Today's guest: Beth Kendrick Why we love her: Her books remind us of summer--so fun and entertaining.
Her latest: The Week Before the Wedding (Out tomorrow: May 7th!)
The scoop on it: After enduring a chaotic childhood, Emily McKellips yearns for a drama-free life, complete with a white picket fence. Her dreams are about to come true: She has a stellar career, a gorgeous house, and a fiancé any woman would die for. But as friends and family arrive in picturesque Valentine, Vermont, for her wedding, an uninvited guest shows up.
Ryan is Emily’s first husband from a disastrous starter marriage. They wed on a whim, only to discover that combustible chemistry couldn’t ensure a happily ever after. But Ryan is no longer the headstrong boy she left behind. He’s now a successful film producer who just happens to be scouting a resort in Valentine with his adorable retriever in tow.
As the bridesmaids revolt and the mothers of the bride and groom do battle, Emily is surprised to discover new sides of both her ex and her fiancé. She thought she had life and love all figured out, but the next seven days might change her mind—and her heart.
Our thoughts: Loved! Throw this novel in your bag when you take your next vacay!
Giveaway: Two copies! Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, May 12 after 12pm PST.
Fun fact: You can read an excerpt of The Week Before the Wedding here.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...BETH KENDRICK'S 5 FIRSTS AND LASTS
First: The actual boy next door. Very sweet and adorable. We were four years old, and we made a solemn vow that someday, we would wed. This vow lasted right up until we were placed in different kindergarten classes.
Last : My oafish red rescue dog, Friday. He pounced on me while I was trying to do sit-ups this morning and slobbered all over my forehead. (Cue Katy Perry: I kissed a dog and I liked it…)
2. Risk you took:
First: After growing up in New England, I decided to head off to a liberal arts college in Minnesota because--wait for the dazzling brilliance of my 17-year-old brain at work here--I wanted to see the Northern Lights. Yep. That was the rock-solid foundation upon which I based my future. And it’s all worked out beautifully, so I regret nothing!
(Fun fact: I finally did see the aurora borealis two weeks before graduation. Had to wait four years, but it was worth it.)
(Fun fact #2: The steamy opening scene of The Week Before the Wedding is actually set at that college in Minnesota. There are these underground tunnels connecting the dormitories, and even though they’re now sealed up and forbidden to students, the hero and heroine sneak in there and…oops, I’ve said too much already!)
Last: I just started working a on a new book. (It’s kind of a spin-off of The Week Before the Wedding; the heroine’s bridesmaid was so fun and irrepressible that my editor and I decided she needed her own story.) Every time I turn in a book, I vow that it will be my last, that now I will shape up and do something “practical” with my life…and then I open a new Word file and start another chapter one. I don’t have a problem, okay? I CAN STOP ANY TIME I WANT.
3. Book you read:
First: My childhood favorite was Muncus Agruncus, a Bad Little Mouse, and as the title suggests, it’s about a mouse who wreaks havoc on someone’s clean and orderly home. He floods the bathtub, trashes the dollhouse, tromps through a birthday cake. He’s a renegade rodent who lives by his own rules and escapes to safety at the end. He does what he wants! I still have the book, I still read it with my kid, and it’s still awesome.
Last: Right now, I’m in the middle of Data: A Love Story by Amy Webb. It’s the funny, fascinating memoir of a tech-savvy journalist who was fed up with the horrors of online dating and figured out strategies to “game” the system so she could search out—and attract—the most compatible prospects. So interesting from a cultural, psychological, and mathematical perspective.
4. Hell ya! moment:
First: There are a lot of these, but one that stands out was buying my first house and finally getting a dog after years of living in apartments with no-pet policies. I scoured Petfinder.com until I found the perfect little terrier named Murphy (it was not unlike online dating, actually). I got to snuggle him on the sofa, I got to train him and take him to the park…and I got to pay his exorbitant surgery bills when it turned out he had a shattered hip from his previous life on the streets. Adulthood rules!
Last: During a recent trip to Disneyland, I went on a rollercoaster that goes upside-down. Normally, I’m loath to commit to anything scarier than the spinning teacups, so this was a big deal. (Full confession: I did it because my preschooler dared me to.) And I loved it!
5. Aha! Moment:
First: I was on a V.C. Andrews kick in middle school (who wasn’t?) and one of the other classroom moms warned my mother that she shouldn’t allow me to read Flowers in the Attic. On the drive home, my mom said, “I’m not into censorship”, and assured me that I was old enough to choose my own reading material. That was a lightbulb moment for me; I realized that language has power, and that my mother trusted me with that power. What I read has an effect on me. What I write might have an effect on somebody else. Use language thoughtfully and responsibly.
Last: My kickboxing instructor recently told the class, “You’ve gotta learn how to take a hit”, and I think this applies to writing and to most areas of life, really. Getting punched in the face now and then is inevitable. You can’t duck every jab. The important thing is to figure out how to absorb the blow and pick yourself up, over and over.