~#Q&A AND #GIVEAWAY WITH LISA GYLLENHAAL AND “A PLACE FOR US”….

MBA&M AND BERKLEY/NAL, PENGUIN GROUP USA PROUDLY PRESENTS…..

A Place For Us

A PLACE FOR US

BY

LISA GYLLENHAAL

MBA&M: Please give our readers some insight into Liza Gyllenhaal?

 

LISA: I was raised in a small town in Pennsylvania. After college, some of which was spent at the University of Iowa Writing Workshop where I studied poetry, I moved to New York City and began a career in publishing and advertising. In the late 1980s, I founded an advertising agency that specialized in book publishing accounts and watched it grow over the next couple of decades. About the same time I started the agency, my husband and I began to spend weekends in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, eventually buying a small cottage there. Like so many weekenders, we found ourselves drawn more and more to the serenity and natural beauty of the area—the corn fields, dairy farms, and rolling hills. When I was able to sell the agency several years ago to devote myself to writing, we also decided to spend more time in this part of the world.

I’d long been struck by the differences between the small, close-knit rural communities in the Berkshires and the upscale urban weekenders who live their part-time. All three of my novels for NAL — Local Knowledge, So Near, and now A Place for Us — are set in this area. They’re mostly about family life, the tensions and joys of living in a small town, and the longing for acceptance and a sense of community.

A Place For UsMBA&M: What inspired you to write “A  Place For Us”?

LISA: A few years ago I heard a news story on our local public radio station in Massachusetts about a married couple who were being arraigned under the Social Host Liability law. Two teenagers had been seriously injured in a car crash after drinking with the couple’s son at a party in the family’s basement.  Though the parents had been asleep upstairs and unaware of the underage drinking, one of the injured teenager’s family was bringing a law suit against the couple. Understandably, the rural community where the accident occurred was upset  about the incident — but also divided about where the responsibility rested.  As someone who loves writing about families and small towns, the story couldn’t help but capture my imagination.

            It also brought back to me a tragedy from my girlhood — two teenagers from my town who were killed in a car accident on their prom night; a bottle of whiskey was found in the front seat. As I began writing the novel, a very similar incident took place in a town not far from us in the Berkshires.  In this case, tragically, one of the teenagers involved in it was killed. This senseless death brought home to me how serious and pertinent  — and ongoing — the problem of underage drinking remains.

MBA&M: We see this is a story of a post 9/11 family, sexual assault, drama, secrets and lies, how hard was it to write this particular story?

 

LISA: Wow, that description does make it sound pretty dark! But it’s also the story of a loving family and a happy marriage that is tested to the limits.  This book was actually much easier to write than my last novel So Near which began with a toddler being killed in a car accident when a safety seat may have malfunctioned.

Every novel is hard to write in some way.  The real challenge for me in A Place for Us was getting inside the hearts and minds of my four main characters.  I thought it would be important to try several points of view with this novel — two adults and two teenagers — but I also realized that using four different first person voices would probably drive me — and readers  — crazy.  So I decided to write the novel in what is sometimes called the close third person which means that the story is being told by “he” or “she” rather than “I” but, hopefully, from pretty deep inside the head of the character in question.

            In the first person, you can write “I did this” or “I felt that” which gives the story an automatic believability.  For me, the third person —which puts readers a little more at a distance — is more of a challenge. I think that to write convincing fiction you have to be able to empathize with your characters.  You need to know them deep down. You have to believe in them.  But you also need to step back and give them breathing room to be themselves and make their own choices. It’s very tempting when you’re writing in the third person to  manipulate your characters and force them to do what the story line dictates.  But I think readers can always tell when a character is acting and talking — well … out of character.  The most important thing I learned from writing this novel in the third person is that if something doesn’t seem to be working, it probably isn’t the fault of the character — instead, there’s something wrong with the plot.

MBA&M: What was your hardest scene to write?

LISA: It’s the scene that explains a secret that’s haunted one of my main characters throughout the book — and that’s effected everyone involved.  I rewrote it more times than I can remember.  I think you’ll know which one I mean when you read the novel — if not, please let me know!

MBA&M: Which character do you admire the most and which was your least favorite?

LISA: I admired Wanda — the mother of the teenage girl who is assaulted.  She’s not a main character, but she is a wonderful, intuitively fair, and unfailingly loving parent. I disliked the headmaster of Moorehouse, the fictional prep school that features in the story, because he puts the reputation of the school above anything else.


MBA&M: Three words to describe A Place For Us?

LISA:Family.  Regret.  Acceptance.

