Interview with Christine Brae, Author of The Year I Left

What can you tell us about your new release, The Year I Left?

My new book, The Year I Left is the story about a woman who loses herself along the path of being a mother and a wife, and the journey she takes to find her way back.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I always loved to write. Five years ago, I experienced something so profound in my life, I decided to write about it with the hopes of letting others know that we are all held together by the same affairs of the heart. I was also encouraged to self-publish my first book by other indie authors who guided me and inspired me to share my words with others.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

I grew up reading all kinds of books – it is so difficult to choose five of the best ones! I have to say that The Thornbirds by Colleen McCollough was the first book that had such an impact on me. Books by Stephen King were a staple during my growing up years. Anita Shreve’s The Last Time They Met and The Weight of Water are books I can read over and over again, and Tarryn Fisher’s The Opportunist impacted my life in so many ways. Paulo Coelho is amazing, anything he writes sings to my heart.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

Another tough question! My writings have always been inspired by prose and poetry. Rumi, the Persian poet is such an enigma to me. Did he really exist? How did his words get so intense? What inspired him to write such beautiful, lyrical, insightful passages? Did he have one great love in his life and was he motivated by heartbreak? He wrote about the skies, the stars, the sun, the heavens – if he lived today, what would he be saying about how our world and how it has evolved?

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Writing.

What is a typical day like for you?

I have a very demanding career – it involves making decisions and being surrounded by people who value my leadership and example. A typical day is never typical. I’m constantly putting out fires, attending meetings and giving 100% of myself and trying to make an impact. Of course, some days are full of accomplishments, others are not. But I get so excited at the start of each day – I am so blessed to have a job that I absolutely love.

What scene in The Year I Left was your favorite to write?

I can’t really give too much away – but The Year I Left has many soulful, emotional scenes – I can tell you that I cried while writing two particular ones involving Carin and Matias. This book was difficult to write because of the truth that is in every word. People who have read it may not believe it – but this book is based on true events. Which makes the emotion very real.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

Aside from “never leave home without your eyebrows,” which my grandmother always told me (haha) – I really believe that living each day in gratitude helps me to always appreciate every single thing that’s been thrown my way – good or bad – everything I’ve gone through has made me who I am today. “Life is too short to be lived in regret.”

Christine Brae is the author of the new book The Year I Left.

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New Books to Read in Literary Fiction | August 20

Literary fiction readers are in for a treat. This week’s latest releases list is full of intriguing reads you won’t want to miss! The new releases list includes so many bestselling authors like Christine Brae, Philippa Gregory, Bryn Greenwood, and many more. Enjoy your new literary fiction books. Happy reading!



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New Books to Read in Literary Fiction | August 13

Literary fiction readers are in for a treat. This week’s latest releases list is full of intriguing reads you won’t want to miss! The new releases list includes so many bestselling authors like Tanya E. Williams, Graham Norton, Lisa Lutz, Cara Wall, and many more. Enjoy your new literary fiction books. Happy reading!



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Interview with Tanya E. Williams, Author of A Man Called Smith

What can you tell us about your new release, A Man Called Smith?

A Man Called Smith is an emotionally gripping historical family saga told from the perspective of two characters, a father and his daughter beginning in 1949. It is the third book in a three book series however the series can be read in any order as each book stands well on its own.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I have always been a story teller at heart. Growing up, despite my painfully slow reading practices, I enjoyed historical stories and epic sweeping tales such as Gone With The Wind. I loved getting lost in another time period and spent a great deal of time thinking about what life might have been like throughout history. I suppose it was the stories themselves that inspired me to become an author.

My first memory of entertaining myself by making up a story was when I was about five years old. I was playing at the grassy edge of an alfalfa field talking to the ever illusive crickets. I crouched along, weaving a story about the life of the crickets as I tried desperately to spot one. Of course, whenever I drew near to the sound of the cricket’s song, they would become silent and then the singing would begin again somewhere behind me, so back I would go, telling the story I was creating while I searched the tall grass for a cricket sighting. In the end, a quiet form of self entertainment developed and I have continued the practice of story telling ever since.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

I tend to be a read it once kind of reader so if a book captures my attention to revisit it again either through memory or through an actual reread, then I know the book has captured me in a meaningful way. The following books have done that for me.

1) Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
2) Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
3) The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
4) The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
5) Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

Great question! There are many authors I would want to talk about characters, story telling, and craft with, but I have to say that I would probably want my first guest to be an avid reader such as Oprah or Reese Witherspoon as there is simply nothing better than connecting with another book enthusiast over the love of a good book. My first question would be the same as yours above, what are the top 5 best books you have ever read? And then I would have my pencil ready as my “to be read” list grew in spades in a matter of a few moments.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I enjoy pretty much every aspect of the writing process but my favorite is the excitement of the first spark of an idea. I love the rush of having an idea appear before me. Jotting down those first nuggets of inspiration is like planting a seed of hope. Those tiny fragments of an idea are what fuel me forward with every story.

What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day varies depending on what aspect of the writing process I am working with but it always begins with a cup of tea, a short meditation, and a “to do” list. I typically write in the morning. I prefer to do edits in the afternoon when the time comes and I enjoy both the change of pace and the move to the couch that editing brings. When I am deep in the writing phase, I block out a solid three to six hours of each day so I can hold the story line and the characters close to my heart as we move through the story together. If I am researching, I can be found at the library, watching a movie, taking a tour, walking the streets of the city I plan to write about and so much more. I go where the research takes me and it is a much loved aspect of writing historical fiction for me.

What scene in A Man Called Smith was your favorite to write?

So many of the scenes in A Man Called Smith are filled with deep emotion but my favorite one to write was the gathering coal scene. It is a dark scene for sure but it was the way it flowed out of me that makes it my favorite. It was as if I was watching a movie unfold before me and the words just magically landed on the page. I felt the chill in the house. I shook my head just like Jarred did and I shuddered along with Calla as she removed the rug. I desperately wanted to step in and stop Calla from going down the stairs and yet the words just continued to flow. It was both a chilling and exhilarating experience as a writer.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

I try to live my life in a state of gratitude so my favorite quote is “there is always something to be grateful for, sometimes, you just have to dig a little to find it.”

Tanya E. Williams is the author of the new book A Man Called Smith.

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New Historical Fiction Books For Your Reading List | Summer 2019

New Historical Fiction Books For Your Reading List | Summer 2019

Have you been searching for some new historical fiction books for your summer reading list? You are sure to find some new favorites in this list of enthralling new releases by bestselling authors Tanya E. Williams, Meredith Allard, Julianne Maclean, Elizabeth Macneal, Sharon Maas, and Debbie Rix. Enjoy your new books!


A Man Called Smith

by Tanya E. Williams

Release Date: August 13, 2019

South Dakota, 1949. John Smith is a WWII veteran that lost his wife during childbirth. Desperate to provide for his two children, he is manipulated into an unsuitable marriage… Washington State, 1964. John’s daughter Calla is now 16 and yearns for a life beyond her vindictive stepmother. But when her stepmother takes her college money, her dreams crumble. John fears he is too late to stop the war within his home.

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Down Salem Way

by Meredith Allard

Release Date: June 25, 2019

In the year 1690, James Wentworth arrived in Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with his father John. He soon falls in love with a farmer’s daughter, Elizabeth Jones. While they were virtually strangers when they got married, their love quickly turned into a passion that transcended time. But something evil lurks down Salem Way. Can their love carry them through the madness surrounding them?

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A Fire Sparkling

by Julianne Maclean

Release Date: August 1, 2019

Gillian Gibbons was betrayed by the man she loves. After she flees to her family home for an escape, she soon finds an old photograph of her grandmother in the arms of a Nazi officer. Gillian is rattled by the discovery and is desperate to uncover the truth behind the photo.

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The Doll Factory

by Elizabeth Macneal

Release Date: August 13, 2019

In 1850s London, two people meet by happenstance in a crowd watching the Great Exhibition being erected in Hyde Park. It is a brief and forgettable moment for Iris but for Silas, this meeting is a new beginning. When she starts to model for Louis Frost, her world begins to expand beyond her wildest dreams. But she has no idea evil is waiting in the shadows.

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The Violin Maker’s Daughter

by Sharon Maas

Release Date: July 19, 2019

When the Nazis arrived in Colmar on November 1st, 1940, Joseph, a Jewish violin maker, assures his family that they will be fine. This was true, until one year later when they receive a knock on the door at midnight. On that night his eldest daughter Sarah’s world is turned upside down.

