Today I’m excited to share an excerpt from Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder and a fun interview with the author, Holly Kerr. Thank you to CLP blog tours for letting me participate in the fun!
Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder by Holly Kerr
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
What would you do for your friends?
What could be more fun than celebrating your fortieth with your three BFF’s?
Josie sets off with Lana, Poppy and Meredith for an evening celebrating her birthday with the best intentions. Dinner, dancing and a little drinking.
A little more drinking, in a few questionable locations. It’s good to catch up with the girls. But then…
Josie realizes her husband isn’t cheating on her, but Poppy won’t talk about the fact that her husband is. Lana won’t talk about her ex, Ted and Meredith is trying to hide something.
The secrets start to come out.
And then something bad happens.
Secrets can really ruin a friendship.
Interview with Holly Kerr
Hi Holly, a huge, warm welcome to Living Life With Joy! Thank you so much for participating in this interview.
1. Would you like to start by introducing yourself?
Thanks for having me on Living Life with Joy! I’m Holly Kerr and I’m a writer. I’ve just released my third novel, Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder. I live in Toronto where it’s very cold these days, with my three kids and my hubby.
2. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest novel and the inspiration behind it?
Absinthe is a chick-lit book with a dark side about four longtime friends out for an evening of celebrating. As the night goes on, secrets begin to emerge that will affect their lives forever. Then something bad happens.
I was inspired to write the book because I recently celebrated my 40th birthday, just like Josie in the book, but I didn’t get an evening out with my girlfriends. So I came up with the idea of a group of women trying to revisit their youth and all the trouble they could get into!
3. What’s your favorite quality about your heroine?
There are four main characters but I would have to say Josie is the heroine. She’s spunky and sassy; she’s a hockey mom desperate to reclaim the person she used to be, the woman her husband fell in love with. Josie’s family is her priority but her friends are her family too, and she would do anything for them.
4. How long did it take you to write Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder?What is your writing process like?
Writing the first draft of a novel doesn’t take that long for me. I’m lucky to be a full-time writer, so when I’m working on a project I can plough through a first draft pretty quickly. But it’s the revisions and editing and cutting and read-throughs that take forever! And then there’s always the part where I’m about half-way through and convince myself what I’m writing is garbage, so I need to take a little break and work on something else until the mood passes! I’ll just say I was working on Absinthe for most of 2014
5. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
Of course! I’m working on two books at the moment. I have a chick-lit/thriller about a secret agent called back to work, but with no memory of her past life, called The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd. This is being critiqued now, and I have hopes it might be released by the summer. I’m also on the second draft of a New Adult romance, which is a new genre for me, and something I’m very excited about. It’s about a girl caught between a past love and her future.
6. If you were given an offer to turn Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder into a movie, who would you want to see playing the roles of the lead characters?
I love this question!! I love casting my books. For Absinthe, I would have:
Jennifer Garner as Josie Best; Sara Ramirez as Lana Hawke ; Kim Raver as Poppy Carter ; Gisele Bunchen as Meredith ; Christian Bale as Kent Carter ; Chris Pratt as Duncan Best
7. What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?
Last year, before my second book was published, I actually went back to work part-time in a bookstore. If I wasn’t writing, that’s where I would be. I’d want my own bookstore.
8. If you could marry a fictional character who would it be?
This one is tough! I asked my kids and they suggested Han Solo and Iron Man – both good suggestions for me! But I would have to say Jamie from the Outlander series. He’s so dedicated and loyal and sexy and capable (which usually isn’t a turn-on but from him it is!!) He’d need a little more of a sense of humour though, because I like to laugh!
9. What authors inspire you and what genres do you enjoy reading?
Colleen Hoover is inspiring me these days, and Stephen King. Not that I want to write horror, but I’m constantly amazed by the depths of his imagination. Also Joss Whedon, the writer/director who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Avengers. I love him and everything thing he does. Every time I watch one of his shows, my creativity is renewed because of the characters he creates and how he writes dialogue.
10. What kind of environment do you write in?
It needs to be bright – preferably sunny – and free of distractions like my kids! But I need music; loud music if no one is home. And it can’t be too comfortable!
11. Is there one book that stands out in your mind that you wish you’d written?
I don’t have a book that stands out in my mind, but I want Colleen Hoover’s career! She began in self-publishing and then her career just took off. I love everything I’ve ever read by her. I want to be Colleen Hoover. She’s the reason I want to write a NA romance; so if it’s horrible we can blame her!! J
12. If you could be plopped down into any book, which one would it be?
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I think it’s my favourite of the series. It’s got everything – it’s got magic! If I could take the place of any fictional character I’d want to be Hermione Granger!
13. What are the things you can’t live without in your kitchen?
This might sound like I’m a dangerous person, but I can’t live without my knives. I love to cook and sharp things are important to my cooking abilities. Also I love my wine rack, which needs to be stocked regularly! I also need music of some sort.
14. What are the things you can’t live without in your wardrobe?
I’m a jeans and T-shirt type of girl – pretty boring. But I love pretty shoes, and comfy warm sweaters. Also my running pants.
