The best queer cozy YA romances that make you want to fall in love

I wrote a list of 5 books for a website called Shepherd. The goal was to curate a list of my favourite 5 books with similar vibes to my own book.

I had a lot of fun writing this list and even more fun reading the books.

I have since read another book that I would add: Skater Boy by Anthony Nerada, but I read it after I submitted to the website, so it missed out, sadly.

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Speculating Canada interviewed Jen

Hello Friends, Fans, and Family,

Speculating Canada is an award winning podcast and interview series that interviews fantastic Canadian and genre personalities.

Jen was interviewed by the wonderful Derek Newman-Stille. You can see the interview on their website.

It’s a great interview and gives you a great insight into how she works and does so many fantastic things.

Jen says:

I was interviewed for Speculating Canada yesterday!! It was so much fun.

We discuss Queer writing, the interrelationship between craft-making and writing, writing with a community, and writing with a partner (specifically my husband).

It’s a long interview, about 50 minutes, so get comfy!

It certainly made me blush from all the compliments.

Go listen to it.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Crushing It puzzle

Crushing It

There’s this site that allows for any picture to be transformed into a digital puzzle. For free. And you can play for free.

I used it for the cover of Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. See that puzzle here.

And now, here is the puzzle for Crushing It!

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Which Character Are You? Crushing It edition

Crushing It
Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Mini MSN Chats 8-10

Crushing It

Here follows the accounts of 2003-version MSN chats between Tommy and Carter, set in the middle of Crushing It as they navigate their long-distance relationship.

MSN chat #8
MSN chat #9
MSN chat #10
Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Discussion Questions for Crushing It

Crushing It

Download the printable Discussion Guide

  1. Crushing It is set in 2003. How would the story be different if it was set in the present day?
  2. Throughout the book, Tommy is completely unaware of the magical world surrounding him in Westmeath. Do you think it would have changed anything if he had noticed?
  3. Tommy and his mother are at odds at the beginning of the book. Who do you feel more empathy for? Can you see the other’s point of view?
  4. Icebreakers are a staple of camps. How do they make you feel? What type do you prefer?
  5. Do you think Tommy’s reactions and feelings when he realized he was gay were relatable? Have you ever had a crush on someone you didn’t expect? How did you feel and react?
  6. The technology in Westmeath is much more advanced than it was in real life in 2003. How does this affect the story?
  7. We only see Carter’s point of view at three points during the book. How would the story have been different if it had been equal parts from his POV?
  8. Long distance relationships are difficult, but in what ways is it a good thing for Tommy and Carter? How is it a struggle?
  9. Two themes that tie the book together are music and science. Can you think of more?
  10. The world isn’t ending in the book. Do you think it being low-stakes, or cosy, is a strength or a weakness?
  11. Suppose Crushing It became a movie or a TV show. Who would you pick to play the roles? (You can check out my dream casting for ideas) What aspects of the book would you want to see more of? What would be the most difficult part of filming?
Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

“Crushing It” Review 6

Crushing It was sent out for reviews in May, and I’ve received some in return. Here’s one from author S.M. Carriere:

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

The Hidden Magical World in Westmeath

Crushing It

How do you write an urban fantasy if your main protagonist has no idea that he lives in a magical world? How do you let the readers who are introduced to the Aetherverse in Crushing It know that there even is a magical world, if your protagonist is unaware that it exists?

I had to figure out the answers to these questions once I realized that this book was, well, a book.

I decided to bookend the main content with a secondary point of view; that of Carter, the love interest. He grew up in the magical community and knows almost everything there is to know about it.

In the prologue, he and Kennedy are talking about the imminent arrival of her brother, who Jason wants to keep in the dark regarding the magical community. It’s Jason’s perogative; as the soon to be brother-in-law, he wants to get a feel for Tommy’s character before introducing life-changing information.

Then the interlude shows Carter’s anxiety over keeping such a big secret from Tommy. Will he be upset once he finds out? He won’t be told until the wedding, which doesn’t happen in this book!

Finally, the epilogue is a letter from Carter to Tommy counting down the days until the wedding. His excitement over finally getting to tell the secret is obvious.

The novellette at the end of the book, also from Carter’s POV, starts to really show his strengths and skills… and mistakes.

One of the benefits of leaving the main character out of the loop regarding the magical community: in book 2, I can introduce it to both the readers and the character at once. Not only does this happen in book 2 of Lucky in Love, but the explanation is in book 2 of The Gates of Westmeath as well as a nice little recap! Win-win, in my book! (Pun intended)

I don’t want to spoil too many surprises now, in the hopes that book 2 will be published in the future, but if you want to sneak a peek at what our magical world looks like (and you want to keep it in the Young Adult category), check out Éric’s Baker City Mysteries series! Book 4 came out this year!

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

The Mystery of the Dancing Lights by Éric Desmarais is available now!
Physical from Canadian indie bookstores, physical from Indigo, electronic version

What if Carter had Instagram?

Crushing It

That was the question I asked myself as I watched a fun instagram for a contemporary romance. This is the result, and I’m super proud of it.

If Instagram had existed in 2003, this is what Carter would’ve posted during the first portion of the book Crushing It:

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

What if Tommy had Instagram?

Crushing It

That was the question I asked myself as I watched a fun instagram for a contemporary romance. This is the result, and I’m super proud of it.

If Instagram had existed in 2003, this is what Tommy would’ve posted during the first portion of the book Crushing It:

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version