All Posts Tagged With: "Carrie Runnals"
If you’re searching for the next best book, why not enter to win FOUR?!
Our friends at Hachette Book Group are offering the following four books. Enter to win, simply by leaving a comment below sharing your favorite book of all time, why it’s your favorite, and how it touched your life. We want to hear from you!
- How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World: The Art of Living with Style, Class, and Grace By Jordan Christy
- The Love Revolution By Joyce Meyer
- Role of a Lifetime: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Significant Living By James Brown , Nathan Whitaker , Tony Dungy
- Loved: Stories of Forgiveness By Rebecca St. James
- Deadline-October15th, 2009, midnight, EDT
- Canada & US Residents Only: No P.O. Boxes please
- Make sure you’re subscribed to the Words To Mouth newsletter to receive winner announcement (not posted on website)
Are you a big fan of Sue Monk Kidd like me?
When I started Words To Mouth, one of my earliest blog posts talked about the excitement of one of my favorite authors/books coming to the big screen—Sue Monk Kidd’s THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES. Well, now that same author and her daughter, Anna Kidd Taylor, are coming to Words To Mouth. Sue and Anna, wrote a mother-daugher memoir called TRAVELING WITH POMEGRANATES and have agreed to take a few moments out of their busy book tour to chat with me on SEPTEMBER 10th. I’m beyond thrilled ~ what an honor!
Carrie’s Conversation with Seanan McGuire
Carrie: What inspired you to write ROSEMARY AND RUE?
Seanan: I’ve always loved folklore and the old fairy tales — the ones that were around before Grimm came along and “cleaned them up” to turn them into children’s stories. I was visiting the Japanese Tea Gardens in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park one day, and suddenly everything clicked together. I knew who Toby was, I knew what her problem was, and I really, really wanted to know how she was going to get out of it. Everything followed from there.
Carrie: In general, how does an idea for a book come to you? Does it perk slowly in your mind or does it come in a flash?
Seanan: It depends on the book, really. ROSEMARY AND RUE came slowly. The second book in the series, A LOCAL HABITATION, came to me all at once, and just had to be refined from there. It’s very situational for me.
Looking back, the knock on the door should have scared me. It should at least have come as a surprise. My house — the same one I grew up in — is set at the farthest curve of a culde- sac in Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, a Chicago suburb of fourteen thousand souls with quiet streets, neatly kept lawns, and well-regarded public schools. There are rarely pedestrians or passersby on Crescent Drive. Most weeks, the only signs of life after ten p.m. are the flash of headlights on my bedroom wall on the nights that my next-door neighbor Mrs. Bass has her Shakespeare Society meeting. I live alone, and I’m generally asleep by ten-thirty. But even so. When I heard the knock, my heartbeat didn’t quicken; my palms did not sweat. At some level underneath conscious thought, a place down in my cells where, the scientists tell us, memories reside, I’d been waiting years for that knock, waiting for the feel of my feet moving across the floor and my hand on the cool brass knob.
I pulled open the door and felt my eyes get big and my breath catch in my chest. There was my old best friend, Valerie Adler, whom I hadn’t spoken to since I was seventeen and hadn’t seen in person since high school ended, standing underneath the porch light; Valerie with her heart-shaped face and Cupid’s-bow lips and lashes heavy and dark as moth’s wings. She stood with her hands clasped at her waist, as if in prayer. There was something dark staining the sleeve of her belted trench coat.
For a minute, we stood in the cold, in the cone of light, staring at each other, and the thought that rose to my mind had the warmth of sunshine and the sweet density of honey. My friend, I thought as I looked at Val. My friend has come back to me.
Easy on the Eyes (from Jane’s Website)
At 38, Tiana Tomlinson has made it. America adores her as one of the anchors of America Tonight, a top-rated nightly entertainment and news program. But even with the trappings that come with her elite lifestyle, she feels empty. Tiana desperately misses her late husband Keith, who died several years before. And in a business that thrives on youth, Tiana is getting the message that her age is starting to show and certain measures must be taken if she wants to remain in the spotlight. It doesn’t help that at every turn she has to deal with her adversary—the devilishly handsome, plastic surgeon to the stars, Michael O’Sullivan. But a trip away from the Hollywood madness has consequences that could affect the rest of her life.
About Jane (from Jane’s Website)
Born in Visalia, California, I’m a small town girl at heart. I love central California’s golden foothills, oak trees, and the miles of farmland. In my mind, there’s nothing sweeter in the world than the heady fragrance of orange blossoms on a sultry summer night. As a little girl I spent hours on my bed, staring out the window, dreaming of far off places, fearless knights, and happy-ever-after endings. In my imagination I was never the geeky bookworm with the thick coke-bottle glasses, but a princess, a magical fairy, a Joan-of-Arc crusader. My parents fed my imagination by taking our family to Europe for a year when I was thirteen. The year away changed me (I wasn’t a geek for once!) and overseas I discovered a huge and wonderful world with different cultures and customs. I loved everything about Europe, but felt especially passionate about Italy and those gorgeous Italian men (no wonder my very first Presents hero was Italian). I confess, after that incredible year in Europe, the travel bug bit, and bit hard. I spent much of my high school and college years abroad, studying in South Africa, Japan and Ireland. South Africa remains a country of my heart, the people, the land and politics complex and heart-wrenching. After my years of traveling and studying I had to settle down and earn a living. With my Bachelors degree from UCLA in American Studies, a program that combines American literature and American history, I’ve worked in sales and marketing, as well as a director of a non-profit foundation. Later I earned my Masters in Writing from the University of San Francisco and taught jr. high and high school English. I now live in rugged Seattle, Washington with my two young sons. I never mind a rainy day, either, because that’s when I sit at my desk and write stories about far-away places, fascinating people, and most importantly of all, love. I like a story with a happy ending. We all do.
Synopsis of CHANGE OF HEART from Jodi’s website:
When Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe’s daughter, Willow, is born with severe osteogenesis imperfecta, they are devastated – she will suffer hundreds of broken bones as she grows, a lifetime of pain. As the family struggles to make ends meet to cover Willow’s medical expenses, Charlotte thinks she has found an answer. If she files a wrongful birth lawsuit against her ob/gyn for not telling her in advance that her child would be born severely disabled, the monetary payouts might ensure a lifetime of care for Willow. But it means that Charlotte has to get up in a court of law and say in public that she would have terminated the pregnancy if she’d known about the disability in advance – words that her husband can’t abide, that Willow will hear, and that Charlotte cannot reconcile. And the ob/gyn she’s suing isn’t just her physician – it’s her best friend.
HANDLE WITH CARE explores the knotty tangle of medical ethics and personal morality. When faced with the reality of a fetus who will be disabled, at which point should an OB counsel termination? Should a parent have the right to make that choice? How disabled is TOO disabled? And as a parent, how far would you go to take care of someone you love? Would you alienate the rest of your family? Would you be willing to lie to your friends, to your spouse, to a court? And perhaps most difficult of all – would you admit to yourself that you might not actually be lying?
Part of a Conversation with Jodi Picoult from Jodi’s website:
The characters in your books are always layered and complex, as are the issues that plague them. How do you create a character like Charlotte that readers can love and hate at the same time?
Well, for me, it’s a lot harder to create a flat character who’s either all villain or all hero. Most of us are a combination, aren’t we? Charlotte’s the best kind of character – one who is doing something that looks unpalatable, but for all the right reasons. In this way she reminds me a bit of Nina Frost from PERFECT MATCH. You want to hate her – but can you really say that if it were you, you wouldn’t at least think about doing the same thing she does? Charlotte’s tragic flaw, in my opinion, is that she is so single-minded in her pursuit of making Willow’s life easier that she neglects the rest of her support system – her friends, and her family.
How did you choose the recipes that appear throughout the book? Do you believe in the significance they hold for Charlotte? Are you a baker yourself?
Before I got married, I was lucky enough to have a roommate who became one of my best friends. Now, Katie works at the Smithsonian organizing special events – but prior to that, she went to culinary school. When I knew that I wanted Charlotte to be a baker, I turned to her and asked for help. Charlotte, as a baker, would believe that the sum of the ingredients is so much more than its parts – this is true for her when it comes to Willow, too, who is so much more than a litany of moments where she broke a bone or had a surgery or was sidelined to recuperate. I do bake (too much, if you ask my husband, who is constantly cursing me for a pan of brownies cooling on the stove that he is compelled to eat) – and often I have been struck by the metaphorical language of baking. I wanted Charlotte’s cookbook to be a collection of these terms, with accompanying recipes. So one day I emailed Katie a list – words like weeping, hardball, blind baking – and asked her to create recipes that might involve each term. I have to admit, that rarely is my fact checking process so delicious…I got to bake, and road test, every recipe in the book.
