Join upmarket fiction authors Ann Garvin, Jaquelyn Mitchard, Kelly Mustian, and Cynthia Swanson along with Back Room hosts Karen Dionne and Hank Phillippi Ryan for an evening of great conversation!
Ann Garvin, Ph.D. is the USA Today Bestselling author of I Thought You Said This Would Work (pre-order now), I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around, The Dog Year, and On Maggie’s Watch. She is in the process of writing Falling In Love Is The Easy Part which will launch in 2022.
Ann worked as an RN and after receiving her Ph.D taught Exercise Physiology, Sport Psychology Nutrition, Stress Management, and Global Health for thirty years in the University of Wisconsin system. She currently teaches creative writing at Drexel University in their low residency Masters of Fine Arts program and has held positions at Miami University and Southern New Hampshire in their Masters of Fine Arts Creative Writing programs.
Ann is the founder of the multiple award-winning Tall Poppy Writers where she is committed to helping women writers succeed. She is a sought-after speaker on writing, leadership and health and has taught extensively in NY, San Francisco, LA, Boston, and at festivals across the country.
Visit her website at anngarvin.net.
Jacquelyn Mitchard is the author of 23 books of fiction and non-fiction for adults, young adults and children, with more than 3 million copies in 34 languages worldwide. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and she has won or been nominated for prizes including the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Shirley Jackson Award, the Heartland Prize for Fiction and others.
A native of Chicago, she lives on Cape Cod with her family. Her next novel, Loveland, Murderland, will be published in October by Mira/HarperCollins.
Learn more at jacquelynmitchard.com.
Kelly Mustian grew up in Natchez, Mississippi, the southern terminus of the historic Natchez Trace. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and commercial magazines, and her short fiction has won a Blumenthal Writers and Readers Series Award.
She is a past recipient of a Regional Artist Grant from the North Carolina Arts and Science Council. Kelly currently lives with her family near the foothills of North Carolina. The Girls in the Stilt House is her debut novel.
Visit her website at kellymustian.com.
Cynthia Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookseller, which is slated to be a motion picture produced by and starring Julia Roberts. An Indie Next selection and the winner of the WILLA Award for Historical Fiction, The Bookseller was also nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award and the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Reading the West Award.
Cynthia’s second novel, the USA Today bestseller The Glass Forest, was noted in Forbes as being one of “5 Novels With a Remarkably Strong Sense of Place.” Cynthia is the editor of the anthology Denver Noir, forthcoming from Akashic Books in 2022. She lives with her family in Denver, Colorado.
Find Cynthia online at www.cynthiaswansonauthor.com
Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in 26 other countries. Her follow up novel, The Wicked Sister (August 2020, G.P. Putnam’s Sons), is also an international bestseller and was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of their Best Books of 2020.
Both The Wicked Sister and The Marsh King’s Daughter were selected by the Library of Michigan as Michigan Notable Books, and The Marsh King’s Daughter took home the Barry and the Crimson Scribe Awards for Best Novel. The Marsh King’s Daughter was also chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by iBooks, Hudson Booksellers, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Irish Independent, The Florida Sun-Sentinel, Library Journal, Shelf Awareness and many other booksellers and reviewers, and is in development as a major motion picture. Visit Karen at www.karen-dionne.com
Hank is also an award-winning investigative reporter at Boston’s WHDH-TV. In addition to 37 EMMYs and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank’s won dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. Hank is a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and served as past president of national Sisters in Crime. Her upcoming novel, Her Perfect Life, will be published September 14, 2021. Learn more at www.HankPhillippiRyan.com.
Widowed Samantha Arias hasn’t spoken to Holly Dunfee in forever. It’s for the best. Samantha prefers to avoid conflict. The blisteringly honest Holly craves it. What they still have in common puts them both back on speed dial: a mutual love for Katie, their best friend of twenty-five years, now hospitalized with cancer and needing one little errand from her old college roomies.
It’s simple: travel cross-country together, steal her loathsome ex-husband’s VW camper, find Katie’s diabetic Great Pyrenees at a Utah rescue, and drive him back home to Wisconsin. If it’ll make Katie happy, no favor is too big (one hundred pounds), too daunting (two thousand miles), or too illegal (ish), even when a boho D-list celebrity hitches a ride and drives the road trip in fresh directions.
