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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Blog Tour- THE STARTUP SQUAD By Brian Weisfeld & Nicole C. Kear With An Excerpt & #Giveaway!


I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE STARTUP SQUAD Series by Brian Weisfeld & Nicole C. Kear Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


About the Books:


Author: Brian Weisfeld & Nicole C. Kear

Pub. Date: THE STARTUP SQUAD 5/7/2019, FACE THE MUSIC 5/5/2020, PARTY PROBLEMS 5/4/2021

Publisher: Imprint

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 176

Find THE STARTUP SQUAD: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

Find FACE THE MUSIC: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

Find PARTY PROBLEMS: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org


Brian Weisfeld, the Founder and Chief Squad Officer of The Startup Squad, an initiative dedicated to helping girls reach their potential, teams up with Fix-It Friends author Nicole C. Kear to present this middle-grade series about friendship and entrepreneurship.

Operating a lemonade stand is just the beginning for Resa, Harriet, Didi, and Amelia, as these savvy, business-minded schoolgirls learn that good business isn’t just about making a profit, but about making friends. Each book features tips from the Startup Squad and an inspirational profile of a girl entrepreneur.

Visit thestartupsquad.com for more information, inspiring profiles of savvy girls, and advice on launching your own small business!

Praise for The Startup Squad

“The Startup Squad encourages girls to dream big, work hard, and rely on each other to make good things happen. It teaches them how to succeed–and reminds all of us that girls mean business!” –Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and #1 New York

Times bestselling author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

"An inspiring story about entrepreneurial girls." —Ann M. Martin, author of the Baby-Sitters Club series

" The Startup Squad encourages girls to dream big, work hard, and rely on each other to make good things happen. It teaches them how to succeed—and reminds all of us that girls mean business!" —Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org

“A great read that is fast-paced, fun, and empowering. The Startup Squad comes complete with a treasure trove of tips for starting a business.” —Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning author of The One and Only Ivan

“An enjoyable and diverse story highlighting friendship, entrepreneurship, and perseverance.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Teamwork and friendship are at the fore of this business-savvy series, which will hold particular appeal for girls struggling to find ways for their ideas to bloom.” —Booklist



By the time she got ready for bed, Didi felt really good about her burgeoning business. She was brushing her teeth while listening to her favorite song at a volume her mother would probably complain about later.

The song suddenly changed to “Here Comes the Bride!” Didi leaned over the sink and spit out her toothpaste. She didn’t need to look at the phone to know who it was. She’d programmed that song to ring when Agnes called.

Didi’s heart sank. Agnes had changed her mind, she was sure. She’d decided the centerpieces were too expensive, and then what would Didi do? She’d already paid for the materials.

She was tempted to just let the call go to voice mail, but she screwed her courage to its sticking place and swiped across the screen to pick up the call.

“Didi!” Agnes exclaimed. “Thank goodness you picked up!”

“What’s up?” Didi ventured. “Is there an issue with the centerpieces?”

“The centerpieces?”  Agnes  sounded  confused. “No, no, nothing like that. We have a huge problem. A disastrous, epic problem.”

Didi’s mind raced to guess what she could have done. “What is it?”

“It’s Gigi!” Agnes all but yelled. “She’s got mono!”

Didi was still processing that the problem had nothing to do with her. “Mono?”

“Yes—her doctor said she needs to rest for the next month!” Agnes was beside herself. “And the wedding is a week from tomorrow. One week!”

“Oh, no.” Didi felt guilty at her relief. She wasn’t happy Gigi was sick, but she was happy she wasn’t to blame. “I’m really sorry. That’s terrible.”

“It is terrible!” Agnes cried. “It’s catastrophic!”

Didi could see why Agnes had chosen a career in the theater. She certainly had a natural flair for the dramatic. “But I’m sure you’ll figure it out. If you need any help, just let me know.”

 “Well,” said Agnes, “I’m glad you said that. I do need your help.”

“Okay,” Didi replied. “What can I do?” “You, genius girl, can take Gigi’s place!”

“Huh?” That was all Didi could muster in her amazement.

“I want you to be the substitute wedding planner!” Agnes clarified.

Didi was speechless.

“Didi?” asked Agnes. “Are you there?”

“Yeah,” Didi replied.

“Yeah, you’ll do it?” Agnes sounded relieved.

“Yeah, I’m here,” replied Didi. “The wedding planning . . . I guess . . . well, I have some questions.” That was putting it mildly.


1.      What is on your nightstand?  

My nightstand is usually a collection of books from four different categories: middle grade, YA, adult fiction, adult non-fiction. I’m in two book clubs with fellow authors and aspiring authors, one for middle grade the other for YA and adult fiction, so I usually have our next books queued up. I’ve also recently started reading adult non-fiction to expand my world view (although that’s not why I’m reading my current non-fiction book as you will clearly see below!) and I occasionally dabble in adult fiction when I hear good things about a new book.

