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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Be My Guest, Charlotte of The Book on the Hill!

I can't even begin to tell you how fabtastic today's BE MY GUEST segment is going to be. I have something so gloriously fun, frivolous and fabtastic for you, it could only have come from Charlotte of The Book on the Hill.  And it did! I give you:
Take it away, Charlotte!

I would like to start this post by thanking Misty of having me on this oh-so-romantic or oh-so-enraging day. Ah, Valentine’s Day. To love it or to hate it, that is the question.

To entertain you on this special day, I decided to use the Create A Cover game that has been around the blogosphere for a while. I love it. If Create A Cover were a guy, I would send him a Valentine card. And if I knew who invented this game, I would send him flowers.

The idea is to create a possible debut novel cover thanks to the infinite powers of the internet :
1. Get a fake author name on Fake Name Generator.
2. Get a title by picking the first verb that comes out at Random Word Generator.
3. Go to FlickrCC, type in the title, and the first picture that shows a person becomes the cover.
4. Put all the elements together.

I changed the game a little in order to get in the Valentine mood : I typed ‘love’ to get the book cover. Otherwise the title and author were chosen like the rules say. I played a little with PaintShop, and here is the result.

I give you :

Promise, written by debut author Bettany J. Burke.

I shall now tell you what the story is, share my review of the book and its trailer.
Warning : Any ressemblance with any person who really existed or is still alive would be fortuitous.

The Author : Bettany J. Burke lives in Billings, Montana, with her husband Brandon and their two cute rattlesnakes : Squigy and Floppy. She was born on Valentine’s Day, which inspired her to write about it. Her debut novel, Promise, is weird.

The story : If you could have a look at Polly Jimerson’s wardrobe, here is what you would see : checked shirts. Everywhere. You wouldn’t catch Polly wearing a T-shirt or a jersey. May it be summer or winter, Polly wears checked shirts only. Although this simple fact could intrigue you, it does not impress her classmates at all. Polly is a loner. One day, after class, Polly meditates on a bench, asking herself why she doesn’t have any friends, when someone sits next next to her.
Someone wearing a checked shirt.
As soon as Polly’s eyes fall on Theodore Paddington’s torso and the pink balloon he’s holding, she knows her life will never be the same again. Polly has never felt this comfortable with anyone (except maybe her little checked kitten, which in an inspired moment she had called Kitty).
That day, Polly and Theodore made a promise : to always be there for one another.
But as always, things are not easy as they look. Quite quickly, Polly starts to notice some of Theodore’s weird habits : he sends her roses and chocolates everyday, comes to school wearing angel wings (on top of his checked shirts), and his voice is strange most of the time because of his tendency to inhale helium. Polly is a rational girl, and considers that Theodore is just an eccentric guy. But when he invites her to join a secret society of which he is the only member, things get tricky. Polly would do anything for Theodore, so when she has to sing ‘Rudoph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ with helium as a rite of passage, she kindly obliges. Polly finally unravels the mystery of Theodore’s weirdness : he has the Valentine Syndrome. Always has, always will. His life revolves around love, kisses, hearts, bubbles, lollipops, balloons – and of course, checked shirts. By involving Polly in his personal secret society, Theodore has cursed her to : Polly is now drawn to pink things, fluffly things, chocolate hearts and cupids – and as always, checked shirts. Will Polly embrace her new life, or will she fight it ? Will she keep her promise, or run away like a coward ? Will she have her happy-ever-after with Theodore ? At least one thing is certain : Valentine’s Day will never be the same again.

Review : Such an emotional read ! I couldn’t put it down, and I have to admit that quite a few tears were shed.

The descriptions of Polly’s checked shirts were fascinating : I learnt about color shades, textures, buttons and more. Since reading this book, I can’t stop buying every checked shirt I see ! And I loved Polly’s little kitten, for a secondary character Kitty was really well described and I couldn’t get enough of her.

Theodore is the perfect guy, and I fell in love with him right from the very beginning. From the way he chooses chocolates to the way he flaps his wings, we girls can only fall for him. So cute and so romantic.

The rite passage was a very strong moment. I totally understood Polly’s doubts, but at the same time just wanted to scream at her : ‘come on, it’s just helium and a Christmas song !’. I mean, I woud’ve done it right away if it were for a guy as awesome as Theodore. This scene was therefore quite deep, philophical and emotional.

