Monday, May 20, 2019

The Elegant Elizabeth a book giveaway

Today we welcome Elizabeth Bartasius to CLC. Melissa A met her through a friend and took an interest in her novel, The Elegant Out, which was recently published. Thanks to She Writes Press, we have three print copies and an e-book for some lucky readers!

Elizabeth Bartasius is the best-selling author of the debut novel, The Elegant Out, praised by Kirkus Reviews as “…a riveting tale of maturing womanhood and an insightful peek into the creative process.” She lives in the Caribbean with her husband. Connect with her and access her private creative gallery at her website and visit her on Facebook.

After escaping an abusive relationship, Elizabeth finds herself struggling with immense feelings of inadequacy. Stuck in a small-town, eight to five job, she dreams of characters and plot lines—when she’s not thinking about babies. She wants another. Gabe, her love, does not. When her writing coach praises her talent and encourages her to write, Elizabeth dives in, resolved to pursue her dream of publishing once again and put her ideas about pregnancy on the back burner. But then everyone around her, from her cousin to the couple-that-never-would, starts announcing their own pregnancies, and her baby obsession comes rushing back—accompanied by a deep depression.

Frustrated with Gabe’s refusal to give her another child—as well as his questioning of her motives—Elizabeth finds herself considering a separation. Writing, meanwhile, becomes a tool for beating herself up over her inability to find her voice. Ultimately, she must face an abusive past to answer a complex question: Is having babies the answer, or simply a distraction from her immense feelings of inadequacy and fear—an elegant out? If she fails to uncover her truth, Elizabeth fears she might remain strangled, her voice squelched forever.
(Courtesy of Amazon.)

What were the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of writing The Elegant Out?

Originally, this book began as a letter to my best friend. It was wonderful to connect with her over and over again in the scenes. She’d remark that we hadn’t talked in weeks, and I was always thinking, “Didn’t we just connect this morning?”

Overall, I feel proud of the work I created, of the raw-ness, of the beauty in what I like to call my pearl sentences. How many times do we start a big project like writing a book, and then ditch it? This one, I actually finished.

One reader described the story as “The War of Art as a Novel.” It was a war, a constant trick to get myself to sit down and write. When it was time to write the last chapter I was sick in bed, and didn’t want to face the book at all. But I had only one week before the New Year. No way, did I want to enter yet another year not having completed that book. So, I brought my laptop into bed with me. I’d write, then fall asleep. Write, then sleep, until it was done! On New Year’s Eve, my husband and I celebrated the completed work.

How is Elizabeth from your novel similar to or different from you?
Well, for one, I am older and a published author. ☺

Being on this side of the journey now, brings a confidence and evolution that the protagonist just couldn’t access. Yes, Elizabeth from the novel is based on me, but she is only a very small part of me. Yes, I went through many of her emotional struggles and overcame those hurdles, but I don’t recognize her much when I read the book now.

If you could cast a movie version of The Elegant Out, who would play the lead roles?
Emily Blunt as Elizabeth.
Chris Hemwsorth as Gabe, thank you very much.
Anne Hathaway as Maureeeeeeen.
Maggi Smith as Granny.
And the voice of the Monkey Muse will be Benedict Cumberbatch.
Yes, please, let’s have that! ;-)

If we were to visit you right now, what are some must-see things you would take us to visit?
Great! Come visit the islands.

Buck Island: Captain Carl’s sailboat cruise to snorkel at Buck Island Reef National Monument. We will be on the lookout for trunkfish, blue tang, trumpet fish, large brain coral and much more. If we are lucky we’ll spot a squad of squid. Then, Captain Carl will sail us to the other side of the island and set anchor for a picnic on the beach, a short 20 minutes walk to the stunning views at the island’s peak, and some always-loved playtime in a postcard-perfect location.

Rainforest: On another day, we’ll take the meandering drive through the ‘rainforest’, where we will stop at the side of the road for lunch at Merryn’s Nidulari gypsy food truck. It’s pure farm-to-table, made-from-scratch deliciousness!! Bellies full, we’ll continue down the hill to Rainbow Beach where we can nap under a sea grape tree to the sound the sea, then refresh ourselves in the calm, turquoise water when we wake.

Bioluminescent Bay: We have one of only 7 bioluminescent bays in the world. It’s magic! The local see-through kayak company will take us out for a lovely evening ride. Once the sky is dark, and we enter the bay, you will see millions of teensy tiny organisms all lighting up like stars as your boat skims through the water agitating the little guys and forcing their bright glow. And there are some jellyfish in the water too, the size of tennis balls. Yep, they glow too. Pretty special place.

What is the strangest thing in your purse/handbag at the moment?
There is nothing in my handbag right now. Like Marie Kondo told me to do in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I only put in my purse the items I need when I leave the house, then empty it when I return home.

When I do leave the house, I usually only carry around my cell phone (which holds the driver’s license & credit cards) a small journal with a black fine-point sharpie to write with, and a shawl, in case I get a little chilly.

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
Transfer by Apple Gidley. It’s the second in a series of historical fiction set on the island of St. Croix. Beautifully written. Wonderful characters. Intriguing backdrop. A great snuggle-up-in-bed and escape to another time. I just loved it!

Thanks to Elizabeth for chatting with us and She Writes Press for sharing her book 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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends May 27th at midnight EST.


Suburban prep said...

As part of my honeymoon we went to the Caribbean. It was beautiful.

traveler said...

I have never travelled to the Caribbean but would love to since I love the ocean and bright sunshine.

Michelle L said...

I have not visited the Caribbean, but I would love to visit many places, like Puerto Rico, Nassau, Martinique.

Pippa said...

This looks like an amazing book. Thank you for the offer.

Anh N. said...

I have not visited the Caribbean but would love to see the famous swimming pigs and the Bermuda Triangle.

Tatum Rangel said...

I've never been, but I want to go. I'm not sure what part of the Caribbean I'd want to see, but I'm open to it all.

diannekc said...

I have never been to the Caribbean, but I would like to visit the Virgin Islands.

Peggy Russo said...

I've never been to the Caribbean but would love to go.

Kelly Rodriguez said...

I’ve taken a Caribbean cruise before and I loved it.

Rita Wray said...

I have never been to the Caribbean but would love to.

jean602 said...

I haven't been but I'd love to take a cruise there.

Mary Preston said...

No, but it would be amazing to visit.

Jessica said...

Yes I've been to the Bahamas

bn100 said...

haven't been

Mary C said...

No, I have not.

Kelley B said...

I have been to the Bahamas.