During the course of the trial, Amelia develops an eating disorder and starts cutting herself. Did you see this as the natural progression for her character? Were these types of behavior in siblings of disabled children something you found to be common while conducting your research?
While doing research with a child psychiatrist about adolescent bulimics I learned that cutting is very common for those girls. Apparently, bulimia involves a lot of self-hatred…and cutting figures into that. Siblings of disabled children aren’t always like Amelia, thank goodness – I’d hope that their families do a better job of including them than the O’Keefes do. For Amelia, having a sibling with a disability is compounded by the fact that she feels she’s failed her sister (in Disneyworld, for example) and that there are very high stakes in that household for being a child who isn’t perfect (which would be Amelia’s interpretation of her mother’s lawsuit).
You’ve said before that you know how a book will end before you write the first word. Was this also true for Handle with Care? Do you ever change your mind about an ending as you get deeper into the story?
I do know the ending before I write a single word, and I did here too. I will tell you that I think Handle With Care is the saddest book I’ve written – and coming from me, that’s pretty dire! I never wavered on the ending, however, because there’s a bit of a morality lesson in there as well – it’s a real “Be careful what you wish for” moment.
- For More Click HERE to visit Jodi’s website
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Deadline: July 15th, 2009 ~ Midnight, EDT
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Hope In A Jar, Something Borrowed, Come Sunday (Beth Harbison, Emily Giffin, Isla Morley) THREE WINNERS THREE BOOKS EACH
Hope in a Jar, Beth Harbison: Twenty years ago, Allie Denty wasthe pretty one and her best friend Olivia Pelham was the smart one. Throughout high school, they were inseparable…until a vicious rumor about Olivia— a rumor too close to the truth—ended their friendship. Now, on the eve of their twentieth high school reunion, Allie, a temp worker, finds herself suddenly single, a little chubby, and feeling old. Olivia, a cool and successful magazine beauty editor in New York, realizes she’s lonely, and is finally ready to face her demons. Sometimes hope lives in the future; sometimes it comes from the past; and sometimes, when every stupid thing goes wrong, it comes from a prettily packaged jar filled with scented cream and promises. Beth Harbison has done it again. A hilarious and touching novel about friendship, Love’s Baby Soft perfume, Watermelon Lip Smackers, bad run-ins with Sun-In, and the healing power of “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific.” Hope in a Jar: we all need it.
Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin: Rachel has always been a good girl–until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend Darcy throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy’s fiancé Dex. Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for Dex. She prays for fate to intervene, but when she makes a choice she discovers that the lines between right and wrong are blurry, endings aren’t always neat, and you have to risk all to win true happiness.
Come Sunday, Isla Morley: A wonderful new storyteller unleashes a soaring debut that sweeps from the hills of Hawaii to the veldt of South Africa. Come Sunday is that joyous, special thing: a saga that captivates from the very first page, breaking our hearts while making our spirits soar. Abbe Deighton is a woman who has lost her bearings. Once a child of the African plains, she is now settled in Hawaii, married to a minister, and waging her battles in a hallway of monotony. There is the leaky roof, the chafing expectations of her husband’s congregation, and the constant demands of motherhood. But in an instant, beginning with the skid of tires, Abbe’s battlefield is transformed when her three-year-old daughter is killed, triggering in Abbe a seismic grief that will cut a swath through the landscape of her life and her identity.
What an enthralling debut this is! What a storyteller we have here! As Isla Morley’s novel sweeps from the hills of Honolulu to the veldt of South Africa, we catch a hint of the spirit of Barbara Kingsolver and the mesmerizing truth of Jodi Picoult. We are reminded of how it felt, a while ago, to dive into the drama of The Thorn Birds. Come Sunday is a novel about searching for a true homeland, family bonds torn asunder, and the unearthing of decades-old secrets. It is a novel to celebrate, and Isla Morley is a writer to love.
THREE WINNERS THREE BOOKS EACH!!
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Deadline: June 30th, 2009 ~ Midnight, EST
“Fascinating insights into the ways that successful people have not only overcome adversity but made a friend and ally out of it. This book offers readers a great opportunity to consider how they will emerge from the major challenges we face individually and as a society. Griswell and Jennings have a deep understanding of the experiences of success arising from adversity, and their observations are unique and encouraging to us all.” David J. Skorton, President, Cornell University
“As Griswell and Jennings point out, there really is no substitute for hard work. We have to build endurance of character the same way we build endurance of speed or strength, and it always pays off.” Wayne Gretzky, NHL Hall of Fame Player, Businessman, and Coach
Carrie: How did you become interested in writing a book on dealing with adversity?
