Quietus Vivian Schilling from Hannover House On a stormy winter night a small plane bound for Boston goes down in the treacherous White Moun...

Top 10 Behind-the-Scenes Peeks at Quietus by Vivian Schilling + Giveaway (US only)

Quietus
Vivian Schilling
from Hannover House

On a stormy winter night a small plane bound for Boston goes down in the treacherous White Mountains of New Hampshire. Noted interior designer Kylie O�Rourke and her husband, Jack, are among the survivors. But it is just the beginning of the nightmare for Kylie. Through a haze of morphine, she awakens in the hospital to confused and harrowing memories of the crash. Though trapped within the wreckage, she recalls wandering the icy mountainside and speaking to one of the other passengers, only to find that he had died on impact. As the bizarre aftermath becomes sharper in her mind, it appears more ominous, along with the unshakeable feeling that she and the other survivors had somehow cheated death.

Reassured by her doctor that her disturbing memories had been induced by her sedation, Kylie returns to her life in Boston, but the aftermath of the tragedy proves unbearable. As her husband slips away from her into his own world of survivor�s guilt and deceit, Kylie is seized by a growing paranoia that someone is stalking her every move. In her nightmares, the predator is a specter crossing over from the mountaintop to reclaim her. An old man eyes her in the subway, while a dark figure stalks her through Beacon Hill. Then a sudden and freakish tragedy sends Kylie's world toppling. While those around her fear she is losing her mind, she finds herself caught up in a chain of events she cannot escape.

In this deeply thought-provoking and chilling novel, Schilling questions the very nature of survival and death. She paints bold and unforgettable characters, while resurrecting disturbing and powerful apocrypha that has been all but buried under contemporary religious doctrine. With spellbinding intrigue, Quietus takes the reader to the brink of reason, to the edge where spiritual and physical meet, building with frenetic momentum to its shocking and haunting climax.

Behind-the-Scenes Looks at Quietus

  1. The concept for Quietus was borne out of the haunting moments following a near-fatal car crash when I was eighteen. Having narrowly escaped death, I had my first real brush with mortality. It is a story near to my heart�a fellow friend who has led me on a fantastical journey of exploration into the beliefs, culture and ancient customs surrounding life�s greatest mystery: what follows our last breath.
  2. When I was having a particularly difficult time understanding the dynamics of flight and how to get the Merlin IV in the novel�s opening to crash, a pilot standing next to me in the Aeronautics section at Barnes & Noble saw my exasperation and asked me what I needed to know. When I told him I wanted to crash a plane, I was delighted when he didn�t flinch.
  3. I was 129 pages into the manuscript when I realized I had the wrong beginning. So I cried a few tears and started over. The second time around, those same 129 pages flew past.
  4. Quietus is set in the late nineties, when the Internet was young and Google had yet to be born. My characters do not have cell phones, and they still meet their loved ones at a plane�s arrival gate without getting hauled off by TSA.
  5. While scouting for a location in Boston, I was mistakenly given directions to the abandoned Charles Street Jail in Charlestown, instead of the Charlestown Prison across the river. What I found when I arrived was a foreboding behemoth with its rotting entrances boarded up. The Charles Street Jail became a prison in my novel and my main character�s exploration inside of it is nearly identical to my own that day. Last year, I got a call from a friend who was visiting Boston. When checking into her hotel she found herself inside a ninety-foot high birdcage-like atrium and realized she was standing in the heart of the prison from Quietus. The Old Charles Street Jail had been transformed into a luxury hotel, yet she had the same visceral reaction to the setting I had over a decade earlier.
  6. I had originally planned to set the Savannah portion of the novel in Charleston. It wasn�t until after my research in Charleston that I stopped off the highway in Savannah for lunch. The moment I walked into the small diner with its red and white checked table clothes, I knew I had the childhood home of Kylie O�Rourke and Amelia Blackwell.
  7. Sean McCallum is named for a dear friend of mine who provided me with endless film scores by which to write Quietus. To this day when I hear Vangelis, Julius Vanderpoel materializes before me.
  8. While writing Quietus, I spent 13 months alone in the mountains outside Los Angeles. One morning I was disturbed to find footprints in the virgin snow leading up to my back door and over to the kitchen window, then back to the nearby road. In the novel, there is an unsettling phone call late one night that was inspired by the moment I realized that anyone could stand down on the dark road outside my cabin and see right into the loft where I worked late into the night.
  9. Not long after I completed Quietus I was on a terrifying flight over the Pacific Ocean and for a few harrowing minutes felt as if I had been thrust into my own novel. Objects were flying and passengers screaming, and like my own characters, just when I thought all was lost, the plane righted itself. Only, unlike my characters who were lulled back into a false sense of safety, I felt certain the next sub-chapter of terror was about to begin.
  10. One of my favorite locations in Quietus is Sean McCallum�s fishing village on Nahant Bay. On a recent trip to Boston I was saddened to find that the fishermen�s cottages had been cleared away and a pristine coastline of new homes had taken their place. I am grateful to have known such a community through my research, to have chatted with the locals living so close to the earth and sea, and to have the life of a lobsterman like Sean McCallum live on in the pages of my novel.

About the Author


Vivian Schilling attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and also studied under the legendary Stella Adler before embarking upon a multifaceted career in both literature and film.

Schilling has penned two novels to date, both released to critical acclaim. "Highly respectable writing," touted the Chicago Sun-Times of Schilling's first effort, Sacred Prey (St. Martin's Press). "Schilling shows deft storytelling ability," said Publisher's Weekly.

Schilling is currently at work on her third novel. She divides her time between Los Angeles and the Ozark Mountains.



Giveaway!


Books � la Mode is giving away one print copy of Quietus�yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What is your ideal weather?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Vivian and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I love mild weather. Breezy and sunny, but not scorching hot, is my favorite.

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist�a huge thank you to the lovely folks at FSB Associates!
Giveaway ends March 13th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

0 coment�rios:

I'd like to welcome Tom Malmquist to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of  In Every Moment We Are Still Alive  from Melvi...

Interview with Tom Malmquist, Author of In Every Moment We Are Still Alive + Giveaway (US only)

I'd like to welcome Tom Malmquist to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of In Every Moment We Are Still Alive from Melville House!

Welcome to Books � la Mode, Tom! Let's get this interview started.

Will you please share a brief introduction with us?

Tom Malmquist is a poet and sportswriter. He has written two highly acclaimed poetry collections. In Every Moment We Are Still Alive is his first novel. He lives in Sweden.

It's amazing to get to feature you today! Readers, here's a bit about the book, which hit shelves earlier this month:

When Tom�s heavily pregnant girlfriend Karin is rushed to the hospital, doctors are able to save the baby. But they are helpless to save Karin from what turns out to be acute Leukemia. And in a cruel, fleeting moment Tom gains a daughter but loses his soul mate.

In Every Moment We Are Still Alive is the story of the year that changes everything, as Tom must reconcile the fury and pain of loss with the overwhelming responsibility of raising his daughter, Livia, alone.

By turns tragic and redemptive, meditative and breathless, achingly poignant and darkly funny, this autobiographical novel has been described as "hypnotic," "impossible to resist" and "one of the most powerful books about grief ever written."

What was the inspiration for the plot of your book?

The book is completely inspired by my life, or at least my perspective of my life. Everything in the book is true in how I experienced it. But if you asked my mother, her perspective would be different. That�s why I call this fiction.

I wanted to create a piece of art. I wanted to write a book that was good in its own right. The details in it are aesthetic choices I made while writing. Psychologically speaking, the details were important to me at the hospital and when I came home from the hospital; they became like linchpins, the things that kept me together, incorporated them into the book. But all the details were also representations of life and its diversity�they became the opposite of death, death as in complete emptiness.


Was there a section of your book that was particularly difficult to write?  

Every time I broke down when faced with a scene, I knew it was right. In that way the book was easy to write. But to constantly break down was physically taxing. I sweated, even had muscle cramps in my stomach. But while I was writing I was keeping Karin and my father alive. The hardest part was probably to hand over the manuscript to my publisher. It was like losing Karin and my father all over. The parts at the end of the book, where I write to Karin, were tough. It isn�t til then that my feelings and what I am thinking are expressed. It was my private goodbye to Karin.

The book is raw and direct, not describing emotions at all. What do you hope a reader will discover within the narrative that otherwise might have been masked by being obvious about the your internal struggle?

