Monday, November 7, 2016

November Featured Follower & Our Heritage, #InkRipples

Meet Suzanne Kamata
The Write Game's Amazin Featured Follower for November

Buy on Amazon
Add to your TBR list on Goodreads



Aiko Cassidy is fourteen and lives with her sculptor mother in a small Midwestern town. For most of her young life Aiko, who has cerebral palsy, has been her mother's muse. But now, she no longer wants to pose for the sculptures that have made her mother famous and have put food on the table. Aiko works hard on her own dream of becoming a great manga artist with a secret identity. 

When Aiko's mother invites her to Paris for a major exhibition of her work, Aiko at first resists. She'd much rather go to Japan, Manga Capital of the World, where she might be able to finally meet her father,the indigo farmer. When she gets to France, however, a hot waiter with a passion for manga and an interest in Aiko makes her wonder if being invisible is such a great thing after all. And a side trip to Lourdes, ridiculous as it seems to her, might just change her life. 


And here's Suzanne


Suzanne Kamata was born and raised in Grand Haven, Michigan. She is most recently from Lexington, South Carolina, and now lives in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan with her husband and two children.


Her short stories, essays, articles and book reviews have appeared in over 100 publications including Real Simple, Brain, Child, Cicada, and The Japan Times. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times, and received a Special Mention in 2006. She is also a two-time winner of the All Nippon Airways/​Wingspan Fiction Contest, winner of the Paris Book Festival, and winner of a SCBWI Magazine Merit Award



This is how Gadget Girl begins. 

My father has blue hands. Or at least that’s what Mom tells me–one of the few facts I’ve been able to wring out of her. See, he’s the eldest sone of one of the last indigo producers in his village on the Japanese island of Shikoku His family has been growing indigo for generations–cuter, even–since back in the time of the shoguns.

“You were named after that plant,” Mom told me. “Ai means indigo. Ko means child.”
Indigo is my destiny.


Her next book arrives in 2017. The Mermaids of Lake Michigan.









Heritage is the #InkRipples topic for November



#InkRipples:a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll
Post on the first Monday of every month with a new topic. 




Thanks for the great gift, Mom and Dad.
And thanks for the heritage you passed on to me: the love of good food.

This is a cookbook filled with history and heritage of foods from the early immigrants to the U.S. Every time I make a dish, using this book, I learn more about the people who have helped shape our nation. 

Here's why pumpkins are so much a part of our Thanksgiving feasts. "For the early colonists pumpkin was often the difference between survival and starvation. It was fit for only the peasants, said Europe. But the Colonists soon overcame this prejudice, and pumpkin became an almost daily staple in the New World." 




Quote of the Week: "So long as you have food in your mouth,  you have solved all questions for the time being." Franz Kafka

57 comments:

  1. Being invisible is always good!
    That's an interesting cookbook. Funny the prejudice against pumpkins.

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    1. Even attitudes toward food reveal our prejudices.

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  2. That is a neat way to learn while you cook. Being invisible allows one to see more.

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    1. I've always hankered after lurking while invisible. But I'm afraid I might hear what people really think of me. :-)

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  3. Lovley stuff! The Gadget Girl sounds good. (I think there was a process error, bullheads should be blue hands.)

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    1. Thanks for catching that and for letting me know.

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    2. Thank you! A father with bull heads might be interesting, too!

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  4. I love the first line! "My father has bull heads." Instantly intrigued.

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    1. My apple computer loves to auto correct and if I don't proof very carefully, I'm in for some very interesting lines.

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  5. congrats to Suzanne on both books! Heritage Cook Book looks great too

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    1. I'm digging through it this month for the Thanksgiving feast recipes. There are always some great old ones to try.

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  6. Hi, Cheryl Lee!

    Hi, Suzanne!

    Manga and anime have always fascinated me, and the character Aiko Cassidy and her motivations are intriguing. The Mermaids of Lake Michigan is another can't miss title. Thank you for introducing Suzanne and her tempting reads, dear friend C-Lee!

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    1. I'm always interested in manga and anime, too. Great way to entice readers who'd rather play video games. Thanks for the friendly visit Shady.

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  7. This lady seems to have an insight into the life of a child with such a disability. I wish mermaids really did exist except for taking men down to the bottom to drown. I love the indigo colour and found it amazing how the colour is created.

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    1. All beauty comes with a price -- especially mermaids! Being a child is to be invisible to adults mostly in this day and age. :-(

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    2. We need to pay attention to those children. They're our future.

