Today's guest: Amy Hatvany Why we love her: She's not only a wonderful author but a lovely person!
Her latest: Heart Like Mine Out tomorrow! March 19th!
The scoop on it: Thirty-six-year-old Grace McAllister never longed for children. But when she meets Victor Hansen, a handsome, charismatic divorced restaurateur who is father to Max and Ava, Grace decides that, for the right man, she could learn to be an excellent part-time stepmom. After all, the kids live with their mother, Kelli. How hard could it be?
At thirteen, Ava Hansen is mature beyond her years. Since her parents’ divorce, she has been taking care of her emotionally unstable mother and her little brother—she pays the bills, does the laundry, and never complains because she loves her mama more than anyone. And while her father’s new girlfriend is nice enough, Ava still holds out hope that her parents will get back together and that they’ll be a family again. But only days after Victor and Grace get engaged, Kelli dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances—and soon, Grace and Ava discover that there was much more to Kelli’s life than either ever knew.
Our thoughts: Our favorite yet. It was also the first book we put On Our Radar!
Giveaway: 3 copies. Leave a comment and be entered to win. Winners will be selected this Sunday, March 24th after 12pm PST.
Fun fact: Amy offers great tips for writers on her website.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...AMY HATVANY'S 5 BEST EVERS
Best Song: This is a ridiculously hard one to pin down! Okay, outside of pretty much every single hair band song from the 80’s, I love Pink’s F***kin’ Perfect. The first time I heard the lyrics, they totally choked me up and made me think about how rough I can be on myself and how damaging that is to my psyche. The lyrics also made me think about my own daughters - we sing them at the top of our lungs in the car (swear word and all when we listen to that version – bad mom moment?) because I want so much for them to be inspired and believe deep down in their souls how very perfect they are, flaws and all.
Best Book: I thought this would be the most difficult to answer, but then I realized that it has to be Elizabeth Berg’s TALK BEFORE SLEEP. It is the book I read when I was twenty-four, stuck in a horrible, boring job, completely unsure of whether or not I had what it takes to write a novel. It is a spare and poignant story – her style spoke to my heart and I thought, “This is the kind of book I want to write.” Emotional, affecting, full of simple truths. I am proud to have a signed first edition, and it is my go-to read when I’m struggling and need to be reminded of how much I love what I do.
Best Movie: I think “Juno” is one of the most smartly-written, brilliantly-acted films I’ve seen in years. The characterizations and dialogue were just so perfect, the relationships and struggles completely authentic. I love it.
Best Life Moment: This is going to sound totally cheesy, but honestly, it was the day I married my second (and FINAL!) husband. We had a party in my mom’s backyard where we just happened to get married – it was relaxed, easy, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so right about a decision in my entire life. Our children were part of the ceremony (we had a Bouncy House!), and at the end of the day, my niece took a video recording of Stephan and I dancing and singing “I’m a Little Teapot” together like the total goofballs we are. (I think we did it on a dare, and I’ve never laughed so hard.) He is truly my partner in every sense of the word.
Best Advice: This is one I’m likely going to have to keep re-learning for the rest of my life, but it’s so, so true: “What other people think of me is none of my business.” When I was younger, I tried to please everyone – I couldn’t stand it if a person thought poorly of me (whether it was for good reason or not) and I would do everything in my power to try and change their mind. It was exhausting…and pretty pointless.
After going through some fairly rough circumstances in my life, where there were so many people judging me and trying to tear me down that I wasn’t sure I would make it to the other side, I realized something very simple – I cannot control what other people think of me. Their perceptions, their beliefs systems are just that – THEIRS. The only thing I can control is what kind of person I am and how I choose to treat people. Their response to me is totally up to them.