Best Behavior by Wendy Francis – Blog Tour

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Publication Date: May 5, 2020

Publisher: Graydon House Books

The drama is hot and the drinks are flying in Wendy Francis’s witty, warm, and quirky family drama, BEST BEHAVIOR (Graydon House; May 5, 2020; $17.99 USD). Heartfelt and relatable, Francis cleverly portrays the nuances of a less-than-perfect but more-than-loving blended family in all its messy glory.

Meredith Parker and her husband Joel have been dreading the weekend of their twins’ college graduation. Not only does it mean that Dawn and Cody are flying out of Meredith’s nest to live in Chicago and North Dakota, but it also means Meredith will have to deal with her insufferable ex-husband, Roger, his pompous parents and his new wife Lily, so young she could be the twins’ sister! But Meredith is willing to be the Jackie O. of college graduations. She can handle that for three days, can’t she?

Meanwhile, Dawn, who has spent a lifetime cleaning up after her ‘golden boy’ brother, discovers a mess even she may not be able to get Cody out of. He’s been acting weird last the few weeks of school; picking up smoking, breaking up with his girlfriend, but this… this is definitely a problem. She needs to figure out what’s going on with her twin before he really ruins his life. 

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

On Thursday morning, the temperature outside is seventy-one degrees and climbing while Meredith Parker considers which of a thousand recommended places she would like to visit before she dies. Not that she’s anticipating dying anytime soon, but she needs a distraction. She figures she has already seen at least a handful—Yosemite (breathtaking, as advertised), Niagara Falls (overrated in her opinion ‒ and cold), and San Francisco (lovely, with a charming hippie vibe). It’s the exotic locales that have eluded her over the past forty-six years, places like Tahiti or Rome or the Swiss Alps. Although, come to think of it, Meredith doesn’t really care for skiing, so she can probably cross the Alps right off her list. But Rome would be nice—all that history and pasta—and wine! A cheap fare must be available on one of those best-deal websites, if she searches long enough. Yes, she’s fairly certain she can persuade her husband, Joel, that Rome should be their first-ever international destination, the new green pin on their Where Have You Been? map that hangs on the wall in the den. That is, of course, once the kids have settled into their new homes.

And with the thought of her children’s imminent departure, Meredith’s throat tightens. What’s the use? she thinks. No number of mental hijinks will make her forget the real purpose of today’s trip. She, Joel, and her mother, Carol, are tracing the familiar route up from New Haven to Boston, as they have dozens of times before, the trees beyond the window zipping by in a curtain of emerald green.

But this weekend will be different.

Because this weekend marks the twins’ college graduation, an event that seemed impossibly far away only a few years ago, even a few months ago. Tomorrow her babies, the ones she used to cradle in each arm, will accept their hard-earned diplomas and officially step out into the great wide beyond, otherwise known as Adult Life.

Last night, when she’d gone to her neighborhood book club, the room had been abuzz with excitement over the upcoming weekend. “You must be bursting with pride!” her friend Lauren exclaimed. “I can’t believe that Cody and Dawn are already graduating. It’s so exciting.” And Meredith had nodded, as if she, too, were in a state of shock over this improbable fact.

It’s true that she couldn’t be prouder of the twins, but the moment is bittersweet. Soon, Cody will be off to Bismarck, North Dakota, to teach high school history, and Dawn is headed to Chicago to work at an advertising firm. Her kids will be so far away, they might as well be moving to Bangkok. Even though she knows it’s irrational, Meredith is racked by the feeling that after this summer she might never see her children again.

Admittedly, she is at a corner, or more specifically, at a crossroads in her life. Images of a two-year-old, chubby Cody racing into her arms or of a young Dawn asking for “one more good-night tuck-in” swim through her mind. She can still feel those small arms wrapped tightly around her, the love so palpable she used to think her heart would leap from her chest to theirs. How is it possible that her babies are graduating from college this weekend?

With Lauren’s comment, Meredith had cast her gaze around the book group (who, truth be told, rarely ever discussed the book at hand) and realized with a start that the difference between her own life and that of her friends’ suddenly stretched before her like a giant yawning chasm: Meredith was about to say goodbye to her kids once and for all, while her neighbors still had years of child-raising ahead of them.

