Guest Author: Abbi Waxman

Abbi Waxman is guest author of #LitChat on May 22, 2017 at 4 p.m. Follow #LitChat on Twitter, or login to our dedicated channel at www.twubs.com/litchat.

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Guest Author: Hala Alyan

Hala Alyan is guest host of #LitChat on May 8, 2017 at 4 p.m. ET. Follow #LitChat on Twitter, or login to our dedicated channel at www.twubs.com/litchat.

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Guest Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz is guest author of #LitChat on May 1, 2017 at 4 p.m. ET. Follow #LitChat on Twitter, or login to our dedicated channel at www.twubs.com/litchat.

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About LitChat

#LitChat is a fun, fast, and friendly way for book-lovers to talk about reading, writing and publishing on Twitter. We have moderated chat with guest authors each Monday from 4-5 p.m. E.T.

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Coming Up

Click here to see the list of guest authors scheduled for upcoming weeks in #LitChat. You can follow #LitChat in Twitter, or login to our dedicated channel in Twubs.

kimberley cameron & Shannon Capone Kirk in #LitChat

Past LitChats

We have held #LitChat sessions in Twitter with bestselling, award-winning, critically acclaimed, and emerging authors since 2009. Click #LitChat Archives for chatscripts of past #LitChat sessions.

Author Blogs

Book Reviews

The Woman Behind Albert Einstein

The Woman Behind Albert Einstein

Hadn’t everything important already been written about the great scientist Albert Einstein and his life? What fresh light could I possibly shed on the iconic man and those lives intertwined with his? These were the questions that plagued me as I dug into the research for my book, The Other Einstein.

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Taking Control of Your Backlist

Taking Control of Your Backlist

There’s a prejudice in publishing that even those who aren’t on the inside have understood for years. Traditional publishers are “better” than independents. While that might still be the case for the most part, the tables are turning in favor of the independents, and those of us who have previously been published…

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Writing Your Way Home

Writing Your Way Home

I live in Chapel Hill, home of the Tar Heels and many illustrious University of North Carolina alums, including Thomas Wolfe who famously said, “You can’t go home again.” And yet most writers would disagree with his sentiment. The concept of home is one huge, goopy gray area that echoes with contradictions and powerful emotions—positive and negative. Home represents beginnings and endings; home represents moving on and never letting go.

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The Tribe’s the Thing

The Tribe’s the Thing

The trajectory of my writing career has never been a normal one (if there is such a thing). My major was English, not Creative Writing, because I loved reading and writing about literature (I still do), and I didn’t finish my graduate degree until I was thirty….

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A Writer’s Success Isn’t Book Sales Alone

A Writer’s Success Isn’t Book Sales Alone

It happens every day to writers: your book gets published and, as excited as you may have been, it goes nowhere or doesn’t go where you thought it would. Maybe it had a bad cover, poor marketing, another similar book came out at the same time with better packaging—you name it….

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The Comet Seekers

By Helen Sedgwick;Reviewed by Billie Hinton

the-comet-seekersHelen Sedgwick’s The Comet Seekers is an absolutely beautiful novel: spare, elegant, and as full of light as the comets that offer its structure. Sedgwick, writer, editor, and a former research physicist, has a gift for language and metaphor. Her prose soars.>The story begins in 2017 and travels back and forth in time, spanning centuries that are marked by comets whose names and characteristics reveal personalities…

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Out of Abaton: The Wooden Prince

By John Claude Bemis; Reviewed by Sarah Page

The Wooden PrinceIt’s always interesting to read a new take on an old story. Out of Abaton: The Wooden Prince, is the first part of a new series by John Claude Bemis featuring the familiar character Pinocchio. I was intrigued when I read the synopsis of the book online, and wondered how Bemis might have reimagined these well-known characters. I was slightly hesitant to choose this book because the story of Pinocchio has never really appealed to me. I am, now that I have finished it, glad…

