Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jennifer Castle stops by to talk about her "Before and After" + A Giveaway!

Jennifer Castle

Jennifer Castle graduated from Brown University and worked as a celebrity publicist's assistant, an advertising copywriter, and a struggling screenwriter (yes, that's an actual job) before falling into a niche producing websites for kids and teens. The Beginning of After is her first novel. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in New York's Hudson Valley. Visit her at


*The Beginning of After (Goodreads | Amazon)

I’ve read plenty of writing about how motherhood changes you. How it makes you see the world differently, how you never knew you could love so much, how it challenges and teaches and raises your tolerance for anything gross. All true, but I’m not going to write about that. Let me say first that my two amazing daughters are the best things to ever happen to me. But we’re discussing Before and After here, so I’ll cut to the chase.

I own a videotape that is the most perfect and bittersweet example of my life Before Children. It’s not from some wild party or a trip across Europe. It’s not footage of an immaculate house or my pre-pregnancy figure.

It is twenty minutes of my cat, Louis, playing with a tampon.

In this riveting piece of filmmaking, my husband and I take turns making smartass comments as Louis goes hard-core kitty on a defenseless feminine hygiene product. When I recently discovered the video, I was struck that (a) once upon a time, this was the most entertaining thing that would happen to me in a day and (b) I had nothing better to do back then than stand around and watch this, let alone videotape it.

Now, our days don’t stop for a moment. There are so many absurd things that rush past in a single hour, we can’t even appreciate them all. Downtime? What’s that? I’m so tired and busy, I don’t think there’s anything I can focus on for twenty minutes straight. And poor aging Louis wouldn’t know what to do with a live mouse, let alone a Tampax Pearl.

But while that videotape represents a kind of life-quiet that’s gone and deeply missed sometimes, it also reminds me that we also had way, way, way less humor and surprise and pure unfiltered joy. It seems like a fair trade to me.

Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. Now, Laurel must navigate a new world in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all, there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss, a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.

I am giving away one copy of The Beginning of After. To enter please fill out THIS FORM.
  • Must be 13 years or older to enter
  • Open to EVERYONE
  • Giveaway ends Friday, September 30th.

*Check out the next stop on Jennifer Castle's book tour on: Friday, September 16 at: The Bookish Type *
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  1. It's definitely pretty cool when you can look back like that... and it's good to remind yourself that even when certain times of your life are over, there are bigger and better things waiting.

  2. Thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway! (:

  3. Thanks for a chance to win this book!

  4. I absolutely loved the last statement: "it also reminds me that we also had way, way, way less humor and surprise and pure unfiltered joy". Words that every parent can cling to in those moments filled with a little less humour and joy (that do occasionally happen!).

    Thanks also for the giveaway - I have been wanting to read this book for quite a while now!

    Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

  5. Love the cover and the story sounds incredible! Thanks for the giveaway!

    That is such a cute and lovely picture btw =)

  7. Oh, fantastic. I've heard many great things about this book, thank you for the generous giveaway! :)

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung


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