Celebrating Debutantes 2017: Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Welcome to another feature of Celebrating Debutantes 2017 event. Today I’m featuring new author Tiffany Pitcock and her contemporary novel, Just Friends. The book releases tomorrow, August 1st, 2017, so don’t forget to grab your copies.

But before that, Tiffany answers few questions for me about the book and writing. Then following the interview is Tiffany’s bio, along with places where to find her online, as well as the book‘s description and where to get copies of Just Friends. And if you are in the US or Canada and you’d like the chance to win a copy of the book and other fab items, just enter in the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.

Interview with Tiffany Pitcock

What was your first introduction to YA literature, the one that made you choose the genre to write? What inspired your debut novel Just Friends?

My first introduction to YA was Meg Cabot’s All-American Girl which led to my first love, her Princess Diaries series. It was the first time I encountered a heroine who reminded me so much of myself. Not the secret-princess part, obviously, but a heroine who overthinks and stresses. Who wears her emotions on her sleeve, and shamelessly loves pop culture. Her books made me so happy, and I wanted to do that for other people. I wanted to write something and have someone see themselves in it. I wanted to give back the gift those books had given me.

I came up with the idea of Just Friends when I was sixteen, after a disastrous relationship with my “best friend”. I wanted to explore and subvert the friends-to-lovers trope I found in teen movies. I wanted to explore the dangers of crossing that line. What if the friendship it was built on wasn’t real? What if it was all a lie? Could something still blossom there?

Just Friends is out tomorrow and I’m sure you are more than excited. How was the experience writing the novel and going to publication process?

I started JF when I was sixteen, wrote three chapters, then dropped it for three years. The original concept was not a romance. Like, I’m talking Jenny and Chance sleep together once and don’t speak for ten years and Chance has a kid. Like what even? It never saw the light of day. I finished the first draft for my Sophomore creative writing final, and it was still a completely different book than the one coming out tomorrow. I stayed up all night and finished it in a month. It was such an emotional thing for me. I got to the halfway point of my draft and just stopped to cry because I never thought I’d get that far. It was a year later when Swoon Reads contacted me.

I had to rewrite the entire novel for them, and honestly? That was a really good call. The rewrite of JF was the easiest thing I’ve ever written, it flowed so naturally. Also, no tears this time! It took about a year to transform Just Friends into what it is today, and it was worth it.

Jenny and Chance relationship basically started with a lie. What’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

When people come up and ask me if I went to high school with them I always lie and say I went somewhere else.

Okay, I don’t do that, but sometimes I really want to.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

I met Kevin Bacon at Comic-Con a few years back. So, my gift to everyone I meet is that they’re now one degree from Kevin Bacon.

If Jenny and Chance could say one thing to you about the direction of their story, what would they say?

Probably “Why can’t we just talk to each other?”. Or, maybe, “Thank you for letting us develop a friendship first.”

What’s next for you after the release of Just Friends? Are you working or planning to work on any project right now?

I can’t talk much about it (mostly because I don’t want to jinx anything), but I’m working on a few new projects that I’m super excited about.


Tiffany Pitcock is a young writer from Benton, Ar. She studied English at Henderson State University, but has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Besides reading, she is a fan of cats, staying indoors, and tv dramas.

Find Tiffany

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram|Goodreads



Book Details:

Title: Just Friends
Author: Tiffany Pitcock
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: August 01, 2017
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback, eBook

A new spin on the classic smart-girl-and-bad-boy setup, this witty contemporary romance shows how easily a friendship – even one built on an elaborate lie – can become so much more.

Jenny meets Chance for the very first time when she is assigned as his partner in their Junior Oral Communications class. But after they rescue a doomed assignment with one clever lie, the whole school is suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever. It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow―especially when you really, really want it to be the truth.

With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that TV shows and movies have always promised. Through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are “just friends.” But that might be the biggest lie of all.

Debut author Tiffany Pitcock delivers a spot-on depiction of first love and the high school rumor mill in Just Friends, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads.

Book Links

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What’s up for Grab?

  • signed finished copy of Just Friends By Tiffany Pitcock
  • bookmark, sticker, and various other goodies

The Rules:

  • Open to US/CA
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends August 21st, 2017
  • Prize will be sent via book depository

To enter fill out the form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Welcome to another feature of Celebrating Debutantes 2017 event. Today I’m thrilled to feature new author Chelsea Bobulski and her debut fantasy/mystery novel, The Wood. The book will hit the shelves in three (3) days, and I can’t wait for everyone to get the chance to read this riveting book.  If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet you still have time to place your order from your favorite book store.

If you’d like to know more about the book, check out the book’s description. If you’d like to catch up with Author Chelsea Bobulski online, her social links and author bio follow the interview. And if you would like the chance to win a copy of the book, just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post to be enter on the giveaway which is open international.

