two kids. 

Learn more here.

Author Interview 

Life Is What It's Called - What do you want kids to take away from the Greystones Secrets series? 

Margaret Peterson Haddix -  I would love for kids to come away from the Greystone Secrets series with a love of books and reading—this has been my goal for readers with every book and/or series I’ve ever written. I just want kids to enjoy being immersed in the story. Beyond that, there are lots of messages/themes I would be delighted to have kids find as takeaways. It would be great if it made them think more deeply about the value of sibling relationships, families, friends, empathy, and truth. 

Life Is What It's Called - What has been the best part about writing the Greystone Secret series? 

Margaret Peterson Haddix - Getting to hang out with the Greystone kids and Natalie. I also loved coming up with the secret codes they had to solve. 

Life Is What It's Called - Is there a character from the series that you’ve enjoyed writing about the most? 

Margaret Peterson Haddix - Yes—Finn. He just has such an upbeat attitude about everything. It always put me in a good mood to write his sections! 

Life Is What It's Called - What would you do if you had to go into an alternative universe like the one in the series?

Margaret Peterson Haddix - I… don’t think I would handle it as well as the Greystone kids and Natalie do. So maybe my answer would be: Panic? Freak out? Be terrified? Ideally, I think I would want to hide and observe the situation for a while before doing anything. But I would be so curious about everything. I would want to watch and interact with the that-world version of everyone I knew in my own world, to see all the ways they are alike and different! 

Life Is What It's Called - How has your personal history helped you in writing this series? 

Margaret Peterson Haddix - It’s tempting to say, “Everything that’s ever happened to me helped!” Because what I’m thinking about and dealing with in my real life always bleeds over into what I write—sometimes in ways that I’m not even aware of until later. But there are some specific influences I can pick out. Before my first book was published, I worked as a newspaper reporter, and it is very difficult to do that job without thinking about some of the big questions that the Greystones grapple with in this series: How can you find out what’s really true when it seems like people are lying to you? How can people who feel powerless find a way to tell their side of the story? Whose version of reality can you trust? On a more basic level, I tend to write a lot about sibling relationships because I grew up in a tight-knit family with two brothers and a sister. I think it’s common for kids in large families to go through life defining themselves as similar to or different from their siblings: “Oh, yes, we all love to read…” or, “No, I don’t have any musical talent; my brother and sister were the ones who got that skill…” It was fun to show how Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone are very distinct, different personalities. But they were very much united and able to use their differing skills to work together for their common goal of getting their mother back—and then, later, of helping the people in the other world. 

Life Is What It's Called - What are your next writing projects in the works? 

Margaret Peterson Haddix - The next book I have coming out is a stand-alone called The School for Whatnots, which is the tale of two kids who become friends in the midst of lots and lots of secrets about their school—and about each other. It is almost completely done except for some final proofreading, and will be out in early 2022. Later in 2022, I have a new series starting. I’m not completely sure of the title yet, but it’s about a boy and a girl who find letters a different boy and a girl wrote to each other about fifty years ago. It’s clear from the letters that the long-ago kids had a fight and stopped speaking to each other, but the boy and girl now are intensely curious about what happened next, and why it seems like both kids from the past just vanished after that. Can the kids today solve a fifty-year-old mystery? That book is written, but not yet completely revised. And beyond that, I’m about sixty pages into the first draft of another book that I’m mostly just referring to as “the secret project” right now.

Life Is What It's Called - How could a teacher use this series in the classroom?

Margaret Peterson Haddix - I have already seen examples of teachers using the Greystone Secrets series in brilliant ways! Many have told me they’ve used the first book as a read-aloud, and let students predict what will happen next at various chapter-ending cliffhangers. (Hearing this always makes me wish I’d had those students advising me when I was figuring out the plot in the first place!) The series can also serve as a natural jumping-off point for research and/or discussions about coincidence, probability, secret codes, and the concept of alternate universes. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the publisher put together a really great discussion guide for the series that could help kids think more deeply about the situations in the books. That guide is available both on the HarperCollins website, and on my own author website (

Enter for a chance to win a set of the Greystone Secrets series, including Greystone Secrets 3: The Messengers. 

