Yona Zeldis McDonough's 5 Firsts and Lasts

Yona Zeldis McDonough Two of a KindOur guest today: Yona Zeldis McDonough Why we love her: Her writing hits the right note!

Her latest: Two of A Kind

The Scoop: Ten years after losing her husband, Christina Connelly has worked through the pain, focusing on raising her teenage daughter and managing her small decorating business. But her romantic life has never recovered. Still, it’s irksome to be set up with arrogant, if handsome, doctor Andy Stern at her friend’s wedding. If he wasn’t also a potential client, needing his Upper East Side apartment redesigned, she would write him off.

This is never going to work, Andy thinks. Still grieving his wife and struggling with a troubled son, he’s not looking for a woman, and certainly not someone as frosty and reserved as Christina. Their relationship will be strictly business. Yet to everyone’s surprise—including their own—these two find themselves falling in love.

But if reconciling with their pasts is difficult, blending their lives and children to create a new family is nearly impossible. They’ve been given a second chance…but can they overcome all the obstacles in the way of happily ever after?

Our thoughts: Perfect for your Fall reading list!

Giveaway: One copy!  Leave a comment and you'll be entered.  We'll choose the winners after Noon PST on September 8th.

Fun Fact: Yona had studied to be a ballerina before attending Vassar College.

Where you can read more about Yona: Her website and Twitter!



Yona Zeldis McDonoughFIRST: My kiss was shared with a boy named Seth Cohen on Sadie Hawkin’s Day in 1967. I was 10 and he was 11 or 12 and we were running around a bungalow colony in upstate New York with our pals.  My best friend Nancy had a crush on his handsome older brother Mark but I liked Seth, the sweet, kind of awkward boy with the sleepy eyes and slow smile.  Since I nabbed him, we went off to a secluded area in the woods for the kiss. I can still remember how nervous I was: heart hammering, blood rushing in my ears.  But we did it and I felt so smug and grown up afterwards.

LAST: My last kiss was deposited on the snout of Holden, one of my two Pomeranians.  He’s quite the gentleman and sleeps peacefully at the foot of the bed every night.  This morning, when I woke up he had walked over and put his face very close to mine.  Impossible not to kiss him.

Book you read

FIRST: book I read cover to cover was some school-issued reader (who out there remembers those?) concerning Dick and Jane’s plodding and wholly pedestrian exploits.  In fact, it was so dull that I read ahead, vainly hoping for some drama or excitement. My first grade teacher got wind of this and I was punished for not sticking with the program and reading at the same glacial pace as the worst readers in the class.   Fortunately this did not sour me on reading!

LAST: Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter, which is a short, exceedingly blunt novel that lays bare some of the most unattractive feelings about motherhood I have ever seen in print.

Risk you took

FIRST: When I was about 10 or 11, I saved my allowance money and took the bus to a jewelry store on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn where, without my parent’s consent or even knowledge, I had my ears pierced. It was such a rush that I thought I might take up sky-diving next—that’s how fearless and empowered I felt.

LAST: I was wounded by an offhand but cruel remark a friend had made and I took the risk of calling her out on it.  She did not respond well; in fact, she did not even understand the hurtful nature of what she’d said and she did not apologize. The friendship is now over but I am not sorry I spoke my truth; to have remained silent would have been corrosive and dishonest and the friendship would have come to an end anyway.

Hell ya moment

Stuck in the house for what felt like a month with some long illness and bored out of my mind.  A box the size of a washing machine arrives and unbelievably, it’s addressed to me. My mother helps me open it and I frantically tear through the paper and stuffing.  Inside is a Raggedy Anne doll so big that her clothes—blue flowered dress, white apron, white bloomers--actually fit me (I wore them for Halloween that year.)  She was a get-well gift from my grandmother and what a swell gift she was—woo hoo!

Aha! Moment

FIRST: I was in graduate school studying art history, a pursuit that had become increasingly meaningless and joyless to me.  Aha moment came when on a whim, I signed up for a fiction writing workshop (I was allowed to enroll without paying anything extra for the course) and I thought, OMG, you mean I could spend my life doing this?!

LAST: Realizing that the template of beauty does not have to remain fixed at 25 and that I could finally stop coloring my hair.  What a revelation and a relief to be done with all the foul chemicals, drippy potions, and tedium of the colorist’s chair.  Now I’m defiantly, proudly silver (please don’t call me gray!) and loving every minute of it.


Thanks, Yona!