Lauren had offered her an affectionate pat on the shoulder, as if she could read Meredith’s thoughts, and handed over a generous pour of chardonnay, which Meredith accepted gratefully. Maybe, she allowed herself to consider, Lauren was right. Maybe the graduation weekend would be exciting, as pleasing as a perfectly folded fitted sheet. Tuck this person into that corner, that person over there, smooth it, smooth it, and everyone would get along swimmingly.

Given her patched-together, hybrid family, though, Meredith sincerely doubts it. Her ex-husband, Roger, will be bringing Lily, his new wife of six months. And as fine as Meredith is with the idea of Roger’s remarrying after all these years, his new marriage somehow feels forced, as if he has just purchased a new set of golf clubs that he’s eager to show off to the rest of the family.

“I know. It’s crazy, right?” Meredith had managed to get out after swallowing her wine. “The twins are officially all grown up.”

Lauren, a corporate attorney, has two young girls, six and eight, whom Meredith adores and dreams of kidnapping one day (she tells herself it wouldn’t really be kidnapping, though, since they’re all neighbors, and obviously she would do Lauren the courtesy of asking before moving the girls into her own home.). As it is, she helps out with the girls whenever she can, usually after school when Lauren works late and Meredith is already back from her shift in the NICU. The girls have her pegged for a softy and know full well that she will buy them ice cream, bake chocolate chip cookies on a whim, and watch every terrible mermaid movie that’s available for streaming. They call her “Auntie,” which makes her heart swell and break simultaneously.

Some days she wishes she and Joel had tried for their own children way back when, even though the timing was off—they didn’t meet till Meredith was in her late thirties—and there would have been a considerable age gap, more than a decade, between a new baby and the twins. But at least she would still hear young voices in the house, would have someone to ferry to ballet practice or help with a book report. As exhausting as it could be some days (that Taj Mahal built out of marshmallows for fifth grade nearly killed her), she misses the maternal responsibilities she was once counted on for, feels the lack like an unfamiliar brittleness settling into her bones.

Theoretically, she understands that the twins flew the coop four years ago when they left for college. But that was different. The kids continued to call every Sunday night, and she and Joel could drop by on the odd weekend. Luckily, both children had decided on the same college in Boston, making spur-of-the-moment visits ridiculously convenient. But traveling so far away for jobs where she might see them only once or twice a year for Thanksgiving and Christmas? She honestly doesn’t know how—or if—she can handle it.

Thankfully, no matter what faults she and her ex-husband, Roger, might have had as a couple, their kids have turned out all right—better than all right—and Meredith lets herself relax slightly with this thought now. Dawn, hands down her most difficult child during the teenage years, has blossomed into a bright young woman. Gone are the days when Meredith’s every comment would prompt an eye roll from her daughter. And despite an unfortunate hiccup with the Administrative Board last year, Dawn has managed to pull off graduating with honors. Meanwhile, Cody (Meredith’s lips part into a smile when she imagines him striding across the stage in his gown) is graduating Phi Beta Kappa. Not only that, but he set the school record for all-time rushing yards this fall, leading his football team to their best season in fifteen years. Cody has become a rock star on his small New England campus, and as his mother, Meredith can’t help but feel a bit smug. After all, she was the one who whipped up protein shake after protein shake and lugged him to hundreds of high school practices. She was the one who allowed her lovely den to be transformed into a weight room filled with smelly sneakers and barbells for four years.

If she knows one thing deep in her bones, it’s that she is a good mom, one who has raised hardworking, resilient children. She imagines holding her breath as they parade across Bolton’s commencement stage, much as she did when they took their first ungainly steps across the kitchen floor, Cody wheeling ahead in wide, determined strides and Dawn following a few paces behind, her tongue twisted into a tight coil of determination. Meredith is enormously proud of them, and, quite honestly, of herself. She didn’t abandon her kids like Roger did, when he’d seen fit to put his penis where it didn’t belong. But that was nearly ten years ago, water under the bridge—more of a tepid stream wandering through her mind these days than a charging river.