A huge thank you to Chelsea for taking the time to answer all my questions, I hope you guys enjoy!

Interview with Chelsea Bobulski

Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as a new author?

My journey has honestly been a dream come true. It took me five years and five books to get my first book deal after deciding I wanted to pursue traditional publishing (before that, I only wrote for my own amusement, never daring to dream that I could someday walk into a bookstore and see one of my books on the shelves). My full publishing journey up until getting that first book deal was a very long process, with a lot of twists and turns that would take waaaay too long to detail here, but if you would like to read more about it, you can check out my blog post, My Journey to Publication. Post-book deal, my journey has been everything I could have ever hoped it would be. My editor and my entire publishing team have been so supportive. THE WOOD would not be the book it is now, the book I intended for it to be all along, if it weren’t for their expert guidance.

The Wood has an intriguing premise – enchanted woods, time travel, portals, and guardians. Where did you get the inspiration for the story?

I would definitely say the main inspiration came from two of my favorite things (the history nerd in me that hopes for the possibility of time-travel, and a lifelong connection to the woods that I can only describe as a primordial and ancient urge to return to nature whenever I can—Side Note: I’m a big hiker, but not a big camper, to which my husband will attest. I enjoy the woods so much more if I can go home, or to a nice hotel with a shower, at the end of the day). Both of these pieces of me must have come together subconsciously in my brain, crafting this story and my main character, Winter, while I was off doing and writing other things. I have no other way to explain how Winter’s voice came to me fully-formed one day while I was free-writing for fun. It was like she’d been there all along, waiting for me to tell her story. I free-wrote the first fifty pages of THE WOOD just listening to Winter’s voice, letting her guide the story (pages that have not changed much at all from first draft to final product, other than the inclusion of a new scene). It was at fifty pages that I stopped and realized I should probably plot out the story my main character was trying to tell me before I totally lost track of it. But at its heart, THE WOOD is a mixture of all my favorite things, blended with a very deep and urgent need to escape to the woods from time to time and bask in its beauty.

How did you maintain the atmosphere of mystery throughout the story?

Maintaining the atmosphere of mystery throughout the story was very easy for me because I didn’t even know what was going on half the time. It was as if Winter and I were discovering the mystery together. Of course, I knew the most important things, but there was a lot I didn’t know. Both of my main characters, Winter and Henry, were very sneaky, only showing me their secrets on a need-to-know basis. I remember getting really frustrated one time and shouting at my computer, “Just tell me what you’re hiding!!” (Really glad no one was around to see that). There were plenty of times when they would reveal something important to me mid-drafting that I didn’t see coming, as if they were throwing a bone to the poor writer trying to tell their story. This isn’t typical of how I write—usually I plot out quite a bit of the story, leaving just enough wiggle room for unexpected surprises (because if I plot out the entire book point by point beforehand, there’s no more discovery inherent in the process and I lose all of the excitement and passion for writing it)—but THE WOOD was not a typical book for me from the moment I wrote the first page. It definitely took on a life of its own, which may also be why there is such an atmosphere of mystery surrounding it!

Do you have a method for creating your characters, and what do you think makes them believable?

Character is the most important part of a book to me, both as a reader and as a writer. As a reader, I need to connect with the main character on a deeply personal level in order to enjoy their story. It’s the same for me while writing. I have plenty of plot ideas for future books swimming around in my head, but until their characters step forward and really show me why their story is important, I can’t begin to write them. I need to be able to get under the skin of my characters. I need to analyze them and figure out their deepest desires and fears, their goals, their motivations, the past hurts that define their internal conflict, the situation they find themselves in that defines their external conflict—I think it’s just so important to know your character inside and out as much as possible before you start writing, because it’s amazing how discovering things about your character can really affect the plot, and vice versa. If you’re like me, there are things you will continue to discover about your character as you’re drafting, but it’s so important to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing and how they feel about it. I tend to find that it’s only when you understand your characters on this deeper level that they reveal even more of themselves to you. This is also what makes a character believable, what makes them feel fully-formed in the reader’s mind. The other extremely important thing that makes a character believable is giving them flaws. No one wants to read about a perfect person doing perfect things, never failing, never growing, never changing. It just doesn’t make for an interesting story. Even if a character is a perfectionist obsessed with doing everything perfect, digging deeper may reveal the dark past that has inspired these tendencies, the stains that continue to bleed into her current life—that’s where the story is. Not the perfect things the character tries to do, but why she’s doing them, and why she won’t be able to keep up the façade for much longer.

Love the cover art of The Wood. It looks dark and sinister. Did you have any say in the cover and title of your book? How important do you think they are?

