All posts tagged: writing

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’ …

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 …

Helen Cooper talks about fragmented conversations, hidden histories in families, peering in windows, &other dark truths in her debut, THE DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBOR–plus miniatures and driving!

By Leslie Lindsay How well do you really know your neighbors? How well do you know yourself? These are the overarching questions explored in this fiction debut by Helen Cooper. WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Helen Cooper & Leslie Lindsay in conversation From the U.K., Helen Cooper’s background in teaching with an emphasis on Academic Writing. Her creative writing has been published in Mslexia and Writers’ Forum; she was shortlisted in the Bath Short Story Prize in 2014, and came third in the Leicester Writes Short Story Prize 2018. The Downstairs Neighbor is her first novel. For more information, to connect with Helen Cooper, or to purchase a copy of THE DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBOR, please visit: Website Facebook Twitter Instagram ORDER LINKS: Support your local in-person bookstore or order through Bookshop.org This title may also be available through other online sellers.  YOU MIGHT LIKE: THE DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBOR reminded me a bit of Claire Mackintosh’s work meets Louise Candlish’s THOSE PEOPLE and OUR HOUSE. If you loved this interview, please consider sharing it on social media. Reviewing books and talking about them with …

Why I’m on the fence about the critically-acclaimed INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE, plus a writing prompt

By Leslie Lindsay A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget. ~ALWAYS WITH A BOOK | Leslie Lindsay~ Spotlight: Historical Fiction I  might be an outlier on this one. It seems everyone either loves ADDIE LARUE, or they could do without. I’m in the ‘without’ category, and I don’t say that to be lightly. Really, I wanted to love this story, it just didn’t strike like I hoped.  Quick Take: France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. New York City, 2014: But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. Quick Thoughts: I was all-in with …

Warmth, Passion and Coffee…how Zibby Owens does it all, plus her Quarantine Anthology, essays by contemporary writers in MOMS DON’T HAVE TIME

By Leslie Lindsay  A force to be reckoned–Zibby Owens chronicles the myriad emotions, experiences, more in this historically and personally challenging year; an anthology of essays written by authors from her podcast. “The patron saint of books.”“The Great Connector.” ~Writers Interviewing Writers|Always with a Book~ WeekEND Reading A little burst of joy to your bookshelf during a rather bleak and troubling time. MOMS DON’T HAVE TIME TO: A Quarantine Anthology (Skyhorse Press, February 2021) will spark interest, validate this challenging year, and more. It’s filled with anecdotes on the reading life, food, family, mental health, exercise, mindfulness, sex/intimacy, more.Here, we delve into over 60 short essays from contemporary writers exploring all of these aspects of life–but during quarantine, which makes MOMS DON’T HAVE TIME TO even more timely and topical. I don’t know about you–but as a mom myself, I found that I actually had *less* time once we were shut down at home. It sounds counterintuitive, but true. “The perfect reminder for every mom that nn of us have it all together, all of us are doing our best and, …

2020 FICTION FAVORITES As CURATED BY YOUR HOST, LESLIE LINDSAY

By Leslie Lindsay  My top fiction reads for 2020. Agree or disagree. Give them. Gift them. Keep one for yourself. Photo by Claire Morgan on Pexels.com ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ 2020 FICTION ROUND-UP 2020 has been an unprecedented year. A pandemic. A very charged election year. Equality and violence. Natural disaster. Personal ones, too. I am beyond grateful to be by your side every week, sharing these fabulous books with you. Because I think reading is healing. It helps us cross bridges and become more sympathetic. We can live another person’s life or experiences for a short period of time. That, in turn, makes us more multidimensional, more relatable. Reading is not just about words on a page. It’s not just about the story we ingest at that moment, but the residue, the residual it leaves in its wake. A year ago, I had no idea COVID-19 would upend our lives as we knew it. I had no idea bookstores would close. I had no sense that debut authors and bestseller authors would …

APraxia Monday: Leslie LINDSAY & Daughter Kate in conversation about SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ guide to childhood apraxia of speech 1/2

By Leslie Lindsay  Author’s 15-year old daughter interviews her mom on SPEAKING OF APRAXIA.  ~APRAXIA MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ A Mother-Daughter Conversation about CAS Part 1 of 2 Now available in an updated, second edition, SPEAKING OF APRAXIA: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech (Woodbine House, December 2020), is an award-winning resource on Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). Eight years ago, when Leslie Lindsay, former Child & Adolescent Psychiatric R.N., and mother to a daughter with CAS—now resolved—couldn’t find any parent-friendly books to help her child and family with CAS, she wrote one. This updated, well-researched, and comprehensive work provides readers the benefit of her experience and perspective. It covers: introduction to speech, language & listening explanation of CAS what to do when you suspect your child has CAS getting a speech evaluation meeting with a speech-language pathologist getting the CAS diagnosis possible causes diagnoses related to CAS speech therapy best suited for CAS complementary & alternative approaches activities & materials to support therapy at home creating a language-rich environment for speech coping with …

The lovely & Talented Sonja LIVINGSTON talks about her astonishing memoir of growing up in poverty with a single mother and bevy of siblings in GHOSTBREAD

By Leslie Lindsay  A truly magical, glowing memoir of a life of poverty, told in the most lyrical, haunting prose that will stay with you long after you close the last page. ~MEMOIR MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ AWP BOOK PRIZE FOR NONFICTION ADAPTED FOR CLASSROOM USE IN THE U.S.  A truly magical, glowing memoir of a life of poverty, told in the most lyrical, haunting prose that will stay with you long after you close the last page. I always have such a hard time reviewing books I absolutely loved. When I finished GHOSTBREAD by Sonja Livingston (U of Georgia Press, 2009), my husband asked, “How many stars?” And I said, “Five.” He nodded, slightly unimpressed. And then I followed up with, “Five GLOWING stars.” He was astonished. “REALLY?!” Yes, really. And I am not in the habit of handing out five-stars unless I really mean it. GHOSTBREAD is about living in the raw corners of Western New York. It’s about a single mother raising seven kids with five different fathers.Here, we are introduced to Sonja and …

A blazingly bold and brave memoir about losing one’s mind, then reclaiming oneself, steeped in Korean culture, tradition, more Catherine Cho’s INFERNO is about her battle with postpartum psychosis

By Leslie Lindsay  Terrifying, brutally honest memoir about a mother’s experience with postpartum psychosis, her time in a mental institution, and her recovery. ~MEMOIR MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ A BUZZFEED SUMMER 2020 SELECTION Catherine Cho’s INFERNO: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness (Henry Holt, August 4, 2020) has been on my radar since I heard (about a year ago) that this book was in the works. It’s a riveting account of one woman’s experience with postpartum psychosis, before and after her hospitalization, and infused with Korean culture. Catherine and her husband, James, set off from London to visit their family in a whirlwind visit of the U.S., starting in California and working their way across the country to the east coast. They have their 2-month old infant, Cato, with them. The plan is to visit with each family member, proudly showing off their new baby, culminating with Cato’s 100-day celebration, a milestone in Korean culture. Before the trip’s end, Catherine becomes unhinged…she’s paranoid, tired, worried about the baby, her in-laws seem overbearing. She feels she is being watched. She loses …

Kendra Atleework talks about personal loss & shared loss, homesickness, what it means to leave a place & return, loving her high desert home, and so much more in her memoir MIRACLE COUNTRY

By Leslie Lindsay  A rare and powerful memoir combing aspects of travel, history, environmental writing with autobiography and told in luminous prose. ~MEMOIR MONDAY| ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ On the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevadas, a tiny town known as Swall Meadows resides. A bit farther south, a larger (but still small) town of Bishop lies cradled in the hands of Owens Valley California. This is the primary setting of MIRACLE COUNTRY (Algonquin Books, July 14) by debut author Kendra Atleework. I was initially drawn to MIRACLE COUNTRY because I have a ‘thing’ with land and geography, how it shapes one’s worldview, art, and essence.Having recently visited a high desert myself, I was intrigued and enthralled with this grittier, rustic side of life–from raging wildfires to blizzards and gale-force winds, this area witnesses it all. MIRACLE COUNTRY blends autobiography with environmental writing along with history. Here, we learn about the origins of L.A. (Owens Valley being just a few hours away), and how the Los Angeles Aqueduct was developed to usher water to the sprawling metropolis, rich with …