Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Nothing puzzling about Leah Mercer...plus a book giveaway

We are so excited to have Leah Mercer at CLC today. The last time we had her here for a visit was as Talli Roland. While Talli's novels are more lighthearted and humorous, Leah's novels deal with heavier subject matter. Melissa A has enjoyed her previous novels (see reviews posted further down) and is going to be reading Leah's latest, The Puzzle of You, in the near future. Leah has TWO copies to share with some lucky readers!

Leah Mercer can't remember a time when she didn't love writing. From creating fake newspapers to writing letters to the editor, scribbling something was always on the agenda. Even the rejections she received after completing her first novel at age 13 didn't dent her enthusiasm.

So it makes sense, then, that she pursued a career in anything but writing. Public relations, teaching, recruitment, editing medical journals -- even a stint painting houses -- until she finally succumbed once more to the lure of the blank page.

When she's not being jumped on by her young son or burning supper while thinking of plot lines, Leah can be found furiously tapping away on her laptop, trying not to check Twitter or Facebook.

Leah also writes romantic comedies under the name Talli Roland. (Courtesy of Leah's website.)

Visit Leah online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Melissa's reviews of Leah's other books:
Who We Were Before
The Man I Thought You Were

She’s woken up in a life she doesn’t recognize – with a daughter she doesn’t remember.

When Charlotte McKay wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of how she got there, all she wants is to go back to the perfect London flat she shares with her husband, and the impressive career she’s worked so hard to build. But something’s not right. Her husband David is at her bedside – but so is a three-year-old girl, and she’s calling Charlotte ‘Mummy’…

Charlotte’s first instinct is panic. When – why – did she have a child? What about her promotion, her independence, her romantic weekends with David? She loved being that woman: how can she have turned into the stay-at-home mother she swore she’d never be?

Back at home, she dives into her unfamiliar world, hoping to piece together the mystery of her transformation. But faced with so much that feels foreign and unnatural, will she ever be happy in a life she can’t remember having – or wanting to have?
(Courtesy of Amazon.)

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?
I love it when people say my books ring true to them – that my readers can see their actions and emotions reflected in my characters and plots. That’s a huge compliment, because it means I got it right. Of course, not all people react the same as my characters, but it’s wonderful if a reader recognizes even a glimmer of themselves.

What was the inspiration behind The Puzzle of You?
Before I became a mother, I remember thinking: ‘I’ll never be the kind of parent who (insert random judgment here!). But the thing is, before you have a child yourself, you have no idea the kind of parent you’ll be – never mind your child’s personality or any other challenges you may face along the way. And being a mother does change you, even if you’re determined it won’t. I wanted to explore this change and how it can sometimes be a struggle to piece yourself back together in a way that makes sense . . . in a way that balances your needs and desires with those of your child, especially if your child hasn’t had an easy start in life. Setting up a clash between the past and the present – with a main character who loses any memory of even wanting to have a baby, then discovers she’s a stay-at-home mum – seemed the perfect way to do this.

Motherhood is a very personal thing and I don’t expect everyone to agree with my central character’s thoughts and emotions, but I wanted to write a journey that I could relate to. I hope others will, too.

If The Puzzle of You were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
That’s such a great question! For the role of Charlotte, I’d choose Scarlett Johansson, because she can play very strong female characters with a touch of vulnerability. For David, I’d choose Andrew Lincoln as he has such an open, friendly, earnest face that I think represents David’s character well.

What is the last movie you saw that you would recommend?
I don’t watch many movies as I fall asleep! I do watch a lot of on-demand TV, though, and I recently finished Unbelievable on Netflix. It’s difficult watching, for sure, and it made me very angry. But I love that the cast is mostly female, with the two leads played by very strong women.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
This is more strange than comical. We live in a very old building in central London, and recently, our flat buzzer has been ringing for no reason. We’ll pick up the intercom and look through the door camera only to see . . . nothing. A little creepy, never mind annoying. Earlier this week I was coming back from the park with my son. We approached the door and just as I was getting out my keys, I heard my husband’s voice through the intercom, asking why I’d rung the buzzer. I hadn’t! The ghost strikes again.

