I love welcoming my author pals to the blog and today I have one my very favorite authors, Liz Flaherty, who is here promoting her new novel, which just happens to be free on Amazon right now. The Girls of Tonsil Lake is Liz Flaherty’s eighth book, and it is no less thrilling than the first one was. Retired from the post office, she spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and doing whatever else feels good at the moment (like drinking wine on Nan’s boat). She and Duane live in the old farmhouse in Indiana they moved to in 1977. They’ve talked about moving, but really…30-some years’ worth of stuff? It’s not happening!
She’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or please come and see her at:
Take it away, Liz…
Writing The Girls of Tonsil Lake was a departure from the norm for me. An adventure. It gave me months of angst and drove me to drink—
Well, maybe not. Yes, The Girls is a departure. After seven romantic novels, I’ve written a pure, out-and-out women’s fiction book. And, yes, it was an adventure because…well, because any new project is an adventure, right? The only angst it gave me was the “can I really do this?” feeling I have from the beginning of Chapter Six until be beginning of the last chapter. And the only drink involved was lots and lots of tea and Diet Cherry Coke. Oh, and the wine Nan and I drank while sitting on the front of her boat, but that’s a story for another time.
Writing it, far from being full of angst, was fun. It is the story of four women who are, as the cover says “friends at five, still friends at 51.” I have my own posse of friends with whom I’ve walked through some of life’s fires—both theirs and my own—and I stole unrestrainedly from them for this story. Oh, not events, not looks or professions or even the men we chose. But rather how we feel as we walk through those fires, how we drive each other crazy, the loyalty that weaves an impenetrable web among us.
Those feelings are easy and writing about them was joyous. I think most everything is a gift in one way or another, and few are greater than that of friendship, be it old or new.
Speaking of gifts, The Girls of Tonsil Lake is free from March 4-8 on Amazon. Run on over there now and download it. I’ll wait.
There. Got it? Good. I hope you read it, and like it. I even hope you leave a review somewhere whether you like the book or not, but it’s okay if you don’t. Reading shouldn’t be a responsibility, but a pleasure. You know, kind of like friendship.
Here’s a little blurb and excerpt from The Girls. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day, and as soon as you’re done here, why not call a friend? Have lunch. Laugh until your stomach hurts. Hug each other hard.
Blurb: Four women whose differences only deepen the friendship forged in a needy childhood…
They were four little girls living in ramshackle trailers beside a lake in rural Indiana. They shared everything from dreams to measles to boyfriends to more dreams. As they grew up, everything in their lives changed—except their friendship. Through weddings and divorces, births and deaths, one terrible secret has kept them close despite all the anger, betrayal, and pain.
Now, forty years later, facing illness, divorce, career challenges, and even addiction, the women come together once again for a bittersweet month on an island in Maine. Staring down their fifties, they must consider the choices life is offering them now and face the pain of what happened long ago.
Secrets are revealed and truths uncovered, but will their time together cement their lifelong friendship—or drive them apart forever?
Excerpt: I wanted Andie to come to New York, but she didn’t feel up to it. I felt a little shudder go through me when she said that. Andie’s always been so strong, and she’s cancer-free, so I found it startling and frightening when she admitted to feeling less than wonderful. But, as Let There Be Hope shows, cancer changes one in sometimes indefinable ways. Maybe this is one of those changes.
Mark and I visited some islands off the Maine coast once, in our early days. I was so enthralled that he bought me a house on one of them, a little strip of green called, appropriately enough, Hope Island. It reminds me of Bennett’s Island, the fictitious utopia of Elisabeth Ogilvie’s books, except that Hope has all the mod cons.
I love to go there. It’s a place I can be myself with little regard to what anyone else thinks. I sit in my bathrobe on the wraparound porch of the Victorian horror that is my house and drink coffee with Lucas Bishop, our neighbor. I read Jean’s books without worrying that someone will see the covers.
I’ve never taken anyone else—it was Mark’s and my private getaway—but I wouldn’t mind if it was Andie who was there. Or Jean and even Suzanne. Andie and I could work on her book. Jean could cook and keep house since she’s so crazy about doing that, and maybe even spin out one of her romances placed on an island. And Suzanne could…do our hair or something.
We would all be together as we are that single night every year when we drive to the lake and pretend we’re facing down our ghosts. I am a little afraid that the day will come that we’ll have to face them down for real.
I wonder if they’d come.