RT Daily Blog

Keith Thomas Walker's Finley Sisters On How To Survive Your Ten-Year Class Reunion

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, AUGUST 05, 2011 | PERMALINK

In this month's mainstream novel The Finley Sisters' Oath of Romance, author Keith Thomas Walker introduces readers to "The Finley Sisters" — three women who were as close as kin during their years at Finley High School but have drifted apart during the past decade. Now, on the eve of their ten-year class reunion, these three friends jump off the page to share their own tips for how to survive this important milestone.


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Tags: Mainstream
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Morgan & Whitney Dish: Pinch Me By Adena Halpern

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, AUGUST 03, 2011 | PERMALINK

A generations-old curse, a feisty grandmother and a heroine attempting to get back to the reality where she is married to her Prince Charming — there’s all this and more in Adena Halpern’s new novel, Pinch Me.

Morgan: Adena Halpern’s books are the perfect light read. Fun, uplifting, flirty, these are not “message” books. But in between the characters’ ridiculous adventures, a lesson slowly emerges — one that generally revolves around family and more specifically generations of women.

Whitney: And their difficulties in romance.

Morgan: True, although at the beginning of the story, our heroine, Lily, has a great love life! She is dating the most wonderful man. Smart, attentive, charming Gogo (yes, it’s a nickname) is perfect!


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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Wendy Delsol Wakes Up Her Character In This Month's Mainstream Novel The McCloud Home For Wayward Girls

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, AUGUST 01, 2011 | PERMALINK

Wendy Delsol shakes things up for the heroine of her new novel, The McCloud Home for Wayward Girls. So how does the author help this character move forward — and what role does insomnia play in this tale about mothers, daughters and new beginnings? Find out in this special blog post from the author!

As my novel, The McCloud Home for Wayward Girls, opens, its protagonist, Jill McCloud, has been asleep for fifteen years. No, this is not a modern reinterpretation of Sleeping Beauty; I’m speaking metaphorically. Following the death of her father and a family crisis, Jill resolves to repurpose their historic property as an inn and to raise her daughter alone. Oh, and she has a secret, a big one. These burdens fill Jill’s life with day-to-day bustle but ultimately isolate her emotionally and physically. Fifteen years later, when the death of the town matriarch gathers mourners and prompts memories, Jill is roused to examine her choices.


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Tags: Mainstream
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Gwendolen Gross Talks Sisterhood and The Orphan Sister

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JULY 25, 2011 | PERMALINK

Today author Gwendolen Gross shares a behind the scenes look at her new mainstream novel, The Orphan Sister. Learn how this author's experiences and the love she shares with her siblings influenced her latest novel. And don't be surprised when this guest blog post brings tears to your eyes!

In one of my graduate school workshops, a terrific fellow from Brooklyn kept telling me, “You are clearly obsessed with da fatha, da son, da holy ghost. Always one in three!” His accent made me giggle, but he was wrong. Yes—I write quite a lot about threes, but I’m one of three sisters. And I’m Jewish.


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Tags: Mainstream
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Elizabeth Noble Talks About Her Latest Mainstream Tale!

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JULY 19, 2011 | PERMALINK

Author Elizabeth Noble shares an insider’s look at her latest mainstream novel, When You Were Mine. Find out why she was intrigued to take on a modern blended family and her personal inspiration for this story that RT’s Leah Hansen calls “… an excellent example of a quiet, domestic tale with a big impact.”

There were a few different ideas converging in my mind when I came to write my latest novel, When You Were Mine. For me, a new book always begins with a single situation — a "what if?" …


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Tags: Mainstream
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Ellen Sussman Talks About French Lessons

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JULY 06, 2011 | PERMALINK

Author Ellen Sussman captures the sights and sounds of Paris with her new mainstream novel. Today the author shares how she became intimate with the city’s culture and how her experiences abroad inspired her to create the three interwoven stories about Americans in the City of Lights, this month’s French Lessons.

Three amazing things happened around my thirtieth birthday — I published my first story in a major magazine, I found out I was pregnant, and my husband got a job in Paris. Now, that’s a trifecta in life! A year later, we moved to Paris with a baby – and her sister already growing in my belly. I had always wanted to live in Paris — but at this time in my life?


