Bitsy Words: Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole

14th Oct 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Bitsy Words: Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole

Bitsy Words: Letters From Skye by Jessica BrockmoleLetters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
Published by Ballantine Books
Pub Date: July 9th 2013
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback | Source: Gifted
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.
 
March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.
 
June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.
 
Sparkling with charm and full of captivating period detail,Letters from Skye is a testament to the power of love to overcome great adversity, and marks Jessica Brockmole as a stunning new literary voice.

 

Letters From Skye was unbearably lovely from the very first page. I loved that it was written all in letters, and that it still managed to be a dual timeline novel. That seems tricky! It made the book focused while still remaining detailed within the letters themselves. The voices were so distinct and I loved the unraveling of the mystery and the blossoming of the romance. It’s a wonderful, quick read that is emotional and thought provoking (I almost cried a couple times), while the early letters contain quite a bit of humor. The story is very charming, full of family relationships & friendships, as well as romance. I highly recommend for historical fiction fans.

 

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Blog Tour: Results May Vary by Bethany Chase | Review + Writing Playlist + Giveaway!

10th Aug 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Blog Tours, Giveaways, Guest Posts, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Tunes for Books

Blog Tour: Results May Vary by Bethany Chase | Review + Writing Playlist + Giveaway!Results May Vary by Bethany Chase
Published by Ballantine Books
Pub Date: August 9th 2016
Pages: 336
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Can you ever really know the person you love?

She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can't get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband's other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story's ending will mean forgiving the man she's loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.

Compassionate and uplifting, Results May Vary is a bittersweet celebration of the fact that in love and in life, we rarely get exactly what we bargained for.

We’ve all heard the stories: after years of marriage, a husband finally admits to himself and to his wife and family that he’s gay. Most recently you may have read about Trey Pearson, a Christian Rocker, who come out as gay and whose story really touched me. The difference here is that in Results May Vary the revelation wasn’t as honest or heartfelt as Trey’s was.

Results May Vary is about the fallout of a betrayal in a marriage. It’s about how Caroline picks up the pieces of a life she was so secure in and how she comes to terms with the realization that she’s never really known the person she loved and married. But it’s also about all the good that will come after such a devastation.

If you’ve visited my blog in the last year, or even the past six months, you’ve probably seen me say at some point that Bethany Chase’s debut, The One That Got Away, was a favorite read last year. This book is really different than that one. I loved Results May Vary in a completely different way. This is one of those books that really made me think about myself and the people I know, about the experiences in my life and how they’ve shaped who I am now. While reading I wondered, “What if that was my man? How would I react?” Devastated, for sure. But I would hope that above all I’d be kind. Caroline’s journey through this was really heart-wrenching at times, but I really admired her in the end. I was glad that we got to see her go through so many ups and downs because it made her character more authentic. I was very happy with where this story left off and felt content, but at the same time I was left feeling like I was saying goodbye to people I knew in real life. They sure stayed in my mind for a long while after.

Results May Vary is easily my favorite book of the year so far, and I think it’s going to be hard to top at this point. The writing is superb and the emotional depth really moved me. I hope you all run out and get a copy! Or you could try to win the extra one I unknowingly purchased, haha.

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And now, here’s Bethany Chase…

Writing Playlist – Results May Vary

This is an interesting thing to write about, because this book has such a different musical personality from my first book, The One That Got Away. When I was writing that, I was listening to a lot of classic soul and 70’s rock (think Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack), and that made its way into the book in many places. Results May Vary’s playlist is a lot more eclectic, both on purpose and by accident.

