July giveaway

Same rules as usual: Please leave a comment below and let me know which of these 2 books you’re interested in. If you’re interested in both, that’s fine. You have until the end of this month to enter, and then I’ll draw names at random and announce the winners on Mon, Aug 1st. Must have US mailing address — sorry, international friends!

Images and descriptions courtesy of GoodReads.

Half a Life: A MemoirHalf a Life: A Memoir
by Darin Strauss

“Half my life ago, I killed a girl.”

So begins Darin Strauss’ Half a Life, the true story of how one outing in his father’s Oldsmobile resulted in the death of a classmate and the beginning of a different, darker life for the author. We follow Strauss as he explores his startling past—collision, funeral, the queasy drama of a high-stakes court case—and what starts as a personal tale of a tragic event opens into the story of how to live with a very hard fact: we can try our human best in the crucial moment, and it might not be good enough. Half a Life is a nakedly honest, ultimately hopeful examination of guilt, responsibility, and living with the past.

The Love Goddess' Cooking SchoolThe Love Goddess’ Cooking School
by Melissa Senate

Holly Maguire’s grandmother Camilla was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine — a Milanese fortune-teller who could predict the right man for you, and whose Italian cooking was rumored to save marriages. Holly has been waiting years for her unlikely fortune: her true love will like sa cordula, an unappetizing old-world delicacy. But Holly can’t make a decent marinara sauce, let alone sa cordula. Maybe that’s why the man she hopes to marry breaks her heart.

So when Holly inherits Camilla’s Cucinotta, she’s determined to forget about fortunes and love and become an Italian cooking teacher worthy of her grandmother’s legacy. But Holly’s four students are seeking much more than how to make Camilla’s chicken alla Milanese. Simon, a single father, hopes to cook his way back into his daughter’s heart. Juliet, Holly’s childhood friend, hides a painful secret. Tamara, a serial dater, can’t find the love she longs for. And twelve-year-old Mia thinks learning to cook will stop her dad, Liam, from marrying his phony lasagna-queen girlfriend. As the class gathers each week, adding Camilla’s essential ingredients of wishes and memories in every pot and pan, unexpected friendships and romances are formed — and tested. Especially when Holly falls hard for Liam… and learns a thing or two about finding her own recipe for happiness.

Kristan’s random note: I intensely dislike and disagree with the choice not to put the “s” after the possessive apostrophes in both “Strauss'” and “Goddess’.”

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15 Comments

  1. Me Me! I want to read the Cooking one. Also, yes, intensely unimpressed with lack of proper grammar.

  2. Les

    Half a life! Plurals ending with S have got to be among the most annoying and awkward written words.

  3. Both sound very interesting! Even if I don’t win, I may have to go out and read those.

  4. Both sound good to me, so please enter me, too. I especially love memoirs.

  5. The Love Goddess’ Cooking School sounds uber interesting. And yeah the whole no s thing = weirdness. Stylistic author thing maybe? I may have to copy the book giveaway idea. Looking at bookshelf….

  6. LOL, Kristan, I completely agree about the possessive apostrophe. When I worked as an in-house editor, the house style was to use it, so I always have. But when I turned in the Love Goddess manuscript, my editor thought it looked weird with the apostrophe and overrode S&S house style to delete it.

    You’re definitely not alone–I’ve gotten lots of emails about it!

    Thanks for including the novel, without its proper ‘ in the giveaway!

    Melissa

  7. Melissa-
    Thanks for commenting! And yes, haha, as Les says, there’s little that’s more awkward than the s-word possessives. But it doesn’t seem to be stopping people from reading and enjoying your book, so that’s good!

  8. DarcyO

    I’d love to read The Love Goddess’ Cooking School. Thanks for the chance.

  9. Ack, I just realized I forgot to include the missing S in my comment–that’s the prob, as you noted, not the poor apostrophe. :) Unless of course it’s missing that S after it!

  10. Lisa

    I have to agree about the possessive apostrophe- way too awkward. Also, would LOVE the Love Goddess’ Cooking School!! (despite the ” ‘s ” issue)

  11. Fun giveaway! I’d love to read Melissa’s book. I’ve read others of hers and have enjoyed them all.

    (And – so agreed on the grammar issue!)

  12. I would love to read HALF A LIFE. Did you ever read MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU (also by Strauss, but it’s a novel). It was one of my favorite books I read last year, so I’m looking forward to reading his memoir. Come to think of it, I’ll probably end up buying it even if I don’t win…in that case…I’d also like to read The Love Goddess’ Cooking School :)

    And yes, typing it like that feels so wrong!

  13. I agree with you on the grammar. And, more importantly, so does the Chicago Manual of Style. :-)

  14. I go both ways on the apostrophe for plurals ending in ‘s’; I guess it just depends on the words used and how it looks. It’s always strange, though.

    I’m not sure which book I’d pick – I usually choose the more introspective ones, but The Love Goddess’ Cooking School sounds fun, too. Either or!

  15. Joy

    Okay so I guess its obvious which one I’m going for hahaha — The Love Goddess’ Cooking School sounds like a great read :)

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