Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Want-To-Read Wednesday: Young Adult Books!

Want-To-Read Wednesday is a feature on my blog, where every week I share five upcoming books I want to read based on the topic of the week. For more information about it, go here.

Hi, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the 2021 Debut Author Interviews over the past weeks! We're back to our regular schedule now, and for today, the topic is YA Books. All the books I'm about to mention sound really good, and I'm looking forward to reading them!

The Secret Recipe for Moving On by Karen Bischer

Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le 

It's Kind of a Cheesy Love Story by Lauren Morrill 

A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen

What YA books are on your TBR list? :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Review: Chef Yasmina and the Potato Panic

Review: Chef Yasmina and the Potato Panic by Wauter Mannaert

In this silly, action-packed graphic novel from Wauter Mannaert, Chef Yasmina and the Potato Panic, a young chef is the only one who can protect her town from an onslaught of scientifically enhanced, highly addictive potatoes.

Yasmina isn’t like the other kids in her city. Maybe it’s the big chef hat she wears. Or the fact that she stuffs her dad’s lunchbox full of spring rolls instead of peanut butter and jelly. She might be an oddball, but no one can deny that Yasmina has a flair for food. All she needs to whip up a gourmet meal is a recipe from her cookbook and fresh vegetable form the community garden.

But everything changes when the garden is bulldozed and replaced with a strange new crop of potatoes. Her neighbors can’t get enough of these spuds! And after just one bite their behavior changes—they slobber, chase cats, and howl at the moon. What's the secret ingredient in these potatoes that has everyone acting like a bunch of crazed canines? Yasmina needs to find a cure, and fast!

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: This was a really unique plot! I don't want to say too much about it, because I don't want to spoil it, but it was very unique!

Characters: The characters were well done! It was easy to tell the characters apart, and they had their own personalities.

The Art: I really liked it!

The Cover: It fits the book, and I love all the cooking elements on it!

Overall: If you're looking for a unique Graphic Novel, with good art, I would definitely recommend trying this one!

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

2021 Debut Author Interviews Wrap Up!

Hi, everyone! The 2021 Debut Author interviews are now over. As always I had so much fun hosting the event again this year! And I hope you found some new books to add to your TBR list! 

I'm going to link to all the interviews below, that way if you missed any of them, you can go check the posts out!

I want to say thank you so much to all the authors for participating in this event!! They are all wonderful people, and I hope you're looking forward to all of their books!

And thank you so much to everyone who read the posts, commented, tweeted, or in any way supported this event! You all are awesome!

Amy Noelle Parks, author of the YA novel, The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss

Elise Bryant, author of the YA novel Happily Ever Afters

Alyssa Colman, author of the upcoming Middle Grade book, The Gilded Girl

Sarah Suk, author of the upcoming YA novel Made in Korea

Janie Reinart, author of the upcoming Picture Book, When Water Makes Mud: A Story of Refugee Children

Karen Bischer, author of the upcoming YA book, The Secret Recipe for Moving On

Rachel Griffin, author of the upcoming YA novel, The Nature of Witches

Olivia Abtahi, author of the upcoming YA novel, Perfectly Parvin

Reese Eschmann, author of the upcoming MG book, Etta Invincible

Michelle I. Mason, author of the upcoming YA book, Your Life Has Been Delayed

Annette Schottenfeld, author of the upcoming Picture Books, Not So Fast, Max: A Rosh Hashanah Visit With Grandma, illustrated by Jennifer Kirkham, and Obi's Mud Bath, illustrated by Folasade Adeshida

Tashie Bhuiyan, author of the upcoming YA novel, Counting Down With You

I hope you enjoyed this event, and are looking forward to the 2022 Debut Author Interviews! :)

Friday, January 22, 2021

Interview With Tashie Bhuiyan!

 

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with Tashie Bhuiyan, the author of the upcoming YA novel, Counting Down With You, which releases May 4th!

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, Counting Down with You, in seven words?

Karina Ahmed makes foolish yet brave choices.

Fake dating is my absolute favorite trope, so I can’t wait to read Counting Down with You! What are some of your favorite tropes?

Fake dating for sure! (And fake marriage as an extension of that!!!) I love enemies to lovers, found family, soulmates, and star-crossed lovers a lot. Also give me any amount of yearning and I'm always in!

Oh, I love all of these tropes so much! :)

Random Question! What’s your favorite Disney movie?

Hands down, it's Tangled. I love Rapunzel so much!!!

