Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Phoebe Fox is full of grace...plus a book giveaway

Today we're thrilled to have Phoebe Fox here to celebrate the publication of her latest novel, A Little Bit of Grace. Melissa loved it and gave it a five-star review earlier this summer. Being Schitt's Creek fans, Phoebe enjoyed Melissa's casting suggestion for Grace. We've been waiting all summer to share this novel with you and are so glad that we finally can. Phoebe has THREE copies for some lucky readers!

Author Phoebe Fox has been a contributor and regular columnist for a number of national, regional, and local publications, including the Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and She Knows. A former actor on stage and screen, Phoebe has been suspended from wires as a mall fairy; was accidentally concussed by a blank gun; and hosted a short-lived game show. She has been a relationship columnist; a movie, theater, and book reviewer; and a radio personality, and is a close observer of relationships in the wild. She currently lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two excellent dogs. (Bio courtesy of Phoebe's website.)

Visit Phoebe online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest

Family is everything—Grace Adams McHale's mom must have said it to her a thousand times before she died. Before Grace's dad ran off with an aspiring actress half his age. Before only-child Grace found out she was unable to have children of her own. Before Brian—her childhood best friend, business partner, and finally her husband—dropped a "bombshell" on her in the form of her stunning new replacement.

Which means Grace now has...nothing.

Until she receives a letter from a woman claiming to be a relative Grace never knew she had, sending her on a journey from the childhood home she had to move back into, to a Florida island to meet a total stranger who embraces her as family. There, Grace starts to uncover answers about the eccentric woman her family never mentioned: a larger-than-life octogenarian who is the keeper of a secret held for more than fifty years, and the ultimate inspiration to always be true to yourself. As Grace gets to know this woman and picks up the pieces of her own shattered life, she is forced to question whether she can find forgiveness for the unforgivable.
(Courtesy of Amazon.)

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?
A woman once told me that my Breakup Doctor series got her through chemo. I don’t think I’m ever going to top that—it made me teary. There’s no higher calling for art than to have an impact in someone’s life—to help them or comfort them or offer insight or a new perspective. A creation—any art form—is only half-alive until it reaches an audience and takes on full life; this astonishing symbiosis is the magic and wonder of creating, to me.

How is Grace similar to or different from you?
Grace feels a strong call to duty and responsibility, which I do as well, but I think she struggles much harder with balancing that against pursuing her own passions than I do these days—I’ve learned to give myself permission to honor my own goals. And she finds a wellspring of rage in her she never would have imagined she had—and that resonates with me a lot. For years I told people, “I just don’t really get angry.” Which was ridiculous, of course—I was battening it all down, compartmentalizing those emotions because in my mind they weren’t “okay.” And like Grace, I’ve learned to allow those feelings and coexist with them. It’s infinitely more authentic—and so much more peaceful, counterintuitively.

If A Little Bit of Grace were made into a movie, what are some songs would you include on the soundtrack?
Jack Johnson “Sitting Waiting Wishing” (or anything by Jack Johnson, who always captures the feel of the wonderful centered relaxation I find near the ocean). This song to me encapsulates such a key part of Grace’s journey, that feeling of finally realizing you’ve been longing for someone who isn’t longing for you (with a catchy beat!) and letting go of that.

For similar reasons Hoobastank’s “The Reason”—I love the way it peacefully reflects on recognizing in hindsight how a failed love has led you to become a better person. How every person who comes into our lives teaches us something and gets us where we’re going, even if they aren’t “the one” for us, even if it’s not a healthy relationship.

Donna the Buffalo—again, anything by them, but when I wrote the beach-bonfire party scene I was hearing “Funky Side” and “Conscious Evolution” on a marvelously joyful loop in my head. I dare you not to dance with abandon.

“This Is Me,” Keala Settle and cast’s tour de force from The Greatest Showman soundtrack. This is a rockin’ good song, period—but also the kind of “hell, yeah!” anthem that makes you just rise up and claim your own fierce fabulousness, and damn what anyone else thinks of you. That’s everything Millie is in this story, everything Grace learns to be. “I make no apologies—this is me.” Damn skippy, y’all.

What is something you've learned about yourself during the pandemic quarantine?
There’s so much that’s hard and awful about this pandemic that’s hurting so many of our most vulnerable. But despite that, I’ve found that it has also connected me to people in ways I’m not sure would have happened otherwise. I am much more mindful of how tangibly dependent on one another we all are—I have the profound privilege of staying home and being safe because of those who are out there risking their health and well-being so I have food and necessities—from the very root of the food supply, for instance, with those planting and harvesting and processing it, all the way to my grocery store and those shopping and bringing it to my car. I think we’re all realizing that people doing these infrastructure jobs are the absolute engine of society, and how dependent we are on them—and I hope we learn from that and start taking better care of one another.

I’ve also been grateful for the unexpected side effect of this isolation from one another expanding and deepening my more intimate connections. While I miss seeing my loved ones in person, I “see” them much more often via video now, in a format where I’m not multitasking like I would on the phone, or having my attention split at a restaurant or an event, but just sitting and really deeply connecting with these folks—and even making some wonderful new friends this way, from all over the world, with a depth I’m not sure would have happened otherwise.

Which TV series are you currently binge watching?
We are churning through them in quarantine. Recent favorites have been the British shows Lovesick and Sex Education, Amazon Prime’s Upload and Netflix's Never Have I Ever, I Am Not Okay with This, Ozark, and Schitt’s Creek, of course. And we’re currently loving Canada’s Workin’ Moms and Kim’s Convenience, and a Spanish show called Money Heist that’s really great.

What is something that made you laugh a lot recently?
This (for fellow Schitt’s Creek fans):

The horrific and scary things going on in the world can easily subsume our spirit right now, but humor—including dark humor—is saving me. I think this time is stripping us all down to who we are at the core, and I’m heartened to see how many people are connecting and reassuring and comforting one another through sharing the absurdities and hilarity of the situation we’re in. That’s the spirit and resilience that will get us through this dark time in our history.

Thanks to Phoebe for visiting with us and 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

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Giveaway ends August 16th at midnight EST.


Melissa said...

The most eccentric person I know is probably me!

Linda May said...

The only person I could think of being eccentric would be myself. Thanks for your great generosity.

traveler said...

My estranged brother is definitely eccentric.

Karen B said...

You can't possibly be talking about me...…...….

Nancy P said...


Nancy said...

The most eccentric person I've ever known was one of my husband's co-workers. He was brilliant but quite eccentric.

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Susan Roberts said...

I have a friend who is very eccentric but I am too!

holdenj said...

Most of my friends would probably say it is me! But growing up, I always appreciated the easy going, sometimes eccentric acts of our great aunt!

Rita Wray said...

Probably me.

Mary C said...

My neighbor, Paul S.

diannekc said...

My Sister.

Mary Preston said...

My sister, she takes her cat out sailing with her. For example.

dstoutholcomb said...

I don't have anyone in my life like that.


Linda Kish said...

My father was a bit eccentric although he would have denied it.

Katherine said...

A prior boss is the most eccentric person I know...

bn100 said...


rubynreba said...

We have a very eccentric neighbor. The older he grows, the more it shows!

Linda Marie said...

I have a friend who is eccentric who does what she wants, doesn't worry what others think and is a little quirky.