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The Secret Letter

by Debbie Rix

Release Date: July 22, 2019

1939. Magda is a thirteen-year-old that is devastated when her best friend is taken away and sent to a concentration camp. As the Nazi power grows, Magda realizes she is not like other German girls in her village. She hates the Hitler Youth and secretly joins The White Rose Movement.

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New Books to Read in Literary Fiction | August 6

Literary fiction readers are in for a treat. This week’s latest releases list is full of intriguing reads you won’t want to miss! The new releases list includes so many bestselling authors like Meredith Allard, Kristan Higgins, Hazel Prior, and many more. Enjoy your new literary fiction books. Happy reading!



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New Books to Read in Literary Fiction | August 6

Literary fiction readers are in for a treat. This week’s latest releases list is full of intriguing reads you won’t want to miss! The new releases list includes so many bestselling authors like Meredith Allard, Kristan Higgins, Hazel Prior, and many more. Enjoy your new literary fiction books. Happy reading!



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Interview with Meredith Allard, Author of Down Salem Way

What can you tell us about your new release, Down Salem Way?

Down Salem Way is set around the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. While Down Salem Way is the prequel to the Loving Husband Trilogy, it was written as a stand-alone novel so you don’t need to read the trilogy to understand the story.
In Down Salem Way, we see two of the characters readers love from the Loving Husband Trilogy, James and Elizabeth Wentworth. They are newly married in January 1691 and they are in the process of creating a warm, loving life together. As time passes, the madness of the Salem witch hunts starts to invade their lives. James and Elizabeth try to keep themselves out of the problems, but inevitably they are caught up in the madness. Readers of the Loving Husband Trilogy know that James and Elizabeth form a bond that will transcend time. While Down Salem Way is literary historical fiction, there are paranormal elements such as vampires and witches, and the love story between James and Elizabeth is central, so there’s a little something for everyone.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember—since elementary school, certainly. I was lucky because my teachers frequently told me I was a good writer, so I grew up thinking I was a good writer. At first I thought I’d become a journalist, then I thought I’d become a screenwriter, but I realized that with my interests and skills I was best suited to writing novels. Reading Charles Dickens in college helped me see what kind of novelist I wanted to be—I wanted to write stories that were entire worlds the way Dickens did.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

I’ve read so many books that I’ve loved that it’s hard to narrow it down to five, but I’d have to say my top five are:
1. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
3. Leaves of Grass, a collection of poetry by Walt Whitman
4. Beloved by Toni Morrison
5. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I’ve been lucky enough to interview some of my literary idols. I interviewed John Jakes almost twenty years ago, and I’ve also interviewed Jean M. Auel. They were both lovely enough to answer my questions about their writing and researching processes. My favorite response came from John Jakes when I asked him what his next writing project was. He said he had too many ideas for too many books and he’d never live long enough to write all the stories he wanted to. I remember that answer all these years later because I realize how true that is. I also have so many stories I want to write, and I also doubt I’ll get to write them all.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love that I can take these crazy ideas in my head and share them with others. I love that creative writing is about creating new worlds. One of my favorite parts about being an author is hearing from fans all over the world. Thank the literary gods, but the Loving Husband Trilogy has found a devoted audience all over the world. Connecting with people who have read and loved my books is really a treasure I cannot describe.

What is a typical day like for you?

I find I’m most productive in the morning, so I start my own writing first thing (after coffee, of course). I’m also a freelance writer and editor, so my afternoons are usually taken up with writing and editing for others. It’s a great schedule because it allows me my own creative time to write my own books and articles, but it also allows me time to help others with their writing, which I love.

What scene in Down Salem Way was your favorite to write?

Even though Down Salem Way deals with a difficult subject, the Salem witch hunts, it was a joy to write in many ways. Down Salem Way allowed me to look more closely at James and Elizabeth’s life in Salem during the witch trials. Their time in Salem is touched upon in Her Dear and Loving Husband, the first book in the Loving Husband Trilogy, but there wasn’t space to examine that time in much depth in Her Dear and Loving Husband. In Down Salem Way I was able to step back and see what their life was like in the late 17th century. If I had to pick one scene that I particularly enjoyed writing, it is the scene toward the beginning of the novel where James helps to teach Lizzie how to read and he prompts her to read Anne Bradstreet’s “To My Dear and Loving Husband” on her own. Yes, Bradstreet’s poem is where the title Her Dear and Loving Husband comes from, so there’s an obvious connection between the two books.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

I love that quote from Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” I’ve found that to be true in my own life. You just have to be brave enough to let your imagination soar.

