Spotlight & Giveaway: Saving Grace by Jane Green

Posted January 10th, 2015 by in Blog, Spotlight / 42 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome New York Times Bestselling author Jane Green to HJ!
Spotlight&Giveaway

Hi Jane and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Saving Grace!

 

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

A perfect stranger wants her perfect life.

Saving GraceGrace Chapman has the perfect life, living comfortably with her husband, bestselling author Ted, in a picture-perfect farmhouse on the Hudson River in New York State. But what no one sees—what is churning under the surface—are Ted’s rages, his mood swings, and the precarious house of cards that their lifestyle is built upon. When Ted’s longtime assistant and mainstay leaves, the house of cards begins to crumble, and Grace, with dark secrets in her past, is most vulnerable.

Then Ted advertises for a new assistant, and Beth walks into their lives. Organized, passionate and eager to learn, Beth has the calm efficiencey to weather the storms that threaten to engulf the Chapman household, and quickly makes herself indispensable to Ted and his family. But Grace soon begins to feel side-lined in her home – and her marriage – by this ambitious younger woman.

Is Grace just paranoid, as her husband tells her, or is there more to Beth than first thought? With everything at stake and no one to confide in, Grace must find a way to save herself before it’s too late.

Filled with Jane Green’s own recipes – she trained as a chef at the French Culinary Institute – SAVING GRACE also explores the misdiagnosis of mental illnesses, and the dangers of overprescribing drugs which are supposed to cure, but end up causing more harm.

Powerful and riveting, SAVING GRACE takes readers on a harrowing journey as Grace struggles to find herself again, before another women’s obsession makes her disappear.
 

Please share the opening lines of this book:

There are only so many hours Grace can stay away from home.

Her husband’s car is still in the driveway when she pulls in, her heart sinking at the sight. As if she should be surprised.

Where did she think he’d be going at six o’clock in the evening? It was the triumph of hope over experience, she thought to herself.

 

Please share a few Random facts about this book…

I’m a huge cook, and a very slightly trained chef, so I’ve filled the book with recipes that are all delicious and ridiculously easy – you get a novel and a cookbook – two for the price of one!
 

Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?

I’m always fascinated by women who look as if they lead perfect lives, but of course you scratch the surface and so often find turmoil. I think we all feel enormous pressure to be perfect: perfect wives, perfect mothers, perfect homemakers, refusing to let anyone see the vulnerability that comes from being real rather than perfect. That’s Grace, my protagonist. She is the envy of all who know her, none of them knowing how volatile her husband is, how horrific her background, how this perfect life is the most fragile pack of cards.
 

What, in your mind, distinguishes this book from other books out there in the same genre?

You would have to ask someone who reads my books. I don’t ever think of other books, nor how mine might be distinguished. I’m trying to write a gripping story filled with real, vulnerable, flawed characters who you may not always like, but you try to understand.

 

Did any scene have you crying or laughing (or blushing) while writing it?

I cried when I wrote Grace confronting her mother, who suffers from a mental illness, and Grace’s hopes that this time it might be different, this time her mother might be the mother she needs her to be, had me blinking away the tears.
 

If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters?

If the book was optioned for a movie I would be far too busy celebrating to think about what scene would be used. Although, when I came back to my senses, I might say the scene in which Grace discovers that nothing is what it seems, and that everything she believed about her husband, was wrong.
 

If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?

You should have got yourself into therapy a long time ago.
 

What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2015?

My next book, SUMMER SECRETS, will be published by St. Martin’s Press on June 30th, 2015

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

 

Giveaway: 2 print copies of SAVING GRACE

 

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Do you read to escape, to recognise yourself, or for comfort?

 
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Excerpt

Chapter 1

There are only so many hours Grace can stay away from home.

Her husband’s car is still in the driveway when she pulls in, her heart sinking at the sight. As if she should be surprised.

Where did she think he’d be going at six o’clock in the evening? It was the triumph of hope over experience, she thought to herself.

Luck is not on her side today. It wasn’t on her side this morning when she woke up to hear a door slamming downstairs and her husband bellowing her name, and it isn’t on her side now.

Although perhaps it is, she thinks, gingerly pulling up alongside his car and steeling herself for whatever might meet her inside. Perhaps his mood will have changed. Perhaps he will be the loving attentive husband the rest of the world sees, as long as they don’t get too close.

