Thursday, May 7, 2020

Brooke Lea Foster's darling debut...plus a book giveaway

Today we welcome Brooke Lea Foster, who is celebrating the publication of her debut novel, Summer Darlings. She's here to talk about her novel and share a funny story with us. Thanks to Gallery, we have TWO copies to give away!

Brooke Lea Foster is an award-winning author and journalist who has worked as a writer and editor at The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, The Huffington Post/Aol and the Washingtonian magazine. She’s currently a contributing writer to Psychology Today magazine.

Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Parents, PARADE, Scholastic Parent & Child, The Baltimore Sun, The Boston Globe, Psychology Today, among many others. She’s the author of three parenting books: The Way They Were (Crown, 2007), There When He Needs You (Free Press, 2008), and For Goodness Sex (Harper Collins, 2014).

Foster, a three-time finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, the highest honor given to writers under the age of 35, is also the recipient of the Robert D. G. Lewis Watchdog Award for Investigative Reporting for her story “Trouble in Coal Country.” Her 2003 story about illegal teenagers in the Latino American community was a finalist for the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for excellence in reporting on children and families. She’s the recipient of numerous Dateline Awards given by the Washington Society of Professional Journalists. (Bio courtesy of Brooke's website.)

Visit Brooke online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram


Synopsis:
In 1962, coed Heddy Winsome leaves her hardscrabble Irish Brooklyn neighborhood behind and ferries to glamorous Martha’s Vineyard to nanny for one of the wealthiest families on the island. But as she grows enamored with the alluring and seemingly perfect young couple and chases after their two mischievous children, Heddy discovers that her academic scholarship at Wellesley has been revoked, putting her entire future at risk.

Determined to find her place in the couple's wealthy social circles, Heddy nurtures a romance with the hip surfer down the beach while wondering if the better man for her might be a quiet, studious college boy instead. But no one she meets on the summer island—socialite, starlet, or housekeeper—is as picture-perfect as they seem, and she quickly learns that the right last name and a house in a tony zip-code may guarantee privilege, but that rarely equals happiness.

Rich with the sights and sounds of mid-century Martha’s Vineyard, Brooke Lea Foster’s debut novel
Summer Darlings promises entrance to a rarefied world, for readers who enjoyed Tigers in Red Weather or The Summer Wives. (Courtesy of Amazon.)


In one sentence, what was your road to publishing like?
It was exhilarating – while I’ve worked as a journalist for twenty years, writing fiction was like flexing an entirely different muscle, and creatively, I hadn’t been that inspired in a long time. I think journalists have an easier time transitioning to fiction because we’re used to being edited and we’re very used to rejection. There were a lot of “No’s” before there is a “yes!”

How are you similar to or different from Heddy?
I can relate to Heddy when she feels like a fish out of water at, say, a country club or a fancy pants women’s luncheon because like her, I grew up very differently. We also both looked to the strong women in our lives for guidance as we made the transition to adulthood – trying to understand why women made the choices they did and whether they were pleased with their lives or resentful of them. But Heddy and I are very different, too. For one, Heddy is a little squeamish to speak her mind sometimes, and I’m not like that at all. I’m more direct.

If Summer Darlings were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
Ooh. This is a fun one, and don’t think I haven’t thought of it before. Heddy has always been a Saoirse Ronan type to me: smart, pretty, emotive but also a little shy. Jean-Rose…who is good at being wicked? Rachel McAdams is very pretty and glamorous, and I bet she could play the self-centered housewife well. Gigi McCabe is the buxom movie star. I bet ScarJo (Scarlett Johansson) would be a fun foe to Rachel McAdams. As for the men, I think Ash Porter is all Jude Law (handsome and smooth), and Sullivan is def a James Franco type, the renaissance man.

What is keeping you entertained the most during the quarantine?
Episodes of My Brilliant Friend on HBO. The writing on the show is incredible, the scenery is dreamy, and the friendship between Lila and Lenu is so complicated. I’m also writing my second novel. I’m halfway through my revision, and this one takes place in the Hamptons in 1957. Going back in time to that summer is keeping me sane during the pandemic.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
This didn’t happen to me, but it’s the funniest story I’ve heard in quarantine times where we don’t all get out that much. My friend’s third grader was signed on to a live Zoom meeting with his teacher and his class. Since he was all set up, my friend hopped in the shower. A few minutes later, her son came running into the bathroom holding the computer: “Look, Mom, you have to see what we’re doing!” Of course, my friend, who was naked in the shower, had to calmly tell her son to get out of the bathroom. NOW. That made me laugh!

What are your favorite things to eat and drink in the summer?
Wolffler’s Summer in a Bottle rose. I love that stuff, especially because I grew up on eastern Long Island where the winery is. It’s one of the prettiest vineyards on the east end. I also love to go pick fresh blueberries and strawberries at local farms when they’re in season, eat as many juicy farm stand tomatoes as I can get my hands on (paired with fresh mozzarella and basil), and go out for lots and lots of ice cream.

Thanks to Brooke for chatting with us and to Gallery 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 May 12th at midnight EST.

18 comments:

Linda May said...

During this Quarantine I'm reading more, organizing my closet and taking short walks. Thanks for this amazing giveaway. Stay well & safe.

Padmini Rao said...

I’ve been reading, catching up on my tv shows and going for walks

Carla S. said...

Reading and cooking new things is keeping me occupied.

Michelle L said...

During the quarantine, I'm reading, streaming tv shows and movies, walking, and working outside in my yard and gardens.

Melissa said...

During the quarantine, I'm reading and watching TV/movies, as well as writing.

traveler said...

I have been busy looking after my 8 & 6 year old grandsons everyday since mid-March, 8 hours a day. Exhausting but also gratifying. I will be needed through the summer since there is no camp.

Rita Wray said...

I'm reading a lot.

Kate Vocke said...

I'm building a tiny DIY bookstore!

Mary Preston said...

Reading and knitting for me.

bn100 said...

reading

Amber said...

Reading and book reviewing is keeping me busy!

diannekc said...

I've been reading and organizing.

Peggy Russo said...

Lots of reading, movie watching and word games. And a little bit of closet organizing.

Nancy Payette said...

Home renovations

Nancy said...

Reading lots of books and watching shows on Amazon has kept me busy over the last couple of months.

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

rubynreba said...

I've been reading, napping, watching tv and doing some painting! I miss my grandkids and friends!!

Suburban prep said...

I have been walking, knitting, On the computer, baking, watching tv and some yoga and cleaning.

Jeanne said...

I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning out during quarantine.