Thursday, August 8, 2013

Guest Post: Authors Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin


A Really Awesome Mess
by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin
Published by Egmont USA
Publication Date: July 23, 2013
Pages 288

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Indiebound

Last week I read and reviewed A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin. The fun cover and title appealed to me and made me want to read it, but the characters and their stories prove that this book is more than just a cute cover. A Really Awesome Mess "is witty, a bit raunchy (but not too much), sometimes a little far-fetched (but weirder things have happened), and completely entertaining" (from my review). 

I'm hosting a giveaway for a copy of A Really Awesome Mess. For a chance for you own copy, you can enter to win it HERE

Today I am happy to host both Trish and Brendan at Actin' Up with Books. I asked that they share some of their favorite bookish memories - their favorite books that introduced them to a love for reading or a memorable experience visiting a favorite bookstore.

 Welcome Trish and Brendan!!

From Trish Cook:

I don't think it's a stretch to say I've loved books since birth. My mom was so big on reading to my brother and I as kids, I caught on to the process naturally when I was three or four and was already a total bookworm by the time I entered kindergarten.  I've fallen in love with so many books since then, but I think the author that still inspires me most is Judy Blume. It was such a revelation to me that a grown-up could not only remember exactly what it was like to be a kid, but that she treated our worries and dreams with such respect and compassion and seriousness. Also, her honesty blew me away. How great was it that she could discuss periods, boobs, boys and sex in a way that made you feel like she was your best friend and not some judgmental adult? In fourth grade, I took Are You there God? It's Me Margaret out of the school library so many times the librarian started teasing me about my addiction. When I was thirteen, my mom handed me a copy of Forever, and I soon became the neighborhood dealer of this book--no one else's parents would buy it for them. So yeah, totally Judy Blume. She rules. What a great role model.

From Brendan Halphin:

My best book memories don't involve bookstores; they involve libraries.  As an only child growing up in an era where there were only 3 TV channels, I had a lot of time to read.  And so the library always felt like a magical place to me: you walk in and you can look around at all these books and then they let you take a bunch of them home!  For free! Many of my best library moments are tied to specific spots. I remember these places and can instantly feel the excitement: I can read anything! 
The children's room at the Hyde Park branch library was in the basement.  There was a little fountain with water pouring over rocks in the hallway that led to the stairs. 
The Mount Washington branch housed its fairy tale collection in a cramped little hallway that always felt cozy and homey and where I was always the only patron.
The main branch of the Cincinnati Public Library had its science fiction and fantasy collection in a little nook of a mezzanine accessible only via a very long ramp. 
The Somerville Public Library had its new releases on the lower level of its beautiful two-story atrium of a library.
 And the Boston Public Library's courtyard is one of the best public spaces in America, with a fountain, a statue, and wooden chairs and benches around the perimeter. Summers when I was my daughter's primary caregiver, we used to take the T down to the BPL and grab a bunch of books that I would read to her on a wooden bench in the shade.  Once a Korean student of English came and sat down next to us and asked if she could sit in while I read a Junie B Jones book so that she could improve her English. 
At a time when the very idea of a public good is under attack and some people even assert that the internet has rendered libraries obsolete, I feel like it's important to speak up for the libraries that made me the reader and writer I am today, and for the great joy and beauty of having places to go where you can just sit and read.

About the Authors

Trish Cook

Trish Cook is the author of Notes from the Blender, So Lyrical, and Overnight Sensation. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and daughters. You can visit her online at

Brendan Halpin

Brendan Halpin is the author of Notes from the Blender, How Ya Like Me Now, Forever Changes, and Donorboy, an Alex Award Winner. He lives in Boston with his wife, Suzanne, their three children, and their dog. You can visit him online at

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