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Friday, September 6, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Two of a Kind by Yona Zeldis McDonough!

Hi there!
Welcome back to the place that's never too busy for a little bookish fun...well, by choice any way...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

So, we've been having a bit of blog tour love on the site this week starting with a heart mover, jumping to a life chaser, and now landing squarely on the shoulders of a life building, dream making, reality bringer that will have you invested in the story from the start.  Please join me in welcoming today's blog tour guest and book of choice...

Two of a Kind
Yona Zeldis McDonough
NAL Trade Paperback

About the book...
Ten years after losing her husband, Christina Connelly has worked through the pain, focusing on raising her teenage daughter and managing her small decorating business. But her romantic life has never recovered. Still, it’s irksome to be set up with arrogant, if handsome, OB/GYN Andy Stern at her friend’s wedding. If he wasn’t also a potential client, needing his Upper East Side apartment redesigned, she would write him off.
This is never going to work, Andy thinks. Still grieving his wife and struggling with a troubled son, he’s not looking for a woman, and certainly not someone as frosty and reserved as Christina. Their relationship will be strictly business. Yet to everyone’s surprise–including their own–these two find themselves falling in love.
But if reconciling with their pasts is difficult, blending their lives and children to create a new family is nearly impossible. They’ve been given a second chance…but can they overcome all the obstacles in the way of happily ever after?

We start out attending a wedding and end up with a chance at an ever after unanticipated by all; talk about full circle!

Christina, our leading lady, is smart, responsible, a wonderful Mom, and a fabulous interior decorator.  She rocks simple elegance and knows how to hold her own...some of that particular skill being learned by necessity rather than choice with the passing of her husband.  Andy, our leading fella, is the product of a loving which he never wanted to lay eyes on again. at least not without having achieve some massive levels of success, which he certainly does.  He's a renowned surgeon with a smile to stop hearts and  mad skills enough to assist couples seeking to be more than just two.  He's also quite possibly the most foot-in-mouth ridden man there ever was (at times) but at heart, he's well meaning.  When they meet, nothing could bring them together.  When they relate, it seems as though nothing could pull them apart.  Whether true or assumption, only time will well as READING the book....but suffice it to say that their points of crossing DEFINITELY amount to way more than simply time passed, but memories to be cherished forever.
One of my favorite scenes is the lobster getaway.  One of my least favorite things...the fact that the book skips the details on their gradually growing relationship.  There seemed to be chunks missing here and there along the way.  It didn't detract from the overall experience, but it DID make you curious as to what happened during that time frame.

In conclusion, a book well worth the read that reminds us that happily ever after doesn't simply end when we're awakened from our dreams come true.  Sometimes, even when tragedy strikes, there's another path leading to a future equally bright...if only we let our hearts see the light.  Recommended read for older teens through adult readers.

ARC for review courtesy of Alexis at New American Library, Penguin Group USA.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, be sure to stop by their official site.  To discover more about the author, be sure to check out exploits online.  Speaking of the author...

Ms. McDonough was kind enough to entertain my request for a guest post to share with all of you.  It centers on weddings and her previously released novel, A Wedding in Great Neck.  Please join me in a great big SFIR welcome for author Yona Zeldis McDonough!


GUEST POST:  Author Yona Zeldis McDonough

I've always been a sucker for weddings. It doesn't matter whether they're being held in a fancy, Park Avenue club, complete with caviar and exquisite champagne or in someone's backyard, where lemonade and barbecued chicken are the bill of fare--I just love them. Weddings get me teary-eyed, solemn, jubilant, and reflective all at the same time. I guess you could say that I'm a wedding junkie.  So it's no surprise that I decided to build my fourth novel, A Wedding In Great Neck, around a nuptial day.

Some back-story is in order: for some time, I had been toying with the idea of writing a novel that took place in a single day.  I liked the formal challenge this presented, a kind of literary puzzle.  And when I got the notion to make the single day a wedding day, I knew I had found the armature on which to hang a story.   Weddings are inherently dramatic because a wedding represents a radical shift in the family dynamic: everyone must readjust to this new unit, and incorporate a new person into the existing structure.  And since marriage is often the gateway to children--who further reorder the existing family unit--a wedding contains in it the possibility of new generations, and a whole new family order.  Even though all this is good stuff, happy stuff, it requires a willingness to accept change--and change, even good change is scary.  Which is why weddings, and all their trappings, can easily become crucibles for every latent family resentment, jealousy, and anxiety.  Those screaming matches over the seating arrangements or choice of location?  The tears shed over the dress/shoes/flowers?  All evidence and proof of how weddings shake us up, and rattle our bones.  We focus on the small stuff, and blow it out of proportion, because it's easier to deal with than the larger stuff it conceals.

I knew I could use all this roiling emotion in service of my novel, which centers on the Great Neck wedding of Angelica Silverstein, the youngest and most accomplished daughter of the Silverstein clan.  I decided to tell it from several different points of view, because I thought that would allow me the opportunity to get inside the emotions of several main characters and create drama on a number of different fronts.  I chose the bride's older sister, Gretchen, a slow-starter who has long resented her perfect sibling, her mother and father--now divorced--her grandmother and her fifteen year old niece who is determined to throw a monkey wrench into the day and ruin the wedding entirely.  Everyone has an agenda here, his or her own story to advance.  The one point of view that I deliberately chose to avoid was that of the bride herself.  Angelica is the object of everyone's attention but she is not the subject.  I thought this would be an interesting twist on the more expected bride-centric treatment that such a theme usually gets.

Once the characters were set in my mind, the story took on a life of its own; they began to act independently of my will.  I ended up being surprised by some of the things that happened on that fateful wedding day--and hope you will be too.


Pretty cool, right?
It's always fun to learn more about the beginnings that shaped a story...and in this case, possibly add not just one but TWO titles to your own too-read list thanks to today's share.

Until next time...happy reading!


Felicity Grace Terry said...

Sounds interesting but I think I'd find myself increasingly annoyed by these characters who seem too good to be true.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Great post! Great honest review too.

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