ROBYN HARDING is celebrating the Holidays with us ** GIVEAWAY **

7-han

robyn

 

We’re celebrating the Holidays with author, ROBYN HARDING.

She’s written eight novels including the international bestseller, THE PARTY, published by Scout Press/Simon & Schuster and HER PRETTY FACE.

                                           *****

face

Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.

A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.

Until she meets Kate Randolph.

Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart.

Because one of these women is not who she seems. She’s a murderer.

HER PRETTY FACE is a tale of lies, deceit, and betrayal, asking the question: Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past?

*****

c-christ

Robyn took time to share some Holiday cheer with us.

  1. What is your favorite Holiday? My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I’m Canadian, so we celebrate it early in October, when the sun is still shining, and the leaves are starting to change color. I like it because it’s not a commercial holiday – it’s about being together in gratitude.

      2. What do you love about the Holidays?  I love being with family. I love having a                break from the work-routine and focusing on what really matters: the people we               care about. And eating!

family

  1. What is your fondest Holiday memory?  I have a distinct memory of Christmas when I was nine years old. “Santa” brought me a blue suitcase and an ABBA record. I was so happy! My dad passed away, suddenly, a few weeks later. I think that Christmas is etched into my memory because it was the last time we were all together.

claus

  1. What are your wishes for 2019?  I want to be productive, positive, and kind. (We are hoping to buy a house, too!)

sweet

Robyn’s novels have been translated into seven languages. She’s also the screenwriter and executive producer of the independent film, The Steps which premiered at TIFF and was the closing gala film at the Miami International Film Festival. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband, two kids, and a seven-pound dog with no teeth.

She’s currently working on a new novel, and we can’t wait until its published!

Robyn has offered a copy of HER PRETTY FACE for our give away. Just tell us what elements you feel, as a reader, go into a good thriller. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please.

Advertisements

DEATH and OTHER HOLIDAYS by Marci Vogel & SIGNED Giveaway

Death-and-other-holidays-grey-235x300

 

The novella is a special collection of words. It’s not a short story. It’s not a novel. It’s somewhere in between. I like to think if it as the icing on the cake, if all you were eating is the icing. It’s strong, compelling and flavorful. When an author approaches writing a novella, they must be fearless. There isn’t any room for any extra words; each must serve a purpose.

That brings us to Marci Vogel and her novella, DEATH and OTHER HOLIDAYS (MelvilleHousePublishing). Marci is much like her novella. She’s petite, bright and full of profound ideas. I got to meet her at the Miami Book Fair in November, and knew I met someone very special.

In her novella, a young woman named April is coming to terms with the death of her step-father, Wilson. Readers are introduced to her family and friends, including BFF, Libby while she navigates the shark-infested waters of love in Los Angeles.

DEATH and OTHER HOLIDAYS is broken down into four sections – the four seasons of the year and each section is made up of short scenes and stories. They are pithy and all have a point. You can tell Marci is a poet by her extremely compact writing. There are no words to spare. It’s told with humor and intricate details, which make each story that much more unique. One scene that sticks out to me, is an occasion where all of April’s aunts attend and they are described by the various perfumes they are wearing. It’s a lovely technique to identify each woman. She labels the men she dates. One is Crashman, Volvo Man, Motorcycle Man, Critic Man, and then there’s Victor. Oddities are added as if they were spices for a meal.

“We get these beetles every summer, June bugs they’re called, only they don’t show up until July.”

DEATH and OTHER HOLIDAYS is subtle but it’s obvious Marci has affection for each character. I read DEATH and OTHER HOLIDAYS and found it so special, I wish I could read it again for the first time.

***** 

marci

Marci Vogel is the author of Death and Other Holidays, winner of the inaugural Miami Book Fair/de Groot Prize, and At the Border of Wilshire & Nobody, winner of the inaugural Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize. Her poetry, prose, translations, and cross-genre inventions appear in Jacket2FIELD, VIDA, Plume, Quarter After Eight, Poet Lore, Colorado Review, and Seneca Review, among numerous other publications. She is the recipient of a Willis Barnstone Translation Prize, a Hillary Gravendyk Memorial Scholarship from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and residencies at North Street Collective in Mendocino County and CAMAC Art Center in Marnay, France.

