November 11, 2019

Glow Girl Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Author: M. Weidenbenner 
Release Date:October 31, 2019 
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Amara) 
Formats: Paperback, eBook 

Find it:Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo


Multi-Award-Winning and Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Writing Coach.   

Willow is just your average sixteen-year-old girl. Okay, maybe not so average. She can heal animals. For her own safety, her veterinarian parents have made her promise not to use her powers. But sometimes her compassion just takes over, and she can't help ... well ... helping.   

Willow is a Droit, but hides her Droitism because people like her are feared and hated by those without special abilities. Two of Willow's schoolmates, rumored to be Droits, have simultaneously disappeared.   

When Willow's non-Droit friend, Rain, is targeted, Willow wonders whether she should get involved--even if that means putting herself in the line of fire.   

A mysterious new friend, Trae, just might be the key to unlock her courage.  

In the end, she has a choice: she can deny who she is or declare her ability to heal, but either way, her life will never be the same again. 
Chapter One

I saved our cat’s life four years ago when I was twelve. How? I healed her. That was part of my Droit ability, but I didn’t know it then.

Random, our cat who lived at our animal clinic, had been sick for months, but my parents are veterinarians, so they were managing her disease. She wasn’t in pain until the day I was hanging out at the clinic and found her panting and writhing while lying on her side.

Mom was in the surgical room setting a fracture and couldn’t be interrupted. Dad was out picking up meds.

Random’s eyes fluttered and she let out a puny cry. I held her, wishing I could help. When I stroked her fur around the knobby tumors on her back, my fingertips tingled and glowed red. I had no idea what was happening.

Confused, I flapped my hands as if to put out a fire. The color faded, but as soon as I placed my fingers back on Random’s side, the glowing started again. I shook my head in bewilderment and then closed my eyes, allowing whatever this was to happen. Lightning bolts flashed behind my eyelids. My hands seemed to have minds of their own, this time locking onto Random’s body. Pain shot up my fingers and seared all the way to my neck.

My head felt heavy, like it was full of electric sparks. I groaned and shuddered but still couldn’t pull my hands away from her.

I don’t know how long I stayed that way before she purred, and I opened my eyes to see her licking her paw as if nothing had happened. I ran my fingers along her back. Her tumors had disappeared.

The room spun. What had happened?

Random jumped down and darted away with more spring than she’d had in months. I was certain I was seeing things. I blinked, but there she sat near the sink, giving her face a bath.

My fingers slowly faded. I turned them palm up, then palm down, studying them, trying to find a reason for what had happened, but there was none.

Mom came into the room, holding her hands in the air on the way to the faucet to scrub. “Were you looking for me?”

“Random doesn’t have cancer anymore,” I said, excitedly.

“Oh, really?” She paused with her hands under the water and gave me a peculiar look with her head cocked, eyebrows raised. “How’s that?”

“I healed her.” Nausea bubbled up from my gut. I raced into the bathroom.

After I puked and returned to Mom, she was sitting in a chair with Random in her lap, parting her hair. “Her tumors are gone.”

“I know.” Nausea still clung to my ribs, but it wasn’t as bad. I was too excited about Random being better that it didn’t matter.

“What exactly did you do, Willow?”

Mom stared at me with wide eyes. I thought she’d be proud of me, but she didn’t act that way.

“My hands mended her,” I said.

“L-l-like h-h-how?” she asked.

“I don’t know. It just happened. I felt sorry for her. She was in pain, and the next thing I knew, my hands lit up and energy flowed from me to her.” I stared at my fingers again.

“Has this happened before?”

I shook my head.

“Good.” She nodded, licked her lips, and lowered her voice. “Can you make it stop?”

I shrugged. I didn’t know. “I can try.”

“Don’t do it again, and whatever you do, don’t ever do it in public.” Her voice was just above a whisper, and she glanced over her shoulder at the door.

“Why?” Wasn’t it a good thing that Random was better? Tears welled in my eyes.

“You won’t be safe if people know what you can do,” she continued in a hushed tone. “Promise me you won’t do it again.”

