Google+ Reading Teen: {Indie Spotlight & Giveaway} Tracy Hewitt Meyer's Rowan Slone Novels

Sunday, June 8, 2014

{Indie Spotlight & Giveaway} Tracy Hewitt Meyer's Rowan Slone Novels

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On Being Nice
Is the Age of the Frenemy over?
(And if it isn’t, shouldn’t it be?)

We’ve all been there-in a friendship with a person we kinda like but kinda don’t; who we like to share laughter and good times with but who we also like to pick apart like a lint-covered sweater. Two people in this type of relationship are called frenemies. We’re all pretty familiar with this word.

But it’s a silly word, isn’t it? Easy to laugh at or roll the ole eyes at. But this type of relationship is common, toxic and unnecessary.

Why can’t we all just be nice?

I have to admit, this topic touches close to my heart. Why? Because I’m a nice person. That’s a good thing, right? In a world where it seems everyone is out for themselves, where the first reaction is to put someone down instead of build them up, making the effort to be polite, courteous, kind…nice can seem like an altogether foreign concept.

What does this simple word mean? Merriam Webster’s online dictionary gives the meaning as:

Giving pleasure or joy

Good and enjoyable

Attractive or of good quality

Kind, polite, and friendly

These are all good qualities, right? Especially when it comes to friendships. But friends aren’t always nice to each other, are they?

Not always. I have experienced first-hand humiliation in front of a crowd all because I was trying to be nice and happened to have frenemy close-by, ready and more than willing to embarrass me.

Let me set the scene: I was at a party with a huge group of friends and this was the first time I was going to meet many of my new boyfriend’s friends. Big deal, right? Well, several of us were standing around talking, one of my friends by my side. The topic of conversation turned to what we were all doing after we graduated college and I had heard from my boyfriend that one of his friends (who was standing in this particular group) had gotten into law school.

Me: “I hear you got into law school.”

Boyfriend’s friend: “Yeah. BU.”

Me: “Wow. Congrats. That’ll make for a great future.”

My friend: (with a very loud snort of disdain): “God, Tracy. What are you, her mom?”

I was so embarrassed and stunned by this retort that I know my mouth fell open and I just gawked at her. Everyone started laughing as my friend rolled her eyes at me and cringed emphatically. With cheeks aflame, I turned and walked away from the group, feeling humiliated, embarrassed and sad.

It has been years since this happened but I’ll never forget it. Why? Because after that humiliating moment, I stopped being so nice. I didn’t compliment or encourage or support. Why would I when I would just be ridiculed by someone who was supposed to be my friend? I certainly didn’t want that to happen again.

But time passed and life moved on. I kept myself guarded, bordering on sarcastic and snarky whenever I was in group situations. Then one day I realized, with quite a shock, that I am, simply, nice.

My name is Tracy and I am a nice person.

I had to do a little soul-searching when I realized that no matter how much I tried to change, I was and will always be nice. But oftentimes people don’t like people like me. We are discarded as nerdy, dorky, and uncool. We aren’t the edgy, uncaring, who cares about you type of person, so we are cast aside.

Well, not anymore. I have embraced my niceness. I am nice even when someone isn’t to me. No, that does not mean that I am a pushover. Not at all. But I start relationships (with the person on the phone, at the store, a potential friend) with being me.

What a concept.

You mean, I’m okay to be me? To be nice?


There is enough room in the world for us all to feel encouraged and supported. It’s not such a competitive world, is it?

In the Rowan Slone books, A Life, Redefined and A Life, Forward, there is a friendship between the main character, Rowan Slone, and her best friend, Jess. There are no frenemies here. They have been friends since they were freshmen in high school and their friendship shows no signs of growing old. In fact, through book #2, the bond they share as friends deepens and it becomes one of the main plot points of book #3, A Life, Freed, due out November 2014.

Adventures in Reading describes Rowan and Jess’ friendship as this: Rowan's unfailing loyalty to her friend is wonderful to see. So often in YA books we have frenemies. Not in this book. Not with Jess & Rowan.”

So, being nice does pay off-being nice to strangers, acquaintances and friends. Life is a harsh world. Wouldn’t it be more peaceful if we were all just nice, especially to our friends?

Many thanks to Reading Teen for having me visit today.

Cheers! Tracy

A Life, Redefined:

A Life, Forward:

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  1. Loved your blog. And, yes, you are nice and we love that about you :)

  2. :) I like being nice, but, the world often isn't and I had to accept it is good to be who I naturally am too!

  3. I have a habit of looking for the good in people and often they disappoint me. As they say, you have to be a bitch or a bastard to hold a title. Sad but true.

  4. Thank you for the giveaway! The word and the actual action of frenemies has definitely not died away. With the amount of two faced people in my year at school, I can't imagine seeing it die away any time soon either. Thank goodness there is a decent amount of normal people in my year too and we hang out together as our own gang, no frenemy stuff going on whatsoever :D


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