Goodreads ARC (huh?) Giveaway: THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET

 Giveaway Ends January 28

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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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Writing & Reading Those Special’ Romantic Scenes: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

 

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I tried to think of a, um, sexier title for this post, but they all sounded, um, icky, and the last thing I want when I’m writing about sex is an ick factor. Writing about icky sex? Terrific. Writing icky about sex? Terrible.

When my first novel released in 2010, Pia Lindstrom, an interviewer from Sirius Radio, shocked me out of my I-can-handle-any-question mood when she asked something to the effect of:

So, I was surprised by how much sex is in your book. You did it so well. People say it’s hard to write about sex. How did you do it?

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Tethered: A novel by Amy Mackinnon

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Death is the last frontier in so many ways. In my circles, even friends who talk about sex, politics, and that most forbidden of topics, paychecks, rarely talk about the nitty gritty of death. That’s something we save for our own private hells or heavens.

“I plunge my finger between the folds of the incision, then hook my forefinger deep into her neck. Unlike most of the bloodlines, which offer perfunctory resistance, the carotid artery doesn’t surrender itself willingly. Tethered between the heart and the head, the sinewy tube is often weighted with years of plaque, thickening its resolve to stay. More so now that rigor mortis has settled deep within the old woman.”

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Anger Exhausted Her . . .

A postcard from Accidents of Marriage. Read an excerpt here.

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Waiting for Respect

A postcard from Accidents of Marriage. Read an excerpt here.

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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

 

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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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One Morning in America Wearing a Safety Pin

 

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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.

 

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“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

 


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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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