All Posts Tagged With: "Women"
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.
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LEGS by Angela Lam Turpin: Trina Kay knows she has it all: a smart, sexy boyfriend and business partner, a closet full of designer clothes, and a multimillion dollar mansion overlooking Silicon Valley. But things spiral out of control once her boyfriend, Tom, puts up a billboard of her legs to advertise their real estate business. Furious with Tom’s decision to exploit her body, Trina flees to Sonoma County where her best friend, Val, lives. She plunges into her new life with a fierce determination to succeed by opening her own real estate brokerage and starting to date. Things don’t work out exactly as planned. Trina’s living in a luxury apartment she can’t afford with bills she can’t pay. And the one nice man she’s met has driven away before she could get his number. On the brink of bankruptcy, Trina gets a job. But working for Ms. Lashay at Smart Loans turns out to be more of a challenge than she expected. Just when things couldn’t get worse, the past threatens to collide with the present, and Trina is forced to make difficult decisions that will change her life and those around her forever. For More…visit Angela Lam Turpin’s WEBSITE
The UltraMind Solution by Mark Hyman, M.D.: “Do you have a broken brain?” According to Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. a hidden epidemic races around the globe–we can’t see it or touch it, which makes it so dangerous–an epidemic of broken brains. Dr. Hyman reveals that problems in the brain don’t start there, and explains how detoxifying and fortifying the body can maximize brain function, alleviate depression, and improve memory–without drugs. Dr. Mark Hyman is the editor in chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.
Rose House by Tina Forkner: Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms. She returns to the rolling hills and lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley in search of something she can’t quite name. But then Lillain stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the la Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery, form the sorrow etched across her face to the sandals on her feet. What kind of artist would dare to intrude on such a personal scene, and how did he happen to witness Lillian’s pain? As the mystery surrounding the portrait becomes entagled with the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and children, Lillian is forced to rethink her assumptions about what really happend that day. For More…Visit Tina Forkner’s WEBSITE
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Deadline: May 15th, 2009 ~ midnight, EST
The Killing Tree is about the life and love that was taken from Mercy on the day she was born and her battle to reclaim it. To do this, Mercy will have to overcome the pain of her family history, one soiled by murder and small town rumor. She will have to fight against her grandfather as well as her own crippling fears which work to trap her on Crooktop. With the love of a man, who, like her, is outside of all that is considered “good” on Crooktop, Mercy will find the courage to wage this battle. On the side of the mountain one stormy night, Mercy will make her last stand.
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Carrie: What inspired you to write THE KILLING TREE?
Rachel: I felt trapped. Stuck reading case after case inside my law school books. Every night writing briefs to prepare for the moment a professor would call my name to recite holdings and defend positions before the class. I needed an escape. At first, there was no time for new novels, no time to read about new characters or adventures. So I created my own. While my husband took notes for the both of us, I started writing. I escaped to Crooktop mountain.
Carrie: Give us an idea of THE KILLING TREE’s plot without giving too much away.
Rachel: THE KILLING TREE is about the life and love that was stolen from Mercy on the day she was born, and her battle to reclaim it. To do this, Mercy will have to overcome the pain of her family history, one soiled by murder and small town rumor. She will have to fight against her grandfather, and her own crippling fears which work to trap her on Crooktop. With the love of a migrant worker, who like her is outside of all that is considered “good” on Crooktop, Mercy will find the courage to wage this battle.
Carrie: What is the primary message you’d like your readers to take away from THE KILLING TREE?
Rachel: Self-realization, and the courage and fight that are needed to achieve it, are the underlying themes of THE KILLING TREE .
Carrie: What is your favorite scene in THE KILLING TREE? Why?
Rachel: My favorite scene is the birth of Glory. I love the sudden rush of purpose and hope that overwhelms Mercy. I love the connection to Trout that she senses in Glory. I love the name Mercy chooses for her baby.
Carrie: What was the most difficult scene to write? Why?
Rachel: I cried as I wrote the scene where Father Heron burns Mercy’s babydoll. I hadn’t been planning that scene, but it arrived on the page. There were already so many things to grieve about. Trout’s disappearance, which had just occurred in the earlier chapter. Mercy’s reaction and sense of “death” over it. And then this scene happened. I think it reveals, perhaps more than any other, the cruelty that Mercy has had to survive her whole life. There is such innocence in her voice here, as she recalls loving that Sally doll and having to watch her doll die. It broke my heart.
Carrie: Which character do you identify with the most in THE KILLING TREE? 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?
Rachel: Mercy. As I was writing I knew that some of Mercy’s impressions, about the mountains or the fields of tomatoes, were my own. But it wasn’t until review that I realized other little things about Mercy’s personality–her discomfort among crowds, her reaction to her first day of high school–were similar to my own.
Carrie: What are you reading right now?
Rachel: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers.
Carrie: Who are your favorite authors and who influenced your writing?
Rachel: There are many authors whose work I treasure. But Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God is the book that showed me just how beautiful language can be—how deeply it can make me feel, how easily it can break my heart. I read it during the same season that I first fell in love and found myself reading passages over and over, just to savor their perfection. The plot was wonderful, but it’s Hurston’s words that I’ll never forget. Growing up, I was blessed with teachers who influenced my writing. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Tester, assigned me extra poetry projects and often invited me to read my poetry and stories to the class. My high school English teacher, Mrs. Benson, encouraged me as well. She wrote a college reference letter for me that stated she would be surprised if I didn’t pursue a writing career. When I first began to dream about publishing THE KILLING TREE, I kept her letter by my laptop. The greatest encouragement of my writing however, has come from my husband Kip. Mercy’s song to Glory (page 308) was the first thing that I ever wrote for THE KILLING TREE, and at the time it was nothing more than a random poem. But Kip read it and urged me to explore the new voice I had captured. He took notes for the both of us during class so I could write. He kicked me under the table if I was typing too much, lost on Crooktop, and in danger of attracting the professor’s attention. And he’s the one that read the finished product and decided to send it off to New York. I said No but he wouldn’t listen. I’m so glad he didn’t.
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?
Rachel: I love to cook for my family and friends. I am always hunting for new recipes that I think they will enjoy. Family dinnertime is a high priority in our home. It’s also important to me that my boys learn to appreciate the outdoors. It’s easy to fill up their days with scheduled activities and sports. I try to ensure that they have plenty of time to just walk through the woods and search for little boy treasure, like interesting rocks, turtle shells, and ant “cities.” And I’m learning to garden. Each summer I plant tomatoes, but my ambitions are growing. This summer: beans.
Carrie: Tell us something surprising about you and/or something very few people know about you.
Rachel: If I’m sitting down to write, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is playing. This is something that developed after I became a mother. For some reason, this song opens up a new room of thought in my mind, a place without grocery lists or laundry baskets. I’m not actually conscious of the music while writing, but I am distracted if it’s not on. To me, the song is full of notes of yearning and hope, the same things I like to write about. Kip jokes that I’m trying to write the lyrics to Moonlight Sonata.
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…and 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.
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Deadline for entry: March 31st, midnight, EST
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- MJ Rose’s latest, THE MEMORIST
- **If you like time travel, check out The Time Traveler’s Wife and read an excerpt
Read an excerpt of Carla’s latest, BETRAYALS
To Enter to Win a FREE Copy of It’s Not Your Mother’s Bridge Club:
Carrie’s Conversation with Michele:
What inspired you to write It’s Not Your Mother’s Bridge Club?
It’s Not Your Mother’s Bridge Club is the story of a group of women who gather monthly to play the dice game, “bunko.” I’ve been part of bunko group for the past eight years. This means eight years of first-Thursday-of-the-month, girls’-night-out experiences, and each time I get together with these women they make me laugh, they make me cry, and they make me know I’ve got friends on whom I can rely when I truly need them. Since millions of American women belong to bunko groups, I believed they’d be able to relate to the women of the Snake Eyes Dice Club. And so I created a group of fictional characters. I’ve tried to make them as funny and interesting as my real life friends . . . but this was a tall order.
