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Birthday bash - day 7! 93. April & Oliver's Tess Callahan swings by...

June 16, 2009
birthday bashToday's guest is Tess Callahan, author of April & Oliver...

About the book: (from Amazon)
Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April's brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April - and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. Even as Oliver attempts to "save" his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some secrets of his own--secrets he hasn't shared with anyone, even his fiancé. But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April's life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral...towards salvation.

About the author:
A painter, teacher and mother of twins, Tess Callahan has written for Cottonwood, The Stylus Anthology: 1950-2000, The Boston College Magazine, New York Newsday and elsewhere through syndication. When not exploring the complex motivations of intriguing characters (in her personal life and in her work), she finds nourishment and sustenance in periodic travels to wild, austere landscapes around the world. Tess has an MFA in Fiction from Bennington College. April & Oliver is her first novel. She can be found online at tesscallahan.com.

What Tess says:
The Origins of April & Oliver
My sister used to live in Nahant, Massachusetts, in the apartment complex on the ocean described in my novel, April & Oliver. One day, a nor’easter struck the peninsula so hard that the apartment below my sister’s was completely gutted, all of the furniture taken out to sea. As with many storms, there were reports of those who stayed in their homes. I started wondering about people who would weather a storm in a rented apartment when evacuation teams were there to take them to safety. Might someone stay not because she wanted to protect her belongings, but because she had nothing to lose? Perhaps someone who had already lost the loved one who mattered most? I started writing a scene about the mounting storm, and a woman materialized with long dark hair, calmly watching her apartment fill with water. Flashbacks revealed that the woman was thinking about her little brother, who she helped raise, and who had died in an accident. Where this came from, I don’t know; writing is mysterious that way.

The next day on the subway, a woman sat down across from me. It was her, the character in my story. I have never had this experience before or since. The woman looked and carried herself exactly as I had described the character in my scene. It gave me a jolt. She stood, got off the subway car, and I never saw her again. She was to become April.

I shared the short story at the Squaw Valley Writer’s Conference, where I had the good fortune of being assigned to a critique group led by the late Ted Solotaroff. He said, “This story wants to be a novel.” And so it began. As I wrote, however, I found that the woman’s bereft state of mind in the story was only the entry point into the novel. The dramatic storm scene that I was so proud of was the first thing to be cut. Writing is like that; you constantly have to sacrifice your little gems for the sake of the story’s true path.

drey's review:
I have to admit, I was initially bummed out upon starting April & Oliver. Because I'm kinda bummed about people who have kids and then don't bother to take care of them, treat them well, teach them right... It hurts to read about women who've been broken so badly that they don't know what else to do but endure. Endure and repeat. And April is one--her life has been a badly-mashed-together collage of uncaring & abusive father, dead mother, pedophile business-partner of her father's... Events set in motion while she's a teenager brings her down life's rockier paths as an adult. She can't seem to get away from abusive men, and every little act of violence tears another piece of her away...

Oliver is April's childhood best friend. He moves back to town, fiancee in tow, and meets the current April at her brother's funeral. Unable to tear himself away from the undertow of April's life, he tries to justify it by telling himself he cares about what happens to her. Which he does. More than he knows. Or wants to admit.

April & Oliver is such an engrossing book that you won't want to put it down until you're done. And even then, April & Oliver float around, and you wonder if she's finally broken her cycle. If she's going to be alright.

Giveaway!
Hachette has one copy of Tess' April & Oliver for you, if you live in the US or Canada (no PO Boxes). To enter, comment. As always, +1 for following, +2 for sharing. Do it all before 6:00 pm CST June 23rd! Good luck!

59 comments:

MJ said...

I've heard nothing but good things about this one.

I follow.

mj.coward[at]gmail.com

elaing8 said...

Please enter me in this giveaway


elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

elaing8 said...

i'm now a follower

elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

lilly said...

I would love to read this book simply because I think I know where April is coming from.

lillyswistek@gmail.com

bermudaonion said...

Don't enter me - I have the book and hope to read it soon, after reading your review.

nfmgirl said...

This book is on my Wish List. Please count me in!

+1 I follow

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Karen H in NC said...

This book sounds terrific and I so would like to win a copy! Add my name to the drawing!

kkhaas[at]bellsouth[dot]net

Karen H in NC said...

+1 I am a follower

kkhaas[at]bellsouth[dot]net

housemouse88 said...

Please enter me in this contest. I'm a follower.

house_mouse88 at yahoo dot com

Marie Burton said...

