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Hi, reader friends! We have a new to you and me debut author here on the blog today and she is sharing some of her favorites, bookish news, and a three winner giveaway!
About the Author
Who knew that one night of salsa dancing could change the course of a life?
When Meg accepted Alan Gonzalez’s offer of a dance, she began a journey that pulled her out of her sheltered life and into a big and beautiful world. Living in Mexico for a year showed her a whole new side of the country she’s only seen depicted in cartoons or on the news. The rich culture and varied landscape captured her imagination, and she just knew she had to share.
Meg sold her first book at the ripe old age of six. It was complete with crayon illustrations. She’s been writing ever since. She’s honored to write for young adults because it allows her to try on a fun, witty voice, explore faith and the world from fresh eyes, and assure young adults that they are not alone in the trials and struggles they so often face.
She travels every chance she gets—some of her favorite places include Berlin, Rome, and Playa del Carmen (where Alan later proposed!). The list of places she wants to visit just keeps on growing. She’s jumped out of planes, zip-lined over the ocean, and tottered across a high-ropes course in the red wood forest.
Meg loves sipping tea and the occasional peppermint mocha frappuccino. When the weather’s nice—and you never know in Indiana—she loves to take long walks while chatting with her hubby or listening to a good audiobook. On chilly days you can find her curled up on the couch with her pug, Pascal, to reading a good book or working on her next novel.
Favorite character type
Their stories have got a bit of action and suspense, which is a lot of fun, but more than that—these stories are about young women who aren’t willing to take a back seat. They are empowered and they’re ready and willing to take on the world. I think all women of every age should feel that way.
Meg: I would have to say the Anne of Green Gables series. I read about Anne in middle school as I was transitioning from a younger reader to a more understanding one.
The third book in the series, Anne of the Island, had a surprising effect on me. Before that time, I’d been fairly logical and a fairly unemotional reader/movie viewer, etc.
I read Anne of the Island and poof, I cry at everything! Movies? Check. Super Bowl commercials? Check. YouTube videos? Well, as long as they’re not the silly ones my husband likes to show me.
Beth: Awww, Meg! I love meeting fellow Anne fans! (I also cry at everything including parades)
Favorite author website
Meg: Dani Pettrey, author of Christian romantic suspense, has the most beautiful website. Seriously, I drool a little every time I visit. The design is simply stunning and you can learn everything you might ever want to know about her characters and settings. (And talk about kick-butt heroines!)
Beth: Speaking of beautiful websites, I adore yours! You have excellent taste in fonts! 😉
Favorite bookish website
Meg: I’m a big fan of Goodreads. I love tracking the novels I’ve read and striving to reach or exceed my yearly book challenge. It’s a great place to connect with other book lovers and discover new books to love.
Beth: Goodreads is a bookish essential!
Favorite time and place to write
Meg: I definitely write best in the morning—though making myself get up and get focused is not an easy feat for this night owl. I have two favorite places to write.
The first is at my dining room table. We’ve got a huge window right next to it and the most comfortable chairs that don’t encourage lounging (like the couch). My pug likes to sleep in his bed next to me and I can disappear for hours into my story once I really get going.
My other favorite place: While walking around my neighborhood! Strange, I know, but I’ve been playing around with dictation and some of my best scenes have been written to the rhythm of my steps and the song of birds all around.
Beth: Go, Meg! I’m a night owl, too and morning motivation is a struggle.
Tell us about your latest release
Meg: I moved to Mexico in 2013 with a brand new husband. A month later, I sat down to write Sketchy Tacos. I had no idea what I was doing!
While it took me only 3 months to write the first draft, it took me more than 2 years to whip it into the novel you can read today. I learned so much during that time, not only about writing but about myself and I hope a hint of that transformative journey has rubbed off into my story.
After facing everything from a flash flood to Moctezuma’s revenge, from a romantic date for two to a gaggle of snide girls, teenage artist Mila Gulick finds the biggest challenge comes from the war within herself. Her heart, her art, and even her safety are at risk as she struggles to find a balance between cultural differences, old assumptions, and strange romance. Will her trip end in disaster or will she find the strength for which she’s been searching?
Beth: I’m looking forward to reading it!
Tell us about your next release
Meg: I’m so proud to announce that Book 2 in the International Adventures series will be released next year! Bubbly Schnitzel is set in Germany and follows the story of Julia—Mila’s (from Sketchy Tacos) best friend. So without further ado, here’s the first sneak peek for my new story:
Social butterfly and closet bookworm Julia Carter is smart enough to trick her parents into sending her to Germany for the semester, but she would never let those smarts show. It wouldn’t be good for her bubbly reputation. With its antique houses and castle atop the hill, Marburg looks like it stepped straight out of a Grimm brothers’ fairytale. Yet life in this little German town is no fairytale at all—starting with the girls at school. When Julia’s offered an internship she can’t pass up, she begins the treacherous game of balancing her fledgling social life with work that risks a secret she’s kept for nine years—and her new boss’s son is out to trip her with it.
Beth: Your titles really make me hungry!
Will readers be able to follow Mila in future books?
Each book in the International Adventures series will follow a different girl in Mila’s friend group. But you’ll get a peek at how things are going for Mila in each subsequent book. You’ll get to see how her life is going and how things have changed after her crazy summer in Mexico.
Beth: I enjoy series storylines that are centered around groups of friends!
What inspired you to choose this setting for the book?
In 2012, I visited Mexico for the first time. It was so different from any place that I’d visited before. Catholic shrines shared a wall with strip malls, and houses without windows or proper roofs sat just down the street from glistening 21st century towers.
The haunted eyes of hungry young hustlers, pristine beauty of maid-kept houses, and smell of a citrus- and sweat-packed market kept my imagination bursting, and I longed to capture the essence of it to share with my readers.
Beth: That sounds like an exciting experience! Thank you for spending time with us today and sharing your bookish news, Meg!
Meg D. Gonzalez has graciously provided a Kindle edition of Sketchy Tacos for THREE Faithfully Bookish readers!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, what country would you choose?