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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Review & Give Away - Trisha Slay's Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away #NSLASlay

Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away
Book by Trisha Slay
Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

I don’t remember watching Star Wars and I was born two months after it was released in theaters, but novelist Trisha Slay made me feel as if I had been there in the theater taking in each frame of the film. Slay’s novelNot So Long Ago, Not So FarAway was so well written that I imagined myself a troubled teenager, coming of age and being transformed during the summer months of 1977.

Erika (the lead character) is the reason I loved this book, because she is every teenager girl; awkward in her own skin and unsure of herself. Not only does she struggle for acceptance, but struggles will self-doubt. Erika doesn’t see what the rest of the town sees which makes her character so real.

Erika had been the chunky side-kick to her teen beauty queen best friend, Cassie. When Cassandra disappeared, all the attention moved to Erika who had been plotting Cassie’s escape. Each question made Erika question whether she had really known Cassie at all. Erika even had her own doubts; she wondered if Cassie had arrived safely in Hollywood to live out her dream.

The summer was dragging on for Erika, with no word from Cassie. Erika would write letters to her friend. Letters she never intended to mail, but letters that helped her feel less alone, less like an outcast. Erika felt totally misunderstood and completely alone – that was until Star Wars was released. The movie and her summer cleaning at the Bixby Theater made all the difference in the world to Erika.

Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away is filled with interesting characters and even though the majority of the novel takes place at the Bixby Theater, Slay paints a lovely picture of the world surrounding Erika. The Bixby may be crumbling, but it is a lovely historical theater filled with plenty of rooms to explore.

Sonny and Jeff are fascinating characters, but the most intriguing character in the book may be the missing teenage beauty queen Cassie. I couldn’t decide if I loved her, felt sorry for her, or hated the way she seemed to leave her supposed best friend in her shadow.
Even though the story took place before I was born, you get the idea that parts of it happen every day in schools across the nation.

If you want to find out how Erika’s life was transformed, you’ll have to read Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away for yourself. I’m hoping Slay is working on a sequel because I can’t get enough of these characters and I want to know what happens next. I would definitely recommend this book to others; I give it two thumbs up!

To order your copy (or pre-order if you are reading this before May 21st), click here:

Thank you to Trisha Slay who I have had the pleasure of working with. I love the opportunity to work with fabulous authors and it's so exciting to read great novels before they are released for the world to fall in love with. 

To win a copy of Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away, complete the Rafflecopter information below! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Trisha Slay is a writer with a passion for storytelling. She has studied at the Institute of Children's Literature as well as furthering her skills through online workshops. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators and the Atlanta Writer's Club. She enjoys participating in writing groups and spends a great deal of time improving her craft. Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away is her first novel.

Tricia hopes Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away would be compared to Looking for Alaska by John Green and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. She has said that "If those two books had a Star Wars-obsessed little sister, I'd like to think she would be my novel."

Tricia lives between the Atlanta metro area and the North Georgia Mountains, but hails originally from the way of the San Francisco Bay area. When she is not working on her next book (tentatively titled Sometimes We Strike Back), her interests include: 70s pop culture; unsolved mysteries; Star Wars (original trilogy); historic movie theaters; haunted history; reading (especially YA novels); nutrition/weight watchers/healthy vegetarian cuisine; hiking (exploring the National Forest trails with her guy); yoga/meditation; miscellaneous crafting projects (that rarely turn out as envisioned); and writing letters she never intends to mail.

Find out more about the author by visiting her online:

Trisha’s website:


Twitter: @SlaytheWriter

When Erika helps her best friend, teen beauty queen Cassie Abbott, escape their “Nowhere, Ohio” town, she promises to keep all of their secrets safe, but then the days stretch into weeks with no word from Cassie. Worse, the sheriff’s investigation into Cassie’s disappearance is making Erika doubt she ever really knew Cassie at all. Under the weight of scrutiny and confusion, Erika struggles just to breathe . . . until a new movie called Star Wars transforms her summer with a new hope.

For Erika, Star Wars changes everything! She volunteers to do chores for a local theater owner just to gain unlimited access to a galaxy far, far away from her current reality. At the Bixby Theater—a beautiful but crumbling movie palace from a more civilized era—Erika discovers new friendships, feels the crush of first love and starts an exciting new romance with Super 8 film making. But she can’t hide in a darkened movie theater forever.

Eventually, Erika must step out of the shadows and, armed with her Super 8 camera and the lessons she’s learned from Star Wars, she’ll have to fight to save herself and the theater that has become her home.

Paperback: 316 pages

Publisher: Deeds Publishing (May 21, 2013)

ISBN-13: 978-1-937565-58-9

Twitter hashtag: #NSLASlay

Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away is available as a print and e-book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


  1. Trisha, What is your favorite children's book? Any you would recommend as a "must" for young children as they are learning to read on their own?

  2. And the winner of the giveaway is Cathy!

    Please contact me with your information and we will get your book out to you.