Tuesday, March 5, 2019

WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS, by author, ERIN BARTELS


We Hope for Better Things has it all: fabulous storytelling, an emotional impact that lingers long after you turn the last page, and a setting that immerses you. I haven't read such a powerful, moving story since I read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school. This book will change how you look at the world we live in. Highly recommended!"--Colleen CobleUSAToday bestselling author of the Rock Harbor series and The View from Rainshadow Bay


When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request--that she look up a relative she didn't know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos--seems like it isn't worth her time. But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time.

At her great-aunt's 150-year-old farmhouse, Elizabeth uncovers a series of mysterious items, locked doors, and hidden graves. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding. And as Elizabeth soon discovers, the past is never as past as we might like to think.

Debut novelist Erin Bartels takes readers on an emotional journey through time--from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War--to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.


*****

"A timely exploration of race in America, We Hope for Better Things is an exercise of empathy that will shape many a soul."--Julie CantrellNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Perennials

"I applaud [Erin's] courage, her authenticity, her beautiful turn of phrase, the freshness of her imagery, and the depth of her story that speaks to a contemporary world where understanding is often absent. We Hope for Better Things is a remarkable debut novel."--Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of Everything She Didn't Say

"Storytelling at its finest. Erin Bartels delivers a riveting story of forbidden love, family bonds, racial injustice, and the power of forgiveness. We Hope for Better Things is a timely, sobering, moving account of how far we've come . . . and how much distance remains to be covered. A compulsively readable, incredibly powerful novel."--Lori Nelson SpielmanNew York Times bestselling author of The Life List

"In this powerful first novel . . . Bartels successfully weaves American history into a deeply moving story of heartbreak, long-held secrets, and the bonds of family."--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review


Some Q & A with Erin ~

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.
Funny how when someone asks us about ourselves, we define ourselves by our roles. My first inclination is to tell you that I am a 39-year-old pastor’s wife and mother of one 10-year-old son. My next is to tell you that I have worked in book publishing for 17 years. That I am a former English major and history minor. But you’d know me far better if I told you that I love to spend time in places where there are no signs or sounds of humanity. That I am a close observer of nature. That I’m an ambassador for my beautiful home state of Michigan. That I love to create—to write, paint, build—and I am passionate about the creations of others—music, movies, books, works of art, architecture. That I’m an introvert who prefers long discussions about thorny topics to small talk, which I loathe (yet must practice regularly as a pastor’s wife). That I live in a city but I would far prefer to live on the edge of some wild place.

I have always wanted to write, to contribute to the body of work that I studied in college and to the business I entered after I graduated. I think so many of us who love to read find ourselves itching to write. At some point I realized that if it was ever going to happen, I needed to stop thinking about how I should write a novel someday and just buckle down and do it. I quit a number of other activities to make time for writing, found a writing community in my city and online that would help keep me accountable, and dove into years of hard work, learning, and rejection. It has all been worth it.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
I like getting out in nature, whether it’s an hour at our local nature center or a four-day backcountry camping trip or a week-long road trip, to marvel at and take pictures of the grandeur and intricacies of this incredible planet. Patient and quiet companions are welcome, though not required (I love being alone).

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?
I do! I have worked for an independent, family-owned publishing house for seventeen years, most of that time as a copywriter. I write back cover copy, catalog copy, and web copy for fiction and nonfiction books. All that writing that tries to get you to buy the book!

Where do you get your ideas?
To me, stories arise organically from the swirling combination of what I’m reading, what I’m watching, people I observe, ideas out in the Zeitgeist, news stories, trips I take, and conversations I have. Every once in a while, out of this soup, an idea rises to the surface. But usually, they’re not ready at that moment to act upon. They take a while time to develop. In fact, some take years to coalesce into something useable. But every little thought I have that might get included in a story idea someday has to be written down or it’s gone forever, so I always have notebooks with me. And if I find myself without one, I write on my hands and arms.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
One of the hardest things about writing for publication is waiting. Waiting for critique partners to give you their thoughts on your manuscript. Waiting for agents to respond to queries and then to read and respond to your manuscript. Waiting for a publishing house to take a shot on you. Waiting for your editor to get you her notes. Waiting on the whole publishing machine to do all the things it needs to do—the title, the cover, the marketing plan, production, etc.—so that the story you long to share with the world can actually be shared with the world. From initial concept to final publication, We Hope for Better Things was more than seven years in the making. That takes a lot of patience every step of the way.

How do you market your work?
I keep up a rather visible and busy online presence, from my website, blog, and podcast, to my social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’ve been building relationships with readers and other writers for more than a decade, and those networks of real relationships are helping me spread the word now that I finally have a book published.

What are you working on now?
At the moment, I have three other novels in various stages of development. One, The Words between Us, will be coming out this fall and tells the story of a reclusive used bookstore owner who is far more at home in the fictional worlds of books than real life. Another, which takes place at a summer lake house in Northern Michigan, is nearing the point at which my agent will begin pitching it to publishing houses. And the third, which involves two sisters and a hiking trip gone wrong, is in the early stages of drafting and revision.

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?
You know, I don’t think there is anything in my debut novel, We Hope for Better Things, that is based on any of my personal real-life experiences, but it is solidly based in the history of the Civil War, the Underground Railroad, the Great Migration, the Civil Rights era, the Detroit Riots of 1967, and the modern-day challenges of the city of Detroit. People who have read the book who grew up in Detroit in the 1960s keep telling me how real the book felt to them, how it just brought that part of their lives back to them, which is gratifying.

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?
Two come to mind.  First is the scenes in the 1960s where Nora and William meet. There’s a lot of tension and anger that kind of melts into intrigue and even attraction. It was fun to write. The other is the scene in which William’s nephew JJ and his friend are breaking into buildings and looting during the riot. JJ is so conflicted about what he’s doing, but it’s shown in subtle ways. I think it helps readers understand why someone would participate in such a lawless act and it helps them have empathy for people they might otherwise look down on.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
What I love about writing is what I love about reading: experiencing the world from someone else’s perspective. When we read fiction, we experience the world through the eyes and emotions of the characters. The same thing happens when we write fiction. Writing fiction is my way of working through what I think about the things that matter in life—human relationships, religious belief, and ethics, where we fit in history, where we are going in the future. Reading and writing helps me get my mind around these huge concepts and helps me understand my place in the world. Challenge yourself when you write to write about things you don’t understand, things that make you uncomfortable, things that make you squirm. We’ll all grow from it, and you most of all.

Also, if you’re going to get serious about putting in the time necessary to write something that is ready to be published, you’re probably going to have to quit some other things you enjoy. That’s just the reality. You can’t do it all. So make sure you’re doing what no one else can do: writing your books.

Favorite singer, actor, writer?
Brandi Carlile, James McAvoy, and…I just can’t choose. I love so many writers.

Place you’d like to travel?
Scotland

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you! I am so, so grateful you’ve given my stories a chance. A writer is nothing without readers.


BIO
Erin Bartels has been a publishing professional for seventeen years, most of that time as a copywriter. She is also a freelance writer and editor and a member of the Capital City Writers and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, Zachary, and their son, Calvin. We Hope for Better Things is her first novel. Her second, The Words between Us, releases September 2019.

To connect with Erin ~

SOCIAL MEDIA
Twitter: @ErinLBartels
Instagram: @erinbartelswrites





Monday, February 18, 2019

THE NIGHT OLIVIA FELL, by author, CHRISTINA MCDONALD


In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant.

A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.


In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?


"Christina McDonald's The Night Olivia Fell takes a mother's worst nightmare to a whole new level. This is an intense, twisting, heartbreaking thriller that explores in painful detail the consequences of family secrets. The reader will be riveted until the final page...and may even feel a bit of hope when all is said and done. Don't miss this one!"   (David Bell, bestselling author of Somebody's Daughter )

"Christina McDonald has crafted an emotionally-charged mystery that will leave readers equally gut-wretched and gripped. The Night Olivia Fell welcomes a talented new addition to the world of domestic suspense."   (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl and When The Lights Go Out )


Some Q & A with Christina ~ 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.
I’m the author of The Night Olivia Fell and I think I’ve always been a storyteller. From as soon as I could hold a crayon I wrote silly stories and fairy tales for my sisters. In college, I decided to be a journalist because it was a type of writing I felt I could make a career out of. Later, when I had kids and needed more predictable hours, I moved into copywriting, so I was still writing. But I always wanted to write a novel.

Back in 2011 I had an idea for a novel and I was talking to my sister and brother-in-law about it, and my brother-in-law said, ‘you should write a novel about it.’ It seemed so simple when he said it out loud like that! Of course, it wasn’t, but it was sort of the impetus for me to go, ‘hey, I should write a novel’. So I did.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
When I’m not writing I love reading (I’m a total bookworm!), hiking, lifting weights at the gym, long walks with my golden retriever (her name’s Tango!), and spending time with my husband and our two boys.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?
I’ve recently given up my day job to focus on being a full-time writer. It took me a long time to give myself permission to do this, but I found a full-time copywriting job, full-time writing and full-time mom-ing was too much and I needed to re-prioritize my life. My family and writing are my priority, so I chose those!

Where do you get your ideas?
I usually get my ideas from a news article I’ve read that’s really touched me in some way. The idea for The Night Olivia Fell came when I read a news story about a 13-year old girl in California named Jahi McMath. She had gone into surgery to have her tonsils removed, suffered massive blood loss, and ultimately was declared brain dead. I had a new baby at the time and I looked at my baby utterly horrified and ached for Jahi’s mother. I couldn’t get the story out of my head, and from that the first seeds of The Night Olivia Fell were planted.

Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?
Anything by Jodi Picoult, Heather Gudenkauf or Mary Kubica has definitely inspired me to write. They are all such talented authors!

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
So many challenges! I sat down to write my first full manuscript (not The Night Olivia Fell!) in January 2011 and started sending out requests to agents that summer. There were a lot of rejections. I stopped counting after 51. But after each one I edited and fine-tuned, edited some more and then sent out to more agents. And in December of 2011, my dreams came true – I was offered representation by an agent.

My book had been on offer for about a month when my agent called to say that no publishers had bought it. They all said basically the same thing: I could write well but it just wasn’t marketable enough. You know what they say – the higher you fly the harder you fall. And I crashed. I was completely devastated.

My agent assured me she’d help me with the second novel and we’d try again. So I wrote another book, but my agent didn’t like it. It was getting harder and harder to get in contact with her, so we agreed to go our separate ways. I really had to take stock at that stage and decide if I really wanted to be an author or if it was a pipe dream. I was working full time and I had kids, so free time to write was pretty limited and very precious. But I couldn’t give up writing. It’s something that’s in me, whether I’m published or not. So I sat down and wrote a third book. That book was The Night Olivia Fell.

How do you market your work?
I have an email list and an author Facebook page I use to reach out to readers and do giveaways and interviews for other authors. I think it’s a great way to stay connected to readers.

What are you working on now?
Yes! Book 2 is tentatively called All That Is Broken, and it’s about a woman who wakes in the hospital after being struck by lightning and she can’t remember if she murdered her mother.


Is anything in your book based on real life experiences?
I think all authors put a little bit of themselves into each book. The Night Olivia Fell overall is not based on any of my real life experiences, but there are little pieces of myself scattered around in there. The layout of the high school Olivia goes to, for example, is very much based on my own high school. The idea for Abi’s background where she was abandoned by her mother came about because I had a boyfriend whose mother dropped him and his brother off at his father’s house when he was three and then disappeared. That sort of abandonment is huge for a young child, and I wanted to explore it more through Abi’s experiences.

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?
Oh, the last one where Abi is saying goodbye to Olivia for sure! I wrote this scene before the rest of the book because it was so vivid in my mind, and I’m not going to lie – I cried as I was writing it! My dad died shortly before I sat down to write The Night Olivia Fell and it felt so unexpected and overwhelming and unreal – death is always like that, I know, but I think because I didn’t get to say goodbye, it was even more difficult. I think in writing that final goodbye scene I was possibly re-writing the goodbye I wanted to say to my dad.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Three tips:
1) Don’t give up! It sounds so trite, but it’s really true. You only fail if you don’t keep going. Becoming a published author is a seriously long game and every step can take years and years. Just live your life and collect your experiences and put them into your writing, and if you don’t give up, one day you’ll make it.