Author Bio

Wendy Francis Author Photo

Wendy Francis is a former book editor and the author of three novels: The Summer Sail, The Summer of Good Intentions, and Three Good Things. Her essays have appeared in Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, Yahoo Parenting, The Huffington Post, and WBUR’s Cognoscenti. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now lives outside of Boston with her husband and son. Reach out to her here: 

Author Website

Twitter: @wendyfrancis4

Instagram: @wendyfrancisauthor

Facebook: @wendyfrancisauthor

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TRUTHS I NEVER TOLD YOU by Kelly Rimmer – Blog Tour

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Truths I Never Told You : A Novel 

Kelly Rimmer

On Sale Date: April 14, 2020

Imprint: Graydon House

Fiction / Historical 

After finding disturbing journal pages that suggest her late mother didn’t die in a car accident as her father had always maintained, Beth Walsh begins a search for answers to the question — what really happened to their mother? With the power and relevance of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Jewell, Rimmer pens a provocative novel told by two women a generation apart, the struggles they unwittingly shared, and a family mystery that may unravel everything they believed to be true.

 

With her father recently moved to a care facility because of worsening signs of dementia, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home to prepare it for sale. Why shouldn’t she be the one, after all? Her three siblings are all busy with their families and successful careers, and Beth is on maternity leave after giving birth to Noah, their miracle baby. It took her and her husband Hunter years to get pregnant, but now that they have Noah, Beth can only feel panic. And leaving Noah with her in-laws while she pokes about in their father’s house gives her a perfect excuse not to have to deal with motherhood.

 

Beth is surprised to discover the door to their old attic playroom padlocked, and even more shocked to see what’s behind it – a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers, and miscellaneous junk. Her father was the most fastidious, everything-in-its-place man, and this chaos makes no sense. As she picks through the clutter, she finds a handwritten note attached to one of the paintings, in what appears to be in her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing Grace Walsh died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker may be true. A frantic search uncovers more notes, seemingly a series of loose journal entries that paint a very disturbing portrait of a woman in profound distress, and of a husband that bears very little resemblance to the father Beth and her siblings know.

 

A fast-paced, harrowing look at the fault in memories and the lies that can bond families together – or tear them apart.

 

PROLOGUE

 

Grace

September 14, 1957

 

I am alone in a crowded family these days, and that’s the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. Until these past few years, I had no idea that loneliness is worse than sadness. I’ve come to realize that’s because loneliness, by its very definition, cannot be shared.

Tonight there are four other souls in this house, but I am unreachably far from any of them, even as I’m far too close to guarantee their safety. Patrick said he’d be home by nine tonight, and I clung on to that promise all day.

 

He’ll be home at nine, I tell myself. You won’t do anything crazy if Patrick is here, so just hold on until nine.

 

I should have known better than to rely on that man by now. It’s 11:55 p.m., and I have no idea where he is.

 

Beth will be wanting a feed soon and I’m just so tired, I’m already bracing myself—as if the sound of her cry will be the thing that undoes me, instead of something I should be used to after four children. I feel the fear of that cry in my very bones—a kind of whole-body tension I can’t quite make sense of. When was the last time I had more than a few hours’ sleep? Twenty-four hours a day I am fixated on the terror that I will snap and hurt someone: Tim, Ruth, Jeremy, Beth…or myself. I am a threat to my children’s safety, but at the same time, their only protection from that very same threat.

 

I have learned a hard lesson these past few years; the more difficult life is, the louder your feelings become. On an ordinary day, I trust facts more than feelings, but when the world feels like it’s ending, it’s hard to distinguish where my thoughts are even coming from. Is this fear grounded in reality, or is my mind playing tricks on me again? There’s no way for me to be sure. Even the line between imagination and reality has worn down and it’s now too thin to delineate.

 

Sometimes I think I will walk away before something bad happens, as if removing myself from the equation would keep them all safe. But then Tim will skin his knee and come running to me, as if a simple hug could take all the world’s pain away. Or Jeremy will plant one of those sloppy kisses on my cheek, and I am reminded that for better or worse, I am his world. Ruth will slip my handbag over her shoulder as she follows me around the house, trying to walk in my footsteps, because to her, I seem like someone worth imitating. Or Beth will look up at me with that gummy grin when I try to feed her, and my heart contracts with a love that really does know no bounds.

 

Those moments remind me that everything changes, and that this cloud has come and gone twice now, so if I just hang on, it will pass again. I don’t feel hope yet, but I should know hope, because I’ve walked this path before and even when the mountains and valleys seemed insurmountable, I survived them.

 

I’m constantly trying to talk myself around to calm, and sometimes, for brief and beautiful moments, I do. But the hard, cold truth is that every time the night comes, it seems blacker than it did before.

 

Tonight I’m teetering on the edge of something horrific.

 

Tonight the sound of my baby’s cry might just be the thing that breaks me altogether.

 

I’m scared of so many things these days, but most of all now, I fear myself.

 

Excerpted from Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer, Copyright © 2020 by Lantana Management Pty Ltd. Published by Graydon House Books.

author photo_KellyRimmer_credit Bree Bain Photography

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kelly Rimmer is the worldwide and USA TODAY bestselling author of Before I Let You Go, Me Without You, and The Secret Daughter. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, two children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages. Please visit her at www.Kelly.Rimmer.com 

Facebook: @Kellymrimmer

Twitter: @KelRimmerWrites

Instagram: @kelrimmerwrites

 

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TEMPORARY WIFE TEMPTATION by Jayci Lee – Blog Tour

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Much more than he bargained for…
“You want me to find you a wife?”
“No. I want you to be my wife.”
Garrett Song is this close to taking the reins of his family’s LA fashion empire…until the Song matriarch insists he marry her handpicked bride first. To block her matchmaking, he recruits Natalie Sobol to pose as his wife. She needs a fake spouse as badly as he does. But when passion burns down their chaste agreement, the flames could destroy them all…

Excerpt

Garrett resisted the urge to glance over his shoulder to check on her. Natalie was a grown woman and he didn’t need to protect her from being swarmed by admirers. Besides, she was the one who had proposed they refrain from other relationships, so she wouldn’t do anything to hurt his reputation or hers.

Earlier, at her apartment, he’d caught fire at the sight of her in her little black dress. It was demure compared to the one she’d worn at Le Rêve, but it hugged her hourglass figure and highlighted the curves underneath just enough to tease his imagination.

He walked to the bar for his Scotch and grabbed a flute of champagne from a server on his way back. As he’d anticipated, Natalie was now surrounded by a group of men and he lengthened his strides to reach her.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, sweetheart.” He pressed a light kiss on her lips and handed her the champagne.

“Thank you.” She leaned her head against his shoulder when he pulled her to his side, playing her part like a pro.

“Natalie was just taking us to task about USC’s new head coach. It seems neither he nor I truly understand college football,” said one of Mike’s college friends.

“Is that so?” Garrett raised an eyebrow at her and she shrugged.

“Taking you to task is a bit harsh.” She hid her grin against the rim of her champagne flute as she took a long sip. “It’s just that I have a better understanding than you guys.”

The audience winced and guffawed at her cheekiness. As Natalie continued with her lecture, all the men listened intently, as did Garrett. She was funny and down-to-earth, and her mind was quicker than lightning. Lost in her words, Garrett belatedly noticed the crowd had grown. Her champagne glass was depleted and her smile was becoming strained.

He leaned down close to her ear. “Tired?”

“And hungry.”

“All right, gentlemen. I’m whisking away my date now. I’m tired of sharing her.”

When the crowd finally dispersed, Natalie slumped against him with a groan. “I need food, champagne and somewhere to sit.”

A server walked over with a tray of bacon-wrapped shrimp and Natalie snatched a couple of them. She popped one in her mouth and mumbled around her food, “Not necessarily in that order.”

Garrett laughed and guided her toward the French doors leading out to the garden. Natalie ate every single hors d’oeuvre she met along the way and finished another glass of champagne.

“Holy cow. Is everything really, really delicious, or am I just famished? I would totally go back for that crab cake if my feet weren’t screaming at me to get my butt on a chair.”

