Deseret News Review

My dad texted me yesterday morning to tell me that he’d seen the review of Keeping Kate in the Deseret News (one of the two primary newspapers in Salt Lake City) and congratulated me on what was said. My first reaction was, “Huh?” A quick search of the website revealed to me the following:

Book review: Debut ‘Keeping Kate’ proves a fun ‘Jane Eyre’ retelling

By Danica Baird

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, March 8 2015 5:00 a.m. MDT

Utah writer Lauren Winder Farnsworth’s debut novel “Keeping Kate” takes the beloved classic “Jane Eyre” and spins it on its head.

The novel follows the story of an orphan named Kate, who decides to take a job as a nanny for an 8-year-old girl named Addie. But when Kate meets her employer Tyler, sparks begin to fly — and not the good kind. Kate thinks Tyler is arrogant, rude, inconsiderate and a terrible father. After all, what kind of father leaves his 8-year-old daughter alone for much of the year? No, Kate absolutely does not like him.

But as time passes, Kate slowly begins to realize that the real Tyler is somebody that she really likes, maybe even loves. A whirlwind romance ensues and everything seems to be going smoothly, until the past collides with the future and leaves everything in ruins.

Unable to deal with the fallout, Kate runs away and decides to start over. But Kate quickly discovers that it isn’t all that easy to leave the past behind, and forgetting those you love is nearly impossible. In the end, she must decide if she’s ready to face her past head-on and claim the future she wants for herself.

University of Utah graduate Farnsworth’s novel is a delightful, inventive retelling of the beloved classic “Jane Eyre.” Farnsworth follows the original text quite closely, and yet at the same time adds creative twists and masterfully adapts it to a Latter-day Saints background. The novel follows themes from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and characters who are members of the church. There are no instances of violence, strong language or sexual content, making this a fun family read that also inspires meaningful discussions on how to deal with loss, disappointment and faith.

Kate is a fun character to read about. Farnsworth says she wanted to create a character that readers could relate to — one full of flaws and quirks. Farnsworth achieved just that. None of her characters are perfect, and the mistakes they make at times are quite comical. However, the characters are still lovable through it all.

Farnsworth’s debut proves to be a witty, fun read that is great for fans of retellings and cute chick-lit stories.

Can I just say that this may have been one of the greatest surprises EVER?! Not only was I NEVER expecting to be featured in a major newspaper, but let’s just say that the reviewer (Danica Baird) was very kind to me. Might’ve made my whole year. Pretty sure it did.

The Blog Tour Commenceth!

The blog tour for Keeping Kate began today. Below is the schedule, as well as the links to each of the review blogs. I’m super nervous to read what these reviewers have to say about my book, so if you have positive vibes, please send them. Although it would be great if instead of directing them to me, you just went ahead and sent them along to the reviewers. Kind of a win-win for everyone.

“Keeping Kate” blog tour schedule:

January 17: Readalot
January 18: Wonderous Reviews • Inklings and Notions
January 19: LDS and Lovin’ It • My Book a Day
January 20: Getting Your Read On
January 21: LDS Women’s Book Review
January 22: Inklings and Notions
January 23: Lucky Twenty-Eight • I Am a Reader
January 24: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
January 25: Hardcover Feedback • Heidi Reads
January 26: Jorie Loves a Story
January 27: Literary Timeout
January 28: Busy Working Mama • Mel’s Shelves
January 29: I Love to Read and Review Books • Wishful Endings
January 30: Brooklyn Berry Designs
January 31: Tristi Pinkston

Happy Release Day!

Today is January 13, 2015. Know what that means?

It means that Keeping Kate is officially available in stores today!

I haven’t yet seen it on an actual store shelf (my livelihood prevents me from such activities on a Tuesday morning), but hopefullly I will get the chance to do so at some point. This whole thing still seems kind of surreal to me, but I’m sure reality will come rushing over me at that blessed sight.

For now, allow me to provide some purchasing information, since I’m not sure if I’ve done that yet on this site. The book is available for purchase from Deseret Book, Seagull Book, Barnes & Noble (link to right), Amazon (link to the right), and iTunes. It’s possible that the book will also be available at Costco, Walmart, and Sam’s Club, but I haven’t received confirmation on those locations yet.

