IWSG Day Question: What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?
Use Somebody by Beck Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I Hope It’s Gonna Make You Notice…
…Someone like me, thinks Jeremy, super agent to the stars. He’s all about wooing supermodels in Los Angeles. Here he shares his methods for getting his woo on:
I can tell you how to get a woman in bed. You tell me what she likes, I’ll tell you the way into her boudoir. Is she a Midwestern girl? I bet she loves football. Find out her favorite team, fly her to their stadium, invite her dad, get a meet and greet. Ka-ching. You will score.
*jaw hangs open* This Midwestern girl is TOTALLY swooning!
But when his friend/client Andy takes him on a fishing trip on the waters of Idaho, Jeremy is out of his depth. He can’t drive his Tesla along the PCH (what a snob) and cell phone service is spotty (*gasps*). He’s so irritable he almost comes to blows with Andy’s other friend, Todd.
When Jeremy meets elite fly-fisherwoman, Macy, he definitely takes notice. She’s not impressed by him, and sasses him right back. The more she plays hard to get, the more he’s intrigued. Men.
I like the backstory of what made Jeremy so driven and ball-busting. His musings are a pleasure to read, like his insight into fake social media:
I’m sorry, but I’m not a big believer in the “here I am having a snow cone, oh look I just snapped a pic of it in the light of the sunset while I happened to be wearing a fashionable floppy hat” kind of bullshit.
…and his belief that “talent is sexy”:
Listen, hot girls are one thing, but a good-looking woman who is gifted at something? That is pure sex. Have you ever watched a really good female bartender? That is hot. So is a pilot, or a musician, or a painter, or a glass blower, or, gee, I don’t know, a fly fisherwoman.
Andy’s wife Kelly tells Jeremy, “I find you lovable but mildly disgusting because of your general lack of moral compass.”
Can Jeremy find a better sense of moral direction and land the big fish(erwoman)? Stay tuned in this delightful third book of the Fix You series.
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Today I welcome author and friend Beck Anderson to the blog to review her latest release Trouble Me (Fix You #2) and ask her about her intriguing series titles!
Trouble Me by Beck Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Love Lasts Through Life’s Troubles
Beck Anderson’s debut novel Fix You was a 5 star read for me. I wasn’t the only one who loved the story as evidenced by its nomination for two RITA awards. Its sequel Trouble Me keeps up the humor and depth, even adding in a suspense element, as Kelly and Andrew’s relationship progresses.
Boise was an unusual setting for book one, and in this story we visit the raw, rough Oregon coast as well as more urban settings like NYC and LA.
When movie star Andrew drives his girlfriend Kelly and her two sons to Oregon, he feels choked up by emotion:
I feel full to bursting. I have a family. A beautiful family. I have this girl, this glorious woman to the right of me now, who let me into her life when I probably least deserved it.
The abundance almost makes me scared.
I’ve never had so much to lose before.
That’s a great setup for what’s to come. And at that point Andrew doesn’t know he’ll have even more to lose when his family expands.
Meanwhile, Kelly continues her passion for running, which led her to meet Andrew in the first place.
Whenever I go on walks or runs, I stake out the neighborhood, figure out which house I’d claim as mine.
I TOTALLY do that! There’s one house in a nearby neighborhood I’ve stalked for years.
One of my favorite parts of the story is the marriage proposal running gag. After a lame first attempt, Andrew decides to make it fun:
He pulls out the twist tie from the hot dog bun package. It’s twisted in the shape of a ring. “Kelly Reynolds, will you marry me?”
I laugh and hold out my hand. “Where’s the Eye of the Tiger?”
“I’ve arrived at a brilliant idea. I’m going to propose multiple times — so many times you can’t stand it. And you won’t be able to tell which is the official, last, ‘real’ proposal.”
As his father says, “Andrew never can do something without a production. We knew from the time he was five he’d be an actor.” Ha ha.
The proposals are clever and funny. Perhaps a subtitle for this story could be “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”.
I also laughed at the incident in the trailer when Andrew and Kelly pull a prank on a mean actress. When the trailer’s rockin’, don’t come-a-knockin’!
Things get more serious when somebody obsessed with Andrew tries to kill him. I had a good inkling who Crazy was from the get-go, based on the strangeness of conversations between the characters. The ending was quite suspenseful.
I love the idea of titling the books after songs, and the title I heard for book three sounds great!
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And now we hear from Beck about her book titles!