As much as we try to not judge a book by its cover, I do think it’s very important that a cover convey everything the reader will find in your book in an eye-catching way—that is, after all, what’s going to make a reader curious enough to read the description of your book and/or the first page. I was so, so fortunate to get the cover of my dreams right off the bat. My editor sent me the concept, and the second I saw my cover, it took my breath away. Rich Deas, Feiwel and Friends’ creative director, came up with the perfect cover to convey the tone and atmosphere of THE WOOD in that single leaf, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Seeing this story become an actual book and flourish under such an amazing team has just been a total dream come true.

If you could go back in time and tell young Chelsea one thing, what would it be?

“I know things aren’t easy right now, little one. I know there are days when you feel like your whole world is crashing down around you. Like you’re alone in a limitless ocean, barely treading water. Hold on, keep breathing, because all of those dreams you’re praying for, the life you someday hope to live, it’s all going to come true. You are going to be blessed beyond your wildest dreams. You are going to be a published author, and you are going to be blessed with an amazing husband and a beautiful daughter. You are going to be living your best life, and it is going to be amazing.”

And this is definitely what I would tell anyone going through difficulties, especially as a teen or as an adolescent, since that can be such a hard time when you don’t have any control over your situation, whatever it may be, and when you can feel very lost or alone, especially as you are trying to discover who you are vs. who other people expect you to be. Just know that it does get better, and that if you work hard for it, you will be living your best, most amazing life. So keep your chin up, chase your dreams, and don’t look back. You’ve got this.

Where do you see your work going after the release of The Wood? Any other project we should look forward to?

I have a few secret projects I’m working on right now. One is a YA in a similar vein as THE WOOD, and the others are fun, new age groups and genres for me that I’m really excited to be working on. No news I can share yet, but I hope to be able to soon! 🙂

Thanks for having me!!


Chelsea Bobulski was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised on Disney movies, Broadway musicals, and Buckeye pride. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in history, and promptly married her high school sweetheart. As a writer, she has a soft spot for characters with broken pasts, strange talents, and obstacles they must overcome for a brighter future. She now lives in Northwest Ohio with her husband, her daughter, and one very emotive German Shepherd/Lab mix. Her debut young adult novel, THE WOOD, will be published by Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan on August 1, 2017.

Find Chelsea

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Book Details:

Title: The Wood
Author: Chelsea Bobulski
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: August 01, 2017
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

After her father goes missing in the woods that they protect, Winter tries to seek the truth in what happened, why the wood is changing, and what it all has to do with the arrival of a mysterious stranger in this thrilling YA debut.

When Winter’s dad goes missing during his nightly patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers who slip through them. Winter can’t help but think there’s more to her dad’s disappearance than she’s being told.

She soon finds a young man traveling in the wood named Henry who knows more than he should. He believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad.

The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister—torturing travelers lost in it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.

Bobulski’s eerie debut is filled with friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not.

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | BAM | Book DepositoryIndieBound | Goodreads | Publisher


What’s up for Grab?

  • Copy of The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski

The Rules:

  • Open to International where Book Depository Ships
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends August 19th, 2017
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Happy Friday!

I’m super thrilled to have debut author Lisa Thompson here on the blog today to answer few questions about her middle-grade contemporary novel, The Goldfish Boy. This special book not only offers intriguing mystery but also a wonderful character that will stay to readers for a long time. Matthew Corbin is a special kid not because he suffers a mental health condition called OCD but because he is very brave and he has a big heart.

Following the interview with Lisa is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of The Goldfish Boy. And if you are in the United States or Canada and you’d like to win a signed hardcover copy of the book just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post for a chance to win.

Here’s my interview with Lisa. Enjoy reading!

Interview with Lisa Thompson

First off, congrats on The Goldfish Boy. Can you tell us a bit about your journey in writing and publishing the book? What were the timescales involved between the first draft and the novel being accepted for publication?

Thank you! There was a lot of stopping, starting, rewriting the whole thing… giving up with the whole thing… starting all over again etc. I guess the actual writing of the first, main draft took about 12 months. Once I’d found the right agent it only took a fews weeks before I got a book deal. By far the greatest challenges for me were self-doubt. I thought I’d never get published so I put off trying… for years!! But shock news – you definitely won’t get published if you haven’t written a book!

There seems to be a growing trend to write about mental illness in fiction lately. Why do you think it has become an important theme in this genre of literature? And why did you decide to talk about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in particular?

I didn’t intentionally set out to write about mental health. The first bud of an idea was about a boy who was restricted to the ‘safety’ of his bedroom who witnesses something from his window. Around the same time I saw a documentary on TV about OCD and I was stunned at how debilitating it could be. I then found out a friend suffered with the condition and I met with a psychotherapist who is an expert in that field. I’ve been so pleased that The Goldfish Boy has been received so well by OCD sufferers, but I’m also glad it has subtly educated some readers who knew nothing about it.

Matthew is very effecting narrator. I just love the kid. Sometimes I wish I can do something for him. How did you get inside Matthew’s head to show the reader the mental turmoil he was experiencing? Is he a representation of someone you personally know or a byproduct of your imagination?

What a great question! I love him too! He’s completely from my imagination but I’m pretty sure there is a lot of me in there as well (although I don’t have OCD). We have the same sense of humour and I used lots of small memories from my childhood throughout the book – being sick in bed, my dad using a wallpaper steamer, the observations of a scorching, hot summers day etc. I think using your own memories but in a character’s point of view can be a good way to get inside their heads a little.

What kind of research you’ve done for the story and characters to be more authentic? Any surprises you encounter during digging?

As well as talking to friends with OCD and the psychotherapist, I read books and followed public forums on OCD websites for an insight in living with the condition. As for surprises, I really didn’t realise the many different ways OCD can manifest itself (from a fear of germs/obsessive cleanliness, to superstitions, intrusive thoughts, checking and ordering).

What message do you hope to send your readers who recognize themselves in the character of Matthew?

I’d hope that Matthew’s bravery in taking those first small steps to recovery would encourage someone in a similar position to do the same. You can tell that Matthew is scared and that he knows that recovery is not going to be easy, but he makes a start. Starting is the important bit. And the first place to start is by talking to someone.

What’s next for you after Goldfish Boy? Do you think you’ll stick with this type of genre or branch out into something else? Any future project we should look forward to?

I’m currently editing book 2 which is out next year. It’s another standalone novel which is rooted in contemporary fiction, but there is an element of fantasy about it. I’m really excited to see it on the shelves!

Thanks so much Lisa!


Lisa Thompson worked as a radio broadcast assistant, first for the BBC and then for an independent production company, making plays and comedy programs. During this time she got to make tea for a lot of famous people. She lives in the countryside in England with her family. The Goldfish Boy is her first novel.

Find Lisa

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Book Details:

Title: The Goldfish Boy
Author: Lisa Thompson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Matthew Corbin suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. He hasn’t been to school in weeks. His hands are cracked and bleeding from cleaning. He refuses to leave his bedroom. To pass the time, he observes his neighbors from his bedroom window, making mundane notes about their habits as they bustle about the cul-de-sac.

When a toddler staying next door goes missing, it becomes apparent that Matthew was the last person to see him alive. Suddenly, Matthew finds himself at the center of a high-stakes mystery, and every one of his neighbors is a suspect. Matthew is the key to figuring out what happened and potentially saving a child’s life… but is he able to do so if it means exposing his own secrets, and stepping out from the safety of his home?

Book Links

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What’s up for Grab?

  • Signed hardback of The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

The Rules:

  • Open to US or Canada
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends July 28th, 2017
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: The Takedown by Corrie Wang (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Happy Friday everyone!

Today I am interviewing new author Corrie Wang on the blog as part of Celebrating Debuntantes 2017 blog event. Corrie answers few questions about her debut novel, The Takedown, and about social medias and Internet.

Following the interview with Corrie is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of The Takedown. And for a chance to own a signed copy of the book and other fabulous swags, check the bottom of the post for the special giveaway and enter the rafflecopter form.

Here’s my interview with Corrie. Enjoy reading!

Interview with Corrie Wang

Congratulations on The Takedown! What has been the most surreal thing about seeing The Takedown as published story? What’s the best part and the oddest?

Thank you! Everything about seeing The Takedown published has been surreal!! But right at the top was the first time I signed copies for two younger readers. It was such a magical experience. Granted, I signed on the wrong page and wrote inappropriately long inscriptions, but we were giggling and high fiving and I could have lived in those five minutes forever.

And the best and oddest parts are one and the same.

When I lived in NYC and was a writer but not yet an author, I attended lots of YA panel discussions and book events. After the panels were over all the authors would go off into this little room and I wanted into that room SO bad. What were they talking about? What writerly gossip were they hearing that I couldn’t? Were there snacks?

The first time I stepped into the green room at YALL WEST this past April, it just felt so tingly and incredible and like holy cow, I made it here. And look! That’s an author I love… drinking coffee. I’m pretty sure I’ll never get used to it. That I’ll always be at author events or parties thinking A. This is so frickin’ cool. And B. Who let me in?

PS there are snacks. And they’re baller.

The Takedown deals with some sensitive themes such as slut shaming, and bad effect of Internet or social media. As a writer, do you feel a sense of responsibility in putting this into the story? If so, how do you deal with this?

I think slut shaming and dealing with unwanted male attention is such a common issue for teens, and women in general, that it should naturally be showing up in more stories. I didn’t go into The Takedown wanting to write an “issue book” – where characters encounter or deal with * blank * issue and then need to persevere. I just wanted to write a page turning thriller with realistic characters.

