Tuesday, July 9, 2019

#GIVEAWAY Showcase Crashing the A List by Summer Heacock

When I first saw the cover of this book I thought it just screamed summer read and I knew I wanted it on my shelf, if you're lucky you could #win a copy too thanks to Summer's author Mira. Details below.

Publisher: Mira

Release Date: 7-9-2019

 400 pp


She’s doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons.

After four months of unemployment, former book editor Clara Montgomery is officially stuck—stuck sleeping on her little brother’s ugly couch in Queens, stuck scrolling through job listings in search of a new editorial position…and just desperate enough to take on a temporary gig clearing out abandoned storage units. If nothing else, she’s determined to keep her rapidly dwindling savings account intact.

Unfortunately, she is in no way prepared for stumbling upon dead snakes or dealing with glass jars that she’s convinced are full of pickled eyeballs. And why does everything seem to smell like beets?

Then Clara comes across a unit that was once owned by an escort service and finds the brothel “résumé” of a younger Caspian Tiddleswich, an astonishingly famous British actor. She has no intention of cashing in on her discovery, but her awkward attempts to reassure Caspian that his secret is safe go awry. Now Caspian is convinced that Clara is a blackmailer, the tabloids have her pegged as Caspian’s newest girlfriend…and Clara begins to find the A-lister’s charms more irresistible than she expected.

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Read an excerpt:


This is the worst couch that has ever existed in the history of couches.
I hate this couch the way my third-grade class gecko hated the dick-weed kids who kept trying to pull off his tail, just to see if it would grow back.
There’s no way my brother picked this out. It had to be Trina. I’m taking it as a sign of how much he loves her that he proposed to someone who bought a floral-printed corduroy couch, probably thinking it was retro-chic.
In reality, it’s an upholstered monstrosity that will be serving as my bed for the foreseeable future.
Being the best little brother in all the land, Tom helped me drag all my worldly possessions to a storage unit this morning. All that’s left are three suitcases full of the items I will need to live as a nomad until I can find—and afford—a new apartment. In the meantime, my trio of suitcases and I have been invited to stay at his enviable one-bedroom in Astoria. He also kindly plotted to keep busy this afternoon to allow me time to “unpack.”
Because unpacking, he rightfully assumed, would translate into me sobbing like a soap opera character over the state of my pitiful, ridiculous life. So he and Trina are currently in the kitchen, leaving me to deal with my feelings with as much dignity as possible under the guise of pouring “Welcome to our home!” wine.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of silver lining to be found at the moment. I’m seven months into my thirties, I’ve been unemployed for four of those months, and I’m relying on my little bro for a roof over my head.
And, well, then there’s this couch.
Though I guess I’m not technically unemployed at the moment. Tomorrow I start working at the same E-Z Storage I moved my entire life into a few hours ago, sorting through abandoned and repossessed storage units.
I flop down onto the charcoal-gray stuffed chair that sits across from the hateful couch out of spite.
I don’t even understand how this all happened. A few months ago, I was a busy, working gal. Living the dream, savoring adulthood with a full-time job as an assistant editor at a Big Five publishing house. I had it all sorted out. My twenties were for career and foundations and savings accounts and growing up. My thirties would be for basking in the fruits of my hard work—for being able to afford my own apartment without a roommate, finding love, and starting a family.
Or whatever the hell it is people are supposed to do in their thirties.
Then one day, the Big Bad Wolf of e-retailers, Alkatraz, took over our house in a massive merger. A week later, I was zombie-walking through the streets of Manhattan with a pink slip in one hand and a sad little box of personal items from my desk in the other, my Minerva McGonagall bobblehead nodding pitifully inside the cardboard with each step.
In the spirit of adding insult to injury, my roommate, Delilah, the chef at an Indian fusion restaurant fifteen blocks from our front door in Brooklyn, decided to enforce the clause in our lease that called for eviction after three consecutive months of unemployment.
To hell with her, anyway. Her paneer lasagna wasn’t nearly as impressive as she thought it was.
I’d followed all the adult rules. I had three months’ worth of my salary in savings, a 401(k), a master’s degree, and a damn fine résumé.
But those things mean absolutely dick when unemployment is laughable at best in terms of support, when you’ve got a master’s degree worth of student loans, and when a quarter of your industry has been laid off and are now cage-fighting recent college graduates to the death for a handful of open jobs.
The one bright spot in this whole situation is Tom, prodigal fella that he is, who’s saved me the mortification of moving back up to Buffalo with our parents.
I couldn’t. I just could not.
I can accept defeat in a lot of ways. Losing my amazingly suitable apartment that was perfectly Park Slope adjacent. Giving up near-nightly takeout and drinks and general merriment with my friends. I can even accept the idea of my furniture living in a cold and dark storage unit, as there’s nowhere to put an ottoman when you’re homeless. Those things I can take.
But not moving back home. Never gonna happen.
Instead, I’m mooching off Tom and Trina and jumping into the world of manual labor while the hunt for a new editorial job continues.
And sleeping on this couch. I fucking loathe this couch. I have a very real ambition to set this couch on fire one day, and am seriously inclined to like Trina less just for having purchased this nightmare.
It’s likely a troublesome sign to resent the couch this much when I’ve lived here for exactly an hour and a half.I shake my head, trying to clear away the negative thoughts. New goal: find a way to be firmly back on my feet in time for Tom and Trina’s wedding, which gives me just under four months to get my shit together, and then I can gift them a new sofa. Something elegant and plush. Something I can crash on with slightly more comfort in the event that my career gets sucked up in the vortex of e-retailers and hostile takeovers again.
Well, there’s some positive thinking.
“How’s it going, Clara?” Trina asks, poking her head out from the kitchen. I’ve always thought her long, wavy red hair is such an interesting texture, as though it couldn’t decide if it wanted to be curly or straight and landed firmly in the middle.
“It’s awesome,” I say, nodding at nothing. “Absolute perfection.”
Tom’s head appears above hers. “Wine time?”
My shoulders slump. “Wine time.”
They walk out into the living room, and Tom hands me a generously poured glass of red before taking a seat next to his betrothed on my bed. I mean, the couch.
While Trina is about to become the lone ginger of the family, Tom and I couldn’t look more related. We both have the same espresso-colored hair and eyes that are an odd hazel-green blend, which he and I dubbed “greenzel” as kids. The hair came from Dad’s family, but the eyes are Tom’s and mine alone.Of course, the one difference is our height. Tom seems to have inherited all the available tallness in the family. The rest of us look like we should be baking cookies in trees.
“So,” Trina says, looking around the room. “All settled in?”
I blink at her for a moment. “Well, only two of my suitcases would fit in the coat closet, so I’ll have to leave this one out, if that’s okay? I’ll just...tuck it over there by the wall.”
Trina makes a face that indicates, no, that will not be okay, because we are clearly messing with the carefully selected decor here, but Tom speaks first. “Totally fine.” He takes a cheerful drink from his glass. “You’re going to turn this all around so fast, it won’t matter anyway, right, babe?” He gives Trina a little pat on the leg.
“Absolutely.” She smiles, visibly unconvinced.
I really shouldn’t be so judgy of her. Or her couch. She’s actually a very nice person. I’ve always liked her. And if the roles were reversed here, I can’t imagine I’d be thrilled that my down-on-her-luck future sister-in-law needed to camp out in my living room only a few months before my wedding.
I slug down a healthy amount of pinot. “Thanks again, you guys,” I say sheepishly. “I promise I’ll stay out of your way.”
“You can make it up to us in babysitting someday,” Trina says. Tom and I both start choking on wine.
“You’re not...?” I cough.
She laughs a tinkling little laugh. “Oh god, no. Not yet. But eventually!”
Tom’s eyes get just a tiny bit wider as he grins his way through this declaration. “Absolutely! Clara will be a great aunt.” He leans over and gives Trina a quick kiss.
Ugh. I clearly didn’t think this all through. The pride-crushing reality of living with my little brother, who’s not only professionally stable as a successful graphic designer, but also about to be married.
And here I am, with my sad little suitcases, unable to remember the last time I went on a date.
But none of those things are anywhere near as terrifying as the sudden realization that I’m going to have to watch these two exchange puppy-love looks and the smooches of a happy couple every single day.
“Oh!” Trina announces. “I forgot to tell you! Uncle Charlie says if you find anything you like in the storage units, you can keep or sell. He’s planning on trashing all of it anyway.”
I wince. “That’s really nice of him. And he’s sure he doesn’t want to try and sell them, like on those reality shows?”
Trina’s uncle is sort of the storage king of this borough. Apparently there are other kings for the other boroughs, but quite honestly, I don’t give enough of a damn to ask about them.
“He says those shows are basically fake.” She shrugs. “He just wants them cleared out, I guess.”
My hands fidget awkwardly with the stem of my wineglass. “Oh, okay. Well, uh, thanks again for sending me his way.”
I’m very grateful to be working at E-Z Storage. After four months of job searching with nary a bite, my panic is starting to grow, and I’m willing to do whatever I can to boost my dwindling bank account. Student loan companies aren’t particularly magnanimous about financial crises, and without the money from the Storage King of Queens, the chances of digging myself out of this mess will dwindle to nothing in a blink.
Plus, sitting around here all day constantly refreshing job postings online is maybe the most depressing thought possible. I need to be doing something to make myself feel productive. Anything, really.
“No problem!” Trina says, smiling genuinely.
We sit there silently drinking wine for a few minutes. I’m becoming more and more conscious of the fact that I’m majorly intruding on a coupled life that is still in its beginning days, and I assume the bewildered expression on Tom’s face indicates he’s still analyzing the babysitting comments from earlier. Trina appears blissfully unaware of all these things.
“So,” I finally say with a sigh. “Who’s hungry? Dinner’s on me.”“No way,” Tom protests. “Our treat.”
I shake my head at him. “Nope. You’re saving my ass here. The least I can do is buy you guys dinner.”
Tom concedes defeat, Trina smiles, and I realize that actually, yeah, it really is the absolute least I can do.

