This Tuesday (August 11th at 7pm) we’ll be hosting our next virtual event with young adult contemporary fiction authors Adiba Jaigirdar & Leah Johnson on our YouTube channel! Check out the buttons below to be directed to our YouTube channel and to order your copy of their books! All images link to their respective event pages on our website!
Tuesday, August 11th at 7pm: ADIBA JAIGIRDAR & LEAH JOHNSON
Young Adult contemporary fiction authors, recommended by Marielle
THE HENNA WARS: Nishat doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is, and it only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. In a fight to prove who is the best, their lives become more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush, especially since Flávia seems to like her back.
As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.
About Adiba: Adiba Jaigirdar was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and has been living in Dublin, Ireland from the age of ten. She has a BA in English and History, and an MA in Postcolonial Studies. She is a contributor for Bookriot. All of her writing is aided by tea, and a healthy dose of Janelle Monáe and Hayley Kiyoko. When not writing, she can be found ranting about the ills of colonialism, playing video games, and expanding her overflowing lipstick collection. She can be found at adibajaigirdar.com or @adiba_j on Twitter and @dibs_j on Instagram.
I truly enjoy reading this book. The cultural differences as well as the queer romance was wonderfully portrayed, while keeping the romance between Nishat and Flavia like every other relationship in high school. Bringing up certain issues specific to their situation and combining that with just the normal obstacles faced by teenagers in love was wonderful and exactly how it should be.Marielle
YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN: Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.
But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.
The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?
About Leah: Leah Johnson is a writer, editor and eternal Midwesterner, currently moonlighting as a New Yorker. Leah is a 2021 Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow whose work has been published in BuzzFeed, Autostraddle, Catapult, and Electric Literature among others. Her bestselling debut YA novel, You Should See Me in a Crown was named one of Cosmo’s 15 Best Young Adult Books of 2020, and was an Indies Introduce and Junior Library Guild selection. Her sophomore novel, Rise to the Sun is forthcoming from Scholastic in 2021. You can connect with Leah on her website at www.byleahjohnson.com.
Previous Virtual Events
Watch the YouTube videos right in this post and keep scrolling for our upcoming events!
Historical Fiction author of The Jane Austen Society, recommended by Sarah, see her full review HERE.
Order your copy of The Jane Austen Society today and receive a signed bookplate with your purchase!
I absolutely loved The Jane Austen Society. As I read, I felt I was walking around Chawton, immersing myself in the world of her colorful inhabitants, surprised by how they handled certain situations, while simultaneously feeling like they were behaving exactly as they should. The plot is intricate and beautifully woven, written by the hand of the master storyteller, it’s a great book for Austen lovers and historical fiction lovers alike!Sarah
Young Adult Fantasy author of Where Dreams Descend, recommended by Anna, Marielle & Sarah
Pre-order Where Dreams Descend and receive an exclusive art print!
This book is truly magical in all of the senses. It follows a born magician named Kallia as she leaves all that she has known behind to travel to a formerly forbidden (to her) city. She auditions for a magic show as a chance for her to prove her worth. It won’t be easy for many reasons. One being that she is a woman in a male-dominated world, and magicians who are women are not seen as highly as men. Another reason being that she has spent her whole life with Jack, the master of Hellfire House, and another more powerful magician. Jack is hiding many secrets of his own and we learn them when Kallia does, and little by little through his own narrative. This book was gripping from the start, and really pulled me in immediately. The lush descriptions of everything really paints a unique world. Kallia is truly one of the strongest female characters I have ever read about, and I’m thoroughly excited to see where this series will go. It reminds me of all of the parts I liked about The Night Circus, but with a much more fast-paced plot.Anna
Young Adult Fantasy author of Hunted by the Sky, recommended by Marielle
Purchase Hunted by the Sky and receive a signed character postcard and bookmark!
With a strong female protagonist young girls can look up to and beautifully built fantasy world, Hunted by the Sky is a gorgeous book with an enchanting story to tell. Full of magic, kick-ass warrior girls, and growing romance alongside a dark spine tingling adventure? Seriously what more could you ask for?Marielle
Middle Grade author of The Elephant’s Girl, recommended by Marielle
Purchase The Elephant’s Girl and receive a signed bookplate, bookmark, and character sticker!
An enchanting middle grade novel of contemporary fiction with a touch of magical realism combine in this story of a young girl’s telepathic bond with the elephant that saved her life and her search for her lost family. Wonderfully written and full of magic, mystery, and animals, The Elephant’s Girl is a lovely tale of belonging and is perfect for anyone who has always wanted to know what their favorite animal is thinking.Marielle
Upcoming Virtual Events
Thursday, August 20th at 2pm: JONATHAN L. HOWARD
Adult Fantasy author of the Johannes Cabal series, recommended by Drew
JOHANNES CABAL THE NECROMANCER: Johannes Cabal sold his soul years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. Now he wants it back. Amused and slightly bored, Satan proposes a little wager: Johannes has to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever. This time for real. Accepting the bargain, Jonathan is given one calendar year and a traveling carnival to complete his task. With little time to waste, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire to help him run his nefarious road show, resulting in mayhem at every turn.
About the Author: Jonathan L. Howard is a game designer who notably co-scripted the first three Broken Sword adventure games. He is the author of the novel Johannes Cabal the Necromancer. He lives near Bristol, England, with his wife and daughter.
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer is an uproariously funny book about the unquiet undead and the man who makes them go stumble in the night. Johannes is a necromancer of some little infamy and obsessed with one thing, curing death by any means necessary. If you like Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett then you will love this funny novel. Read the first page and a half, I highly recommend it!Drew
Thursday, August 27th at 7pm: T. J. KLUNE
Adult Fantasy & YA Fiction author, recommended by Drew
THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA: Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He’s tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world.
Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting love story, masterfully told, about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.
I absolutely loved this book!!! Oh my goodness there is something so delightful about the main character and his struggle between what is right and what is RIGHT! Also I adore Lucy!Drew
Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right? After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).
About the Author: TJ KLUNE is a USA Today bestselling, Lambda Literary Award-winning author and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. His novels include The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Extraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it’s important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories.
Tuesday, September 22nd at 7pm: SIGNE PIKE
Historical Fiction author of The Lost Queen & The Forgotten Kingdom, recommended by Sarah, see her full review HERE.
THE LOST QUEEN: Intelligent, passionate, rebellious, and brave, Languoreth is the unforgettable heroine of The Lost Queen, a tale of conflicted loves and survival set against the cinematic backdrop of ancient Scotland, a magical land of myths and superstition inspired by the beauty of the natural world. One of the most powerful early medieval queens in British history, Languoreth ruled at a time of enormous disruption and bloodshed, when the burgeoning forces of Christianity threatened to obliterate the ancient pagan beliefs and change her way of life forever.
Together with her twin brother Lailoken, a warrior and druid known to history as Merlin, Languoreth is catapulted into a world of danger and violence. When a war brings the hero Emrys Pendragon, to their door, Languoreth collides with the handsome warrior Maelgwn. Their passionate connection is forged by enchantment, but Languoreth is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of the High King who is sympathetic to the followers of Christianity. As Rhydderch’s wife, Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way, her kingdom, and all she holds dear.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Signe Pike was born in born in Ithaca, NY, and graduated from Cornell University with her Bachelor of Science in Communication.
She worked as an acquisitions editor at Random House and then Penguin, before leaving to write her first book, Faery Tale: One Woman’s Search for Enchantment in a Modern World. Pike has spent the past ten years researching and writing about Celtic history, myth, folklore and tradition. Her love of history, the great outdoors, early medieval and ancient archeology, and her dedication to historical accuracy has made her social media feeds an informative delight to her readers.
Signe teaches seminars and workshops internationally on writing and publishing, as well as on folklore and tradition. Her writing has been published by Salon, Charleston City Paper, Book Riot and NPR.org.
After two years of reading almost exclusively nonfiction, The Lost Queen (and a trip to its magical setting, rural Scotland), broke my fiction dry-spell.Sarah
This book is an absolute knockout of a debut – beautiful language, characters and world. I flew through it and later wished I had slowed down and savored it a bit more. To echo the words of the editor, I envy your first reading of this delightful tome and I happily welcome you to the club of people anxiously awaiting the rest of the trilogy!
Tomorrow we’ll be featuring the recent staff picks of Marielle – stay tuned!