Saturday Night Author Fever #13 with Ines Bautista-Yao

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Ines Bautista. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Ines, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

First of all, I love 70s music. When we were teenagers, my friends and I used to follow this 70s band called The Groove. We would attend their gigs and dance the night away. The drummer even had an afro. My favorite song was “Dancing Queen” by Abba. I was around 17 when this happened, I felt like the song was written for me. Ha ha!

But today, I am no longer 17 and I don’t have time to go dancing anymore. The only dancing I do is to Hi-5 whenever my daughters want to watch and dance together. I’m a mom to two little girls, one is 9 and the other is 3. They are my life and I have devoted my days to raising them. I write on the side, whenever I find the time.

I used to teach high school and freshman college English and literature and I used to be the editor in chief of a children’s magazine, then later, a teen magazine. I was also the editor of the chick lit books published by the same magazine company. I also used to and still write lots of feature articles. Today, I do all my writing and editing from home, in school, in Starbucks waiting for my kids while they’re in school, or on my bedroom floor while the kids are asleep.

I wrote my first book, One Crazy Summer, when my eldest daughter was three years old and took three-hour naps. I had actually started it when I was pregnant but shelved it because I thought it sucked (after thinking it was awesome haha). Then three years later, I stumbled across it again and wanted to know what was going to happen next. So I tried typing a few words and didn’t stop till I had a novella that I pitched to my publisher. They accepted it and published it and I came out with my second book, What’s in your Heart, two years later. I now also indie publish. It’s the best way to come out with books quickly. It takes a while for publishers to come out with books, and when you do it yourself, you’re in control.

The books I write are mostly sweet young or new adult romances. I love that age because everything is fresh and new but covered in so much angst and pain and confusion. I love having my main character figure her life out and grow up alongside an adorable boy who is usually hopelessly in love with her.

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Review of Gravity by Juliann Rich

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gravity1.jpgGravity by Juliann Rich

Publication Date: November 15, 2016.

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books.

Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, and Sports.

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Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: A shot at Olympic gold in ski jumping. It’s a dream that has been the exclusive property of male athletes. Until now.

For seventeen-year-old Ellie Engebretsen, the 2011 decision to include women’s ski jumping in the Olympics is a game changer. She’d love to bring home the gold for her father, a former Olympic competitor whose dreams were blown along with his knees on an ill-timed landing. But can she defy the pull of gravity that draws her to Kate Moreau, her biggest competition and the girl of her dreams?

How can Ellie soar through the air when all she feels like doing is falling hard?

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Thank you, Bold Strokes Books, for my review copy of Gravity. I received this review copy in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the review copy and are subject to change upon publication.

I have very conflicted feelings about Gravity. My expectations were mixed, some of my friends loved this book and others did not. However, in the end, I feel like this book was a bit subpar. It was nothing special except for the fact that it’s about sports, in particular, ski jumping, which was the best part of this book. I’ll talk more about that after I’ll deal with my biggest issue of the book. To understand my issues with the book I’ll have to divulge on events that transpired in first third (or so) of the book. This book is about Ellie, whose father is a former ski jumper and who now trains Ellie to get ready for the Olympics. Ellie is gay and likes girls and up until the beginning of the book, Ellie was together with and in love with a girl named Blair. However, a couple of days before the book starts Ellie gets the following text, a text Blair was meant to send to Geoffrey (a guy also in the ski jumping circle of people).

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Review of Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

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Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

Publication Date: June 10, 2017.

Publisher: Independently published.

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, and Adult.

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Synopsis: Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.

The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.

Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect. What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.

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Disclaimer: I’m not Filipino but I’ve consulted with a friend, who is a Filipino-American book blogger, about the issues I had with this book. 

I really wanted to love Dear Aaron, I really did. The plot and premise of the book check off a lot of boxes for me when it comes to things I want to find in romance novels. Slowburn romance, online friendships, and just general cuteness. The couple did make me mushy and that is why I’m all the more disappointed that Dear Aaron is really disrespectful and problematic. I really won’t recommend this book to anyone based on the comments made in this book, which will be discussed in more detail later.

