Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Day Six Books By Anita Hughes & Heather Barbieri

by @thewritermama on May 6, 2013 · 14 comments

We are very fortunate to have two lovely novelists participating in our giveaway today. Please help me welcome Anita Hughes and Heather Barbieri!

Introducing Anita Hughes

Anita Hughes is the author of Monarch Beach. Her new novel, Market Street, was released by St. Martin’s Press on March 26th. A third novel, Lake Como, will be released on August 13th, 2013. She attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program and has taught Creative Writing at The Branson School in Ross, California. She lives at the St. Regis, Monarch Beach where she is at work on her next novel.

Learn about Market Street from St. Martin’s Press, March 2013

From Anita Hughes, author of Monarch Beach, comes Market Street, a delicious story of a department store heiress, her messy marriage, and her passion for food

Cassie Blake seems to lead a charmed life as the heiress to Fenton’s, San Francisco’s most exclusive department store. But when she discovers her husband, Aidan, a handsome UC Berkeley professor, has had an affair with a student, she flees to the comfort of her best friend Alexis’s Presidio Heights mansion, where she wonders if she should give their marriage one more chance.

Whether or not she can forgive Aidan is not the only choice Cassie has to make. Cassie’s mother is eager to have her oversee the opening of Fenton’s new Food Emporium, which Fenton’s hopes will become San Francisco’s hottest gourmet shopping destination. Cassie’s true passion has always been food, not fashion, and Cassie suspects her mother might be trying to lure her into the Fenton’s fold by entrusting her with such an exciting opportunity. And then there is James, the architect designing the Emporium, who is quietly falling in love with her…

I asked Anita three questions about our giveaway’s theme topic, self-expression:

1. Is self-expression an important part of your life today, why or why not?

Self-expression is an important part of my life because I do it in my writing every day. Self-expression makes me happier and healthier. I find I am a better mother and more open to listening to my children and attending to their needs.

2. What does self-expression mean to you and how do you do it in the world?

Self-expression to me means to say and do what I feel – I do it by writing what is inside me. Writing is exposing one’s soul and meaningful writing comes from the deepest part of our psyche.

3. How does your self-expression impact the world—your family, your friends, your readers, and everyone else?

I think my readers enjoy hearing my views on subjects that are universal – infidelity, female friendships, relationships between mothers and daughters. I love visiting book clubs and hearing other women’s experiences. I think starting a conversation about what is important to us is healthy and empowering.

And Introducing Heather Barbieri

A child with an overly-active imagination, I was grounded for half my young life–for stunts involving, but not limited to, seaside cliffs, 40-foot tall trees, and construction sites.

Nights were made for reading, often until dawn, turning out the light when my parents came upstairs to bed, flicking it back on when I heard my dad’s thunderous snores, never getting caught. A Wrinkle in Time, Jessamy, The Hobbit, Watership Down, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond were favorites. My mother instilled a love of books in me. She and my grandmother didn’t have much when they were growing up, but they taught me that a life surrounded by literature is rich indeed.

No wonder I became an English major. To earn a living, I did everything from driving a tour bus in Alaska to teaching piano lessons to eventually working as a journalist.

It wasn’t until marrying and having children that I turned to my first love, fiction. Many rejection slips later, I published some short stories and won fellowships. Then, finally, in 2004, a miracle happened: my novel, Snow in July, was published by Soho Press; The Lace Makers of Glenmara (Harper), in 2009, and The Cottage at Glass Beach (Harper, 2012). The novels have been Indie Next, More, Parade, and Glamour Magazine Picks, a USA Today bestseller (Lace Makers) and a Booklist Top-10 Women’s Fiction title for 2012-2013 (Cottage). I’m currently working on number four.

Writing, for me, has been and always will be a life-long apprenticeship–a way to make sense of the world, to connect with what makes us most human. My goal is deceptively simple: to write a good story, one that will keep you turning the pages long into the night, laughing, crying, and wondering what happens next.

Learn about The Cottage at Glass Beach from Harper, paperback release May 2013

Heather Barbieri follows her acclaimed Gaelic-tinged drama The Lace Makers of Glenmara with the resonant tale of a woman who, in the wake of scandal, flees to a remote Maine island to reconnect with her past—and to come to terms with the childhood tragedy that has haunted her for a lifetime.

Set on the rugged New England coast, Barbieri’s The Cottage at Glass Beach strikes the perfect balance between high lit and mainstream women’s fiction, infusing a potent and unforgettable love story with unforgettable characters that will remain with you long after the final chapter. Richly evocative, Barbieri’s narrative of intimacy, struggle, and redemption will call out to readers of Joanne Harris, Alice Hoffman, and other modern masters of drama.

I asked Heather three questions about our giveaway’s theme topic, self-expression:

Is self-expression an important part of your life today, why or why not?

Absolutely—writing is a part of me, something I’m driven to do, as essential as breathing—I’m happier and feel more alive when I do it. But there’s so much to explore and learn—in my case as an avid gardener, yoga practitioner (some day I’ll master a full bridge pose), aspiring jewelry artist (metalsmithing tests one’s patience), dancer (always new steps to learn), and tres mal French speaker—there’s so much out there, waiting to be discovered, in ourselves and in the world, isn’t there? So much to laugh over and learn from each misstep, and joy to be found on the journey.

What does self-expression mean to you and how do you do it in the world?

I look at it not so much as self-expression as expression itself, focusing not on the individual, but connecting to what makes us human. In the case of writing, I strive to create add a story to our vast collective library, one that will hopefully resonate with readers, that will begin a conversation, and open a window into our shared experiences, on and off the page.

How does your self-expression impact the world—your family, your friends, your readers, and everyone else?

I think it’s important to challenge ourselves, to live our best life—to constantly be learning and growing. One of the best ways to do that, for me, is to set fear aside (boy, is it hard sometimes!) and put ourselves out there, creating, respectfully sharing our unique points of view—inspiring each other, reaching out, whatever it is we’re moved to do. It’s better to try and fail then to never try at all.

And Now, Your Turn…

You remember how this works right?

Please read the complete rules at least once!

I ask you a question.

You answer in the comments for your chance to win a book each day.

Please just respond once, even if you make a typo. ;)

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books).

Who do you genuinely admire who is still alive? And who do you admire who is no longer with us?

Ready, set, comment! I will hold the drawing tomorrow and post the results here in my blog.

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway!

And thanks for spreading the word. We will be giving away great books by wonderful women authors all month.

View the complete list of authors and books.

View the giveaway Pinterest board.

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  • Elizabeth Bevins

    I admired Mother Theresa for all of her work with the suffering people around the world.

    I admire Bethany Hamilton for turning adversity into blessing!


  • Sue LeBreton

    Perhaps because it is Mothers Day this week, my mom comes to mind as a person I admire who is still living. She has had daunting medical challenges since she was 29 yet I have never heard her complain or “why me?”. Her smile and outward appearance belie the daily pain she lives with. The person I most admire who is no longer with us is Terry Fox, the young Canadian who lost a leg to cancer. He ran a marathon a day to raise money for cancer research until his cancer spread and stopped his Marathon of Hope. By then he had run 5,373 kms.


    It’s the people in my daily life I admire most.One couple sets the standard for how to live. Married 71 years, they are best friends, devoted to each other and living life large.They swim every morning in the outdoor pool (FL). She walks to the pool, he drives. He will be 95 this summer. They’ve lived here since the late 1980’s and are wealth of information.They are my role models for how to age gracefully.

    My mother who died in 2003 is the person I admire most. She was beautiful, strong and giving. She taught me to stand up for what I believe in, regardless of what others think. To fight for my rights as an individual-not only as a woman because as a citizen of any country I need to participate. She supported herself during WWII
    and when my father left her at the end of the war she struggled to raise me alone for six years. She was both a lady and a mama bear. I miss her every day

  • Sara

    I admire my grandmother for her energy and attitude. When I
    was 15, I thought she was old. By 25, I realized how very young she was, younger than many people with decades of less living than she had. She has outlived her husband and her siblings and the bulk of sets of friends. She’s is still active and busy and still has her infectious giggle. I admire my great aunt for her independent spirit, her direct (sometimes almost too blunt) nature, and her blueberry cake. I remember her dancing to “Who Let the Dogs Out” at my sisters wedding when she was in her 90s. That Christmas as somebody helped her up the steep steps for our family gathering, the dog came bounding and barking, and without missing a beat, she sang “Who let the dogs out?”

  • Diane J.

    I admire my older sister. She has always known what she wanted and went after it with gusto. She has stood up for others and herself. She stays true to her morals and has a heart capacity like no other. I have always stood up for others, but myself? Not so much. It’s taken me 40+ years to learn the same skill my sister had from birth. I’m a bit thick-headed.
    I also admire Jimmy Stewart. I love his voice, slow but clear. He’s a lot like my grandfather so maybe that’s why I think he’s great. An air of confidence with zero ego.

  • Elizabeth Bevins

    I admire Mother Theresa’s work with the poor and suffering of the world. Her complete giving of all of herself is inspiring to me. I can’t imagine a life lived in such humility. She was truly a Mother to many who may not have experienced a Mother’s love.

    I also admire Bethany Hamilton. Bethany lost her arm when a shark attacked her near her home in Hawaii. Bethany was on track to become a professional surfer when tragedy struck. Bethany has turned her pain into a blessing for many. Her positive attitude is an encouragement to me.

