Lit IT Girl: Debut Author Anita Hughes

Today's IT Girl: Anita Hughes Why we love her: We LOVE discovering fab new authors and Anita is no exception!

Her debut: Monarch Beach

The scoop: Anita Hughes' Monarch Beach is an absorbing debut novel about one woman’s journey back to happiness after an affair splinters her perfect marriage and lifewhat it means to be loved, betrayed and to love again.

When Amanda Blick, a young mother and kindhearted San Francisco heiress, finds her gorgeous French chef husband wrapped around his sous-chef, she knows she must flee her life in order to rebuild it. The opportunity falls into her lap when her (very lovable) mother suggests Amanda and her young son, Max, spend the summer with her at the St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach. With the waves right outside her windows and nothing more to worry about than finding the next relaxing thing to do, Amanda should be having the time of her life—and escaping the drama. But instead, she finds herself faced with a kind, older divorcee who showers her with attention… and she discovers that the road to healing is never simple. This is the sometimes funny, sometimes bitter, but always moving story about the mistakes and discoveries a woman makes when her perfect world is turned upside down.

Our thoughts: We think you'll devour this lovely debut. (And we LOVE that it's set at The St. Regis in Laguna-one of our fave places!)

Giveaway: Five copies! Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win.  We'll choose the winners on Sunday July 8th after Noon PST.

Fun Fact: Although she lives in the States now, Anita was born in Australia!

Where you can read more about Anita: her website, Facebook and Twitter.


1. How many agents did you query before you found "the one"? I queried quite widely - I got addicted to that send button on my email. Many agents requested fulls at the same time, which was fun.

2. What's a line from your "favorite" rejection letter?  MONARCH BEACH started with a much longer title. (I love how titles changes after you finish a novel). One agent wrote "I would never represent a novel with a title that long." I was crushed.

3. What was the hardest part about writing your debut novel? I actually love to write - there is nothing more fun than sitting down at my laptop and writing. I forget everything else (well, not my children or doing the laundry or making dinner) and just write.

4. What is the best/worst advice you received while you were trying to break into the book biz? The best advice was to read the acknowledgments in books I loved. I learned so much - the names of agents, of editors, the team it takes to put a book out. I formed a real appreciation for the comraderie of publishing, and I'm thrilled to be part of it!

5. How did you celebrate your book deal?  My whole family are frozen yogurt fans. We went and got cones of Cake Batter frozen yogurt and then I came home and drooled over shoes online. I didn't buy any yet - it's a long way from the book deal to the release date - but I put several on my wishlist.

6. Who is your writer crush? I have a few - I love Allison Winn Scotch for her novels, her upbeat presence online and her advice to debut authors. I think Jennifer Weiner is fantastic and funny, and I really admire Emily Giffin - she writes wonderful books and knows how to engage her fans.

7. If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one book, what would it be? I love to read, so one book wouldn't last very long. I would have to say OLD SINS by Penny Vincenzi. Penny is a British author who tells such a good story, you forget where you are.

8. What's on your iPod right now? Will you laugh if I say "One Direction?" My twelve year old daughter put it on there and they are really great.

9. What's your #1 stress reliever? Walking along the beach - the sight of the Pacific on a clear day cures almost every ill!

10. Who/what would you place in the center of the Entertainment Weekly bullseye? Channing Tatum, hands down. He is everywhere right now. He makes very appealing eye candy as well as being funny and smart.

Thanks Anita!  xoxo, L&L