Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Now Presenting: Stephanie Elliot!!

Today on the blog I am super-excited to welcome Stephanie Elliott, one of my best friends, writer or otherwise, to celebrate the recent release of her debut indie novel, What She Left Us: a tender, insightful story about the relationships between mothers and daughters and sisters. We've got redemption, forgiveness, family secrets, and hot guys to fall in love with: what more do you need?!

About What She Left Us:
Jenna and Courtney are dealing with the unexpected death of their mother in different ways. Jenna broke off her engagement to the man she thought she'd love forever, while Courtney headed back to college to take charge of a dorm-floor full of college students as a resident assistant.

Six months later, Jenna is fueled by panic over the news that the sisters may have the same disease that caused their mother's death and she makes an irrational decision - she packs it up and heads to college to be with Courtney. The timing couldn't be worse for Courtney, who's discovering love for the first time with Mitch, a sexy guitar player who may just be off limits.

Emotionally unstable, Jenna wonders if she made the worst mistake of her life by breaking off her engagement with Darren, and when he shows up to make amends, she can't help but second-guess her decision. But then there's Clay, the compassionate bartender at Klippy's who seems to understand everything Jenna's going through. And those hazel eyes just seem to see right through to Jenna's soul…

As the girls maneuver through their unpredictable futures, trying to manage their new health risks as well as tumultuous love lives, Courtney finds a disturbing photograph that indicates there may be more to their family than she ever imagined.

Steph (of the popular blog "Booking with Manic") has got THREE copies of her novella The Cell Phone Lot to give away to three lucky commenters with e-readers. Don't forget to leave your email with your comment! I'll randomly pick a winner on Saturday.

 1. Where did you get the idea for What She Left Us?
The idea for What She Left Us actually came to me after I read Gwendolen Gross' The Orphan Sister, which is about two identical twin sisters and the third odd sister. It made me wonder about the dynamics of sisters and what it would be like to grow up as individual 'only' childs... like if one child were 10 years old and then another child came into the family some way, some how later in life, and how the family would turn out. (My sister and I are Irish twins, the same age for two weeks out of the year, so it was interesting for me to think about two sisters kind of far apart in age as young children.) That was the original idea, and the original title was The Only Other Child, but the story turned into something so much more than that after that first idea.

2. What songs are on the What She Left Us playlist?
This one is easy because these are the songs that played in the background at the bar, Klippy's, and the songs that Mitch played on his guitar. Totally random.

"Gravity" by John Mayer
Florence and the Machine's "Dog Days Are Over"
"Your Body is a Wonderland" by John Mayer
"Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison
"Stay" by Rihanna
Sugar Hill's Rap 

3. What teenage memory STILL makes you cringe?
OK, I was 16 and babysitting my 5-year-old brother. My mom was working and my boyfriend was over. (For the record, my sister and other brother were home and I probably told THEM to watch him while I was 'busy!) It was summer and probably around 11 a.m. My boyfriend and I were fooling around in my bedroom, with the door locked, or so I thought. Yeah, that happened... my little brother walked in on us and found me in a compromising position. We weren't doing everything, but I was not wearing anything on top. Ugh, cringing right now at the memory. It gets worse. He's 5 years old. Do I bribe him forever and have to live the rest of my life doing what he says to keep him from telling Mom. Oh yeah, it happens to be Mom's birthday. I decide I have to tell my mom what happens before my brother tells her or he makes my life a living hell. So, 16-year-old me tells my mom, ON HER BIRTHDAY, what my little brother caught me doing. Mortifying.

4. What do you feel are the components to a fabulous book?
Characters, plot, suspense. First things that came to my mind. What are yours?

(Me: "That Nicholas Sparks didn't write it, times three.")

5. What super power would you wish for?
A couple -- Read faster, write faster, and have stretchy arms so when I'm sitting at the table I could grab anything I wanted without having to get up.


Thanks, Steph!!! I laughed out loud at the stretchy arms. Don't forget to include your email address when you comment--tell us what super power YOU'D wish for! Why not. You have until Saturday to enter--three copies of The Cell Phone Lot up for grabs, so you've got good odds!!

Find Steph on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Bridget T.8:59 AM

    I would be invisible. Always thought that would be great when my kids were growing up!


  2. I would have the power of seeing into the future to be able to know the best routes to steer my kids for successful futures. What parent doesn't worry about whether they are "doing things right"?


  3. I wish I could snap my fingers and be transported to wherever I wish. I love to visit new places but don't enjoy the long drive to get there!

    kjramstack at yahoo dot com

  4. I would make my super power be waving my finger to remove fat from my body, put away clothes and clean the house...that is not asking for too much right????

  5. I would like to have the power to eat anything I want and never gain weight. That would be great!

    -Jessica M

  6. Hailey Fish3:44 PM

    I would love to have the superpower of being invisible. I think it would be cool to go anywhere and no one sees you and you can hear what's going on.

  7. I wish that it does not rain at all on our summer vacation! And I like the one above about not gaining weight no matter what you eat!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca