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HERE, HOME, HOPE by Kaira Rouda

A Conversation with Kaira Rouda

Here-Home-Hope

HERE, HOME, HOPE

Though I have not (yet) met Kaira face-to-face, we’ve spent much time online and on the telephone sharing ideas and thoughts on her nonfiction book, REAL YOU INCORPORATED, and encouraging women to find our gifts and talents and share with the world…Now, I feel fortunate to be able to offer a space for Kaira to talk about her first novel, HERE, HOME, HOPE. It has been a dream for Kaira to get her novels published and I’m so excited that the opportunity has come to fruition and this new chapter has begun for her. Kaira is a gifted writer with an unstoppable entrepreneurial spirit, and simply a beautiful individual, inside and out. HERE, HOME, HOPE is an evident expression of her essence and is an inspiring, and entertaining, read. I recommend it, and Kaira, highly and wish her all and ONLY the Best.

Carrie:  What inspired you to write HERE, HOME, HOPE?
Kaira:
The inspiration for HERE, HOME, HOPE wasn’t one particular instance, it’s more of a continuation of the stories found in all of my novels. This is the first to be published, but hopefully, one of many. My novels have the same underlying theme: Women who have seemingly perfect lives, and what happens behind closed doors or when they are pushed to the breaking point. HERE, HOME, HOPE was influenced by the economy, specifically the complete and utter collapse of the housing market and its ramifications even throughout up-scale suburban communities, like the fictitious Grandville of the book.

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?
Kaira:
My story ideas run around in my mind for quite some time before I start writing. Often, I have several different stories pulsing through and that gets to be confusing. But it’s fun.

Carrie:  Give us an idea of the plot of HERE, HOME, HOPE without giving too much away.
Kaira:
Kelly Mills Johnson is restless. An appetite for more forces her to take stock of her middling middle-American existence and her neighbors’ seemingly perfect lives. Her marriage to a
successful attorney has settled into a comfortable routine, and being the mother of two adorable sons has been rewarding. But Kelly’s own passions lie wasted. She eyes with envy the lives of her two best friends, Kathryn and Charlotte, both beautiful, successful businesswomen who seem to have it all. Kelly takes charge of her life, devising a midlife make-over plan. From page one, Kelly’s witty reflections, self-deprecating humor, and clever tactics in executing that plan—she places Post-it notes all over her house and car—will have readers laughing out loud. The next instant, however, they might rant right along with Kelly as her commitment to a sullen, anorexic teenager left on her doorstep tries her patience or as she deflects the boozy advances of a divorced neighbor. Readers will need to keep the tissue box handy, too, as Kelly repairs the damage she inflicted on a high school friend; realizes how deeply her husband, Patrick, understands and loves her; and ultimately grows into a woman empowered by her own blend of home and career. Kaira-Rouda-headshot

Carrie:  What is the primary message you’d like your readers to take away from HERE, HOME, HOPE?
Kaira:
If the grass looks greener ~ water your own.

Carrie:  What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
Kaira:
I really like the scenes with Melanie and Kelly – I hope they’re realistic. My house is filled with teenagers right now and it was really important for me to get their interactions right. My
daughter, who is Mel’s age in the book, read the manuscript to make sure I got her right.

Carrie:  What was the most difficult scene to write? Why?
Kaira:
I guess the toughest scenes for me to write are when my characters are suffering. So probably Kathryn leaving, Melanie’s low points, Kelly being attacked, Charlotte in pain.

Carrie:  Which character in HERE, HOME, HOPE, do you identify with the most in your book? How much of yourself did you put into these characters and did you realize you showed up in the book? If so, while you were writing or only afterwards upon review?
Kaira:
I think there is a piece of me in all of my female characters. Sometimes, it’s more obvious to my friends and family than other times. I really like Kelly. She snorts when she laughs – and I
do that!