After almost twenty-five years of marriage the only thing that Grace is ever able to predict is the unpredictability of her husband’s moods. He can throw his keys at the wall in a rage, then reappear twenty minutes later with a sunny smile, as if nothing had happened, as if Grace hadn’t spent the prior twenty minutes quaking with nerves.

He can throw his keys at the wall, followed by a vase, followed by rageful venting that this, what ever this might be, is all Grace’s fault. That Grace has somehow screwed up.

This morning, Grace heard the doors slamming downstairs, before she had even opened her eyes. She was woken up by the noise, sat bolt upright, heart pounding, realizing that Ted was in one of his moods. Terror flooded her body for a second. Sometimes, when this happens at night, she locks herself in the bathroom and runs a bubble bath, flooding out his anger with the water from the faucet. She has learned that if she removes herself, he will frequently take his rage elsewhere, distance allowing it to simmer before disappearing. But if Grace is there, if he sees her, she becomes an unwilling victim of a predator who will not leave her alone until he is sure she is completely destroyed.

He doesn’t mean it, she thinks, when he is back to being kind, loving, appreciative. He has terrible mood swings, which is part of what makes him a creative genius. I should be grateful, she tells herself. If Ted weren’t allowed to be this kind of person, he wouldn’t be able to write the books he does, wouldn’t be the success he is.

I mustn’t take it personally, she tells herself all the time, even as she feels her ears ringing with stress.

Her ears were ringing this morning, in bed, as she heard him downstairs. They always ring when she is frightened. She read somewhere this is a symptom of anxiety, and one she has had as far back as she can remember. She has a theory that it helps drown out the noise of whoever is raging at her–her mother, her husband–but isn’t sure that’s why it happens.

This morning, moving quickly, she pulled on yesterday’s jeans, a clean T-shirt and vest, and slipped down the back stairs, carrying her clogs in her hand so as not to make a sound before softly walking out the back door.

Ted heard her car start, as she knew he would, and she wound her window down as he came tearing out of the house.

“Sorry!” she called as she reversed, pretending she hadn’t noticed his face contorted with rage. “Early start. I’m hugely late. See you later!” She waved a cheery hand out the window and zipped up the driveway, her body flooding with relief.

Her cell phone buzzed. She turned her head, the ringing in her ears starting back up, an automatic response to her husband’s name flashing on her screen. She wouldn’t answer, never answered when he was in this kind of mood, but nor would she divert, for then he would know she was diverting him, which would infuriate him still further.

She pressed the top button to turn off the volume, waited until the call went to voicemail, then turned the entire phone off, knowing she wouldn’t turn it back on until Ted was back to normal.

Please let things be back to normal now, she thinks, hoisting the grocery bags into the house and onto the kitchen table. She has been out all day. First to work, then filling the rest of her afternoon with errands to keep her out of the eye of the storm.

The house is quiet. Ted must still be in the barn, which is a good thing, as it means he is writing. Work helps him to focus his mind elsewhere, and hopefully, please God, enable him to gather his equilibrium.

Grace puts the tomatoes in a bowl on the counter, the milk in the fridge, sliding the kettle onto the range to make tea. She once loved this house so much, this rambling antique on the banks of the Hudson River. That very first time they saw it, she knew she had found a place to call home.

Sprawling, peaceful, filled with nooks, crannies, and charm, the house has low ceilings and French doors that open onto lawns that lead gracefully down to the water.

She loved this house, before Ted’s moods had the ability to discombobulate her in the way they now do. Back in the early days, Grace would laugh at him, would wander off, letting his insults roll off her back, happy to play with their daughter and wait for things to pass.

But the years have taken their toll, his rages lasting longer, gradually grinding her into the woman she is now–the same Grace she has always been, with a ringing in her ears, a quickening of her heart, an overwhelming urge to run far, far away.

She used to fight back. She doesn’t anymore. She withdraws into a well of pain and resentment, removing herself as she did today, or hiding in her bathroom, the one room that feels safe.

Now, so often, the rest of the house she loved feels like a prison.

She jumps as she sees the barn door open, Ted emerging, his glasses in his hand as he runs his fingers through his hair. She squints through the window, reading his face, his mood, bracing herself not for fight or flight, for neither is an option right now, but for the third option: freeze.

