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Tour & #Giveaway: Babe in the Woods by Jude Hopkins

@charlotte.butler.18, @GoddessFishPromotions


@hotchoc84, @GoddessFish, @HeyJudeNotJudy


It’s September 1995, the first year of the rest of Hadley Todd's life. After living in Los Angeles, Hadley returns to her hometown in rural New York to write and be near her father. In addition to looking after him and teaching high school malcontents, Hadley hopes to channel her recent L.A. heartbreak into a play about the last moment of a woman’s innocence. But she seeks inspiration. Enter Trey Harding, a young, handsome reporter who covers sports at the high school. Trey reminds Hadley of her L.A. ex and is the perfect spark to fire up her imagination. The fact that Trey is an aspiring rock star and she has L.A. record biz connections makes the alliance perfect. She dangles promises of music biz glory while watching his moves. But the surprising twist that transpires when the two of them go to Hollywood is not something Hadley prepared for.

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She picked up her books. She felt alive, all senses on the alert. If Trey reminded her of Derek, then they must be part of a type, members of the same genus and species. What was the proper name for a conclave of these guys? An assembly of assholes? A gaggle of gigolos? A bundle of bounders? Oh, but they had something these guys. They could make her life a dream whether she was sipping Dom Perignon with him at The Plaza or swilling moonshine with him on a back porch. Those guys could change the lens all right.

Trey would be easy to observe, too. He was an alpha male in a jungle of willing women out in the middle of nowhere. He had enough girlfriends around here that she could easily watch and record his interactions with them. As long as these women were OK with being snookered by such a playboy, she might as well learn as much as possible and make the proverbial lemonade out of a bowl of sour fruit.

“Have you forgotten? You were one of them,” an inner voice reminded her.

She corrected her posture and straightened up to her full 5’8” height. All of a sudden she was twenty again. It wasn’t only the play that interested her. He interested her. Besides, their names were linked. They formed a chiasmus – almost.

4 out of 5 (very good)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Being a woman heading towards forty this actually resonated with me. It highlights the wants and needs that are ever present and how we can convince ourselves of certain things, alongside doing many things at once.

Hadley, our lovely main character, is strong and independent. She's also likeable and a survivor of the well-known thing... heartbreak.

Babe in the Woods is my box of chocolates read, accompanied by a favourite drink and snuggled up on the sofa. Alternatively, gift it to a friend so you can have a natter about it over a coffee! It's fun and flirty but with an emotional edge.

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

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Jude Hopkins has published essays in The Los Angeles Times, Medium, the belladonna—and poetry in various journals including Gyroscope Review, Timber Creek Review and California Quarterly.

It has always been her desire to write. She was featured in Dickinson College’s literary magazine when she was an undergraduate. One poem in particular, Mixed Metaphors,” contrasted two viewpoints in a lakeside scene: one of a romantic young woman who thought the wind was blowing through her hair like an Aeolian harp; the other, that of her suitor who believed the water looked as cold as hell. Ah, love’s different sensibilities! What she lost in that relationship, she gained from her sojourn at Dickinson, earning her Phi Beta Kappa key while there, as well as a desire to continue her education.

Then it was on to graduate school at Arizona State University where studying for her master’s degree in English and grading essays as a teaching assistant took most of her time (and partying — it was ASU, for Pete’s sake). However, she did have a germ of an idea for a self-help book that she began outlining, fueled by many a Thermos bottle of Dunkin’ coffee.

It wasn’t until she moved to L.A. that she thought about writing a proposal for that self-help book. She got some bites from agents. Top agents. But working three jobs took precedence. (One of those jobs was at a Hollywood record company where she met a Beatle, among other artists.)

When she finally moved back to Pennsylvania, she began seriously writing again, squeezing in time to pen some poems between endless essay grading at one of the University of Pittsburgh’s branch campuses. As an adjunct English instructor, Jude was uncompromising on what she expected from her students, knowing they were capable of achieving great things when challenged, but she tried to balance the hard work with humor. Nevertheless, she knew that discipline and knowledge could turn even the most reluctant student into a pretty good writer. To achieve that end, the cellphones had to be put away, and attention had to be paid. The result? Some model research papers and essays from memorable students (she taught English in Pennsylvania, New York state, California and Arizona).

The need to write something besides comments on student essays gnawed at her. One day, she took out her old self-help book manuscript from a cobwebby drawer and began the process of turning it into a novel. That novel became “Babe in the Woods” and will be traditionally published by Wild Rose Press sometime in 2023. She blogs about that novel, so, readers, please follow her blogs as she updates everyone on the book's progress. Please also check out her essays and poems, also featured herein.


Tour hosted by: Goddess Fish Promotions

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