  • Sugar & the Hi Lows, “Right Time to Tell You”: This song is gorgeous. The melody and harmonies are about as pretty as it gets, and the lyrics are incredibly apropos to Adam’s situation—the narrator has something to confess, has been waiting for the right time to do it, but no time is ever the right time.
  • Fountains of Wayne’s gorgeous “Valley Winter Song”: This is a quintessential New-England-in-winter song for me. It talks about short, dreary winter days and snowstorms and hanging in there till the summer. (True, perfect fact: the Fountains guys are Williams alums just like Caroline and me.)
  • Band of Horses, “No One’s Gonna Love You”: Really sums up Caroline’s feelings toward Adam in the early part of the book.
  • Amos Lee, “Chill in the Air”: Another beautiful breakup song (in this one, it’s the steel guitar that cinches it), and a nod to Caroline’s predilection for mopey singer-songwriters. I think Amos is fantastic, but the man sure can write a good mopey song.
  • The Grateful Dead, “Fire on the Mountain”: This is one of my personal favorite songs that I was delighted to give to a character. I am only an entry-level Deadhead, but the guitar riff on this song is just so mellow and pretty that I could listen to it for hours. Or, you know, 13 minutes, which is the length of the longest live version of it that I own.
  • The Apache Relay, “Katie Queen of Tennessee”: Very pretty little love song from one of Jonathan’s favorite bands.
  • Jo Dee Messina, “Downtime”: Ruby wasn’t kidding that Jo Dee is the queen of upbeat breakup anthems. I’ve always loved this song because it’s about the process of recovering yourself while you get over a breakup, which is really what the book is about. I especially love the line where she says “Your memory’s taking second to a good book and a nice, long bath.”
  • Duke Ellington, “Jeep’s Blues”: this piece gets a very specific call-out in the book because good lord, is it sexy. I’ve always thought blues is the sexiest music there is. (And this stood me in good stead when one of the questions on my online dating survey was “What’s your favorite music to get you in the mood” and I referenced something about one of the Allman Brothers barn-burners, which impressed the musician who is now my husband.)
  • Rodgers & Hart, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”: I have an Ella Fitzgerald recording of this song that is one of my favorite all-time pieces of music. Ella’s voice is so beautiful, and the song’s lyrics have this sly, witty charm that—yes, I sound like an old person—you so rarely find anymore. “I’m wild again, beguiled again, a simpering, whimpering child again…” It’s such a great description of being infatuated.
  • First Aid Kit, “Emmylou”: Stunning harmonies in this song, and sweet, upbeat lyrics that remind me of Caroline and Neil. Especially where she says “I’m not asking much of you, just sing, little darling, sing with me” and “Things just don’t grow if you don’t bless them with your patience.”

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Giveaway

Paperback copy of RESULTS MAY VARY by Bethany Chase

 

About Bethany Chase

A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Bethany Chase headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen

25th Nov 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Playing With Fire by Tess GerritsenPlaying With Fire by Tess Gerritsen
Published by Ballantine Books
Pub Date: October 27th 2015
Pages: 250
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Mystery
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

A beautiful violinist is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.

The first time Julia Ansdell picks up The Incendio Waltz, she knows it’s a strikingly unusual composition. But while playing the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her young daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. And when she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a dark secret that involves dangerously powerful people—a family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light. 

(Originally posted by Ashley on Must Love Books)

It’s no secret that I love Tess Gerritsen, I’ve fallen in love with her Mystery books about vivid characters, murder and medicine. I love the Rizzoli and Isles series but when I heard she had a new stand alone, I was overly excited to get my hands on it. Though the ending wasn’t what I expected, I found myself completely engrossed until the end.

I’m not musically inclined so when words like musical bars, measures, accidentals and arpeggios showed up in the first chapter, I was a worried they would keep me from truly understanding the musical aspect of the book. Thankfully I was able to comprehend without having to Google (too) many terms Gerristen used to describe the haunting music.

Present day takes place in Boston with Julia, her husband Rob and daughter Lily. Julia is a professional violinist and is Rome for work when she finds a piece of music called the Incendio waltz. Julia becomes awestruck with the music and it’s mysterious composer and purchases it from a local shop keep. Once she gets the music home and starts to play it, something in her daughter shifts-she is no longer Julia’s sweet innocent little girl. After two particularly bloody incidents with Lily, Julia decides to go back to Rome and find out as much information about the composer of the waltz as she can, even if it might kill her.

I really enjoyed Playing with Fire. It was a quick read that really captured my attention from the beginning. I devoured it in just a few hours and recommend it to any mystery fan.

