I just finished the most amazing, fun, entertaining, and relatable book (Can you ask for a better combination?): Stay by Allie Larkin.
The story in a nutshell: Savannah "Van" Leone watches her BFF marry a man she's in love with (ouch!). Van gets drunk on vodka and Kool-aid and orders a $6,000 dog from Slovakia (double ouch!). But her new German Shepherd, Joe, turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to her. And then Van meets Joe’s sexy vet. And this all happens while the honeymooners are, well, honeymooning. Then they return... and Van must decide what she really wants.
The highlights: Joe the German Shepherd from Slovakia, a Hottie McHotterson vet (I pictured Chris O'Donnell in Grey's Anatomy), and an 80-something-year-old baker named Louis.
You know I'm a cover whore, so that's where this love affair started. It was the bright blue cover featuring a black German Shepherd and the word "stay" written on a dog collar that first caught my eye. Then, I read the first page and was hooked (a must for me—my ADD is terrible!). I finished the book in about two days flat with minimal breaks for eating and sleeping. And when I reached the end, I was satisfied beyond words.
Then I met Allie herself. She had a book signing in the Chicago area that I attended. (Btw: if more authors want to add the Windy City to their tour, we won't complain!) And Allie was fun, funny, and entertaining—just like her book. Interesting facts: The German Shepherd on the cover of her book is Allie's own dog, Argo. And the picture was taken by none other than Allie herself! (Read more about Argo and the book's cover here.)
I also found out that Allie would love to write another book with the same characters (oooh, how I hope that happens!). And when I asked her to do a Q&A for Barnes and Noble, she was more than willing—even though she was in the middle of her book tour! And did I mention she’s also a debut author? And really, really nice? I could gush for hours… But I won’t. I’ll let you see for yourself!
So without further ado, here’s Allie Larkin!
Lisa Steinke: Your dog Argo is on the cover. What are the three things you love most about him? And what is the #1 reason you'd recommend someone have a German Shepherd as a pet?
Allie Larkin: Argo is smart, so full of joy, and loves to cuddle. Because German Shepherds are so intelligent and thrive on having good relationships with their humans, they are amazing friends.
LS: What are the top three reasons why someone should read your book?
AL: The characters are flawed in a way that makes them relatable. The dog is adorable. There’s a hot vet!
LS: What is one word to describe how a reader will feel after finishing your book?
AL: Sleepy? A lot of readers have been telling me they stayed up until all hours of the night to finish Stay.
LS: Fill in the blank: When I'm not writing, I'm ______.
AL: playing catch with the dogs.
LS: What is your writing routine? (Certain # of words per day? Write in a certain place? Listen to music? If so, what?)
AL: I rotate where I work depending on my mood. Office, kitchen, living room, backyard, bedroom. Usually, I don’t write until I feel like I’m ready to, but I think about my work constantly; so, when I do sit down to work, I will write very quickly. Then I go back and revise. That usually takes longer. My pattern is to write until I’m stuck, step away and think about things and then write until I’m stuck again.
What debut authors have you discovered lately?
Find out more about the fabulous Allie Larkin on her website www.allielarkinwrites.com.
Lisa Steinke, along with her best friend Liz Fenton, co-authored the chick lit novel I’ll Have Who She’s Having and co-created the popular Chick Lit blog, Chick Lit is Not Dead.