Happy Holidays! We can't believe this is our final author post of 2011. And just in case you were wondering, we saved the best for last! Loyal visitors of CLIND probably already know that we crush HARD on Sarah Jio. We loved her debut earlier this year, The Violets of March(Lisa has it on her Best Books of 2011 list!) and we were VERY excited to get our hands on her latest, The Bungalow. (out on Tuesday, December 27th so be sure to pre-order TODAY!) And to our delight, it was just as wonderful as we'd thought it would be. Romance with a bit of mystery and hot men in uniform equals YUM!
It's been chosen as a Pulpwood Queen book club pick, a Target “Recommended Read” and a Kroger featured title for January. And her third novel is on the way! Blackberry Winter will be published on September 27, 2012.
We think Sarah's pretty easy to crush on. Not only is she a fabulous author and so freakin' adorable, she also writes the popular health and fitness blog Vitamin G over at Glamour.com. C'mon, admit it, you're crushing a little bit on her too! So you understand our excitement when she agreed to share her 5 Loves and a Dud with us. (PS, We TOTALLY agree with her dud!)
So here's the dealio on The Bungalow: In the summer of 1942, twenty-one-year-old Anne Calloway, newly engaged, sets off to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific island of Bora-Bora. More exhilarated by the adventure of a lifetime than she ever was by her predictable fiancé, she is drawn to a mysterious soldier named Westry, and their friendship soon blossoms into hues as deep as the hibiscus flowers native to the island. Under the thatched roof of an abandoned beach bungalow, the two share a private world-until they witness a gruesome crime, Westry is suddenly redeployed, and the idyll vanishes into the winds of war.
A timeless story of enduring passion, The Bungalow chronicles Anne's determination to discover the truth about the twin losses-of life, and of love-that have haunted her for seventy years.
Sounds delish, right? Then you'll be thrilled to discover we have FIVE copies to give away! Just leave a comment here and be entered to win, we'll choose the winners after Monday, December 26th at 6pm PST.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...SARAH JIO'S 5 LOVES AND A DUD
1. Nespresso. Last Christmas, my husband got me a Nespresso coffee machine, and I have to tell you, honestly, that it has changed my life. Too strong of words? Let me explain: I’m a mom to three little boys (all under the age of 5), and I am chronically sleep-deprived. A double Americano made with perfect shots of espresso is what I think about first thing in the morning when the baby wakes me up at the crack of dawn, and it’s also the thing I reach for in the afternoons when I need to get 10 pages of my next novel during naptime. My secret weapon is definitely Nespresso. And my pod of choice right now is Indriya.
2. Running. For years, I couldn’t understand why anyone in their right mind would want to run. Then, shortly after my second baby arrived, desperate for a little peace and quiet, I laced up my running shoes and went for a jog. I sputtered and panted—and I think I actually tripped and fell on my hands and knees on the sidewalk—but a funny thing happened: I kind of loved it. It wasn’t until the sixth or seventh time out that I could actually run a whole mile without stopping. Now, a few years, and one more baby, later, I run every day, usually about three miles (four if I’m feeling it). Running has proven to be the single most effective fitness tool for me (I’ve whittled myself down to, almost, my wedding-day weight) and it’s also done amazing things for my creativity in fiction. I’ve imagined new novel titles, thought up entire plot twists and turns and solved character problems while running. I always take my Blackberry with me (in a black Lululemon fanny pack—don’t judge!) so I can send myself emails when a particularly good idea strikes.
3. Jazz. There’s a little jazz station here in Seattle called 88.5 KPLU FM. This station is always on in my house. They don't play any of that modern, elevator-esqu jazz, just the real stuff—old standards and new classics, from Ella to Diana Krall. In fact, music has been a huge inspiration in my novels. The Violets of March was partially inspired by the song “The Waters of March” by the late Susanna McCorkle (a gorgeous, gorgeous song that haunts me), and my third novel, Blackberry Winter, was inspired by the song—you guessed it--Blackberry Winter by the gorgeous singer Hilary Kole. I can’t wait to tell you more about this novel—coming September 27, 2012!
4. The Ergo Baby Carrier. I’m sort of an old fashioned mama. I like to keep my kids close, bake a lot of cookies, and be the one to kiss their owies. My boys, who are now 5, 3, and 11 months old have spent the majority of their first years snuggled up next to me in the Ergo baby carrier contraption. After putting my back out wearing the Baby Bjorn with my first baby, the Ergo (which is a lot more, you guessed it, “ergonomic”) saved my life. It’s comfy and snuggly, and I have the fondest memories of going about life with my little guys strapped to my chest in a perma-hug position. I’m getting a little sad thinking about the day (coming soon) when my youngest boy won’t fit in the Ergo anymore (sniffle, sniffle).
5. My garden. We live in Seattle, and our city backyard isn’t huge, but I’ve packed it with all kinds of plants that I love: a Japanese maple that my husband got me one Mother’s Day that turns the most stunning shade of orange; a rose bush that I transplanted from the home I grew up in just before my parents sold the house (I have never smelled a rose so fragrant); an unruly herb garden that gives me more sage, mint, oregano and chives than I can ever use; a row of lavender that attracts the most amazing hummingbirds; a fig tree that, every year without fail, produces exactly one fig (we’re thinking about having a party this summer to celebrate our lonely fig). Any vegetables I try to plant, my rascally golden retriever eats (during plum season, she snacks on two Italian plums every morning, and leaves the pits on the deck right before coming back inside.) Anyway, my garden is a source of joy, peace and inspiration to me (in fact, it’s where I first discovered the little purple wood violets that inspired The Violets of March)!
DUD Married men who don’t wear wedding rings: Sorry, but this really annoys me! If you love her, then put a ring on it!
Thanks so much Sarah! xoxo, L&L