Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Becoming friends with Sara Goodman Confino...plus a book giveaway

Introduction by Melissa Amster

I recently found out about Sara Goodman Confino and her debut novel from a friend. As it turns out, Sara and I have a few things in common: We're Jewish moms who live in the same county and we both have sons, as well. Her answer to our Thanksgiving question is another similarity! (And just like our review associate, she spells her name without an H.) Her novel, For the Love of Friends, sounds like a lot of fun (I love the cover, as well) and I'm excited to read it soon, now that it has been added to my five-book pile! (I saw that she has another one publishing next year.) Sara took the time to answer some questions today and she has THREE copies of her book for some lucky readers!

Sara Goodman Confino teaches high school English and journalism in Montgomery County, Maryland, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and miniature schnauzer, Sandy. When she’s not writing or working out, she can be found on the beach or at a Bruce Springsteen show, sometimes even dancing onstage. 

Visit Sara online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Lily Weiss is her mother’s worst nightmare: thirty-two and single—the horror! She’s also a talented writer but hides behind a boring job at a science foundation. To her friends, she’s reliable and selfless, which is how she winds up a bridesmaid in five weddings in six weeks. Anything for her three best friends and two (younger) siblings, right? Even if her own love life is…well, she’d rather not talk about it. To keep her sanity, Lily needs a safe place to vent.

And so her anonymous blog, Bridesmania, is born. The posts start pouring out of her: all the feels about mom-zillas, her vanishing bank balance, the wicked bridesmaids of the west, high-strung brides-to-be, body-shaming dress clerks, bachelorette parties, and Spanx for days, not to mention being deemed guardian of eighty-eight-year-old Granny (who enjoys morning mimosas in the nude) for her brother’s destination wedding.

So far the blog has stayed anonymous. But as everyone knows, few things online remain secret forever…

When all is said and done, can Lily help all five couples make it to happily ever after? And will her own happy ending be close behind? (Courtesy of Amazon.)

“Whether you’ve been a bridesmaid a dozen times or somehow avoided the whole mess, For the Love of Friends is not to be missed. Funny and touching, Sara Goodman Confino has created a story that’s as wild as a good bachelorette party and as romantic as a first dance. I gobbled it up like wedding cake!” 
—Kelly Harms, Washington Post bestselling author of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

“When Lily Weiss agrees to be a bridesmaid in five weddings over six weeks, she finds herself and her bank account stretched to the breaking point in this hilarious novel filled with bridal meltdowns, handsome and obnoxious groomsmen, meddling mamas, wayyyyy too much Spanx, and one supposed-to-be-anonymous blog that allows Lily to vent. Sara Goodman Confino hits every note just right, with pitch-perfect dialogue and a healthy, fun dose of snark, along with plenty of love and warmth. A laugh-out-loud read.” 
—Maddie Dawson, Washington Post bestselling author of Matchmaking for Beginners

“Amid a flurry of ‘I dos,’ bridesmaid Lily Weiss navigates five weddings in six weeks—her saving grace the Bridesmania blog she writes exposing the high stakes and high costs of wedding culture for those in the throes and woes of love. With Lily’s love life woven throughout, our bighearted heroine’s misguided attempts at bridesmaid wizardry will engage readers invited to attend this rollicking—and at times emotionally bruising—march down multiple aisles. Say yes to this story about self-reflection, forgiveness, and, ultimately, courageous leaps of faith, written with wit and razor-sharp truth. A real gem of a bridesmaid tale!” 
—Julie Valerie, bestselling author of Holly Banks Full of Angst and The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks

In one sentence, what was the road to publishing like for you? 
There were a lot of bumps along the road, as I self-published two books in the 2010s, but once I wrote For the Love of Friends, everything kind of just fell into place. 

How is Lily similar to or different from you?
Lily definitely has pieces of me in her, but she is a little less self aware (at the beginning at least) than I hope I am. She has my sense of humor and love of writing. And she’s a people pleaser who has trouble saying no--which was me for a long time. It took the process of getting published and working on my next book for me to get to the point where I learned to prioritize myself and say no when there’s too much on my plate, which is a lesson that Lily learns as well. She’s far from perfect, but she tries hard, which I would say about myself. But the blog ventures into passive-aggressive territory, and I’m a lot more aggressive-aggressive in that I speak up when something is bothering me. 