2) Know your genre and learn the beats of that genre. My first book was sort of women’s fiction but it was trying to be a mystery and I got the beats all wrong. Only now can I look back and see that was a huge mistake. Know the beats for your genre and twist them so they’re a new surprise.

3) Choose the right agent for you. You need to have a good vibe and know your agent has your back and will work for you. A bad agent who isn’t really interested in you and your career other than to make a few bucks can set you back by years. Seriously. You should never have to pay an agent any fees up front (you pay a percentage once you’ve signed a book deal).

What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?
It can be hugely isolating writing alone all day. My family are in America and my husband and kids and I are in London, so we don’t have a lot of support around, which is also hard. But the best part is I get to make my own hours and be there to pick my kids up from school and watch their concerts and sports games. I’m really grateful for that sort of flexibility. Plus I get to write, which is my dream come true!

Place you’d like to travel?
I really want to go to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. I also want to explore Costa Rica and parts of South America. I’m just waiting for my kids to be just a little bit older so they’ll remember and enjoy it.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you so much! Being an author is my dream come true, and I know it wouldn’t be possible without the support of my readers. Their kind words and wonderful reviews have meant the world to me!

To connect with Christina ~ 


The Night Olivia Fell, by author Christina McDonald
Contact and Social Media links: https://christina-mcdonald.com/contact/

Bio: Christina McDonald is an author, journalist, and copywriter, and has worked for companies such as The Sunday Times, Dublin, The Connacht Tribune, Galway, Expedia, USA TODAY, Travelex, and Pearson Publishing. Originally from Seattle, WA, she holds an MA in Journalism from the National University of Ireland Galway and now lives in London, England.





Monday, November 5, 2018

GIRLS ON THE LINE, by author, AIMIE K. RUNYAN

This fantastic book will be out tomorrow, November 6th!

From the celebrated author of Daughters of the Night Sky comes a stirring novel inspired by the courage, dedication, and love of the unsung heroines of the Great War.

December 1917. As World War I rages in Europe, twenty-four-year-old Ruby Wagner, the jewel in a prominent Philadelphia family, prepares for her upcoming wedding to a society scion. Like her life so far, it’s all been carefully arranged. But when her beloved older brother is killed in combat, Ruby follows her heart and answers the Army Signal Corps’ call for women operators to help overseas.

As one of the trailblazing “Hello Girls” deployed to war-torn France, Ruby must find her place in the military strata, fight for authority and respect among the Allied soldiers, and forge a victory for the cause. But balancing service to country becomes even more complicated by a burgeoning relationship with army medic Andrew Carrigan.

What begins as a friendship forged on the front lines soon blossoms into something more, forcing Ruby to choose between the conventions of a well-ordered life back home and the risk of an unknown future.
 


Girls on the Line brings to vivid life the unknown story of American women who served on the front lines of World War I as telephone operators, working under shellfire and exhaustion to keep front-line officers connected during battle. Philadelphia socialite Ruby battles family disapproval to volunteer at the front, finding camaraderie and sisterhood among her fellow operators who risk their lives as much as any soldier and fight to be accepted as soldiers in their own right. Runyan illuminates these little-known women of the past in a moving tale of female solidarity and courage.” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network
“A worthy war narrative with a strong, likable female lead and a solid supporting cast.” —Kirkus Reviews

“An intriguing and original novel inspired by the female telephone operators of WWI, Girls on the Line will delight fans of historical fiction. Now is the time for stories about strong, courageous women, and through her heroine, Ruby Wagner, Aimie K. Runyan crafts an absorbing tribute to a group of extraordinary women who played a vital role in the war.” —Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author

“Once again Aimie K. Runyan shines a much-deserved spotlight on unsung female heroes in history. Set during the First World War, Girls on the Line follows the arduous journey of an army telephone operator forced to navigate a world of codes and spies and the complexities of love. Brimming with strong women who are easy to root for, this story of loyalty and sacrifice make for an inspiring, heartfelt read.” —Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of The Edge of Lost