Each part of the book represents one of the five senses. For example, in the first part that takes place at the hospital, I�m carrying comfort blankets between Karin and Livia. At that time they were a thousand or so meters away from each other at the same hospital. Livia in an incubator; Karin hooked up to the life-support machines. The blanket with Livia�s scent was put next to Karin, and vice versa. It was my way of sustaining the contact between mother and daughter. So that they�d be able to breathe each other�s scent.

The important part here, literary-wise, aesthetics-wise, is that the five senses represent the body. In my sorrow Karin�s body was what no longer existed. It was cremated. I could never hug her again or experience her with my five senses at all. I hope a reader can understand the how much of my pain came from being deprived of the sensory experience of her.


How has your life changed since your book was published?

I don�t know. But I have changed. I lost my partner of ten years, became a father for the first time, lost my father, and wrote a book about it. And now I�m talking about it in various stages. Of course it has changed me.

I think the book helped me to see what had happened. It made it easier. I could accept my new life as a widower and father to Livia.


Tell us about your current work in progress.

It�s a book about a murder in my hometown of Huddinge. It�s going to be a true crime novel, but with a poet�s touch. I don�t want to say anything more than that now; I might promise something I can�t keep.

Where can you be found on the web?


It was a pleasure to be able to get to know you better today, Tom! Thank you again for dropping by, and best of luck with future endeavors!

Giveaway!


Books � la Mode is giving away one print copy of In Every Moment We Are Still Alivewoohoo! To enter, all you have to do is tell  me in the comments below:
What is an event in your life that another person would see very differently from how you did?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Tom and I really want to hear your thoughts! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at TLC Book Tours and Melville House!
Giveaway ends March 11th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar on the right for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide�there are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

0 coment�rios:

The Lost Castle   ( The Lost Castle #1) Kristy Cambron from Thomas Nelson // HarperCollins Broken-down walls and crumbling stones seemed t...

4 Reasons We�re Still in Love with Fairy Tales by Kristy Cambron, Author of The Lost Castle + Giveaway (US only)

The Lost Castle (The Lost Castle #1)
Kristy Cambron
from Thomas Nelson // HarperCollins

Broken-down walls and crumbling stones seemed to possess a secret language all their own.

What stories would they tell, if she finally listened?


Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother�s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved woman begins speaking. Of a secret past and castle ruins forgotten by time. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French Resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret...

Each piece that unlocks the story seems to unlock part of Ellie too�where she came from and who she is becoming. But her grandmother is quickly disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer�s and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family�s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty�a castle so named for Charles Perrault�s beloved fairy tale�Ellie embarks on a journey to France�s Loire Valley in hopes that she can unearth its secrets before time silences them forever.

Bridging the past to the present in three time periods�the French Revolution, World War II, and present day�The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged in the hearts of men, and of an enchanted castle that stood witness to it all, inspiring a legacy of faith through the generations.

The Reason Why We Love a Good Fairy Tale

Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
� C. S. Lewis

Lewis�s quote touches on the nerve of nostalgia in a brilliant way, reminding us of the charm and lasting appeal of childhood tales.

The Lost Castle was a fairy tale writing project from the start. For me, pairing the rich art and culture of French wine country with imagery from Charles Perrault�s Sleeping Beauty (hello, storybook castle!) became the embodiment of Lewis� timeless quote. But to take that a step further and combine the sometimes gritty realities of war with an imagined, enchanted space became the heartbeat of this story. And while I won�t go so far as to give Spoilers on the ending... the characters� journeys were a reminder to this writer-gal just why we love to read�and write�stories that are set where real and imagined worlds collide.