If For the Love of Friends was made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles
I had the idea of Emma Stone in mind while I was writing because she can do comedy so well (honestly, she can do anything well!). I think she’d be able to capture the descent from wanting to help her friends no matter what to passive-aggressive outrage and back to redemption. Of course, casting her makes my Alex choice a little awkward, as I could see Andrew Garfield being awesome in that role. (John Kraziniski is my real choice, but he’s too old for it.)
I think Margot Robbie would be AMAZING as Caryn. Annie Murphy would be a great Megan. Margaret Qualley as Amy. Catherine O’Hara as Lily’s mom. And Shirley MacLaine as Grandma!

Side note from Melissa: After seeing Tick, Tick, Boom recently, it will be interesting to picture Andrew Garfield when I read this book.

What is something you have learned about yourself during the pandemic? 
I always knew that I worked well under pressure (my mother once said that if you gave me a deadline and coffee I could take over the world), but I experienced a whole new level of pressure during the pandemic. I signed my deal with Lake Union in May 2020, right when everything was at its scariest, then had my second baby at the end of that month. And I spent the following school year teaching from home with a baby and writing my next novel at night after the kids went to bed. I’d always done my writing during the summer before because I didn’t think I had time during the school year. But I learned this year that when something is important enough, I can find a way to accomplish it, no matter how daunting or impossible it seems. My second novel, She’s Up to No Good, is due out this summer and while I still don’t know how I wrote it while teaching full time with a baby in the middle of a pandemic, I’m extremely proud of it!

If someone were to visit you, what are some must-see places you would take them to check out?
That’s actually a hard question! I’m in the DC area, so there are just SO many must-see tourist spots. In spring, the cherry blossoms are absolutely worth a visit (despite the crowds), and the Smithsonian museums year-round. I’m a sucker for the American History museum (despite the fact that they won’t let me try on the ruby slippers), but I also like to brag at the Air and Space museum because my dad assembled their Saturn V rocket launcher. Because I have kids who are too young to be vaccinated, we stick to outdoor activities like the zoo and walking the canal tow-path these days, but I can’t wait until the little one is old enough to mask so we can start taking advantage of more of what DC offers. (And pre-kids, I’ve been known to make out-of-towners climb the Exorcist steps!)

What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? 
Being with family, of course. But beyond that, I love to bake, so I’m always in charge of desserts for my family and I think the preparation for that is one of my favorite parts. I love planning out my menu and trying new recipes that I don’t have a reason to make the rest of the year. And my four year old loves helping me bake--it’s a lot more work and a lot messier with him, but sharing that with him is really special, especially because I learned to bake with my mother and grandmother.

Thanks to Sara for visiting 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 28th at midnight EST.

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Nancy P said...

My friend & I were going to go to an air show event that required a lot of walking. He hurt his leg very badly the weekend before & was having trouble walking, so he suggested watching the event from outside the venue. I decided to see the event outside the venue with him, instead of with everyone else on the inside, so he wouldn't have to be there alone.

Toni Laliberte said...

My friend Kim is bringing me grocery shopping today, so I can get the rest of my Thanksgiving dinner. She always does nice things for me and vice versa. We help each other out.

Mary C said...

Accompanied friend to her medical appointment.

Mary Preston said...

My friend came with me to choose new eyeglass frames.

diannekc said...

My neighbor raked my leaves and did the Fall clean up in my yard.

Rita Wray said...

I babysat for my friend.

Mary Patricia Bird said...

Random gifts sent through amazon, sometimes to complete strangers, but recently to an online friend I've known for quite a few years but never met.

bn100 said...

baked pie for friend

Nancy said...

I gave some current magazines to a friend who loves to read them!

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Xia Lee said...

I helped my friend move

Lelandlee said...

My friend helped me move