Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review of The Winter Witch and Q&A w/Paula Brackston

Q&A with Paula Brackston

Debbie - Paula Welcome to the General Fiction forum at B&N.com.
Paula -
It's great to be here.
Tell us a little about your new novel The Winter Witch.
The book is set in a remote part of Wales in about 1830, and tells the story of a young girl, Morgana, who enters an arranged marriage with a widowed Drover. She moves to his farmhouse, which is only fifty miles or so away, but Morgana, like many people of that time, has never travelled beyond the horizon she could see from her cottage, so she feels very homesick and lost. The story is about how she comes to love her new home, and how she finds a connection with the place that kindles the spark of magic within her. 

I see a pattern in your titles. What made you interested enough to write about witches?
The character of Bess, in my first book 'The Witch's Daughter' came to me along with the idea for that story. The more I wrote about her, and the more research I did, the more interested I became in the idea of real magic, and of the very real power it could give a woman.
  I mean, wouldn't it be just wonderful? Imagine being able to cast spells that worked, to heal people, to protect yourself, to help someone in trouble, to fly, perhaps, or to shapeshift, maybe. I write about things I'd love to do myself but know I never will. My witches are my alter egos while I'm writing the books, and then I hope they become that for my readers, too.
 The challenge for me now is to find stories that different witches can inhabit, so I can explore the many types of magic there are. And invent some news ones! After all, I write fiction because I enjoy making things up.

What are you working on now and does it involve a witch?
I'm just finishing a book set in London between 1913 and 1920, and yes, of course it has a witch! Lots of 'em, in fact. With luck and a following wind it should be out in 2014.

Along this same vein, on your website, it mentions that you get your inspirations and ideas from stomping about on the mountains being serenaded by skylarks and buzzards.  What is it about your home in Wales that inspires you?
I grew up here, so part of that inspiration comes from reconnecting with a child-like pleasure in things, I think. It certainly helps if I'm imagining magic!
 Also, a wild, open place like this - it makes me feel that humans are pretty insignificant really. Nature is so much more than just our experience of it, and it is full of wonder. How does a tiny bird survive a winter up here? How do sheep not fall off those rocky escarpments? How do the swallows fly thousands of miles back here in the spring to find the same nest each year? Why do the fiery Welsh ponies allow us to ride them when their nature is to run free?  And animals appear not to have lost the 'sixth' sense we humans scarcely retain any more. There's something special going on in these places. I feel very lucky to live here.

Youve also written under the name P J Davy. Why the pseudonym?
I wrote a dark comedy with a mental health theme, so this book was completely different from my historical fantasies. I didn't want to confuse my readers. Although I have to say it confused me, being two different people. Davy was my grandmother's name (we are related to Sir Humphry Davy who invented the miner's lamp). The book, 'Nutters' was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award.
  Actually, I am currently developing another series of books - comic-crime-fairytales set in 18th century Bavaria - and I plan to put those out as PJ Brackston.

I notice you have a blog, (I loved your post on the new year). Do you think social media plays a part in giving your novels international attention?
I think it's great that writers can connect with their readers in so many different ways now. Having a website and a blog suits me, and it's great to get emails from readers.
 I do have to be careful, though, not to let that interaction become too much of a distraction. I need solitude in which to write. Hours and hours of it. I'm lucky enough to have a family, so my time is already shared out between several people (not to mention dog, cats, garden...). As a result I hardly ever answer the phone. My mobile is ten years old (vintage!) and lives in the car in case I break down, but is otherwise unused.

According to your bio youve had a varied and eclectic career path. Do you think these varied jobs and assignments make you a better writer?
I'm not sure about that, but they have certainly given  me lots of material to draw upon. That said, I've never subscribed to 'write about what you know' - how limiting! I prefer 'know about what you write' - in other words, if something interests you enough to want to write about it, then find out about it, talk to people who know, use a library, visit locations, watch films, go to museums and exhibitions, and read, read, read, read.