MBA&M: What do you have in mind next?

LISA: I’m starting to write a new novel with a mystery at its heart which, I’m delighted to report, NAL will be publishing.  It won’t be a traditional police procedural, though someone will be murdered and the story will explore the reasons why — and probably end with the discovery of who did it.  But I’m hoping the novel will be more about the characters and the small New England community where they live.  I’m an avid amateur gardener and I loved writing about gardening in So Near and talking about my garden on my blog, so I’m pretty sure I want my main character to be a landscape architect/professional gardener.  I also know who gets killed — and when.  But I still have a lot of things I need to figure out.  A lot of the joy of writing — just as it is in reading — is discovering what’s going to happen next.


MBA&M: How do you spend your days?

LISA: Writing, reading, gardening.  I devote a lot of time to nonprofit board work, including serving on the boards of the Academy of American Poets and the West Stockbridge Historical Society.

MBA&M: Liza, thank you for spending a moments of your day with us and our readers! Please tell our readers where they may connect with you and where they may purchase A Place For Us.

LISA: Thanks so much — it’s been my pleasure!  A Place for Us is available in bookstores on March 5th and through all the usual on-line sites.  You can read more about it on my website http://www.lizagyllenhaal.com

Thanks for spending time with us and our readers!

_________

 

A PLACE FOR US
LISA GYLLENHAAL
A Place For Us
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451239237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451239235
*From the publisher*

Brook and Michael Bostock abandoned their fast-paced lives in Manhattan after 9/11, trading in the city for the more relaxed atmosphere of Michael’s small hometown in western Massachusetts . Brook, the daughter of an extremely prominent and wealthy New York family, is able to continue operating her event planning business, while Michael is finally able to build his own business making high-end furniture. But their seemingly peaceful lives are turned upside down when a teenager is sexually assaulted at a party their son throws while they are away.

 

The scandal receives national attention—not only because of Brook’s family name, but also because of the lawsuit looming against Brook and her husband, that alleges they are responsible for what happened that night. Suddenly, the small Massachusetts town they call home seems to turn against them, revealing the simmering jealousies and resentments that have been lurking under the surface all along.

 

With their once-perfect family in danger of falling apart, Brook and Michael must find a way to get through this together—or risk losing everything they love.

 

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A Place For UsGIVEAWAY ALERT!

(Sponsored by the publisher)

*To be mailed directly to the winner*

Thanks to Jessica,at Berkley,we are offering 1 lucky commenter a print copy of “A PLACE FOR US”. Sorry,open to U.S. residents,only. No P.O. Boxes,please.Giveaway will run from today March 27 until April 3,2013. All you have to do is leave a comment. Please remember to leave a valid email address with your comment for notification purposes only! *We will not save or share e-mail address except where notification of prize is concerned*

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE AND HAPPY READING!

 

 _______________

Please stop by and read “Our Thoughts” on this title.

http://mybookaddictionreviews.com/2013/03/22/review-a-place-for-us-by-liza-gyllenhaal/

Please spread the word!

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~~BOOK SPOTLIGHT~~WHERE THE LIGHT FALLS BY KATHERINE KEENUM…

MBA&M IS ONCE AGAIN PROUD TO PRESENT…

~~KATHERINE KEENUM~~

WHERE THE LIGHT FALLS….

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Book Description(from Amazon)

Release date: February 5, 2013
As the Belle Epoque dawns, Paris attracts artists from everywhere. One is Jeanette Palmer, daughter of a prominent Ohio family, who has left Vassar College under a cloud of scandal.

Amid the city’s great bohemian neighborhoods and teaching studios, Jeanette befriends other female artists, as well as an American Civil War veteran named Edward Murer. She begins to achieve a level of artistic success. And her happiness increases as she and Edward grow more intimate with each other.

But Edward is plagued by his demons and addicted to laudanum—and as the world opens its arms to Jeanette, and the society around her is transformed by cultural and scientific innovations, she must resolve a conflict utterly new to so many women: the choice between ambition and love.

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 edition (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425257789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425257784

__________

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Katherine graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in English and earned a Ph.D. in medieval studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked in the publicity department of the New Orleans Public Schools, taught in the expository writing program at Yale University, and served as the executive editor of the book publishing program of the Council on East Asian Studies at Harvard University. She now lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband, John Keenum, and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

For more information,please visit her at: http://www.katherinekeenum.com/

**Photo by Tammy Woodard**

__________

Thank you for spending time with us today!

