By: Leslie Hauser
Publisher: Pen Name Publishing
Publication Date: July 11th, 2017
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.
Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.
The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.
I’m so excited to introduce you to Chasing Eveline! The idea for Chasing Eveline was born from my love of music. I need music in the same way I need air to breathe and food as fuel. Every major moment in my life—sad, exhilarating, significant—has a song playing right beside it. The story of my life could really be told through one giant mixed tape. Since music is such a big part of my life, I wanted—in fact, I needed—to do something to show my gratitude, much the way my character Ivy does with all her fan letters. So I wrote Chasing Eveline as a giant love letter to music. Anyone who has ever made a break-up mixed tape or an iPod party mix or burned a CD of new music tracks for a friend will relate to Ivy and connect with her story.
Music is a comfort to Ivy in the same way it is for me. But do you know what else is a comfort to me? (Of course you don’t, haha!) Tea! My love for tea began in college. On Sunday nights, my three roommates and I gathered around the old, water-stained wooden kitchen table in our tiny two-bedroom Westwood apartment and drank tea and chatted. It was one of the only times we were all together each week. Even today amidst our busy lives, my college roommates and I still gather once a year for a holiday tea at some swanky Los Angeles hotel. I love tea because it brings people together, just like music does. (I suppose I could have made Ivy’s life a lot easier if I’d just had her drink some tea!)
Chasing Eveline Tea combines this comfort of tea with something else I love so so much: dessert. It’s a dessert tea! “A harmonizing blend of spices with warm notes of vanilla and a measure of cardamom (heavy on the “mom”). Meant to be shared.” I’m so excited to share it here as part of the SerendipiTEA Tour, and I’ll also be sharing it as a part of other giveaways as well. Be sure to follow me on social media for details!
Since Chasing Eveline is all about music and my love for music, you might be wondering if I have a playlist for the novel. Of course I do! It’s a combination of songs that inspired the story and songs that give me all the feels.
Chasing Eveline Mixed Tape
Side A: Ivy’s Theme Songs
- “Blues Run the Game” – Jackson C. Frank
- “Both Sides Now” – Joni Mitchell
- “Downtown Train” – Tom Waits
- “Thieves Like Us” – New Order
- “I Know It’s Over” – The Smiths
Side B: Give Me All the Feels!
- “So Here We Are” – Bloc Party
- “Fake Empire” – The National
- “New York” – Blind Pilot
- “Say Hey (I Love You)” – Michael Franti & Spearhead
- “State Hospital” – Frightened Rabbit
(Bonus Track) 11. “Believing” – Nashville Cast
Leslie Hauser teaches middle school English and history. She is a Midwesterner at heart—born in Cincinnati, Ohio—but currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her dog Mr. Darcy. This is her debut novel. Visit Leslie at www.lesliehauser.com.
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