New Kids On The Block 2019 with Michelle Ruiz Keil

New Kids On The Block is a year-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader meant to welcome and celebrate new voices and debut authors in the literary community.

Are you a debut author whose book is being published in 2019? It’s not too late to sign-up! If you want to participate in New Kids On The Block this year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can send a tweet or DM on Twitter to @Pop_Reader or email me at [email protected]. I would love to collaborate with you!


About Michelle Ruiz Keil

Michelle Ruiz Keil is a Latinx novelist and playwright with an eye for the enchanted and a way with animals. She teaches writing with a focus on fairytale, divination, and archetype and curates All Kinds of Fur: A Fairytale Reading Series and Salon in Portland, Oregon. She has been a fellow at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and Lit Camp. Her published short fiction can be found in Cosmonauts Avenue, and she has a forthcoming theater piece in collaboration with Shaking The Tree Theater. All Of Us With Wings is her first novel.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads

A Visit From Xochiquetzal

Writing All Of Us With Wings happened in fits and starts. The whole thing actually started as a dare when the teenagers at my daughters’ Free School wanted to try NANOWRIMO. I was invited to join the group as a co-teacher, I suspect because I was a known night owl who would allow all-night writing marathons at my house. By the time November was over, I had fifty thousand words and knew I had…something. I just wasn’t sure what. I worked all the rest of that winter, spring and summer until I had a very messy first draft but was only marginally closer to understanding the story I was trying to write.

Being a Virgo Ravenclaw, I turned to research. I started with the names of my characters. My writing method tends toward extreme pantsing so the character names were literally the first things that popped into my head. As a witch, I believe all words have inherent power, so understanding the character’s names was definitely the place to start.

I began with my protagonist, Xochi. I first heard the name at one of my twin nephews’ birthday parties. It belonged to a very nice little girl who told me it meant flower in Nahuatl. I’d done a cursory search early on to procrastinate drafting and found the god Xochipili. I expected to learn more about the Aztec party god when I researched the name in earnest. Instead, I found his sister, the goddess Xochiquetzal. As I read, I began to get serious chills.

Xochiqutzal is a pansexual maiden fertility goddess who loves one god but is kidnapped by another. Butterflies and hummingbirds fly in her wake in a heaven of bleeding trees and winds that blow knives made of obsidian – a harsh Garden of Eden where Xochiquetzal, like Eve, can’t help but pluck the forbidden fruit.

I remember taking a deep breath. I was excited, a little shaky. My Xochi’s story was definitely about agency stolen and regained and laced liberally with hummingbirds, heavens, and Garden of Eden imagery.

As a lifelong student of the work of Carl Jung, I’m convinced the collective unconscious is a real thing. I believe that stories can tap into archetypal material, that we carry ancestral stories in our DNA. But when I read about Xochiquetzal’s feast day, I jumped out of my chair: on the proper day in the Aztec calendar, supplicants would pierce their tongues, passing a piece of straw though the perforation for each of their sins. Afterward, the straw was burned, the supplicant purified.

The thing is, in one of the earliest scenes I wrote, my Xochi is alone on the street at night and takes refuge in a piercing shop, open late on the vernal equinox for certain special nocturnal customers. There, Xochi is compared to Persephone, who shares some of the Aztec goddess’ attributes, and discusses the spiritual reasons a person might choose to get pierced with the owner of the shop. When he offers to perform a piercing, of course Xochi chooses to pierce her tongue.

So, the collective unconscious is one thing. As a tarot reader and fairy tale maven, I’m used to signs and symbols. But this coincidence was so specific, I have to admit – I was shook. As I learned more — that Xochiquetzal was a patron of midwives and sex workers, that she was a deity associated with water, that her hair was said to have woven the first fishing baskets, that her many stories contained images of water serpents, honeybees, and the moon, I marveled again since this imagery was also associated with scenes I’d written about Xochi’s past and with the creatures in my book, the Waterbabies.

My excitement over these connections fueled the years (yes, years!) of revision it took to learn to tell the story that would become All Of Us With Wings, and helped me find the heart of my Xochi, a half- Mexican girl disconnected from her heritage, searching for her identity. It was as if the goddess herself reached out in her midwife aspect and helped pull my story into this world.

Title All Of Us With Wings
Author Michelle Ruiz Keil
Pages 360 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Fantasy
Publication Date June 18 2019 by Soho Teen
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Michelle Ruiz Keil’s YA fantasy debut about love, found family, and healing is an ode to post-punk San Francisco through the eyes of a Mexican-American girl.

Seventeen-year-old Xochi is alone in San Francisco, running from her painful past: the mother who abandoned her, the man who betrayed her. Then one day, she meets Pallas, a precocious twelve-year-old who lives with her rockstar family in one of the city’s storybook Victorians. Xochi accepts a position as Pallas’s live-in governess and quickly finds her place in the girl’s tight-knit household, which operates on a free-love philosophy and easy warmth despite the band’s growing fame.

But on the night of the Vernal Equinox, as a concert afterparty rages in the house below, Xochi and Pallas perform a riot-grrrl ritual in good fun, accidentally summoning a pair of ancient beings bound to avenge the wrongs of Xochi’s past. She would do anything to preserve her new life, but with the creatures determined to exact vengeance on those who’ve hurt her, no one is safe — not the family Xochi’s chosen, nor the one she left behind.

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover Issue 109: Non-Fiction (Part 10)

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I pay tribute to some of the best and brightest the publishing world has to offer in the way of book cover design. This feature is inspired by Katie’s feature Cover Love on her blog One Page At A Time. The idea is being used with her gracious permission.

Please Note: I’ve done my best to credit the designers, artists and illustrators responsible for the beautiful covers below whenever possible. If you know of an uncredited contributor responsible for any of these designs, please let me know and I would be happy to include proper attribution in this post. Their work is lovely and deserves to be credited.

01. Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide To Working Your Creative Magic by Lisa Congdon
02. This Really Isn’t About You by Jean Hannah Edelstein

03. Child Of The Dream (A Memoir of 1963) by Sharon Robinson
04. That’s the Spirit! by Jonathan Ray (Cover art by David Doran)

05. Born To Fly: The First Women’s Air Race Across America by Steve Sheinkin (Cover art by Bijou Karman)
06. Don’t Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History Of The Family Road Trip by Richard Ratay

07. A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of WWII’s Most Dangerous Spy, Virginia Hall by Sonia Purnell
08. Sharp: The Women Who Made An Art of Having An Opinion by Michelle Dean

09. Sounds Like Titanic by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman (Cover design by Daniel Lagin)
10. The Victorian and The Romantic: A Memoir, A Love Story, and A Friendship Across Time by Nell Stevens (Cover design by Emily Mahon, Cover art by Bradley Clark)

11. Song Of A Nation: The Untold Story of Canada’s National Anthem by Robert Harris (Cover design by Lisa Jager)
12. Do You Mind If I Cancel?: (Things That Still Annoy Me) by Gary Janetti

13. The Art of Denim: Over 30 Ways To Wear Denim by Libby Vanderploeg
14. Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ’80s and ’90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss (Cover design by Andie Reid, Cover art by Ricky Mujica)

15. WorkParty: How To Create and Cultivate The Career of Your Dreams by Jaclyn Johnson
16. Vanishing Twins: A Marriage by Leah Dieterich

17. The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well by Meik Wiking
18. The Art of Nails by Marian Newman (Cover photo by Barbara Donninelli)

Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favourite Non-Fiction covers? Did I list one of your favourites here or is there one I forgot that just has to be included? Let me know in the comments!

Pre-Order Campaign Reveal: Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd

Hi everyone! Today I’m thrilled to partner with HMH Teen as we share the incredibly exciting pre-order campaign for Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd. Please read on to learn more about what you can receive when you pre-order Midnight Beauties and how to claim these extra special gifts!

Title Midnight Beauties
Author Megan Shepherd
Pages 448 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Fantasy
Publication Date August 13th 2019 by HMH Books For Young Readers
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

The witches, beasties, goblins, and Royals return in this spellbinding conclusion to New York Times best-selling author Megan Shepherd’s Grim Lovelies duology.


After pre-ordering Midnight Beauties, please provide your contact information and proof of purchase using this form!

Readers who pre-order Midnight Beauties will receive:

● A specialized leather bookmark
● A cute sticker
● A signed bookplate
● An exclusive art print

In addition to all of the great rewards above, readers who pre-order Midnight Beauties before June 14th 2019 will get access to an exclusive eNovella about Cricket, Tricks and Whispers!




About Megan Shepherd

New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of many acclaimed middle grade and young adult novels including The Madman’s Daughter series, The Cage series, The Secret Horses of Briar Hill, and Grim Lovelies. She now lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband and baby, two cats, chickens, and an especially scruffy dog.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads

The Writing’s On The Wall: Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

The Writing’s On The Wall is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I create desktop wallpapers inspired by some of my favourite novels, authors, and literary quotes.

Title Hot Dog Girl
Author Jennifer Dugan
Pages 320 Pages
Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Publication Date April 30th 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Find It On GoodreadsAmazonChaptersThe Book Depository

A fresh and funny contemporary YA rom-com about teens working as costumed characters in a local amusement part.

Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

● She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland…as a giant dancing hot dog.
● Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
● Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick.
● And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland – ever – unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

Jennifer Dugan’s sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love – and themselves – in unexpected people and unforgettable places.


1280×800 » 1440×900 » 1680×1050 » 1920×1200 » 2560×1400 » iPhone

I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Basia Stryjecka and Connary Fagen Type Design whose clipart and/or fonts I purchased, edited and used in the creation of this wallpaper!

Protected: Patreon: May 2019 Bonus Reward

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: