Tuesday, May 16, 2017

THE TO-HELL-AND-BACK CLUB, by author, JILL HANNAH ANDERSON (my book debuts today!)

Who can you turn to when your life falls apart?

In this moving debut ~ Peyton Brooks, a newly-empty nester with a comatose marriage, loses her three friends in a car crash, and reaches out to women in the To-Hell-And-Back Club, hoping they’ll help resuscitate her life.

Through the “Hell Club”, Peyton learns it’s never too late to begin again. These been-there-felt-that women use their sense of humor, strength, and support to help pull her off the couch and back to living her life.

She rebuilds the life she’d put aside two decades ago. But when Peyton digs up time capsules she and her friends buried years ago, and uncovers secrets about those she loved, she struggles to keep her own life-changing secret buried.

The “Hell Club” women help remind Peyton of the strength within her. She finds a renewed hope in life and love when she faces the mistakes and guilt that have troubled her for years. When Peyton’s secret is discovered, she needs the “Hell Club” women more than ever. The To-Hell-And-Back Club is an inspiring book that reminds us that it’s never too late to start over, and that living a life of regrets is no life at all.

Some Q & A with myself (yes, that sounds weird, even to me!) ~

Where do you get your ideas?

There are endless ideas jumping around in my head every day. Seriously. I hear a conversation, and my brain conjures up a scene about it. Or I see something unusual, and think about a “what if something happened” scene. The problem is getting all of these ideas to make up a story!

What are you working on now?

Honestly? Everything to do with writing except actually writing! I put book #2 aside so I could focus on enjoying my book debut, and help promote it to readers. It is a lot of work, but anything you love and feel strongly about, is worth the time and effort. Hopefully.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences?

A few experiences are slivers of my life, along with slivers of experiences from people I know. To be clear, yes, I’m divorced, but no, Jerry (the soon-to-be-out-the-door husband in the story) is not based on my ex-husband. Same goes for the friends in my book!

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?

A scene toward the end with Peyton and her sister, Grace, who comes to visit her all the way from Texas (the story takes place in Minnesota.) It is a heart-wrenching scene, and I choked up writing it. Not having a sister of my own, I imagined how important it would be to have a sister like Grace, to be there for you as she was for Peyton. I hope I did their relationship justice.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

I sure do. I’ve been at a communications company for close to twenty years. The upside? It is a whopping 1.3 miles from my home. The commute is brutal. ;) The downside? All day at a computer, which makes coming home to sit and write on a computer not-so appealing.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

I started writing and running, two “bucket list” goals of mine, after I turned forty-five and heard the saying “what would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Those two things came to mind. I’m still running, and absolutely love the sport of curling, and the women I get to curl with. I love being outside (thank goodness for laptops or I’d never write in the summer!) and I especially love time spent with our kids and grandkids.

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

There is no such thing as “I” in writing. Yes, yes, I know, it is in the word twice. But writing a book is just that, writing. Without the editors, publishers, book reviewers, book bloggers, fellow supportive authors, and book lovers, a book will hibernate in the soul of the writer. I appreciate every single person who has helped, cheered, and pushed me along to get to this point.

If you ever think your opinion doesn’t matter, it does as a reader! If you’ve read a book you enjoyed, the best gift you can give an author is to read ~ review ~ recommend.

You can connect with me here:

Instagram: @jillh.anderson

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


At thirty-nine, Leona Accorsi is broke, single, back in school, and living in her sister Carly’s basement. She’s perfectly content being quirky Auntie Lee to Carly’s four children. That is, until Leona’s doctor tells her that if she wants to have a child, she’d better do it now.
Leona does want a baby. She always has, but the circumstances have never been right. Now she has a huge decision to make: face motherhood on her own or risk missing out on its rewards.

Unfortunately, she’s let her romantic life go stagnant. She barely even knows any single men. She has just a few prospects: a Vietnam vet and partial amputee, his intimidating son, the sweet but troubled man who tutors her niece, and a fellow nursing student she’s never actually met.

As Leona discovers more about each one, she realizes any of them could be the right man for the job. The more important question is, has she become the right woman?

All the Good Parts is wildly original and features a mixture of heartfelt and laugh-out-loud moments. The main character’s quest for motherhood is poignant and relatable...[but] it’s the ensuing complexities that arise as the main character tries to find a suitable daddy donor from a varied potential list that make this story hard to put down.” RT Book Reviews

“[Nyhan] creates an original and endearing contemporary heroine in Leona Accorsi...[Her] novel tells a surprising, sweet, and unconventional story about family and friendship.” Booklist

Some Q & A with Loretta: 

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

I wrote for trade magazines after college, but the thought of trying to write fiction was terrifying to me in my twenties. Instead, I went back to school for an advanced degree and then taught college writing. The desire to write fiction never left me, though, and after my youngest son started school, I told myself either I was going to really give writing a try or I wasn’t, and if it was the latter, it was time to retire that particular dream. I couldn’t give up. I started writing and I haven’t stopped.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

Um…I’m usually writing! When I’m not, I ride my bike, bake, watch Catastrophe and Homeland, and hang out with my kids.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

I teach part-time, online only.

Where do you get your ideas?

