Today’s spotlight is on Maggie O’Farrell’s newest book Instructions for a Heatwave which just released yesterday. I’ve read a few of her books and always really enjoyed them so I’m excited to get to this one when I can. Isn’t the cover great? I really like it – simple but bold. So as usual I’ll give you some information on the book and the author and then at the end of the post you can enter for a chance to win a copy for yourself.
About Instructions for a Heatwave
Gretta Riordan wakes on a stultifying July morning to find that her husband of forty years has gone to get the paper and vanished, cleaning out his bank account along the way. Gretta’s three grown children converge on their parents’ home for the first time in years: Michael Francis, a history teacher whose marriage is failing; Monica, with two stepdaughters who despise her and a blighted past that has driven away the younger sister she once adored; and Aoife, the youngest, now living in Manhattan, a smart, immensely resourceful young woman who has arranged her entire life to conceal a devastating secret.
Maggie O’Farrell writes with exceptional grace and sensitivity about marriage, about the mysteries that inhere within families, and the fault lines over which we build our lives‹the secrets we hide from the people who know and love us best. In a novel that stretches from the heart of London to New York City’s Upper West Side to a remote village on the coast of Ireland, O’Farrell paints a bracing portrait of a family falling apart and coming together with hard-won, life-changing truths about who they really are.
About Maggie O’Farrell
Maggie O’Farrell is the author of After You’d Gone, winner of a Betty Trask Award; My Lover¹s Lover; The Distance Between Us, winner of a Somerset Maugham Award; The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox; and The Hand That First Held Mine, winner of a Costa Novel Award.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US only)
I have one copy of Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell up for giveaway to my US readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
- Tweet, share on Facebook or blog for 3 entries.
This giveaway is open to US residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on July 6/13. Good luck!
Welcome to the blog today Catherine! Catherine McKenzie is the author of the wonderful novel Hidden which just released today! I loved this book (my review) although I have to say that I’ve loved all of her books. She is in top five list of favorite authors and I always anxiously await her next book. Today she joins us to talk about where the idea for Hidden came from…
“Hidden came from the culmination of a bunch of little incidents that were marinating for years.
For various reasons, including the death of a friend that many learned about through an email from his email account sent by his brother, I have been ruminating on the electronic traces that we leave behind these days.
In the past, it was letters, and now it is email and texts. What happens to those things when someone dies? And what secrets do they contain?
Another thread was that mine disaster that occurred a couple of years ago where it came out that one of the miners had a wife and a girlfriend. It only came to light because of all the media attention, and it got me thinking about the girlfriend and how she might never have known what happened to him (or certainly, not right away), had the accident not been treated with so much media attention.
The way the world works now makes it easy (easier?) to have relationships that are hidden from view, and this is what I wanted to explore in the book.”
When a married man suffers a sudden fatal accident, two women are shattered—his wife and someone else’s—and past secrets, desires and regrets are brought to light.
While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Not one but two women fall to pieces at the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son and contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother—her ex-boyfriend—Tim.
With Tish’s co-workers in the dark about her connection to Jeff outside the workplace, she volunteers to attend the funeral on the company’s behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff’s life. Told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish and Claire, Hidden explores the complexity of relationships, our personal choices and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.
About Catherine McKenzie
A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine practises law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. An avid skier and runner, Catherine’s novels, SPIN, ARRANGED and FORGOTTEN, are all international bestsellers. Her fourth novel, HIDDEN, will be released in June, 2013 in Canada and in Spring 2014 in the US. Her novels have been translated into French, German, Czech, Slovak and Polish. And if you want to know how she has time to do all that, the answer is: robots.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS (Open Int’l)
I’m going to share my ARC copy of Hidden by Catherine McKenzie with one lucky winner as I always buy her books to have on my eReader for future rereading. This giveaway is also open up internationally to all of my readers! To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
- Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 3 entries.
This giveaway is open internationally and I will draw for the winner on July 6/13. Good luck!
I have long been a fan of Catherine McKenzie. From her very first book she captivated my interest and has held it since with three more books including her newest entitled Hidden which releases tomorrow. Hidden takes us into the lives of husbands, wives, maybe mistresses, and all the things that make up the lives we live each day. It is a very real and honest novel that is raw and emotional and is a change from her previous novels that always seemed to have a funny side to them. Hidden shows just what an extremely talented writer Catherine McKenzie is.
Hidden introduces us to three narrators: Claire, Jeff, and Tish. Each chapter alternates between them giving us an insight into who they were and are now. Claire and Jeff are married with a son and Tish is married with a daughter. Jeff and Tish work for the same company although in different locations and have developed a strong friendship. After Jeff’s death certain things come to light that cause Claire to wonder if Jeff and Tish had been having an affair. Her sister tells her to leave it alone as what can it matter now that he’s gone but Claire can’t do that. She can’t go forward with her life until she finds out for sure what had been going on. Had Jeff cheated on her? It’s not like he and Claire didn’t have a complicated past. And more importantly why does this woman Tish seems just as broken as she Claire is over the death of Jeff?
Hidden addresses a very complex circle of relationships, both past and present, and how they make us the people we become and also how these past experiences shape our future relationships with each other and others. The characters are all very well developed but as usual with me I gravitated towards the female characters but mostly with Claire. Her emotional response to losing her husband was just so raw that you couldn’t help being drawn to her. Despite feeling as though her whole world had ended she knew she had to pull herself up and move forward for her son and for herself. I could feel her pain and uncertainty when she became suspicious of Jeff’s relationship to Tish and also of her need for the truth even if it was even more devastating to her already fragile heart.
Hidden is one of those novels that would make a fantastic book for your book club. There is even a Reading Guide that can help you and your book club have a great discussion. There are a multitude of topics to discuss in this novel from marriage, children, identity, jobs, and infidelity. I can guarantee that there will not be a shortage of things to discuss and debate and I imagine that this is one of those novels that will evoke a strong response from those chatting on the issues brought forth.
As always Catherine has impressed me with yet another fantastic novel that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. She has a way of getting to the heart of people and their emotions and portraying that in a story that literally enthralls you from the very first page!
Source: Review copy provided by Harper Collins. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
Today’s spotlight is on Brenda Jackson’s newest book called A Brother’s Honor. This book is the first in what is described as a sizzling series about The Grangers and it must be as it already has a lot of five star reviews on Amazon! It is also said to be filled with family drama, wealth, sex, intrigue, power, and even murder – now who can resist that! Let’s take a look at what the book is about and of course there will be a giveaway at the end of the post so be sure to enter for a chance to win a copy!
About A Brother’s Honor (from Brenda’s website)
The Granger brothers left behind their family’s Virginia estate—and the bad memories it holds—years ago. But their dying grandfather’s request brings them home: to a failing business, a legacy of secrets and a deathbed promise to make things right.
As the eldest brother, attorney Jace Granger is determined to take responsibility for Granger Aeronautics, his family’s failing business. But the years of mismanagement seem impossible to untangle. As CEO, he hires a consultant to turn the company around. Smart, sexy Shana Bradford is the right person for the job—and the right woman to turn Jace’s world upside down.
But the passion between them is jeopardized when old secrets begin to emerge. A woman from Jace’s past suddenly reappears. And an explosive discovery changes everything Jace thinks he knows about his mother—and his father, who was convicted of her murder.
Jace Granger tried to leave his family history behind once before. But this time he needs to face the past…or risk losing his future.
Three brothers. One legacy. A lifetime of secrets.
About Brenda Jackson
Brenda Jackson is an American novelist who writes contemporary multicultural romance novels. She was the first African-American author to have a novel published as part of the Silhouette Desire line, and has seen many of her novels reach the New York Times and USAToday Bestsellers lists.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US/Canada)
I have one copy of A Brother’s Honor by Brenda Jackson to share with my readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave a comment entering the giveaway.
- Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on June 29/13. Good luck!