‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2017 with Lauren Spieller

‘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 this year’s participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Lauren Spieller

Lauren Spieller is a literary agent who lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found drinking lattes, pining for every dog she sees, or visiting her native California. Your Destination Is On The Left is her debut novel.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads

For me, the holidays are about family…and food.

Every year, my extended family gathers together for a party we call “Greek Donuts.” There, over one hundred people drink and eat, and at the very end of the evening, we make — you guessed it! — greek donuts, or loukoumades. Covered in honey and cinnamon, dotted with chopped walnuts, loukomades are a sweet reminder not only of my family, but my Greek heritage.

I grew up identifying with my Greek ancestry primarily through food. Spanakopita and pastitsio, stufato and lamb, kourabiedes and koulourakia. My great grandmother, Aphrodite, taught my grandmother, Nonie, how to make these family recipes, and years later Nonie has passed those recipes down to her sons. Now, it’s time for my generation to learn. We all have our favorites (though if you asked me what mine is, I’d refuse to answer — why pick only one?), but what makes Greek cooking truly special to me is that when I eat it, I’m home.

This year I wasn’t able to go home for Greek Donuts. My husband and I live on the other side of the country, and it’s getting harder and harder to visit with our busy schedules, not to mention the price of flying. So while my family drank wine and ate loukoumades in Northern California, my husband and I decided to invent our own tradition, one that would make me feel close to home even though we were far away: we gathered the ingredients, and we made loukoumades in our tiny New York City kitchen. It was messy and they weren’t perfect, but when I took my first bite and tasted the cinnamon and honey and nuts, I had one thought:

It’s good to be home.

Title Your Destination Is On The Left
Author Lauren Spieller
Pages 304 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
To Be Published June 26th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Dessa Rhodes is a modern-day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance. Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.

Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss — and herself — that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving?

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