I’ve never heard a writer give a good answer for this, because there really isn’t one. Basically, a bunch of different things you’ve noticed, people you’ve met, ideologies you’ve considered, come together to form a cohesive story. Sometimes, just a character shows up and you figure out what her story is while you write it. It’s magical and then…it isn’t. It’s just how your brain works if you are a creative type of person.

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

Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew), Judy Blume, and S. E. Hinton made me an obsessive reader, which is how all writers start out. Later, Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby, Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, and Kerouac’s On the Road showed me what really well written books could do—they could powerfully shape a reader’s worldview. Those three are still my all-time favorites.

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

My first book was published because publishing is such a challenging business. I’LL BE SEEING YOU, was written because Suzanne Palmieri Hayes and I had other books on submission with publishers. Suzy said, “Why don’t we write something to keep our minds off things while we wait?” That project ended up being the first I sold, to Harlequin-MIRA.

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 wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve met some of the loveliest, smartest, kindest people on this publishing journey.

How do you market your work?

Marketing is not my strong suit. I have a strong Facebook presence, and I visit book clubs. I’ve visited over fifty book clubs!

What are you working on now?

Finishing up another women’s contemporary novel, DIGGING IN. It’s the story of a woman who, at the lowest point in her life, digs up her backyard to start a one-woman urban farm. She’s a disaster at it, but learns some important life lessons along the way.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences?

Elements of my life will always filter into my writing. I think this is true for all writers, because the initial spark will usually come from life experience. I don’t recreate people I know on the page in a recognizable way—that wouldn’t be fair. However, I have created characters by borrowing traits from multiple people I’ve known at different times in my life.

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?

Any scenes with humor. Comedic writing is definitely the most difficult, but it’s the most rewarding. I think my favorite scene in ALL THE GOOD PARTS is the baby shower from hell. It was so fun—and challenging—to write!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Keep at it. I’ve known plenty of very talented people who never finish a novel. Success really is most determined by persistence.

What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?

The only negative is instability. Nothing is predictable in publishing. Everything else falls into the positive column. The absolute best? When my book connects with a reader, and she tells me it gave her joy/made her think/entertained her for a few evenings.

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

Thank you. It sounds cheesy, but I am so grateful to every person who has ever read my work. 

Connect with Loretta on Facebook and @LorettaNyhan on Twitter.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Sixteen years ago, a tragic accident cost Emma Metz her two best friends – one human and one equine. Now her father’s dead too, and she’s forced to return to the hometown she’d fled. 

She uncovers a history of lies tying her broken family to the one place she thought she could never face again – the stable that held her secrets and her grief. But to exorcise the ghosts of her past, she’ll have to release the guilt, embrace the uncertainty of a future she’d buried, and trust again in the healing power of horses. 

“Author Konig’s debut novel explores the turbulent years of teenage friendship, the emotional scars of parental neglect, and the unbreakable bond between man and beast. This will appeal to readers looking for a powerfully heartwarming and introspective story.” -- Booklist

“Moving effortlessly between the present and the past, Orly Konig delivers her readers a beautiful and soulful tale of one woman’s journey home … insightful and powerful, this is a debut not to be missed.” – Erika Marks, author of the Last Treasure

“Lovely and evocative … Konig’s writing is captivating from beginning to end.” – Shelley Noble, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“A heartwarming, fabulous debut novel for Orly Konig! The Distance Home is a powerful, emotional story about hope, horses, and healing.” – Lisa Verge Higgins, author of Senseless Acts of Beauty

Some Q&A with Orly…

Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas come from pretty much anywhere and everywhere. It can start with a character or a title, an item or general idea. Once the idea pops into my head, I let it marinate for a few weeks as bits and pieces of the story come together.

Hopefully I won’t jinx myself, but I’ve yet to have a story drought (you can’t see me frantically knocking on wood). I keep a notebook of ideas but until they come when they’re ready.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences?
A couple of things, actually. The obvious is the main character’s love for horses. The stable was the one place I felt most confident and that’s the case for Emma. In grad school I volunteered with a therapeutic riding program and that experience inspired the therapy element of the book.

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?
Without giving away any spoilers, the last scene in the book is my favorite and it’s based on a young boy I worked with at the therapeutic riding program. He so touched my heart that to this day I tear up thinking about him.

What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up revisions on a book about an art restorer, the antique carousel she’s restoring, and lots of family secrets. I love everything about that book and can’t wait to see it come together finally.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Believe. Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams, believe that it can happen.

What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?
No real downfalls yet. I can’t even claim the coffee addiction as a downfall of the writing career – I was full out addicted before I ever started my first manuscript.

Best part? All the amazing people I’ve met. The writing community is incredibly generous with advice and support, more than any other industry I’ve been a part of.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
I crochet as an outlet for my thoughts. But recently, I’ve started indoor climbing and really enjoy it. I climb a couple times a week with a handful of parents while our kids have team practice. It’s humbling and rewarding.

Orly Konig is an escapee from the corporate world where she spent roughly sixteen (cough) years working in the space industry. Now she spends her days chatting up imaginary friends, drinking entirely too much coffee, and negotiating writing space around two over-fed cats.
She is the founding president of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and an active member of Writers In The Storm blog and Tall Poppy Writers.

The Distance Home, debuts TODAY!, May 2, 2017.

Where to connect with Orly:
Website:  www.orlykonig.com