Today's guest: Kitty Pilgrim
Why we love her: We love the way she writes. Her novels are exciting, engaging and memorable!
Her latest: The Stolen Chalice (Out in paperback now!)
The scoop on it: What links an antique treasure to a sinister group of terrorists? CNN veteran Kitty Pilgrim sweeps us into the glamorous international art world, as lovely oceanographer Cordelia Stapleton and urbane archaeologist John Sinclair return in a perilous new quest.
When Cordelia and Sinclair attend a star-studded gala at the New York Metropolitan Museum, they anticipate merely a pleasurable evening. But as the elite dine and dance in the centuries-old Temple of Dendur, terrorists are planning a deadly assault. The attack is foiled, but it distracts from a massive heist of Egyptian art treasures around the city—among them the fabulous Sardonyx Cup.
The millionaire owner asks Sinclair for help retrieving it, and to Cordelia’s distress, her lover also recruits his old flame, Egyptologist Holly Graham. From a sprawling Wyoming ranch to a Scottish castle, the mysterious canals of Venice, and to Egypt itself, the search leads them to plans for a deadly bio-weapon attack. But could the chalice itself have special powers? Science and the supernatural collide as romantic tension sizzles. And now the three are moving into mortal danger. . . .
Our thoughts: We loved it just as much in paperback as we did the first time around.
Giveaway: Two SIGNED copies! Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, June 30th after 3pm PST.
Fun fact: Check out the trailer for The Stolen Chalice here!
Where you can read more about Kitty: Her website, Twitter and Facebook.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...KITTY PILGRIM'S 5 FIRSTS & LASTS
First: He was a beast. And I mean it, bad breath, messy hair, unruly manner, horrible manners at the table. George would take food off your plate without asking. His mouth was just awful, spitty, revolting. He’d been eyeing me all through the meal with a sort of hungry neediness I found pathetic. His affection was unrequited. I never really liked him very much at all. It was just the two of us, alone in the kitchen. I had just finished a piece of pizza and was enjoying the last delicious bite when it came, an unexpected, unsolicited smack on the mouth, the pink tongue lapping up all the sauce on my lips. I howled at the invasion. The sheer effrontery of it all. ( I was two years old. He was a yellow Labrador retriever. You didn’t think I would tell you about my first real kiss, did you? That is entirely too sacred.)
Last: My son Beau. All through childhood he was the baby that clung the longest, kissed with the fierce intensity. Now, an elegant young man, six foot five, 100 percent rock and roll musician, with a cool swagger, he usually pops a quick one on the side of my head as he leaves. It’s almost as if he were ashamed to be caught in anything so sentimental. Last Sunday night, we had dinner and were talking about this and that. He checked his cell phone for texts and then told me he had to go. An hour or so is all I get these days and I’m grateful for it. At the door he suddenly reached down and hugged me so hard my feet left the ground, then he planted a kiss on top of my head, the pressure of it was unexpectedly tender. “By mom,” he said and left me with tears in my eyes. They grow up so fast.
RISK I TOOK
First Risk I took: It was a really big risk. Monumental. After I graduated from college I suddenly got a contract to work in Japan. Back then, living overseas was pre-cell phone, pre-internet. Moving to Asia on the other side of the world. The only real way to communicate was by letter. Even making a phone call required making an appointment with an international operator. But despite not knowing the language, having nowhere to live, no friends, family, and a host of other uncertainties I hopped on a plane and headed off to Tokyo. I was so nervous, I don’t think I slept a wink in the plane. Landing in Tokyo was like going to another planet. I’d never seen anything like it. But I’ve never regretted taking the leap.
Last Risk: I wrote my first novel The Explorer’s Code as a lark when I was an anchor at CNN. It was just for my own amusement, to keep me entertained on the train commute home. I spun a fantasy that started at a gala in Monaco and romped through all the elegant watering holes of Europe. Then I added a dollop of good old-fashioned Victoria polar exploration, and a Russian bad guy or two. It amused me a lot, and I passed it along to an agent. He told me that it would be a best seller, (he was right) to quit my anchor job at the news network and become a novelist. And that is exactly what I did. Never a regret. I am having the time of my life.
BOOK I READ
First: When I was a baby, my parents used to put books at the bottom of my crib so when I woke up, I would crawl down there and read for a while until everyone else in the house woke up. I clearly remember doing that. But my first heart pounding, oh-my- goodness-book obsession was reading the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the third grade. I was absolutely enthralled, and immediately started writing my own series in a marble copybook, with myself as Sherlock’s helper.
Last: I am reading a series of books for the Nantucket Book Festival, all of them incredible. I will moderate a panel with these incredible authors, all of whom have written about far away places. So I am deep in the middle of a series of four books:
Alex Gilvarry, From the Memoirs of a Non Enemy Combatant.
Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
No Violet Bulawayo, We Need New Names
Vaddey Rather, In the Shadow of the Bayan.
First: I remember in school being distressed over why I didn’t fit in. I was tall (5 11” ) in the 8th grade, skinny, not terribly popular, bookish and shy. I was not allowed to watch television, so conversations about TV shows and pop culture went entirely over my head. I didn’t know anything about popular music, movie stars, or much of anything that was relevant in my pre-teen world. Everyone else seemed so cool, and I was not. One day, decades later, when I was anchoring the news I realized that the dynamic had reversed. I was sitting there at the anchor desk, on television, the first to know all about world events, telling everyone else. I think being so out of the loop in my childhood drove me to find out more about the world. (And my children were certainly allowed to watch television. )
Last Ah ha moment: I was having dinner with my sons in Williamsburg Brooklyn and feeling very cool. Here we were at the epicenter of hipness, and I was dining with two fabulously handsome young men: one who is a photographer, the other who is a rock musician. I was feeling quite smug about my middle-aged coolness, reading over the menu. My son Beau said “Mom you should have anything you want. Don’t worry about your diet.” I thanked him, thinking he was referring to my still slender figure and the effortless way I have been able to maintain my weight. My smugness was short lived. He added in a clueless fashion, “At your age, you don’t have to worry about what you look like.” You are never really cool to your children.
HELL- YA! MOMENT
First: I was always very adventurous and athletic. Most of my activities were individual sports, skating, riding, skiing, swimming. By the time I was fifteen I was quite an athlete. One winter my friends and I were going skiing, and I was nervous about whether I would be able to keep up. There were a lot of boys along on the trip and I was anxious lest I be left behind on the slope. We all started off, and I pushed myself to ski well that day, taking each mogul well, and pushing on, not noticing how the others were doing on the slope. It was a difficult vertical drop and required my entire concentration. When I got to the bottom, I looked around. I was the first to arrive at the lodge. A guy I had a crush on skied up a few minutes later, winded and chagrined. “You are a fantastic skier,” he said, impressed. At that moment I knew I would never let gender prevent me from excelling in any endeavor.
Last: Last week I got my diving certification. It had been a long process of over a year because of bad luck, bad timing and a host of other problems. I wanted to learn how to dive to better write my character, Cordelia Stapleton, an oceanographer. If I couldn’t dive, how would I describe her adventures to my readers? Last year, my scuba pool course had gone well, but when I went out to the open water dive, the conditions were awful. I had to abandon the effort. I tried several times and each effort had to be abandoned because of difficult conditions or equipment problems. I was getting terribly frustrated about the whole thing, but kept trying. Finally last week I went down and fulfilled all the requirements to become a certified diver. Now let the adventures begin!