The Debut Dish: Rhiannon Thomas (+ giveaway), Alison DeCamp (+ giveaway), Karen Bao, & Caitlin Sinead

Posted February 15, 2015 by Jana in Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway / 25 Comments

The Debut Dish, a Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?


A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
February 24, 2015 from HarperTEEN
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Rhiannon Thomas’s dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her “true love” is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Sleeping Beauty wakes up.

Why should readers pick up your book?
I lovelovelove fairy tales, but I get reaaally tired of a lot of fairy tale tropes, so A Wicked Thing is basically a traditional fairy tale world where I try to explore what would actually happen if you woke up after a hundred years to the kiss of a total stranger. It has magic and rebels and balls and the occasional dragon, with a heroine who doesn’t know how to wield a sword, but finds strength in her own way.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
Soon after I sold A Wicked Thing to HarperTeen, I went to the YA section in Barnes and Noble and nearly started crying because I was so happy that I was going to have a book on the shelf there too. I’m sure anyone who saw me was very confused. So beyond any of the other fantastic things, it’s that gradual dawning realization that I’m achieving a dream, and that my book WILL be all pretty and book-like and sitting on bookstore shelves all around the country.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
A big bag of Maltesers. They’re kind of like England’s answer to whoppers, but lighter and more chocolate-y.

My favorite American movie theater candy are Dippin Dots, since I first had them when I moved to the US when I was 18 and I decided they were pretty much made of magic. Candy and ice cream??? Definite sorcery.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A mini Disney Princess tea set, with a china teapot and little teacups and saucers. My college roommate gave me it for my birthday, and it makes me think of her. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!) by Alison DeCamp
February 24, 2015 from Crown Books for Young Readers
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

It is 1895. Stan is on a mission to find his long-lost father in the logging camps of Michigan. And he’s embellishing all of it in his stupendous scrapbook.

There are many things that 11-year-old Stanley Slater would like to have in life, most of all, a father. But what if Stan’s missing dad isn’t “dearly departed” after all? Who better to find this absent hero/cowboy/outlaw than manly Stan himself? Unfortunately, Stan’s fending off his impossible cousin Geri, evil Granny, and Mama’s suitors like Cold-Blooded Killer Stinky Pete. If only he could join the River Drive, the most perilous adventure of all, where even a fellow’s peavey is at risk.

It’s a wild ride for Stan as he finds out about true manliness. But at least Stan has his scrapbook, full of 200 black-and-white 19th-century advertisements and photos, “augmented” with his commentary and doodles.

Stan’s tale will leave readers in stitches, but not the kind that require medical attention.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Diary of Wimpy Kid 1895.

Why should readers pick up your book?
It’s the type of historical fiction where readers learn things without knowing they’re learning things (for example, about lumber camps in 1895–and who doesn’t want to learn more about that? :) The main character is an 11 y.o. boy who has just learned his “dearly departed” father is actually just “long lost,” and he is determined to find him in the lumber camp. All while his evil granny and devious older cousin constantly try to thwart him.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
The best thing about being a debut author is meeting other debut authors and all the people who promote children’s books.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
It is imperative to buy Jujyfruits. And it is never necessary to share them.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A guidebook on Munich and the Bavarian Alps.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Dove Arising by Karen Bao
February 24, 2015 from Viking (Penguin Young Readers Group)
Add to Goodreads | Author Website | Author Facebook

Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.

Then her mother is arrested.

The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth-dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.

Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom: that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble…

Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Nerdy introvert joins Lunar militia.

Why should readers pick up your book?
Everything from breathing to handshakes is different on the Moon. There’s spaceship racing, political intrigue, and some cute love between nerds. Phaet’s also kind of interesting – her head is full of minute observations and calculations, but she doesn’t actually speak out loud until Chapter 3.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
Friends. I’ve met so many cool authors and readers at conventions and over the Internet. Also, people I haven’t talked to for years are suddenly contacting me again, and it’s great to catch up with them.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Swedish Fish. I bite the tail off first.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A coffee cup full of Nutella.