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Virgin’s Daughter by Laura Andersen

26th Oct 2015 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: The Virgin’s Daughter by Laura AndersenThe Virgin's Daughter by Laura Andersen
Series: Tudor Legacy #1
Published by Ballantine Books
Pub Date: May 26th 2015
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback | Source: Author
Genres: Adult, Historical
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Since the death of her brother, William, Elizabeth I has ruled England. She’s made the necessary alliances, married Philip of Spain, and produced a successor: her only daughter, Anne Isabella, Princess of Wales. Elizabeth knows that her beloved Anabel will be a political pawn across Europe unless she can convince Philip to grant her a divorce, freeing him to remarry and give Spain its own heir. But the enemies of England have even greater plans for the princess, a plot that will put Anabel’s very life and the security of the nation in peril. Only those closest to Elizabeth—her longtime confidante Minuette, her advisor and friend Dominic, and the couple’s grown children—can be trusted to carry forth a most delicate and dangerous mission. Yet, all of the queen’s maneuverings may ultimately prove her undoing.

I won a finished copy of this book from the author’s website, though I would have purchased it in any case. This did not affect my review in any way.

The Virgin’s Daughter made me giddy for a multitude of reasons (in no particular order):

-It’s a sequel trilogy to the Boleyn King trilogy, so there are many favorite recurring characters that were such fun to catch up with. Definitely older, sometimes sneakier, sometimes wiser ;) For this reason (and despite the spoilers in the synopsis), I really recommend reading The Boleyn King– it’s EXCELLENT and you’ll get so much more out of Laura Andersen’s Tudor England.

-It’s alternate history that feels like real history. I was enmeshed in the Tudor court, the English countryside, the French manor homes. It feels familiar as a history buff for those reasons but because it’s an alternate timeline, you don’t know how events will actually transpire or turn out! Elizabeth never had a daughter in real life, so how am I to know if Anabel will become Queen one day or who she will marry? I don’t! It adds a delicious layer of tension and excitement to the story. Plus there are really good ships! ;)

-The spies and mystery: the rotating POVs gave the impression of an unreliable narrator, which was great- loyalty, betrayal, treachery,and murder abound. You don’t know who to trust or who is telling the truth. In the end the reader got to know the truth before the characters, or some of the truth anyway, and it made me so nervous and tense!!! I wanted everyone to uncover the secrets already!

-THE CHARACTERS! Both real (Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots) and imagined (Julien LeClerc, Princess Anabel). They are vivid, they are passionate, and they are vibrant. I absolutely loved Lucette Courtenay and her puzzle solving mind. I swooned over Julien, and I loved seeing how much of Anabel’s personality reflected her fiery mother, who in turn is as fully fleshed out as you could wish. Elizabeth is fierce, demanding, and powerful, but has softer moments as well. It humanizes her.

If you’re a history fan with Tudor fatigue, I highly recommend this book! Laura Andersen’s writing feels both familiar to fans of historical fiction and original in its subject matter and characterization. It’s a great twist on English history. The Virgin’s Daughter is compulsively readable, action-packed, descriptive, twisty, and romantic. I can’t wait for the next book.

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And in case you love audiobooks, check out this clip from THE VIRGIN’S DAUGHTER:

 

Buy it at Audible.com!

 

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

31st Aug 2015 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa DiffenbaughWe Never Asked For Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Published by Ballantine Books
Pub Date: August 18th 2015
Pages: 320
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult Fiction
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.

For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.

Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.

(Originally posted by Ashley on Must Love Books)

This book really got me, and in more ways than one. I had had a particularly hard week at work- not just regular work stress–I mean contemplating leaving my job after nearly 6 years–stress. When I came home to this book on my doorstep, I burst into tears and hugged it to my chest. To be completely honest, I don’t know how it arrived at my house, it had been so long since I’ve received a physical copy of an ARC I was really surprised and grateful that it appeared when it did. Was this something I signed up for on Goodreads? Was this sent from the Penguin Random House lovelies I met at BEA? I really didn’t know but I do know it arrived on my doorstep just in time.

Once I dived into this amazing story, I fell head over heels in love with every single character. It took me a while to warm up to Letty but once I did I really really loved her. She made some poor decisions early in her life and it took her a long time to figure out what really matters. When she finally pulled it together, nothing else mattered except her children Alex-15 and Luna-6.

Alex is easily my favorite character. He is smart, selfless, loving and unlike most teenagers I’ve ever met, I kind of want to be him! Of course every great book has to have a love interest-or two, when these two guys walk into Letty’s life, she doesn’t quite know what to do with them because they are both amazing in their own ways. In the end I love the choice she made, even though for a while I was rooting for the other guy!