Editorial Reviews


Down-on-her-luck editor Clara Montgomery stumbles her way into celebrity romance in this frivolous romantic comedy. Unemployed and desperate, Clara is clearing out abandoned storage units for extra cash when she comes across the decades-old records of an escort service and sees a face she recognizes: British actor Caspian Tiddleswich, who will remind readers very much of Benedict Cumberbatch. Clara recklessly uses the contacts of a publicist friend to reach Caspian and tell him about the find, but her drunken attempt to reassure Caspian that she has no intentions of blackmailing him go horribly awry. Shortly after, the angry actor shows up at her door, leading paparazzi to peg her as his secret new girlfriend. The two endure a torturous mutual hatred as he extorts her in revenge for what he thinks is her scheme to force him to date her, but as their true intentions start to become clearer, the two become genuinely close. Though the book is light on substance and its central relationship is pretty toxic, those looking for beach vacation fluff might find it suitable. (July)

Publishers Weekly

"Readers who love hilarious, bawdy humor with a heaping dose of swoon will adore Summer Heacock's special debut!" -Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and The Simplicity of Cider

"Chock-full of hysterical one-liners and strings of profanity, the novel will make readers want to slap the protagonist upside the head with a glitter brush in order for her to come to her senses. A delicious summer treat with just enough sass, sex, and edible glitter." -Library Journal

"Funny, fast, smart-as-heck and absolutely delicious. I devoured it." -Gemma Burgess, author of the Brooklyn Girls series

"Undoubtedly memorable, hilariously quirky and surprisingly relatable, this novel digs deep into the complexities of intimate relationships and how easily the lines between sex and love can blur. Get lucky by making this one-of-a-kind novel part of your summer reading list!" -RT Book Reviews, Top Pick!

"Full of voice and a cast of characters that are side-splitting funny. Between the shenanigans and drool-worthy cupcake descriptions is a modern-day exploration of one woman's quest for happily ever after." -Karma Brown, bestselling author of Come Away with Me and The Choices We Make

About Summer:
Summer Heacock is an author of contemporary women's fiction and prances through life like a cartoon character who says the F word a lot. She lives Seattle-adjacent, where she's a stay-at-home mom to two scampy tots, wife to an amazingly understanding husband, herder of a rescue critter menagerie, devourer of jelly beans and collector of life-size celebrity cutouts. Crashing the A-List is her second novel, following her debut, The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky.

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