Carrie:  What are you reading right now?
Kaira:
I am a voracious readers, so if I answer that question today, I’ll be reading something different tomorrow. I’ve been a huge fan of Susan Isaacs for as long as I can remember, and I like to
think of my books, my themes, as heavily influenced by her. If you looked around my office right now, you’d see a world of books.

Carrie: What authors, books, or ideas have influenced your writing?
Kaira:
My favorite author is F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby mesmerized me from the first time I read it.

Carrie:  What is your go-to book–that one you’ve read more than once, possibly over-and-over?
Kaira:
A Gift from the Sea.

Carrie:  Can you offer a glimpse into your “real life” and share with us a bit of your personal life—Outside of writing, what’s important to you?
Kaira:
My husband and four kids are the most important part of my “real life.” Empowering women is another passion, or cause, in addition to writing.

Carrie:  Tell us something surprising about you and/or something very few people know about you.
Kaira:
My desk chair is an exercise ball.

Carrie:  What has been one of your biggest struggles and/or successes (professional/personal) and what have you learned from it?
Kaira:
Well, I don’t even know where to start with this. I’ve had a 25 year career in business, working for myself and others, so the struggles have been plenty. I write about many of those in my
nonfiction book, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs. On the personal side, I have been truly blessed.

Carrie:  Have you ever had a nickname? Tell us about it.
Kaira:
Spaz. Yep, it’s true, that was my high school nickname. I would say that it’s true, I’m enthusiastic. I’ve always believed a smile confuses an approaching frown.

Carrie:  Who is your biggest fan?
Kaira:
My husband.

Carrie:  What was the best advice you’ve ever received—do you follow it?
Kaira:
Write down your feelings. And yes, I do.

Carrie:  What is your favorite literary turn-of-phrase / quote / word picture?
Kaira:
It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.

Carrie:  What’s next for you ~ Anything else you’d like to offer?
Kaira:
If you like HERE, HOME, HOPE you’ll love IN THE MIRROR, coming next Spring.

Carrie:  How do readers get in touch with you?
Kaira:
Find me on Facebook at “Kaira Rouda Books;” on twitter: @KairaRouda; and on my website
www.KairaRouda.com where you’ll find additional information about the book, an excerpt and book club reading guide.

To enter to win a free copy of HERE, HOME, HOPE:

Leave a Comment below sharing your own story of HOPE

U.S. & Canada residents only; No P.O. Boxes, please
Deadline: May 30TH, 2010 ~ midnight, EST

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.

EASY ON THE EYES, Jane Porter

Listen NowTo enter to win a FREE copy of EASY ON THE EYES:

EASY

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.

Happy Valentine’s Day ~ 5 People Win 11 FREE Books EACH (Including James Patterson’s SUNDAYS AT TIFFANY’S)

Valentine

!!  HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY from Hachette  !!

Love in 90 Days by Diana Kirschner

Sundays at Tiffany’s  by James Patterson, Gabrielle Chabonnet

Free Yourself to Love  by Jackie Kendall

The Italian Lover  by Robert Hellenga

Looking for Mrs. Friedman and Other Really Bad Ideas  by Steve Friedman

Getting Naked Again  Dating, Romance, Sex, and Love When You’ve Been Divorced, Widowed, Dumped, or Distracted  by Judith Sills

We Take This Man  by Candice Dow, Daaimah Poole

Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me  by Ben Karlin

Sexcapades by HoneyB

Love and Other Natural Disasters  by Holly Shumas

Send Yourself Roses  by Kathleen Turner

  Contest Rules:

  1. We can have FIVE Winners
  2. Leave a comment below describing your favorite Valentine’s present or what your dream Valentine’s Day Date would look like
  3. Make sure you’re subscribed to the e-Newsletter, because that’s how winners are notified
  4. U.S. & Canada Residents ONLY ; Sorry No PO Boxes
  5. Deadline – Day AFTER Valentine’s Day, February 15th, 2009 midnight, EST

