Friday, June 28, 2013

On vacation but wait....

I am on vacation from June 28th until July 7th with only a few posts in between!  

Please stop in on:

 July 1st for my review of THE FIREBIRD via SheReads
July 3rd for the BookTrib blog tour stop for 
Being Me by Lisa Renee Jones

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Amy's review of A GIRL LIKE YOU by Maureen Lindley

A Girl Like You

Book Description

 June 4, 2013
In the 1930s and '40s in Angelina, California, Satomi is the only girl with one white parent and one Japanese parent. There are Japanese families, but Satomi is neither a part of the white community nor the Japanese one. She is "other" to both. Things get worse for Satomi--and all people with even a drop of Japanese blood--when Japan poses a threat to the United States. Her father joins the Navy, in part to fight for his country, and in part to protect his wife and daughter from racist citizens, but dies in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Rather than being celebrated as a hero, his death is ignored by the neighbors who shun Satomi and her mother. Shortly thereafter, they are taken to internment camps where they are treated like animals. Satomi's sudden loss of freedom is a terrible thing to bear, and she is disgusted by the utter lack of privacy, the open latrines, the sewage that runs behind their barrack, and the poorly built hovels that allow stinging dirt and dust to enter during frequent storms. But in the camp she finds a community for the first time. Not all of the Japanese residents welcome her, but Satomi and her mother find good friends in the family housed next to them in the barracks, and in the camp doctor, who is drawn to Satomi's spirit and her mother's grace. Satomi cares for Cora, one of the young orphans at the camp, as a daughter. Throughout it all, Satomi yearns for love. When she is finally freed from the internment camp, she heads east, finding a job, a shabby room, and several suitors in New York. There are men who would make her life easier, those who would take care of her, but Satomi insists on love--and finds it, in unexpected places.

This is the story about a Japanese mother named Tamura and an American father named Aaron during  World War II.  The daughter Satomi isn’t sure where she belongs as she feels she is not American and not Japanese.  She has trouble in school with friends and her dad wished she was a boy so she could help and contribute to the family farm. 

Aaron decides to join the Navy and is sent to Pearl Harbor where he dies during an attach.  The government turns on Tamura and Satomi forcing them to leave their home, taking all their money and possessions and sending them to an internment camp. 

During this time Satomi comes to embrace her Japanese culture.  This is a story or love and loss Tamura and Satomi face.  The author makes you feel as if you are part of this story and you cannot put it down because you have to find out how it ends.  I give this book 4 stars.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dancers & Divas by Kathy Petrakis Tour & Giveaway! Could Win up to $1000!

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Follow the tour HERE

About the book:  Does passion and desire guarantee success? Can friends really be trusted? Can true love be found beneath lust and deceit?

These are questions tenacious street dancer Elena Martinez faces as she struggles to compete against the most talented students at New York’s top Performing Arts High School. Along with her best friend, the carefree and mischievous Sebastien Duval, they are determined to make center stage.

But the singing diva Letitia has other plans. Beautiful, talented and popular, her desire for revenge could ruin everything for Elena and Sebastien. Now, they must fight against prejudice, treachery and deceit as Letitia sets out to destroy Elena’s friendships, her romance, her dignity and her dreams. Can Elena win the battle for true love, happiness and success?

*contains mature content - recommended for 15+*

About the book:  Can secrets stay hidden forever? Can people really change? Are some mistakes unforgivable?

As Elena and Sebastian embark on a fresh start, will Letitia keep his secret, or will she use it to destroy them?
As Veronika falls in love, Frankie is out of rehab and trying to make amends, but will it last for either of them?

Meanwhile, as Anya is torn between loyalty to her Nana and love for Darius, could Darius fall for the new temptress, Rosa? With her stunning looks, her powerful, sensual dancing and her desire to seduce, she has everyone nervous but what secret is she hiding?

Continue the roller-coaster journey with your favorite characters as they try to survive junior year at the country’s top performing arts school.

