Tag: Kristin Hannah

Giveaway: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Posted February 3, 2015 by Rowena in Giveaways | 5 Comments

Kristin Hannah’s THE NIGHTINGALE is out TODAY and our friends over at St. Martin’s Press have given us a copy to give away here on Book Binge.

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In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real–and deadly–consequences.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

I’ve seen some early reviews from people who really enjoyed this one so if you want a chance to win your very own copy, enter through the Rafflecopter widget below. Just let us know why you’re interested in winning this book and you’ll be entered! The giveaway will run until Friday, January 13, 2015. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, sorry.

Good luck!

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About the author: Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including Winter Garden, True Colors, and the blockbuster Firefly Lane.

Her novel Home Front has been optioned for film by 1492 Films (produced the Oscar-nominated The Help) with Chris Columbus attached direct.

Kristin’s next release is the highly anticipated The Nightingale, which will be in stores on February 3, 2015.

Kristin was born in September 1960 in Southern California and grew up at the beach, making sand castles and playing in the surf. When she was eight years old, her father drove the family to Western Washington which they called home.

After working in a trendy advertising agency, Kristin decided to go to law school. “But you’re going to be a writer” are the prophetic words she would never forget from her mother. Kristin was in her third-and final-year of law school and her mom was in the hospital, facing the end of her long battle with cancer. Kristin was shocked to discover that her mother believed she would become a writer. For the next few months, they collaborated on a novel. After her mom’s death, she packed up all those bits and pieces of paper and research they’d collected and put them in a box in the back of her closet. Kristin got married and continued practicing law.

Then Kristin found out she was pregnant and was on bed rest for five months. By the time she’d read every book in the house and started asking her husband for cereal boxes to read, she knew she was a goner. That’s when her husband reminded her of the book she’d started with her mom. Kristin pulled out the boxes of research material, dusted them off and began writing. By the time their son was born, she’d finished a first draft and found an obsession.

The rejections came, of course, and they stung for a while, but each one really just spurred her to try harder, work more. In 1990, Kristin got “the call,” and in that moment, she went from a young mother with a cooler-than-average hobby to a professional writer, and has never looked back. In all the years between then and now, she has never lost her love of, or her enthusiasm for, telling stories. Kristin feels truly blessed to be a wife, a mother, and a writer. Her novel, Firefly Lane, became a runaway bestseller in 2009, a touchstone novel that brought women together.

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

Excerpt (+ Giveaway): Fly Away by Kristin Hannah

Posted April 3, 2014 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 1 Comment

Fly Away CoverToday we’re giving away a copy of Fly Away by Kristin Hannah.

As teenagers in the seventies, Tully Hart and Kate Mularky were inseparable.  Tully, with her make-up and her halter tops, was the coolest girl in school.  Kate, with her glasses and her high water jeans, was the geeky outsider.  But chance and circumstance brought them together and through the decades they were devoted to each other.   This was the story of Tully and Kate which began on a quiet street called Firefly Lane.  Best friends forever.

But sometimes stories end, and we have to find a way to begin again.

Now, years later, Tully is a woman trying to deal with the loss of her best friend.  She wants to fulfill her promise to Kate—to be there for Kate’s children, but it’s a promise she has no idea how to carry out.   What does brash, lonely, ambitious Tully know about being part of a family?

Read an excerpt:

Fly Away: EXCERPT

Chapter One
September 2, 2010
10:14 pm

She felt a little woozy. It was nice, like being wrapped in a warm-from-the-dryer blanket. But when she came to, and saw where she was, it wasn’t so nice.

She was sitting on a closed toilet seat in a restroom stall, slumped over, with tears drying on her cheeks. How long had she been here? She got slowly to her feet and left the bathroom, pushing her way through the theater’s crowded lobby, ignoring the judgmental looks cast her way by the beautiful people drinking champagne beneath a glittering, nineteenth century chandelier. The movie must be over.

Outside, she kicked her ridiculous patent leather pumps into the shadows. In her expensive black nylons, she walked in the spitting rain down the dirty Seattle sidewalk toward home.

A bright pink Martini Bar sign caught her attention. A few people were clustered together outside the front door, smoking and talking beneath a protective overhang.

Even as she vowed to pass by, she found herself turning, reaching for the door, going inside. She slipped into the dark, crowded interior and headed straight for the long, mahogany bar.

“What can I get for you?” asked a thin, artsy-looking man with hair the color of a tangerine and more hardware on his face than Sears carried in the nuts and bolts aisle.

“Tequila straight shot,” she said.

She drank the first shot and ordered another. The loud music comforted her. She drank another straight shot and swayed to the beat. All around her people were talking and laughing. It felt a little like she was part of all that activity.

