Blogger Luncheon with Billie Livingston & Giveaway for "One Good Hustle"!

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Earlier in the month, on August 8, I was invited by Random House Canada to attend a Blogger Luncheon with author Billie Livingston as the special guest of honour! A very small group of book bloggers, plus Adria and Lindsey from RHC, met up with the Canadian author at a restaurant called Cheesewerks in downtown Toronto where we all comfortably chatted while eating amazing specialty grilled cheeses. (Seriously, I think it's the best grilled cheese I've ever had!) It was a very casual, yet intimate, event as we discussed Billie Livingston's latest novel One Good Hustle! 

During the luncheon, we covered everything from our favourite characters in One Good Hustle (it was fun to see Lindsey fan-girling about Sammie!), whether we've ever been conned in our own lives (the parents of the main character, Sammie, are con artists as a living), to high school memories and learning more about Billie Livingston's next writing projects. We also debated how to categorize One Good Hustle as being YA or Adult fiction, with the conclusion that it could be defined as either. While the book is technically Adult, the younger aged protagonist and themes in the book certainly showed that it holds a YA appeal as well.

I think one of the most interesting pieces of information I learned that day was how One Good Hustle was inspired, in part, by Billie Livingston's own life. There's a very great article where you can read all about it on the Globe and Mail's website, but in short, Sammie and Billie are much more alike than readers may have first imagined as Billie's father was also a con artist. Many of us were so surprised when we learned this! We also learned when Billie Livingston is not writing or doing research for her next novel, she also works as an "extra" in the film industry back home in Vancouver, which I thought was really cool!  

When we were all finished eating, we took a group photo of the bloggers present along with Billie Livingston, and also got our own copies signed and personalized.

It was such a pleasure to meet the very kind and friendly Billie Livingston, and the time seemed to fly by in no time at all! Thanks so much to Random House Canada for organizing the lunch, and extending an invitation to me.

You can also read another recap of the Blogger Luncheon with Billie Livingston on Random House Canada's new Retreat blog!

From award-winning writer Billie Livingston, an unsparing novel of loyalty and survival that is fierce, sharp and funny even when it's breaking your heart.

The child of 2 con artists, 16-year-old Sammie Bell always prided herself on knowing the score. But now she finds herself backed into a corner. After a hustle gone dangerously wrong, her mother, Marlene, is sliding into an abyss of alcoholic depression, spending her days fantasizing aloud about death--a goal Sammie is tempted to help her accomplish. Horrified by the appeal of this, Sammie packs a bag and leaves her mother to her own devices.

With her father missing in action, she has nowhere else to go but the home of a friend with 2 parents who seem to actually love their daughter and each other--and who awkwardly try to extend some semblance of family to Sammie. Throughout a long summer of crisis among the normals, Sammie is torn between her longing for the approval of the con-man father she was named for and her desire for the "weird, spearmint-fresh feeling" of life in the straight world. Sammie wants to be normal but fears that where she comes from makes that beyond the realm of possibility.

One Good Hustle chronicles 2 months in Sammie Bell's struggle with her dread that she is somehow doomed genetically to be just another hustler.  

Giveaway! I'm giving away a signed finished copy of Billie Livingston's One Good Hustle!
  • please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter
  • giveaway is INTERNATIONAL
  • giveaway will end at 12:00 a.m. on September 3, 2012
  • winner will be contacted by email afterwards
  • do not leave you email address in the comments 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. How wonderful you continue to make time to attend these events. Thanks for the chance to win! Sounds like a great read!

  2. That looks like so much fun! Glad to hear you had a good time! And that sounds like such an interesting story! I'll definitely have to get my hands on a copy :D

    Thanks for the giveaway! (And have fun on vacation!!)

  3. hey Liz, have fun on your 2-week vacation! Pictures please :) Yay! Thanks for the giveaway. Am curious about this book (YA vs Adult) let's see!

  4. Hello Liz, So nice to read your blog and recall our afternoon together. It was a treat to meet you on that fun and cheese-filled day! Thank you for your sweet post.

  5. I think it sounds like a really emotional and intense read. I would love to find out for sure.

  6. It sounds interesting! Unusual, too. I love the cover, obviously! :D

  7. Liz! amazing giveaway! plus I've seen this book at Indigo Downtown and sounds very interesting :)

    THnx for this giveaway sweetheart! ^_^