Have I said yet that I love this book? Maybe it’s the timing in which it arrived in my life, (it could just be the amazing author too) but this easily falls into my “Favorite of all time” list and I will continue insisted everyone I know read it.

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase Blog Tour | Review ~ Book Playlist ~ Q&A ~ Giveaway

4th Apr 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Blog Tours, ContemporaryRomance2015, Giveaways, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Tunes for Books

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase Blog Tour | Review ~ Book Playlist ~ Q&A ~ Giveaway

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase Blog Tour | Review ~ Book Playlist ~ Q&A ~ GiveawayThe One That Got Away by Bethany Chase
Published by Ballantine Books
Pub Date: March 31st 2015
Pages: 352
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Women's Fiction
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, this bright, funny debut from a fresh voice in fiction offers a delicious take on love, family, and what it means to build a home of one’s own.

Sarina Mahler thinks she has her life all nailed down: a growing architecture practice in Austin, Texas, and an any-day-now proposal from her loving boyfriend, Noah. She’s well on her way to having the family she’s hoped for since her mother’s death ten years ago. But with Noah on a temporary assignment abroad and retired Olympic swimmer—and former flame—Eamon Roy back in town asking her to renovate his new fixer-upper, Sarina’s life takes an unexpected turn. Eamon proves to be Sarina’s dream client, someone who instinctively trusts every one of her choices—and Sarina is reminded of all the reasons she was first drawn to him back in the day. Suddenly her carefully planned future with Noah seems a little less than perfect. And when tragedy strikes, Sarina is left reeling. With her world completely upended, she is forced to question what she truly wants in life—and in love.

Full of both humor and heartbreak, The One That Got Away is the story of one woman’s discovery that, sometimes, life is what happens when you leave the blueprints behind.

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY had me hooked from the first few sentences…

Because you know it’s true and it instantly made me want to find out more about Sarina’s One Person.

Bethany Chase’s writing also drew me in from the start. It felt current and authentic. Her characters felt real and the setting was so vivid. If you’re curious about what living in Austin is like, this book takes you there.

Sarina’s life is pretty much set. Or so she thinks. She’s content with the friends she has, where she lives, and with her boyfriend. She’s super ambitions about her career though and works really hard at it. Her boyfriend is also ambitious about his work and at the start of the book we find out he’s just moved to Argentina for a year for work. So here comes Eamon, her One Person, back into her life and he’s about to rock Sarina’s boat.

Everything starts out innocently enough. Eamon (pronounced ‘Ay – mun’ – yes, I looked it up!) is super cool, friendly, and thoughtful… and hot, ok? He’s hot. He hires Sarina to remodel his new home so they spend a lot of time together, and since they had a thing before, the sexual tension begins to build, strong and fast. I enjoyed every second of it.

Now you may be asking, “What about the boyfriend?!” Wellll it’s a sticky situation. The long distance separating them is not their only issue throughout the story. I think sometimes space gives you clarity. The more they talked about what they wanted from their lives together once Noah returned to Austin, the more it became clear to Sarina that they maybe weren’t on the same page. I think there will be a few people that won’t take kindly to the way things happen between Noah, Sarina, and Eamon, but for me, I think Bethany Chase wrote it as realistically and respectfully as possible.

I loved Sarina’s friends. They were honest, supportive, and so fun. I also loved Sarina’s relationship with her stepdad, her only living parent. But what I loved most was Sarina’s journey and growth in the span of the year in this story. She found her true self, her home, and real love.

The One That Got Away was sexy, fun, and at times really emotional and I enjoyed every second of it. Be sure not to miss this one!

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Book Playlist

Now, I have a treat for you! Bethany Chase created a book playlist, giving us exactly where each song fits into the story! Thank you, Bethany!! I love it!

Sarina and Eamon have terrific taste in music, if I may say so myself. These two do have similar taste in music, heavily skewed towards 70’s rock and soul, and they bond over it at various points in the book.

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours. One of the most brilliant albums of the 70’s, made when the entire band was breaking up with each other (romantically, not musically—yet) and writing songs about it and performing them spectacularly. Sarina’s favorite song: “I Don’t Want to Know.” Eamon’s favorite song: “You Can Go Your Own Way.”

Stevie Wonder, the other Stevie in Sarina’s life. She maintains that “Don’t Worry ‘Bout a Thing” is the all-time best; Eamon votes for “As.”

