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Archives - December 2014

Danny Aiello is the kind of beloved actor who slips into roles as if they were a worn pair of shoes --- comfortably, with grace and no discernible effort. This chameleon-like quality resonates in his real life, a theme he explores in his recent memoir, I ONLY KNOW WHO I AM WHEN I AM SOMEBODY ELSE. In it, he reveals what is obvious to those who know him: his heart, his passion and his guts. Here, Lorenzo Carcaterra, bestselling author and Danny's cousin, shares a close account of Danny's amazing life. From living hand-to-mouth on the rough streets of New York City to his illustrious on- and off-screen career, Danny certainly has overcome some amazing odds. Lorenzo reveals the surprisingly sensitive man behind the legend, a true fighter whose path lies along a Samuel Beckett quote.
Debut author Mallory Kasdan is no stranger to the wide world of entertainment. A popular voice actor, Mallory also blogs about parenting issues and once accompanied RuPaul on a five-city book tour. Her forthcoming children's book, ELLA, tells the story of a wild and groovy six-year-old living in The Local Hotel with her pets, scooter and bursting creativity. In this Holiday Author Blog, Mallory discusses one of her favorite children's books, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, and how gifted books can create bonds that span decades and generations.
Daniel Palmer, son of the late author Michael Palmer, has a long history with entertainment. Since his early years as a musician, he has also enjoyed great success in the book industry as a techno-thriller writer. His latest book, DESPERATE, follows a couple's heartbreaking struggles with becoming parents. When a young homeless pregnant woman comes into their lives, it seems that they will finally get the family they've always wanted --- but her arrival also brings sinister pranks that may destroy them. Here, Palmer discusses his history with books, explaining a heartwarming childhood tradition of shared books that he hopes to begin again with his family.  
Like her second novel, LIZZY & JANE, Katherine Reay's Holiday Author Blog is all about family. How do parents --- and great-aunts --- shape kids' lives? Through books, of course! The holidays are the perfect time to inspire reluctant readers with a specially chosen gift. Whoever it comes from, the right book can give shape to an idle afternoon or Christmas morning, and will surely last longer than the latest meme.
The inspiration for a book can come from anywhere, but what spurs someone to become an author in the first place? For novelist Laura Lane McNeal, it was a special shelf in the middle school library that held books written by graduates of the school. Laura swore that she would add one of her own books to those ranks, and with the publication of her debut novel, DOLLBABY, this year, she succeeded. Here is the story of a Christmas gift that helped shape her journey.
Phillip Margolin is an award-winning author and former criminal defense attorney, who has written numerous bestselling novels that display a unique, compelling insider's view of criminal behavior. His most recent novel, WOMAN WITH A GUN (which our reviewer gave a rave review), is about aspiring novelist Stacey Kim, who can't erase an iconic photo from her mind and soon becomes embroiled in a plot of great intrigue. Here, Phillip reveals that he isn’t the only person in his family who loves a great mystery, and how one well-chosen book can change a person’s life.
Kristin Harmel is the bestselling author of THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING, inspired, in part, by her own beloved grandmother. In her latest novel, THE LIFE INTENDED, she weaves a heart-wrenching tale that asks: What does it take to move forward in life without forgetting the past? It’s a timely question for Kristin, whose grandmother passed away earlier this year. Here, she talks about the book her grandma used to read to her, and the comfort it still brings her as she remembers her grandma this holiday season.
Ironically, Camille DeAngelis decided to go vegan right before she started writing her latest novel, BONES & ALL, about a young woman who doesn’t just break hearts…she devours them. There are more parallels between Camille and her protagonist, Maron, than you might think: In her Holiday Author Blog, Camille thinks about how our choices --- what we eat and otherwise --- affect our identities. She also considers what it means to hunger for books and how a book can satisfy its reader in ways that food cannot. So no matter what you’re eating this holiday, remember that nothing fills you up quite like a good book.
Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times bestselling author of GARDEN SPELLS, THE SUGAR QUEEN, THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON and THE PEACH KEEPER. Her latest book, FIRST FROST, is about a strange old man with a beat-up suitcase who arrives in Bascom, North Carolina, with stories to tell...stories that could change the lives of the Waverley women forever. Here, Sarah remembers the stories --- poems, more specifically --- that her father read to her and her sister at Christmas. Those poems, more than any gift or candy she might have received, are what have remained with her through all these years.
Bestselling author Hazel Gaynor’s latest book, A MEMORY OF VIOLETS: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers, is the story of two long-lost sisters whose lives take different paths, and the young woman who will be transformed by their experiences. Hazel certainly values the bond of sisterhood; here, she talks about the wonderful gift her own sister, Auntie Helen, gave Hazel’s newborn son: Maurice Sendak’s classic, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. It took a few months (and a baby who could finally sleep through the night) for Hazel to appreciate it, but now the book is a household favorite --- made only more special by the loving dedication within.