Author: Always with a Book

Joyce Maynard talks about estrangement, love and loss, how COUNT THE WAYS is personal, but not a ‘thinly veiled memoir,’ and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Joyce Maynard in conversation Joyce Maynard is the author of eighteen books, including the New York Times bestselling novel, Labor Day and To Die For (both adapted for film), Under the Influence and the memoirs, At Home in the World and The Best of Us. ABOUT COUNT THE WAYS: After falling in love in the last years of the 1970s, Eleanor and Cam set out to follow their dream to raise three children on a New Hampshire farm, a parcel of land she has purchased with her hard-earned children’s book royalties. Their life is pretty idyllic, if only Cam would step-up and be a bit more of a provider–overall, there’s love and heart and good things happening in this quiet, secluded life of art and merrymaking. But there’s a tragic accident that brings a chasm between Cam and Eleanor, changing the family forever. There’s grief and blame, resentment, and more, but they will manage. But they don’t. Cam has an affair with the babysitter, the marriage …

Chevy Stevens is back and talking about the challenge of getting DARK ROADS ‘off the ground,’ being out in nature, the magical healing of dogs, her obsession with the mid-century modern vibe, more

By Leslie Lindsay A brilliant and unique tale about mysterious disappearances along the Cold Creek Highway, one dark road where you never see the twists coming. WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Chevy Stevens & Leslie Lindsay in conversation Chevy’s books, including Still Missing, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel, have been published in more than thirty countries. Is it bad luck or the work of one or several serial killers? That’s the overarching question Chevy Stevens’ new book, DARK ROADS (St. Martin’s Press, August 3) seeks to find.  Some roads deceive you | Some roads betray you | Some roads destroy you COMING AUGUST 3, 2021 ABOUT DARK ROADS: For decades people have been warned about the mysterious disappearances along the Cold Creek Highway. Hailey McBride decides to run to escape her unbearable circumstances, thinking her outdoor survival skills will save her. And then there are other girls, too. Amber and Beth, sisters, and one has been murdered on the infamous highway. Readers are thrust into a …

B.A. Paris talks about her new domestic suspense, THE THERAPIST, about a London community, how her formative years in the U.K. has shaped her storytelling, hitting a wall, self-doubt, how ideas come best in that liminal state between wake and sleep, more

By Leslie Lindsay  An unsettling tale of a London couple who move into a gated community rife with dark secrets—a murder and more. WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK B.A. Paris & Leslie Lindsay in conversation With an absolutely gripping central mystery, U.K. author by way of France, B.A. Paris delivers a hit readers will surely devour as quickly as Behind Closed Doors, and joins a cadre of authors who’ve produced unforgettable books, like An Anonymous Girl, The Silent Patient, and You Should Have Known, about tortured and mysterious therapists. B.A. Paris burst on the scene in 2016 with her break-out bestseller, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, which had me racing through the pages. She’s back now with THE THERAPIST, (St. Martin’s Press, July 13), about a close-knit suburban community where everyone is a little on-edge, and with good reason: there’s been a murder and everyone is still reeling, and grieving, and more. Plus, there are newcomers, a therapist, a private investigator, and so much more. Alice feels compelled to get to the bottom of this …

Catherine Raven asks: why do we separate ourselves so much from one another? Moving from graph paper to words, she provides reason & intuition to readers in her debut nature memoir, FOX AND I, plus advice and letting go of bitterness

By Leslie Lindsay Wise, thoughtful, and intimate portrayal of a solitary woman’s relationship with nature, particularly a male fox who sort of befriends her, a lush literary and ecological study. WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Catherine Raven in Conversation A naturalist, writer, and professor, Catherine Raven lives ‘off-the-grid’ in Montana. FOX AND I is her debut nature-memoir. About FOX AND I: An Uncommon Friendship: Can humans and wild animals become friends? That’s the overarching question in this debut memoir, FOX AND I by Catherine Raven (Spiegel & Grau, July 7 2021) in which a woman biologist–living remotely–becomes acquainted with a fox. Each day, at approximately the same time, outside her cozy cottage in the woods, a fox would appear. She was intrigued and then began reading to him from THE LITTLE PRINCE, and he’d return. There’s more here, too, mostly about Raven’s life as a park ranger, teaching and leading field classes in Yellowstone National Park, and more. It’s about isolation and nature, how the two meld to bring self-awareness. As for the …

Wise and emotionally intelligent debut about the sixth-sense between sisters, cycles of violence, mothers & daughters, dissonance about ‘going back’ to childhood, more Hanna Halperin chats about SOMETHING WILD

By Leslie Lindsay A troubling and searing debut from a talented writer about the traumas and darkness of a family, sisterhood, and cycles of violence–in all forms. WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Hanna Halperin in Conversation A graduate of the MFA program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Hanna Halperin‘s stories have been published in the Kenyon Review, n+1, New Ohio Review, Joyland, and others. She has taught fiction workshops at Grub Street in Boston and worked as a domestic violence counselor. About SOMETHING WILD: SOMETHING WILD (Viking, 6/22/21) by Hanna Halperin in one of those family dramas you can’t help but want to look, but dear God, don’t show the whole thing. SOMETHING WILD is visceral and challenging in scope and theme, covering such topics of domestic violence, secrets, jealousy, anger, repulsion, horrifying truths, slippery and elusive adolescent desires, and more. It’s a bit coming-of-age with a present-day story. Told in alternating POVs, adult sisters, Nessa and Tanya leave their respective lives and travel to the Boston suburbs where they are to help their mother, Lorraine, pack up and move …

