Friday, October 25, 2013

Kailin Gow's Rockin' the Holidays Indie Reader Bash: Spotlight on Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino

For More Info. on Rockin' the Holidays Indie Readers Bash Click HERE!
Author Kailin Gow is putting on an awesome event in Anaheim NOVEMBER 2nd from 1-4 pm at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney.  The band P.O.E will be playing there. Renee Carlino will be giving away galley copies of the new ATRIA edition of SWEET THING to the first 15 people to come to her table!!!

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Sweet Thing
By Renee Carlino
Published:  April 14, 2013
Publisher:  Atria Books
Source:  Author

GR's Summary:

"You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together…then you'll hear the sound of your soul."

Mia Kelly thinks she has it all figured out. She's an Ivy League graduate, a classically trained pianist, and the beloved daughter of a sensible mother and offbeat father. Yet Mia has been stalling since graduation, torn between putting her business degree to use and exploring music, her true love.

When her father unexpectedly dies, she decides to pick up the threads of his life while she figures out her own. Uprooting herself from Ann Arbor to New York City, Mia takes over her father's café, a treasured neighborhood institution that plays host to undiscovered musicians and artists. She's denied herself the thrilling and unpredictable life of a musician, but a chance encounter with Will, a sweet, gorgeous, and charming guitarist, offers her a glimpse of what could be. When Will becomes her friend and then her roommate, she does everything in her power to suppress her passions-for him, for music-but her father's legacy slowly opens her heart to the possibility of something more.

A "heartbreaking and romantic" (Aestas Book Blog) debut, Sweet Thing explores the intensity and complexities of first love and self-discovery.

Lindy's Thoughts:

Sweet Thing was a beautiful story that captivated my heart.  I devoured this book, and never wanted it to end.  The story is told from the main character, Mia Kelly's point of view.  She has been brought up by her mother, and stepfather all her life, and has a very close relationship with the both of them.  They are conservative, business minded people, and she decided to follow their path by getting her degree in business from Brown, even though she had a strong passion for music, and talent for playing the piano.  Her biological father, Alan Kelly was a free spirited man, and talented musician.  Mia was also very close to him, and would spend every summer in New York, playing piano, and hanging out in the East Village at her father's cafe, Kell's, which drew a talented and eclectic crowd of poets and musicians.  

Mia is devastated when her father dies, and decides to leave Ann Arbor, and go to New York to manage her father's Cafe.  On her flight to New York she meets the charming, flirty, funny, and gorgeous, Will Ryan.  He is scared of flying, so Mia engages him in conversation to get his mind off of the flight.  Mia and Will connect on a soul deep level on the flight.  They both have such a deep love, passion, and appreciation for music, and it was obvious that they were both attracted to one another.  They exchange information, and Will comes to see Mia at Kell's.  Mia ends up renting out a spacious bedroom to Will for a small sum of money, but tells him that she only wants to be friends with him.  She has pegged Will with negative musician stereotypes, especially after hearing her mother's version of why her relationship with Mia's biological father didn't work out.  However, things become complicated as Mia and Will's friendship grows stronger, and their feelings for one another threatens to consume them.  

Renee Carlino's writing was seamless, and her main characters, Will, and Mia were three dimensional, multilayered characters.  Sweet Thing brought out many emotions in me.  It made me feel sad for Mia's loss of her father, and how lost she was.  Mia had a lot of angst and inner turmoil regarding her feelings for Will.  I repeatedly got frustrated with her character, because she was so stubborn, and felt like she was not only causing herself pain, by denying the man that she had fallen in love with, but she broke Will's heart time and time again.  Will was such a special, authentic, and beautiful character.  He was a successful and artistic musician, that wanted to make music, because it was a part of him, not for money, or fame.  He was tender, patient, sweet, sensitive, and compassionate with Mia.  He had a selfless and unconditional love for her, and put her needs before his own.  I swooned over Will's character over and over again.  Sweet Thing touched on the pain of loss in life, falling in love, self discovery, and self empowerment.  It had many great life lessons, and was a very relatable and authentic story.

My Rating:

I give Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino 4.5 Serendipitous, Passionate, Loving, Harmonious Alchemy Filled Stars!  Sweet Thing is such a great book, that you are guaranteed a book hangover after you finish it!  I am currently suffering from one.  This story is sure to tug on your heart strings, and touch your soul.  It is unique, memorable, and breathtaking!  Trust me, you want Sweet Thing to be a part of your personal library.

My Favorite Quote:

"You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together...then you'll hear the sound of your soul."  (eARC, Loc. 1307)

Ro's Take on this Journey:

Sweet Thing, by Renee Carlino, is a journey of a lifetime.  A journey filled with an abundance of life lessons; first love, patience, forgiveness, soul searching, death, taking chances, and living your dreams.  Mia Kelly has been brought up in Ann Arbor.  She has been raised by her conventional mother, Liz, and her step-father, David.  They are both ultra-conservative, and leave little margin for  error.  Mia had a great relationship with her real father, Alan Kelly, an Irish immigrant, free spirited musician.  Mia would visit him every summer in New York City, East Village at his Troubadour café. A place called, "Kell's," where unknown artists and musicians of all genres would come to display their wares.  Mia was exposed to a diverse and broad range of sources.

