Our guest today: Lee Adams Why we love her: Her writing makes us smile!
Her latest: Strawberry Wine
The scoop: Ten years have passed since Tanya Smith's last summer at Laurel Lake-the summer of Marie. Today Tanya is a confident, successful music promoter-a far cry from the naïve seventeen-year-old who showed up at the lake full of rosy notions of first love, lifelong friendships, and evenings spent sipping strawberry wine on the shore. That September changed everything, and as far as Tanya is concerned, there's no going back. That is, until a mysterious phone call from Marie's lawyer brings Tanya face to face with the past. Suddenly she finds herself returning to Laurel Lake and to everything she left behind there. Will the dark secret that haunts the lake break her heart all over again? Or will Marie's legacy be the key that unlocks the future Tanya gave up on ten long years ago?
Our thoughts: You'll be thankful for this one!
Giveaway: FIVE copies! Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win. We'll choose a winner after November 25th after 3pm PST.
Fun fact: Lee writes about living organ donation in her book Strawberry Wine. In July of 2007, Lee donated her kidney to her sister’s husband. She has since become an advocate for organ donation as a means to save lives. Both Lee and her brother-in-law are doing well.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...LEE ADAM'S 5 BEST EVERS
1. BEST SONG: This is hard because I work in the music industry and love country music. Especially Willie Nelson! However, my husband and my “song” for the last 23+ years has been “American Pie” by Don McLean. We were on our honeymoon in St. Croix in 1989 and had joined a group of 8 people also vacationing at our resort. We’d had a bit too many rum punches and were singing crazy songs and someone yelled “American Pie” but none of us could remember how it started. We were loudly trying to figure it out when a 60+ year old woman turned around and stated rather adamantly “A LONG LONG TIME AGO.” That started a week long ordeal of making every guitar player in St. Croix play “American Pie.” Now whenever we hear it, my husband and I call each other and crank it up. Aside from that, the song is a beautiful way to honor the untimely loss of three talented men, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper, who contributed so much in such a short period of time. To this day I don’t understand all the lyrics, but I truly love the song! I had the pleasure of working a tribute project on Buddy Holly called Not Fade Away on Decca Records. It further enhanced my appreciation of his music and talent.
2. BEST BOOK: Torn between two and not sure I can choose just one. As an avid reader, some books stay with you. Two books that have stayed with me are Ken Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth” and Jodi Picoult’s “The Pact.”
“Pillars of the Earth” is about the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England. It is set in the middle of the 12th century, primarily during the Anarchy. This sounds so incredibly boring and every time I tell someone about the book I realize how awful it sounds. However, Follett does an amazing job of character building and you become incredibly invested in them. You root for their love stories, for their strength, their tenacity, and their resolve to overcome adversity in a very difficult time in history. I had convinced a guy to read it and he emailed me complaining, tongue in cheek, that it was a chick book because of all the love stories. As a reader, there is nothing more powerful then when a writer makes you feel like the characters are your family and friends, and you grieve the end of the book. I was very happy, a decade later, to read his sequel!
Jodi Picoult’s “The Pact” has haunted me since I read it many years ago. It’s the story of young, teenage love. It is the scariest kind of love because you aren’t prepared for it, don’t know how to negotiate it, and every part of it feels like the best or worst moment ever. You are too young to realize that “this too shall pass” and you are either the happiest you have ever been, or in pain that you believe will never go away. Picoult negotiates through a devastating tragedy that comes from a teenage love story and makes us realize that we need to pay attention to our children as they experience their first crush, their first love, their first sexual encounter. It’s a haunting novel, like so many of hers are.
3. BEST MOVIE: One of my all-time favorite “go-to movies” to get me through a bad day is “Love Actually.” I love the British humor, but most importantly, I enjoy the multiple love stories. The opening starts with Hugh Grant’s monologue as the movie shows everyday people greeting each other at London’s Heathrow airport. I think it’s one of the most eloquent statements on love I’ve ever heard in a movie, especially a comedy. Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinions starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion love actually is all around. And this is why Chick Lit will never die! Love doesn’t need to be dignified, or include famous people, or only pretty people. Love is all around us, and who doesn’t enjoy a good love story!?
4. BEST MOMENT: It’s so hard to choose one! I was honored to be at the births of my niece and nephew. My wedding day certainly comes to mind. The day I accepted Christ. But a life altering day for me was July 11, 2007 when I walked into the University Of Maryland Medical Center (perhaps with some Xanax still coursing through my veins) and donated my left kidney to my brother-in-law. My reason for doing it was not just to save his life, but to give my 5 year old niece and 8 year old nephew a chance to grow up knowing their dad. That day changed my life for the better and I knew I’d never be the same.
5. BEST ADVICE: Well, my mom always told me to never put anything in writing that I didn’t want read in court. And I still feel its excellent advice! But going deeper…find something that you are passionate about, and then find a way to serve other people with that passion. Whether it’s feeding the hungry; curing a disease; caring for children or the elderly; or writing a book. When you follow your passion, and put it to work helping others, it’s a win-win situation and you can’t go wrong. A passion not followed is a dream not followed. And it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
Thanks Lee! xoxo, L&L