Swallowing hard, I nodded. “I promise.” But I didn’t understand.

At twelve, I didn’t have much experience with Droits, or how people viewed them and shunned them. What I did know was that I’d never disobeyed Mom, and if she didn’t want me to heal, then I wouldn’t. From that day on, I tried hard not to do it again.

But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop.

Each time I went to the clinic and an injured dog, pig, or bird looked at me with pain-filled eyes, I’d take them in the closet and heal them. I couldn’t escape myself.

Over time, Mom and Dad figured me out. Maybe they realized they couldn’t make me stop, or that it was a part of me—the Droit gene, the gene they didn’t have—but they never brought it up again. Instead, they banned me from the clinic. They probably thought if they removed the temptation I’d grow out of it.

For a while, their plan worked.

Instead of going to the clinic after school and on weekends, I went to Aunt Fifi’s house and helped her groom healthy dogs in her pet salon. She didn’t know I could heal, and Mom and Dad didn’t want her to know. This was hard for me. I wanted to tell her, but I managed to keep my mouth shut.

Occasionally I was compelled to heal an animal in secret: a stray squirrel in the woods on Savannah’s property, or one of her horses when it was lame. Savannah was my best friend. She didn’t have supernatural abilities, but she didn’t dump me because I did.

When I started middle school, then high school, I noticed kids with a chameleon tattoo on their wrist. They were called Droits and were teased, left out, and labeled as freaks. A gang called the Tridents, consisting of those without the gene, often provoked the Droits to the point of using their powers so they’d get in trouble. Schools had a zero tolerance policy for the use of these powers, even if incited by bullying. Sometimes Droits were even expelled if they lost control.

You’d think that straight kids, as non-Droits were often called, would be afraid of Droits because of what Droits could do with their power, but the opposite was true.

My English teacher once said while we were reading Romeo and Juliet that people fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t control. I later understood she was making a statement, not just on the story but also on the climate at school. As a closet Droit, this applied to me, too.

In addition to my fears of being discovered by my peers and ridiculed for what I was, I was also afraid of my powers and inability to control them.

Thankfully though, I had a choice in my identity. Not all Droits made their abilities known, so I chose to keep mine a secret.

That is, until one day when I messed up.


Savannah and I were sophomores in Mr. Bott’s anatomy class. He was droning on about mitosis, chromosomes, and the nuclei separating, when the bell rang. Everybody dashed out of the room, but Savannah and I waited for Bryce and his service dog, Jasper, like we always did. Bryce’s mom was our ride home.

Jasper, a golden lab, retrieved Bryce’s books for him one at a time, picking them up in his mouth and giving them to Bryce like clockwork, though I noticed his movements were slower today. Finally, he clenched Bryce’s backpack in his jaws and handed it over.

Bryce didn’t need that kind of help. He was deaf and had no physical limitations, but he said Jasper needed to feel useful, especially since he was almost twelve, which is old for a service dog. Normally assistance animals retire before that age, but Bryce couldn’t bear the thought of Jasper going to another home.

The three of us were about to leave the classroom when Jasper whined and crashed to the ground, his skull smacking against the tile. Then his eyes rolled up until only the whites showed.

Oh, no! I clutched my chest and winced because Jasper’s pain was now my own. That had become normal for me, too, feeling what the animal felt.

Bryce grunted, dropped to his knees, and moved his fingers in rapid motions, signing. “Someone, help him!”

Savannah and I exchanged glances.

I knelt beside Jasper and placed my fingers on his neck. “Weak pulse.”

A queer and desperate sound escaped from Bryce’s mute lips.

My conscience screamed, Help him! If I didn’t, the guilt would kill me. If I did … and they caught me … well … there wasn’t time to think about that. The other students had left the room anyway, and Mr. Bott was stacking books in the supply closet.

Savannah knelt beside me. “You aren’t going to—”

“I’ll do it quickly.” I couldn’t let Jasper die.

