Wednesday, May 7, 2014

BLOG TOUR [10 Random Things + Giveaway!] Just Myrto by Laurie Gray

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Just Myrto
by Laurie Gray
As a young woman in Ancient Greece, Myrto is doubly cursed to have been born a mortal and a female. When her father dies leaving no dowry for her to marry, she wonders whether her brother will find her a husband or sell her into slavery. Although she’d rather have a kind master than a cruel husband, her brother decides to give Myrto to his former teacher Socrates as a second wife.
Being a second wife is not an easy proposition for Myrto, and while her new husband treats her kindly, his first wife Xanthippe is nothing but cruel. Myrto spends much of her time away from home in an attempt to avoid being alone with the terrifying Xanthippe, and soon strikes up an intellectual friendship with her husband’s colleague, Plato. Although she wants nothing more than a friend, he has designs on more.
Now Myrto must discover where she belongs in this quickly changing world. Will she accept the lot she has been given by her family, succumb to romantic love, or pave the way for women of the future to live better—less subjugated—lives? As her personal journey through Ancient Greek metaphysics unfolds, will she always be defined by her relationships with men, or will she discover the joy of being Just Myrto?
Purchase This Book:
“What I loved most about this book is how the author resists the temptation of the romantic master narrative. Myrto develops great strength as she learns to think for herself. In fact, I’ve never seen a better depiction of growth in a young woman — from vulnerability and anxiety to confidence and courage.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in ancient Greek culture and in a riveting story of female empowerment.”
~Shirley Hershey Showalter, author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World, and former president of Goshen College.
“Laurie Gray crafts a compelling and appealing narrator who shows that despite societal constraints, an individual can create her own life. Complete with delightful renderings of Socratic dialogue and thoughtful looks into the customs and knowledge of the time, Just Myrto is a lively story of some of the most important people of the Classical period of ancient Greece. The depth of Gray’s research shows in the accuracy of the details of daily life, yet doesn’t interfere with the story or get in the way of the readers’ interest in the characters.”
–Tracy Barrett, author of Dark of the Moon


  Please provide a list of 10 random, funny, interesting or even strange things about yourself.

1. I’m the middle child, with an older brother and a younger sister (and we also had several foster sisters when I was in junior high and high school). 

2. I have blue eyes, but there’s a brown spot in my left eye. My dad, who has brown eyes, used to say that’s where he got his “two-cents worth” in. 

3. In 8th grade I set the Marshall County, Indiana, girls’ shot put record. It was probably only 25-26 feet, but it was the first year they had a junior high county meet (1978?) so everyone who got first place in an event set a county record. 

4. I love Mexican, Indian and Thai food, but only without cilantro. I can’t stand the taste of cilantro. 

5. I really didn’t like high school. My attendance was horrible the second half of my junior year and I didn’t go at all my senior year, but I did teach high school for a full four years before going to law school. I liked it better when they paid me to go and I had my own classroom.

6. My favorite Dr. Seuss story is “What Was I Afraid Of?” aka “Pale Green Pants.” My BFF memorized it and recited it to a captive audience at slumber parties and on the bus during field trips. I memorized it after my daughter was born so I could recite it to her when I was driving and at bedtime with the lights out. 

7. I’ve lived in Costa Rica, Spain, Guatemala and Malaysia. My Spanish is pretty good, but I can only count to 5, order soy milk and swear in Malay. 

8. My favorite TV show of all times is M*A*S*H. I used to watch it three times a day when my daughter was a baby, and I was home on an extended maternity leave. 

9. My family read the Bible a lot growing up. I memorized lots of Bible verses (King James Version) and can still say all of the books of the Bible in order in less than a minute. 

10. When I was 16, I spent the summer tearing down a big, old barn all by myself. I couldn’t believe it when my dad said that would be my summer project. I was like, “So do you want me to start at the top and fall through or do you want me to start at the bottom and let the whole thing fall on me?”

Laurie Gray has worked as a high school teacher, a deputy prosecuting attorney, and the founder of Socratic Parenting LLC ( In addition to writing, speaking and consulting, Laurie currently works as a bilingual child forensic interviewer at her local Child Advocacy Center and as an adjunct professor of criminal sciences at Indiana Tech. She has served on the faculty of the National Symposium for Child Abuse in Huntsville, Alabama, annually since 2009. Her debut novel Summer Sanctuary (Luminis Books/2010) received a Moonbeam Gold Medal for excellence in young adult fiction and was named a 2011 Indiana Best Book Finalist. Her second novel, MAYBE I WILL (Luminis Books/ 2013) received a Moonbeam Bronze Medal.
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