Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tour: Kaleidoscope Me by Hillary K. Grigonis

(I apologize in advance for all the excessive use of green in this post.)

Kaleidoscope Me by Hillary K. Grigonis
Publisher: Pixel Press & Photo LLC
Release Date: February 24th, 2014
“Sometimes, my mind is a kaleidoscope. Somewhere, buried beneath a hundred different swirling colors, is the original image, but as you turn the dial, the original meshes with colors and becomes something completely different.”

Jadyn’s world twirls out of control after her mother dies in a car accident and her forgetful Great-Aunt Nadine moves in. Her dad is never home and her best friend doesn’t even know half of it. Jadyn is trying to keep it all together for her little brother, Trenton. But when Aunt Nadine disappears with Trenton in the middle of a snowstorm, Jadyn may be the only one who can find them. Kaleidoscope Me is an exciting novel about family, friendship and faith with a unique, non-linear style.

5:30 p.m.

“Dad, she’s lost it again.” I nervously wrapped a section of red hair around my finger, a letter clutched in my other hand, the phone wedged between my shoulder and my ear.

I heard him pull the phone away and yell something to the noise in the background. I stopped pacing just long enough to take another glance out the window, fingers twirling my hair even faster. The rush of white outside made me sympathize with the plastic snowman inside my favorite snow globe that my brother threw down the stairs when he was two. The horizontal lines of snow turned my stomach in knots, like the globe would split open soon and all the glittery white would just come to a stop. Or at least that's how I imagined the snowman felt as it bumped down the stairs before cracking open at the bottom.

The phone crackled a little, and I imagined Dad putting the phone back to his ear. “Okay, now what did you say?”
“Great-Aunt Nadine. She’s lost it again.” I waited a second and he still wasn’t saying anything so I kept going. “Only I think it’s serious this time. She left me a letter in my bedroom, only it’s addressed to Adrianne…” I paused a little, slowly pronouncing Mom’s name. “…and dated 1983. I looked everywhere in the house and walked around the block twice and I can’t find her.” The words rushed out even faster than the falling snow.

He sighed. “She’s probably fine. She knows how to take care of herself; she’s there to take care of you.”
I chewed on my bottom lip, remembering Aunt Nadine’s advice about counting to three before saying anything in an argument. At two, I remembered how badly some of her other advice had turned out and my tongue just started functioning on its own. “Dad, she’s eighty years old and one minute knows what day it is and the next she thinks we’re still at war with Germany.”

“I don’t have time for your sarcasm,” he said, before yelling something else to the muffled clatter in the background. “She probably just had to run to the grocery store and forgot to tell you.”


“I’ll be home in an hour. If she’s not back by then, I’ll start to worry. I’ll see you when I get home.”

I heard the phone click and I sat down in the window seat, watching snowflakes twist, twirl and dance, remembering when Mom and I would catch them on our tongues, standing there with my head craned backwards for so long that my neck hurt and my tongue was on the verge of freezing and still only the promise of hot chocolate could get me inside. I cleared my throat, hoping it would take away some of the hollowness inside just a little bit, or at least the private burn of future tears from my eyes.

Think of something else, I told myself, which usually isn’t hard to do, since my mind wanders 99 percent of the time. The problem was that the wandering usually led back to Mom or her photos or her cooking or her just being gone. Think about…the snow.

Peering in the back yard, I had to squint to distinguish the white yard from the flurries in the air, but I noticed footprints going out from the back door. I noticed the snow was quickly covering up two sets of prints, a mid-sized print, and a small one. My heart seemed to stop. Trenton. I thought he had been in his room.

“Trenton!” I shouted, sticking my head in every room upstairs before skidding down the steps, my feet frantically carrying me through the living room, dining room and kitchen then straight out the back door, the letter still clutched in my hand. Snow seeped into my socks. The yard was empty.

“Trenton!” I shouted again, although I knew it was useless. Both Aunt Nadine and Trenton were gone, I realized, and the cold winter air seemed to settle deep inside me.

I looked back at the letter in my hand. Mom’s name was clearly on top, right next to May 3, 1983.
She didn’t even get the month right. It didn’t snow in May. This kind of wet, almost-spring snow could only be for February. At least in Michigan anyways. But it seemed as if she wrote the letter for me. You and I, we think differently than everyone else does. But that’s okay, I’d like to think that’s the stuff of geniuses, her handwriting said.

Sometimes, my mind is a kaleidoscope. Somewhere, buried beneath a hundred different swirling colors, is the original image, but as the dial turns, the original meshes with colors and becomes something completely different. Like the letter in my hand. It reminds me of how my hand shook as I tried to read my own handwriting in front of a hundred people at Mom’s funeral, which swirls into the time Mom told me to date my thoughts like a book (so I could choose only the ‘book’ I needed whenever it was hard to focus), which becomes the conversation I overheard when Dad decided Aunt Nadine would help look after me and my brother. And then the dial turns to the first time Aunt Nadine lost it.
About the Author

When she isn’t writing, Hillary K. Grigonis can usually be found with a camera in hand. She lives in Mid-Michigan with her husband and young son. After starting to write fiction as a teenager, she’s always been interested in creating stories for young adults. She started writing Kaleidoscope Me while attending Saginaw Valley State University. A writer at heart, she also contributes to several websites on a regular basis, including serving as the editor of Kaleidoscope Me is her first novel.

NOTE: Entries will only be accepted if you follow Hillary on Twitter or on Facebook
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Tour Schedule

April 1st

April 2nd
Discoverwords- Guest Post

April 3rd
The Book Tower - Interview

April 4th

April 5th
Fly to Fiction – Excerpt
The Worm Is Awesome – Interview

April 6th

April 7th
YaReads – Interview


  1. Thanks so much for being on the Kaleidoscope Me tour, Jessica!!


    1. No problem! Thanks for letting me be a part of it! :)


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