Mundie Moms

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Operation Oleander by Valerie O. Patterson

Welcome to today tour for Valerie Patterson's OPERATION OLEANDER. I'm thrilled to have Valerie on the blog today. Before you read her guest post, here's a little bit about her newest release:

Ninth-grader Jess Westmark had the best of intentions when she started Operation Oleander to raise money for a girls’ orphanage in Kabul. She named her charity for the oleander that grows both in her Florida hometown and in Afghanistan, where her father is deployed. But on one of her father's trips to deliver supplies to the orphans, a car bomb explodes nearby and her father is gravely injured. Worse, her best friend’s mother and some of the children are killed, and people are blaming Operation Oleander for turning the orphanage into a military target for the Taliban. Is this all Jess’s fault?


Even as a child, I could be found with a book or pencil and paper in hand. Once, when my dad had to rush my younger sister to the hospital for a broken arm (she fell off my horse), I remember dashing back into the house to get my books and paper before Dad pulled out of the driveway. I knew we’d be in the hospital for hours and I had to have my writing. I was forever crafting poems and short stories and a few “novels” written on three-hole punch notebook paper stapled together. Today, when I do school visits, I show students copies of my first “novels” and “picture books.” I encourage them not to give up on their storytelling dreams.

I grew up in Florida near the Gulf of Mexico, and that setting appears in OPERATION OLEANDER. I fictionalized a location in northwest Florida and placed an Army post on it. For me setting is critical, and I hope that means that the novel is anchored in a specific time and place, and that the reader absorbs that sense of place from the details selected.

After college and graduate school, I moved to Washington, DC. I wrote almost nothing for five years while I settled into a law career, but the need to write refused to go away, and I began to sketch out stories . . . and then a novel . . . and then another one. I’ve been writing ever since, whether that means at night after work, on weekends, or editing manuscripts at the car repair shop (Yes, I’ve done it!).
I still have the day job, but I’m very lucky to write as well. 

Thank you Valerie for stopping by Mundie Moms today! 

About the Author:
Valerie O. Patterson grew up near a military base on the Gulf Coast of Florida. She often draws inspiration for her writing from that place of her childhood. Ms. Patterson holds an MFA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. Her first novel for teens, The Other Side of Blue, was published by Clarion/HMH in 2009. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers of America, the Children’s Literature Association, and the Authors Guild. An attorney by day, she lives with her husband in Leesburg, Virginia. For more information about her life and work, visit her website:

About the Book
Published by Clarion Books
Released on: March 5th, 2013
Purchase it from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

The Giveaway
Thank you to the publisher and Blue Slip Media, I have one copy of Operation Oleander to giveaway. To enter, please fill out the form below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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