Yeeess! I love Tangled! :)

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

Keep writing. You have so many stories inside of you. If you let yourself get hung up on one, you're only holding yourself back! You can always return to it later if you want to, but don't let one story define you. :)

This is really good advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? And if you’ve already read some ‘21 books, would you like to mention them?

I'm looking forward to Clues to the Universe by Christina Li, Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta, Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong, You Have a Match by Emma Lord, Dark Rise by C.S. Pacat, and An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi. :)

Excellent picks! :)

Thank you to Tashie Bhuiyan for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Tashie Bhuiyan is a Bangladeshi American writer based in New York City. She recently graduated from St. John's University with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations, and hopes to change the world, one book at a time. She loves writing stories about girls with wild hearts, boys who wear rings, and gaining agency through growth. When she's not doing that, she can be found in a Chipotle or bookstore, insisting 2010 is the best year in cinematic history. (Read: Tangled and Inception.) 

Her debut novel COUNTING DOWN WITH YOU (Inkyard/HarperCollins) releases on May 4th, 2021.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Interview With Annette Schottenfeld!

 
Hi, everyone! Today I'm pleased to present an interview with Annette Schottenfeld, the author of the upcoming Picture Books, Not So Fast, Max: A Rosh Hashanah Visit With Grandma, illustrated by Jennifer Kirkham (Releases March 2nd!), and Obi's Mud Bath, illustrated by Folasade Adeshida (Releases This Year!)!

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.

Hi Jessica. Thank you for having me on your blog!

Would you please describe your book, Obi’s Mud Bath, in seven words?

Determined Rhino, Teamwork, Funny, Ooey, Gooey - Mud 

You have another picture book releasing in 2021. Would you like to tell us a little about Not So Fast, Max?

Sure! This is a book that speaks to my love of family traditions. When Max’s Israeli grandma (his savta) comes for a visit and mentions making caramel apples, he wants to get started right away. Savta says ‘not so fast.’ First, she has something special planned. During her visit, Max and his sister Emily learn some amazing things about their spunky Savta. Together, the threesome come up with a new tradition for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and in the end, Max discovers that good things are worth the wait.

What is your favorite time of day?

This is a great question. I am definitely a morning person. I love being up before anyone else (super early) and starting my day by doing something active. This is also the most creative time of the day for me and when I did most of my editing for Obi’s Mud Bath. I love the tranquility of the morning hours and knowing that I have the whole day ahead of me.

What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Read. Read. Read. By reading across all genres, but especially the types of books you are looking to write, you’ll get a feel for what works, what doesn’t work, what resonates with you, what causes you to pull a particular book off the shelf, and what makes a successful book. A writer who reads is on their way to becoming an author!

Great advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? 

Here are some of the many books I can’t wait to read:

Amira’s Picture Day by Reem Faruqi

Peace by Baptise Paul and Miranda Paul

Flying High: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles by Michelle Meadows

The Leaf Detective: How Margaret Lowman Saved the Trees by Heather Lang

Bubbe and Bart’s Matzoh Ball Mayhem by Bonnie Grubman

Medusa’s Hair Do-lemma by Jennifer Buchet 

Ooh, I hadn't heard of all of these before! *goes to look them up* :)

Thank you to Annette Schottenfeld for participating in this event! :)

Photo Credit: photo by Andrew Werner

Author Bio: Annette Schottenfeld is passionate about writing for children, hip-hop dance, and environmental issues, believing all have the power to change lives. A registered dietitian and expert baker, she created the decadent Uglie Muffin. Shhh, the recipe is a secret! Annette lives in New York with her husband and two kids. Annette is also the author of Not So Fast, Max: A Rosh Hashanah Visit with Grandma (Kalaniot Books, March 2021) illustrated by Jennifer Kirkham.

You can find Annette online on Twitter, Facebook, or annetteschottenfeld.com.

Book Info: Obi’s Mud Bath (Clear Fork Publishing/Spork Imprint, Summer 2021) written by Annette Schottenfeld and illustrated by Folasade Adeshida. 

Zimbabwe is having a drought, and it's too hot for Obi, a little rhino. On the hunt for a cool, oooey. gooey mud bath, he gets his snout stuck in one mess after another. Finally, Obi realizes that teamwork and some fancy moves with his new friends - an ostrich, giraffe, and elephant - might just help beat the heat. This story is based on an actual event.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Interview With Michelle I. Mason!

 

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with Michelle I. Mason, the author of the upcoming YA book, Your Life Has Been Delayed, which releases August 24th!

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, Your Life Has Been Delayed, in seven words?