“Runyan brings America’s first women soldiers back to life in a heartfelt tale of love, loss, heroism, and war.” —Elizabeth Cobbs, author of The Hello Girls

Some Q & A with Aimie ~

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.
·       I started writing stories when I was little. I’d take my ancient Mac into the living room and type away while the family watched TV. Obviously, they were dreadful and I rarely finished anything. My English teachers always loved my work, but even by the time I hit middle school, there were enough people pointing out how difficult it was to make a living while writing, that I never pursued it. Finally, when I hit my 30s and I started to care a lot less about public perception and rejection, I finally dove back into a story I’d shelved ten years before. That story would become Promised to the Crown.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
·       Musical theater, baking, hiking, spending time with my kiddos, and traveling, just to name a few.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?
·       I am very fortunate that writing is my full-time gig.

Where do you get your ideas?
·       My first two were inspired by a lecture in a Canadian Civ class 15 years ago, the next two by news articles sent to me by friends, and my WIP was sparked during a conversation with a friend of a friend (now dear friend) who was moving to my area. So it’s pretty much a random run of happenstance.

Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?
·       Ken Follett and Philippa Gregory were hugely influential in my writing. They both have the capacity to write beautifully nuanced, dutifully researched books that are still highly readable. That’s always what I endeavor to do.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
·       It was an unusual time period to write about (Colonial Canada) and with little over-arching tension, like a war. It took a leap of faith from an editor to take it on, and it took the success of my third book to help launch the first into the spotlight.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?
·       I would have made one more revision to my debut before taking it on submission. I think more choices would have been available to me if I’d added another layer of polish to my debut. Then again, it would be a completely different book if I wrote it now, and the market has shifted even since 2014 when I signed my first contract, so it’s impossible to know what the outcome would be if I were to do it all over again.

What are you working on now?
·       A tripe timeline WWII family saga. It’s been intense so far! It’s called Across the Winding River and will be out in January 2020.

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?
·       Most of Girls on the Line is based on journal entries and correspondence from the real women who served as phone operators in the first world war. Lots of anecdotes repurposed, lots of real events.

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?
·       I love the scene where Andrew takes Ruby to Joan of Arc’s birthplace. Women warriors have to band together!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
·       Stop aspiring, start writing. Make a schedule that you can stick to and keep to it. Evaluate what you’re doing every so often and make changes to maximize your productivity. That will never involve forgoing sleep or exercise.

Place you’d like to travel?
·       I love to travel, so that changes daily, but at the moment, New Zealand is calling. Would love love love to see those beautiful green hills!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

·       Thank you so much for all your support. To be able to share my stories with the world truly is a gift. 

To connect with Aimie:
· Author Website: www.aimiekrunyan.com
· Twitter: @aimiekrunyan https://twitter.com/aimiekrunyan




Wednesday, September 19, 2018

THE DREAM DAUGHTER, by author DIANE CHAMBERLAIN


***Don't forget to pre-order this book! Debuts October 2nd.

New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a thrilling, mind-bending novel about one mother's journey to save her child.
When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam war, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told that nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly's part.
And all for the love of her unborn child.
The Dream Daughter is a rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother's quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.
Praise for The Dream Daughter:

"Chamberlain writes with supernatural gifts...fate, destiny, chance and hope combine for a heady and breathless wonder of a read." —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale
"Can a story be both mind-bending and heartfelt? In Diane Chamberlain’s hands, it can. The Dream Daughter will hold readers in anxious suspense until the last satisfying page." —Therese Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of Z

Some Q & A with Diane:


Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.

My first novel, Private Relations, was published in 1989. My most recent, The Dream Daughter, is my twenty-sixth novel, so I have had a very long and enjoyable career.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

Writing started out as my hobby (thirty-five years ago!). After my first few books, I realized it was now work (albeit, work that I love) and I could no longer really consider it a hobby. I became hobby-less at that point. For a number of years I was involved in dog training with my golden retrievers, but once I developed Rheumatoid Arthritis, I had to give that up, so I was hobby-less once more. Then three years ago, I began going to a meet-up group where we play guitars and sing. It’s very casual and tons of fun, so that is now my hobby and I love it.  

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

Not any longer. In the early days, I was also a social worker, first in hospitals and then in private practice. Social work--or really any career in which you work closely with people—gives you a great background for writing fiction as you gain a good understanding of people and what makes them tick. When young people tell me they want to major in creative writing in college, I try to talk them into making that their minor while picking a more people-centric major that will pay the bills while they learn more about human relations while getting their writing career off the ground.

Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?

Most definitely Charlotte’s Web. My first-grade teacher read it to us and I suddenly realized a human being could create a story that made me feel various emotions. I knew even at that young age that I wanted to do the same.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

My first challenge was that I needed to write on a typewriter back then!  Imagine the pain of changing even one word in a typewritten manuscript! The final draft was 700 terrible pages, but by some miracle, I was able to get an agent. The story was about five adults who lived together at the New Jersey shore. Midway through the story, they turned the house into a halfway house for runaway kids. My agent sent it out for a year but it was rejected over and over again, always with the same advice: lose the kids and focus on the romance between one of the men and women in the house. After all those rejections, I finally took their advice and Private Relations was picked up immediately by a publisher. It went on to win the Rita Award for best single title contemporary of 1989.

How do you market your work?

I don’t do any marketing myself other than keeping a relationship with my readers through social media, something I enjoy tremendously. I adore my readers! I am fortunate in that my publisher does great marketing for me.

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

The Dream Daughter is my most recent book. I was thinking back to my days as a social worker in the maternity unit of a hospital, remembering those babies who didn’t survive because of some condition that couldn’t be treated in the early eighties but could be treated today. That prompted the idea for Dream Daughter. What if a pregnant woman in 1970 learns that the baby she’s carrying will definitely die? But then she learns that in 2001, there may be a way to save her baby’s life . . . and there is a way to get there. Would you make that journey to save your child?

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?

A few! Without giving too much away, my protagonist Carly learns that in order to travel to 2001 to save her baby, she must step off something that is at least 16 feet above the ground in the middle of the night. The scene where she first takes this leap of faith will always be one of my favorites.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Just do it. I have the sloppiest first drafts you can imagine, but I know the hardest—and most important—part of writing a novel is simply getting those words down on paper. As my friend, novelist Mary Kay Andrews, says, “You can’t revise what you haven’t written.”

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

I wanted to write The Dream Daughter for many years but was afraid my readers wouldn’t come along with me into a book that contains time travel. I think I was very wrong, judging from the early reader reviews!  People seem to go into the book with some trepidation but quickly fall in love with the story and the characters. I can’t wait to hear from more readers. I hope they’ll let me know what they think!

To connect with Diane ~ 
https://www.facebook.com/Diane.Chamberlain.Readers.Page/

http://dianechamberlain.com/





Monday, September 3, 2018

More amazing BOOK PROMOTERS/BLOGGERS that YOU should follow!


This is my third post honoring and recognizing some of the many book promoters who blog, post, review, promote, and help readers and authors connect with books. I hope you take the time to read about them and follow them on social media (and check out the previous posts!) 


Reading With Robin, hosted by Robin Kall:

Reading With Robin began in 2002 as a radio show. I hosted the show on WHJJ 920AM Saturday mornings at 7AM for 10 years interviewing authors such as: Jodi Picoult, Augusten Burroughs, Jennifer Weiner, Elizabeth Berg, Alice Hoffman, Chris Bohjalian, Tom Perrotta, Henry Winkler, Adriana Trigiani - the list goes on. I currently host the show on iTunes - the Reading With Robin podcast contains the same interview style with awesome authors but without the commercials :)

Recent guests include: Caroline Kepnes, Mary Alice Monroe, Mary Kay Andrews, Amy Bloom, Kelly Corrigan, Jennifer Egan, Stephen Chbosky, Jen Lancaster, and Judy Blundell. I am currently reading books for spring/summer ’19 and am looking forward to sharing the pick of the litter with my readers. There are currently over 10,000 fans on the Reading With Robin page which is where I like to share books I’m enjoying, books I’m excited to read, with exclusive giveaways and photos of my pup, Benny Irving!

I also host a monthly author series in Providence, RI called The Point Street Reading Series. Started in the spring of 2016 this award-winning series is THE place to be on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. We have hosted over 150 authors in the series including: Lucy Tan, Ann Leary, Stephen Kiernan, Sam Graham-Felsen, Hala Alyan, Courtney Maum, Rob Spillman, and David Leite. We like to say we have something for everyone from fiction, memoir, YA, and non-fiction.

Reading With Robin hosts 2 signature events each year - Evening With Authors and Summer With Robin. These events are “in conversation” panel events which I lead. Alice Hoffman, Courtney Sullivan, John Searles, Wally Lamb, Nicole Krauss, Lauren Weisberger, Wiley Cash, Emma Straub, Jen Lancaster, and Chris Bohjalian are some of the authors I’ve hosted through the years. I am hosting Liane Moriarty this November for the kick-off of her US tour and I am really excited about that. I have lots more coming up so please stay tuned to the Facebook pages and my website.

my web page is www.robinkall.com
facebook pages (3)- Reading With Robin, 
Point Street Reading Series, and Like Daughter Like Mother
@robinkall -Twitter
@robinkallink - instagram

Bookworms Anonymous, hosted by Kayleigh Wilkes:

In 2013, I was newly a stay at home mom, with a newborn, toddler, and kindergartener, living nearly an hour from everyone I knew. I'd started a group, then called the Book Nook, for friends and I to have a monthly book club, without stressing meetups. It kind of fell to the wayside, and I began seeking out other bookish groups. 

None of them quite met what I was hoping for, so I went back to my original one in 2015. I started sharing where I could change the name to Bookworms Anonymous, and it really took off! I was looking to build a space for not just the people who love to read, but those who write the books too. I wanted a place where authors could share their book babies, readers could find a friend who is reading the same book and talk about it, and readers and authors could connect with one another. Growing up, I read Dear Mr. Henshaw, and I loved the idea of regular chatting. 

In just 3 years, we have more than 5,000 members worldwide, many authors included. We host week takeovers, one on one time with the authors. We've had grand scale takeover events. We've given away hundreds of books with the authors! It's been an amazing experience to watch this group grow, and make friends everywhere with one thing in common, the love of a good book. 

I'll forever be thankful I was a bored stay at home mom. Some people don't understand because it's "just a Facebook group," but it's enriched my life in ways I never thought would be possible!




Tarheelreader, hosted by Jennifer:

I love books, and I love authors! I found myself making friends with and supporting book bloggers, so it felt like the next natural step to start a blog. I was writing reviews on Goodreads, so why not have them all in one place. When I started my blog in May, I had no idea how quickly it would take off, and how warm and welcoming the blogging community would be.

Checking WordPress for my friends’ reviews is one of the best parts of my day. If you check out my blog, you’ll see my love of three things coming together: books, photography, and flowers/plants! Most of my flowers come from my yard because I enjoy gardening in the spring and summer. 

I am an eclectic reader, and the genres I enjoy most are general fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, cross-cultural fiction, contemporary fiction/women’s fiction, psychological thrillers/domestic suspense/domestic dramas, romcoms, and mysteries. 


Littlebookpage, hosted by Stephanie Ward:

A little about myself and why I love to promote books and authors...
Always an avid reader, a registered nurse by trade, and now a stay at home mom of busy 10yr old twins I had more time to share my thoughts about the books I read on my Facebook page. 

Friends started coming to me for book and author recommendations, I began entering contests, joining book groups and author pages and in general becoming a social media book nerd; clogging up my personal page with all things bookish! I started  Littlebookpage as a way to share my passion for reading and support many wonderful authors. I enjoy reading women’s fiction, chick lit, mysteries and thrillers, historical fiction, and romance. 

Reviewing and promoting has kind of taken off for me and as Littlebookpage grows I would love to be able to host blog tours and giveaways but for now I’m thrilled to be a part of such a wonderfully passionate and positive community of authors and readers!