Why I picked the song titles I did:
Fix You – The idea that someone needed to be “fixed” after she was broken was intriguing to me, and the song is basically how Chris Martin is trying to fix his grieving lover after the death of a loved one. I think the key is that he says, “I will try to fix you.” Everybody wants to make things better for another person, to fix it for her when she is struggling or for him when he is struggling. But what became kind of a central theme for me in the book Fix You is that all people are broken and flawed in some way. That’s the human condition – that’s what life does to us. Life’s not easy. But how you move forward is not by being fixed, but by loving someone. So that’s where that song came into play. It just really seemed to speak to the theme of the novel but in an unexpected way.
Trouble Me – Another song title that maybe feels like it means one thing initially but also means another. In conversation it means “can I trouble you for some help” – can I bother you? And the song, by 10,000 Maniacs, basically takes that meaning a step further – lean on me, trouble me and burden me with your problems when you need help. I really liked that because in a relationship that deepens, like Kelly and Andrew’s does in book two, you have to lean on each other, and you can’t keep your troubles from the other person. You have to be brave enough to be vulnerable, to be “needy.” The other connotation is that there will be trouble in Trouble Me, and I liked that, too, because things get complicated, dare I say, dangerous, in the book.
Use Somebody – There’s a theme going on here. When I first heard this song by Kings of Leon I thought it was about a total jerk who “used” women up and cast them aside. But if you listen to the lyrics, it’s actually someone who could “use somebody” in his life – he needs someone. The lyrics are actually really sweet. The person works hard to be someone who the other person could “use,” too, i.e., be the kind of person this woman would need or want in her life. Not surprisingly, I feel like this play on the phrase is PERFECT for this story, because it centers on Jeremy, Andrew’s agent, meeting a woman when the boys are on a “man-cation” flyfishing in Eastern Idaho. Is Jeremy simply “using” the person he meets or could he really “use” someone like her?
Since we’re talking about Use Somebody, here’s a sneak peek:
My name is Jeremy King, and I am one of the most powerful agents in Hollywood.
I may or may not have a best friend. I may not have any friends past that at all.
Don’t feel sorry for me, or I will kick you in the balls.
This may be why I have no friends.
But let me tell you what I do have.
I own a Tesla Model S, white. I paid cash for a house in the Hollywood Hills that Bela Lugosi built and Ava Gardner lived in. If you don’t know who these people are, you are a dumb ass and should go look them up right now if I am supposed to put up with you for the rest of the book.
I’ll wait for you to put some of their movies in your cart on Amazon. You can watch them later.
I mean, really. Ava Gardner was married to Frank Sinatra, for Christ’s sakes. Please don’t tell me you haven’t heard of him.
You should stop reading now, too, if you have any illusions that in finding any kind of love, I will change in some way and sprout a heart of gold. The only gold I have is on my wrist – Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, thank you very much.
I am a loyal friend. I take care of people who take care of me.
I am fierce, and I am the fiercest in my field. Do not cross me.
And I have everything I want.
Go away if you think I’m going to have one of those scenes where I look out at the ocean and feel all hollow and run through the rain to knock on some chick’s door and profess my love to her.
I rep movie stars, but never once for a minute have I ever thought that life works the way movies do.
Wow, I can’t wait! Sounds awesome. Thanks, Beck.
Congratulations to Nancee Cain on her debut novel! Saving Evangeline is garnering quite a few 5 star reviews.
Evangeline is the town pariah. Everyone knows she’s crazy and responsible for the death of her last boyfriend. Even her mother left her and moved cross-country. Lonely and desperate, Evie decides to end her life.
Rogue angel Remiel longs to return to earth. There’s just one problem. He tends to invite trouble and hasn’t been back since Woodstock. The Boss sends him to save Evangeline, but there’s a catch. He can’t reveal his angelic nature and must complete the task as Father Remiel Blackson.
Forced together on a cross-country trip, a forbidden romance ignites and love unfolds. A host of heavenly messengers try to intervene, but Remiel and Evangeline are headed on a collision course to disaster. Will his love save her, or will they both be lost forever?
Join Nancy at the Confess Your Love of Romance Novels Facebook event on Sunday, June 7 from 2-4pm
In Trouble Me, the sequel to Fix You and third novel from Rita finalist Beck Anderson, Kelly and Andrew struggle to stay sane within their whirlwind life. It’s a life that’s equal parts amazing and amusing, less glamorous than you might expect, and spiked with very real fears no amount of stardom can overcome. Will Andrew and Kelly stay strong at the broken places or be torn apart?
BUY IT HERE! http://books.simonandschuster.com/Trouble-Me/Beck-Anderson/9781623422219
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