DURHAM, NC -- Yesterday, the women's fiction novel, Can't Buy Me Love (Light Messages Publishing, June 2013) by Summer Kinard hit the best seller charts at Amazon.com, coming in at #4 for Contemporary Women's Fiction and #12 for General Fiction, while placing in the Top 50 for paid Kindle books across all genres.
Can't Buy Me Love--which tells the story of a freegan in Durham, NC, who falls in love with a man in a scrapbook she pulls from the dumpster--was chosen as Amazon.com's Daily Deal for Kindle, a move the publisher is crediting for the most recent spike in rankings.
But the success of this contemporary women's fiction novel hasn't come as a total surprise. The book was touted as "a breath of fresh air for romance readers" by the North Carolina Library Association and was a USA Today Happy Ever After Blog pick for Contemporary Romance.
Ms. Kinard's debut novel has also been highlighted by Amazon.com in a list of noteworthy debut fiction, featuring what the retail giant calls "fresh reads from fiction's new voices and rising stars."
"I'm grateful," Ms. Kinard said in response to the latest attention her book has received. "I wrote the book in hopes that it would reach out to a wide audience to spread a message of hope, community, and healing, and I'm so glad to see that happening."
Readers familiar with Durham will recognize in the text many of the restaurants and other public spaces they frequent, several of which have been featured in illustrious publications such as The New York Times, Food and Wine, and Southern Living. Some locations are thinly veiled under fictitious names while others have been identified openly.
Interwoven in the story of love and friendship is the broader theme of the new domesticity, a topic that's been gaining attention in the national spotlight of late. Several of the fiercely independent women in the novel explore the ideas of a slower, simpler life that focuses on greater self-sufficiency and the value of home life.
Ms. Kinard lives in Durham, NC, with her husband, their two children, and a garden filled with herbs and squirrels. All four members of the family take it in turns to pour tea each night. Ms. Kinard received a B.A. in religion from Southwestern University and an M.Div. and Th. M. (early church history and theology) from Duke Divinity School. When she is not writing or homeschooling, Ms. Kinard sings opera with local companies. Can't Buy Me Love is her first novel. Visit her website at writinglikeamother.com and her author page at skinard.lightmessages.com.