Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Author Elin Hilderbrand’s Tour And Giveaway

It’s fun to participate in blog tours and today Thoughts is a stop on author Elin Hilderbrand’s intriguing blog tour with a chance to win a copy of her latest fun release, SUMMERLAND.

Elin joins us today to talk about the ‘Musings on an American Summer.’ An intriguing aspect of the post is that she began the talk with My Friend Amy on Friday, June 15, and concludes it here today. Here’s Elin:

Once again I had an endless string of sultry days where I would ride my bike to the beach and stop at the fish store on the way home to buy oysters and mussels, and swordfish to grill for dinner. I had a boyfriend who would pick me up in his Jeep and take me out to the west end of the island to watch the sunset. I never wanted that summer to end.

But as we all know, summer always ends. August draws to a close, the crowds thin after Labor Day, people start thinking about work and back-to-school and football tailgates. After two idyllic years on Nantucket, I headed out to the University of Iowa to attend the prestigious and competitive Writers Workshop. I wanted to be a novelist, and Iowa was the best graduate fiction writing program in the country.  

9780316099837_1681X2544What I didn't anticipate was how difficult I would find living in the Midwest. I was separated not only from my new husband (for I had married the boyfriend with the Jeep), but also from the ocean and the island I had fallen in love with.    

I was miserable at Iowa. I cried non-stop, I was a regular at the free therapy sessions on campus, I spent thousands of dollars I didn't have on my long-distance phone bill and plane trips back east. But then, at some point, I had a revelation. I would write about Nantucket, and writing about the place that had become so dear to me would be my catharsis. In the spring of 1997, I started my first novel, THE BEACH CLUB.

In the intervening years, I have written eleven novels, all of them set on Nantucket. They have been called "beach books," and "great summer reads." At first, I bristled at the designation. After all, each novel is a creation of mine, no less precious than a child, and I strove to make them meaningful and relevant, and to create characters that people would remember long after they put the book down. However, what I have learned is that my most important character is the island itself, Nantucket. (And indeed, in my new novel, SUMMERLAND, "Nantucket" is an actual character, speaking out as a Greek chorus might.)  

summerland175x350I have found that what my readers love the most is what I, too, would have loved if I had read these novels, say, during my sad, difficult 17 summer. My novels capture the essence of an American summer. I like to think that even my readers who are riding the subway to work on Wall Street, or who are forced to seek summer solace in the air-conditioned shopping mall, still get to experience that golden feeling one gets while lying on the beach without a care in the world. They get to experience a little piece of American Summer.

Elin, thanks for making Thoughts a part of your tour. I enjoyed your musings and your novels do capture the essence of an American summer.

Thanks to Elin and Anna at Little, Brown and Company, I have 3 copies of SUMMERLAND to giveaway. To enter this giveaway, send me an e-mail (mcbookshelf@gmail.com) with the subject line, “Win SUMMERLAND.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. In addition, Canadian residents have to include their telephone number. And, just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 3 copies of SUMMERLAND (ISBN: 978-0316099837), a 400-page hardcover book, is 8 p.m. (EST) on Friday, July 6.

Here’s a brief synopsis of SUMMERLAND:
A warm June evening, a local tradition: the students of Nantucket High have gathered for a bonfire on the beach. But what begins as a graduation night celebration ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver of the car, Penny Alistair, dead, and her twin brother in a coma. The other passengers, Penny's boyfriend Jake and her friend Demeter, are physically unhurt - but the emotional damage is overwhelming, and questions linger about what happened before Penny took the wheel.

As summer unfolds, startling truths are revealed about the survivors and their parents - secrets kept, promises broken, hearts betrayed. Elin Hilderbrand explores the power of community, family, and honesty, and proves that even from the ashes of sorrow, new love can still take flight.

Now for a bit about Elin. She lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. 

Elin is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa. She is a sports enthusiast, avid fan of Bruce Springsteen, Veuve Clicquot, and four-inch heels. She sits on the Board of Directors at the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club and Nantucket Little League. Her resting pulse is 65.

For more on Elin and her writing, find her on Facebook and Twitter, visit her on Pinterest, and check out the On-Going Elin Hilderbrand Summer Essentials Giveaway for the month - grand prize includes signature sunglasses, Switchflops, wine glasses, and beauty products, plus Elin Hilderbrand books.

To read an excerpt of SUMMERLAND, click here.

Do you enjoy books with summertime as the theme? Do you enjoy books about summer places that you can escape to no matter the season? Thanks so much for stopping by today. Remember to send an e-mail for a chance to win a copy of SUMMERLAND and stop by My Friend Amy to read the first part of Elin’s post.


  1. Hi Mason and Elin .. these sound such a good read for people wanting to immerse themselves back into their teenage-early adult years .. how often we have short periods of dreamy times - happy remembrances - they sound lovely reads .. and are obviously successful ..

    I'd love to read one .. and will one day for now I'll remember Elin's name ..

    Cheers Hilary

  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Elin.

    Elin - I know exactly what you mean about that special feeling of summer. It's just got a very different feel to it doesn't it? I wish you much success!

  3. Elin, thanks again for guest blogging. You do blend summer well with your stories. Wishing you continued success.

    Hilary and Margot, thanks so much for stopping by.

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  5. I had none of the experiences that teenagers did in this book. I grew up in Indiana where the closest thing to an ocean is all day drive to Lake Michigan. We went there once. However, my ancestors lived on Nantucket and I vowed to see it someday. Now that I have I want to go back there so bad!!! I miss it so much. I would love to go back there with 'Summerland'.


  6. Love this post! Elin is one of my favorite writers - adore her novels for their personable characters, true-to-life relationships, and, of course, beautiful Nantucket. I'm definitely emailing in for a chance to win Elin's latest book!

  7. I love her books...great post.

    My review is up for June 26...stop by to sign up for my giveaway if you like.



I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.