Bauermeister, the national bestselling author of The School of
Essential Ingredients, presents a moving and evocative
coming-of-age novel about childhood stories, families lost and found,
and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course
of our lives.
Emmeline lives an
enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches
her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t
explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the
walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates
them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity,
until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out
into the real world–a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and
revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to
her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and
immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of
scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we
seek, and even help us find our way back home.
In Emmeline’s childhood, mermaids brought supplies to their island
cabin, and scents of faraway places lived in beautiful bottles
covering the back wall. Made with a mysterious machine, these scents
inspire her father’s tales of Queen Emmeline and Jack, the Scent
Hunter. Tragedy thrusts her into the mainstream world, where secrets
are revealed and Emmeline must redefine family. Bauermeister portrays
a magical land of enchantment from a child’s perspective, and the
demise of innocence so well that dear reader’s heart breaks for
Emmeline. I was fortunate to receive this beautiful story of never
giving up on your dream, and unintended consequences, from St.
Martin’s Press through NetGalley.
About the Author:
Bauermeister is the author of the bestselling novel The School
of Essential Ingredients, Joy for Beginners, and The Lost Art
of Mixing. She is also the co-author of the non-fiction works,
500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide and Let’s
Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She has
a PhD in literature from the University of Washington, and has taught
there and at Antioch University. She is a founding member of the
Seattle7Writers and currently lives in Port Townsend, Washington.
At her local drugstore, Amy Byler runs into her husband, who went on
a business trip to Hong Kong and stayed for three years. He’s
returned to make things right and be the father his children deserve.
School Librarian Amy signs up to present her reading program at a
conference in NYC, where she plans to reconnect with her college
roommate, during the kids’ week with their father. She meets a hot
librarian, makes a new friend, and starts a movement. Harms cleverly
uses the modern-day epistolary of email and texting in this humorous
exploration of a single mom becoming her own woman. Fans of Ann
Garvin, Katherine Center, and Kerry Anne King will appreciate Harms’
voice. I received a digital copy of this wonderful story from Lake
Union through NetGalley.
What happens when an overworked, underappreciated single mother of two
gets an opportunity to spend a week away from reality in NYC? What
happens when that week turns into an entire summer? And, what happens
when this rare gift of personal freedom, self-reflection, and fun comes
to an end?
These are the questions at the heart of former editor and literary agent
Kelly Harms’ delightful and empowering new novel, THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER
(Lake Union Publishing; May 1, 2019; hardcover), about a middle-aged
woman’s much-needed Momspringa.* Full of wit, heart, bookish-references,
and romance, THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER is next year’s feel-good read!
*Momspringa (n.): A period of time when moms are given time away from
the demands of daily life, including their children, so they can
recharge and reconnect with themselves as human women. Inspired by the
Amish term Rumspringa.
Describe your writing process: schedule, environment, strategies, and inspirations tangible and abstract.
I’m a creature of habit, so when I’m writing well, I’m writing every day. When I’m not writing, I may find it difficult to reconnect with the habit, which almost always leaves me feeling anxious and unfulfilled. So while I know I don’t have to write, I also know I’m my best self when I am writing. Knowing that, you may not be surprised to learn that when I’m writing, I tend to dedicate many hours a day to the page. I have an office with a regular desk, but I also have a treadmill desk in our family room; you might find me in either of those places, or even in the kitchen writing and watching the birds. (If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’m a big bird-watcher and amateur photographer.) When I feel stuck–whether or not I’d call it writer’s block–it’s usually because I’ve made a mistake somewhere. This might mean a character behaved unnaturally, or I forced a plot point, or (name your infraction)! Sometimes it takes a few days to figure out where I’ve erred, but other times it’s a longer process. It’s always frustrating for me, and I can’t seem to move beyond the problem scene until I’ve figured it out.
Walk me through your publishing process from final draft to final product, including publishing team and marketing expectations of yourself as the author.
Is any draft a “final draft” when you’re traditionally published? Eventually, yes, but once you submit your polished “final” draft to your editor, you are bound to see that draft again—and probably change it again, too. That draft goes to your copy editor, who’ll return the draft to you with scads of notes and questions, which you’ll need to turn around with a “stet” (leave that word or phrase as originally written) or with a change that makes your story more concise or clearer/better in some way. After, your manuscript will be presented to you with those changes in the style of the actual book but with loose pages. At this stage—and through second- and sometimes third-pass pages—it’s important that you don’t make significant changes to the story. But sometimes you or your editor will catch errors/inconsistencies, or have a last-minute inspiration, and you’ll work something into the manuscript. Meanwhile, meetings with marketing and publicity may begin, in person or by phone, or even a combination of the two. That’s when you’ll hear the team’s plan for your book, and have the opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions.