When Polly is cursed and has to follow Theodore on his duties as a Valentine, things get a little bit out of hand though. We could say it’s action-packed, but that’s what I didn’t like : I prefered reading about their love story than their missions. At one point, Polly has to deliver a Valentine card and a fluffy kitten to the school librarian, and the woman overreacts because she knows nobody loves her. So she throws a pile of books at Polly, who gets hurt and then before you know it there’s blood everywhere. I wasn’t prepared for that.

All in all, I really liked this book. I would recommend it to anyone, because I think we can all relate to the characters. On top of being a romantic book, it’s also very educational and profound, although being a little too gore sometimes. Don’t miss it !

Book trailer for Promise, the surprising smash hit!

That's it for today, my lovelies!  I was right, right?  Only word to describe Charlotte and what she just unleashed on the world = fabtastic.
I hope you enjoyed the special themed BMG  hoopla. 
Enjoy your ♥-shaped boxes of chocolate or your Pretty In Pink marathons.
Big ♥ and smooches!

Interested in being a guest on Book Rat?  Fill out this form; it's quick, it's easy, and it has a sheep!


  1. How wonderfully creative! That must have taken hours and hours to create. I loved it.

  2. Wow how amazing!!!! A lot of work went into that I am sure!!! Great stuff!

  3. "Gloriously fun, frivolous and fabtastic" ? Misty, you're making me blush and I now look like Rudolf's nose.

    Thank you again for having me, that was fun fun fun !

  4. Oh, and smooches to you too by the way ! Happy Valentine's Day ! :)

  5. I have one acronym for you: LOL!

    That was the coolest post ever! I loved it! Charlotte is quite obviously a Valentine's-Day-guest-post genius! So much effort went into it, so cool of her!

  6. Genial post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you as your information.

  7. What a fun idea! I loved your post, thanks! :)

  8. That really made me laugh :o) I'm very impressed with the effort Charlotte must have put in to come up with all of that! Great guest post

  9. Reading this post put a big smile on my face :D Especially the book trailer, which is hilarious. Awesome guest post, Charlotte!

  10. That was great! (: She really went all out!

  11. Wow! This is amazingly done! I admire your great efforts into this. And I love love love your review! This is so brilliant, I swear. I cannot stop gushing about it. Haha. And that video was funny. I really like it.

  12. I can see that it was totally a labor of love!

  13. Hilarious!!! This is the highlight of my day. I love it!

  14. LOL love it! I smell an instant bestseller already. NYT's #1 debut, for sure! I'm not sure if I'm quite ready for that gore factor either - blood. Books. Library. Intense! But the romance and uniqueness of this story wins out - I must read!

    Great work :D

  15. Oh my goodness! This was great! I loved the trailer! "Mew"

    I would hate to try to follow this up!

  16. I SO want to read this book now! Hilarious and wonderful, it looks. If only it existed! I can't believe she actually made a book trailer for it. Awesomeness!
    I think I love Theodore already. :-)

  17. Interesting post :)
    Must have taken a lot of time and effort to compose this :)

  18. This is so awesome! I tried creating my own book cover like that one time but it didn't work too well. lol. Great post. :D


  19. Ha, I would to read this for real. Cute!

  20. Wow! That most have taken hours! I'm way to impatient to manage a work like that!

  21. This is so cool. Especially for people like me who are so not creative.

  22. Mary D

    Hi Charlotte, that is terrific but I can only imagine the amount of time it took to do - but I LUV it!! So creative =D

  23. WOW, thank you all ! I'm glad you enjoyed it !

    And to answer everyone's questions about the amount of time it took : although it required a lot of concentration, it actually didn't take that long. I am quite comfortable with editing (I studied cinema and still edit many videos for my theatre company and for actors, amongst other things) so I had a lot of fun editing something not serious and where I was free to do what I wanted.

    I really have a problem with book trailers in general, most of the time I find them cheap and often cheesy, so doing a parody was a real blast !

    Thank you all again, and thank you Misty for having me, I didn't expect so much feedback ! :)

  24. I can't believe I missed this before. computer trama is guess. Great post Charlotte. It was very professional. Hope you had a great Valentines Day.

  25. I really enjoyed reading this, Char. Very interesting and since it's a Valentine thingy...I'll confess...I love books that bring tears to my eyes....

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  26. How cute and creative! I like the story line. lol


  27. Such a cute idea! I love that you took the time to create an actual book idea, not just a cover. And i really want to read it!!!

  28. Wow that was so educational. I had never realised that checked shirts were as much a part of Valentine's Day as Cupid and chocolate.
    Is Valentine's syndrome a serious problem? Is it infectious?

  29. What a great idea this is! I wish I were a creative person and could do something like this! :)

  30. This is great! It's an awesome idea.


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