Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A toast to Glynis Astie...plus a special giveaway

We're glad to have Glynis Astie back at CLC to promote her fourth book in the French Twist series, French Roast. In honor of our "Books that made an impact" theme, she's here to talk about the special books in her life. She's also giving away an e-book set of her series and a $20 Amazon gift card (two winners will be chosen)!

Glynis never expected in her wildest dreams to be a writer. After thirteen years in the Human Resources Industry, she decided to stay at home with her two amazing sons. Ever in search of a project, she was inspired to write the story of how, in only six short months, she met and married her wonderfully romantic French husband, Sebastien. The end result became her first novel, French Twist.

As this was just the beginning of their epic love story, Glynis continued to chronicle their adventures in the sequel, French Toast, and the final installment in the series, French Fry. After she finished milking her life story for all it was worth, she decided to write straight-up fiction with Gamer Girl, which infused her beloved chick lit with a hint of fantasy. She then realized there were a few ounces left in her real-life French fairy tale, and added French Roast to the mix. She is currently considering writing a prequel to the series, and is therefore questioning her definition of “final installment.”

When Glynis is not writing, she is trying to keep the peace amongst the three men and two cats in her life, finding missing body parts (Lego pieces are small!), supervising a myriad of homework assignments and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity. 

Visit Glynis at her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Synopsis of French Roast (may contain spoilers for the other books):
Sydney Durand, the quirky yet lovable heroine of the French Twist series, is back for one final installment in a very special novella.

As the wife of a gorgeous and romantic Frenchman and the mother of the most angelic boy ever, Sydney is living a life of sheer perfection. She’s gone through quite a bit to achieve this charmed life, and now nothing is going to bring her down. Or so she thinks.

Just when Sydney’s happiness is at its height, an unexpected event throws her life into chaos, threatening her happily ever after. With her tight-knit family in danger of falling apart, she suddenly finds herself longing for the days of dating disasters and unsolicited (and embarrassing!) advice from her wise-cracking father. At least those humiliations would be easier to take than the devastation now enveloping her heart.

Will she be able to find the strength her parents have always fought to instill in her, or will she spiral into the void of her always-lurking anxiety? Sydney’s challenge is to survive...or roast...

What I've Learned Through Books

Though I have only been writing for the past few years, I have long held a great love of books. From Curious George to Little House on the Prairie, my childhood was filled with tales of all kinds, each one inspiring me in a different way. I truly believe there is a lesson to be learned from everything and have found books to be exceptional educators. Here are a few of my favorites:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Besides learning about good old-fashioned romance, there are deeper teachings at play. We all know the importance of pride—taking pride in your work, in your appearance, in yourself as a whole—but we often forget how easily pride can go awry. Not to mention the danger of prejudice. How easy is it to take our preconceived ideas and believe them to be true, when there is actually no basis in fact? (I think of it as a misguided mental shortcut. We have so much thinking to do, it’s natural to want to cut corners somewhere.) Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth were both rather impressive—and amusing—in their delivery of these faults, but thankfully they found some sense in the end.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
I dove into Anne’s adventures at an early age and was quickly mesmerized by her bravery, her dedication and her cherished belief that each day brought a fresh start. (Fun fact: I used to think I needed red hair to evince these characteristics. For nearly the entirety of the eight book series, if you must know.) I was pretty shy as a kid, so when I was faced with tackling an obstacle, I would do my best to channel my inner Anne. I may not have reached new heights in terms of being fearless, but I was able to explore many things outside of my comfort zone—which was good enough for me. Thank you, Anne!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
When I first read this brilliant work, I thought the world was an insane place. Why would millions of people love a story filled with so much pain and emotional turmoil? What was the lesson in all this chaos? I may have needed a little guidance to understand the reasoning, but in the end, I was able to appreciate the endurance Jane exhibited throughout her challenging life. To have gone through so much difficulty with such strength and grace is something to be celebrated. And definitely something to aspire to in your own life.

