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Welcome to New York!

Friday, September 6th, 2019
Manhattan skyline, August 2019

Hello fellow book lovers!

I am the newest intern here at Beaufort Books & Spencer Hill Press! Over the next four months, you’ll be seeing periodic updates on the blog about my latest bookish adventures and NYC experiences. For this brief time as a blogger, I’ll be going full James Bond and using the alias of Captain Beaumerica (I am a Marvel fiend and cannot be stopped). I am so thrilled to share my thoughts, musings, and lessons learned with you all!

I think it is only appropriate that this first post serves as an introduction to myself. Below you’ll find a list of a few of my favorite things.

Favorite Book:

One thing to know about me? I will never lie to you. I have so many favorite books. I’m not a parent, but I imagine that choosing your favorite book is not unlike trying to choose your favorite child. For the sake of time and your sanity, I won’t list all my favorites, but here is my default:

Divergent by Veronica Roth – This book isn’t a groundbreaking novel with an ultra-diverse cast, nor is it an underrated gem that everyone will love, but as a lost middle schooler this book was exactly what I needed to read. It brought me comfort and guidance during that complicated time of adolescence. It was an influential book that shaped the rest of my school experience. I could talk for hours about the first book in this series and the injustice of the film adaptation, but instead I will just encourage you to read it for yourself. Come share in the heartache.

Favorite Movie:

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but I have several favorite movies… Here’s a few:

The Way Way Back – A coming-of-age story starring Steve Carrell and Toni Collette. This film is so heartwarming and emotional. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

The Truman Show – I love Jim Carey. He did a phenomenal job in this movie, but honestly, when does he not?

The Entire Marvel Cinematic Universe – Captain Marvel. Black Panther. Iron Man. Too many to name. I love them all with the passion of a thousand Suns.

Favorite Place:
In May of 2019, I spent two weeks in Southern Oregon and Northern California. They are easily my favorite places in the World. If I could hole up in the California Redwoods to write for the rest of my life, I absolutely would. These massive trees brought tears to my eyes and made me emotional in a way that I never thought trees could. I consider it a travesty that the Redwoods are not on the official Wonders of the World list.

Favorite Thing About NYC (so far):

The subway. I consider myself I great driver, but I highly dislike it. Not having to drive everyday is a blessing that I never want to lose. Also, the bookstores. So. Many. Bookstores.  

That’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about me! I am so excited to be a part of the Beaufort team and interact with you via Beaufort social media. Check back soon for more updates!

Your Favorite Hero,

Captain Beaumerica

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

NYC: A Story-Lover’s Dream

Friday, March 8th, 2019

As an English major, I truly love stories in all of their forms. This includes books (obviously), movies and television, plays and musicals, and even museums and concerts. All works of art tell a story in one way or another, and NYC is full of art. In other words, NYC is a story-lover’s dream. I hope in sharing my recent artistic outings, it might inspire readers to get out and experience some stories of your own (in any and all forms)!

Seeing a story unfold in front of you in the form of a Broadway musical is magical. I’ve only seen two shows during my time here, but they’ve made me want to see them all. Anastasia was my first ever show. Anastasia has been one of my favorite movies for as long as I can remember, and seeing it so alive and real was spectacular. After the show, I was able to meet most of the amazing cast, including singer Cody Simpson who played Dmitry (a middle school dream come true)! My second show was Mean Girls, and that was another great experience that filled me with memories of watching the movie in middle school with my friends at sleepovers.

The stories behind works of art found in a museum are fascinating to me: the lives of artists, the history of an entire civilization, the meaning of a work of art. I made my first visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently and loved every second. From the paintings to the sculptures to the artifacts, I was filled with curiosity and awe. It’s not every day you get to see a Van Gogh painting in person! Additionally, a concert is one of the most fun and lively ways to hear a story. Though I want to get to many more, the only concert I have been to so far was for singer Ryan Beatty that I attended for one of my classes; what an incredible show it was!

In terms of some of the more obvious story forms, I still try to make plenty of time for books and film. Despite the reader’s block I mentioned in my previous post, I was able to get my hands on a copy of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman from my reading list and having been loving it and (slowly but surely!) fighting my reader’s block. I’ve also recently been treating myself during my free time with Gilmore Girls binges and uplifting Netflix originals such as Dumplin’. I’ve found during my time in NYC that you can find a good story almost anywhere you look for one. Try and enjoy some art today if you can!

Until next time,

Phoebe Beauffay

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

RANDOM THINGS OR A WITCHY WRITER?