Bill Withers: Sarina’s favorite is “Heartbreak Road;” Eamon’s is “I Don’t Know.”

The night of the Labor Day barbeque, the boys are listening to Steely Dan when Sarina and Noah arrive. Specifically, “Only a Fool Would Say That.”

When they’re on the way home from Jay’s wedding, talking in the car late at night, I imagine The Eagles’ “I Can’t Tell You Why” comes on. It has the right slow and dreamy mood.

Then while they’re driving home from the trip to Round Top, Player’s “Baby Come Back” comes on the radio and they both start belting it out. She can sing pretty well. He cannot.

The Joni Mitchell song “Help Me” has always reminded her of Eamon; specifically, the way she felt after their one night stand.

Then, obviously, Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound.”

SPOILER HERE: After they get together, she changes her ringtone for him to The Pretenders’ “Don’t Get Me Wrong.” He sets his for hers to Ling Floyd’s “Groove Me.”

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Q&A  with  Bethany  Chase,  author  of  THE  ONE  THAT  GOT  AWAY

What  got  you  interested  in  writing?  

I’ve  never  not  been!  My  love  for  words  has  been  one  of  the  most  consistent  characteristics  of   my  personality  for  my  whole  life,  though  it’s  taken  many  different  forms.  (Poet,  journal-­‐writer,   email-­‐writer,  blogger,  novelist.)

Tell  us  about  the  first  book  you  didn’t  finish.  

It  was  a  historical  romance  I  started  writing  when  I  was  fifteen  years  old  and  heavily  in  the   thrall  of  the  film  version  of  The  Last  of  the  Mohicans,  with  Daniel  Day  Lewis.  (Which  means,   specifically,  I  was  in  the  thrall  of  Daniel  Day  Lewis.)  So  heavily  enthralled  was  I  that  my  novel   consisted  of  a  first-­‐person  account  of  a  well-­‐bred  colonial  English  lady  who  for  unclear  reasons   found  herself  trailing  her  muddy  skirts  through  the  Adirondack  forest,  accompanied  by  a   ruggedly  handsome  and  ambiguously  Native  American  trapper  wearing  buckskin.  Shockingly,  I   didn’t  complete  it.

Did  you  ever  keep  a  journal?  

Is  there  a  writer  on  earth  who  didn’t?  I  had  kind  of  abandoned  journaling  by  the  time  I   graduated  college,  as  by  that  point  I  had  moved  on  to  burdening  all  of  my  nearest  and  dearest   with  my  woes  over  2,000-­‐word  emails  rather  than  pouring  it  all  out  into  a  journal.  But  the  high   school  journals  are  EPIC.  Basically,  you  would  have  thought  I  was  the  first  person  in  the  history   of  humanity  to  have  emotions  and  be  attracted  to  people  who  didn’t  like  me  back.

Did  you  always  want  to  be  a  writer?  

Nope.  In  fact  for  most  of  my  life  I  avoided  the  idea,  because  I  assumed  it  would  be  too  hard  and   I’d  never  make  enough  money.  I’ll  let  you  guess  which  of  those  two  assumptions  has  proven  to   be  true.

What  were  your  favorite  books  growing  up?  

The  Anne  of  Green  Gables  and  Emily  of  New  Moon  series  were  HUGE  for  me.  I  mean,  they  were   books  about  smart,  dreamy,  romantic,  highly  verbal  girls  who  wrote,  loved  beauty  in  all  its   forms,  hovered  at  the  fringes  of  social  popularity  and  also  really  liked  being  alone.  Emily  and   Anne  were  and  always  will  be  my  spirit  sisters.  Also,  I  think  my  many  rereads  of  James   Herriot’s  marvelous  All  Creatures  Great  and  Small  books  legitimately  helped  form  my  sense  of   humor.  Between  Herriot  and  all  of  the  Monty  Python  I  watched  growing  up,  I  think  I  wound  up   with  a  fairly  British  sense  of  humor  for  an  American.

Who  are  your  favorite  authors  now?  

Chuck  Wendig,  Guy  Gavriel  Kay  and  Philip  Pullman  for  fantasy;  Mary  Kubica  for  suspense;   Emily  Giffin,  Taylor  Jenkins  Reid  and  Joshilyn  Jackson  for  women’s  fiction;  Cara  McKenna  and   Julie  James  for  romance.

