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April's Affections and Intrigues: Love and Mystery Bloom


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Kristan Higgins | A Family Surprise


A Little Ray of Sunshine
Kristan Higgins

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June 2023
On Sale: June 6, 2023
512 pages
ISBN: 0593547616
EAN: 9780593547618
Kindle: B0BDCTN831
Trade Paperback / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Also by Kristan Higgins:
Look on the Bright Side, June 2024
Look on the Bright Side, June 2024
A Little Ray of Sunshine, May 2024
Pride Not Prejudice, June 2023

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1--What is the title of your latest release?

A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE

2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

A kid walks into the cute little bookstore you own with your grandfather. Turns out he’s the son you placed for adoption 18 years ago. Surprise! Your secret is out, and all of a sudden, your whole family - and the whole town - realizes there’s more to you than they thought.

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

Cape Cod is the place I love best in the world. My ashes will be scattered there. As the setting for a book, well, it’s got everything - locals, summer people, the ocean, the beautiful towns, lovely restaurants. There are glacial ponds and salt marshes, glorious sunsets, whales, seals, sharks, and the sky is achingly blue. What better place for a reader to take a mental vacation?

4--Would you hang out with your heroine in real life?

OH, absolutely. She and I would slay on trivia night. We would eat, watch Game of Thrones reruns and read in her charming little bookstore.

5--What are three words that describe your hero?

Kind, funny, hungry. Food always plays a big part in my books.

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

I learned a ton about the issues adopted kids, adoptive families and biological families go through. No one’s story is the same, but there are common themes - the feeling that you don’t quite belong, no matter how great your parents might be; the urge to know where you came from, genetically and culturally; the pain of placing a baby for adoption, even when you believe it’s the right thing.

Before this, I had a pretty rosy idea of what adoption was like - “Oh, you lucky kid!” or “Those parents must be incredible because they wanted a child so much” or “Wow, birth mothers are so brave and selfless.” And while those statements can be true, people are still just people…flawed, struggling, striving, hopeful. Most of all, I learned that when people grace you with their story about being adopted, adopting or relinquishing a child, you should listen, respect them, and believe them. Adoption even under the best circumstances is a complex, emotional, never-ending journey.

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

Yes. I always read what I wrote the day before to refresh my memory of where I was, fix typos, add details. Then, when the book is done, I revise it heavily. I like to use that phrase from Harry Potter: “Rip, tear, kill.” Once I’m done with that, the manuscript goes to my editor and agent.

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

Chocolate and I are happily married and have been for fifty-some-odd years. I’m surprised I didn’t name one of my kids Nestle. But when my husband and I went to Hawaii last year, we found this little chocolate company called Lydgate Farms. Oh, my sweet baby Jesus, I have never had chocolate so good. We ordered a whole bunch to be shipped home for Christmas gifts, but…well…let’s just say we “forgot” to give them away.

9--Describe your writing space/office!

These days, I write on my newly enclosed front porch, sitting in the sunshine - or New England gloom - with my dog and cat. It’s so cozy at night, so cheery during the day. We have two couches out there. One I sit in for writing; the other is my reading spot. It’s my favorite place in the house.

10--Who is an author you admire?

I’m going to go with Kennedy Ryan today. Her writing is so lyrical, her characters are so beautifully damaged and hopeful, and she doesn’t ever take the easy way out in her stories. She deals with big problems, and she dives right in and drags you in with her. And she’s an incredibly authentic and lovely person, too. Just a glimpse of her on social media makes me smile.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

Answer: Well, sure! There are many. There are thousands, literally. I think it’s fair to say that every book a person reads changes their life in some way. But for the sake of brevity, let’s go with Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss, because it was the first book I read by myself, and that was the start of my lifelong love affair with books.

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)

Like so many deeply satisfying writer stories, mine starts out with rejection. Many, many rejections. I think my book had been turned down by every imprint and publisher my agent could think of…except one (shout-out to the lovely folks at HQN!). And all you need is one, right? My agent called me and said I was being offered a two-book deal, and I was speechless. The idea that I was actually going to be published was staggering.