Girl boards plane, lands 25 years later.

What was the inspiration for this book?

I’ve always been fascinated by time travel, from when I was a kid and watched all the Back to the Future movies. Then, a few years ago, I tagged along on my husband’s business trip to Australia. On our return flight, we left Sydney on Feb. 27 at 11:30 a.m. and arrived in L.A. on Feb. 27 at 5:35 a.m. I know it’s really just moving across time zones, but it felt like traveling back in time. 

I think it sort of lingered in my mind, because a few months later I thought: what if you got on a plane, but when you landed it was many years later? And the rest of the story just came from that central question.

Random Question! What’s your favorite Romantic Comedy movie?

I think you mean “impossible” question! I love romantic comedies, and I’m never able to nail down a favorite. It totally depends on my mood. Today I’m going to say… While You Were Sleeping. Because it came out in 1995 and even though it isn’t specifically mentioned, there’s a nod to Sandra Bullock in Your Life Has Been Delayed. Also, I watch this movie every December, so it’s definitely very high on my list!

I LOVE that movie! :)

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

Don’t give up! If you truly want to be a published author, perseverance is key. I queried for seven years before connecting with my agent, and then things moved swiftly after that. Every writer I know has a different story, but publishing rarely offers a quick payoff. However, I firmly believe that anyone who keeps working at writing craft and making connections with other writers and industry professionals will eventually find the right fit for their work. So keep going!

Fantastic advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? And if you’ve already read some ‘21 books, would you like to mention them?

There are so many on my TBR list! BETTER THAN THE MOVIES by Lynn Painter is an absolutely fabulous YA rom-com, as is THE QUANTUM WEIRDNESS OF THE ALMOST-KISS by Amy Noelle Parks. I also adored the contemporary middle grade GLITTER GETS EVERYWHERE by Yvette Clark. A few others I can't wait to read are:  HAPPILY EVER AFTERS by Elise Bryant, HOT BRITISH BOYFRIEND by Kristy Boyce, PRIDE AND PREMEDITATION by Tirzah Price, KISSES AND CROISSANTS by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau, TAKE BACK THE BLOCK by Chrystal D. Giles, WHERE IT ALL LANDS by Jennie Wexler… I could keep going. Basically just go check out www.the21ders.com for all the amazing books!

I'm looking forward to reading so many of these! :)

Thank you to Michelle I. Mason for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Michelle I. Mason is the author of Your Life Has Been Delayed, forthcoming from Bloomsbury in August 2021, as well as a second untitled young adult novel in 2022. Michelle spent ten years as a PR manager promoting everything from forklift rodeos to Hotel Olympics before deciding she’d rather focus on made-up stories. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, watching too much TV, cross-stitching, baking amazing brownies, or playing the violin. Michelle lives in St. Louis with her husband, two kids, a dog, and two cats.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Interview With Reese Eschmann!


Hi, everyone! Today I'm pleased to present an interview with Reese Eschmann, the author of the upcoming MG book, Etta Invincible, which releases July 13th!

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, Etta Invincible, in seven words?

Magical trains, comics, new friends, fear, and fireworks! 

The summary mentions Etta working on her own comic book. I have to ask, who is your favorite superhero?

Ooh this is so hard! I’ll go with a tie between Wonder Woman and Captain America. I love when superheroes fight in really human conflicts, so their origin stories are some of my favorites! But the best superhero movie of all time (in my opinion) is Into the Spiderverse, and I love Miles Morales with all my heart. He gets a mention or two in Etta Invincible! 

Random Question! What’s your favorite thing to bake?

My favorite thing to bake is an upside down apple cake with a demerara caramel glaze! It’s so comforting. I love to experiment with baking and rarely make things more than once, but I’ve made that cake at least five times. 

Ooh, that sounds good! :)

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

Find your people! Both writers and non-writers who are excited for you and your career. I kept my writing a secret for too long, and no matter how many times I’ve almost convinced myself that I’m perfectly happy in my own little bubble, the truth is that my writing is always better when I’m surrounded by people who support me and hold me accountable. 

Great advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? And if you’ve already read some ‘21 books, would you like to mention them?

I just pre-ordered Take Back the Block by Chrystal D. Giles and can’t wait to dive into that in a few weeks! I’m also so excited to read The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis! She was one of my mentors and is a wonderful writer and human. And my Pitch Wars co-mentor, Christina Li, just released her debut Clues to the Universe on January 12. It is such a beautiful book! And there are so many more debuts I’m excited about - 2021 is going to be an amazing year for books!

