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Monday, July 29, 2013

Blog Tour: WHITE CHALK by Pavarti K. Tyler [Playlist, Excerpt + Giveaway]


Literary Fiction/Coming of Age Novel with a brave look at teenage life, containing some strong adult themes to generate honest and frank conversation.

Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Publication Date: July 22, 2013
Genre: Literary Fiction
SubGenre: Coming of Age
Audience: Adult
Pages: 250

Chelle isn't a typical 13-year-old girl—she doesn't laugh with friends, play sports, or hang out at the mall after school. Instead, she navigates a world well beyond her years.

Life in Dawson, ND spins on as she grasps at people, pleading for someone to save her—to return her to the simple childhood of unicorns on her bedroom wall and stories on her father’s knee.

When Troy Christiansen walks into her life, Chelle is desperate to believe his arrival will be her salvation. So much so, she forgets to save herself. After experiencing a tragedy at school, her world begins to crack, causing a deeper scar in her already fragile psyche.

Follow Chelle’s twisted tale of modern adolescence, as she travels down the rabbit hole into a reality none of us wants to admit actually exists.


I’m definitely a music writer.  
Every book has it’s own playlist and my amazing friend Mosno actually even wrote an original tune for my book Shadow on the Wall (link:  
So, when I was asked for a music post about White Chalk, I was rearing to go.  Oh yes, I have music for this one:

White Chalk by Pavarti K Tyler on Grooveshark

If you only listen to one song, definitely make it the first one.   I’ll talk about all of them in a moment, but Volcano by Damian Rice knocks my socks off EVERY time I hear it.

Volcano by Damien Rice – There are a number of lines in this song that make me think of White Chalk, but it’s the only song I’ve ever heard that captures the longing, the dissatisfaction and the dysfunction of Chelle’s life.  No matter what happens, she is unfulfilled and always longing for more.  Give me mountains and I’ll ask for the sea.  But more than any of that, it’s the repeated line at the end “She’s still too young” that wallops the death punch.  It’s surprising, doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the song and still so painfully beautiful.  For me it ties in the relationship with Mr. Harris perfectly.  It’s not secondary, it’s not even a sub-plot but it is a secret.  The line in the music, much like the relationship runs through the song with a subtlety that taints everything it touches with its meaning.

Cold Cold Night by The White Stripes – Chelle longs to be older, to be something special, something someone would want.  In this song, the lyrics mirror this desire.  She’s the pursuer, she’s the one keeping the momentum going for the hidden relationship.  Much like Chelle and Mr. Harris, she made the first move, she loves what she sees as being in the power position in their relationship.

A Martyr for My Love For You by The White Stripes – This song always makes me think of Troy.  He’s such an idiot.  He’s a 17 year old boy!  Of course he’s an idiot.  And I love him for that.  His thought process is so fundamentally flawed. In his blur of hormones and loyalties, he can’t see what’s right in front of him and doesn’t have the capacity to try.

Does your mama know by ABBA This was the first song I ever heard about a man being attracted to a younger woman.  I loved it as a kid, not really understanding why, but I just knew there was something dirty about it…

Just Breathe by Pearl Jam – The lyrics to this are just so lovely.  It covers Chelles absolute adoration of Troy and how she sees him with wonder and awe.  And then there’s the pain of reality: “Yeah, I don't wanna hurt, there's so much in this world to make me bleed.”

I Say Nothing by Voice of the Beehive I Say Nothing is a deceptive song.  It’s so perky and upbeat and happy, until you really listen to the lyrics.  While the plot of the song doesn’t match White Chalk, it does address the issue of abuse and keeping a secret.  Just a different kind.  The juxtaposition of poppy happy sing-song lyrics and the devastating lyrics also speak to me.  I think it’s because of how hard Chelle works to keep everything in it’s place.  You can see it at the beginning of the book in how she cleans the house and tries to just keep the peace.

Beautiful by Joydrop Ahh, if I were beautiful like you…  The crux of every piece of teenage girl jealousy.  It’s not that we dislike the pretty girl in the center of the room, it’s that we wish we were beautiful like her.  And the worst part is, they never know how beautiful they are and are saying the same thing about some other girl.  Being a teenage girl is a ring of hell.  Chelle sees Xiu through the filter of this song.

This Is What It Is by Nina Nastasia – To quote Dr. Horrible, “Destroying the status quo because the status is not… quo.” This song is about the stagnantation of our existence, about the lethargy and apathy that set in when we do nothing to change our circumstance.  It reminds me of Chelle’s father and of the mentality of those in Chelle’s life.  Things can’t change, so why try.  If only someone would try…

Breathe Me by Sia – A song about self harm.  There aren’t many of them and this one is gorgeous.  Chelle is a cutter, but it’s a self-harm mentality in general because she also scratches and burns herself.  It’s a topic talked about more these days than in the past, but people still don’t really understand it.  This song offers a unique insight into the cry for help that is self harm. Check out her striking video.