I used to manage this massive nightclub on the Lower East Side in NYC. One weekend we hosted an after-prom party, and monitoring it as a GM, YA author, and mama bear was life changing. I write upper YA so this was exactly my audience, and my first thought was that we as authors were getting it SO wrong. The level of sexual, tech, and logistical savviness emanating from those kids was light years more advanced than what YA fiction (at that time) gave them credit for. My second thought was that for a party without alcohol there was SO MUCH VOMIT.

I love that Kyle talks about diva cups, and not wanting to be married until she’s at least 38, and using home electrolysis to get the hair off her toes. The conversations I have with my girlfriends about sex/life/career are so different than most of what I see reflected in standard media that this is the responsibility I feel. I want to write us out of these boy-centric, we’re either cast as nerds or skanks, good girls or mean girls, pigeonholes that we’ve been crammed into.

The Takedown shows how Internet can easily ruin’s someone’s life. As an author, what is your stand on this?

Ahh the internet. I use it. I Google the crap out of everything. I also wish it didn’t exist so I could go back to not clutching and swiping at this device that rarely leaves my hand throughout the day. Do I see how it is wonderful and begets important social movements not to mention connects us with peeps round the world we might otherwise not know?


Do I see how it equally makes us armchair activists who no longer see their friends in real life?


Do I think we can be crushed by one poorly worded or ignorant tweet?

One hundred percent.

Do I also think at some point someone will do a major hack and we’ll all be forced to survive without our timewasting crutches?

Any day now.

What were some of the pleasant surprises you experienced from using social media as an author?

Early on, unbeknownst to me, my editor gave Sara Shepard an ARC of the book and she tweeted at me that she was reading and loving it. It was totally out of the blue and launched a fantastic friendship. I still sometimes fangirl when we’re email back and forth thinking: I’m writing to m*therf*cking SARA SHEPARD!! (And now I’ve made that weird).

And honestly, even more than social media, EMAIL has been the biggest treat of my debut year. Before the book launched a few authors wrote to tell me how much they liked the novel and I’ve struck up some really wonderful friendships. Britta Lundin’s Ship It is coming out with Disney FreeForm in 2018 and she will be a FFFL (Fast Friend For Life, y’all). Follow this girl now, ’cause there will be a line around the block to connect with her once Ship It hits shelves.

And on a not name dropping note, I love, love, LOVE the bookstagram shots that readers have been posting. I own a food truck in Charleston, SC. A typical day involves sweating my butt off in a tiny trailer slinging rice bowls. But then ding! Someone in Pennsylvania tags me with a gorgeous shot of my novel. I adore it that my little book is having its own wild life while I’m, like, washing rice.

Do you have a favourite scene to write in The Takedown? What scene are you most proud of, and why?

I’ve read The Takedown countless times by now, and the final scene with Kyle and her mom still makes me tear up. I’m very close with my mama, so mother daughter relationships get me, period. But family is TRICKY. Kyle and her mom used to be very close, but as she’s grown up they’ve sorta stopped liking as much. So I loved writing that penultimate chapter where they let the years of grudges and slights slip away for a few minutes, and Kyle’s mama reaffirms that even though she might not always like Kyle, she loves her more than anything and always, always will. It was important to me that the book wrapped there for Kyle. Not with the boy. Not with the friends. But with her mom. Of all Kyle’s relationships, that’s the one that will develop and change, strengthen and become more complex, and also carry through for the rest of her life.

If one of your characters could turn the tables on you and write a story based on your teenage years, what would the title of that book be? What would be the first line?

Mac would probably write it, and the title would be Flakita en un gran mundo.

First sentence, Once there was, like, a girl who thought she could change the world by writing op eds to her local newspaper.

Or Sharma would write it and the title would be: Corrie

First sentence: Girl went to high school, #graduated, #thankgoodnessthatsover.

Where do you see your writing will go after The Takedown? Do you think you’ll stick writing for young adult or branch out into something else?

Oh I definitely have more YA stories to tell. I’m currently polishing up a draft that’s a little further forward in time than The Takedown and explores gender and relationships but with lots of bad assery. It’s gonna be the bomb! (FYI people don’t say that anymore, Corrie). But it will be. After that, I have a middle grade that I’ve been fast and furiously jotting down between revisions and drafts and early food truck mornings. I CANNOT WAIT for y’all to get your hands on it. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had writing. So yes, lots, lots more to come.

Thanks so much Corrie!


Corrie Wang is passionate about libraries, road trips, and eating all the food, everywhere. Corrie grew up in Buffalo but spent her formative years in Brooklyn, where one of her last paying gigs was managing a three-story nightclub on the Lower East Side. ​

She currently lives in Charleston, where she and her husband Shuai Wang own and operate Short Grain food truck— named one of Bon Appetit magazine’s Top 50 Best New Restaurants 2016 and a 2017 semi-finalist for a James Beard Award. The Takedown is Corrie’s debut novel.​

And fyi it’s pronounced Wong y’all.”