I agree, I think 2021 is going to amazing for books! :)

Thank you to Reese Eschmann for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Reese Eschmann holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois-Chicago and worked in schools for six years. When she’s not writing or taking naps, Reese enjoys rock climbing, baking, and making movies with her family. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their hound dog. Etta Invincible is her debut novel.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Monday, January 18, 2021

Interview With Olivia Abtahi!

 

Hi, everyone! Today I'm pleased to present an interview with Olivia Abtahi, the author of the upcoming YA novel, Perfectly Parvin, which releases May 18th!

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, Perfectly Parvin, in seven words?

Funny, Heartfelt, Ridiculous, Iranian, Delicious, Diverse, True 

What are some of your favorite Contemporary YA books?

Oh my gosh, this question is so hard! I think right now some of my favorites are "Watch Over Me," By Nina LaCour, "Emergency Contact," by Mary H.K. Choi, and "Frankly in Love," By David Yoon! 

I haven't read any of these, but I've heard great things about all of them! :)

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

Yes! I have playlists for each of my manuscripts, and while I'm drafting I will listen to whatever Spotify tells me I'll like. It seems to work pretty well! 

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

Find your voice. I tried so hard to stick to the flowery language I'd see other authors use before realizing that that's just not my style. Rewatch your favorite movies and TV shows and figure out what you love about them. Re-read your favorite books or listen to your favorite albums and dissect why they speak to you. Take all those favorite parts of the things you love and write something that is inherently you. Start from your favorites and your novel will become another favorite, too.

I think this is excellent advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? And if you’ve already read some ‘21 books, would you like to mention them?

I can't wait to read "Black Buck," by Mateo Askaripour and "The Legacies" by Abdi Nazemian. I was also lucky enough to read Charlie Jane Anders' "Victories Greater Than Death," that's coming out next year and let me tell you: it is so epic and fun that I cannot wait to buy a dozen copies and hand them out to my friends! 

I haven't heard of these before! *goes to look them up on Goodreads*:)

Thank you to Olivia Abtahi for participating in this event! :)


Author Bio: Growing up in the DC area, Olivia devoured books and hid in empty classrooms during school to finish them. Her debut novel, Perfectly Parvin, will be published with Penguin Random House Putnam Books For Young Readers, with forthcoming novels from LEE & LOW Tu Books. In her spare time Olivia enjoys binging music videos on YouTube, laughing so hard she can’t breathe, and hitting 10,000 steps on her FitBit. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado, with a husband she met in high school and a tortoiseshell cat that has opinions about everything.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Interview with Rachel Griffin!



Hi, everyone! Today I'm pleased to present an interview with Rachel Griffin, the author of the upcoming YA novel, The Nature of Witches, which releases June 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.

Would you please describe your book, The Nature of Witches, in seven words?

It’s a love letter to the Earth.

The summary mentions the main character Clara’s magic is tied to all four seasons. What season do you think you would be?

I was born on the vernal equinox, so I would be a spring witch! Which is very fitting for me. Spring is a patient, hopeful season that loves the rain as much as the sun. And living in the Pacific Northwest, that’s very true for me.

Random Question! What is your favorite kind of weather?

I absolutely LOVE thunderstorms. They’re so powerful and beautiful, and I could watch them for hours (and have, on many occasions)! Thunderstorms are also the perfect reading and writing weather—I love making myself a pot of tea and listening to the storms outside as I’m curled up and cozy indoors.

Yes! It's perfect reading weather. :)

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

Two things! The first is to read as much as you can, and read widely. We can learn so much from the books we read—we start to take note of the things we love and the things that don’t land for us for whatever reason. I’ve never taken a writing class, but I’m an avid reader, and I believe a lot of what I know about craft I learned from reading.

The second is that the best way to write a book is the way the works for you. I’ve always loved hearing about other writers’ processes, and when I first started writing, I spent hours researching authors I admired to see how they worked. But I’d get discouraged if my process didn’t line up with theirs—it made me believe I was doing something wrong. There’s no wrong way to write a book, though, and the best process is the one that works for you. So definitely read about how other writers work and try out new things—that’s great!—but at the end of the day, what works well for one person might not work for another, so do what works for you.

Excellent advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? And if you’ve already read some ‘21 books, would you like to mention them?

Oh my gosh, so many! I haven’t read these ones yet, but I can’t wait for them: Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley, Made in Korea by Sarah Suk, Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart, Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey, Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson, and Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone.