 Kathy Petrakis was born and raised in Sydney Australia by Greek immigrant parents. She always had a passion for the performing arts - dancing, acting and singing but they were hobbies giving way to a traditional professional career in banking. Before this book, her writing was used to entertain friends with her unusual, and often disastrous travel adventures from around the world. 

By the hand of fate, Passion and Pain and Bittersweet were born while living in London, heaven for lovers of the performing arts. After launching Passion and Pain, she returned to Sydney for the launch of the sequel, Bittersweet.

Connect with Kathy:   Website   Mailing List    Facebook    Goodreads    Twitter

Sex, sex sex – is that what it’s all about? 
By Kathy Petrakis

One of the biggest controversies with New Adult is that it’s given the label of Young Adult with sex. Sometimes, it even borders on erotic. I have no problem with sex in books or erotica. However, for me, when writing contemporary novels about teenagers aged over sixteen, I feel it’s important to treat sex with the delicacy, confusion and angst that it often creates. And I feel erotica should be identified as erotica.

Is there sex in the Dancers and Divas series? Of course there is. These are teenagers who are entering the world of adulthood and who have different life experiences, values and hormones!

The important thing to me, is that sex is not a matter of being in love and hence having a wonderful sex life – wouldn’t it be great if it was always like that? I think characters approach and deal with this experience very differently, especially as teenagers.

In the Dancers and Divas series there are characters who fear it, others who have seen the worst of it from a young age and others who use sex as a weapon against those less experienced. There are characters who avoid it, others who experience great love and pleasure from it and others who see the often realistic initiation into loveless sex.

Often sex itself is not just about sex – it’s about self-doubt, insecurities, pressure to please or be loved, or fear of missing out. It sometimes is about sharing a unique and intimate experience with someone you love. Whatever it is, it’s part of a mature teenager’s life – whether in participation or abstinence.

Do I think all teenagers should be having sex at sixteen? Definitely not. Some teenagers are really just not ready for it. Do I think we should talk about it realistically? Absolutely. And that is something I’ve tried to include in this series which deals with so many other issues apart from a character’s decision about whether to have sex.

Not only are these teenagers growing up, but they are following the dream of success in the performing arts, where so few make it and so many try. They have to face so many things about themselves every day which is what makes this series interesting for me to write and hopefully, for you to read.  Sex is only one aspect of their complex and constantly evolving lives.

 So, Kathy has some AMAZING Giveaways up for grabs as part of this tour!
One for everyone & one specifically for FANS of the series! 

Use the Rafflecopters below to enter for your chance to win!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Highlight: Sullie Saves the Seas by Goffinet McLaren

Sullie Front Cover with TM Introducing: Sullie Saves the Seas by Goffinet McLaren

Sullie Saves the Seas explores the human extremes of caring and indifference as a small group of dedicated birds battle to preserve our oceans.

When Goffinet McLaren`s new super-hero, Sullie, sees that plastic pollution is destroying his precious Turtle Beach, he calls his friends to action.

Sullie the leader, Speedy the sandpiper, Plonkie the pelican, Eddo, the eager eagle, and Allo the albatross, form a Secret Society.

Working together, McLaren’s cast of characters create a fun filled, exciting adventure full of pranks that takes aim at specific thoughtless humans who are causing environmental damage to the beach and to Sullie`s ocean pals.

Chapter by chapter, Sullie`s clever plot delivers a delightful tale that you will enjoy sharing with your children and friends.

McLaren`s story targets 8 – 12 year olds, but kids of all ages will laugh with, learn from, and love a savvy seagull`s schemes to save his ocean.

The story is dedicated to all the sea birds, whales, dolphins, seals, and turtles that have lost their lives due to plastic pollution.

 McLaren’s Sullie the Seagull is sure to become an icon for clean oceans everywhere.