Do you belong to a writers group?
No, although I am a member of the Historical Writers' Association. When we get together there is a sense that most of us inhabit the past more than the present.

Whats the ultimate compliment a reader could give you?
That they miss my characters once they've finished the book. I've had that feeling when something I've read has really drawn me in. To have my characters become real in that way, so people are moved by them, that makes me feel I'm doing something worthwhile.

If you could pick anywhere at all to vacation, where would it be and why?
I like comfortable hotels with good room service. I think it's because I live somewhere wild and remote. I don't need to go away to find peace and quiet. I go to London several times a year to go to the Opera or theatre and to see an exhibition or two. So, a nice spot of luxury and culture - replenish the creative well, as it were.

Paula, thank you for spending a little time with us. Good luck on the new novel. 
Thank you, and thank you much for inviting me.
Buy the book here, visit the author's website here

My Review of The Winter Witch 
The Winter Witch
Paula Brackston
St. Martin’s Press
ISBN13: 9781250001313
352 pages

Cai Jenkins needs a wife, his job, as head drover demands it. He’s been widowed a few years and is ready to marry again and his farm, Ffynnon Las is ready for a new mistress. The wife he’s chosen is as wild as his beloved home deep in the hills of Wales, a pretty, young, silent waif who calls to something earthly inside him. But his new wife comes with secrets and some think they’re dark and taboo.
Morgana Pritchard’s always known she’s different, even before her father’s disappearance silenced her, she’s felt the magic inside. Now at 18 she’s forced to leave the only home she’s ever known, to marry a stranger. Yet when they arrive at his farm, Ffynnon Las, she feels an affinity to the land and the man that runs deep in her soul, deep in her magic. There also something evil here, something that wants her gone. Something only her magic can expel, if she’s strong enough to overcome it.

Paula Brackston’s Winter Witch is a whimsical and mystical tale that’s part romance part mystery part fantasy and all extraordinary. Her beautiful narrative moves flawlessly throughout the story, her inclusions of the Welsh language paints a truer picture of the wilderness, the time, the place and the people, plus gives the read a homespun feel. Her eclectic cast stretched the boundaries from eccentric to ordinary, from the mundane to supernatural and she expertly wove in the witchery both good and evil as she flaunted her storytelling talent. Cai and Morgana were her brightest stars as they struggled with an against all odds dilemma and were both hard to say goodbye to at the end of the tale.
This unique novel will appeal to fans of a multitude of genres from historical to fantasy and will engage fans of all ages as well.
Ms. Brackston this is my first time under your spell but I know I’ll be falling under again.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview with Seven Dirty Words author Charlotte Howard

Interview with Charlotte Howard
Seven Dirty Words

Debbie - Charlotte hello from my side of the pond to yours.
Charlotte - A very snowy side of the pond!

Tell us about your new novel Seven Dirty Words.
Seven Dirty Words is the story of a young girl who is trying to overcome a traumatic experience that has left her unable to trust men.  She meets TDS (Tall, Dark, and Smouldering) and while she knows that she shouldn’t trust him, she falls for him.  Then she meets Matt Jackson who she believes is the complete opposite – he’s kind, caring and open about his feelings for her.  I’ve described it as that choice between wearing stiletto heels and slippers – sexiness or comfort?

Your bio says you started writing in 2008. Do you have other published works?
What are they?
Since 2008 I’ve written a lot of articles (mainly pet care and health) for Helium.com.  But I have also self-published a novella, Murder at Meadowview and a small collection of poetry entitled Untamed.  I’ve also been featured in a couple of anthologies in the past – my very first published poem was when I was back in 1995.

What are you working on now?
Haha!  I’m always working on something.  Currently I’m considering writing a follow-on to Seven Dirty Words, with a working title of Four Letter Words.  I also have another romance novel on the go, working title ‘Her Idol’.  I’d also like to re-visit crime fiction at some point and have a few ideas jotted down.

Are you a reader?
Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Definitely.   I’m currently trying to convince my husband that we don’t really need a home office and it would be much better as a personal library!  I read anything going.  I’m currently reading Kelley Armstrong’s Industrial Magic, but I’ve also got bookmarks in several Anne Rice and James Herbert books.  I’m also a big fan of Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen & Harlan Coben.

Every author’s road to publication is different. Tell us yours.
After self-publishing Murder at Meadowview, I realised that I am really not a saleswoman.  I found it very draining and decided that if I was going to be published again, I would do it the traditional way.  Seven Dirty Words wasn’t my next finished piece though.  I’ve previously written another romance novel called ‘April’s Baby’.  I sent it out to agents and publishers in the UK and got rejected – as all authors do at some point!  Putting it to one side, I wrote Seven Dirty Words. 
Robin Tidwell of Rocking Horse Publishing is a Facebook Friend of mine, we met through Helium and mutual friends.  She mentioned that she’d published her book Reduced (a great read – go buy it if you haven’t already done so!!), and was considering starting a publishing house.  Then she did!  Immediately I sent her Seven Dirty Words, although I had also sent it to several UK publishers as well.  I didn’t think anyone would want it, but 3 publishers, including RHP came back saying they were interested!  Of course I went with Robin though – not only because she is a friend, but because she also offered me the best deal!

What one piece of advice would you give to an inspiring author?
Join a local writer’s group.  I go regularly to my local group.  They are certainly an eclectic bunch, and it’s great to get some honest feedback that isn’t from friends and family.  They encourage me all the time, and hold workshops to help develop and fine tune writing skills. 
It’s also important to keep writing and don’t give up if you get rejected.  I was recently told to write everything down – even if it’s rubbish – and edit it later when you have a clear head.  It works.

Being an animal lover, do they show up in your writing?
Definitely.  Horses in particular.  Most of my main characters either have a pet or go horse riding.  ‘April’s Baby’ was based entirely on a yard, and Paige Holmes in ‘Seven Dirty Words’ has a horse too.  I’ve also considered writing a story based in a vet surgery.

Many authors have muses. What inspires your writing?
I don’t think I have one particular muse.  I take inspiration from a variety of places.  People I’ve met, films, books I’ve read… everything and anything I guess!  I’ll quite often be walking around the supermarket, overhear a conversation between two people and think ‘Ooh that would make a great plotline’.  But I have to give a lot of credit to my family and friends as well.  I’m very lucky to have such a strong support network, especially in my husband.

Charlotte, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. Good luck with the new novel.
Thank you.  I hope you all enjoy it!

Visit Charlotte's website here, buy the book here

Here's a blog post by Rocking Horse Publisher owner Robin Tidwell

As a bookseller, I knew how most of my colleagues viewed self-published, or SP, novels. They didn’t. What I mean is that booksellers have so much to keep up with, trade pubs, new releases, mounds of paperwork and shelving and marketing and accounting and events – there is simply no time to read a potentially bad book. And a lot of SP books are absolutely horrible.
But a lot of them aren’t. At All on the Same Page Bookstore, we specialize in local authors, even those who SP, as long as the book is good. If it needs work, I strongly suggest that the author “fix” it. This is how I got into publishing.
You see, I published my first novel, Reduced, in late August 2012. I knew, by then, that few bookstores would consider an SP book, but I was in a hurry and, honestly, I didn’t want to do what some authors do and that’s make up a name to look like I had a publisher. We booksellers know the difference. When I started writing my second book in October, I was also handing out plenty of advice to new writers and conducting a marketing seminar at the bookstore and one day I thought – hey, I can just be a publisher! By the time Reused came out in December 2012, we had a full-fledged traditional publishing house.
Rocking Horse Publishing takes no fees from our authors: we handle the marketing, promo, editing, cover design, and everything else. We plan to publish just half a dozen books in 2013. We have two authors under contract already, and four books in the works right now. Of course, Seven Dirty Words was just released this week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

February at General Fiction is a FirstLook reunion
plus much more

February at General Fiction

Ah February, the month of love and the start of Mardis Gras. I think you will all love the features coming to General Fiction.