I’ve already read We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon (which comes out the same day as my book!), and it had me laughing the whole way through. It’s an utter delight.

I'm looking forward to a bunch  of the books you mentioned! :)

Thank you to Rachel Griffin for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Rachel Griffin writes young adult novels inspired by the magic of the world around her. She is the author of the upcoming The Nature of Witches, releasing from Sourcebooks Fire on June 1, 2021, with a second standalone novel to follow in 2022.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Rachel has a deep love of nature, from the mountains to the ocean and all the towering evergreens in between. She adores moody skies and thunderstorms, and hopes more vampires settle down in her beloved state of Washington.

On her path to writing novels, Rachel graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelor of Science in diagnostic ultrasound. She worked in healthcare for five years and taught ultrasound at her alma mater before making the switch to a small startup. She has been mentoring in Pitch Wars since 2017 and now writes full-time from her home in the Seattle area.

When she isn’t writing, you can find her wandering the PNW, reading by the fire, or drinking copious amounts of coffee and tea. She lives with her husband, small dog, and growing collection of houseplants.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Interview With Karen Bischer!

 

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with Karen Bischer, the author of the upcoming YA book, The Secret Recipe for Moving On, which releases March 23rd!

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, The Secret Recipe for Moving On, in seven words?

Exes, misfits-turned-friends, romance, self-sufficiency.

What was the inspiration for the book?

It was actually a home economics class I took way back in 7th grade! I was bumped from my group to another when a girl who was friends with everyone else in my first group joined the class (I was not in their clique and therefore apparently expendable!). While I was annoyed by not getting to have a say in that, my moving to the new group was ultimately uneventful. BUT I knew, even back then, that there was a seed of a story idea there. Over the years, ideas for characters and plot points came to me (the classroom setup and even some of the recipes the characters make in class, for example, are based on a cooking class I took in high school), and then I landed on "Ellie gets pushed out of her ex-boyfriend's group and into one full of misfits who become her 'found family,'" and it all came together.

I love the premise of this! :)

Random Question! What are your favorite TV shows?

I have a lot! But the shows I've enjoyed the most recently are My Brilliant Friend, The Queen's Gambit, Insecure, What We Do In the Shadows, and Never Have I Ever. One of my quarantine binges was Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, which is a ton of fun and has maybe the most incredible slow-burn romance I've seen. (I'm a sucker for will-they-or-won't-they in both books AND TV!)

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

Keep honing your writing skills (critique groups are so, so helpful!), read a lot in the genre you write in, embrace revision (even if your book gets published, there will be changes), always believe in your stories, and don't give up. That sounds cliche, but in my case, it's true. The Secret Recipe for Moving On was written in 2010 and went on submission in 2011, but was rejected by every editor it was sent to. I KNEW it had potential, but it just wasn't "the right market" back then for "quieter" YA contemporary. It was incredibly frustrating. But I held onto the manuscript, worked on other things in the meantime, and then decided to submit it to the Swoon Reads site in 2018. I'm always going to be so grateful to the Swoon readers who praised the book enough/rated it high to get it noticed and, in turn, got me a book deal. But it never would have gotten to that point if I didn't believe so strongly in that manuscript in the first place!

Great advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? And if you’ve already read some ‘21 books, would you like to mention them?

I haven't gotten to read any yet, but there are SO many I'm looking forward to, like Leah Johnson's Rise to the Sun (I adored You Should See Me in a Crown!) and Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas. I'm also really excited for a bunch of 2021 debuts like Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado, Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce, Words Composed of Sea and Sky by Erica George, A Pho Love Story by Loan Le, and Sam Taylor's We Are the Fire, which was selected in the same Swoon Reads "season" as mine!

I'm looking forward to so many of the books you mentioned! :)

Thank you to Karen Bischer for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Karen Bischer has been writing since she was six years old. She tried to be a journalist, working on the school paper at the University of Delaware, but soon realized she preferred writing fiction, which is way more fun. She has written short stories for Girls’ World and Animal Tales magazines, and a journalism background wasn’t a total loss, since it gave her the copyediting skills she uses in her day job. She lives in her native New Jersey, where she has never encountered Bruce Springsteen in the wild, but does have a cat named after a member of the E Street Band. When she’s not writing, you can find her cheering on the Yankees or geeking out over her favorite TV shows. The Secret Recipe for Moving On is her debut novel.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Friday, January 15, 2021

Interview With Janie Reinart!

 
Hi, everyone! Today I'm pleased to present an interview with Janie Reinart, author of the upcoming Picture Book, When Water Makes Mud: A Story of Refugee Children, which releases this year!