Goffinet Hatless photoPawleys Island’s Dawn Goffinet Marie McLaren is the author of Sullie Saves the Seas, a book written for 8 to 12 year olds, but  kids of all ages, parents, and grandparents will laugh with, learn from, and love a savvy seagull`s schemes to save his ocean.
When Sullie the Seagull,  sees that plastic pollution is destroying his precious Turtle Beach, he calls his friends to action. Sullie and his Secret Society of birds create a fun filled, exciting, adventure that takes aim at specific thoughtless humans who are causing environmental damage to the beach and to Sullie`s ocean pals.
Chapter by chapter, Sullie`s clever schemes deliver a delightful tale that you will enjoy sharing with your children and friends.
Goffinet was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, and emigrated to the States in 1979, where she met her husband Ian. In 1988, she initiated a reading program, “Book Buddies” for underserved children in Greenville, South Carolina. The program was recognized in 1993 as “volunteer program of the year” by the South Carolina Education Board.
After graduating Phi Betta Kappa from Furman University with B.A. in Political Science and History and spending many years volunteering for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Goffinet retired to Litchfield Beach in Pawleys Island.
These days, she likes to spend her time researching the devastating effects of plastic debris in the ocean, leading the South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts (SCUTE) team at Litchfield by the Sea, developing the “Plastic- Free- Pawleys” project to encourage local shopkeepers to discontinue their use of plastic shopping bags, and of course, writing about Sullie.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review Roundup: Sea Glass Island, Looking for La La and Almost Always

Sea Glass Island (Ocean Breeze, #3)

About the Book:
Under summer skies, New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods evokes family, friendship and heartfelt emotion

With her two younger sisters heading for the altar, will Samantha Castle exchange old dreams for new ones? Lately she'd rather be on the North Carolina coast with family than in New York with agents and actors. Though she vows not to let her teenage crush on Ethan Cole influence her decision, it's hard to ignore her feelings for the local war hero.

Ethan lost more than his leg in Afghanistan. He lost his belief in love. Even being surrounded by couples intent on capturing happily-ever-after won't open this jaded doctor's heart. It's going to take a sexy, determined woman-one who won't take no for an answer.

My Review:
What a lovely conclusion to the Ocean Breeze Trilogy.  In the last book of the series we are brought into the life of Samantha.  We are taken along to witness the love story that is Samantha and Ethan.  The ups and downs and the finally conclusion are as warming and lovely as the first two books.  With the tone, cadence and heart warming romance that Woods is so known for, this book ties up the story of the Castle family in a nice bow.  I just loved getting to know the girls and loved being with them throughout the three books! 
 This series is a must for the Summer! 4 stars.

(Read my reviews for Sand Castle Bay and Wind Chime Point HERE)

Looking for La La

About the Book:
In a recent survey 65% of mothers admitted feeling undervalued, over-criticised and constantly tired.

Cathy is no exception. Her dull, uneventful days as a stay at home, mother of two, are radically transformed however with the arrival of a heavily lipsticked postcard addressed to husband, Declan. Who is the mysterious La La? Could Declan really be having an affair? And is Cathy actually being stalked?

Whatever – it will definitely prove riveting gossip for the Tuesday Twice Monthlies, Cathy’s 'Mothers Restaurant Research’ group where scandal flows as recklessly as the wine. But what starts as a light-hearted investigation with best friend Raz, soon turns into something much more sinister.

With a possible murderer on the scene, a sexy admirer igniting long-forgotten sparks, and all her friends hiding secrets, it’s not only Cathy’s marriage that’s in jeopardy. Add in the scheming antics of Declan’s new assistant, the stress of organising the school Save The Toilet’s dance and the stage is set for a dangerous showdown and some very unsettling, possibly deadly, revelations.

My Review:
Who the heck is La La and why on earth is she making  Cathy's life hellishly unbearable?  Go on an amazingly funny, brilliant and entertaining ride with Cathy (the neurotic and humorous main character) and her crazy cast of friends and neighbors!  Looking for La La is so much more than British Romantic Comedy at it's best, but also a story about the fractures of marriage,  facing ones own insecurities and learning to  find happiness within one's life!   I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read  When Good Friends Go Bad and How To Survive Your Sisters.  I recommend this book and rate it 4 stars!         

