Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke present the very best books of March!
Baby it's cold outside, but we've got the hottest books to keep you warm!
And, YOU have a chance to win every single one of the books listed below! Just leave a comment on our Facebook page to be entered for a chance to #win ALL 29 books! Want an extra entry? Share it on Facebook or Twitter and tag us! Click on the cover image to learn more about each book. Contest closes on Monday, February 20th at 5pm PST. Good Luck!
Happy New Year, lovelies! We are so thankful to ring in 2017 with you! Did you see the cover for The Good Widow? We are SO excited for you guys to read this one June 1st! Here it is, in case you missed it.
And, YOU have a chance to win every single one of the books listed below! Just leave a comment on our Facebook page to be entered for a chance to #win ALL 23 books! Want an extra entry? Share it on Facebook or Twitter and tag us! Click on the cover image to learn more about each book. Contest closes on Monday, January 23rd at 5pm PST. Good Luck!
Wow, the year has flown by, hasn't it? We are so excited for 2017--The Good Widow will be out June 1st and we can't wait for y'all to read it!
But for now, YOU have a chance to win every single one of the books listed below! Just leave a comment on our Facebook page to be entered for a chance to #win ALL 22 books! Want an extra entry? Share it on Facebook or Twitter and tag us! Click on the cover image to learn more about each book. Contest closes on Monday, December 5th at 5pm PST. Good Luck!
Fall is finally here! And with it comes some stellar books!
And YOU have a chance to win every single one of the books listed below! Just leave a comment on our Facebook page to be entered for a chance to #win ALL 28 books! Want an extra entry? Share it on Facebook or Twitter and tag us! Click on the cover image to learn more about each book. Contest closes on Tuesday, October 18th at 5pm PST.
Liz and Lisa have picked their favorite books of September and one person will #win all 32!
Are you ready to go back to school? Time is moving quickly, isn't it? Good thing we have some amazing books to slow down with this month!
And YOU have a chance to win every single one of the books listed below! Just leave a comment on our Facebook page to be entered for a chance to #win ALL 27 books! Want an extra entry? Share it on Facebook or Twitter and tag us! Click on the cover image to learn more about each book. Contest closes on Tuesday, August 23rd at 5pm PST.
It may be hot, hot, HOT right now but no worries--we've got the best and brightest books of the month for you to cool off with!
And YOU have a chance to win every single one of the books listed below! Just leave a comment on our Facebook page to be entered for a chance to #win ALL 29 books! Want an extra entry? Share it on Facebook or Twitter and tag us! Click on the cover image to learn more about each book. Contest closes on Tuesday, July 19th at 5pm PST.
Summer is officially here. Woo hoo! And we can't think of a better book to kick it off with than the latest by Jen Lancaster! BY THE NUMBERS is the perfect novel to take to the pool while you bask in the sun and sip on a cocktail. And of course we have one for #giveaway! Just leave a comment here or on our FB page and be entered to #win. Contest closes June 24th at 8pm PST.
The Scoop: Actuary Penny Sinclair has a head for business, and she always makes rational decisions. Knowing that 60% of spouses cheat and 50% of marriages end in divorce, she wasn’t too surprised when her husband had an affair. (That he did so with a woman their daughter’s age? Well, that part did sting a bit.) She just made sure she got everything in the divorce, including their lovely old Victorian house. And as soon as her younger daughter has her hipster-fabulous wedding in the backyard, she’s trading it in for a condo in downtown Chicago...
Well within the average market time in her area, Penny gets an offer on the house. But then life happens. Her children, her parents and her ex come flying back to the nest, all in need of Penny’s emotional—and financial—support. Spread thin, Penny becomes the poster child for the “sandwich generation,” when all she really wanted to do was make managing director, buy a white couch, and maybe go on a Match.com date...
Our thoughts: FUN, FAB + FANTASTIC!
Our Interview with New York Times Bestselling author Jen Lancaster
How did you think of the idea for BY THE NUMBERS? And what inspired you to want to write about the sandwich generation?