Once again, my hands had a mind of their own. I shut my eyes, placed my fingers on Jasper’s head, and tuned out the sound of the locker doors slamming in the hallway. Come on, boy. Come back. I concentrated on transferring my energy to him. My fingers tingled and then burned while the heat escaped from my body to his. It started slowly and flowed as the power grew, pouring life back into him. I worked to make his heart stronger, to fix the arteries that were blocking the flow of blood.

Jasper twitched and squirmed beneath my fingers, breaking my hold, until his tail swished along the floor.

When I opened my eyes, Mr. Bott was beside me. His lips were set in a straight line, nostrils flared, and he stared at my fingertips, which were glowing like the end of a burning cigarette. I tucked my hands protectively under my pits. Savannah and Bryce looked relieved and worried at the same time.

The loudest-mouthed cheerleader leaned into the room from the hallway and stood frozen, her hand covering her mouth.

Her boyfriend stood next to her. “Whoa, Willow. Are you a Droit?”

Not good.

Mr. Bott cleared his throat and waved at them. “Go on home now.” Then he turned to Bryce and spoke slowly and loudly. “I think we need to take Jasper down to the central office.”

But we didn’t. Jasper would be okay. At least, for now. While still lying on the ground, he lifted his head and gazed up at me.

My ember hands faded to their normal color, and I lifted him to his feet. “Come on, boy. You can do it.” At least he hadn’t peed on the floor like some dogs do.

He stood, his legs wobbly, and butted his head into my arms. Then he slapped my face with wet kisses, his doggy breath stinging my eyes. Phew. If he got a whiff of his own breath, he might drop to the floor again.

His kisses made me smile, though. It was moments like this that made it all worthwhile, if only for a second.

Mr. Bott took a step back and stared at my hands again. “Do you have a license to do that?”


Droits were required to attend a training school, Reese Academy, and pass an exam before they were issued a license. It was like studying for a driver’s permit only the training was more intense. The

government forbade Droits from using their powers without a license, but they were never allowed to use powers in school. Period. Even if they had a license.

My stomach heaved. I covered my mouth and spoke through my fingers. “I have to puke.”

Mr. Bott waved for me to go. I ran down the hall and into the bathroom, just in time. I was standing at the sink when the bathroom door opened and Savannah walked in.

“You okay?” she asked.

I nodded, even though my legs wanted to fold. “Is Bott waiting outside for me?”

She shook her head. “You should go to Reese."

“I’m not going to that school.” I stuck my mouth under the faucet, rinsed, and spit. “Mom and Dad would freak.”

Most kids didn’t care what their parents thought, but I did. Savannah said it was because I was adopted, and that I had a rejection complex. It wasn’t that. It was just that I wanted Mom and Dad to be proud of me.

I wiped my face. “Do you think everyone will know now?”

“Maybe not. You can always deny it.”

I loved how she knew what to say to make me feel better. “What was I supposed to do? Did you see the look on Bryce’s face when he thought Jasper was dead?”

“You did the right thing, Willow. It’ll be okay.” She raked her fingers through her long dark hair before she took my arm and led me toward the door.

I hoped she was right. She’d been my friend since second grade so of course she’d support me, but the other kids might be a different story.

Bryce was waiting outside the bathroom. He held his hand up to his mouth, lowered it, and smiled, signing, “Thank you.”

I returned the same gesture. “It was nothing.”

Jasper sat at Bryce’s side looking attentive—almost grinning—as if nothing had happened.

But something had happened—something that would change everything. On our way out the front door to the parking lot, the air in the hallway hissed with gossip. Kids stared at me, whispered, and moved aside.

My face heated all the way up to my ears.

Outside the building, Michigan’s April showers pelted our backs. We jumped over puddles and shrunk into our shirts on the way to Bryce’s mom’s car. If I thought standing in the rain would wash away my healing ability, I’d stand there all day.

Bryce’s mom waited at the curb. I climbed in the back next to Savannah, and Jasper jumped in next to me like he always did.

“Hi, Kids,” Bryce’s mom said. “How was your day?”

