Free to a Good Home

Eve Marie Mont's 5 Loves and a Dud

Today's guest: Eve  Marie Mont Why we love her: She mixes it up. She can write women's fiction and YA.

Her latest: A Breath of Eyre her debut YA novel. (Out today! Happy publication day, Eve!)

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!

Fun Fact: A Breath of Eyre is the first in a series of three books.

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!

To find out more about the fabulous Eve Mont, follow her on Facebook and Twitter and visit her website.

Thanks, Eve! xoxo,

Liz & Lisa

Lit IT Girl: Debut Author Eve Marie Mont

We've been loving all the fantastic books about dogs lately.  From Stay by Allie Larkin to You Had Me At Woof by Julie Klam we've been in doggy heaven.  And this week is no exception!  Today, the fabulous Eve Marie Mont, debut author of Free to a Good Home, is hanging out with us here at  CLIND. And let's just say, she's definitely Lit IT Girl material! In Free to a Good Home, Noelle Ryan works as a veterinary technician at a New England animal shelter, helping pets find the perfect homes. If only it were as easy to find the same thing for herself. After discovering that she can’t have children—and watching her marriage fall apart after a shocking revelation by her husband—Noelle feels as forlorn and abandoned as the strays she rescues.

We enjoyed Free to a Good Home and think you will too.  It's funny and touching at the same time-no doubt the reason we finished it in record time!

And now you have a chance to win this fabulous book. Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win one of FIVE copies.  So. Freakin'. Easy!

SO... read on to discover more about the fantastic Eve-we think you'll enjoy her answers as much as we do! (Anyone who makes a Dawson's Creek reference is a friend of ours for life!)


1. How many agents did you query before you found "the one"? I wrote a novel before Free to a Good Home that never got published, and I probably queried over 50 agents for that one. My search for representation for this book was a little more focused, hovering around the 30 mark. After six months of nibbles and rejections, I followed up with a handful of agents who hadn’t responded yet, and one of them said my manuscript must have gotten lost in their vetting system. So I sent it to her again, she read it, loved it, helped me revise, then signed me on at Kimberly Cameron & Associates. Her name is April Eberhardt, and she’s a pro!

2. What was your rock bottom moment during the process? My earlier novel was ultimately rejected by every agent I sent it to. One small publisher requested the full manuscript, and I spent two months with my fingers crossed, hope and anxiety coursing through my veins. Finally, the editor wrote me a letter saying they couldn’t publish my book because my characters drank too much, and the love interest was not “sufficiently paramount” in the heroine’s life. In hindsight, they probably weren’t the right publisher for me, but it was a crushing moment all the same.

3. How long did it take to write your book? Because Free to a Good Home was my second book, I didn’t obsess about it quite as much as the first. It took me about a year to write the book, then my agent and I revised it for two months to get it polished for editors.

4. What did you do to celebrate your book deal? My husband bought me a bottle of champagne and St. Germaine, and we went to our favorite BYOB and ordered every course on the menu. On my release day, we went on a field trip to local bookstores where my husband took dorky pictures of me holding my book.

5. Knowing what you know now about publishing your first novel, what would you have done differently? I’m an introvert by nature, so I’m still unsure about social networking. When I first got my book deal, I started a website, Facebook page, and blog without really knowing how to utilize them. Looking back, I wish I’d found a mentor who could have guided me through the process. I also wish someone had given me the magical formula for getting a book blurb!

6. Who is your writer crush? Right now, probably Jonathan Tropper. His books are so smart and funny, but there’s tons of heart there. My brooding high school self would have said Neil Gaiman. Oh, and Elizabeth Berg is still my all-time favorite.

7. What's your biggest distraction or vice while writing? Often when I’m writing, my dog will lie next to me and lean her head against my arm while I’m trying to type. Book blogs also suck considerable time. And Goodreads—love that site!

8. GNO drink of choice? My standby is a gin and tonic, but if it’s a special occasion, I’ll ask for a White Cosmo. If the bartender doesn’t know how to make it, it’s Grey Goose vodka, white cranberry juice, St. Germaine, and a splash of lime. Tastes like lychee fruit!

9. Favorite trashy TV show? Definitely Vampire Diaries. My husband totally makes fun of me for this because I am so not a vampire junkie in general. I only read the first Twilight book, never watched an episode of True Blood, and didn’t read Anne Rice, even when everybody and her grandmother were reading Anne Rice. But there’s something about Vampire Diaries that makes me giddy. I like to think it’s not just that every character is ridiculously good-looking. Incidentally, one of the writers, Kevin Williamson, also wrote Dawson’s Creek, a guilty pleasure of mine ten years ago. He’s brilliant at playing with the audience’s allegiance to the characters—I never know who to root for from week to week.

10.  What celeb would you love to have a Twitter war with? My brother set me up a Twitter account just before my book came out, but it remains sadly neglected. I’m not much of a fighter by nature, but one of my feistier characters would love to have a go at the guy who called Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak pornography.

Thanks Eve! xo, Liz & Lisa

To read more about Eve, head on over to her website.  Or you can also find her on Facebook!