• books,  giveaway,  vintage

    Goodreads Giveaway

    As someone in the business of books, I often get asked for reading recommendations. I always direct people to Goodreads, where I keep track of everything I read and want to read in the future. I was thrilled, then, to hear that my publisher, William Morrow/HarperCollins, is giving away 30 free copies of my debut novel, VINTAGE, coming out March 25! The giveaway is going on until midnight on the morning of Thursday, February 6. Click HERE or on the picture at left to enter.

  • books,  kids,  parenting,  seasonal affective disorder,  writing

    Perspective from a Picture Book

    One of the true delights of being a parent to a young child is reading picture books. It’s fun to read favorites from my own childhood like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Caps for Sale, and pretty much anything by Dr. Seuss. But it’s even more fun to discover new authors and illustrators. Yesterday I was reading a picture book to my small son. The book was the adorable and beautifully-illustrated RAIN! by Linda Ashman, which came out earlier this year. I love the book because it’s all about perspective. A grumpy old man sees that it’s raining one morning and complains that he has to put on his “blasted…

  • books,  food,  kitchen

    Julia Child on Obeying Your Whims

    Kickass women, from any period in history, never cease to inspire. Julia Child was one of those women, which is why multi-published author Karen Karbo chose to write about her for the latest book in the Kickass Women series, Julia Child Rules.  Other subjects in Karbo’s series—which are one part biography, one part humor essay, with a dash of motivational speaking tossed in—include Katherine Hepburn, Georgia O’Keefe, and Coco Chanel. Hmmm. Art, fashion, film, and food? Why have we never had lunch, Ms. Karbo? Oh, because you live in Portland. Each chapter of Karbo’s book, Julia Child Rules, lays out a truism that Julia preached and practiced in her life.…

  • agents,  authors,  books,  creativity,  debut author,  lawyer life,  literature,  moms

    Taking Five for the People Behind the Scenes of Vintage

    Today I’m over at The Debutante Ball, where I blog every Wednesday, talking about the people who helped make my debut novel, VINTAGE, possible. Here’s a sneak preview: It takes more than one person to write a novel, and any author who doesn’t admit that is either lying or an egomaniac. In my case, it took a whole lot of people for VINTAGE to go from a glimmer of an idea to a manuscript to a real-life book that hits bookstores in March. Here are five of them, or five categories of people, since I couldn’t actually narrow it down to just five individuals. First, there was my very patient husband,…

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  • books,  contests,  vintage

    And the winner is…

    Thank you so very much to everyone who tweeted, linked, and otherwise shared the cover reveal contest for my novel, Vintage.  This was my first giveaway on the blog, and I really felt the love when I saw Vintage’s cover being shared far and wide. I used Rafflecopter to organize the giveaway and pick the winner at random. And so, without further adieu, the winner of the $50 Amazon gift card is…. Congratulations, Jaye! And, in a lovely bit of kismet, Jaye’s first novel is coming out in 2014, too! It’s a YA novel called No Place to Fall. Can’t wait to see her cover when it comes out. Thank you again…

  • authors,  books,  fiction,  literature,  madison,  recipes,  seasonal,  summer,  sweets

    A French Dessert and a Fresh Read

    For me, one of summer’s great joys is scarfing down mass quantities of berries and stone fruits. Another one of the season’s pleasures is sitting in a shaded spot, curled up with a good book. When the two converge? Serendipity. Last week, the fruit box delivered by my CSA farm was packed tight with eight pounds of sweet cherries. My husband, son, and I stuffed as many into our mouths as we could. Immediately. When we wiped the red juice from our faces, though, we still had quite a few cherries left. Enter, The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane, the delightful debut novel by Kelly Harms that I happened to be…

  • books,  geekery,  gifts,  vintage,  writing

    Gifts for Book Nerds

    The best gift for a book nerd is, of course, a book. And giving books is easier than ever. Good, old-fashioned paper books are a classic gift and double as decor on a bookshelf when the recipient has finished them. But did you know that you can give specific titles to e-reader owners, too? Yep. Most titles for Kindle and Nook now have a “Give as a Gift” button that allows you to buy that specific book for your recipient. I love this instantaneous and eco-friendly approach to gift-giving. But let’s say you need a little something to go with that beach read or thriller or latest biography. Something appropriate…

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  • books,  dogs,  literature,  madison,  pets,  publishing,  storytelling,  wisconsin,  writing

    Q&A with Author Erin Celello

    Today I’m thrilled to be featuring an interview with Madison author Erin Celello about her latest novel, Learning to Stay (NAL/Penguin 2013), which, as Erin describes it, explores “the question of what happens when one person in a marriage becomes someone fundamentally different.” In Learning to Stay, what triggers the change is a traumatic brain injury that the husband, Brad, suffers while serving in the Iraq war. The injury dramatically alters his personality, transforming him from a thoughtful and patient man into someone who requires much more care than his wife, Elise, can provide while also keeping up with the demands of her career as a lawyer.  I’m not yet finished with the book–so…

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  • books,  fiction,  holiday

    Love Stories We Love

    Valentine’s Day has got me thinking of my favorite love stories in fiction. There are so many of them, and I’m sure even more favorites will spring to mind as soon as I publish this post. Here are just a few that stand out for me. You’ll see they are just as varied in genre as they are in publication date. What can I say? Love takes many forms. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  This book weaves a love story through time, as Henry journeys in and out of Clare’s life. It sounds fantastical—and it is—but Niffenegger makes the time travel element both plausible and enchanting. Her descriptions…

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  • books,  fall,  geekery,  nerdiness,  summer,  writing

    Back to School Style for Grown-Ups

    The hot hot summer has begun to cool and soon it’s time for back to school. Since I’m not a teacher and no longer a student, and since my son is still in diapers, I can think about the first day of school without panic. (Though I do still have that recurring dream about not knowing where any of my classes are…)  Memories of the first day of school are heavy with nostalgia for me and, I imagine, for many of you.  I was a nerd kid, and I used to lay out all of my school supplies on the carpet just to look at them in the weeks before…