Kristina Riggle

Kristina Riggle's 5 Fall Faves

The Whole Golden World book coverToday's guest: Kristina Riggle Her latest: The Whole Golden World (Out today!)

The scoop: Seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: She chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her—popular high school teacher TJ Hill. Quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be.

But her mother, Dinah, wants justice. Dinah is a fighter, and she believes with all her heart and soul that TJ is a man who took advantage of her daughter. He is a criminal who should be brought to justice, no matter what the cost to his family.

Rain, TJ's wife, is shocked that her handsome, loving, respected husband has been accused of a terrible crime. But has her desperation to start a family closed her eyes to the fault lines in her marriage? And can she face the painful truths about herself and her husband?

Told from the perspectives of these three remarkable women, The Whole Golden World navigates the precarious territory between childhood and adulthood, raising questions about love and manipulation, marriage and motherhood, consent and responsibility. It's a novel both shocking and unforgettable in its power.

Our thoughts: A mesmerizing story, we highly recommend curling up by the fire with this book!

Giveaway: TWO copies. Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, November 10th after 12pm PST.

Fun fact: You can read an excerpt of The Whole Golden World!

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


Kristina Riggle author photoI love fall! Though, my husband always teases me that I love each season when it’s new. The beginning of winter excites me, too, but don’t ask me about winter come mid-March and I’m still stepping around slush piles up here in Michigan.

At I write this, though, the maple trees are just starting to blush red, and the chill in the air is a welcome balm after all those muggy summer days.

1. Memory

To me, fall means Halloween. Here are a couple of favorite old costume memories…

I borrowed a 1920s-style flapper costume from a girlfriend in high school to wear on Halloween. It was so short (of course! It was a flapper dress!) that my mom insisted I wear shorts under it. I took the shorts off the minute I was out of sight. Sorry, Mom.

My other favorite Halloween memory is borrowing a dance outfit from a different girlfriend, in middle school. She was a real dancer, who took classes and performed and everything. I even borrowed her tap shoes, and went around tap-tap-tapping through the halls in this hot pink, sequined, fringey outfit. It even came with a derby style hat, also sequined. I loved it. People kept asking me to dance, and I’d reply, “If I could dance, it wouldn’t be a costume.”

2. Favorite recipe

I’m not much of  a cook, but I have started a tradition where I bake a treat for my kids on the first day of school. This year, I’d just learned a neat trick for chocolate chip cookies: add some coconut. Not only is it tasty,  but the additional texture makes them come out extra thick and moist. So that’s my tip. Hardly groundbreaking I know, but like I said, I’m not exactly Top Chef fodder here.

3. Drink

Hot apple cider, even better with a bit of caramel in it. When I was pregnant for my second child, I used to stop at the coffee shop after every obstetrician appointment and treat myself to a giant caramel apple cider.

Oh, and Sam Adams Octoberfest. Yum.

4. Activity/hobby

Every year we take our kids to a local apple orchard for cider, donuts and a hay ride, and we’ve had great luck with finding a day to go when the weather is pleasantly cool and the sky is bright. Michigan is just gorgeous in the fall.

5. Writing inspiration

Between my own school memories and now sending my little kids off to school, fall always gives me a renewed sense of industriousness. Sure, summer is great with all the barbecues and vacations and the beach. However, just like how I love having parties -- but I love just as much when they’re over and we’ve cleaned it all up and gotten back to normal -- I appreciate the renewed focus on work. Especially since I love my work, which is writing books for you all to enjoy!

 Thanks, Kristina!


Kristina Riggle's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Today's guest: Kristina Riggle Her latest: Keepsake (Out tomorrow- June 26)

Why we love her: In every novel (this is her fourth) she creates characters we care about.

The scoop: What happens when the things we own become more important than the people we love?

Trish isn't perfect. She's divorced and raising two kids—so of course her house isn't pristine. But she's got all the important things right and she's convinced herself that she has it all under control. That is, until the day her youngest son gets hurt and Child Protective Services comes calling. It's at that moment when Trish is forced to consider the one thing she's always hoped wasn't true: that she's living out her mother's life as a compulsive hoarder.

The last person Trish ever wanted to turn to for help is her sister, Mary—meticulous, perfect Mary, whose house is always spotless . . . and who moved away from their mother to live somewhere else, just like Trish's oldest child has. But now, working together to get Trish's disaster of a home into livable shape, two very different sisters are about to uncover more than just piles of junk, as years of secrets, resentments, obsessions, and pain are finally brought into the light.

Our thoughts: Both neat freaks, we were intrigued by this plot. And the book far surpassed our high expectations.

Fun fact: She dabbles in musical theatre!

Giveaway: 5 copies! Just leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll randomly select the winners on Sunday, July 1st after 6PM PST

Where you can read more about Kristina: Facebook, Twitter and her website.


First of all, teen-agers know everything, so they don’t listen to anyone, even time-traveling older versions of themselves. Especially an older self, because this older self has given up on current Top 40 music (mostly, Adele excepted) and drives a minivan, and thus would have no street cred at all with Teen Kristina. My husband, when I said this out loud, replied that “If any teen-ager would have listened to an adult version of themselves, it would have been you.” Come to think of it, I did have (for a teen) a healthy respect for authority. To that end…

1) Dear Teen Kristina, stop trying so hard to be perfect all the time. (Hmm. Adult Kristina needs to remember this one, too.) Seriously, if you get a B+ instead of an A- on that test, I promise you the earth will not crack under your feet and swallow you whole. And guess what? Once you’re out of high school, no one gives a rotten egg what your GPA was.

2) Dear Teen Kristina, try lots of different stuff. Yes, I know that you decided at 14 years old to be a journalist and that pursuing journalist-like activities in high school and college is worthy and important. But your single-minded, laser-like focus on this ambition keeps you from other interesting pursuits, like musical theater, or studying Italian abroad. If I told you that eight years after college you would no longer even be using this degree you busted ass for, would you believe me? No? Why are you curled into a fetal position? No, really, it all works out anyway, I promise….

3) Dear Teen Kristina, don’t spend time with people who make you feel like crap. I know, you think it’s your fault for being too sensitive, and if you were only cooler, prettier and more stylish then you wouldn’t feel bad. But you know what? It doesn’t matter why. If you feel bad around certain people, go find other people. You’re actually well liked. No, really. It’s true.

4) Dear Teen Kristina,  boys are attracted to confidence more than physical beauty. Remember when boys flirted with you right after you got your contact lenses, and you thought, “Ah ha, I knew I’d be pretty when I got rid of my glasses.” No, they flirted with you because you felt pretty without your glasses. Teen boys themselves wouldn’t be able to articulate this, but it’s true. I’ve seen it in action. I’ve seen women you would never, ever see on a magazine cover attract guys like electromagnets all because of a sizzling and irresistible confidence. By the way, that magical vision-fixing surgery you dreamed of? It exists, but it’s expensive and you are afraid to let someone laser your eyes. Yes, laser. Anyway, by now you can throw away contact lenses so it doesn’t matter if you lose one.

5) Dear Teen Kristina, college is just as awesome as you think it will be. When you’re not making yourself sick with stress, that is. Remember to enjoy those four years, because you’ll never experience anything like it again. p.s. Pay careful attention to that guy you meet on New Year’s Eve, 1991. Trust me.

Thanks, Kristina!