He glanced down at her zebra-print high heels. They did amazing things for her legs but didn’t look remotely comfortable. “There’s a bench around the corner.” 

“Oh, thank God.” She kicked off her shoes as soon as she plopped onto the seat.

Garrett shrugged out of his jacket and draped it around her shoulders before sitting next to her.

“Thank you,” she murmured, gazing at the garden. “It’s so beautiful out here.”

“Is it?” He and Mike had grown up tearing apart that very garden, but Garrett had never sat still and taken it all in, like they were doing now. “I guess you’re right.”

“Mmm-hmm.”

He studied her profile, her high, regal cheekbone and the graceful curve of her neck. Half of her hair had escaped the loose knot behind her head and fell down her back and shoulders. He wanted to sweep aside her hair and feel the softness of her skin, which he absolutely should not do.

“So how do you know so much about college football?” He tore his gaze away from her and stared at an old maple tree ahead of him, hard enough to make his eyes water.

“Long story.”

“We’ve got time.” He made a show of checking his watch. “I’ll give you ten minutes.”

Her laughter filled the garden, then ended on a wistful sigh. “My dad and I, we weren’t very close. The only time he didn’t mind my company was when we watched college football together. He was a huge fan. I don’t think he even noticed I was sitting there half the time.”

Garrett understood what that felt like. As soon as he finished graduate school, he’d thrown himself into his work. It was satisfying in its predictability and it created a common ground for him and his father. His dad had stepped down from the CEO position when his mom died, but returned to Hansol a few years later as an executive VP.

“I thought if I learned enough about the sport, he’d like me a little better.” Her shrug told him it hadn’t worked, but Natalie told her story without an ounce of self-pity—like she owned her past, hurt and all. His respect for her deepened. “But soon I noticed I wasn’t faking my enthusiasm anymore. I’d grown to love the sport. Who knew it’d come in handy at an intimate birthday party for a hundred people?”

“You certainly won over quite a few of them.”

“I did?” Her eyebrows shot up in genuine surprise.

He huffed out a laugh. “Why did you think that crowd was hanging on to your every word?”

“Watch yourself, Garrett Song.” Natalie narrowed her eyes and pointed a finger at him. “I know where you live.”

He snatched her hand and tugged her to her feet. “Yes, and you’ll be living there with me starting Sunday.”

“Ugh.” She hooked an index finger in each of her shoes, not bothering to put them back on. “Do you ever stop thinking about work?”

“Yes.” He cocked his head and pretended to consider her question. “But only when I’m thoroughly distracted.”

Her lashes fluttered and color saturated her cheeks, and his gut clenched with heat. She could definitely become his most dangerous distraction.

Desire_Author photo_Jayci Lee

Jayci Lee writes poignant, funny, and sexy romance. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. She is semi-retired from her 15-year career as a defense litigator, and writes full-time now. She loves food, wine, and travelling, just like her characters. Books have always helped her grow, dream, and heal. She hopes her books will do the same for you.

 

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Jayci Lee Author Q&A

 

  • Did you always want to write for Harlequin?

 

I read my first Harlequin when I was thirteen and by the time I was fourteen, I dreamed of becoming a Harlequin author. It is truly a dream come true to debut as a Harlequin author.

 

  • Share your favorite memory of reading a Harlequin romance

 

During summer vacation in high school, I used to borrow 10 Harlequin romances per library trip and read them all day, and sometimes all night, long.

 

  • What is a recent book you have read that you would recommend?

 

I really enjoyed Golden Heart Award winner Susannah Erwin’s WANTED: BILLIONAIRE’S WIFE. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys intense, slow burn, billionaire romance.

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October Poetry Challenge Day 2 & 3

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Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

The Stillness Becomes Too Much

 

I press flowers and leaves in between my only book.

For what can I do until the dusky night

and the symbols of another voice

speckle the sky?

 

I flip through the yellowed pages,

pausing at the bud my dear sparrow brought me

years ago when I first arrived at this wretched tower.

 

I’m not alone, I’m not alone,

I whisper to the silence.

*

The Song of the Wind

 

On storming days, when the sway of the wind shakes my prison,

I lay flat on my back and try to breathe.

