Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Blog Tour: On the Way to Birdland by Frank Morelli {Guest Post + #Giveaway} @frankmoewriter


I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ON THE WAY TO BIRDLAND by Frank Morelli Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


Author: Frank Morelli

Pub. Date: June 8th 2021

Publisher: Fish Out of Water Books

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 300

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, TBD, Bookshop.org


Self-proclaimed teenage philosopher Cordell Wheaton lives in a sleepy, southern town where nothing ever happens; not since his hero, jazz musician John Coltrane, left some seventy years earlier to “follow the sound.” Cordy’s life has been unraveling since the night his father and his brother, Travis, exploded on each other. The night Travis’s addiction transformed him from budding musician into something entirely different. The night Travis took his saxophone and disappeared. When Cordy’s father falls ill, the sixteen-year-old vows to reunite the Wheaton family. He embarks on a modern-day odyssey with forty bucks in his pocket and a dream to find his brother and convince him to be Travis again—by taking him to a show at Birdland Jazz Club in New York City, and reminding him of the common bonds they share with their legendary hero. Cordy’s journey is soon haunted by ghostly visions, traumatic dreams, and disembodied voices that echo through his mind. He starts to wonder if the voices are those of the fates, guiding him toward his destiny—or if he’s losing his grip on reality.



“Engrossing story and sympathetic characters. Morelli…makes it worth the trip.”—Booklist

“With a haunting secret, a brave journey and fascinating characters, On the Way to Birdland will remind readers that when you take a giant step into the unfamiliar, you might just find yourself.” —Joelle Charbonneau, New York Times Best Selling author of VERIFY and DISCLOSE

On the Way to Birdland is a work of tremendous heart.  It sings with the joys and pains of family, hope, and impossible dreams.  A must read for everyone trying to find their way back to what matters most.”—Adrienne Kisner, Author of DEAR RACHEL MADDOW, THE CONFUSION OF LAUREL GRAHAM, and SIX ANGRY GIRLS

“Listening to and believing in our fears keeps away from a life we wish for. On the Way to Birdland shows us what’s possible when we listen to something else.”—Angelo Surmelis, author of THE DANGEROUS ART OF BLENDING IN

“With balance, beats, and rhythm, this heartfelt coming-of-age story is bridged together like a Coltrane riff under Frank Morelli’s skillful hand. ON THE WAY TO BIRDLAND and its cast of diverse, fully fleshed-out characters are now included among My Favorite Things.” Brenda Rufener, Author of SINCE WE LAST SPOKE and WHERE I LIVE

“A classic tale of choice and chance, with more twists than a Virginia mountain road, On the Way to Birdland is a guide to finding your true self by accepting that you are ‘completely destructible…desperate not to get destroyed.'” —Valerie Nieman, author of TO THE BONES and BACKWATER (Fitzroy, 2022)

Book Trailer

Guest Post


My Top Five Novels of All Time

 By Frank Morelli 


When you write novels and teach literature for almost twenty years, it’s hard to narrow down your list of favorites to just five, but I’ll give it a try. After all, these are the books that shaped the person I am today and that continue to provide me with guidance and inspiration on my current work. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of one of these classics as soon as possible if you haven’t read them already, because classic literature is not dead...it’s just taking a brief hiatus.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

S.E. Hinton’s debut novel, written when she was only sixteen years old, is THE book that made me fall in love with reading when I was growing up. It also happens to be one of the original prototypes for what we now call the young adult genre. When I was younger, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that attracted me to this novel, but I’m now certain it’s because of the unique and authentic narrative voice of Ponyboy Curtis. I love voice. If I can hear a narrator’s voice in my head long after putting the book down, I’m basically in love. I think the voice of Ponyboy plays on a loop in the minds of many young adult authors. Certainly mine. The desire to be able to create a voice like the one created by S.E. Hinton was definitely one of the main factors that inspired me to become an author.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

There seems to be much controversy surrounding this classic novel, but there shouldn’t be. It’s a dazzling beauty of a work with a trial scene modeled after historical events that resemble the Scottsboro Boys trial. The book was a key work of the Civil Rights Movement, it called out white people on their ass backwards viewpoints and biases, and introduced us to one of the greatest and most complex characters in literary history: Atticus Finch. I will never stop reading and teaching this essential novel in American Literature. Please, read it for yourself before you pass judgement...which happens to be a central theme of the novel, btw.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This is a near perfect novel for me simply because of how precisely Mary Shelley nails down on the ethical and moral questions of who gets to control life and who gets to play God? The Frankenstein monster, unlike the weird green dude we see at Halloween parties, is potentially one of the most surprisingly sympathetic characters in literary history.

The Odyssey by Homer

I may have been the only high school student in history who loved reading Homer’s epic poem from ancient times that features the Greek hero Odysseus, the fallout from the Trojan Wars, and a million legendary mythical gods and monsters. I love the story so much that half of my body is tattooed in various tales from the ordeals of Odysseus, and I didn’t waste time building on key ideas from Homer’s work in my new novel, On the Way to Birdland. I know the poem is not an easy read, but the reflection of human nature provided in each of Odysseus’s many adventures are not only still relevant today, but they find their way into much of the modern literature we see sitting in bookstores and in libraries at this very moment.

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

I know this is a play and, therefore, not technically a novel, but I just can’t get enough of the story of the Younger family in pursuit of their version of the American dream. From the very first page of the script, one that is adorned with the famous Langston Hughes poem commonly referred to as “A Dream Deferred”, I am hooked on the seminal question that Hansberry seems to pose: How do we really define the American dream and is it truly accessible to all groups of people? For the Youngers, a family living during the 50s on the Southside of Chicago, their dreams are contingent on the death of a family member and the insurance check that follows which nearly tears the family apart until they remember what’s truly important to them. Add in the fact that legendary actor Sidney Poitier plays the lead role in the original production of the play and you’ve got yourself one of the greatest works of art in American history. 


About Frank Morelli

Frank Morelli is the author of the young adult novel, No Sad Songs (2018), a YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominee and winner of an American Fiction Award for best coming of age story. The first book in his debut middle grade series, Please Return To: Norbert M. Finkelstein (2019) is a Book Excellence Award finalist and provides young readers with a roadmap to end bullying. His fiction and essays have been featured in various publications including The Saturday Evening Post, Cobalt Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Highlights Magazine.

A Philadelphia native, Morelli now resides in High Point, NC with a brilliant illustrator and his fur babies. Connect with him on Twitter @frankmoewriter and on Instagram @frankmorelliauthor.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

Giveaway Details

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


Rockstar Book Tours

Kickoff Post


Two Chicks on Books



Jaime's World




Instagram Post


YA Books Central

Guest Post

Week Two:


Fire and Ice



Living in a Bookworld

Guest Post


Rajiv's Reviews








Week Three:





The Keysmash Blog



Dorky Girl and Skeletor



The Obsessed Reader



Lady Hawkeye


Week Four:


I'm Shelfish



A Dream Within A Dream



Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Guest Post


For the Love of KidLit



The Momma Spot


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