Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): M. Liz Boyle & Off the Itinerary series

Posted August 9, 2022 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, children, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, M. Liz Boyle, YA / 11 Comments

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Off the Itinerary series by M. Liz Boyle, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m delighted to have Liz on the blog today to talk about her books!

AVALANCHE by M. Liz Boyle
SERIES: Off the Itinerary #1
GENRE: Christian MG/YA Adventure
RELEASE DATE: September 26, 2019
PAGES: 228

“Avalanche surprised me with its depth…a 5-star read…” -For the Love of Literature

Five friends. One moonlit summit. An unforgettable journey.

Excitement hangs in the air as Marlee and her sisters join their friends on a daring hike up a Colorado mountain – in the middle of the night. When Sawyer first proposes the idea of a moonlit summit during the two families’ annual backpacking trip, Marlee is terrified but also hooked. Having grown up taking trips to the mountains, they’ve learned a thing or two about hiking, and Sawyer is confident they’ll be back by sunrise. But when disaster strikes, their knowledge, faith, and stamina will be put to the test. Digging out of the cemented snow is the first of many challenges in the coming days, and now Marlee has to trust Sawyer, who, by the way, was the brain behind the dilemma. Will their faith and friendship survive, or will they cave under pressure?

This engaging journey, told by fifteen-year-old Marlee Stanley, captures a timeless sense of adventure. The five young adults strive to exhibit godly character throughout their escapade, but it will take immense strength to hike out of this mess.

“I know that if their journey inspired me, it will certainly inspire others…Boyle has brought YA fans an uplifting, adventurous novel.” -A Baker’s Perspective


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CHASED by M. Liz Boyle
SERIES: Off the Itinerary #2
GENRE: Christian MG/YA Adventure
RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2020
PAGES: 171

“Chased would be a great addition to a k-12 Christian school library. Middle schoolers and up will enjoy it.” – Library Lady’s Kid Lit

It’s been a year since Marlee, her sisters, and the Miles boys survived an avalanche. Sure, it was a little embarrassing for them when all the neighbors saw them on the news, but they love being outdoors, and what are the odds that another tragedy would strike this adventurous group? Has anyone calculated the statistics of being hit with two natural disasters? It has to be low, so of course the two families planned to backpack again this summer.

When the teens first meet Thad, a dehydrated hiker on the trail, they give him water and food and help him recover. He seems harmless until he tells them to hike a few extra miles at sunset. Then Lydie finds a hand-drawn map that Thad dropped, and they discover why he is so eager to get away from the Stanley girls and Miles boys. So eager that he starts chasing them.

Now they have to climb up unforgiving ridges, sneak through the night, and – is that thunder and lightning? To make matters worse, Marlee has a nagging worry that her older sister Ellie is preparing to move away from home.

What is God’s plan? How will they get away from Thad before it’s too late?

“…realistic, exciting, and suspenseful…Chased is the perfect sequel to Avalanche. It’s gripping, suspenseful, entertaining, and, best of all, Christian.” -David M., Beta Reader

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ABLAZE by M. Liz Boyle
SERIES: Off the Itinerary #3
GENRE: Christian middle-grade/YA, Adventure
RELEASE DATE: February 25, 2021
PAGES: 135

“M. Liz Boyle tackles the topic of showering difficult people with grace and forgiveness, making this a must-read for Christian teens. Adventure seekers who loved Avalanche and Chased will fall head-over-heels for the adventure that heats up in Ablaze!” – Author Allyson Kennedy

This summer the Stanley sisters and the Miles boys are excited to hike together again, and now they have the unique opportunity to help two of their ranger friends with an outdoor program in the beautiful Montana mountains.

Marlee has always considered herself a willing follower. Give her a direction and she’s happy to help. Her older sister Ellie is a natural leader, and Marlee is content in her role as assistant.

Marlee and her sisters have been assigned to help with Ranger Rose’s team, and they are savoring the adventure. But in a heartbeat while the group is divided by a few hundred feet, fire breaks out between Ranger Rose and Marlee’s group. In this enthralling finale to the Off the Itinerary series, Marlee must face her fears with courage that only God can provide.

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Hi Liz! Welcome to the blog!

Liz: This is a tough one because I love fresh fruit, but I also love apple crisp and apple pie, so apples win 🙂

Carrie: I think those yummy desserts are excellent deciding factors 🙂

Liz: Summer! Below-zero days get old in a hurry. 

Carrie: that’s true … but down here in Georgia, so do over-100 days haha #springorfallallyearplease

Liz: Mountains, so far, as I haven’t actually been to an ocean yet (but I have been to all five Great Lakes, and I love going to beaches here in the Midwest!). But summiting a mountain is really amazing, so maybe I will always choose mountains.