Laura McHugh is back sharing her sublime & atmospheric new novel, WHAT HAPPENS IN DARKNESS, set in the Missouri Ozarks, traumatic experiences with spiders, sleeping in her car, the claustrophobia of rural towns, and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay Abducted as a teenager, a woman must confront her dark and tangled past as another case closely linked to hers comes to the surface. WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Laura McHugh & Leslie Lindsay in conversation Laura McHugh’s novels are often inspired by true crimes, but at the heart of each story, she writes about families: their secrets, their tragedies, and the powerful, complicated bonds of blood. All of her work is set in the Midwest and the Ozarks, where she was raised. Plus, she’s won–and has been nominated–for numerous awards, including International Thriller Writers Award and the Silver Falchion Award for Best First Novel and the Missouri Author Award for Fiction, among others. Laura McHugh’s rural thrillers are always a summertime treat. They are so evocative and atmospheric, drawing such breadth and emotion from the landscape; you can nearly feel the thick humidity and hear the chirp of the cicadas. There’s a murkiness here, too, a gauzy underworld of darker things brewing. ⭑ One of 2021’s Best Beach Reads—OPRAH DAILY ⭑ An Amazon Editors’ …

THE GRUMPY FRUMPY CROISSANT helps with kids anger management, plus a baking activity, how it might help with apraxia, more

By Leslie Lindsay  A sip of milk and ten deep breaths: anger management for kids to help calm angry minds and soften misunderstandings. ~Apraxia Monday|Always with a Book~ Spotlight: Children‘s Literature & Emotions Croissant isn’t happy and he’s taking it out on the rest of the breakfast plate! Toast, Scone, and Milk think he’s being mean, but Croissant feels they’re being mean to him! So take a sip of milk, ten deep breaths, and everyone and calm down and be more open.  THE GRUMPY FRUMPY CROISSANT by Mona K. and illustrated by Korey Scott, is a delightful and quirky children’s book with bold, colorful, hand-drawn illustrations easy for any child to grasp. Here, kids learn that simple communication is often the best way to solve problems.  The book even contains a delicious recipe that parents and caregivers can make with their kids, plus full-page coloring activities featuring characters from the book.  Why it might be helpful for kids with apraxia:  It’s frustrating for kids to have ideas they want to communicate, but can’t. They may …

Laura Lippman chats about her hallucinatory new novel, DREAM GIRL, about fear & isolation, how books formed her, backstory and creativity

By Leslie Lindsay Such a masterful, slow burn of a literary thriller. Highly unique, deliciously dark and complex. WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Laura Lippman & Leslie Lindsay A distinctive voice in crime fiction, Laura Lippman has been named one of the “essential” crime writers of the last 100 years. She’s a New York Times bestseller and has won more than 20 prizes for her work and been shortlisted for 30 more. ABOUT DREAM GIRL: Gerry Anderson is a big-time author, his book, DREAM GIRL catapulted him onto the bestseller lists and he hasn’t come down since…his sense of self is up there, too. But now, he’s been injured in a freak accident, laid up in his Baltimore penthouse, which, in essence, is pretty ironic and hilarious. Gerry doesn’t exactly want to be in Baltimore, he says he’s happiest in NYC, where he had been living. He has relocated to care for his ailing mother, who had issues with delusional dementia. Here is where this synopsis and review gets a bit tricky: are we …

Mckenzie Cassidy talks about his debut coming-of-age, Here Lies a Father, a fabulous 1970s playlist featuring songs about dads, the hero’s journey, upstate NY as a character, the catharsis of writing about family secrets, more

By Leslie Lindsay A coming-of-age tale featuring a young man dealing with the death of his father, the secrets he attempted to hide, truth, reconstruction, and more WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Mckenzie Cassidy in Conversation Writer, professor, Floridian, and Dad, Mckenzie Cassidy delves into dark secrets and a sorted past to discover who–and what–shapes us in his debut coming-of-age, loosely based on a true story. About HERE LIES A FATHER: This an astute and poignant debut from McKenzie Cassidy (Akashic Books, Jan 2021), about fathers and sons, uncles and nephews, and the universal odyssey of family secrets, lies, and revelations. Ian Daly is fifteen when his wayward father dies; they are a bit estranged, he and his mother having recently returned to New York state after a stint in Florida. The parents are separated and leaning toward divorce. Ian has an older sister, Catherine, who is at college. HERE LIES A FATHER opens at the man’s funeral and backtracks through the somber, dysfunctional realms of his life, peeling back layers while juxtaposing …

Toe-tappin’ Hip-Hoppin’ Llama Glamarama is all about marching to the beat of your own drummer, celebrating differences, feeling left-out, PRIDE and more

By Leslie Lindsay  A bright and colorful rhyming story with a powerful message about celebrating differences, LLAMA GLAMARAMA is the perfect Pride picture book for everyone. ~Books on MondaY|Always with a Book~ Spotlight: Children‘s Literature Meet a dazzlin’ dancin’ llama who learns to march to the beat of his own drum by strutting his stuff with Pride (and a funky feather boa)! Larry the llama loves to move and groove! But will his friends all disapprove? Larry lives a slow and quiet life at the barn with all the other llamas, just the way they like it. But at night when everyone has gone to bed, Larry loves to dress up in bright costumes and DANCE! He has to hide this from the others, for fear that they won’t approve of his raucous ways. One day, he stumbles upon the Llama Glamarama, a carnival full of music, laughter, and yes – dancing! Will this vibrant celebration give Larry the pride he needs to bring his dance back home? Kirkus calls LLAMA GLAMARAMA (Scholastic/Orchard Books, June 1, 2021) …