Title:Art of Appreciation by Autumn Markus
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
Abby Reynolds is burned out.
Since clawing her way into a great position at a Boston museum, she’s been saddled with a scheming intern and a nagging boss. She’s scuttled her own painting dreams, her cat refuses to be box trained, and now the most boring man on the eastern seaboard just told her, “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Herbestie Sarah offers a much-needed escape: a summer of sand, sea, and younger men in Santa Cruz…
Hot young bike racer Jason is sexy, unattached, and completely ready to spend a summer in uncomplicated flirtation. Since Abby has decided love is off the table, he seems like the perfect match.
Then she meets Matt. Sculptor, surfer (and age appropriate), he’s everything she gave up wanting and then some. He’s a grown-ass man with his own life issues: does he want to sculpt for love or for profit? What about that twentysomething model who’s always clinging to him? Is he ready to let a woman invade his Fortress of Solitude?
Abby has to decide whether she’s satisfied with leaving behind the idea of Mr. Right and settling for Mr. Right Now.
Grown up love. It’s complicated.
About the Author
Autumn Markus traveled far and wide as a military brat, but her heart was always in the American west, where she was born. She hikes, reads and writes there still, along with snuggling her husband, four children, and a horsedog. She freelance edits for other authors, reviews Women’s Fiction for the New York Journal of Books, and is the author of the contemporary romances Cocktails & Dreams and A Christmas Wish. She is currently at work on her next novel.
Ten things that inspire me (in no particular order)-Autumn Markus
10) Music–I absolutely cannot imagine life without music. It’s a constant in my house, in a wide variety of genres. When I write, music that fits the book is a given. Art of Appreciation has a lot of Jack Johnson in there!
9) Friends—I have some of the best, funniest, most down to earth friends anyone could hope for. They make me laugh, make me cry, and best of all, make me think about a lot of things from different angles. Plus, they don’t butt kiss—they’re not afraid to tell it like it is and keep me on track.
8) Sociology—No, seriously! How people relate to one another is fascinating! We have such different reactions, varied according to age, sex, location, whether we’re in a group or alone… wow.
7) Movies—Not so much in copying scenes/plotlines/etc., but movies are invaluable in developing an ear for dialogue. If it sounds dumb/stilted/silly when spoken aloud, a reader is going to notice that. We’re such a visual society, too, and using movies as a guideline helps a writer to know how much visual detail is necessary to set a scene.
6) My family—Where else could I ever find a group of people with whom I can carry on nearly an entire conversation in movie dialogue and song lyrics? I love those people!
5) Stephen King—Again, really. His scary stories aren’t the reason I love him (nor are his people stories, for that matter). What inspires me is his absolute dedication to creating characters that speak and act realistically, even in the most fantastic situations.
4) Other writers—I tend to first draft like Dickens (but without his talent): huge, bloated manuscripts with far too much detail. Then I have to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite to be sure I have everything I need on the page and nothing I don’t. Reading a book like Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, is a revelation and a challenge. It’s heartbreaking, beautiful, action-packed… and less than 200 pages. *sigh*
3) Actors—Time to get shallow. But I ask you, who can look at someone like Tom Hardy (sexy, scary, suave, and my current swoon) and not get ideas about interesting situations you’d like to find them in? Nick, from Cocktails & Dreams, was always a young Thomas Gibson to me (because the guy from my real college life who he was based on looked just like Mr. Gibson). Matt, from Art of Appreciation, is definitely someone in my mind, too. I’m just not telling who-lol.
2) My husband—Yeah, I know I already said ‘my family’, but he deserves his own category. He makes me laugh, isn’t afraid to argue with me, and is endlessly inventive (take that as you will).
1) Readers—No, this isn’t butt kissing. The rule of thumb is that a writer first writes for themselves—you have to like what you’re writing to do it well—but a lesser known codicil is that a writer rewrites for the reader. We ask ourselves: Is the story clear? Do all the details make sense outside of my head? Is the reader going to be able to envision where that hand is resting, and, god forbid, have I screwed up and there are somehow three hands in action? Readers can’t be fooled, and they’re not dumb. Act of Appreciation was actually inspired by a conversation about relationships and what we expect from them, with a group of readers of mixed ages and sexes who had read my first book. Readers rule!