Nina Jones, shoes and a giveaway

Filed under: contests, Nina Jones and the Temple of Gloom

Hooray hooray! Nina Jones and the Temple of Gloom is officially out, and to celebrate I will be giving away a signed copy to a lucky person who sends me an email using the “contact” button on my website.

But first, I need to continue talking about shoes.

You see, the heroine of my novel, Nina Jones, is a woman who knows all about the power of a good pair of shoes. She has lots and lots of shoes, some of them very expensive and some of them very uncomfortable, and here is an excerpt from the book telling you why:

I’m a great believer in the power of high heeled shoes. They’re beautiful, they’re stylish, they can rescue a so-so outfit, and they make you appear to have legs up to your armpits, especially if you have passably long legs anyway. Also—and this may be obvious but it’s really vital—the taller you are, the more people will assume that you know what you’re doing. I read an article about it one time. I’m five foot ten in bare feet, so high heels make me taller than most women and quite a few men. Therefore I appear both more confident and more competent, merely by putting on my shoes.

Most importantly, they’re uncomfortable. When you wear heels for every minute of your professional and social life you’re instantly proclaiming yourself as a person who is able to withstand blisters, pinching, and calf ache, because looking good is more important than pain. Besides, blisters can provide a handy distraction from an aching heart.

I rub the toes of my left foot against the aching arch of my right, and touch the spot on my cheek where Edmund kissed me. Who am I kidding? Blisters are no distraction from an aching heart at all.

I made Nina love shoes because—well, because she’s a chick lit heroine, der! And chick lit heroines always love shoes. Even I love shoes, and I am NOT a chick lit heroine (too old, too cranky, too married). But as I wrote the story, shoes began to form a very important part of the plot and of Nina’s character arc.

She chooses her shoes specifically to impress Edmund, her boss, who is happily married and with whom she is unrequitedly in love. She meets sexy, romantic Spaniard Juan, who will change her life, while she’s stuck in a chair, caught by the buckle of her shoe. When she decides to change her life completely, she donates her shoes to charity.

And then when her life has changed completely, but not the way she thought it was going to, an encounter with some shoes makes her confront her long-buried feelings about her life. A pair of shoes (and some fake tan) is the key to her deceiving her entire family, and leads to her confrontation with her mysterious and angry upstairs neighbour. A pair of cheap secondhand shoes teaches her that feeling comfortable and rather ordinary isn’t quite such a bad thing after all. And one of the most emotionally significant scenes in the story takes place while she’s barefoot.

In short, Nina’s relationship with her shoes is as complicated and as difficult as every relationship. I loved writing that part of the novel.

Anyway, if you’d like to read the book and want a chance at a signed copy, please send me an email using the “contact” button, or alternatively leave a comment on this post with your email address in it, and I’ll choose an entry at random to win.* You don’t even have to say anything, but it’s always nice to hear from you, so I hope you will.

*Warning: you’ll be entered on my newsletter mailing list if you enter. This is pretty harmless and very occasional, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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29 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. Julie – the book and shoes sound brilliant 🙂

  2. I hope you know that I ALWAYS see pretty shoes and think of you.

  3. I think I’m going to have to ask my British shoe afficianado friend to pick me up a copy of this the next time she heads home if I don’t win it. I am not a shoe afficianado myself, foot surgery and wide feet have made cute shoes a pipe dream for me anyway, but I do appreciate cute shoes on other people while I wallow in my old, beat-up comfort over all shoes. 🙂

  4. Julie, in spite of the fact that I like to wear comfortable (though hopefully not grandma) shoes, I don’t mind reading about exciting and uncomfortable shoes! Am looking forward to your newest release!

    And you may not know I’m addicted to entering competitions, so I couldn’t resist entering yours!

  5. Here’s my comment as an entry. I have to admit I didn’t read all of that post, but don’t be annoyed with me please! It’s only because I don’t want to spoil any of the book. I’m like that with new novels that I desperately want to read. I don’t even read all of the back cover blurbs! I’ll read your posts after I finish the book 😉

  6. Shoe-tastic. Please enter me in comp. x

  7. So are you saying you bought all those gorgeous shoes you wear to RNA events for research???

    Damn, that’s clever.