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#GIVEAWAY AND SPOTLIGHT~~FAITH BASS DARLING’S LAST GARAGE SALE BY LYNDA RUTLEDGE…

 

MBA&M IS PROUD TO PRESENT…

~~DEBUT AUTHOR~~

FAITH BASS DARLING’S LAST GARAGE SALE BY LYNDA RUTLEDGE

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Book Description(From Amazon)

Release date: February 5, 2013
On the last day of the millennium, sassy Faith Bass Darling, the richest old lady in Bass, Texas, decides to have a garage sale. With help from a couple of neighborhood boys, Faith lugs her priceless Louis XV elephant clock, countless Tiffany lamps, and everything else in her nineteenth-century mansion out onto her long, sloping lawn.

Why is a recluse of twenty years suddenly selling off her dearest posessions? Because God told her to.

As the townspeople grab up five generations of heirlooms, everyone drawn to the sale–including Faith’s long-lost daughter–finds that the antiques not only hold family secrets but also inspire some of life’s most important questions: Do our possessions possess us? What are we without our memories? Is there life after death or second chances here on earth? And is Faith really selling that Tiffany lamp for $1?

READERS GUIDE INCLUDED

 

 

 

~~~~~

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A fifth generation Texan, Lynda has hopped across literary and geographic boundaries in her writing career. She’s been a freelance journalist, travel writer, ghostwriter, restaurant and film reviewer, copywriter, college professor, book collaborator, and nonfiction author while living/​writing/​studying in Chicago, San Diego, New Orleans, Madrid, and lots of other heres and theres around the globe.

 

For more on this author,please visit on at: http://www.lyndarutledge.com/index.htm

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GIVEAWAY ALERT!

(Sponsored by the publisher)

We are offering 1 lucky commenter a print copy of “Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale“. Open to U.S. residents only! NO P.O. Boxes, please. Giveaway runs from February 4 until February 11,2013.

**You must read the review and comment on the review in your comments her,plus,leave a comment on review site**

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!

~~~~

**Please check out “Our Thoughts” on this title**

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FEATURE AND REVIEW OF “THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME” by Allison Winn Scotch….

MBA&M PROUDLY PRESENTS A FEATURE AND REVIEW OF…..

“THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME” BY ALLISON WINN SCOTCH!

Allison Winn ScotchAbout Me(from the author’s website)

I was born in the ’70s at 3:43 AM in Charlottesville, VA. After my mother assured my father that yes, he could take that business trip to Montreal because, no, there was no chance that I would be making my appearance while he was gone, out I popped. Which my parents now like to use as a frequent analogy about my general attitude and overall take on life.

Er, not the kind of biographical information you were looking for? Okay, here are the more pertinent details:

After dabbling my toe in the PR, marketing and internet worlds, I discovered that there’s nothing finer than a) working for yourself, b) working from home and c) getting paid to write full-time. To that end, I earned my keep for eight years as a freelance magazine scribe for every title you could think of, from Glamour to Self to Shape to Redbook to Men’s Health to Women’s Health to Family Circle to InStyle Weddings to Bride’s to Cooking Light to Parents to American Baby. You get the idea. These days, I primarily focus on celebrity interviews and profiles, which indulges my pop culture obsession and gives me an excuse to read junky magazines and watch lots of tv. For examples of some of these articles, check out this page, which is chock full of past pieces.

Of course, while all of the above is wonderful and fabulous and allowed my heart to swell each time I walked by a newsstand, what I’m really most proud of is the publication of my novels, The One That I Want, Time of My Life, and The Department of Lost and Found.

It goes without saying that all three books make excellent Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Mother’s Day/Birthday/Arbor Day/Secretary Day/Columbus Day/Monday-Sunday gifts for all of your loved ones. For more info, check out the their respective pages of my site.

My fourth book, The Song Remains The Same, was released by Putnam Books in April 2012.

My fiction is represented by Elisabeth Weed at Weed Literary. She can be contacted at elisabeth@weedliterary.com.

Other Tidbits

I graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Honors History and Concentration in Marketing from the Wharton School of Business.

When I’m not planted in front of the computer (which is nearly always – seriously, ask anyone who knows me, I’m here – send me a note!), I’m hanging with my kids, my husband and my pooch, Pedro.