Cancer is a Bitch, Gail Konop Baker (audio author interview) & October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Listen NowBitch“Cancer Is a Bitch smartly illustrates how breast cancer impacts our roles as wives, mothers, lovers, and friends. Gail Konop Baker’s candid recollections are also filled with extraordinary hope and humor. Her ‘mammoir’ is witty, wise, and wonderfully written.”—Elisabeth Squires, author of bOObs: A GUIDE TO YOUR GIRLS
 

Scroll down to the very bottom of this post and click gray arrow to listen

Join us as Gail discusses the unexpected gifts she gleaned from cancer…living in the now, renegotiating her life and relationships, allowing herself to feel “It’s unfair,” and allowing others to help her. Come listen in as she describes her journey from over-thinking everything and asking “Why?” to living in the present and asking “Why not?”

Be sure to check out Gail’s wonderful website with links to different resources and foundations and most importantly…

Go schedule a MAMMOGRAM Now!

To win a FREE copy of Cancer is a Bitch, leave a comment below or call 206-309-7318 and leave a voice mail message I can play on air…don’t forget to email me your mailing address at Carrie@WordsToMouth.com. And subscribe on iTunes. 

Supplemental Q & A with Gail:

Carrie:  How would you address those who are reluctant to read another cancer memoir? Or a book about cancer in general?Gail

Gail:  Good question! In fact when I asked Sara Gruen if she would read the manuscript for endorsement she told me she wasn’t sure she wanted to read about breast cancer and I told her that, believe it or not, the book is more about how the diagnosis served as a catalyst for me to examine my midlife, my mothering, and my marriage more intensely. About how it woke me up to the moment, helped me see how much I had been taking for granted and inspired me to do all the things I’d forgotten to do. A day later Sara Gruen e-mailed and said she’d read the book in one sitting, thanked me for encouraging her to read it, and sent this blurb: “Don’t let the “C” word scare you—CANCER IS A BITCH is smart, funny, hopeful, and as much about life, families and self-discovery as the cancer that prompts it. I loved this book: Read it!” So I guess I would say: don’t let it scare you.

Carrie:  How does your book differ from, say, the recent spate of popular cancer-oriented books, such as Crazy Sexy Cancer? Why should people read your book and hear your story?

Gail:  I really enjoyed Crazy Sexy Cancer but it was more tips on how to deal with cancer. (Great tips, mind you!) My book is more of a journey into the mind of someone going through a major crisis, which everyone has gone through or will go through. So while it is universal it also is extremely personal. This book was culled from my private journals so there is a level of intimacy and honesty that I didn’t even originally plan to share. My book doesn’t tell you how I coped (or didn’t cope): instead it takes you on a rollercoaster ride from despair to triumph. Reading it is both emotionally thrilling and cathartic. And the themes of motherhood and marriage and what it means to be a woman in the 21st century are universal. My book also addresses the psychological fallout that a person lives with even after a “good” breast cancer diagnosis, and I don’t think that’s been written about or is even talked about all that much. And with millions of women diagnosed every year, the mental aspect affects a lot of people.

Carrie:  What inspired you to write such an intimate book on such a touchy subject?

Gail:  I wrote this book because I couldn’t write anything else. The last (unpublished) novel I’d written was about a woman who finds a lump in her breast and wonders if she’s lived a meaningful life. I completed it just before my routine mammogram in 2006. My agent hated it, and I ended up with a breast cancer diagnosis. So I was at a crossroads personally and professionally. I spent most of my time Googling breast cancer and nutrition and alternative medicine sites. I wanted to know what had caused this: Why me? When I wasn’t doing all that productive stuff, I wrote all my craziest most private thoughts in a journal my husband gave me, vowing never to show it to anyone!
Eventually, I wrote parts of the journal into an essay I titled CANCER IS A BITCH and sent it to a couple of writer friends who were like, wow, you should do something with this (although you might want to take the swearing out). Soon after that, I read that LiteraryMama.com was looking for columnists and on an absolute whim, I pitched them a column based on the essay called Bare-breasted Mama and they took it, swearing and all! Immediately after it went live, I started receiving e-mails from readers thanking me for being so open and honest about my journey (both men and women, people who’d had cancer and not had cancer). That feedback encouraged me to keep going, even though it often hurt to relive this and write about it, and I felt very exposed putting my experience out there. Around the same time, I “broke up” with my first agent and started pitching new agents again (for my breast cancer novel). One of them wrote back to say that while he loved my voice, he wasn’t taking on much fiction. Again, on a whim, I pitched him the idea of spinning the columns into a memoir. And he said yes!