I was alone in the house, so after I hung up, I just stood there a minute, trying to soak it in. Then I said, “Dad? Are you here? Did you hear that?” My father had died many years before, but he believed that his kids could do anything. I dedicated that first book to him, because without him, I don’t know that I’d have had the guts to even start writing a novel.

13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

I love a good domestic noir. All I need are a beautiful neighborhood, a lovely couple and a dead body. I think because I don’t write anything like that, the genre really appeals to me. I also love memoirs…Spare, I’m Glad My Mother Is Dead, When Breath Becomes Air. I listen to memoirs, but I prefer to read everything else.

14--What’s your favorite movie?

The Shawshank Redemption. And also Star Wars, let’s be honest. That movie was everything when I was a kid. I spent two years trying to move things with the Force. I still wave my hand in front of automatic doors and ask my kids, “Did you see that?” when they open. It never gets old. For me. For them, it got old about fifteen years ago.

15--What is your favorite season?

Spring. I’m a gardener, so definitely spring.

16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

I like to have my kids tell me I’m a great mom. It’s very conceited of me, but hey! I worked hard on those two! They always write such beautiful, funny cards, and I’ve kept every single one. Otherwise, I don’t really have a tradition, but there’s always good food. This year, I’m hoping my grandson will say, “Nana, I absolutely adore you.” He’s only one, but fingers crossed.

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

Tooth and Claw is my favorite podcast these days. It’s hosted by a bear biologist (why wasn’t I told there were such jobs when I was in college, huh?), Wes, his brother and their pal discuss animal attacks, one of my favorite subjects. They give a lot of information about the animals, human interactions, what you should do in case a grizzly appears in front of you, all that good stuff. For TV, I really loved Fleishman Is In Trouble, because it was so nuanced and darkly funny. And I just read The Sunshine Girls by Molly Fader in one big delicious gulp - a story of three friends from nursing school in the late 60s, then and now. Just wonderful.

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Pasta. Yeah. Pasta.

19--What do you do when you have free time?

I play with my grandson, garden, bake, torment my husband by attempting to restore furniture, spend time with my friends. I volunteer with hospice once or twice a week, go antiquing with my daughter, take walks in strange places. And nap. I do love a good nap.

20--What can readers expect from you next?

Another book set in Wellfleet, as yet untitled, featuring a doctor who’s booted out of her residency program and ends up playing house with the hospital’s most hated surgeon.

A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE by Kristan Higgins

A Little Ray of Sunshine

A kid walks into your bookstore and… Guess what? He’s your son. The one you put up for adoption eighteen years ago. The one you never told anyone about. Surprise!

And a huge surprise it is.

It’s a huge surprise to his adoptive mother, Monica, who thought she had a close relationship with Matthew, her nearly adult son. But apparently, he felt the need to secretly arrange a vacation to Cape Cod for the summer so he could meet his birth mother…without a word to either her or his dad.

It’s also a surprise— to say the least—to Harlow, the woman who secretly placed her baby for adoption so many years ago. She’s spent the years since then building a quiet life. She runs a bookstore with her grandfather, hangs out with her four younger siblings and is more or less happily single, though she can’t help gravitating toward Grady Byrne, her old friend from high school. He’s moved back to town, three-year-old daughter in tow, no wife in the picture. But she’s always figured her life had to be child-free, so that complicates things.

When Matthew walks into Harlow’s store, she faints. Monica panics. And all their assumptions—about what being a parent really means—explode. This summer will be full of more surprises as both their families are redefined…and as both women learn that for them, there’s no limit to a mother’s love.

 

Women's Fiction Contemporary | Romance [Berkley, On Sale: June 6, 2023, Trade Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780593547618 / ]

Buy A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINEAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | Walmart.com | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins is the New York TimesUSA TODAYWall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 20 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. She is a five-time nominee for The Kirkus Prize for Best Work of Fiction, and her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year of many prestigious journals and review sites. The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two long-lashed children, a couple of frisky rescue dogs and an occasionally friendly cat.

Blue Heron | Gideon's Cove

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