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Leslie Cohen is the author of two novels: THIS LOVE STORY WILL SELF-DESTRUCT and MY RIDE OR DIE. The latter, which released in April, revolves around two friends who decide to give up their search for a perfect man and devote their lives to each other --- but their careful plan soon begins to unravel with unexpected consequences. The book’s theme inspired Leslie to write a perceptive essay on female friendship during the pandemic. Her reflections of the past year and a half will especially resonate with mothers who suddenly found themselves spending a lot more time with their young children and relying on the love and support of their friends and family to help get them through each day.
We wrap up this year’s Mother’s Day Author Blog series with Elin Hilderbrand, whose latest novel, GOLDEN GIRL, releases on June 1st. It revolves around a Nantucket novelist who has one final summer to protect her secrets, while her loved ones on earth learn to live without their golden girl. As a prolific author, mother of three, and an avid reader, traveler and runner, Elin leads an active and productive life. Although her career keeps her busy and often requires her to travel, she always prioritized reading to her children --- and did so every night throughout elementary school. In our final Mother’s Day blog post of 2021, Elin reflects on the joys of motherhood and why a certain picture book was her all-time favorite to share with her kids.
Nancy Thayer is the bestselling author of over 30 novels, including her most recent, FAMILY REUNION, which released this week. In it, a grandmother-granddaughter duo are eager to spend their summer together on peaceful Nantucket, but the season that unfolds brings about unforgettable surprises. Nancy’s childhood was full of many bookish surprises thanks to her mother, Jane Findly Wright, and she was able to read on her own by the age of four. As she explains in her Mother’s Day blog post, Nancy’s book preferences evolved throughout her preteen and adolescent years, but Jane was a constant influence in her reading life and introduced her to an author whose historical novels she became obsessed with as a teenager.
Virginia Hume is a freelance writer and editor whose debut novel, HAVEN POINT, releases on June 8th. The book explores what it means to belong to a place, and to a family, that holds as tightly to its traditions as it does its secrets. Virginia’s mother enjoys reading all kinds of fiction, and it was her willingness to branch out and explore different genres that inspired a young Virginia to do the same. Had it not been for her mother’s love of literature, she doubts she would have developed a passion for reading that eventually led to her writing career. Virginia has adopted this enthusiastic, non-judgmental approach with her own daughters, who are now in college but grew up in a household where there were no “guilty pleasures” when it came to books.
Wendy Francis is the author of five novels: THREE GOOD THINGS, THE SUMMER OF GOOD INTENTIONS, THE SUMMER SAIL, BEST BEHAVIOR and the newly released SUMMERTIME GUESTS. She was fortunate enough to grow up in a book-loving family as both her parents were avid readers. One of Wendy's favorite books to read with her mother was GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES. These old-fashioned stories --- including “Cinderella,” “Rapunzel” and “Rumpelstiltskin" --- taught her important life lessons that she was able to grasp even as a child. Years later, Wendy and her brother came across a very special notebook that perfectly captured the essence of their mother, whose ability to “tell it like it is” shines through in these pages.
Mary Dixie Carter’s debut psychological thriller, THE PHOTOGRAPHER, releases on May 25th and will be a Bookreporter.com Bets On pick. A graduate of Harvard College with an honors degree in English Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, she has had her work featured in a number of prestigious publications, including TIME, The Economist and The New York Observer. Reading and writing are integral components of Mary Dixie’s life. Audiobooks, specifically, have brought her family closer together and transformed long car rides. She is deeply grateful to the iPad thief who made this possible, as you will learn in her Mother’s Day blog post.
Deborah Goodrich Royce is the author of two psychological thrillers: FINDING MRS. FORD and her latest, RUBY FALLS. As a former story editor at Miramax Films, it is not surprising that she has gone on to write her own novels. A celebrated actress, she has starred in dozens of television series, feature films and TV movies, including "All My Children," Remote Control and Return to Peyton Place. Deborah has had many memorable moments, or markers, in her life --- the most important of which involve raising her children and witnessing their various milestones and achievements. Here, she reflects on the significance of those markers and how they can come when you least expect them.
Andrea Lee is the author of five books, including the National Book Award–nominated memoir RUSSIAN JOURNAL and her latest novel, RED ISLAND HOUSE. Andrea enjoyed a number of private reading moments with her mother, Edith, but she is especially fond of the time they shared in the classroom. Edith was the only Black teacher at a Quaker elementary school, and Andrea had the pleasure of being taught by her mother as a fifth grader. Her dramatic readings of books like TREASURE ISLAND and THE CALL OF THE WILD captivated her students, but it wasn’t until years later that Andrea was able to fully comprehend where that passion came from and the sacrifices she was willing to make for her family.
Elizabeth Brundage is the author of five novels, including the literary thrillers ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR (the basis for the new Netflix film Things Heard & Seen) and THE VANISHING POINT, which releases on May 18th. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Elizabeth reflects on the two people in her life who helped influence her to become a writer by nurturing her creative soul at a very young age. As she points out in her wonderful blog post, “Both my mother and my grandmother instilled in me the importance of reading and sharing stories --- funny ones, sad ones, tales of woe and struggle. Because, from the beginning of time, storytelling is how we learn about who we are.”  
Lea Geller, recipient of the 2019 Kathryn Gurfein Writing Fellowship at Sarah Lawrence College, is the author of two novels: TROPHY LIFE and her latest, THE TRUTH AND OTHER HIDDEN THINGS, which is about one woman’s secret life, the stories she tells, and the thrill and notoriety of being noticed. When her two sons were younger, Lea would read to them at night to ensure that they would get into their beds and cause as little trouble as possible. However, when it came time to read them A LITTLE HISTORY OF THE WORLD by Ernst Gombrich (a book that she highly recommends), the reaction she got from her boys wasn’t quite what she had hoped for or expected, as she explains in her hilarious blog post.