The truth is, we love a good fairy tale. Here�s four reasons why:
  1. Fairy tales made the "HEA" famous:
    Readers know it as the Happily Ever After: the prince and princess ride off in a carriage to their castle in the clouds. This is where the guy gets the girl, the girl gets the dream, and the reader gets the warm-and-fuzzy satisfaction that despite the many obstacles one might face, it�s all going to shake out in the end. Fairy tales have conditioned us to expect that dreams aren�t off in the clouds somewhere. Instead, they can become reality. Our reality. And because of that, every story has to have some element of HEA resolution or we�re left wanting more.
  2. Fairy tales set the story rules�and then break them all:
    Toss in a lost princess, an evil step-mother, or a magical benefactor, and you�ve got the makings for a classic fairy tale. And though these stories seem to set their own Once upon a time... rules, they manage to break them right after. In a fairy tale world, the impossible becomes possible. The unexpected, reality. And let�s be honest... we crave that glorious unpredictability almost as much as the HEA.
  3. Fairy tales remind us to rise to the occasion:
    There�s a hefty debate that we shouldn�t raise our daughters to be Cinderellas�waiting for a prince to ride in on a white steed and rescue us from the doldrums of scrubbing fireplaces. Cinderella should save herself, right? She�s tough and can dream-chase without the guy�s help. But, there�s a grain of truth layered in the heart of these stories. It�s positivity. Overcoming adversity. Plowing through opposition when the cards are stacked against you... They may seem like fanciful children�s yarns, but fairy tales have some grit behind their morals, shouting: �Be resilient, readers, and don�t give up when the going gets tough!�
  4. Fairy tales teach us something about ourselves:
    Fairy tales serve up a moral to the story. Sometimes it�s poignant. Other times, it�s simple and straightforward. But the point is, we see the wisdom it holds through the lens with which we look at our world. It could be faith-driven, justice-focused, or purely fanciful and fun. The hope is that we look at childhood tales with fond remembrance, but through the filter of our wiser, older selves.
Let every story claim a bit of the magic Lewis mentioned... and let�s start reading them again!

About the Author


Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the bestselling author of The Ringmaster�s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews� Best Books and RT Book Reviewers� Choice Awards Best lists for 2014 & 2015, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy�s first Bible studies, THE VERSE MAPPING SERIES, will release in 2018.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development from a Fortune-100 Corporation.

Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and could probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.


Giveaway!


Books � la Mode is giving away a print copy of The Lost Castle�yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
In The Lost Castle, forgotten castle ruins stand as a witness to the stories of generations�those that are true to history and the fairy tale-inspired. So this is your chance... If you could re-write one fairy tale to end any way you choose, what plot-twist would you toss in to shake things up?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Kristy and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Rather cheating because Disney technically already gave The Little Mermaid a HEA. As you may know, in the original Hans Christian Andersen version, it's a tragic story where the prince ends up marrying a human princess and the little mermaid dies for him. If I could rewrite it, I'd have the prince and mermaid end up together, except have HIM display an act of selflessness and decide to live with her in the mermaid kingdom. Yes, underwater! If he really loved her, he'd make it work :P

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks at TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson!
Giveaway ends March 8th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

0 coment�rios:

Steal Away Home Billy Coffey from Thomas Nelson // HarperCollins Owen Cross grew up with two loves: one a game, the other a girl. One of hi...

Top 5 Things to Know Before Reading Steal Away Home by Billy Coffey + Giveaway (US only)

Steal Away Home
Billy Coffey
from Thomas Nelson // HarperCollins

Owen Cross grew up with two loves: one a game, the other a girl. One of his loves ruined him. Now he�s counting on the other to save him.

Owen Cross�s father is a hard man, proud in his brokenness, who wants nothing more than for Owen to succeed where he failed. With his innate talents and his father�s firm hand guiding him, Owen goes to college with dreams of the major leagues�and an emptiness full of a girl named Micky Dullahan.

Owen loved Micky from the first time they met on the hill between their two worlds: his middle-class home and her troubled Shantytown. Years later he leaves her for the dugouts and the autographs, but their days together follow him. When he finally returns home, he discovers that even peace comes at a cost. And that the hardest things to say are to the ones we love the most.

From bestselling author Billy Coffey comes a haunting story of small-town love, blinding ambition, and the risk of giving it all for one last chance.

Things You Need to Know Before Reading Steal Away Home


  1. I was quite the baseball player back in the day and had a (somewhat) clear path from a small town in Virginia to at least a college campus, maybe even the majors. That all ended in May of 1990 with a shoulder injury. Instead of graduating high school to play in Yankee Stadium, I worked at a gas station.
  2. The above is a condition known to me as a case of the Coulda�s. As in, I coulda been a professional baseball player. It is a prevalent condition affecting most everyone I know, including, most likely, yourself. Fill in your own blank: I coulda ______. See what I mean?
  3. Science has shown that the velocity of a major league fastball exceeds the ability of the human body to react. Technically speaking, then, it is humanly impossible for a round bat to meet a round ball traveling at more than ninety-five miles per hour. Yet you�ll see otherwise on a routine basis at your nearest professional ballpark. It�s enough to prove that the game is baseball is nothing more than an unending string of small miracles.
  4. Speaking of miracles, they are real. Don�t listen to anyone who tells you different. Some people are cursed with only enough faith to see what�s in front of them. Be otherwise.
  5. You never get over your first love until you meet your true love.

