We’re halfway through summer and there are so many wonderful summer books out there that I wanted to highlight some of my personal favs with you. These books are all in my TBR pile, or have been read and are now in my library, and so every Saturday from now until Labor Day, I’ll be featuring a different ‘beach read’ and author here.
I’m starting off my Summer Reading blog feature with the wonderful Wallflower in Bloom, by Claire Cook. Claire Cook wrote her first novel in her minivan and is now the bestselling author of nine novels including Must Love Dogs, which became a Warner Bros. movie starring Diane Lane and John Cusack.
And now I’m handing my blog over to Claire. Claire, it’s your turn!
Thank you so much, Jane, for inviting me to visit your blog to share the inspiration behind my new novel, Wallflower in Bloom. And may I say that I’m absolutely counting the days until The Good Woman is released in September!
Wallflower in Bloom began in kind of a crazy way. The publishing blog GalleyCat asked its Facebook readers which author they’d most like to see on Dancing With the Stars. Amazingly, I was one of the 10 authors nominated, along with Nora Roberts, Jodi Picoult, Harlan Coban, Ally Carter, David Sedaris, Andy Borowitz, Tatjana Soli, Tishani Dosh and Kathy Patrick. (I don’t know how they missed you, Jane – you would have been perfect!)
I have such true blue, incredibly supportive readers, as I know you do, and they got all excited and started voting like crazy – and I won the popular vote! GalleyCat sent the petition off the DWTS producers. Everyone started asking me if I’d really do it. “Of course, I would,” I said, my knees shaking. “Not just for me, but for midlife women everywhere.”
I totally would have done it, shaky knees and all, if Dancing With the Stars had ever called, which they haven’t – yet! But I have to admit it was a lot less stressful to turn the experience into the jumping off point for Wallflower in Bloom.
What was intriguing to me was the thought of a non-celebrity suddenly dropped into a celebrity world. And then I started thinking what if the heroine was the personal assistant to her famous brother, who was the family star. And what if she somehow used his connections to find her own fifteen minutes of fame?
And somehow into all this, my new novel, Wallflower in Bloom, was born!
For more on Claire, and to read an excerpt of Wallflower in Bloom (as well as enter to win a review copy) visit ClaireCook.com, and while you’re there make sure you visit the book club page for questions, recipes, cupcake flags, and to schedule an author chat. You can also follow Claire on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for her newsletter to stay in the loop.
Readers, for a chance to win my special Claire Cook beach tote give away–a tote bag packed with three of Claire’s fantastic novels, Summer Blowout, The Wild Water Walking Club, and Best Staged Plans, a Starbucks drink card, a Ty Gurney surf school water bottle, and fun Jane Porter giveaways–comment below. The contest will run from now until Thursday night, with the winner announced on Friday. Good luck and welcome Claire!