It’s almost Christmas! Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday, you can still receive a gift! Part of the Christmas story involves Magi bringing gifts to the newborn King. (Feel free to hum “We Three Kings” or “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” as you read this.) No one really knows if there were three Magi, also known as wise men, as the songs declare. But I know that right here, right now, there are three wise people—three delightful authors—who are part of the gift-giving process! Say hello to Sarah Aronson, Stephen Bramucci, and Melanie Crowder!
I couldn’t be more excited to have them here! Sarah is represented by Sarah Davies. Stephen is represented by Sara Crowe. And Melanie is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette. They have written several books between them. Some are already out; some are yet to come in 2019. It’s as easy as ABC to give books away when you have authors like this.
Sarah Aronson’s picture book (published by Beach Lane Books) and middle grade fantasy novel (book 4 of a series published by Scholastic)
Click here for a guest post Sarah wrote for this blog, which mentioned two of the books in her Wish List series. These books will debut in 2019. Click here and here to find out more about them.
Stephen Bramucci’s middle grade adventure novel (book 2 of a series published by Bloomsbury)
Click here to find a synopsis of this book. Click here for the interview on this blog with Stephen about book 1.
Melanie Crowder’s middle grade fantasy novel (book 1 of a duology published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Click here to find a synopsis of this book. Click here for another interview with Melanie about one of her books.
Okay, I’ve blabbed enough. Time for a mini-gab with the authors!
El Space: Without giving any spoilers, what would you give your main character as a gift this holiday season if you could? It doesn’t have to be a physical gift. It can be a quality or a value. What was one of the best gifts you received when you were a kid? Why?
Sarah: In the fairy godmother world, just like the regular one, everyone likes presents! And yummy food! In book four [of The Wish List series], Isabelle even gets to try some latkes! When I was a young mom celebrating Chanukkah with two kids, eight nights of presents proved daunting! Also, I was a present procrastinator, especially when Chanukkah fell after Christmas! So I began giving them coupons. I made all kinds, things like One Night Out with Mom! or Get Out of Cleaning or Your Choice for Dinner. Soon it became a family tradition! Since Isabelle is now part of the family, I made her some coupons, too. I knew just what she’d want—since she and I are a lot alike! And although we are both people who like making others HAPPILY EVER AFTER (or HEA), we also like shoes. Especially sneakers. Since now that book four is done, we are also both on the go!
The BEST gift I ever received was a blank book. An invitation to be creative. To find my voice. Thank you, Aunt Ann!
Stephen: If I could give Ronald Zupan anything this year, it would be a gift certificate written by his parents for one adventure taken together. I think what he wants, more than anything, is time with them, so that gift would resonate the most. Of course, that doesn’t take up much room under the tree, so I think maybe a new adventure hat would be in order too. And any master adventurer would be happy with a sharpening stone for his or her cutlass. You know, essential stuff.
The real gift Ronald seeks is a genuine sense of self-confidence derived from within, not from others. But he’s working on that and making solid progress.
My favorite gift I ever received as a kid was a scooter. It was freedom for me—a way to get around and to connect with other kids. When you’re young, mobility is everything. Or it was for me, because my parents didn’t want to shuttle me everywhere and I wanted to be out and about. So all my favorite gifts gave me a sense of freedom—scooter, skateboard, bike, and a dog as an adventure companion.
Melanie: (1) If I could gift Griffin anything for the holidays, I’d give him a photographic memory, which would really come in handy. . . . I can do that, right?
El Space: Yup.
Melanie: That, and maybe some Dramamine for his first trip through the portal. (2) I remember one year in late elementary school (the 80s, folks), I got these gold slouch pleather boots. I was in love! I don’t think I took those things off until they fell apart. But really, the best gift was those years when my parents loaded us all into the car and drove over the pass so we could spend the holidays with our cousins. It was magical. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
Thank you, Sarah, Stephen, and Melanie for being my guests. For those of you reading this post, here’s something else you should know:
Sarah Aronson became a writer the complicated way! After (A) working for an exercise guru, (B) becoming a physical therapist, and (C) having two kids, running a school and selling books, she (D) took a dare and dove headfirst into writing all kinds of books for kids and teens. Just like Rube Goldberg, Sarah believes in the power of play, taking chances, and creativity. This February, read the end of The Wish List series: Survival of the Sparkliest! and in March, her first picture book biography, Just Like Rube Goldberg. Click here to visit her website.
