Title: Two Across by Jeff Bartsch
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Literary Fiction
Length: 304 pages
Highly awkward teenager Stanley Owens meets his match in beautiful, brainy Vera Baxter when they tie for first place in the annual National Spelling Bee-and the two form a bond that will change both of their lives.
Though their mothers have big plans for them-Stanley will become a senator, Vera a mathematics professor-neither wants to follow these pre-determined paths. So Stanley hatches a scheme to marry Vera in a sham wedding for the cash gifts, hoping they will enable him to pursue his one true love: crossword puzzle construction. In enlisting Vera to marry him, though, he neglects one variable: she’s secretly in love with him, which makes their counterfeit ceremony an exercise in misery for her.
Realizing the truth only after she’s moved away and cut him out of her life, Stanley tries to atone for his mistakes and win her back. But he’s unable to find her, until one day he comes across a puzzle whose clues make him think it could only have been created by Vera. Intrigued, he plays along, communicating back to her via his own gridded clues. But will they connect again before it’s all too late?
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Jeff Bartsch is the son of an English professor, and grew up surrounded by stories and literature. He studied creative writing at the University of Wisconsin, and held the Katey Lehman Fellowship in creative writing at Penn State University. Before his career as an advertising copywriter, he worked at the U.S. Postal Service, a plastics factory, a video monitoring service, delivered wedding cakes, was a baker, and an architects’ assistant. He wrote this book on New Jersey Transit trains while commuting to and from the New York City. Jeff grew up in Wisconsin, and has lived in San Francisco, Boston, and New York. His many adventures along the way include being held up at gunpoint, chasing down a purse snatcher, winning a trophy in a pool tournament, acting in a Woody Allen play in Germany, bicycling halfway across the country, and delivering newspapers on the coldest day in Milwaukee’s recorded history at minus 26 degrees. He’s an avid cyclist, home brewer and cook, and currently lives in New York with his inspiring daughter and their collection of imagination vehicles, commonly known as books. Learn more about Jeff at www.jeff–bartsch.com.
I am giving one PRINT copy of Two Across. Please Note: contest is open to US/Canadian addresses ONLY. To enter today’s contest, fill out the form below by 5 PM mountain time Monday September 7:
The novel for this giveaway was generously provided by Grand Central Publishing. GCP will mail the prize to the winner of the contest.