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, Until Water Makes Mud: A Story of Refugee Children, in seven words?

Thank you, Jessica. I’m delighted to be on your blog.

Refugee children create toys from found items.

What was the inspiration for this book?

A National Geographic article about refugee children making their own toys from mud, paper and plastic caught my eye. The exquisite pictures in the article started the picture book story for me. 

I noticed the photographer, Nora Lorek was on Instagram. I contacted Nora to ask if she would consider confirming what animals might be found in the Bidibidi Settlement. Nora was gracious enough to give me her email, and became my inspiration and resource. 

Random Question! Where is your favorite place to write?

I love to write on my porch swing in the sunshine, in my chair by the window in the sunshine, outside in the sunshine…I see a pattern here.  Don’t worry, I also write when the weather is cloudy or snowing here in Ohio. 

That sounds lovely! :)

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

These quotes are on my bulletin board:

 “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ~Ronald Dahl  

Believe in yourself. Writing is magic—with a wave of your pen, you can make something from nothing appear. Keep your glittering writer’s eyes open—find the unlikely hidden idea that ignites your heart. As Julius Lester says, “The primary purpose of story is one heart touching another.” Only you can write your story. 

Good advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? And if you’ve already read some ‘21 books, would you like to mention them?

I enjoy reading historical fiction, fiction and nonfiction picture books, and poetry. Here is what is on my list to read:

Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep: 50 Award-Winning Children’s Book Authors Share the Secret of Engaging Writing Melissa Stewart, ed. 

To craft engaging nonfiction, professional writers choose topics that fascinate them and explore concepts and themes that reflect their passions, personalities, beliefs, and experiences in the world.

The Night Portrait: A Novel of World War II and da Vinci's Italy by Laura Morelli

An exciting, dual-timeline historical novel about the creation of one of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous paintings, Portrait of a Lady with an Ermine, and the woman who fought to save it from Nazi destruction during World War II.

Check out these picture books coming in 2021.

There's a lot of great sounding Picture Books on that page! :)

Thank you to Janie Reinart for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Janie Reinart revels in playing with words. As an author, educator, storyteller, and poet, words are her tools. Janie’s passionate about encouraging emergent writers of all ages to find their voice, share their stories, and experience the sheer joy of writing. She lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio with her charming husband. Janie relishes reading historical novels and poetry, writing picture books and singing, and delights in playing with her 16 grandchildren. Janie’s debut picture book, WHEN WATER MAKES MUD: A STORY OF REFUGEE CHILDREN, splashes on the scene in spring of 2021. 

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Interview With Sarah Suk!


Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with Sarah Suk, author of the upcoming YA novel Made in Korea, which releases May 18th!

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, Made in Korea, in seven words?

Sell K-beauty products. Don’t fall in love.

What are some of your favorite YA Romantic Comedies?

There are so many great ones out there but here are my top three favourites: 

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon 

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo 

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Great picks! :)

Random Question! What’s your favorite candy?

I love Hi-Chews and Sour Patch Kids!

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

If I could only give one piece of advice it would be to keep on writing. Sounds simple, but there are days where that can feel really hard. Just remember that you’re only going to get better and better with each thing you write so don’t give up. No one can tell your stories the way you can.

Excellent advice!

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? And if you’ve already read some ‘21 books, would you like to mention them?

When I say my 2021 TBR list is long, I mean LONG! It’s going to be an amazing year of books. A few I’m especially excited for are:

The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

Jade, Fire, Gold by June CL Tan

Like Home by Louisa Onomé

The Gilded Girl by Alyssa Colman

Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins

I agree, I think it's going to be an amazing for books! :)

Thank you to Sarah Suk for participating in this event! :)


Author Bio: Sarah Suk (pronounced like soup with a K) lives in Vancouver, Canada where she writes stories and admires mountains. When she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the water, taking film photos, or eating a bowl of bingsu. You can visit her on Twitter and Instagram @sarahaelisuk.

Sarah is represented by Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary Agency.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Interview With Alyssa Colman!

 

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with Alyssa Colman, the author of the upcoming Middle Grade book, The Gilded Girl, which releases April 6th!

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, The Gilded Girl, in seven words?

A Little Princess, Magic, Friendship, Talking Cats

What are some of your favorite MG Fantasy books?

