Monday, April 23, 2012

These Girls Blog Tour

These Girls 
By Sarah Pekkanen
Genre: Women's fiction
Format: Paperback, 336 pages, and eBook
Publisher: Washington Square Press (
April 10, 2012)

Blurb: In her third novel, internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen examines the lives of three women working and living together in New York City and shows that family secrets may shape us all, but it’s the rich, complicated layers of friendship that can save us.

Cate, Renee, and Abby have come to New York for very different reasons, and in a bustling city of millions, they are linked together through circumstance and chance.

Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated.

Cate’s roommate Renee will do anything to nab the plum job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills—despite the racing heartbeat and trembling hands that signal she's heading for real danger.

Then there’s Abby, whom they take in as a third roommate. Once a joyful graduate student working as a nanny part time, she abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. No one knows what shattered Abby—or why she left everything she once loved behind.

Pekkanen’s most compelling, true-to-life novel yet tells the story of three very different women as they navigate the complications of careers and love—and find the lifeline they need in each other.

Purchase links: Amazon (paperback) | Kindle | Barnes&Noble (paperback & Nook)

An interview with Sarah Pekkanen

Friendship is such an important thread in our lives and in your latest novel, THESE GIRLS. Has any experience found its way into your story and if it has do you care to share?

There isn't a particular personal experience that I called upon for my novel - all of the events in These Girls are fictional - but definitely, the emotions that go along with making new friends are real and I drew on those while writing the book. Two of my closest friends are women I didn't get to know until fairly recently - about five years ago - and it's interesting how those deep and rich those friendships have become already. So my experiences in general definitely informed the book! 

You are probably asked many times what inspires you. With this book, how did you know you had a "story" and not just an idea?

That's a great question - I think for me, knowing I have a book means giving my characters enough complications, and highs and lows, to stretch out over 300 pages. I don't have a specific process, but it's more of a sense and a lot has to do with creating characters who are complex. Luckily, real people are complex and contradictory at times, too.
Which character spoke to you first? Which seemed difficult to pen and which one easier?

I had Cate's voice in my mind first, but Abby was the easiest to write, maybe because I have a young child and many of her scenes involve her working at her job as a nanny. Although the most difficult scene I had to write involved Abby, when she goes to visit her parents toward the end of the book. I felt physically ill while writing that scene, which has never happened to me before.
Writing and motherhood--how do you juggle the demands of both?

The trick is, you have to learn how to write anywhere and everywhere. My kids go to three different schools and have three different schedules (including three different spring breaks!) So I bring my laptop everywhere. If I look over at the passenger's side seat of my car and don't see my computer bag, I feel momentary panic! But you never know when you're going to find an unexpected pocket of time. Say you think soccer practice is an hour long, then the coach extends it a bit - that's a big chunk of free time! Instead of just sitting on the sidelines, why not write? My other rule is that my kids come first. There are times when I have an obligation I need to fulfill for work, of course, but I never put work ahead of my family.

How does it feel when you see your actual printed book and with each publication does this feelng(s) change? 

It's always, always, always a thrill! I've been known to lurk around bookstores, spying on people who pick up my novels just because it's an amazing experience. I hope it never feels ho-hum, and I can't imagine it ever will! One of the things that has gotten more exciting is having more readers find me on Facebook, because I go there every day to laugh and chat with readers. Please come find me there if you haven't already! 

What are you working on next?     

I'm so thrilled to say I've turned in my 4th book to my editor, and she called today to say she really likes it! Here's the synopsis: When a messenger knocks on their doors to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime invitation, a group of friends from college leap at the chance to spend a week at a private villa in Jamaica, celebrating the 35th birthday of one of their old classmates. Tina desperately wants to reclaim the part of herself that is drowning under the demands of mothering four young children. Allie, who has just received some shattering news about a genetic mutation that runs in her biological family, needs to escape from the knowledge that her life might take a sharp turn in a dark, new direction. Then there's Savannah, who discovered private messages on her husband's Blackberry that led to their separation - something she hasn't yet told her friends from college, even though she knows showing up for the vacation without her spouse will force a conversation she isn't ready to have. Rounding out the group is Pauline, who spares no expense to throw her husband an unforgettable birthday celebration, hoping it will gloss over the cracks that have begun to form in their new marriage. Even though the women's lives couldn't be more different, the week begins idyllically, filled with languorous days of soaking in the sun, gourmet dinners, and late nights of drinking and laughter. But as a hurricane approaches the island, turmoil builds within the house, too, forcing each of the women to re-evaluate everything they've known about each other - and themselves. 

www.sarahpekkanen.com 
About the author: Internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen's books are THE OPPOSITE OF ME, SKIPPING A BEAT, and THESE GIRLS. She is also the author of two linked short stories published by Simon&Schuster for ereaders, titled ALL IS BRIGHT and LOVE, ACCIDENTALLY.
Sarah is the mother of three young boys, which explains why she writes part of her novels at Chuck E. Cheese. 

Sarah penned her first book, Miscellaneous Tales and Poems, at the age of 10. When publishers failed to jump upon this literary masterpiece (hey, all the poems rhymed!) Sarah followed up by sending them a sternly-worded letter on Raggedy Ann stationery. Sarah still has that letter, and carries it to New York every time she has meetings with her publisher, as a reminder that dreams do come true. At least some dreams - Brad Pitt has yet to show up on her doorstep wearing nothing but a toolbelt and asking if she needs anything fixed. So maybe it's only G-rated dreams that come true. Other tidbits about Sarah: She was once rejected as a contestant on "Wheel of Fortune." She wrote an article for People magazine on a parrot psychologist. In college, she worked as a model and as an extra on the set of Hollywood movies.

SKIPPING A BEAT ~ "Top 10 Titles to Pick Up Now" - O, the Oprah Magazine

THE OPPOSITE OF ME ~ "Engaging, fresh" - People magazine

THESE GIRLS (coming April '12) ~ "Bittersweet, laugh-out-loud funny, and painfully real"- NYT bestseller Jodi Picoult

My thoughts: Simply because you live with someone doesn't necessarily mean you are friends. Three young women all share an apartment in New York City and over time become friends. Renee works at Gloss magazine and grapples with her image, her weight. Cate is a workaholic and comes across as cold, but she has something to prove to make amends for something she did back in college. the two decide to help Renee's friend, Trey, by offering a room to his younger sister, Abby. Abby is a nanny who has run away from a problem and her neglectful ways are affecting her job. Each woman bears a burden. The question is can they learn to trust each other with their secrets so they can begin to fully live their lives?

These Girls is my first Sarah Pekkannen novel. As one who has never really cared for the chick-lit title (makes me think of fluffy little farm animals and not adult females), I actually enjoyed this moving story about friendship and the ability to trust.

Rating: I liked it.

Cover comment: This cover reminds me of a YA cover and I'm not really sure it conveys the story.

Book source: Received from publisher for my honest review during a book tour.



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