 

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The Song Remains the SameTHE SONG REMAINS THE SAME-ALLISON WINN SCOTCH

Berkley Trade, January 2013
ISBN-10: 042525335X
ISBN-13: 9780425253359
352 pages

Trade Size
$15.00

 

From the New York Times-bestselling author comes a novel that asks the question, who are we without our memories?  And how much of our future is defined by our past?
One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes in the hospital with no memory of the crash – or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind — with the help of family and friends who have their own agendas.  She filters through photos, art, music and stories, hoping something will jog her memory, and soon – in tiny bits and pieces –Nell starts remembering…
It isn’t long before she learns to question the stories presented by her mother, her sister and business partner, and her husband.  In the end she will learn that forgiving betrayals small and large will be the only true path to healing herself — and to finding happiness.

 


Barnes & Noble.com

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MY THOUGHTS:

THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME by Allison Winn Scotch is a compelling women’s fiction. When Nell Slattery wakes in the hospital with no memory of  what happened,herself,her family or who she was, she must piece together her life with the help of her family and friends. But things are not what they same as each family member,friend, including her husband tell their version of the story. When she starts to remember her past she learns some things are best not to remember or is it? Long hidden secrets,and feelings come to surface along with present events. Compelling story of one women’s life before and after a terrifying accident. You will need tissues. While, “The Song Remains the Same” will grip you from the first page to the last you find each family member has their own agenda. Nell,loves remembering songs, she wrote songs, as well as her father. A poignant story of past secrets,remembering the hurt and heartache,and moving forward. A must read for anyone who enjoys women’s fiction,a compelling and complex story of love,heartache,and secrets. Received for an honest review from the publisher. For more information visit the author’s website,Berkley Publishing Group,published by the Penguin Group and My Book Addiction and More.

RATING: 4

HEAT RATING: SWEET

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book  Addiction Reviews

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#VISIT AND #GIVEAWAY WITH HARMONY AUTHOR,JODI THOMAS…

MBA&M PROUDLY PRESENTS…

JODI THOMAS AND “CHANCE OF A LIFETIME”….

Welcome, JODI!

It is always such a pleasure to have you visit with us and our readers….

Welcome to my town, Harmony, Texas.  I thought readers might like to start the new year with a book set in a small town called CHANCE OF A LIFETIME.  Once in a while everything comes together in a story that makes it fun to write. I think you’ll love the visit where secrets whisper of old love affairs and kindness to others warms your heart.

 

In this visit to Harmony, you’ll see people from the town that you’ve met in other books, but the plot begins with a quiet librarian, Emily and her former childhood friend, Tannon Parker.  While he’s grown cold and hard over the years, she’s become afraid of the world.  He comes to the library every Friday night because he knows she’s afraid of the dark and though they barely speak as he walks her out, he thinks his heart only beats when she’s near.  For Tannon and Emily this may be their last CHANCE OF A LIFETIME.

 

Writing the story of Harmony in CHANCE OF A LIFETIME has been a pure joy for me.  I grew up in a small town and understand how the people’s life stories blend together and how everyone bands together when trouble comes.  So come along with me this cold night in January on an adventure that will make you smile and keep you reading long into the  night.

 

Jodi Thomas

 

www.jodithomas.com

www.facebook.com/JodiThomasAuthor

www.twitter.com/jodithomas

As always, thanks Jodi for visiting with us and our readers today!

 ~~~~~

CHANCE OF A LIFETIME

JODI THOMAS

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (December 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425250520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425250525

 

Book Description(From Amazon)

Release Date: December 31, 2012 | Series: Harmony

The Harmony novels are “Jodi Thomas all the way—super characters [and] lots of riveting subplots.”* Now the New York Times bestselling author takes us back to Harmony, Texas, where big dreams are brewing—and anything and everything is possible…

Emily, the local librarian, has started a writing group, but as the group stumbles through both the fiction and reality of their lives, they’re learning much more than how to write. But Emily suddenly has other things on her mind when a friend from her past shows up in Harmony’s library. Now she must deal with a secret she’s kept for fifteen years—a secret that changed her life and threatens to shatter her future.

Meanwhile, new lawyer Rick Matheson thinks he’s in charge of his world until accidents start happening all around him. Just when he realizes someone is trying to kill him, he meets a beautiful U.S. Marshal named Trace Adam. Now that the marshal has given him an even stronger reason to go on living, he must learn to take a chance on life to dream bigger—and love better—than he ever has before…

*Romance Reviews Today

***
*from author*

Review of CHANCE OF A LIFETIME

From December 2012 LIBRARY JOURNAL

 

Adding another chapter to her ongoing series set in idyllic Harmony, TX, Thomas sensitively details the lives of more of the townsfolk and the part that chance often plays in these stories that feature not only romance but a mystery. New characters are introduced and old ones are reprised in this well-crafted novel that seamlessly interweaves the various tales. Once again Harmony spring to life as the town librarian reconnects with an estranged friend when he asks her to visit his ailing mother; a criminal defense lawyer aligns with a lively Harley-riding U.S. marshal when he figures out that someone is out to kill him; and a young musician wants a girl who will live him for himself. VERDICT: Tender, realistic, and insightful, Thomas’s latest title deals with issues that will strike an emotional chord with many readers and will appeal to fans of Debbie Macomber and Sherryl Woods. Thomas (Just Down the Road) lives in Texas.

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Chance of a LifetimeGIVEAWAY ALERT!

(Sponsored by this site)

We are offering 1 e-book copy(gifted copy) of  “Chance of a Lifetime” by Jodi Thomas to 1 lucky commenter. **Please tell us your favorite Jodi Thomas read or if this is a new author to you* Giveaway will run from today January 4 until January 11, 2013.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

