Novels About Novelists

Does everyone have sub-genres within genres for which they hold an unusual fondness?

I can’t resist a good infidelity story (really, can anything beat Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow?) I can rarely refuse the intricacies of inter-racial love (Meeting of the Waters by Kim Mclarin,) or a memoir about substance abuse (Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp. I treasure reading about the layers of an unknown (to me) culture (A Fine Balance by Rohintin Mistry) or the heartbreak of emigrants navigating a new world (my current audio/car book is Shanghai Sisters by Lisa See,) but for a real roll in schadenfreude reading, I pick up a juicy novel about novelists.

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Shopping for Good: Gorgeous Gifts (for Men, Women & Kids!) that Help




Tis the season for helping! As we give thanks, we donate to the causes that are closest to our hearts—for some it’s helping to fight cancer, for others rescuing animals, and for some it’s ensuring the arts flourish.

As the holidays barrel down, many of us plan to give donations in loved one’s names, but few of us can bear a holiday devoid of three-dimensional gifts . . . so, why not combine good and wrapping papers by buying a form and function gift such as the Remember Bracelet above (and the many below).

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Goodreads ARC (What is an ARC?) Giveaway: THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET




Oft asked question: “What is an ARC?”

An ARC is almost-complete version of a not-yet-published book that is released to “advanced readers.” Who these advanced readers are may vary, but for the most part they’re book stores, book reviewers and media reviewers who are allowed to read the book before its publish date so that reviews may coincide with the book’s debut and stores can make ordering decisions.

Sites like Goodreads, together with publishers, make these advance copies available to a few—very few—readers as a way to ‘get the word out.’

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One Morning in America Wearing a Safety Pin



Today, for the first time since the election, I went out and about in places where my safety pin could be clearly seen. (Till now? More hunkered, than out.)

I’ll put this as plainly as I can—it made a difference. Three times in one morning, interacting with two women (sisters) I’ve known for fifteen years, and two strangers. Immigrants from three countries: Brazil, Vietnam, and Ireland.

1) The sisters and I spoke in my driveway. One speaks easily in English; the other is less comfortable. The former pointed to the safety pin on my sweater and said, “I just heard about that on the radio.” We all shook our heads.

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The Most Good We Can Do: My 3 A.M.



“I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.” Maya Angelou 

So, like many others, I am ‘woke’. Woke at 3 in the morning with nightmares. Woke to seeing that the hatred of women is far stronger than I realized. That people, men and women, will wear signs & sweatshirts of the greatest disrespect. That fear-mongering towards the ‘other’ has never stopped. That though we are a nation of immigrants, we still want to step down on the most recent who’ve come to America, despite that most of us are here because our forebears traveled from far away, usually running from evil or hardship.

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Ten Ways to Begin Protecting Our Country, Our Worlds & Human Rights



Like so many, I woke up this morning, tearful, angry, and terrified for the freedom of all in our country and the attention we must pay to climate change. But even as I feel horrified, I refuse to feel hopeless or without agency.

We must look forward, ever more determined to do the right thing.

(My family tells me, sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a rolling of their eyes, that I have always been a ‘Plan B’ person).

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We’re All Immigrants: The Recipe Edition!


Grandpa Bernie, Grandma Kaplan, Stepdad Norman, Grandpa Cherlin, Mom & Grandma Bessie

Grandpa Bernie, Grandma Kaplan, Stepdad Norman, Grandpa Cherlin, Mom & Grandma Bessie

My dear friend, Robin Black, made the wise suggestion of having an election night dinner that was a tribute to immigrants. There are few few among us in America (Native Americans) who didn’t come from ‘somewhere’ –so, in effect:

Todos somos inmigrantes, Wǒmen dōu shì yímín, nahn jamieaan almuhajirin & waxaanu wada nahay waddanka u soo guurey

Among the many ways we can come together, what’s happier than food? I invite all to share their recipes–below in comments, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and over your back fence. Here’s one from my grandmother collection:

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Voting, We’re All Children of Immigrants



Not to get all Freudian, but last night I woke gasping for breath (repeatedly), paralyzed with fear, riding waves of Donald Trump smothering me. The nightmare stapled me to the bed. (And, I know if he read this, he’d say I wasn’t even close to being good-looking enough for him to nightmare me.)

Women cite stomachaches, inability to work, leaden feelings in their limbs, sleeplessness, and depression. Many men, including my husband, are as upset–but they move into anger quicker, while we fight feelings of being smothered and are traumatized from past sexual assaults as we hear his assaultive words against women.

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Bonus Track: An Epilogue for THE COMFORT OF LIES: “Savannah at 14″

Comfort of Lies Epilogue cover

Note: Readers have written, asking what happens to Savannah, who was six years old when “The Comfort of Lies” ends. This epilogue was in the original manuscript—I thought some readers would enjoy seeing how my lovely girl (I adored her every minute of writing the book) made out. Someone talked me out of including it (too much of a tying it up with a bow?) but I sort of miss it. So–below is the fast-forward for “The Comfort of Lies”

The Comfort of Lies, a novel about the collateral damage of infidelity, reveals the darkest and most private thoughts of three women.

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Behind One Writer’s Group Curtain (at The Boston Book Festival)


                                    How does a writer, working alone, manage isolation?

The initial spark of a novel and putting words to paper is a solitary thing—but even introverted authors need a band of brothers or sisters. Come hear the secrets of one writing community that has balanced isolation and creative collaboration for eight years—and has a lot to show for it! Between us (Nichole BernierKathy CrowleyJuliette FayRandy Susan Meyers, and E. B. Moore ) we’ve twelve published books (with five more in the works), many published short stories and articles, a literary blog, awards and residencies, and even, (coming soon), a big bricks-and-mortar local bookstore.

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