Monday, January 30, 2017

Top Ten Favorite Graphic Novels I've Read In the Past Year

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog


I thought about doing a TTT post about what Graphic Novels I think someone who has never read them should read, but since I still want to do a big post about that, decided against it today. But I thought it would be fun to list ten of my favorites that I read in the past year instead! :)

Listed in no particular order. Also, I'm not including any Manga here, because I read so many volumes a year, it would be it's own post.

Top Ten Favorite Graphic Novels I've Read In the Past Year






















Have you read any of these? :)

Review: Wrong About the Guy

Review: Wrong About the Guy by Claire LaZebnik

Ellie Withers is definitely not spoiled… so she wishes that George Nussbaum would stop implying that she is. It’s not her fault that her stepfather became a TV star and now they live in a big house and people fawn over her wherever she goes. She doesn’t even like being fawned over. Fortunately, her two closest friends understand her a lot better than George: Heather Smith loved her before she even knew who Ellie’s stepfather was, and handsome Aaron Marquand has a father who’s just as famous.

With Aaron back in town and very much in her life, Ellie feels like things are just fine…or would be if her mother hadn’t hired George to tutor her. George has a habit of making Ellie feel a little less sure of herself, a little less on top of the world, a little less right about everything. Why does he always make her feel like she could be a better person than she is?

When Ellie’s plans for her family, her friends, and even her love life don’t turn out the way she imagined, she begins to wonder if maybe she could stand to learn a thing or two after all…and whether it’s possible—or even likely—that the perfect person to teach her is the last person she’d expected.
-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: This is a modern retelling of Emma, and while I have never read the original book, I really liked this retelling! It was entertaining and fun!

Characters: I liked Ellie! Even when you knew what she was doing may not have been the best thing in the long run, you still understood why she thought it was best. The characters were all good! And George! I liked him a lot! And I liked that her family played a big role in the story, it feels like you don't see that much in YA books.

The cover: It's cute, I like it! And I really like the blue colors on it!

Overall: A fun story that makes me want to read more of this authors books! (And maybe read Emma, too!) If you're looking for a good YA romance, then definitely try it! :)


I checked this book out from my library.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Fan Art Returns!


When I first began this blog, fan art was something I enjoyed doing. But I slowly stopped making any, to the point where this feature was pretty much retired from my blog. But I was playing with Picmonkey the other day, and ended up making some art of some covers of books I like. I thought it might be fun to share them here! This is different than what I used to make, but it was fun! :)


This is fan art of the cover of A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd!









These were fun to make, so I think I might try to do more of them! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Debut Author Event 2017 Recap Post!


These past two weeks have been fantastic! This event has gotten such a wonderful response, thanks to all the awesome authors who participated in it! Thank you to everyone who retweeted, tweeted, posted, and commented about this event! And thank you to all the authors who participated and were so supportive of this event! I had so much fun working on these posts!

And now here's a recap of all the interviews for everyone to read! :)

An interview with Elly Blake, the author of Frostblood began the event!

Then there was an interview with Kristen Orlando, author of You Don't Know My Name!

Following that, an interview with Patricia Bailey, author of The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan!

Then an interview with Alyson Gerber, author of Braced!

And an interview with Heather Maclean, author of Toward a Secret Sky!

The next day an interview with Rebecca Ross, author of Daughter of Passion and Stone!

Following the next day was an interview with Heather Fawcett, author of Even the Darkest Stars!

Then there was an interview with Mary E. Lambert, author of Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes!

The next day an interview with Katy Upperman, author of Kissing Max Holden!

Then an interview with Carter Higgins, author of A Rambler Steals Home!

And an interview with Kes Trester, author of A Dangerous Year!

Following that, an interview with Wendy McLeod MacKnight, author of It's a Mystery, Pig Face!

The next day featured an interview with Kate Watson, author of Seeking Mansfield!

Then there was an interview with Ellie Terry, author of Forget Me Not!

The last day featured an interview with Caroline Leech, author of Wait for Me!


Aren't all those authors amazing?! :)

Thank you again so much to all the authors, and to all the people who supported these posts! You all are awesome! :)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Top Ten Books I Want to Read Soon

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog


This weeks TTT was a freebie post, so I thought it would be fun to share some of the books I want to read soon! All of the books on this list have either already been released, or release this month. I'm looking forward to reading all of these! :)

Listed in no particular order.

Top Ten Books I Want to Read Soon























Have you read any of these books? Do you want to? :)

Interview With Caroline Leech!



