Letter H The April A to Z Blogging Challenge #AtoZChallenge

April Author Spotlight 2015

Letter ‘H’ is for Elizabeth Hein author of How to Climb the Eiffel Tower

 H

 

 Why do I recommend How to Climb the Eiffel Tower?

How to Climb the Eiffel Tower is an unforgettable and moving novel. It is a hopeful celebration of life, courage, and second chances. It was heart-warming to watch Lara develop from an emotionally scarred, distrustful, and detached loner to a warm and caring person as a result of coping with a physical illness, which heals her mind and soul. I loved the way she learns to own her life and open her eyes and her heart to the world with renewed confidence, because she’s on her way to finding inner peace, friendship, love, and professional satisfaction. I enjoyed the smooth prose and carefully spun plot, which gradually unveils her traumatic past and advances through Lara’s daily routines, workplace, illness, and the life-changing people she meets as a result of her treatment. A joy to read.

EiffelTower-Cover-smaller

Tell me about your novel, Elizabeth –

How To Climb The Eiffel Tower is the story of how friendship and kindness transforms a young woman’s life during what could have been the worst year of her life. Lara Blaine strikes up a casual conversation with Jane on the day she is diagnosed with cancer. Their friendship gives Lara the strength to confront her illness and heal from her troubled past.

How To Climb The Eiffel Tower is different from other novels that deal with cancer, in that Lara’s cancer is more than an illness. It’s a metaphor for her memories. As her friends and doctors help her heal physically, she also heals psychologically. That being said, How To Climb The Eiffel Tower is filled with humor and Lara’s snarky observations about life. Lara Blaine is an unforgettable character that readers embrace and come to love.

What are you working on now? –

Right now I am actively working on two projects and brainstorming a few others. I am editing the sequel to my first novel, Overlook. The sequel is tentatively titled Escape Plan and deals with a group of friends covering up a murder against the backdrop of the changing roles of women in 1970’s. I hope to publish that book later this year.

My other project is the first in my planned series of destination mysteries. The series will feature Midge and Snig, two women who have been friends for 40 years and have supported each other through life’s ups and downs. They’re at the point in their lives where they can travel the world and stumble into murder and mayhem. This first book takes place in the Galapagos Islands. I am sharing bits my research on the islands for my A to Z Challenge posts.

EAH violet sweater - arms crossed

What would you like readers to know about you? –

Before I ever picked up a pen to write my first book, I was a voracious reader. I am fascinated by the stories that form a person’s life. This fascination has led me to be a lifelong student of psychology and observer of human nature. It took a cancer diagnosis in 2002 to finally convince me to stop wasting time and start writing down the stories floating around in my head. When I am not writing my snarky novels, I am spending time with my two adult daughters or traveling with my husband.

How can we find out more or Contact you?

My links-

Facebook author page – 

Twitter

website –

blog

Goodreads for HTCTET

Amazon author page– 

Amazon page – 

Amazon UK

 

Please take some time to check out some of the other blogs on the A-Z Challenge. There are plenty of interesting and varied topics. 

Book Review: How to Climb the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein

How to Climb the Eiffel Tower is the type of novel that makes you feel alternately sad and optimistic, as well as angry and hopeful. Overall it’s a celebration of life, of courage, and of second chances.

 

Eiffel Tower

 

At the beginning of the novel, Lara Blaine is an unlikeable loner. We soon learn that she is desperately trying to forget her traumatic childhood by hiding behind her perfectly organised and monotonous life, in which there is no room for close contact with anyone.

Lara is emotionally scarred, and seems to dislike or distrust everyone she interacts with. She has built an emotional wall which makes her appear to be the unfriendly, sneering colleague nobody likes to have.

As the novel progresses, her emotional scars start to heal as her physical illness gradually gives her a new perspective on life. The emotional bond she creates with Jane and her family is believably developed and truly touching.

It’s a character driven novel, in which we experience Lara’s personal conflicts and the relationships she has with other characters.

On the other hand, it is not a one-dimensional story about Lara. There is also a carefully spun plot which advances throughout the novel and revolves around her workplace, her routines, her illness, and the people she meets as a result of her treatment.

For me, How to Climb the Eiffel Tower is about empowerment. Lara needs to consciously own her own life, and open her eyes and her heart to the world. In her case, it happened through her experience as a cancer patient.

As a result, she’s finally able to face life with renewed confidence. It’s a new beginning for Lara because she’s on her way to finding inner peace, friendship, love, and professional satisfaction, too.

It’s also very well written, with a smooth prose which makes it a pleasure to read. Well worth Reading.

Five out if five stars.

Get it on Amazon.co.uk

Get in on Amazon.com

Elizabeth Hein

I met Elizabeth Hein a year ago on Goodreads, just after starting my own (belated) career as an author. She had already written and published her first novel, Overlook, so she was able to give me invaluable help and advice on my own writing. See my review of Overlook.

When she wrote her second novel, she was kind enough to send me an ARC to read and review. I must admit I’ve taken a long time to get around to reading it, although as soon as I started reading, it was so good that I finished it in a matter of days!

I’ll admit it. At first, I was afraid to read How to Climb the Eiffel Tower. I put it off because I was a coward for two reasons.

Firstly, I shamelessly admit that 80% of my reading is purely for pleasure. I love being transported to fictional worlds, where I’m absorbed by events taking place in other people’s lives. I don’t mind a bit of tension, but I’m not too keen on suffering while I read. I occasionally like to be shocked or shaken out of my complacency, but not too often. I know Elizabeth is a cancer survivor, and I knew this novel was about cancer patients, and I’m ashamed to admit that I was reluctant to face the pain of cancer. Also, I thought it might be a ‘tear jerker’. As I’ve explained in my review, I’m pleased to say I was completely wrong.

Secondly, I consider Elizabeth as a virtual/cyber friend, and as with any of my friends, I wouldn’t like to hurt her feelings by not liking her novel. Again, I was an idiot. I already knew she was a good writer, I should have trusted her. I should have known it would be a good novel. Well, it surpassed my expectations: It’s an amazing novel.

Read it!