Wednesday, January 31, 2018

On Hold Vol. 7


On Hold is a feature on the blog where every Wednesday I talk about what books I have on hold at the library. If you want to join in, feel free to use the image and link to your post in the comments area! :)


This looks like an interesting non-fiction book!


It looks good!


It looks fun!

What books do you have on hold? :)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Instagram! (February Bookstagram Prompts)


A goal I have for this year is that I would like to get better at using Instagram! I like the idea of the app, and I enjoy looking at the posts other people post, but I'm not very good at it myself. I would like to work at that this year! And I've decided that in February I'm going to make prompts for the month for myself, and try to keep at them to encourage myself to use Instagram more. And I know other people have challenges every month on Instagram, but I usually never hear about them until it's already into the month, and I feel too behind to catch up with everyone. Which is why I'm making my own! I''m listing the prompts below, and if you want to join in, feel free to! I'll be posting using #JustAnotherTeenBookishFeb18 (Which I know is a mouthful, but I just couldn't come up with anything else!) Here we go! :)

February
1st The First Book in a Series
2nd A YA Book
3rd A Library Book
4th A Spy Book
5th A Favorite MG Series
6th Non-Fiction
7th A Blue Book
8th An Anthology
9th A Favorite Childhood Book
10th A Historical
11th Book Set in Another Country
12th An Ebook
13th A Pink Book
14th Book With a Love Story
15th Freebie (Post Whatever Book You Want)
16th A Book With Your Favorite Color On It
17th An Adult Book
18th A Favorite Author
19th Book That's Been on Your TBR Forever
20th A Retelling
21st A Picture Book
22nd A Middle Grade Book
23rd A Sci-Fi Book
24th A Yellow Book
25th TBR Pile
26th A Pretty Cover
27th A Classic
28th A Book Someone Recommended To You

This is just a way to get me to use Instagram more, but if you want to join in, feel free to! I'm looking forward to posting all these, and trying to get better at using Instagram! :)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

2018 Debut Author Interviews Wrap Up Post!


Hi, everyone! Today I'm posting the wrap up for the 2018 Debut Author Interviews on my blog! I had a lot of fun putting this event together, and I hope you all had fun reading the interviews! I just want to thank everyone who helped promote this event, and who took the time to read the interviews and comment on them! You all are awesome! And thank you so much to all the authors who let me interview them for the event, and for them all being so supportive of the event! Now onto the wrap up! :)

The first day was an interview with Kamilla Benko, author of The Unicorn Quest!

Then an interview with Alexa Donne, author of Brightly Burning!

The next day featured an interview with Kelly deVos, author of Fat Girl on a Plane!

The following day was an interview with Diane Magras, author of The Mad Wolf's Daughter!

Then an interview with Lauren Spieller, author of Your Destination is on the Left!

The next day featured an interview with Jessica Pennington, author of Love Songs & Other Lies!

Then an interview with Mae Respicio, author of The House That Lou Built!

The following day was an interview with Gloria Chao, author of American Panda!

The last day featured an interview with Joanna Hathaway, author of Dark of the West!

All of these authors are absolutely delightful, and I'm looking forward to reading all of their books! I hope you maybe discovered a new book during this event! Thank you again so much to all the authors who participated in this event, and to everyone who read the interviews, commented on them, and who helped promote the event! You all are fantastic! :)

Here's to next year! :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Interview With Joanna Hathaway!



Today on the blog I'm pleased to present an interview with Joanna Hathaway! Ms. Hathaway is the author of the YA book, Dark of the West, which releases May 8th!

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.



1. Would you please describe your debut book, Dark of the West, in seven words?

WW2-inspired fantasy of love, politics, and revenge.