Answering this was harder than I thought it would be and I ended up making a full page list! A selection of my favorites would have to include:

BREADCRUMBS by Anne Ursu, THE DRAGON WITH A CHOCOLATE HEART by Stephanie Burgis, THE TURNAWAY GIRLS by Hayley Chewins, EVA EVERGREEN, SEMI-MAGICAL WITCH by Julie Abe, THE CIRCUS OF STOLEN DREAMS by Lorelei Savaryn, and DEALING WITH DRAGONS by Patricia C. Wrede.

I've read some of these, and some are on my TBR list! :)

Random Question! What’s your favorite color?

Honestly? It changes. Right now it’s forest green.

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

Read. It sounds so simple, but writers need to be readers. There are so many beautiful new books that will be your book’s peers when it’s hopefully published. Find them, read them, and learn from them. 

Good advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? And if you’ve already read some ‘21 books, would you like to mention them?

There are some truly wonderful debut fantasies coming out next year including THE VERDIGRIS PAWN by Alysa Wishingrad, CECE RIOS AND THE DESERT OF SOULS by Kaela Rivera, and THE LAST FALLEN STAR by Graci Kim. My book is a historical fantasy, so I have a soft spot for historical fiction and A PLACE TO HANG THE MOON by Kate Albus is absolutely delightful. 

Excellent picks! :)

Thank you to Alyssa Colman for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Alyssa Colman is the author of magical, middle grade adventure novels. As a playwright, she was a winner of the 2013 ESPA new play competition at Primary Stages in New York and was a semi-finalist at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference. She has participated as both a mentee and mentor in Author Mentor Match. Alyssa now lives in Los Angeles where she enjoys making messes in her kitchen and hiking with her husband and their dog, Daisy. Her debut middle grade novel, THE GILDED GIRL, will be available from Macmillan/FSG Books for Young Readers in April 2021.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Interview with Elise Bryant!

 

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview Elise Bryant, the author of the YA novel Happily Ever Afters, which is out now!

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, Happily Ever Afters, in seven words?

Hawaiian shirts, swooning, sugar, and self love!

The book summary mentions the main character, Tessa, loves romance novels. What are some books you think she would love?

Tessa would be obsessed with everything by Alyssa Cole and Jasmine Guillory! And as far as YA, I think she’d love All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani, Pride by Ibi Zoboi, and The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli.

Random Question! What’s your favorite dessert?

I think a chocolate chip cookie is the perfect dessert! The New York Times recipe is my favorite.

Yes! I love chocolate chip cookies! :)

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

Read! Read widely, read often. I never read a craft book before I drafted Happily Ever Afters, but I learned from reading books that I love. 

Fantastic advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? And if you’ve already read some ‘21 books, would you like to mention them?

Oh, there are so many!! I’m so excited for Like Home by Louisa Onome, Jay's Gay Agenda by Jason June, Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey, Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass, and Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira. I’ve also already read Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney and loved it. 2021 is going to be a good year for books!

I agree, I think 2021 is going to be great for books! :)

Thank you to Elise Bryant for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Elise Bryant was born and raised in Southern California. She earned her BA in Africana studies from California State University, Long Beach, and her MA in special education from Loyola Marymount University. For many years, Elise had the joy of working as a special education teacher in South Los Angeles, and she is also a National Board Certified Teacher. Elise now lives with her husband and two daughters in Long Beach, where she spends her days reading, writing, and eating dessert. Happily Ever Afters is her debut novel.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram

Monday, January 11, 2021

Interview With Amy Noelle Parks!


Hi, everyone! Today in the 2021 Debut Author Interviews, I'm happy to present an interview with Amy Noelle Parks, author of the YA novel, The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss, which released last week, and the upcoming MG novel, Summer of Brave!

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, The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss, in seven words?

BFFs fall in love online and IRL

What was the inspiration for this book?

I love dual POV romances with all my heart, and Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe's love story has always been one of my favorites. So when I wanted to disappear into something happy after the 2016 election, I thought I might try a story about best friends where the boy has always been in love with the girl and she doesn't know it--only, you know, mathy, because I love that too.

Random Question! What are some of your favorite songs? 

It's no secret--especially to my family--that I listen to One Direction incessantly. For this book, Last First Kiss and Happily were on repeat for months.

I love One Direction's music so much! :)

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

Read. So much of my inspiration comes from books I love--both fiction and non-fiction, and I've noticed that the more I write, the more I learn from the books I read.

Great advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2021? And if you’ve already read some ‘21 books, would you like to mention them?

