GOING OVER BLOG TOUR: Guest Post and Giveaway

Today I have the pleasure of being part of the GOING OVER Blog Tour. GOING OVER is an amazing novel by Beth Kephart, a Romeo and Juliet story set in the 80s with two teens in love on opposite sides of the Berlin wall. Once you read GOING OVER I could not forget it and that is why I am so very excited to have Beth Kephart over today with a guest post. So, please stay and get to know a little bit more about this novel and it's amazing author then don't forget to enter the giveaway at the very end. GOOD LUCK!!

By Beth Kephart
Ages 14 and up
April 2014

In the early 1980s Ada and Stefan are young, would-be lovers living on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall--Ada lives with her mother and grandmother and paints graffiti on the Wall, and Stefan lives with his grandmother in the East and dreams of escaping to the West.

“A stark reminder of the power of hope, courage, and love.”-Booklist, starred review
“An excellent example of historical fiction focusing on an unusual time period.”-School Library Journal, starred review

I was a child writer-dreamer who never strayed far from that path. Today I’m the award-winning author of seventeen books—dreaming my way toward more by night, while running a boutique marketing communications firm by day. I'm privileged to teach creative nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania in spring semesters. I love writing about the intersection of place and memory for the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. I am honored to review literature for the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Always and most importantly, I am privileged to be a mom.

At the Core of the Novel: Truth
It happened almost all of a sudden—how real Berlin 1983 began to feel in my heart and mind. I had been to the city, of course, but only as a tourist. I had read books, magazine stories, transcripts, had watched documentaries and films. I had listened to the music, pressed replay a thousand times as David Bowie sung his famed Wall song. I had danced to "99 Luftballoons."But I had never been a graffiti artist. And I'd never lived in East Berlin.  And I wasn’t a survivor of the World War II, nor a little Turkish boy afraid for his mother. Such things didn't matter, as it turned out. The story was right there, within reach.

Two sources (beyond the travel) made the making of this book palpable, alive. The first was a self-published memoir by Eloise Schindler called West Berlin Journal: Stories of Culture, the Cold War, and the Kreuzberg Kiez.
What a gift this was. The wife of a German-born minister named Martin Schindler, Eloise, an American, spent four crucial years—1982-1986—in Kreuzberg while her husband served as the reverend of St. Thomas Church, in "the least desirable parish" of West Berlin. From their vantage point in that historic, six-story church, Eloise and Martin could see the East, they could watch the wall, they could engage with the Turkish families that brought their children to the church school, they could revolt with the squatters and the artists.

Eloise tells a riveting story in her memoir. Through her words, I was transported. I found (in my imagination) a young girl named Ada who works in the St. Thomas Church school, who lives among squatters, who cares about the Turkish families who have arrived in West Berlin as "guest workers."

The second source was, of all things, a Popular Mechanics story about a certain escape that took place in 1983. Two friends rigged the risky adventure up. They lived to tell the tale. Two years later, a reporter for Popular Mechanics retraced every mechanical detail, and I, being the nerd I am, discovered the story of long ago. I dialed the age of one of the real heroes back, gave him a name—Stefan—and his own home, his own job, his own world. I gave him a lost grandfather, a suspicious grandmother, a telescope. I gave him a reason to live.
Fact inspiring fiction. The beating of two voices. A story that kept unfolding in my sleep.


I'm giving away a signed copy of Going Over + an audiobook! One winner in the US or Canada. Just fill out the form below and GOOD LUCK!!

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  1. A big thank you to you!! http://beth-kephart.blogspot.com/2014/04/san-antonio-texas-librarians-kind.html

  2. I am SO very excited to read this book. It hits close to home.

  3. Wonderful background about this great novel

  4. I agree with the others. Great information here. Truth. It's at the core of human nature. I can't wait to read this book. Thanks, ladies, for this post.

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