Our monthly feature this month is a FirstLook reunion as I welcome back to the Barnes & Noble forum Katherine Howe. If you’re a former FirstLookeryou’ll remember that she was a guest when her debut novel The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane came out. Well she’s back with her brand new novel The House of Velvet and Glass which is available in all formats, she’ll be with us every step of the way.
The reading schedule is posted here now.

My new for 2013 monthly Nook feature this month will be Pride Prejudice and the Perfect Match by Marilyn Brant, who has graciously agreed to visit with us during the month to chat with us, catch us up on all that’s been happening with her etc.. This will be Marilyn’s third time on the forum.

My new release features are as follows:

2-5 The Trouble with Charlie   by Merry Jones
      Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale  - available in pb
2-6 Mary Ellen Taylor author of The Union Street Bakery   will have a guest blog

2-12 The Gin Lovers   by Jamie Brenner

2-19 The Sound of Broken Glass  by Deborah Crombie

2-26 The Goddess Inheritance   by Aimée Carter

February may be a short month but there's a lot to do here in the land of General Fiction
so mark your calendars

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review of The Thief of Auschwitz plus Q&A with author Jon Clinch

Q&A with Jon Clinch
The Thief of Auschwitz
Just one quick note to mention; Jon has agreed to be my featured author in October of 2013 when we’ll discuss as a group this wonderful novel.

Debbie - Jon, welcome to the B&N.com General Fiction forum.
Jon -Thanks so much for inviting me. As you can imagine, writing can seem like a one-way street, without the chance to be around readers now and again. So moments like this mean a lot.

Tell us about your newest release, The Thief of Auschwitz.
My last novel, Kings of the Earth, was in many ways a memorial to upstate New Yorkers of my parents’ generation—country people whose voices are dying out and whose stories are on the verge of vanishing forever. In The Thief of Auschwitz, I hope to have created a second memorial to that same generation, this time honoring those on my wife’s side of the family of man—the Jewish side—whose stories are likewise in danger of being lost.

Reading and rereading the first-person accounts of Wiesel and Frankl and Nyiszli over a period of a year or two, I had no plan to write a book. But along the way I discovered something within myself that disturbed me to no end: the more closely I studied the raw materials, the more repellent they became and the more difficulty I had in maintaining my focus on them. It was as if the facts themselves, horrible and numberless as they were, were conspiring to drive me away again and again, preventing me from connecting with the people behind them as fully as I needed to.

Supposing that other readers might face the same difficulty, and intent on the preservation of these voices and these stories, I wondered if fiction might provide an answer. I hope that it has, at least a little, by way of The Thief of Auschwitz.

All three of your novels are historical fiction. What draws you to write in this genre?
I think I like the remoteness of it, the possibility for myth-making, the chance to bring readers to a place they’ve never been before. In Finn, it was the American frontier of the 1840’s, a place and a time that have been romanticized in our popular culture. I wanted to deliver the dark underbelly of it, which Twain hoped to show in Huckleberry Finn but in the end couldn’t deliver, thanks to the expectations of his Victorian audience. Writing in a different age, I set out to give his world to my readers warts and all— “with the bark on,” as Twain might have said.

The setting of Kings of the Earth was personally familiar to me and the history was a whole lot more current, because the book takes place in and around my home town during a period ranging from my parents’ youth to my own. It’s a feat of memory and mime, really, in which I worked to bring back to life a whole group of people—a whole way of life—that may seem foreign to readers in whose minds the phenomena of bone-deep poverty and backbreaking labor are tied more to the South than to the North. But believe me, it’s all real.