Right now my nightstand is holding:

-          Nothing But a Good Time by Tom Beaujour and Richard Bienstock – A behind-the-scenes oral history of the 80’s hard rock/heavy metal/hair metal bands that I grew up with. Such a fun trip back to my youth!

-          Recipe for Disaster by Aimee Lucido – Aimee and I debuted together in 2019 and I loved her first book, Emmy in the Key of Code. I have an advance copy of her next book which is a hybrid of prose, verse, and recipes that tells the story of a 12-year-old girl whose best friend’s Bat Mitzvah inspires her to plan one for herself.

-          The Great Peach Experiment by Erin Soderberg Downing – I try to read any MG books that have an entrepreneurial storyline. I’m looking forward to reading this one about a family that purchases a food truck and spends the summer travelling the country selling pies.


2.      What author would you totally fan?

Ann M Martin! For three reasons.

First of all, The Babysitters Club (BSC) is the closest comparison to The Startup Squad in terms of what I set out to create. The girls in BSC are running a babysitting business, but the story focuses more on their relationships than the business aspects. In The Startup Squad, we also wanted the books to be more about the relationships between the girls, but we also wanted to infuse just a touch more of the business aspects into the narrative. I think we did a good job of “baking the broccoli into the brownies” and then including actual business tips drawn from the story in the back of the book.

Second, Ann was kind enough to blurb our first book and called The Startup Squad “An inspiring story about entrepreneurial girls. I loved this story of girls finding their way in the world of entrepreneurship.” I’d love to be able to thank her in person.

Finally, her book Rain Reign changed the way that I parent. The main character Rose is autistic and has OCD and an obsession with homonyms. Her single dad has a very short fuse about the things that make Rose special but her uncle is much more understand, caring, and patient with her. Since reading this book, I try to parent more like the uncle and be more understanding of my own kids. My wife and I will often mention “being the uncle” when discussing our parenting.

3.      What makes you cringe?

Where to start! Drivers that don’t use their turn signals, the sound of my youngest daughter biting a popsicle (which she will often do right next to my ear), inequality, talking down to kids especially girls, the gross inside part of tomatoes, close-mindedness, people telling me “no,” and my own writing!


4.      Do you obsessively plot out each point or just go with the flow?

The process of creating The Startup Squad books is somewhat unique. I like to say that I’m an author, not a writer. I spent my career helping entrepreneurs scale and build their businesses. But after seeing my daughter struggle to sell girl scout cookies, and becoming frustrated by all the pink, princess, fairy, unicorn, rainbow products marketed to girls, I decided to create a novel series to inspire girls to start their first lemonade stand or other business and to empower them with an entrepreneurial mindset. I spent three humbling years learning how to write for kids and creating my original manuscript before I signed with Macmillan (I did a TEDx if anyone wants to hear about some of the many misadventures I had along the way). Once I started working with Macmillan, we brought in the fabulous Nicole C. Kear to be my co-author and to take the lead in writing the books. Our process is that the editorial team at Macmillan and I spend months creating a fairly detailed 6-8 page outline of the plot and business lessons for each book. Then we give the outline to Nicole who somehow send us back 24,000 amazing words three months later. Then the editors and I go back and forth with Nicole editing the draft until we all sign off on the finished product.


5.      Is there a word you love to use?

So, in writing and in speech, I tend to rely too much on the word ”so” to connect thoughts and sentences (I think I’m up to 16 uses of the word in these answers already!). I’m usually pretty aware of my verbal and written tics but that word still escapes much too often. I do wish I was a better writer. Throughout my business career, the valuable writing skill was brevity and being able to explain ideas in the most direct and concise way. There weren’t a lot of adjectives or set ups to a big payoff. As I transitioned to the kidlit world, one of my biggest struggles has been to unlearn those tendencies. It has been and continues to be a struggle. But at least I didn’t use the word “so” more than once in this answer!!! 

About Brian Weisfeld:

Brian Weisfeld has helped build a number of well-known billion-dollar companies including IMAX Corporation and Coupons.com. He is the Founder and Chief Squad Officer of The Startup Squad, an initiative dedicated to helping girls reach their potential and follow their dreams, whatever their passions. Brian lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and two daughters.


You can check out thestartupsquad.com for more info.


Website |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TokTok | Goodreads | Amazon


About Nicole C. Kear:

Nicole C. Kear lives in New York City with her husband, three firecracker kids and a ridiculously fluffy hamster. She’s the author of The Fix-It Friends chapter book series, as well as middle grade standalone Foreverland .


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win a finished copies of THE STARTUP SQUAD Series, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


YA Books Central

Pre-made Guest Post


Little Red Reads






The Momma Spot



Kait Plus Books

Pre-made Guest Post


The Bookwyrm's Den



Rajiv's Reviews






BookHounds Ya





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