Jilly Gagnon in conversation with Katie Cotugno

About the Author...

Jilly Gagnon is the author of Scenes of the CrimeAll Dressed Up and the young adult novel #famous. Her humor writing, personal essays, and op-eds have appeared in NewsweekElleVanity FairBoston magazine, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her family and two black cats.

Book Description:

A playful romantic comedy featuring dueling delis, fake dating, a shockingly awesome ex, and just the right amount of amnesia.

Ellie Greco wishes she weren’t stuck in Milborough. For a few brief, shining years, she escaped her hometown to pursue her dream career—designing beautiful, elaborate costumes for theater—until her father's death five years ago called her home to run the family's decades-old deli. Yes, she loves the place, but she’d always thought she was meant for more exciting things than stocking the right tinned fish. But when Ellie hears that a local landlord is planning to rent to Mangia, the glitzy gourmet food department store, Greco's Deli's very existence is suddenly in jeopardy.

She tries to plead her case to Theo Taylor, scion of the property management firm about to put her out of business, but their meeting goes from bad (it’s not her fault he’s infuriating) to worse (no one expects the ceiling to literally fall in).

With Theo out cold, Ellie panics and claims to be his fiance… and almost passes out herself when amnesia means Theo seems to actually believe her. Soon, the effects of the head injury wear off, but Theo proposes that their “engagement” stick around. If they manage to convince enough people they might both get what they want: an end to the Mangia deal. Ellie doesn’t trust him (after all, if Theo Taylor wants it, how can it be good for her?) but seeing no other option, reluctantly agrees.

And miraculously, the fake engagement seems to be working—even Ted, Theo’s shrewd, cold father seems convinced—that is until Sam, Theo’s ex-fiance, reappears on the scene. Not only does she see through their ruse, she proposes an arrangement of her own, forcing Ellie to decide between blossoming friendship, her family legacy, and the burgeoning romance she frankly never asked for.

 

About Katie Cotugno...

Katie Cotugno is the author of more than a dozen books for readers of all ages. She is also the co-author, with Candace Bushnell, of Rules for Being a Girl. Her books have been honored by the Junior Library Guild, the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee, and the Kentucky Association of School Librarians, among others, and translated into more than fifteen languages. Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, and Argestes, as well as many other literary magazines. She studied Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College and received her MFA in Fiction at Lesley University. She lives in Boston with her family.

Event date: 
Thursday, May 2, 2024 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
338 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02115
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