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WRITE: Words with Friends: Joyce Magnin, author of CAKE

Today, I’m proud to share with you an interview with award-winning author Joyce Magnin as the start of a new blog feature, Words with Friends. God has allowed me to build some great relationships with other authors, and I don’t want to hide those when I feature their books. In Words with Friends, I’ll share an interview and  a bit of personal information, too.  Joyce and I first met a few years ago when we both served on faculty at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. At our first in-person encounter, I bowed at her feet to show my extreme appreciation for her talents. We share an off-center sense of humor, a love for great literature, and a deep appreciation for Lemon Squares. Elsewhere on this blog, you can read my earlier interview with Joyce and my review of her most recent work, CAKE. Joyce, a frequent conference speaker and writing instructor, is the author of the popular and quirky Bright’s Pond series along with two recent middle grade novels, Carrying Mason and Cake. When she’s not writing or reading, Joyce enjoys baseball, needle arts, video games, and cream soda, but not elevators—especially glass ones. She listens to many kinds of music, shamelessly confesses to enjoying American Idol, and has never eaten a scallop or sky dived. Joyce has three children, Rebekah, Emily, and Adam;  three grandsons, Lemuel, Cedar, and Soren; and one son-in-law, Joshua. Joyce, her son Adam, and their crazy cat Mango live in Havertown, Pennsylvania where Joyce cares for an eighty-year-old onion plant. Welcome, Joyce. Let’s jump right into our discussion. What were some of your favorite books as a child? Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books. Loved them all. Still do. Emily of New Moon, she was one of the lesser-known heroines of Lucy Maud Montgomery, although Anne of Green Gables was a favorite also. The poems of Emily Dickinson even though I didn’t understand most of what I was reading, I just loved to read the words. Harriet the Spy Winnie the Pooh Grimm’s Fairy Tales Pippi Longstocking made me want to have big feet and strap sponges on them to scrub the kitchen floor. Oh, and to have a monkey. Mom wouldn’t allow it, which was kind of disappointing considering our mother let us keep every animal we brought home, including dogs, cats, a flying squirrel, snakes, birds, guinea pigs, mice, and a pig for a short while, but my favorite was the dogs. Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales But, believe it or not I became enamored with Sherlock Holmes when I was around eleven years old. When and why did you decide to start writing for young readers? I was nine. No, really. Middle Grade literature...

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READ: Review, CAKE by Joyce Magnin

Some books take you to places you’ve never visited. Some introduce you to people you’ve never met. And some pull you into an adventure that becomes a journey of your own. The second of Joyce Magnin’s middle-grade novels, CAKE: Love, Chickens, and a Taste of Peculiar (Zonderkidz, January 2013) contains the whimsical, magical elements that made books like Charlotte’s Web and The Secret Garden the childhood favorites I still enjoy. Twelve-year-old Wilma Sue has bounced from one foster home to another before landing in the unlikely dwelling of sisters Ruth and Naomi. The steady love and acceptance the retired missionaries show their new addition meshes with the quirky elements that have become Magnin’s signature style. In CAKE, these include neighbors from a variety of backgrounds, bonding time with a tribe of chickens, and luscious homemade cakes that produce more-than-unusual effects. When a new friendship goes from worse to horrific, Wilma Sue faces the biggest challenge of her life. And as she moves from struggle to struggle and cake to cake, she learns a little about baking and a lot about the nature of genuine love. Magnin’s rich imagination and keen insight into human nature make this book as rich—and as tender—as one of Naomi’s delectable delights. Go ahead. Cut a generous serving of CAKE. You’ll savor every bite. Find a local Christian bookstore. Find this book on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, or at What are some of the favorite books you read as a child? Why do you think they captured your attention and interest? Feel free to share your stories, and watch for a WRITE interview with author Joyce Magnin coming soon.  (FTC Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to post a review or a positive...

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