Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Last Things Blog Tour: Read an Exclusive Guest Post from Author Jacqueline West on Her Inspiration ~ Plus a Print Book Giveaway!

Last Things
by Jacqueline West
Publisher: Greenwillow
Release Date: May 7th 2019
Genre: Young adult, Fantasy


When strange things start happening to local music idol Anders Thorson, everyone blames his number-one fan, Thea. But is she out to hurt him? Or protect him?

High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus of head-turning admiration. And Thea; Malcom, a newcomer to the insular town, is one of his admirers. Thea seems to turn up everywhere Anders goes: gigs at the local coffeehouse, guitar lessons, even in the woods near Anders’s home. When strange things start happening to Anders—including the disappearance of his beloved cat, then his sort-of girlfriend, and, somehow, his musical talent—blame immediately falls on Thea. But is she trying to hurt him? Or save him? Can he trust a girl who doesn’t seem to know the difference between dreams and reality? And how much are they both willing to compromise to get what they want?


Inspiration: Coffee Shops
by Jacqueline West

LAST THINGS literally wouldn’t exist without coffee shops.

Like a lot of writers, I need coffee shops to get my work done. I don’t just need the coffee (although that’s certainly part of it). I need the atmosphere, the lack of at-home distractions, and the chance to be around people while being entirely inside of my own head at the same time.

So a huge amount of LAST THINGS was written in coffee shops. I wrote the very first pages in a former grain mill in a small Wisconsin town, huddled between an exposed brick wall and a cheerful fireplace, with a cappuccino beside me. (Those pages were also set in a coffee shop, which made for ridiculously perfect symmetry.) I wrote big chunks of LAST THINGS at Philz Coffee just off Market Street in San Francisco, where plate glass windows framed the crowds hurrying past, and pigeons waddled around my feet. I discussed chapters with my critique group in the high-ceilinged café at Open Book in Minneapolis. I scribbled at the little marble-topped tables at Kopplin’s Coffee in St. Paul. I hid in the corners of the coffee shops in my small Minnesota town, imagining the lives of my characters in their own small Minnesota town.

Just like me, LAST THINGS needed a coffee shop: a space where people would come to create, to talk, to listen to music, to people-watch, to take shelter from the world outside. That’s where the Crow’s Nest came from.

The Crow’s Nest doesn’t exist in the real world, but if it did, I would definitely want to write there. I might actually want to live there. The Crow’s Nest is a coffeehouse in the woods outside a small Minnesota town, its walls covered with art and tattered flyers, its patio filled with mismatched furniture and junkyard sculptures. In the evenings, it hosts live music—and its big draw is the already legendary local metal band, Last Things.

The Crow’s Nest was inspired in part by a long-gone coffee shop in the town where I grew up (it was called the Java Hut, and it was a tiny bungalow that had been converted into a four-room café full of art and live jazz), in part by the Spider House Café in Austin, Texas (check it out if you ever get the chance), and in part by the slightly creepy bars that you can find off the backroads in the Minnesota woods. Without the Crow’s Nest as a gathering place, as a creative hub, as a reason for a bunch of slightly odd people to come together, the plot of LAST THINGS wouldn’t have gotten off the ground.

So LAST THINGS literally wouldn’t exist without coffee shops. Not its setting. Not its story. And not its scribbly coffee-stained drafts that slowly turned into a book. Thank you, coffee shops. I’m lifting my mug to you.

Jacqueline West is the author of the New York Times bestselling middle-grade series The Books of Elsewhere, the YA novel Dreamers Often Lie, and the new middle-grade fantasy The Collectors.

She is also the author of two poetry collections, Cherma and Candle and Pins: Poems on Superstitions, and her poetry and short fiction appear in a variety of publications.

She lives in Red Wing, Minnesota, with her family.



Two lucky winners will receive a physical copy of Last Things by Jacqueline West! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.
Starts: April 29, 2019
Ends: May 12, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Susan!

  2. Vera Wilson said,

    Thanks for the chance, always looking for something new to read.

    snoopysnop1 at yahoo dot com

  3. I like the book cover. This sounds like a good fantasy story. Fantasy and sci-fi are my favorite genres.


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