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
My mother fell in love with San Francisco the late 60s, when she was fortunate enough to spend a few years soaking up the sunshine and the beautiful scenery. I used to love hearing stories from those days, wishing I could have tagged along for her delightful rambles. When I stumbled upon the start of Armistead Maupin’s famed series, I was instantly reminded of my mother’s fun-filled California days. From the very beginning, I was drawn to the world of Michael Tolliver and Mary Ann Singleton—laughing as Michael tried to guide Mary Ann out of her closely-guarded shell and as Mary Ann tried to keep Michael from eradicating his completely. I sent my mother a copy immediately, knowing she would enjoy it as much as I did. She always had an appreciation for different cultures, beliefs and lifestyles and she reveled in the idea that everyone could get along, teaching each other as they went—exactly what the series touted. Our shared love of this series left me with a courageous heart, an open mind and the will to chase my own dreams to California.

Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
I have always been a big fan of Dr. Seuss—the rhyming, the addictive rhythm of the words, the delightful illustrations and the heartfelt messages. This book is a pure work of genius in my opinion. How scary can a journey be if Dr. Seuss is giving you a pep talk along the way? All the basics are outlined nicely—you’ll have a lot of choices, you’ll have to work hard, you might get scared, but think of all the amazing things you can do! And most importantly: don’t give up. I’m sure it won’t shock you to learn that I still pull out my battered copy and read through it when I’m thinking of doing something which just happens to scare the crap out of me. Guess what? After my heart-to-heart with the good doctor, I’m all set. Every. Single. Time.

I could go on and on (and on!) about wisdom I have gleaned from a collection of incredible books, but I thought you might appreciate the condensed version—after all, you have your own places to go. (Ha!) Plus, I would really like to hear about how your favorite books have impacted your life. Please fill me in below!

Thanks to Glynis for visiting with us and for sharing such awesome prizes with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends May 21st at midnight EST.


Janine said...

I can't think of a book that really impacted me, but there have been quite a few that were eye openers.

Joanne McGrath said...

I'd have to say Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate because of the life lessons it taught.

Unknown said...

The power of words is incredible, Janine. Care to share any of the eye openers?

Unknown said...

I will have to add this to my TBR pile, Joanne. You're never too old for life lessons. :)

traveler said...

A novel which was memorable and unforgettable and made me think and changed my perspective was The velvet Hours by Alyson Richman.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the recommendation, traveler! It sounds like a great book.

Jessica said...

Every book by Karen White inspires me and touches my life because they make me so happy.

diannekc said...

I think every book I have read has impacted me in some way. I think I learn or feel something from every book I read.

Rita Wray said...

There have been many books I have read which made me see that we all have problems. When you read about other people you don't feel so alone on dealing with issues.

Mary Preston said...

No one book stands out.

catwoman1a said...

You are new to me and your books look like so much fun. Thank you. catwoman-1(at)comcast(dot)net.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Jessica! Very true, Dianne & Rita. :) Thank you so much, Sharon!

dstoutholcomb said...

Jane Eyre, Jane Austen, Gone With the Wind, the Little House series, and many more


Unknown said...

As I am French, I always learn a lot from reading books in English as it helps me to improve my command of the language.
There are so many books that were important in my life! This is difficult to choose.
I like historical fictions. Reading them, I learn a lot about how people use to live. In that regard, I enjoyed very much The Remains of the Day by Ishiguro and The Ballroom by Anne Hope.

Unknown said...

So many! I think The Kite Runner kept me thinking (and crying) long after I finished it, and Mornings in Jenin made me more aware of, and think about, the situation in Palestine.

jpetroroy said...

Anne of Green Gables because of its lessons about friendship.

Unknown said...

I love all your choices, Denise! Thank you for the recommendations, Catherine. I should be improving my command of French by reading French books. (It's not very good!) I plan to add your choices to my TBR, Snazzy Stuff! I'm very late to the game on The Kite Runner. Totally in agreement about Anne of Green Gables!!!

susieqlaw said...

Man's Search for Meaning. Shows resilience and joy in the worst of circumstances.

bn100 said...

can't think of any

tarafarah7 said...

The book Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom definitely leaves a lasting impact. It is my favorite book. It taught me to love and apppreciate life and everyone in it, especially your family. Dont take anything (or anyone) for granted because you never know what life holds. It taught me to live life on my own terms...that is what will bring happiness, rather than doing what others think or expect you to do. And, of course, treat everyone with respect and kindness because everyone is fighting a hard battle. :-)

djnbjnon said...

Wow, that is difficult. I think every book you read can have an impact with your future or you can say that happened to me in the past or you may know someone in a similar situation. But one book for me is hard to say.