  • Kerry Croucier

    My Mom is tops on the list of people I admire. She had six kids, starting with me when she was 18, ending with my baby brother, when I was 19. No matter how many kids there were, we always felt loved, and even though money was always tight, we never felt we were missing anything. She is now the Mom to six (plus all our friends she adopted through the years) and Grandmother to 10. She also instilled in me a love of reading that I am working to pass on to both my children. My Grandmother is the person I admire who is gone. She experienced so much in her life and still did everything she could for her family and worked as long as she could. She adored her grandchildren, and my greatest sadness is that she left us just before my first child was born.

  • sally huffstetler

    I admire Frank McCourt who was able to write about his life as a survivor in such a compelling and sometimes humorous way. I admire Mary Karr who is such an inspirational writer and truth seeker.

  • Marie Cauley

    I admire my mom, who is no longer with us. I appreciate her even more now that I’m a mom…and wonder how she did it all so well! I wish sometimes I could turn to her for advice.

    I also admire another author friend, Taylor Stevens, who triumphed over a really messed up childhood (stuck in a cult) and lack of formal education to become a best selling author, with her third book in the series coming out shortly. And she is always willing to help fellow authors learn more about writing and publishing – she definitely pays it forward!

  • Libby

    I admire my grandmother who died last year. She came from a less than ideal family situation, married at 16 to escape it, and had a less than ideal but tolerable marriage. She worked hard in a sardine packing plant for many years, and lived without modern facilities. In later years she lived on only her fixed Social Security income and did without extras, barely meeting her expenses. She was a hero for surviving all she had without giving up. I recognize that more now that she is gone.
    I admire a friend who lost her husband and best friend when her children were only 4 and 6. He had fought two rounds of serious cancer and won only to lose to graft-host disease. He was 33. She has fought to maintain a stable secure environment for her children and has not often asked for help. She is now bravely moving from her home to be nearer family. After four years she realizes she has fought too hard and is tired and is ready to leave her home that she shared with her husband and where her children were young and start a new adventure. I admire her courage and faith in God in spite of the great loss she has faced. She has a wonderful heart and sweet children and I’m hoping all the best for her. She lives with loss that most moms hope to never have to endure.

  • Judy

    I LOVE these questions, Christina! Gosh, I still admire
    a number of living people. The first person that comes to mind is my husband.
    When I think about what he has created—family and business—I am just in awe,
    and so grateful that I travel this journey with him. As far as someone who is
    no longer with us, I’d have to go with Mother Teresa: “I alone cannot
    change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many

  • Renee Roberson

    I genuinely admire my husband, mostly because of his eternal optimism, outgoing personality and his willingness to always jump in and help with any task. He’s also an amazing dad.

    I admired my paternal grandmother greatly. She had five kids and worked very hard to support them, even with a very limited education. She became a widow in her early 40s and never remarried. She had a very strong sense of faith, so strong in fact, that hard for me to be sad when she passed on because I knew she was in a good place. She also encouraged my love of reading and writing like no one else in my family.

  • Mar Junge

    I genuinely admire President Obama. I was in fourth grade when President Kennedy was assassinated and no president since then has measured up to my expectations. Some were too pro-war. Some poor leaders. Others exercised bad judgment. Now that my children are old enough to vote, I am grateful to have a president I respect instead of ridicule. And I admire Elanor
    Roosevelt who said, “Women are like tea bags. You never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water.”

    Like many other Writer Mamas, I admire my mother, who passed away 15 years ago after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. She was the exception to the 1950’s land-a-husband-have-babies trend. She concentrated on her career and was one of the first nurse anesthetists before marrying at 28. She had her fifth child when she was 37 – ancient in 1962 – and was a pioneer who had the courage to pack her family in a covered (station) wagon and move across country from Pennsylvania because they had free communitycolleges California. She was a “strong woman from old country” who taught me to be independent and resilient. And she taught me to love books.

  • Heidi Smith Luedtke

    I admire my grandmother, Mary, who died last year. She had a difficult life from the beginning, born to a mother who was congenitally crippled and an alcoholic father. She eloped and married my grandpa when she was only 18 wearing her nightgown as a wedding dress. Then she went on to raise 3 great kids alongside her sweetheart. Although she had more than her share of bad days, she always approached life in a positive way. I love how her story line goes up, up and up. I hope I can live with as much grace.

    I admire Michelle Obama as well. She is such a positive role model for moms who struggle to keep their own passions and pursuits alive as they support husbands’ career choices and raise children. I know she has lots of advantages we average moms don’t have, but she seems to stay focused on what’s really important (health, well being and compassion) and I appreciate that.

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