The Debut Dish: Krista Van Dolzer (+ giveaway), Taran Matharu (+ giveaway), and Kimberly Karalius

Posted May 10, 2015 by Jana in Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway / 2 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?


The Sound of Life and Everything by Krista Van Dolzer
May 5, 2015 from Putnam Juvenile
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

A fascinating speculative historical fiction debut set in 1950s California—perfect for fans of When You Reach Me

Twelve-year-old Ella Mae Higbee is a sensible girl. She eats her vegetables and wants to be just like Sergeant Friday, her favorite character on Dragnet. So when her auntie Mildred starts spouting nonsense about a scientist who can bring her cousin back to life from blood on his dog tags, Ella Mae is skeptical—until he steps out of a bio-pod right before her eyes.

But the boy is not her cousin—he’s Japanese. And in California in the wake of World War II, the Japanese are still feared and despised. When her aunt refuses to take responsibility, Ella Mae and her Mama take him home instead. Determined to do what’s right by her new friend, Ella Mae teaches Takuma English and defends him from the reverend’s talk of H-E-double-toothpicks. But when his memories start to resurface, Ella Mae learns some shocking truths about her own family and more importantly, what it means to love.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Historical science fiction with spunk.

Why should readers pick up your book?
Come for the genre mash-up, stay for Ella Mae’s sharp wit and emotional journey.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
Fulfilling a lifelong dream.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
If I’m in a fruity mood, Sour Patch Kids. If I’m in a chocolate mood, Whoppers!

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Nothing? (I don’t have a desk.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Novice by Taran Matharu
May 5, 2015 from Feiwel and Friends
Add to Goodreads | Author Twitter

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Potter meets LOTR meets Pokemon.

Why should readers pick up your book?
It’s a story that combines all my favorite fantasy elements into one book!

It has orcs, dwarves, elves, gunpowder muskets, swords, pet demons, magic academies, epic battles, class warfare, racial prejudices and fantastical creatures!

The best way to describe it would be Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings meets Pokemon, with a dash of Eragon and His Dark Materials for seasoning.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
I think it’s when you meet a fan who read your book and loved it! It’s the most surreal feeling in the world.

I remember when I started writing, it was such a solitary and personal thing. Nobody knew my story or characters but me. The fact that so many people are suddenly enjoying my work and loving my world and its characters as much as I do is a wonderful feeling.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Gosh, that’s a tough one! I’m usually chowing down on a mix of salty and sweet popcorn, but I also love a bag of Haribo!

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Probably a 3D printed model of one of the demons in my book, Ignatius. He acts as a paperweight, keeping my early drafts safe from prying eyes :P.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius
May 12, 2015 from Swoon Reads
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

In the tradition of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, one girl chooses to change her fortune and her fate by falling in love.

Love is real in the town of Grimbaud, and Fallon Dupree has dreamed of attending high school there for years. After all, generations of Duprees have successfully followed the (100% accurate!) love fortunes from Zita’s famous Love Charms Shop to happily marry their high school sweethearts. It’s a tradition. So she is both stunned and devastated when her fortune states that she will NEVER find love.

Fortunately, Fallon isn’t the only student with a terrible love fortune, and a rebellion is brewing. Fallon is determined to take control of her own fate—even if it means working with a notorious heartbreaker like Sebastian.

Will Fallon and Sebastian be able to overthrow Zita’s tyranny and fall in love?

Describe your book in five words or less.
A girl dares to love.

Why should readers pick up your book?
Because in a magical town where love fortunes reveal your fate, a group of teenagers are about to defy theirs. The consequences could either be disastrous – or just what the town needs to be set free.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
Experiencing a brand-new series of firsts. First edit letter, first cover design, first interview – I feel like a kid again, enjoying the unexpected that comes with the process.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Sno-Caps. Always.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A foam hamburger that holds my sticky notes. It’s a great conversation piece, though a bit dangerous around lunchtime for coworkers thinking that it’s real.

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2 responses to “The Debut Dish: Krista Van Dolzer (+ giveaway), Taran Matharu (+ giveaway), and Kimberly Karalius

  1. The Sound of Life and Everything sounds like a fascinating combination of science fiction and a story of family. I am intrigued to see how the story comes together.

    Novice had me at Harry Potter meets LOTR. As a fan of both, I am interested to see where Matharu takes his story.
    Layla recently posted…The Queen of Zombie Hearts