The Thief of Auschwitz is a different beast. Like Finn it’s based on research, not experience. My intent, though, wasn’t to provide some kind of new truth about the Holocaust anyhow; the facts are well known and thoroughly documented. Instead, I wanted to use the tools of fiction—character, plot, pacing—to tell a story that would bring those facts to a new and different kind of life.

Can you tell us how you researched for this novel?
The first-person accounts were the most helpful and inspiring, of course. Elie Wiesel’s Night, Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, Miklós Nyiszli’s Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account. More recently, Laurence Rees’ work—particularly Auschwitz: A New History—has added tremendously to the literature and was invaluable to me. (Rees’ 6-part BBC documentary, Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State, is unforgettable.)

One thing I didn’t do was travel to Auschwitz, and there’s actually a very good reason for that. I’ve learned over time that in the business of creating a narrative I’m easily overwhelmed and constrained by the details of place and setting, and I wanted to keep myself free to move characters around without too much restraint.

You have a very eclectic background. Does this influence your writing?
On my father’s side I come from people who work with their hands, and on my mother’s side I come from people who work with their brains. As a result I tend not to shy away from either kind of work, and I see the grace and the honor in both kinds. This background has suited me for what’s been essentially a lifetime of entrepreneurship, mainly in advertising (my wife and I ran our own agency for about twenty years) and more recently as a novelist.

The first rule of writing is to sit down in front of the keyboard every day. The hours are long and the rewards are few, distant, and uncertain—so it helps to be self-motivated and unafraid of the long slog. It also pays to have a thick skin, which is something you can’t help but develop over a career as an advertising creative. My experience in advertising has also proven extremely valuable in my efforts to micropublish The Thief of Auschwitz instead of selling it to a major publishing house.
That’s the long answer. The short answer, of course, is that everything you do influences your writing—as long as you’ve been paying attention to the world around you!

Are you a reader?

Do you enjoy fiction or non-fiction?
I grew up on fiction, and I still read a lot of it, but to tell the whole truth I’ve been reading a ton of non-fiction these days.

Who are your favorite authors?
How much space do you have? Starting with fiction, let’s say Larry Brown, Raymond Chandler, Flannery O’Connor, Mark Helprin, David Foster Wallace, and Thomas Pynchon. On the non-fiction side, the list includes Robert Caro, David Quammen, John McPhee, and the late Paul Fussell. Start anywhere with any of them. You won’t go wrong.

How does this release day compare to the first?
It’s pretty quiet, but then again they’re always quiet. The trigger gets pulled on release day, but the bullet never seems to leave the gun until a week or two later. There’s plenty of build-up and a lot of advance work, and then there’s a lag until the reviews start arriving and readers start finding the book and talking about it. That’s when the traction kicks in.

Plus, up here in Vermont where I live, there’s not a lot of action of any sort. It’s pretty much snow, moose, and maple syrup.

Your award list for your previous titles is impressive. Is there one that stands out for you?
Without question, the biggest moment was when the American Library Association named Finn a Notable Book. To have had the nation’s librarians decide that my work wasn’t just worth stocking on their shelves but deserved to be singled out as exceptional—worthy of becoming a core part of many library collections—was just beyond thrilling for me.

Do you have any Barnes & Noble signings or events planned?
Not yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

Jon, thank you for taking time out to chat with us.  Good luck with your novel.
My pleasure. And thank you.

My Review of The Thief of Auschwitz

The Thief of Auschwitz
Jon Clinch
Unmediated Ink
258 pages

The story starts in 1942 when the Rosen family with no other alternative arrives at the train station to Auschwitz where for the next year through death, humiliation, degradation and torture their lives are documented. The story is told in excruciatingly painful words to read but also with all the humanness that makes this such an important novel. We’re introduced to all sorts of characters from the soldiers to the prisoners, from the truly cruel to those who’s cruelty resulted from the circumstances created by camp life.
And between the chapters of terror we learn of Max, the son who’s obviously made it through to an old age, who’s obviously followed in the footsteps of his artist mother, who suffers no fools, but has suffered greatly from the experience of monsters in the death camp known as Auschwitz.