This is a huge day for me. #18 is officially crossed off the bucket list.

 image

Library Journal Starred Review

Keeping Kate received a “starred review” from the Library Journal! I am so excited! Here is an excerpt:

“Kate Evans never dreamed she would land on millionaire Tyler Thorne’s ranch as nanny to his daughter Addie. Her wish for a family of her own comes true as she and Tyler fall in love. But her plans unravel and she runs. Hiding in Boston, she begins a life with new friends. Reunited with her Uncle Jack, they begin to form a tentative relationship—finally someone she can turn to for advice and support—but when she confides in him, he encourages her to look closely at how fiercely she tries to control every aspect of her life, not really living at all…Lovers of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre will thoroughly enjoy this modern version of the beloved classic and root for Kate to find her true love.” —Jane Blue, Andrews P.L., NC, Library Journal

Six days and counting until release!

Almost There!

I have been completely awful at updating this website. Granted, I haven’t had much to share in the past month or so, but all that is behind me, because we are entering crunch time! The book is officially complete, as indicated by the below picture…

IMG_2106

I received my copies on Christmas Eve (Merry Freaking Christmas to MEEEEE!!!) and have had plenty of time to peruse the finished product and regret all kinds of word choice decisions and plot twists. Note to future me: Don’t read the finished product.

The book will be officially released on January 13th to various bookstores in Salt Lake and Idaho (I believe), and will be available for purchase (in hard copy and digital copy) on Amazon. I will have some promotional events going, but at the moment I’m not entirely sure what they are. So stay tuned for future info. As for promotional events I am aware of, the blog tour starts on January 17th (see the following link for the schedule: http://blog.cedarfort.com/blog-tour-keeping-kate/), and that will be a great opportunity for all of you on the fence about whether or not to read the book to get a firm idea of whether it’s any good or not.

Fifteen days and counting!

Giveaway!!

Looky here what I have! So…who wants one? I have two copies, and I’m not allowed to keep them (I’m told they’re for “marketing purposes only”). So I guess that means…GIVEAWAY TIME!! Yaaaaay!!

Uncorrected Proofs for Giveaway
If you’re interested in obtaining one of these (truly, truly beautiful objects, in my clearly unbiased opinion), leave a comment or shoot me a message, and I’ll stick your name in the pot! I will do a drawing next Friday (Halloween) and post the winners.

In the spirit of full disclosure (if the note on the cover wasn’t enough of a clue for you), these are “uncorrected proofs,” meaning that these are copies of the book that haven’t yet gone through the very last stage of the editing process–these are the versions that national reviewers read before the release of the book. Yes, they will possibly have a typo or error here and there. So, lucky winner, you’ll get more of a look at my writing ineptitudes than anybody else. Congratulations.

For those of you on the “I’m not sure I want to participate” fence, think of them more as, say, limited editions than unfinished copies. Yeah…limited editions. Let’s go with that.

Blog Tour? Umm….come again?

I’m super excited to announce the finalized dates for my Keeping Kate Blog Tour, which begins January 17th and runs through January 31st, 2015!!

Now, I’m sure many of you are thinking, “What the monkey is a blog tour?” Let me tell you, I have both feet planted firmly in your camp. Come again? A blog what, now? Well, I have just been briefed by my publisher pals, so allow me to clue you in…

A blog tour is essentially a two-week period in which various independent bloggers will be reviewing my book. If they’re interested, they sign up for a specific date and feature my book on their blog on that date. It’s an awesome marketing tool, because 1) it’s FREE, 2) it notifies thousands (potentially hundreds of thousands) of people that Keeping Kate exists, and 3) did I mention, it’s FREE?!

My blog tour website went live a few days ago, and I’m thrilled to say that half of the tour dates have already been claimed by bloggers. I’m really quite relieved about this, since I was expecting to have to show up on said bloggers doorsteps with puppy dog eyes and chocolate chip cookies to convince them to read my book and write about it. Now I just have to show up with puppy dog eyes and chocolate chip cookies to convince them to write positively about it. Wish me luck!

