Goodreads summary + cover
WITH MURDER IN COMMON FRIENDSHIP IS INEVITABLE.
In the town of Hollow Creek, South Carolina, two separate murders, fifteen years apart, unite fifteen-year-old Pleasant Day and sixty-year-old Clarissa Blackwell. As Pleasant Day struggles with her mother's distance, her father's infidelity and the death of her best friend, she
draws closer to Clarissa, an older woman with the secrets to heal her. But Clarissa has struggles of her own as she faces betrayal and seeks to come to terms with old wounds. With her unpredictable psychic ability to 'read people' Clarissa uncovers the answers to a deadly crime and to Pleasant's true identity. In the end, both Pleasant and Clarissa's worlds are transformed by the truths they're forced to accept, and both find solace and strength in the histories that have shaped them.
"Absolutely unputdownable, a real page turner. Be prepared to clear your schedule for the day. You're going to read this one straight through! This is Vera Jane Cook's best one yet!" — Wall to Wall Books.
"A beautiful blend of past and present with loveable, memorable characters and a page turning pace, I was sorry I couldn't read it in one sitting." — Jenn Doyle, Books & Life.
"A beautiful piece of southern fiction...a great page turner...this book is filled with delightful characters, charm, warmth, love and last but certainly not least, wonderful humor." — Arlene Uslander, Editor and writer.
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Interview with Ms Vera Jane Cook
But first let's get some background on her:
Vera Jane Cook, writer of Award Winning Women's Fiction, is the author of Dancing Backward in Paradise, The Story of Sassy Sweetwater, Where the Wildflowers Grow and Lies a River Deep. In the paranormal genre, Vera Jane is the author of Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem.
Jane, as she is known to family and friends, was born in New York City and grew up amid the eccentricity of her southern and glamorous mother on the Upper West and Upper East Side of Manhattan. An only child, Jane turned to reading novels at an early age and was deeply influenced by an eclectic group of authors. Some of her favorite authors today are Nelson DeMille, Wally Lamb, Anne Rice, Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Alice Walker and Anne Rivers Siddons. Her favorite novels are too long to list but include The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Cheri and The Last of Cheri, The Picture of Dorian Grey, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Kite Runner, Dogs of Babel, The Bluest Eye, The Color Purple, Body Surfing, Lolita, The Brothers Karamazov, She's Come Undone, Tale of Two Cities, etc., etc., etc.,
Jane worked in the professional theatre for over a decade, falling further in love with the plays of Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neil, Lillian Hellmann, and Sam Shepherd. She has appeared in television, regional theatre, film and off Broadway. Some of her credits have included both classic and original plays at Playwrights Horizons, WPA Theatre, Kennedy Center, Theatre for The New City, Bucks County Playhouse and many others.
After ten years in the theatre, Jane developed a passion for art history, film theory and philosophy. To nurture her many interests, she enrolled at Hunter College through the CUNY BA/BS program from the City University of New York.
Jane received her degree in Communications and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1982. She went on to earn a Masters in Educational Theatre from New York University and took an honorary withdrawal from Actors Equity, SAG and AFTRA. For the next decade, Jane became a teacher and seminar/workshop leader. At the New Lincoln School, she taught creative writing, drama and English to middle and high school students. She also taught the craft of acting to adult professionals at various colleges and adult centers.
A bizarre mid-life crisis forced Jane into corporate life at the age of forty-five. She worked as an education territory manager for The New York Times and presented many workshops on using the newspaper in education as a tool for teaching English as a Second Language. She has worked as a Project Manager for the Education department of the New York Daily News, as well as an Education Specialist for Oxford University Press (ESL division) and as an Education Consultant for Scholastic. Jane is presently an account manager for Rally Education in Manhattan.
Jane has completed ten novels. Her next novel, Marybeth, Hollister and Jane, will be published by Musa in 2013. Dancing Backward In Paradise won an Eric Hoffer Award for publishing excellence and an Indie Excellence Award for notable new fiction, 2007. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater and Dancing Backward in Paradise received 5 Star ForeWord Clarion Reviews and The Story of Sassy Sweetwater has been named a finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Awards. Jane has published in ESL Magazine, Christopher Street Magazine and has written several newsletters and online blogs. Jane has also written early childhood curriculum. Her published curriculum has been for Weekly Reader and McGraw Hill.
The author is married and lives on the Upper West side of Manhattan with her spouse, her Basenji/Chihuahua mix, Roxie, her chihuahua puppy, Peanut, and her two pussy cats, Sassy and Sweetie Pie. Added to the mix is Carly, an adopted five year old chocolate brown DachshundVera Jane Cook’s Website: http://www.verajanecook.com/
Vera Jane Cook on Twitter: https://twitter.com/verajanecook
Vera Jane Cook on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vera.j.cook
1). What was the process like of writing this novel and how long did it take?
Pleasant Day did not take as long to write as some of my other novels and that is most likely because part of the book is written in first person. When I write in first person the whole story just comes to me like I’m channeling a voice from some distant domain.
2). Can you relate to any of the characters/events? Did you take some events from your own life?
Like Pleasant, I love literature and I love the great outdoors but I guess the similarity ends there. I was never as outspoken, until I became older, like Clarissa, who is a bit like me. She loves to walk, loves nature and regrets the loss of some people in her life, like me.
3). Tell me two unusual/secret facts about yourself –
I love to gossip and I shop at Marshall’s.
4). What's your favourite part about writing?
Re-writing and editing and finishing.
I hope you enjoyed our brief interview and as always, thanks Vera Jane Cook!! :)
Follow the Tour:Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 7 Spotlight & Giveaway Bound 4 Escape Apr 8 Review Confessions Of A Reader Apr 9 Interview What U Talking Bout Willis? Apr 13 Review Mythical Books Apr 14 Interview Room With Books Apr 15 Review & Giveaway Winter Reads Apr 17 Interview & Giveaway Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author Apr 20 Excerpt Wall To Wall Books Apr 21 Review Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 22 Review From Isi Apr 27 Review Writer In Progress Apr 28 Review & Giveaway Sapphyria's Book Reviews Apr 29 Excerpt The Book Diva's Reads Apr 30 Review & Excerpt Suko's Notebook May 5 Review Deal Sharing Aunt May 6 Review & Giveaway Lightning Chronicles May 12 Review, Interview & Giveaway Indie Review Behind the Scenes May 14 live I 6 pm cst Melina's Book Blog May 18 Review & Giveaway Cassandra M's Place May 21 Review & Giveaway Jersey Girl Book Reviews May 22 Review & Excerpt The Mama Games May 25 Review Pinky's Favorite Reads May 26 Review Pinky's Favorite Reads May 27 I & G Bassgiraffe's Thoughts May 28 Review
HUGE thanks to both Vera Jane Cook for providing me with the answers to my questions and Teddy Rose for being so understanding, sweet and providing me with the relevant material. Y'all rock <3
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Byeee!!! :D Be sure to come back soon!