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Welcome to my blog, where I share my love of books and anything bookish, including my own novels every now and then, but mostly I share **Book Blog Tours** **Author Features** **Guest Posts** **Book Blitz's** **Give-Aways** and **Competitions**

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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Book Blog Tour & Give-Away for Screaming Divas by Suzanne Kamata



Welcome to

The Book Blog Tour 


Screaming Divas 


Suzanne Kamata


Publication Date: May 18th, 2014   Publisher: Merit Press
Pages: 208
Genre: YA Contemporary

Book Blurb:

At sixteen, Trudy Baxter is tired of her debutante mom, her deadbeat dad, and her standing reservation at the juvenile detention center. Changing her name to Trudy Sin, she cranks up her major chops as a singer and starts a band, gathering around other girls ill at ease in their own lives. Cassie Haywood, would-have-been beauty queen, was scarred in an accident in which her alcoholic mom was killed. But she can still sing and play her guitar, even though she seeks way too much relief from the pain in her body and her heart through drugs, and way too much relief from loneliness through casual sex. Still, it’s Cassie who hears former child prodigy Harumi Yokoyama playing in a punk band at a party, and enlists her, outraging Harumi’s overbearing first-generation Japanese parents. The fourth member is Esther Shealy, who joins as a drummer in order to be close to Cassie–the long-time object of her unrequited love–and Harumi, her estranged childhood friend. Together, they are Screaming Divas, and they’re quickly swept up as a local sensation. Then, just as they are about to achieve their rock-girl dreams, a tragedy strikes.

Buy Links:

About the Author:

Back in the day, Suzanne Kamata spent a lot of time hanging out in a club in Columbia, South Carolina, much like the one in Screaming Divas. (The beat goes on . . .) She later wrote about musicians for The State newspaper, The Japan Times, and other publications. Now, she mostly writes novels. In her free time, she enjoys searching for the perfect fake fur leopard-print coat and listening to the Japanese all-girl band Chatmonchy. Her YA debut, Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible was named the 2013-2014 APALA YA Honor Book and Grand Prize Winner of the Paris Book Festival. 

For more info, visit http://www.suzannekamata.com or follow her on Twitter @shikokusue

Author Interview

Hi Suzanne and welcome to my blog!

Firstly can you tell us about yourself?

I’m an American, but I live in Japan, where work parties usually involve karaoke. My standard selection was always  something by the Beatles or the Carpenters. I much prefer reading to singing in front of an audience.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I could hold a pencil. I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

What inspired you to start writing novels for your chosen genre?

I actually thought that I was writing an adult novel when I first started Screaming Divas, but a very successful children’s and YA agent read it, loved it, and wanted to represent me. I was a little taken aback at first, but then I came around to the idea. By now I’ve read a great deal of YA fiction and I love it.

Are there any other genres you’ve written?

Yes, as a matter of fact. I’ve written journalism, fiction for adults, creative nonfiction, poetry, and stories for small children.

Have you published any other novels, if so can you share the details?

My first novel, Losing Kei, about an expat mother in Japan who loses custody of her son and resorts to desperate measures to get him back, was for adults. My second novel was Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible. It’s a YA novel about a biracial girl with cerebral palsy who is tired of being muse to her sculptor mother and aspires to become a famous, albeit invisible, manga artist.

Are you working on anything new right now and can you tell us more?

I’m working on a few things, including a novel about a fifteen-year-old Japanese boy who is torn between his home, where he no longer seems to fit in, and America, where he has lived for the past three years. I’m also in the early stages of a sequel to Gadget Girl, in which the main character visits post-tsunami Japan.

Can you offer any advice to the fledgling authors, just starting out?

Take your time. Share your work with a few trusted readers and, if their advice resonates with you, try to apply it to your work. Be supportive of your fellow writers by buying books checking their books out of the library, posting reviews, sharing on social media, and sending fan mail. It’ll all come back to you when it’s your turn.  And read a lot.

What is/are your all-time favourite novel/s?


Who is/are your all-time favourite author/s?

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marguerite Duras, Sylvia Plath, Pat Conroy, Louise Erdrich, Lorrie Moore, Beth Kephart, Junot Diaz, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Chitra Divakaruni, Donna Tartt

What are you reading at the moment & would you recommend it to us?

Right now I’m reading Cartwheel by Jennifer Dubois, which is inspired by the Amanda Knox trial. Knox was accused of murdering her roommate while on foreign study in Italy. This story takes place in Argentina. I just started reading, but I think it’s fantastic.

If you could Time Travel -  what year would you visit and why?

I’d love to be in Paris in the 1920s, hanging out with Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein.

What is the very best thing about writing for you?