Carrie:  What are some of the most ridiculous and memorable things that happened to you on your journey from diagnosis through treatment to recovery?

Gail:  They’re all in the book! One of them was when I was in pre-op and they were poking long fishing-line-like wires into my boob and the technician was talking about her vacation to topless beaches in Europe and all I could think was when I was in Nice a few months before and I hadn’t gone topless and now I never would. Another was when my best friend came over before I had surgery and I was thinking, how can she want to be friends with this “damaged” me? and she said, “If you have to shave your head, I’m shaving mine in solidarity.”  Luckily I didn’t need chemo, but that depth of friendship just blew me away. And another friend had an affair for me. She wanted us to embrace life.

Carrie:  What words of wisdom or encouragement would you offer those diagnosed with breast cancer?

Gail:  It’s hard. And unfair. First I’d just acknowledge those two things. The word CANCER rocked my foundation, flipped my world upside down like nothing else. It’s normal to feel crazy, and don’t beat yourself up thinking you did something wrong (I did that for a while and that was a waste of energy). Then I’d just encourage them to mother themselves and accept mothering from others. Eat organic food and exercise. And sex: have it! I have one scarred breast (from several lumpectomies) and it took me a long time to feel attractive and sexual again. I think if you can find the energy, sex is important. It’s life affirming. It reminds you that you are still a woman. And still beautiful.

Then maybe figure out what you’ve been putting off, and stop saying no to the things you really want to do. I started training for a half-marathon after surgery, and I started writing a column, and then I wrote this book, and then after I completed that I went to yoga boot camp teacher training. These were all things I’d wanted to do over the years but hadn’t. Mostly because in the past I tended to over-think everything, and by the time I was done thinking something through, I would have talked myself out of it and missed the opportunity. So I really try not to do that now.
One last thing. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. That was my biggest hurdle. I didn’t want to burden others with my crazy thoughts. And now you can buy them on Amazon! But seriously, I decided to expose my thoughts, my life, my everything including my bra size because I wanted to make it okay to talk about cancer openly and honestly so others diagnosed, or those who love someone who is diagnosed, would feel less alone.

Carrie:  How do you deal with writing about your life? Do worry about exposing yourself? Your family? Your friends? Where do you draw the line?

Gail:  The best thing about switching from fiction to memoir is that everything is fodder. And it has taught me to pay closer attention to the world I live in. There are so many interesting and funny and poignant things happening in my very own life—in all of our lives. I also learned from writing fiction to look for patterns and the interesting and unexpected way things connect, and I try to incorporate that in my work so it feels layered and multi-dimensional. But at the same time, what I leave out is just as significant as what I put in. I’m very careful when writing about others, especially family and friends. In fact, when I was writing fiction I often exposed “truths” about others I would never dare expose now that I’m writing memoir. I’m not out to expose anyone but me! So in some ways writing memoir has me to be more compassionate about my family and friends.

Carrie:  What are some of your inspirations as a writer, and how do you think this comes across in your own writing?

