Fragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection Blog Tour: Excerpt and Prize Pack Giveaway
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Fragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection Blog Tour: Excerpt and Prize Pack Giveaway

Welcome to the blog tour for Fragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection, written by award-winning author and playwright Maura Pierlot. Enjoy a free excerpt courtesy of the author, learn a bit more about the book and enter to win a copy, along with a $50 Amazon gift card!



Reena studies herself in mirror, prodding and pinching her body.

Fat! Fat! FAT!

Stands back for full view before addressing audience.

The only thing not fat is my head. Actually, it’s too small for my body. Great, I’m deformed too.

At the portrait gallery I went to with Nan last week, there was a huge black and white photo of an old woman sitting at a cafĂ©. Her cheeks were all wrinkly and droopy, like our pug Otis, and she was wearing the skimpiest outfit, just a singlet and drawstring shorts. It was kinda gross cos rolls of fat were escaping everywhere, like sausage meat popping out of the casing. But she had the biggest smile, like she was a beauty queen decked out in the most expensive designer gown ever. My brain was screaming, Look away but my eyes weren’t listening. I voted that one for People’s Choice cos a great photo captures your attention, makes you react. Nan didn’t vote. She said, ‘Nasreena’ – cos she still can’t call me Reena like everyone else – ‘Nasreena, a great portrait captures a person’s essence, so how can anyone judge another person’s photo?’ And I thought, Oh my God! I love that word, Ehhh- ssssssence.
I’m still trying to find my essence but I don’t know what I’m searching for. Is it a sparkle? Does it change all the time? Will other people see it through this?

Grabs her flesh.

I wish I could be put through a photocopier. I’d hit sixty percent reduction and voila! Instant happiness! Cos except for that old lady in the pic, it’s skinny girls who have the biggest smiles on their faces. And they’re everywhere! Skinny girls in magazines with stick legs in high heels carrying oversized handbags.
Skinny girls on TV in string bikinis frolicking in the surf, showing off their thigh gaps.

Scanning her feed.

They’re online, too. I mean, hello? Have you ever checked out Instagram? The whole point is to be seen, living and loving life. To have people follow you. To wanna be you. All my friends have over a thousand followers and ya know how many I have? Three hundred ninety-six! Cos no one wants to flick through photos of fatties! But I’ve changed all that. Yep, you’re looking at ‘NazzyXO’ with … wait for it … twelve hundred twenty-four followers.

Checks phone, smiling.

Make that twelve hundred twenty-eight followers.

How’d I do it? Well it’s funny, cos I used to hate getting my photo taken … until I discovered these awesome apps to create a better version of me. Someone taller, thinner, tanner. I can change my hair, my clothes, even my eye colour. I mean, there’s no point being on Facebook and Instagram if you look like shit, right? But with the right apps, anything’s possible. There’s even a formula: Photo, Filter, Caption. See, the trick is making the photos look natural, like you just happen to be out and …

Poses for selfies.

Photo: My legs, beach in background. Filter: Cool Breeze. Caption: Summer days, sun emoji, thumbs up! Photo: My lips with a glimpse of my bra. Filter: Mayfair. Caption: Up close and personal, winky face. Photo: My butt, photoshopped. Obviously. Filter: Black and White … it’s all about the vibe. Caption: Tongue out dollar emoji.

So what if I’m only thirteen? It’s not like anyone’s gonna find out. No one even knows it’s me! That’s cos I use a filter for all my pics. Enough so they look like me, but not enough that they look like me, if ya know what I mean. So what if it’s not really me? It’s the future me, the one I aspire to. If you’re looking for a dress, you don’t buy the first one you try on, right? You go through a few and pick the one that’s the best fit. That’s what I’m doing. Shopping for the best version of me. Cos why would I wanna be me when I could be …

Holds up phone.

Me! NazzyXO is perfect, and everyone loves her.

Checks phone, excited.

Check out these comments: ‘Killer, knife emoji, flame. Yum, tongue out emoji. Beauty.’ See?



From Fragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection by Maura Pierlot © 2021

About the Book

Ages 12+ | 126 Pages
Publisher: Big Ideas Press | ISBN-13: 978-0645099805

I feel like I’m a piece, a fragment that’s missing all the good bits, but I don’t know where to find the rest … the parts I need to work properly. I bet they wouldn’t fit anyway. (Lexy, age 17)

Eight young people navigating high school and beyond, each struggling to hold on – to family, to friends, to a piece of themselves. Perhaps you know them. The bubbly girl who keeps telling you she’s okay. The high achiever who’s suddenly so intense. The young teen obsessed with social media. The boy challenged by communication. Every single day they, and others, are working hard to keep it together. So hard, they don’t see their friends are struggling, too. Through eight imagined stories, Fragments moves from a place of disconnection to connectedness.

The action of Fragments takes place in the minds and hearts of an ordinary group of young people. Their stories encompass anxiety, depression, neurodivergence, gender dysphoria, social media, bullying, family dysfunction, cross-cultural diversity, and more, culminating in a sense of hope. Although set in Australia, their stories could take place anywhere.

From the Playwright: Rarely presenting as neat packages, mental health issues often involve feelings and behaviors with jagged edges and blurred origins. Fragments embodies the theme that stress at home, at school, and in life is challenging young people beyond their usual coping abilities, leaving them disenfranchised and vulnerable. So much of adolescent life is spent looking inwards that it’s perhaps not surprising that mental health issues are often internalized. I wrote Fragments to start a conversation. It’s only when we speak openly about mental health issues – without fear or judgment – that we can chip away at the stigma that prevents many people from seeking help. It is my hope that the work will find its way into schools in Australia and overseas. The publication includes a comprehensive Study Guide, detailing activities and curriculum links for English, Drama/Arts, Health & PE, Civics, and more.

A powerful and timely mental health resource for young people and their families. Essential reading for high school.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Bookshop | Book Depository

About the Author:

Maura Pierlot is an award-winning author and playwright who hails from New York but has called Canberra, Australia home since the early 1990s. Her writing delves into complex issues including memory, identity, self, and, more recently, mental health. Following its sellout 2019 season in Canberra, Maura’s debut professional theatre production, Fragments is being adapted for the digital space, supported by artsACT. The work is published online by Australian Plays Transforms and in print by Big Ideas Press.

Maura is a past winner of the SOLO Monologue Competition, Hothouse Theatre for her play, Tapping Out. Her plays have been performed in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, and Hollywood. A former medical news reporter and editor of Australian Medicine, Maura also writes for children and young adults. In 2017 she was named winner of the CBCA Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program, and recipient of the Charlotte Waring Barton Award, for her young adult manuscript, Freefalling (now True North). Maura’s debut picture book, The Trouble in Tune Town won the 2018 ACT Writing and Publishing Award (Children’s category) along with international accolades.

Maura’s poetry, short stories, microfiction, and essays appear in various literary journals and anthologies. Maura has a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate, each in philosophy, specializing in ethics. When she’s not busy writing, Maura visits schools and libraries as a guest reader and speaker, serves as a Role Model for Books in Homes, and contributes reviews for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s online magazine, Reading Time.

For further information on Maura and her work, Fragments please visit: and

One grand prize winner will receive a copy of Fragments and a $50 Amazon gift card!

Four additional winners will each receive a copy of Fragments!

Giveaway ends 10/6. Open to US 18+ only. Please enter below and good luck!

Fragments Giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Children's Book Review and Maura Pierlot. icefairy's Treasure Chest is not responsible for winner selection or prize fulfillment.

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