Writing fiction allows me to have other lives. I can time travel, I can hang out with rock stars and  I can meet interesting people -- all while sitting in my room in my pajamas with a cup of coffee at hand. It’s the best!

Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Excerpt:

The Screaming Divas

By Suzanne Kamata

    Trudy got her hands on a guitar.  Actually, it was her father’s guitar, the one he’d played in his band.  The instrument had a history of smoky bars, fields of wild flowers, park benches, Greyhound buses.  It had been all over the place, probably even Dahomey.
    She was going to ask to borrow it, but when she dropped by Jack’s apartment, he wasn’t home.  Trudy decided to cart the guitar off anyhow.  He never played it any more and besides, he might say no if she asked him to loan it to her.  He didn’t trust her so much since all the trouble with Adam.
    She’d practice and innovate and turn herself into a brilliant performer.  And then she’d start a band. It would be the most exciting thing to hit the town since General Sherman.  Yeah, these were good thoughts.
    By day, she practiced.  By night, she hung out at The Cave, playing records or slamming on the dance floor.  During breaks, she looked for musicians in the Pink Room.
    “Hey, Maddy.  I’m starting a band.  Wanna join up?”
    Her roommate Madeline tossed a lock of black hair out of her eyes.  “You must be out of your mind.”
    Trudy shrugged.  She asked Jeff, the David Bowie lookalike.  She even asked Johnny Fad.  People laughed, blew smoke in her face.  Sometimes they just turned away as if they hadn’t heard her at all.
    Why did everyone treat her proposition like some sort of joke?  She was as serious as she’d ever been.  The more she practiced, the more she knew that her dreams lay in music.  She closed her eyes and saw herself on the stage, crooning into a mike while a huge crowd lit and lofted their Bics in tribute.
    When people were drinking and dancing, they weren’t in the mood for serious talk.  She had to find another way to put her band together.

    Trudy made a flyer with scissors and magazines and Elmer’s glue.  When she was finally satisfied with her work, she rode her housemate’s rickety bicycle to Kinko’s and made a hundred copies.  Then she ran around Five Points with a staple gun and plastered them to every telephone pole in sight.  When she was finished, she went back to the apartment, picked up her guitar, and waited for the phone to ring.
    “Hey, what’s this?” Madeline barged into her room just after midnight, smelling of booze and smoke.  She waved one of Trudy’s flyers in the air between them.
    “I’m starting a band,” Trudy said.  “I told you already.”
    Madeline shrugged.  “Yeah, whatever.  I wish you hadn’t put our phone number down, though.  We’ll get half a million calls from creeps.”
    Trudy didn’t answer.  Why was Madeline being such a bitch?  She looked really cool with her tattooed shoulder and asymmetrical haircut, but sometimes she could be totally square.
    “I’ll get my dad to buy us an answering machine,” Trudy said.  “That way we can screen calls.”
    Madeline nodded, seemingly consoled, and wandered off to her room.
    Trudy giggled softly.  Jack would never fork out cash for something like that, but the lie had worked.
    The first call came at noon the next day.
    “Hey, I’m calling about the band,” a gravelly voice said.
    “What do you play?”
    “Bass, drums, whatever.  I’m versatile.  Hey, wait.  You sound really familiar.  What’s your name?”
    “Trudy Sin.”
    “Hey, I know you.  You’re that firestarter.”  The line went dead.
    Later, Southern Bell called about an overdue phone bill.  The manager at Yesterday’s, where Madeline waited tables, called asking Madeline to report to work early.  Someone dialed a wrong number.
    Where were all the budding musicians, the soulmates in tune with her dreams?  Trudy set aside her guitar and put on some music.  She threw herself on the bed and let Patti Smith comfort her.
    How was she ever going to start a band?
    Maybe she could go solo – set up a drum machine and play the guitar herself.  She wracked her brains trying to come up with someone who’d gotten famous without back-up.  Her mind went blank.
    Two nights later, when she came home from a trip to the Quick Mart down the street, Madeline greeted her with, “You got a phone call. Someone wants to join your band.”
    “Great. Who?”  She pictured a pale, black-haired guy in leather, a guitar strapped across his hard-muscled body.
    “I dunno.  She said she’d call back.”
    She?  Well, okay.  This could be good.  A girl group.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  They’d be like the Supremes with instruments.  The Gogo’s with attitude.  It would be a good gimmick, something to get them started while they developed as a band.


I hope you've enjoyed today's post and give-away, not forgetting many thanks to Suzanne for stopping by and answering a pile of questions ~ Thanks Suzanne :)

I'm back on Saturday with another book tour, so stop by if you get 5 mintues as you know how much I enjoy your company!


  1. Awesome interview! Thanks for being on the Screaming Divas blog tour, Bella!!


  2. Thanks for sharing the book excerpt!


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