Gail:  I was an English major so I’m always falling in love with writers and books. My first loves were Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and then Catcher in the Rye and then The Great Gatsby and then Anna Karenina. In that order exactly. Ever since I can remember, I would get on compulsive kicks with writers. First read everything they’d ever written, and then every book about them. I remember doing that with Sylvia Plath when my kids were little, and then that got too depressing and I moved on to Grace Paley. Loved Grace Paley. The year before last I had a major thing for Ian McEwan. Last year it was Nick Hornby. I recently read Donna Tartt’s A Secret History and totally fell in love with her writing. But everything influences me. Seriously, food, music, bad TV, overheard conversations, fights with my husband, stupid things I say to my kids and worry I can’t take back and imagine them discussing in therapy in 30 years, the position of the sun. Since I started my writing life as a poet, almost as important as the story I’m telling is the way the words sound, the rhythm and the beat. The way all that comes across in my writing is that I throw it all in and see what happens. And always, always looking for that one defining moment that crystallizes everything.

Click HERE for a song that speaks to Gail’s revelation about Cancer giving her compassion into others’ suffering.

“Gail Konop Baker is a knock-out writer who cracks me up one minute then brings me to tears the next. Her beautiful, funny, feisty, poignant memoir isn’t just an inspiration for cancer patients and their families—but for all of us. There is so much wisdom between these pages, yet the story is told without an ounce of self pity or a trace of triteness. In the end, this tale is a testament to how precarious and priceless life is, and how each of us needs to live it to the fullest, starting right now.”—Lolly Winston, author of GOOD GRIEF

365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy, by Charla Muller “Sex. Every day. For an entire year.” (audio author interview)

Listen NowNightsAbout the Book (From Charla’s website):
365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy is a funny and intimate look into turning 40, being married and wondering if there is more to marriage than laundry, babysitters and negotiating the DVR. It started when Charla’s husband was about to celebrate four decades on this planet, and she offered to give him something memorable – something that only she could give.
She offered him sex every day for a year.CharlaThis book documents that year. It’s not the behind-the-scene details of their sex life (which, really, would not be all that interesting), but rather a modest, G-rated story about how a year of daily intimacy transformed a marriage. About how the “stuff” everyone brings to a marriage can bear down on the relationship, intimacy and the desire to connect.This endeavor did not start as a book idea, but an honest attempt to improve a relationship. From “Dr. Phil” to The New York Times, the topic of marriage and intimacy is an incredibly relevant issue, it seems. Certainly Charla is no expert, but she’s been amazed at how her experience has resonated with family and friends who know about this year of intimacy. Everyone seems to have a comment, an anecdote or a perspective about intimacy and marriage…everybody.

Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America’s Soul, by Karen Abbott ~ Begs the Question: “Do you think prostitution should be legalized?”

Listen NowSinSin in the Second City ~ Two sisters. One brothel. And a culture war that rocked the nation.“Karen Abbott has pioneered sizzle history in this satisfyingly lurid tale. Change the hemlines, add 100 years, and the book could be filed under current affairs.” —— USA Today

To learn more about Karen and hear about her book in her own words, simply scroll to the bottom of this post and click the gray arrow to listen.

What are your thoughts on legalizing prostitution? My Words To Mouth group on GoodReads got to talking about it. Share your thoughts below in the comments section or call 206-309-7318 and enter to win a FREE copy of Sin in the Second City.

Check out Karen’s creative and interactive Sin in the Second City websiteAbbott

Book Excerpt ~ Karen’s favorite scene (Click here for a video of Karen talking about it):

Debate raged in the Second City, meanwhile, over an appropriate itinerary for Prince Henry. Chicago’s 20,000-plus German immigrants planned to line a brilliantly lit Michigan Avenue and roar as the prince traveled past, on his way to an elaborate banquet at the Auditorium Hotel. There he would dine with 165 “representative men” of Chicago, including J. Ogden Armour, Potter Palmer, Oscar Mayer, Marshall Field Jr., and Mayor Carter Harrison II. The planning committees also approved a choral festival at the First Regiment Armory, a tour of Marshall Field’s department store, a trip to Lincoln’s grave, another stop at the Auditorium Hotel for a Grand Ball, and a lunch and reception at the Germania Club. The visit, all totaled, would cost the city $75,000.