There have been many stories written of the Holocaust; of the atrocities of the Nazis to the people they thought beneath them, who they thought less than human, most of who were Jews. I hope that trend continues especially now when we’re loosing the last of the victims, the heroes and all those who lived through WWII in one way or another.

In Jon Clinch’s latest novel he gives us a unique perspective of Auschwitz, the most recognized death camp during the Nazi devastation of Europe. He follows one family, not necessarily religious Jews, a family of some influence who unfortunately with no where left to run, no where left to hide found themselves at the train station deceptively made to look inviting by the flower boxes and the trompe-l’oeil clock always set at half passed three. The mother a painter, the father a barber and the children a boy of 14 and a small girl with a cold.

As all of these stories whether true or fiction it wasn’t easy to read, it’s comprehension is somewhat unbelievable to those of us who can’t imagine such evil. But it’s none the less an important story and I’m fortunate for the opportunity to have read it.
I will definitely be reading more of Clinch’s work.

Buy the book here visit the author's website here


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Review of Journey From Darkness by Gareth Crocker

Journey From Darkness
Gareth Crocker & Llewellyn Crocker
US Publication date 1-23-2013
312 pages

Twin brothers Edward and Derek Hughes have been scarred by war and fighting for their country which now feels more prison than home. So in 1918 they leave battle ravaged England to realize a childhood dream, to follow in their father’s footsteps to the South African bush. When they arrive they make a remarkable discovery when they encounter a rare elephant tribe. But a darker discovery tells them that the bush is in a war of it’s own, that the innocent victims have no recourse, no defense, as they’re mercilessly slaughtered for their ivory which has threatened the entire elephant population. Incensed by the cruelty and butchery and intent on making a difference the brothers vow to protect the sole survivor of such an attack at all cost. They will witness unbelievable cruelty as they journey into the darkness in an attempt to stop the killings and maybe forever changed for what they saw and felt obligated to do.

Journey From Darkness is a haunting tale of beastly actions and unselfish bravery, a testament to the incredible storytelling ability of it’s authors. The content is sometimes difficult to read but important to learn the plight of these innocent victims of the butchery of poaching. The blow of words is softened by the authors expert use of prose in the narrative that gives the characters such definition and depth, that gives personality and voice to the story, that makes a laugh possible in the presence of violence. The brothers make great heroes especially as their anti-hero qualities make them more credible, the villains on the other hand have no redeeming qualities and are ghastly soul-less creatures. The most amazing feat of all was the individuality given Shawu, her emotions, her dramatic personality, her heart made her a truly exceptional player in the novel.
This is not my first journey with Gareth Crocker, our last trip took me to Vietnam where I met an incredible dog named Jack. This is however my first experience with the co-author and Gareth’s father Llewellyn and it’s been my immense pleasure.

I'm pleased to announce that Gareth will once again be with us at the General Fiction forum at B&N.com when we discuss this novel with him in November of 2013.

Buy the book here, visit the author(s) website here

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Release Feature The K Street Affair plus Q&A w/Mari Passananti

 Q&A with Mari Passananti
The K Street Affair

Debbie - Mari, welcome to the B&N.com General Fiction forum.