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Aim

By Joyce Hostetter; Reviewed by Carol Baldwin

aimWhen critically acclaimed children’s book author Joyce Hostetter’s editor suggested she write a novel based in her own backyard, Hostetter spun a tale of the polio epidemic in Hickory, NC and called it Blue (2006). The main character had more to tell and Hostetter’s 2009 novel Comfort  continues the story of Anne Fay dealing with the effects of polio, as well as her father’s return from WWII. Both novels were widely praised and won awards, but Hostetter knew there was more to these stories. A prequel to these two novels, Aim imagines the world before Blue

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To the Bright Edge of the World

By Eowyn Ivey; Reviewed by Mary Vensel White

to-the-bright-edge-of-the-worldTo the Bright Edge of the World is Eowyn Ivey’s highly-anticipated second novel, another story set in the rugged and breathtaking expanse that is Alaska. Her debut, The Snow Child, was the tale of a pioneering, childless couple who build a little girl from snow and watch her magically come to life. Fans of Ivey’s touching, fairy tale first novel will find much to like in her new one, but it’s another type of story altogether.

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Be Light Like a Bird

By Monika Schroeder; Reviewed by Carol Baldwin

be-like-a-birdSeveral weeks ago I attended Highlights Foundation Summer Camp and I’m still reflecting on the material I learned. One of the keynote addresses was by Susan Campbell Bartoletti which I blogged about here. In this review I use some of Bartoletti’s points to review Monika Schroeder’s latest middle grade novel, Be Light Like a Bird.

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The Last Cherry Blossom

By Kathleen Burkinshaw; Reviewed by Carol Baldwin
TheLastCherryBlossom

Twelve-year-old Yuriko has become accustomed to daily air raid drills and the sounds of American B-29s flying over Hiroshima. But even though the sounds are familiar, she is always worried. Will we actually get bombed? What if the school collapses? Will a desk actually protect me? Is my papa safe? How will I find him if a bomb hits us?

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Allegheny Front

By Matthew Neill Null; Reviewed by Billie Hinton
Allegheny Front

Like the river that rushes through Matthew Neill Null’s prize-winning debut story collection, Allegheny Front is a thing of wild beauty. And while the writing is what won Sarabande Books’ Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, the physical book itself is a delight to hold in the hand: textured cover with big bold imagery, lush creamy pages, the perfect size and weight for ease of reading. Which is all beside the point when the stories inside are riveting and raw, rich and searing, with turns of phrase as clear and sharp as the masterful cracking of a whip….

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The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall

By Shannon Kirk; Reviewed by Dawn Reno Langley
The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne MarshallVivienne Marshall’s chance to shop for the heaven she will call her own begins the day she is struck down, a victim of texting-while-walking. The 35-year-old relives her life and plans her afterlife during the course of this extraordinary (excuse the pun) novel by award-winning author Shannon Kirk.

The novel imagines a process that dying people embark upon, the last choice they actually make during their lifetime: the choice of what life after life will become. Vivienne’s images of heaven …

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The High Places

By Fiona McFarlane; Reviewed by Mary Vensel White

The High PlacesFiona McFarlane’s first collection of stories, The High Places, follows the 2013 publication of her well-received novel, The Night Guest. Her debut was hailed as a meditation on isolation, identity and memory. It’s the story of Ruth, a widower living alone in an Australian beach house. She becomes convinced she sees a tiger, both outside and inside her house. Her mental state is questionable and this unpredictable narrator adds to the feeling of suspense as the story unfolds….

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Empty Places

By Kathy Wiechman; Reviewed by Carol Baldwin

empty placesKathy Wiechman’s second historical novel, Empty Places, is well-researched, beautifully written, and evocative of time and place (the 1930’s in Harlan County, Kentucky).
Within the first few pages the reader meets spunky, 13-year-old Adabel Cutler who is trying her darndest to keep her family from falling apart. Adabel’s father is a coal miner who drinks too much and fights with her big brother…

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