Today's guest: Eve Marie Mont Why we love her: She mixes it up. She can write women's fiction and YA.
The scoop: Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre…
Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own…
Our thoughts: We love us some solid YA!
Book trailer: A Breath of Eyre
Giveaway: Three copies! Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win! We'll randomly select the winners after 6PM PST on Sunday, April 1.
1. Doctor Who I will admit this up front: I am a Doctor Who neophyte. I have not watched the series from its inception, I don’t have strong feelings about whether Tom Baker or David Tennant made the best Doctor, and I don’t really even understand the concept of a time lord. All I know is that last spring, my husband and I discovered Season 5 on Netflix Instant, and we have loved every bizarre and frenetic minute of it. The show is sort of like Blackadder meets Star Trek, with a healthy dose of The X-Files mixed in. Matt Smith’s Doctor is refreshingly naïve, boyish and charming, and best of all, infectiously optimistic. Amy Pond, his fiery redhead sidekick, is tough talking and smart, although I’m annoyed with her penchant for running all over time and space in very short skirts. Nerd that I am, I bought my husband a desktop TARDIS for Christmas last year.
2. Angsty teen television from the 90’s I have recently discovered that when I’m going through a bout of writer’s block or am feeling generally down about life, a few hours spent with the gang from an angsty 90’s TV drama is the perfect antidote. All the conventions of YA storytelling existed even in this pre-Twilight era: absentee parents, love triangles, emo dialogue. My favorites are My So-Called Life (which captures my actual teen years the best), Dawson’s Creek (I’ll never forget the episode when Joey sings ‘On My Own’ for the Miss Windjammer Pageant and Dawson finally sees her as more than ‘the girl next door’), and Felicity (am I the only one who wanted Felicity to end up with Noel instead of Ben???). I realize these shows are a guilty pleasure best consumed in small doses, but for a cynical Generation X-er like me, they’re like hot buttered toffee for the soul.
3. Rhode Island For some reason, I’ve always felt my heart belonged in Rhode Island. I know it may sound strange to love the tiniest state in the nation sandwiched between tony Connecticut and progressive Massachusetts, but there’s something special and timeless about Rhode Island with its down-to-earth fishing towns and rugged coastline. My favorite places aren’t the most bustling or commercial (like Newport or Providence), but the ones off the beaten track (like Tiverton, Jamestown, and Little Compton), the towns with quaint marinas, seafood shacks, and homey pubs where they serve clam strips with Narragansett beer or a Dark and Stormy. Nothing would make me happier than to move to a cottage on the Rhode Island coast and write books at a desk overlooking the sea.
4. Shelter dogs Anyone who read my women’s fiction novel, Free to a Good Home, will know I’m a sucker for shelter dogs. If I had a bigger house and yard, I’d be in trouble because I’d probably adopt one a year and become crazy hoarder dog lady. Maggie, my fifteen-year-old Jack Russell-boxer mix, is probably my best friend in the world. Nothing beats coming home from a long day of work and being greeted by her big soulful eyes and her wagging tail, even though arthritis has made it increasingly difficult for her to stand on her own. I know I will always own dogs, and I will always adopt them from shelters because it saves lives in two ways: 1) by rescuing a dog from being euthanized; and 2) by not supporting the puppy mills, which emphasize profit over animal welfare.
5. Men with manners Call me old-fashioned, but I love me a polite, well-mannered gentleman. That’s not to say he can’t be masculine or rugged or passionate, too. But it’s the guys who are chivalrous and respectful who really get my heart racing. Maybe this is why I love the heroes of Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, or almost any character played by Jimmy Stewart or Gary Cooper. This is one of the reasons I married my husband, a southern gentleman who became a northern transplant but never lost his gracious manners and gallant charm.
Cell phone etiquette Yes, I know this topic might seem a little outdated, but the increasing lack of cell phone etiquette continues to confound me. As with any new technology, there is always a lag during which people must adapt to the new advance and learn to deal with the ramifications of its use. But here we are about seven years into the cell phone age, and our etiquette seems to be getting worse instead of better. Friends check their phones for incoming texts multiple times while they’re in the middle of a conversation with you. Students communicate during class by texting inside their hoody pockets. People whip out their phones in bathrooms and elevators with the intensity of smokers jonesing for a cigarette. And I will never understand why people at a coffee shop seem to prefer sitting alone looking at a digital screen rather than engaging with the person next to them. I know I may be a bit of a Luddite, but I’m hoping for a massive technological crash that will send us back a few generations to that quaint era when “quality time” meant talking to an actual human being. Boy, do I sound old and crotchety!
Thanks, Eve! xoxo,
Liz & Lisa