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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Kristina Riggle Talks About The Things We Didn't Say

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JUNE 30, 2011 | PERMALINK

Author Kristina Riggle’s new mainstream novel, Things We Didn’t Say, is an RT Top Pick! The story follows Casey as she makes some big decisions in her life — mainly breaking up with her fiancé. But then the unthinkable happens — one of her ex-fiancés children goes missing and soon the entire extended family is involved in the search. Casey must re-evaluate her feelings about her relationship. Today we asked the author to share what inspired her to craft such a tangled family dynamic for her novel. 

Is there any more intense crucible of personalities than a family?

See, we choose our friends. If our priorities change, if we grow apart or frankly get sick of each other, we can break up, or drift away. Our friends are a shifting pool of old and new connections, changing as we grow and circumstances change.

But we cannot escape those family ties.

Even those who move away, and cut off contact, are still bound by blood and history. It’s a rare person indeed who is never confronted with her own heritage and descendants.

Families are intricate. Each person has a personality, but each relationship has a personality of its own as well. Each marriage, each sibling relationship, the collective sibling relationship, in-law connections, they all have their own dynamics which are further altered by the presence of the others.

As a person, I sometimes find this complexity exhausting. As a writer, I find it delicious.

It’s not only delicious, but it’s as important and vital a literary subject as any other.

Our greatest pain is caused by the ones we love, either through their actions, or witnessing their suffering. The stakes never feel so high as within a family. Are you doing the right thing in raising the children? Are you holding together your marriage well enough? Are you taking care of your aging parents with enough love and diligence?

These are weighty, universal matters and worthy of literary attention.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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Elin Hilderbrand Opens Up About Her New Mainstream Novel Silver Girl

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JUNE 29, 2011 | PERMALINK

Mainstream author Elin Hilderbrand is a fan favorites for her Nantucket-set tales, which always make great beach reads. But with this month's Silvergirl Hilderbrand creates a tale that is based in reality but ripe with opportunities of love and self-discovery the way that only a mainstream novel can be. Get a special look at this compelling new novel as we go behind the scenes with the author! 

RT BOOK REVIEWS: The beginning of Silver Girl sounds ripped from the headlines as a love struck wife gets what our reviewer calls “the rug pulled out from under her” when the cops take her husband away for fraud. Did the timing of, or developments in the Maddoff story affect this tale?


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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Erica Bauermeister On The Multiple Main Characters In Joy For Beginners

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JUNE 13, 2011 | PERMALINK

Mainstream author Erica Bauermeister gives readers an insider's look at her new release, Joy for Beginners. Today she chats about the bond that she formed with each of the seven main characters in the tale as she brought them to life for the story. 

As the fourth of five deeply idiosyncratic siblings, as someone who has lived in Los Angeles, Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, and an ancient walled city in northern Italy, contemplating the world through someone else's point of view has always been a crucial life skill for me. As a result, while many people are interested in the right and wrong of someone's opinions, I have always been more drawn by the why. In college in the 1970s, two of my favorite books were Anne Tyler's Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury — both tales told through multiple narrators, with sympathy given to every one. I found the structure of those novels to be a mirror for how I saw the world, as a whole constructed of often wildly varying perspectives.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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Extended Excerpt: David Baldacci's One Summer

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JUNE 10, 2011 | PERMALINK

Bestselling author David Baldacci is best known for his thrilling mysteries but this month the author is tugging on our heartstrings with his mainstream novel, One Summer. Check out the first two pages of the story below and don’t miss the special treat at the end of this post!

***

Jack Armstrong sat up in the secondhand hospital bed that had been wedged into a corner of the den in his home in Cleveland. A father at nineteen, he and his wife, Lizzie, had conceived their second child when he’d been home on leave from the army. Jack had been in the military for five years when the war in the Middle East started. He’d survived his first tour in Afghanistan and earned a Purple Heart for taking one in the arm. After that he’d weathered several tours of duty in Iraq, one of which included the destruction of his Humvee while he was still inside. That injury had won him his second Purple. And he had a bronze star on top of that for rescuing three ambushed grunts from his unit and nearly getting killed in the process. After all that, here he was, dying fast in his cheaply paneled den in Ohio’s Rust belt.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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