Book Review and Double Giveaway: Don’t You Forget About Me

Book Review: Don't You Forget About Me by @fillpraycloset #bookreview #giveaway #catholic #mystery #romanceHere are your stats!

Title: Don’t You Forget About Me (lovingly called #DYFAM. Who doesn’t love acronyms!?)
Author: Erin McCole Cupp
Ebook Price: $3.99
Paperback: $11.69
Pages: 218
View the 1 minute trailer here.
More Erin McCole Cupp at Will Write for Tomato Pie

It started on June 10th, when my gal-pal Rhonda tweeted something about a book that had a mystery, a nun and a little bit of murder written by a lay Dominican. So naturally, I had to find out more, and let Tiffany know that I was on to something lay Dominican.

Generally, I read for spiritual growth = non-fiction. I thought, it’s summer, why not? Why not indeed! That one little tweet she put out into the Twitterverse sent me on an adventure of my own, reading all kinds of fiction again, not to mention I got to meet this author in person, pick her brain and help develop her street team (more details coming very soon)!

I instantly connected with the friendship between the main character Cate and her BFF, Staz (short for Anastasia). While they aren’t always together in the book, they are together over text and phone calls when things get tense – much like Tiffany and I are, especially when there is too much chatter in the ladies bathroom at work. I digress. I’ll just say it, you won’t be able to put the book down until you finish it and then, you miss the characters. Have I ever said that in any of my reviews? There’s humor, mystery, nuns, medicine, murder, chemistry stuffs, friendship, bad corporate mojo, romance and it touches on some social teaching ala endometriosis and contraception. #TOB people!

From a Catholic perspective, Erin collects all of these threads and creates a non-stop murder-mystery that makes you laugh and say “Oh snap!”. One of my favorite surprises is that every chapter is the title of an 80s song. How unique! I sat on the couch with my husband and flipped through the copy she signed for me to giveaway here on my blog and…

What’s that? You want to know about the giveaway? I did gloss over that didn’t I? Erin signed a copy to be given away right here on my blog! AND there’s an ebook she’s also giving me to pass along to another winner! Yowza! So stay tuned at the end for those giveaway details!

Back to me and the hubs on the couch; I flipped through each chapter page and quizzed him to see if he could remember the songs – of course he could, mind like a steel trap, that one. Tiffany and I had this awesome idea to pose questions to Erin, we drafted them and she answered! Head over to Tiffany’s to get more inside scoop on the book, Erin and all things #DYFAM.

When did you begin writing this novel? How did you “see” it before you put pen to paper?

I was reconnecting with people from my childhood just as I was seeking treatment for endometriosis myself. I remember in my early 30s reading an article in a women’s magazine—I forget which, just something I picked up to read while doing cardio at the gym—that talked about a number of studies in which primates were fed dioxin-laced food and the overwhelming result among the subjects was endometriosis. I didn’t think of that article until years later, while I was recovering from endometriosis removal surgery, that my brother and I were sharing memories of, in the late 1970s, having to be evacuated from our home town for a couple of nights because there had been an accident at the chemical plant down the road. My brother mentioned that dioxins were involved, and that reminded me of that magazine article I had read in the gym a few years before (yeah, I remember nonsense like that, but ask me where I put my keys an hour ago…), and the premise blossomed forth, if you will. I saw the beginning of #DYFAM in my head like a movie, and I knew what the end would be like.  It was just a matter of following Cate around to find out how she’d get there.

Are there any parts of the book that you wished could have been included, but for flow, had to leave out? We want outtakes!

Outtakes, I love it!  In the first draft that went to Ellen Gable at Full Quiver Publishing (an excellent novelist in her own right, I might add), there was a whole protracted thing where the Class of ’87 became best buds and started this nonprofit… and I just can’t go on, because Ellen was right:  that first draft was at least 30% too long.  I’m glad we tightened that up.  There were a couple of curse words (gasp!  I know!) that we ended up taking out to keep things squeaky clean.  I do think the original cuss words were more true to the characters in question, but not so much so that it was a hill on which to die.  There was one scene, in the hospital at the end (I won’t say any more because I don’t want to spoil) that I toyed with removing, but since that was the culmination of Cate’s crisis of faith, that was a hill on which I was willing to die, and luckily Ellen agreed.  The hospital scene stayed.

As a fellow sufferer of endometriosis, how important was it to the story to be sure that tied into the plot? You could have easily left it at cancer or, tumors, etc.? (as horrid as that sounds).

Some of the criticism I’ve received from Catholics about #DYFAM is that it seems to imply that licit, medicinal use of hormonal contraceptives to treat endometriosis is actually illicit, immoral, and other stuff that the Church simply does not teach.  They’re right:  the Church does not ever teach that using hormonal contraceptives as a medical treatment without intent to contracept is wrong.  However, the Pill doesn’t care if we’re taking it to prevent conception or prevent polycystic ovaries; it still has a boatload of awful side effects that our culture tells us to ignore, because, hey, freedom, right?  When hormonal contraceptives were offered to me as a first line of treatment for all of my (many) hormonal imbalances, I didn’t think, “If I take these, I’m going to HELL!”  No, I thought of all the friends and family members I’ve had who’ve suffered blood clots, developed lifelong clotting disorders, and worse.  That made it really easy to see that the Church’s wariness towards hormonal contraceptives isn’t some uptight, backwards notion.  It’s based on love, on fierce protectiveness of our irreplaceable bodies.  In #DYFAM, I got to put the whole “everybody’s taking the Pill for endo” idea in to a crucible:  what if literally EVERYBODY is taking the Pill for endo?  What will those girls look like in a decade or two after taking a compound specifically designed to make the human body malfunction?   If they’re all stroking out, infertile, and fighting breast cancer, then maybe we should take a look at a better treatment, say NaPro Technology?  Just a thought.

What advice would you give for an aspiring writer whose head is full of ideas, but can’t rein them in to get it to paper? (We could be talking about me here.)

::snorfle::  Look to the saints.  Butt in seat.  Fingers on keys.  Write. That’s my advice.  That’s also advice I need to take myself some time super soon…

Please say your next book will have a Lay Dominican thread weaved in! Ok, that’s not a question!

So far it doesn’t, but one of the characters is shaping up to be a Dominican teaching sister.  Does that help?

*     *     *

Details to win the ebook:

  1. Comment below with what your favorite genre is to read.
  2. Comment over at Tiffany’s house with a quick bite about friendships, because I think she’ll like that and because Staz and Cate, we love them!

Details to win the signed copy of Don’t You Forget About Me by Erin McCole Cupp:

  1. Comment below with what your favorite genre is to read.
  2. Comment over at Tiffany’s house  with a quick bite about friendships, because I think she’ll like that and because Staz and Cate? We love them!
  3. Tweet and tag your BFF on Twitter with #DYFAM (tagging me or Tiffany helps us track ya)
  4. Share this post OR Tiffany’s post on Google+ OR Facebook and leave the link for the post your comment using the #DYFAM hashtag

The giveaway is for US residents only. And sorry, there’s no Rafflecopter to make this easy for you, I’m not self-hosted yet *wah wah* We’ll run the giveaway until Sunday, August 31st and will announce the winners on Tuesday, September 2.

A HUGE thanks to Erin McCole Cupp for sharing her time, books and talents with these two #booknerds and to Ellen Gable at Full Quiver Publishing for getting us the goods to giveaway to all of you!


15 thoughts on “Book Review and Double Giveaway: Don’t You Forget About Me

  1. I went over to their site but I can’t leave a comment because they do not have the anonymous feature set up in the comments.

    My favorite thing about friendship is the ones that I have are for life and we are like sisters.


  2. What a fun post! I recently read DYFAM and really enjoyed it! Having read this interview, I like the book even more knowing where she’s coming from. If I do win I’ll pass the book along to a friend. My favorite genre is definitely fiction, particularly if it has a little romance and intrigue. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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