About the Author



Billy Coffey�s critically acclaimed books combine rural Southern charm with a vision far beyond the ordinary. He is a regular contributor to several publications, where he writes about faith and life.

Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia�s Blue Ridge Mountains.



Giveaway!


Books � la Mode is giving away a print copy of Steal Away Home�yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What was your first love? Whether a person, pet, activity, event, place, etc... please share!
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Billy and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I would probably say the beach; I loved it as a kid and couldn't get enough. Weirdly enough, I am now no longer a beach person LOL!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks at TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson!
Giveaway ends March 6th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

0 coment�rios:

I'd like to welcome Marissa Stapley to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of  Things to Do When It's Raining  from Gr...

Interview with Marissa Stapley, Author of Things to Do When It's Raining + Giveaway (US/Can)

I'd like to welcome Marissa Stapley to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of Things to Do When It's Raining from Graydon House, a Harlequin imprint!

Welcome to Books � la Mode, Marissa! Let's get this interview started.

Will you please share a brief introduction with us?

Marissa Stapley is the author of The Globe and Mail bestselling and critically acclaimed novel Mating for Life�"intriguing and heartbreaking" (Publisher's Weekly); "absorbing and entertaining" (Maclean's magazine)�and most recently, Things to Do When It's Raining, ?which author Lauren Fox calls "a gorgeously written page-turner", author Jennifer Robson calls "one of the best books I have read in a very long time" and author Karma Brown calls "a deeply moving story about family, love and loss".

Things to Do When It's Raining was released by Rowohlt in Germany and by Simon & Schuster in Canada and Graydon House (Harlequin) in the US on February 6, 2018.

Marissa also writes Shelf Love, a monthly commercial fiction review column for The Globe and Mail and reports on books and culture for the Toronto Star. She lives in Toronto with her family.

It's amazing to get to feature you today! Readers, here's a bit about the book, which hit shelves yesterday:

When secrets tear love apart, can the truth mend it?

Mae Summers has it all: a loving fianc�, Peter, a job at the flourishing company he owns and a beautiful New York City apartment. But Mae�s life shatters when she wakes up one morning to discover Peter gone�leaving only a cryptic note behind him�and the company in shambles, its investments founded on lies.

There�s only one place for Mae to go: home to Alexandria Bay, the small tourist town in upstate New York where she was raised by her grandparents in the inn they own. And not all is right in Alex Bay, either: Mae finds her grandmother struggling with dementia, separated from Mae�s grandfather thanks to a terrible secret she never meant to reveal.

She also finds Gabe, her childhood best friend who became the love of her young life�now a handsome if brooding adult, working through a private trauma that still haunts him.

A lifetime of secrets stands in the way of Mae and her family�s happiness. Home may be where the heart is, but sometimes it takes equal parts love, forgiveness and will to mend that heart.

What has your journey been like to becoming a published author?

There�s a sign in my office with a Winston Churchill quote: Never,never, never give up. That�s the best summation for my publishing journey I can think of. I had many false starts and a many moments when I felt like packing in my dreams. But becoming an author is something I have wanted since childhood. I�ve never been anything but a writer�so I just kept on working at it, every single day. I�m often asked for advice on becoming published and I think people are surprised by my answers sometimes. It looks easy when you�ve reached your goal. But overnight success is rare. The most successful people I know are the ones who have worked the hardest and are still working hard.


How did you come up with the idea for Things to Do When It's Raining?  

