Monday, May 23, 2016

100 Days of Cake Blog Tour + Giveaway

When I was given the chance to be on the blog tour for this book, I was so excited! I used to read books in verse in middle and high school all the time but it went down as I entered college. Finding Ask Me How I Got Here was a great surprise! I'll have my review up once I've finished with school but I'm so excited to share the guest post Christine! 

Top Ten Images That Inspired The Book 

A yellow cake soggy with white sludge
When I was a kid, someone gave me a children’s cookbook of “simple” recipes. The first (and last) thing I attempted was this cake with meringue topping. The cake part came out okay-ish, but I couldn’t whip those egg whites into peaks despite a good half out of trying. Finally, I figured the meringue might just firm up once it was on the cake, so I poured it (it wasn’t thick enough to spread) on the top layer. . .and it just ran off into sticky puddles. This was exactly what I saw when I was envisioning Molly’s mom and her cake mistakes.
A girl in a closet with clothes strewn about
Like Molly, I’ve had bouts with depression. About a decade ago, I was trying to get dressed for some work thing, and absolutely nothing in my closet was right. Everything I tried on made me look too fat or too wrinkled or too sallow too something. Non-depressed me would have put on the first reasonably functional thing, maybe vowed to hit the gym more, and then gotten on with the day. But depressed me just sat there on the floor surrounded by all these discarded dresses and shirts.

When I was thinking how to illustrate what’s going on in Molly’s mind, that image came back to me. I even wrote a scene where Molly has a similar closet meltdown.

Rue McClanahan, Betty White, and Bea Arthur naked behind giant cardboard hearts
Golden Girls has so many amazing moments, but one of the most vivid for me is the episode where Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose accidentally book a Valentine’s Day vacation at a nude resort. After camping out in their room for days, they finally get up the nerve to strip down and go to dinner in the buff. But they’re still embarrassed, so on the way, they pick up and hide behind hide these giant heart-shaped signs. When they finally get to the dining room, they drop them, but of course everyone else is dressed because it turns out they always dress for dinner (as the rude maĆ®tre de informs them).

I wanted Molly to be obsessed with some old TV shows and that image was the first thing that popped into my head.
A Stuffed Animal Pelt headdress
Friends of mine made Halloween costumes one year by hallowing out old stuffed animals and wearing the shells. It was disturbing, but I always wanted to use that in something I wrote. Elle’s rabid possum of a little brother seemed like the very kind of creative/misunderstood kid who would slaughter a stuffed animal and wear it on his head.

Smaller exhibits at the Georgia Aquarium
Molly and Alex don’t actually go to an aquarium, but when they fix up the store, I envisioned some of their tanks looking a little like those smaller aquarium exhibits that no one pays much attention to because they’re not as sexy as the sharks or penguins. It’s a bit of a shame because they are really beautiful.
An empty swimming pool
 A pool without water is a startlingly strange thing to look at—it’s like someone literally pulled the plug on the fun. But for Molly, who associates pools with her freak-out during a sophomore year swim meet, it’s very comforting when she and Elle go to Chris’ end of the year party and see the pool isn’t filled.

Beautiful girl with flour in her hair
I have dark hair; it’s pretty noticeable when you get anything white in it. Right around one of the most intense moments of 100 Days of Cake, V happens to get flour bombed (it makes sense; I promise). It was kind of a way for me to add levity to the scene. You have all this heavy emotion and this big confrontation, but as Veronica is yelling she also looks like some high school drama teacher dumped baby powder on her head so she’d look like an old woman for a play.
A model home created for a fantasy family
 A friend moved into a new development (in Florida like Molly!) where the builders had several homes staged to show potential buyers how amazeballs their houses could be. Some of the models were really cool, but I was shocked by how specific they were since I knew the developer would eventually try to sell them. Like one really had a tricked out sewing room, others had nurseries or very gendered children’s bedrooms with wall murals, one had a mini yoga studio.

I kept wondering what it would be for the people who bought those models—to live in a place where everything was beautifully set up, but not for you. So I loved the idea of Molly and her family living in a place like that—someone else’s dream home.

Upscale hair salon bustling with people
I’ve been to so many salons where everything feels rushed. People are thumbing through old magazines as they wait to get shampooed or whatever, and there’s this sort of nervous energy. Occasionally though, you find a place that’s really busy, but everyone seems like they’re actually happy to be there. Customers are talking to each other and the stylists, there’s fun music, the wall art is more interesting than creepy super stylized hair models. Molly’s mom’s salon—Dye Another Day—is one of those places where people actually look forward to going.
Two girls pushing their bikes 
To me this just says summer; there’s something relaxing about slowing down and stopping for ice cream, which is exactly what V and Elle do!  

Get well soon isn’t going to cut it in this quirky and poignant debut novel about a girl, her depression, an aggressive amount of baked goods, and the struggle to simply stay afloat in an unpredictable, bittersweet life.

There are only three things that can get seventeen-year-old Molly Byrne out of bed these days: her job at FishTopia, the promise of endless episodes of Golden Girls, and some delicious lo mien. You see, for the past two years, Molly’s been struggling with something more than your usual teenage angst. Her shrink, Dr. Brooks isn’t helping much, and neither is her mom who is convinced that baking the perfect cake will cure Molly of her depression—as if cake can magically make her rejoin the swim team, get along with her promiscuous sister, or care about the SATs.

Um, no. Never going to happen.

But Molly plays along, stomaching her mother’s failed culinary experiments, because, whatever—as long as it makes someone happy, right? Besides, as far as Molly’s concerned, hanging out with Alex at the rundown exotic fish store makes life tolerable enough. Even if he does ask her out every…single…day. But—sarcastic drum roll, please—nothing can stay the same forever. When Molly finds out FishTopia is turning into a bleak country diner, her whole life seems to fall apart at once. Soon she has to figure out what—if anything—is worth fighting for.

After serious pursuits of literature at Northwestern (BSJ) and Ohio State (MFA), Shari Goldhagen discovered she had a knack for sifting through celebrity trash and worked as a gossip writer for publications including The National Enquirer, Us Weekly, and Life & Style Weekly. And her articles on pop culture, travel and relationships have appeared everywhere from Cosmopolitan to Penthouse. She has received fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell and currently lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
LINKS: Website | Twitter

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
5/16: Swoony Boys Podcast
5/17: Rebelle Reads
5/18: Bookish Realm Reviews
5/19: One Curvy Blogger
5/20: Readwritelove28

Week 2:
5/23: Life According to a Bibliophile (You are HERE)
5/24: YA Indulgences
5/25: Book Stacks Amber
5/26: Here's to Happy Endings
5/27: Reading the Blues Away

3 Finished Copies of ASK ME HOW I GOT HERE (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Andi and Shari for letting me be on this tour and Sheri for the guest post!


  1. Danielle HammelefMay 23, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    Fun post today! i love your cake story and I remember that episode of Golden Girls! Hilarious!

  2. What a fun list! I can't wait to read this book!

  3. I liked this fun post! Makes me want to read the book!