Lori Nelson Spielman's 5 Firsts & Lasts

The Life List by Lori Nelson SpielmanToday's guest: Lori Nelson Spielman Why we love her: The premise of her book is so unique! We loved reading every page.

Her latest: The Life List

The scoop: In this utterly charming debut—perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern’s P.S., I Love You and Allison Winn Scotch’s Time of My Life—one woman sets out to complete her old list of childhood goals, and finds that her lifelong dreams lead her down a path she never expects.

1. Go to Paris 2. Have a baby, maybe two 3. Fall in love

Brett Bohlinger seems to have it all: a plum job, a spacious loft, an irresistibly handsome boyfriend. All in all, a charmed life. That is, until her beloved mother passes away, leaving behind a will with one big stipulation: In order to receive her inheritance, Brett must first complete the life list of goals she’d written when she was a naïve girl of fourteen. Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother’s decision—her childhood dreams don’t resemble her ambitions at age thirty-four in the slightest. Some seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other goals (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future. As Brett reluctantly embarks on a perplexing journey in search of her adolescent dreams, one thing becomes clear. Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places.

Our thoughts: Who doesn't have a bucket list? We loved this charming debut about a woman learns valuable lessons while accomplishing hers.

Giveaway: Two copies! Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, August 11th after 12pm PST.

Fun fact: The film option for the book has already been purchased!

Where you can read more about Lori: Her website, Facebook and Twitter.


Lori Nelson Spielman author photoFirst: I was a late bloomer, and horrified that I might be ‘sweet sixteen and never been kissed’. Lucky for me, Nick Nicol (yes, the same boy from the book!) saved me from that mortifying plight. He pulled me aside at a party and planted an unexpected kiss on my lips. Then he walked away. It’s the only time in my life I remember actually feeing dizzy from something that didn’t spin.

Last: My husband. This morning. Nice.


First: The first chapter book I fell in love with was The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner. My third grade teacher read it to our class, and I was completely and utterly captivated.

Last: I just finished The Glass Wives, by Amy Sue Nathan. It’s terrific. The premise is so fresh—an ex-wife takes in her husband’s new wife and child after he dies.


First: As a teen, I was pretty mischievous, but I don’t think I’ll go there! My biggest risk ever, one that I struggled most with, was saying goodbye to a wonderful man who loved me. The feelings just weren’t there. He was the Herbert in my life, if you’ve read The Life List, the man I wish I could have loved.

Last: My latest risk involves live, on-air radio interviews—I’m someone who is terrified of public speaking! Just as I was beginning to breathe during these 15-minute segments, crisis hit. Yesterday, I called into the station three minutes prior to the show, as instructed, and received that annoying message telling me my call could not be completed as dialed. What?! Long story short, I was given the wrong area code! I finally connected with about 90 seconds remaining in the show. The host was ticked, I was a wreck, and my cred was completely shot. So much for that PR blitz!


First: In high school I was voted Best Personality, basically, the equivalent of Miss Congeniality in a beauty contest. Some might prefer the title of Best Body or Prettiest Eyes. But me? I said, “Hell ya!”

Last: Last winter, I approached a local bookseller about doing a book event in July. She was skeptical, saying debut authors don’t draw much of a crowd, it’ll be summer and everybody’s on vacation, yada yada yada. Two days ago, I had the event. It was their biggest debut crowd ever, 100+ people, standing room only. They sold out of books at both their stores. Hell ya!


First: Several years ago I heard Anderson Cooper say that his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, advised him, “Follow your bliss.” This little phrase resonated with me. I immediately thought of my writing, and vowed to follow Gloria’s advice—and my bliss.

Last: Author Julianna Baggott offered this tip to debut authors: “You are not your book.” Since then, I’ve tried to call The Life List “the book” rather than “my book”. Whether it’s wildly successful or withers on the shelf, I am neither a superstar nor a failure.

Thanks, Lori!