Monday, March 17, 2014

Author Spotlight + Giveaway--Liz Flaherty

Welcome to Author Spotlights on Mondays! This week's guest is fellow IRWA member Liz Flaherty. She's offering a copy (print or e-book--winner's choice) of her latest release to one lucky commenter, so be sure to give her lots of love! Take it away, Liz!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t know if it’s because we’ve got quite a bit of Irish a few generations back or just because I like the stories that come from there, but I feel a special fondness for Ireland. The only time I’ve been to Europe, that was the country we visited, and it was 10 of the most magical days I’ve ever known.

Magic was the word I chose to be my guide in 2014. Of course, as soon as I chose it and announced my choice everywhere, I wished it back. Magic, I thought, wasn’t hard to find. But it wasn’t the finding I was worried about—it was the keeping.

I haven’t done very well with branding myself as a writer. In the 16 years I’ve been published, I’ve bounced around. Instead of the 20-some books I’d kind of hoped to have by now, I have eight. And they’re, you know, varietal. (This is how I know I’m a writer—I use strange words I have to look up. ☺) I’ve written contemporary, historical, and now women’s fiction, and I’ve never really established myself that strongly in any of them.

A line from John Sebastian’s “Do You Believe in Magic” says, “…it makes you feel happy like an old time movie…” Writing all over the place has done that for me. I’ve had the best time. I’ve kept the magic.

The Girls of Tonsil Lake is my first women’s fiction title. It is about four women who have been BFFs always. Writing it was magic for me. I hope reading it will bring the same feeling to you.

Blurb: Four women whose differences only deepen the friendship forged in a needy childhood…

They were four little girls living in ramshackle trailers beside a lake in rural Indiana. They shared everything from dreams to measles to boyfriends to more dreams. As they grew up, everything in their lives changed—except their friendship. Through weddings and divorces, births and deaths, one terrible secret has kept them close despite all the anger, betrayal, and pain.

Now, forty years later, facing illness, divorce, career challenges, and even addiction, the women come together once again for a bittersweet month on an island in Maine. Staring down their fifties, they must consider the choices life is offering them now and face the pain of what happened long ago.

Secrets are revealed and truths uncovered, but will their time together cement their lifelong friendship—or drive them apart forever?

I wanted Andie to come to New York, but she didn’t feel up to it. I felt a little shudder go through me when she said that. Andie’s always been so strong, and she’s cancer-free, so I found it startling and frightening when she admitted to feeling less than wonderful. But, as Let There Be Hope shows, cancer changes one in sometimes indefinable ways. Maybe this is one of those changes.

Mark and I visited some islands off the Maine coast once, in our early days. I was so enthralled that he bought me a house on one of them, a little strip of green called, appropriately enough, Hope Island. It reminds me of Bennett’s Island, the fictitious utopia of Elisabeth Ogilvie’s books, except that Hope has all the mod cons.

I love to go there. It’s a place I can be myself with little regard to what anyone else thinks. I sit in my bathrobe on the wraparound porch of the Victorian horror that is my house and drink coffee with Lucas Bishop, our neighbor. I read Jean’s books without worrying that someone will see the covers.

I’ve never taken anyone else—it was Mark’s and my private getaway—but I wouldn’t mind if it was Andie who was there. Or Jean and even Suzanne. Andie and I could work on her book. Jean could cook and keep house since she’s so crazy about doing that, and maybe even spin out one of her romances placed on an island. And Suzanne our hair or something.
We would all be together as we are that single night every year when we drive to the lake and pretend we’re facing down our ghosts. I am a little afraid that the day will come that we’ll have to face them down for real.

I wonder if they’d come.

Buy Link:

Author Bio:
The Girls of Tonsil Lake is Liz Flaherty’s eighth book, and it is no less thrilling than the first one was. Retired from the post office, she spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and doing whatever else she wants to. She and Duane live in the old farmhouse in Indiana they moved to in 1977. They’ve talked about moving, but really…30-some years’ worth of stuff? It’s not happening!

She’d love to hear from you at or please come and see her at:

Happy St. Patrick's Day, and remember to comment by midnight (Eastern Time) on Wednesday, March 19, for a chance to win your choice of print or e-book!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!


  1. Thanks for having me here today Mellanie!

    1. You're welcome, Liz! Thanks for visiting! :)

  2. Yup, the Girls are magic! Love this book and all your writing, Liz! I love your wine word, varietal--you've been hanging out with wine drinkers again, haven't you? ;-)

    1. Hey, they're good people! Thanks for coming by, Nan!

  3. Hoping 2014 is full of magic for you, Liz. Keep writing where your heart leads you. :-)

    1. Thanks, Kyra--for you, too. Regardless of its...challenges...writing is such a magical thing.

  4. Happy St. Pat's! I'm wearing green today! I thought I had a strong brand, but don't know anymore. Sigh. I think write what your heart calls for and worry about the brand later.

    1. Thanks, D. I wonder, too, if sometimes the brand idea isn't overdone--we do need to follow the heart.

  5. I think you have a brand, Liz. It's just wide open. When I read your books, I'm guaranteed to get a good story with characters I can relate to who are going through issues that will be resolved in a wise way that makes me think about my own life. Now, did I earn a copy? LOL I sure hope so, because if so, I'll be in for a treat.