  8. Okay, I’m 5’10” barefoot, and I love shoes, for many of the reasons Nina lists. I know shorter women who proclaim high heels make them feel ‘normal’. Well, bah: nothing will make me normal height even if I wanted to be, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t make my feet beautiful (if OMG painful) with lovely shoes.

    I’m still getting those Irregular Choice ads on Yahoo.

  9. I love that her relationship with her shoes reflects on her life!

    I’m a shoe addict. I suspect it’s genetic and therefore is not my fault… But after my ankle reconstruction, I will also be getting close and personal with the flat variety :D.

  10. For two years following tendon surgery, I had to wear flat, broad shoes (that could accommodate orthotic inserts). I was very careful to make sure any photograph taken of me during this sad period did not include my lower half…ha! Looking forward to reading this!!

  11. […] Julie Cohen’s website: Nina Jones and the Temple of Gloom is officially out, and to celebrate I will be giving away a signed copy to a lucky person who sends me an email using the “contact” button on my […]

  12. Hey, Julie. I’m dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I’ve got this posted at Win a Book for you.

  13. Hi Julie,
    Just finished reading Nina Jones and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. Congratulations on another great story – loved it! Although do feel the need to go and buy new shoes now!

  14. Please count me in. Thanks.

    avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot]it

  15. Sounds good, count me in!

  16. Sorry guys, have been a bit MIA due to library talk and day off today.

    Liz…thank you! I hope you like the shoes, anyway! 🙂

    Michelle, what a sweet thing to say. I love that you think of me when you see nice shoes. You have warmed my heart, thank you!

  17. Kristen, I’m glad you can at least appreciate cute shoes on others, even if you have to stick to comfort. I’m sure you’ve found some cute comfy ones anyway!

    Nice shoes for me are usually a pipe dream; I spend about 80% of my time in slippers these days and all the rest of the time in flats, as I have to run after my kid! I really enjoy it when I get to wear heels.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  18. Rebecca, I do know about your competition addiction. I think it’s pretty cool. And your shoes are always nice, even if they’re also comfortable. 🙂

  19. Suz, I love that you didn’t read my excerpt because you want to read the book! In this case, it’s no spoiler, because that excerpt is on something like page 6. (My other excerpts, on and on my top-secret-newsletter-subscribers-only page, give the plot away a little bit more.)

    But I can’t wait to find out what you think of the story if you read it.

  20. Lara—shoe-tastic, shoe-pendous and shoe-perb! 😀

  21. Jan!!! Dear God, do you think that makes them—TAX DEDUCTIBLE!?!?

    *immediately calculates how many more pairs she can buy before a week Tuesday*

  22. Kate, you have GORGEOUS shoes and I’m not surprised you are similar to Nina Jones in that respect. (Also in being tall, blonde—well, sometimes—and stunning.) You are very different from Nina in many other ways, not least in not being completely deluded about nearly everything nor likely to abscond to Spain with a chef named Juan.

  23. Ahhh Lacey, I’m sorry. I hope your ankle is better very soon. And there are some gorgeous flats out there, I’m sure you will look adorable!

  24. Peggy, that is forward thinking about the photographs. Though I have to say that sadly, when I’m wearing beautiful shoes, my friends taking snapshots all too often concentrate on focusing above the waist, in the silly misconception that anyone would want to see a photo of my face.

    This is why Romantic Novelists’ Association parties are particularly good, because at some point during every evening there will be shoe paparazzi taking pictures of feet.

    Thanks for entering and I hope you enjoy the book!

  25. Susan, thanks for posting the link and for sending people over! I appreciate it.

  26. Rachel, hooray hooray! Thank you so much for telling me you enjoyed Nina Jones. I actually only know one other person who’s read it so far (aside from my agent and editor, of course) and so it’s very exciting to think you’ve read it already.

    And go buy new shoes! 😀

  27. Thank you for entering, Avalonne and Teresa!

  28. I would love to win a copy of your book!!! And tax deductible shoes….fantastic idea!

  29. […] Don’t forget to send me an email using the “contact” link, or leave a comment on this post if you want to enter. I’ll choose a winner […]

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