Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mandy's Romance Corner Reviews

Hold Me by Susan Mallery

ABOUT THE BOOK:  New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery's classic blend of lighthearted humor and intense emotional conflict works its magic on two newcomers to the California town of Fool's Gold, which Library Journal calls "a setting so real and appealing readers will want to start scoping out real estate." 

Destiny Mills believes passion has its place—like in the lyrics of the country songs that made her parents famous. After a childhood full of drama and heartache, she wants a life that's calm. Safe. Everything that Kipling Gilmore isn't. Her temporary assignment with the Fool's Gold search and rescue team puts her in delicious proximity to the former world-class skier every day. Part of her aches to let go for once…the rest is terrified what'll happen if she does. 

Though an accident ended his career, Kipling still lives for thrills—and a hot fling with a gorgeous redhead like Destiny would be a welcome diversion. Yet beneath his new coworker's cool facade is a woman who needs more than he's ever given. With her, he's ready to take the risk. But love, like skiing, is all about trust—and before you soar, you have to be willing to fall.

MANDY'S REVIEW:  Susan Mallery does it again, another great book from Fool's Gold.  In this book we meet Destiny and Kipling who have to work together to improve the search and rescue unit in town.  This is a great story about love, heartache, and forgiveness. You can never go wrong with a book from Susan Mallery.  I think this is one of my favorites from Fool's Gold.  The reader can not help but feel they are part of the story when reading this book.  I highly recommend it.  I give is 4 stars.

The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston

ABOUT THE BOOK:  "The dead are seldom silent. All that is required for them to be heard is that someone be willing to listen. I have been listening to the dead all my life."

Lilith is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. She is one of the most beautiful young women in London and engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor. She is also a witch.

When her father dies, her hapless brother Freddie takes the title. But it is Lilith, instructed in the art of necromancy, who inherits their father’s role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And it is Lilith who must face the threat of the Sentinels, a powerful group of sorcerers intent on reclaiming the Elixir from the coven’s guardianship for their own dark purposes. Lilith knows the Lazarus creed: secrecy and silence. To abandon either would put both the coven and all she holds dear in grave danger. She has spent her life honoring it, right down to her charming fiancé and fellow witch, Viscount Louis Harcourt.

Until the day she meets Bram, a talented artist who is neither a witch nor a member of her class. With him, she must not be secret and silent. Despite her loyalty to the coven and duty to her family, Lilith cannot keep her life as a witch hidden from the man she loves.

To tell him will risk everything.

Spanning the opulence of Edwardian London and the dark days of World War I, The Midnight Witch is the third novel from New York Timesbestselling author Paula Brackston.

Mandy's Review: Great book to read.  I liked how the author developed the story line and kept the reader engaged.  It was good book for those who like witches and these types of book.  Pick it up today.  I give it 3 stars.

Ten Days In Paradise

Ten Days in Paradise by Linda Abbott
ABOUT THE BOOK:  Vacationing on beautiful Sanibel Island off Florida’s Gulf Coast, Ellen Bennett has never felt so guilty—or more alive.
This wasn’t the way things were supposed to turn out. The 45-year-old successful career woman, wife and mother traveled to the island paradise for solitude and a much-needed break from her family. But a chance encounter with a fellow traveler sparks a powerful attraction, forcing Ellen to make a decision that could change her life forever.
Against an idyllic backdrop of white sand beaches, azure waters and lush palms, Ellen struggles to subdue a firestorm of emotions. David, the father of three young children, confronts the fault lines in his own marriage that lead to a stunning revelation.
Their relationship unfolds as David’s family gathers on Sanibel to celebrate their parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Tensions are running high. David’s mother is worried about her husband’s strange behavior and inexplicable memory lapses. His sisters, Julia, an over-achieving corporate exec, and Maggie, a hard-partying renegade who just announced she’s gay and leaving her husband, haven’t spoken for months.
On the island, a small congregation battles to save a beloved seaside chapel to make room for a lavish oceanfront mansion. Ellen takes up the cause when she meets 76-year-old Liz Taylor, a vivacious widow with a sparkling wit and a secret passion of her own.
A compelling and heartfelt novel, Ten Days in Paradise masterfully explores the inner landscapes of marriage and family relationships.
MANDY'S REVIEW:  Linda Abbott is a brilliant writer.  This is a wonderful story about life, love, family and all the ups and downs that come with it.  Linda know hows to keep the reader entertained and coming back for more.  I recommend this book for everyone.  It was a great read.  I give it 3 stars.

