Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center - Guest Blogger

Only three days into her virtual book tour and I can already tell that Katherine Center's novel, Everyone is Beautiful is a book that I'll be adding to my "to be read" list.

Katherine is our guest blogger today. She talks about her main character Lanie Coates. But first, here's a bit about the book:

Lanie Coates’s life is spinning out of control. She’s piled everything she owns into a U-Haul and driven with her husband, Peter, and their three little boys from their cozy Texas home to a multiflight walkup in the Northeast. She’s left behind family, friends, and a comfortable life–all so her husband can realize his dream of becoming a professional musician. But somewhere in the eye of her personal hurricane, it hits Lanie that she once had dreams too. If only she could remember what they were.

These days, Lanie always seems to rank herself dead last–and when another mom accidentally criticizes her appearance, it’s the final straw. Fifteen years, three babies, and more pounds than she’s willing to count since the day she said “I do,” Lanie longs desperately to feel like her old self again. It’s time to rise up, fish her moxie out of the diaper pail, and find the woman she was before motherhood capsized her entire existence.

Lanie sets change in motion–joining a gym, signing up for photography classes, and finding a new best friend. But she also creates waves that come to threaten her whole life. In the end, Lanie must figure out once and for all how to find herself without losing everything else in the process.

Katherine Center’s Everyone Is Beautiful is a hugely entertaining, poignant, and charming new novel about what happens after happily ever after: how a woman learns to fall in love with her husband–and her entire life–all over again.

A word from Katherine Center:

At the beginning of my new novel, Everyone Is Beautiful, the main character, Lanie, has not had a shower yet. And she’s all about the husband: She’s wearing an old shirt of his with coffee all down the front, has just left all her friends and family to move across the country for his new job, and is trapped at the park with her kids waiting for him to unload everything from the U-Haul.

She is, as she’ll tell you, aching with loss.

She didn’t want to move. She wanted to stay home in their little rent-house in Texas, with its brick patio and its Mimosa tree. She wanted to stay close to her mom, who always helped her out, and her mom-friends.

But these are the things we do for love. And for family. And for husbands—who we know would do the same for us if we had made it into the graduate program of our dreams. If we could even remember what those dreams were.

So there’s Lanie, holding steady. Talking herself—and her boys—through the move. When a woman at this new park in this new town accidentally says something mean about Lanie’s appearance. Not mean-on-purpose mean. But mean all the same.

Sometimes, when somebody is that mean to you, you just crumple to the ground. And that’s what Lanie wants to do. But she can’t. Because life with little kids does not slow down for anyone. “My mother told me to pull myself together,” Lanie says: “That mothers didn’t get to sit around crying all day, no matter how much they felt like it.”

And so, instead, she pulls herself together. She starts making changes. She starts thinking about who she used to be. She decides that taking care of her family means taking care of everybody in it—including herself. Crazy as that sounds.

But it’s not easy with three kids under four. It’s one thing to be yourself and pursue your passions when you have access to free time. It’s quite another thing to pull that off when you can’t even go to the bathroom without two boys sitting on your lap.

But—brave girl—she does it anyway.

It’s scary to change your life. It’s scary to join a gym for the first time when you’re feeling frumpy, or sign up for a class that you don’t have time for. And it’s flat-out terrifying to let yourself think about all the plans you had for yourself that have slipped out of your grasp.

But these are the things we have to do sometimes. These are the moments when we have a chance to define what really matters. These are the times in life when we can gather up the best parts of ourselves we’ve dropped along the way, pull them in close, and promise, as best we can, not to forget them again.

The EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR '09 will officially begin on March 2 and end on March 27. You can visit Katherine's blog stops at in March to find out more about this talented author!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.

Check out this stellar review posted at Write for a Reader yesterday. This blog is also giving away a free copy of Everyone is Beautiful, so make sure you check it out.


Tracee said...

I love reading the authors insight into a character, the book is great so far!

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by Tracee.

Katherine, thanks for the great post about Lanie. Your book sounds absolutely fantastic. A definite must read for weary mama's like me.

Best of luck with your tour.


Dorothy Thompson said...

I love her character development. Lanie is scared but yet she triumphs...sounds like a fantastic book! Katherine, how long did it take you to write this?

Mayra Calvani said...

This sounds like a wonderful novel! I have to read this!

I brings to mind all the things I've learned from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way.


Margay said...

This book sounds like it could have been written about me! I tend to put the needs of others way ahead of my own, as well, so i can really identify with Lanie. And I love the title because that's what I believe.