Monday, August 27, 2012

Cover Reveal: ATHENA

I'm really excited to show the cover for Athena because it's the fourth book in this series, and completes the parallel portion of the series. The next four books (Shannon, Ruby, Ilana, and Victoria) will move ahead in time to the next 4 book club meetings.

When we submitted Olivia, Athena, Daisy, and Paige to our publishers, we didn't know what order they'd be released. We didn't know if the publishers would do one a year, or maybe two a year. We were working with two publishers so it was tricky to get everything lined up. When they agreed to release all four books in 2012, we were really excited. Readers wouldn't have to wait too long between books and the parallel stories will feel more like real-time, how they are meant to be.

While writing Athena, I was trying to decide who Athena would fall in love with. I was about 30 pages into the story and hadn't decided. So I emailed Josi/Annette/Julie and they all had the same opinion of who the man should be--so that made it easy.

It was a lot of fun to write Athena (except for the not so fun parts of the story), and I realized that her personality is a lot like mine. My family life and situation are completely different, but we are similar in many ways. So it will be interesting to read the reviews :-)

Athena will be released in November, but you can get an early copy at the October 6th Book Launch (Fort Union Deseret Book, Ladies Night, 6:00-8:00 p.m.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

How it all Started . . .

By Josi 

            One of my least favorite questions to be asked is “What is your favorite book?” I have many favorites, but it’s difficult to rank them as my very favorite, or my fourth favorite, and as I get older, books that were once lower on the list have risen in the ranks as my understanding of them have changed. There are a few books, however, that never seem to fall far down the list. One of those books is Twelve Sisters by Leslie Beaton Hedley. I checked it out from the library many years ago and liked it so much that I bought my own copy, which I somehow lost (probably because I loaned it out) and then I bought another copy which I don’t plan to loan out ever again since it’s now out of print. I don’t know how well the book sold when it was in print, I don’t know how many other people read it, but—not to put too heavy a spin on it—it changed my life. For a few reasons.
            The book is about twelve women who live in the same LDS ward. They cover the spectrum of college student to a woman, literally, in her final hours. Each chapter is dedicated to one of these women and involves a sacrament meeting. In “Her” chapter, the woman “sees” the other women, but we get to see her in a way that no one else in that room ever will. We see their struggles, their heartbreaks, their purpose, their goals. We share in their frustrations, we understand why do they do the things they do.
In the next chapter, we see another woman, often passing judgment on someone else we just “met” a chapter or two earlier. I had never read anything like it—I still haven’t—and when I finished the book I felt as though my world had opened up a little wider. That woman I’m critical in my mind for being too perfect, or too sloppy, or too lazy, or too heavy, has a story that I don’t know and yet I think I DO know. Over and over again we pass judgment on one another and are somehow confident of that perspective even though that person we’ve judged is essentially a stranger to us. It’s so easy to do, it comes naturally for some of us to critique and measure everyone we meet. Twelve sisters, however, showed just how much truth is missed when we do this to one another, and how we can compound the hard road someone is traveling by being so flippant with our determinations.
            After reading that book—about fifteen years ago—I had the seed of an idea form in my brain—someday I want to write a book like that. In the years that followed, I would think about it now and then but I couldn’t figure out how to write it without basically copying what Hedley had done in Twelve Sisters. I didn’t want to re-write that book, I wanted one of my own, but couldn’t find the right way to do it different, and yet as good; as powerful. Then, in 2009, Julie Wright and I went on a book tour. We spent hours and hours and hours talking about pretty much everything. At some point, I started telling her about my idea but as I said the words, a light went on in the closet where the idea had been gathering dust for years. What if the reason I couldn’t figure out how to write it was because I wasn’t supposed to? As the words tumbled out, Julie helped me process them and within a short time the idea for Newport Ladies’ Book Club was born. We wouldn’t write one book, we’d write four books by four authors but with the same goal I felt Twelve Sisters had achieved—showing how we misinterpret other people, and just how much of an impact we can have on them.
            After bringing Annette Lyon and Heather Moore up to speed, we all set out to do something we’d never seen done before—a parallel novel series about four different women who meet up in a book club. The goal was to show these women’s lives in detail, while the other members of this book club only saw bits and pieces.
            I’ll write more about the process we went through in a future post, but hope that this helps the readers understand where the idea came from and why we wrote it the way we did. Our hope is that reading one book is great, but reading a second, third, or fourth then enriches the overall experience, helping us to “see” what we can’t see in just one novel from one Point of View. We hope you love it as much as we do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

PAIGE Share-the-Love Winner

We have lots of fun stuff planned for the Newport blog coming up, but for now, we need to announce the winner of the share-the-love contest.

We had nearly 50 entries! Of them, picked Andrea at Literary Time Out, for one of her tweets about the PAIGE launch! Congratulations!

(Andrea, Please email Annette (at) AnnetteLyon (dot) com with your mailing address right away so we can get your prizes to you!)

Thanks to everyone who Facebooked, blogged, tweeted, and otherwise spread the words. Thanks to everyone who came to the launch to support us, and thanks to our great readers, who are already posting amazing reviews of PAIGE. We appreciate it more than you can know!

Monday, August 6, 2012

PAIGE Launch: Spread the Love Contest

Paige is here, and we're so excited for readers to read her story!

The official launch party for Paige will be THIS Saturday, August 11, from 1-3 PM at the Fort Union Deseret Book Store. (That's the same store the other launches have been at. Great store, and fantastic manager, whom we love!)

We need your help to spread the word!

We're holding another spread-the-love contest, and the winner gets the following:
  • The e-book of Lost Without You
  • The e-book of At the Water's Edge
  • The e-book of Their, There, They're (Annette's grammar guide)
  • Hard copy of Chocolate Never Faileth (Annette's chocolate cookbook)
If Annette's in a good mood, she may throw in some Utah Truffles chocolate too!

How to enter:

Each day from now until Saturday at noon (Mountain Daylight Time), share the information about the launch, whether in your own words or with a link to this post. 

Do so on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or on your personal blog. Each time you mention it, let us know either in a comment here or by emailing Annette: annette (at) annettelyon (dot) com, so we can track the numbers. If you tweet about the launch, be sure to use the hash tag #PaigeLaunch (that'll get you an extra entry). The hash tag will help us track entries!

Each social media mention is worth one entry (two if it's Twitter and the hash tag is used). A blog post with all the relevant detail and a link back here is worth FIVE entries.

So help us spread the word, and then on Saturday, please come to the Fort Union Deseret Book! All of the Newport Ladies authors will be there, along with treats and fun. 

Hope to see you there!