Today I'm happy to present an interview with Caroline Leech! Ms. Leech is the author of the YA book, Wait For Me, which releases January 31st! :)

Here's the interview!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.


Would you please describe your book, Wait for Me, in seven words?

WW2 Scotland, farmgirl, German prisoner, forbidden romance.


Your bio mentions that you're Scottish, did that have an impact on your book taking place in Scotland?

Totally! I’ve been in Texas for ten years, and before that, I lived in Wales for five years and London for twelve, yet my story-telling heart can’t seem to leave Scotland. Originally, I set this book in Wales, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that I had to take it home. Perhaps at some point I will feel like I know Texas well enough to set a book here, but I’ve got a few more Scottish stories to tell first. After all, Scotland, and the other British countries, have such an ancient history and a great tradition of storytelling that historical fiction writers like me should never be lost for inspiration.

I love to read stories set in Scotland!

Random question! If you could travel to any time-period in history, where/when would you go?

I suppose the obvious answer would be to go back to Britain during World War Two, since that is the period of history I know best. There is undoubted romance to be found there, but then again, life was a constant struggle. People in Britain lived for six years under the fear of bombing or invasion, food and other supplies were severely rationed, and almost all the men and boys between 18 and 40 were sent to war. My own grandmother watched all five of her sons join the Army one by one, and go off serve in war zones across the world – France, Italy, North Africa, India, Indonesia, Palestine – and only four of her sons came home again. So, for all the problems we might face in our current place in history, I think that I’d be happy to stay right here.

What's one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

Write. Write. Write. It’s very easy to plan to write, or to talk/think/dream about writing, or to tell everyone else how much you wish you had time to write. But whether you want to write for pleasure or you want to become a published author, you must get words down on paper before you do anything else. They don’t have to be the best words at first, because no first draft should ever be left unrevised, but once you have written a paragraph or a page or a whole manuscript of words, you can start to play with them, shape them, develop them, or even swap them all completely for other better words. However you do it, in the end, you will not just have words, you will have a story, and hopefully it’ll a story that people will yearn to read.

Very good advice!

What are some MG and YA books you're looking forward to in 2017? And if you've already read some '17 books, which books have you loved?

Oh, where do I even start? I mostly read YA, and have been lucky to have already read advance copies of 2017 books in almost every genre. Elly Blake’s FROSTBLOOD is pure and wonderful fantasy, whereas Emily Bain Murphy’s THE DISAPPEARANCES and Rosalyn Eve’s BLOOD ROSE REBELLION both mix thrilling magic with historical fiction. THIS BEATS PERFECT by Rebecca Denton is contemporary musical romance (is there such a genre? There is now!) while YOU DON’ T KNOW MY NAME by Kirsten Orlando is a contemporary teen spy thriller. And of course, #FAMOUS by Jilly Gagnon is both funny and heart-warming, and makes you think twice before you post that photo on Snapchat or Twitter!

And so many more are still to come, I just haven’t got my hands on them yet… CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber, ALLEGEDLY from Tiffany Jackson, SANDCASTLE EMPIRE by Kayla Olson and THE SHADOWS WE KNOW BY HEART from Jennifer Park. And then there’s SAD PERFECT, and COLD SUMMER, and MAYBE IN PARIS…

… have I said enough to convince you that 2017 is going to be a huge year for young adult readers, and you’d better stop me now before I get started on the Middle Grade treasure trove that’s on its way too!

I'm looking forward to so many of these books! I agree, 2017 is going to be an awesome year YA and MG readers!

Thank you so much to Ms. Leech for participating in this event! :)


Author bio: Caroline Leech is a Scottish writer who moved to Texas for an adventure ten years ago. Her debut novel for young adults, WAIT FOR ME, will be published in the USA by Harper Teen on January 31st. Set in Scotland towards the end of World War Two, the book tells the story of a girl’s friendship with a German prisoner of war who is sent to work on her father’s farm. Harper Teen will also publish Caroline's second YA novel in early 2018. Caroline lives in Houston TX with her husband and three teenage children, and she can be found online at www.carolineleech.com, or on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Headshot photo credit: Priscilla Dickson Photography

Here's a few links:

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Interview With Ellie Terry!



Today I'm happy to present an interview with Ellie Terry! Ms. Terry isthe author of the MG book Forget Me Not, which releases March 14th! :)

Here's the interview!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.



Would you please describe your book, Forget Me Not, in seven words?
A girl tries to hide her Tourette's.

What was the inspiration for writing Forget Me Not?
A story from my mother's childhood combined with my daughter and I both being diagnosed with Tourette syndrome.

