‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2016 With Amy S. Foster

‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Amy S. Foster

Amy S. Foster is a celebrated songwriter, best known as Michael Bublé’s writing partner. You might recognize her work in his four hit singles, including “Home” and “Haven’t Met You Yet.” She has also collaborated with Destiny’s Child, Diana Krall, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and a host of other artists. She is also the author of the novel When Autumn Leaves. When she’s not in a studio in Nashville, Amy lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family. Amy is the daughter of singer B.J. Cook and the legendary music producer, David Foster. Fun fact about Amy: Her extended family tree includes Bella and Gigi Hadid, Sara and Erin Foster and Brody and Brandon Jenner, and Clay Aiken! The Rift Uprising, her YA debut, was released on October 4, 2016.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads

Finding Chanukah

Full disclosure, I am not Jewish, or rather I’m Jew-ish. My dad’s dad was Jewish, technically, but his mother (my great grandmother) was raised Anglican. In fact, no one really even knew about this part of our heritage until I uncovered it with a genealogist.

A decade ago I married a lovely Jewish man. My husband was raised in the Jewish tradition but after surviving years of Hebrew school and what he called “insufferable” High Holiday dinners and celebrations, he turned away from this part of his life. He happily took on the mantle of a cultural Jew, but religious? No way.

I’m not a religious person, but unlike my husband, I’m not an Atheist either. We sort of dodged a bullet on that one because it never became an issue for us. We just naturally respected one another’s beliefs.

Then, a few things happened. We had a little boy and I became incredibly close with a bunch of people after moving here to Portland who happen to be Jewish. They began to invite us to Seders and Shabbat dinners and it was always a super fun, positive experience. There was nothing heavy handed at these get-togethers. They were more about community than anything else. My husband was reluctant, but he joined me because he liked these people too. After a little while I noticed a sea change in him. He sang along with the prayers. He laughed. He celebrated. He was into it. I was really happy about this because he was clearly letting go of all those negative experiences he had as a kid. Being Jewish didn’t feel like a chore to him. It didn’t feel like something he had to do. He just started enjoying it.

A couple years ago I acquired the ubiquitous Elf on The Shelf and the less well known, Mensch On The Bench. These are little toys with books for kids to help them get excited for the holidays. I also got a hilarious Menorah in the shape of a dinosaur called Menorasourus Rex. I told my husband that I thought it would be fun if we lit the candles at our home for Chanukah. He gave me a side eye at that suggestion, insinuating that I was starting to push it.

He didn’t want our son to feel pressured, the way he’d been, into the religion. I took him aside and said: “Look, our boy is going to believe what he believes. But, he cannot go around thinking there’s something wrong or weird about being Jewish – which, by the way, he’s picking up on with the eye rolling and the various comments here and there. This doesn’t have to be about God. It’s about tradition. Your father did this with you and his father with him and all the way back as far as you can go. You should honor your ancestors and all the crap they had to go through to stay true to their religion. Let’s light the candles and say the prayers for them.” My husband thought on that for a minute and agreed. And so, for the past two years we’ve been celebrating Chanukah at our house. We don’t go to synagogue and our son isn’t going to Hebrew school but I believe that this one small act allows us to connect with our shared heritage. And if I’m being totally honest? My husband has embraced this tradition. He and my son both look forward to it every year.

Also, bonus points for me, my in-laws are delighted

Title The Rift Uprising
Author Amy S. Foster
Pages 400 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Science Fiction
Published October 4th, 2016 by Harper Voyager
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

The first in the series, The Rift Uprising (Harper Voyager, October 4, 2016, Hardcover), is a blend of YA and Adult, science fiction and military thriller. The Rift Uprising is action-packed and cinematic in scope, perfect for fans not just of The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, but also of The Bourne Identity and Edge Of Tomorrow.

Normal seventeen-year-old girls go to high school, binge watch TV shows all weekend, and flirt with everyone on the face of the Earth. But Ryn Whitaker is trying to save it.

Ryn is a Citadel. A soldier. A liar. Ryn and her fellow Citadels were specially chosen and trained to guard a Rift—one of fourteen unpredictable tears in the fabric of the universe that serve as doorways to alternate Earths. Unbeknownst to her family, Ryn leaves for school each day and then reports for duty as an elite, cybernetically-altered soldier who can run faster, jump farther, and fight better than a Navy SEAL — which comes in handy when she’s not sure if axe-wielding Vikings or any number of other terrified and often dangerous beings come through the Rift. A fine-tuned weapon, Ryn is a picture-perfect Citadel. But that’s all about to change.

When a young man named Ezra is pulled through the Rift, Ryn finds herself immediately drawn to him, despite her training. What starts as a physical attraction quickly grows deeper, and Ezra’s curiosity throws Ryn off balance when he starts questioning the Rifts, the mysterious organization that oversees them, and the Citadels themselves—questions that lead Ryn to wonder if the lies she’s been telling her family are just the surface of a much bigger lie told to her. As Ryn and Ezra desperately try to get to that truth, they discover that each revelation blurs the line between the villains and the heroes even more.

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