2. There are two narrators in Dark of the West, Aurelia and Athan. Was one harder to write than the other?

I’ve been writing these two characters, in some variation, for so many years now that they basically feel like my good friends! Their voices are both quite distinct in my head. But I think Ali (Aurelia) has always been a bit harder to write because she’s less like me. We both love horses and princess gowns, but she’s much bolder and more direct, and isn’t afraid of uncomfortable confrontations. I definitely relate to Athan more and his unfortunate instinct to run as far from conflict as possible. (That strategy doesn’t work so well in life, as it turns out!) I’ve also been reading pilot memoirs since I was a teen, mostly from the Second World War, so writing Athan’s flying scenes in battle were a chance to really put that research to great use. That’s a ton of fun for me!


3. Random question! If you could time travel to any place in history for a day, where and when would you go?

Ah, the worst and best question for a history lover! How do I choose? This is going to sound very nerdy, but I’d love to go back to August 22nd, 1485 and save Richard III from his gruesome death at the Battle of Bosworth Field. I read The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman years ago, and I’ve been convinced ever since that Richard deserved a better fate. He’s a controversial figure, but I’d like to believe that he was mostly misunderstood thanks to Tudor propaganda. At the battle, I’d somehow foil the Stanley brothers’ betrayal and their role in his death, and then I’d have everyone sit down and talk out their royal succession issues over mugs of ale. (And keep a close eye on that Henry Tudor!)

The more noble choice is to say that I’d go back to June 28th, 1914 and stop Gavrilo Princip from assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand, thereby (hopefully) sparing the world from some of the 20th century’s horrors. 

Great answers! :)


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

Follow your heart, always. No one can tell your story except for you. Also, find yourself honest CPs (Critique Partners) who truly understand the heart of your work, and who will both build you up and push you hard—to the point it might even hurt sometimes. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace the journey and learn to fall in love with revising!

Awesome advice! :)


5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2018? And if you've already read some '18 books, which books have you loved?

There are so many to look forward to! I’ll focus on fellow debuts in particular. I can’t wait to get my hands on A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena, Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry, The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw, and A Court of Miracles by Kester Grant. 

There are definitely a lot of books to look forward to! :)

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



Author bioJoanna owes her love of books to her great-grandfather. His memoirs about life as a teenage soldier in the First World War inspired her, at a young age, to enter the complex and provocative realms of history—and she hasn’t left since. Born in MontrĂ©al, Canada, she grew up on the doorstep of New York City, then spent her teen years riding horses through the forests of Southwestern Ontario.

Her debut novel, DARK OF THE WEST (Tor Teen, 2018), is the first in a WWII-infused fantasy series of forbidden love and deadly revenge.

She is represented by Steven Salpeter of Curtis Brown Ltd.

Here are a few links:

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Interview With Gloria Chao!



Today I'm happy to present an interview with Gloria Chao! Ms. Chao is the author of the YA book American Panda, which releases February 6th! :)

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.



1. Would you please describe your debut book, American Panda, in seven words?

Taiwanese-American teen defies parental expectations (with guilt).


2. Did you always want to be a YA writer?

I found my way to writing late, having focused on math and science for most of my life, but the beauty of writing is that you can draw from all of your life experiences! I discovered my love of reading YA when I was in dental school, and I started writing shortly after that. It’s now been five years and I wake up every morning feeling so privileged to be able to write.


3. Random question! What's your favorite board game?

I love this question so much! My husband and I are obsessed with board games, and it’s so hard to choose just one! But I would have to go with Takenoko because it’s complex, features a panda (!!!), and has incredibly cute art! Ticket To Ride, Tokaido, Pandemic, and Cranium are my runners-up.


I hadn't heard of Takenoko before now, but it sounds fun! And I've been wanting to try Ticket to Ride! :)



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

Write the story only you can tell. Write for yourself first, then let everyone else in during revisions. 


Awesome advice! :)



5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2018? And if you've already read some '18 books, which books have you loved?

There are so many wonderful books coming out in 2018. I am particularly looking forward to The Astonishing Color of After (Emily X.R. Pan), Fat Girl on a Plane (Kelly deVos), People Like Us (Dana Mele), Blood Water Paint (Joy McCullough), A Girl Like That (Tanaz Bhathena), the third Stalking Jack the Ripper (Kerri Maniscalco), From Twinkle, with Love (Sandhya Menon), Legendary (Stephanie Garber), The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik (David Arnold), What If It’s Us (Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera), and Picture Us in the Light (Kelly Loy Gilbert). 

I’m lucky to have already read and loved Rachel Lynn Solomon’s lyrical You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone and Samira Ahmed’s timely Love, Hate, and Other Filters! 


You've mentioned a lot of good sounding books! :)


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

American Panda Short Blurb:
An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.

Pre-order links:



Author bio: Gloria Chao is an MIT grad turned dentist turned writer. She currently lives in Chicago with her ever-supportive husband, for whom she became a nine-hole golfer (sometimes seven). She is always up for cooperative board games, Dance Dance Revolution, or soup dumplings. She was also once a black belt in kung-fu and a competitive dancer, but that side of her was drilled and suctioned out. American Panda is her debut novel, and Misaligned is forthcoming fall 2019.Visit her tea-and-book-filled world at gloriachao.wordpress.com. Twitter: @gloriacchao. Instagram: @gloriacchao


Here are a few links:


Monday, January 22, 2018

Interview With Mae Respicio!



Today on the blog I'm pleased to present an interview with Mae Respicio! Ms. Respicio is the author of the MG book, The House That Lou Built, which releases

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.



1. Would you please describe your debut book, The House That Lou Built, in seven words?

#Stronggirl who discovers the meaning of home. 


2. In The House That Lou Built, Lou is building a tiny house of her own. Would you ever live in a tiny house?

Maybe one day, although I own way too many books so I’d probably need two tiny houses—one for me and another for the books! When I was researching my novel I visited some tiny houses; I love how the lifestyle enables people to focus on relationships and experiences instead of all the things. That’s something I always try to work toward, with or without a tiny house.

I think tiny houses are interesting, and I agree! :)


3. Random question! What's your favorite holiday?

Mother’s Day... because it’s the one day I get to sleep in!


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

Read widely in your genre—you’ll learn so much that way about your craft and your audience. Whenever I read a middle grade story that I love, I try to figure out from a craft standpoint what worked about the book; I also try to analyze those that I’m not so into. Oftentimes I mark up pages as I read, and I keep a notebook handy to jot down observations. While I was figuring out THE HOUSE THAT LOU BUILT I read a ton of middle grade that I aspired to (basically, novels with heart!), which was inspiring and helped me to remember the kind of book I wanted to write.

Wonderful advice! :)


5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2018? And if you've already read some '18 books, which books have you loved?

Oh my gosh, my TBR list for 2018 feels like it’s growing out of control! It’s going to be an amazing reading year because of all of the great kids lit coming out. I’m especially excited for EVERLASTING NORA by Marie Cruz; THE BOY, THE BOAT AND THE BEAST by Samantha Clark; WHERE THE WATERMELONS GROW by Cindy Baldwin; JUST UNDER THE CLOUDS by Melissa Sarno; TAKEDOWN by Laura Shovan; THE PROPHET CALLS by Melanie Sumrow; and THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC by Amanda Rawson Hill. These are from a variety of genres and subject matter—but all of them stellar middle grade to look out for.

I totally agree, so many amazing looking books are releasing in 2018! :)

Thank you to Ms. Respicio for participating in this event! :)


Author bio: Mae Respicio's middle grade novel, THE HOUSE THAT LOU BUILT, debuts June 12, 2018 from Random House Kids. She lives with her family in the suburban wild of Northern California, not far from the ocean and the redwoods. Visit her online at maerespicio.com.

Here are a few links:


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Interview With Jessica Pennington!



I'm happy to present an interview with Jessica Pennington! Ms. Pennington is the author of the YA book Love Song & Other Lies, which releases April 24th!

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.