A man in an expensive Italian suit sidled up beside her. He was tall and obviously fit, with blond hair that had been carefully cut and styled. Banker, probably, or corporate lawyer. Too young for her, of course. He couldn’t be much past thirty-five. How long was he there, trolling for a date, looking for the best looking woman in the room? One drink, two?

Finally, he turned to her. She could tell by the look in his eyes that he knew who she was and that small recognition seduced her. “Can I buy you a drink?”

“I don’t know. Can you?” Was she slurring her words? That wasn’t good. And she couldn’t think clearly.

His gaze moved from her face, down to her breasts, and then back to her face. It was a look that stripped past any pretense. “I’d say a drink at the very least.”

“I don’t usually pick up strangers,” she lied. Lately, there were only strangers in her life. Everyone else, everyone who mattered, had forgotten about her. She could really feel that Xanax kicking in now, or was it the tequila?

He touched her chin, a jawline caress that made her shiver. The boldness of it, just touching her; no one did that anymore. “I’m Troy,” he said.

She looked up into his blue eyes and felt the bone crushing weight of her loneliness. When was the last time a man had wanted her? She couldn’t even remember.

“I’m Tully Hart,” she said.

“I know.”

He kissed her. He tasted sweet, of some kind of liquor, and of cigarettes. Or maybe pot. She wanted to lose herself in pure physical sensation, to dissolve like a bit of candy.

She wanted to forget everything that had gone wrong with her life, and how it was that she’d ended up in a place like this, alone in a sea of strangers.

“Kiss me again,” she said, hating the pathetic pleading she heard in her voice. It was how she’d sounded as a child, back when she’d been a little girl with her nose pressed to the window, waiting for her mother to return. What’s wrong with me? that little girl had asked anyone who would listen, but there had never been an answer. Tully reached out for him, pulling him close, but even as he kissed her and pressed his body into hers, she felt herself starting to cry, and when her tears started, there was no way to hold them back.

***

September 3, 2010
2:01 am

Tully was the last person to leave the bar. The doors banged shut behind her; the neon sign hissed and clicked off. It was past two now; the Seattle streets were empty. Hushed.

Traffic made the pavement hum beneath her bare feet. She made her way down the slick sidewalk, a little unsteady on her feet. A man had kissed her – a stranger – and she’d started to cry.

Pathetic. No wonder he’d backed away.

Rain pelted her, almost overwhelmed her. She thought about stopping, tilting her head back and drinking it in until she drowned.

That would be good. Drowning.

It seemed to take hours to get home. At her condominium building, she pushed past the doorman without making eye contact.

In the elevator, she saw herself in the wall of mirrors.

Oh, God.

She looked terrible. Her auburn hair – in need of coloring – was a bird’s nest, mascara ran like war paint down her cheeks.

The elevator doors opened and she stepped out into the hallway. Her balance was so off it took four tries to get her key into the lock. By the time she opened the door, she was dizzy and her headache had roared back to life.

Somewhere between the dining room and the living room, she banged into a chrome side table and almost fell. Only a last minute Hail Mary grab for the sofa saved her. She sank onto the thick, down filled white cushion with a sigh. The table in front of her was piled high with mail. Bills and magazines. Junk mail.

She slumped back and closed her eyes, thinking what a mess her life had become.

“Damn you, Katie Ryan,” she whispered to the best friend who wasn’t there. This loneliness was unbearable. But her best friend was gone. Dead. That was what had started all of it. Losing Kate. How pitiful was that? Tully had begun to plummet at her best friend’s death and she hadn’t been able to pull out of the dive. “I need you.” Then she screamed it: “I need you!”

Silence.

She let her head fall forward. Did she fall asleep? Maybe…

When she opened her eyes again, she stared, bleary-eyed, at the pile of mail on her coffee table. A Star magazine lay on top – a small, business card size photograph of her was in the upper right corner. Beneath her name was a single, terrible word.

Addict.

She reached forward, grabbed the magazine. It was a small story; not even a full page.

The Real Story behind the rumors.

Aging isn’t easy for any woman in the public eye, but it may be proving especially difficult for Tully Hart, the ex-star of the once phenom talk show The Girlfriend Hour. Ms. Hart’s goddaughter, Marah Ryan, contacted Star exclusively. Ms. Ryan, 20, confirms that the fifty-year-old Hart has been struggling lately with demons she’s had all her life. In recent months, Hart has “gained an alarmingamount of weight” and been abusing drugs and alcohol, according to Ms. Ryan–
Marah.

The betrayal hurt so badly she couldn’t breathe. She read the rest of the story and then let the magazine slide to the floor.

The pain she’d been holding at bay for months, years, roared to life, sucking her into the bleakest, loneliest place she’d ever been. For the first time, she couldn’t even imagine crawling out of this pit.