The Deputy's Redemption by Delores Fossen

ABOUT THE BOOK:  The woman fleeing a cold-blooded killer is no stranger to Deputy Colt McKinnon. Fourteen years ago, Elise Nichols was the love of his life. Now she's back in Sweetwater Springs—to be the star witness in an upcoming murder trial that could tear the Texas lawman's family apart. 

With her explosive revelations certain to rock the town, Elise didn't expect to be welcomed home with open arms. Certainly not by the cowboy with the badge who once meant everything to her. But after being run off the road and shot at, she has no choice but to trust him. Even more dangerous is the desire that's reigniting, making Elise yearn for something she may not live to see.

MANDY'S REVIEW:  This book is a great addition to the Sweetwater Ranch series.  This is the story of Colt and Elise with lots of twists, turns, passion and love.  It was a great and quick read.  I would recommend this book to everyone, especially cowboy lovers.  I give it 4 stars.

The Protection Detail by Shirlee McCoy


After a prominent senator's son is murdered, Capitol K-9 Unit captain Gavin McCord wants answers. The senator was a mentor to Gavin, and he'll stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice. With his team of elite K-9 cops and his loyal dog, Glory, at his side, Gavin discovers that a child at Cassie Danvers's nearby foster home may have witnessed the murder. He's drawn to the determined and beautiful woman, but she doesn't want him interviewing her traumatized charges. Yet trusting Gavin is the only way to stay one step ahead of the deadly gunman when Cassie becomes a target.

Capitol K-9 Unit: These lawmen solve the toughest cases with the help of their brave canine partners.

MANDY'S REVIEW:  This is a first in a new series and it is a great start.  This book was a great read.  I couldn't put it down; there were twists and turns that kept coming up.  I loved this book - who can resist a man with a dog.  I highly recommend this book.  I give it 4 stars.


The Marine's Temptation by Jennifer Morey

ABOUT THE BOOK:  Shocking discoveries rock the Adairs…and a determined librarian can't help falling for one of this dynasty's rugged heroes!

It's true that money can't buy happiness. Librarian Georgia Mason has seen one wealthy Adair ruin her stepmother's life and swears she won't get involved with his son Carson. So what if he's a hot former special ops soldier who showers her with extravagant gifts? But he is the sexiest man she's ever met and it's hard to hate him for searching for his long-lost stepbrother, or tracking down the traitor behind his botched mission. And when Georgia faces life-threatening danger, Carson protects her, igniting their scorching passion. Maybe love of money isn't the root of all evil. Maybe there's more to Carson to trust, respect…and love.

MANDY'S REVIEW:  This a great, quick read.  I really enjoyed the mystery, suspense, love and determination in this book.  It was great to read about Carson stepping up to the plate and get things done.  I highly recommend this book.  I give it 4 stars.


Highlight: I Don't Have a Happy Place: Cheerful Stories of Despondency and Gloom by Kim Korson

When a trip to the therapist ends with the question “Can’t Kim be happy?” Kim Korson responds the way any normal person would—she makes fun of it. Because really, does everyone have to be happy?

Aside from her father wearing makeup and her mother not feeling well (a lot), Kim Korson’s 1970s suburban upbringing was typical. Sometimes she wished her brother were an arsonist just so she’d have a valid excuse to be unhappy. And when life moves along pretty decently--she breaks into show business, gets engaged in the secluded jungles of Mexico, and moves her family from Brooklyn to dreamy rural Vermont—the real despondency sets in. It’s a skill to find something wrong in just about every situation, but Kim has an exquisite talent for negativity. It is only after half a lifetime of finding kernels of unhappiness where others find joy that she begins to wonder if she is even capable of experiencing happiness.

In I Don’t Have a Happy Place, Kim Korson untangles what it means to be a true malcontent. Rife with evocative and nostalgic observations, unapologetic realism, and razor-sharp wit, I Don’t Have a Happy Place is told in humorous, autobiographical stories. This fresh-yet-dark voice is sure to make you laugh, nod your head in recognition, and ultimately understand what it truly means to be unhappy. Always.