The Cave by Mumford & Sons – Chelles parents don’t see what’s going on.  It’s not as conscious as the refusal to help in this song.  Somehow that makes it worse for me.  The cycle of poverty and abuse just keeps on spinning, leaving Chelle out in the cold.

It's You by PJ Harvey – A song for Chelle’s mother.  What she’s been taught, what she’s done and what she’s teaching Chelle about life and love. 

Hawaii by Meiko I’ve always been struck by how sad this song is.  How can singing about something like running away to a beautiful place be so sad?  Because she’s really talking about the longing.  The longing to be free.  Not the freedom itself.  The sorrow comes from knowing, you’re never really going to go.  It’s also the song that makes me think of Cat.  She holds out hope for Chelle, offers her a safe place, a friend, someone who won’t judge her.  She is Hawaii.  But will Chelle take the life line?  Read White Chalk to find out.


After a spell of silence, I slipped back inside and slid out of my shoes to avoid tracking rain through the house. In the kitchen, I grabbed a waffle from the freezer and stuck it in the toaster oven before sneaking downstairs to the utility room.

My father’s toolbox sat in the back, next to the water heater. His knife rested on the top right side of the inner shelf. As chaotic as he behaved in every other part of his life, he practically had OCD when it came to his tools. Next to the knife sat a box of razor blades. I slid two out and dropped them in my pocket before closing the box.
Upstairs, I buttered and drenched my waffle in syrup, grabbed a soda, took them back to my room, and locked the door.

My parents had gone silent. Dad probably passed out. I could not bear to think about what Ma was doing. Maybe plotting his death.

I’ll get the Draino, you get the Bleach—let’s take that fucker out!

I popped in the ear buds of my Nano and turned to the playlist full of thrashing music Cat gave me. After annihilating my waffle and draining the soda, I fished the blades out of my pocket. My arms were almost healed—soft pink skin puckered in a few spots—but soon even that would be invisible.

Instead, I pulled up my pant leg and laid my ankle across the opposite knee. A burn on the inside of my calf was healing, the scab still moist and tender. With precision, I pressed the corner of the blade into my flesh. The moment it broke the skin, a flush of joy spread across my chest and I restrained myself from digging it further into the muscle. I sliced across the scab, exposing the wound and raw flesh beneath, and pulled it across my skin, creating a three-inch incision. Blood, honey thick, bubbled to the surface before flowing together, drawn close like mercury.

My mind sparkled with light—no sound, no pain, only the perfect feeling of blade against skin, knife within flesh. Once again, the darkness within me abated and I felt free.

Award winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher.

 She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre.

After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway. 

Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry several international law firms. She now lives with her husband, two daughters and one very large, very terrible dog. 

She keeps busy working with fabulous authors as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity and penning her next genre bending novel.

Find her around the web:

Evolved pub press release

White Chalk (Evolved Publishing) marks Tyler’s third full length novel and promises readers familiar with her work the same mind bending experience.  Her other projects include Shadow on the Wall (Fighting Monkey Press) and Two Moons of Sera (Fighting Monkey Press).  

Shadow on the Wall has been received many awards: Winner of the General Fiction/Novel Category of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Winner in the Fiction: Multicultural category for The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, and Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction category for the 2012 International Book Awards.

White Chalk has been hailed as “brave”, “raw”, and “destroyingly beautiful”.  In line with novels such as White Oleander, Thirteen Reasons Why and Gemma, White Chalk invites you to witness one girl’s heartrending story of confusion and desperation.

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide: The mission of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide is to reduce the number of youth suicides and attempted suicides by encouraging overall public awareness through the development and promotion of educational training programs for teens, parents and educators.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since its inception, the Lifeline has engaged in a variety of initiatives to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention.

S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES®: Our philosophy begins with the assumption that, although temporarily helpful, self-injurious behavior is ultimately a dangerous and futile coping strategy which interferes with intimacy, productivity and happiness. There is no “safe” or “healthy” amount of self-injury. We also believe that self-injury is not an addiction over which one is powerless for a lifetime, people can and do stop injuring, with the right kinds of help and support. Self-injury can be transformed from a seemingly uncontrollable compulsion to a choice.

Self Injury Outreach and Support: As part of a collaboration between the University of Guelph and McGill University, we are a non-profit outreach initiative providing information and resources about self-injury to those who self-injure, those who have recovered, and those who want to help.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I loved talking about the playlist :)