Almost Always

About the Book:
Here’s the way Eva sees it: if John is so concerned about her butting into strangers' lives, he shouldn’t leave her sitting at a table in Bob Evans with nothing to occupy her time . . .

Enter Cecelia—a pregnant teenager who needs a family for her baby. Fate has placed her at the table behind Eva and John.

Now Eva has a chance—a chance to give her daughter, Shelly, the one thing Shelly desperately wants. 

But nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Because sometimes daughters are not born to us—they are gifted by desperate teenagers—or seated behind us at Bob Evans . . .

My Review:
Life is full of twists and turns that we don't expect.  Twists and turns that take us places we never thought we were to go.  In Almost Always we are taken on a journey with some amazing characters, in circumstances so real that you are drawn into the story.   There is meaning in all things and sometimes things have a way of revealing themselves, and ultimately revealing who we really are in the process.  I really enjoyed this book and  rate it 4 stars. 


Friday, June 21, 2013

Children's Books Reviews!!!!

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MY FAVORITE PLACE TO BE...(A Bedtime Story) & Stevie Tenderheart WAIT A MINUTE!: (A Bedtime Story) (Companion coloring books are also available)

A Bedtime Story... Sharing a Stevie Tenderheart bedtime storybook with your child is a true bonding experience you will treasure for years to come. Perhaps a lifetime... 

In the Stevie Tenderheart bedtime storybooks the author creates a kind, lighthearted, tender and fun storybook for children and parents too. You can begin reading this book to small children (age 2) until they can read for themselves. 
Typically, 4-8 is the ideal age range. The illustrations are splendid fancy fun, creative and adventurous. Nancy Watson does such a pleasing job with this author's imagery. A must have storybook for your library. 

The book is loaded with marvelous illustrations and a wonderful story line with a nice cadence. A particularly well-polished style strength is just how nicely the easy-flowing rhymes are structured. You can tell each word has been auditioned. The story is written in a way so when parents or grandparents (or aunts and uncles) read this story to children, the voice inflections are natural and fun. 

The story is written in a fun, interactive style which really draws children to the Stevie Tenderheart experience. This is a clever, fresh and smart book. It definitely piques interest and wonderment perking up little children's ears. Giggles and belly laughs aren't far behind. Kids feel really cozy and content and ready for bed when the final page is turned. It's a nice end to a long day. A good night's sleep is most assured. 

In the first book, My Favorite Place to Be, Stevie wishes he could take his bed everywhere he goes, this story keeps things at home. In this story, Wait A Minute! (WAM!), Stevie Tenderheart fills his bed with all of his favorite things. Each page is an adventure. Children love the Stevie Tenderheart series and so will you. Children want to hear these stories night after night. It is especially fun to read out loud. Fun for them and fun for you. This author is quickly making a name for himself as one of the premier children's authors of our time.

My thoughts:
Adorable, fun and engaging!!!  This series is one to get and share with your child.  The stories are so cute and the pictures are animated, colorful and imaginative.  This series will leave you and your children truly happy and talking about the places you would explore, your favorite things and so much more.  Reading a bedtime story should bring parent and child closer and the Stevie books do that and so much more!  My son loves the coloring books that are companions to the story too!   I would love to see this as a series and to go with Stevie on many more adventures!!! I rate the series 4.5 stars!


In “Ben Not a Puppy”  Michelle taps into a young childs world of imagination where a box can be a race car, an eisel can become a classroom, and outstretched arms can become a plane. Younger children will be delighted by the guessing game that Ben plays with his mother while early readers will delight in being able to sight read familiar phrases and follow the illustrations to figure out new words.

My thoughts:
As a teacher I am always looking for books that are quick reads with great stories to use in the classroom.  This is one of those great finds.  The story is about being imaginative, but always maintaining one's own identity.  Yes, that is the complex message in this fun story!  But the great part is, that it is hidden with the fun story about a boy pretending to be everything from a dog to a plane!!! I really enjoyed it and cannot wait to use it in the classroom! 4.5 stars!


Something Fishy

Exploring a delightful world of truly exotic and unusual sea creatures, Something Fishy is filled with intriguing facts about an array of fish and animals that live in or near the water. Written entirely in verse, Barry Louis Polisar’s witty and thought-provoking poems introduce children to some of the oddest creatures in the animal kingdom, including many rare and endangered species. Children will be captivated by the lively illustrations, while learning and laughing at the clever rhymes.

My thoughts:
In SOMETHING FISHY  facts about the things that live under water are told with rhymes and funny pictures.   This book made me and my boys laugh out loud and talk about the things that lurk under the water!  I just loved the illustrations! They had such personality! Such fun! 4 stars!

Children's Books Showcase!!!!

Grover does a mitzvah (good deed) by joining his friends to spruce up the neighborhood playground. Even Moishe Oofnik comes out of his trash can to help, eating up all the trash, and separating the cans for recycling.

Join Sammy Spider on his stowaway adventure as he tours Israel and learns the many meanings of “shalom.”

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mandy's Romance Corner Reviews

Faking It (Losing It, #2)

About the Book: Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

Mandy's Review:  Faking It by Cora Carmack
Cora Carmack does it again.  This book rocks.  Faking it is the followup book to Losing it starring Cade.  I really like Cade.  I felt bad for him in Losing it, him being the underdog.  I love the way Cora brings Cade and Max together and develops their story.  Its quirky, lovable, believable and an excellent read.  I could not put this book down.  I highly recommend it.  I give it 4 stars.

Own the Wind (Chaos, #1)

About the Book:  Tabitha Allen grew up in the thick of Chaos--the Chaos Motorcycle Club, that is. Her father is Chaos' leader, and the club has always had her back. But one rider was different from the start. When Tabby was running wild, Shy Cage was there. When tragedy tore her life apart, he helped her piece it back together. And now, Tabby's thinking about much more than friendship...

Tabby is everything Shy's ever wanted, but everything he thinks he can't have. She's beautiful, smart, and as his friend's daughter, untouchable. Shy never expected more than friendship, so when Tabby indicates she wants more--much more--he feels like the luckiest man alive. But even lucky men can crash and burn..

Mandy's Review:  Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley
Bikers … Bad Boy Bikers … Alpha Male Bad Boy Bikers (yummy).  I really enjoyed this book.  Kristen does a great job of showing us what life in a Motorcycle Club is like.  Tabitha has grown up around bikers all her life and knows what life is like, she wants Shy Cage for herself.  Shy has always had an interest in Tabby but keeps his distance, not anymore.  This is a great book for the start of a new series, I can’t wait until the next one comes out.  I give it 4 stars.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Highlight: Drayling by Terry J. Newman

About the book:
Twenty-fifth century Drayling, and Britain as a whole, has benefited greatly from advances in technology and medical science, and life in the Graves' household, and in those of their friends and colleagues, is secure, clear and very content. The desire and need for clarity, truth and order has motivated communities to live in harmony, abandoning any potentially controversial aspects or ways of life, including all religions, in favour of a modern civilised society that upholds order, simplicity, honesty, love and honour as its ideals. However, the death of the Premier brings a significant shift in approach - which forces a small group of ordinary people to conclude that they have no alternative but to take radical action to protect their way of life.

About the Author:
Terry J. Newman lives with his wife, Linda, in Sussex, England. He is a member of English Heritage, The National Trust, Brighton & Hove Albion Supporters' Club and Mensa. Drayling is his first novel and is, in his own words, "more Futuristic Drama than Science Fiction. There aren't any little green men or spaceships, it all just happens to take place in the future. It's a different kind of Science Fiction book - for the intelligent reader."
As an aside, Newman has revealed that, woven into the book, are twenty six "allusions to my home county of Sussex". The most obvious example being the title, "Drayling", which is an anagram of "Ardingly" - the author's birthplace.