Carrie: I’ve been to both and I still pick mountains 🙂

Liz: Print 🙂 I’m a sucker for flipping through the pages and highlighting my favorite lines.

Carrie: i used to do that a lot, too – still do with non-fiction – but now I just highlight on my kindle lol

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Liz: I would like to be able to fly, and my family would like for me to have endless reserves of patience. But if I could fly, maybe patience wouldn’t be such an issue (“Mommy is getting mad so she’s going to fly to a fun tourist destination for ten minutes to cool down.”)

Carrie: LOL i love that!

Q: If you knew you were only going to be allowed FIVE books for the rest of your life, besides the Bible, which five would make the cut?

Liz: Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie, Writing by Faith by Allyson Kennedy, When Life Gives You Pears by Jeannie Gaffigan, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Carrie: Ahhhhhhh!!! I love that you mentioned Tuck Everlasting – no one else ever has (to my recollection) and it’s one of my very faves!

Q: If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?

Liz: My backpack, which I use like most women use a purse, would tell you that I like to be prepared. Carrying a first aid kit, water bottle, sunscreen and bug spray, spare sunglasses, a toothbrush (I know, I know – dentist’s orders), baby wipes, and disinfectant wipes (because you never know!) keep me pretty well stocked for a variety of adventures and mishaps.

Carrie: the fact that it’s a backpack and not a purse tells me you like to be prepared 🙂

Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing the Off the Itinerary series, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?

Liz: Avalanche and Chased took shape a page at a time (the “pantsing” method), and Ablaze was outlined from the beginning (although I made small changes as I wrote). All writing styles have their good points 🙂

Carrie: definitely!

Q: Some authors like to hide little things in their stories. Is there anything you have hidden in the Off the Itinerary books?

Liz: In Chased, Marlee reminisces about a stick fort that she and her sister Ellie built when they were little. My childhood best friend and I made this stick fort, and we naively expected historians to find it in hundreds of years and be impressed with our construction. It has since fallen over, but the fun memories remain 🙂

Carrie: aww i love those kind of memories!

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from the Off the Itinerary series?

Liz: I hope that my stories inspire readers to live God’s way, to seek out adventures, and to have the courage to shine as lights in the world.

Carrie: amen ♥

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Liz: Thank you for hosting me! This has been fun! Aww, thank you for asking about what’s on my horizon. My current work in progress is a standalone novel about a 19-year-old girl named Jada who wants to become a lifeguard to give back to the community that lost a child due to her irresponsibility. Jada goes to the next county over to take lifeguarding lessons from no-nonsense Anders, who could help Jada…but that would require him to tell her why saving lives is so important to him, and there’s no way he’s going to share that awful truth. Who would take lessons from someone who caused a drowning?

It’s written through both their perspectives, so readers will see the whole story! I’ve really enjoyed writing Anders and Jada, and I’ll let you know when the book releases 🙂

M. Liz Boyle is an author, the wife of a professional tree climber and the mom of three energetic and laundry-producing children. She received her Associate’s of Arts at the University of Sioux Falls, where she received the LAR Writing Award for her essay entitled, “My Real Life Mufasa.” Liz once spent a summer in Colorado teaching rock climbing, which she believes was a fantastic way to make money and memories. She resides with her family in Wisconsin, where they enjoy hiking and rock climbing. Liz and her husband have also backpacked in Colorado and the Grand Canyon, which have provided inspiration for her writing. She likes making adventurous stories to encourage others to find adventures and expand their comfort zones (though admittedly, she still needs lots of practice expanding her own comfort zone). She has thoroughly enjoyed working on the Off the Itinerary series.

Connect with Liz by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

(3) winners will receive one Off the Itinerary series book (winner’s choice), book swag, and $15 Amazon gift card!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight August 9, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on August 16, 2022. US only. Items may vary from image. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

What about you? What makes you want to read the Off the Itinerary series by M. Liz Boyle?

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11 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): M. Liz Boyle & Off the Itinerary series

  1. Nancy

    Chased in the series Off the Itinerary #2 by author M. Liz Boyle sounds like it would be a somewhat scary nature adventure for middle schoolers to experience.

    • Hi Nancy, I know I’ve had readers as young as 8 or 9 who enjoyed Chased without feeling too scared. Most readers find it to have enough adrenaline without being too intense 🙂

  2. Bea LaRocca

    Thank you for sharing your Q&A and books’ details, I love the covers and synopses and I am looking forward to reading these stories with my grandchildren

  3. Patricia B.

    Our middle school granddaughter would really enjoy these books. She is a big fan of Bear Grylls and enjoys going out hiking and camping with us.

  4. Eva Millien

    I enjoyed Q&A, Liz and Off the Itinerary sounds like exciting reads for the kids!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular week!

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