Saturday, January 9, 2016

#MMBBR Showcases: Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf @hgudenkauf

A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband's family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf 

Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded. 

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia's accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack's past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence, These Things Hidden and One Breath Away. She lives in Iowa with her family.

Q.  What inspired the new novel Missing Pieces?

A.I’ve long been intrigued by news accounts documenting the shock and surprise loved ones experience when they learn that a loved one wasn’t quite the person they thought they were. I trusted him implicitly, says the woman whose husband has a secret family. She was always a reliable, hardworking employee, says the boss of the woman who embezzled thousands.  How could you be so wrong about the person sleeping next to you, sitting next to you or living next door to you? People keep secrets ~ but how long are they able to keep them hidden and what are the ramifications? That’s what I was trying to explore in Missing Pieces.

Q.  What was one of the biggest struggles when writing the new book?

A. I had completed the first fifty ages or so  when I realized that I was going the wrong direction with Missing Pieces. I pretty  much scrapped everything that I had written and started over. This was so discouraging at the time,  but once I got on the right track things flowed much more easily and ultimately developed into a much better story. Despite how painful the process of cutting and editing can be, I always learn something new about myself as a writer.

Q.  What was one the best moments while writing the newest novel?

A. I think the best moments while working on Missing Pieces was when I was collaborating with my editor. She has always has wise insights and spot-on suggestions. Not only does she challenge me to stretch myself as a writer she makes me laugh too.

Q.  Tell us about your writing process:

A. Though my writing process seems to evolve with each novel, I typically begin writing my novels in longhand and once I have a good start I transfer what I've written to the computer. I keep a notebook where I record details about each of the characters, their personalities, physical descriptions, their histories. While working on a project, I try to write every single day and go hard until the novel is complete. 

Q.  What keeps you going when things get tough?

A.When the writing gets tough, I set pen and paper aside or close my laptop and get outside and go for a walk with my dog, Lolo. I find that spending time on area nature trails helps me clear my mind and gives me a new perspective on the project. After our hike, I'm able to come back to my writing with new eyes and a renewed sense of determination. Chocolate has been known to help too!

Q.  What is something interesting about you that not many people know?

A. Most people don't know that I don't watch a lot of television, but when I do, it's one big binge-fest. Currently all I've been watching is the The Gilmore Girls - that's right, seven seasons of Lorelie, Rory and Stars Hollow. When I finish watching this one, I'll be on the search for a series one to watch from beginning to end. I'm looking for suggestions.

Q.  Is there anything you want to share with the viewers today???

A.  I love connecting with readers and talking books ~  I can be reached at  Also, please come see me for my most recent blog post, giveaways and other bookish fun!


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