Mar 10, 2014


Model Position Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt

Model Position by Kitsy Clare

For Sienna, love and art are perilous games. Is she ready to take that gamble?

Sienna is a beautiful, talented artist poised on the precipice of soaring into the glamorous, yet cutthroat Manhattan art scene.

Dave Hightower is a hooked-up, handsome heir to the hippest gallery in NYC, Gallery Hightower.

Erik is the live drawing model with his sizzling green eyes fixed only on Sienna.

Three’s a crowd, so Sienna must make a choice: date Dave and ride the fast track to landing a show at Gallery Hightower and hobnobbing with the art glitterati, or follow her heart and take a chance with Erik, the stunning male model who’s stealing her heart. But Erik has some worrisome secrets, and who in their right mind would make live modeling their career?

Dare Sienna throw away her chances of hitting it big to follow her heart?

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I write young adult and middle grade novels as Catherine Stine, and romance as Kitsy Clare. More and more, I enjoy writing page-turning suspense and speculative tales. I’m also an illustrator, and I’ve done work for Penguin-Perigee, Learning Strategies and Lantern Books. I illustrated my YA futuristic thrillers, Fireseed One and Ruby’s Fire. I teach classes in crafting the novel and in writing for teens. Check out my events page for upcoming workshops.

I’ve held an array of colorful jobs, including a stint as a sail-maker, a solar-heated swimming pool cover designer, and as a designer of children’s fabrics and watchfaces. Writing is the best of these! There’s nothing as thrilling as creating a new world brimming with feisty, unpredictable characters.

I’m a fan of chocolate-anything, coffee-anything, Almost Human, Girls, Boardwalk Empire, and traveling. I’ve been to China, Russia, India, Europe and Turkey. Who knows where I’ll travel next? Any suggestions? You can be sure I’ll take notes when I’m there, and I’ll pack an extra suitcase for shiny bazaar items like these lanterns from Istanbul.

Oh, and my past? I grew up in Philly, where I raised an army of escape-artist hamsters that terrorized my mom, I wrote mystery and fantasy tales, and I always drew the book covers for them. My great, great uncle Charles wrote stories and textbooks for kids. His office was the Philadelphia Library. He had gigantic feet and he resembled Abe Lincoln.

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Detailed. That is the one word I am using to describe this book. It's very, very detailed. You know when you read something and it's so very detailed, so very accurate and vivid in it's descriptions that you feel as though YOU are the person in the story? Well, that is precisely how I felt when I read this.

I'm not going to lie to you all: I know NOTHING about art. NOTHING. I barely know the difference between oil and pastel paints. Or if pastels are even paint!!! But what I thoroughly enjoyed about this book is that through its description, the author teaches. She uses her knowledge of paints and art and canvas and TEACHES her audience about the world of paint, canvas, and show casing. It's impressive.

Another highlight about Model Position is its originality. Sure, all books have something original about them, but this book is... fresh. There is no other way I can put it.

The protagonist, Sienna, is an art school student with talent. She finds herself dating a member of New York's most famous art families: Dave Hightower. Eventually, she realizes she is not all that interested in him, but he, as the nephew of the woman who runs the most famous art museum in Chelsea, New York, offers her an opening into the art world as a thriving artist.

In most books, again, most, not all, the entirety of the book would have been dedicated to the protagonist playing the famous Hightower boy, and him finding out and ruining her whole art career. In Kitsy Clare's book, however, that's not what happens. I am not revealing too much without giving away the whole story, but there is something thoroughly refreshing in reading a book that does not follow the normal pattern of repetition. In all stories, the girl/guy messes up and then the whole plot revolves around the problem and it's solution when eventually the guy gets the girl. True, this does happen in this book, but not the way one expects. I didn't even expect it and I resigned myself into believing it would!

But like all good books, there was ONE little detail I didn't particularly like. There was no action. There was plenty of drama, plenty of hilarity, plenty of whatever makes a short story good. But NO action. Honestly, I love the story, but I feel it would have been more intense with a bit more physical action. Not in the romantic kind (there was CERTAINLY enough of that!) but in the more dramatic, fighting sense of the word. Does that make sense? I hope so.

All in all, it was a highly entreating read!! I loved it, flaws and all, and would highly recommend it.

My Rating:

“Hey, always up for new art,” I say. “I like wild art done by a loose hand.”

“Manually manipulated is the way to go,” Dave says suggestively as he waggles his eyebrows and puts his fingers into plastic gloves.

Plastic gloves for painting? Germaphobe. I’m a clean freak, and even I don’t do that. I quickly ease my judgmental cringe into a fetching grin as I search for a funny comeback. “I wonder who our next model will be. Do you think Mr. Court Jester will make a repeat appearance?”

“I’m betting on Nightgown Lady.” Dave squeezes out his last color with an oozy splot.

The teacher, a soft-spoken man in faded corduroys and wire glasses, announces that the model will be out momentarily. From across the room, I exchange anticipatory glances with my friends, Harper and Merry, and pantomime a fake drum roll. They snicker and do drum rolls back. The class turns its attention to the small stage in front of our easels. It’s been set up with risers and a red velvet curtain, as if it’s a Broadway production.

Then the model emerges, and I almost spill my cappuccino on Dave’s shoes. The sexiest male muse I’ve ever laid eyes on pads out, all oiled coordination and sleek muscles. He’s at least six-four, and every chest muscle ripples and cuts in the right place. His hair’s sandy and shaggy, and his jaw is square and resolute with a gold-dusted five-o’clock shadow.

But it’s his eyes that strike me most; they’re emerald green with a slight upward slant toward each cheekbone, as if he hiked all the way here from a northern land of sun and wind.

He arranges himself on a leopard-skin rug, wearing only a suede thong, and glances around at us artists. As I adjust my canvas and flip my hair back, his smoking green eyes settle on me. I could swear they’re looking right into me and seeing my fascination. I’m melting and hyperventilating all at once.

In the corner of my vision, I see Dave Hightower lean toward me for my reaction, but I can’t look away from the model—I don’t want to. I’m imagining myself on that leopard-skin rug, doing some private poses with him, and the fantasy has me blushing as permanent roseas the paint on my palette.

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