Do  you  have “one  that  got  away?”  

I  did.  He  was  my  high  school  boyfriend.  I  tracked  him  down  seven  years  after  the  fact,  like,   legitimately  slightly  stalker-­‐style,  and  we  actually  started  dating  again,  and  you  know  what?   We  weren’t  right  for  each  other.  At  all.  It  was  all  very  romantic  and  fraught  as  long  as  one  of  us   was  pining  for  the  other  one,  but  actually  just  together,  with  no  angst?  It  didn’t  go  anywhere.   We  are  now  both  very  happily  married  to  other  people.

Your  bio  says  you  are  married—tell  us  about  your  love  story.  

True  story:  when  we  first  started  dating,  we  had  such  strong  physical  chemistry  that  I  assumed   that  meant  there  wasn’t  going  to  be  any  more  to  it.  My  friends  would  say,  “How’s  Allen?”  And  I  would  shrug  and  say, “He’s  hot.”  This  led  to  him  being  known  amongst  my  circle  for  the  first   couple  of  months  as  Hot  Allen.  As  far  as  Sex-­‐and-­‐the-­‐City-­‐style  nicknames  for  guys  go,  I  think   he  came  away  in  a  pretty  strong  position  with  that  one.  But  then  he  just  kept  growing  on  me,   until  a  few  months  into  it  I  realized,  holy  shit  I’m  in  love  with  this  guy.

What’s  your  idea  of  romance?  

No  flowers,  no  candles,  no  gestures,  will  ever  be  as  genuinely  romantic  as  those  random  little   moments  that  happen  when  you  least  expect  them  and  you  just  get  this  flash  of  piercing   sweetness  and  you  think,  yep,  this  is  it.  For  me,  personally,  it  often  involves  humor,  or   awkwardness,  or  both.  The  questionnaire  on  the  dating  site  where  I  met  my  husband  asked,   “What’s  your  favorite  movie  sex  scene?”  And  my  answer  was,  the  one  in  that  90’s  Liv  Tyler   movie  Stealing  Beauty,  where  she’s  with  the  guy  and  it’s  all  kissing  and  dreamy  music  and  then   he  goes  to  take  her  underwear  off  and  it  gets  stuck  on  her  ankle  and  she  laughs—that  is  THE   BEST.  Those  little  beautifully  imperfect  moments.  And  also  just  those  moments  of  kindness  and   support;  like  how  Anne  of  Green  Gables  doesn’t  marry  the  wealthy  guy  who  pulls  out  all  the   stops  on  the  glitz  and  glam—she  marries  the  guy  who  gave  up  his  local  teaching  position,  at   tremendous  personal  inconvenience,  in  favor  of  the  farther-­‐away  one  so  that  Anne  could  live  at   home  with  her  family.  That  is  romance.

What  does  home  mean  to  you?  

The  place  you  belong.  I  think  for  most  of  us  the  specifics  of  that  place  change,  but  the  definition   never  really  does.

How  did  you  come  up  with  your  characters’  name?  

Well,  Eamon  has  been  my  favorite  name  for  a  guy  ever  since  the  first  time  I  fell  in  love,  at  four   years  old,  with  my  neighbor  Eamon  McCormick  (a  nice  Russian  boy,  obviously).  And  despite   the  fact  that  I  am  usually  a  strident  purist  about  name  spelling,  I’ve  always  thought  the  unusual   spelling  “Sarina”  had  something  especially  graceful  about  it.  Everyone  else  was  pretty   arbitrary.  I  tend  to  just  go,  “okay,  think  of  a  name!”  and  the  first  one  I  think  of  sticks.

What  do  you  love  about  the  cover  for  THE  ONE  THAT  GOT  AWAY?  

EVERYTHING.  Seriously,  I  hit  the  cover  jackpot.  I  love  the  colors,  the  bird,  the  graceful  lettering,   and  the  way  the  lettering  moves  rhythmically  back  and  forth  across  the  page.  I  could  give  you  a   full  art-­‐history-­‐style  image  analysis  of  how  wonderful  this  cover  is  in  every  way.

What  are  you  reading  right  now?  

I  just  started  Liza  Palmer’s  Girl  Before  a  Mirror  and  am  really  enjoying  it.  She’s  such  a  funny  yet   thoughtful  writer.

