Category Archives: Books

Set in Toronto. Set in Canada. Are These Viable Settings for Novels?

If you’re Canadian have you ever felt the shame that goes along with it? Don’t lie. It’s there. We are the country ashamed of its culture. We are the country struggling to define its culture. We are the country used to depict American cities in movies because it’s more budget friendly. We are the country that is painstakingly removed from said movies one Toronto Star box at a time. Oops…don’t get that Tim Horton’s in the shot…this is New York, people. Remove all traces of Canada.

But sometimes…sometimes Toronto IS the best place to set a thing. Think of Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. That was a delightful tour-de-force of a movie that would not have been the same in any other setting in the world. Toronto was a perfect match for Pilgrim. I’ll never forget being at the Scotiabank Theatre during the opening credits of Scott Pilgrim. The crowd went wild. That was US on that screen. Toronto. For once it was okay to be from this amazing city that seemed to require secretive measures whenever it appeared on the big screen. Toronto was a dirty little secret in Hollywood. And we all sensed it…until Scott Pilgrim.

Scott_Pilgrim_vs._the_World_teaser

Yes, Scott Pilgrim wasn’t the first movie openly set in Toronto. And it won’t be the last. It did seem like a line in the sand, though. Scott Pilgrim definitely brought out our cool side. We could do this. Toronto can be a cool setting. It is a viable world city. We need to change our perceptions.

When I started writing my 2nd published novel, I knew instinctively that the perfect setting for my bohemian 1970s family on the brink of destruction was The Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto. I love my city. I love it hard. Sebastian Nelson, the narrator of Sebastian’s Poet, had to be from Toronto. Had to be from The Beaches. And no, I won’t call it The Beach. It’s The Beaches. It will always be The Beaches.

For my first novel, I intentionally avoided naming the setting. I was afraid that agents wouldn’t look at a novel that dared to mention Canada. This comes from somewhere. I didn’t dream up this self-loathing of place on my own. As Canadians, I sometimes feel we are conditioned to take the back seat. The sad part is, I think it’s mostly ourselves relegating ourselves to this stature. We have blurred lines where our nationalism is concerned. We grow up on American TV and music. We occasionally shun our own programming. We say, “That show’s Canadian” with disdain before quickly changing the channel.

I LOVE America. This is not an anti-America rant. I just wish we were comfortable enough in our own skins to not only be proud to be Canadians, but to salute our homeland in our creative endeavours. My go-to instinct, when embarking on fiction, was to never speak of Canada in my writings. I’m so glad I ignored this instinct when I created Sebastian’s Poet. Sebastian needed to be from the Queen Street East neighbourhood. He needed to know the yumminess that is THE GOOF. He needed the Eaton Centre windows at Christmas in the 70s. He needed to know Cirone’s Grocery, the TTC. He NEEDED GORDON LIGHTFOOT!

Some stories just require Canadiana in order for them to be told. Sometimes, the only place in the world where a story belongs is in Toronto. We set a tourism record here in Toronto for 2014. 14.3 million visitors. It’s time to show our streets in movies and literature. It’s time to stop being ‘New York’. We can do this. We can be ourselves. We’re good enough. We are a viable setting.

15725603My Toronto set novel, Sebastian’s Poet, is the story of a boy growing up with a bohemian father on a path of destruction in the 1970s and the folksinger who tries to rescue him from the chaos.

From Amazon:

Sebastian Nelson is a boy in search of a family. Abandoned by his mother, Sebastian is left with a broken father who doesn’t even seem present when he does show up. Forced to be the main caregiver of his younger brother, Renee, and lost in a sea of indifference, Sebastian only wants to experience the love a real, stable family could afford him.

One morning he discovers the famous folksinger, Teal Landen, asleep on the sofa. Teal’s nurturing nature brings an immediate sense of security into Sebastian’s tumultuous life. But a dark secret looms between Teal and Sebastian’s father of a hidden past. Sebastian is driven to discover their secret, but also he’s aware of how tenuous their hold on Teal really is. He doesn’t want to lose the feeling of home Teal’s presence has brought him.

If Sebastian pushes too hard, he could lose Teal forever. He could be destined to raise his younger brother alone, while witnessing the total decline of his emotionally devastated father. If Sebastian is abandoned by the only healthy influence in his otherwise shaky existence, he will also be forever in the dark about the secret that will reveal so much about his fractured family.

LOOK INSIDE and 1-CLICK Sebastian’s Poet today at Amazon, now on sale for $2.67.

Check out the Amazing Reviews garnered by Sebastian’s Poet on GOODREADS!

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Net Galley – Request Burn Baby Burn Baby Now!

My publisher has offered Burn Baby Burn Baby up on Net Galley…for a limited time. If you’re a book blogger-book tuber-book reviewer, you can now request a copy for review consideration on the popular site.

NetGalleySimply click on the green REQUEST button and await approval.

I’ve been a member on Net Galley for a couple of years now. I have always loved getting ARCs for review from the site. I was not aware that they also carry recently published titles. Now I know. I put in a few requests myself. (-:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO NET GALLEY! If you’re already on Net Galley, you will simply need to sign in and request the title. You will find Burn Baby Burn Baby in the TEENS & YA category.

Happy Reading!

