3 Apr 2019

#Discussion: 15 Debuts Releasing in 2019 I Can't Wait For + #Interview with Isabel Sterling!

15 Debuts Releasing in 2019 I Can't Wait For

Today I'm sharing some 2019 debuts with you! I have 15 lined up to discuss but there are so many coming out that I couldn't even begin to list them all for you. The ones below are some that I am extremely excited for (or have preordered or have ARCs of because I couldn't help but request them!). Plus, I have a fun interview with Isabel Sterling, author of THESE WITCHES DON'T BURN! So let's jump right in...


I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST

Author: Mason Deaver
Series: N/A
Publisher: Push
Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Summary:

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.


But Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.
Purchase:

COLOR ME IN

Author: Natasha Diaz
Series: N/A
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: August 20, 2019

Summary:

Debut YA author Natasha Diaz pulls from her personal experience to inform this powerful coming-of-age novel about the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds.


Who is Nevaeh Levitz?

Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom's family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time.

Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but one of her cousins can't stand that Nevaeh, who inadvertently passes as white, is too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices they face on a daily basis as African Americans. In the midst of attempting to blend their families, Nevaeh's dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. Even with the push and pull of her two cultures, Nevaeh does what she's always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent.

It's only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom's past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces that she begins to realize she has a voice. And she has choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she find power in herself and decide once and for all who and where she is meant to be?
Purchase:


THESE WITCHES DON'T BURN

Author: Isabel Sterling
Series: These Witches Don't Burn #1
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Summary:

Hannah's a witch, but not the kind you're thinking of. She's the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she's ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans. 


But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah's concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah's sure it's the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she's going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem's witches become deadlier by the day.
Purchase:

Describe THESE WITCHES DON'T BURN in ten words or less.

Isabel Sterling: Queer girls in Salem navigating breakups, dating, and Blood Witches. 


Which character would you most like to be friends with?

Isabel Sterling: It's so hard to choose! I'd love to be friends with Cal, because it's always handy to have a tech savvy friend on your side (I'm very easily frustrated by technology). As a teen, I had a few friends like Gemma, who were always supportive while still calling me on my nonsense (the best!). If Hannah and I had gone to the same high school, I would probably think she was too cool to be friends with me--I was a full-on band geek! 


What are three traits of each of the main characters?

Isabel Sterling:
Hannah (the teen witch): Keeps a sarcastic outer shell to cover up her recent heartbreak. An artist (particularly enjoys charcoal drawings and watercolor painting). Loves baking!  

Gemma (the best friend): Built for dance (and dreams of performing on broadway), crushes on boys like it's her job, suffers no fools--don't even try to keep a secret from her.

Veronica (the hot ex): high school valedictorian, Elemental Witch in Hannah's coven, kind of the worst but also sometimes you still want her to win Hannah back? She's a conundrum.

Morgan (the new crush): Minnesota girl in Salem, MA (pop, anyone?). Nervous about starting a new school for senior year. Recovering from a bad breakup. 


What scene in THESE WITCHES DON'T BURN was your favourite to write?

Isabel Sterling: My favorites are all so spoilery! I can say I really enjoyed writing the confrontation scenes between Hannah and Veronica, and I also loved writing the action scenes with the villain. There's also a bit where Gemma and Hannah have an unexpected . . . swimming excursion that was intense and super fun to write. As much as I love the romantic parts, I find them really challenging to write, so I tend to dread those (even though I like the finished version!). 


Why was it so important to you to include LGBTQ+ themes in your novel?

Isabel SterlingThe reason comes in two parts: before and after.

Before -- when I was drafting THESE WITCHES DON'T BURN, I didn't know I was bisexual. Even so, I was consistently drawn to writing queer characters. Eventually, I wrote my way to my truth and came out in my mid-twenties. 

After -- coming out changed my relationship to Hannah's story. It was suddenly much more personal. In the first few months after I came out, I consumed a lot of queer media and often wished I'd had those types of stories when I was younger. Now, I write to create fun, fantastical stories that center queer girls. Because we deserve to be centered in stories in every genre, including ones with magic and mystery.


Who from the characters would you most like to hang out with for a day, and what would you do?

Isabel Sterling: I'd love to let Hannah bake one of her famous desserts for me. Soft, chewy brownies? Sign me up!


What can we expect from you next?

Isabel SterlingThese Witches Don't Burn is getting a sequel in 2020! We'll get more of Hannah's story, but I can't say much more without spoiling the ending of TWDB. 
Isabel Sterling has been dreaming up new worlds since childhood, but she didn’t commit any of them to paper until graduate school. A Syracuse University alum, Isabel works in off-campus housing, managing a community with nearly 1,000 students. When she’s not on property, Isabel spends her time writing about magic and murder, looking for the smallest hints of the supernatural in this world, too. She lives in Central NY with her wife and their brood of furry children: cats Oliver and December and a mischievous puppy named Lily. These Witches Don’t Burn is her debut novel.

Connect with the Author:

What 2019 debuts are you excited for?

3 comments:

  1. So many amazing books! Hotdog Girl looks super cute and I'm 99% sure I have it on my TBR. I love the cover for The Candle and the Flame. I've seen These Witches Don't Burn around the book community, but reading your interview with the author made me want to read it now!

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  2. ALL OF THESE are on my anticipated list! So many good books this year, I hope I can read them all!

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  3. AH, there are so many there that I didn't even know about!! Thanks for sharing!

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