Book Blitz & Giveaway: In a Mirror by Emily Bourne

In A Mirror
Emily Bourne
(In It Together, #1)
Publication date: November 12th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Can a social outcast prove to her cheerleader sister she’s not the enemy and save her family?

Anxiety riddled Brittany is setting her sights on popularity. She doesn’t give a crap about her sister’s desire to bond, because landing a boyfriend will fill the void in her heart. When a chance encounter with her gorgeous crush sends her sweating, the jittery voice inside her head threatens to derail whatever he found attractive about her. When soaring up the social ladder, insecurities force her blabbermouth into action. Will Brittany reveal her greatest fear to the people she needs to impress the most? That she is a total freakin loser!

Emotional mess Charli can’t deal with her parents’ divorce. If it wasn’t for the support of her loving boyfriend, she would drown in loneliness. When a party launches her sister into popularity, Charli is desperate to pull her down to earth. But her sister still deems the past pain she caused as unforgivable and shoves her away. With the return of their wayward father, Charli is hell-bent on saving her family, starting with reuniting her parents. Can she mend her tortured relationship with her sister and regain her trust before the emotional damage is irreversible?

If you love heartwarming and emotionally gripping books, you’ll love this coming of age, contemporary teen drama and ultimate beach read that is IN A MIRROR by Emily Bourne.

Goodreads / Amazon

Other books in the series:


Author Bio:

Emily Bourne is an author from central west NSW, meaning she's an Aussie Country girl at heart. Emily writes books about self-discovery and finding love. Believing, you can't have a romantic relationship that works until you truly love yourself. She specialises in teen and young adult novels about social issues, layered with romantic suspense. Emily's books can have you laughing-out-loud, reaching for the tissues, cramping with anxiety, and your heart swelling double-size. She spends her days diligently writing, procrastinating on Instagram (@iemilybourne), and distractedly playing with her cat Norman.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We'd like to thank the team over at Xpresso for having us be a part of this book blitz! If IN A MIRROR sounds like the type of book you'd be interested in, don't forget to add it to your TBR! 



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2021 Debut Author Interview: Sarena & Sasha Nanua!

In 2019, we made it our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and to spread the word about their debut novels. It was such a success last year that we decided to continue the fun for years to come! Follow us this year as we pick the minds of the 2021 debuts and chat with them about their writing process and what it's like to be a new author. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats, and more!

At the end of 2020, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. Our longtime blogger friends Sarena & Sasha Nanua's debut novel SISTERS OF THE SNAKE comes out this year, and we are so excited to have Sarena & Sasha on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 



Sarena Nanua and Sasha Nanua are twin sisters living in Ontario, Canada. Born on Diwali ten minutes apart from each other, they grew up loving stories about twins and magic, and began writing books together when they were nine years old. They are graduates of the English and Professional Writing programs at the University of Toronto and are also the authors of The Pendant Trilogy. 

Keep up with Sarena & Sasha: Website / Twitter / Instagram 


The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?

Sarena & Sasha: It feels absolutely amazing! This has been many years in the making, so it feels quite surreal that it’s really happening, even if we are in the middle of a pandemic! Haha.

The Book Bratz: In your opinion, what's the best part of the writing process? What's the hardest?

Sarena & Sasha: I think the best part of the writing process for this book was actually the very beginning. When the seeds of the idea grew into an actual first draft – it was such an incredible feeling. The hardest part was probably all of the edits we had to do afterward . . . though we got a MUCH stronger book out of it in the end!

The Book Bratz: Where did you get the idea for SISTERS OF THE SNAKE?

Sarena & Sasha: Funnily enough, the idea sprouted from a question we’d been asked by an author: what if we wrote a book from our experience as twins? The author who asked us that question was none other than Sabaa Tahir, at a dinner we attended with her and other authors after winning an Indigo Teen giveaway. In other words, take the advice of authors you look up to!

The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the most difficult?

Sarena & Sasha: In the beginning, Rani’s voice came to us naturally. Then during edits, writing her perspective felt like pulling teeth. It took a very long time for us to come up with what would happen in her sections, whereas Ria’s palace chapters always felt fun to come back to.

The Book Bratz: You were YA book bloggers/influencers before becoming published authors. Do you think that affected your experience/process in any way?

Sarena & Sasha: It definitely gave us a lot of time and perspective. We were in university when we started blogging, and we were also querying a different book at the same time. In essence, we’ve always been balancing writing with blogging and school. We still love to post about and shout about our favourite books, so it doesn’t feel like a ton has changed, except that we’ve finally got our foot in the door in the trad-pub realm!

The Book Bratz: What do you hope that readers will take away from SISTERS OF THE SNAKE? 

Sarena & Sasha: We hope readers find a wholly immersive story that they can plunge into headfirst. We want this book to be a fun experience for readers, and hopefully for our South Asian readers, they can feel seen, too!

The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of SISTERS OF THE SNAKE in the future, or do you have any other projects in mind? Can you tell us anything about them?

Sarena & Sasha: We definitely *do* have an idea related to Sisters of the Snake, but we’ll have to keep our lips sealed for now!


Title: Sisters of the Snake
Author: Sarena & Sasha Nanua
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021

Summary: A lost princess. A dark puppet master. And a race against time—before all is lost. Princess Rani longs for a chance to escape her gilded cage and prove herself. Ria is a street urchin, stealing just to keep herself alive. When these two lives collide, everything turns on its head: because Ria and Rani, orphan and royal, are unmistakably identical. A deal is struck to switch places—but danger lurks in both worlds, and to save their home, thief and princess must work together. Or watch it all fall into ruin. Deadly magic, hidden temples, and dark prophecies: Sisters of the Snake is an action-packed, immersive fantasy that will thrill fans of The Crown’s Game and The Tiger at Midnight.


Thank you so much to Sarena & Sasha for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about SISTERS OF THE SNAKE and can't wait for it to be out in the world on June 15th


Celebrate So Excited GIF by Hey Violet


Top Ten Tuesday: Book Quotes that Fit the Romance Theme

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between! 


This Week's Theme: Book Quotes that Fit the Romance Theme!

For this week's post, we got to choose a theme that we wanted book quotes to relate to. Obviously, I chose romance, since that's my absolute favorite to read and write! So without further ado, here are ten book quotes (in no particular order!) that fit the romance theme:

1. “You think Warner is sexy?" ... "I do like his face.” ― Tahereh Mafi, Ignite Me

2. “Ignite, my love. Ignite.” ― Tahereh Mafi, Ignite Me

3. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

4. “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

5. “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” ― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

6. “I'm in love with you," he said quietly. "Augustus," I said. "I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you." ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

7. “You are, and always have been, my dream.” ― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

8. “Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.” ― Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

9. “No relationship is perfect, ever. There are always some ways you have to bend, to compromise, to give something up in order to gain something greater...The love we have for each other is bigger than these small differences. And that's the key. It's like a big pie chart, and the love in a relationship has to be the biggest piece. Love can make up for a lot.” ― Sarah Dessen, This Lullaby

10. “For the two of us, home isn't a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” ― Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss

So those are ten book quotes that fit the romance theme! Do you have some others that you think I should consider? Did you do this week's Top Ten Tuesday and choose a different theme? Comment down below and let me know!



2021 Debut Author Interview: Isaac Fitzsimons!

In 2019, we made it our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and to spread the word about their debut novels. It was such a success last year that we decided to continue the fun for years to come! Follow us this year as we pick the minds of the 2021 debuts and chat with them about their writing process and what it's like to be a new author. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats, and more!

At the end of 2020, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. We ended up finding Isaac Fitzsimons and his novel THE PASSING PLAYBOOK, and we have been interested in it ever since! We are so excited to have Isaac on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 




Isaac Fitzsimons grew up in the DC suburbs but spent his summers in England and France. When not writing young adult fiction, he enjoys trying out new recipes, supporting his soccer team, Manchester City, and butchering songs on the banjo, piano, and ukulele.

Keep up with Isaac: Website / Twitter / Goodreads


The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?

Isaac: Thank you! Honestly, I fluctuate between excitement about my book being in the hands of readers and anxiety that people are actually going to be reading it. It’s been over two years since it was sold so it feels great to finally be able to say that it’s coming out this year.

The Book Bratz: In your opinion, what's the best part of the writing process? What's the hardest?