SIGNED GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue

About the book:
“Beach Book Extraordinaire! Donohue’s three protagonists are irresistibly sympathetic as they try to unbury their true selves from the ruinous secrets of their shared past.” --Elin Hilderbrand. bestselling author of Beautiful Day

In Philadelphia, good girl Kate is dumped by her fiance the day she learns she is pregnant with his child. In New York City, beautiful stay-at-home mom Vanessa is obsessively searching the Internet for news of an old flame. And in San Francisco, Dani, the aspiring writer who can't seem to put down a book--or a cocktail--long enough to open her laptop, has just been fired...again.

In an effort to regroup, Kate, Vanessa, and Dani retreat to the New Jersey beach town where they once spent their summers. Emboldened by the seductive cadences of the shore, the women being to realize how much their lives, and friendships, have been shaped by the choices they made one fateful night on the beach eight years earlier--and the secrets that only now threaten to surface.

My Review: 

Donohue has done it again and I could not be more happy. There is a risk that when you love an author's debut novel the subsequent books may not meet your high expectations. I loved How to Eat a Cupcake (REVIEW) and I am happy to report that I also loved All the Summer Girls. Donohue writes compelling characters, ones that you can relate to. In ATSG Donohue brings three friends back together for a weekend getaway, back to the place that all feel at home. All of the women are facing person struggles, mixed with ghosts of the past and guilt that has fractured the foundations of the friendships years ago. What unfolds in ATSG is not only a universal story about love, friendship and ultimately finding ones self among the chaos of life, but also a story of the weight of secrets kept, forgiveness, growth and redemption. ATSG is a book to take to the beach, to share with a friend or is your next book club pick. This is a must read for summer 2013. Donohue knows how to write novels that cause you to become invested, to turn pages and to ruminate on what you read after the book is finished. A talent worth noticing. 5 stars.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

An Interview between Nancy Thayer and Samantha Wilde!!

First, Happy book birthday to Nancy on Island Girls!!!!  Everyone get out and get a copy quick, I know I will!!!  Second, Holy Cow, I am a bit excited today having the the amazing talents of the mother/daughter writers power house here today!  They have so kindly written an amazing interview between the two of them!  Enjoy!  

Thanks Nancy and Samantha for being here today!!!!  

Island Girls: A Novel

“Nancy Thayer is one of my favorite writers, and Island Girlsis one of her best. The Randall sisters are like your own family members or your best friends: funny, smart and emotional, infuriating and good-hearted. Here is a book to be savored and passed on to the good women in your life.”—New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs

New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer returns to her beloved Nantucket in a highly emotional, wholly entertaining tale of three sisters forced to confront the past over one event-filled summer on the island.
Charming ladies’ man Rory Randall dies with one last trick up his sleeve: His will includes a calculating clause mandating a summer-long reunion for his daughters, all from different marriages—that is, if they hope to inherit his posh Nantucket house. Relations among the three sisters are sour thanks to long-festering jealousies, resentments, and misunderstandings. Arden, a successful television host in Boston, hasn’t been back to the island since her teenage years, when accusations of serious misbehavior led to her banishment. College professor Meg hopes to use her summer to finish a literary biography and avoid an amorous colleague. And secretive Jenny, an IT specialist, faces troubling questions about her identity while longing for her sisters’ acceptance.
To their surprise, the three young women find their newfound sisterhood easier to trust than the men who show up to complicate their lives. And if that weren’t problematic enough, their mothers descend on the island. When yet another visitor drops by the house with shocking news, the past comes screaming back with a vengeance. Having all the women from his life under his seaside roof—and overseeing the subsequent drama of that perfect storm—Rory Randall might just be enjoying a hearty laugh from above.
Nancy Thayer’s novel insightfully illustrates how the push and pull of family altercations make us whole. It’s how the Randall sisters come to forgive, and learn to open their hearts to love.

