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Jacquelyn Mitchard is the New York Times bestselling author of 22 novels for adults and teenagers. Her upcoming novel, THE GOOD SON, releases on January 18th and is about a mother who must help her son after he is convicted of a devastating crime. In her holiday blog post, Jacquelyn recalls the most memorable gift she has ever received: a first edition of her favorite book, A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, which her longtime literary agent gave her for Christmas. But it’s what she found stuck among its pages that made the book truly irreplaceable for her.
Xochitl Gonzalez’s debut novel, OLGA DIES DREAMING, releases on January 4th and revolves around a status-driven wedding planner grappling with her social ambitions, absent mother and Puerto Rican roots --- all in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Xochitl describes her first semester of college as a “giant culture shock,” but fortunately she developed a close friendship with her roommate, Celeste. Despite their different backgrounds, they had plenty in common when it came to their families, musical tastes and love for books. The latter proved to be their saving grace following an argument that Xochitl and Celeste had right before they headed home for the holidays.
Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of seven novels, including her upcoming domestic thriller, MY DARLING HUSBAND, which releases as an e-book and audiobook on December 28th and in paperback on March 8th. Books played a major role in Kimberly’s life starting at a very young age, so it was only natural that she would pass on her love of reading to her two children. In her holiday blog post, Kimberly recalls a visit she received one Christmas from her parents, who brought along a suitcase of books from her childhood. There was one title in particular that she had forgotten all about, but she will never forget the impact it had on her and the important lessons she learned from it.
We are kicking off this year’s Holiday Author Blog series with New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Diane Chamberlain. Her new domestic thriller, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE STREET, releases on January 11th and revolves around two women --- a generation apart --- who find themselves bound by tragedy and an unsolved, decades-old mystery. Diane recalls the first Christmas she spent with her boyfriend, Rick, in San Diego, which was 3,000 miles away from her family in New Jersey. She enjoyed so many wonderful Christmases with her loved ones, so it was especially difficult to be so far away from them that particular year. Fortunately, on Christmas morning, Diane came to a realization that led to something totally unexpected --- and a memory she will treasure forever.
  On Wednesday, December 8th, we hosted a very special and FUN “Bookaccino Live” event. As part of Bookreporter's 25th anniversary celebration, 10 of our longtime reviewers --- Sarah Rachel Egelman, Megan Elliott, Pauline Finch, Harvey Freedenberg, Bronwyn Miller, Rebecca Munro, Eileen Zimmerman Nicol, Ray Palen, Norah Piehl and Stuart Shiffman --- talked about their three favorite books of 2021. Their selections cover a wide variety of genres, and there may be a few titles here that you didn’t have on your radar that you will want to check out.
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.