Ira Bloom: The Book That Changed My Life + Blog Tour Contest

Today, we’ve got a really great guest post from Hearts & Other Body Parts author Ira Bloom, talking about the book that changed his life. PLUS keep reading for more about his book and your chance to win a copy, as we host today’s stop on the official blog tour.

I’d always wanted to be a writer; it’s what I set out to do. I even majored in English literature at the University of Maryland. But you know, life goes on. I got married, had kids, ran a business with my wife for years… and somehow never made the time to write, with my busy schedule. Until I read HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE. It’s the fourth book in the series, the one that won the HUGO award. I’d read the other three, and had been looking forward to the next installment for what seemed like forever.

I noticed, as I got toward the middle of the book, that I didn’t want it to ever end, and that was the first time I’d ever had that experience. I’d studied Chaucer and Shakespeare at the university. I won’t bore people iterating the list of classic and acclaimed literature I read to get that degree. I enjoyed very little of it. It took a children’s book to get me back in touch with why I love books so much, and why I’d chosen to study literature in the first place. The Harry Potter series launched that same love of reading for multiple generations of young readers as well.

It wasn’t long after GOBLET OF FIRE that I came up with an idea for a YA novel and started scheduling time a few days a week to sit down and write. I spent six years writing my first book, and a few more trying to get it into some semblance of order. I didn’t get that book published, but in the process of writing it I put in the hours and taught myself what not to do. The second book got me an agent, and the third book finally found a home with my dream editor at Scholastic. Yes, the same company that published the Harry Potter series.

A novel of love and monsters.

Sisters Esme, Katy, and Ronnie are smart, talented, and gorgeous, and better yet . . . all three are witches. They have high school wired until the arrival of two new students. The first is Norman, who is almost eight feet tall and appears to be constructed of bolts and mismatched body parts. Despite his intimidating looks, Esme finds herself strangely — almost romantically — drawn to both his oversized brain and oversized heart.

The second new arrival is Zack, an impossibly handsome late transfer from the UK who has the girls at school instantly mesmerized. Soon even sensible Esme has forgotten Norman, and all three sisters are in a flat-out hex war to win Zack. But while the magic is flying, only Norman seems to notice that students who wander off alone with Zack end up with crushed bones and memory loss. Or worse, missing entirely.

Hearts & Other Body Parts is a wickedly addictive novel about love, monsters, and loyalty. And oh yeah, a Japanese corpse-eating demon cat.

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In stores TODAY!

I grew up in Annapolis Maryland. My mother is an artist and my father was a judge on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

I studied English Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. I also have some background in Eastern religions. After college I moved to Japan, where I taught ESL. I married a beautiful Japanese woman named Yasuko, moved to LA and taught junior high school English, ESL, and Japanese for the Los Angeles Unified School district. I am conversational in Japanese, but by no means consider myself fluent. After serving my debt to society in LA Unified, I went into the fashion business with my wife, who is a very talented fashion designer and is likely to read this, so I can’t say enough good things about her. We eventually branched into the vintage kimono business. I probably know more about Japanese textiles than any straight white man you’re likely to encounter. I’ve been writing humor for FUNNY TIMES since 2010. I currently live in West Sonoma County with my family and an assortment of furry beasts.

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3 winners will receive a finished copy of HEARTS & OTHER BODY PARTS. U.S. only.

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Week One:

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