Isaac: I live for the magical moments during revision when I solve a plotting issue, especially when the solution already exists in the manuscript and it’s like past me has subconsciously left a trail of breadcrumbs for present me to find. The hardest part is being several revisions in and having to incorporate newly written scenes into a polished chapter. I’ve learned to draft the new scenes in a separate document and then devote a whole stage of revisions to integrating the new scenes into the old manuscript. I call it knitting the sections together.


The Book Bratz: Where did you get the idea for THE PASSING PLAYBOOK?

Isaac: I was listening to a program on the BBC World Service where people shared how the song “Plaisir D’Amour” impacted their lives. There was one story in particular about a boy at a military school teaching another boy how to play Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (which shares a similar tune) on guitar that really stuck with me. I couldn’t get that image out of my head and knew I had to write about it. Instead of a military school setting, I chose a soccer team because I love soccer, and then the characters came from there. While the story has changed significantly, that scene has always remained in the book.

The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the most difficult?

Isaac: My favorite character to write was probably Spencer’s little brother, Theo. He tells it like it is and has the funniest one-liners in the book, in my opinion. The most difficult was Justice, who is the love interest. It was tough keeping track of how he felt about Spencer, my main character, so in one scene he’d be angry at him and the next he’d be blushing at something he said, which my editor correctly described as whiplash. To solve this I made a timeline for him so I knew exactly where he was, what he was doing, and how he was feeling at any point in the book.


The Book Bratz: Are there any other books or authors who give you inspiration for your own writing?

Isaac: So many! First comes to mind is Becky Albertalli. I love how you just know you’re in a Becky Albertalli book because of her voice. Angie Thomas, again, her voice is incredible because it’s so real. Outside of YA, I love Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley for their tightly plotted mysteries. And Yaa Gyasi who explores complicated families so beautifully. Any time I read a book I keep track of what works and what doesn’t and try to apply those lessons to what I’m writing.


The Book Bratz: What do you hope that readers will take away from THE PASSING PLAYBOOK? 

Isaac: The story is really about finding the courage to perform acts of kindness, even when doing so is risky. I want readers to feel empowered to choose kindness in their own lives. One person can make a huge difference, but many people doing the work lightens the load for everybody.


The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of THE PASSING PLAYBOOK in the future, or do you have any other projects in mind? Can you tell us anything about them?

Isaac: Oh, I don’t know! I think it would be fun to check back in with Spencer at some point. With the deluge of anti-trans laws targeting kids across the country right now it feels like Spencer's story is just beginning. I can’t say much about my next project right now but I refer to those characters as my yee-haw gays, so there’s that.


Title: The Passing Playbook
Author: Isaac Fitzsimons
Publisher: Dial
Publication Date: June 1st, 2021

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother and a Messi-in-training. He's also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio. At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boy's soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans - he's passing. So when a discriminatory law forces Spencer's coach to bench him after he discovers the 'F' on Spencer's birth certificate, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even if it means coming out to everyone - including the guy he's falling for.


Thank you so much to Isaac for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about THE PASSING PLAYBOOK and can't wait for it to be out in the world on June 1st


Celebrate So Excited GIF by Hey Violet



2021 Debut Author Interview: Jonny Garza Villa!

In 2019, we made it our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and to spread the word about their debut novels. It was such a success last year that we decided to continue the fun for years to come! Follow us this year as we pick the minds of the 2021 debuts and chat with them about their writing process and what it's like to be a new author. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats, and more!

At the end of 2020, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. We ended up finding Jonny Garza Villa and their novel FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES FROM THE SUN, and we have been interested in it ever since! We are so excited to have Jonny on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 



Jonny is a product of the Great State of Texas, born and raised near and along the Gulf Coast and currently living on unceded Jumanos and Tonkawa land. They are a Sagittarius sun, Capricorn moon, and Aquarius rising; an Earth Bender (but will also accept Fire Bender only if they can be a Sun Warrior); and a proud chaotic neutral. They are an author of young adult literature, mostly within the contemporary genre and usually #OwnVoices, inspired by their own Tejanx & Chicanx and queer identities. Whether they're writing about coming out in a Mexican American household, immigration, mariachi, or being in a brand new place for the first time, Jonny ultimately hopes Latinx young people feel seen in their writing. When not writing, Jonny enjoys reading, playing Dungeons and Dragons, bar hopping, listening to Selena, caring for their many cacti children, and spending hours on airline websites, considering all the places they might disappear to for a month if they weren't so poor.