Samantha and Holly are following every new turn–toward second chances, unexpected romance, and self-discovery–and finally blowing the dust off the secret that broke their friendship. On the open road, they’ll try to put it back together–for themselves, and especially for the love of Katie.
Purchase I Thought You Said This Would Work from an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase I Thought You Said This Would Work online at www.bookshop.org.
Just hours after his wife and her entire family perish in the Christmas Eve tsunami, former police officer Frank Mercy pulls a little boy from a submerged car. Not quite knowing why, Frank doesn’t turn Ian over to the Red Cross. Instead he makes up a story about where the boy came from and takes him home, where Frank realizes that Ian has an otherworldly gift—an extraordinary ability to transform lives beyond anything he’d ever imagined. Awed and confused, Frank confesses Ian’s secret to Claudia, a beautiful champion rider who is training for the Olympics. They join together to fight the sinister forces gathering to take Ian back. In a final confrontation, Frank and Claudia will risk everything—their love, their family, their very lives—to save this boy they now love as their own son.
Purchase Two If By Sea from an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase Two If By Sea online at www.bookshop.org.
Ada promised herself she would never go back to the Trace, to her hard life on the swamp and her harsh father. But now, after running away to Baton Rouge and briefly knowing a different kind of life, she finds herself with nowhere to go but back home. And she knows there will be a price to pay with her father.
Matilda, daughter of a sharecropper, is from the other side of the Trace. Doing what she can to protect her family from the whims and demands of some particularly callous locals is an ongoing struggle. She forms a plan to go north, to pack up the secrets she’s holding about her life in the South and hang them on the line for all to see in Ohio.
As the two girls are drawn deeper into a dangerous world of bootleggers and moral corruption, they must come to terms with the complexities of their tenuous bond and a hidden past that links them in ways that could cost them their lives.
Purchase The Girls in the Stilt House from an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase The Girls in the Stilt House online at www.bookshop.org.
In the autumn of 1960, Angie Glass is living an idyllic life in her Wisconsin hometown. At twenty-one, she’s married to charming, handsome Paul, and has just given birth to a baby boy. But one phone call changes her life forever.
When Paul’s niece, Ruby, reports that her father, Henry, has committed suicide, and that her mother, Silja, is missing, Angie and Paul drop everything and fly to the small upstate town of Stonekill, New York to be by Ruby’s side.
Angie thinks they’re coming to the rescue of Paul’s grief-stricken young niece, but Ruby is a composed and enigmatic seventeen-year-old who resists Angie’s attempts to nurture her. As Angie learns more about the complicated Glass family, staying in Henry and Silja’s eerie and ultra-modern house on the edge of the woods, she begins to question the very fabric of her own marriage.
Through Silja’s flashbacks, Angie’s discovery of astonishing truths, and Ruby’s strategic dissection of her parents’ state of affairs, a story of love, secrets, and ultimate betrayal is revealed.
Purchase The Glass Forest from an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase The Glass Forest online at www.bookshop.org.
The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne
From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Marsh King’s Daughter comes a startling novel of psychological suspense as two generations of sisters try to unravel their tangled relationships between nature and nurture, guilt and betrayal, love and evil.
You have been cut off from society for fifteen years, shut away in a mental hospital in self-imposed exile as punishment for the terrible thing you did when you were a child.
But what if nothing about your past is as it seems? And if you didn’t accidentally shoot and kill your mother, then whoever did is still out there. Waiting for you.
Purchase The Wicked Sister at an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase The Wicked Sister online at www.bookshop.org.
We all have our reasons for being who we are―but what if being someone else could get you what you want?
After a devastating betrayal, a young woman sets off on an obsessive path to justice, no matter what dark family secrets are revealed. What she doesn’t know―she isn’t the only one plotting revenge. An affluent daughter of privilege. A glamorous manipulative wannabe. A determined reporter, in too deep. A grieving widow who has to choose her new reality.
Who will be the first to lie? And when the stakes are life and death, do a few lies really matter?
Purchase The First to Lie at an independent bookstore near you.
Purchase The First to Lie online at www.bookshop.org.