Nancy Thayer is the author of twenty-three novels, including Summer House, The Hot Flash Club, Beachcombers, Heat Wave, Summer Breeze, and Island Girls, due out June 2013.

Her books concern the mysteries and romance of families and relationships: marriage and friendships, divorce and love, custody and step parenting, family secrets and private self-affirmation, the quest for independence and the normal human hunger for personal connections.
Nancy Thayer’s work has been translated into many languages, including German, Finnish, Hebrew, Russian, Turkish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Serbo-Croatian, Swedish, Danish, and Polish. Her novels have been condensed or excerpted in several literary reviews and magazines, including Redbook and Good Housekeeping, England’s Cosmopolitan, Holland’s Viva, and South Africa’s Personality.

Nancy Thayer has a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She was a Fellow at the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference. She has lived on Nantucket Island year-round for twenty-eight years with her husband Charley Walters. Her daughter is the novelist Samantha Wilde.

Perfect for fans of Marisa de los Santos and Allison Winn Scotch, Samantha Wilde’s new novel is a funny and heartfelt look at friendship, marriage, and the dynamics of modern motherhood.
Nora and Annie have been best friends since kindergarten. Nora, a shy English teacher at a quaint New England boarding school, longs to have a baby. Annie, an outspoken stay-at-home mother of two, longs for one day of peace and quiet (not to mention more money and some free time). Despite their very different lives, nothing can come between them—until Cynthia Cypress arrives on campus.
Cynthia has it all: brains, beauty, impeccable style, and a gorgeous husband (who happens to be Nora’s ex). When Cynthia eagerly befriends Nora, Annie’s oldest friendship is tested. Now, each woman must wrestle the green-eyed demon of envy and, in the process, confront imperfect, mixed-up family histories they don’t want to repeat. Amid the hilarious and harried straits of friendship, marriage, and parenthood, the women may discover that the greenest grass is right beneath their feet.

I wrote This Little Mommy Stayed Home, my first novel, while resting in bed with a laptop and a bag of chocolates while my infant son napped. Of course I didn't start writing until he slept through the night because before that, I couldn't think, let alone write. What began as an act of total desperation for reconnection to my creative life turned into a two book contract with Random House. My second novel, I'LL TAKE WHAT SHE HAS,came in fits and starts between the babyhood of my second child and the birth of my third. 

Born in Northampton, Mass and raised in Williamstown and Nantucket, Mass I attended Concord Academy (I'LL TAKE WHAT SHE HAS is set at a suburban Boston boarding school), a school much beloved to me, Smith College (with a brief stint at Wellesley College), Yale Divinity School, The New Seminary, and the Kripalu School of Yoga. Before full-time motherhood, and part-time novel writing, I taught yoga full-time and worked as a minister. I am the daughter of novelist Nancy Thayer whose shoes I can only dream to fill!

What I love above all else—next to God and chocolate—are my children
I’m passionate about mothering, despite its tedious moments, and love to connect with other mothers, as well as non-mothers. I like those people too! My children, 6, 4.5, and 2, are my teachers of patience, love, creativity, endurance, self-preservation, and joy. Though I wear many hats still, as a yoga teacher and a minister and a writer, none is more dear to me or closer to my heart than mothering.

I live with my husband, a professor of chemical engineering in Western Massachussets. We are both lovers of family and feel very blessed to have our own. I use nap times (when they happen) to work on my third novel, and often find myself typing away after bedtime.
My interests and influences are as varied and eclectic(and disparate!) as the Duggars (that enormous family of 19), Unity School of Christianity, fun women’s fiction, Kripalu yoga retreats, Bo Lozoff, Oprah, growing my own veggies, Byron Katie, Joyce Meyer, baking with my children, reading books on gentle parenting, study of world religions, playing the harmonium and chanting, practicing yoga, eating chocolate, praying, laughing, to the very simple, most wonderful times of being with friends and family. I read almost anything, and when I’m not too tired, I love to think!