Counting the flecks of white on the stonewall,

I wait until the swell of the gale hurls away to the next town.

 

Has the Autumn King had his fun?

Slowly, I’ll sit up and gaze outside my window,

taking in the naked trees and the gilded leaves

littering the ground like thin pieces of gold.

 

I want to shout at the wind to come back,

to take me away,

but it has already left.

*

Happy poetry writing, friends 🙂 !

Loie

 

 

Author Interview with Candace Robinson

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Hi everyone, I’d like to welcome author, Candace Robinson, to the blog today. Candace has written a number of dark, romantic, and quirky novels: QUINSEY WOLFE’S GLASS VAULT, THE BRIDE OF GLASS, HEARTS ARE LIKE BALLOONS, and co-authored BACON PIE with Gerardo Delgadillo.

 

Her upcoming release, CLOUDED ENVY, was one of my favorite reads of 2018. It releases on February 19th, 2019 but I was lucky enough to receive an ARC last year. I fled through this book in one day. It’s magical and romantic and at times scary.

Here’s the Goodreads summary:

“Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

 

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

 

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.”

 

Candace runs an awesome book blog, at literarydust.wordpress.com

 

Loie: Welcome Candace 🙂 Can you please share with readers where your love of reading and writing began?

 

Candace: With reading, I first fell in love with R.L. Stine books way back, such as Goosebumps and Fear Street. Then I transitioned to Lois Duncan books when I hit junior high. Then my reading hobby kind of died for a bit. However, I did read 1984 back in high school and seriously fell in love with it. That book made me really think about the world. Anyway, so years pass, right? And I saw the second Hunger Games movie which ended on a cliffhanger. I was like, now what? So I picked up that trilogy and could not put it down, and after that, I needed more and more books. Reading is now my true escape!

 

For writing, I knew I wanted to be an author senior year of high school, but life kept getting in the way. But then a few years back I was like I need to just do it, otherwise it will never happen! So I started on Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault back in October 2016!

 

Loie: Eep! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Great books as well! Yes, life can get in the way. I’m so glad you decided to do it. I was kind of the same. Stopped writing during university and then sat down one day and decided I had to start somewhere 🙂

I loved CLOUDED ENVY. Could you please talk about the initial spark of inspiration behind this story?

 

Candace: Funny story. So I have the companion book, Veiled by Desire, coming out in late fall of this year. This was supposed to be the first book I ever wrote, but I couldn’t get the story right. Humans are in this world, so I thought, how did they get there? And then that brought me to thinking about how humans came to Laith and I had a whole story kind of come up from that! Enter Clouded by Envy!

 

Loie: That’s amazing 🙂 ! Awww, I cannot wait to read the companion book. What a journey :).

When you are writing, does it take you a couple of drafts to find the voices of characters or do some arrive fully formed in your mind?

 

Candace: For me, character voices is the easiest part since most of my stuff is character driven. Sometimes, I don’t know my characters voices before hand until I start writing the first chapter. Usually, it flows from there!

 

Loie: Awesome 🙂 Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What do you have with you when you draft?

 

Candace: I generally write when my daughter is at school. I have a spiral notebook I keep beside me where I write down main scenes of the story, but I don’t have a real outline! Is that bad? Lol!

 

Loie: Not at all 🙂 I write down main scenes as well and usually go from there.

Do you have any stories on the backburner that you can’t wait to write? 🙂 How do you choose what to work on next?

 

Candace: I do. I have a companion book for an unpublished book that I really, really, really want to work on. But I’m trying to figure out if anything is going to happen with the first book or not.

 

Loie: Cool 🙂 Good luck. What’s your most anticipated read (s) of 2019 🙂 ?

 

Candace: Oh man, so many! I’d have to say Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi. The Shatter Me series is my favorite ever. Since I already started King of Scars that one doesn’t count, but I’ve been waiting an eternity for this book!!

 

Loie: All awesome books 🙂 Thanks heaps for stopping by ❤ Can’t wait for Clouded Envy to arrive 🙂

You can find out more about Candace on her website or on Twitter and Instagram.