Meredith Allard is the author of the new book Down Salem Way.

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New Books to Read in Literary Fiction | July 30

Literary fiction readers are in for a treat. This week’s latest releases list is full of intriguing reads you won’t want to miss! The new releases list includes so many bestselling authors like Fiona Davis, Miciah Bay Gault, Richard Russo, Kalisha Buckhanon, and many more. Enjoy your new literary fiction books. Happy reading!



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The Buzziest Books of July | 2019

The Buzziest Books of July | 2019

The month of July was a great time for readers with a host of exciting releases from bestselling authors. There were so many page-turning novels that captivated us from cover to cover this month. If you want to catch up on the books everyone was talking about, here are our choices for the buzziest books of July. Happy reading!


One Good Deed

by David Baldacci

Release Date: July 23, 2019

It is the year 1949 and war veteran Aloysius Archer has just been released from prison. He has been sent to Poca City on parole. He has a short list of things to do and a much longer list of don’ts. This small town quickly proves to be much more complicated and dangerous than he expected. It is even proving worse than his time serving in the war or his jail time.

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A New Requiem

by B.Lance Jenkins

Release Date: July 12, 2019

A gay community chorus director and teacher has been wrongly accused of the murder of a 17-year-old boy. The small and radically fundamental town mounts against the alleged criminal, whose identity is drastically contrasting to that of the community’s social norms. Now a local defense attorney must sacrifice everything to save the man he knows is innocent.

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The Marriage Pact

by Winter Renshaw

Release Date: June 23, 2019

When I was sixteen I promised to never marry him. It was probably the only thing we ever agreed on. To the world he is Prince Ian, Duke on Montcroix and second line to the Chamont throne. But to me, he is just the son of my father’s best friend. He was my first kiss and my first taste of heartbreak. I meant it when I said I’d never marry him. But now, on the eve of my 24th birthday, he wants us to break the pact.

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What You Did

by Willow Rose

Release Date: June 23, 2019

The sequel to the bestselling mystery, Don’t Lie To Me, by Willow Rose… Three girls have disappeared on prom night. FBI profiler Eva Rae Thomas has been asked to join the investigation and uncover what happened that night and how they went missing as they made their way home from the dance. When a young girl’s body is found in her backyard, Eva Rae knows she is now involved… and she is the killer’s next target.

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The Last Seer King

by S.J. Hartland

Release Date: July 4, 2019

The second book in the bestselling Shadow Sword series that is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones and Prince of Thorns… Roaran has sought redemption for centuries. He has a chance to vanquish a tyrant and save a realm but first, he must cut his last ties to humanity. He has to return to the one place he promised he’d never go again.

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Dog-Eared Delinquent

by Molly Fitz

Release Date: June 25, 2019

Apparently, I have been slacking on the job as a paralegal because they’ve hired an intern to help me with my workload. What they don’t know is that I am secretly working behind the scenes as the area’s premier Pet Whisperer P.I. There’s something else the partners don’t realize… they have let a nefarious criminal into our offices. Octo-Cat can smell this guy from a mile away. The worst part is I think he can talk to animals too.

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The Last Book Party

by Karen Dukess

Release Date: July 9, 2019

It is the summer of 1987 and aspiring writer, Eve Rosen, is languishing in a low-level assistant job. She is unable to shake the shadow of growing up in the shadow of her brilliant brother. With her professional life floundering, she jumps at an opportunity to attend an early summer gathering at the home of famous New Yorker writer Henry Grey and his poet wife, Tillie.

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Under Currents

by Nora Roberts

Release Date: July 9, 2019

Zane grew up in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife but Zane and his sister know the truth. Then one brutal night cracks start to appear in the facade and Zane escapes for college and doesn’t want to look back. Years later he returns to his hometown and tried to reconnect with the place and people. Then he meets Darby, who is also running from ghosts of her own.

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