Hi everyone! Happy Friday! We made it through another week and I’m not above celebrating even the smallest victories right now so – Hooray! Another reason to celebrate? We have an absolutely gorgeous new cover to reveal on Pop! Goes The Reader today featuring the work of one of my favourite artists, Mirelle Ortega!
Coming to a bookstore and library near you in April 2021 from HarperCollins Children’s Books, Cece Rios and The Desert of Souls is a middle grade book written by debut author, Kaela Rivera. This #OwnVoices novel is inspired by stories told by Rivera’s grandfather about his experience growing up in early 1900’s Mexico. The author drew on both Mexican folklore and ancient legend to craft this exciting and heartfelt adventure that has been described as being perfect for fans of Zoraida Cordova’s Labyrinth Lost and S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong.
Please read on to learn more about Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls, including an exclusive cover reveal and an opportunity for seven winners to win 1 of 7 beautiful and unique Cece Rios-themed handmade prizes created by the author!
About Kaela Rivera
Kaela Rivera was raised to believe in will-o’-the-wisps and el chupacabra, but even ghost stories couldn’t stop her from reading in the isolated treetops, caves, and creeks of Tennessee’s Appalachian forests.
She still believes in the folktales of her Mexican-American and British parents, but now she writes about them from the adventure-filled mountains of the Wild West. When she’s not crafting stories, she’s using her English degree from BYU–I as an editor for a marketing company (or secretly doodling her characters in the margins of her notebook).
Her biggest hope is to highlight and explore the beauty of cultural differences — and how sharing those differences can bring us all closer.
Cover design by Catherine Lee, Cover illustration by Mirelle Ortega
Title Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls
Author Kaela Rivera
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date April 2021
Find It On Goodreads
Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol is dangerous — especially in the criatura months, when powerful spirits break free from their home in Devil’s Alley to threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios has always believed there was more to the criaturas who roamed the desert, much to her family’s disapproval. After all, it’s common knowledge that only brujas — humans who capture and control criaturas – consort with the spirits, and brujeria is a terrible crime.
When her older sister, Juana, is kidnapped by El Sombrerón, a powerful dark criatura, everyone in town believes she’s lost forever. But Cece is determined to bring Juana back. To get into Devil’s Alley, though, she’ll have to become a bruja herself — while hiding her quest from her parents, her town, and the other brujas. Thankfully, the legendary criatura Coyote has a soft spot for humans, and agrees to help her on her journey. With him at her side, Cece sets out to reunite her family — and maybe even change what it means to be a bruja along the way.
As a special, added bonus, Kaela has been kind enough to offer seven lucky winners the opportunity to enter to win 1 of 7 beautiful and unique Cece Rios-themed handmade prizes created by Kaela herself! Prizes will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis and winners will select their choice of prize contingent on availability.