Thursday, June 8, 2023

Erika Montgomery always has a place at a book giveaway

Photo by Erika Montgomery
We're pleased to have Erika Montgomery at CLC today to talk about her latest novel, Our Place on the Island, which will be releasing on Tuesday. We had a fun time chatting with her and we learned that she and Melissa are practically neighbors. :) We hope you will enjoy meeting her too. Thanks to St. Martin's Press, we have THREE copies for some lucky readers. :)

A card-carrying cinephile and native New Englander, novelist Erika Montgomery lives with her family in the Mid-Atlantic where she teaches creative writing and watches an unspeakable amount of old movies. She is also the author of A Summer to Remember.

Visit Erika online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * TikTok

For decades, the Campbell women have reunited at the family’s rambling seaside cottage known as Beech House to celebrate life’s many occasions. But this year, they will be called back to Martha’s Vineyard for a celebration of a different sort: their beloved matriarch Cora is getting remarried. And all the town gossips are calling him the one who got away, years ago…

Mickey’s mother, Hedy, is still mourning the passing of her adored father three years earlier, and she isn’t sure she’s ready to welcome a new man into the fold—and she’s not certain her own thorny relationship with her mother will weather the storm of her upcoming marriage.

But everyone knows a woman’s heart holds more than meets the eye. For Cora, drawing her daughter and granddaughter back to Beech House isn’t just about a ceremony, but a chance to reveal a history she has kept close to her heart for decades. As the days leading up to the wedding unfold, secrets of Cora’s past come to light—a secret that will test the Campbell women’s bond and could bring enduring change to their family dynamic.

Told in dual timelines on the sumptuous beaches of Martha's Vineyard, Our Place on the Island is the sparkling, romantic read of the season.

Our Place on the Island is a gorgeous and warm-hearted novel, full to brimming with the best kinds of love stories. Erika Montgomery has created a rich and irresistible world. Once you turn the first page, you’ll never want to leave.”
—Nina de Gramont, New York Times Bestselling author of The Christie Affair

“Captivating from the first word, Erika Montgomery’s latest masterpiece is a story about families, about the secrets we keep—even from those we cherish the most—about the enduring power of love, and the way the salty summer air supernaturally soothes all wounds. Our Place on the Island will undoubtedly become a classic summer read that will be picked up again and again by beachgoers generation after generation—grandmother to mother to daughter.”
—Joy Callaway, International Bestselling author of All the Pretty Places

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?
First, a great big thank you to you all for honoring me with a visit today. I’m thrilled to be here.
I am always especially grateful when readers tell me my books transport them. Reading for me is pure escape, so when I hear that I’ve given a reprieve from reality to someone else through my stories and my characters, it means the world to me.

Which of the women in Our Place on the Island do you identify with the most?

As I write, I am continually struck at how what resonates with me changes from book to book, age to age. In the case of this novel, I discovered things about all three of the main characters that I identified with as I wrote their story.

In 1948, Cora is a young bride brought to her husband’s family’s summer house on Martha’s Vineyard who struggles immediately to fit in to the exclusive enclave of Oyster Point. As much as she loves her husband, Cora misses the excitement and sense of purpose she knew as a chef during the war when she filled in for her deployed uncle at his restaurant. I definitely identified with Cora’s feelings of being a fish out of water, and of that conflict between wanting to both fit in and stand-out at the same time. Wanting to belong is a universal desire, but I also think there is a challenge in the journey if it means sacrificing a personal passion, or our sense of self. So when we first meet Cora at seventy-two, we see a woman who has finally come into her own and made peace with her past as she prepares to marry a man she met fifty years earlier. Now, on the eve of her wedding, the challenge is how does she help her daughter and granddaughter make peace with it, too?

As someone near in age to Cora’s forty-nine-year-old daughter Hedy, I identified with her worries about aging and staying vital and competitive in her field, as well as Hedy’s lingering grief for a lost parent and struggling to watch the surviving parent move on to a new relationship. Like Cora’s grand-daughter Mickey, who is madly in love with her head chef boyfriend, Wes, and desperate to make their partnership (both as lovers and as co-owners of a restaurant) a success, I also wear my heart unabashedly on my sleeve at all times, and am an intensely loyal person, so those qualities of hers hit close to home for me too.