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Hi everyone, and thanks to Spencer Hill Press for inviting me to write a post for their Random Things blog! My name is Jennifer Murgia, and I write Young Adult thrillers. My Spencer Hill Press titles are FOREST OF WHISPERS and its sequel, CASTLE OF SIGHS—17th century Bavarian witch thrillers! The duology begins with the tale of Rune, a girl raised in the Black Forest of Germany, who, upon her sixteenth birthday, hears the whispers of her long-dead mother who seeks vengeance on those who burned her at the stake. It’s chock-full of mystery, bloodshed, the plague, imprisonment, and, of course, witchcraft!

Random things you might not know about me:
1. In 2012, I co-founded a teen book festival. YA FEST PA is held annually in Easton, PA at the Palmer Branch of the Easton Area Public Library. Coordinating this spectacular event takes a good 8 months out of the year, and what started off as a small, homegrown book festival has become the only YA book festival in the Lehigh Valley, one of the largest on the east coast, and draws Young Adult authors from around the world! If you’re looking to visit Pennsylvania this coming August, then set aside a few hours to drop in on YA FEST 2019! Our line-up of amazing attendees can be found here: www.yafestpa.com
2. Creative people are notoriously scattered, right? I am. My closets are shameful. But when it comes to keeping track of my life there’s no better place than on paper. I admit, I’m a fanatical planner and list keeper. I must leave dozens of To Do lists around my house and (no lie) keep 2 planners and a calendar up-to-date each day. From family appointments, grocery lists, things to remember, and upcoming book releases (and a festival to plan!) I have to keep track of things! My favorite is the Bullet Keeper.
3. I collect antique jewelry. Most have been passed down in my family, but I love finding new pieces and wondering what secrets they keep!
4. I have one itty bitty tiny tattoo—of an ampersand on my right inner arm. I’ve always wanted a tattoo but firmly believe that if you’re going to be inked, it should mean something. When I first began my publishing journey, I naturally looked forward to what the future held in store for me. I wanted to finish my book. Get it published. See it on a shelf. I wanted a wonderful agent to represent me. I think it’s human nature to always “want more” and to strive for your dreams. That’s when I knew the ampersand (“AND” symbol) fit me in more ways than one. It’s a reminder that there IS more waiting for me. That it’s ok to never be satisfied and to stretch my creative capabilities in search of happiness. There is always a next chapter waiting to be written. I wanted the tattoo in a spot where I would see it every day and it is, facing me, not outward for anyone else. It’s a reminder of who I am and who I want to be.

Thank you, Spencer Hill Press for featuring me on your blog! Visit my website at www.jennifermurgia.com for more info on my books!

New City, New Books

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

Hello everyone! I’m Beaufort’s newest intern, writing under the pen name Phoebe Beauffay (Friends fans?) A little about me is that I’m an English major who loves stories in all forms and of all genres. I attend university in Nashville, TN, but I’m here for the semester. Not only am I new to Beaufort, but I am entirely new to NYC. Prior to my move here, I had never been. I’m more thrilled to be here than I can say!

I think most people who consider themselves to be avid readers would agree that sometimes we get reader’s block. My own reader’s block has been going on for far too long. I’m ready to pull out my reading list, my bookmarks, sign up for a library card, and get to work. Moving here has given me a spark to read that I haven’t felt in a while. How could it not? I’m surrounded by countless books and fellow book lovers here at Beaufort. I pass a public library to and from Beaufort each time I’m here. Readers are everywhere: on the subway, in coffee shops, in any of NYC’s abundant book stores. I’m planning an entire day to visit The Strand alone (pictured).

My reading list is ever-growing with no end in sight. It also refuses to be limited to one genre; it has a little bit of everything, which is exactly what I am looking for here in NYC. Here are a few of the books I intend to read on the subway and in coffee shops to cure my reader’s block:

Great Food Jobs 2 by Irena Chalmers

A Beaufort title I’m quite excited about! I love food and books. I love learning about the food industry and different careers. It’s full of insight on a world that I’m ready to learn all about.

North of the Tension Line by J.F. Riordan

Another Beaufort title, one that immediately reminded me of home. This story is set in Ephraim, Wisconsin. While I live in NYC and attend college in Nashville, Wisconsin is where I grew up. It’s rare for me to be able to read about home (New Yorkers are a lucky bunch in that department). I love that the story explores small town life.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I have so much admiration for the former first lady, and I cannot wait to hear her story in her own words. Autobiographies are newer to my list than other genres, but I believe this could be the read to get me going on them.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This one has been on my list for the last few months, and I’ve heard only good things about it. Stories about slightly awkward protagonists and friendship full of warmth and heart have a special place in mine.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

This is another one that has been on my list for a while (I blame the reader’s block). Psychological thrillers and mysteries are some of my favorites, and I’m a big fan of Gillian Flynn ever since Gone Girl. Looking forward to finally checking this one off the list.

Happy reading!

Phoebe Beauffay

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

RANDOM THINGS OR A WRITER & A WARRIOR?

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Hello everyone! My name is Angela J. Townsend. I was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, I grew up listening to stories told by my grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places. My childhood allowed me to be imaginative, to learn the power of words, and to learn that words are living things and how we choose to use them could have a tremendous impact in our world and on others as well.

Sadly, not everything in my past has been an ideal fairy tale. An unexpected tragedy presented an opportunity that changed the course of my life. I started writing when my youngest son was diagnosed with a Retinoblastoma. A cruel form of eye cancer that causes blindness. Writing served as an escape. I wrote to find peace and to find hope for my son, and to create our own adventures far removed from the cold atmosphere of the hospital.

While employed as a paralegal in a busy law firm, my writing career took off. I was able to give away hundreds of signed copies of my novels to the Ronald McDonald houses of America and other organizations for sick children around the globe.

Today, I am a full time filmmaker and a traditionally published, award-winning author. I am fortunate enough to be a member of the Authors Guild and to be represented by the former Vice President of Paramount Pictures, M. Kenneth Suddleson.  Exactly a year ago a movie based on my novel, The Forlorned was released worldwide.

Random things about me:

  • As a young child I spent my young years in a remote fishing village in the wilds of Alaska. That experience shaped my novel, Amarok. The ocean and Alaska will always be a part of me.
  • Friday the 13th has always been my lucky day! I’ve always won money on that day: raffles, contests, and other events.
  • I was born just shy of Halloween—maybe that’s why I love writing spooky themed books so much!
  • After becoming severely allergic to makeup, I developed my own all natural cosmetic line which includes a natural hair dye and soap.
  • Cars terrify me and I’m even more afraid of flying.
  • My favorite food is popcorn which is great because it goes along well with my motion pictures!
  • In 2018 I won a notable trademark lawsuit over my book and movie title, The Forlorned. The case ended up in the US Supreme Court, and winning freed me from years of harassment and “Trademark Trolls.”  I hope that my case will make it easier for other authors who undergo similar legal battles.
  • Last summer I formed Authors Unite Against Bullies. The organization strives to help artists who are being bullied or are victims of frivolous lawsuits.

Thank you for spending time with me!

To read more, visit my website www.angelatownsendbooks.com

 

 

RANDOM THINGS OR SMALL TOWNS & SECRETS

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

I’m excited to be on the blog today, talking a little about myself. My name is Sarah Guillory, and I wrote Reclaimed, a book about small towns and secrets.

 

Random Things about Me:

  1. I’m a runner. I run six days a week, and I’ve run nine marathons (I do a marathon every other year, as it’s a pretty big time commitment and I need lower-mileage years for both my brain and my body to just love running, without any goals to chase down). And I love running. Like writing, some people say they enjoy having written or having run rather than the actually process, but when I’m running, I enjoy the movement, slipping undetected through that pre-dawn stillness, racing my past self, letting my mind and body wander. Jenna, my main character in Reclaimed, also loves running, but she wasn’t always a runner, and she isn’t a runner because I am. It took me a while to discover that Jenna loves running (at least two false starts and one early draft), and she loves it because it’s her way to escape, the forward momentum that she hopes will take her out of her small town and away from her alcoholic mother. I run less as an escape and more as an act of living in the present, of loving where I live (I’m from a small town and live in a small town and just in general really love small towns), and, as I age, even as an act of defiance.
  2. I’m a dog lover. Ridiculously so. I currently have two dogs, a bloodhound who is a year and a half and a six-month-old lab mix my husband rescued from the woods when he was a sick and starving weeks-old puppy. I wasn’t always a dog lover. I’ve enjoyed dogs in the past, but it wasn’t until my first bloodhound that I fell in love, and now I’m kind of stupid about it. But they make me happy (most days, though the lab mix is loving getting up at 2:30 AM right now) and keep me sane and humble and are quite nice writing companions. It’s weird that Reclaimed didn’t have a dog in it, but my last two manuscripts do. And the dog will always live.
  3. I’m a teacher. And I love it. There are very few professions where you can talk books all day, and I’m lucky enough to find one. I’m even luckier that I get paid to try and make readers out of other people. And that’s sort of my mission. I hope that each year every single one of my students encounters a book that turns them onto reading. If it’s not one I’ve assigned, I hope it’s one I’ve recommended or mentioned or have on my shelf in the back of my room. I believe that reading makes us better people, provides a better-quality life, shows us who we are as well as places we’ve never seen and people we will never be. It challenges us and reveals us, entertains us and sustains us, and I became a teacher because I wanted to pass my passion for books onto others. I’m not always successful, but I am always unabashedly enthusiastic. And if the words I write can do for other readers what stories have done in my life, then all the better.

 

Thanks for reading! You can always find me online at www.sarahguillory.com or on Twitter and Instagram @sguillory262.