Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cover Reveal 'How to Be Manly' by Maureen O'Leary Wanket

Today I'm excited to be among the first to see, and to share, the brand new book 'How to Be Manly' by Maureen O'Leary Wanket coming September 2014 from Giant Squid Books. 'How to Be Manly' is a Young Adult Contemporary novel. The cover art is by Jillian Blazek at JillianBlazek.com.

The Book:

"When you start this program, your whole life will change."

When Fatty Matty Sullivan finds a self-help book by former football great Tad Manly at a yard sale, he secretly starts following the old pro’s advice to turn himself into the kind of guy super hot Cassie Bale will love.

But between taking care of his grandfather, trying to pass remedial Algebra, and getting caught up in his friend Jester’s half-bakedweed-dealing schemes, Matt’s summer isn’t quite the game-changer he’d planned. And when on top of it all his dad moves back in with his own plans to get rich quick, Matt suddenly has much bigger things to worry about. It turns out that there might be more to being manly than he thought.With the humor and insight of YA favorites Judy Blume and Louis Sachar Maureen O’Leary Wanket’s debut is a sharp, comic novel about trying to do the right thing...even when you’re not sure what that is.

For more information about 'How to Be Manly' please visite Goodreads and Giant Squid Books & How to Be Manly.

And now without further ado the cover of ‘How to Be Manly’……..


About the Book:

The cover of ‘How to Be Manly’ shows snippets of Matt Sullivan’s story: donuts, his favorite food; grass stains from long days on the football field; a stack of cash. In a series of cover-reveal posts, author Maureen O’Leary Wanket talks about the importance of each of these things to Matt’s story.

Maureen O’Leary Wanket on money in ‘How to Be Manly’:

In ‘How to Be Manly’, fifteen year-old Matty Sullivan and his grandmother have a loving relationship and a shared sense of responsibility for his Alzheimers-afflicted grandfather.  Through the course of the summer between his freshman and sophomore years of high school, Matty’s life spins into turmoil when his grandfather’s health worsens, his roof falls in and his dad comes back to town to break up the family. ‘How to Be Manly’ follows Matty’s struggle to keep his family together, find love and become a good man despite a father who makes all of his problems worse.

In my work as a high school teacher in the past decade, I see first hand how aware of their family’s financial problems students are now.  Kids know when their parents are anxious about money. Since the recession, I’ve noticed that young people are smarter about financial realities than they used to be. On one hand it’s sad because the average student isn’t applying to college thinking she’ll follow her bliss.  She’s concerned about paying for it without crippling debt, and she’s planning her major so that she can support herself. On the other hand, it’s great that kids want to avoid debt. 

‘How to Be Manly’ is a novel for anyone who has ever worried about money. It’s about overcoming enormous obstacles through cooperation and hidden resources you didn’t even know you had.


I went down the numbers again.  Then I looked through the bills open on the table.  I picked up a pencil and made a list of numbers.  Everything we owed.  Everything Grandma and Grandpa took in with Social Security and their pensions.  Before they retired, Grandma was a teacher and Grandpa was an engineer and worked for the state.  She’d explained to me before that they had to be careful with money but I was never supposed to worry.  They would always have enough to get by.  We would always be okay.

​She always told me not to worry.

​I added up the numbers.  I worried.

About the Author:


Maureen O’Leary Wanket is a writer and teacher living in Sacramento, California with her husband and two daughters. ‘How To Be Manly’ is inspired by the humor and courage of the students she’s met in her classrooms over the past twenty years.

Maureen's short stories have appeared in Esopus, Xenith, Fiction at Work, Blood and Thunder, Musings on the Art of Medicine and Prick of the Spindle. ‘How To Be Manly’ is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter.


Giveaway courtesy of Giant Squid Books. 

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.


  1. I really like this guest post because I remember money always being an issue as a kid and teen. I don't think it's something that talked about a lot in books but I remember it being something I thought about a lot as a teen because I had so few options because of it.
    Thanks so much for posting the reveal!

    1. I totally agree. Money is a big issue, not only for grown-ups but for children too. To be honest I think most parents don’t realize how much their children are aware of the things that are happening around them. I remember a lot of things about when I was little and how my mom struggled to pay for my education.

      You’re welcome! I really love this cover. It’s gorgeous. ;)


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