About the book: Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it’s time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong. Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don’t just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana’s interest. Right as she’s about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind. Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into none other than Quattro himself. But even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously… Love and loss, humor and heartbreak collide in this new novel from acclaimed author Justina Chen.
About the author: Justina Chen is the acclaimed author of young adult novels including A Blind Spot for Boys, Return to Me, North of Beautiful, and Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies), which won the Asian Pacific American Award for Youth Literature. She is a co-founder of readergirlz, the online book community for teens, and lives in the Seattle area with her two children.
Disclaimer: I participated in this spotlight with BookSparks PR. I was given all the materials, but no other compensation was provided.
Synopsis: Award-winning author Kat Bastion teams with her husband, Stone Bastion, in this first book in the No Weddings Series about Cade Michaelson, a successful man with his sights set on a new venture in business, and Hannah Martin, the woman who makes it personal. I think I have my act together as a successful bar owner, my master’s degree within reach, and a list of no-strings-attached women warming my bed. Turns out, I don’t. Hannah believes she has safeguarded her wounded heart by shunning men and focusing on her new baking business. The thing is, she hasn’t. When my three sisters and I form an event-planning business with Hannah as our baker, I have no idea how my life is about to change. As Hannah and I work closely together, the attraction between us becomes irresistible. And complicated. I’ve promised my sisters I wouldn’t mix business with pleasure. But I’ve never been one to follow the rules.
Author Bio: Award-winning and bestselling romance author Kat Bastion has teamed up with her husband Stone Bastion to create the new contemporary romance series No Weddings. A few factoids about the writing team… Kat enjoys her chocolate rich and dark, her music edgy and soul-filling, and her vacations exotic with toes dug into the sand. And she’s wildly, madly, deeply in love with Stone. Stone likes pounding the trails on a mountain bike, vibrating the sound system with rock music, and down time spent on a stand up paddleboard. And he loves Kat wildly, madly, deeply…and then some. Together, they’re having a blast bringing fun-filled romantic stories to life and hope you’ll join them in the exciting adventure. Kat’s first published work, Utterly Loved, was a twentieth anniversary gift of love poems to Stone that they decided to share with the world to benefit charity. Net proceeds from Utterly Loved, and a portion of net proceeds from all their books, go toward charities involved in the fight against human trafficking. Kat and Stone live amid the beautiful Sonoran Desert of Arizona.
Disclaimer: I participated in this spotlight with InkSlinger PR. I was given all the materials but no other compensation was provided.
About the book: With pitch-perfect honesty and heartwarming humor, this captivating debut explores marriage, motherhood, identity, and what it takes to love someone—family members, friends, or spouses—for life. Former folk singer Helen Sear was a feminist wild child who proudly disdained monogamy, raising three daughters—each by a different father—largely on her own. Now in her sixties, Helen has fallen in love with a traditional man who desperately wants to marry her. And while she fears losing him, she’s equally afraid of abandoning everything she’s ever stood for if she goes through with it. Meanwhile, Helen’s youngest daughter, Liane, is in the heady early days of a relationship with her soul mate. But he has an ex-wife and two kids, and her new role as a “step-something” doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Ilsa, an artist, has put her bohemian past behind her and is fervently hoping her second marriage will stick. Yet her world feels like it is slowly shrinking, and her painting is suffering as a result—and she realizes she may need to break free again, even if it means disrupting the lives of her two young children. And then there’s Fiona, the eldest sister, who has worked tirelessly to make her world pristine, yet who still doesn’t feel at peace. When she discovers her husband has been harboring a huge secret, Fiona loses her tenuous grip on happiness and is forced to face some truths about herself that she’d rather keep buried. Interweaving the alternating perspectives of Helen, her daughters, and the women surrounding them, “each new chapter brings a wise and tender look at single life, dating rituals, and marital unease” (New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Close). In this “absolute feat of storytelling” (bestselling author Grace O’Connell), Marissa Stapley celebrates the many roles modern women play, and shows that even though happy endings aren’t one-size-fits-all, some loves really can last for life.
Praise for the book:
“This is one of the most charming novels I’ve read in years, and I loved every last page.” – Jennifer Close, New York Times bestselling author
About the author: Marissa Stapley is a National Magazine Award nominated writer and former magazine editor whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, National Post, Elle Canada, and many others. Mating for Life (Atria Books; Simon & Schuster Canada) is her first novel. When Marissa is not writing, she’s reading. (In fact, she never goes anywhere without a book. Except maybe swimming.) Some of her favourite authors are Meg Wolitzer, Julia Glass, Alice Munro, John Irving, Lauren Groff, Margaret Atwood and James Salter. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children, where she teaches writing, and is working on another novel.
Disclaimer: I participated in this spotlight with BookSparks PR. I was given all the materials but no other compensation was provided. Be sure to stop by tomorrow to check out my interview with Marissa.
Writing Tools | Roy Peter Clark | Publisher: Little, Brown and Company | 5 stars
I own a lot of books on the craft of writing, but I’ve only read a tiny handful of them (like 3 or 4). However, now that I’m taking advanced nonfiction, we’ve been assigned four books on the craft, which has inspired me to really dig deeper into the craft of writing. If I am to succeed at this, I need to know as much as possible.
Writing Tools is a great one to keep in your library, even if you don’t read it cover to cover, as I did. Broken into four sections for a total of 50 tools, Clark gives writers of all levels the strategies they need to be successful. I found myself reaching for my purple marking pen often as I read this book and it’s one I’ll return to as the semester goes on.
The thing I like most about Clark is that he is never preachy. He has his way of doing things, but he admits that may not be the way that works for you. The idea behind this book is to use the tools in whatever order you need to so you can get the most benefit from each tool.
With each one, he offers four or five workshop ideas to help you learn how to implement the tools into your writing routine. While I didn’t take the time to do the workshop pieces (I’m a month ahead on reading this book for class), I may return to them when the class is actually reading this book and try some of them in my writer’s notebook.
I’d be hard pressed to choose a favorite tool, but one of the things he emphasizes is that there is no right or wrong way to be a writer. Sometimes, when I see other authors having such major success, I wonder if I’m going about this the wrong way. I don’t sell many books. I don’t take the time to market myself. I don’t allot time every single day of the year to write. I’ve released one novel, despite having more than a dozen WIPs. All of this needs to change and it needs to change right now. I know part of it is having too much on my plate with freelancing, but that shouldn’t matter. Writing is part of my freelance business. I make time to eat everyday, so why shouldn’t I make time to write?
Anyway, I’d highly recommend Writing Tools for any writer’s library. It’s not the sort of book that needs to be read cover to cover, although I did because that’s what the professor wants and I’m too Type A to bounce around.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Amazon. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way.