Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spotlight/Interview/Giveaway: The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer

About the Book

Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: May 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Sensible thirty-six-year-old Sophie Anderson has always known what to do. She knows her role in life: supportive wife of a successful architect and calm, capable mother of two. But on a warm summer night, as the house grows quiet around her and her children fall asleep, she wonders what’s missing from her life. When her husband echoes that lonely question, announcing that he’s leaving her for another woman, Sophie realizes she has no idea what’s next. Impulsively renting a guest cottage on Nantucket from her friend Susie Swenson, Sophie rounds up her kids, Jonah and Lacey, and leaves Boston for a quiet family vacation, minus one.

Also minus one is Trevor Black, a software entrepreneur who has recently lost his wife. Trevor is the last person to imagine himself, age thirty and on his own, raising a little boy like Leo—smart and sweet, but grappling constantly with his mother’s death, growing more and more closed off. Hoping a quiet summer on the Nantucket coast will help him reconnect with Leo, Trevor rents a guest house on the beautiful island from his friend Ivan Swenson.

Best-laid plans run awry when Sophie and Trevor realize they’ve mistakenly rented the same house. Still, determined to make this a summer their kids will always remember, the two agree to share the Swensons’ Nantucket house. But as the summer unfolds and the families grow close, Sophie and Trevor must ask themselves if the guest cottage is all they want to share.

Inspiring and true to life, The Guest Cottage is Nancy Thayer at her finest, inscribing in graceful, knowing prose matters of the heart and the meaning of family.

Author Interview

I’d like to welcome author Nancy Thayer to the Socrates’ Review Blog. Nancy is the bestselling author of 28 books in the women’s fiction genre. She has graciously agreed to do an interview for us. Thank you, Nancy, and welcome to our little corner of cyber world!

To start things off…

1) What made you decide on a writing career? Did you ever want to do anything else?

The Pokey Little Puppy. Doctor Doolittle. Nancy Drew. Everything I read made me itch to write from the moment I realized these magical things called books were created by people. No, I never wanted to do anything else.

2) Who is your greatest influence in your writing career?

I tried writing different genres and with different voices for years. When I read the Canadian writer Margaret Laurence’s The Fire Dwellers, a book about an “ordinary” family, I knew what I wanted to write and I began to believe people would read about “ordinary” families and not only about wars and bullfighting and wealthy people.

3) Many of your books are set with a summer type background. Is summer your favorite time of the year?

I love all the seasons, but the summer on Nantucket inspires me the most. Young lovers walk on the beach, families come to celebrate weddings and anniversaries, friends linger at sidewalk cafes drinking wine and sharing secrets. I wander around the town, inhaling all the happiness and hope. Eavesdropping? Of course not!

4) Since your books are called “beach reads”, how would you define what a “beach read” is?

“Beach Reads” are the chocolate truffles of books. Sensual, delicious, maybe a little shocking, relevant to the lives of women, helping them believe in happy endings.

5) Do you have any favorite beach read authors? Or favorite authors from other genres?

Claire Cook writes wonderful beach reads that make me laugh out loud. Mostly, I’m a mystery fiend. Julia Spencer-Fleming, Deborah Crombie, Elly Griffiths, Charles Todd, Jenny Milchman and Spencer Quinn are among my favorites.

6) Where do you do most of your writing? Describe the setting for us.

Our wonderful historic house was built in 1840. After our children became adults, we put a large half moon window in the attic and had all the wide floor boards oiled caramel brown. I write at my desk on a computer, with a view out the window of Nantucket harbor with its Brant Point lighthouse, and farther away, the long stretch of sand leading to Great Point lighthouse. I have bookshelves all around, with lots of photos of friends and family, and masses of paper towering from the floor—first drafts, second drafts, third drafts. . .

7) Do you outline your books or do you just sit down and let the words flow?

I do both, actually. I start off scribbling a few pages about a character who interests me. After a while, I make an outline, but then I’ll write some more and the outline will change. After I’ve written an outline, I’ll find parts of what I’ve written are not relevant and I’ll toss those pages on the floor—and I often end up squirreling through them for an important scene.

8) How did you feel when you heard your first book would be published?

I was so thrilled, I thought I would explode.

9) With all the various social media outlets around, do you communicate with your fans often?

I post on Facebook almost every day and I dearly love my Facebook friends. I also send out a newsletter every few months to readers who sign up for it on my website, where I post new information. My website, by the way, is Nancy Thayer. I’ve started tweeting, and whenever I have a new book out, I do book signings and talks at libraries. I love meeting my readers.

10) Do you have any other books on the horizon that we can look forward to reading?

This October, my two Christmas novels, A Nantucket Christmas and An Island Christmas, will come out in a charming two-book edition called A Very Nantucket Christmas.

Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog, Nancy!

Thank you. I enjoyed it!


Now you can win a hardcover copy of The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer. Thanks to the publicist and the author, I have two hardcover copies to giveaway to two lucky winners.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the rafflecopter form below.

2) Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

3) US Residents Only

4) For one extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway.

5) For one extra entry: Tell us what your favorite beach read is.

6) For one extra entry:  Follow this blog...old followers, too!  Just let us know how you follow and under what name.

7) For one extra entry: Follow me on Twitter.

8) For one extra entry: Follow or friend me on Goodreads

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.

The giveaway begins on May 14th (midnight est) and ends on May 21st (midnight est).

The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. I will announce the winner here on my blog.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This sounds like a real good book.

  2. Anything by Dorthea Benton Frank is a good beach read for me.

  3. One look at the cover and I want to go right to the beach!!
    Sounds like a good read.
    Carol Smith

  4. Any book by Elin Hilderbrand is a great beach read.

  5. A great giveaway. Thanks. A beach read is Ember Island by Kimberley Freeman. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. I really enjoy beach reads. Mary Kay Andrews and Wendy Wax both have great ones. Can't wait to read this!

  7. I loved Summer Sisters by Judy Blume - perfect beach read!

  8. Anything by Nancy Thayer or Mary Kay Andrews.

  9. This or any of her books perfect beach reads.

  10. I love to read the new Mary Kay Andrews every summer!

  11. I would love to read this book.

  12. I don't have a specific favorite beach read, but every summer I get the newest from Nancy and a few other authors including Ellen Hilderbrand and Mary Kay Andrews.

  13. Seaside by Terri Blackstock.

  14. There are so many great books so I guess any book that catches my attention.

  15. The Vicar's Wife by Katharine Swartz

    Lauigl [at] carolina [dot] rr [dot] com


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