A first-generation college student, Vogel earned her PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Southern California, where she currently serves as a Postdoctoral Scholar Teaching Fellow in the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. She has been invited for readings and talks at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, the University of Strasbourg, Kelly Writers House, the University of Pennsylvania, the School of Beaux-Arts in Tours, France, and the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. She is currently working on a new book-length manuscript engaged with questions of language, displacement, ecosystems, and redwoods of California.

http://www.marcivogel.com

We have one signed copy of DEATH and OTHER HOLIDAYS. Tell us if you’ve read a novella, and remember the unique experience. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please.

** TERRY H. WATKINS celebrates the holidays with us **

darling

Buy Darling Girl

Last month we fell in love with Terry Watkins and her novel, DARLING GIRL! Now we want to know what her favorite Holidays are.

christmas

1.       What is your favorite Holiday?

it is so hard to choose! My mother loved holidays and birthdays and I have so many wonderful memories associated with each holiday. They all begin with finally being deemed old enough to stay up and help prepare for the holiday. I can never choose between Christmas and Easter as my favorite.
easterhead

2.       What do you love about the Holidays?

i love the togetherness; family crowding in together and enjoying it. Little kids piled on a bed or couch like kittens snuggling together. The way the house smells- fireplace and cooking and candles. The excitement of kids of all ages – all that frenetic energy packed into a small space.
Christmas Stocking Fireplace Decoration Ideas 53 - Robinsuites.co with regard to Christmas Stockings Fireplace

3.       What is your fondest Holiday memory?

i can’t choose between counting jellybeans and Christmas socks so I’ll share both. When I finally passed the age threshold to stay up and help my mother make Easter baskets for me and my four brothers, I was stunned to learn exactly how complex the task would be. I was assigned jelly bean duty and installed at the end of our long dining room table. My mother then placed five or six Tupperware bowls in front of me along with several large bags of mixed flavor jellybeans. (Remember, this was long before single flavor gourmet choices.) I was instructed to open a bag, pour it into one bowl and begin sorting into flavors that we all liked (red, white, green, yellow) into the other bowls.
Once I completed the initial sort, I then had to sort the sorted jellybeans into baskets making sure that each child got exactly the same number of jellybeans in each color. My reward for this time consuming task was a clutch of black beans (my favorite) which my brothers wouldn’t eat. My mother was engaged in similar sorting tasks to ensure equity amongst the Easter baskets. It took us all night long!
jellybeans
My Christmas memory is my mother’s tradition of Christmas socks. Every Christmas Eve, I was mustered in for the task of Christmas sock wrapping. Sometimes this meant just freshening up bows on a package left from the previous years. Others it meant wrapping a selection of plain white one-size-fits-all tube socks in festive paper and stashing them under the tree in time to distribute them with other gifts. Then, if we had any unexpected guests (and we always did. My father and brothers were always bringing home strays who had nowhere else to go.), there were presents under the tree for them on Christmas Eve or morning. I’ve seen middle-aged men far from their families and teen-aged boys break into tears at a package placed in their hands. I’ve seen them marvel at how special a pair of socks can seem when you’re not expecting anything. And they way they hugged my mother’s neck – worth way more than a pair of socks. I still place Christmas socks under the tree just in case and in memory of Mother.
2-tree

4.       What are your wishes for 2019?

My wishes for next year are both big and small. I love to see a change in our country that returned us to time more civil and more civilized. I wish for peace of mind for those who have been so traumatized by recent events. I hope that families everywhere can be reunited. I wish for the continued health and safety of my family and friends. Selfishly, I wish for my book to be a success.
christmas-2
We’re giving away a signed copy of DARLING GIRL to one lucky reader. Just tell us the most recent novel you’ve read about families. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.
GIVEAWAY: USA only please.

** GIVEAWAY WINNERS ** GIVEAWAY WINNERS ** GIVEAWAY WINNERS **

7-han

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR DECEMBER GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

 

ROBIN M. wins THE MASTERPIECE

masterpiece

LAURA M. wins THIS BRIGHT BEAUTY.

bright

DOREEN L. wins THE CAST

cast

JUDI B. & MELISSA B. each win one of Marilyn Simon Rothstein’s hilarious e-books.

lift

husbands

JOAN W. wins MASTER of his FATE

fate

CARLA S. wins LEAVE NO TRACE

trace

KATIE wins CHRISTMASTIME 1939: Prequel to the Christmastime Stories

prequel

ANGEL W.wins SIDE BY SIDE

side by side

LINDA P. wins EVERGREEN TIDINGS from the Baumgartners

evergreen

DOREEN L. wins BONJOUR GIRL

bonjour

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF OUR WINNERS! WISHING YOU A BLESSED 2019!

christmaspuppy

** GIVEAWAY ** ISABELLE LaFLECHE celebrates the holidays with us ** GIVEAWAY **

bonjour

As fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld would say, “Fashion is neither moral or immoral but it is for rebuilding the morale.”

Author Isabelle Lafleche enters the young adult world of fashion in her new novel, BONJOUR GIRL (Dundurn). It’s the story of a sassy foreign student, Clementine Liu who arrives in New York City to attend Parsons Fashion School.

Clementine decides to create her own blog to promote fashion diversity call Bonjour Girl. Her wit and passion quickly turns Bonjour Girl into cult status, putting her in the public eye, but that comes with a price. All the fashion know-it-alls sharpen their knives and turn their wrath on Clementine, who finds herself the target of cyber-bullying. How will she handle it? Cave in or come out on top?

I got to meet Isabelle at BookExpo when she was promoting her new  novel, BONJOUR GIRL. She’s as sassy as her book. You’re going to love it!

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -Anais Nin

c-christ

Isabelle shared some Holiday cheer with us.

1.       What is your favorite Holidays?  Christmas.

boxes

Christmas Stocking Fireplace Decoration Ideas 53 - Robinsuites.co with regard to Christmas Stockings Fireplace

2.       What do you love about the Holidays?  Good cheer, spending time with friends and family and a little spiced apple cider! 

3.       What is your fondest Holiday memory?  Going to my grandparents’s house and receiving hand knit dresses for my dolls made by my grandmother. They were divine.

4.       What are your wishes for 2019?   Peace, prosperity, some travel and a new book! 🙂

champagne

isabelle                                     *****

ISABELLE’S WORDS:

Hello!
So thrilled to meet you!
In addition to being a writer, I’m a tarot reader, yogi, and fashion lover. All of my books talk about fashion because it’s been one of my passions since childhood.
Previously, I worked for over ten years as a lawyer before giving up my career to write. In 2005, I was responsible for the business affairs of a fashion designer where I developed a penchant for couture.
My first novel, J’adore New York, became an international bestseller. The sequel, J’ADORE PARIS, was published in 2013. I am currently working on the next J’Adore novel. Stay tuned for details!

Follow me on Instagram: ❤️

https://www.instagram.com/isabelle.la…

Find me on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/profile. 

 

sweet

Thanks to Isabelle, we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us what you love about fashion. I used to get to report of the fashion shows for FOX when they were in Bryant Park in the early 90’s. It was so exciting. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please.

** GIVEAWAY ** GRETCHEN ANTHONY celebrates the holidays with us **

evergreen

Gretchen Anthony headshot, photo cred M. Brian Hartz (2)

Gretchen Anthony is a new author for us, and we’re thrilled to welcome her to Thoughts on This ‘n That. This month her debut novel, EVERGREEN TIDINGS FROM THE BAUMGARTNERS (ParkRow) arrives just in time for the Holidays.

*****

Dearest loved ones, far and near—Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners!

Violet has opened her annual Baumgartner holiday letter the same way for over three decades. And this year, she’s going to throw her husband Ed a truly perfect retirement party, one worthy of memorializing in her upcoming letter. But the event becomes a disaster when, in front of 200 guests, Violet learns her daughter Cerise has been keeping a secret.

Delightful, surprising, and full of heart, Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners brings to life a sparkling cast of characters whose struggle to understand one another illuminates the unbreakable bonds of family, no matter how dysfunctional they can get.

*****

Gretchen shared some Holiday cheer with us.

1. What is your favorite Holiday?

Every holiday is a chance to celebrate something, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say Christmas is my favorite.
Christmas Stocking Fireplace Decoration Ideas 53 - Robinsuites.co with regard to Christmas Stockings Fireplace

2. What do you love about the Holidays?

I love the anticipation of Christmas. Watching my kids guess what’s under the tree. Turning the numbers on the Advent Calendar.
advent-wreath-e1448829252105
Listening to our boys laugh as they tear open their gifts. Even more, though, I love peaceful Christmas moments. The midnight candlelight service. Sitting with my husband on Christmas Eve after the kids have gone to sleep. At its heart, Christmas is light, a peaceful promise — and that’s what I try to carry with me throughout the year.

3. What is your fondest Holiday memory?

One year, my husband and I planned to surprise the kids on Christmas morning with a trip to Disneyworld.
2-disney
This was something we’d always wanted to do and I was crazy excited. We had their bags all packed and our flight was booked for ten o’clock on Christmas morning. None of the kids suspected a thing. Then, at Christmas Eve dinner, I had to suddenly excuse myself and run for the bathroom — Oh, no! I knew I was in serious trouble and, sure enough, I spent the whole night throwing up. But even though I felt horrible, at least I felt some relief that my husband was fine. Then, at about three o’clock in the morning, he came down with the same bug and we were both in the bathroom together, miserable, and groaning, and panicked. Not only had we opted out of trip insurance, we didn’t even have any gifts for the kids to open the next morning. Our family trip was the gift. We were up a creek. And yet, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my years as a mom, it’s that we parents can pull off incredible feats when given no other option. So, the next morning, my husband and I did just that. We picked ourselves up off the floor and powered through — all the way to Orlando where we could finally collapse again at the hotel. Amazingly, we were fine by the next day and were able to hit the parks as planned. It may not have been the smoothest family vacation ever, but it made for memories none of us will ever forget.
1-disney

4. What are your wishes for 2019?

2018 was a wonderful year for our family, but a scary year for the world. My wish for 2019 is that we can find ways to unify — as families, as communities, and as a nation.
c-christ

Gretchen Anthony is a Minnesota-based writer and humorist.

After a career in management consulting and corporate communications, she left the cubical world for the writing life. As a ghostwriter, she has been the voice for some of the best brands in the United States, from CEOs to doctors and start-up superstars to BBQ pros.

We’re lucky to have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us your fondest Holiday memory. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please.

** GIVEAWAY ** JENNI L. WALSH celebrates the holidays with us **

Jenni Walsh is one of our favorite DEBUTANTES, class of 2017.  The Debs are a group of women authors, who celebrate the year their first novel is published. Jenni’s novel, BECOMING BONNIE tied in with the 50th anniversary of the Oscar-winning film, Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.

becoming-bonnie-ebook-cover

1. How historically accurate is Becoming Bonnie? 

First and foremost, Becoming Bonnie is a work of fiction. But that doesn’t mean hours and hours (and hours) of research hasn’t gone into the drafting of this novel.

​There are many elements relating to Bonnie Parker (and the other characters, such as Clyde Barrow and Blanche Caldwell) that are borrowed from actual historical accounts. There are also some facets pulled from my imagination to add greater depth and narration to the story.

