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Amy Impellizzeri on the ups and not so ups of release day

Today we’re celebrating the release of Amy Impellizzeri’s second novel, Secrets of Worry Dolls. Here’s a bit about the book (isn’t that cover gorgeous?!):

secrets-of-worry-dollsAccording to Mayan tradition, if you whisper your troubles to the Worry Dolls, they will do the worrying instead of you–therefore, it follows that Worry Dolls are the keepers of a great many secrets . . .

On the eve of the end of the world–according to the Mayan calendar–Mari Guarez Roselli’s secrets are being unraveled by her daughter, Lu.

Lu’s worry dolls are at-capacity as she tries to outrun the ghosts from her past–including loved ones stolen on 9/11–by traveling through her mother’s homeland of Guatemala, to discover the painful reasons behind her own dysfunctional childhood, and why she must trust in the magic of the legend

Amy shared her thoughts on release day … 

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Melissa Marino’s Debut is SO TWISTED

I’m so excited to have Melissa Marino here today. Her debut, SO TWISTED, came out November 1, 2016. It’s fun, swoony, and a little bit steamy (okay, not just a little bit). Read more about her first novel below. 

51rsinc2wxlCallie has found the perfect job. As nanny for a single dad and his adorable daughter, she can pay off her student loans and live in a nice house in the heart of Chicago. There’s just one problem-her new boss. Definitely no dad bod here. Just six-plus feet of raw, sexual energy. Whoever heard of a dad being so hot? read more…

What Amy E. Reichert Learned While Writing THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER

Today on the Tall Poppy blog, Amy E. Reichert is sharing some fun facts she learned while writing her newest book, THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER (May 2017). Here’s a bit about the story. 

cover_cider_reichertFall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.

Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.

Isaac Banks has spent years singlehandedly trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country from California where chance led them to Sanna’s orchard.

Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident, leaving her to care for him while running the orchard. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm. 

From the warm and funny Amy E. Reichert, The Simplicity of Cider is a charming love story with a touch of magic, perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Gayle Forman.

Here’s Amy to share her thoughts. 

THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER is my third novel. That’s hard to wrap my head around. While writing, I learned a few things about my own writing process, plus some fun facts about the novel’s subject matter. So, dear reader, here’s what I learned…

  • Everything in my writing life is better when I have a detailed synopsis to work from. With the help of my dear friend, Karma Brown–who helped me ask the right questions–I knew most of the story before I started writing page one. I knew my character arcs, I knew my setting, I sort of knew my timeline (I need to work on that), and I knew the big plot points. I still had plenty of surprises as I wrote, but having a map to follow made the entire process so much more fun.
  • Most of California doesn’t have fireflies. This saddens me, but made for a sweet scene in my book.
  • The US is the only country that refers to apple juice as cider. Anywhere else, if people are talking about cider, they mean hard cider, not the non-alcoholic stuff. And to be very clear, the titular cider in my book is definitely the hard stuff.
  • I write very lean drafts. I like to make sure my plot and core character arcs work, then I add in all the meaty descriptions and internal drama. I really hate to cut words or rewrite large chunks of text–so this is my work around. I also come from a tech writing background, so I like to write efficiently. In cider, I added 20,000 new words during revisions–that’s 25% of the book.
  • I can write a moderately decent first draft in about four months. This is good information to know when you’re on a tight deadline.
  • Prohibition changed the apple industry in the US. Before prohibition, orchards were comprised of eating and cider apples, but once prohibition took effect, the cider apple trees were replaced with more eating apple trees. Therefore, many American ciders are made with eating apples rather than the more complex cider varieties. This is changing–which will result in a wider range of ciders in the future.
  • Cider is closer to wine. IT IS NOT BEER! I feel quite strongly about this.
  • I couldn’t do this without my fantastic editor, Kate Dresser. Her feedback and guidance is always the right combination of constructive without ever making me feel like I’m a talentless hack. Without her, I would need to write many more drafts to achieve the same result.
  • There are no chain businesses in Door County north of Sturgeon Bay (the last big city as you enter the peninsula). This is one of my favorite things about Door County–every business is local!
  • No matter how much time you give me to revise, there will always be at least one all-nighter per book. There’s something about that late-night, early-morning adrenaline kick that leads to some amazing words.

Reichert Amy PortraitAmy E. Reichert, author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE, LUCK, LOVE & LEMON PIE, and THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER, loves to write stories that end well with characters you’d invite to dinner. A wife, mom, amateur chef, Fix-It Mistress, and cider enthusiast, she earned her MA in English Literature and serves on her local library’s board of directors.

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Orly Konig Picks Favorites

As parents, we’re not supposed to have favorites between our kids. Not that I have personal experience with this – I have one. He’s definitely my favorite! I do have two cats, though, and while I’ll adamantly swear that I love them equally, there probably is a slight bias (I have a weak spot for the bigger boy and his soft, over-groomed belly).

As authors, we have lots and lots of kids. Every book has a motley collection of main characters, secondary characters, and even those incidental characters you pass in a scene with little more than a second thought. They’re all there for a reason and they were all “birthed” with love. read more…

Are You an Author in Progress? Listen Up!

Whether you’re hoping to publish your first novel or a veteran author looking to enhance your career, we’re thrilled to announce a new resource for all on the Tall Poppy blog today! AUTHOR IN PROGRESS — a book full of tips, tricks and valuable insights — was created by and put together thanks to Writer’s Digest, Writer Unboxed, and a dedicated group of authors who share their own experiences. Here’s the book’s editor, Therese Walsh, with more on the project and the book (which includes some of our own Tall Poppy writers, too)…

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Aimie K. Runyan Revisits Old Friends with DUTY TO THE CROWN

It’s Tuesday, which here on the Tall Poppy Blog means it’s time to celebrate awesome books and their fantastic authors! This week we cheer loudly for Aimie K. Runyan’s fantastic follow up to PROMISED TO THE CROWN. Welcome, DUTY TO THE CROWN! Aimie stopped by to share her experience and reasons for revisiting her characters!

duty-cover-runyanConfession time: I never liked sequels. When I was a kid, so often my favorite movies and stories would get revisited and I ended up not only dissatisfied with the new installment, but also finding less enjoyment in the original for reasons I still can’t fully articulate. An aversion to selling out that tainted the original is my best guess. read more…

Meet suspense author Laura McNeill & SISTER DEAR!

We’re excited to welcome Laura McNeill to the Tall Poppy blog today! Author of two suspense novels, Laura’s latest–SISTER DEAR–hit shelves April 2016, and RT Book Reviews had this to say about it: “… it’s an original twist on the wrongly accused victim trying to exonerate herself, and will keep readers interested throughout.” We’ve read it and couldn’t agree more!

Here’s more about SISTER DEAR … read more…

Celebrate Holly Robinson’s FOLLY COVE

Holly’s novels are full of heart, humor and family, and her newest book, FOLLY COVE, is no different. She joins us today to discuss her favorite place, how she got into this business, and an embarrassing moment to make you laugh. 

folly_cove_cover_robinsonIn Folly Cove, her newest novel, Holly Robinson delivers an emotional story about the Bradford sisters—famous for their beauty, their singing voices, their legendary ancestors, and their elegant mother, Sarah, who has run the historic Folly Cove Inn alone ever since her husband disappeared. As the sisters reunite, painful wounds are reopened and family secrets are revealed, testing the seemingly unbreakable bonds of sisterhood. “Readers will be able to fly through the 400 pages of witty sarcasm, tearful revelations and sisterly bonding.” – RT Book Reviews read more…

Celebrate Anita Hughes’ first holiday novel, CHRISTMAS IN PARIS

Even though the holidays are still a few months away, we’re thrilled to be celebrating the talented Anita Hughes’ latest book, CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, out today! Like with all her books, readers can expect to be transported to an exotic (and in this case, very romantic) location, which is great news for armchair travellers. Here’s more about Anita’s latest novel, CHRISTMAS IN PARIS …

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Celebrate Cathy Lamb’s New Book: THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS

Cathy Lamb’s stories are full of family, laughter, and heart. Her latest, THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS, is no different. She stopped by to share a bit about her new book and a wonderful post about her childhood!

cover-lamb-sistersA very short summary of THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS: Three sisters. One brother. A secret that is chasing them down. read more…

Fall into Historical Fiction

With these five upcoming fall historical fiction titles, you’ll explore other eras, time periods and countries from Colonial Canada to World War II. Find a fire, one of these transportive reads, and a pumpkin spice latte, stat.

The Autumn Throne: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Elizabeth Chadwick (October 4, 2016; Sourcebooks)

throneThe Son She Loved. The Betrayal She Faced. The Legend She Became.

The stunning conclusion to the Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy

Imprisoned by her husband. Separated from her children. If King Henry II thought these things would push his queen into submission, he was wrong. Eleanor of Aquitaine refused to give into his tyranny. Freed by his death, she became dowager Queen of England. But the competition for land and power that Henry bred among his sons had grown into a dangerous rivalry that Eleanor must skillfully control. Eleanor would need every ounce of courage and fortitude as she crossed the Alps in winter to bring her son Richard his bride, ransom him from imprisonment and deal with his brother John’s treachery. Her indomitable spirit would be tested to its limits as she attempted to keep the peace between her warring sons, fend off enemies, and negotiate a magnificent future for a chosen granddaughter.

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