She staggered to her feet, her vision blurred by tears, and reached for her car keys. She couldn’t live like this anymore.

Copyright @ Kristin Hannah 2013

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Hannah_72dpi (2)About Kristin:

Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels, including the blockbuster Firefly Lane and Night Road. She is a former lawyer turned writer and is the mother of one son. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii with her husband.

Learn more about Kristin on her website: http://kristinhannah.com/content/index.php

Fly Away is available now from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Audiobook Giveaway: Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Posted February 3, 2012 by Holly in Giveaways | 11 Comments


Casee recently reviewed Home Front by Kristin Hannah. She absolutely adored it. Today we’re offering a copy of the audiobook to one lucky winner.

If you’d like to be entered in the drawing, leave a comment on this post answering the following questions: Do you listen to audiobooks? Why do you want to listen to this one? Contest ends 2/14/12 @ 11:59PM. Please Note: You must include a valid email address with your comment to be eligible.

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Review: Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Posted January 17, 2012 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Book CoverCasee‘s review of Home Front by Kristin Hannah.

All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost…

Like many couples, Michael and Jolene have to face the pressures of everyday life—children, careers, bills, chores—even as their twelve year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm’s way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a soldier she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own–for everything that matters to his family.

I had a hard time picking up this book for several reasons. I have found myself in the same place Jolene was (the marriage, not war). Twelve years of marriage is exactly how far I am in my marriage. I’ve never deluded myself that marriage is an easy thing, but when I found myself at a crossroads earlier this year it was a place I didn’t want to be. Now that my husband and I are finding our way back to each other and hopefully making a better marriage, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read about a marriage failing that could have been mine. A good friend of mine lives across the street and her husband deployed for a year. I had a front row seat to how having a spouse/brother/friend deployed affects everyone around you. I was on the peripheral. Seeing it from the outside, but being on the inside because of my friend. If Kristin Hannah couldn’t catch that emotion or write how deployment affects families and even the towns of soldiers, I would have lost respect for her as a writer.

I’m glad to say that I love her as much as ever. She’s either a military [something] or she did her damn homework.

Jolene is a woman that was abandoned as a teenager but came out stronger for it. She met Michael when she went to social services as a seventeen year old girl and laid it out. She didn’t want to go into the system and she was almost eighteen. Michael was a legal aide and helped her. He was impressed by her strength and something else he couldn’t name. As she was walking out the door that day, he told her to come see him in a few years, but knowing he would never see him again.

When she showed up years later, they instantly clicked. Twelve years and two kids later, the shine has worn off. Jolene is happy with her job as a pilot in the National Guard and a mom of a twelve year old and four year old, both girls. She knows her marriage isn’t exactly perfect, but doesn’t know how to approach the problem.

Michael has learned that when Jolene confronts emotion, she always finds a way to be positive because she believes that everyone can be happy. Since his father died, Michael can barely abide Jolene’s attitude. He feels disconnected from his wife and unable to talk to her. Spending hours at work, he barely knows his kids or their schedule. There are few things that Jolene asks of him, but he feels that he can’t even meet her expectations there.

Then she gets orders that she’s being deployed to Iraq.

Michael has never been supportive of Jolene’s career as a Blackhawk pilot. He doesn’t consider their family a military family. He never considered that Jolene might go to war. When she tells him, he actually expects her to tell “them” that she can’t go because she has children to take care of. Her quiet, “They also have a father,” knocks him back, but he still doesn’t believe that she belongs in a war zone.

This book took place in 2005. Though war is dangerous for all soldiers, pilots were especially vulnerable. The only thing that brings her comfort is that she’s going with her best friend and fellow pilot, her fly girl, Tami. Jolene doesn’t expect to make it home alive. Michael is naive and in the dark enough about the war that when Jolene tells her family that her job is the least dangerous of all, they believe her. It’s after Jolene’s gone and Michael learns what she’s really doing over there that he realizes that she lied. His wife is doing one of the most dangerous jobs in Iraq.

When Jo comes home injured, she’s a different person. She’s not the wife nor the mother she was when she left. Michael understands, but her children don’t. Jo wants to lock herself away and drink herself into oblivion. Nightmares and PTSD are her nightly and daily companions. Staying away from her family seems like the safe thing to do. Scaring her kids and showing them that she’s not the mom she was is something she can’t let herself do.

Home Front is a book that will suck you in. Jolene was a hero to her country and her family. Her PTSD was so well written, I felt like I could be in her shoes and it wasn’t a pretty place to be. When she reached out for help to the VA and was told she would be put on a list, my heart hurt for her. Jo was lucky that she had the support she needed to get through her problems. Michael ended up being the rock she never thought he could be. Whether or not he believed in the war, he believed in the warriors fighting the war and finally understood the sacrifices they made.