​One such example is Bonnie’s name. At the start of the novel, she goes by Bonnelyn. Sounds sweet and wholesome, right? That’s what I was going for. By the end of the novel, she goes by Bonnie. I’m so excited for readers to experience her evolution from Point A to Point B, including which character coins her new nickname.

2. The Bonnie Parker depicted in history is a cigar-smoking gun moll. What Bonnie do you bring to the reader?

A dreamer. At the beginning of the novel, I’ve given Bonn a fictional name, Bonnelyn. I was going for something wholesome, because that’s what she was. She sang in her church’s choir. She was a straight A student. She was devoted to her family and friends. And she had a boyfriend, who wasn’t Clyde! Bonn also came from poverty, which made her ache for more out of life. She wanted to be somebody. Her background and her aspirations are ultimately what lead her to pick up a gun in Becoming Bonnie, so it’s certainly fair to attach the word “gun” to her. Now the cigar-smoking part has a funnier bit of history. There are playful, joking photos of Bonnie with a cigar in her mouth that were later found by the police and circulated via newspapers. Bonnie was mortified by that photo and even reached out to the media to express how she doesn’t smoke cigars!

3. You write for children and adults. Which is this?

Becoming Bonnie can be considered a crossover between YA and Adult, but will be with the Adult titles at your fave bookstore. The novel begins with Bonnie at the age of 17 and tells her coming-of-age story.

Buy BECOMING BONNIE

clyde

Jenni’s follow-up novel, SIDE BY SIDE was published this year. It’s book 2 in the “Bonnie series.” In SIDE BY SIDE, The Bonnie and Clyde story is told from the perspective of Bonnie. “If the world won’t give them their American dream, they’ll just have to take it.” *SIDE BY SIDE can read as a stand alone.

Buy SIDE BY SIDE

*****

Busy Jenni took some time out to answer our questions about the Holidays.

1. What is your favorite Holiday? 

With small children in our house, Christmas is always such a magical time of the year. My five-year-old has been scribbling her list for months and my two-year-old is beginning to get the idea of “Santa” — so now I can begin using it as a threat to provoke good behavior 😉

2-tree

2. What do you love about the Holidays? 

The daily grind can get a bit… grinding. One day blurs into the next and we may not stop to appreciate the little things as often. The holidays are a time that remind us to pause, be thankful, give cheers, and smile more. What’s not to love about smiling more?
3. What is your fondest Holiday memory? 

My dad wanted us to believe in Santa Claus for as long as possible. Each year, he’s set up this elaborate production of a hidden camera triggered by motion that’d “catch” Santa in the act. Then, after my brother and I were asleep, he’d dress up as Santa and capture Old Saint Nick delivering presents. It was fun having “proof,” although my dad always was sure to position the camera so it only captured Santa’s legs, feet, and hands when bending to deposit presents. Never his face.

claus

4. What are your wishes for 2019?

To smile more.
5-tree
*****
jenni-l-walsh-photo-square

Jenni L. Walsh spends her days knee deep in words in Philadelphia’s suburbia. Beyond words, Jenni is a mama (of an feisty four-year-old, an on-the-go two-year-old, and a needy newfypoo), a wife, a Philly and ‘Nova sports fan..

But where did it all begin? Jenni spent her early years dabbling in various forms of writing and with her nose in a book. Her writing chops first began to develop through one-page stories. Never fail, the storyline followed the same progression: girl meets boy, girl marries boy, girl and boy have baby. That’s it. Jenni’s mom treated it like a masterpiece each and every time.

For the kiddos, Jenni’s debut middle grade series, She Dared, is forthcoming from Scholastic (Jan, 1 2019) and will feature true stories from women who, at a young age, accomplished daring feats of perseverance and bravery.

surfer

she-dared-malala-final-cover_5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.jennilwalsh.com

Jenni is offering a signed copy of SIDE BY SIDE to one lucky reader. Just tell us what you think of the story of Bonnie and Clyde. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please.