~~~

Please check out “Our Thoughts” on “CHANCE OF A LIFETIME” by Jodi Thomas. Remember to spread the word!

~~~

Thank you for visiting with us and our guest today! Please come again.

 

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT WITH REVIEW~~~AFTERWIFE BY POLLY WILLIAMS…

MBA&M PROUDLY SPOTLIGHTS……

POLLY WILLIAMS~~~ “AFTERWIFE”

Afterwife

*Images and information from the author’s website,unless otherwise stated*
Polly Williams

About me

I work in a messy loft in a house in north-west London, boiling in summer, freezing in winter. It’s never quiet unless the eldest children are at school. I often write to the sound of the Peppa Pig theme tune, not through any choice of my own. I am surrounded by books that I cannot bear to ‘pass on’. And bags of clothes that my chlidren have grown out of (ditto). I am an enthusiastic not wholly successful cook who nonetheless makes a mean rhubarb and ginger crumble.  I get distracted by Twitter and rightmove.com. I love a mink varnished toe nail. A morning at an art gallery. Cornwall. New York. Port Meadow, Oxford. Online clothes shopping. Really heavy red wine. Marcona almonds. The smell of wood smoke. A scuffed chunky brown boot. A silver heel. A boogie in a field. Poetry, mostly modern. Not necessarily in that order.

Website:

http://www.pollywilliams.com/

~~~~

AFTERWIFE

POLLY WILLIAMS

afterwife

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 edition (December 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425259439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425259436

Book Description(From Amazon)

Release Date: December 31, 2012
Sophie Brady is a force of nature—funny, beautiful, and devoted to all the people in her life—even in death. After a traffic accident cuts her life tragically short, Sophie finds herself attending her own funeral (on time, no less) and watching the reactions of those she holds most dear.

Sophie’s darling, gorgeous husband Ollie is heartbroken, trying to father their young son while working out how to use the washing machine. Furthermore, he’s absolutely clueless about his new status as most eligible bachelor in the neighborhood. Sophie is determined to help her husband find love again, with the right sort of woman, of course.

Luckily, she’s not the only one looking out for Ollie. Her best friend Jenny is ignoring her own pain by helping him navigate the murky waters of widower-hood. But as she grows closer to Sophie’s husband, Jenny unearths secrets that make her question how well she knew her friend, and where the line between loyalty and love ends…

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON:

BARNES AND NOBLES:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/afterwife-polly-williams/1108799292?ean=9780425259436

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MY THOUGHTS:

AFTERWIFE by Polly Williams is an interesting British contemporary women’s fiction. It is the sometimes, laugh out loud story of Sophie Brady,who is funny,devoted to the people in her life,beautiful,who just so happens to be dead following a tragic accident.  And her heartbroken husband,Ollie,and her best friend,Jenny. When secrets surface concerning Sophie,Jenny,questions,do we really know the people we love after all? A funny,bittersweet story full of insight,second chances,loyalty,widowhood,raising a child after losing a parent,and love. A poignant story of love, loss,grief and loving again after a tragedy. The writer draws the reader into this story with her engaging characters, interesting and intriguing plot. Can the dead really communicate with the living? You have to read “Afterwife” to find out Ms. Williams take on this matter. A funny yet bittersweet,and heartwarming story of death,life,loss and love. An engaging story from beginning to end. Received for an honest review from the publisher. Details can be found at Berkley,the author’s website,and My Book Addiction and More.

 

RATING: 4.5

HEAT RATING: Hot: Detailed sex scenes,profanity or graphic violence

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews

 

 

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We hope you have enjoyed our “Spotlight” and “Our Thoughts” on “Afterwife” by Polly Williams. Please spread the word.

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