This book was humbling to read.

5 out of 5 (I know, right?)

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Review: True Colors by Kristin Hannah

Posted March 13, 2009 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

The Grey sisters have always been close. After their mother’s death, the girls banded together, becoming best friends. Their stern, disapproving father cares less about his children than about his reputation. To Henry Grey, appearances are everything, and years later, he still demands that his daughters reflect his standing in the community.

Winona, the oldest, needs her father’s approval most of all. An overweight bookworm who never felt at home on the sprawling horse ranch that has been in her family for three generations, she knows that she doesn’t have the qualities her father values. But as the best lawyer in town, she’s determined to someday find a way to prove her worth to him.

Aurora, the middle sister, is the family peacemaker. She brokers every dispute and tries to keep them all happy, even as she hides her own secret pain.

Vivi Ann is the undisputed star of the family. A stunningly beautiful dreamer with a heart as big as the ocean in front of her house, she is adored by all who know her. Everything comes easily for Vivi Ann, until a stranger comes to town. . . .

In a matter of moments, everything will change. The Grey sisters will be pitted against one another in ways that none could have imagined. Loyalties will be tested and secrets revealed, and a terrible, shocking crime will shatter both their family and their beloved town.

With breathtaking pace and penetrating emotional insight, True Colors is an unforgettable novel about sisters, rivalry, forgiveness, redemption—and ultimately, what it means to be a family.

I knew there was a reason that I didn’t read Kristin Hannah very often. The emotion in her books is almost more than I can take. I still remember reading Home Again; I thought about it for months afterward. At least this time I knew what to expect, so I was partly ready for the emotional punch that I knew this book would pack.

I would clarify this more as women’s fiction. While there is romance, the book is more about the bonds of family. The book starts in 1979 when Winona, Aurora, and Vivi Ann’s mother dies. It continues to 1992, when the girls are all grown up. Winona’s first love comes back to Oyster Shores and Winona can only hope that Luke sees her as something other than his best friend. She doesn’t count on Luke’s attraction to Vivi Ann and is devastated when they start dating. Though Aurora warned her repeatedly to tell Vivi Ann, Winona held her silence while the two where dating and even after they got engaged. She kept hoping that something would go wrong, Vivi Ann would break Luke’s heart and she would be there to pick up the pieces.

I didn’t like Winona at all from the beginning. In fact, it was only the last 20 pages or so that I actually liked her. She was a self-absorbed, selfish bitch that only thought about herself. She wanted daddy’s approval more than anything else, even though she had never gotten it. She acted like everything she did in life was to help her family, but her main concern was helping herself. I had absolutely no pity or compassion for her when Luke started dating Vivi Ann. Aurora gave her sound advice when she told Win to tell Vivi Ann how she felt. The bonds of sisterhood would have withstood Winona’s confession. But she was too stubborn to tell Vivi Ann and the jealously festered in her like a disease.

Vivi Ann is the youngest in the family and the most beautiful. Never taken seriously, Vivi Ann is determined to turn the family ranch into a profitable business. When Dallas Raintree is hired as their ranch hand, Vivi is instantly attracted to him and the attraction is mutual. Suddenly there is a man that sees her as more than a pretty doll. There’s only one problem…she’s engaged to Luke. She can’t stay away from Dallas, though. After they’re together for the first time, Vivi goes to find Luke to tell him she can’t marry him, but Winona has beaten her to it. That made the rift between the sisters a little bit wider.

The years go on. Dallas and Vivi have married and had a child. The ranch is profitable and Vivi has never been happier. Then Dallas is arrested and charged for a crime he didn’t commit. She begs Winona to help Dallas, which as a lawyer, is in her power to do. Winona refuses, having seen Dallas as an interloper in their family all along. And that is the final tear in their relationship.

Reading about Vivi and Dallas going through what they went through was simply awful. Vivi has had to drag herself back from the verge of destruction so she can be the mother her son needs her to be. Dallas has cut himself off from her and Vivi accepts that he’s trying to protect her. It’s not until Noah is a teenager and starting to ask questions about his father that the wound between the sisters is once again opened.

This time, Winona is determined to do the right thing. She sees herself for who she has been and wants to right the wrong she has done to both Vivi and Dallas. It takes time, but Winona has faith in the law and knows that Dallas isn’t where he belongs.

The book was emotional. The reunion at the end of the book was extremely emotional. Reading about Noah’s confusion and him trying to find his way was just heartbreaking. I really felt for him. And Vivi…*sigh*. She would have done anything for either of her sisters and the fact that her oldest sister turned her back on her when she needed her was almost too much for her to take. I think that seeing Vivi grow up from a 24 year old carefree girl to a 39 year old heartbroken woman was the hardest thing to read. If anyone deserved a happy ending, it was her.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here.