So I know you already know that The Last Will of Moira Leahy releases TODAY in trade paperback, with a lovely new cover and an even lovelier recession-friendly price tag. You’ll be able to find the book at TARGET mid-month, but before then, you’ll hopefully find it at your local bookstore or online. And if you don’t, ask them to order it for you! As with the hardcover release, the first two weeks are the most critical to the success of the run. Early demand means another printing, which creates a positive cycle of more orders and increased visibility in the stores. You know I appreciate your support, and if you don’t, let me tell you again: I really appreciate your help. I appreciate you spreading the word on your own blogs. I appreciate you spreading the word on Facebook. I appreciate you spreading the word on Twitter. And I really appreciate you buying my book and recommending it to your book club. Thank you, thank you!
To celebrate the release,
*fourty-nine* *fifty-one* of my fellow authors have agreed to donate TWO copies of one of their books for a “My Sister and Me” contest on my Facebook Author page. The idea being that if you’re one of the winners, you’ll have a copy of one of these books to keep and another copy to share–with a sister or a friend. Scan down to see the books and read their descriptions; and find links to each of the contributing authors’ websites and, if available, their blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter pages. Please support these authors who are so generously supporting me now.
And then, once you’ve drooled through the list, added these authors to your Twitter feeds and friended them all on Facebook, please go to my Facebook author page, click LIKE it, then follow the simple instructions for entering the contest for a chance to win two copies of one of these books. Want to spread the word? Visit my Facebook page to learn how doing so can earn you extra entries in the contest.
Here we go. The Mega List of Fab, starting with my book (well, what did you expect??):
“Walsh’s debut seamlessly weaves together past and present.
This tender tale of sisterhood, self-discovery, and forgiveness will captivate fans of contemporary women’s fiction.”
– Library Journal
Maeve Leahy is a busy professor of languages at a university in upstate New York. So busy that she leaves little time for memories—the memory of her lost twin, Moira, and of her many lost opportunities. Until a childhood relic and a series of anonymous notes changes everything—resurrects her long-dead dreams, a lost language, her most painful recollections, and prompts her journey to Rome, Italy in search of ancient history. There, Maeve will learn new truths about her past, and come face to face with the one thing she truly fears. Only then can she choose between the safe yet lonely life she’s built for herself and one of risk, with bonds she knows can be both heart-breakingly delicate and more enduring than time.
Stewart creates a crisis of faith where adult reality collides with youthful dreams. The writing is tactile, elemental, even comical, providing readers with a situation that could so easily be their own. – Library Journal, starred review
Always responsible, Sarah Price traded her poetry ambitions for a steady job, which allows her husband, Nathan, to write fiction. But Sarah is happy with their life, parenting two small children, and she believes Nathan is too, until a truth is revealed: Nathan’s upcoming novel, Infidelity, is based in fact. Reeling from his betrayal, she is plagued by dark questions. How well does she really know Nathan? And, more important, how well does she know herself?
“[A]n aching, honest look into the death and rebirth of relationships….a wise, absorbing narrative.” –Publishers Weekly
Tilly Farmer is thirty-two years old and has the perfect life she always dreamed of: married to her high school sweetheart, working as a guidance counselor in her hometown, trying for a baby. Perfect. Of course she’s also spent a lifetime plastering a smile on her face and putting everyone else’s problems ahead of her own. Then one sweltering afternoon at the local fair, everything changes. Tilly wanders into the fortune teller’s tent and is greeted by an old childhood friend, now a psychic, who offers her more than just a reading. “I’m giving you the gift of clarity,” her friend says. “It’s what I always thought you needed.” And soon enough, Tilly starts seeing things: her alcoholic father relapsing; her husband uprooting their happy, stable life, a packed U-Haul in their driveway; and even more disturbing, these visions start coming true. Suddenly Tilly’s perfect life, so meticulously mapped out, seems to be crumbling around her. And she’s not sure what’s more frightening: that she’s begun to see the future or what the future holds . . . As Tilly furiously races to keep up with—and hopefully change—her destiny, she faces the question: Which is the life she wants? The one she’s carefully nursed for decades, or the one she never considered possible?
A novice psychotherapist finds unsettling parallels between a patient’s suicide and her mother’s history in Barry’s second (The Lace Reader, 2008). . . . This woman-in-jeopardy thriller retooled with gothic elements–shifting identities, secrets and portents, a deserted cottage and a missing suicide note- manages to transcend. – Kirkus Reviews starred review
Zee Finch has come a long way from a motherless childhood spent stealing boats—a talent that earned her the nickname Trouble. She’s now a respected psychotherapist working with the world-famous Dr. Liz Mattei. She’s also about to marry one of Boston’s most eligible bachelors. But the suicide of Zee’s patient Lilly Braedon throws Zee into emotional chaos and takes her back to places she though she’d left behind. What starts as a brief visit home to Salem after Lilly’s funeral becomes the beginning of a larger journey for Zee. Her father, Finch, long ago diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, has been hiding how sick he really is. His longtime companion, Melville, has moved out, and it now falls to Zee to help her father through this difficult time. Their relationship, marked by half-truths and the untimely death of her mother, is strained and awkward. Overwhelmed by her new role, and uncertain about her future, Zee destroys the existing map of her life and begins a new journey, one that will take her not only into her future but into her past as well. Like the sailors of old Salem who navigated by looking at the stars, Zee has to learn to find her way through uncharted waters to the place she will ultimately call home.
“If you haven’t been reading M.J. Rose’s Reincarnationist series, then THE HYPNOTIST will blow away any excuse you may have had… A memorable, engrossing read, a story that sets a new bar for Rose. Something for everyone: murder, suspense, history, romance, the supernatural, mystery and erotica. These elements are woven together so skillfully that the whole becomes something new and different…. Rose, who never disappoints either her die-hard fans or the casual reader, has surpassed herself.”-Bookreporter.com
“Rose’s work defies comparison, The Hypnotist so cutting edge that the pages stop just short of slicing your fingers as you race to turn them. She draws us into a world totally of her own making, and the result is a slick, ambitious, and beautifully written tale.” -Jon Land, Providence Journal
“Stunning Page-turner” -PW Starred Review and Review of the Week 3/15
Compelling…the characters are likable, troubled, and human, and they’re well worth following on their journey. –USA Today
Meg Powell and Carson McKay were raised side by side on their families’ farms, bonded by a love that only deepened as they grew. Everyone in their small rural community in northern Florida thought that Meg and Carson would always be together. But at twenty-one, Meg was presented with a marriage proposal she could not refuse, forever changing the course of her life. Seventeen years later, Meg’s marriage has become routine, and she spends her time juggling the demands of her medical practice, the needs of her widowed father, and the whims of her rebellious teenage daughter, Savannah, who is confronting her burgeoning sexuality in a dangerous manner and pushing her mother away just when she needs her most. Then, after a long absence, Carson returns home to prepare for his wedding to a younger woman. As Carson struggles to determine where his heart and future lie, Meg makes a shocking discovery that will upset the balance of everyone around her.
“[U]nforgettable…clear-eyed, insightful…impressively executed novel, disturbing and convincing.” —The Boston Globe
Sisters Lulu and Merry are left virtually orphaned after witnessing their father kill their mother. Following their father’s imprisonment, the girls suffer at the hands of uncaring relatives, a tough-as-nails orphanage and, finally, a foster family ill-equipped to nurture them. As they mature and cope with their traumatic past in dramatically differently ways, their imprisoned father remains a specter in their lives, affecting every decision they make.
This book will be published as an original trade paperback on October 26th by Simon and Schuster’s Gallery Books.
Holly Maguire’s grandmother was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine–a Milanese fortune teller who could predict the right man for you, and whose Italian cooking was rumored to save marriages. Holly has been waiting years for her unlikely fortune: her true love will like sa cordula, an unappetizing old-world delicacy. But Holly can’t make a decent marinara sauce, let alone sa cordula. Maybe that’s why the man she hopes to marry breaks her heart. So when Holly inherits Camilla’s Cucinotta, she’s determined to forget about fortunes and love and become an Italian cooking teacher worthy of her grandmother’s legacy. But Holly’s four students are seeking much more than how to make Camilla’s chicken alla Milanese. Simon, a single father, hopes to cook his way back into his daughter’s heart. Juliet, Holly’s childhood friend, hides a painful secret. Tamara, a serial dater, can’t find the love she longs for. And twelve-year-old Mia thinks learning to cook will stop her dad from marrying his phony lasagna-queen girlfriend. As the class gathers each week, adding Camilla’s essential ingredients of wishes and memories into every pot and pan, unexpected friendships and romances are formed–and tested. Especially when Holly falls hard for Liam . . . and learns a thing or two about finding her own recipe for happiness.
Griffin’s carefully crafted characters ring heartbreakingly true and her finely wrought plot will snare readers from the first page. —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Acclaimed novelist and nationally recognized family expert Lynne Griffin returns with SEA ESCAPE-a beautifully imagined, multi-generational story inspired by the author’s personal family letters about the ties that bind mothers and daughters. Laura Martinez is wedged in the middle place, grappling with her busy life as a nurse, wife, and devoted mom to her two young children when her estranged mother, Helen, suffers a devastating stroke. In a desperate attempt to lure her mother into choosing life, Laura goes to Sea Escape, the pristine beach home that Helen took refuge in after the death of her beloved husband, Joseph. There, Laura hunts for the legendary love letters her father wrote to her mother when he served as a reporter for the Associated Press during wartime Vietnam. Believing the beauty and sway of her father’s words will have the power to heal, Laura reads the letters bedside to her mother, a woman who once spoke the language of fabric—of Peony Sky in Jade and Paradise Garden Sage—but who can’t or won’t speak to her now. As each letter reveals a patchwork detail of her parents’ marriage, she discovers a common thread: a secret that mother and daughter unknowingly share.
Slater’s enchanting debut puts magic-realist devices to good use as it uncovers a complex family history. . . . moving.” — Publisher’s Weekly
A sometimes funny, sometimes magical first novel, The Wishing Box explores the surprising and unintended consequences of getting what you ask for. Julia, an almost-30 single mom whose life is mostly together, lives in Oakland with her seven-year-old son. Never suspecting it will actually work, she and her sister create a wishing box and half-seriously hold a ceremony for the return of the father who abandoned them as children. Astonishingly, he comes back-but Julia’s life has already moved abruptly in a new direction, and she has taken off in much the same way her father had many years before. Julia and her unusual family are at the heart of this novel about appearances and disappearances, the desire to control the future and explain the past, and the legacies passed on from one generation to another.
“Thirsty is a rare and special type of book—an intelligent page turner, a forward-thinking historical drama, a picture painted with equal shades of light and darkness. The language is consistently surprising and often intensely beautiful, the characters rich with nuance.” —David Crouse, author of The Man Back There
It is 1883, and all of Klara Bozic’s girlish dreams have come crashing down as she arrives in Thirsty, a gritty steel town carved into the slopes above the Monongahela River just outside of Pittsburgh. She has made a heartbreaking discovery. Her new husband Drago is as abusive as the father she left behind in Croatia. In Kristin Bair O’Keeffe’s debut novel, Klara’s life unfolds over forty years as she struggles to find her place in a new country where her survival depends on the friends who nurture her: gutsy, funny Katherine Zupanovic, who isn’t afraid of Drago’s fist; BenJo, the only black man in Thirsty to have his own shop; and strangely enough, Old Man Rupert, the town drunk. Thirsty follows a chain of unlikely events that keep Klara’s spirit aloft: a flock of angelic butterflies descends on Thirsty; Klara gives birth to her first child in Old Man Rupert’s pumpkin patch; and BenJo gives her a talking bird. When Klara’s daughter marries a man even more brutal than Drago, Klara is forced to act. If she doesn’t finally break the cycle of violence in her family, her granddaughters will one day walk the same road, broken and bruised. As the threads that hold her family together fray and come undone, Klara has to decide if she has the courage to carve out a peaceful spot in the world for herself and her girls.
Wearing her influences openly and simply, Marillier (Heir to Sevenwaters) incorporates familiar elements of mystery, fantasy and Irish history into a strong tale of very human romance. -Publishers Weekly
Set in Anglo-Norman Ireland, Heart’s Blood blends history, romance and a touch of the gothic. Young scribe Caitrin, fleeing her personal demons, takes refuge on Whistling Tor. The crumbling fortress houses not only the volatile Lord Anluan, but also an intriguing group of misfits and eccentrics. As she sorts through the family documents Caitrin uncovers secrets that could make or break the future of all those on the Tor. Their revelation may also break her heart.
Winner of RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements (2009).
It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett’s teacher is assigning Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. From nowhere comes a quiet ‘tsk’ of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who’s teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author’s ghost has taken up residence in Ellie’s mind, and seems determined to stay there. Jane’s wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own. Years and boyfriends come and go – sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not nearly fast enough. But Jane’s counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham. Still, everyone has something to learn about love – perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie’s head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending.
I was exhausted and singing the blues the hour I began Carleen Brice’s new novel, Children of the Waters. Five hours later, I’d finished this fresh, free-rein novel about mothers’ secrets and children’s sorrows and was shouting ‘Hurray!’ – Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean
Trish Taylor’s white ancestry never got in the way of her love for her black ex-husband, or their mixed race son, Will. But when Trish’s marriage ends, she returns to her family’s Denver, Colorado home to rediscover herself and connect to her past. What she finds there shocks her to the very core: her mother and newborn sister were not killed in a car crash as she was told. Billie Cousins, an African American woman with lupus, discovers to her happy surprise and her lover’s dismay that she is pregnant. When she meets Trish, her life is turned upside down. But then when tragedy strikes Billie and Will, Billie and Trish learn they have more in common than either imagined. Together the two women unravel age-old layers of secrets and resentments and navigate a path toward love, healing, and true reconciliation.
O’Neal has created a powerful and intriguing story rich in detailed and vivid descriptions of the Southwest. – Booklist
At thirty-seven, Tessa Harlow is still working her way down her list of goals to “fall in love and have a family.” A self-described rolling stone, Tessa leads hiking tours for adventurous vacationers–it’s a job that’s taken her around the world but never a step closer to home. Then a freak injury during a trip already marred by tragedy forces her to begin her greatest adventure of all. Located high in the New Mexico mountains, Las Ladronas has become a magnet for the very wealthy and very hip, but once upon a time it was the setting of a childhood trauma Tessa can only half remember. Now, as she rediscovers both her old hometown and her past, Tessa is drawn to search-and-rescue worker Vince Grasso. The handsome widower isn’t her type. No more inclined to settle down than Tessa, Vince is the father of three, including an eight-year-old girl as lost as Tessa herself. But Tessa and Vince are both drawn to the town’s most beloved eatery–100 Breakfasts–and to each other. For Tessa, the restaurant is not only the key to the mystery that has haunted her life but a chance to find the home and the family she’s never known.
Jax’s brutal eloquence will twist your heart when you least expect it. – Jeri Smith-Ready, author of Bring On the Night
By all accounts, Sirantha Jax should have burned out years ago…As the carrier of a rare gene, Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace—a talent which cuts into her life expectancy, but makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. But then the ship she’s navigating crash-lands, and she’s accused of killing everyone on board. It’s hard for Jax to defend herself: she has no memory of the crash. Now imprisoned and the subject of a ruthless interrogation, Jax is on the verge of madness. Then a mysterious man breaks into her cell, offering her freedom—for a price. March needs Jax to help his small band of rogue fighters break the Corp monopoly on interstellar travel—and establish a new breed of jumper. Jax is only good at one thing—grimspace—and it will eventually kill her. So she may as well have some fun in the meantime…
Ryan (He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not) returns with another spiritual memoir, bringing back her trademark wit, humor, and honesty. – Publishers Weekly
In her first book, Trish Ryan chronicled the ways in which finding faith lead her to the happily-ever-after ending that had eluded her for so long. Only it wasn’t an ending. It was a beginning. In A MAZE OF GRACE, Ryan picks up where she left off, sharing the early years of her marriage, and the challenges that both shaped and startled her: temptations regarding fidelity, the anxiety of shifting body image, the awkward nature of following Jesus in a decidedly secular family and city, and struggles (depression, trying to conceive) that made her wonder if God had lost her file. With appealing candor, Ryan sweeps the reader into her life and ponders questions and issues that we all face, dropping nuggets of wisdom along the way that are sure to inspire, encourage and help readers from all walks of life.
Passion, conflict, danger and magic combine for an irresistible love story which will keep you turning the pages! –Michelle Moran, Author of Nefertiti and Cleopatra’s Daughter
She is a healer, a storyteller, and a warrior. She has fought to preserve Britain’s throne. Now she faces her greatest challenge in turning bitter enemies into allies, saving the life of the man she loves . . . and mending her own wounded heart. The young former High Queen, Isolde, and her friend and protector, Trystan, are reunited in a new and dangerous quest to keep the usurper, Lord Marche, and his Saxon allies from the throne of Britain. Using Isolde’s cunning wit and talent for healing and Trystan’s strength and bravery, they must act as diplomats, persuading even enemy rulers that their allegiance to the High King is needed to keep Britain from a despot’s hands. Steeped in the magic and lore of Arthurian legend, Elliott paints a moving portrait of a timeless romance, fraught with danger, yet with the power to inspire heroism and transcend even the darkest age.
Readers will be rooting for Ballis’ smart, snappy heroines. – Booklist
Jodi and Jill Spingold are the Spinster Sisters…With a two-hour radio show, speaking engagements, a series of DVDs, and two bestselling books, “Living Twenty-Five” and “The ‘Thirty’ Commandments”. They’ve built a thriving cottage industry out of helping other single women find happiness and empowerment. Their future has never been brighter. And that’s when Jill shakes everything up—by announcing her engagement. Jodi’s in a tailspin. How can they be the Spinster Sisters if one of them is married? Complicating things is her own love life, involving three vastly different paramours offering three different kinds of happiness—none of which Jodi is sure she wants. And her ex-husband, backed by his nightmarishly manipulative new girlfriend, may be angling for a piece of the Spinster Sisters empire. Now, Jodi must make some tough decisions, keep the business afloat, and make it to the altar to stand by her sister—even if means that from now on she’ll be single all by herself.
In her memorable debut novel, Cantor follows a family so devastated by the disappearance of a daughter that it never fully recovers. . . Abby’s memories of her sister and her wide range of emotions . . . make the story startlingly real. — Publisher’s Weekly
The September Sisters is the coming-of-age story of a teenage girl, who tries to keep herself — and her family — together after her younger sister disappears.
Buxbaum skillfully handles this tale of grief and growing, resonant with realistic emotional stakes and hard-won wisdom. – Publishers Weekly
When tragedy strikes across the ocean, Ellie Lerner drops everything—her marriage, her job, her life in the Boston suburbs—to travel to London and pick up the pieces of her best friend Lucy’s life. While Lucy’s husband, Greg, retreats into himself, his and Lucy’s eight-year-old daughter, Sophie, has simply stopped speaking. Desperate to help Sophie, Ellie turns to a book that gave her comfort as a child, The Secret Garden. As its story of hurt, magic, and healing blooms around them, so, too, do Lucy’s secrets—some big, some small. Peeling back the layers of her friend’s life, Ellie is forced to confront her own as well: the marriage she left behind, the loss she’d hoped to escape. And suddenly Ellie’s carefully constructed existence is spinning out of control in a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.
Cohen, who writes with clarity, wit, and warmth, is brilliant in her penetration of the family layers, presenting all sides of the drama by allowing each character to be the star of their own show. This is a book that won’t be set aside until the last page is turned. – Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murder’s Daughters
Delilah Blue Lovett has always been a bit of an outsider, ever since her father moved her from Toronto to L.A. when she was eight, claiming Delilah’s mother no longer wanted to be part of their family. Twenty now and broke, but determined to be an artist like her errant mom, Delilah attends art class for free—by modeling nude at the front of the room, a decision that lifts the veil from her once insular world. While she struggles to find her talent, her father, her only real companion, is beginning to exhibit telltale signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s. And her mother, who Delilah always assumed had selfishly abandoned them, is about to reappear with a young daughter in tow . . . and a secret that will change everything. Delilah no longer knows which parent to trust—the only one she can really rely on is the most broken person of all: herself. In a new novel as witty, sparkling, and poignant as her acclaimed Inside Out Girl, author Tish Cohen uncovers the humor and heart within the most dysfunctional of families.
Lively and entertaining…includes all sorts of colorful characters and fascinating social history…the story of an unassuming, courageous young woman who uses the national pastime to become a pioneering heroine in a man’s world. -The Washington Post
Seventeen-year-old Ruby Thomas, newly responsible for her two young nieces after a devastating tragedy, is determined to keep her family safe in the vast, swirling world of 1920s New York City. She’s got street smarts, boundless determination, and one unusual skill: the ability to throw a ball as hard as the greatest pitchers in a baseball-mad city.From Coney Island sideshows to the brand-new Yankee Stadium, Diamond Ruby chronicles the extraordinary life and times of a girl who rises from utter poverty to the kind of renown only the Roaring Twenties can bestow. But her fame comes with a price, and Ruby must escape a deadly web of conspiracy and threats from Prohibition rumrunners, the Ku Klux Klan, and the gangster underworld.
First-novelist Rowley creates credible characters and situations with sharp dialogue and apt descriptions, and wisely lets a personal perspective embody the story of a national disaster. – Booklist
“Music plays. Dad appears. I walk with him, eyes fastened to the floor. When I look up, something is very wrong. There are three grooms.”
This is the story of Quinn—born Prudence Quinn O’Malley—a confused young Manhattan attorney who loses her father on that tragic September morning that changed everything. Now, at an existential crossroads in her life, Quinn must confront impossible questions about commitment and career, love and loss. Her idealistic beau desperately wants a wedding, and whisks her away to Paris just to propose. But then Quinn has a dream featuring judges and handcuffs and Nietzsche and Britney . . . and far too many grooms. Suddenly, her future isn’t so clear. Quinn’s world has become a minefield of men—some living, some gone, and traversing it safely is going to take a lot more than numerous glasses of pinot grigio. Life After Yes is a blisteringly honest, thoroughly modern tale of life and love in chaos, marking the arrival of a truly exciting new voice in contemporary fiction.
From the opening sentence of this strongly sardonic satire, Gibson’s debut, it is clear that nothing is sacred. Whether examining trendy charity functions or the muted morals of the so-very-rich, her acerbic, acidic book is right on the money. The major surprise is that the novel also has a heart, and Carley leaps off the page as the most real character….Readers fond of Claire Messaud and Marisha Pessl might want to try Gibson’s bold outing. —Library Journal
When fifteen-year-old Carley Wells–overweight, unpopular, and unmotivated–declares that she’s never read a book she’s liked, her wealthy parents decide to “buy” her a love of reading by commissioning an author to write a book just for her. They move the author into their mansion, dub themselves “the Medicis of Long Island,” and tell themselves that this expensive, custom-written gift will be all it takes to change their daughter’s life. Only one problem: they–and the author they hire–don’t really know anything *about* Carley’s life. Everyone is worried about what goes through her head. But no one except her best friend, Hunter, the town’s golden child and an alcohol and Vicodin addict, pays any attention to her heart.
The Local News is the story of a life created around loss. Gershow’s book is deeply sympathetic, often painful, and always utterly believable. Not a book you’re likely to put down once started, nor to forget once finished, a remarkable achievement. —Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club
THE LOCAL NEWS tells the story of Lydia Pasternak, a bookish, socially awkward fifteen-year-old whose life—for better or worse—is irrevocably changed when her older, more charismatic brother, Danny, disappears. In the year following Danny’s disappearance, Lydia finds herself thrust into unwanted celebrity and forced to
negotiate her complicated—often ambivalent—grief for a brother who she never particularly liked but who is suddenly gone.
The unlikely friendship between a small-town school secretary and a flamboyant teacher proves deadly in this psychological murder mystery. —Kirkus Reviews
Jeanne Cross’s contented suburban life gets a jolt of energy from the arrival of Ali Mather, the stunning new music teacher at the local high school. With a magnetic personality and looks to match, Ali draws attention from all quarters, including Jeanne’s husband and son. Nonetheless, Jeanne and Ali develop a deep friendship based on their mutual vulnerabilities and long-held secrets that Ali has been recording in her diary. The diary also holds a key to something darker: Ali’s suspicion that someone has been entering her house when she is not at home. Soon their friendship will be shattered by violence—and Jeanne will find herself facing impossible choices in order to protect the people she loves.
Rich, intricate and alive with emotion…. An honest portrait of sister-love and sister-hate-interlocking, brave and forgiving-made whole through art. —The New York Times Book Review
Louisa Jardine is the older one, the conscientious student, precise and careful: the one who yearns for a good marriage, an artistic career, a family. Clem, the archetypal youngest, is the rebel: committed to her work saving animals, but not to the men who fall for her. In this vivid, heartrending story of what we can and cannot do for those we love, the sisters grow closer as they move further apart. All told with sensual detail and deft characterization, I See You Everywhere is a candid story of life and death, companionship and sorrow, and the nature of sisterhood itself.
With its lush flora and constant sun, South Florida is the true star of Daniel’s exquisite debut, which follows a marriage over the course of 30 years. – Publishers Weekly
Set against a vivid and lush South Florida background during the years of Miami’s coming-of-age, STILTSVILLE offers a gripping, bittersweet portrait of a marriage—and romance—that deepens over the course of three decades. It was called “an elegantly crafted work of art and a great read” by Curtis Sittenfeld, an “exquisite debut” by Publishers Weekly, and “a perfect balance of wit, weakness and tenderness” by BookPage. Booklist called STILTSVILLE “lushly descriptive and complex, written with great delicacy and discretion.”
A Junior Library Guild selection for Fall 2010
Incredibly raw and real, Please Ignore Vera Dietz will rip you apart. –Lisa McMann, author of the NYT bestselling WAKE series
Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything. So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, or even the police. But will she emerge and clear his name? Does she even want to? An edgy, gripping story, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.
Intricately weaving the cause and effect of each character’s circumstances into four self-contained but essentially linked episodes, Livesey, polished and intriguing as ever, incisively explores the sinuous themes of regret and responsibility, truth and trust with an understated yet tenacious certainty. – Booklist
It seems like mutual good luck for Abigail Taylor and Dara MacLeod when they meet at university and, despite their differences, become fast friends. Years later they remain inseparable: Abigail, the actress, allegedly immune to romance, and Dara, a therapist, throwing herself into relationships with frightening intensity. Now both believe they’ve found “true love.” But luck seems to run out when Dara moves into Abigail’s downstairs apartment. Suddenly both their friendship and their relationships are in peril, for tragedy is waiting to strike the house on Fortune Street. Told through four ingeniously interlocking narratives, Margot Livesey’s The House on Fortune Street is a provocative tale of lives shaped equally by chance and choice.
“A tasty dish of chick lit.” —Chicago Sun-Times
Event planner and famous blogger Clare Finnegan expected to go back to work after her daughter was born. After all, she worked hard for her success…and it’s not like now that she has a child she has to buy a minivan, wear Mom Jeans, and give up her career! Right? Despite more than a few pounds of baby weight still left to lose, Clare dons her Miss Piggy Pants and returns to work. She plans a swanky Sweet Sixteen party, pulls off a million-dollar golf outing, has to come to terms with her mother’s breast cancer, and is left so exhausted that she can’t remember her ATM card’s pin number. Then, after another meeting runs late, and she misses another one of her daughter’s milestones, Clare allows herself to examine an alternate choice: staying home.
A divorced mother’s funny, chatty, revealing take on Splitsville–with just enough anguish and sadness to be utterly believable…An unexpected treat here is a vivid portrait of the author’s thrice-married, utterly nonmaternal but generous mother…Women going through the pain and turmoil of separation and divorce will appreciate Nestor’s candor and wit. Not another slick how-to, but a comforting reminder that life goes on after the spouse is gone. —Kirkus
Less than an hour after confronting her husband over his massive gambling losses, Theo banishes him from their home forever. With two young daughters to support and her life as a stay-at-home mother at an abrupt end, Nestor finds herself slipping from “middle-class grace” as she attends a court-ordered custody class, stumbles through job interviews, and–much to her surprise–falls in love once again. As Theo rebuilds her life and recovers her sense of self, she’s forced to confront her own family’s legacy of divorce. Nestor’s journey takes her deep into her family’s past, to a tiny village in Mexico, where she discovers the truth about how her sister ended up living in a convent there after their parents divorced in the early sixties. What she learns ultimately brings her closer to understanding her own divorce and its impact on her two daughters. Funny, openhearted, and brave, How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed will speak to anyone who has passed through the halls of divorce court or risked tenderness after loss. It marks the debut of an enchanting, deeply truthful voice.
Marr perfectly captures the crazy life behind the scenes in Hollywood, and gives us a glimpse into that world through characters who are fabulous and funny. –Suzanne Hansen, author of the New York Times bestseller You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again
In high-stakes, high-heeled Hollywood, even girls in the loftiest shoes have to watch their step. The climb to the top of the Hollywood ladder is treacherous, especially in stilettos. And as any A-lister knows, even harder than making it to the top is staying there. Hollywood Girls Club follows the well-heeled footsteps of four power players who are determined not to lose their footing: Jessica, the agency president with hot, demanding clients and an ice-cold fiancé; Celeste, the megastar whose action-flick-director husband just dumped her for a fresh-faced newcomer; Mary Anne, the writer plucked from obscurity to become one of the hottest screenwriters in the business; and Lydia, the producer with the magic touch. As the girls struggle to make a blockbuster film that will transform their careers, they discover having friends with power is crucial, but having friends you can trust is even better.
Pekkanen’s wry voice and engaging characters—the bumbling parents are especially lovable—keep things fresh —People
Twenty-nine-year-old Lindsey Rose has, for as long as she can remember, lived in the shadow of her ravishingly beautiful fraternal twin sister, Alex. Determined to get noticed, Lindsey is finally on the cusp of being named VP creative director of an elite New York advertising agency, after years of eighty-plus-hour weeks, migraines, and profound loneliness. But during the course of one devastating night, Lindsey’s carefully constructed life implodes. Humiliated, she flees the glitter of Manhattan and retreats to the time warp of her parents’ Maryland home. As her sister plans her lavish wedding to her Prince Charming, Lindsey struggles to maintain her identity as the smart, responsible twin while she furtively tries to piece her career back together. But things get more complicated when a long-held family secret is unleashed that forces both sisters to reconsider who they are and who they are meant to be.
Pace (Pug Hill; If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend) delivers an endearing third novel about two sisters and their quests for companionship and an effective diet. – Publishers Weekly
These days, the Isley sisters’ sense of camaraderie isn’t what it used to be. They’re leading their own lives, with less in common every day. Stephanie is an overwhelmed stay-at-home mom with a handsome husband and a six-month-old baby. Meredith has a successful career as a New York restaurant critic, but her only future companion may be a yoga-loving dog. Sometimes it seems the only thing they still share is their mutual desire to lose weight. So they decide to do it together, to turn back the clock to the slim self that Stephanie wants back and Meredith always wished for, and to the easy affection that once let them share everything. Only “everything” is harder now. Because neither sister has been completely honest about things that are very close to home…
Note: This title will be released on September 7, 2010.
Clara Fitzgerald’s recent losses have set her adrift, personally and professionally. Remembering the stories her mother used to tell her, Clara decides to research her ancestry-only to uncover an extraordinary link to the author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley. With her reluctant sister in tow, Clara embarks on a search for the author’s long lost journals and letters. As she discovers secrets about the spirited and imaginative Shelley, Clara also unveils secrets about her own life, including some shocking secrets about the man she loves.
Everyone has secrets. Some we keep to protect ourselves, others we keep to protect those we love. A devoted city dweller, Cornelia Brown surprised no one more than herself when she was gripped by the sudden, inescapable desire to leave urban life behind and head for an idyllic suburb. Though she knows she and her beloved husband, Teo, have made the right move, she approaches her new life with trepidation and struggles to forge friendships in her new home. Cornelia’s mettle is quickly tested by judgmental neighbor Piper Truitt. Perfectly manicured, impeccably dressed, and possessing impossible standards, Piper is the embodiment of everything Cornelia feared she would find in suburbia. A saving grace soon appears in the form of Lake. Over a shared love of literature and old movies, Cornelia develops an instant bond with this warm yet elusive woman who has also recently arrived in town, ostensibly to send her perceptive and brilliant son, Dev, to a school for the gifted.
Marisa de los Santos’s literary talents shine in the complex interactions she creates between these three women. She deftly explores the life-altering roller coaster of emotions Piper faces as she cares for two households, her own and that of her cancer-stricken best friend, Elizabeth. Skillfully, de los Santos creates an enigmatic and beguiling character in Lake, who draws Cornelia closer even as she harbors a shocking secret. And from the first page until the exhilarating conclusion, de los Santos engages readers with Cornelia, who, while trying to adapt to her new surroundings, must remain true to herself. As their individual stories unfold, the women become entangled in a web of trust, betrayal, love, and loss that challenges them in ways they never imagined, and that ultimately teaches them what it means for one human being to belong to another.
The night was always Abby Whitman’s enemy. As a young girl she walked in her sleep, and one night, started a fire that scarred her sister for life and left Abby with unbearable guilt, and a loneliness that echoes within her. Now Abby has begun blacking out again—with apparently fatal results. A car accident has killed the son of a prominent family. Even though the evidence seems to exonerate her, Abby is plagued by doubts—and soon by mysterious threats. A young psychiatrist, Dr. Jason Coble, is intrigued by Abby and offers to help her explore the dark recesses in her mind. Through this terrifying journey, Jason’s interest turns to passion, and he yearns to give her the love she craves. But first, Abby must trust him—and shed light on secrets that will rock this Southern town and reveal a danger that threatens them both.
In her first collection, novelist Ward (Forgive Me, 2008, etc.) gently and discreetly invites us into her characters’ lives…. Luminous work from a gifted writer. —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
From a cabin in Maine to a comedy club in Manhattan; from a diner in Montana to a raft rushing through the Grand Canyon, acclaimed author Amanda Eyre Ward brings us twelve stories about love in all of its complexity, absurdity, and glory with Love Stories in This Town. In stories as evocative as they are striking, Amanda Eyre Ward once again proves herself an astute interpreter of emotions both familiar and strange. Whether exploring the fierceness of a mother’s love or the consolations of marriage, Ward’s stories are imbued with humor, clear-eyed insight, and emotional richness.
Wright hits it out of the park in her debut, an engaging account of a woman contemplating divorce. – Publishers Weekly, starred review
An intense, thoughtful novel about love and friendship, or the lack thereof, in a marriage. – Booklist
A chance encounter with a stranger on an airplane sends Elyse Bearden into an emotional tailspin. Suddenly she is willing to risk everything – her safe but stale marriage, her seemingly perfectly life in an affluent suburb – in her search for a new kind of happiness.
[N]othing in this novel is predictable, which is one of many reasons that it’s a delight. Young-Stone has written an exceptionally rich and sure-handed debut, full of complex characters, brilliantly described. . . . [H]er style certainly has an electric immediacy. —Boston Globe
On a sunny day in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, eight-year-old Becca Burke was struck by lightning. No one believed her—not her philandering father or her drunk, love-sick mother—not even when her watch kept losing time and a spooky halo of light appeared overhead in photographs. Becca was struck again when she was sixteen. She survived, but over time she would learn that outsmarting lightning was the least of her concerns. In rural Arkansas, Buckley R. Pitank’s world seemed plagued by disaster. Ashamed but protective of his obese mother, fearful of his scathing grandmother, and always running from bullies (including his pseudo-evangelical stepfather), he needed a miracle to set him free. At thirteen years old, Buckley witnessed a lightning strike that would change everything. When Buckley and Becca finally meet, neither is prepared for the charge of emotions—or for the perilous event that will bring them even closer to one another, and to the families they’ve been running from for as long as they can remember.
Young Gabby’s obsession with fairy tales subtly mirrors Alice’s new life as she explores what happens when you have to rescue yourself and make your own happily ever after, hopefully meeting a true Prince Charming along the way. -Booklist
Alice, a former New Yorker who thought she’d never feel at home in the bizarre world of the San Fernando Valley, was adapting, raising her 5-year-old daughter while trying to keep her job and make her new house a home. When her attorney husband lands a trophy client – box-office queen Rose Maris – things begin to look up. Then Alex starts working late – a lot. He crunches his paunch into a six-pack and trades his Gap ensembles for Armani everything. Soon, Rose and Alex’s affair blazes in the tabloids and Alice is plunged into trash-gossip hell. Her life crumbles around her as she navigates her newly single self through suburban LA –a place rife with porn stars, psycho soccer moms and nutty neighbors. Is there a chance to wrest Alex from the Sexiest Woman Alive? And if so… would Alice want him back? And what about George–her college sweatheart? Or Johnny, a walking charm-bomb paparazzo? As Alice inventories the rubble of her life, she desperately searches for her bearings and is forced to ask herself what she really wants from life, love and herself.
All the right ingredients–a heart-warming heroine, a romp through Tuscany–make for a delicious book that leaves you hungry for more. —Julie Buxbaum, author of The Opposite of Love and After You
A dazzling debut novel made with the finest ingredients: romance, cooking, Italy, New York, and one woman’s appetite for more. As head chef at a top New York City restaurant, Georgia Gray’s worst critic is her own mother, who can’t wait for her daughter’s impending nuptials. When Georgia suddenly finds herself unemployed and unengaged, she takes her bruised ego to Italy, where she sharpens her skills at a new trattoria and turns up the heat with Gianni, the owner of the winery next door. He tempts her to stay indefinitely, but Georgia’s heart is still in New York where she dreams of salvaging her reputation and opening her own restaurant on her own terms.
Dr. Anna McIntyre’s life was going along just fine until someone else started living it. Her patient died because of an identity mix-up, her medical career is in jeopardy because of forged prescriptions, and her credit is in ruins. She thought things couldn t get worse, but that was before she opened the envelope and saw a positive HIV test with her name on it. Her allies are two men who are also competing for her affection. Dr. Nick Valentine is a cynic who carries a load of guilt. Attorney Ross Donovan is a recovering alcoholic. The deeper Anna digs to discover who’s behind the identity thefts, the higher the stakes. Finally, when her life is on the line, Anna finds that her determination to clear her name might have been a prescription for trouble.
A 2010 Indie Excellenc Award finalist in the fiction category
Twenty years ago, Anna Hott thought she could control everything-her crumbling marriage, her demanding children, her hectic life-by quitting her high-paced job in New York City and moving her family to tranquil Sanibel Island, Florida. But she brought her untamed emotions, her rage toward her cheating husband, and her yearning to write a novel with her. When her husband and children left the house for a week, Anna thought at last she would get her household, her novel, and her mind in order. Instead, her elderly neighbor Fedelina Aurelio knocked on her door bearing flowers and homespun wisdom, and when Fedelina’s recently divorced son arrived, Anna had a test of passion and a test of truth. Now, at 56 with an empty nest, Anna Hott pulls out the incomplete manuscript she started that memorable week and-to find closure for her life and a conclusion for her novel-travels to Indiana to visit Fedelina who lives in a nursing home. A novel framed within a novel, Sand in My Eyes is both a story about the tension between motherhood and personal dreams as well as a story about women across generations inspiring one another to let beauty persist despite ugly circumstances.
