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
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.
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.
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?
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.
"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.