Prior to this, I’ve written anti-heroes as my protagonists. While none of them have ever been on Walter White’s level, I’ve always made my heroines a bit difficult to root for, at least initially. I strive to do something different in each book, so this time, bowling right down the center of the lane was a departure for me. Because I myself am a bit of an anti-hero, I had to dig deep to find inspiration for Penny’s character - she’s the polar opposite of me. She pays her water bill in advance and knows exactly where the spare batteries are kept. She’d never hem her curtains with a steak knife. For Penny, her metamorphosis is much subtler, more internally-focused, as on the surface, she already has it all together.
In the past, I’ve had memoir readers tell me they’ve been frustrated when they weren’t sure what came from my life and what was fiction so I wanted this book to be a definitive line between fantasy and reality. I brought in the sandwich generation plot twist because it’s something so prevalent in my generation and I thought readers could identify with it. Again, as everything about Penny is the antithesis of me, I figured these were the ideal problems for her to have, since they’re not my issues.
As has been the case in some of your past fiction, is there any of YOU in this novel?
Because I wrote this, it’s impossible to remove my sense of humor, such as the scene in the Walgreens where Penny’s buying cigarettes. I don’t smoke and I’m not an actuary, but if I did, and if I were, hers is the exact conversation I would have had when the clerk told me to “be well.”
I actually struggled with this book, not because of the cast of characters or the plot, but because Penny is so enamored with math and uses numbers to better understand her world. That part was so damn foreign to me as I literally have to use a calculator to add anything more than single digits. (And even then…)
Probably the portion that smacks the most of me now is her devotion to physical activity. A year and a half ago, I ruptured my Achilles. In losing the ability to walk – really, to even perform basic household and personal tasks, like showering safely – I gained such an appreciation for being able to move that since then, I’ve lost something like ninety pounds and become a daily communicate at the gym. (Anyone familiar with my memoirs will know exactly how much of a departure this is.) Now I’m as likely to miss a workout as I would be to skip brushing my teeth. So, when Penny waxes poetic about deadlifts, that’s all me shining through.
You recently got back from a trip to Turks + Caicos with some of your readers--what was that experience like?
I’ve been doing dozens of events each year, every year, and I’m always meeting incredible people… in thirty-second increments. I always think, “I bet we’d be friends if we could actually spend time together.” The Turks & Caicos trip proved that theory true. I fell in love with every single person who came and we had the time of our lives. What was supposed to be a fan event for me turned me into a fan of all the participants. (Imagine your best summer camp experience and then multiply it by a million.)
Originally, the plan was that I would go to a couple of hours’ worth of events with the readers over the course of two and a half days. In actuality, everyone extended their stay and we had such a great time that we ended up hanging out en masse for five full days. Everyone became BFF with everyone. There was one day when a big group of us just lazed in the water, drinking frozen mojitos, laughing and narrating the scene as people fell off their paddle boards and I thought to myself, “I have found my tribe.” Now we have our own little group on Facebook and we’re in touch every day and we can’t wait to do it again.
On that note, your fans LOVE you. What is your favorite way to interact with them?
My fans have been very good to me and I’m so appreciative. I like Twitter best because that’s the most one-on-one and it doesn’t engender the in-fighting that Facebook can spawn.
You've always been a big champion of other writers--who are you recommending we read right now?
I am crazy-mad-obsessed with Swedish author Fredrik Backman. A Man Called Ove is one of my favorite all-time novels and I’m currently reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. I just read Matthew Norman’s We’re All Damaged and I think he’s wonderful, too. I will always and forever love Joshilyn Jackson and Dorthea Benton Frank. (Southern women rock my world.) Libba Bray is an author who constantly surprises and delights. If you haven’t picked up the paperback copy of Shanna Mahin’s Oh, You Pretty Things, do so now. Jennifer Niven’s YA All the Bright Places has been on my mind ever since I read it - amazing. Once in a while, I’ll love a book so much, I’ll buy/send it to everyone I know. I did that with Mahin’s book last year, Backman’s Ove this year, and Norman’s Domestic Violets a few years ago. So maybe the key here is to be my friend and great books will just start arriving at your house.