Some recent praise for Burn Baby Burn Baby:

“I’m putting this book right up there alongside Laurie Halse Anderson’s TWISTED, and John Green’s LOOKING FOR ALASKA.”

“I was unable to put it down and ended up reading the whole book in one sitting.”

“BURN BABY, BURN BABY pulls you in from the opening pages and doesn’t let go.”

“This should be a movie.”

“Francis was right. It reads like a movie, and I hope Hollywood is paying attention. With so many other fine YA books going to the movies, I hope we get to see one or more of Kevin’s works up on the big screen, big as life.”

“I loved the relationship between Francis and Rachel. It reminded me of Eleanor and Park. They seem to be such opposites at first, but as you read, you’ll understand their attraction is much deeper than their affinity for Shakespeare in the park (a section I absolutely loved!).”

“Kevin Craig takes this story to places I never expected and touched my heart. Kevin blended bullying with a story and characters that we care about and feel for and the book hit all the marks without preaching. I highly recommend this book, especially to fellow young adult book lovers; however, I think non YA readers can truly appreciate this story as well.”

“This book blew me away. Blew. Me. Away.”

“There are few books I like reading more than once, but this is going on to that list.”

“My emotions were all over the map on this book: I went from happiness, to anger, to frustrated, to horror with every page I turned. I could easily picture this novel as a movie, as Francis was quite often doing, and I feel that I actually knew a few of these kids when they attended my high school back in the day. “

You can purchase a copy of Burn Baby Burn Baby at any Amazon worldwide, at Barnes & Noble, at Chapters, at Kobo, and, most places books are sold.

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SOULSPARK! Cover Reveal! Be Prepared to Have Your Heart Ripped Open…

Today, I get to share another gorgeous cover with you! ELIZA TILTON is the author of the YA Fantasy series The Daath Chronicles, published by Curiosity Quills Press.

SOULSPARK is a young adult Contemporary Romance sure to rip open your heart and stitch it back together.
Here’s the blurb:

Dealing with the loss of her mother, seventeen-year-old Jessica Stone tries to find an escape from the pain by secretly medicating herself with Xanax, but the anxiety increases, crushing her and her grades.
Then she meets Caleb Jonas, the pastor’s son at her mother’s church. Between his cute dimples and love of fast cars, Jessica is completely smitten, and the feeling is mutual. But dating a Christian boy isn’t easy. He doesn’t party, and he never goes past first base. Jessica struggles with his faith, since it makes her question her own, but for the first time since her mother’s death, she can breathe. Life is finally shifting into a state of happiness.
But that happiness shatters when Jessica catches Caleb kissing her ex-best friend—and step-brother’s girlfriend—Rachel, the girl who used to be like her sister, and the same girl who betrayed her once before.
While her stepbrother hints at a deeper connection between the two, Caleb insists it was a one-time mistake and begs forgiveness. With contradicting stories coming at her, Jessica isn’t sure who to believe, but sometimes the truth is better left undiscovered and she’s about to find out why.

Without further ado, the beautiful cover for SOULSPARK!

Soul Spark

ADD SOULSPARK TO YOUR GOODREADS SHELF!

Author pic 1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eliza Tilton graduated from Dowling College with a BS in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing. Her stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a romance. She resides on Long Island with her husband, two kids and one very snuggly pit bull. Her YA Fantasy series, The Daath Chronicles, is published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Connect with the Author Across Social Media:
Twitter / Tumblr / Website / Pinterest / Facebook / Goodreads / Instagram

SOULSPARK! LOOK FOR IT SPRING 2015!

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Happy Book Birthday to ME! Half Dead & Fully Broken is Now Released!

It’s been a long time coming! Half Dead & Fully Broken won the 2010 Muskoka Novel Marathon’s BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL AWARD. Slow-forward almost 5 years and here we are… RELEASE DAY! Carter Colby was one of my favourite characters to create. I’m so happy to finally get to share him with readers. You can 1-click Half Dead now at Amazon and start reading right away! Click on the cover below:

cover2500Here’s the synopsis for Half Dead:

Carter Colby is the most unpopular teen at Jefferson High. This would be easier to deal with if his identical twin brother, Marcus, weren’t the hottest, most popular boy in school.

When Marcus is killed in a motorcycle accident, Carter discovers the one thing more painful than trying to compete with Mr. Wonderful: wearing his dead brother’s face. He felt invisible before the accident, but with Marcus dead, everybody turns away from him in mourning. How can he blame them? He can’t bear to look in the mirror.

When Carter begins to see Marcus’ ghost, Mr. Wonderful’s quest to save the world and spread happiness may not be over after all, even in death. Marcus knows that Justin Dewar, the boy who drove the truck that crashed into his motorbike, is struggling with the guilt of taking a life. Melanie, Marcus’ mourning girlfriend, was also hit hard by the tragedy. Marcus wants to make things right before it’s too late.

With Marcus’ help, Carter experiences love and friendship for the first time in his life. But is Mr. Wonderful’s helping hand enough for Carter, Melanie, and Justin – three kids fully broken by the tragedy – to save one another?

LOOK FOR THE PAPERBACK VERSION TO BE AVAILABLE ANY DAY NOW! (-: It will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters, etc.

Add Half Dead to your GOODREADS SHELF.

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