When the story opens up, the reader is exposed to the insightful poetic verbiage of Ms. Carlino.  I felt like I was reading a Krishnamurti novel.  It is definitely a story that leaves the reader in a state of transcendence.  It made me feel grounded and ready for the journey of a lifetime, and guess what, it was!  Mia has just graduated from an Ivy League school and doesn't know what direction to go in.  Either with her heart and music, like her father, (Pop) or the way her Mother and Step-Father, (Dad) would go, logically through business. Unexpectedly, her Pop dies, and leaves her his café, and a wish  for her to carry on his life's quest in music and giving to the community.  Alan has been a beloved part of the East Village, and Mia learns a lot about her father that she never knew.  

On the plane to New York to go to the Café, Mia has a chance encounter, or Fate, it would seem with Will Ryan.  Will and Mia hit it off begrudgingly on Mia's part.  They end up bonding through their love of music, and exchange information.  Will is sweet, great looking, plays guitar, and is a struggling and upcoming artist.  Though he is in a band, he is only interested in music for music's sake, not the money or fame.  Music is his passion, and though he has no family to back him, he does what he feels in his heart.  He's more a fly by the seat of your pants, live in the moment, type of guy.  All things that Mia thinks she doesn't want,  The only thing she's ever learned about Musicians, is what her mother has told her, which was all one sided. 

Mia and Will meet up again, become friends, then roommates, and through many obstacles, eventually lovers.  Mia loves his soul, is drawn to him, but is afraid of loss, rejection, and pain like her mother felt when her father left.  Mia is a very frustrating character, with a lot of insecurities, pigheadedness, and know-it-all attitude at times.  She seems to think, like most young people, that she has everything figured out, her life plan has been set, and nothing is going to change it.  John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans."  That is what happens to Mia.  She is a bit naïve, and didn't give her Pop enough credit for the life he led, and the truly divine person he was till it was too late.

This novel was slow paced, but Ms. Carlino makes your experience real in every manner.  It is riveting, mouth watering, exciting, funny, heart wrenching at times, and full of musicality.  The reader is touched to the core and will surrender along with Mia.  Will brings out the best in people with his sensitive, patient, loyal, loving, nurturing sides.  Music is the glue that binds these two together, and Mia fights it for much too long.  Fear of the unknown, repeating her parents past, getting hurt, not having the security she thinks she needs to be happy, are all factors.  I think an important message in this story is that people need to take a chance on love, life, and your dreams.  Everyone will make mistakes, but they are fixable.  It is part of the journey.  Don't be afraid to go after what you want.  You only have one life to live, and life is too short.   This story goes full circle.

This journey was colorful, deeply moving, beautiful, captivating, sweet, tender, intriguing, comical, and full of insightful messages, wisdom and surrender.  Will will touch your soul, and the reader will feel everything Ms. Carlino wanted them to feel.  The prose are deliciously poetic and insightful.
I give Sweet Thing, by Renee Carlino, 4 1/2 Awe Inspiring, Fate Filled, Soul
Searching, Karmic Cycle, Surrendering Stars!  


Courtesy of Ms. Carlino

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Guest Post:

We asked Ms. Carlino, "What are you looking forward to about the Rockin' the Holidays Indie Reader Bash?" 

There are so many reasons for me to be excited about the November 2nd author event in Anaheim. It's the first signing I've done in Southern California, where I'm from, so it will be a short trip getting there.  I also really love Downtown Disney and the vibe around the happiest place on Earth and there is no better venue to share info about my book than the House of Blues, after all, so many of the scenes in SWEET THING could have taken place there. I can see Will Ryan now, standing up on that stage, strumming away on his guitar.

Another reason I'm thrilled about the Anaheim signing is that I'll be able to giveaway 15 galley copies of the new Atria edition paperback of SWEET THING, which will be in stores Jan. 7.  I'll be giving those away to the first 15 readers to come to my table.  I'm excited to hear that there will be music from the band P.O.E., and I'm not complaining about the fact there will be cover models in attendance.  Actually, the very guy I pinned to Will Ryan from my book will be there, Brandyn Farrell. Swoon. 
So, a lot of reasons to be excited but more than anything, I love interacting with people who are crazy over books like me. Can't wait to see you there.  

Renée xo

About the Author:

Renee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.


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  1. This book looks amazing ! It's been on my TBR forever.
    I would LOVE to win a copy.


    1. It is an amazing story!!! You need to read it!!!

  2. This looks so great! hope to read it soon!
    thanks for the giveaway!

    1. It is an amazing story! I hope you read it soon Carla!


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