“Crushing It” Review 5

Crushing It was sent out for reviews in May, and I’ve received some in return. Here’s one from bookstagrammer JourneytoBiscovery:

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and @flowerraven93 on Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

How I crushed the writing of “Crushing It”

Crushing It

It was 2021, and I had just finished writing Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers with Éric. We’d gotten feedback from the first beta reader, and it was effusive.

I was writing short stories for our Short Story Collection (currently on submission) and I thought, “I’d like to write something about Kennedy’s younger brother, Tommy. I wonder what his story is.”

I decided he had to come to Westmeath, and thought it would be cool to write about the tech side of the city. I already had a built-in friend for Tommy in Carter, from Assassins, and I was looking forward to writing more of his character, especially after some of the short stories I had written. I added Elyse, Rachel’s younger sister, and thus the trio was complete.

Beyond that, my jot notes were the classes during the March Break camp at Door Tech, and that was it.

I started writing during “March” Break, which was in April in 2021. I wrote pretty much the entire thing on my phone, thumb-swiping as I nursed my youngest to sleep. It was taking literal hours for sleep to come, so I had quite a bit of dedicated writing time.

I had told myself, before I started writing, that this wasn’t going to be a romance. The trio would be friends.

Wow did a curveball ever get thrown my way when Tommy’s reactions to Carter were so shy and awkward. I was super confused at first. Why was he reacting like that?

And then I figured out that he had a crush!

I panicked.

I’m not gay. I didn’t know if I should be writing his story since I wasn’t gay!

So I messaged my publisher and asked his opinion. I believe I also talked to a couple other queer authors to ask what they thought as well, but I don’t remember who.

The unanimous response was “Go for it! He’s your character. If he’s gay, then that’s what you should write!”

I went back to add a little bit more obvious reactions, and then continued writing. I got to the end of the camp, sent Tommy home, and added the novella to the collection of completed works.

Halfway through July, I told Éric that I wanted to write fanfic for Tommy. He thought that was hilarious and told me to write actual content.

So I started writing a short story about what happened to Tommy after he got home. At this point, I introduced Faith.

And I got an idea to have them go to a STEM competition. A province-wide competition that would take place in Toronto, so I could have the boys meet up again.

My jot notes expanded to include the competition topics. (If you’re keeping track, that means my jot notes were the sum of a list of classes and a list of competition activities.)

And I wrote. I was still writing at night while nursing, thumb-swiping on my phone. I would guess that 90% of this book was written in this way.

I did research into the science behind things. I got help from Éric, my mom, and my sister for various topics (especially the coding!).

And then one day I did a word count.

I sheepishly went to Éric and told him, “I think I’m writing a book.”

He said, “I know.”

Oops.

And that’s how I accidentally wrote a book!

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and @flowerraven93 on Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Mini MSN Chats 6-7

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 #6.1
MSN chat #6.2
MSN chat #7
Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and @flowerraven93 on Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

“Crushing It” Review 4

Crushing It was sent out for reviews in May, and I’ve received some in return. Here’s one from Éric Desmarais:

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and @flowerraven93 on Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Our Tropes

The tropes we use in Crushing It and The Mystery of the Dancing Lights:

No angst romance, hidden magical world, young adult, cozy romance, detailed worldbuilding, partial dual POV, queer, STEM & music
Time loop mystery, hidden magical world, young adult, urban fantasy, detailed worldbuilding, time travel, dual POV, summer camp
Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and @flowerraven93 on 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

“Crushing It” Review 3

Crushing It was sent out for reviews in May, and I’ve received some in return. Here’s one from bookstagrammer @JourneytoBiscovery:

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and @flowerraven93 on Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

The science behind Crushing It

Crushing It

Probably one of the biggest hurdles I had in writing this book was the science. Writing it clearly enough that readers could follow along, but not get bogged down by the science, was hard.

