Thursday, November 19, 2020

Lori Nelson Spielman is a superstar....plus a book giveaway

Photo by Matthew Dae Smith
 It's been over five years since Lori Nelson Spielman last visited us, and we're so glad to have her back. Her latest novel, The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is totally worth the wait. Check out Melissa's review to see why she loved it so much! Thanks to Berkley, we have one e-book for a lucky reader (via NetGalley)! Lori also has a paperback copy for another lucky reader!

Lori Nelson Spielman is a New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author whose novels have hit #1 in six different countries. Formerly a homebound teacher in an inner-city school district, she holds master's degrees in speech pathology and guidance counseling. She lives in Michigan with her husband.

Visit Lori online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest

Synopsis:
A trio of second-born daughters set out to break the family curse that says they’ll never find love on a whirlwind journey through the lush Italian countryside by New York Times bestseller Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.

Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather’s Brooklyn deli, claim it’s an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it’s a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.

Against the backdrop of wandering Venetian canals, rolling Tuscan fields, and enchanting Amalfi Coast villages, romance blooms, destinies are found, and family secrets are unearthed—secrets that could threaten the family far more than a centuries-old curse. (Courtesy of Goodreads.)

What was the inspiration behind The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany?
Thanks so much for hosting me, Melissa, and a big hello to everyone at Chick Lit Central! 
 
When I worked as a high school guidance counselor, it wasn’t unusual for my young female students to come to me, heartbroken over some doomed teenage romance. I tried to assure them they were young and had decades ahead of them, that if I had a crystal ball, we’d see that one day they would be happily in love. But I wondered, might the opposite be true as well? What if someone knew, from a very young age, that they would never find love? Might they actually live more fully, more authentically, without the pressure of finding love? That became the premise of the second-daughter curse. 
 
The novel’s secondary story, that of eighty-year-old Aunt Poppy and Rico, was inspired by my elderly German friend Dieter, who grew up during World War II and later escaped communist East Germany, leaving behind the love of his life. 
 
How are you similar to or different from Emilia?
That’s such a great question, and one I’ve never been asked. Like Emilia, I tend to be a people pleaser and I avoid conflict, I’m superstitious and dream of finding that elusive place to call home. And, of course, we’re both writers—I used to write secretly, too. But unlike the early version of Emilia, I am much less giving than she is! I am more assertive and don’t allow others to take advantage of me to the degree she allows it.  

If The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany were made into a movie, what are some songs that would be on the soundtrack?
I love a good soundtrack, and the right song can add so much emotional punch to a scene. Because this is a story of women and empowerment and love, I’d choose mainly female artists, like Alicia Keys’ GIRL ON FIRE or UNDERDOG, Lady Gaga’s A MILLION REASONS and BORN THIS WAY. Little Big Town’s GIRL CRUSH and Marin Morris’s MY CHURCH. I can vividly imagine Katy Perry’s ROAR playing when the women are driving the winding, clifftop roads to the Amalfi Coast. It’s a bit “on the nose,” but I can hear Miranda Lambert’s THE HOUSE THAT BUILT ME when Poppy steps into her childhood home. I’d also include my current favorite MIRROR by Madison Ryann Ward. Oh, and I can’t forget Dean Martin’s THAT’S AMORE, playing in the background at Lucchesi’s Bakery and Delicatessen! 

What is something you've learned about yourself during this pandemic?
I’ve learned that focusing on what I CAN do beats focusing on what I can’t. I’ve learned to honor essential workers and medical professionals. I’ve learned we must work to abolish the blatant inequities in our society. I’ve learned not to feel guilty for long and lazy binges on Netflix. I’ve learned that human touch carries extraordinary power. I’ve learned that Anthony Fauci is a national treasure (and so cute!). I’ve learned that I can start crying over absolutely nothing. I’ve learned that an evening around a firepit with good friends is a gift. I’ve learned that Michigan winters last far too long! I’ve learned that wine is the most important item on my shopping list. I’ve learned that being productive is good for the soul. I’ve learned that if my uncle Bud was willing to give his life to protect our country, I can wear a damn mask.   

What is the last movie you saw that you would recommend?
Ah, movies…what a quaint memory! My husband and I were huge movie goers before Covid, and were always up on the latest films. Now, we’re mainly binging on Netflix and Hulu series. The most recent feature-length movie we watched was The Trial of Chicago 7, which was great.

What is something you eat on Thanksgiving that is outside of the standard holiday fare?
Yum! I love this question! In the last several years, our family has incorporated my friend’s Grape Salad into our traditional Thanksgiving feast. In short, blend together one cup of each: cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar. Add a teaspoon of vanilla and fold into a 9 x 13 pan of seedless grapes. Top with a cup of brown sugar and a cup of toasted pecans, and refrigerate overnight. It’s become a favorite for the kids and adults alike, and best of all, it’s fruit, so you can devour it guilt-free! (Wink! Wink!) 

Thanks to Lori for visiting with us and to both Lori and Berkley 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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Giveaway ends November 24th at midnight EST.

22 comments:

Suzanne said...

I’m the baby of three!! Thanks for the opportunity to win!...

Gretchen said...

I'm the second oldest of 7, but my sister is almost 8 years older and me and the rest came within 9 years of each other so I always felt the oldest of that bunch. :)

Anonymous said...

I have one sister who is 4 years older than me and she recently passed away. Linda May

Suburban prep said...

I am the oldest of 7 siblings. There are no multiples and the youngest is 10 yrs younger than I.

Anonymous said...

Karen B
Youngest of two - 1 older brother.
kpbarnett1941@aol(dot)com

petite said...

Middle sibling of sister and brother.

Jeanne said...

I am the next to the youngest of six, so that would make me a middle child.

Mary C said...

Middle of five

Nina said...

I'm the youngest of two!

Pamela said...

I am the youngest child. My only sibling is eleven years older than I, so we both had our parents to ourselves for quite a few years.

Mary Preston said...

I'm one of 7 children. I am 3rd youngest.

Nancy said...

I am the oldest of the two children in our family.

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Terri. said...

I am the youngest of 4.

bn100 said...

no

Nancy P said...

I am the baby in my family. Unfortunately, I am cursed in that regard because I am the only responsible child.

Lindsey said...

I am my dad’s middle child, since he has a son from a second marriage, and I am my mom’s youngest.

Michelle L said...

I am the oldest of three girls.

Bonnie K. said...

I'm the middle child with two brothers.

diannekc said...

I'm the oldest of two girls.

Melissa Whittington Crawford said...

I am the youngest of two girls.

Cherisse said...

I am a middle kid with three siblings.

Rhonda Gothier said...

I'm the oldest of 2.