Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Emily Belden has great reading material for us

We're pleased to welcome Emily Belden to CLC today. Melissa A really enjoyed her sophomore novel, Husband Material, which publishes at the end of this month. Check out her review. She's here to talk about her novel and about the winter holidays and we enjoyed what she had to say.

Emily Belden is a food journalist, social media marketer, and storyteller. She is also the author of Hot Mess (reviewed here) and Eightysixed: A Memoir about Unforgettable Men, Mistakes, and Meals. After she tiled her bedroom floor in over 60,000 pennies - all heads up for good luck - she was a guest on The Today Show and her story was covered by media outlets across the country. A Chicago native, Emily lives with her rescue dog in the West Loop, conveniently close to many of the city's best restaurants. (Bio adapted from Amazon.)

Visit Emily online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Great job at a hot social media analytics company? Check. Roommate with no knowledge of her past? Check. Adorable dog? Check. All the while, she’s faithfully data-crunched her way through life, calculating the probability of risk—so she can avoid it.

Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law—and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not.

But when her quest reveals a shocking secret, Charlotte is forced to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at a new life arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

“By turns heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny.”
—Kristin Rockaway, author of How To Hack a Heartbreak

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing? 
That I write like I'm having a cup of coffee or glass of wine with a friend and just telling a story. It's "voicey" without being too casual, which is pretty hard to do!

What is something you learned from writing Hot Mess that you applied to Husband Material
That being authentic is very important to the story. There were lots of first-person experiences that helped me write Hot Mess in an effective way. With Husband Material, in order to maintain that authenticity, I needed to do a lot more research and interview people to nuance the story.

If Husband Material were made into a movie, who would play the leading roles? 
Charlotte would be Lily Collins. Brian would be Kit Harrington. Decker's Mom would be Jean Smart. Decker would be Derek Hough. I love this game!

What is your favorite activity to do during the winter holidays?
My husband and I always do a staycation in downtown Chicago and get a little Michigan Avenue shopping done. It's super fun since we don't venture to the tourist spots otherwise. It definitely makes us feel like we are just visiting, taking in all the sights and sounds of the city.

What is your favorite winter holiday snack? 
I have been on a kick lately of making Muddy Buddies (also known as Puppy Chow). It's addicting and tossing in a few green and red M&M's puts me in the holiday spirit.

What was the best gift you gave or received last year? 
I took a photo of the gorgeous tile floor pattern in our hotel in Positano, Italy (where we got engaged) and had a woman turn it into a fabric and she made a pillow for us. I gave it to my husband, but really it was a gift for both of us!

Thanks to Emily for chatting with us and to Harlequin for arranging the interview.

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