Tell us a bit about your new novel The K Street Affair.
Mari- When I first submitted The K Street Affair to agents, the best rejection I received included a comment that the world was not ready for “a female Jason Bourne.” I respectfully disagreed with that advice. My heroine, Lena Mancuso, isn’t a professional spy like Bourne—she’s a lawyer. But more importantly, I was excited about writing an adventure story about a woman risking everything to stop a heinous crime, and kicking some butt along the way.
As for the book’s villains: I’ve always been fascinated by the nexus between money and politics, and by the alarmingly cozy relationships many large corporate interests enjoy with our elected officials.
I’ll be forever grateful to a certain private equity executive who first floated the phrase “offshore money laundering” my way, because without their network of shell companies, my villains wouldn’t have managed to be nearly as dastardly.
The basic premise of The K Street Affair boils down to two questions:
What if a politically wired multinational corporation set out to start a war to advance its own economic interests?
If one relatively ordinary citizen stumbled upon their plans, should she risk everything, including her life and the lives of her family members, to stop them?

This is your second published novel. Is release day as exciting this time around?
Yes, maybe even more exciting.

The K Street Affair is very different from your first novel The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken. Can you tell us what you’re working on now? Does it also take a different avenue than the other two?
I have two new projects underway. One is a sequel to The K Street Affair. 
The other is a novel about a woman who gives up her career to follow her celebrated humanitarian husband to the third world. If he works tirelessly to save countless children, but treats his own family abominably, is he still a great man? In aid to the developing world, do appearances matter more than results? And does modern marriage have room for two big, ambitious personalities, or does one partner always end up yielding?

Does being a first generation American reflect at all in your writing?
Not overtly, but I do think growing up in a multi-cultural family affects the way I see the world. My parents are both from Europe. I’ve spent a good amount of time abroad, starting from a very young age. Travel opens the mind, creates empathy and exposes the traveler to different ways of thinking about various socio-political issues. I think blind nationalism is terrifying, and that’s a theme I hope to explore in the sequel to The K Street Affair.

Do you write full time?
I wish. I write when my son is at school. Preschool gives me a twenty-hour work week, which never feels like enough.

Do you belong to a writer’s group?
No, but I do have a handful of very sharp beta readers and a great editor.  

Do you have any Barnes & Noble events or signings?
I’m working on getting some scheduled, and all events will be listed on my website (maripassanantibooks.com). I’d be thrilled to do as many Barnes & Noble store events as possible.

Mari, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Good luck with the new novel.
Thank you so much.

Author photo credit: Allana Taranto

Monday, January 7, 2013

Review of The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

The Best Man
Kristan Higgins
Release date 2-26-2013
432 pages

Faith Holland’s come home, after three years away, after being left at the altar by her fiancé when his best friend, their best man outed him. She’s missed her family, her friends and yes her ex who happens to be the town doc. But she also returns bearing secrets and wonders if it’s true that you can never go home again.
Levi Cooper’s done good for himself gone from living in the trailer park to decorated veteran to town police chief. He’s got some regrets in his past, but not stopping Faith and Jeremy’s wedding. But now he’s got problems, Faith’s back in town and she’s brought with her feelings that Levi would rather ignore and a loveable dog that he can’t.

Higgins has outdone, outshined herself with this gem of a tale. She takes us to bucolic upper state NY wine country where the latest soap opera has nothing on these folks. She throws us the most unlikely of romantic couples and then proceeds to lead them down that path. But it’s the way she leads them that’s the kicker, it’s not going to be a smooth ride for them oh no. Her cast of co-stars are quirky, crazy and clueless, that you can’t help loving, laughing at and wanting to smack sometimes in the same chapter. She hits the nail on the emotion-head so well when she deals with the male/female mind-set, she also nails the darker emotions in her story. Her pets in her novels are also endearing and you’ll have to look long and hard for a more endearing pet than Blue. But what really sets her apart is her humor. I’m not kidding you’ll find yourself belly laughing at some of the antics of these nice respectable people and when you read the book you’ll never think of the phrase “Microfiber slim nation undergarment” the same way again, I promise. If you’re looking for a story that’s got Springtime written all over it, if you love a feel good read, this is it.
Kristan it’s always a pleasure to read your novels and this one was an extra special pleasure.
Buy the book here, visit the author's website here