A CIRCLE OF ELEPHANTS

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Title: A CIRCLE OF ELEPHANTS

Author: Eric Dinerstein

Pub. Date: January 22, 2019

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

 

From the author of What Elephants Know, a 2017 ALA Notable Children’s Book and winner of the 2017 South Asia Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, comes this stunning companion novel about the complex relationship between people and nature coexisting in the Borderlands of 1970s Nepal.

Thirteen-year-old Nandu lives in the newly established Royal Elephant Breeding Center on the edge of the jungle. Here, the King’s elephants are to be raised under the protective watch of the stable. Nandu-along with his adoptive father Subba-sahib, his mentors, friends, and the rest of the elephant drivers-is tested by man and nature as earthquakes, drought, wild herds, and rumors of poachers threaten the Center.

When Nandu’s world is thrown into turmoil, so, too, is the world of Hira Prasad, the Center’s powerful bull elephant. An unbreakable bond of brotherhood drives Nandu and Hira Prasad together as they struggle to maintain the delicate natural order of life in the Borderlands.

Dinerstein’s poetic prose and scientific expertise come together in this breathtaking tale that transports the reader to the center of dangerous conflicts and heartbreaking friendships.

Review

This book was beautifully written. I really enjoyed Eric’s writing style. This story is a companion to WHAT ELEPHANTS KNOW. I found the story was understandable on its own and didn’t feel lost without the previous book.

You’ll find out below more about Eric but I can see how his experience would have helped when crafting this book.

I loved the message about conservation. Personally, I adore elephants but I have yet to meet one. Someday, I hope to. The country of Nepal is drawn out with wonderful description in this book. I felt like I was there.

Nandu and his elephant, Hira Prasad, have a special bond. Their connection is unique and I enjoyed reading about them during stressful times in the book. The characters were flawed but likeable. 5 stars

eric dinerstein hi res

About Eric:

Eric Dinerstein is Director of Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions at RESOLVE. Previously, he was Lead Scientist and Vice President for Conservation Science at the World Wildlife Fund. His areas of specialty include tropical mammals, large mammal biology, biogeography, bats, rhinos, seed dispersal and community ecology. With the World Wildlife Fund, he led many of the organization’s most important scientific projects, including the Global 200 Ecoregions, examples of which form the basis of his book TIGERLAND AND OTHER UNINTENDED DESTINATIONS. Dinerstein is also the author of THE KINGDOM OF RARITIES, THE RETURN OF THE UNICORNS: The Natural History and Conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros and WHAT ELEPHANTS KNOW: A Novel, among other articles and publications.

 

He attended Northwestern University and Western Washington University, and did his post-graduate studies at the University of Washington (Organization of Tropical Studies) and the National Zoological Park’s Conservation and Research Center.

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Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win a finished copy of A CIRCLE OF ELEPHANTS, US Only.

Giveaway Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2879/?

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/14/2019- The Reading Corner for All– Review

1/15/2019- BookHounds YA– Interview

1/16/2019- Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review

1/17/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Excerpt

1/18/2019- dwantstoread– Review

 

Week Two:

1/21/2018- Lifestyle of Me– Review

1/22/2018- Loie Dunn– Review

1/23/2018- YA Books Central– Interview

1/24/2018- The Layaway Dragon– Excerpt

1/25/2018- Two Points of Interest– Review

 

On the 12th Day of Writing: Coming Home to Yourself

abstract painting
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

December 12th

Hi friends!

For those of you interested in writing blogs, there is a submission opportunity with The Relationship Blogger. They are seeking blog posts about self-acceptance.

Coming Home to Yourself

Did you struggle against conformity, perfection standards from parents, or cultural conditioning? Did you ask the question am I good enough as I am?

Share your heart about being your true self and what it took to find that. Self-acceptance is so difficult.

It’s a journey.

Dive into your experiences with self-discovery and self-acceptance. What have you struggled with about yourself and what have you accepted? What was the turning point for you?

The Relationship Blogger seeks poems, essays, or fiction. January submissions are due by December 15th. Send your final piece to: submissions@therelationshipblogger.com

Check out their master submissions page for formatting details.

This is a different call of submissions but might be insightful and interesting to pen.

Big hug ❤

Loie