I really enjoyed your review. I have wanted this book since I first heard about it (it stuck in my mind because my son's name is Oliver).
Endure and repeat sounds like a fitting phrase for this, unfortunately true for many others as well.
Please enter me for this, I am alredy a follower.
marieburton2004 at yahoo dot com
Happy Birthday :)

nfmgirl said...

I blogged it:
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2009/06/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-06-13-09.html

ANovelMenagerie said...

Dude! I just loved this book. I gave it a 10 out of 10. (No need to enter me). I just wanted to say that I loved this book!

scottsgal said...

definitely on my summer TBR list - please count me in
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

already a follower
msboatgal at aol.com

chey said...

Hi,
April and Oliver sounds like a page turner!

chey127 at hotmail dot com

Jo-Jo said...

I would love to win this one Drey!
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Jo-Jo said...

I'm also a follower.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

All posted for ya, babe. No need to enter me.

Thanks, as always, for the e-mail. You know I love seeing you in my inbox.

bridget3420 said...

Count me in:)

bridget3420 said...

I'm a follower

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included!

Pissenlit said...

It sounds good and I really love the cover!

un_pissenlit (at) hotmail (dot) com

Jess said...

I'd like to be entered as well in the giveaway.
jessica(at)fan(dot)com

minishoes1 said...

I have been wanting to read this book! Thanks! jacquecurl1@gmail.com

minishoes1 said...

I follow. jacquecurl1@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hope I win.
I subscribe by email.

thebun at personainternet dot com

Dar said...

Oh I must enter for this one. I'm already a stalker/follower of this lovely blog!
bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

Valorie said...

I'd love a chance to win!

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Valorie said...

I follow.

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Valorie said...

Blogged: http://www.morbid-romantic.net/2009/06/15/book-giveaways-0615-0621/

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Allison said...

I'm really excited about this book!
Also a follower, thanks!
allygotts567[at]hotmail[dot]com

AmandaSue said...

A book full of mystery, sounds interesting thanks for the chance.
unforgetable_dreamer_always(at)hotmail.com

AmandaSue said...

follower thanks!
unforgetable_dreamer_always(at)hotmail.com

Pam said...

I've read so many great reviews of this book. Please enter me in the giveaway - I'd love to read it!

melacan at hotmail dot com

+1 follower :)

Kat Bryan said...

Very interesting interview. I really enjoyed Ms. Callahan telling about actually seeing the character in her story.

I am a follower.

Nicole said...

I like engrossing books.

I follow.

purplg8r said...

This books is on my WL..please enter me!

And I blogged about the contest here
purplg8r@aol.com

Jo-Jo said...

I blogged about your contst here.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Anita Yancey said...

This book sounds good. I would love to read April and Oliver's story. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

I am a follower!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Belinda M said...

Please include me in your giveaway


"Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Fun:
CoolCanucks.ca"


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

Belinda M said...

I follow


"Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Fun:
CoolCanucks.ca"


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

furygirl3132 said...

Sounds like a wonderful and interesting book, I would love to read this! Thanks so much for such a wonderful giveaway!

Eloise
furygirl3132[at]comcast[dot]net

furygirl3132 said...

I am a follower (furygirl3132).

Eloise
furygirl3132[at]comcast[dot]net

clenna said...

Very different from what i usually read but I'd love to read it.
Broaden my horizons!

clenna said...

I follow

ikkinlala said...

This looks like an interesting book.

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

CherylS22 said...

Please count me in - Thanks!

megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

CherylS22 said...

I follow.

megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

sharon54220 said...

Sounds like a great book. Please enter me.

sharon54220@gmail.com

sharon54220 said...

I am also a subscriber via Google Reader.

sharon54220@gmail.com

Alexa said...

Enter me please!

lovinfitch(at)aol(dot)com

Alexa said...

I'm a follower.

lovinfitch(at)aol(dot)com

HODGEPODGESPV said...

this is the first i have hear of the writer or the book...you have given me just enough to want to read the book and a short time to get all my entries in.

spvaughan at yahoo dot com

HODGEPODGESPV said...

i am now a follower

spvaughan at yahoo dot com

HODGEPODGESPV said...

twittered

spvaughanhttp://bit.ly/p2sw9 ? book giveaway is april and oliver

spvaughan at yahoo dot com

HODGEPODGESPV said...

facebooked

Sandra Vaughan http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/2009/06/birthday-bash-day-7-93-april-olivers.html

drey's library: Birthday bash - day 7! 93. April & Oliver's Tess Callahan swings by...
Source: dreyslibrary.blogspot.com
I inhale books

spvaughan at yahoo dot com

HODGEPODGESPV said...

Adding http://dreyshouse.blogspot.com to your Favorites.

Technorati

Mishel said...

I absolutely loved this book! Great review Drey =)

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