What's up next for you?
I’m on what I’m calling a hard re-set because it was time. New publisher, new contract, new editor, new agent, new film team. I’m working what will be my last memoir (at least for a long while) and it’s going to be welcome departure from the same old formula. I’m also readying a young adult novel for sale, which is so different from anything I’ve written that I may publish under a different name. So I guess new is the new black for me.
Thanks, Jen!!! xoxo
Summer is finally here--thank goodness! Bring on the beach, the (flattering) bathing suits and the BOOKS!
And we have 32 (yes, you read that right--THIRTY-TWO books) up for grab--and they all can be yours! Just leave a comment on the thread for this post on our Facebook page to be entered for a chance to #win ALL 20 books! Want an extra entry? Share it on Facebook or Twitter and tag us! Click on the cover image to learn more about each book. Contest closes on Monday, June 20th at 5pm PST.
April showers bring May flowers and.... lots of BOOKS!
And YOU have a chance to win every single one of the books listed below! Just leave a comment on our Facebook page to be entered for a chance to #win ALL 20 books! Want an extra entry? Share it on Facebook or Twitter and tag us! Click on the cover image to learn more about each book. Contest closes on Monday, MAY 23rd at 5pm PST.
Spring is our fave season of the year because it means one thing--LOTS AND LOTS of amazing new releases! (ahem, including our own, The Year We Turned Forty, our April 26th!)
And YOU have a chance to win every single one of the books listed below! Just leave a comment here or on our Facebook page to be entered for a chance to #win ALL 24 books! Want an extra entry? Share it on Facebook or Twitter and tag us! Click on the cover image to learn more about each book. Contest closes on Monday, April 18th at 5pm PST.
The amazing Brenda Janowitz has a new book out April 12th and we've selected it as our #bookclub pick because it's a must-read for anyone who wants to be thoroughly entertained for 300 pages! Add THE DINNER PARTY to your TBR list for Spring--you'll thank us!
And we have a copy for #giveaway. Just leave a comment here or on our FB page to be entered to #win. Share this post for a second entry. Contest closes on Friday, April 8th at 5pm PST.
Brenda, also the force behind many of PopSugar's must-read lists, stopped by to answer some of our burning questions. (Find out why she's inspired us to use the voice memo app on our phones!) But first, more about her novel!
The scoop: This Passover Seder is not just any Passover Seder. Yes, there will be a quick service and then a festive meal afterwards, but this night is different from all other nights. This will be the night the Golds of Greenwich meet the Rothschilds of New York City.
The Rothschilds are the stuff of legends. They control banks, own vineyards in Napa, diamond mines in Africa, and even an organic farm somewhere in the Midwest that produces the most popular Romaine lettuce consumed in this country. And now, Sylvia Gold's daughter is dating one of them.
When Sylvia finds out that her youngest of three is going to bring her new boyfriend to the Seder, she's giddy. When she finds out that his parents are coming, too, she darn near faints. Making a good impression is all she thinks about. Well, almost. She still has to consider her other daughter, Sarah, who'll be coming with her less than appropriate beau and his overly dramatic Italian mother. But the drama won't stop there. Because despite the food and the wine, despite the new linen and the fresh flowers, the holidays are about family. Long forgotten memories come to the surface. Old grievances play out. And Sylvia Gold has to learn how to let her family go.
Our thoughts: Read. It. Now.
INTERVIEW WITH BRENDA JANOWITZ
How did you come up with the idea for THE DINNER PARTY? And on that note, when you think of an idea, do you write it down in a notebook, pin it up on a corkboard, file it away in your mind, promptly forget it and then curse yourself for not writing it down?
