Debut Author of the Week: Gwen Cole

Many people don’t know this about me, but I don’t read synopses or descriptions, of books when I see them. It’s the cover that draws me in. I may read a few sentences, but for the most part, I just buy them and read them, or I click that “Want to Read” button on Goodreads and go from there. This was definitely the case with Gwen Cole’s debut novel Cold Summer. I’ve been seeing this cover everywhere, and when I decided to feature her and her book, I finally read the description.

Not only is this a time-travel book but it also sheds lights on a very real, and very important, disorder that has only become more widely discussed in our society over the past decades. I lived with someone with PTSD for a few years and got to see exactly how it can affect a person’s day to day life. I think this book is especially important now, with the Young Adult community growing as much as it has in the last decade, to shed light on PTSD and how it affects not only the person struggling with it, but also those around them.

About Gwen Cole

From Gwen’s Website:


Gwen Cole writes Young Adult books and her debut novel, COLD SUMMER, will be released in the spring of 2017 with Sky Pony Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing.

She grew up in upstate New York, moved to Virginia where she did not graduate college, and worked a various number of jobs including pharmacy technician, meat clerk, ranch hand, and a receiving specialist at Target. She may or may not have written a number of books while working at certain jobs.

At the age of eighteen, Gwen played bass in a hardcore band and later married the lead guitarist. She can also play piano, guitar, and wishes she could play the cello. Her favorite place to vacation is Wyoming, where she gets to wear a cowboy hat and pretend she actually is one.

Gwen now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and very large dog, where she longs to live in the country again.

About Cold Summer

Cold SummerToday, he’s a high school dropout with no future.
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.

It’s All In The Details

  • Title: Cold Summer
  • Author: Gwen Cole
  • Publisher: Sky Pony Press
  • Pub Date: May 02, 2017
  • Pages: 256

YA and Wine Pairing

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole


The label of Therapy’s Merlot is complimentary to the cover of Cold Summer, and the rich coffee and black licorice flavor coincides with the seriousness of this book. I found this to be a perfect pairing.

*All wine recommendations are for strictly for those of legal drinking age only.*

Will you be reading this debut novel when it hits the shelves? 

16 thoughts on “Debut Author of the Week: Gwen Cole

  1. The Hermit Librarian says:

    Cold Summer has been on my TBR for awhile now. Time travel books are interesting to me to begin with, but this one couples with it a serious subject that I’ve never read about (at least that I can remember).

    I find your method of choosing books interesting. I’m the exact opposite. I would feel weird choosing a book solely on its cover and have to read the summary. The cover does play a part, but it’s a much smaller one than what the book sounds like it’ll be about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SarahYAandWine says:

      Most people are shocked when I tell them that. For me the cover draws me in and then I check the rating and who of my friends have marked it “to-read” or “read”. If it has high rating and is known by my Goodreads buddies than I know I’ll enjoy it. Everyone has their methods for sure. I’m learning to read them more often now that I research more things for the blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Book Princess Review (@_bookprincess_) says:

    I find it super cool that you don’t really read synopses. I’ve been doing that a lot more lately, and I’m actually having a more fun (funner? ugh, I never know) time going into the books that way, so I see the draw. I used to read Cole when she was on Wattpad and another website, Inkpop, and she is such a talented writer that I can’t wait to read this book with you! 😀 And I’m loving the wine choice. Great post, Sarah! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beware Of The Reader says:

    Haha Sarah you made me laugh with you buying a book based on its cover. I wrote a post some weeks ago asking “Do you judge a book by its cover” (I would love to hear your thoughts about this one ;-)) and analysing the decision process of readers. Among others the cover is very important indeed. I confess I just bought Blood Roses based mainly on the cover (and also on Krysti’s review).

    Liked by 1 person

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