Today's guest: Amy Gail Hansen Why we love her: This debut left us wanting more! We can't wait until her next book.
Her latest: The Butterfly Sister (Out today!)
The scoop on it: A moving Gothic tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature—a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past.
Ten months after dropping out of all-girl Tarble College, Ruby Rousseau is still haunted by the memories of her senior year, a time marred by an affair with her English professor and a deep depression that caused her to question her sanity.
When a mysterious suitcase arrives bearing Ruby's name and address, she tries to return it to its rightful owner, Beth—a dorm-mate at Tarble—only to learn that Beth disappeared two days earlier.
With clues found in the luggage, including a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One's Own, which Ruby believes instigated her madness, she sets out to uncover the truth.
Our thoughts: A romantic beach read and a thriller--the perfect page-turning combination.
Giveaway: ONE copy. Just leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll select the winner on Sunday, August 11th after 12pm PST.
Fun fact: Read an excerpt of The Butterfly Sister here >>
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...AMY GAIL HANSEN'S 5 BEST EVERS
“Take it Easy” by the Eagles. It seems to come on the radio just when I need it most, when I’m far too engrossed in the mundane day-to-day worries of life, and I need a good kick in the pants to lighten up. It’s an instant mood booster, an antidepressant wrapped up in a folksy song with simple yet meaningful lyrics. My favorite line is, “We may lose and we may win, though we will never be here again.” It reminds me to slow down and just live in the moment, which I think is the key to being happy.
Oh, there are so many….I’m tempted to say a classic like Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird or a more recent title like The Last Will or Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh, which serendipitously connected me with my literary agent, Elisabeth Weed. But I’ll go with a more obscure work, Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk. It’s a coming-of-age story about Marjorie Morgenstern, a Jewish girl living in 1930s New York who is on the verge of living an extraordinary life, making it big as an actress and falling hopelessly in love with the enigmatic Noel Airman. I read it first as a teenager and thought the ending was so sad (spoiler alert: she ends up just being an everyday person—oh the horror!) But when I read it ten years later, after being married and having a child, I thought the ending was happy. Talk about the power of perspective. It’s a reminder that the reading experience is so personalized and unique depending on your age and where you are in life.
Before Sunrise starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, directed by Richard Linklater. I initially watched the movie because it was filmed almost entirely in Vienna, Austria, a city I fell in love with when traveling Europe for the first time at age 18. This movie is not for people who want action or car chases or even a complex plot. It’s about two twenty-somethings who meet by chance on a train and spend one amazing day and night together in Vienna, ending on the question: Will they ever see each other again? The whole movie is dialogue, one very long date, and I am enchanted by it every time I watch it. Hawke, Delpy and Linklater teamed up again for a sequel Before Sunset and a third film, Before Midnight, which was just released.
I have three beautiful children, so I have three best life moments, the day each of them was born. I say this for obvious reasons—my children are precious little miracles that make life worth living—but also because birthing them was a very physical and spiritual accomplishment. I was one of those crazy moms who chose not to have an epidural or pain medication, despite being on Pitocin. I have never experienced worse pain in my life than labor, but I see each birthing experience like running a marathon. Like a long-distance runner, I brought my body and mind to a level I never thought I could. There’s no better feeling.
Never take your wedding ring off. Ever. Not even to wash the dishes or shower or garden. My grandmother-in-law told me this when I first got married and I expressed concern I’d lose the ring. And guess what? It works. I have lost so many things in the almost ten years I’ve been married—including a pair of expensive prescription sunglasses I am still not over losing—but I have not lost my wedding ring.