Eileen Cook Author, Writing Consultant, Editor

Welcome Contemporary Scavenger Hunt!

I’m super excited to be a part of the Contemporary YA Scavenger Hunt and be hosting Jayne Robin Brown and her fabulous new book NO PLACE TO FALL. Be sure to read the interview and then check out the giveaway!


1) Tell us a behind the scenes story of your book,  No Place To Fall.  (This could be how you came up with the idea, something interesting you discovered while writing it, a funny story of the publication process etc.)

Hmmm. Hard to pick just one. But I’ll tell you, the genesis of the opening scenes at the hiker barn were a direct result of me eavesdropping on two students. Though I will say that loosely, because they were telling this NSFW story in a decidedly non-whisper. So loud in fact I had to fuss at them to be more discrete as there were freshmen in the class that didn’t need to be hearing about their mess. This story kind of morphed from a known party cabin for local high school students into a barn used by through hikers on the Appalachian Trail as an overnight shelter. Now I tell my students to be careful what they say out loud because it might end up in a novel!

2) The book is about “good girl” Amber.  Were you a good girl growing up?

I was a pretty good girl. Like Amber I really wanted to do the right thing for the people I loved and often acted as a peacemaker among my friends. But I also had a bit of a wild streak toward the end of high school. Luckily, I was blessed with an innocent face and a high level of self-protectiveness so never really got in trouble for my lapses in solid judgment.

3) Do you think it is easier to be the good girl or the bad girl?

I think that has a lot to do with your parents. If you have super strict parents, I think it would be harder to be a good girl than a bad girl. Personality no doubt factors in as well. Are your rebellious by nature? Or easy going? Some people really don’t like getting in trouble. Some people love to stir the pot. I don’t think there’s one easy answer.

4) Amber is a singer, which given that when I sing it sounds like someone standing on a hamster this is a skill that really impresses me.   Do you have talent in this area?  Any other artist talent?  Just how do you spend your time when you aren’t writing?

LOL. Standing on a hamster. That’s excellent :).
A dear friend hit the nail on the head when he said, “This book is really about you wishing you could sing.” And it’s so true. When I first heard about reincarnation, my immediate reaction was “next life I’m getting a great voice.” I can carry a tune but my range is about an inch long. What I did get this go round was a fair amount of creativity. I’ve worked full-time as a contemporary metal jewelry artist and I now teach high school art. My favorite mediums, besides silver and gold, are clay, printmaking, and photography. I love to silk-screen Tshirts which is the art I’m making most of these days.

The rest of my non-writing/teaching time, of which there’s not much, is spent hiking with my dogs or riding one of my four Morgan horses. Though my riding time is so limited these days my horses think they’re retired!

5) What do you like best about writing? What do you like least?

Best – getting to know my characters and finding the true heart of my stories. Least – the murkly middles of a first draft.

6) What are you working on next?

I’m currently working on a contemporary that is loosely based on an old novel and more recent movie called Cold Comfort Farm with a bit of Dreamer thrown in. It’s about Charlotte Bouchard, a teenager who’s spent her life shuttling from high profile executive apartment to apartment with her successful globe-trotting mother, but Charlotte longs to experience a taste of real American high school life. So she moves to her mother’s childhood home in Kentucky to live with extended family on a failing Thoroughbred breeding farm. It’s not quite what she’s imagined it would be. More manure, less apple pie, including the one thing she’s known to avoid her entire life, a sweet-talking Cajun boy. So far it’s been a bunch of fun to write!

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Book Summary:
Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.

Read more »


The Surrey Conference!

One of my favourite events of the year is almost here! I’ll be at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference this week. If you are there be sure to stop me and say hello. Here’s to a week filled with good books, lots of writing talk and good friends (old and new.)

Is there anything better than talking books? I think not.

Here’s to taking time for gratitude


GCC Monday- welcome Denise Jaden


Denise Jaden’s new young adult novel, FOREIGN EXCHANGE, is officially
available to the world today! It is an Editor’s Pick and for a limited time,
it is available on the Evernight Teen website for only $4.49!

Here’s a little more about the book:

Jamie Monroe
has always played it safe. That is, until her live-for-the-moment best
friend, Tristan, jets off to Italy on a student exchange program. Left alone
with her part-time mother and her disabled brother, Jamie discovers that she
is quite capable of taking her own risks, starting with her best friend’s
hotter-than-hot older brother, Sawyer. Sawyer and Tristan have been
neighbors for years, but as Jamie grows closer to the family she thought she
knew, she discovers some pretty big secrets.

As she sinks
deeper into their web of pretense, she suspects that her best friend may not
be on a safe exchange program at all. Jamie sets off to Europe on a class
trip with plans to meet up with Tristan, but when Tristan stops all
communication, suddenly no one seems trustworthy, least of all the one
person she was starting to trust-Sawyer.  

Read more »


Random Monday

This past weekend was busy here at Chez Cook. Friday night DH and I went for dinner and then to see GONE GIRL. I loved that book with a white hot passion so I was excited to see the movie. Loved it. You will too assuming you enjoy twisted people. I also wouldn’t see it right before getting married. It’s not a great endorsement for the marital state. On the upside if you are married you are left thinking “hey, we’re doing pretty good in comparison.”

Saturday was Knit City. A huge yarn/knitting event here in Vancouver. Lots of yarn venders, classes etc. Tons of people wandering around stroking skeins of wool (and other fibers including yak). One woman looked at me wide eyed and a bit giddy and declared: This is like Disney World only softer.”

Saturday night was hockey and Sunday was filled with friends and board games.

I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. Alas, that isn’t going to happen.


People are weird

I imagine by now people have heard that the story of the woman who had a third boob surgically added is likely a hoax.

This doesn’t surprise me at all because finding a bra that fits is enough of a hassle without needing them custom designed. Besides I can fathom no reason why anyone would want an extra boob hanging about. However, I don’t understand humanity in general. Why someone would want to be in the media for pretending that they had a third boob added is also a mystery to me.

It may get a bit quiet around here…

I’ve got a lot on my plate so you might not see me around here for the next bit. Carry on. Keep yourselves busy and out of trouble. keep-calm-and-keep-working

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