Body Swap by Sylvia McNicoll


I’ve been treasuring this book for awhile now, and I’m excited to finally share my post with you!  I truly enjoyed this book. I was expecting some Freaky Friday vibes, but it went above and beyond. It’s a whole new story all on its own and well worth the read. In fact, I have an extra special surprise because I got to interview the author! Thank you so much Sylvia for taking the time to let me enter your world for a moment. This was a blast!

Meet Sylvia:

What inspired you to become a writer?

The love of story, both the reading and writing of it, lead me to enjoy creating it. When writing goes well it’s so dreamlike and zen; you live in a world of your own and wake  up to having written a chapter. And you get paid for this?

What is the hardest thing about being a writer? Easiest thing?

Currently the most difficult thing about being a writer might be to accept pot shots at our work over the Internet.  Whether the reader loves our writing or not, we work on our books for years, they’re our children. Perhaps these children won’t shortlist for any awards or make any ten best list but how can you tell us these children are ugly? The easiest thing about writing for me are the friendships between fellow writers. I can cross the country and know I have friends in every city. In places where I don’t know writers through facebook or from encounters at festivals or workshops, I can find new friends quickly through the library or bookstores. There are always writers meeting somewhere.

Why did you decide to write middle grade and young adult books? 

After writing adult short stories, I took the last course I swore I would ever  take: Writing for Children, given by a YA writer Paul Kropp. As preparation for the class I read everything that Kropp had written and fell in love with his first person humorous and heartfelt narration, all from a young teen’s point of view. I felt that even though it was a simple writing style, it was a powerful connector. More importantly I thought it was something I could do too.

What inspired you to write Body Swap?

I’d been exploring regret through various of my stories, specifically regret about dying foolishly. Best Friends Through Eternity and Dying to Go Viral depict retakes of the characters’ last week of life. Body Swap evolved from that premise except that 15 year-old Hallie doesn’t think staring at a cell phone while walking through a parking lot causes her death. Instead she blames 82 year old Susan’s reflexes. Something I did too, when I read about the true story about such a fatal accident.  A friend challenged me on my ageism so I tackled my own flaw in thinking through this story.

If Body Swap were a movie, who would you want to play Eli, Hallie, and Susan?

To keep it authentic, I would want less known actors perhaps. Canadian television actors Eric Peterson (Corner Gas) and Jean Yoon (Kim’s Convenience) should play the two main male/female halves of Eli. Another film actor Ryan Reynolds can play the carnival operator Eli. Quevenzhané Wallis (youngest Oscar nominee for Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild could play Hallie. While Meryl Streep is too young to play Susan, perhaps makeup artists could age her enough to pass for 82.

What do you hope readers take away from reading Body Swap?

Readers should try to look outside themselves a little, to be empathetic to others. It’s too easy to see ourselves as the main actor in the story of the world and not listen or accept other points of view.

Did you get to choose the cover? (It’s gorgeous by the way!)

Thank you.  I didn’t get to choose my cover. In fact  I had a different visual in mind: one of a teen holding a cell phone with the image of an older woman covering the screen. But I was consulted. What I really didn’t want was a stylish bunch of letters floating on a cover, telling you nothing about the story. First draft, picture the current Body Swap cover without the fairground. I liked the colours instantly but it was a stylish bunch of letters revealing nothing about the story.  Very quickly the editor showed me covers with various fairgrounds added and the designer Laura Boyle did an excellent job of shaping one in with the circular title and colours so that we are all happy with it

What are your thoughts on technology use in today’s society?

It’s pretty funny to see a whole bunch of people standing somewhere, say at a bus stop, staring at their screens. I know I can get obsessive about checking social media on my phone especially when I’m discouraged about my work. “Show me a sign, Eli, that I should keep writing!” So I self-google, check Goodreads, Instagram,a nd twitter.  But I know I’m better off stepping away from it all. I hope the world learns a better balance soon. Imagine how many more books we could read if we saved all that Facebook/twitter/instagram/linkedlin checking time.

Can you tell me a little about other books you’ve written?

Crush, Candy, Corpse is the story of a 17 year old accused of manslaughter of an Alzheimer’s patient.  It was based on my own experience of wanting to feed my mom her favourite foods as she was dying of Alzheimer’s. I was told she couldn’t have blueberries, she might choke to death. An odd book I wrote was a middle grade historical fiction Revenge on the Fly based on a 1912 fly-catching contest. They were held all over the world that year because scientists blamed the spread of microbes and therefor disease on the fly.My 12  year old character William Alton’s mom and sister die of typhoid and summer complaint and when he hears that flies could have caused their death, he seeks revenge and victory at the same time. I love dogs so I write a lot about them. The Great Mistake Mysteries, The Best Mistake Mystery, The Artsy Mistake Mystery and The Snake Mistake Mysteries feature rescue dogs Ping and Pong and their young dog walkers Stephen and Renée who count their mistakes and solve crimes.

What has been your favorite book you’ve read this summer?

Black Chuck is an intense debut novel (buying first timer books is always lucky!!) by Regan McDonnell.  There’s a murder, a pregnancy and a love triangle and the plot twists around these aspects till you find out how and why.


And, SURPRISE!! To celebrate the release of this book, I’m giving away TWO COPIES! Head to my instagram @livereadandprosper to enter!


Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird

I’m super excited to announce that I am participating in St. Martin’s Press Blog Tour for Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird! Be Sure to read ALL of this post -hint hint-!

About the Author:
Bird - Author Image (credit Sarah Wilson)
SARAH BIRD’s previous novel, Above the East China Sea, was long-listed for the Dublin International Literary Award. Sarah has been selected for the Meryl Streep Screenwriting Lab, the B&N Discover Great Writers program, NPR’s Moth Radio series, the Texas Literary Hall of Fame, and New York Libraries Books to Remember list. She first heard Cathy Williams’ story in the late seventies while researching African-American rodeos.
About the Book:
The compelling, hidden story of Cathy Williams, a former slave and the only woman to ever serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers.
“Here’s the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of a daughter of queen and my mama never let me forget it.”
Though born into bondage on a “miserable tobacco farm” in Little Dixie, Missouri, Cathy Williams was never allowed to consider herself a slave. According to her mother, she was a captive, destined by her noble warrior blood to escape the enemy. Her means of deliverance is Union general Phillip Henry “Smash ‘em Up” Sheridan, the outcast of West Point who takes the rawboned, prideful young woman into service. At war’s end, having tasted freedom, Cathy refuses to return to servitude and makes the monumental decision to disguise herself as a man and join the Army’s legendary Buffalo Soldiers.
Alone now in the ultimate man’s world, Cathy must fight not only for her survival and freedom, but she also vows to never give up on finding her mother, her little sister, and the love of the only man strong enough to win her heart. Inspired by the stunning, true story of Private Williams, this American heroine comes to vivid life in a sweeping and magnificent tale about one woman’s fight for freedom, respect and independence.
Buy Links:


This is not a book I would typically pick up, but I really did enjoy it. The dialect for the characters were so true to the time period and it really felt like you were right there with them. I am a teacher by trade and I feel like this would be a wonderful asset to a High School History class. It has such character and emotional depth to it, you can’t help but feel for Cathy. What a brave woman. It’s a fast-pace story that flows quite nicely. I could easily follow along and never felt myself getting too side-tracked. Am I the only one who got some Mulan vibes here? There are some slow parts in the middle of the book that I felt weren’t necessary, but it did make the story well-rounded.

4/5 Stars

And, GUESS WHAT? I’m giving away a hard copy of this book! You can follow me on instagram (@livereadandprosper) for a chance to win or just enter below! This giveaway is sponsored by St Martin’s Press.

Click Here To Enter The Giveaway!



Head over to my instagram page – I’m giving away all THREE of these books! I’m celebrating the fact that I’ve been doing my blog and instagram account for two months and have been so excited to connect with each and every one of you! Enter there for a chance to win. Be sure to follow me @livereadandprosper to qualify!


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Today I am celebrating because I have hit over 500 followers on my instagram account! SO EXCITED! Head over to @livereadandprosper on instagram to enter the giveaway! Ends Sunday, June 24, 2018. Not affliated with wordpress, instagram, the author, or publisher. Open to US only (sorry interantional followers, I will have one soon enough for you guys!)