Friday, May 24, 2013

Cover Reveal: A Summer in Europe...in Polish!

Polish cover - ASIE
Just in case anyone here hasn't seen it yet (I've already posted the image on Facebook and Magical Musings but, seriously, I'm over-the-moon delighted and can't stop talking about it!), here is the Polish cover for A Summer in Europe!!

The publisher is Prószyński i S-ka, and this is the page that has all the cool info about the book on their website. Just had to share this exciting news here on the blog!! Wakacje w Europie will be released on June 18th!

And in other areas of great excitement, Angie Kroll of Austen Admirers has the app for Jane Austen lovers ready to go! It's already available on Google Play and iTunes, and open enrollment to be part of the RSS app begins on May 31st. If you're on Facebook, definitely check out the FB page, too. Congrats, Angie!!  Thrilled to be a part of this ;).

Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend and a very Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fabulous Spring Reads!

Ahhhh, now it feels like spring!! It's mid-May, with temps in the 70s & 80s, and I see flowers blooming outside (along with, perhaps, a few too many dandelions in our yard...), but I love that burst of color.
Another great thing about May is that it's the release month for novels by two of my good friends! Just out this week is Robin Bielman's Kissing the Maid of Honor (contemporary romance)! Check out this awesome premise:
Kissing her best friend’s brother never felt so right…

Sela Sullivan is resolved to be the best maid of honor ever, even if it means tolerating the best man. Insufferable, too-handsome Luke Watters is not only the guy who humiliated her at a kissing booth in high school, but he also happens to be her best friend’s older brother. Positive he’s the same arrogant jock, Sela vows to focus on her duties and steer clear of the frustrating—and frustratingly tempting—Luke.

As a world-renowned extreme-sports photographer, Luke is used to undertaking life-risking adventures. But risking his heart for the beautiful Sela Sullivan, who clearly still hates him for his rejection all those years ago? He didn’t see that coming. Sela inspires a passion he’s never known, and the more time they spend together, the more he craves her. But can he prove to the maid of honor he’s become a man of honor?
And, coming out on the 27th is the newest novel by Lexi Ryan, Unbreak Me (contemporary new adult)! Read about this wonderful story below:
Unbreak Me“If you’re broken, I’ll fix you…”

I’m only twenty-one and already damaged goods. A slut. A failure. A disappointment to my picture-perfect family as long as I can remember. I called off my wedding to William Bailey, the only man who thought I was worth fixing. A year later, he’s marrying my sister. Unless I ask him not to…

“If you shatter, I’ll find you…”

But now there’s Asher Logan, a broken man who sees the fractures in my façade and doesn’t want to fix me at all. Asher wants me to stop hiding, to stop pretending. Asher wants to break down my walls. But that means letting him see my ugly secrets and forgiving him for his.

With my past weighing down on me, do I want the man who holds me together or the man who gives me permission to break?
Robin and Lexi, HUGE congrats!! You know how excited I am for you two, and I can't wait to read both of these!!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Q&A with Author Leslie Lehr

Today, it's my pleasure to have as my guest one of my fellow Girlfriends from the GBC, Leslie Lehr, author of What A Mother Knows (Sourcebooks Landmark, May 2013). It was just released yesterday -- yay! congrats!! -- and I think it's a perfect novel for Mother's Day.

Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and One Breath Away, called it: "A fast-paced and gripping exploration of a mother's love. A powerful affecting novel."

And Long and Short Reviews wrote: "Almost impossible to put down. ... What a Mother Knows is an intense and emotional rollercoaster ride."

Welcome, Leslie!!

Can you tell us the basic premise of your new book?

A woman who recovers from a fatal car accident and is accused of murder risks everything to find her missing daughter, the only one who might know the truth of what happened that day.  People are calling it contemporary drama or literary suspense, but for me it’s a love story.

What's one scene from this story you loved writing and why did it excite you? I loved writing the scene in Key West because it’s such a vivid place. My aunt has a bed and breakfast there called the Curry Mansion, and if it didn’t exist, I would have to make it up. There’s a picture of it on the map on my website. It’s a historic landmark full of antiques and there’s a piano player on the veranda at cocktail hour every afternoon. The sights and sounds of the main tourist drag and the excitement on the boardwalk at sunset are so colorful. The setting really adds flavor to the twists and turns in this chapter when Michelle, the main character, searches for her daughter. And it has a big ending. Bam!

Did you use any musical references in your novel? If so, do they play a significant role? If you check out the playlist on my website, you’ll se that most of the songs are from the Doors, who are considered the quintessential LA band. Jim Morrison, the singer/songwriter was this gorgeous poet who epitomized the sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll attitude of the sixties. He died before I’d ever heard of him, but you’d recognize the haunting music – it’s on every ‘best of ‘ list. I don’t want to ruin the story, but there is a young musician in it. So the music adds another dimension to the drama, one that embodies the worst fears of any mother.

Who was the first person you told when you got The Call announcing big news about your first novel? 
My mother. While visiting, I was roller blading with my daughters in the park across from her condo. My mom called me in to get the phone and came out to watch the girls. She had a funny expression on her face as I clomped past her and didn’t even tell me to take off the rollerblades. Joe deSalvo, from the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society, said that my novel won a prize and he invited me to New Orleans, all expenses paid, to get it.  At first I thought it was a friend playing a practical joke, but they flew me in and put me up in a Penthouse with a fruit basket and everything. Then there was a hurricane, so everyone fled the city and I didn’t get my award. But they sent the manuscript to an agent, and by the time I came back the next year, she was there along with my new editor from Random House. It still seems like a dream - makes me smile just thinking about it.

What's your Writer Fantasy--i.e., to see your book make into a feature film, to be on the New York Times bestseller list for 40 consecutive weeks, etc.? All of the above! Isn’t fantasy what writers are all about?

What's one piece of writing advice you've found valuable on your journey to publication?
I didn’t know any writers, but I used to play a tape of this old reggae soundtrack called The Harder They Come just hear the Jimmy Cliff sing, You Can Get It If You Really Want. Just imagine “If at first you don’t succeed, you gotta try try try again” with a reggae beat. It helped me stay motivated when I was broke and splurging on stamps to mail query letters. My dad always told me. “You can’t fail until you quit.” I couldn’t quit.

What's a personality trait you love about one of the characters in your novel and why? Michelle, the main character, becomes a kickass mom. She won’t let anything get in her way. She’s like Sally Field in that old movie, Not Without My Daughter, but even better. All the moms in this story are like that, but they all go about it indifferent ways….

Did you go on any special trips to research the setting? I used places that I’d already been. I did go back to Hawaii and Key West on vacations, and New York for business, so I kept my eyes open. Then I followed up with research online to keep things current.

What do you think readers might be surprised to know about you? I'm a terrible typist.

Any favorite movies you've seen? Ones you've watched over and over again? I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. While You Were Sleeping is my comfort food. My daughter and I love Romy & Michelle. We can also quote every line from Legally Blonde – it’s fun to watch it together.

Thank you so much, Leslie! (And you know I share your love of "While You Were Sleeping" -- one of my all-time faves! ;-)  

For readers who'd like to connect with Leslie, please visit her website http://www.leslielehr.com , check her out on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/authorleslielehr  and Twitter @leslielehr1

Also, if you are part of a book club and would like to have her visit via Skype, email her at leslieswork@aol.com (and there are fun features plus book club ideas on her website, too). 

Finally, for all moms who are reading this, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!! Are you doing anything special to celebrate this weekend?!