Random question! What's your favorite flower?
It's a toss up between poppies and lavender roses.

Both very pretty flowers!

What's one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Never give up!

Yes!

What are some MG and YA books you're looking forward to in 2017? And if you've already read some '17 books, which books have you loved?
I've had the pleasure of reading and loving several MG novels coming out in 2017: THE ETHAN I WAS BEFORE (Ali Standish), BRACED (Alyson Gerber), UNDER LOCKER AND KEY (Allison K. Hymas), STEF SOTO, TACO QUEEN (Jennifer Torres).

These all look good!

Thank you so much to Ms. Terry for participating in this event! :)


Author bio
Ellie Terry writes heartfelt contemporary fiction for middle-grade readers. Her middle-grade debut, a verse novel titled FORGET ME NOT, will be published March 14, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan. She lives in southern Utah with her husband, three kids, two zebra finches, and a Russian desert tortoise.

Here are a few links:


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Interview With Kate Watson!



Today I'm happy to present an interview with Kate Watson! Ms. Watson is the author of the YA book, Seeking Mansfield, which releases May 1st! :)

Here's the interview!


Would you please describe your book, Seeking Mansfield, in seven words?

Mansfield Park + Anna and the French Kiss (the + doesn't count as a word, right? I'm sneaky like that...)


Seeking Mansfield is described as a reimagining of Mansfield Park. What made you want to reimagine that book? And is that your favorite Austen novel?

I first read Mansfield Park when I was going through a time in my life where I felt overlooked and unheard, and I connected to the main character, Fanny (worst name ever, for the record), in a really emotional way. She's so different than Jane Austen's other characters, in that they're strong and often bold, which is typically how I see myself. Yet Fanny's story resonated with me. So a few years ago when I was rereading Mansfield Park, I kept imagining the circumstances that would make a modern Fanny Price, and I knew I had to see how it played out. 

My favorite Austen book varies day by day, but in general, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite. I've reread it more than any other book in history. 


Random question! What's your favorite food?

Brownies. Lunch lady brownies, to be exact. The ones with frosting that give you diabetes just looking at them. Mmm.

Mmm, brownies sound good right now!

What's one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

Don't let anyone else define your success as a writer. Self doubt is pervasive in the writing community, and there's this element of wondering when we will "make it," so to speak. When does that happen? When you get an agent? Yeah, but an agent doesn't necessarily equal a book deal. So is it the book deal? Or when you hold your book in your hands for the first time? Or when your book sells more copies than there are members of your family? Or if/when it wins an award or makes a bestseller list? Yeah, but what good is a single bestseller if you never publish another book? 


You can "yeah, but" your face off if you really dwell on all the different possibilities and doubts. Yet what is a writer? One who writes. So if you want to know when you've "made it," it's when you put fingers to keyboard. If you're writing, you're succeeding. 

Very good advice!

What are some MG and YA books you're looking forward to in 2017? And if you've already read some '17 books, which books have you loved?

Oh dear, this will be hard. Topping my list of most anticipated books are:

DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone
THE DUKE OF BANNERMAN PREP by Katie Nelson
WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon
KISSING MAX HOLDEN by Katy Upperman
SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE by McKelle George
BLOOD ROSE REBELLION by Rosalyn Eves

As for books I've already read and loved: DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING, THE HUNDREDTH QUEEN, ALLEGEDLY, YOU'RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE, #famous, SAD PERFECT, POISON'S KISS, YOU DON'T KNOW MY NAME and IF BIRDS FLY BACK are all standouts, but there are about fifteen more that I could name if you have the time... :)

These all look awesome!

Thank you so much to Ms. Watson for participating in this event! :)



Author bio: Kate Watson is a young adult writer, wife, mother of two, and the tenth of thirteen children. Originally from Canada, she attended college in Utah and holds a BA in Philosophy. A lover of travel, speaking in accents, and experiencing new cultures, she has also lived in Israel, Brazil, South Carolina, and now calls Arizona home. Her first novel, Seeking Mansfield, debuts in Spring 2017, with the companion to follow in 2018. She is also a contributor to Eric Smith’s WELCOME HOME adoption anthology (Flux 2017). 
Kate is represented by Bree Ogden with Red Sofa Literary


Friday, January 20, 2017

Interview With Wendy McLeod MacKnight!



Today I'm happy to present an interview with Wendy McLeod MacKnight! Ms. MacKnight is the author of the MG novel It's a Mystery, Pig Face!, which releases February 7th! :)

Here's the interview!

The bold font is the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.


Would you please describe your book, It's a Mystery, Pig Face!, in seven words?

Mystery solving is not easy, Pig Face!

:D

Did you always want to be a MG author?

Between the ages of three and nine years old I wanted to be in the movies and be Fred Astaire, but by the time I was in grade five and had devoured the entire Anne of Green Gables series, I knew I wanted to be an author of middle grade books. It took me a while to get around to being published, but if you’d asked me from age nine onwards what my dream job was the answer was always the same: children’s book author.

Random question! What's your favorite mystery book and/or movie?

Oh I love this question!  There are so many, but I’m going to go old school here. When I was in grade three I discovered Enid Blyton’s Adventure series at the library.  The characters – Philip, Diana, Lucy, and Jack – were always ditching the grownups and solving amazing mysteries, which in turn started me searching for adventures everywhere in my neighbourhood and led, ultimately to It’s a Mystery, Pig Face!

As for my favorite mystery movie, there is a fabulous older movie starring Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson called Dead Again that I just adore. And if I’m clicking the channel and see a British mystery series, well – I’m in!

What's one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

One piece of advice is so hard. But if I had to, I think I’d boil it down to two words: Be Tenacious. Tenacious about learning to write well;  tenacious about learning how to query well and when you should begin; tenacious about not letting the rejection (and there will be some) get you down; and Tenacious about excellence.  I am increasingly convinced that in many cases, the only thing that separates the unpublished from the published is their willingness to try, try, again.

Excellent advice!

What are some MG and YA books you're looking forward to in 2017? And if you've already read some '17 books, which books have you loved?

Okay, I seriously CANNOT wait until 2017! What I’ve already read and loved: Caravel by Stephanie Garber, The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles, Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres, Someday Birds by Sally Pla, Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (her Goblin King has a restraining order out against me!), Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge by Kristin L. Gray, Dana Langer’s Siren Sisters, The Quartz Creek Ranch Series by Kiersi Burkhart and Amber Keyser, A Rambler Steals Home by Carter Higgins, The Ethan I was Before by Ali Standish, Almost Paradise by Corabel Shofner. There are so many I’m excited to read: American Street by Ibi Zoboi, Dear Martin by Nic Stone, The Hate U Give by A.C. Thomas, Kat Green Comes Clean by Melissa Roske, Forget Me Not by Elly Terry, Braced by Alyson Gerver, Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary E. Lambert, V.V. Mont’s The Elementist, Lindsey Becker’s The Star Thief, How to Stage a Catastrophe by Rebecca Donnelly, One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson, Girl out of Water by Laura Silverman, Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies by Jonathan Rosen, Susan Tan’s Cilla-Lee Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire, The Vanderbeeker’s of 141st Street by Karina Glaser, The League of American Traitors by Matt Landis, The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi, . Really – I plan to read all of the 2017 debut authors if I can, as well as many of my fave 2016 debut authors who have new books coming out in 2017. Honestly, it’s an embarrassment of riches!

I'm looking forward to so many of the books you listed! And yes, 2017 looks to be an amazing reading year! 

Thank you so much to Ms. MacKnight for participating in this event! :)



Author Bio: Wendy McLeod MacKnight grew up in a magical small town with a library card as her prized possession. Over the course of her professional life, she’s been responsible for early childhood and child welfare programming, and ended her public service career as Deputy head of the Government of New Brunswick’s Department of Education. Then one day she woke up and decided it was time to pursue her life-long dream of writing books for children. It’s a Mystery, Pig Face! is her debut novel and any resemblance to the author is purely intentional. Wendy lives in New Brunswick, Canada with her family, her garden, and a ne’er-do-well groundhog. 

Here are a few links:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Interview With Kes Trester!


Today I'm pleased to present an interview with Kes Trester! Ms. Trester is the author of the YA book, A Dangerous Year, which releases April 25th! :)

Here's the interview!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.


Would you please describe your book, A Dangerous Year, in seven words?

Teenager confronts intrigue, danger, and possibly murder.


Did you always want to be a YA author?

I’ve always been a writer, first in the film business, then while producing television commercials. When I read my first YA novel, I was hooked on the emotional accessibility of the characters, page-turning pacing, and the dramatic character arcs more common in YA. I knew I had to be part of it.


Random question! Where's your favorite place to write?

I live in Los Angeles, and am very fortunate to escape to the beach often. My go-to spot is a balcony overlooking the ocean. There’s nothing like catching a glimpse of a migrating whale and her calf while sorting out a story point to make my heart happy.