My grandmother died while I was writing Mating for Life and I would say my single most regret in life is that I wasn�t able to be by her side in those final moments. We were extremely close, and I was still grieving when my first novel released and the time came for me to start working on my second book. I couldn�t stop thinking about my regret, and about some of the things that had come to light after she died. So I started to write, and this story about family secrets and regret began to take shape. I saw Chris Cleave speak a few years ago about his wonderful novel Everyone Brave is Forgiven. He said that his grandparents had inspired the story, but that as it began to take shape, the story became about something else entirely. They were just the seeds for the story. This is very much how fiction works. Inspiration is found in our lives or even the people we know or have known�but when we start writing, the characters become real. At least they should become real. For me, it took some time for it to happen. I didn�t want to let go of my grandmother. When I did, the story took shape. And I still felt her with me.

Would you mind sharing, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, a true love story from your own life?

A few years ago, while my family was away at the cottage in the summer, our house was broken into. My husband and I had decided�foolishly!�to leave our wedding rings at home because we didn�t want to lose them while swimming in the lake. The rings were gone, of course, and I was devastated. We had new rings made�I was able to use my grandmother�s diamond in my engagement ring, which gave it emotional significance�and then my husband put them away and asked me to wait. One morning, we got in the car and he wouldn�t tell me where we were going. We drove to my hometown, to a spot I had mentioned a few times as considering especially romantic: the bridge where the proposal scene between Anne and Gilbert was filmed in the original Anne of Green Gables television series. Even though we had been married almost a decade, my husband got down on one knee and proposed again. The bridge was very old and almost falling down so we didn�t linger! But it was very, very unexpected and sweet. And there�s more! After that, we headed back to Toronto, to one more bridge. If you haven�t read Mating for Life, I won�t give too much away, but there�s a bridge scene at the end�and that bridge has significance in our lives as well. I don�t often borrow from my own life, but I did for that scene, and my husband noticed. He had our wedding rings in his pocket, and we exchanged them on that bridge. We headed off to our favorite hotel spa for lunch and massages, and then home where our families were waiting for a special dinner. My stepfather is a minister and my husband had arranged for him to recreate part of the wedding ceremony he had performed years before. When the rings were stolen, I thought there would be no way we would have rings that could be as special. I was wrong.

Swoon! What are you favorite things to do when it�s raining?

There�s nothing I love more on a rainy day then covering myself in blankets and reading for hours. Even better if I can read something that�s purely for pleasure and not for review (I review books for The Globe and Mail) or novel research�although there�s always something delicious about reading a book under a blanket and telling myself it�s for work. Best job in the world!

Where can you be found on the web?


It was a pleasure to be able to get to know you better today, Marissa! Thank you again for dropping by, and best of luck with future endeavors!

Giveaway!


Books � la Mode is giving away one print copy of Things to Do When It's Raining as part of the 2018 Valentine's Day tour for Harlequinwoohoo! To enter, all you have to do is tell  me in the comments below:
What's your favorite thing to do when raining?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Marissa and I really want to hear your thoughts! :)

I put on a fuzzy robe, plushy slippers, and stay burrowed under the covers for as long as I can. There's something so comforting about the cold and wet outside in contrast to the comfort and warmth of your own home.
Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher�a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at TLC Book Tours and Graydon House!
Giveaway ends February 26th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar on the right for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide�there are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

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The Lucky Ones Tiffany Reisz from MIRA //  Harlequin They were seven children either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and chosen by l...

Exclusive Sneak Peek: The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz + Giveaway (US/Can)

The Lucky Ones
Tiffany Reisz
from MIRA // Harlequin

They were seven children either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and chosen by legendary philanthropist and brain surgeon Dr. Vincent Capello to live in The Dragon, his almost magical beach house on the Oregon Coast. Allison was the youngest of the lucky ones living an idyllic life with her newfound family... until the night she almost died, and was then whisked away from the house and her adopted family forever.

Now, thirteen years later, Allison receives a letter from Roland, Dr. Capello�s oldest son, warning her that their father is ill and in his final days. Allison determines she must go home again and confront the ghosts of her past. She's determined to find out what really happened that fateful night�was it an accident or, as she's always suspected, did one of her beloved family members try to kill her?

But digging into the past can reveal horrific truths, and when Allison pieces together the story of her life, she'll learns the terrible secret at the heart of the family she once loved but never really knew.


Chapter 5

It wasn�t until the wheels touched down at Portland International Airport that Allison realized she had never really believed she would go back. For two days, she�d been running on adrenaline, powered by the need to keep thoughts of the breakup at bay. Yet once she was in Oregon, the frenzy of energy disappeared and it took everything she had to disembark and collect her luggage. When the lady at the rental car counter asked her what brought her to Portland, Allison had been too dazed to think of a decent answer.

