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Daniel Palmer, son of the late author Michael Palmer, has a long history with entertainment. Since his early years as a musician, he has also enjoyed great success in the book industry as a techno-thriller writer. His latest book, DESPERATE, follows a couple's heartbreaking struggles with becoming parents. When a young homeless pregnant woman comes into their lives, it seems that they will finally get the family they've always wanted --- but her arrival also brings sinister pranks that may destroy them. Here, Palmer discusses his history with books, explaining a heartwarming childhood tradition of shared books that he hopes to begin again with his family.  
Like her second novel, LIZZY & JANE, Katherine Reay's Holiday Author Blog is all about family. How do parents --- and great-aunts --- shape kids' lives? Through books, of course! The holidays are the perfect time to inspire reluctant readers with a specially chosen gift. Whoever it comes from, the right book can give shape to an idle afternoon or Christmas morning, and will surely last longer than the latest meme.
The inspiration for a book can come from anywhere, but what spurs someone to become an author in the first place? For novelist Laura Lane McNeal, it was a special shelf in the middle school library that held books written by graduates of the school. Laura swore that she would add one of her own books to those ranks, and with the publication of her debut novel, DOLLBABY, this year, she succeeded. Here is the story of a Christmas gift that helped shape her journey.
Phillip Margolin is an award-winning author and former criminal defense attorney, who has written numerous bestselling novels that display a unique, compelling insider's view of criminal behavior. His most recent novel, WOMAN WITH A GUN (which our reviewer gave a rave review), is about aspiring novelist Stacey Kim, who can't erase an iconic photo from her mind and soon becomes embroiled in a plot of great intrigue. Here, Phillip reveals that he isn’t the only person in his family who loves a great mystery, and how one well-chosen book can change a person’s life.
Kristin Harmel is the bestselling author of THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING, inspired, in part, by her own beloved grandmother. In her latest novel, THE LIFE INTENDED, she weaves a heart-wrenching tale that asks: What does it take to move forward in life without forgetting the past? It’s a timely question for Kristin, whose grandmother passed away earlier this year. Here, she talks about the book her grandma used to read to her, and the comfort it still brings her as she remembers her grandma this holiday season.
Ironically, Camille DeAngelis decided to go vegan right before she started writing her latest novel, BONES & ALL, about a young woman who doesn’t just break hearts…she devours them. There are more parallels between Camille and her protagonist, Maron, than you might think: In her Holiday Author Blog, Camille thinks about how our choices --- what we eat and otherwise --- affect our identities. She also considers what it means to hunger for books and how a book can satisfy its reader in ways that food cannot. So no matter what you’re eating this holiday, remember that nothing fills you up quite like a good book.
Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times bestselling author of GARDEN SPELLS, THE SUGAR QUEEN, THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON and THE PEACH KEEPER. Her latest book, FIRST FROST, is about a strange old man with a beat-up suitcase who arrives in Bascom, North Carolina, with stories to tell...stories that could change the lives of the Waverley women forever. Here, Sarah remembers the stories --- poems, more specifically --- that her father read to her and her sister at Christmas. Those poems, more than any gift or candy she might have received, are what have remained with her through all these years.
Bestselling author Hazel Gaynor’s latest book, A MEMORY OF VIOLETS: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers, is the story of two long-lost sisters whose lives take different paths, and the young woman who will be transformed by their experiences. Hazel certainly values the bond of sisterhood; here, she talks about the wonderful gift her own sister, Auntie Helen, gave Hazel’s newborn son: Maurice Sendak’s classic, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. It took a few months (and a baby who could finally sleep through the night) for Hazel to appreciate it, but now the book is a household favorite --- made only more special by the loving dedication within.
Jamie Metzl is the author of GENESIS CODE, a “thriller of the near-future” dealing with issues of human genetic enhancement in the context of a future US-China rivalry. He also has an impressive list of accomplishments, including stints with the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the U.S. State Department and the National Security Council. Here, Jamie ponders the significance of books as physical objects in this overwhelmingly digital age --- especially when it comes to traditionally hand-written religious texts. Just don’t send him another copy of the Torah; he already has plenty.
We’re excited to kick off our annual Holiday Author Blogs with Lacy Crawford, whose acclaimed debut, EARLY DECISION, follows five students over one autumn as Anne, “the application whisperer,” helps them navigate the madness of college admissions. After 15 years as a private college counselor, Lacy is certainly in a position to shed light on the grueling admissions process. She also, of course, knows how important the stories we tell are --- whether as part of our college applications or our holiday traditions. Here, she talks about a sad Christmas story she never liked as a child, and the hopeful story she likes to tell her own children.