Thursday, June 18, 2015

We're sweet on Lori Nelson Spielman....plus a book giveaway


Lori Nelson Spielman was last at CLC a couple of years ago to talk about her debut novel, The Life List (reviewed here). I loved it and recommended it to my mom, who couldn't stop talking about how great it was. Lori is so genuinely nice and it's always a pleasure to e-mail with her. Her writing is reflective of her gentle personality, as you can gather from this interview. She is back today to talk about her sophomore novel, Sweet Forgiveness. It's in my TBR pile and I'm excited to see what's behind the very unique and artistic cover. Also, author Samantha Stroh Bailey recently said the following:

"With impeccable skill and beautiful prose, she deftly pens a story of forgiveness, acceptance, and love, creating such fully developed characters that I could feel them next to me."

(Since Samantha and I have similar tastes in books, I have a feeling I'll enjoy it too.)

Lucky for our US readers, Lori has THREE copies of Sweet Forgiveness to give away.

Visit Lori at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

What is your favorite compliment that you've received about your writing?
Thank you so much for hosting me today, Melissa. I’m always humbled when readers tell me THE LIFE LIST comforted them while they grieved the loss of their mother. I also love when I hear the books inspired readers, either to follow their dreams or forgive. I just received a message from a woman in Israel who asked if I would send a wedding message to her friend, who followed Brett’s journey after reading THE LIFE LIST. She quit her job and uprooted her life, including accepting a date that she normally wouldn’t have. She is now marrying the man!

What is a piece of constructive feedback from The Life List that you used for Sweet Forgiveness?
One of my characters had a potty mouth. Her voice sounded authentic to me, since I have a few friends who can drop the F Bomb as easily as the word “the”! But some readers were offended, especially older women, and I regretted that. One woman wrote to say THE LIFE LIST was the filthiest book she’d ever read. “I loved it, but I could never recommend it to my friends.” I wasn’t sure whether to say I’m sorry or thank you!

Did you learn anything new from writing Sweet Forgiveness?
I learned so much! First, writing a second book is terrifying! Still unpublished, I had no pressure when writing THE LIFE LIST. I figured my mother would read it, but other than that, I had no expectations. (Hope, yes; expectations, no!) Suddenly, the book sold and my agent was asking for the second novel. I’m a people-pleaser, so I was desperate to write a novel that wouldn’t disappoint. It was nearly crippling. Additionally, I was diagnosed with breast cancer while I was in the midst of writing, so that added an additional hurdle. It was hard to be light and breezy during those days and, for better or worse, I think this book is heavier because of my illness.

Can you tell us what the most difficult scene to write in Sweet Forgiveness was, and how you got through it?
Oh, my gosh! The very first scene was the hardest for me. Where, exactly, should the story begin? The Forgiveness Stones concept had to be introduced quickly, and I needed to do it in a way that was organic, without too much backstory. It couldn’t read like a non-fiction self-help manual! I must have scrapped a dozen versions of the beginning scene before finally settling on my character reading a newspaper article.

If you could cast the movie version of Sweet Forgiveness, who would play the lead characters?
First let me say, if the movie were ever made, I’d be happy with ANYONE in the leading roles! But if I could offer my two cents, I’d suggest Hannah be played by someone attractive but not gorgeous, someone with personality, but also a quiet vulnerability, like Rachel McAdams, Jennifer Garner or Reese Witherspoon. Hannah’s love interest is in his early 40’s, and I could imagine Mark Ruffalo, Matthew McConaughey, or my favorite, Hugh Jackman!

Playing off your title...
What is your favorite sweet treat?
I confess, I am a sugarholic! My very favorite treat is my mother’s homemade pie, lemon meringue, in particular.

What is a behavior you consider unforgivable?
I’d love to say I could forgive anything, but sadly I don’t have that much grace. I’m horrified by what’s happening in the world with terrorism. When I watch footage of inhumane murders and destruction of ancient artifacts, I find no mercy in my heart. (Sorry! I didn’t mean to end our conversation on such a downer!)

Thanks to Lori for visiting with us and sharing her latest novel with our readers.

~Introduction and interview by Melissa Amster

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

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US only. Giveaway ends June 23rd at midnight EST.

29 comments:

Kristi said...

