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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Interview and Giveaway: Tonja Drecker, author of Music Boxes

I'm thrilled to have author Tonja Drecker here today to chat about her new book, Music Boxes...

Music Boxes 
By Tonja Drecker 
March 5, 2019 
Dancing Lemur Press LLC 

Twelve-year-old Lindsey McKay's biggest dream is to be a famous ballerina. But after moving to New York, she ends up at the Community Center with a teacher who’s a burly bear in tights. 

When she meets Madame Destinée, the teacher of a top dance school who offers her classes for free, Lindsey can't believe her luck. In exchange, she must perform in the school’s exclusive midnight shows, ones sure to make her a star. But something’s not right... 

One by one, the other dancers disappear. Each time they do, a music box with a figurine just like the missing ballerina joins Madame Destinée’s growing collection. If Lindsey doesn’t discover the truth about the dance school, she might end up a tiny figurine herself. 

Amazon / B&N / Kobo 

Q1. What three words best describe your book Music Boxes? 
Ballet, magic, and jealousy. 

Q2. Grab a copy of Music Boxes and answer the following: 
Favorite chapter? Chapter 3 — Lindsey visits a Turkish café with her father and has her first not-so-amazing ballet lesson at the Community Center 

Favorite page? 73 — The enchantment of the magical ballet school fades and offers a small glimpse at the creepy truth 

Favorite setting? The wondrous dance studio and yummy buffet with all the colors, dancers, music and delicious food 

Flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser: 
Every part of her felt as if it might explode. This was what dancing was about—nothing else made her feel so alive and free. 

Q3. What inspired Music Boxes? How did the story come to be? 
I honestly don’t know. I was pulling weeds in my garden—nasty blackberries with thorns—when the image of a ballet teacher staring up at the rows and rows of music boxes lined on her shelves slipped into my mind. And the story was born. 

Q4. Can you tell us a bit about your heroine, Lindsey? What makes her special and what do you love about her? 
Lindsey is twelve-years-old—almost thirteen—and trying to come to terms with the family’s move to New York, especially since it means her ballet dreams are being pushed aside for her younger sister’s violin aspirations. Lindsey’s not normally a rebellious girl, but she doesn’t want to give up her dreams either. She faces a constant tug-a-war between her conscious and the desire to give her all to become a famous ballerina. I love her because she has a heart of gold, especially where her family and friends are involved, and while jealous of her sister, Lindsey still loves her. 

Q5. What do you love about writing and reading middle-grade literature? What’s your all-time favorite middle-grade book and/or character? 
I love the magic and imagination that slides into middle grade books without any question or pardon. Everything is possible at that age. There’s still a wonderful sense of innocence and fascination, although the characters can face some heavy topics. It’s like sitting on the fence between reality and imagination, and being able to see and experience both sides. 

My all-time favorite middle grade book is The Mouse and the Motorcycle, or Charlotte’s Web, or A Wrinkle in Time…there are so many. It often depends on my mood. 

 My favorite character would be Anne from Anne of Green Gables. I love her positive attitude and the way she helps and influences others without even trying or noticing. 

Q6.  What are you working on now? Any exciting new projects we should be on the lookout for? 
I currently have two projects in the works. One is a co-authored fantasy for young adults with a very rich world and characters I’ve fallen in love with. The second is a mystery for middle graders with lots of humor and centers on STEM…but in a fun way.  

Q7. Fill in the blanks: 
I’m really awesome at baking bread. 

I’m really embarrassed to admit that I have a weakness for anime and Asian shows. 

The last great book I read was … oh wow. I don’t even know. I read so much and love so many books. 

Q8. If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Music Boxes, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it? 
It’d be a light almond cupcake with a very, very dark chocolate inside…nice and sticky too. The icing would be light pink with white swirls along the edges. In the middle, there’d be a delicate pair of sugary blue pointe shoes. I’d call it Dreams and Destinee. 

Tonja Drecker is a writer, blogger, children’s book reviewer and freelance translator. After spending years in Germany exploring forgotten castles, she currently resides in the Ozarks with her family of six. When she’s not tending her chickens and cows, she’s discovering new adventures, nibbling chocolate and sipping a cup of tea. 

Win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card!
Tonja has generously offered one (1) gift card for one winner.
-open to anyone who can receive and use a gift card
-ends 4/16/19
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged stolen prizes

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Danielle H. said...

This sounds like a fun book to read with an excellent mystery.

Gwendolyn Jordan said...

I like the cover

Brenda said...

Makes me wish I still had my music box with the dancing ballerina that I had as a kid. Sounds fun.

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

John Smith said...

Disappearing dancers sounds pretty scary!

Calvin F. said...

Looks like a lovely book.

T Drecker said...

Thank you so much for having me!

starzine said...

Very interesting cover.

Cali W. said...

Thanks for the giveaway; I always wanted to be a ballerina too. :)