“Kim Korson must be stopped. My wife thinks she's funnier than me.”
—Jon StewartThe Daily Show 

“In the razor-sharp, acerbic I Don’t Have A Happy Place, Kim Korson— think: Jewish, female, Canadian David Sedaris— recounts her adventures as a true malcontent.”
—Miranda Beverly-WhittemoreNew York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet

“Korson’s preoccupations—checking crime blotters for neighborhood stats, being certain that her first child would come out crazy, avoiding chitchat at parties—may keep her firmly in her cranky cave but will strike a funny bone in readers.”
Publishers Weekly

KIM KORSON is a writer, originally from Montreal, Canada. She has written for O Magazine and Moomah The Magazine. Kim now lives in Southern Vermont with her husband and two kids. She doesn’t get out much. 

* Author Website *  Twitter

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: Million Dollar Question by Ellie Campbell


Just as a huge financial scandal throws New Yorker, Olivia Wheeler, from wealth and success to bankruptcy and shame, struggling impoverished single-mother Rosie Dixon wins an unexpected million pounds. Good luck? Bad luck? Who can tell? Both women have more in common than they realize. While Olivia struggles to survive her humiliations, fleeing broke and homeless to London, shy unassuming Rosie discovers sudden riches arrive with their own mega-load of problems. 

Can workaholic career-obsessed Olivia find a passion for something earthier and warmer than power and prestige? And can Rosie sift through envy and greed to discover true friends, true family and even true love? Two strangers who’ve never met. Yet neither realises how each is affecting the other’s destiny or the places their paths touch and fates entwine.
But will they surmount the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?

That is the million dollar question.

Ellie Campbell

Ellie Campbell is the author name for two sisters, Lorraine Campbell and Pam Burks, who write together collaborating by phone and email from Surrey, UK and Colorado, USA. They have published four books, How To Survive Your Sisters, When Good Friends Go Bad, Looking For La La and To Catch a Creeper.

I love all the books by this dynamic duo, but I just adored MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION!!!   This book is hilarious, but also thought provoking, serious and also light at times...such a wonderful blend of the many emotions we all feel.  I loved that two very different characters were brought together, because in life that happens all the time. Life is all about the decisions we make, the choices we make, the friends we chose and the path we take....there are millions of ways any one person's life could turn out.  This book has lessons wrapped into the very well plotted and original story.  One thing is for certain when you pick up this book to will have an amazing time reading this book and getting caught up in this story.  These two ladies, Lorraine and Pam, are gifted in the art of story telling.  I have such a wonderful time reading their writing!  
Keep them coming ladies...your fans count on you!!! 5 stars

Monday, April 27, 2015

Double Review: The Denim Blue Sea and Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans by Joanne DeMaio

The Denim Blue Sea:

New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio returns to seaside Stony Point in this novel filled with beach friends, love, and the enchantment of a sandy boardwalk winding along the shore.

During two August weeks, denim designer Maris Carrington and coastal architect Jason Barlow prepare for their much-anticipated wedding. Guests arrive early, turning keys in charming cottage doors to begin their New England summer escape. The wedding is a reason for old friends to gather again; to meet in their shabby beach hangout and get the jukebox cranking; to walk that weathered boardwalk beneath a starry sky; to breathe the sweet salt air. "Cures what ails you," one of the friends, Neil, always said long before his life was sadly claimed. But his legacy was not.

When Maris discovers Neil's long-lost journal, its passages reveal a heartbreaking secret. Can truths be found within its timeworn pages? Can this leather-bound journal unite the friends as their lives begin to fray? A bittersweet family reunion, a surprising encounter from a devastating accident, a shocking confession leaving one marriage shattered--all will test the once close-knit circle. Suddenly this safe haven on the tranquil Connecticut shoreline churns with emotional turmoil, threatening even the beach wedding just days before it is to happen.

Yet like a silver cap on a breaking wave, love and friendship wash ashore with hope, ever shimmering, in The Denim Blue Sea.

My Review:
In Denim Blue Sea I was able to revisit the amazing friends that I made in Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. The Denim Blue Sea is another poignant story that tackles the issues many of us face in our own lives.  DeMaio creates a world in which the truth of the hard times and the brilliance of second chances come together in a perfect blend.  DeMaio has a distinct voice when she writes and she has become a new favorite writer of mine. DeMaio writes with heart and cares deeply about her characters and what happens to them, which shows in her brilliant storytelling. Another great read 4.5 stars

Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans: 

New York Times Bestseller

Escape to Stony Point, cuff your jeans and walk along the water's edge in this nostalgic story bringing old friends, and their lives, back to the sea.

