Monday, August 17, 2009

Rubies, Swinging Hips and Labor Day

How cruel of me to wait this long, eh? My apologies for the delayed post. Excuses: yesterday's all-day Elvis marathon (I kid you not, watching every Elvis movie ever made is on my life list); coming up with yet another alter-blog identity.

This time the 2009 Golden Heart finalists are starting a group blog based on the collective Ruby Slippers we identified ourselves with in D.C. Basically, it's a Wizard-of-Oz, There's-No-Place-Like-The-Bestseller-List theme and we each need a Ruby/Red-based nickname. Since my Vortex peeps-mainly the walkingman-came up with InkyLuv for my Bond girl alter-ego, I thought I'd toss this one out for fun, too. Should it have something to do with time travel? Shame on you for even asking. Of course it should.

Now on to today's topic: Elvis' 1960 movie G.I. Blues

Okay, just kidding. But may I just indulge one bit-o-fantasy moment about that sleek, black lock of hair that screams to be touched when he moves just so? Ahem. I swear I was born in the wrong generation sometimes.

A Novel's Migration

Joyce Maynard has captured the beautiful angst and raw honesty of an adolescent protagonist in her latest release, Labor Day. It's the story of a thirteen year old boy named Henry, trying to fill a void for his emotionally-isolated single mother while coming to terms with his own awkwardness and curiosities. On a steamy Labor Day weekend in 1987, while on a rare outing to a discount store, Henry encounters a mysterious man named Frank who is injured and asks for assistance. They welcome the stranger, a prison escapee, into their remote, isolated world. The next five days shape Henry's coming-of-age perceptions on life and death, love and betrayal, desire and jealousy and forever alter the lives of everyone involved.

This was my first Joyce Maynard novel, but it won't be my last. Drawn with a beautiful poignancy and evocative, unforgettable characters, she explores the human condition in a masterful way. It's the perfect book to end the summer, and I'm so excited to send it out into the world and share it.

Vortex reader Todd will be the next stop on this novel's migration. I hope he'll add a note beneath my own and send it back out into the world to share. Todd, email me at with an address where I can send it.

For those who didn't get the novel this time, head over to Todd's blog. Beg him to be next. Reserve your library's copy. Do what you can to find this novel (esp. you, walkingman, who reminded me of Frank at every page turn). Be sure to come back here and share what you thought. I'll have a special place set up just for that.

Happy Monday, everyone!


laughingwolf said...

what a great-sounding book, lam... will look for it

grats todd, you lucky dog ;)

Robin said...

I'm sorry I wasn't around this weekend - what a cool thing you've started!

I'm having a little trouble thinking of a good Ruby/Red nickname - I keep seeing Elvis - so will think on it and return if I come up with something worthy of your coolness, L.A.

Happy Monday to you too!

Todd Wheeler said...

Woo hoo!

I also think this is a very cool idea. I look forward to passing the book along to the next person.

Sandra Ferguson said...

Labor Day is a great read. My first Joyce Maynard novel, but not my last, either. One of the few I've picked up recently that I had no intention of putting down until I was finished. Totally loved the resolution.

Sue L said...

Labor Day sounds like something I would really like and I've added it to my list. Thanks for the rec!

the walking man said...

Corundum R. Continuum is my suggestion for your Ruby Red name.

"Rubies and Sapphires are scientifically the same stone, differing only in color. Corundum, the predominating mineral of both, is composed of nearly pure alumina."

Oh man I remind you of a prison escapee...geeze I thought no one would get on to me. *sigh* On the run again.

Marilyn Brant said...

What a great idea to send the book on a journey... I have the novel, too, and am looking forward to reading it now thanks to your review :).
p.s. My favorite Elvis movie is "Clambake"--bet you've seen it already, right?

L.A. Mitchell said...

@laughingwolf - Maybe next time. I'm actually glad it went to a non-national attending romance writer, as that's where it was given to me. Tossing it outside that circle just spreads the love.

@Robin - Coolness? Aren't you sweet? I keep seeing Elvis, too ;)

@Todd - no pressure here, but you must love the book. lol

@Sandra - I'm so happy you've read it, too. We can discuss it on our next girl's night out :)

@Sue L - You won't be disappointed :)

@Walkingman - I'm torn..does that bizarre, but totally appreciated fact, mean that I'm a little off-center, previously unknown or a gem? And yes, Frank was *so* you. You simply must read it.

@Marilyn - I have no idea where I got the book at national-the goody room? A luncheon seat? Who knows. Let me know what you think when you finish it.

I love that you love "Clambake". Bill Bixby looks like such a nub next to Elvis in that. Give him fifteen years and he'd get all green on his *ss :) Seriously, his girl in that one was SO not worthy of him. She hadn't made the sacrifice for love. My all time fav is still "Blue Hawaii". I melt. Truly.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana and I once saw a bunch oElvis impersonaters getting out of a limosine. She referred to it as a "Limo of Elvi." Copyright Lana gramlich! lol.

Sherry Davis said...

I can't remember my favorite Elvis movie. What's the one with Ann Margaret? That was some smokin' hot sexual tension. I also liked the one where he sang Jailhouse Rock.

I have Labor Day, too. It looks intrigueing and now that I've read your review I have to read it. Soon! After I get the kids in school, of course.

Pamela Cayne said...

Okay, a little late to the party, but what else is new?

Since the ruby is the symbol of royalty, name #1 is Princess Ruby. (Kinda a duh for a romance writer, but still...)

The heart chakra is represented by the ruby. I don't have a name for that, but it kinda works.

Because it sounds cool and the actual gem looks really cook, name #2 is Star Ruby. (Plus, another duh.)

And I'll stop here before I start rumpusing again.