That sounds like an awesome place to write!

What's one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

Fear is a waste of time. It may be incredibly scary to put your work out into the world to be judged and critiqued, but the sooner you decide you will not let fear stop you, the sooner you will be on your way to a writing career.

Very good advice!

What are some MG and YA books you're looking forward to in 2017? And if you've already read some '17 books, which books have you loved?

I’m still catching up on 2016! In 2017, I’m looking forward to Stephanie Garber’s “Caraval” with its gorgeous cover and intriguing premise; Sarah Henning’s “Sea Witch” because I’ve read her work and love her writing style; and Jeff Giles’ “The Edge of Everything,” because I recognize a kindred spirit in his social media posts.


This was fun! Thanks for the interview, Jessica!

Those all look like great reads!

And thank you so much to Ms. Trester for participating in this event! :)



Here are a few links:


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Interview With Carter Higgins!



Today I'm happy to present an interview with Carter Higgins! Ms. Higgins is the author of the MG book, A Rambler Steals Home, which releases February 28th! :)

Here's the interview!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.


Would you please describe your book, A Rambler Steals Home, in seven words?

Homes we have and homes we make.

(Full disclosure: the beautifully talented author Rebecca Donnelly wrote that line in a review, and I just love that sentiment and how it aligns with the truths of the story so much that I’m borrowing it forever.)

Not only do you have your debut MG book releasing in 2017, but you also have your debut Picture Book as well! Would you like to tell everyone a little about it?

Yes! Thank you for asking! 

My debut picture book is called This is Not a Valentine. I wrote the words and the supremely fantastic Lucy Ruth Cummins made the pictures. It’s about lucky rocks and drippy glue and waiting in line and secret hiding spots and how it feels to have a crush on someone but you only have a frog to show it. 

It will be out in the fall from Chronicle Books.

This sounds like such a cute Picture Book!

Random question! What's one Picture Book you think everyone should read?

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman. (And because one is impossible, how about Imogene’s Antlers by David Small, The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson, and I’ll Fix Anthony by Judith Viorst and Arnold Lobel.)

What's one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

Watch and listen to everything, because it takes many small moments to make up a story. Pay less attention to the technicalities of the craft and more attention to what might be a seed for the story you want to share. Also, read. The best writing lessons are on the pages of books. 

Definitely good advice!

What are some MG and YA books you're looking forward to in 2017? And if you've already read some '17 books, which books have you loved?

I have read and loved some fantastic middle grade that’s on its way: Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge by Kristin Gray and Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres. And oh my goodness, everyone needs to read Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder. I can’t wait to get my hands on The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi and a picture book biography by Jess Keating, Shark Lady: The Daring Tale of How Eugenie Clark Dove Into History.

These all look so good! And I'm really looking forward to Shark Lady! :)

Thank you so much to Ms. Higgins for participating in this event! :)


Author bio: Carter Higgins is a librarian at an independent school in Los Angeles. She is the author of A Rambler Steals Home (HMH, February 2017) and two forthcoming picture books from Chronicle Books, This is Not a Valentine (Fall 2017 with Lucy Ruth Cummins) and Everything You Need For a Treehouse (2018 with Emily Hughes). She is an Emmy-winning visual effects and motion graphics artist. She writes about picture books and graphic design at her blog, Design of the Picture Book, and is a team member of All the Wonders, a home for readers to experience the stories they love in wondrous ways. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @carterhiggins.


Here are a few links:


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Interview With Katy Upperman!



Today I'm happy to present an interview with Katy Upperman! Ms. Upperman is the author of the YA book Kissing Max Holden, which releases August 1st! :)

Here's the interview!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.


Would you please describe your book, Kissing Max Holden, in seven words?
Baker girl kisses bad boy; trouble ensues.

If you could go into any book, and live in that world for a day, which book would you pick?
I feel like Hogwarts is the obvious answer here and yes, Hogwarts, but without the trolls and three-headed dogs and enormous snakes and Dementors and He Who Must Not Be Named. But also, I think it’d be so cool to live within the pages of the Graceling series – particularly the setting of the book Fire. Kristin Cashore has such an amazing imagination and has built a complete and unique world.

Random question! What's your favorite thing to bake?
Oh, gosh. There’s really nothing I don’t love to bake! My go-to treat for parties and events and just as a snack to keep around the house are Chocolate Chip Cookies and I’ve got to say… I make a pretty spectacular batch. J I also appreciate the challenge of a good yeast bread, especially because the finished product is so rewarding, and I love to make pies with flaky, homemade crusts. Basically, I just want my house to smell like a bakery at all times!

