Tuesday Mashup

mashup

The Tuesday Mashup is here- and whoo- does it have some stuff! Crafty, bloggy and giveaways!

Tally-ho and onward to Tuesday Mashup!

 

Giveaways:

1. Always With A Book is giving away BIG GIRL PANTIES by Stephanie Evanovich (ends TODAY! So get over there quickly!)

2. Books in the Burbs is giving away THE COMFORT OF LIES by Randy Susan Meyers (ends Feb 14th)

3. Utah Mom’s Life is giving away GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN by Marci Jefferson (ends Feb 7th).

4. Femmes Fatales is giving away a copy of MURDER WITH GANACHE by Lucy Burdette as well!

5. And, lastly, H2O Bungalow (and some of her bloggy folks) are giving away a $500 Visa Gift Card! What could you buy with $500? Man, I’m getting all dreamy-eyed thinking about what I would use it for! Go visit the link, and feel the “Week of Love” they are sharing with you! Good luck! (ends Feb 8th- so HURRY!)  Continue reading

Randy Susan Meyers Answers: The Comfort of Lies questions

comfort of lies

Ya’ll know for the last month we, Book Lovers Unite group, have been chatting away about Randy Susan Meyer’s latest, THE COMFORT OF LIES?

A book that has characters than can be unlikable at times- a situation that connects everyone, and issues of trust, fidelity, love and what makes a mother a mother- this book was fast flowing for me. I turned the pages and was quickly sucked into the world Randy Susan Meyers created. It’s good- but it’s not all bunnies, rainbows and sparkles. It’s real- which makes it’s GOOD.

Randy Susan Meyers and I have been chatting about this book since I told her that it would be August Book Lovers Unite selection. She kindly agreed to answer a few of the questions we would have. If you need to catch up on week 1, week 2 and week 3 questions about reading- please do! Even though August is almost over- I’d still love for you to chime in as you read this book!

 

Randy Susan Meyers Answers:

Why did Nathan reveal his affair to Juliette? Because he was feeling guilty or something else?

Nathan stumbled home spinning on the news of Tia’s pregnancy. Spilling his affair to Juliette was, in fact, a selfish act: he was seeking absolution and safety. Never—not for a moment—had Nathan considered or envisioned being with Tia in ‘real life.’ His affair was a selfish and thoughtless act of self-gratification, but it was never meant as an escape from Juliette. Tia’s news threatened him into running to his safest place, which was Juliette and his family.

In addition, he was terrified that Tia might confront Juliette—so he pre-empts this possibility.

 

Tia and Juliette- the only thing they have in common is that they both love and have been loved by Nathan.  Is either a better fit for the “real” Nathan? Or do both ladies complement different parts of his personality?

There is no doubt (to me) that Juliette is a far better fit for Nathan. To Tia, Nathan wasn’t a real person—he was a construct of her dreams of having a protector, a father-figure, and a more sophisticated man that the boys with whom she grew up. Neither of them was real to each other. Tia is Nathan’s ‘whore’ to Juliette’s Madonna, playing their roles in his Madonna-whore moment, a truth that Tia faces at the end of the book.

 

After finding out about the affair, should Juliette have taken some time to figure out her feelings, maybe even took a break from Nathan before they started working on their marriage?

Of course! But, as in most fiction (mimicking life) the characters take the worst (and thus, hopefully most compelling for reading) course. This sets up the fun of fiction (whether in books, TV, or movies) where the reader/watcher is tearing out her hair as the character takes wrong turn after wrong turn.

It’s been written (from studies) that reading novels of dysfunction is actually a good thing for people:

“Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.” http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/01/17/why-read-fiction/

 

I believe exploring the wounded and awful inside us is of great value—both for the ‘aha’ and the ways in which it allows us to explore ‘what would I do?’—as referenced in the article hyperlinked above.

 

Some worry about having ‘unlikeable characters’ in their books (and I’ve had some readers tell me they didn’t ‘like’ some or all of the women in my book,) but for me—both as a voracious reader and as a writer, exploring the dark sides of life that help me understand how to stay in the light.

 

Is Nathan truly sorry for his affair?

The question might be this: is he sorry he had it, or is he sorry that he got caught? I think in the end Nathan is truly sorry for the pain he caused Juliette and his sons. But, regret cannot erase pain. On reflection, I think he regrets having the affair, having told Juliette, and having been caught in the lies around his daughter.

 

Did Juliette truly forgive Nathan- or has she been deceiving herself all these years?

I believe there is forgiveness, and then there is forgetting. They are not the same.

We can forgive folks for acts, which engendered pain and hurt, but we can never forget them. These acts leave a scar. One might have a blanket–a lovely warm blanket–that tore. After sewing up the blanket it will still keep us warm, and perhaps we can arrange it on the bed so that it still looks pretty, but that ridge, that scar will always be there. We can live with it. But it’s never exactly the same. (Think of all the movies, jokes, television shows, etc, that when watched or heard together, will always cause a moment of discomfort for Nathan and Juliette.)

When Juliette read and kept the note from Tia to Nathan- did she cross the line from being a “victim” to sharing part of the blame in this situation?

What an interesting question! I think in this instance Juliette does became a part of the ongoing drama and holds responsibility for the cascade of events (especially towards Caroline!) but I don’t see her as crossing the line from victim to victimizer, per se (though I can see an argument being made for this vis a vis Caroline.)

Wow, this is what I love about book clubs–they bring new visions to the material.

It is certain that Juliette moves from being a quiet blameless victim, to having agency about her own future and to those around her. Before this (without her knowledge) a world connected to her family, and thus to her, grew around her. Now she is part of the mix.

I’ve written an epilogue, which I am putting out when the paperback releases, that will be sent to all book club members who’ve chosen The Comfort of Lies. This ‘bonus’ chapter will reveal the future, 8 years hence, and show further evidence of how Juliette’s actions had dramatic effect and change on all those involved.

 

 

 

Literary Friday ya’ll……

Happy Labor Day weekend!

 

1.  Deep South Magazine #literaryfriday is filled with mentions of Donna Tart, literary Iphone cases, and news about Southern Festival of Books. Plus many other things!

 

2. Next week on Traveling With T, I have a pretty awesome giveaway: book and nail polish 🙂 What more could a girl want?! Check back on Monday for more details!

 

3. THE PERFUME COLLECTOR discussion is still going on strong at She Reads. Come. Discuss. Talk to me about the book.

 

4. In more She Reads news: I’m soaking up and announcing my 15 minutes of fame to EVERYONE! Guess who is one of the people featured in The Blog Network Recommends? Come on guess! Oh you’ll never guess, so I’ll tell you: It’s ME! I recommended Erika Marks THE GUEST HOUSE (which if you remember I raved about it here first!) Pssst…. Even more good news: Get over to She Reads and comment for a chance to win ALL 3 BOOKS! Naturally, you’ll want to read the 1 I recommended first, right? 😉

 

5. My #fridayreads While We Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax, The Sassy Belles by Beth Albright, Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand and I’m considering adding another book to the rotation- suggestions? What are your #fridayreads?

 

6. Today is August 30th which means that #ctbs is almost over. For the unfamiliar, #ctbs is Conquering The Book Stacks. So far, August was not kind in my mission- but I’m hoping to knock another book out before August ends. However, I stood tall and strong and did not buy any books this August. I looked temptation in the eye and walked away. My bookshelves thank me.

 

7. Book Lovers Unite- Jen @ Booka-licious Mama has announced the September read in Ashtor Place Vintage. Before I hand the reigns over to her, though, I have 1 more surprise cooked up from our August Book Club Selection, The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers. Check the blog later today for the surprise! In related news, I’m hard at work for the October pick- and trying to decide if October should be spooky or not in our selection!

 

Happy Reading!

The Comfort of Lies- Week 3 Questions

comfort of lies

This is the last week of questions for The Comfort of Lies. Next week, we’ll be back to talk about overall thoughts and more!

 

I finished The Comfort of Lies this morning- and I was really satisfied with the book. Well-written, enjoyable.

 

Week 3 Questions:

 

Why couldn’t Juliette’s mom accept that Juliette might want to leave Nathan?

 

Bobby- was he acting in the best interest of Tia? Or was he so blinded by his needs that he couldn’t see the big picture?

 

Could you change your lifestyle like Caroline and her husband did after living the life they were accustomed to? Did they make the best possible choice for Savannah?

 

Juliette- should Caroline have told her off?

 

What are your thoughts on Juliette and Nathan?

 

Does Tia deserve a happy ending?

 

What did you think about the book’s ending?

 

 

Literary Friday ya’ll…..

It’s Friday- I don’t know about where ya’ll are- but we’ve been having some nice days. Good breezes. Not as high humidity (my hair says a big THANK YOU!)

 

1. This week, I’ll be posting about 2 weeks of #literaryfriday from Deep South Mag! August 16th’s #literaryfriday is all about some Best Debuts of 2000- I see some #southernlit writers that made that list!  Also talk of the AJC Decatur Book Festival, literary colleges and more!

Last week’s #literaryfriday: Joshilyn Jackson & Pinterest, Interview with Ashton Lee (interviewed by yours truly 😉 and Lucy Burdette news (among other things!)

 

2. Book Lovers Unite online book club is reading The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers- week 2 questions have been posted! Book-alicious Mama is announcing September Book Lovers Unite pick today- and she has a good one!

 

3. Rita Leganski took some time off from her busy schedule and stopped by Traveling With T to talk about The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow this week!

 

4. Bloggers Made Of AWESOME feature had a new AWESOME blogger: Jen H @ The Relentless Reader. Read on for her #literarycrush! I won’t reveal- but on Twitter she said “does he have manly muscles? I don’t know and I don’t care! I love him for his MIND!”

 

5. Two new reviews posted this week on Traveling With T: Speak of the Devil by Allison Leotta and The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop and Café by Mary Simses!

 

6. Traveling With T has 2 (count them, 2!) giveaways this week! Both end Monday night, the 19th, at 11:59pmEST- Brenda Janowitz is giving away her first 2 books: Scot on the Rocks and Jack With a Twist  AND Courtney Miller Santo is giving away The Roots of the Olive Tree!

 

7. Don’t forget: Twitter chat with Kathleen Tessaro about The Perfume Collector– Monday, 8/19 8pmEST! Use #srbkchat to join in! Here is the Twubs room for #srbkchat

 

8. What is your #fridayreads? Mine are: Hotshot by Julie Garwood, Whistlin’ Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall, The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster, The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro and The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers!

 

9. Psst….. Check out Traveling With T next week- another giveaway is coming up!

 

Happy Reading!

The Comfort of Lies- Week 2 Questions

comfort of lies

It’s week 2 questions for Book Lovers Unite online book club!

STILL plenty of time to join if you haven’t read The Comfort of Lies!

 

Week 2 Questions:

1. Should Juliette have told Nathan’s mother about the affair?

2. Tia and Juliette- completely opposite women in every regard except this: They love (and have been loved by Nathan). Juliette is classy, a role model, a business woman. Tia is younger, still looking for a way to make it in the world, and comes from a less privileged background. What drew Nathan to these women?

3. When Juliette talks about “never being able to let go of her child” should she be so quick to judge Tia? A mother’s love is strong- but can we make a point that Tia acted like a true mother in this case by putting her child’s needs ahead of her own? Or did Tia choose to find an adoptive family for selfish reasons?

4. There’s a power struggle between Juliette and Nathan. By all rights, in my opinion, Juliette should have the upper hand. He had the affair, he kept the knowledge about the child a secret. And yet, Nathan has turned this around- kept putting off the big convo that him & Juliette needed to have. Thoughts?

5. Tia going to Juliette’s work place- bold move? Underhanded?

6. How would you react if you were Caroline and Juliette had told you all about the events that lead to Savannah?

7. “Maybe that’s our problem. We haven’t yet figured out how to truly hate you, so we turn it on each other”- Tia.  How does that statement fit in with the whole Tia/Nathan/Juliette dynamic?

8. Tia is adamant that Juliette never have any contact with Savannah. Is this fair? Is this realistic?

I hope you are enjoying week 2 of the reading!

Ask Randy Susan Meyers!

comfort of lies

Book Lovers Unite is reading The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers for August! Join in on the fun!

 

Post questions for the author here and RSM is going to answer them! *Please have questions posted by August 19th at 5:00pmEST- as I must email the questions to the author who is being generous with her time!

Look for the answers later in the month- in a post titled Randy Susan Meyers Answers!