Cynthea Liu’s Character Debut Party

The Great Call of China by Cynthea LiuToday we’re partying with Cynthea Liu, prolific author, bunny-lover, and the multitasking site guru / creator / manager / powerhouse mama for AuthorsNow!


Chinese-born Cece was adopted when she was two years old by her American parents. Living in Texas, she’s bored of her ho-hum high school and dull job. So when she learns about the S.A.S.S. program to Xi’an, China, she jumps at the chance. She’ll be able to learn about her passion—anthropology—and it will give her the opportunity to explore her roots. But when she arrives, she receives quite a culture shock. And the closer she comes to finding out about her birth parents, the more apprehensive she gets. Enter Will, the cute guy she first meets on the plane. He and Cece really connect during the program. But can he help her get accustomed to a culture she should already know about, or will she leave China without the answers she’s been looking for?

Cece’s 2009 Debut Party

Thanks, Cynthea, for letting us sneak in without passports!

The Guest List

Cece’s an intimate-friends type of gal. So the cast of THE GREAT CALL OF CHINA would be it. Peter (her Da Ge, or metaphorical big brother), Kallyn (her closest friend at the program), Jess (her brash roommate), Alison (her BFF), and Will (the hottie)!

The Party

First, Cece would insist on food she’s already eaten before. After the first day in China, she learned her lesson. Then they’d go somewhere as a group– the potential options in Xi’an are endless. She never got to go to Huaqing Chi in the book. It was the hot spot for Emperors when they went on vacation back in the day. Gorgeous hot springs set in the moutainside. Today, Huaqing Chi accepts private guests, and you can bathe in the hot springs for relaxation. Now THAT would be a sweet place to have a party.

Now that we’ve got everyone at some HAWT springs, it’s a party. The theme, of course, is all about feng shui – earth, water, wind, fire … Hopefully nothing will be burned down. Peter will bring floaties for everyone just to be goof-off.

The Guest of Honor: Cece

Cece’s embarrassed to be in a bikini, but she looks good in it, and Will has noticed. And her theme song? “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. After everything she’s been through in the book, she’s ready to start a new chapter “with arms wide open.”

*Um, did not get memo about bikinis. Gulp.*

Did you guys bring your suits? Really? I’ll just be, um, over there. On the side. In my special hot springs parka. 🙂

Cynthea Liu’s Advice for Cece on Her Big Debut

Cece, just have fun and be yourself tonight. I swear, I won’t revise a single thing you say or do. Now how can you beat that?

No more revisions? That’s like a Get Out of Jail Free card! I’d take that deal if I were you, Cece!

Thanks for the great party, Cynthea, and best of luck to you and Cece on your big debut!

THE GREAT CALL OF CHINA is available in book stores now, and also online at Amazon.

Cynthea spent her formative years in Oklahoma and Texas where she was a Whiz Quiz member, an Academic Decathloner, and a spelling bee champion. (Yes, she was very popular.) After attending college on the East coast, she worked at a corporate job where she mastered PowerPoint and racked up thousands of frequent flyer miles. Eventually, she traded in her suit for sweats to do the fun stuff–writing for children. In addition to PARIS PAN TAKES THE DARE and THE GREAT CALL OF CHINA, Cynthea’s nonfiction book WRITING FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS: A CRASH COURSE (how to write, revise, and publish your kid’s or teen book with children’s book publishers) is available in paperback. You can also visit her online.

Saundra Mitchell’s Character Debut Party

Shadowed Summer by Saundra MitchellToday we’re in for some major goosebumpiness as we celebrate the launch of SHADOWED SUMMER with author Saundra Mitchell!


Nothing ever happened in Ondine, Louisiana, not even the summer Elijah Landry disappeared. His mother knew he ascended to heaven, the police believed he ran away, and his girlfriend thought he was murdered.

Decades later, certain she saw his ghost in the town cemetery, fourteen-year-old Iris Rhame is determined to find out the truth behind “The Incident With the Landry Boy.” Enlisting the help of her best friend Collette, and forced to endure the company of Collette’s latest crush, Ben, Iris spends a summer digging into the past and stirring old ghosts, in search of a boy she never knew.

What she doesn’t realize is that in a town as small as Ondine, every secret is a family secret.

Iris’ 2009 Debut Party

*Raises hand*

Um hi are there going to be ghosts at this party? Because if there are, well, I might have something else to do today. I mean, not that I’m not happy for Iris and everything, but I’m just… okay, okay. If you guys come with me, I think I can do it. Yes. I can. Let’s go!



Sooo not funny. Do not do that again, kthxbye.

The Guest List

Well, Iris wasn’t gonna invite anybody else, but Collette got mad and told her if she didn’t invite Nick from The Demon’s Lexicon, she was gonna pull her ear until it bled. So grudgingly, Iris invited Nick. And then she invited Avery from Dull Boy, because she though it might be funny to watch Collette’s head explode trying to show off for two of ’em. (Also, Avery’s kinda cute and his power is awesome.)

The Party

As is tradition with the Lanouxs and Rhames, it’s a bonfire out at Collette’s granddaddy’s place, out of town a ways. There’s room enough to act a fool, but it’s distant enough they can’t all run off in the middle of the night and do something foolish like paint half the mailboxes in St. Amant pink. Not that anybody’s daddies ever did that, no ma’am. They’ll probably put on some crawfish boil and sneak some beer. I imagine Iris will want pictures of the looks on Nick and Avery’s faces when Collette tells them they gotta suck out the head of those crawfish. The theme? “Ain’t stuck at home in Ondine tonight.” And party guests will receive Deet. Because Off don’t work on bayou mosquitoes.

Saundra, does Deet work on spirits from the otherworld? Not that I’m a-scared or anything. Just curious… *cough*

The Guest of Honor: Iris

Iris is wearing jeans and a t-shirt, same as always. Her theme song? “House of the Rising Sun” because somewhere around midnight, Iris will realize the house in question is a bordello and that will just blow her mind.

Saundra Mitchell’s Advice for Iris on Her Big Debut

If you end up rolling around in the giggleweeds with somebody, make sure you check your hair for incriminating twigs and grass before you come back to the fire.

Rolling around in the giggleweeds? Ghosts or not, I’m intrigued!

Thanks for the bonfire and the fun, Saundra, and best wishes to you and Iris for a fabulous debut!

SHADOWED SUMMER is available in book stores now, and also online at Amazon.

A screenwriter and author, Saundra Mitchell penned the screenplays for the Fresh Films and Girls in the Director’s Chair short film series. Her short story “Ready to Wear” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her first feature film, Revenge Ends, debuted on the festival circuit in 2008. In her free time, she enjoys ghost hunting, papermaking, and spending time with her husband and her two children. Visit her online at her author site or book site.