Ted sees her through the window, his expression changing, as Grace holds her breath, to a smile. Relief floods her body as he waves a jaunty hand, slowly making his way up the path. She is close to tears as she raises a tentative hand back at him.

Thank God! she thinks. Thank you, God! She goes to the fridge to pour him a glass of wine, the ringing fading in her ears, wondering how on earth life ever got so hard.

 

Book Info:

Grace and Ted Chapman are widely regarded as the perfect literary power couple. Ted is a successful novelist and Grace, his wife of twenty years, is beautiful, stylish, carefree, and a wonderful homemaker. But what no one sees, what is churning under the surface, is Ted’s rages. His mood swings. And the precarious house of cards that their lifestyle is built upon. When Ted’s longtime assistant and mainstay leaves, the house of cards begins to crumble and Grace, with dark secrets in her past, is most vulnerable. She finds herself in need of help but with no one to turn to…until the perfect new assistant shows up out of the blue. To the rescue comes Beth, a competent young woman who can handle Ted and has the calm efficiency to weather the storms that threaten to engulf the Chapman household. Soon, though, it’s clear to Grace that Beth might be too good to be true. This new interloper might be the biggest threat of all, one that could cost Grace her marriage, her reputation, and even her sanity. With everything at stake and no one to confide in, Grace must find a way to save herself before it is too late.

Book Links: Description: http://janegreen.com/wp-content/themes/JG-Theme/img/btn-amazon.png Description: http://janegreen.com/wp-content/themes/JG-Theme/img/btn-bn.png Description: http://janegreen.com/wp-content/themes/JG-Theme/img/btn-books.png Description: http://janegreen.com/wp-content/themes/JG-Theme/img/btn-other.png
 

Meet the Author:

Jane GreenJANE GREEN is the author of fifteen bestselling novels. Originally from London, she now lives in Westport, Connecticut, with her husband, children, and a menagerie of animals.

Jane Green’s sixteenth novel, Saving Grace, will be published on December 30th, 2014; she is the author of fifteen previous New York Times Bestselling novels. Initially known for writing about single thirty-somethings, she has gone on to write mature stories about real women dealing with all the things life throws at them, with her trademark wisdom, wit and warmth.

Connect with Jane: www.janegreen.com or www.facebook.com/authorjanegreen
Website | Facebook | Twitter |

 

 

 

42 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Saving Grace by Jane Green”

  1. Susan T.

    I read to escape. I’m dealing with a serious illness and the treatments make me feel terrible. I find that reading is a great way to take my mind off of myself and into another world!

  2. doveknoll

    I usually read to escape. I come from a highly dysfunctional family and I could always go away and escape into a story when I was a kid. In books there was no physical, emotional, or sexual abuse so I read as often as I could. I have read books to deal better with stress and to learn things that interest me. Reading has stayed with me and I still love escaping into new worlds.

  3. marcyshuler

    I worked for over 20 years on a locked Psych unit so this book really intrigues me. It’s going on my wish list.

    I read for pleasure and escape.

  4. Bonnie K.

    I read for many reasons. It may be to escape sometimes, to explore another world, explore life around the world, for entertainment, for comfort, to learn new things, and some others I can’t think of right now.

  5. kimmy903

    I’m not really sure how to answer that. I read for the same reason I watch movies…a good writer can pull me into the story as well as the characters after all you know them intimately, reading their every thought…so I guess I read not only for the excitement but the emotional highs and lows….and of course the happy ever after! 😀

  6. laurieg72

    I read to learn new things, to travel to new places, to meet new acquaintances. I read romances to take me away from my everyday life. I like the happy ever afters!

  7. Suzanne

    Escape reader here. I can hardly wait to plunge into Grace and Ted’s situation. KeNneth really going to be helpful? Plus JANE GREEN is going to give us recipes? This is shaping up to be a great read. Did I read correctly that this book will not be available till June 2015? Hope I can remember the title.

  8. Shelby

    I guess Id say to escape. I really just think of it as to just be entertained most of the time.

  9. Suzy

    Definitely to escape. It gives you a little time to think about other things besides your daily life and transports you into another place.

  10. Terri C

    I have Fibromyalgia and reading really helps me escape from the pain for awhile. I read over 130 books last year. I don’t think I could live without it.

  11. Kai W.

    Mainly to escape but there are time when I need to read just to see if there are any characters that might have a little of me in them.

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