 One (1) grand prize winner receives: 
  •  A paperback copy of Greystone Secrets 1: The Strangers
  •  A paperback copy of Greystone Secrets 2: The Deceivers 
  •  A hardcover copy of Greystone Secrets 3: The Messengers 
 The giveaway begins April 6, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT, and ends April 22, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

 This post is in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and HarperCollins Publishers.

Mission Stories Spotlight Tour and Giveaway

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Excel Entertainment announced today the creation of a new media franchise, MISSION STORIES, focused entirely on telling stories of missionaries for The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints. The franchise launches with the theatrical release of MISSION STORIES, a moving retelling of three true stories of missionary work. 

The theatrical trailer for the film debuts on Wednesday, April 7 at and the feature film opens exclusively in theaters on Friday, May 7 distributed jointly with Purdie Distriution. Assembled as an anthology of three stories told over four chapters, the project was created by the filmmaking team of Bryce Clark (writer, producer, director), Jason Allred (producer), Crystal Myler (writer) and Arthur Van Wagenen (executive producer) after meeting with a full room of former mission presidents and their companions. 

“We heard so many incredible stories -- story after story of events that cannot be simply coincidences,” explained Bryce Clark. “Every story shows that God has his hand in the work and people’s lives are being transformed and saved through this work.” “

People assume they know what a “mission story” depicted on the big screen will be like,” said Arthur Van Wagenen. 

“Our goal in this film and the entire MISSION STORIES franchise is to tell stories from not just the perspective of missionaries, but from the perspective of people who make the radical choice to become disciples of Jesus Christ.” 

The film tells three true stories, including “Hermanos” that focuses on a father overcoming a crisis of faith so that he can baptize his family. 

“Chuck” tells the story of a man questioning whether God truly loves him and learning to see himself as God does. Finally, 

“Full Circle” is told in the opening and closing chapters of the film, and shows that the power of faith applied over years or even decades can ultimately bear fruit in overcoming spiritual issues as serious as depression and addiction. “’Full Circle’ is an especially personal story for me because a character is based on me and the culmination of this story played out as we were developing this project,” explained Clark. 

“When people watch the film they’ll see when people struggle the Lord never gives up on them, and how the faith of others can help rescue them. I hope sharing this story may inspire others who are facing similar challenges.” 

 “The MISSION STORIES film is only the first step in creating a full Mission Stories brand and media franchise,” said Van Wagenen. “We are creating an avenue where people can submit their own mission stories which can be shared with the world to help increase people’s faith and sense of worth.” Going forward, Mission Stories will become an incubator for up-and-coming writers and directors who will continue to tell these important stories for years to come.”

"When I initially approached Mission Stories I thought I may not be the best choice to direct because I did not serve a mission. However, as I developed these stories I recognized how much missionary work has touched my life. In fact, in one of these stories a character is based on me. Through this experience I’ve learned just how powerful love, faith, and forgiveness are and that redemption is available to all of us no matter the circumstances of our lives. Everyone has a story to tell and I believe in the power of sharing stories. I hope that audiences will be touched by the themes of mercy and redemption in these stories." - Bryce Clark

Learn more here or check out the movie on Facebook and/or Instagram.

 Enter the Giveaway!

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April Giveaways to Enter (low to moderate entry)

Thursday, April 1, 2021


I like entering low to moderate entry giveaways and I share each month some of the blog or social media giveaways I've entered, thought someone else might be interested in entering or that have been submitted to me through bloggers. Check back often throughout the month to see if I have posted more giveaways. If you are hosting a family-friendly giveaway on your blog and would like to see it listed here, please contact me (via email). If you have a won a giveaway that I posted, please leave a comment and share that you won.

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