Silly Dog Tricks

Thank you all for a wonderful book birthday celebration yesterday! I’m overjoyed to know that Keep It Together, Keiko Carter is now in the hands of readers!

The winner from yesterday’s Chocolate Challenge drawing is Karen L. Congratulations!

Today we’re sharing silly dog tricks. Keiko Carter loves dogs and so do I! So, today, I’m asking you to post/share your dog’s (or any pet’s) silly trick. Make sure you tag me and use #KeikoCarter in your post. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram.

Here is my dog Kiku. When we take her for walks along the river, we toss her poop bags on the opposite side of the road to pick up on the way back. We have trained her to alert/point out her bags so we don’t accidentally forget to pick them up.


Your turn! To be entered in the drawing to win a signed copy of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, be sure to post on Twitter or IG, tag me, and use the #KeikoCarter and Silly Dog Tricks. US mailing addresses only. Winner will be drawn at random and announced on 5/7 in the AM EDT. Thank you and good luck!

EDITED TO ADD: Congratulations to Emily F for winning!

Book Birthday – Chocolate Quiz

Joining me to celebrate my book birthday are friends and authors Christina Soontornvat and Supriya Kelkar – and they have agreed to compete in a chocolate quiz. Who wins? You’ll have to watch the video to find out!

You can be entered in a drawing to win a personalized signed copy of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter. Please comment on Twitter or Instagram for one entry. US mailing address only. Winner announced on Wednesday morning EST, May 6. (I always love hearing from you, but comments here will not count toward the drawing.)

Thank you for helping me celebrate!

EDITED TO ADD: Congratulations to Karen L for winning!

For more about the book: Keep It Together, Keiko Carter

Drumroll….the winner of the grand prize for the pre-order campaign…

Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, and thank you to awesome independent bookstore Bank Square Books for running the campaign. And now, the winner of the grand prize….

WooooHOOO! Congratulations! Your prize will be mailed to you very soon! (Separately from your book.)

If you missed the pre-order campaign, but still want a personalized signed copy of the book, you can still purchase copies from Bank Square Books. Just put the name of whom you want to book signed in the Comments when you check out. Thank you!

Launch Week Schedule

Keep It Together, Keiko Carter, my middle grade debut novel, will be celebrating a book birthday on May 5! After years of writing, revising, submitting, collecting rejections, writing, and revising, this story of my heart will be a real book with readers and I’m so excited to celebrate!

Below is the schedule for the launch party week of fun where you can enter to win signed copies of my book. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram to enter. I’ll post links here, daily.

May 5: The drawing of the winner from my pre-order campaign with Bank Square Books. The winner will receive a grand prize package of amazing items from the cover/book including Keiko’s backpack with enamel pins and plush keychain.

May 5: Chocolate Quiz video – Joining me to celebrate my book birthday, authors Christina Soontornvat and Supriya Kelkar take a chocolate quiz. See who wins! Comment with your favorite chocolate and be entered in a drawing for my book.

May 6: Silly Dog Tricks – Keiko Carter loves dogs! Post a pic or a video of your dog’s (or any pet’s) silly trick to be entered in a drawing for my book.

May 7: AAPI blurbs – May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I’ll be posting blurbs from the AAPI community. Retweet/like to be entered in a drawing for my book.

May 8: Guess the M&Ms – Guess the number of M&Ms in a container to be entered in a drawing for my book and a special package of custom M&Ms.

US mailing addresses only. Each contest will run till the following morning EST.

Thanks for celebrating with me!

Coming Soon!

In one week, I’ll be celebrating the launch of my debut middle grade novel, Keep It Together, Keiko Carter! I’m super excited! I hope you’ll join me in celebrating virtually. I’ll be hosting some fun giveaways where you could win signed copies of the book. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and join the week-long celebration starting on May 5!


You can still pre-order here, Bank Square Books, and get a personalized signed copy, limited edition swag, and be entered in a grand prize drawing for fun items from the book/cover. Don’t worry, you can still order signed copies from that link after the pre-order campaign is over on May 4.

Thanks for all the book love, and “see” you next week!

Pre-order Campaign for Keep It Together, Keiko Carter!

Pre-orders are a great way to support authors to let publishers know that there is excitement around a book. This means you order the book in advance of publication.

In partnership with my local independent bookstore, Bank Square Books, I am running a special pre-order campaign.

Pre-order the book through this link, and you will get a personalized signed copy mailed to you (free shipping in the US) with one bookmark and one limited edition Keiko Carter button. When you check out during purchasing, leave a note in the comments to let me know to whom you’d like the book signed. Thank you!

Button will be randomly selected

You will also be entered in a drawing for a grand prize of items from the cover/book: backpack, enamel pins, plush keychain, water bottle, chocolate bars, and a boba tea light! One entry for each book purchase. Winner will be announced on May 5, 2020.

Good luck and thank you so much for your support!