1. Would you please describe your debut book, Love Songs & Other Lies, in seven words?

First love, second chances, music, secrets & swoon


2. Because of the title of your book, I have to ask: What's your favorite song?

That's sort of like asking me to pick my favorite child, but I'll try! Currently, my favorite song is Perfect by Ed Sheeran, because it's painfully sweet and romantic. I even added it to the spotify playlist for Love Songs & Other Lies, because it fits so perfectly with one of the scenes! End Game by Taylor Swift is a very close second. But honestly, I'm a huge music lover, so I have a new favorite song every few months. I don't think I could pick a lifetime favorite song, I love so many!

I love both of these songs a lot! :)


3. Random question! What's your favorite flower?

You would not think this was random at all if you knew that in addition to being a wedding planner, I'm also a floral designer! I love garden roses...my favorite is probably Free Spirit which is a gorgeous pinky-peach color with frilly edges. Google at your own risk...all other roses will seem plain and boring after you check it out! 

I just looked it up, and it is beautiful! :)


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

I'm currently drafting book 2 (Untitled, 2019) so it would probably be something about stock-piling lots of books before you publish your first, so you don't have to write on a deadline! But also, to keep going, and to not put your worth as a writer into the hands of agents or editors or readers. If you love to write, just write, and everything else will be the frosting on top!

Fantastic advice! :)


5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2018? And if you've already read some '18 books, which books have you loved?

For debuts, I've read quite a few ARCs and I absolutely adored Heather Ezell's Nothing Left to Burn, which comes out in March and is a really beautiful, atmospheric book that perfectly encapsulates toxic love, and dynamic friendships, and family relationships. I also read an ARC of Katy Upperman's The Impossibility of Us, which is out in the summer. It's a contemporary romance set in a beach town (which is always a winner for me) and it's deep and beautiful, and both heartbreaking and hopeful. I read it a few weeks ago and I'm still thinking about it! 


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




Author bio: Jessica Pennington is a young adult author and professional romantic. When she's not writing kissing books, you can find her planning swoon-worthy events as a professional wedding planner and floral designer. Her debut novel, LOVE SONGS & OTHER LIES, will be published April 24, 2018 by Tor Teen/Macmillan. Jessica lives in a Michigan beach town suspiciously similar to the one in her novel, where she spends more time on her laptop than on the beach! Follow her on twitter @jessnpennington and IG @jessicapennington
Stay up to date on her upcoming events, giveaways, and book news by signing up for her newsletter here: http://itsjess.com/say-hello/


Here are a few links:


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Interview With Lauren Spieller!



Today on the blog I am pleased to present an interview with Lauren Spieller! Ms. Spieller is the author of the YA book Your Destination is on the Left, which releases June 26th! :)

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.


1. Would you please describe your debut book, Your Destination is on the Left, in seven words?


Teen nomad finds artistic future after failure

2. In Your Destination is on the Left, Dessa travels the US in an RV. What's one state you haven't visited, that you would like to?


I've never been to Washington state, and I'm dying to go! I'd particularly love to see Seattle! 

Seattle would be neat to go to! :)

3. Random question! What's your favorite kind of coffee?


I am addicted to lattes. Espresso + steamed milk = heaven on earth.

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


Read! The best way to develop your voice and learn about the market is to read everything you can get your hands on. This includes manuscripts by critique partners--you learn by giving feedback on other people's work!

Good advice! :)

5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2018? And if you've already read some '18 books, which books have you loved?


Oh my gosh, there are so many. I'm reading Rachel Lynn Solomon's debut, YOU'LL MISS ME WHEN YOU'RE GONE, and it's lovely. I also can't wait to read Joy McCullough's BLOOD WATER PAINT. Also--and I'll admit I'm super biased because I represent her--but Laura E. Weymouth's debut YA Fantasy, THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS, is going to blow everyone away. And finally, I can't wait to get my hands on ON THE COME UP by Angie Thomas.

The Vanishing Kingdom sounds really interesting! :)

Thank you so much to Ms. Spieller for participating in this event!

Author bio: Lauren Spieller is a literary agent who lives in New York with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found drinking lattes, pining for every dog she sees, or visiting her native California. YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @laurenspieller.


Here are a few links:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Interview With Diane Magras!