Keep up with Jonny: Website / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads


The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?

Jonny: Thank y’all so much! This entire experience is both so much fun and completely surreal. Like, this is my life? Where people are excited about words I wrote? About this Mexican American gay kid who used to only exist in my own mind? It’s wild, and I’m so incredibly honored to be able to say this is my life.

The Book Bratz: In your opinion, what's the best part of the writing process? What's the hardest?

Jonny: The best part of the writing process is being able to tell stories about the people and places and cultures I love. About places like Corpus Christi, Texas and Mexican and Tex-Mex food and Selena and queer kids and their friends getting into all sorts of pendejismo. When I get to write something that I’m not just passionate about but also really love, it’s just such a special experience. The hardest, specifically in writing Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun was getting over imposter syndrome. The thoughts that happened knowing I was writing a coming out story and all the voices saying that no one wants to read those anymore; that we’ve had Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and that book’s taken the one and only seat at the table for this specific story. The thoughts that on one side said we already have Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and that book’s taken the one seat publishing has for a story centering a gay Chicano, and on the other saying I wasn’t Chicano enough to write this story; that I was going to get clocked as this fake Mexican American. And that I couldn’t make this book too queer. That I, as a gay, non-binary, aro-spec person can include one of those identities, but no more because that would be too far. Allowing myself to write the story I wanted was a tough journey.


The Book Bratz: Where did you get the idea for FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES FROM THE SUN?

Jonny: It was largely influenced by Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and mixed with my own traumas as a teenager. Sparked by the question of how Simon Spier’s journey might have been different if he was a gay Chicano living in South Texas, in a Catholic, conservative, machismo household. And a few scenes that would constantly play out in my head, begging to be paid attention to: of a huge party and of two boys on a beach and of a sun and a moon.

The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the most difficult?

Jonny: My favorite character to write was Lou. She’s one of Jules’ friends who’s so much. If you’re familiar with On My Block on Netflix, she’s very much influenced by Jasmine. She’s confident and assertive and supportive and bold and large and in charge and a Sagittarius queen. The most difficult character to write was probably Mat, Jules’ love interest. Because they’re relationship is long distance, I had to keep reminding myself of the things Mat wouldn’t know. That that separation would mean there’s a clear limitation on the knowledge of Jules’ life Mat would be unaware of simply because he’s states away, unless Jules specifically told him. So making sure that I didn’t write a scene where Mat suddenly knew something he shouldn’t was constantly on the mind.


The Book Bratz: What surprised you the most about the publishing process?

Jonny: That it can feel like it’s going negative twelve miles an hour until suddenly and without warning you’re now going a thousand miles an hour and the brake’s broken.


The Book Bratz: What do you hope that readers will take away from FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES FROM THE SUN? 

Jonny: I hope that readers who might know what it is to be in Jules’ shoes, whose life experiences are in any way similar to his, will feel not so alone. I often talk about how I wrote this book because I thought that the kind of story that was lacking was one where we don’t get Jennifer Garner telling Simon he gets to breathe now. That this universal portrayal of coming out was looking so positive and, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. But I hope that those readers might be able to breathe, even if it’s in the privacy of their bedroom and just between Jules and Mat and all his friends and those who love him, and that they feel that love too. That they realize they are enough. And for those who don’t know that experience, I hope that maybe they come away with some empathy for the Jules Lunas in their lives. That maybe they see themselves in one of his friends and can see just how much having that supportive circle can be on a person’s life.


The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES FROM THE SUN in the future, or do you have any other projects in mind? Can you tell us anything about them?

Jonny: Referring to the part of the question addressing returning to the world of Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun and telling more of Jules and Mat’s story, I would say . . . stay tuned. And I do have a couple finished manuscripts (the word finished being used very broadly here to mean that at least a full first draft has been written) that I’m really excited about and are just so queer and so Mexican, and hopefully I’ll get to share more about at least one of those in the very near future, or maybe by the time this interview comes out I’ll have shared already. What I can tell you right now is that the first one is very much Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet meets Picture Us In the Light and the second one is my very first attempt at a rivals-to-lovers story that centers competitive high school mariachi.


Title: Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun
Author: Jonny Garza Villa
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: June 8th, 2021

Summary: Juli├ín Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life. Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown—literally—out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self. Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone. Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him.


Thank you so much to Jonny for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES FROM THE SUN and can't wait for it to be out in the world on June 8th


Celebrate So Excited GIF by Hey Violet



Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Spring Renews by Marie McGrath

The Spring Renews
Marie McGrath
(Honey Cove, #3)
Publication date: May 18th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Never fall in love. It only breaks your heart.

Sophie Graham didn’t believe in love … not anymore. Ever since her father died, Sophie watched the pain her mother went through. Love was messy and not worth taking the risk.

When her mother starts dating again and things get serious, Sophie’s beliefs get called into question. Not to mention, she has to work at the movie theater with a boy she had almost kissed from a stupid dare. Pushed together by the manager, she has to spend more time with Drew than she had wanted to ever again.

Will she open her heart to love and the possibilities? Or will she bar her heart from everyone?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I groaned. I didn’t want to get stuck with this man at the festival. I already had plans to go with Riley, Randy, and Shelby. I didn’t want a parental escort.

“Sounds great.” Rowan eyed me, keeping his posture open and his eyes as if they were smiling.

Our guidance counselor had given us a lesson about body language for our school interviews next year, and, if I remembered correctly, open posture was supposed to be welcoming. Well, his welcoming stance could shove it. I didn’t want him to welcome me into whatever this was.

“How long have you two been dating?” I asked.

Mama’s jaw slackened. “Sophie!”

Rowan waved her off. “It’s okay, Faye. I don’t mind.” He faced me. “Today is six months.”

Six months? Six months!”

“Sophie, calm down.”

My chair wobbled with the force from my body as I scooted backward. “You’ve been dating for half a year, and you just now say something. This is ridiculous.” I threw my napkin on the table and ran to my room. I grabbed my house key and phone and bolted out the front door.

I faintly heard my name, but I refused to turn around and look. The sky was blue, with large puffy clouds—the complete opposite ambience to my mood. I wanted thunderheads and lightning streaking the sky. I wanted earthquakes and tornadoes ripping apart homes. Because then, just maybe, the rage that boiled beneath my skin wouldn’t surface.

At the end of the neighborhood was a medium-sized playground. I strolled to the swings and plopped onto the middle one. I pushed hard off the ground and tucked my legs underneath. I closed my eyes and let the breeze collide with my face with each swing. The coolness and the movement lessened my rage—but only slightly.

I pulled up my messages and clicked on Riley’s name. My mama is DATING someone. In fact, has been for six months!

The swing slowed. I tapped my feet on the tire chips as I waited for a response. Come on, Riley. Answer me!

The chirp startled me before I swiped to unlock my phone.

What? Are you serious?

YES! She told me this morning. Oh, and the best part is Caleb already knew. No idea for how long, but he knew. What was she thinking, Riley? I’ve never been so angry in my whole life.

I’m sorry. How did you find out?

The guy sat at our kitchen table this morning. He was already there when I walked around the corner. Can you believe that?

Wow. Not the best introduction.

He might be a nice guy, but we don’t need anyone else in our family. We’re doing just fine.

What are you going to do?

I don’t know.

I started swinging again—back and forth, back and forth. I tried to release my anger. I tried to release it all, but my arms and legs tingled with the intensity of my clenching.

I have an idea, but I’ll need your help to make it work.

Whatever you need. I’m always here.

Can you come by?

Sure. Be there in thirty.

You’re the best!

I shoved my phone in my back pocket and strolled to the house. I would have just enough time to get changed, hopefully avoid Mama, and bolt from the house.

Author Bio:

Marie McGrath lives in a small rural town in Maryland. She hopes to inspire others with her stories. Her favorite genres to read are YA Romance and Contemporary Fiction. She loves the color turquoise, tigers, and listening to music.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We'd like to thank the awesome team over at Xpresso for allowing us to be a part of this book blitz! If THE SPRING RENEWS sounds like something you'd be interested in, don't forget to add it to your TBR!



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Waiting on Wednesday: While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory

"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: While We Were Dating (The Wedding Date, #6)
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Publisher: Berkley Books
Hardcover, 336 Pages
Publication Date: July 13th, 2021
Summary: Ben Stephens has never bothered with serious relationships. He has plenty of casual dates to keep him busy, family drama he's trying to ignore and his advertising job to focus on. When Ben lands a huge ad campaign featuring movie star Anna Gardiner, however, it's hard to keep it purely professional. Anna is not just gorgeous and sexy, she's also down to earth and considerate, and he can't help flirting a little...Anna Gardiner is on a mission: to make herself a household name, and this ad campaign will be a great distraction while she waits to hear if she's booked her next movie. However, she didn't expect Ben Stephens to be her biggest distraction. She knows mixing business with pleasure never works out, but why not indulge in a harmless flirtation? But their lighthearted banter takes a turn for the serious when Ben helps Anna in a family emergency, and they reveal truths about themselves to each other, truths they've barely shared with those closest to them. When the opportunity comes to turn their real-life fling into something more for the Hollywood spotlight, will Ben be content to play the background role in Anna's life and leave when the cameras stop rolling? Or could he be the leading man she needs to craft their own Hollywood ending?


Anyone that knows me knows I'm a huge Jasmine Guillory fan, so when I found out that she had a new book out in The Wedding Date's universe, which is one of my all-time favorite books, I immediately added it to my TBR. The premise of this book seems so swoon-worthy and cute, and July can't get here soon enough, because I really want to read it! 

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

A Conversation with Emiko Jean, Author of Tokyo Ever After


Today on the blog, we have an exciting interview with Emiko Jean, author of TOKYO EVER AFTER -- which releases today! We already preordered copies ages ago because it was pitched for fans of Crazy Rich Asians *and* was also blurbed by Katharine McGee...if anyone knows anything about us, it's that Jessica is a sucker for high society and royalty stories! Flatiron Books was kind enough to invite us on the tour today to share an interview with Emiko, so without further ado, let's get into it! 





Emiko Jean is the author of Tokyo Ever After, Empress of all Seasons, and We'll Never be Apart. When Emiko is not writing, she is reading. Most of her friends are imaginary. Before she became a writer she was an entomologist (fancy name for bug catcher), a candle maker, a florist, and most recently a teacher. She lives in Washington with her husband and children (unruly twins). She loves the rain.
Keep up with Emiko: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Goodreads


Question: Our heroine, Izumi, is such a compelling character, and her narrative voice, in particular, is hilarious and unforgettable. Can you tell readers a little more about where the inspiration for Izzy’s character came from and how you went about capturing her voice and sense of humor?

Emiko: My family has remarked on how much of me they hear in Izumi’s voice. Much of her voice, anecdotes, and sense of humor are derived from my own experiences and personality. Izumi is very much like teen Emiko. 

Question: Without giving away any spoilers, what was one of your favorite scenes in the book to write?

Emiko: I loved drafting the second half of the book where Izumi travels through Japan. There is a scene where she visits a bamboo grove and has a meaningful albeit short conversation with the farmer. I loved how the scene unfolded, and I couldn’t help feeling fully transported while writing it.  

Question: We love The Tokyo Tattler articles that are sprinkled throughout the novel. Why did you want to include this nod to celebrity tabloid gossip in the book, and how much fun did you have writing those dispatches?

Emiko: Tabloid culture is such a big part of real royal life—how could I have not included a gossip column piece? They also shine a light on cultural elements and help showcase the lives of the imperial family—things that Izumi might not be able to first-person narrate.   

Question: Can you tell us a little about your writing routine? Where and when do you most like to write? 

Emiko: I write five days a week in my home office. When I am drafting, I keep a daily word count goal. Once I hit it, morning or evening, I am done for the day! It’s difficult for me to start and stop writing, so I find I need to have the whole day dedicated to drafting.  

Question: Lastly, we have to ask – what are you working on next? (We heard that a sequel to Tokyo Ever After might already be in the works!) Without giving too much away, can you give readers any hints as to what they can expect from your next book?

Emiko: I don’t think I can say too much other than there will be a second Tokyo Ever After book. I promise more romance, more kissing, and more royal romps!



Title: Tokyo Ever After
Author: Emiko Jean
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: May 18th, 2021

Summary: Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izzy discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity…and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess. In a whirlwind, Izzy travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight. Izzy soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairytale, happily ever after?


Thank you so much to Flatiron Books for allowing us to share this interview! We are super excited about TOKYO EVER AFTER, and it's out in the world *TODAY* for you to enjoy!