PS: Learning which characters others relate to, and how, is one of my favorite things about talking with readers at book clubs and bookstore events—so I can’t wait to hear what your readers think! 

If Our Place were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
I love love LOVE casting my characters! Since the book is set in two time periods—the present, which is 1999, and 1948—some roles would need two actors, so my dream cast would be:
Mickey and Wes: Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Hedy and Tom: Diane Lane and Dermot Mulroney
Cora in 1999: Sissy Spacek, Cora in 1948: Elle Fanning 
Max in 1999: Sam Elliott, Max in 1948: Austin Butler

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
There are so many! I don’t know what took me so long to get on the Liane Moriarty fan train but consider me a devoted passenger now having just torn through her fabulous thriller, The Husband’s Secret. I also loved Deanna Raybourn’s deliciously-paced and witty Killers of a Certain Age, about a group of female assassins brought out of retirement to learn who is looking to snuff them out. 

What is your go-to summertime beverage?
I’m very easy when it comes to summer drinks. While I love taking the time to craft a really special cocktail, I’m also a big fan of something quick and simple: club soda with lime, or a glass of chilled white. (I’ll usually drop berries into the glass—a lazy person’s Sangria, maybe? My friends always tease me because I can’t pour a glass of wine without adding fruit to it. It’s a compulsion!)

If we were to visit you right now, what are some places you would take us to see?
I’m currently living in Western Maryland, so we’d start by picking up a coffee drink from Lost Dog Coffee then take a long, shady morning walk along the Potomac on the C&O Canal, or maybe on one of the walking trails in Antietam Battlefield National Park. I’d definitely take you to some of my favorite local bookstores: Turn the Page in Boonsboro, MD, Curious Iguana in Frederick, MD and Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown, WV. And, of course, to keep our busy selves fueled and cool, we’d need to eat and drink locally (and liberally) so I’d make sure we stopped at Maria’s Taqueria before heading over to the Bavarian Inn’s Rathskeller for a Bourbon Smash. 

Thanks to Erika for chatting with us and to St. Martin's Press 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

Giveaway ends June 13th at midnight EST.

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Rita Wray said...

I would love to go to St. Croix.

Suburban prep said...

I have been to an island before. I have been to a few especially since Ireland is an island.

Jess R said...

Any place with sand and water!!!

traveler said...

I have been to several islands. They were all unique and beautiful. I spent a vacation on Vancouver Island and Manitoulin Island. When I was young we used to stay at a lake on vacation and go out on the motorboat/rowboat to an island nearby for a picnic. Just perfect.

Toni Laliberte said...

I've never been on an island, but I'd love to visit any of the Hawaiian islands. Thanks for the chance!

dstoutholcomb said...

I've been to Oahu and the Big Island, Hawai'i.

Mary Patricia Bird said...

I've been on a Hawaiian cruise where I visited a couple of islands. I've been to Cuba and St. Lucia, as well as Prince Edward Island off the east coast of Canada. And many moons ago when I was merely 9 years old I visited Vancouver Island.

Lisa D said...

I'd love to visit the Cayman Islands.

Mary Preston said...

I have visited a number of islands on the Great Barrier Reef.

Erika Montgomery said...

Thank you all for sharing these inspiring destinations! Sign me up for any one (or several?!) Happy summer to everyone with wishes for many wonderful escapist summer reads!!

Bookapotamus said...

I visited several islands off the coast of Belize, and I've been to Nantucket many times!

diannekc said...

I have spent time on Mackinac Island many times.

bn100 said...


Nancy said...

First I would like to go to Prince Edward Island.

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Xia Lee said...

Vancouver Island

Lelandlee said...

St. Croix

Nancy P said...

I love island hopping.

holdenj said...

I have not, but Hawaii sounds like a fun vacatuon.

pippirose said...

I've never been on an island.

satkins said...

My husband and I took a cruise to 5 of the Hawaiian islands- it was awesome-The culture and the beautiful flowers were just amazing-