Find Corrie

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Book Details:

Title: The Takedown
Author: Corrie Wang
Publisher: Freeform
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover

Kyla Cheng doesn’t expect you to like her. For the record, she doesn’t need you to. On track to be valedictorian, she’s president of her community club and a debate team champ, plus the yummy Mackenzie Rodriguez has firmly attached himself to her hip. She and her three high-powered best friends don’t just own their senior year at their exclusive Park Slope, Brooklyn high school, they practically define the hated species Popular. Kyla’s even managed to make it through high school completely unscathed.

Until someone takes issue with this arrangement.

A week before college applications are due, a video of Kyla “doing it” with her crush-worthy English teacher is uploaded to her school’s website. It instantly goes viral, but here’s the thing: it’s not Kyla in the video. With time running out, Kyla delves into a world of hackers, haters and creepy stalkers in an attempt to do the impossible—take something off the internet—all while dealing with the fallout from her own karmic footprint.

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | BAM | BookDepo | IndieBound | Goodreads | Publisher


What’s up for Grab?

  • Copy of The Takedown by Corrie Wang
  • Temporary tattoos and
  • a few “fck them small betches” Takedown bracelets

The Rules:

  • Open US
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends July 14th, 2017
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: Under Locker and Key by Allison K. Hymas (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Welcome to another feature for Celebrating Debutantes 2017. Today I’m joined on the blog by new author Allison K. Hymas to answer few questions about her debut middle grade novel, Under Locker and Key. This book is like mission impossible for middle grade readers.  It’s fun, clever and captivating story for everyone to enjoy.

Following the interview with Allison is her bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of Under Locker and Key.

Also, don’t forget to check the giveaway at the bottom and enter the rafflecopter form for a chance to win fabulous prizes from Allison.

Here’s my interview with Allison. Enjoy reading!

Interview with Allison Hymas

Can you tell us a bit about your journey with Under Locker and Key? Did you know right away that this was your story, or did you discover it as you write? And how was the publication process goes for you?

Under Locker and Key had a strange process for me, since it was a book that I didn’t take seriously for a long time. I first started it as part of an assignment for a college class on writing for children and adolescents. I had to develop a middle grade character, and that’s when I first met Jeremy. I liked him so much I wrote a short story about him, and I liked that story so much (and other people did too) that I turned that short story into a novel.

I worked on Under Locker and Key in my spare time as a backburner project when my other writing projects got too hard or I just needed a break. It was fun and easy for me to write; it fit my voice and style well. But I didn’t think it would go anywhere. Then, one of my teachers encouraged me to workshop it in his class, and that’s when I started to think that maybe I could publish this silly, fun story I’d just worked on for fun.

So I entered the book into a state-wide writing contest. I lost. In response, I queried agents like crazy out of determination and a little bit of spite. A couple agents responded, I chose the one I liked best, and she helped me find a publisher. It’s still strange, but not unwelcome, that the silly book I wrote but didn’t expect to publish ended up becoming my debut novel.

Why middle-grade? Do you think it is easier to write for younger audience than YA and adults?

Under Locker and Key was the first MG novel I’ve even drafted. As for why middle grade, I’m still not sure why I enjoy writing it so much. I suppose I like the fun I can have with this age group. Middle schoolers are at the beginning of a transition; they’re not yet teens, but they’re not elementary school children either. They’re losing their childhood identity and gaining a new one, which means that some, like Jeremy, can try to invent themselves as whatever they want. That means I can write adventures with heroes and villains as the kids try to decide who they’re going to be but don’t yet have the self-consciousness of teens about how that’s all going to work for them.

I don’t know if it’s easier to write for a younger audience, but I know it works well for me. I like humor and adventure, and Jeremy’s, a middle grade voice, comes easily to me.

What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned in writing Under Locker and Key? Are there any fun things you discover during your research?

I’ve learned a lot about how to break the law while writing about Jeremy’s adventures. I have not picked a real lock (yet) or cracked the combination on a locker (yet), but I know how to do all these things in theory. I learned is that it’s not much like the movies. Picking locks takes a long time, and figuring out a locker combination takes quite a bit of patience and luck. You can climb through an air duct but they’re cramped, dark, and dirty. I’ve also been learning a lot about real-life hacking for later books.

However, my favorite thing that I’ve learned is how to lie convincingly and how to recognize a liar. Too much eye contact or not enough eye contact, touching the nose and near the mouth…clues like those. I can actually use this research in my life!

Do you have a favourite scene to write? And what scene are you most proud of, and why?

My favorite scene to write was the climax. I won’t give spoilers here, but I loved the way the story came together at the end in a nice, dare-I-say-clever solution.