I think my favourite science part was the obstacle course ice breaker in the March Break camp. I had a lot of fun planning that out, and I even made the modified version of it that we recorded for the cover reveal video. My eldest and her friend completed it together.

The STEM competition was more difficult, mostly because I had to make it more advanced. I discussed the five different sections with Éric beforehand, finally deciding on optics, electronics, programming (part 1 & 2), construction, and mystery.

A bit of background on me: I have a Bachelor of Science, so I took many many post-secondary science classes. Do I remember them? Not in the slightest.

However, I do remember how to research for them. Mostly.

Éric (a huge science nerd) was a huge help with all of it, but especially the optics and mystery.

My mom (has her masters in computer science) and sister (has her bachelors in a information technology) were invaluable for the programming section. I was able to suggest solutions and they would explain why they would or wouldn’t work. Most of that discussion went into the book.

Overall, I had a lot of fun writing the science of the book, and I hope you have fun and learn a little while reading it. This is not a science book, but I tried to make it as accurate as possible.

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and @flowerraven93 on Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Mini MSN Chats 4-5

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 #4.1
MSN chat #4.2
MSN chat #5
Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and @flowerraven93 on Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Crushing It Style Comps

Crushing It is a queer YA cosy romance with low stakes. There are several other books that have a similar style, in one way or another, to my book. Here is the image I made with all the covers of the style comparisons.

Books and TV shows that have a similar style as Crushing It. Pictures of Heartstopper Vol 1-4 by Alice Oseman, And They Lived… by Steven Salvatore, Out of the Blue by Jason June, So This is Ever After by F. T. Lukens, Camp by L. C. Rosen, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, Stuck With You by ‘Nathan Burgoine, Then Everything Happens at Once by M-E Girard, In The Key of Dale by Benjamin Lefebvre, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan, Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Disney’s High School Musical The Musical The Series, Young Royals, Sex Education, Love, Simon, and Love Victor all surround the image of the book Crushing It by Jen Desmarais.

Summary

After an epic grounding for some bad decisions with even worse friends, Tommy is lucky to even go to the Door Tech March Break camp. There, he crosses paths with Carter Batudev, and chemistry isn’t just for the classroom. With love and a renewed interest in STEM, Tommy returns home to Parry Sound, where, to the relief of his parents, he makes better friends, and joins the STEM club.

When the club goes to the province-wide competition in Toronto, he’s reunited with Carter, whose team is also competing. Thus ensues a wild long weekend full of romance, hijinks, STEM, and singing.

Includes a novelette from Carter’s POV at the dinner theatre show Knights of Everdome.

The first book in the Lucky in Love series.

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and @flowerraven93 on Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version

Spotify Music Playlist for Crushing It

Crushing It

Crushing It has some pretty great music in it, so I made a spotify playlist of all the songs, in the order they appear within the book.

Do you think you can figure out what happens during each song?

Songs in order of appearance

  • “I Want You” by Savage Garden
  • “Get To Know You” by Tommy Fairfield*
  • “Clocks” by Coldplay
  • “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child
  • “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” by Jane Taylor (nursery rhyme)
  • “Old MacDonald Had A Farm” by Thomas d’Urfey (nursery rhyme)
  • “Puff, The Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul, and Mary
  • “Cartoon Heroes (Speedy Mix)” by Barbie Young
  • “In The Navy ‘99 (XXL Disaster Remix)” by CAPTAIN JACK
  • “Sexy Planet” by Crystal Aliens
  • “Circle of Life” by Elton John and Tim Rice
  • “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” by Elton John and Tim Rice
  • “Hakuna Matata” by Elton John and Tim Rice
  • “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” by Elton John and Tim Rice
  • “Be Prepared” by Elton John and Tim Rice

*Artist is fictional

Read about my thoughts on music in this book here!

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and @flowerraven93 on Instagram

Crushing It by Jen Desmarais is available now!

Physical from Canadian indie bookstoresphysical from Indigo, electronic version