Today I'm happy to present an interview with Diane Magras! Ms. Magras is the author of the MG book The Mad Wolf's Daughter, which releases March 6th! :)

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.


1. Would you please describe your debut book, The Mad Wolf's Daughter, in seven words?
Lass, legends, swords, knights, brothers, loyalty, secrets

It sounds really good! :)

2. What character from The Mad Wolf's Daughter are you most like?
Ah, that's an easy one: my protagonist Drest! My sword-wielding lass is tough, strong, independent girl, and beholden to no man (I'm not exactly like her, but a version of that). She's fiercely loyal to her father and brothers (as I am to my husband and son), will risk her life for her friends (let's just say I love my friends and make cookies each year for my local library; that has to count!), and is constantly trying to do what's right (how I try to live my life). She makes mistakes, but owns up to them each time. And while I never had a named sword like Drest's, I did have my own sword when I was a teen: a fencing foil that I'd found in our basement and propped on the wall above my writing desk. I'd have loved a real sword then (and now!). Most of all, though, when I was 12 like Drest, I'd have loved to be the kind of confident, brave, and warmhearted person she is.

3. Random question! What's your favorite time period to read about?
I love reading about the early medieval period. It was a brutal time in Europe, but people were inventive and found ways to hope and live, despite all the violence. Authors who research this period often play with tropes and confront stereotypes, and there's a lot of natural drama but also places for warmth and heart. And I'd love to read a middle grade novel that focuses on a medieval Islamic world: Before the Ottoman Empire, the Middle East was a hotbed of culture and intellectualism, not at all the dark ages that we're taught to image for this period. As far as I know, no one had written this yet.

4. What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Find joy in revision. This is a profession that takes practice, and most people don't succeed with a first or second draft--often not even a first or second novel. If you see revision as a pleasure rather than a chore, you'll discover new angles and depths of your work. It can be hard to accept that a seemingly final draft isn't truly final, but nearly all drafts have opportunities hiding between their folds. When someone you trust gives you constructive criticism, see if you can be inspired by it. But also know your story's core, and be careful not to upend what made your novel strong in the first place. There's a balance, and it takes practice--like everything else in writing.

 Excellent advice! :)

5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2018? And if you've already read some '18 books, which books have you loved?
I can't wait for Jen Wang's The Prince and the Dressmaker (talk about challenging gender roles! And I love that it's the boy.); Sanyantani DasGupta's The Serpent's Secret (an Indian warrior princess, legends, and demon snakes?! Count me in!); and The Endless King, Book 3 of Dave Rudden's Knights of the Borrowed Dark (a magical knight fantasy series in the modern world with a boy of great power trying to understand his role and his destiny). By the way, there are over 100 more that I know about and also can't wait to read (my Electric Eighteens debut group is full of incredible talent), but I'll just keep this list to three and mention only Sanyantani's book from there because it's an #ownvoices story that the MG market dearly needs.

There are so many good sounding books releasing in 2018! :)

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



Author bio: All things medieval fascinate children’s author Diane Magras: castles, abbeys, swords, manuscripts, and the daily life of medieval people, especially those who weren’t royalty. Diane lives in Maine with her husband and son and thinks often of Scotland, where her books are set. The Mad Wolf’s Daughteris her debut novel.

Here are a few links:


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Interview With Kelly deVos!



Today on the blog I'm happy to present an interview with Kelly deVos! Ms. deVos is the author of the YA book, Fat Girl on a Plane, which releases June 5th! :)

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.


1. Would you please describe your debut book, Fat Girl on a Plane, in seven words?
Fat girl wants to rule fashion world.

Really looking forward to reading it! :)

2. What was the inspiration for your debut book?
This book was initially inspired by a couple of real experiences. First, like my main character, I was forced to purchase two seats on an airplane. I also worked as a graphic designer for an Italian-based eyewear company that dealt with many luxury fashion brands. I noticed, over time, that some of these brands were fairly hostile to plus-size girls and women and I wanted to discuss that issue.