But the scene I’m proudest of is the scene in the band room, when Jeremy is hiding from Becca. Some writers have to push their characters into trouble. Not me—Jeremy gets himself in trouble and I go crazy trying to figure out how to haul him out of the fire yet again. This scene gave me so much grief because I couldn’t figure out how to realistically resolve it for the longest time, but in the end, it worked out and because it was tricky, it turned out better than I expected with more suspense.

If Jeremy could turn the tables on you and write a story based on your younger years, what would the title of that book be and what would be the first line?

Oh, my. That’s a scary thought. I was pretty energetic and got into some trouble as a young child, but by the time I was Jeremy’s age I had mellowed out and was the shy, quiet girl in class who liked to read and write. I suppose the title would be something like Born to Be Mild and the first line would be, “See that girl reading over there? She has some stories to tell, some of them true.”

Are you working on other stories as of the moment? Could you tell us about it?

I’m working on a couple other stories. One is a sequel to Under Locker and Key, and the other is a YA science fiction about a boy who goes into other people’s dreams and learns that a girl in his town is in danger.

Thank you!

Thanks so much Allison!


As a middle schooler, Allison K. Hymas was a law-abiding citizen (except for the occasional offense of reading under her desk when she should have been listening). She now holds an MFA from Brigham Young University and currently lives in Utah. Under Locker and Key is her first novel. Allison is hard at work writing Jeremy Wilderson’s further adventures.

Find Allison

Website | Blog |Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads



Book Details:

Title: Under Locker and Key
Author: Allison K. Hymas
Publisher: Alladin
Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Eleven-year-old Jeremy Wilderson teams up with his rival crime fighter to stop the stealing spree that’s wreaking havoc on Scottsville Middle School.

Jeremy Wilderson is not a thief. In fact, he is his middle school’s one and only retrieval specialist. Confiscated cell phones, stolen lunch money—he’ll discretely retrieve it before the last bell rings. Business is good, and if it weren’t for the meddling of preteen private investigator Becca Mills, he’d be happier than a gym teacher on dodgeball day.

But a new job shatters his comfortable lifestyle. Now, thanks to Jeremy, the master key to the schools’ lockers is in the hands of an aspiring crime kingpin who doesn’t exactly have Jeremy’s strong moral character. Soon not even combination locks can protect the students’ textbooks and jackets. Retrieving the key is too big a job for one crime fighter, and only one person wants the key returned as much as Jeremy does: Becca Mills.

Lockers are being robbed, the teachers are looking for the culprit, and the only person Jeremy can turn to is the girl who most wants to see him in the principal’s office. Will Jeremy be able to trust Becca enough to get the key back in the right hands? Or could he end up in detention until the end of high school instead?

Book Links

Book Page | Amazon | B&N | BAM | IndieBound | Goodreads


What’s up for Grab?

  • Signed copy of Under Locker and Key by Allison K. Hymas
  • Under Locker and Key Bookmark
  • Retrieval Specialist” pair of sunglasses 

The Rules:

  • Open International
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends July 12th, 2017
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude (Author Interview + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016

If you are a follower of this blog, you know how much I love good mystery reads and stories with whoduntin themes. I enjoy formulating guesses or making calculated assumptions while reading. That’s why I’m super thrilled to have author Sarah Jude here on the blog today as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2016 event to feature her upcoming YA murder-mystery novel, The May Queen Murders. The title alone excite me and when I read the synopsis from goodreads, I know right away that I have to read the book. So when Sarah agreed to join our event I’m so excited to have her on board. I had so much fun asking Sarah few questions during the interview which I hope will push you to add the book to your TBR pile.

To know more about this upcoming release and Sarah Jude, check the author’s bio and book’s description that follows after the interview, as well as links where to find Sarah and where to pre-order copies of The May Queen Murders.

And don’t forget to check the fabulouse giveaway at the bottom of this feature for a chance to win a signed hardcover copy of the book and swags pack. Also, watch out for my review near the publication date.

Interview with Sarah Jude

Not every author grew up considering themselves as a writer. When and how did you discover your inner muse? Did you know what sort of stories you wanted to tell or did you just sort of feel your way? How did the inspiration for May Queen Murders come?

I was quite young, in elementary school, and even before I could read or write, I had pretty epic stories to go along with my toys. I got very sick during the summer when I was sick and spent several months in the dark because I couldn’t tolerate light. All I had then was the stories in my head. When I was thirteen, I wrote my first novel. It was terrible YA, but it also sealed for me that I wanted to be a YA author.

The inspiration for THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS is certainly rooted in the close female friendships I had as a teenager as well as coping with grief when I was quite young. Plus, the area of Missouri where I live is rich with story possibilities. It all kind of merged together as this Franken-story back in 2012, and after a few false starts, Ivy’s story revealed itself rather quickly.

Suppose you met someone in the elevator and had only 30 seconds to describe your novel, May Queen Murders. What would you say?

Two girls find love and loss in a cross of “The Wicker Man” and “Winter’s Bone.”

May Queen Murders is an intricate novel with all its mysteries and secrets. How much of a challenge was it to write the book? How did you figure out all the details for the plot or when to insert the big reveals (yes, plural, I’ve heard lots of things happened in the story)?

It was a pretty intense process. Piecing together together the mystery of the May Queen’s murder twenty-five years before the present day had to come first and then figure out what effect that history played in Ivy’s view of her commune and the situations she invests herself in. There is a lot going on, but I don’t think it’s overly complicated. Everything is connected because I personally believe that events in our family history certainly have their bearing on how we experience life even a generation or two later. As far as when to reveal the various secrets, I had them all at certain intervals, and my editor came in and guided me in the pacing. It’s a slow burn of the book that ramps up higher and higher as it moves toward the end.

You’ve mixed variety of things in May Queen Murders; gothic atmosphere, mental illness, trauma, sexuality, religion and others. Is that intentional or a byproduct of the writing process? How did you managed to include all those without making them overwhelming?

It’s never intentional, but because these things are important to me, they automatically tend to be themes in my writing. Many people experience all of these things and they create a whole person. It’s an internal layer that you live with daily, and at times, some aspects are more present than others but they’re all there. It’s just a matter of what is in the forefront. It seems natural to create characters who have a rich internal life as well. Granted, the Gothic atmosphere is just how I write, but even that stems from my childhood with my late mother who loved the Gothic and murder mysteries.

How was living by the woods in Missouri affected your writing? How true are you to the settings of your book?

Well, I can definitely say that it’s played its part. There are some very remote areas not all that far from where I live. There are woods as part of a nature conservation area in my backyard, but it doesn’t take very long before you’re driving along the foothills in the Ozarks and wondering what on earth is really going on in these tiny farming communities surrounded by woods. You pass through these quaint towns with antiques and wineries, then the trailer parks, and then…there’s nothing but farmland or woods. I go on writing retreats at a turn-of-the-20th-Century farm with some of my local friends, and I got horrendously lost while driving Zac Brewer and Heather Reid. It was foggy and the road literally disappeared as a song with banjos came on my radio. Initially, it was kind of funny, but then the more we tried to find our way out, the more lost we became until our phones went dead . . . We made it but it was a really unnerving experience. Missouri is a much prettier state than a lot of people imagine, but it’s not without its problems–drug trafficking and meth and poverty are huge issues both in the rural and urban areas. It’s challenging and unique, I think, to this part of the Midwest.

Which authors, mystery or otherwise, have inspired you?

Undoubtedly, I am inspired by my critique partners. Hillary Monahan (MARY: THE SUMMONING) has taught me a lot about the economy of words whereas Heather Reid (PRETTY DARK NOTHING) teaches me about world building and Cole Gibsen (LIFE UNAWARE) shows me how to give stories heart. Other YA authors whose work I will ALWAYS reach for include April Tucholke, Cat Winters, Kate Karyus Quinn, and Dawn Kurtagich. Outside of the YA world, I read a lot of Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier, and Neil Gaiman.

Where do you see your writing going after the release of May Queen Murders? Do you think you’ll stick writing murder mystery or branch out into something else?

It’s a hard question. I will always write books that have an element of grief in them, whether from a murder or other events, because it’s been a huge part of my life. I lost both of my parents at a young age and have lost too many friends to tragic circumstances. Also, a person doesn’t have to die for you to grieve them. Each story peels back another layer in coping with those losses. My head naturally goes to the dark and mysterious, so I can pretty much guarantee that anything I write will have that undertone of something nefarious going on behind closed doors.

Thank you so much Sarah for stopping by today and for taking the time to answer all my questions above. Looking forward to the released of The May Queen Murders.


Sarah Jude AuthorSarah Jude lives by the woods and has an owl that lands on her chimney every night. She grew up believing you had to hold your breath when passing a graveyard. Now she writes about cemeteries, murder, and folklore. She resides in Missouri with her husband, three children, and two dogs. When she’s not writing, she can be found volunteering at a stable for disabled riders.

Find Sarah

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads


The May Queen MurdersBook Details:

Title: The May Queen Murders
Author: Sarah Jude
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Reader
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover, eBook

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

Book Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Goodreads



What’s up for Grab?

  • swag pack (bookmarks, pins, a handmade floral crown, & an ivy leaf necklace) and
  • signed hardback of THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS once it is published in May


May Queen Murders giveaway prizes

The Rules:

  • Open to US addresses only
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends April 18, 2016
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post!

celebrating debutantes 2016 collage