Heartsick by Caitlin Sinead
February 16, 2015 from Carina Press
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Quinn is looking forward to her senior year at Poe University. She has big plans to hang out with her best friend, flirt with a certain boy genius, party at her favorite dive bar and figure out what she’s going to do after graduation with her not-so-useful art major. But that’s before she meets Luke, a hot townie who’s moved back home to help take care of his dying sister. And it’s before a weird epidemic sweeps across campus, mysteriously turning people’s eyes purple.

Is it an odd side effect from a new party drug?

Is it a rogue virus developed in a campus lab?

Is it the mark of the devil?

Soon the town starts blaming the university and the student religious group becomes frighteningly aggressive in their on-campus accusations. Quinn and Luke are caught in the middle—until a tragic accident forces Luke to reveal the one part of himself he’s kept carefully hidden. That he’s so much more than the happy-go-lucky boy next door Quinn had believed him to be isn’t a surprise…but this truth might be too dangerous for her to handle.

Describe your book in five words or less.
New Adult, Mystery, Speculative, Romance.

Why should readers pick up your book?
I think I have a fun take on the New Adult genre. It’s a little different, while maintaining a lot of “New Adult” goodies. :)

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
Getting to share my work!

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Butterfingers.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A camel picture holder.

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25 responses to “The Debut Dish: Rhiannon Thomas (+ giveaway), Alison DeCamp (+ giveaway), Karen Bao, & Caitlin Sinead

  1. I haven’t actually read that many fairytale retellings! Ash by Malinda Lo is one of the few ones that I’ve actually read, and I thought that was okay – I like her other books more. I definitely really need to read the Lunar Chronicles, though! I know that’s pretty much everyone’s favourite fairytale retelling. :D
    Cynthia @ Afterwritten recently posted…The Flywheel by Erin Gough

        • Jana

          Yeah, I’ve read a ton of the picture books fairytale retellings (like an Indonesian Cinderella). I can’t think of any other modern-day Beauty and the Beast retellings, but there’s quite a few fantasy and historical ones. I love retellings. :)

            • Jana

              Blah! I had a huge post written out and then my browser logged me out of my site and a lost it! Here we go again:

              Sadly, many of the retellings I’ve read have not been that great. I’m still on a quest for more amazing ones. So I don’t have a lot of really good recommendations.

              I love The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Have you read those? And I love Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Cinderella). I just remembered that I hated the Beastly movie, but really liked the book so I’d recommend that one.

              I’ve heard that Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (Beauty and the Beast), Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Peter Pan), and Splintered A.G. Howard (Alice in Wonderland) are great. Oh, and Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (Robin Hood), too.

              Epic Reads made an awesome list of YA retellings, which you might want to look at:

              http://www.epicreads.com/blog/an-epic-chart-of-162-young-adult-retellings/

  2. Roxana Z.

    Some of my favorite fairytale retellings are: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Cruel Beauty, Splintered. Thank you for the giveaway!

  3. Christina R.

    I’d love to read a Cinderella retelling, but in epic medieval fantasy! LOVE Sleeping Beauty :)

    thank you so very much :)

  4. MichelleRae6

    I love fairytale retelling of the 12 dancing princesses and sleeping beauty. This book sounds like it’s right up my alley :)

  5. I love fairy tale retellings! The Lunar Chronicles is probably my favorite, or at least the first one that comes to mind. I am more inclined towards Beauty and the Beast retellings though, I can almost never resist those.
    Bruna recently posted…Sunday Post #4

  6. Kayla

    I haven’t read very many retellings yet (I know, I need to fix this asap!), so my favorite is actually a tv show – once upon a time.

  7. Carole

    I’ve never been very interested in fairy tale retellings, but I’m currently reading Cinder and I’m hooked! Next on my list there is Tiger Lilly, hope it’s good!

  8. I love Fairytale retellings. My favorites so far are: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Tiger Lily, and Ella Enchanted. I am really looking forward to reading more retellings in the future. I really want to read A Wicked Thing, seems like a book I would really enjoy! I can’t think of any retellings I really want written, but I am really looking forward to reading A Court of Thorns and Roses not only because I already LOVE Sarah J. Maas, but also because it is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. SO EXCITED!!! Thank you for the giveaway! :D
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  9. Emma A

    I would have to say that The Lunar Chronicles are my favorite retellings by far, but I have read quite a few others that are really good as well. Thank you!