What was your last dream that you can still remember vividly?
Every time I release a new novel, I’m sure to have bad dreams. I recently dreamed that my editor emailed to say my book isn’t as good as they’d originally thought and that it needs a ton more work – in a few short hours. Yikes! I woke up with my heart pounding.

Thanks to Leah for chatting with us and 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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends November 10th at midnight EST.


Leah Mercer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leah Mercer said...

Thank you so much for having me, Melissa! It's wonderful to be here again.

Linda May said...

There are some days who I know who I am and other days I ask my self who is that person. Thanks for this amazing giveaway.

Nancy P said...

Sometimes when you go through a chaotic time in your life, it profoundly changes you. When I look back at my before, it feels like another person to me. A part of me but at the same time someone else.

Lynn said...

My husband died in 1992 when we were both 45 years old. I have no idea how I kept on with my life. Daughter was ready for college, so all alone except for work for me. I think I am a completely different person now with a guy I could not have imagined.

Lynn said...

My husband died in 1992 when we were both 45 years old. I have no idea how I kept on with my life. Daughter was ready for college, so all alone except for work for me. I think I am a completely different person now with a guy I could not have imagined.

JeanneK said...

I’m going through some pretty chaotic stressful times right now and I have to admit there have been days when I look in the mirror and wonder who I am. But I’m strong and shall make it through the storm.

Lori Thomas said...

My life is a real mess now and I feel like I`m not the person I once was

traveler said...

When I had to deal with extremely major health and family crises my life and myself was unrecognizable. I am still not completely back to whatever normal is.

Kelley B said...

I am there currently!

Peggy Russo said...

There have been times throughout my life when I’ve been thrown some nasty curve balls that gave me pause but I just try to stay focused on the positive and keep looking to the future.

Michelle L said...

Being a single mom of 3-year old twin girls after divorcing their alcoholic father was not how I ever pictured my life. But, I wouldn't trade my little family for anything in the world!

Mary Preston said...

No, my life seems all too real sometimes.

diannekc said...

There have been times I feel like my life has been a bad soap opera.

Rita Wray said...

I've always been very active but do to some health issues I'm not at all like I used to be.

Jessica said...

No my life is pretty normal.

Mary C said...

Never expected to be a caregiver for a family member.

Amy B said...

Definitely all the time. I am 46 years old and have been partially disabled for almost 10 years. I look at myself and can't believe this is me and my life. I never believed I would be here since I had so many dreams. I thought at my age I would be a mother and would have all the experiences that mothers have. I have been married for almost 22 years and have not had any children. I have had 8 miscarriages with no live births and my ONE dream I though would come true never did. Just the loses and never passed 16 weeks in my pregnancies.
But I am alive and I continue to be loved by my husband and I am just grateful since it could be worse.
I can't wait to read this book!!!

StoreyBookLover said...

I have had times when I look at my life and don't recognize it, but truly in the best way. I can't believe how blessed I am to have the people I have in my life! Feeling very grateful! Thank you for the opportunity!

bn100 said...

last week

Carla S. said...

I solve puzzles all the time!

Linda Kish said...

I do puzzles on a daily basis to keep my mind sharp. I really enjoy them.

Kelly Rodriguez said...

I think life has thrown me a lot of curveballs and sometimes it’s hard to deal with it. But then I realize God is in charge and through him I have the strength to handle things day by day.

JaxMc said...

Thanks for the giveaway.

rbooth43 said...

I didn't know me when I had kidney failure and was hospitalized at Wake Med in Raleigh NC! Thanks to the doctors that saved my life with kidney surgery! This happened last year when I was seventy five years old!

LoriF said...

I stay in a state of puzzlement and confusion!