After years of pursuing a denim design career, Maris Carrington never imagined trading her Chicago studio for a New England shingled cottage. But a forgotten home movie tucked inside a dusty attic box leads to an unexpected summer ... One of uncovering family secrets while settling her father's estate, one of inheriting a forlorn German shepherd, one of reconnecting with old friends on a weathered boardwalk, beneath starlit skies on a beach nestled in a crook of the Connecticut coast.

Her design career had become a shell, curving around her like the intricate whorls of a conch, shielding her until now. Until fried clam dinners and carousel rides beckon a lost love. But can Maris ever really go back? Can these beach friends ever be who they were to each other all those summers ago? Now one of her circle is dead; another unemployed and struggling in a tenuous marriage; another regretting a fateful decision; while one is missing a mother, ever seeking a connection she longs for.

To the backdrop of seaside cottages and a boarded up beach hangout, to the soundtrack of whispering lagoon grasses and a vintage jukebox, Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans asks if we can really design our own lives, or if our fate lies somewhere in the stars.

My Review:
Such a wonderful story that tugged on my heart strings and created a bond with the wonderful characters that lived within the pages of the book.  Such a wonderful setting with dialogue that rings true to real life and a story that is as compelling as it is intriguing.  Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans is a story that is perfect for the beach, or a group of best friends, a book name it.  There is something for everyone in this novel.  It is truly a blessing that DeMaio wrote another book, The Denim Blue Sea, that allows us to revisit these wonderful characters and picturesque location.  Make sure after you read Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans to pick up The Denim Blue Sea. 4.5 stars

Author Bio:
Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Her fifth novel, The Denim Blue Sea, was recently published. Currently at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut. To learn more about the author, visit She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Showcase with review: Girl Underwater by Claire Kells


An adventurous debut novel that cross cuts between a competitive college swimmer’s harrowing days in the Rocky Mountains after a major airline disaster and her recovery supported by the two men who love her—only one of whom knows what really happened in the wilderness. 

Nineteen-year-old Avery Delacorte loves the water. Growing up in Brookline, Massachusetts, she took swim lessons at her community pool and captained the local team; in high school, she raced across bays and sprawling North American lakes. Now a sophomore on her university’s nationally ranked team, she struggles under the weight of new expectations but life is otherwise pretty good. Perfect, really.

That all changes when Avery’s red-eye home for Thanksgiving makes a ditch landing in a mountain lake in the Colorado Rockies. She is one of only five survivors, which includes three little boys and Colin Shea, who happens to be her teammate. Colin is also the only person in Avery’s college life who challenged her to swim her own events, to be her own person—something she refused to do. Instead she’s avoided him since the first day of freshman year. But now, faced with sub-zero temperatures, minimal supplies, and the dangers of a forbidding nowhere, Avery and Colin must rely on each other in ways they never could’ve imagined.

In the wilderness, the concept of survival is clear-cut. Simple. In the real world, it’s anything but.

Claire Kells

I'm a writer, a second-year resident, and a bagel eater. Seriously, I can't start my day without a hot bagel and a Diet Coke (from the fountain only - and yes, this means I'm out there walking those San Francisco hills at dawn to get it!). I don't have many other quirks. That's not true. I have many. Thanks for stopping by and I hope I haven't confused/scared you.

I love a good story - fiction, non-fiction, mystery, spy novel, romance, Young Adult. I'll read anything with a good story at its core. As a writer, I live by the same rule. 

GIRL UNDERWATER is my first novel, coming in March 2015 from Penguin/Dutton.

Brilliant, emotional and completely stunning, Girl Underwater, will leave the reader emotionally exhausted in the best possible way! 4 stars

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. Great books. I have always been inspired by stories.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

A. I love connecting with readers. Nothing is more gratifying than hearing from someone who escaped into your story for a few hours. 

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?

A.  For a long time, rejection was the toughest part for me. After a while, I somehow learned to accept that rejection is a reliable and permanent part of this process. It’s not personal. I had been through the submission process twice before with manuscripts that didn’t sell, and it was that experience that taught me how to fail gracefully! 

These days, the hardest part is finding the time to sit down and write. I prefer to write for days and hours at a time, but my job makes that impossible. My time is never really my own. I do look forward to vacations when I can sit down for long periods and lose myself in whatever I’m writing. 

