Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM, which is very fitting–but there is also a red team, a blue team, an orange team, a red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!
If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.
And don’t forget to scroll down and enter to win a SIGNED copy of A Touch of Gold right here on this page! A Touch of Gold follows the seventeen-year-old cursed daughter of King Midas who faces pirates and betrayers on her quest to retrieve her father’s stolen gold!
Today, I am hosting Sara Fujimura on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Sara’s Playlist for BREATHE
I wish I could imbed songs in chapters for you, but for now, here are the Top 5 Songs (plus a bonus, because I’m extra) from BREATHE. Though there are also a few period-appropriate songs listed in the book, these five contemporary songs were an integral part of my creative process.
Rewrite the Stars Zac Efron & Zendaya [The Greatest Showman]
Mercy Shawn Mendes
The Motions Matthew West
Say John Mayer
Brave Sara Bareilles
Bonus: Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John. Though it’s more about tennis player (and Elton John’s good friend) Billie Jean King and less about the actual city of Philadelphia, I love it anyway. It makes me chair dance every time it comes on. Which is awkward when I’m writing at Starbucks.
On Spotify? You can use this link to go directly to the playlist: http://bit.ly/YASHF18Breathe
In today’s post, we’re going behind the scenes of BREATHE: Kit’s 21st Birthday Party. Like many sisters, Virginia (17) and Kit (21) have a push-and-pull relationship. There are days when they fight like cats and dogs and other days when they are each other’s closest confidants and allies. In Chapter 20, the dominoes on some soon-to-be life-altering events start falling for both of the sisters. No spoilers, but here is the birthday cake scene from BREATHE, starting with Kit’s beau, Grayson.
September 28, 1918
“I would like to propose a toast,” Grayson’s smooth voice carries around the room. “To a courageous young woman who brings life and purpose to everything she does. You inspire me and motivate me and occasionally exasperate me.” Grayson pauses as the room chuckles. “I look forward to witnessing your adventures in this new chapter of your life. To Katherine.”
“To Katherine.” Everyone lifts his or her punch cup, though some much higher than others.
Kit looks at me, and both of our eyes fill with tears. I have to look away. After a round of “For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” everyone receives a slice of spice cake—which is dry and has only a tiny smear of icing on top. Marco raises a questioning eyebrow at the sad example of birthday cake. Two bites in, I contemplate dumping mine into the potted plant in the corner.
“Angelina would have made a much better cake.” I abandon my plate—and Marco does the same—on a side table and slink away.
Marco leans into me and whispers, “Come to Little Italy. I will take you to Falcone’s for the best cannoli in—“
“All of Philadelphia?” I tease.
The small ensemble Mama hired resumes their performance of “Smiles” by the Joseph C. Smith’s Orchestra. Grayson whisks Kit to the center of the room for an elegant but spirited—and completely scandalous by Mrs. Vaughn’s standards—foxtrot. I sigh. I have never seen my sister look so beautiful.
Let’s break down this scene a little bit.
- First of all, notice that there isn’t any champagne mentioned though the upper crust Jackson family could have easily afforded it. The Prohibition Amendment wouldn’t go into effect in the United States until January 1920, but the wheels were firmly in motion. Mrs. Jackson, like many concerned society matrons of the day, was already a member of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and all forms of alcohol were banned from her home. Not all Americans were on board with this though. Italian-American Marco says in an earlier chapter, “We [Italians] have been drinking vino for centuries. We aren’t about to stop now.” And he’s right. The Italian-American Mafia would go on to make huge profits bootlegging alcohol during Prohibition.
- Notice that they don’t sing the traditional “Happy Birthday to You” song. The tune existed in 1918, but the lyrics didn’t appear in any songbooks until 1922. Instead, they would have sung another popular congratulatory song that had its roots in 1700s France, but spread around the world, “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” A firm supporter of the suffrage movement and Kit’s part in it, Grayson DOESN’T change “fellow” to “person” or “lassie” like some do to neutralize or feminize the song. Instead, he uses fellow’s alternate meaning of being a colleague and an equal in some endeavor.
- “Smiles” by the Joseph C. Smith’s Orchestra is a real song. You can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/bjlISfhD-eU.
- There has always been a generation gap when it comes to dancing. Your grandma may have rolled her eyes as you did “The Whip” and “Nae Nae.” My great-grandmother was appalled when she found my mom and her BFF practicing “The Twist” in her kitchen in the early 1960s. So it is probably that super conservative ladies like Mrs. Vaughn would have looked down their noses at Kit and Grayson doing a foxtrot. Want to see what a foxtrot looks like? You can see this archival footage from the early 1920s: https://youtu.be/tyOWM6S1ITA Hey, it’s not like Kit and Grayson were doing “The Grizzly Bear” or a “Bunny Hug” or a…gasp…tango.
There you go. Like most historical fiction authors, I did a ton of research to help me weave all the authenticating details into BREATHE. Do you like a lot of facts mixed in with your fiction? If so, I hope you’ll check out my blog at https://saraffujimura.wixsite.com/blog for more behind-the-scenes looks at my 1918 YA historical romance novel.
And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Annie Sullivan…and enter below for a separate contest for a SIGNED copy of A Touch of Gold! To enter YASH contest, you need to know that my favorite number is 16. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the gold team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!