facebook giveaway

sometimes we have giveaways on facebook.  here's an example...in fact, it's running now.  you might win a tote bag and lemons from my lemon tree!  meanwhile, please do pre-order THE LEMON ORCHARD.  


Luanne Rice shared a link.
Posted by Luanne Rice · April 1
GIVEAWAY!! To celebrate THE LEMON ORCHARD being available for pre-order, 5 people will win tote bags and lemons from Luanne's own personal lemon tree. Share this post and comment that you have pre-ordered to be entered to win. Good luck! http://amzn.to/QCXKyG

The Lemon Orchard: A Novel
A heartrending, timely love story of two people from seemingly different worlds?at once dramatic and romantic Luanne Rice is the beloved author of twenty-two New York Times bestsellers. In The Lemon Orchard, one of her most moving and accomplished...



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While writing THE LEMON ORCHARD I listened to music that inspired me.  These are songs of love, travel, connection, family, and crossing borders.  Because the music meant so much to me and the characters I was creating, I wove the songs into the novel.  They are songs of America, Mexico, and Ireland, by artists I have loved forever and others that were new to me.

I was introduced to some of the music by the man who inspired the character of Roberto.  He comes from a small town outside Puebla, Mexico, and now he lives in East LA. The story between Roberto and Julia is passionate, and the music is the soundtrack to their love.

Because I wanted you to hear the songs, I put them together in a Spotify playlist.  My own musical taste goes like this: if the song makes me feel something, goes into my heart, I'm there.  I react to music with emotion--it makes me feel, remember, ache.  Because this playlist says a lot about the novel, and because I wanted it to express my family's Irish roots and "Roberto's" Mexican roots, and because I wanted to include songs about immigration--ones I might not have heard before--I asked my friends Mark Lonergan and Becky Murray for suggestions.

Music and friendship are deeply linked.  I've included two songs by my friend Garland Jeffreys.  Becky and Mark both gave me excellent ideas--Mark, also my guitar teacher, introduced me to Tim O'Brien's music a while back--we went to see him perform at NYC's The Cutting Room back when it was in Chelsea and owned by Chris Noth.  I think it's still owned by Chris Noth. Becky and her husband Ed suggested songs by Lady Gaga and Billy Walker.  Those artists are on the playlist along with Bruce Springsteen, Lila Downs, Ry Cooder, Los Tigres Del Norte, Tom Morello, Alison Moorer, Juan Gabriel, The Chieftains, Lola Beltrán, Luis Miguel, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and others.

Thanks to Winnie De Moya of Viking Penguin for posting my Spotify playlist to my Pinterest The Lemon Orchard board.

To write

photoTo write you have to like being alone. Ideas have to flow in and out like air through cracks in the cabin wall. Physical space isn't important; the flow can happen in a tiny room. What counts is internal space. The voices you hear belong to your characters. I clear my life, days and weeks and months at a time, and I lie about it. It embarrasses me to need so much solitude. So I write this today with a sense of coming clean. I'm a terrible one for canceling. I make plans because I love the people I make them with. But sometimes even a single appointment can worry me, or shift my focus to that day, that moment on the calendar, and I wind up saying I'm sorry, I won't be able to. This might be extreme. Some writers might need groups or gatherings or just plain old daily contact more than I do. I need solitude. When I wake up in the morning I get to my writing without speaking a word. Talking before work shifts my focus away. It's not that what I'm writing is important, or beautiful, or noteworthy--it's just what I do. The words are important to me, maybe no one else. I tell stories because if I didn't I would stop breathing.

One can never be alone enough to write -- Susan Sontag

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day -- Ernest Hemingway, 1954 Nobel Prize acceptance speech

The computer makes writing both easier and harder. It makes revision easier but it's a portal to the Internet which is a distraction. The internet has pluses and minuses. When I first discovered it I was distracted by it all the time. Email, constant contact--both wonderful and destructive, like the best addictions. Facebook provides the sense of a social life; Pinterest seems to me to be intuitive and wordless communication, a way to say who you are, or at least who you are at the moment of pinning a picture or poem; Twitter is immediate like speed or sugar; a comic artist introduced me to Tumblr, and I think I like the feeling of it. But let's face it, the Internet is hell on writing. My father, who sold and repaired Olympia typewriters, gave me an Olympia SM 9 when I was in school. I'm glad they still make ribbons for it. I've stocked up in case they stop. I think the sound of the keys comforts me; I know the cats like it. They sit close, as if the typewriter is a hearth. Most of the time I still write on my computer and sometimes on those nights I dream I am typing. Either way the stories get told. Life is writing and writing is life.

Book Lovers

Yesterday I spent the day at the ALA Midwinter meeting.  Early in the morning I had breakfast with booksellers.   We met at the U.S. Grant Hotel, and the conversation flowed instantly.  Put book lovers and coffee together and off we go.  We  talked about The Silver Boat, and I was thrilled to hear they plan to recommend it for book clubs.  I love and am honored to know that readers discuss my novels, using my stories to reflect on issues in their own lives.  No Woman is an Island; that's my motto.

Publication of The Silver Boat, once seeming forever-off, is just around the corner in April.  It was wonderful to convene with such great book people. Tom Benton of Penguin (a recipient of Publisher Weekly's Sales Rep of the Year award) organized the breakfast, where nourishment came much more from the booksellers' warmth and love of books and my appreciation and love of booksellers than the (absolutely delicious) muffins.

Heading to the Convention Center, I was greeted by the elegant, kind, and incredibly delightful Dominique Jenkins, whom I absolutely adore, and who did so much to ease my day and welcome readers to my booth signing.  She stayed so vigilant on my behalf, waiting to hear from a friend trying to park outside, guiding her (a Facebook friend turned actual friend) Machel Penn Schull, through the maze of displays so we could finally meet.  Machel is a talented, dear-hearted, compassionate friend and writer.  

The Penguin booth was a haven where along with Dominique, I got to hang out with Howard Wall, instant best-friend since the Penguin 75th anniversary party at Vroman's and the Keeper (librarian in his own right) of Penguin History; Alan Walker (rock star when not overseeing major events such as ALA...humble rock star at that; it took my mentioning guitar lessons for him to tell me just a little of his music life.  The man and his band have played everywhere,) and the luminous, efficient, and visionary Tanya, with whom I enjoyed deep conversation between signing copies.  Publishing people are angels, pure and simple.

Many visitors to the booth commented that it was great to know that I'm back at Viking, working with Pam Dorman.  Over and over I heard how wonderful Pam is (it's so true,) and people who know our history together remarked that Pam knows me so well, and is doing such an amazing job publishing The Silver Boat. I couldn't agree more.

Hildy Barger, one of the first people in line, told me I was her favorite writer, completely making my day and causing me to hand Dominique my camera and ask her to take Hildy's and my picture.

The librarians!  Many stopped by to talk about and pick up signed advance-reading copies of The Silver Boat.  They were so kind and enthusiastic, and I thank them all.  Two have inaugurated what I believe to be The Silver Boat's first official Book Club selection.

Here we are, Robin Hoklotubbe of the County of San Bernardino Library and her friend Carole Macias.  They belong to the Girlfriend Book Club in Corona, CA, and I'm so excited to know they've chosen my novel to discuss.

Another librarian told me she has sisters and is going through something similar to the sisters in The Silver Boat, having to do with the death of their mother and the sudden reality of being left with her house, a place where they'd all gathered and been happy, spent holidays together, and now what?  Having gone through that situation in my own life, I've drawn on it in fiction.

I was happy to meet Meredith Myers of StandUpLibrarian.com, whose business card reads, "So a comedian walks into a library and decides to work there."She wore the cutest hat.  She's not your grandmother's librarian, but then again, who is?  Librarians are hot.  That's the truth.

At one point I was interviewed and asked who my current favorite librarian is.  Very difficult question.  But Amy Rhilinger of the Attleboro (MA) Public Library is up at the top of the list.  Amy uses her art and creativity to enhance the reading experience; recently she instituted a poetry program for middle schoolers, and any librarian who gets an eighth-grader into W.B. Yeats, Mary Oliver, Charles Bukowski, fringe poets, romantic poets, haiku poets, activist poets, any poets-- is great by me.

The Gala Author Tea, (sponsored by ALTAFF) was enchanting, literary, and so important: encouraging love, use, and support of libraries.  I shared a panel with Conor Grennan (Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal); Paula McLain (The Paris Wife); Richard Louv (The Nature Principle.)  We were welcomed by Marilyn Johnson, (This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All.)

The writers' presentations were varied and incredibly interesting, and I feel so lucky to have signed books from all.  Susan Schmidt, Division Councilor of ALTAFF, gave me perhaps the most wonderful introduction I've ever had.  Thank you, Susan, for seeing me that way...

After the tea, it was great to speak with Carol Fitzgerald.  Founder and president of Bookreporter.com, among other sites, Carol gives so much time, wisdom, and support to writers and readers, bringing us together.  She is dynamic and wonderfully warm, and I only wish we'd had more time to spend together.

P.S. I love our surprise visitor in the photo, but she was on her way before I could get her name.  Hi!  I love you.

Summer reading

Today was gray and overcast, the perfect time to curl up with a book ("The Wave Watcher's Companion" by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, a gift from Adrian,) some iced tea (made with mint from my sister's garden,) and three cats.  They came and went--Maggie slept by my right knee, Maisie dropped a catnip apple at my feet and wanted to play, and Mae-Mae reclined on the windowsill watching birds fly by.  Madeleine stopped on her way home from the library, and she had iced tea but wanted fresh ginger grated into her glass, and we visited for awhile, and told me she's currently rereading "Gift From the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. As you can see, Maggie is enjoying both the book and the catnip apple.  Some summer days are nothing but bliss.

News from Luanne

Sandcastles is out in trade paperback! I love the new cover, which shows me running down the beach late for a swim with mermaids.  This novel came from deep inside.  It's about three sisters with artist parents, a devastating family secret, a dreamlike convent school on the edge of the sea, and love: within the family, among the sisters, first-kiss beach boy love, and, my favorite, the love of a nun for her longterm friend and groundskeeper.  The Thorn Birds on the Connecticut Shoreline!

Other news:

I’d like to introduce you to Madeleine Arrigan, librarian and archivist. Madeleine spends most of her time in our library high in the turret, reshelving books, repairing bindings of the much-loved and much-read ones, occasionally losing herself in a book she can’t put down. She does story hour for kids of all ages—without notice, whenever the mood strikes her.

She loves connecting with readers, so you’ll be encountering Madeleine here quite often. Also, she has started a Luanne Rice fan page on Facebook. After you friend me, please “like” the fan page and you will be eligible to win contests designed by Madeleine for book-lovers like you.

And of course, knowing Madeleine, she may present impromptu story hours. That would be so like her.