3. Random question! What's your favorite TV show?
Right now, I’m watching Stranger Things 2! But if we’re confessing things, my all-time favorite is probably Law & Order! 

4. What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
My best advice is always to #keepgoing. This can be really tough in the face of rejection and criticism but I think the best thing to do is to keep writing, keep improving your craft and keep engaging with your community of writers.

Great advice! :)

5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2018? And if you've already read some '18 books, which books have you loved?
In terms of books I’ve already read, I can’t say enough good things about AMERICAN PANDA by Gloria Chao which tells the story of a Taiwanese-American teen overachiever whose parents want her to become a doctor despite the fact that she’s a germophobe. I’d really recommend NICE TRY, JANE SINNER by Lianne Oelke because it had a great story and also was the kind of book that made me think a lot about my own craft – particularly as it relates to dialogue. I also loved THE MIDNIGHTS by Sarah Nicole Smetana which has so much to say about family relationships and has such a cool SO Cal setting.

I’m looking forward to THE DIMINISHED by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson which is set in a world where almost everyone has a twin. I also keep hearing great things about Joy McCullough’s verse novel BLOOD WATER PAINT and I’m super interested to read Kristina Perez’s SWEET BLACK WAVES because she is basically a genius of Medieval Literature and I can’t wait to see her fantasy world building.

I'm looking forward to books that you mentioned, especially American Panda! :)

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



Author bio: A third generation native Arizonan, Kelly deVos can tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cactus, cattle and climate. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. Her debut novel, FAT GIRL ON A PLANE, will be published in 2018 by Harlequin Teen and her work has been featured in Normal Noise and 202 Magazine.


Here are a few links:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Interview With Alexa Donne!



Today I'm pleased to present an interview with Alexa Donne! Ms. Donne is the author of the YA book Brightly Burning, which releases May 1st!

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.



1. Would you please describe your debut book, Brightly Burning, in seven words?
Jane Eyre in space, aka Space Angst!



2. Brightly Burning is a reimagining of Jane Eyre. Are there any other classic books you would like to retell?
That is a GREAT question, and slightly tricky to answer without revealing the secret of my follow-up to BRIGHTLY BURNING, which is another classic retelling set in the same universe. I’ll say that, like so many readers, I adore Jane Austen and have designs on adapting one or more of her books, for sure. I especially love Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, and Sense & Sensibility (so… most of them? haha). I also love Dickens’ Great Expectations, Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South, and a number of Shakespeare plays (especially Hamlet!). One classic I don’t have any particular designs on: Wuthering Heights. I’m a one Bronte sister kind of girl! *sits on hands so as not to spill secrets*

I look forward to seeing what the follow up will be! :)


3. Random question! What Hogwarts house would your main characters be sorted into?
This was too much fun, so I’m including my extended core cast of characters (with a note on who their Jane Eyre analog is!). I also totally waffled on a few of these, especially Stella and Hugo and I may change my mind later :P

Stella (Jane): Ravenclaw

Hugo (Rochester): Hufflepuff

Jessa (Adele): Slytherin

Karlson (St. John): Gryffindor

George (N/A): Hufflepuff

Bianca (Blanche Ingram): Gryffindor

Mari (N/A): Slytherin

Xiao (Mrs. Fairfax): Hufflepuff


4. What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. It seems super obvious, but seriously: the key difference between an author who succeeds (in being traditionally published) and one who doesn’t is that the author who “makes it,” typically, simply didn’t give up. Rolled up into this is challenging yourself to grow, being willing and able to kill your darlings and move on from projects that aren’t working, and pushing yourself to both explore new genres & stories while also leaning into your strengths and what you love. I also advise doing your research/due diligence so you are as prepared as possible for the industry and all its ups and downs. The struggle doesn’t end when you get an agent or a book deal!

Really great advice! :)


5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2018? And if you've already read some '18 books, which books have you loved?
So far I’ve only read AMERICAN PANDA by Gloria Chao, and I adored it! It was an emotional rollercoaster--I laughed out loud, I cried (more than once!) and every character just leapt off the page. I highly recommend it to ANYONE who likes engaging, funny character driven books. I’m not usually a big YA contemporary reader but it just checked every box for me!

I’m anxiously awaiting a number of 2018 books, including but certainly not limited to: THE SKY IN THE DEEP by Adrienne Young, DEAR RACHEL MADDOW by Adrienne Kisner, NOT EVEN BONES by Rebecca Schaeffer, ONE GIANT LEAP by Heather Kaczynski, NIGHTBLOOD by Elly Blake, HEART OF IRON by Ashley Poston, THE BELLES by Dhonielle Clayton, DEFY THE WORLDS by Claudia Gray, NOTHING LEFT TO BURN by Heather Ezell, HEART OF THORNS by Bree Barton, A COURT OF MIRACLES by Kester Grant, DARK OF THE WEST by Joanna Hathaway, and SHIP IT by Britta Lundin.



I'm looking forward to lot of these! :)

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



Author bio: Alexa Donne is a Ravenclaw who wears many hats, including fan convention organizing, teen mentoring, college admissions essay consulting, YouTube-ing and podcasting. When she’s not writing science fiction and fantasy for teens, Alexa works in international television marketing. A proud Boston University Terrier, she lives in Los Angeles with two fluffy ginger cats named after YA literature characters. Visit her at www.alexadonne.com or on most social media spaces @alexadonne.


Here are a few links:




Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Interview With Kamilla Benko!



Today I'm pleased to present an interview with Kamilla Benko! Ms. Benko is the author of the Middle Grade book The Unicorn Quest, which releases January 30th!

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.



1. Would you please describe your debut book, The Unicorn Quest, in seven words?

Secrets, missing sisters, magical art, unicorns--discovery! 


2. In The Unicorn Quest, Claire and Sophie enter the world of Arden. If you could go into any fantasy world for a day, which world would you choose?

This is an incredibly difficult question for me! I love fantasy worlds of all kinds, from Hogwarts, to Tortall, to Pern, to Red London, and Chrestomanci's England, to Lyra's Oxford, to Bayern, to Kyrria, to Camp Half-Blood and many, many more. So, I'm going to cheat and say I'd like to visit the Woods Between the Worlds in C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew with the hope that I'd be able to spend the day jumping into pools and potentially discovering all the other literary fantasy worlds. 

There are a lot of great fantasy worlds! :)


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

I do! But I can only listen to music without English lyrics, or else I find myself starting to type the lyrics out. This means there's a lot of movie soundtracks, classical music, french cafe, and "ambient medieval music" that pops up on my playlist. I do make an exception to my lyric rule though when it comes to Loreena Mckennitt, though. Her music is so magical! 


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

Read, read, read!

Good advice! :)


5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2018? And if you've already read some '18 books, which books have you loved?

There are so many I'm looking forward to! One of the best things about being an author is that you get to sneak peak a lot of books. I read and loved Anne Meriano's LOVE SUGAR MAGIC: A Dash of Trouble (Janurary 2) and Sayantani DasGupta's The Serpent's Secret (February 27). 

They both look good! :)

Thank you so much to Ms. Benko for participating in the event! :)



Author bio: Kamilla Benko spent most of her childhood climbing into wardrobes, trying to step through mirrors, and plotting to run away to an art museum. Now, she visits other worlds as a children's book editor. Originoally from Indiana, she currently lives in New York with her bookshelves, teapot, and hiking boots.

Here are a few links:


Monday, January 15, 2018

2018 Debut Author Interviews Launch Post!


Hi, everyone! I am very happy to present the first day of the 2018 Debut Author Interviews! Beginning tomorrow, I will have interviews with 9 different debut YA and Middle Grade authors on the blog every day through the 24th! Here's the full schedule:


January:
15th Launch Post
16th Interview With Kamilla Benko, author of The Unicorn Quest
17th Interview With Alexa Donne, author of Brightly Burning
18th Interview With Kelly deVos, author of Fat Girl on a Plane
19th Interview With Diane Magras, author of The Mad Wolf's Daughter
20th Interview With Lauren Spieller, author of Your Destination is on the Left
21st Interview With Jessica Pennington, author of Love Songs & Other Lies
22nd Interview With Mae Respicio, author of The House That Lou Built
23rd Interview With Gloria Chao, author of American Panda
24th Interview With Joanna Hathaway, author of Dark of the West
25th Wrap Up Post


I had a lot of fun interviewing all these awesome authors, and I hope you enjoy reading all the interviews with them! And maybe you'll find a new book to add to your TBR list! :)

And feel free to use the above image to help promote the event on Twitter, Facebook, etc. I would really appreciate it! :)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Bookish Wallpapers Vol. 1


Here's a new feature on the blog! I like to make desktop wallpapers for myself, and I thought it might be fun to make a few for the blog, too! This won't be a weekly feature, more like whenever I get time to make a few wallpapers. The theme for this first post is A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd! This is an extremely quotable book that I love, which makes it perfect for this first Bookish Wallpapers post! :)


This is a given, but I want to put this here just to make sure. I don't own any of these quotes, they are just ones I like. These wallpapers are for personal use only. I'm just making these for fun, and I thought other people might like them, too. I am not making any money off of these.

Load the image in a new tab, then right-click and save to your computer.







I hope you like them! Do you have any quotes you think would make good wallpapers? :)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On Hold Vol. 6


On Hold is a feature on the blog where every Wednesday I talk about what books I have on hold at the library. If you want to join in, feel free to use the image and link to your post in the comments area! :)


There will not be On Hold posts for the new two weeks, because of the Debut Author Event Interviews I'm having on the blog! It will be back January 31st, and I hope you enjoy the interviews! :)


This looks like a fun Picture Book!


I haven't heard a lot about it, but it looks like an entertaining Graphic Novel!


This looks like a good YA book!

What books do you have on hold? :)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Review: No Place Like Home


After living a jet-setting lifestyle thanks to her dad’s job, twelve-year-old Kenzie decides it’s time for her to plant roots in this heartwarming M!X novel.

Kenzie Rhines doesn’t have a home—she has too many. Her dad’s job keeps them flying around the country, which means “home” is whatever fancy hotel they’re currently staying in and “school” takes place 30,000 feet in the air. And since it’s just the two of them, she has no choice but to be his travel partner. Kenzie loves the constant adventures, but she wouldn’t mind planting her feet in one place for longer than two seconds, having her own bed, and maybe even finding a best friend she can talk to.

When Kenzie’s dad surprises her with the news that they’ll be in Las Vegas for an extended business trip, she’s thrilled he wants to enroll her in a local middle school while they’re there. And even though it's the longest she’s been in one place in years, Kenzie knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s on the move yet again. So, for the first time in her life, she decides to take some risks: why not let the cutest boy in school know she’s got a bit of a crush on him, give it a shot and audition for the school musical—The Wizard of Oz (her all-time favorite movie), and run for VP of her class?

Thanks to her plan, Kenzie discovers a courage she didn’t know she had—and finally feels like she belongs somewhere. But when things start to get complicated, Kenzie discovers that she’ll have to face the consequences of everything she’s done since her arrival—and that maybe home isn’t necessarily a place on a map, but where your heart is.
-summary and cover via Goodreads


Plot: A girl who has gotten to live all over, traveling with her dad for his job, gets to stay in one place for six weeks, go to school, and make friends. A fun premise and I loved getting to see Kenzie try out for the play, run for vice president, and make friends!

Characters: Kenzie was a fun character to read about, and I like that she stood up for herself! And the supporting characters were all fun, too!

The cover: The M!X covers are always fun and bright!

Overall: The M!X imprint is really great, and I love a lot of the books published from it. No Place Like Home is no different! This was the first book I finished in 2018 and I really enjoyed reading it! A really delightful Middle Grade book that I recommend! :)

I checked this book out from my library.