Bryce took the passenger seat in front of me. His hands and fingers moved in rhythm, signing. “Jasper keeled over after anatomy class and Willow saved him. You should have seen her hands light up—”

I reached across the seat and jabbed the back of his arm.

He turned to me, his head bent like he didn’t understand why I’d poked him, but when he saw my expression he understood. He signed, “Sorry.”

His mom caught my eye in the rearview mirror. “Her hands lit up? How so?”

“I gave him CPR,” I said. “My hands turned red from banging on his chest. That’s all. He had a heart attack. You might want Mom or Dad to check him out.” I hated fibbing about the CPR, but a white lie wouldn’t hurt.

Bryce’s mom turned and held Jasper’s head, studying his eyes. “He looks okay now. I’ll give the clinic a call when I get home.” She drove out of the school parking lot shooting me a sideways glance from the mirror again.

When the car stopped in front of Savannah’s house, she gathered her books. The horses ran to the fence to greet us. “I’ll come over after I ride. We can study for English.”

“Text me first.” I had a feeling it might not be a good night to hang out.

After Bryce’s mom dropped me off at my house, I walked to our mailbox at the curb. When I flipped open the box, a car with a loud muffler came toward me. The loudmouth cheerleader’s boyfriend, who’d seen my hands light up in Bott’s classroom, stuck his head out the window.

“Droit!” He and several others in the car laughed, and he peeled out.

Jerks! I stared after them, fists clenched. The rubber stench from their car’s tires stunk as bad as the mess I’d gotten myself into, threatening to send my weakened stomach into dry heaves. I reached in to gather the mail and slammed the mailbox shut. Everyone would know by tomorrow. Gossip flew faster than a flu virus. Nothing would be the same again.
GOLD Medal WINNER in the 2014 READERS' FAVORITE International Awards. 
Bronze Medal Winner in Dan Poytner's Global eBook Awards. Winner of the Kindle Book Promotion Awards. SPIRIT and INSPIRATION MEDALS in the NEW APPLE LITERARY AWARDS. 

AWARD-WINNING SPEAKER. John Maxwell Team Leader. 

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Michelle is an author, speaker, trainer and coach dedicated to leaving a legacy of leaders who care about bringing value to others and equipping the future generation. She's also known as the UNCOVER AGENT who helps people uncover their messages so they can UNLEASH them into the universe. 

She grew up in the burbs of Detroit with five brothers. No sisters. Each time her mom brought the boy bundle home from the hospital Michelle cried, certain her mom liked boys better than girls. But when her brothers pitched in with the cooking, cleaning, and babysitting--without drama, Michelle discovered having brothers wasn't so bad. They even taught her how to take direct criticism without flinching, which comes in handy with book reviews. 

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(50) winners will receive an ebook of GLOW GIRL - International. Via Goodreads 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Glow Girl by M. Weidenbenner

Glow Girl

by M. Weidenbenner

Giveaway ends November 28, 2019. 

See the giveaway details at Goodreads. 

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
10/28/2019 BookHounds YA - Excerpt 
10/29/2019 Lifestyle Of Me - Review 
10/30/2019 BookishRealmReviews  - Review 
10/31/2019 Yna the Mood Reader  - Review 
11/1/2019 Cuz I’m a Nerd - Review 

Week Two: 
11/4/2019 Southern Girl Bookaholic - Review 
11/5/2019 PopTheButterfly Reads - Review 
11/6/2019 Tawney Bland - Review 
11/7/2019 lori's little house of reviews - Review 
11/8/2019 Shelf-Rated - Review 

Week Three:
11/11/19 A Dream Within A Dream - Excerpt 
11/12/19 The Pages In-Between - Review 
11/13/19 A Gingerly Review - Review 
11/14/19 Turning the Pages - Review 
11/15/19 Adventures and Reading  - Review 

Week Four: 
11/18/2019 Jena Brown Writes - Review 
11/19/2019 - Review 
11/20/2019 Two Dogs and a Book - Review 
11/21/2019 Fire and Ice - Review 
11/22/2019 two points of interest - Review 

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