All Posts Tagged With: "Free Book"

Best Friends Forever, Jennifer Weiner

Best Friends Forever

Excerpt from Jennifer Weiner’s BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, Chapter 2 (from Simon and Schuster website)

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.

Change of Heart, Jodi Picoult

Handle

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?Jodi
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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COLD PURSUIT & BETRAYALS, Carla Neggers

Listen Now

COLD PURSUIT Synopsis (Read Excerpt)

New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers leads readers into a
deadly chase, where the right step can lead to the truth…Carla neggersand a single misstep spells disaster.

A prominent ambassador is killed in a suspicious hit-and-run in Washington, D.C. Hours later, his stepdaughter vanishes in the mountains of northern New England. Back in her hometown of Black Falls, Vermont, to do damage control on her career, Secret Service agent Jo Harper is drawn into the search. But her efforts face an unexpected challenge: Elijah Cameron. With his military training and mountain rescue experience, Elijah knows the unforgiving terrain better than anyone. But he and Jo have been at odds forever—and Elijah believes the missing teenager isn’t just lost…she’s on the run. Forced to work together, Jo and Elijah battle time and the elements in a race into the unforgiving mountains. The twists and turns awaiting them will take them closer to the explosive truth…and into the sights of a killer.

To Enter to WIN a FREE Copy of COLD PURSUIT:

  • Call 206-309-7318 & Leave a voice mail message I can share on-air AND Leave a comment below

  • Deadline for entry:  March 31st, midnight, EST

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Favorite Authors:

Reading Now:

Carla’s Website

Betrayals

Read an excerpt of Carla’s latest, BETRAYALS

The Pirate’s Daughter, Margaret Cezair-Thompson

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“Back in America, little was known of my life in Jamaica,” wrote Errol Flynn

I had the privilege of meeting and cruising with the Manic Mommies back in November. One of the lovely mommies, Kim Erskine, organized an on-ship book club and we all met up in the library one afternoon to chat about The Pirate’s Daughter. It was the perfect backdrop to talk about a book set in the tropics. The conversation was thought-provoking and as with most book clubs, impressions were introduced that weren’t previously considered. Some of the questions our group had about the book went unanswered, so it was wonderful to pose them directly to the woman who penned the words. I contacted The Pirate’s Daughter author, Margaret Cezair-Thompson and asked her to speak with me about her book.

Listen in as Margaret speaks so eloquently about her book and the Caribbean island nation she adores so much. She is a gifted storyteller and simply a delightful person.

PirateThen, join the conversation & be entered to win a FREE copy of The Pirate’s Daughter by:

  • Leaving a comment below and/or

  • Calling 206-309-7318 and sharing your impressions of the book or this interview–something I can play on-air

  • Deadline February 15th, 2009, EST

  • No P.O. Boxes Please

  • U.S. & Canada residents only

Unbridled Books Description:

In 1946, a storm-wrecked boat carrying Hollywood’s most famous swashbuckler shored up on the coast of Jamaica, and the glamorous world of 1940’s Hollywood converged with that of a small West Indian society. After a long and storied career on the silver screen, Errol Flynn spent much of the last years of his life on a small island off of Jamaica, throwing parties and sleeping with increasingly younger teenaged girls. Based on those years, The Pirate’s Daughter is the story of Ida, a local girl who has an affair with Flynn that produces a daughter, May, who meets her father but once. Margaret

Spanning two generations of women whose destinies become inextricably linked with the matinee idol’s, this lively novel tells the provocative history of a vanished era, of uncommon kinships, compelling attachments, betrayal and atonement in a paradisal, tropical setting. As adept with Jamaican vernacular as she is at revealing the internal machinations of a fading and bloated matinee idol, Margaret Cezair-Thompson weaves a saga of a mother and daughter finding their way in a nation struggling to rise to the challenge of independence. 

A wonderful book review excerpt from BookingMama:
THE PIRATE’S DAUGHTER by Margaret Cezair-Thompson has been on my radar for over a year now so I was very excited when one of my book club members selected it for our December meeting. News about this book just kept popping up everywhere, and all of the buzz was so good. I think it was only a matter of time before I picked it up.

I first heard about this novel when Unbridled Books released it last fall. The book’s description sounded very interesting to me. Then, it started receiving some big-time praise including including the #1 October 2007 Book Sense Pick as well as 2008 Essence Magazine Literary Award for Fiction. In August, the trade paperback version of THE PIRATE’S DAUGHTER was released by Random House with a bright, gorgeous cover. And just a few months ago, Celestial Seasonings’ Adventure at Every Turn selected it as one of their book club picks. I am just so glad that someone finally selected it for us to discuss.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I began reading THE PIRATE’S DAUGHTER, but I have to say that the book was a little different than I thought it would be. While I knew that the story was about a young Jamaican girl, Ida, who falls in love with Errol Flynn, I didn’t know that the book also included a lot of historical information about Jamaica. Having known absolutely nothing about Jamaica and their struggle for independence in the 1970s, I thought it was very interesting. The author did a tremendous job of incorporating the history with the characters in this novel.

I had always known that Errol Flynn was a unique figure to say the least, but I had no idea how much trouble this man could cause. I found him to be extremely distasteful — he seemed to prefer under-age girls and lots of alcohol; however, I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of him and his actions — these scenes were excellent. He must have been such a charismatic figure because men and women alike wanted to be in his presence (although to me he just seemed disgusting.) I found it so sad that Ida fell in love with him (or the idea of him) and ended up sacrificing her entire life because of her feelings. For More . . . 

Margaret’s Suggested Reading:

  • Mister Pipp, by Lloyd Jones “I love and highly recommend,” says Margaret

Margaret’s favorite author (when forced to pick ONLY one!):

Links:

Hachette Spooktacular Book Winners!

Hachette Spooktacular Book Winners!

Halloween

Hachette’s Halloween Book Giveaway ~ Another TEN Books!

Halloween

Hachette has out-done themselves again offering 10 Spooktacular Books in the spirit of Halloween. Check out these titles and if you’re interested in winning these tasty treats, leave a comment below and/or call 206–309–7318 and leave a voice mail message I can play on air.

As an added Bonus:  I’ll enter your name in the drawing TWICE if you leave me a review on iTunes for Words To Mouth. Hey! A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to get her needs met, right? And I need some more favorable reviews on iTunes 😉 Pop me an email at Carrie@WordsToMouth.com to clue me in on your customer review name, so I can be sure to count you twice.

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  • About WordstoMouth

    Carrie created Words-to-Mouth—a blog & companion Internet talk show introducing new book releases and their authors to a community interested in excellent writing that may not  necessarily top the New York Times Bestseller List—Yet! To learn more about Carrie, click here