Saturday, June 9, 2018

Saturday Author Spotlight: Steph Marie #Interview #Giveaway

Hello everyone and welcome to another Saturday Author Spotlight! We have a lovely lady here today who also happens to be very talented. She writes YA (Young Adult) and is creating an amazing literary world. We will take a look at her work, do an interview, and wrap it all up with a terrific giveaway. Hope you enjoy.

We Have A Voice: Mrs. Shaw's Club

High school sophomore, Dante Leonard, is a star athlete, and loved by the school. From the outside, he looks like he has the perfect life, but his dad is overbearing and relentless in his desire to see Dante succeed in football.

High school freshman, Jasmine Lotts, is friends with the "cool kids". Unfortunately, she doesn’t feel like her life is her own, and she’s overwhelmed by her mom’s constant presence.

Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Shaw, formed a special club forty years ago. Each year, she handpicks twelve students to participate, but no one knows what they talk about, and former students never tell.

Dante and Jasmine are two of the chosen this year. When Mrs. Shaw partners them up, their lives begin to alter in ways that they couldn’t have imagined. While Jasmine is confronted with discrimination, Dante begins to question his future. As friendships begin to build within Club Shaw, and trust is established, will it be enough to help these two find their voice?
Can Mrs. Shaw help them to believe in magic?

This is book one in the Mrs. Shaw's Club series. Here we meet all twelve students for this school year, begin to see glimpses into their lives, and hear their stories.

This is an MF YA story in this series

 We Have A Decision: Mrs Shaw's Club Book 2

High school freshman, Danny Burns, loves life, art, and boys. From the outside, he looks like a happy-go-lucky guy with no concerns. He blows off the bullies and he’s an amazing friend. What people don’t know is that he’s had a boyfriend since the summer, and when Danny decides being a secret isn’t enough for him and tries to end it, it’s not as easy as he expects.

High school freshman, Noah Glass, thinks he knows exactly who he is, what he wants, and where he’s going. Unfortunately, when the strict religious rules he’s grown-up with don’t line up with him being able to have friendships with people he cares about, he begins to question his own beliefs.

Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Shaw, formed a special club forty years ago. Each year, she handpicks twelve students to participate, but no one knows what they talk about, and former students never tell.

Danny and Noah are two of the chosen this year. When Mrs. Shaw partners them up, their lives begin to alter in ways that they couldn’t have imagined. While Danny is confronted with a stalking ex, Noah begins to question his values. As their friendship grows within the nurturing circle of Club Shaw, will that foundation be enough to get them through the troubles ahead? Will Noah be strong enough to set aside his preconceived notions and be there for Danny? Will Danny trust in Noah’s friendship and strength to help him move on from his ex to give the new guy Noah introduces him to a chance?

This is book two in the Mrs. Shaw's Club series. We’ll continue to get glimpses into the lives of the students, and with each book, we’ll see a romance bloom. This is a standalone, but more fun if you watch them all grow together through the year.

This is an MM YA book in the series

Purchase Link


Thank you, Steph, for being on Diverse Reader today. You just recently had a book released so I look forward to getting in that smart brain of yours and ask a few questions. 

Thank you! I’m so excited to be here.

This isn’t your first book published it’s your second but this one, unlike book one, is an MM YA story. Mrs Shaw’s Club Series follows 12 students and I’m gathering there will be all mixes of relationships going on. Am I correct that this series will cross al sorts of paths YA lovers can relate to?

Yep! Through the six books each of the students will have a turn being in the spotlight. The central theme is how their evolving friendships help them deal with other areas of their lives and their new relationships. There will be a lot of first loves: MF, MM, & FF

Tell us some awesome things about Danny and Noah that we can look forward to in We Have A Decision?

Gah. I love Danny and Noah so much. Their story is a real reflection on how when building a strong friendship can help you overcome your fears. These are two boys with completely different backgrounds. Through each other’s acceptance and friendship, they fight their battles together and for one other. They also bring in other secondary characters besides the original twelve for the reader to fall in love with.

Are each of these books standalones or will it be a huge story arc and why did you choose that path?

Each book is a standalone focusing on two teens at a time. All of their stories are important and represent something that a teenager today might struggle with. However, as you read through the earlier stories there are clues as to what’s ahead for the kids whose stories are still to be told. I did it that way because some situations and some issues are easily recognized, but others you have to work for a little. Some things require a tremendous amount of trust to be in place before they can be admitted to or discussed.

Do you have any authors that have been huge inspirations to you that brought you to where you are now?

I’ve been reading my whole life. I was that little kid who wanted to stay in and read instead of going outside. I’ve always enjoyed getting lost in a world someone else created. So, from that perspective there would be a whole long list. I wanted to give someone else what I was given. From the perspective of authors who encouraged me to actually sit down and write what’s in my heart: Stella Starling, Michele Notaro, Taylor Rylan, and Brittany Cournoyer gave me the kick in the butt to not only write the words but to share them with others.

Can you tell us about your future projects?

I’m working on book three of this series now, but already have the first three books outlined for the next twelve kids. There are so many challenges to being a teenager, and this series only scratches the surface. The teens in my life are constantly asking me if I’m going to address different topics that they find important. I want to do that for them.

How can people follow you on the world wide web? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…

What would you say is the easiest and hardest part about writing young adult books?

The easiest part for me is that I know teens. They’ve been my heartbeat as long as I’ve been an adult. They give me hope and they inspire me. The hardest part for me is that the issues I want to write about are real and sometimes traumatic and heartbreaking. Finding that balance of entertaining and inspiring, but still keeping it real…it’s tricky.

As an author we all have goals. What would you say your top 3 goals are?

My first goal was to inspire my own children, both natural and of the heart, that we should always follow our dreams. I wanted them to see me set the example and it not just be lip service.
My second goal is that I hope my writing fosters hope in my readers. This life we live isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. Not only do I want the kids to keep pushing through, but to urge the adults who love them to remember what it’s like to be a teen and find those unique ways to connect with the teenagers in their lives. 

And my third goal is to really keep living life to the fullest. My book children bring me as much joy as my real-life ones. Writing has settled something in me, and I experience a peace and a calm I’ve never had before.

Fast Fire Questions:

Day or night? Night! Definitely night!
Favorite number? 40 – my age when I decided to own my life
Coffee or tea? Coffee, lot of coffee
Favorite color? Purple
Cake or brownies? Cake
Favorite season? Spring
Ebook or paperback? Paperback

Thank you again for stopping by and talking with us

Thank you again for having me! This was fun!


Steph is offering one person a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon gift card
Enter the rafflecopter below to win.
Contest ends June 15th

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Conrats on your new books! Wonderful!

  2. Love finding new to me authors!

  3. I enjoyed the post its so great to find a new author adding the books to my wish list.

  4. I love MM YA stories. Can't wait to read this one.

  5. Congrats on the new series! It sounds interesting.

  6. I love finding new authors! Congratulations on your new release.

  7. Congrats and thanks for the post. I'd think writing YA as an adult would be difficult, but you seem to capture it well.

  8. Congrats on the release! It looks interesting.

  9. Congrats and best wishes. The book looks amazing.

  10. Your new series sounds terrific. Thanks so much for sharing!