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Archives - December 2017

We wrap up this year’s Holiday Author Blog series with A. J. Finn, whose debut novel, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, is a psychological thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house. A. J. recalls one Christmas Eve when he spotted a present under the tree that came from his sister, Hope. He knew it was a book, but had to spend a long, restless night pondering just what that hardback was that he held in his hands earlier that day and desperately wanted to unwrap. Read on to discover the package’s surprising contents.
Chloe Benjamin is the author of THE ANATOMY OF DREAMS, which received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award. Her second novel, THE IMMORTALISTS, releases on January 9th and poses an intriguing question: If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? As a child, Chloe knew she wanted to live her life as a writer. Her mom’s domestic partner, Molly, served as an early writing teacher, and the lessons she taught her helped her become a more economical writer who strives for “elegance over excessiveness and rhythm over length.” Chloe and Molly have kept up a years-long tradition of giving each other books for the holidays, as she explains in her Holiday Blog post.
Nick Petrie is the author of the Peter Ash thriller series, which thus far includes THE DRIFTER (winner of both the ITW Thriller Award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel), BURNING BRIGHT, and the forthcoming LIGHT IT UP (releasing January 16th). In his Holiday Blog post, Nick recalls the Christmas when he was 10 years old and became the proud (and excited) recipient of over 40 used paperback books featuring the adventures of Doc Savage (aka “The Man of Bronze”). As a writer, Nick tries to give his readers exactly what he experienced as a fan of this pulp fiction series: “a captivating story and vivid characters that take you some place new and keep you up late at night, reading with a flashlight under the covers.”
Beatriz Williams is the bestselling author of A HUNDRED SUMMERS, THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT, ALONG THE INFINITE SEA and several other works of historical fiction. In her Holiday Blog post, Beatriz explains how two nonfiction books she received from her father-in-law for Christmas helped serve as the inspiration for her Jazz Age novels, A CERTAIN AGE and COCOA BEACH, and her new Wicked City Prohibition series --- the first installment of which, THE WICKED CITY, will be available in paperback on December 26th.
Lauren Willig is the bestselling author of the Pink Carnation series and several stand-alone works of historical fiction, the latest of which is THE ENGLISH WIFE, which releases on January 9th. In her Holiday Blog post, Lauren recalls a trip to Tucson that she and her then-boyfriend took between Christmas and New Year’s in 2011, during which he presented her with an odd gift: a biography of Charles II with the pages glued together. Why was this book that no one could read the most memorable gift Lauren has ever received? Read on to find out the heartwarming answer.
Sarah Vaughan is a former journalist who spent 11 years at the Guardian as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent. Her latest novel, ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL, which releases on January 23rd, is a thriller about a scandal among Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake. In her Holiday Blog post, Sarah explains the personal significance of Christmas 1999, when her then-boyfriend of three months gifted her with two books that she treasures to this very day: the first in the Harry Potter series and Nigella Lawson’s HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking.
Prolific author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with the February 6th release of THE MASTERPIECE, which the publisher describes as “a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.” When Francine and her husband, Rick, moved into a one-story home last year, they faced the painful task of parting with two-thirds of their book collection. But there’s one book in particular that Francine treasures above all else, as she explains in her Holiday Blog post, and is happy to give away to people who need and ask for it.
Karen Cleveland is a former CIA analyst, so it’s only fitting that the protagonist of her debut novel, NEED TO KNOW, shares the same profession. In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, Vivian Miller uncovers a dangerous secret that will threaten her job, her family --- and her life. Karen cherishes her childhood memories of reading books with her mom and siblings, especially holiday-themed ones during the Christmas season. These days, she carries on that important tradition for her own family, and in her Holiday Blog post, she proudly talks about her older son’s favorite holiday read --- THE POLAR EXPRESS --- which just happens to be hers as well.
Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program "Chris Fabry Live" on Moody Radio. His upcoming novel, UNDER A CLOUDLESS SKY (which releases January 9th), is about a lush and storied coal-mining town in danger of being destroyed for the sake of profit. In 2008, Chris and his family vacated their home in Colorado due to a toxic mold problem that severely impacted their health, forcing them to leave everything behind. This unimaginable ordeal led to a memorable gift that Chris received from one of his favorite authors --- the late great Pat Conroy --- which wouldn’t have been possible without the kind and thoughtful actions of his wife.
Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, including SILVER SPARROW (a Bets On pick in 2011) and AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE (which releases on February 6th and also will be a Bets On selection). As a child, Tayari loved Judy Blume (in fact, she still does) and considered her copy of ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET to be her “most prized possession.” In her Holiday Blog post, Tayari recalls what happened when she misplaced the book one day and the valuable lessons she learned as a result, just weeks before Christmas.