More About Keep It Together, Keiko Carter…

Keep It Together, Keiko Carter is my middle grade debut and available for purchase now!

This is where you’ll find links to news, reviews, and interviews. Keep coming back as I’ll update often. Thank you so much for all your support!

You can order the book from my local independent bookstore and get a personalized signed copy mailed to you (free in the US).

NEW~ Fun podcast review by a 13yo reader: Hook Of A Book

Check out this fun book trailer for Scholastic Book Fairs.

Publisher’s Weekly Pandemic Missed Connections featuring Keep It Together, Keiko Carter and other wonderful books.

Virtual Book Launch: Chocolate Quiz w Christina Soontornvat and Supriya Kelkar

Keep It Together, Keiko Carter is a New England Book Award finalist for Middle Grade (NEIBA)

Book Riot: 10 Fantastically Sweet Middle Grade Romance Books

French edition release – Les coups de coeur de Keiko Carter (Michel Lafon)

“Keep It Together Keiko Carter” Earns Mystic author award nomination article in The Day

Romanian edition release – Tine-te bine Keiko Carter (Editura Trei)

An interview with me on Lupine Seeds

An interview with me on delphreads

My essay and cover reveal on Nerdy Book Club

My video clip from Scholastic’s Spring 2020 Online Preview (see middle grade)

A sneak peek! Read chapter 1 of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter!

An exclusive excerpt on The Nerd Daily: Read chapter 2 of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter 

Interview with The Nerd Daily: Q&A w Debbi Michiko Florence, author of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter

Book Review: Imaginary Elevators

Book Review: 24hryabookblog

Book Review: CeCeLibrarian’s Book Blog 

Book Review: Beagles and Books

Kid Book Review: Elena Reads

Book Review: Afoma Umesi

Book Review: Onigireads

Video Kid Book Review: Read with Val


What people are saying:

“In her middle-grade debut, Florence creates a fun, accessible story, touching on the realities of middle school, such as friendships, fallouts, misunderstandings, first crushes, and fitting in. The highs and lows of the girls’ friendship highlight toxic relationships versus true friendship. Sweet and smart.” – Kirkus Review

“Tween and teen relationships are explored in this charming middle-grade story by Florence. This book would be a solid recommendation for young readers looking for lighthearted romance but not ready for more mature YA content.” – Booklist

“The moment I saw the cover, my heart soared: an Asian American main character who is every bit the All-American girl. This is the book I wish I could take back in time and give to my tween self. I am so thrilled that today’s readers get to have Keiko Carter.” –Christina Soontornvat, Newbery  Honor author of A Wish in the Dark

“Keep It Together, Keiko Carter navigates friendships, crushes, and self-discovery with such heart – my seventh grade self would have adored this book!” –Mae Respicio, award-winning author of The House That Lou Built and Any Day with You

“I loved how relatable (the story) was, being in a group of three friends and dealing with their conflicts.” – Novalee, age 12

Keep It Together, Keiko Carter takes an honest look at friendship fallouts and changing family dynamics with sweetness and sincerity that will make you cheer for Keiko as she learns to manage it all without losing herself.” –Jessica Kim, author of Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

“A beautiful coming of age story. Keep It Together Keiko Carter shines with friendship changes, first crushes, and a perfect, heartwarming ending.” – Julie Abe, author of Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch

“In this deft, empathetic, and humorous narrative, Debbi Michiko Florence has expertly captured the joy and heartbreak of middle school.” – Andrea Wang, Newbery honor, Caldecott award, and APALA award winning author of Watercress

“I want every preteen girl to read (this book), because it feels so true to the experience of being a middle-school girl and navigating the tough social waters of female friendship, cliques and crushes.” – Elissa Sweet, book-seller

Scholastic Spring Preview for Keep It Together, Keiko Carter

I was invited to the studio at Scholastic to record a video for their Online Spring Preview for my debut middle grade novel, Keep It Together, Keiko Carter. Curious to hear more about what this book is about? You can check out my video here.

Early next year, stay tuned for details on a preorder campaign through my local independent bookstore. You’ll get a personalized signed copy, swag, and be entered in a grand prize drawing! I’m super excited!

Thank you for your support as always!

An ARC Review for Keep It Together, Keiko Carter

It’s scary when after years (for me over a decade) of writing and revising a manuscript, it becomes a real book and suddenly the story is no longer mine. It belongs to readers. Always the hope is that readers will connect with the characters, love the story, want to share the book.

Yesterday, I saw my first educator review of my debut middle grade novel and was filled with joy and relief that it was a good one! WHEW!

Check it out here: CeCe Librarian’s Book Blog 

Buttons the Kitten, A Reader Review

Buttons the Kitten is part of the My Furry Foster Family chapter book series (Picture Window Books/2019). I was thrilled to learn of this young reader’s review of the book.

In part, Cooper says: “I think kids will like this because it is about pets. It is about saving animals and has a girl who gets to take care of them.”

Check out the entire review.