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten any sneak previews, but I love all this new energy around romantic comedies. Some I'm super looking forward to:

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

We Can't Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Solomon

Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyd

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

These all sound excellent! :)

Thank you to Amy Noelle Parks for participating in this event! )

Author Bio: Amy Noelle Parks is an associate professor at Michigan State University. When she’s not using One Direction lyrics as a writing prompt, she’s helping future teachers recover from the trauma of years of school mathematics. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two daughters.

Here Are a Few Links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Sunday, January 10, 2021

2021 Debut Author Interviews Launch Post!

Hi, everyone! I am so happy to present the schedule for the 2021 Debut Author Interviews! There are so many fantastic interviews this year (as always), and I can't wait to read all of their books! I hope you will come back to the blog every day over the next two weeks, and that you enjoy reading them!

January

10th Launch Post

11th Interview With Amy Noelle Parks, author of The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss

12th Interview With Elise Bryant, author of Happily Ever Afters

13th Interview With Alyssa Colman, author of The Gilded Girl

14th Interview With Sarah Suk, author Made in Korea

15th Interview With Janie Reinart, author of When Water Makes Mud: A Story of Refugee Children

16th Interview With Karen Bischer, author of The Secret Recipe for Moving On

17th Interview With Rachel Griffin, author of The Nature of Witches

18th Interview With Olivia Abtahi, author of Perfectly Parvin

19th Interview With Reese Eschmann, author of Etta Invincible

20th Interview With Michelle I. Mason, author of Your Life Has Been Delayed

21st Interview With Annette Schottenfeld, author of Obi’s Mud Bath

22nd Interview With Tashie Bhuiyan, author of Counting Down with You

23rd Wrap Up Post

And feel free to use the above graphic on social media (if you want) to help spread the word about the event! :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Want-To-Read Wednesday: Middle Grade Books!

 

Want-To-Read Wednesday is a feature on my blog, where every week I share five upcoming books I want to read based on the topic of the week. For more information about it, go here.

Hi, everyone! It's the first WTRW of 2021! Happy New Year to all of you! We will be going on hiatus again for two weeks, but only because it's the 2021 Debut Author Interviews!! I hope you'll tune in over the next couple of weeks to read some awesome interviews, and find out about some fantastic books.

Now, the topic for today is Middle Grade Books! I'm looking forward to all five of the books I'm mentioning here, they all sound good!

The Retake by Jen Calonita

The Accidental Apprentice (Wilderlore #1) by Amanda Foody

Across the Pond by Joy McCullough

Summer of Brave by Amy Noelle Parks

Karma Moon: Ghost Hunter by Melissa Savage

What MG books are on your TBR list? :)

Sunday, January 3, 2021

My Resolutions for 2021!

Hi, everyone! Today I wanted to share my resolutions for 2021!  I'm going to be listing five blog/bookish related ones, and five personal ones.

Bookish and Blog:

Read 25 Books

This is the goal I set for myself every year, because I know I can achieve it, and honestly? I need at least one easily attainable goal.

Update the Reviews/Interview Tab on the Blog

I... kinda forgot about these tabs this year? But I've had so many great interviews, that I really want to update this page. And I think I should also update the reviews page.

Try and Catch Up on Books From Previous Years

There are so many books that I've been anticipating, that I just...didn't read? Mostly because of anxiety (does anyone else put off reading books they're really, really looking forward to, because of anxiety?), so I want to try and get past that, and read those highly anticipated books!

Host 2021 Debut Author Interviews and Yay! For Middle Grade Books 2021

I love hosting these blog events, and I'm looking forward to them again this year!

Reach 700 Twitter Followers and 500 Instagram Followers

This isn't so much a resolution, as it is a hope? As of writing this, I'm at 592 Twitter and 156 Instagram followers. I don't know if I can achieve this goal in 2021, but I want to try!

Personal:

Try to Learn a New Language

I have a hard time retaining new information (unless it's song lyrics? my one gift is being able to remember any lyrics to a song after hearing it, like, twice.) because of health problems (lupus fog is real, y'all.), BUT I really want to try and learn a new language in 2021. I figure even if I only learn a few words, that's more than I knew before, right?

Try to Eat Healthier

This has nothing to do with losing weight (trust me, I don't care about that.), and everything to do with the fact that when I eat less fried and sugary foods I feel better. But stress eating is a problem for me, so I hope to improve that this year.

Keep Crafting

When I craft, it makes me happy, and I want to keep finding new things to make!

Keep Up With My Bujo

This helps keep me organized, and lets me look back over my year, so I definitely want to keep up with it!

Try to Be More Organized

This is obvious and I don't think I need to write more about it!

What are your resolutions for 2021? :)