I don't think I would be able to forgive infidelity. It's hard to choose just one!

Janine said...

As already mentioned, infidelity is a big one for me too.

Rhonda J G said...

I would forgive but not forget!

Ruth Lyons Mazur said...

I called my sister to tell her that I have breast cancer and instead of telling me that s he was sorry to hear the news, she told me that I'm a very negative person and was just looking for sympathy and help. I was very upset with her reaction and I hung up the phone. I can never forgive her for that. I'm having a double mastectomy with reconstruction next week. My doctor, nurse navigator and cancer therapist told me to reach out to family and friends for support. Everyone has been so kind and compassionate and are praying for me, with the exception of my sister.

susieqlaw said...

I've not met the situation yet that I cannot forgive and hope I never do.

Melanie Backus said...

We need to have forgiving hearts and I hope I will be able to forgive if something terrible arises. Forgetting is something very challenging as well.

Bonnie Franks said...

Forgiving is important and we should forgive when we can. That having been said, intentionally hurt a member of my family and watch out.

Suburban prep said...

Cheating is not forgivable

cpr040304 said...

Infidelity is a big one for sure. Once the trust is damaged it would be very difficult to look away from it.

Allison Smith said...

I find it easy to forgive, because life it was to short to harbor grudges and forgiveness is a gift to yourself, as well as the person you're forgiving. That being said - if anyone hurt one of my children, all bets are off!!!

Linda Kish said...

Physical abuse. I was a battered wife 45 years ago and have never forgotten that experience. No one should ever abuse another person.

Carol Fragale Brill said...

A very timely question for me. Just blogged about forgiveness yesterday at http://knowhopeknowgrowth.blogspot.com/2015/06/four-must-know-lessons-about-forgiveness.html

Suzy said...

Deception is a big one for me.

Vicki said...

There is nothing I wouldn't forgive. We all say and do things we regret and wish we could take back. So I will always forgive, but forgetting is impossible.

Patricia said...

Betrayal is hard to forgive, but I've worked really hard at forgiving it (and moving on).

Hailey Fish said...

Cheating! As the saying goes: once a cheater, always a cheater.

Melissa Seng said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers. My Mom is a breast cancer survivor for 20 years now. If you want to talk to someone who has been through it, let me know.

Melissa Seng said...

I don't know if I will ever be able to forgive my younger cousin for disappearing when I got sick. She and I were attached at the hip. I was her friend, her cousin, her advisor, and even a mother figure to her. I haven't spoken to her now in two years and I probably won't ever again. She lives 5 miles from me, by the way.
She is getting married in September. She never even told me she was engaged. We decided long ago that we would be each other's maids of honor. I'm not even invited to the wedding. So cliche, but she's pretty much dead to me. I have done a lot for her. She had a terrible upbringing and I was there for it all. She's going to have to work really hard to get me back in her life. I probably wouldn't even if she begged.
Another is when boyfriends just leave, while you are sick in the hospital. I never heard boo about it. The (45) year old man sent a text message to my mom and told her that he was done. He also dropped his copy of my house key at my parents house. No explanation. Just gone. Two and a half years and we never had a fight. Honest. We were yin and yang. He was my rock and biggest supporter and if he ever came knocking (he won't) I wouldn't answer the door. Unforgivable. Not at all how adults "break up." Wow. I feel great now. Lol

Anonymous said...

If someone did something to hurt any member of my family I would never fogive

JJT said...

Hard to forgive a hurt

LettyB said...

Thankfully I have not been in a situation where I haven't been able to forgive someone. It would have to be something terrible like someone seriously hurting a family member physically or fatally.

bn100 said...

cheating

Kathryn Craft said...

When someone destroys your property and doesn't offer to repair/replace/pay for it.

Jennifer said...

For myself I don't want to hold onto something for that long and have it destroy me. I will forgive you but I won't forget the hurt or harm you caused.

Bonnie K. said...

I would find it difficult to forgive someone that abused or killed a loved one.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Kimberly V said...

I can't forgive manipulation and backstabbing.

JenniferC said...

I find it hard to forgive intentionally hurting others.

Cindy Crawford said...

Betrayal without true remorse

Katherine Ivan said...

In addition to acts of terrorism, I am not able to forgive the trafficking, abuse, or killing with malice aforethought of humans and animals.