Author Guest Post
I think writing is tough enough as it is so I try to surround myself with things that make me smile. Stiff, plain offices make me nervous; they make me think about work. And while writing takes a lot of focus, it shouldn’t necessarily feel like work—at least not to me. Yes, it can be tough at times, but I’m usually on the wrong track when it feels like drudgery.
Little Miss Writer. I’ve had this Day of The Dead figure for at least twenty years. She’s made several moves with me. She sits in front of her typewriter, legs crossed, smoking her cigarette…”daydreaming” about what she’s going to write.
Here’s a close-up shot of the cover of the German edition of my first novel, Please Please Please. The German publisher, Malik, used it as the cover to their catalogue.
I like to keep books in arms length just in case I get stuck. If I can’t think of what to write next, I love picking up a favorite book and reading a few lines. It usually fuels me in one way or another. If you look closely, you’ll notice the kitchen timer. There was a time when I had the worst procrastination and had to time myself, usually fifteen or twenty minutes a day, to sit and write. Those days are long gone, but that timer reminds me of how far I’ve come.
My cat, Money, usually naps at some point while I write. She took over the basket years ago.
About The Author
Renee Swindle earned her BA from UC Irvine and MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University. She lives in Oakland, California.
Shake Down The Stars by Renee Swindle ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours
Shake Down The Stars by Renee Swindle
Publisher: NAL Trade / Penguin Group
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Format: Paperback - 352 pages / Kindle - 694 KB / Nook - 882 KB
Genre: Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: Shake Down The Stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
Piper Nelson is stuck. She can’t quite stay away from the husband she divorced. She isn’t always attentive to the high school students she teaches. And even she admits that she’s been drinking too much and seeking out unsuitable men. Piper’s mother, married to a celebrity evangelist, and her sister, who's immersed in plans to wed a professional football player and star in a reality TV show, are both too self-absorbed to sympathize with Piper’s angst. They tell her to get a grip. But how can Piper ever really recover from the blow she suffered five years ago, when a car accident took the life of her young daughter?
When Piper’s ex-husband announces that his new girlfriend is pregnant, Piper is forced to take stock. Realizing that it’s time for a change is one thing, but actually making it happen is quite another. And despite what she thinks, Piper can’t do it alone Lucky for her, a couple of crazy, funny new friends are ready to step in when she needs them most and show her how to live and laugh again.
My Book Review:
Shake Down The Stars is a poignant and moving story about a woman who is struggling with the traumatic loss of her daughter, dysfunctional family drama, alcohol addiction and promiscuity. It is the story of a woman's journey to healing and rebuilding her life through the help of friendship and love.
Author Renee Swindle weaves an emotional tale of love, loss and redemption set in Oakland, California, and written in the first person narrative that follows the journey of Piper Nelson as her journey to heal from a tragic loss is filled with dramatic trials and tribulations that will tug at the reader's heartstrings. Piper is a flawed woman whose life swirls out of control after the tragic death of her four year old daughter Hailey in a car accident. Wrought with guilt, grief, dysfunctional family drama, and a painful divorce, Piper's life descends into a self-destructive path of alcoholism, promiscuity and poor choices. With the support of special friends and an unlikely love interest, Piper is able to see past the grief and destructive inner demons to embark on a journey of self-discovery, healing, redemption, and rebuilding of her life.
Shake Down The Stars is a beautifully written story that takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride. You can't help but feel the full gamut of emotions as Piper's journey to turn around her life is filled with daunting challenges, trials and tribulations, mixed with inspirational support from some amazing friends and a special love interest. Piper's story is raw and intense, yet the author also infuses a balance of humor and wit that gives the story a silver lining. This is the type of story that makes the reader pause and ponder how they would react to a tragic loss, and could they be able to move forward and embrace their own lives.
I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge Piper's passion for astronomy. Her obsession for stargazing was one of the few things in life that gave her a sense of calm and spiritual connection that was a saving grace during her troubled times. I was fascinated by the author's inclusion of stargazing into the story, it made me want to go outside and watch the night light up with stars in wonderment.
Shake Down The Stars was an incredibly satisfying story of healing, redemption and love. It is a story that will resonate with you for a long time.
RATING: 4 STARS ****
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September 23 – Chick Lit Goddess – Excerpt
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