I'm hungry now after reading your answer!

What's one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Your first book probably isn’t going to be all the great (mine was AWFUL), but with time and practice, your writing will get better and better. Often, you’ve got to draft and then trunk a manuscript or two (or three or four) before you write The One. Also, embrace revisions! A first draft is only the beginning – give yourself the space and time necessary for tearing your story apart and putting it back together, sometimes repeatedly. It’ll be worth it!

I really like this advice!

What are some MG and YA books you're looking forward to in 2017? And if you've already read some '17 books, which books have you loved?

I’ve been lucky enough to read several 2017 YA debuts, and they’ve all been incredible! I’ve got lots of love for Katherine Webber’s The Heartbeats of Wing Jones, Tracey Neithercott’s Gray Wolf Island, Sara Biren’s The Last Thing You Said, Christina June’s It Started With Goodbye, Caroline Leech’s Wait For Me, Kristin Orlando’s You Don’t Know My Name, Chelsea Sedoti’s The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, and Vic James’s Gilded Cage. And, I’m very much looking forward to these debuts: Kate Hart’s After the Fall, Kate Watson’s Seeking Mansfield, Rebecca Barrow’s You Don’t Know Me But I Know You, Tiffany Pitcock’s Just Friends, Maggie Ann Martin’s The Big F, Jennifer Honeybourn’s Wesley James Ruined My Life, Jilly Gagnon’s #Famousand Nikki Katz’s StringsAs far as non-debuts, a few I can’t wait to read are Heather Demetrios’s Bad Romance, Jessi Kirby’s The Secret History of Us, Jenny Han’s Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Miranda Kenneally’s Coming Up For Air, and Katie Cotugno’s Fireworks

All awesome sounding books!

Thank you so much to Ms. Upperman for participating in this event! :)



Author bioKaty Upperman is a graduate of Washington State University, a former elementary school teacher, and an insatiable reader. When not writing for young adults, Katy can be found whipping up batches of chocolate chip cookies or exploring the country with her husband and daughter. KISSING MAX HOLDEN is her debut novel.


Here are a few links:





Monday, January 16, 2017

Interview With Mary E. Lambert!



Today I'm happy to present an interview with Mary E. Lambert! Ms. Lambert is the author of the MG book, Family Game Night And Other Catastrophes, which releases February 28th! :)

Here's the interview!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.



Would you please describe your book, Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes, in seven words?

Here are my seven words…in the form of a haiku:

Balog family

Has catastrophic problems,

Also hopefulness

I like the haiku!

Because of the title of your book, I have to ask this question! What's your favorite game?

I love board games! I grew up playing Monopoly, Scrabble, Taboo, Life, Balderdash, and Clue (to name a few) with my family. Right now, I’d probably choose Settlers of Catan as my favorite game, though Scattergories and Ticket to Ride both come to mind, too. 

Random question! Do you listen to music while you write?

Sometimes. If I do listen to music, I tend to choose instrumental pieces—I really enjoy classical guitar and piano. I also find myself listening to Vitamin String Quartet quite a bit.

What's one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

Finish a draft. When I first began writing seriously, I had a bad habit of starting manuscripts and ditching them when the story inevitably became complicated. But I cannot tell you how much I learned about my writing process (and plot development and characterization etc…) from actually completing a first draft of a novel. 

Good advice!

What are some MG and YA books you're looking forward to in 2017? And if you've already read some '17 books, which books have you loved?

There are so many great debuts coming out in 2017! I’ve had the pleasure of reading Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres and Cilla Lee-Jenkins Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan—both of which are lovely middle grade books. Braced by Alyson Gerber is another wonderful MG novel coming out in 2017. I also have to give a shout out to my fellow AZ debut authors all of whom have YA novels being published this year—I am really looking forward to Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot, Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos, and Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson. There are many more 2017 books that I am excited about, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll stop there.

These all look great!

Thank you so much to Ms. Lambert for participating in this event! :)



Author bio: Mary E. Lambert lives in Arizona where she teaches middle school English. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes is her debut novel. Mary spends a vast deal of time grading essays, deleting words from whatever story she is in the process of writing, and reading about all the places in the world she plans to visit someday. Mary is extremely proud of the last game night she had with her family when she beat all of her siblings at Settlers of Catan. You can learn more about her new novel at maryelambert.com or follow her on Twitter at @MaryUncontrary.


Here are a few links: