“Divine Sparks”: A Guest Post By Julie Christine Johnson + Giveaway of IN ANOTHER LIFE

Saturday, June 4, 2016

I started hearing early buzz about Julie Christine Johnson’s debut novel IN ANOTHER LIFE late last year, and my interest was instantly piqued. A time-bending historical murder mystery set in southern France, flavored with a soupçon of romance? I could not wait to read it, and wow, did it deliver. Historian Lia Carrer returns to southern France to mourn her husband and try to reclaim her life by finishing her…

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The Five Things I Can’t Stop Talking About

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

This week’s topic is “favorite things”, but since Louise and Jennifer already wrote clever lists of favorite things, I’m not going to do that. I hate to compete in games I know I’m going to lose. It’s a character flaw, and I’ll never change. So instead,I spent the past two days listening to my own endless blather and coming up with a list of my favorite things to talk about….

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In Defense of the Luddites

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I’m not the youngest girl in the room, but in most things I like to think I’m younger than my age. I’m reasonably fit, and my body doesn’t feel like it’s 50 when I ask it to do things like run or bike or ski. I watch a bunch of TV shows that target a demographic I haven’t been part of for over a decade (Crazy Ex Girlfriend! The New…

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The Politics of Rejection

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I’m writing this post while watching live coverage of the New Hampshire primary returns, and as this bizarre passion play unfolds on my television screen I’m struck by how relevant it is to this week’s topic of rejection. We writers moan about how we’re cursed with near-constant rejection, and it’s true: even the most successful writers receive dozens, even hundreds, of “we regret to inform yous” for every accepted submission…

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Envy, the Vast Literary Cognoscenti, and Me

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ah, envy. What a complicated topic, especially for writers. And now comes my turn to examine the green eyed monster. First I have to distinguish envy from jealousy (sorry; writers are word nerds).  Envy is when you covet what someone else has. For example, when I go to Book Passage to hear debut novelist Garth Risk Hallberg read from CITY ON FIRE as part of his publisher-funded national book tour and…

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Heather’s Favorite Books of 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

This week, we’re discussing our favorite reads of 2015. Here are mine! THE END OF THE POINT: Finding a writer you love who’s been around for a while is like finding candy in your coat pocket. I picked up this novel in paperback — it was a New York Times Notable Book in 2014 — and was instantly swept up in the lilting cadence of Elizabeth Graver’s prose and the verisimilitude of…

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Guest Blogger Melissa Cistaro + GIVEAWAY of PIECES OF MY MOTHER

Pieces of My Mother by Melissa Cistaro
Saturday, November 21, 2015

Melissa Cistaro is the author of PIECES OF MY MOTHER, a memoir of her childhood spent waiting for the mother who walked away, her own struggles with motherhood, and her search for understanding as her mother lies dying. Her essays, interviews, and work have appeared in The New Ohio Review, Brevity, The Huffington Post, Bookish, Good Housekeeping and the anthologies LOVE & PROFANITY and CHERISHED. She works as a bookseller and…

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She Says Tomahto, That Guy Over There Says Tomato: My Experience On Submission

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This week we’re talking about our submission process, and what’s been interesting to me is how different each of those processes were. Louise’s path was deceptively easy — she was fortunate enough to impress a great editor with her first forty pages, but then she had to fulfill the promise of those pages and nurture that editor’s interest for three full years. Jennifer’s first novel died in submission, and she…

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