Dear Poppy Readers, we are so excited to welcome authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke to the blog today to celebrate their third book, THE YEAR WE TURNED FORTY. 

The Year We Turned 40 final coverThe Year We Turned Forty, out April 26th, is the story of three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty–the year that altered their lives in ways big and small–and also get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he’s getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.

Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.

Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she’s recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.

But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…

Sounds amazing, right? Liz and Lisa also took the Poppy Q & A. Here’s what they shared.

Talk about one book that made an impact on you

Liz: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I used to live inside my head far too much and this book helped me be more present. Changed my life, for sure!
Lisa: It was while I was reading Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by the incomparable Judy Blume that I first thought of becoming an author. And so began my love of writing stories and poems. Thank you, Judy!

What’s your secret or not-so-secret superpower?

Liz: I can make friends with anyone, anywhere, anytime. A blessing and a curse, depending on who you ask!

If you were a drink (preferably alcoholic), what would you be and why?

Liz: Vodka and club soda with a lemon wedge—refreshing and light, two things I aspire to be!
Lisa: I would be a smooth glass of Pinot Noir. It’s sophisticated, classy and really delicious—three traits that also make up a good person.

What time of day do you love best?

Liz: I love the early morning. Everything is quiet and beautiful and it feels like anything is possible.
Lisa: I love the evenings. After all the kids are in bed, the house is quiet, and I can curl up on the couch and binge watch my favorite TV shows. That time= total bliss.

Have you ever tried writing in a different genre? How did that turn out?

Liz & Lisa: Yes! We’ve just finished a manuscript that we’d file under the genre of suspense. We’re very excited about it. And wish we could tell you more, but it’s a mystery so we need to be mysterious. Stay tuned!

liz and lisa 2014 photo credit debbie friedrich-1Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been best friends for twenty-five years and survived high school and college together. Liz lives in San Diego with her husband and two children. Lisa, a former talk show producer, now lives in Chicago with her husband, daughter, and two bonus children.