Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lynda Cohen Loigman is a "hot" new author...plus a book giveaway

Lynda Cohen Loigman and I have a few things in common: We're Jewish, we like The Goldbergs, and we're addicted to Hamilton. So I'm thrilled to have her at CLC to celebrate the publication of her debut novel, The Two-Family House (reviewed here). She's here today to talk about her favorite season (and she has a lot to say). Thanks to St. Martin's Press, we have THREE copies of her book for some lucky readers in the US and/or Canada!

Lynda grew up in Longmeadow, MA. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. She is a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, and lives with her husband and two children in Chappaqua, New York. She is a failure at enforcing reasonable bedtimes.

Visit Lynda at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Brooklyn, 1947: In the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born, minutes apart. The mothers are sisters by marriage: dutiful, quiet Rose, who wants nothing more than to please her difficult husband; and warm, generous Helen, the exhausted mother of four rambunctious boys who seem to need her less and less each day. Raising their families side by side, supporting one another, Rose and Helen share an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic winter night.

When the storm passes, life seems to return to normal; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and the once deep friendship between the two women begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost, but not quite, wins. Moving and evocative, Lynda Cohen Loigman's debut novel
 is a heart-wrenching, gripping multi-generational story, woven around the deepest of secrets. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

What is your favorite season?
I am tempted to say winter, because one of the most important moments in my book takes place in the middle of a blizzard, but summer has always been my favorite season. Given the choice between being too hot or too cold, I will always choose too hot.

What is your favorite thing about summer overall?
As I’ve gotten older, the things I appreciate most about summer have changed. My childhood summers were spent at the local pool and the town library, so my favorite early summer memories are of participating in the library’s summer reading program. I still remember how excited I was to have the librarian check off my finished books every week. Later in my teens, the thing I loved most about summer was that it stayed light out until 8:30 or 9:00 pm. Getting more time outside at night made me feel like I was getting away with something, even when I wasn’t.

Now that both of my children are teenagers, and my high school junior stays up later than I do, I am grateful mostly for the unstructured time this season brings. Getting extra sleep, ditching our complicated weekly schedule and freeing our house of homework-related stress so we can all spend more time together is, without questions, my favorite thing about summer now.

What is your favorite thing to eat in the summer?
I’m from Massachusetts, so when I was little, summer meant hopping in the car and driving to Cape Cod or up to Maine on the weekends. My mother never made hotel reservations, so we would drive around until we found a vacancy somewhere, and at night we would get fried clams or lobster rolls from one of the local fish shacks. To this day, summer doesn’t start for me until I’ve had my first lobster roll. I’m very picky about them, and a good one means tons of lobster meat, little to no mayo, and absolutely no celery.

 What is your favorite thing to drink in the summer?
I’m much less picky about my drinks than I am about my lobster rolls. My favorite nonalcoholic summer drink is lemonade. If I’m having an alcoholic drink, I usually get a margarita on the rocks, with tons of lime and no salt. When it’s hot outside, I always crave something sour.

What is your favorite thing to wear in the summer?
Do shoes count? Nothing makes me happier than colorful sandals in the summertime. I’m barely over five feet tall, so I prefer a little bit of a heel. For me, open-toe wedges are the most comfortable kind of shoe, and I’m always happy when I can pull mine out of the closet.

What is your favorite summer holiday?
There are only three summer holidays I can think of, and I’m not a big fan of two of them. Memorial Day signals the beginning of the season, but in the past few years we’ve been too swamped with Regents, final exams and end of school projects to truly enjoy it. Labor Day has a melancholy feeling to it because it means summer is almost over. Without question, my favorite summer holiday is the Fourth of July.

By the time July 4th rolls around, the mad rush of June is over, and the end of summer isn’t even in sight. Everyone has loosened up, and the weather is finally warm enough (even in the northeast) for the beach or the pool. Basically, I love everything about the Fourth of July – the fireworks, the music, the parades and the pie. Blueberry pie is my go-to dessert, mostly because it’s the easiest to prepare. Plus, if you’re shooting for a patriotic menu, it’s one of the few blue foods you can serve.

What is your favorite thing to do in the summer?
When my husband and I started dating, our first weekend away was in Martha’s Vineyard. He had never been, and he fell in love with it before he even set foot on the island. More than twenty years later, he still talks about how much he enjoys getting on the ferry, and how completely relaxed he feels when the boat pulls away from the dock.

We try to go to Martha’s Vineyard in August every summer, and it has become our most beloved family tradition. Every spring, a debate rages in our house about whether to stay at the inn that is walking distance from the town, or the hotel that is walking distance from the beach. I vote beach every year, but my husband and children change their minds constantly.

Part of the magic of going to the same place every year is that we all have our favorite rituals. My husband loves wandering around the local art galleries, my son can’t wait for his daily walks to the candy store and my daughter is obsessed with the alpaca farm. As for me, if I’m not at the beach, the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven is my favorite place to be.

* * *

Thanks so much for having me! This was great fun to think about, and now I can’t wait for summer!

Thanks to Lynda for visiting with us and St. Martin's Press for sharing her book with our readers.

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/Canada only. Giveaway ends March 14th at midnight EST.

Enter to win from Confessions of a Bookaholic through March 11th (open worldwide).


Megan -- booksandcarbs said...

My kids are finally all secure swimmers so I am looking forward to reading while they safely swim!

TinaB said...


Janine said...

My summer isn't much different from the rest of the year as we really don't do much. But I do look forward to fireworks. The town next to us has two celebrations, one called Sunnyfest (the town of Sunnyvale holds it the Friday before the 4th of July) and another called Berean Blast put on by a church on Memorial Day weekend. On 4th of July, we always try to find some place else to watch fireworks again.

Chris Moore said...

I look forward to more family time. My youngest is still in school at CCBC and without school he only has work so he is home more. Also I look forward to longer days and hopefully some outings with the hubby on his days off.

Tatum Rangel said...

Congrats on your debut novel! I'd love to read it.

traveler said...

I look forward to hopefully a vacation at the beach. Summer is my favorite season. Long days and balmy evenings.

susieqlaw said...

The beach! Hopefully!

Cher B said...

Looks like we all have the same answer: beach vacation! I like to be active and have new travel experiences, but my favorite summer days are spent with friends and family at the beach, reading a great book under the umbrella.

Unknown said...

I look forward to reading in the sunshine.

Bonnie K. said...

Not sure since it gets too hot here. One thing I do need to do is try to get to the coast more often. I almost forgot; there are many summer birthdays to celebrate.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Nova said...

looking forward to a few day trips. we don't have the extra $$ to stay overnight, so we will pack up the car with drinks and snacks and take off for the day.

Anonymous said...

Longer days and some time off.


Linda Kish said...

I'm retired so it's really more of the same for me.

Jeryl M. said...

I am looking forward to going fun places with my family.

Grandma Cootie said...

Looking forward to having the great-grandcooties visit! 4 of them, ages 7 to 1.

lbryant said...

Just looking forward to having more time to read more great books.

Susan Roberts said...

I am looking forward to fresh vegetables from my garden

Tracy said...

I am in desperate need of warm weather!!!!!

Suzanne said...

Taking my hubbie on his first trip to Israel, so we can watch my BFF get married!!!!

rubynreba said...

Vacation but I don't know for sure where yet! Also looking forward to warm weather!!

Jennifer C said...

For me, it means lots of time to relax and read! Can't wait!

Kimberly V said...

I'm looking forward to not having to pack lunches every morning.

Hailsbells said...

What I'm most looking forward to summer is: swinging on my porch swing and reading, late night swims with my girls, warm weather, going to fairs, going for long walks, going to the beach and sitting on the sand under an umbrella and just lounging as I read a really good book.