Bob: A little context is in order to give you the full answer. Barry and I come from extremely different backgrounds. Barry is from Atlanta and I am from Des Moines. He comes from a really tough background where money was extremely tight; I’m from a middle-class family. He received his undergrad from Berry College in Rome, GA and his master’s from Stetson University in Florida. I have an engineering degree from Iowa State and received my master’s from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Out of college he went into financial services, I went into construction sales.
Over a number of years we each moved our families numerous times, Barry in the south and eastern US and me to South America, Texas, and the West Coast. We first crossed paths about 18 years ago when we relocated to Des Moines while pursuing our careers. We, along with our spouses, became close friends socially and playing competitive tennis together, but there was no real business connection other than we were each leading and growing sales organizations for world-class companies—Barry for Principal Financial Group and me for EFCO, companies we both would eventually lead. From time to time we would compare notes, things like compensation and benefits, employee training, and sales methods.
Given that we were each growing sales organizations there became one area that was extremely important to us and that was employee and agent recruitment, selection and retention. We talked about this on a number of occasions, and we noticed an interesting thing: if there was one marker that we felt would predict a person’s ability to be successful in our organizations, it was a demonstrated ability to overcome adversity. Our own backgrounds and career experiences, different as they were, supported our observation. Even though Barry and I would not compare notes again on this subject for more than ten years, we each employed it in our respective company’s methods for locating and bringing along those with this all-important identification marker.
Now fast forward to the year 2003, when my co-author was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association, which recognizes and honors people who’ve come from humble beginnings and gone on to great success. The Association inducts ten new members a year and includes the likes of Buzz Aldrin, Craig Barrett of Intel, George Foreman, Bob Hope, Wayne Huizenga, Colin Powell, President Ronald Reagan, Howard Schultz of Starbucks, and Oprah Winfrey. The marker of overcoming adversity was once again in front of us, and we heard some very incredible stories.
Now, having so much affirmation of what we had thought and felt for many years, we decided to research and document in a book how the experiential learning gained from overcoming life’s worst experiences could catapult an individual to incredible success.
I interviewed Dr. Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D. longer ago than I’d like to admit. To be honest, I ran into some editing issues with the sound quality and some phone interference, so I put it on the back burner. After revisiting the interview and all the excellent info Dr. Shosh offers, I inquired some moms on their interest in the content. Many moms were interested in hearing about Postpartum Depression and the treatment. Though it’s still not perfect, I re-edited the file and finally posted it. It was a bit of a pain, but I really think the information Dr. Shosh offers is priceless. I realize it won’t be of interest to every Words To Mouth listener, but let’s face it, we’re all either parents at some time in our lives or know someone who is, so if you don’t listen, just be mindful of people around you who may find this interview useful. Be aware the sound levels were a bit off, so you will hear some white noise and possibly a few phone key blurts–Hey, I tried.
Description on Postpartum for Dummies from Dummies Website:
It’s a great blessing when a new mom with postpartum depression (PPD) is fortunate enough to be diagnosed early by a knowledgeable medical practitioner or therapist. But without guidance, it isn’t always clear where the boundary between normal baby blues and PPD lies. As with any other illness, the quicker that PPD is identified and treated, the faster the woman will recover. Postpartum Depression For Dummies can help you begin the process of determining what’s going on with you and give you a better idea of where you fall so that you can get yourself into proper treatment right away. The book covers all aspects of PPD, from its history and its origins to its effects on women and their families to the wide variety of treatments available—including conventional Western medicine, psychological therapy, alternative medical treatments, and self-care measures.
Postpartum Depression For Dummies reveals:
- Why some doctors may be hush-hush about PPD
- How to distinguish between pregnancy hormone changes, “baby blues,” and PPD
- The difficulties of getting a proper diagnosis
- The role and importance of a therapist
- The benefits of medication for depression
- Alternative treatments with a successful track record
- How to find the right balance of psychological, medical, and alternative treatment
- Ways you can help foster recovery
- The nutrition you need to care for yourself properly
- How to help your partner help you
THREE-Book Giveaway from Macmillan Audio
You listen to the Words To Mouth podcast, so my guess is you’ll love this opportunity from Macmillan Audio for THREE great audio books. Actually THREE winners get THREE books, each! So, after you check out the book descriptions, read the contest details and ENTER TO WIN!!