Give us an idea of the plot without giving too much away.
This is primarily a character study. Most bunko groups have 12 players who play a simple dice game that takes very little thought and no strategy. I reduced the number to eight. Believe me it was enough having eight fictional women living in my head as I wrote their story. The characters are middle-aged and middle-to upper-middle class, and they live in a desert community, the Rattlesnake Valley. What they have in common is their
You may have already seen this, but it touched me so much, I can’t resist posting it on my website. I contacted Kelly’s publicist in hopes she’d agree to be on Words To Mouth ~ Let’s hope she says “Yes!”
If you haven’t checked out Goodreads yet, stop by for a visit, meet other booklovers, and join in the conversation. Friend me while you’re there…
“Reading is a passion of mine, and when I find myself identifying with the characters, anxious to get to the next page to find answers to my questions, I know I’m into a good book! The daughter-mother-grandmother theme in Ruby Among Us pulled me in. Wonderful story-telling.” Jordin Sparks
Carrie: What motivated you to write Ruby Among Us?
Tina: I was living as a single mom in Wyoming and feeling particularly down about my situation in life when I began to think about my daughter and worry about what would happen to her if I were to die while she was still young. I asked myself the question, “What would she be told about me?”
And then like a typical writer, I expanded my questions to the hypothetical. “What if someone decided to take her away from everything that has to do with me? How would she feel? Would she try to find out about me?” And I sensed she would, so I typed out what amounted to a few paragraphs of fiction, or maybe a few pages, I can’t remember, and then I called it Ruby Among Us and closed the file. It wasn’t until I later that I pulled that file back out and it turned into a book.
Click HERE to get Melanie Lynne Hauser’s free e-book, Jumble Pie. And let me know what you think…Leave your very own “book review” in the comment section below.
From Melanie’s site:
Jumble Pie is the story of the elusive nature of friendship, sometimes clinging, other times liberating; a story for any woman who has ever lied to her best friend just to make her feel better – and who has been brave enough to tell the truth, even when it hurts. And of course, it’s a story about the remarkable healing power of pie.
This Wednesday kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’ll be posting my conversation with Gail Konop Baker, author of Cancer is a Bitch. If you haven’t scheduled your mammogram, do it today! If you’re a guy, encourage the women in your life to take care of themselves.
I have an appointment TODAY! Am I looking forward to it…uh, truthfully, Heck NO! But, it’s just one of those things you can’t let slide. Do it!
The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel (audio interview)
**Scroll down to the gray arrow to listen to the interview
The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel
Introduction written by Lily Koppel:
Ever since I climbed into a dumpster outside of I apartment building and rescued a 75-year-old diary, kept by a young woman in the 1930s, I strongly believed that this story was an important one to tell. THE RED LEATHER DIARY: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal (HarperCollins), is about my discovery of Florence Wolfson’s diary, the amazing life that is portrayed in its pages and the return of the diary to its owner at 90. The book speaks to the significance and “private truths” of all of our lives.
Thanks for baring with the sound quality–sometimes these phone interviews are challenging.For a chance to win a FREE copy of The Red Leather Diary, simply leave a comment below the interview post on www.WordsToMouth.com or call 206-309-7318 and leave a voice mail. Be sure I’ve got your mailing address ~ email Carrie@WordsToMouth.com.Subscribe at iTunes
Thanks as always to Natali Brown for You Gotta Believe from the Podsafe Music Network.
- THE RED LEATHER DIARY Website: www.redleatherdiary.com
- The New York Times Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/books/review/Newhouse-t.html
- The Chicago Tribune Review: http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/booksmags/chi-diarybw17may17,0,2069869.story
- The Today Show: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24159947/