Who’s  your  favorite  book  couple?   

Anne  and  Gilbert.  Obviously.  In  all  seriousness,  in  terms  of  their  mutual  love,  caring  and   respect  for  one  another  I  think  they  are  a  model  partnership  for  young  girls  to  read  about.   Clearly  it  worked  for  me.

gwtw-separate-line

Giveaway

 

For more content and to follow visit the other blog tour stops, visit the page for THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY! There’s an excerpt, so you can see for yourself how awesome this book is. :)

 

About Bethany Chase

A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Bethany Chase headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill Blog Tour | Review ~ Book Playlist ~ Giveaway

27th Feb 2015 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2015, Blog Tours, ContemporaryRomance2015, Giveaways, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Tunes for Books

When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill Blog Tour | Review ~ Book Playlist ~ Giveaway

When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill Blog Tour | Review ~ Book Playlist ~ GiveawayWhen Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Published by Ballantine Books
Pub Date: February 24th 2015
Pages: 368
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

In the tradition of New Adult superstar Jessica Sorensen, Ellie Cahill’s debut novel is a charming friends-with-benefits story . . . with a twist!

What if after every bad breakup, there was someone to help “cleanse your palate”—someone who wouldn’t judge you, who was great in bed, someone you were sure not to fall in love with? “Sorbet sex” could solve everything—as long as it never got too sweet.

Joss and Matt have been friends since freshman year of college, meeting one night after Joss is dumped by her boyfriend. After a few drinks, Matt humors her with a proposition: that he’ll become her go-to guy whenever she needs to heal a broken heart. In return, she’ll do the same for him. The #1 Rule: They’ll never fall in love with each other. People scoff at the arrangement. But six years later, Joss and Matt are still the best of friends . . . with benefits.

Through a string of boyfriends and girlfriends—some almost perfect, some downright wrong—Joss and Matt are always there for each other when the going gets tough. No strings. No attachments. Piece of cake. No problem. After all, since they wrote the rules, surely they can play by them. Or can they?

Advance praise for When Joss Met Matt:

“Hands down, one of my favorite New Adult reads . . . Ellie Cahill is definitely one to watch!”—New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack

“This is one of those books that make you forget everything around you. Prepare to be consumed by this story.”—Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Wild

“Fun, sexy, and full of amazing chemistry, When Joss Met Matt is an entertaining escape that will leave you smiling with every turn of the page.”—Cassie Mae, author of The Real Thing

When Joss Met Matt is by far one of my favorite New Adult books out there. It’s pretty clean as far as sexy books go, but I didn’t mind that at all. Ellie Cahill made me care so much about this couple. She told their story brilliantly in dual timeline form. I seriously could not get enough.

Both Joss and Matt were the sort of relatable characters that make you think of people in your life. They’re regular peeps like me and you. I thought their chemistry was off the charts, but their friendship and banter is what I really loved most. They’re pretty freaking funny together.

I loved that their story spanned so many years but I was skeptical as to how they’d be able to pull off still being friends without things getting messy. Well, they did remain friends, but things didn’t really remain un-messy. There were times when lines where blurred and other times when Sorbet Sex worked perfectly for them.

What is Sorbet Sex, you ask?

 

And what are the rules?

In the end I was happy with how things turned out. It was a real journey! I look forward to reading more Ellie Cahill books and you guys should definitely not skip this one.

 

Now, Ellie Cahill has put together an AMAZING playlist for us. Not only did she pick songs, she explains why she chose them, which I love to read about.

Playlists for When Joss Met Matt

Part 1

This playlist is full of songs that gave me that Joss and Matt vibe. Some of them even helped inspire the original idea. It’s more like one of those albums of music “inspired by” a motion picture than a true soundtrack. But I think you’ll see how these songs fit with When Joss Met Matt

Say Goodbye – Dave Matthews Band
It doesn’t get much more dead-on for Joss and Matt than this song. It’s all about the friend hook-up.
Relevant lyric:
Lovers for tonight, lovers for a night…
Tomorrow go back to being friends.

Need You Tonight – INXS
This song inspired the code phrase between Joss and Matt. Plus, it’s just so damn sexy I can’t even handle it.
Relevant lyrics:
I need you tonight
‘Cause I’m not sleeping
There’s something about you girl
That makes me sweat.