After Meg’s parents die in a car accident on the night of her engagement party, she calls off her wedding, takes leave of her job in Annapolis, and travels to land she’s inherited on Nevis. A series of discoveries in an old plantation house on the property, Eden, set her on a search for the truth surrounding the shameful past of her ancestors, their slaves, and the tragedy that resulted in the fall of the plantation and its inhabitants. Through a crushing phone call with her lawyer, Meg learns that her father’s estate was built on stolen money, and is being sued by multiple sources. She is faced with having to sell the land and plantation home, and deal with the betrayal she feels from her deceased father. In alternating chapters, the historical drama of the Dall family unfolds. Upon the arrival of British abolitionists to the hedonistic 19th century plantation society, Catherine Dall is forced to choose between her lifestyle and the scandal of deserting her family. An angry confrontation with Catherine’s slave, Leah, results in the girl’s death, but was it murder or suicide? Hidden texts, scandalous diaries, antique paintings, and confessional letters help Meghan Owen uncover the secrets of Eden and put the ghosts to rest.
Candela (More Than This) combines a cunning wit with a deep understanding of the office politics specific to the entertainment industry to create a frantic atmosphere and a near breathless momentum as the story barrels toward an ending that’s anything but your focusgrouped happy fade-out. – Publishers Weekly
Raquel Azorian has worked her way from temp to executive assistant and is this close to a promotion to junior marketing exec at Belmore Corporation, the media behemoth she’s devoted herself to. She’s learned to play the Hollywood game—navigate office politics, schmooze the right people, avoid the wrong ones, and maintain a sense of decorum even in the craziest of times. All she needs is for her boss to sign her promotion memo. Instead of putting pen to paper, he suffers a very public meltdown that puts not only his professional future but also Raquel’s on the line. Getting to the next rung on the Belmore ladder will require every ounce of focus, but that’s not going to be easy. Raquel’s mom has decided to leave her husband and move into Raquel’s apartment, and her older brother seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into depression. Raquel has to keep her job, stop her parents from divorcing, and save her brother. In the chaos of juggling so much, she finally reaches a breaking point: there’s just not enough time for everything or for everyone. She’s going to have to choose—success at work or happiness at home. But then a chance encounter at a bookstore café leads Raquel to start planning her own Hollywood ending . . . on her own terms.
Laura Dave is widely recognized as an up-and-coming talent in women’s fiction.
This title is so new, that we don’t yet have a cover for it, a review for it, or even a published description of it. But because Laura, author of The Divorce Party, is such a wonderful author, we’re sure you’ll love it. Thanks to her for offering early releases of this book.
UPDATE: Since we reached 300 comments on the contest note on my author page, I’ve added two more novels to the list to make this a 51-book contest!
“A love-letter of a novel. There’s enough warmth here to fill your house on the coldest night. You’ll wish you knew these people, this world.”
—Justin Cronin, bestselling author of The Passage
A tender-hearted debut novel about a young widow, a nine-year-old girl, and a baking contest that will change both their lives. It’s been over a year since Nick died tragically during a post-Katrina relief mission in New Orleans. But Zell is still unable to enter her attic, which is full of Nick memories. She hasn’t even turned on her oven because cooking was Nick’s chore. That is, until she decides to enter celebrity chef Polly Pinch’s first annual Desserts that Warm the Soul baking contest, hoping to win the $20,000 grand prize to donate to Katrina survivors in Nick’s honor. Next door, nine-year-old Ingrid Knox is learning to cope with the loneliness of growing up without a mother. When an embarrassing baking mishap brings Zell and Ingrid together, they form an unlikely friendship that will alter both of their lives forever. With the help of a lively cast of friends and family, they embark on winning the Polly Pinch dessert contest – and they learn that through the many sorrows and joys of life, with a little bit of flour and a pinch of love, anything is possible.
Ledger’s accomplished debut offers a compelling view of married life through the prism of unacknowledged grief. An impressive portrait of a family in crisis, executed with finesse and assurance. – Publishers Weekly, starred review
Simon and Emily Bear look like a couple that has it all. Simon is a respected doctor. His wife, Emily, shines as a partner in a premier public relations firm. But their marriage is scarred by hidden wounds. Even as Simon tends his patients’ ills, and Emily spins away her clients’ mistakes, they can’t seem to do the same for themselves or their relationship. Simon becomes convinced he’s discovered a cure for chronic pain, a finding that could become a medical breakthrough, yet he is oblivious to the pain that he causes at home. Emily, struggling to move beyond the devastating loss she and Simon suffered fifteen years earlier, realizes she hasn’t felt anything for a long time-that is, until a lover from her past resurfaces and forces her to examine her marriage anew. In a debut novel on par with today’s top women writers, Remedies explores the complicated facets of pain, in the nerves of the body and the longings of the heart. Depicting modern-day marriage with a razor-sharp eye, Remedies is about what it takes, as an individual and as a couple, to recover from profound loss.
Isn’t it fantastic? Don’t you want them all? Now click on over to my Facebook author page, click LIKE it, then follow the simple instructions for entering the contest for a chance to win two copies of one of these books. Spread the word for additional entries to the contest (details on my author page).
Read on! And thanks so much for your support.
Photo 49 courtesy Flickr’s cpradi