I wanted to write a novel about letting go of the past, and how only when we do that can we move on to the future. The novel originally began at Chapter Fourteen, where Sarah’s boyfriend insists on wearing a “tie substitute.” (I have such affinity for that chapter, and it’s the one that was featured in my PopSugar First Look.)
When I think of an idea, I usually write it down. I’ve done the “file it away in your mind” thing and I always forget it (and then curse myself for not writing it down!). So, these days I live by my notes and the Voice Memo app on my iPhone.
The book is chock full of lively and complex characters that anyone in a family can relate to--especially during the holidays. Did you have a favorite to write? One that you found more challenging than another?
Thank you! I appreciate that so much. I definitely had a blast writing Valentina, the woman who says what everyone is thinking. I wish I could be the sort of woman who says what everyone is thinking. But alas….
I always find male characters tough to write. I’m such a girly girl, and sometimes my worldview sneaks into their dialogue. In the book I’m working on now, one of my agent’s comments was: “A man would never say that.” And she was completely right! I was saying the line in my own head, when really, I should have been imagining Ryan Gosling, or Henry Cavill, or Joe Manganiello, or… I’m sorry, what were we discussing?
Ooh how we loved the drama in this book! In your own life, how do you handle drama when it comes your way?
You two are seriously making me blush! Thank you!!
I love family drama, but only in novels. In real life, family drama is so much harder to deal with. I think that’s what I love about fiction—you can create this entire world that you control. And you can give it a resolution.
Oh, and how I deftly answered around your question? That should give you a little glimpse on how I deal with family drama. I duck and I swerve and I try not to say anything too incriminating.
You are such a huge supporter of other writers. Why do you feel this is important?
I love reading and I love books. There’s nothing I love more than a good book, so why not talk about it?
What are three things your readers might find interesting about your writing process?
One: I dictated full chapters of this book on my Voice memo app on my iPhone. (See, above, regarding not losing ideas when they come to you!)
Two: I don’t have a set writing routine—I basically write whenever and wherever I have the time. Sometimes it’s the nursery school parking lot (thank you, Voice memo app!), but I prefer it to be in my office.
Three: I’ve always had vivid dreams and nightmares, but I think it’s a big part of my creative process. I keep a pad next to my bed at night since I often wake up in the middle of the night with an idea.
Have you recently discovered any debut authors you'd recommend?
In the past year, I loved EVERYBODY RISE by Stephanie Clifford, SWEETBITTER by Stephanie Danler, EVERY ANXIOUS WAVE by Mo Daviau, A WINDOW OPENS by Elisabeth Egan, HUGO AND ROSE by Bridget Foley, LOVE AND MISS COMMUNICATION by Elyssa Friedland, MAESTRA by L.S. Hilton, BE FRANK WITH ME by Julia Claiborne Johnson, THE THE TWO-FAMILY HOUSE by Lynda Cohen Loigman, MADWOMAN UPSTAIRS by Catherine Lowell, THE ASSISTANTS by Camille Perri, THE NEST by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, and DIETLAND by Sarai Walker.
What's up next for you?
I’m working on my sixth novel and doing lots of freelance work. I’m getting ready for the launch of THE DINNER PARTY and reading seemingly a million galleys for my PopSugar Best Reads of Summer list. Maybe somewhere in there, I’ll work in a nap, but it’s doubtful.
Thank you so much for having me here!
Thank you, Brenda!
xoxo, Liz & Lisa
Happy Holidays! We know y'all are so busy this season so we've kept our December list short and sweet. We'll be giving them all away to one lucky winner! Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page and you'll be entered to #win. Contest closes December 18th at 8am PST. Good luck!
It's finally getting chilly over in San Diego (where Liz lives), and she can't wait for some rain so she has an excuse to hide away under a blanket with one of these amazing books! Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page to be entered to win ALL OF THEM. Yep, you heard that right. One lucky reader will get every one! Contest closes November 23rd at 8am PST.