�I have no idea,� she said, and the lady looked at her with a mix of confusion and sympathy. She didn�t ask Allison any more friendly, prying questions after that.

The city was as green as she remembered and the rivers that bisected Portland still as blue. She took the highway to an exit that read Ocean Beaches and wondered how anyone managed to drive past that sign without immediately turning onto it and heading straight for the ocean. Very quickly the shining city faded behind her and lonely farms and hilly pastures popped up along the road. But soon enough those were gone, too, replaced first by patches of trees and then by full forests with branches so verdant and thick they formed an archway over the road, like soldiers forming an honor guard.

As she neared the coast, the clouds grew heavier, denser, stranger. The forests turned dark and eerie. In sunlight, the low-hanging mossy branches would look innocuous. At dusk, they looked like skeletal fingers pointing at her, the moss like skin falling off the bone.

Allison nearly jumped out of her seat when she banked around a curve and saw a fiendish grinning red-eyed face glowering at her from the side of the road. Once her heart slowed, Allison laughed at herself. During her flight to Portland, she�d reread A Wrinkle in Time. The villain in that book was a man with glowing red eyes who tried to get the three brave children to submit to him and allow him total control of their minds. She was glad McQueen wasn�t there to see her jump at the sight of someone�s stupid joke. Someone had nailed red safety reflectors to a tree trunk in the shape of eyes and a monstrous mouth. That was all.

When Highway 26 met the famous coastal 101, Allison turned south toward the cape. She�d spent the evening before online, reading everything she could about the Oregon coast and deciding where she would go and what she would see after she made her obligatory stop at The Dragon to pay her respects to Dr. Capello. It was a vacation, Allison told herself. No pressure. Just fun. If she were going to come all the way to the other side of the country, she might as well make an adventure of it.

Except, as her drive took her closer and closer to her old home, her sense of adventure left her and low-level panic took its place. Her heart beat rapidly and she had to stop at one of the highway�s scenic viewpoints simply to catch her breath. She leaned against the long stone wall and gazed down at the ocean. It had been a long time since she�d seen the Pacific Ocean. Panama City Beach it was not. The waves were white-capped and hitting the beach hard, and she knew those blue-silver waters were like the siren�s song�lovely, yes, but ice cold and deadly. The scenic marker warned that what she was looking at wasn�t simply a nice ocean landscape, but the notorious Graveyard of the Pacific. Ship after ship after ship had gone down in those waters. No wonder Dr. Capello had called his house The Dragon. Allison imagined all it would take was two steps forward, and she�d fall off the edge of the world into oblivion. To think she used to swim here. Well, if she�d been brave enough and stupid enough to swim in a graveyard, surely she could be brave enough and stupid enough to go home for an hour.

Calmer now, Allison got back into her car and headed south toward Cape Arrow. The whole place wasn�t much more than a collection of pretty beach houses on a hillside overlooking the ocean. It was an isolated, lonely sort of place, and Dr. Capello�s house was the most isolated of them all, a mile farther down from the cape and situated on a solitary spit of land amid deep tree cover. She didn�t know the street names and the GPS wasn�t helping. She turned it off and let memory alone guide her to the correct turn.

Then, at last, after thirteen years, there it was.

About the Author


Tiffany Reisz is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Original Sinners series for Mira Books (Harlequin/Mills & Boon). Tiffany's books inhabit a sexy shadowy world where romance, erotica, and literature meet and do immoral and possibly illegal things to each other. She describes her genre as "literary friction," a term she stole from her main character, who gets in trouble almost as often as the author herself.

She lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, author Andrew Shaffer, and two cats. If she couldn't write, she would die.


Giveaway!


Books � la Mode is giving away
a print copy of The Lucky Ones�yay!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What makes you lucky?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Tiffany and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I'm lucky to have been born in a privileged household: educated parents, no major financial concerns, a stable family environment. These are things that are easy to take for granted until you realize not everyone had them growing up!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher�a huge thank you to TLC Book Tours and Harlequin!
Giveaway ends February 22nd at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada readers only�sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for the list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ?
Good luck!

0 coment�rios: