Today, Ariel is back- revealing her #literarycrush and the character she would most like to be. Plus tons of other things 🙂
Read on for Ariel’s Author Spotlight and be sure and grab yourself a copy of THE WIFE, THE MAID and THE MISTRESS (or win your book club copies here!) And if you loved the Author Spotlight- be on the Twitter 2/27/14 for a chance to talk to THE Ariel (and I’ll have books to give away that night!) Just use the hashtag #srbkchat!
Author Spotlight: Ariel Lawhon
What are some of your favorite books, Ariel?
A few novels that have rocked my world in recent years are The Time Traveler’s Wife (I wept my way through the last fifty pages), The Book Thief (never have I seen a more beautifully written man than Hans Hubermann) Water For Elephants (the best ending of any book in the history of ever), The Thirteenth Tale (a case study in character development and withholding information), Peace Like A River (every sentence was perfect and beautiful and captivating), the Outlander series (she takes a pound of flesh with every novel and I love her for it), Game of Thrones (holy intrigue, Batman!), The Help (of course, but still, VOICE!)
I will read anything by Diana Gabaldon, Liane Moriarty, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Tolkein (my favorite piece of his is actually a short story called Leaf By Niggle), Dick Francis (I grew up reading his horse racing mysteries and they are still my comfort food).
If you could choose to be a character in a book- who would you choose?
Maybe Aibilene from THE HELP (so courageous and dignified!)? Or Swede from PEACE LIKE A RIVER (if only for the ability to write campy cowboy poetry)? Arya Stark from GAME OF THRONES (I’ve always had a thing for swords). Hermione Granger from HARRY POTTER (gotta love a girl with brains). Vida Winter from THE THIRTEENTH TALE (so sharp and cunning she gives you chills). There are so many. But if I ever got the chance I’d want to be brave and strong and change the world. I’d want to be a character that gives you hope in human race.
If you were not an author, what would you like to be?
A chef probably. I love to cook. It’s very therapeutic for me. And it’s one of the few things I’m truly good at it. There is something about being in the kitchen, taking random things and putting them together to make a new thing, that fascinates me. Maybe booking and writing aren’t so different in that regard.
Do you have any #literaryconfessions?
I am afraid to say this, but I hated COLD MOUNTAIN the first time I read it. I’d just given birth to my first child and the book felt so dark and hard and cruel and my post-partum self just couldn’t handle it. I felt nothing but despair by the end. Looking back I don’t know how I finished it. Yet I always think of this when the subjective nature of reading comes up because I have since revisited this story and now I see how truly brilliant it was. I just wasn’t in a good place to read it the first time. It’s a nice reminder that life circumstances play a huge part in whether or not we enjoy a book.
Do you have a #literarycrush?
Although I’m tempted to say Jamie Fraser from the OUTLANDER series, in truth my #literarycrush would have to be Hans Hubermann from THE BOOK THIEF. If ever an imaginary person had a soul it would be Hans. I so badly want him to be real. He is truly the most beautifully written man I’ve ever read. The way he gently, sacrificially cared for Liesel still chokes me up (and it’s been years since I read the book!). He took that broken, frightened child and taught her how to love and trust and believe. I would hug the man if I could, just to thank him for the privilege of witnessing that.
What is your favorite song?
At the moment I’d have to say GONE, GONE, GONE by Phillip Phillips. But ask me again in a month and I’ll probably have a different answer.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I can’t say that I feel guilty about it (because I don’t) but I drink massive amounts of coffee on any given day. I take it with lots of cream and sugar. A good cup of coffee during a still, quiet moment is such a joyful thing for me.
Ariel- are you a hardback, paperback, or e-book kind of reader?
I’m not a huge e-book fan despite the fact that I have an iPad filled with them. Swiping a screen will never be the same as turning a page for me. Give me paper any day. Preferably with a deckled edge.
What are some of the books in your TBR (To Be Read) list?
All of them. ALL of the books are in my TBR pile. 🙂
A tantalizing reimagining of a scandalous mystery that rocked the nation in 1930-Justice Joseph Crater’s infamous disappearance-as seen through the eyes of the three women who knew him best.
They say behind every great man, there’s a woman. In this case, there are three. Stella Crater, the judge’s wife, is the picture of propriety draped in long pearls and the latest Chanel. Ritzi, a leggy showgirl with Broadway aspirations, thinks moonlighting in the judge’s bed is the quickest way off the chorus line. Maria Simon, the dutiful maid, has the judge to thank for her husband’s recent promotion to detective in the NYPD. Meanwhile, Crater is equally indebted to Tammany Hall leaders and the city’s most notorious gangster, Owney “The Killer” Madden.
On a sultry summer night, as rumors circulate about the judge’s involvement in wide-scale political corruption, the Honorable Joseph Crater steps into a cab and disappears without a trace. Or does he?
After 39 years of necessary duplicity, Stella Crater is finally ready to reveal what she knows. Sliding into a plush leather banquette at Club Abbey, the site of many absinthe-soaked affairs and the judge’s favorite watering hole back in the day, Stella orders two whiskeys on the rocks-one for her and one in honor of her missing husband. Stirring the ice cubes in the lowball glass, Stella begins to tell a tale-of greed, lust, and deceit. As the novel unfolds and the women slyly break out of their prescribed roles, it becomes clear that each knows more than she has initially let on.
With a layered intensity and prose as effervescent as the bubbly that flows every night, The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress is a wickedly entertaining historical mystery that will transport readers to a bygone era with tipsy spins through subterranean jazz clubs and backstage dressing rooms. But beneath the Art Deco skyline and amid the intoxicating smell of smoke and whiskey, the question of why Judge Crater disappeared lingers seductively until a twist in the very last pages.
*Thanks to Ariel for taking the time to answer these questions!
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T