Stephen Bramucci is the author of The Danger Gang series and National Geographic Kids Chapters: Rock Stars! He’s rowed down the Mekong Delta in a traditional x’ampan, ventured deep into the Australia outback with Aboriginal elders, and explored the Amazon Basin in Ecuador. He has a true passion for animals and his first book helped to support Orangutan conservation in Borneo. Click here to visit his website.
Melanie Crowder is the acclaimed author of several books for young readers, including Audacity, Three Pennies, An Uninterrupted View of the Sky, A Nearer Moon and Parched, as well as the new middle grade duology The Lighthouse between the Worlds. The author lives under the big blue Colorado sky with a wife, two kids, and one good dog. Click here to visit her website. (She has won multiple awards, y’all!)
Looking for their books? Click on each title below.
Just Like Rube Goldberg
The Wish List 4: Survival of the Sparkliest!
The Danger Gang and the Isle of Feral Beasts!
The Lighthouse between the Worlds
I’m giving away one copy of each author’s books. There will be three winners. Just to be fair and keep it to one book per author, since Sarah has two on preorder, you get to decide which one of Sarah’s books you’d like preordered if you’re chosen. Comment below to be entered in the drawing. Winners to be announced on Christmas Eve—December 24. (If you are out of town and your name is chosen, don’t worry. You have until December 31 to acknowledge by posting a comment.)
Henry thinks some of these authors should write a book about him. He’s ready for his fifteen minutes of fame.
Author photos courtesy of the authors. Book covers from Goodreads and Simon & Schuster. Coupons by Sarah Aronson. Other photos by L. Marie.
Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere.
Thanks for the reblog, Charles!
Thanks for introducing us to these talented authors, L. Marie. I agree, Henry needs his own story!
Glad to do so, Jill. And yes, Henry needs a story. Perhaps he’ll get one in the future. 😀
Yay a book giveaway!
I love having those, Dorothy!
Thank you for posting this array of books and authors. I always enjoy reading about the circuitous ways authors arrive at a writing career. And I know a middle grader would like an adventure/fantasy book. It goes to him if I win.
Enjoy the holiday, Marie!
Hi, Marian! I also am fascinated by how people come to write what they write!
Have a great Christmas! Happy New Year too!
How soon the season comes around again-and you are our own Santa!
Yep! It is a role I relish, Andy! I love giving away books! 😁
Not entering as usual though appreciative of the giveaway as always! 😀 I enjoyed the answers and think giving vouchers is a great gift idea, though I wouldn’t mind at all finding a new adventure hat under my tree too! My bike was one of my favourite Christmas gifts. Times were tough back then, so Dad got me an old banged-up second-hand bike and we worked on it together removing rust and painting and polishing it up to make it perfect. I loved all the adventures I had on it, but it was the working together that made it the best gift… 😀
How lovely, FF! A bike was one of my best gifts too. I went on many a bike hike as we called them. Unfortunately, a neighbor wound up stealing the bike. But my dad found out who it was and took action!
Thank you for the interviews and the giveaways. I’m entering on behalf of my daughter, who’s teaching fifth grade this year but will be putting in for a younger grade next year because her literary hero is Miss Honey in Roald Dahl’s Matilda. And this got me thinking of what gift I’d give my WIP protagonists, but I have so many kicking around that I’d go broke.
Miss Honey is a great character! And I love Matilda! What grade does she want to teach next year?
Thanks, LM! You are the best Santa’s Elf . . . for writers and readers! And for the record, Henry’s scarf is snazzy!
I’m happy to be an elf, Nancy!
Henry does look spiffy. I wish I could take credit for that scarf. Another elf made it! 😁
They are three talented authors, Linda, with a lot of imagination and creativity to celebrate Christmas .
Merci, Michel! Joyeux Noël! Love to you and Janine!