15. What would we find if we looked in your handbag right now?
A big mess! And it’s my big bag, so it’s a really big mess! I’ve got a bunch of receipts, a tennis ball, a squash ball, 2 lego figurines, about 3 lipsticks, pens, loose change…I actually went to look! I’ve also got a half-eaten bag of M &Ms from the movie I went to last week, my daughter’s wallet, clip-on sunglass case but no glasses and 2 little containers of dental floss. ??? I have kids; it’s a communal bag!
16. Where is your favorite place in the world?
On the beach at my cottage. Listening to the waves, before there’s anyone around – perfect!
17. Do you have any pet peeves?
Rude and inconsiderate people that won’t move out of my way when I’m running. And people that spit – those loud, gross horks! Ugh! Hate that!
18. A few of your favorites…
Favorite scent? Apples; I love apple scented candles and my favourite perfume is DKNY Delicious. Apple crisp is my favourite desert!
Favorite color? Red or purple. I like bright colours; I don’t wear a lot of black or neutrals
Favorite food? Mushroom risotto
Favorite word? I’m not sure I have a favorite word; I use the word ‘crap’ a lot, which isn’t good! And awesome. Let’s say awesome is my favourite word!
Favorite song? Calling You, by Blue October
Favorite book? Tough one! Today I’ll say Rivals by Jilly Cooper. I have a few favourites!
Favorite/dream vacation spot? Somewhere by the ocean. I love the water and I recently discovered I love scuba diving so it would have to be warm so I could do that! But it would have to be a kid-friendly place so I could bring my family. If it was just me on vacation, I’d pick New York City. Walking around the city by myself is a dream for me!
Favorite time period in history? That’s tough. I read a lot of historical fiction and my favourite is the Tudor period so I would have to say around the 1400-1500 in England
Favorite article of clothing? My Birks and this bright orange hoodie I love. And these little ankle booties I never get a chance to wear but I love. I’m pretty casual!
Favorite drink of choice? I can’t pick! Tea or Pepsi for non-alcoholic; dirty martini or wine for alcoholic.
Favorite celebrity crush? These days it’s a toss-up between Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Pratt. Depending on my mood!
19. Either or…
Dogs or cats? Dogs. More social and I can walk them
Red wine or white? I love a nice pinot but I drink more white
Coffee or tea? Tea. Can’t stand the taste of coffee although I love the smell
Summer or Winter? Summer. I love water, and it’s too cold in the winter
Sleep in or get up early? I’m an early bird
Apple or PC? PC but I love my iPhone and iPad, so can I say both?
Thank you so much for participating in this interview, I’m delighted to have you on my blog and truly appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions!
Thank you! This was a lot of fun!!
Connect with the Author – Holly Kerr
Holly Kerr writes contemporary women’s fiction/chick-lit/romance and doesn’t particularly enjoy talking about herself in third person.
Her books include Coming Home, Unexpecting and Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three kids. She doesn’t consider herself a typical chick-lit writer since loves everything about Star Wars, Harry Potter, Joss Whedon and has a thing for superheroes; however a story about falling for a superhero might be interesting for her to write. When she’s not writing, she likes to play in the dirt in her garden and enjoy a glass of wine while cooking, although she’s trying to cut back while she’s training for a marathon.
If you require more information about Holly and her books feel free to visit her website or follow her Blog. At times she discusses the craft of writing but usually she muses about her life and what’s she reading, writing or watching. Holly hopes you enjoy her books and she welcomes a chance to interact with her readers, but not in any creepy way. A simple comment “Hey, I really like/don’t like…” would be a lovely way to begin a conversation.
Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder – Book Excerpt
“Enough kissing – let’s dance!” Poppy cried. She picked up her glass and headed to the dance floor. Depeche Mode had replaced Kenny Loggins.
We followed her.
I hadn’t danced in years. I danced, but only alone in my kitchen when the spirit moved me, or with the boys when they were younger, or at the few dentist conventions I had attended with Duncan. But it had been a long, long time since I’d been on a crowded dance floor, drink in hand, with my girls by my side.
And so I danced. I danced like I wasn’t forty, and a mother of three. I forgot about trying to conceal my muffin top and wondering if my ass really looked good in my jeans. I danced like the Facebook statuses say you should – like no one was watching.
I wasn’t sure how long we stayed on the dance floor. Meredith and Lana both left and returned with fresh drinks for us, but Poppy stayed by my side, with a huge smile on her face, looking beautiful again, without the worry furrow between her brows. She looked young and carefree, like the worries of the world weren’t pressing down on her narrow shoulders. She danced like no one was watching, even though everyone was. For once she didn’t care.
And I didn’t either. I was having a great time.
I suspected the drinks had something to do with it.
“Ellie would have loved this,” Poppy said suddenly.
“She would have,” I said, feeling the surge of bittersweet memories that always came when the four of us were together. Because for two and a half glorious years, there were five of us. “She would have liked more men,” I decided with a laugh.
Meredith joined my laughter. “She definitely knew what team she was on and stuck with it!”
“I miss her,” Poppy said sadly.
“We all do,” Lana said firmly. “But the last thing she would have wanted was for us to be moping over her in the middle of a dance floor. She’d want us to have fun, and pick up all sorts of boys. Right?”
“Or girls,” I said, raising my glass.