Thursday, May 18, 2023

Guest Post with Maria E. Andreu - Julieta and the Romeos

Photo Content from Maria E. Andreu

Maria E. Andreu is the author of Julieta and the Romeos (Balzer + Bray, 2023), Love in English (Balzer + Bray, 2021), an Indie Next Pick and Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, as well as an as-yet untitled book (B+B, 2022) . Her work has appeared in Literary Hub, Teen Vogue, Newsweek, The Washington Post,, and the Newark Star Ledger.

Her debut young adult novel, The Secret Side of Empty is a Junior Library Guild Selection, a National Indie Excellence Book Award winner, an International Latino Book Awards Finalist and has been called “captivating” by School Library Journal. Maria is Latinx and Argentinian-American and currently lives in New Jersey just outside New York City. Her work has been informed by her experiences as a formerly undocumented, non-native English speaker and immigrant to the U.S.

Writing JULIETA AND THE ROMEOS was a journey. It went through several iterations. I also wrote a lot of it during the pandemic, so I worked to strike a balance between creating a sweet love story but also facing all the tough realities of that time. So, ten facts about it:

1. As I developed the story, I wasn’t sure which of the “Romeos” in the book the main character would end up with. They surprised even me!

2. I first tried writing Julieta as swoony and into love, but, ultimately, because I’m not that way I couldn’t nail that voice. Instead, I wrote her as she made it to print: guarded but hopeful at her core.

3. The restaurant Julieta’s family owns is named after a section of Mendoza, Argentina. My parents grew up in Mendoza and I still have a lot of family there.

4. There’s a little Easter egg on the cover that pays homage to the restaurant’s name. I love it so much!

5. Although this was not my first book, it turned out to be the first one I was able to plan an in-person launch party for. That meant A LOT of swag (maybe went a bit overboard on the swag, actually). So I’m still giving some away on my website:

6. The restaurant lingo in the book is authentic: I once was a co-owner of a diner.

7. The tango scenes also come from lived experience. I once danced tango in Central Park!

8. Putting “la” and “el” before names is a quirky Argentinian thing, and it’s not even all over Argentina. So if you can read Spanish and that looks like a typo, it isn’t.

9. Probably one of my favorite elements in writing J&TR were the “story within the story” parts of Julieta’s sailmaker protagonist. I had a lot of fun researching sail making to make those bits sound authentic.

10. I love love love who Julieta’s online collaborator turns out to be. I think it says something important about love and how we can open our eyes to just how much we have of it.

You've Got Mail meets a YA Beach Read with a bookish mystery at its heart in the newest rom-com from Maria E. Andreu. The ideal next read for fans of Emily Henry, Kasie West, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Julieta isn't looking for her Romeo--but she is writing about love. When her summer writing teacher encourages the class to publish their work online, the last thing she's expecting is to get a notification that her rom-com has a mysterious new contributor, Happily Ever Drafter. Julieta knows that happily ever afters aren't real. (Case in point: her parents' imploding marriage.) But then again, could this be her very own meet-cute?

As things start to heat up in her fiction, Julieta can't help but notice three boys in her real life: her best friend's brother (aka her nemesis), the boy next door (well, to her abuela), and her oldest friend (who is suddenly looking . . . hot?). Could one of them be her mysterious collaborator? But even if Julieta finds her Romeo, she'll have to remember that life is full of plot twists. . . .

From the author of Love in English comes a fresh take on love and romance, and a reminder to always be the author of your own life story.

You can purchase Julieta and the Romeos at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you MARIA E. ANDREU for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Julieta and the Romeos by Maria E. Andreu.