Waiting On Wednesday: American Royals by Katharine McGee

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read! 

Title: American Royals
Author: Katharine McGee
Genre: Romance, Alternative Fiction
Publisher: Random House Books for Young 
Publication Date: September 3rd 2019

What if America had a royal family? If you can't get enough of Harry and Meghan or Kate and William, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha. Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown. Two girls vying for the prince's heart. This is the story of the American royals. When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren't just any royals. They're American. And their country was born of rebellion. As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America's first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she's breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn't care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there's Samantha's twin, Prince Jefferson. If he'd been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart. The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded--and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so we can stop back! 

Debut '19 Interview: Kalyn Josephson & The Storm Crow

In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, twitter chats and more! 

Over the summer we had tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. I hadn't heard of THE STORM CROW before that, so when Kalyn replied and I read the summary I was instantly taken away. I am super excited for THE STORM CROW and I am even more excited that Kalyn has stopped by on The Book Bratz today to answer some questions! 

About Kalyn! 
Kalyn Josephson currently works as a Technical Writer in the tech industry, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. Though she grew up in San Luis Obispo, California, she graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Biology and a degree in English (Creative Writing). Currently, she lives in the Bay Area with four awesome friends (because it’s the Bay Area and she’d like to be able to retire one day) and two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an ever tinier owl). THE STORM CROW is her debut novel.                                                     Keep up with Kalyn: Website / Twitter / Instagram


The Book Bratz: How does it feel that THE STORM CROW is debuting this year?
Kalyn: So surreal! Publishing a book has been a dream of mine for so long, and I feel so grateful to everyone who helped me reach it. Now that it’s almost here, I’m a jumble of nerves, anticipation, excitement, doubt, and pretty much every other jittery emotion you can think of.

The Book Bratz: In the length of a tweet (280 characters!) can you give us an overall summary of THE STORM CROW?
Kayln: THE STORM CROW is ERAGON meets AND I DARKEN. A fallen princess ignites a rebellion to bring back the magical elemental crows that were taken from her people, all while navigating the vicious court of a dangerous enemy prince.

The Book Bratz: Where did your inspiration for THE STORM CROW come from?
Kayln: I read an article about a little girl who fed her neighborhood crows, and in return they brought her gifts. Her neighbors called her The Crow Queen, which really stuck with me. It made me think of a queen of a kingdom whose magic came from crows that were heavily integrated into her society. The question I was exploring was basically: what happens when they’re gone?

The Book Bratz: Is there anything from your personal life that you used as inspiration in THE STORM CROW?
Kayln: The main character, Thia, struggles with depression, which is something I myself dealt with a lot, especially during the time I was writing the book. Her healing journey is in some ways a reflection of mine (sans giant crows, unfortunately).

The Book Bratz: Can you share a secret about THE STORM CROW that not many people know yet?
Kalyn: Unfortunately I don’t have any cool secrets to share as of now.

The Book Bratz: If you had to create Twitter or Instagram handles for your characters, what would they be?

  • Thia: @thecrowqueen
  • Kiva: @swordsarelife
  • Caylus: @teatinkerer
  • Ericen: @therealking

The Book Bratz: Do you have any ideas you plan to visit after THE STORM CROW?
Kalyn: Right now I’m focusing on book 2 (it’s a duology!). Other than that, I’m exploring a new YA Fantasy that I’d say is SCORPIO RACES meets PEAKY BLINDERS, with an influence of Jewish mythology.

About The Storm Crow!
Title: The Storm Crow (The ​Storm Crow #1)
Author: Kalyn Josephson
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 9th 2019
Buy The Storm Crow: Amazon / B&N / Indie Bound / Book Depository 
Summary: In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life...until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything. That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother's death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost. But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

Thank you so much Kalyn for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about THE STORM CROW and wait for it to be out in the world on July 9th! 

6 Ways To Get Out of the House With Friends This Summer, Inspired By Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan!

Hi everyone! We have something exciting for you on the blog today. We teamed up with the incredible team over at Penguin to bring you a summer to-do list inspired by Jennifer Dugan's 2019 release, HOT DOG GIRL! (You can check out my review of the book by clicking here!) If you've read or heard about the book, then you already know that the main setting of the story takes place at an amusement park over the summer, and since I loved the book so much, I realized that there's no better way to spread summer fun than to highlight six ways you can spend your summer out of the house with your friends? So without further ado, let's get into it!

#1: Head to an amusement park!
A-la HOT DOG GIRL, of course! 

the lost boys carnival GIF

#2: Spend a day reading on the beach.
Sometimes reading is that much better when you have your toes in the sand and the sound of the ocean in your ears.

leonardo dicaprio beach GIF

#3: An artsy picnic in the park.
Go to your local craft store, pick up some cheap canvases, brushes, and paint, grab some snacks, and head to a local park to spread out a picnic blanket and have a fun paint date with your friends!

bob ross painting GIF by NETFLIX

#4: Go on a bookstore crawl.
You get to support your local indie bookstores and you also get some new books to read and share with your friends!

season 2 episode 6 GIF by Portlandia

#5: Visit a zoo or an aquarium!
These places are some of our favorite unsung summer locations -- it's fun to get out of the house and break up your normal routine by heading out to see some adorable animals!

zoo playing GIF by Cheezburger

#6: Go mini-golfing! 
A nice night where the weather is warm is always great for things like this! Grab some friends, go out for a fun round of mini golf, and then finish up with some ice cream for maximum summer fun.

mini golf toddler GIF

So those were just 6 ideas of ways to get out of the house for the summer, inspired by HOT DOG GIRL! What are some other suggestions? Have you done any of these things already? Comment down below and let us know!

Also, here's some more info about HOT DOG GIRL in case you're interested!

Title: Hot Dog Girl
Author: Jennifer Dugan
Publisher: Putnam

A fresh and funny contemporary YA rom-com about teens working as costumed characters in a local amusement part.

"I'm wrecked with love for this funny, joyful, bighearted book." --Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

She's landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.

Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou's never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.

Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who's always been up for anything, suddenly isn't when it comes to Lou's quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou's scheme to get close to Nick.

And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland--ever -- unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

Jennifer Dugan 
Jennifer Dugan is a writer, a geek, and a romantic. In addition to being a young adult novelist, she is also the writer/creator of two indie comics. She lives in upstate New York with her family, her dogs, and an evil cat that is no doubt planning to take over the world. Hot Dog Girl is her young adult debut. Learn more at JLDugan.com and on twitter @JL_Dugan.

Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for having us on this tour!