THE MEMORY OF US by Camille DiMaio
Genre: Historical Romantic Literary Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: May 31, 2016
Number of Pages: 400
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Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.
While visiting her brother in secret, Julianne meets and befriends Kyle McCarthy, an Irish Catholic groundskeeper studying to become a priest. Caught between her family’s expectations, Kyle’s devotion to the Church, and the intense new feelings that the forbidden courtship has awakened in her, Julianne must make a choice: uphold the life she’s always known or follow the difficult path toward love.
But as war ripples through the world and the Blitz decimates England, a tragic accident forces Julianne to leave everything behind and forge a new life built on lies she’s told to protect the ones she loves. Now, after twenty years of hiding from her past, the truth finds her—will she be brave enough to face it?
ADVANCED REVIEWER PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
“Powerful, emotional, and amazing read.”
“A smashing debut!”
“Brilliantly told and executed.”
“Will make you cry in the best way possible.”
“This is a beautiful story of redemption, love, and honor.”
“I fell in love with the characters.”
“I’m not sure if I have ever had such a range of emotions with a book.”
“This is one of the best books that I have read!”
“Touching and funny and tragic and beautiful.”
“Packs a powerful, emotional punch.”
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I would say that women’s fiction chose me, rather than me choosing it. When I had the idea for the story, it naturally fit in to a genre that embodied a woman’s journey, with historical and romantic elements.
Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
From an early age, I always saw my mom reading, and I developed the same love for it. She drilled me in vocabulary lessons and even cleaned bathrooms in bingo halls to supplement tuition at private school, where I received an excellent education in English and literature. She also read everything I wrote as a kid and thought it was publishable.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing blogs and stories for as long as I can remember, and even had twenty-two pen-pals as a teenager just because I love to write so much. When I set out to write a novel, though, it took me six years between conception and publication. After having four children, I have to say that my book baby had the longest gestation period!
What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?
I think there is tremendous cultural value in reading and writing. It is the best way to help us identify with people in circumstances either similar or different to ours. It expands our knowledge of the world, of facts, of places, of personalities better than anything else I can imagine. It is also an excellent escape – and I know that I need to wind down often and just immerse myself in reading a story.
How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?
There is a priest in my book, so I did draw from my Catholic faith to be able to write about him authentically. It also informed how far I would go with romantic themes in the book. I personally find in literature and in movies that what is left to the imagination is sexier than what is spelled out for you.
What do you think most characterizes your writing?
I love vocabulary, so I would like to think that using precise and beautiful words is a strong point for me. I don’t want them to be common, nor do I want them to be intellectual. I just want them to be perfect for the situation.
What’s something fun or funny that most people don’t know about you?
I have three kidneys!
Camille is an award-winning real estate agent in San Antonio who, along with her husband of 18 years, home schools their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes, and forever stays up late reading “just one more chapter”. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. “The Memory of Us” is Camille’s debut novel. Her second, “Before the Rain Falls” will be released in the spring of 2017.
GIVEAWAYS! GIVEAWAYS! GIVEAWAYS!
THREE WINNERS EACH GET
A SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK!
June 21 – July 5, 2016
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6/22 Books and Broomsticks– Promo
6/23 The Page Unbound – Author Interview #1
6/24 Texas Book Lover – Guest Post
6/25 The Librarian Talks – Review
6/26 Country Girl Bookaholic – Excerpt
6/27 It’s a Jenn World – Author Interview #2
6/28 Byers Editing Reviews & Blog — Review
6/29 Forgotten Winds – Book Trailer
6/30 Margie’s Must Reads – Review
7/1 Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books – Promo
7/2 The Crazy Booksellers – Author Interview #3
7/3 My Book Fix Blog — Review
7/4 StoreyBook Reviews – Author Interview #4
7/5 Hall Ways Blog – Review
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