Road to Eugenica is Born!

8EBDE999-D5DD-4617-B2BC-3186C6DAFDF8Today I had the wonderful pleasure of having lunch with the fabulous A. M. Rose to celebrate the birthday of her new novel. Her debut young adult novel is now officially published and on sale! As a friend and colleague I’ve loved seeing her journey from dedicated writer to published author. We celebrated with lunch and cupcakes today and talked a bit about her novel, her process, music, and other writerly miscellany.

Drea feels like she is always making the wrong moves. With a dad who adores her and a mom she can’t please, she is always doing the dance of trying to fit in with the people she loves. Especially with Dylan. Dylan, her drool-worthy best friend who has been there forever. But does she love him? Or are they destined to be stuck in the friend zone? When her nightmares begin to blur into her daytime world, and she develops new amazing powers, (who surfs perfectly their first time, suddenly parkour?) Drea is not sure she even fits on this planet. As her mysterious past begins to collide with her quickly changing present, she is caught between two worlds, and two cute boys all while dealing with incredible loss. Drea is strong character who tackles the world fearlessly (or at least stuffing down the fear and going on to kick %^$ anyway). You will rush on reading to find out the answers with Drea.

A.M. Rose and I chatted over delish cupcakes…

Christine, your Book Club Advisor: What is your favorite scene?

Rose: I love the scene with her father at breakfast. The relationship they have and how they get along, and just that connection. I love it. I also love the scene when she comes home from the hospital and grief is rolling over her, all five stages at once. I love all the levels you see in her, and how grief is such a complicated thing. My favorite scene with Dylan is after she finishes working with her new special powers and she asks him to stay and hold her for the night.

BCA: I love all those scenes as well. Her and her father’s relationship is so great. And the tension between Dylan and Drea in that scene in his room is so perfect. High school romance butterflies, when the whole world depends on what someone says to you, and always trying to figure out what is not being said, and what it means. Tingles!

Continue reading “Road to Eugenica is Born!”

The Best of 2017: Author Interviews and Favorite Reads

I stayed afloat during 2017 for one reason only, human connection between myself and authors I admire and falling into books that gave me hope, let me cry, and let me hide between calls (all the calls) to my congressmen, fighting for my rights and the rights of others. Trying to hold extended family close to my heart when differences were tearing us apart, and generally trying not to slip into apathy and resignation was a full-time job. Here are just a few of the interviews and books that kept me afloat (click on author interviews in the blog menu for even more). May they encourage, shelter, challenge, and set you an a strong course for the coming year.

Happy Reading!!

Interviews:

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Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of the Esa Khattak/Rachel Getty mystery series and the new fantasy, The Bloodprint, talks generational trauma, revenge, and healing across time and continents.

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Rafi Mittlefehldt, author of the gorgeous YA coming of age novel, It Looks Like This, talks family connections, religious rifts, and the danger and survival of belonging.

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Dorit Rabinyan, international bestselling author of All the Rivers, talks integrating visual art into a narrative and finding other’s humanity admist chaos.

Some Favorite Reads:

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Mothers, Tell Your Daughersby Bonnie Jo Campbell (Short stories about families, rural life, and the truths we hide from ourselves)

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Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (a young girl explores her identity as a lesbian in Nigeria while trying to maintain the powerful connection with her mother and society)

The Art of Waiting by Belle Boggs (essays on infertility, family, sociology, and the inter workings of the human heart)

It Looks Like This

itlookslikethisIt looks like desire. It looks like fear. It looks like life beginning. It looks like the end. It looks like love. It looks like heartbreak.

Mike has just moved to a new town. A new school. Freshman year. Mike meets someone. Mike falls in love. With a boy. Mike’s conservative parents can’t know. Mike’s world is about to turn upside down. In a tragedy worthy of Romeo and Juliet, young love and family strife are center stage.  A classic love story for our time. Whether you want the rush of young love, or the tears of that often come with it, this book is for you. Continue reading “It Looks Like This”

Alone in a Hurricane

It’s how many of us feel right now. There is no relief, there are no clear answers, and we cannot see clearly through the lashing rain and flying debris of anger, hopelessness, and despair. In reviewing books that deal with the raw issues that brought our country to this point, and how parents and teachers can address them through literature, Beth Kephart, National Book Award Finalist, has honored us with a video interview about her new young adult novel, This is the Story of You.

thisisthestoryofyou(Click cover to buy indie)

Mira lives on Haven, a small town on a barrier island, with her mother and chronically ill brother. Winds begin to blow as a storm forms over the water, but the town assumes the storm will fall apart, or at least not be a major event. In an intense, short period of time the storm becomes deadly, and the town is torn apart. Mira will face the storm, and the revelations that come with life after devastating destruction alone, until she decides to let someone in, someone who will help her understand the winds of change that have been blowing through her own life. Continue reading “Alone in a Hurricane”

Tragedy, Connection, and Hope

the-memory-of-thingsBook Club Advisor welcomes author, Gae Polisner, for a video interview on the power of literature, how The Memory of Things was created, and the impact of a national tragedy on a generation. (Scroll down for vlog clips with the author.)

It is the morning of September 11, 2001. Kyle is sixteen years old and his world is crumbling in front of him. From his high school in downtown Manhattan, Kyle watches the first Twin Tower fall and runs back home to Brooklyn as chaos descends. On the way, he finds a beautiful girl covered in ash and wearing costume wings, a girl who appears ready to jump from the bridge. He convinces her to come home with him to safety. Kyle feels lost and frightened, responsible for his uncle who needs medical care with the nurse unable to come due to the city being at a standstill. Kyle’s father is a first-responder at the scene and Kyle’s worry for him is palpable. When the story begins, Kyle only knows that his mother and sister are on a plane back from California. He cannot remember which flight or what time and fears for their lives. Kyle and the girl are both lost in grief and fear. Continue reading “Tragedy, Connection, and Hope”

If you get to come home…

afterwardIt may not be what you expect. Ethan was kidnapped four years ago on a bike ride. But then his kidnapper wanted another child. This kidnapping goes wrong and Ethan and the little boy are found. Coming home is not the relief Ethan thought. Instead, it is rocky and full of unexpected challenges for both boys. The little boy has a sister, just Ethan’s age, named Caroline. Caroline is determined to help her brother (who has special needs and can’t communicate) by finding out what is triggering his heartbreaking outbursts. She knows Ethan from school and through music the two find each other, the truth about what really happened to her brother, and strength to keep on going. Afterward is a beautiful, gripping story of the trauma of real life and the power of human connection to heal. Jennifer Mathieu graciously answered some questions about this gripping novel for me: Continue reading “If you get to come home…”

You can go back…

“This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It’s a little bit like a black hole. It’s a little bit like infinity.” -The Square Root of Summersquarerootofsummer

What if there was a way to go back to that summer, that moment, that person? The one who you thought was gone forever? Gottie H. Oppenheimer is heartbroken. Her beloved grandfather has passed away, the boy she loves has moved on, and her best friend now lives across an ocean. The summer is not looking good. Until she begins to lose time, static appears and she falls back into the past. She gets what so many dream of, a chance to relive the moments that make us feel most alive.

But when those trips start making her lose time in the real world, and when her best friend comes back, the past and the present start to collide. A novel of time travel, wormholes, wonderfully esoteric math mixed with romance, first love, and all the summer feels. This young adult book will be loved by teens and adults alike.

Continue reading “You can go back…”