Here’s the link to my blog tour website, just in case you’d like to keep up on the reviews when they’re available. The dates and blog URLs haven’t been updated yet, but will be at some point before the book’s release in January.

http://blog.cedarfort.com/blog-tour-keeping-kate/

Ta-da!!

At last, an update! Yes, the book itself is still in “edit mode” with the publisher (I’m sure they’re having a devil of a time trying to make it readable). However, in the meantime, I’ve been working with the Design folks at Cedar Fort on the book cover. Well, actually, that’s giving me WAY too much credit. I’ve been sitting up on my high author horse and providing “I like / I don’t like” commentary, while they’ve been rolling their eyes at my nitpicky comments and working their magic despite them.

And, at last, we have the final product. Hold onto your hats, folks!

Behold…

Book Cover_small

It honestly may be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Props to the fabulous Design team at Cedar Fort!

Really, this is a dream come true for me, and I can’t wait for January, when I’ll finally be able to share it with everyone!

The Story Behind The Story

Welcome to my newly-minted author website! This is an entirely unfamiliar experience for me, and one that I’m not all that sure I’ll be good at. So…you’ve been warned. You can read a general statement about my origins, likes, and dislikes on the “About the Author” page, but I thought I’d give a little bit more color (’cause, hey, who doesn’t like random, unsolicited details?) on who I am, what I’m doing, and how Keeping Kate came about.

I grew up in South Jordan, Utah. My parents were (are) very loving, supportive people and allowed me, from a young age, to waste reams of construction paper in crafting picture storybooks (although admittedly, in those days I preferred drawing the pictures to the actual story-writing). I handed out these stories to the public at large and with reckless abandon. In fact, when my sweet Grandpa Winder passed away last year, in his personal belongings we found one of my early childhood gifts–I believe it was a story about grandparents who held a sleepover for their grandchildren (I must have been hinting at something–I was apparently very wily back then).

I continued writing creatively all the way through school and into college, just as a hobby. As my chosen field was accounting (which is widely-acknowledged to be the most boring field in existence), my creative outlet became my passion for crafting stories of strong, beautiful, empowered women and their handsome, intelligent, insightful love interests. Finally, my cousin Ali, who has saved my bacon more than once in my writing crusades, gently pointed out that all my heroines seemed to possess the same characteristic–perfection. She recommended that I try writing about someone a little more human, as audiences would relate better to such a heroine. Her suggestion reminded me of one of my favorite books, Jane Eyre, in which we as readers are continuously bombarded with all the reasons why the heroine and her lover aren’t perfect. Ali’s suggestion inspired me, and Keeping Kate was born.

I began writing the book during grad school, in 2008. However, real life caught up with me in a hurry, and I took a break from writing in 2009 to sit for the CPA exam and to get a jump-start on my career. Once I had secured a roof over my head and the ability to eat on a regular basis, I picked up the book again and finally finished it in 2011. I finally worked up the courage to submit the novel for publication in February of 2014 (again, thanks to some prodding from Ali–now that I think about it, she should probably get her name on the book cover instead of me). Cedar Fort Publishing took pity on me, and…here we are.

I currently am only moonlighting as a writer, given that my day job is still one of financial reports, reconciliations, and staff meetings, but that moonlight is pretty dang bright. I’m kind of “moth”-ing my way towards it, to be quite honest. I’m already dreaming up new stories, new characters, and new adventures. Hopefully I’ll get them all down on paper sometime. In the meantime, thanks for reading…both this post and my book (’cause I would really love it if you’d read the book too). I am surrounded by so many loving and supportive people and I feel so blessed.

I am happy (I’d be thrilled, actually) to answer questions, read comments, peruse suggestions, etc, so please don’t hesitate to contact me (just push that little “Contact” button up at the top of the page if you feel so inclined). Hey, even if you’d like to vent about your latest math test or that clueless boyfriend, I’m hear to help. Hit me up.

Happy reading!