An Interview between Nancy Thayer and Samantha Wilde!

SW: Mom, your 23rd novel, Island Girls, releases today. Whenever I ask you about your favorite book, you say it’s the one you’re working on at the time. Well, I don’t believe it! If you really look back at your career, all the books you’ve published, doesn’t one speak to you or represent you better than the others? Isn’t one of them your “heart book?”

NT: Excellent question, Sam.  I had to stop and think about it, and honestly, they are all my “heart books.”  My heart and soul are in all my books in different ways, because they are all about family and friends, and family and friends are the center of my heart.

SW: We’ve both written recent books about friendship. In your opinion, what makes a friend?

NT: I think equality, mutual admiration, even a little envy, on both sides, is the key. No pity—although friends help each other through hard times. A similar sense of humor helps. Sometimes you meet a person and a kind of magic happens and you know you’ve met a friend. Sometimes, as in Island Girls, it takes time and a few challenges to build up trust. What do you think makes a friend?

SW: Honesty, presence, humor, forgiveness, and commonality. Not unlike what you need in family! Island Girls is about a mixed-up family—three half-sisters. Which of the characters is most like you? Which is most like me?

NT: Meg, the college instructor, is the most like me.  She’s writing a book about Louisa May Alcott’s younger sister; she’s dreamy, plump, and romantic.  NO ONE is like you in the world, Sam, but if I had to choose, I’d say Arden, who is assertive, sassy, take-charge and gorgeous.  Except, oops, Arden doesn’t want children, so she’s not like you at all!

SW: I’m reading Island Girls right now and I thought I was like Meg! Oh, well. If you could write a novel about anything, not worrying about what might publish or sell well, what would it be?

NT:  I would, and I will someday, write a novel about the death of several young people I loved.  As I write, I begin to understand my own life in ways I can’t comprehend without writing fiction.  Sylvia Plath said: Fiction is a lie that tells the truth. Sam, what would you write about if you didn’t worry about sales?

SW: I’d love to do more non-fiction writing, a spiritual memoir, a book about spirituality and mothering, a book about liberal Christianity. But still funny! I love writing comically. But here’s a serious question: I grew up knowing how much you love writing and hearing the story of being a little girl and wanting to become a writer. Not many people get to fulfill their childhood dreams so completely. Have you ever had a moment or a day when you thought, I wish I’d become something else?

NT:  Not one single day. I wish I had the energy to write all day, but I don’t. I have trouble falling asleep, but when I wake in the morning, I grab my coffee and almost run to my desk.

SW: Somehow, you’ve turned into the Queen of the Beach Read and yet, personally, I’ve never seen you read a book on the beach. How has this happened?

NT:  Ha ha, my darling.  I love walking on the beach, but not sitting in the sand. I like reading curled up in a chair in my own little world. And Beach Reads mean to me a book that is fun, bright, smart, not so serious the reader feels the pain of the world, but intelligent enough that a reader learns something that touches her heart.  What kind of fiction do you believe you write?  Someone once told me—years ago—that I write in the “dirty diaper genre of fiction.”  It was a man who said it, of course.  Have things changed in 30 years?

SW: I’m glad you asked because I am the QUEEN of Dirty Diaper Fiction. I am so happy to write novels about motherhood. Motherhood is where it’s at. Rueful, honest, truthful, entertaining, and full of poop—what more could anyone possibly want? Speaking of queens, what’s your secret fantasy?

NT:  Seriously: I want to live to be 100, writing a book a year, and living about 10 minutes from my grandchildren. I think I know what your fantasy is: 6 children, a farm, and a Laura Ingalls Wilder life.  Or am I wrong?

SW: You’re very close. Lots of children, land, noise, singing, laughter, people, time, wild flowers. I’ll stick with indoor plumbing, though. Laura can keep her outhouse!

Enjoy the Q&A?  Then you should watch this video of the ladies!!!!

Buy the books!!!!


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