Laid – James
Although the relationship in this song is pretty messed up, there’s just something about it that reminds me of When Joss Met Matt. Maybe because it’s kind of fun even though it’s about an obsessive relationship.
Relevant lyrics:
This bed is on fire with passionate love.

Mr. Brightside – The Killers
This is the song that gave me the earliest ideas about writing this book. It’s about a guy watching a girl go back to her boyfriend when he wants her for himself but letting her go anyway. The story got a lot more complicated as I started planning it, but that was the very first flash of inspiration.
Relevant lyrics:
Now they’re going to bed
And my stomach is sick
And it’s all in my head
But she’s touching his-chest
Now, he takes off her dress
Now, letting me go

Intermittently – Barenaked Ladies
This is one of those songs I’ve had for a long time, but didn’t really pay attention to until one day it came on in my car and it was like a thunderbolt. This song could be about Joss and Matt. Almost every line in the song in applicable, but I’ll just give you one of my favorites:
Relevant lyrics:
I’m kissing you by proxy
Hope you don’t mind

Completely Pleased – Semisonic
Okay, straight up, I love Semisonic and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about them. So it’s possible I’m biased in my affection for this song, but come on. How sexy are these lyrics?!
Relevant lyrics:
Want to see you smiling, weak in the knees
I want to see you come, come, completely pleased

Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
I can’t help but picture these words tripping off Joss’s tongue the first time she propositions Matt.
Relevant lyrics:
You know that I could use somebody
Someone like you

Secret – Maroon 5
Maybe this song is a little too dramatic for Joss and Matt, but I like the secrecy it alludes to, and of course I love the little twists of dirty gotta-have-you sentiment.
Relevant lyrics:
And as you wipe off beads of sweat
Slowly you say “I’m not there yet!”

Part 2

Consider this your personal soundtrack. Get these songs cued up and ready to play while you read and I’ll give you the chapters that go with them. Warning: the following playlist may contain spoilers.

Never Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
Ben. What a jerk. This is definitely the song Joss would have on repeat during chapter 3 when she’s trying to get over being dumped.

Sex on Fire – Kings of Leon
Chapter 6. Joss learns what she’s been missing all this time. Yum.

Come A Little Bit Closer – Jay and the Americans
In chapter 9, poor Matt realizes what kind of girl Her Highness is (just like the one in this song). Thank goodness he has Joss there to help him in his time of need.

Criminal – Fiona Apple
Joss embraces her inner bad girl in chapter 11, but it doesn’t suit her very well. So she spends chapter 12 “feeling like a criminal” and trying to figure out how to fix everything.

Heart Skipped a Beat – The xx
Chapter 14 finds Joss and Matt spending the summer with a series of short-term relationships and plenty of each other.

Eleanor – The Low Millions
Martin was never going to be The One, but it was good while it lasted. In chapter 15, Joss has the nicest break-up ever, but still—ouch.

Apologize – OneRepublic
Chapter 16 is all about heartbreak and how hard it can be to get over it when the person you thought you loved turns out not to feel the same about you.

Paper Doll – John Mayer
After Joss runs out on T.J. she counts on Matt to get rid of all the ickiness. Chapter 19 is about Joss finally starting to figure out what she wants.

Gives You Hell – All American Rejects
Ah, crazy Christine. Chapter 21 calls for a good riddance song for sure. Matt and Joss are both happy to see the back of her. Hard to say which one is happier.

Beam Me Up – P!nk
In chapters 23 and 24 Joss finally realizes what she’s got with Matt is something she doesn’t have with anyone else. When he’s at his worst, she wants to be there. But how do you make the leap?

I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
Joss has some serious work to do as chapter 27 opens, but she’s determined not to give up. Even if it means facing her worst fear.

This Year’s Love – David Gray
If you’re not saying “FINALLY!” by the time you get to chapter 28, I have failed you as an author. This song is perfect for the least first first-time scene ever.

Save the Last Dance For Me – Michale Buble
If a book had credits, this song would absolutely be playing over them. As it is, you can start playing it as soon as you get to chapter 29.

 

Complete Playlist on Spotify!

 

Giveaway

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About Ellie Cahill

Ellie Cahill is a freelance writer and also writes books for young adults under the name Liz Czukas. She lives outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her husband, son, and the world’s loudest cat.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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