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    3. Mermaids always did get a bad rap!

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    4. I have a daughter with multiple disabilities, which has given me some insight, and I live in a town known for indigo production. Thanks for your interest!

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  8. Hooray for featuring someone with a disability. And for focussing on what she can do, rather than what she can't. Thank you Suzanne.
    My European father loathed pumpkin. 'Animal food'. And I love it - though I treat it as a savoury dish. Pumpkin pie doesn't attract.

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    1. We need more books like this.

      Corn is another food that Europeans look down on. We gobble it up.

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  9. This book sounds amazing and fresh. I love the direction of the plot and the creativity of the characters. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I'm about to start reading it, so I hope to review soon.

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  10. What a fascinating story. Congratulations, Suzanne.
    Interesting history on pumpkin too. I didn't know that.

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    1. Socio-linguists have a great area to explore when it comes to food and culture.

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  11. Gadget Girl sounds awesome & unique! Congrats :)

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  12. Gadget Girl sounds intriguing. ‘My father has blue hands’ could become one of those opening lines we all remember.
    The quote from Franz Kafka is simple but oh so true.

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    1. It does make you stop, doesn't it?

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    2. It certainly does Lee! Those few words have been going around and around in my head since I read them.

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  13. Gadget Girl sounds neat.

    I need that cookbook! :D

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  14. Congratulations, Suzanne. The story sounds delightful with a hint of quizzical. Best of luck to you.

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    1. I was curious about the beater paddles on the cover.

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  15. Congrats to Suzanne. I have been seeing her book around and it was great to learn more about it. Also- her mermaid book has a fabulous cover!
    ~Jess

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    1. Happy to hear that you've seen my book "in the wild!" Living in Japan, I rarely see it.

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  16. Sounds like an interesting read. When I was a kid, all I wanted was to be invisible.

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  17. Congrats Suzanne and I love how your book uses this character and has her move forward to living her own life.

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  18. Oh, Gadget Girl sounds really good. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

    -Lauren

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  19. Suzanne's book sounds so timely and interesting. I love it when the characters are in a foreign setting. I feel like I'm there too! Wishing her much success!

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  20. Gadget Girl sounds intriguing. You can never go wrong with a cookbook that deals with history.

    Thoughts in Progress
    MC Book Tours

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  21. Hooray for Suzanne as the featured follower! I know how special that is. :)

    The cookbook looks fun. I like cookbooks -- just not the cooking part.

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  22. Great post. The cookbook is cool. Gonna check it out.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  23. Gadget Girls sounds like an interesting book. I am not aware of Manga, so reading this book would be insightful.
    Wow! The Heritage Cook Book is super cool, I'd like to check that out too!

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    1. Thanks! I can't really take credit for the covers, though. I love them, too!

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  25. Gadget Girls sounds like a lot of fun. Congrats to Suzanne.
    I love old cook books and old recipes! I've started collecting recipes from my German mother-in-law - recipes that have been passed down to her and through the generations. Maybe if I collate enough I should share them in a book. For now though, I'm happy to just recreate them for family and friends. Thanks for the post, Lee.

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  26. I love the premise for Gadget Girls. I should probably go check it out, eh?

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  27. Thanks for sharing Gadget Girls and the Heritage Cookbook, C.Lee! Both sound like a lot of fun in different ways!

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  28. "So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being." Franz Kafka. Well, Franz, I guess there's a lot of people who haven't got food in their mouths, so that question is still unsolved. Wish it were so simple.
    Congrats to Suzanne!

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    1. Which I guess was old Kafka's point. When you're hungry there's not much else on your mind, is there? Thanks, Denise.

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  29. Thanks, everyone for your interest in my book!

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  30. I like the opening line of the story about the father having blue hands. That's a good hook!

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  31. The books sound great Suzanne. Thanks for sharing, Lee!

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  32. Love the sound of Gadget Girl, and Suzanne's upcoming book looks fascinating, as well. Will have to remember to check these out sometime!

    And wow, never knew pumpkins were once deemed as something just for peasants. They've always been one of my favorite additions to recipes of all kinds!

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    1. There's always been a social distinction vis a vie food. Leek eaters were the peasants of the Elizabethan time. Royalty chowed down on game they'd hunted in their private woods.

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  33. LOL, love that quote at the bottom.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

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  34. What a great idea to look to food to learn about your heritage. I never thought of that!

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