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Review of The Secrets I Keep by Alex Casso

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The Secrets I Keep by Alex Casso

Publication Date: May 23, 2017.

Publisher: Independently published.

Genres: Poetry and Abuse.

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Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: The Secrets I Keep is a poetry collection about mental illness, as well as child abuse and the lingering effects it has. Through it, Alex Casso bares their soul and proves that, despite everything, they are a force to be reckoned with.

About the author: Alex Casso is a bi aroace-spec and nonbinary SFF author and poet. They spend most of their time playing videogames or listening to podcasts like The Adventure Zone and MBMBaM. They’re also a baby DM for an amazing D&D group and enjoy making their players suffer (in all of the best ways).

You can find them on Twitter and Patreon!

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Thank you, Alex Casso, for my review copy of The Secrets I Keep. I really appreciate you sending it to me!

The Secrets I Keep is a beautiful poetry collection with 24 poems about abuse and mental illness. This collection is a fast read with poems that will really capture your attention. It’s a collection that’s heart touching and empowering. The poetry collection tells a story about surviving abuse and the strength that exists within the survive. The style of the poems in The Secrets I Keep is one I love and my two favorite poems from the collection are the following.

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What To Read Summer of 2017 {Diverse Books Releasing In June, July & August 2017}

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Hey there, bookish people! Can you feel the summer vibes in the air? I certainly can. June is unofficially the beginning of summer here in Sweden and you know what’s just the best part about that? All of the free time, lovely weather and the big stack of amazing books you can *finally* devour. To celebrate all of this I thought I would write a blog post with all of the diverse books releasing this summer, in other words, all of the books releasing in June, July and August. There are so many of them and a lot of them are very anticipated reads for me. Do you have a book you’re dying to read this summer?

I’ve tried putting all of the diverse books I could find in this post, however, if I missed one please let me know so I can add it. The plan is to continuously update this post with any releases I might have missed. This summer is long and filled with so many diverse book releases. I can’t wait to read them all. In this list diverse books includes books with marginalized characters and books by marginalized authors, some who may not have diverse characters in their books.

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ARC Review of I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

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ibelieveinathingcalledlove1I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Publication Date: May 30, 2017.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, and Romance.

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Selling points: Diverse story, adorable characters, and a unique twist to normal high school drama.

Purchase here: Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

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Thank you, Macmillan International, for my ARC of I Believe in a Thing Called Love. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

My actual rating for I Believe in a Thing Called Love is 3.5 planets rounded up to 4 planets. I Believe in a Thing Called Love is an adorable young adult rom-com story about a girl named Desi Lee. Desi is Korean American and excels at school but not so much at romance. After years of flailures (flirting failures) Desi, finally, starts to watch the k dramas her dad loves so much and uncovers the secret to how the couples always get their happy ending. “The K Drama Steps to True Love” is born and Desi is sure that if she follows the steps, her crush Luca will become her boyfriend and they’ll have their happily ever after. Desi and Luca have great chemistry and banter in this book, and you’ll be rooting for them until the very end. The ship is honestly just adorable.

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The Six Most Beautiful Books I Own

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Hey, galaxy travelers! Today I have a bit of a different post for you all. I had an idea a while back that I really wanted to make gifs out of my favorite books and this week I finally did it. The gifs could definitely be better but I still like the way they look (because you know, they could have been worse). I really love the book covers of these six books and their interior looks as well. There is something very amazing about a book that pulls at your heartstrings due to its beauty. A lot of these books I haven’t read but that just means I have so many great reads ahead of me.

1. Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz

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Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz is a book high on my summer to be read list. Not only is this book really beautiful, it comes highly recommended, has a Filipino main character, is #ownvoices and is supposed to have amazing romance.

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