Hey, friends! Leslie Wells was kind enough to offer some signed copies of her debut new adult novel, Come Dancing
, to Inklings readers today. If you missed my review you can find it over here
; in short, it’s a sassy, spicy romance that follows a jaded publisher’s assistant and a hard-living British rock star in ’80s Manhattan. He’s the Goodreads synopsis:
It’s 1981. Twenty-four-year-old Julia Nash has recently arrived in Manhattan, where she works as a publisher’s assistant. She dreams of becoming an editor with her own stable of bestselling authors—but it is hard to get promoted in the recession-clobbered book biz.
Julia blows off steam by going dancing downtown with her best friend, Vicky. One night, a hot British guitarist invites them into his VIP section. Despite an entourage of models and groupies, Jack chooses Julia as his girl for the evening—and when Jack Kipling picks you, you go with it. The trouble is … he’s never met a girl like her before. And she resists being just one in a long line.
Jack exposes her to new experiences, from exclusive nightclubs in SoHo to the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood; from mind-bending recording sessions to wild backstage parties. Yet Julia is afraid to fall for him. Past relationships have left her fragile; one more betrayal just might break her.
As she fends off her grabby boss and tries to move up the corporate ladder, Julia’s torrid relationship with Jack takes her to heights she’s never known—and plunges her into depths she’s never imagined.
With a fascinating inside look at publishing, this entertaining story of a bookish young woman’s adventures with a rock superstar is witty, moving, and toe-curlingly steamy.
The giveaway is open to entries (US only) until Monday, July 14. Good luck, and if you’re in the States I hope you have a safe and very fun 4th of July celebration!
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In 1989, at the age of 37, Amy Tan published her first novel: it was an acclaimed bestseller, receiving a film adaption in less than five years and finding its place as a contemporary classic. The Joy Luck Club is the story of four women immigrated from traditional China and their four Chinese-American daughters. As the stories of these eight women take the reader from contemporary San Francisco to 1930s China, Tan explores both the generational changes and the cultural divide that envelopes the complex relationships between mothers and daughters. In his New York Times review, Orville Schell praised Tan for “a wonderful eye for what is telling, a fine ear for dialogue, a deep empathy for her subject matter and a guilelessly straightforward way of writing.”
This year, in celebration of The Joy Luck Club‘s 25th anniversary, Penguin Classics is releasing a special edition of the novel as part of their continuing Drop Cap series. A collaboration between Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley and illustrator Jessica Hisch, the Drop Cap series features enduring works of literature with every letter of the alphabet serving as homage to a different author. With The Joy Luck Club Tan joins the likes of Austen, Brontë, and Cather in an alphabet of timeless literary collectibles.
The special Drop Cap edition will be published next week, and the kind folks at Penguin are offering a copy to one Literary Inklings reader! The giveaway is open now through the end of the month (US and Canada residents only). I’ll contact the winner on April 30th!
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To see the previously published editions in the Drop Cap series visit PenguinGroup.com.
Read: my full review
With many thanks to the team at Center Street I’m happy to be offering one reader a hardcover copy of Michael Hurley’s nautically-inclined memoir, Once Upon a Gypsy Moon. Before we get to the details of the giveaway, I want to give a bit of praise to one element of this book that I didn’t mention in my review: that cover! I’ll be the first to advise not judging the books we read by them, of course, but as a graphic design enthusiast of sorts I simply have to acknowledge when a book’s design catches my attention. I love everything about this particular cover, from the photography to the choice of fonts. Every detail is just lovely. Much appreciation to Jody Waldrup, art director at Hachette, for a job so well done.
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Synopsis: Michael Hurley watched his world unravel in the wake of infidelity, divorce and failure. In August 2009, he was short of money, out of a job, and seeking to salvage a life that had foundered. Deeply in need of perspective, he took to the open seas in a 32-foot sailboat, Gypsy Moon. The story of his 2-year outward odyssey, deterred by rough weather and mechanical troubles, combines keen observation, poignant thoughts, and deeper introspection with glorious prose.
Once Upon a Gypsy Moon also presents a rare and much-needed point of view on the familiar spiritual-journey narrative. It offers a star-crossed love story wrapped inside a rollicking good sea tale, but it also has something important to say to the reader about relationships, faith and disbelief, life and death, love and marriage, and what really matters.
Connect with Michael: Website | Goodreads | Facebook
Read: my full review | my Q&A with the author
In addition to taking the time for a Q&A yesterday, author D.J. Williams has kindly offered readers a chance to win an autographed copy of his upcoming novel The Disillusioned (WestBow Press; 5/1)! The thriller follows two brothers as they search for answers long kept hidden by their father on a journey that will ultimately test their physical and spiritual strength. Below you’ll find an excerpt from The Disillusioned as well as a chance for one lucky reader to receive a signed copy of the novel!
An excerpt from The Disillusioned, Chapter 26
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| In the far corner he noticed a boy in his early teens, who wore a knockoff Jordan jersey. He stared into the boy’s hazel eyes and tried to shake off a sudden urge to spend his last few Kwacha buying the boy a meal. He redirected his attention to the man behind the counter as wild thoughts flashed in his mind. He counted the money again, and reminded himself of his need to survive. He ordered two pieces of chicken and potato wedges. Thirty Kwacha.
Back home most children are lucky, he thought. No real fear of starving. No real fear of dying. No real clue of how hard life really is when you’re only expected to live into your mid-thirties. Children back home were more worried about losing their cell phones, being grounded form Playstation, or being accepted into the right social circles. None of that mattered here. For a child, life on this side of the world was about one thing,
Danny grabbed his tray, tried to shed himself of the guilt and found a table with a perfect view of the main street. Traffic passed as the thumping music from the neighborhood shebeen drifted through the night. Danny rather enjoyed the eclectic mix of American eighties pop and local African artists. It had become a unique soundtrack to his adventure.
He wiped the sweat from the back of his neck and wondered how he’d made it thousands of miles from home. After just one week he was broker than broke. He had no idea what was going to happen next. He had jumped at thirty thousand feet without a parachute. What if he didn’t find her? What if the Vice President was wrong about his contact? Then what? He would have failed, again. He watched the miners laugh together.
Danny tried to remember the last time he’d laughed. Even though it had only been a month, he wondered when he’d allow himself to grieve. It was hard to tell. His emotions had been unpredictable for weeks. The peaks and valleys left him unsure whether he had made the right choice coming to Zambia. He’d used the last three hundred dollars to pay for hotels, bus rides, and false information. He had risked everything.
He opened the box, stared at two pieces of friend chicken, and realized this was all that was left. How he wished he could laugh. He wished he could be the man Brooke deserved. He wished he’d been wiser with the
opportunities given to him. He wished he could have saved his parents. In that moment, anger and envy crept into his soul.
Synopsis: A mother’s suicide threatens to destroy a family legacy. Her sons, Sam and Daniel, are forced to leave their comfortable worlds behind and search for a woman they believe can unlock the secrets that have remained hidden. They are propelled into separate journeys from Los Angeles to the heart of the Zambezi, where they are forced to confront a man known as Die Duiwel, the Devil. On their adventures they will find themselves in a place where death is one breath away, where thousands of children are disappearing into the darkness, and where the woman they are searching for is on the hunt for revenge. When they stand face-to-face with the forgotten slaves of Africa, they will fight to redeem what has been lost.
Connect with D.J.: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter