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Available 4.15.24

How I Came To Sparkle Again by Kaya McLaren


Add to Wish List

Also by Kaya McLaren:

What's Worth Keeping, January 2021
Paperback / e-Book
The Road to Enchantment, December 2017
Mass Market Paperback
The Road To Enchantment, February 2017
Trade Size / e-Book
The Firelight Girls, October 2014
Paperback / e-Book
How I Came To Sparkle Again, October 2012
Hardcover / e-Book

How I Came To Sparkle Again
Kaya McLaren

St. Martin's Press
October 2012
On Sale: October 2, 2012
352 pages
ISBN: 1250013879
EAN: 9781250013873
Kindle: B007TJ570S
Hardcover / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Women's Fiction Contemporary

Set in a Colorado ski town, Kaya McLaren's How I Came To Sparkle Again is a remarkable breakout novel that chronicles three people and their journey from loss to love; heartbreak to hope

Jill Anthony spent her young adulthood in the ski town of Sparkle, Colorado. But more than a decade has passed since she left when, only weeks after a very late miscarriage, she finds her husband in bed with another woman, she flees Austin, Texas for the town she knows: Sparkle.

Lisa Carlucci wakes up one morning after another night of meaningless sex, looks in the mirror and realizes that she no longer wants to treat her body like a Holiday Inn. She’s going to hold out for love. The only problem is, love might come in the form of her ski bum best friend, who lives next door with his ski bum friends in a trailer known as “the Kennel.”

Cassie Jones, at age ten, has lost her mother to cancer and no longer believes in anything anymore. She knows her father is desperately worried about her, and she constantly looks for messages from her deceased mother through the heart-shaped rocks they once collected in the streams and hills of Sparkle.

Three people at the crossroads of heartbreak and healing. Three lives that will be changed one winter in Sparkle. One tender, funny, tear-jerking novel you won’t soon forget.


45 comments posted.

Re: How I Came To Sparkle Again

We live in the country, and I certainly enjoyed your discussion on directions. Even Google had it wrong at first in their mapping. We are south of a highway and they had us north. What a hoot! We do have roadsigns now, and that works well.
(Marjorie Carmony 6:19am November 29, 2012)

I had never thought of directions that way, and now my life has a new delight-- thank you!

Directions to our less-accessible house: Go west on Harmony. You'll pass Shields, then Taft Hill, then you'll go up the first ridge, and down past the first lobe of the reservoir. On your left you'll see a sign welcoming you to the town of Stout, population 47 1/2. Stou's actually under the reservoir now, but they saved the sign. Then you'll go up the second ridge, and down past the second lobe of the reservoir. On your left you'll pass the Canyon Grill-- yeah, but it's not quite as much of a biker bar now, which is kind of a shame. Two right turns come up right after that. You want the second, the one that's going uphill. Yes, it's a gravel road. You'll wind around to the left as you climb, and then you'll reach a fork: keep left, and keep going uphill. Just about at the top of the hill , on the right, is our house. There's a wooden post with the number on it beside the pink cement driveway, and the house has a green metal roof and sort of pinky-tan walls. Yes, the driveway's long and steep. Don't go down if there's ice or snow: you might easily not get up again. You can park on the left, just past the driveway. Cuddle up against the side, though, so you don't obstruct what traffic there is. There's not much. You might well see deer. Fox aren't unlikely. A mountain lion is possible-- they've been seen out our way. Elk have happened by. Unfortunately rattelsnakes, while rare, are commoner than elk or mountain lions, so do please watch you step, and try not to sneak up on anything.
Mary Ann Dimand 7:16am November 29, 2012)

yepper,a great contest
Kent Cook 7:45am November 29, 2012)

I often get directions on the phone from people who ask me to come look at their trees. Sure enough, the ones who say turn at the convenience store just past the church, or whatever, are better than third right, second left. And often they say - and you'll see the trees!
Clare O'Beara 9:19am November 29, 2012)

I enjoyed your post today. We live in the city in the
foothills which is easily found so there is no problem
locating our home, GPS is the best method for most. Everything
in town is clearly indicated.
Sharon Berger 10:25am November 29, 2012)

By your descriptive directions I can tell I would truly enjoy reading "How I Came To Sparkle Again".
Not only do we live in the country, but in the mountains as well. Directions in this part of the country are always followed up with "down the road a piece" and "you can't miss it", but in truth you can. Roads, dead ends and "hollars" are often named after the folks that live on them but are never on signage. We usually wind up having folks call us when they get near and we talk them right up to our hidden driveway and eventually the house. Can't use GPS and Google Earth can't even find us!!
Beth Charette 10:37am November 29, 2012)

We live in town now but I know what you mean..we moved from the country where it was don't take the first 224th street, that's a dead end. Take the second one. Wait until the road turns to gravel and go one block. See that gorgeous house? no, it's not mine but you turn there and keep going and going and then you will see the road dip really low but stop before that and take a right at the giant bending tree over the road? Yeah, first driveway, stop at the gate and honk. We'll let you in. Man, I miss that. LOL
Kirsten Kimball 10:40am November 29, 2012)

Growing up in the country I never looked for roads, it was aways the "visual clues" - the broken barn with Mail Pouch still on it, and once you have seen the llama farm you have gone to far - go over the creek and by the second pond you will see a shed with a tree that just came down on it.. didn't matter if you were the one giving the directions or receiving them. I miss those days. I find I still give directions like that but it's more .. go through the second light and merge over to the left, turn and you will be heading east, pass the shopping center, you want to turn right when you see the bus stop (there are always people standing around there)..doesn't sound quite as nice as where I used to live and how I grew up, but all roads take you somewhere and it's good to take in the view :)
Carla Carlson 11:19am November 29, 2012)

I live in the middle of nowhere, as well. My GPS doesn't
even recognize my house or my mailbox as the right address.
Type in my mailing address and it puts that in the middle of
a cow field. Our directions consist of The fork in the road
where it turns to gravel on the right and continues pavement
on the left. Take the right fork (which is actually
straight) and go about 500 yards to another fork, etc...
Karin Anderson 11:23am November 29, 2012)

Well my family is used to giving directions with places or things that stand out... little landmarks that help locate a road, etc. Even I still get confused about road names... so it is easier to say it is by such and such.
Colleen Conklin 12:05pm November 29, 2012)

I would have to say the directions to my neck are a little mixed. During the Fall it is definitley colorful. Now that Winter is near, I have to watch more carefully for deer.
Lori Yost 12:20pm November 29, 2012)

We live in a very colorful part of town. Its a dead end road but I can look out my windows and see the mountains..
Tina Myers 12:30pm November 29, 2012)

I live in a county south of Atlanta, GA. It seems the people who named the roads picked one or two names that they liked and stuck to them. Peachtree is particularly popular. There is Peachtree Street, Peachtree Drive, Peachtree Blvd. It's enough to even confuse my GPS. Not to mention, roads were built along cow paths, so they wind and turn. The best part is you can be going straight on one road only to find yourself on another, and you never turned. If you ask for directions, you'll get something like, "Well you know where the old red farmhouse used to be out past the railroad tracks, go a mile or two past that and you'll see a big old magnolia tree, turn there and then look for the Dunwoody farm, and keep going straight past the pond, etc, etc. It's a hoot! If you're not a homegrown local, you can get lost pretty quickly.
Allison Moyer 12:34pm November 29, 2012)

Directions are not something I like to give - I tend to, as they say, get lost in a paper bag. So I'm the last one to try to give directions - people would never reach their destination. Your book sounds great. Thanks for a chance to win.
Nancy Reynolds 12:35pm November 29, 2012)

I live in a city that is platted on a grid so one only has to say go East at this
street and turn South. Or go North of Main Street. Most places are easily found.
Joy Isley 12:56pm November 29, 2012)

I live in a small town and use to have to give directions to my house. I can relate to the ones you gave. Anyway, time has passed and, thank goodness, we now have a 911 address that makes it simpler.
Anna Speed 12:59pm November 29, 2012)

I just loved reading all the comments from your fans. I too grew up in a rural area with no street signs. My father made a wooden sign with our road sign. He took a ladder down to a telephone pole and nailed it up for all to see. It lasted for a good thirty years, a bit weather-beaten, but still readable. A neighbor took the sign down when an offical sign was installed and gave it to my brother. It has it's own lane now between rows of Christmas trees.
Your book sounds like a great read.
Rosemary Simm 1:17pm November 29, 2012)

I had a good laugh at the directions. It reminded me of the first time I went to my friend's new house. She told me the land marks and then told me to ignore them and keep driving. This went on and on.lol
I live in a small town and the directions are very easy. The first time my son and his wife came over they said they laughed at my directions because they were so precise to the exact miles.
Rita Wray 1:19pm November 29, 2012)

Moved back to a small town and not used to giving directions
Leslie Davis 1:36pm November 29, 2012)

I live in a big city, so directions here need to be precise. Thanks for the post.
G S Moch 2:04pm November 29, 2012)

I live in a small town. Love giving directions just to see the confusion on people's faces.
Pamela Stewart 2:14pm November 29, 2012)

I may be city born and bred, but I still use visuals along with street names and numbers to tell people how to find my house!

For instance, I currently live on a street between two major roads. The street dead-ends at one of the roads, and crosses the other. So, if someone is on University, and wants to find my house, I tell them, "Take a right (or left, depending on whether they are in-bound or out-bound) at Brennan's, and go two blocks to the so-called "traffic calmers" (which really don't calm traffic - they just annoy us!), and take a right. If you go left, you're in someone's driveway, and they don't like that."

For where I grew up, it was even better: "Get on Whitney Way, and go under the Beltline. Take the first street to the left, and go up the hill. Halfway up, you turn left. If you try to turn right, you end up in someone's front yard, and they don't appreciate having strangers driving into the yard that way. It's the 4th driveway on the left, in the trees, and if you cross the first road on the left, you've gone too far. Turn around and come back to what is now the first driveway on your right after the street you shouldn't have crossed." Even with directions like that, people still missed the driveway, because they didn't believe we would have such a forest in the city!

And then there are the directions people give up in the Twin Cities, especially those that live in South St. Paul, which just happens to be north and west of East St. Paul, and ... Don't get me started!!

Thanks for a great posting!!


Lynn Rettig 2:22pm November 29, 2012)

I have got to be the most backwards person when it comes to giving directions. I tend to rely on establishments and landmarks to describe my location to people, but it hardly ever works and just winds up confusing them. For those inevitable times where I need directions I can usually follow...but some of the times when you ask strangers for directions, where I'm from, you get a very negative response. Yes, the joys of living in the city :)
Sarah Perry 3:18pm November 29, 2012)

Directions to our house are pretty straightforward as we live close to a state road. One caveat - if you're relying on gps be aware it will say our house is on the wrong side of the road no matter what direction you're coming from.

Our old house was easy too - just over the hill and turn at the second gate to the cemetery. We're across the street.
Karen Gervasi 3:32pm November 29, 2012)

hmmm. In my little city in New England, we do give directions by the corner 'spas' - the bread and milk stores on every corner - or by the pizza shops (there's one a few houses down from me- it's great!). In Boston, there are treacherous one-ways, and narrow streets which we swear were once cow paths - maps can be deceptive - ask a local for help, and enjoy the accent!
Beth Fuller 4:16pm November 29, 2012)

I technically live in the suburb of a rather large city, but it's quite urban here. People use landmarks ("take a right by the Barnes & Noble.."), which I much prefer to compass directions ("go north on Main Street...").
Kelli Rolvaag 4:41pm November 29, 2012)

hmm - when I lived in a more rural areas - the directions were like - take a left at where the old school burned down in 57 or right past where Mrs Sallie's chickens got loose that time in -- P
Pamela Faye Howell 5:25pm November 29, 2012)

Directions to my house aren't too confusing for people to find me. If they drive past the fire station and take a right and follow the street for a half-mile, then take a left, I'm the fourth house on the right side of the street. I don't live in the country. I did enjoy reading the directions for getting to your place and had a few chuckles to boot!
Your book sounds great and I love that one of your main characters is named, Jill. I have a sister that's a year younger than I am named, Jill and she is both a snow skier and a water skier. Also, love your colorful book cover. I can't wait to read it!
Linda Luinstra 6:07pm November 29, 2012)

People can't find us because the landlord owns all of the land on this street and refused to pay the extra tax for a street sign. And the city won't plow the snowy sidewalks. Crazy.
Deb Pelletier 7:12pm November 29, 2012)

Finding us isn't the hard part, it's getting into our neighborhood that's
hard.we live in a gated commnity and using the call box is a bit confusing.
If you look us up by name you hit #, if you use a code we give you don't hit
# even though the box tells you too, we said don't. Hopefully we get better
directions soon.
Ann Sheiring 8:30pm November 29, 2012)

It doesn't matter to me. I get lost all of the time. I have never arrived anywhere on time and usually end up back tracking because I took a right inside of left. I live in the city and I still get lost. Maybe in the rural area, at least it is scenic drive while being lost.
Kai Wong 8:51pm November 29, 2012)

I would have to say that the directions in my neck of the woods would be a cross between colorful and welcoming. Because I live in an area that is not only by a large major lake that you would know if I were name it, other than to say that it is in the Midwest, and commercial freighters use it every day going towards New York, and a farming and agriculture community. We're known for our cane sugar. It's a beautiful area, with friendly people. I've only been here a couple of years, and am still learning about places that I didn't know existed!!! This is a beautiful area, though, and I couldn't think of a better place to be.
Peggy Roberson 9:07pm November 29, 2012)

what an interesting way to put things, would love a read
Kimberly Hoefs 9:16pm November 29, 2012)

I am in a city and the directions are thoroughly denoted with
landmarks and business signs that you will spot as you travel
to your destination.
G. Bisbjerg 9:50pm November 29, 2012)

Don't depend on my directions. Don't know north from south or east from west,and sometimes get left and right mixed up. So, a GPS would be your best bet.
Sheila True 10:00pm November 29, 2012)

We are not far from some highways so directions are pretty easy.
Maureen Emmons 10:08pm November 29, 2012)

Yes, I love the great directions stories and it reminds me
of our farm life in Kansas when I was growing up in the
peaceful and quiet country life. Now, I live in the big city
of Austin, TX where Airport Blvd and Bolm Rd meet and we can
never leave our doors unlocked in the big city. I miss the
country farm life and one day want to move back to peace and
quiet. Thanks, Cecilia CECE
Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 10:57pm November 29, 2012)

Confusing - we have quite a few cul de sacs and one-way streets. In addition the utilitiy companies have been doing repairs which result in detours or street closures.
Mary C 11:42pm November 29, 2012)

As a country gal, love those directions
Shirley Nienkark 12:22pm November 30, 2012)

I loved your thoughts on directions! I have never thought of directions in this way. I think directions to my house are pretty straight forward.
Christine Mead 3:06am November 30, 2012)

Mostly comforting but sometimes confusing -- depends how far
into the mountains you go!
Eva Segerblom 12:26pm November 30, 2012)

All signs are confusing to me :) But I've seen quite a few that would send me in the wrong direction if I didn't already know where I was going. Then there are some that are pretty straight forward and easy to read.
Leni Kaye 2:49pm November 30, 2012)

Directions to me mean, North, East, South, and West with road numbers attached to them and miles quantifying them. When people tell me they don't know north from south when I'm giving them directions---I just panic and my directions become a mess.
Sue Farrell 3:48pm November 30, 2012)

Well, being a lady, I go by landmarks when giving directions.
Alyson Widen 8:39pm November 30, 2012)

It would be street signs around here. Not terribly exciting,
but hopefully you will arrive at your destination.
Mary Preston 1:52am December 1, 2012)

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