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?

A. Well, I’ve got my medical career, so I guess there’s that! But in a fantasy world, I would love to be a director. I’m kind of obsessed with the entertainment industry.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. Can You Speak Up?

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A. Esther Greenwood from The Bell Jar. When I read this book for the first time in college, I felt as though I was reading my autobiography! I connected with Esther on so many levels, which I know is worrisome because Esther is so depressed, but it was more than that. The ways in which she glimpsed happiness and purpose despite all the “noise” in her life really resonated with me.

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?

A. I’m probably most like Colin’s youngest sister for reasons that are hard to explain because she’s hardly in the book. She’s kind of my cameo.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

A. Harry Potter.

Q.  What do you want to be remembered for 100 years from now?

A. I hope someone remembers that I existed 100 years from now. That to me would be a victory.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. Summer—except in San Francisco. Summer in SF is cold and damp! I love a hot, humid New Jersey summer down the shore.

Q.  What inspired your book cover?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A. I didn’t have much say in the cover design, but that turned out to be a good thing because I absolutely love it. 

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. When I first received the Advanced Reader Copies, I showed them to friends and family. Everyone was like, “Wow! That’s so cool that you’re on the front cover!” It is true that the girl on the front looks like me, but it’s definitely not me. My friends and family still don’t believe this. 

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. Yes! Always.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  I’m just so thrilled and flattered to be here! Thank you for having me. 

Review: Save Me by Kristyn Kusek Lewis


Daphne Mitchell has always believed in cause and effect, right and wrong, good and bad. The good: her dream job as a doctor; Owen, her childhood sweetheart and now husband; the beautiful farmhouse they're restoring together. In fact, most of her life has been good--until the day Owen comes home early from work to tell her he's fallen head over heels for someone else.

Unable to hate him, but also equally incapable of moving forward, Daphne's life hangs in limbo until the day Owen's new girlfriend sustains near-fatal injuries in a car accident. As Daphne becomes a pillar of support for the devastated Owen, and realizes that reconciliation may lie within her grasp, she has to find out whether forgiveness is possible and decide which path is the right one for her.

Kristyn Kusek Lewis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I'm the author of SAVE ME (Grand Central, Dec 2014), a novel about two doctors, a tragic accident, and the power of forgiveness, and HOW LUCKY YOU ARE (Grand Central, Sept 2012), a novel about three women and the growing pains of their enduring friendship. How Lucky reached #1 on Barnes & Noble’s Top 100/Bestselling NOOK Books and was a Target Emerging Authors Pick, a Working Mother "Five Best Fall Books" and Parents Magazine "Mom Must-Read."

A former magazine editor at publications including Glamour and Child, I've been writing for national publications for nearly twenty years. My work has appeared in the New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Reader’s Digest, Glamour, Self, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Parents, Allure, Good Housekeeping, Cooking Light, Health, Men’s Health, the New York Daily News, and many more.

I'm a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where I earned an MFA in creative writing, and the College of the Holy Cross. I live in NC with my family.

With emotion, truth and pure heart, Save Me, is a novel not to be missed.  Lewis has a way to develop a story and a character and pull the reader into the lives within the pages.  
A great read 4 stars

Showcase: A Foolish Consistency by Andrea Weir

Book Description
When a trip to the emergency room on Christmas Eve brings Callie Winwood together with Will Tremaine, the man she once thought she’d marry but has not seen in twenty-five years, their chance meeting reignites feelings each has harbored for more than two decades. 

Their journey toward one another is anything but simple, however. Following the death of his wife, Joanna, two years earlier, which he believes he caused, Will has devoted himself to his two young children. 

As Will and Callie struggle with their own personal histories of love and loss, they must also navigate the complex emotions of Will's children who still grieve for their mother. At the same time, they must struggle with Joanna's family, who refuse to accept that she is gone, and will do anything to avoid facing the truth. 

Just as Callie and Will find happiness at last, they are forced apart when a scandal threatens to unravel their respective families. Putting their children above all else, Callie and Will separate — willingly but painfully — until an unexpected ally intervenes. 

A Foolish Consistency explores the damage — emotional and otherwise — wrought by unacknowledged fear and grief, as well as the futility of trying to control the uncontrollable. Yet, it is also a passionate love story, and a statement on the power of hope, the importance of forgiveness, and, ultimately, the joy of redemption.

About Andrea
Andrea Weir is an accomplished journalist whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country and around the world. Born in Boston, she grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area then completed a degree in English literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She and her husband continue to live in Santa Barbara, where they raised their two daughters, Rebecca and Catherine. An avid reader and writer since childhood, Weir composed her first stories in grade-school notebooks, and has filled upwards of 30 journals since she received her first one as a gift at age 13. She has led writing workshops for high school students, and seminars on journaling for people of all ages.

Among the highlights of her writer’s life is a trip to the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth Village in West Yorkshire, England, where Charlotte Brontë created Jane Eyre and Emily Brontë penned Wuthering Heights.

A Foolish Consistency is Weir’s first novel. She is currently working on the sequel.

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. I am inspired by the stories of people’s lives. In my own writing I like to explore universal human emotions and experiences — love, loss, sadness, grief, joy, redemption. In A Foolish Consistency, for example, grief plays a central role (“looms large … becoming something of a character in itself,” according to Kirkus Reviews), but the story is about how people deal with it, and what happens when they don’t.

The best works of fiction, I think, are those that resonate with people and allows them to glimpse reflections of themselves.
Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. The freedom of expression. My characters say whatever words I put in their mouths, and through them I can explore all kinds of circumstances, situations, and experiences. I start with the statement, “I wonder what would happen if …” and see where it takes me.
Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. Exercising the self-discipline to sit down and write. Actually, I think the toughest part is first telling the internal editors and other naysayers in my head to be quiet, and then exercising the self-discipline to sit down and write.

It’s also tough to stay balanced and not be undone by the business of writing and publishing. For a writer, the only thing that matters — that should matter — is to tell a good story. Sometimes I have to remind myself that. A writer writes, first and foremost. The rest — be it fame, fortune or anything else — is secondary to the work itself.
Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. I would probably teach literature. I love that fiction enables us to explore different worlds and try on different personas. It gives us opportunities to practice compassion and empathy; it allows us to consider people in ways we might not otherwise, and to understand motives behind their actions. And we can bring some of that understanding into our real lives.
Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. “All In Good Time”
Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. There are so many books I love, but I think my favorite of all time is Becky’s Birthday by Tasha Tudor. It’s the first book I checked out of the library when I was six or seven years old, and I absolutely adored it. We were allowed to keep books for two weeks, and I’d check it out every other visit. I was enthralled by the writing, the illustrations, and by Becky’s loving family.

It is the book that taught me it’s possible to get lost in fiction, and it is the first book I fell in love with.
Q. What character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Jo March in Little Women. There’s the writing, of course, but also her commitment to her family, her strength combined with compassion, her stubbornness, and also that she’s a bit unsure of herself.
Q.  What character from any of your books are you most like?
A. I’m probably most like Callie, because our childhood experiences are so similar. She has taught me a lot about life and about myself.
Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin. It’s the book on which the film Enchanted April is based. Who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend in San Salvatore, a castle high above a bay on the Italian Riviera? Who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend with those four women?
Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. I don’t have a favorite season. I really like them all for their individual qualities. I love long summer days and warm evenings, but I also like curling up by the fireplace on a cold winter night. Shakespeare said it much better than I can: “At Christmas I no more desire a rose,/Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth;/But like each thing that in season grows.
Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. Roses figure prominently in my novel, beginning with the epigraph, a quote from Emerson’s essay on self-reliance: “The roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are …”

Also, the background is reminiscent of an exterior wall or a headstone — depending on how you look at it.
Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. I don’t know that I’d call this funny, but a woman approached me in a bookstore after a reading and shared practically her entire life story with me. Over the course of the conversation she interrupted herself a few times to say she couldn’t believe she telling me such personal details when we had only just met.
Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. Yes, I’m working on the sequel to A Foolish Consistency, though it doesn’t have a working title yet. It answers some of the questions that didn’t get completely resolved, and explores a new set of themes (though loss and grief and difficult relationships still figure prominently). It also provides a broader family history and looks at issues related to mental health.  
Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. Aside from, “I hope you’ll read my novel?” (That was a joke.) Actually, what I’d like to say is, “Thanks for reading — anything.” Books make us more intelligent, more interesting, more curious, more discerning, more everything. They make us better people. 
And can I put in a plug for my novel by way of mentioning that I just learned I am a finalist for a Foreword Review’s 2014 IndieFAB Book of the Year Award? The winners will be announced in June.

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