Have you read this book? You should. Like, now.

I met Daniel Lowe this past Fall at Littsburgh’s Passages and Prose event , and we had such a lovely time chatting about writing, teaching undergraduate students, and our families. And, as often happens when authors attend literary events, we took home a signed copy of each other’s books. I had the best intentions of reading his debut novel, All That’s Left to Tell, because I loved the premise (think Scheherazade for the 21st Century) and because I so enjoyed talking with Daniel about his craft.

           “Every night, Marc Laurent, an American taken hostage in Pakistan, is bound and blindfolded. And every night, a woman he knows only as Josephine visits his cell. At first, her questions are mercenary: is there anyone back home who will pay the ransom? But when Marc can offer no name, she asks him a question about his daughter that is even more terrifying than his captivity. And so begins a strange yet increasingly comforting ritual, in which Josephine and Marc tell each other stories. As these stories build upon one another, a father and daughter start to find their way toward understanding each other again.”

Then, of course, the typical happened. His novel found a spot in my To-Be-Read Pile, where it sat and sat for months. Because there are just so many good books to read out there, and also because I trend in my reading towards books similar to the novels I write (i.e., thrillers, suspense, and mystery) rather than literary fiction.

Until finally–finally!–I picked it up and cracked it open (after re-reading Daniel’s very kind and warm inscription he’d written inside) and began to read.

Left to Tell

Once I started, dear readers, I couldn’t stop.

It is like no book I have ever read before.

All That’s Left to Tell is an exquisite, viscerally human story that we all know–a father and daughter estranged, a family ripped apart with loss–told in a way that makes it searingly relevant to us once again.

Go read this book. Now. You won’t regret it.

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Our Panel at Passages and Prose: Myself, the fabulous Wendy Walker, and Daniel Lowe.

Winter Break 2017

The three weeks between Fall and Spring semester have been full of much celebrating, baking, and writing. Here are a few highlights from my time off, as I prep to go back in the classroom next week (and meet my new students, which is always thrilling).

Cake

Tried this show-stopper recipe from King Arthur Flour for our Christmas dinner dessert. As with all the KAF recipes I’ve tried in the past, it did not disappoint!

cookies

Our children helped us pack up the month’s worth of holiday cookies for friends and family–such a sweet treat. A few recipes to try, when you get a chance:

 

Baguettes2Baguettes

I also continue to work on perfecting baguettes–which are temperamental in many ways, but delicious nonetheless. I’m moving from awful to mediocre with my shaping technique–practice makes perfect, right?

Sugarglider

Speaking of all things baking, hubby gifted me with another set of classes at Gesine Bullock-Prado’s Sugar Glider Kitchen. Check out her assortment of classes here. They are a treat for any baker, from novice to expert.

fourth novel

Oh, and I finished the first draft of my fourth novel, It Was Always You.

On tap for 2018–lots of editing, with some baking diversions thrown in, of course!

Happy New Year!