Thursday, October 21, 2021
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Anne Ursu is the author of several books for young readers and is the 2013 recipient of the McKnight Fellowship in Children’s Literature. Anne’s latest book, The Real Boy, is an Indie Next pick and on the 2013 longlist for the National Book Award. She is also the author of Breadcrumbs, which was acclaimed as one of the best books of 2011 by the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Amazon.com, and the Chicago Public Library. It was also on the IndieBound Next List and was featured on NPR’s Backseat Book Club. Anne is also the author of the three books that comprise The Cronus Chronicles: The Shadow Thieves, The Siren Song, and The Immortal Fire.
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Monday, October 18, 2021
EVEN AMERICA’S SWEETHEART POP-SUPERSTAR HAS TROUBLE FINDING THEIR VOICE IN THE HEARTBREAKINGLY HONEST DEBUT NOVEL FROM OLIVIA SWINDLER
Eleanor Quinn lives a life most young girls dream of. She’s the lead singer of a wildly successful band, dating the most beautiful man in America, and in love with her life on tour. She pours her heart into every song she writes and genuinely enjoys connecting with fans. So, when she disappears after her fiance’s fairy-tale perfect proposal on stage, the world is shocked. Worse yet, he starts telling interviewers that Eleanor is crazy -- possibly even a danger to herself and those around her. As the weeks go by, the world wants to know: Who is Eleanor Quinn really?
But Eleanor needs to find that out for herself.
Broken and filled with self-doubt after the proposal, Eleanor embarks on a journey to regain agency in her life. She needs to reconnect with the Ellie Quinn underneath pop sensation “Eleanor Quinn.” Determined to find herself again, she moves in with her cousin in Seattle, picks a new name, and enrolls in a local university’s writing class. But she starts to realize that running away and starting over isn’t as easy as it seems in movies. Crushed by self-doubt and subconscious fears, ghosts from her past refuse to leave her alone. She realizes the only way forward is to share her version of the past.
Olivia Swindler’s debut novel embraces the values of family, empowerment, and healing and draws on the #metoo movement. Reminiscent of Evvie Drake Starts Over (Linda Holmes) and Searching for Sylvie Lee (Jean Kwok), Cynthia Starts a Band tells the story of starting over, discovering who you are when the world isn’t looking, and summoning the courage to be honest with yourself and the world.
I have always been a storyteller. From the moment I learned that I could keep my sister's attention if I had a good enough story, I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
When I started writing, it took me years to find my voice. No matter what the plot was, for some reason, the story kept falling flat. The words that I was writing didn't feel like me because they weren't me. The stories I was trying to tell were not mine to carry. I knew it. Those who read my words knew it. It was not authentic.
In my mid-twenties, I had an "oh-my-gosh-the-world-is-ending-and-I-will-never-find-love-again" breakup. (Older and wiser now, I wish I was dramatic when I typed those words, but I know that you can find that phrasing verbatim somewhere in a text to my sister). I really thought that my life was over.
I started to tell a few of my friends about my recently ended relationship. After describing something my ex had said to me while we were dating, one of my dearest friends said the words I had been dreading and denying—that he had been emotionally abusive and manipulative.
With the pieces of my broken heart, I refused to believe her. He HAD loved me. I loved him.
A few months went by, and I did my best to forget her words. I moved on with my life. I figured out who I was again. I felt like myself. And then, one morning, I got on Twitter. The #metoo movement had begun, and I found myself absentmindedly scrolling through the tweets. I could relate to almost every tweet. The things these women were calling abuse were things that I had experienced in this relationship.
I fell to the floor and cried.
From my spot on the floor, I wrote what would become the last song in Cynthia Starts a Band, Wasn't Love. I had spent the better half of a year justifying this bad behavior because I thought that the way I was being treated was the way love was supposed to look like. For years, I held onto that song, keeping it as an anthem to myself. It was a reminder of what I had walked through. A testament to my own strength and courage.
And then, after years of writing stories that were not mine to write, the story of Eleanor Quinn, a woman who is escaping an abusive relationship, came to me. The words ultimately wrote themselves.
I wrote Cynthia Starts a Band as a beacon of hope for anyone trying to find their agency again.
I wrote Cynthia Starts a Band as a love letter to anyone who has felt alone in their pain.
I wrote Cynthia Starts a Band to remind myself of the courage it takes to start over.
I hope that through stories like Cynthia Starts a Band, readers feel empowered and remember that they can do hard things. I hope you feel seen. I hope you feel loved.
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours presents... ONCE UPON A SEASIDE MURDER by Maggie Blackburn - SPOTLIGHT + GIVEAWAY!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
A great big THANK YOU for joining us today as we welcome the latest title on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours! It's the second release in a Cozy Mystery series, and with our current reading season, WHY NOT indulge in a new who-dun-it?! Ladies and gents, may I present today's title in the spotlight...
About the book...
As the holidays approach, bookstore owner Summer Merriwether learns a dark secret in this second volume of Maggie Blackburn's Beach Reads mystery series.
There's no place like home for the holidays, even if home is sleepy, beachside Brigid's Island, NC. During this season for giving, the town wakes up to a welcome throng of shoppers--and Beach Reads is no exception. But bookseller Summer Merriwether's Christmas cheer turns to cringing fear when she uncovers a deadly secret about her late mother--a secret someone will kill to keep.When the local library hosts a cozy mystery panel discussion, Summer learns that one of the authors on the panel based her book on an actual murder that shook Brigid's Island thirty-five years before. Worse, she soon learns that her dearly missed mother, Hildy, took a disturbingly deep interest in the case, going so far as to collect clippings and keep a journal of the dark doings. This doesn't jibe with Summer's memories of her usually cheery mother at all.Tidings get worse when Summer learns of her long-lost biological family's involvement in the crime...and still worse when the life of the book's author is threatened. With the help of Hildy's plucky book club, Summer puts her scholarly smarts to work on protecting the cozy author and solving the decades-old murder.But this ghost from Christmas past may still be deadly in the present, and if she can't find the killer, Summer's future will be brief.
Maggie Blackburn is the pen name of Mollie Cox Bryan. She writes cozy mysteries with edge. She's the author of several bestselling mystery series. She's recently released a novella mystery series: The Victoria Town Mysteries. Her book, "Goodnight Moo," has been shortlisted for a Fresh Fiction Reader's Choice Award. Her books have been selected as finalists for an Agatha Award and a Daphne du Maurier Award and as a Top 10 Beach Reads by Woman's World. She makes her home at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley, Va.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Cress was oddly enough, another heart at the center point of this tale. You don't expect it, in fact, he comes off as rather unusual and eccentric, with no particular background to speak of, but experience in life has a lot to say for itself. He reminds us that we all have roots, and the world is constantly trying to show us that fact, while telling us in its own subtle ways, which blow of the wind to follow; if only we'd LISTEN. He listens. He listens enough for them all at most times, and from the moment he ran after them as they drove out of town, two bags and a smuggled soul in his hands, his impression was made on me. In Italy, his presence takes time to accept, but once he cracks through the veneer, he's at home. When time eventually catches up with him, you see it coming, but you FEEL it so much more...and his bow out of this world was marked with another loss that will shake you to the core, but leave you knowing it couldn't have been any other way.
Sarah Winman is the author of three previous novels, Tin Man, A Year of Marvelous Ways, and When God Was a Rabbit. She grew up in Essex and now lives in London. She attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to act in theatre, film, and television.