Monday, April 3, 2017

FFBC: Welcome to the Club Cheesus by J.C. Davis & Giveaway

Cheesus Was Here

by J.C. Davis
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: April 11th, 2017
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult, Humor, Fiction
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg


Sixteen-year-old Delaney Delgado knows miracles aren’t real—if they were, her kid sister wouldn’t be dead. So when the image of baby Jesus appears on a Babybel cheese wheel, she’s not buying the idea that God’s got a dairy obsession. Soon, religious signs begin turning up all over Del’s hometown, tiny Clemency, Texas. Overnight, news vans fill the streets and religious pilgrims start searching for God in the discount aisle of the grocery store.

Hell-bent on proving the so-called miracles are fake, Del convinces her best friend, Gabe, to help her find the truth. While Gabe’s willing to play detective, as a preacher’s son he’s more interested in finding evidence that supports the miracles. But when the whole town becomes caught up in religious fervor and even the late-night talk show hosts have stopped laughing and started to believe, finding the truth might cause more trouble than Del can handle. This novel is neither pro nor anti-religion, and will appeal to fans of contemporary YA novels that explore deep themes with an element of humor. The voice and characters are funny, strong, and full of heart. This is a book for anyone who loved Saved!


Favorite Book?

You know this is an impossible question, right? I’m a bibliophile - completely and utterly addicted to books and stories. I can’t choose one because I love and adore a dozen different books on any given day! Of the many, many books I’ve read, however, there are a few that get re-read consistently: the Harry Potter series (especially PoA), The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, and the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. But if I start listing all the books I love, we’d be here all day! I’ll end with one of my favorite overlooked books: PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow. Oh my goodness, this book is so beautiful and lyric and perfect and doesn’t get nearly the love it should.

Favorite TV show?

Doctor Who! I’ve been watching the Doctor since I was a little kid growing up with Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor. I really love the reboot, however, and David Tennant will always be my favorite. I’m still waiting for the TARDIS to arrive and whisk me away on an adventure.

Favorite movie?

You’re expecting me to say Harry Potter, aren’t you? I’m going to throw a curve ball though: Somewhere In Time. It’s a schmaltzy, overly dramatic time travel romance that featured Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve. I’ve watched it far, far too many times and it features my favorite music in the whole world: Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini.

Favorite Song?

Depends on the day. And my mood. But my current favorite is the theme song from Moana!

Favorite Food?

Chocolate. Especially Swiss, German or British chocolate. YUM!

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

Hogwarts (Yes, I know. But darn it, I want my Hogwarts letter!) Mo’s world in Inkheart (Getting to actually visit the books I love? Sign me up!) The TARDIS (It totally counts. I can move into the library or hang out next to the swimming pool.)

Who is your perfect fictional boyfriend?

Zane from Westerfeld’s Uglies series. He’s a daredevil, focused, brilliant and loyal. He never gives up on Tally and pushes her to be her own person outside what society/those in charge expect.

Favorite Quote?

This quote from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince speaks to my soul. Life hands us challenges we never expected and embracing those challenges head-on is a choice, even when if feels like there aren’t any choices. 

“It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew - and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents - that there was all the difference in the world.”

What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?

I fangirl over books I love, art (Kelly Vivanco is my favorite artist in the world, look her up, she’s awesome), and crafty things. My friends may go all melty at the knees over the latest hot movie star, but give me five minutes to talk with a favorite author and I will die of happiness. I met Alexandra Bracken last year at a con and basically made an idiot of myself. I should not be allowed in public.

What were your favorite books growing up? (I was a Fear Street Girl!!)

I read EVERYTHING Christopher Pike ever wrote. The chilling details and unexpected twists in his books had me staying up late many, many nights reading. Ghost stories and creepy tales that had me checking under my bed where also perennial favorites. And surprisingly, given those first two faves, I read A Little Princess by Francis Hodgeson Burnett twenty or thirty times. I still have my original copy and the cover is almost falling off!

If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be?

J. K. Rowling, without a moments hesitation or doubt! If it wasn’t for Harry Potter, I wouldn’t be writing now and I certainly wouldn’t have a book deal. I really admire Rowling’s world building, how layered her stories are and the humanitarian work she has gone on to champion. 


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about CHEESUS WAS HERE?

Here’s my elevator pitch: CHEESUS is a bit of fun, with a side of sad and a lot of ridiculous sprinkled in between. It’s about a tiny Texas town where crazy miracles happen and a girl who’s determined to prove they’re all fake because she hasn’t believed in God since her little sister died. It’s neither pro nor anti-religion and instead features characters who believe and characters who don’t. CHEESUS will appeal to readers who like books that tackle tough topics with a ton of humor, such as Caroline Mackler’s THE EARTH, MY BUTT, AND OTHER BIG ROUND THINGS.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of CHEESUS WAS HERE.)

