Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t sell, and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.
Enter the star Editor, MacDermott Ellis: Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author--now as forgotten as last year's bestsellers and his nephew Nick: Tall, gorgeous, sweet, single and ready to sweep Kate off her feet. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions.
As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week,” she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more sex, more celebrities, and more scandal.
The story only an insider could tell.
The copy I received of The Publicist had the cover on like in the book set (two people on the couch *ahem* reading between the lines, shall we say). So when I opened the package, I got a little worried; as a rule, books with copious amounts of blatant sex are not my cup of tea. But I had agreed to review the books and the author had included a hand-written personal note - which I thought was very, VERY classy - so I determined to forge ahead.
And I am so glad I did.
On page one, we are introduced to Katherine Mitchell (Kate), and are immediately drawn to her compassionate nature. Why? Because in the second paragraph of The Publicist, she goes tearing out of her office to go talk to an author who is threatening to jump off a roof in New York because her Oprah interview was cancelled.
Kate has also stayed cordial to the point of friendship with the author of her firms most successful book ever, Allan Lavigne, who has not seemed to be able to write the second book in his contract - ever. She visits him regularly, really enjoys his company, and brings him groceries now and again because he rarely gets out and she wants to make sure Allan is taking care of himself.
But in at least one sense, we learn that Allan can take care of his interests quite well, thank you.
And then there is Mac. Handsome, talented in more ways than one, married MacDermott Ellis. I really never thought I could have any sympathy for a cheating husband. And while I certainly not a fan of extra-marital affairs, Ms. George does an incredible job of showing Mac's humanity and basic decency. I actually wound up liking Mac.
This is a good read for anyone who likes to read or who is involved with publishing. It adds another dimension to (my) reading when we understand a little of what is involved in bring the work from the keyboard to our reading stacks.
The Publicist II: Shelf Life
It’s an industry of out-of-control egos, unrealistic expectations, and unfulfilled promises.
This is publishing and it’s Kate’s world, but maybe not for long.
When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. With the shelf life of her career and her love affair quickly expiring, Kate sets off on a new adventure…
Starting over in California is easy but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nick Lavigne is eager to help her forget but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis.
As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she's welcomed back with open arms.
But at the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she'd been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart. Behind the book, there’s always more to the story.
Welcome to publishing. The ego has landed.
Ah...the path of true life never did run smooth. Certainly not for Kate - professionally and personally - her life has more ups and downs than a roller coaster.
Edward, Kate and Mac's boss proves how much of a jerk he really is. Kate moves to California to get away from Mac and publishing, and stays with Nick Lavigne (Allan's nephew), who is in love with her. At first their relationship is platonic, but then it changes and she winds up accepting Nick's proposal, even though Mac still haunts her. Kate finally admits that while she loves Nick, she is not in love with him, and breaks their engagement.
Kate realizes that publishing is in her blood, and luckily Allan bequeathed her a brilliant manuscript, which she uses to start her own publishing house, at first in California, and then also in New York City, which is a more happening place for the book world. And guess who shows up (fresh from realizing that he is not as tied to his marriage as he thought) in need of a job?
Again, the descriptions of the sex that goes on in the pages are a little *ahem* detailed for my taste. While I would not go so far as to say this novel is erotica, there is a strong sexual element of which readers should be aware.
As with The Publicist, Book I, this second installment, Shelf Life, is a fascinating glimpse into the world of publishing that cannot help but increase any book lover's enjoyment of whatever they are reading at the moment.
BONUSThe Publicist and Shelf Life are available as a Kindle set for an extremely good price!
The Author, Christina George
(Disclaimer: I received ARCs of both The Publicist and Shelf Life from the author, Christina George, the publisher and iRead Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.)