Books & Brews: The Hating Game / Dogfish Head’s Beer for Breakfast

Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday of every month I pair a book I love with a pint to sip while reading it.

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At some point a few months ago, my friend Julia gushed about how much she enjoyed Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game. Then at my local writers conference in September, Sarah MacLean told me she loved it. Then my friend Lindsay read it, and sent around a message saying we had to discuss it. Clearly, with all this prodding I moved it to the top of my to-be-read list. And while we’re talking lists– it’s worth nothing that the novel was in the top ten of Goodread’s Choice Awards for romance and named one of NPR’s best books of 2016. A good book to round out my 2016 Books & Brews series, I suppose!

The premise of the story is classic, bitter work rivals who can’t stand each other, until eventually they start to piece together that maybe they very much can. An enemies-to-lovers story, if you will. Main characters Lucy Hutton and Josh Templeman are executive assistants for co-CEOs of a large publishing house who have a daily routine of disdain for each other. Things get complicated when they are forced to compete for a promotion. And even more complicated when the facade of hate starts to crumble.

Here what I loved about the book: Continue reading

On Cozy Coffeeshops & Other People’s Love Stories …

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Last Saturday I had a book signing about forty-five minutes away in Fredericksburg, Virginia, at the coziest little coffee shop ever, Agora Downtown Coffee. The shop is co-owned by sisters, one of whom bakes amazing things and the other who is the biggest champion for local artists ever (as well as a talented artist and craftsperson, herself). In the short time I was there, the sisters’ father and brother stopped by and introduced themselves, a local business owner bought me a cup of coffee because he “knew how hard I worked”, a designer complemented my book covers, and countless folks smiled and wished me well. Continue reading

Pairings

There seem to be a lot of first dates going on in my neighborhood recently. Or maybe they’ve always been there and I’m more aware because I just wrote a super awkward first date scene in the novel I’m working on… hard to know. Anyway, here are two of my favorite observed moments (partially fictionalized, naturally): Continue reading

I’ll Take My Coffee Sweet & Light, Please

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There wasn’t a lot of good news in the world last week. There’s the mess in Ferguson (and yes, mess is a huge understatement, but I’m not sure that one word exists that would capture it.) We lost Lauren Bacall and Robin Williams. The later whose death stirred up discussions about depression — some for the better, some with less than correct information.

It was easy to feel the weight of it. The lack of light in it all.

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Warning: May Cause Cravings

Recently my friend (and awesome romance writer), Alexis Anne, shared with me that reading Neverending Beginnings made her want to make lasagna for dinner.  (My main character in the novel repeats the same week over and over, and therefore makes lasagna over and over.)  This has to be one of the coolest things anyone has told me about my novel and it got us both thinking about the role food plays in fiction.  This week we sat down to chat about my use of food in both Neverending Beginnings and Delayed. Grab a snack and enjoy!

Hungry?  Here are the recipes for Kate’s Lasagna and the Beer Chili I mentioned in the video.  And be sure to check out Alexis’ website for a chance to win a copy of Delayed!

 

Books & Brews: The Gastronomy of Marriage / James Bean

Two of my favorite things in the world are books and craft beer.  Out of this grew the idea that maybe pairings aren’t just for the table anymore; perhaps there is a perfect beer for every book . . .

I knew I was going to love Michelle Maisto’s memoir, The Gastronomy of Marriage, as soon as I saw its cover prominently featuring two bright yellow summer squash, entwined at the neck.  And yes, I realize that we are not to judge books in this manner, but seriously . . . squash, hugging.  How can that not be awesome (unless, of course, you dislike squash or hugs).  Continue reading