#ISawCheesus #CheeseyReads #IsThisBookReallyAboutCheese

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

Years ago, a co-worker and I stumbled across an article about a partially eaten grilled cheese sandwich with the image of Mary on it that sold for over $28,000 on eBay. Which raises the question - who buys holy food? And why? I have a curious streak wider than the pacific so I started researching. Turns out there have been a lot of religious symbol food items sold on eBay and a casino was buying up quite a few of them and putting them on display. Still others were bought by personal collectors. But the very first religious food item that caused a furor, wasn’t on eBay. Way back in 1977, Maria Rubio, a New Mexico housewife, discovered the image of Jesus on a flour tortilla while making her husband a breakfast burrito. Maria built a shrine to that tortilla and in the space of two years, 35,000 people visited it! And this was in a time long, long before the internet and social media.  

All of that got me to thinking: What would happen if a religious sign showed up today? Clearly a lot of them end up on eBay, but what if it didn’t? What if it appeared in a tiny, uber-religious Texas town? What if the person who discovered it didn’t believe in miracles? From there the questions kept spinning out, as questions do, and eventually I had CHEESUS WAS HERE. A lot of details changed over the years as the book evolved, but it’s still true to that first original idea. Tell us your favorite quote from CHEESUS WAS HERE. “A Polaroid camera’s a kind of truth you can’t find anywhere else. You press a button and a minute later you’re holding a small piece of the world. The image quality might be crap, but so’s the world lots of times.”

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write? Or which one was the most difficult to write?

There’s a chapter in the novel called “Jesus and a Side of Fries.” I had way, way too much fun writing that chapter. The idea of a McDonald’s miracle just tickled my funny bone and I giggled my way through much of that chapter. And while I wouldn’t say it was fun to write, the chapters where Del remembers her sister really spoke to me and burrowed their way into my heart. I lost my step-brother when I was 14, and though we barely knew one another, his death left me reeling with so many could-have-beens that were suddenly never-wills. A tiny bit of that is reflected in Del.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for CHEESUS WAS HERE – Which one would you pick?

Can I write my own? Wait, that’s a terrible idea, never mind. Can I get Heidi Helig to write a song for me? Because she has mad song skills. Seriously though, I am utterly stumped by this question.

I’m a big Potterhead— what houses would you sort your characters into? What about a Patronus?

For my main character Del, probably Gryffindor because she’s reckless and brave when she can get out of her own head long enough to see the world around her. Her patronus would be a pygmy marmoset monkey - because family is important to Del, she feels easily overlooked and invisible in her hometown, but she can be fast and cunning when necessary. Plus Pygmy Marmosets are just so darn cute!

Del’s best friend, Gabe, would be in Ravenclaw. He’s a braniac and far more even tempered than Del. His patronus would be a racoon because they’re both social and solitary, extremely clever, and often underestimated.

Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read CHEESUS WAS HERE (specific music, snacks…)?

If you want a quick read that will make you laugh and possibly cry, potentially at the same time, congratulations, this book is for you! Step 1. Grab a box of tissues. Step 2. Set out a glass of water in case of giggle-induced hiccups. Step 3. Curl up somewhere comfy and nice and proceed to read. Step 4. Don’t read and drink your water at the same time! Spit laughs may occur.

What’s next for you?

I have three picture books out on sub right now and I’m working on a contemporary middle grade novel. I can’t say more about my MG project without jinxing myself, but I’m ridiculously excited about it! After that, I’ll probably indulge in a nice YA fantasy or two. Basically, I write the full range of kidlit and have project ADD.

Thank you so much for everything. We are so happy to welcome you to our Club!

I know I'll be looking out for your MG project when it's finished!!  I'm all about the MG right now :)

A programmer by day, I write YA fiction, the occasional short story and have far too many hobbies to keep up with. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband, two kids and a pair of hedgehogs with nerdy names.

  • (1) Signed Hardback of Cheesus Was Here by J.C. Davis
  • Swag including- bookmark, button, 2 art cards
  • A cheese wedge charm
  • U.S. Only
  • Please read our rules & regs in the Rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 photo signature_zpsbfa41d62.png


  1. This sounds really unique and I like that it has humor as well. And great interview as well! I loved the Polaroid camera quote.

  2. This sounds both emotional as well as humorous. Added to my Goodreads!

  3. Great interview! I'm always fascinated by people who see religious signs in everyday objects. Wasn't there something with a piece of pizza?

  4. I think it sounds good. I might it it to my TBR.


  5. I've been waiting for this book for so long.