Bittersweet: Confessions of a Twice-Married Man, by Philip Lee (Another FREE Book)

The winners of spotlighted Words To Mouth authors have been randomly chosen and I’m working on getting the announcement posted. Meanwhile, I found another freebie for you to tide you over:

Bittersweet

You can download Bittersweet: Confessions of a Twice-Married Man by award-winning investigative journalist Philip Lee between 12:00 midnight September 19th and 12:00 midnight September 21st, 2008.

So, mark your calendar for your free copy of this author’s male perspective on love, parenting, and relationships.

The site provides an excerpt for you to whet your appetite (look over to the righthand column). 

The Truth About Cheating, M. Gary Neuman ~ FREE COPY!

In Case You Haven’t Heard…

CheatYou can get a free download of a copy of M. Gary Neuman’s book, The Truth About Cheating!

Between now and 7p.m. tonight, Friday, September 12, 2008 you can click on the following link and have the book delivered to your computer for free…so just about 12 hours from this posting. Don’t delay. Click HERE

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, Janelle Brown (Quick & Wordy audio interview)

Listen NowAllWeEver

Janelle Brown is author of ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING and an essayist and journalist. Her writing appears regularly in Vogue, The New York Times, Elle, Wired, Self, The Los Angeles Times, and numerous other publications. Previously, she spent five years as a senior writer at Salon, covering a diverse range of subjects — from Internet culture to the war on drugs, pop culture to style, public policy issues and the digital music movement– and began her career as a staff writer at Wired, working on seminal Web sites like HotWired and Wired News during the heydey of the dotcom boom. In the 1990’s, she was also the editor and co-founder of Maxi, an irreverent (and now, long-gone) women’s pop culture magazine. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, filmmaker Greg Harrison, and their very spoiled dog, Guster.** JanelleBrown

ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING**
Set amid the country club gossip and rampant affluenza of Silicon Valley’s nouveau riche, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything is a smart, acerbic comedy chronicling one eventful summer when the lives of the Miller family are turned upside-down.

After his pharmaceutical company’s explosive IPO, Paul Miller leaves his wife Janice for her tennis partner, attempting to cut her out of nearly a half-billion dollars. Eldest daughter Margaret is on the run from her creditors after her fledgling post-feminist magazine Snatch implodes; and neglected Lizzie, a naïve teen enjoying a newfound popularity with boys at school, discovers that she’s actually become the school slut. The three Miller women retreat behind the walls of their Georgian colonial to wage battle with divorce lawyers, debt collectors, drug-dealing pool boys, mean girls, country club ladies, evangelical neighbors, their own demons, and each other.

“My second grade teacher was right.”*

The six word memoir book Janelle mentions:
Not Quite What I was Planning: Six Word Memoirs from Writers Famous and Obscure collects almost 1,000 six-word memoirs, including additions from many celebrities including Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris, Dave Eggers, Richard Ford, Deepak Chopra, Moby, and more. A New York Times bestseller and subject of hundreds of stories from The New Yorker to NPR and hailed as “American haiku,” SMITH’s book of six-word memoirs is both a moving peek at the minutia of humanity and the most inspirational toilet reading you’ll ever find.

Janelle’s Reading:

I especially appreciated Janelle’s openness and honesty in sharing with us what at one time she saw as a mistake, but what ultimately turned out to be a silver-lined cloud. Check out her website at www.JanelleBrown.com

To win a copy of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, leave a comment below, post a review on iTunes, and/or call 206-309-7318 and leave a voice mail message I can play on-air.

Click the arrow below to listen or better yet, subscribe on iTunes…

Take good care until next time.

Thanks to Natali Brown for You’ve Gotta Believe from the Podsafe Music Network

**Adapted from Brown’s website

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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