In lieu of my usual postings this week, I'm going to instead focus on one of the things I'm most thankful for--my best friend, and her newest book. In this time where we count our blessings, I have the pleasure of looking down at a newly-arrived paperback and feeling an immense burst of pride. Not quite what I feel when I look at my own newly-arrived books, but pretty close. Because it's by my best friend.
Any avid readers of my blog will have heard a lot about Stephanie Morrill over the years. I'm always quick to chat up her books, and to mention her in posts. The first book in her Ellie Sweet series was, at its publication, my absolute favorite of all her books--and that includes the unpublished ones I've gotten read as her critique partner, plus the ones out in the world. So when she said she was writing a sequel, I got pretty excited.
One of the biggest blessings of my year was getting to take a writing retreat with Stephanie. We locked ourselves in a cabin in my mountains for four days, emerging only for food, LOL, and just wrote. We both logged over 30,000 words in that weekend. And lots of laughter. We live a thousand miles apart, so face-to-face time is rare for us--usually only at writers conferences. Which means that though we deem ourselves unable to make a lot of simple decisions without the other's input, I have no idea what color shirts Stephanie wears most often. And she had never seen me in jeans before this March retreat. ;-)
Well, not surprisingly, Stephanie wrote the book how it needed to be written. And equally not surprisingly, she outdid herself. I fell in love with the wit and sass of Ellie Sweet, teen novelist, in The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet. But in this one, Stephanie managed what so few writers ever can. She took those things I most loved and made me question why I loved them. She took what I thought was the truth and made me dig deeper, to a truer truth. She took what I thought was an epiphany and made it pale in the light of the real epiphany Ellie has in this one.
Stephanie, you're amazing. And one of my biggest blessings. When I count the things I'm thankful for, you're high up on that list.
And so, this Thanksgiving week, I want to offer a signed copy of The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet to one lucky winner. I know it'll end up on your thankful-for list too! Here's the blurb--and don't miss my question of the week at the end before the giveaway. =)
For once, Ellie Sweet has it all together. Her hair now curls instead of fuzzes, she’s tamed the former bad-boy, Chase Cervantes (she has, right?), and her debut novel will hit shelves in less than a year. Even her ex-friends are leaving her alone. Well, except for Palmer Davis, but it can’t be helped that he works at her grandmother’s nursing home.
Life should feel perfect. And yet, it’s not that easy. Ellie’s editor loves her, but the rest of the publishing biz? Not so much. And they’re not shy about sharing their distrust over Ellie’s unlikely debut.
Ellie has always been able to escape reality in the pages of her novel, but with the stress of major edits and rocky relationships, her words dry up. In fiction, everything always comes together, but in real life, it seems to Ellie that hard work isn’t always enough, the people you love can’t always be trusted, and the dream-come-true of publishing her book could be the biggest mistake she’s made yet.
Now for my question, geared, as you might expect, toward thankfulness. What is the most unexpected thing for which you're grateful this year? That could mean either a blessing you didn't expect, or something you didn't expect to be able to see the blessing in.a Rafflecopter giveaway