For my part, I try to supplement whatever in-house initiatives are ongoing, usually by reaching out to bloggers, by sending myself on a tour (real and/or online), and especially by making inroads with my local arts community. I make sure my local bookstore(s) know when my book will be releasing, and I work in conjunction with my publisher to plan some events. It’s important that you try not to burn out once you move into full-time publicity mode, because it can be exhausting. But it can also be exhilarating, once your book arrives and is in your hands—first in the form of advance reader copies (ARCs) and later as early copies of your truly final draft, bound and covered and reader-ready. Always take time to appreciate this milestone. Personally, I like to throw a release-day party, usually to follow my first book signing.
Tell me about your support system online and IRL; who are your biggest cheerleaders?
My husband is my
biggest cheerleader, followed by my kids and extended family. But I
also see a lot of support behind the scenes from several author
friends—people I trust with my early scenes and chapters, who know
I need fuel and encouragement but will tell me if there are issues
with the story. I also see a lot of support through the community of
writers at Writer Unboxed; some of my most potent fuel comes from
writing influence your life and vice versa?
Unboxed, which I co-founded with Kathleen Bolton thirteen years ago,
has had a tremendous influence on my life as a writer. It has kept me
tethered to writing during tough times, when I might otherwise have
given up. In a broader way, my life informs my writing, because I
tend to process ideas through my writing. And my writing influences
my life because, on the other side of “The End,” I have a clearer
understanding about an idea or a problem, or even my own human
capabilities and limits.
What do you love most about your creativity?
I love the way it
can surprise me, whether it’s a mid-scene revelation or a way of
tying up a scene that springs up seemingly out of nowhere. Times like
that, I feel like there’s a ghost over my shoulder, typing in those
words, because it feels more than a little otherworldly and outside
of myself. That’s when I feel luckiest to be a writer.
They say that cats don’t like change. But Luna, an imaginative tabby, understands that sometimes it’s necessary. When her owner, Annika, moved back to her small New England hometown six months ago along with her sixteen-year-old twins, Luna knew it was for the best. Ever since Annika’s husband, Peter, died suddenly, the family has been floundering. Luna, too, is guilt-ridden, sure she could have done more to save her favorite person. Luna also knows something the others don’t know. Peter’s spirit is still with them, and Luna believes there is something he needs her help to do . . .
Annika has been struggling to move on. It doesn’t help that her son, Donovan, blames her for his father’s death. Peter always told Annika that they had the best love story going, yet the fact is that much of their story has been hidden away, even from their children. When Annika’s first love, Sam, arrives to plow them out during an intensifying storm, the truth begins to emerge at last. And Luna—watchful and unwavering in her affection—may be her family’s best hope of learning how to forgive and to heal . . .
Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.
Then a shocking
tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling,
Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the
issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical
proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to
make—then commit to complete and total honesty.
What seems like a
smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and
even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion
of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is
honesty really the best policy?
Penelope believes her life as a wife and mother inferior to her always perfectly put together friend Jenny, whose daughter is just as seemingly pristine as her mother. She is blindsided by the tragedy of her friend’s life, causing her to re-evaluate her own marriage and motherhood. Pagan brilliantly portrays the chaos that is raising children, with an opening scene of Penelope in the bathroom asking if she will ever have a moment of peace. The disconnect between spouses blares from the pages as they discuss who’s to blame for the lack of toilet paper, and Penelope notes that Sanjay barely looks at her to confirm that her appearance is satisfactory. Her re-evaluation puts them on a bumpy road back to each other and a cohesive family unit. Pagan juxtaposes the consequences of social comparison and lack of connection with an ever-increasing social problem in a credible and empathetic manner. This story is a reminder to pay closer attention to the ones you love. It’s a 5-star lesson in life.
tragic twist of fate destroyed Braden Healey’s hands, his musical
career, and his family. Now, unable to play, adrift in an alcoholic
daze, and with only fragmented memories of his past, all Braden wants
is to escape the darkness of the last eleven years.
When his ex-wife and son are killed in car accident, Braden
returns home hoping to forge a relationship with his troubled
seventeen-year-old daughter, Allie. But how can he hope to rescue her
from the curse that seems to be shadowing his family?
Ophelia “Phee” MacPhee, granddaughter of the eccentric old man
who sold Braden his cello, believes the curse is real. She swore an
oath to her dying grandfather that she would ensure that Braden plays
the cello as long as he lives. But he can’t play, and as the
shadows deepen and Phee finds herself falling for Braden, she’ll do
anything to save him. It will take a miracle of forgiveness and love
to bring all three of them back to the healing power of music.
Kerry Anne King lives with her Viking in a little house surrounded by
trees, the perfect place for writing books and daylight dreaming.
She spends her days working as an RN in a clinic, spinning her
tales early in the morning and in the evenings after work. She
believes passionately in the idea of the “whole self” and
is ever in pursuit of balancing mind, body, and spirit. She also
writes fantasy and mystery novels as Kerry
Schafer and provides coaching
services to creatives who are experiencing procrastination,
overwhelm, and other blocks that get in the way of their important
bestselling and award-winning authors bring to life a breathtaking
epic novel illuminating the hopes, desires, and destinies of
princesses and peasants, harlots and wives, fanatics and
philosophers—six unforgettable women whose paths cross during one
of the most tumultuous and transformative events in history: the
OF SCARLET: A Novel of the French Revolution, releases October 1st,
2019! Check out the amazing cover below and pre-order your copy
RIBBONS OF SCARLET: A Novel of the French Revolution (Coming
October 1, 2019)
of Scarlet is a timely story of the power of women to start a
revolution—and change the world.
late eighteenth-century France, women do not have a place in
politics. But as the tide of revolution rises, women from gilded
salons to the streets of Paris decide otherwise—upending a world
order that has long oppressed them.
Sophie de Grouchy believes in democracy, education, and equal rights
for women, and marries the only man in Paris who agrees. Emboldened
to fight the injustices of King Louis XVI, Sophie aims to prove that
an educated populace can govern itself–but one of her students,
fruit-seller Louise Audu, is hungrier for bread and vengeance than
learning. When the Bastille falls and Louise leads a women’s march
to Versailles, the monarchy is forced to bend, but not without a
fight. The king’s pious sister Princess Elisabeth takes a stand to
defend her brother, spirit her family to safety, and restore the old
order, even at the risk of her head.
when fanatics use the newspapers to twist the revolution’s ideals
into a new tyranny, even the women who toppled the monarchy are
threatened by the guillotine. Putting her faith in the pen, brilliant
political wife Manon Roland tries to write a way out of France’s
blood-soaked Reign of Terror while pike-bearing Pauline Leon and
steely Charlotte Corday embrace violence as the only way to save the
nation. With justice corrupted by revenge, all the women must make
impossible choices to survive–unless unlikely heroine and
courtesan’s daughter Emilie de Sainte-Amaranthe can sway the man
who controls France’s fate: the fearsome Robespierre.
bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern
California, she attended Boston University where she earned a
Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. She has written
four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian
Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with “The Alice
Network” and “The Huntress.” All have been translated
into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego
with two rescue dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia, and her interests
include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox.
bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning
work has been translated into eight languages and tops lists for the
most anticipated reads of the year. She lives near the nation’s
capital with her husband, cats, and history books.
bestselling author of historical fiction, Laura
always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence
of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and
archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in
early American history from The College of William and Mary,
published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently
held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval
Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre
fiction. She is the author of AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER and MY DEAR
HAMILTON, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowing her the exciting
opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for
storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis,
Maryland with her husband and two daughters. www.LauraKamoie.com
an award-winning, multi-published author of female-centered
historical fiction, who holds both a Bachelors in History and a law
degree. With two previous books set in France—during the 13th and
16th centuries—Sophie has a passion for French history that began
more than thirty years ago when she first explored the storied
châteaux of the Loire Valley. She lives in the Washington DC
metropolitan area with her husband, children and a small menagerie of
the award-winning and international bestselling author of six
historical novels set in France, including the upcoming Meet
Me in Monaco, set
to the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s wedding releasing in summer 2019,
a novel of the French Revolution’s women in Oct 2019. In
selected as a Goodreads Top Pick, and in 2017, Last
Christmas in Paris became
& Mail bestseller
and also won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR
Award. Her works have received national starred reviews, and have
been sold in over a dozen countries worldwide. When not writing, you
may find Heather collecting cookbooks or looking for excuses to
travel. She lives in New England with her family and one feisty
bestselling author of rip-your-heart-out historical women’s fiction
that crosses the landscapes of Europe. Her love of history began as a
young girl when she traipsed the halls of Versailles and ran through
the fields in Southern France. She can still remember standing before
the great golden palace, and imagining what life must have been like.
She is the owner of the acclaimed blog History Undressed. Eliza lives
in Maryland atop a small mountain with a knight, three princesses and
two very naughty newfies. Visit Eliza at www.eknightauthor.com/,
or her historical blog, History Undressed, www..
You can follow her on Twitter: @EKHistoricalFic,
Maddie fell hard for Ian, British security detail, when she taught
English in Bulgaria and her BFF Joanna was a humanitarian working in
Macedonia before and during their civil war. He’s hard to pin down,
even after she marries him despite Joanna’s inexplicable hostility
toward him. He insists on moving from NYC to her small, Kansas
hometown, though he spends much of his time in the Eastern bloc,
working in a security business he started with his brother after
leaving his government position. The story unfolds in layers as it
goes back and forth in time and around the globe to explain the
horrible murder. Ward does an excellent job evoking sympathy for
Maddie, who appears to be on the receiving end of Ian’s PTSD. This
novel portrays young American idealists who get caught up in tragedy,
differences in maturity levels of best friends, and how lack of
self-awareness contributes to obfuscation, as a mismatched romance
leads to its horrifying conclusion. I was fortunate to receive this
brilliant story from the publisher Park Row Books through NetGalley.
me about your writing process: schedule, environment, strategies /
techniques, and inspirations material and abstract.
an organic writer—I think a lot ahead of time about the characters
and what my story’s central questions will be, but don’t outline
in detail or swear by any particular tools or strategies, beyond
reading voraciously, as much as I’m able. I’m very disciplined,
with daily and weekly goals, and believe firmly in the power of
forward momentum once I get going on a manuscript.
wrote my first two novels by night, as my babies/toddlers slept,
while working a demanding day job as editorial director for Writer’s
Digest magazine. Not long after signing the contract for Forget
You Know Me, I scaled back my role at the magazine and shifted to
writing by day as my primary focus. A writing career involves a fair
amount of evenings and weekends for things like book clubs,
conferences and festivals, so this is a much more workable focus for
my family, which always comes first.
your publishing process, from final draft to final product, including
publishing team and timeline. How did your work in the industry
prepare you for the writing world as an author?
been a little different for every book, particularly as staffing
changes at my publisher have led to a few editorial team transitions,
but I’m working at the pace of about a book a year. I refine a
draft until I think (hope) it’s close to working as what I
envisioned for the story, then get feedback from a few trusted
readers and revise yet again before turning it over to my editor.
Then comes another round to incorporate the excellent suggestions
from her professional eye.
work in the industry taught me what a team effort publishing is; I
have enormous respect for my editors, having been one, and deep
gratitude for the efforts of the hardworking support teams—marketing,
publicity, design and beyond.
are your biggest cheerleaders online and IRL, and how did you get
into the Tall Poppies (beyond being an excellent storyteller)?
family and friends—who’ve seen firsthand my dedication to this
craft since long before I ever got published—are my biggest
cheerleaders, and their warm support means the world to me.
Also, at the start, were my colleagues at Writer’s Digest—we
were all writers with a genuine love for the work we were doing
there, and it was humbling to have them so enthusiastically in my
corner—as well as a debut author group called 17 Scribes—it was
invaluable to be tapped into a network of other authors publishing
their first novels in 2017, and many of us remain connected today.
met some of the Tall Poppy Writers through conferences, WD, the
Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and online, and had admired
their collaborative spirit and talented body of work for years; I was
elated when they invited me to join.
does your life influence your writing and vice versa? Please share
fun details about being the 2019 Writer-in-Residence for Public
Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
I don’t write directly from life experiences, of course we all are
heavily influenced by the phases of life in which we find ourselves
and the beautiful (and not so beautiful) aspects of human nature that
turn our heads. I’d find it impossible to separate the two!
a wonderful honor to be serving as the newly minted
Writer-in-Residence for the Cincinnati library system this year; it
encompasses more than 40 branches, and I’ll doing community
engagement with local readers (visiting library branch book clubs and
hosting a podcast) as well as aspiring writers (teaching free
workshops and holding office hours, for instance).
do you love most about your creativity?
dreaming up a story from pure imagination, somehow, I end up feeling
more like me.
Liza witnesses, via
Skype, a masked man entering her friend’s home while her friend is
upstairs tending to a child. She drives all night to make sure she’s
okay after her friend doesn’t answer the phone, but Molly, the
friend, dismisses the idea that a man came into her house, and she
break’s Liza’s heart. Returning home to a life-changing event
sends Liza back to her hometown, where no investigation is proceeding
for the mystery man. Strawser digs deep into the fears of a married
couple in multitudes of trouble, the evolution of friendship, and a
reluctant return to one’s roots. She brilliantly intertwines the
consequences of the characters’ actions as they rush headlong into
premature conclusions. This novel is a great look into love
resurrected and the ability to access romantic love after a trauma.
Strawser is a talented storyteller. I was fortunate to receive a copy
of this wonderful book from the publisher Macmillan through