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Between the lines with Suzanne Palmieri (Q&A w/ event details)

Suzanne Palmieri's 'The Witch of Belladonna Bay' will be published by St. Martin's Griffin tomorrow, May 13th.

Today, Hartford Books Examiner summons the enchanting Suzanne Palmieri.

Ms. Palmieri is the author of The Witch of Belladonna Bay (St. Martin’s Griffin, $14.99) and has several local appearances scheduled to promote the book’s release—including a stop at R.J. Julia tomorrow evening, May 13th. (See event details below.) Her previous titles include The Witch of Little Italy and I’ll Be Seeing You (written as Suzanne Hayes with Loretta Nyhan); her second collaborative novel, Empire Girls, is forthcoming from Harlequin MIRA. Once an unwed mother on welfare moonlighting as a cocktail waitress, Ms. Palmieri earned a Presidential Scholarship to Fordham University and later became an educator. She makes her home in New Haven County with her husband and three daughters.

The Witch of Belladonna Bay will be published tomorrow; advance praise has been effusive. Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow, noted,Murder, mystery and magic meld in a novel of absolute enchantment. About the lies we tell, the love we struggle for, and the way we find our way back to our rightful place in the world, Palmieri's book is a stunner.” Further, Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places, proclaimed,With a profound understanding of the ties that bind us through the generations and beyond the grave, Suzanne Palmieri has created some of the most emotionally resonant characters I’ve met in a long time. An enthralling tale of murder, magic, forgiveness, and redemption, The Witch of Belladonna Bay cast its southern spell on page one and hasn’t released me yet."

From the publisher:

It’s the trouble you aren’t expecting that gets you. And it’s all around you, Bronwyn, it’s all around you like the air.…

Bronwyn "BitsyWyn" Whalen hasn’t set eyes on the red dirt of Magnolia Creek, Alabama, for fourteen years—not since her mama died. But with her brother, Patrick, imprisoned for the murder of her childhood best friend, and her eccentric father, Jackson, at his wits’ end while her eleven-year-old niece, Byrd, runs wild, Bronwyn finds herself once again surrounded by ancient magnolia trees and the troubled family she left behind. She becomes immersed in a whirlwind of mystery and magic as she tries to figure out what really happened that fateful night her friend died. And as her bond with Byrd deepens, Bronwyn must face the demons of her past in order to unravel her family’s uncertain future.

In Suzanne Palmieri's thrilling new novel, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, readers will learn if love and magic are enough to bring a broken family back together.

Now, Suzanne Palmieri reveals a few pages from the book of her life …

1) As a child, did you wear your literary lust loud and proud or were you a closet bibliophile?

LOUD! I brought books with me everywhere. I couldn't read enough. I climbed trees with my books so no one would bother me.

2) What book(s) were you likely to be caught keeping company with under the covers?

Any Anne of Green Gables. The Secret Garden, and when I got into my teens, every single Stephen King I could get my hands on.

3) What are you reading currently & what is your initial impression?

I am re-reading The Prince of Tides. And, as always, I am stunned by Conroy's evocative storytelling.

4) What one book do you always recommend when asked?

The God of Small Things. BUT, it depends on who is asking me. Yesterday I recommended The Witching Hour to a woman who loves Witchy books. Sometimes, when people ask, I ask them another question first: "What is your favorite movie?" and based on that I can give them my favorite pick in that genre. I take book recommending VERY seriously!

5) Which of your own books would you suggest to readers & why?

I have no idea how to answer this question! Mostly, I want people to read whatever it is I'm currently working on ... which is impossible because it isn't yet released. But I guess ... I'd say start with the newest ... so right now, The Witch of Belladonna Bay would be my recommendation. Or Empire Girls ... or, Hell ... any of them! And then I'd say ..."But just wait until you read ___ coming out next year!" I'm not very good at that, I guess.

6) Is there a book or author that readers would be surprised to know you’ve read and liked?

Because my novels are a little dark, I'd say that my fascination with The Anne of Green Gables series would probably surprise some people. Or my desperate love for Jane Austen.

7) Who is the one author that would, or did, make you weak in the knees upon meeting?

ALICE OH MY GOD HOFFMAN! I cried. Really. My Idol, she is. Look, even thinking about it puts me in Yoda Mode. I start talking backwards. She is the Yoda to my Luke.

8) Has there been an “I’ve made it” moment in your career?

Not yet! But every single day I have an ..."Oh my god you did it!" moment.

9) What is your greatest literary ambition?

To write the book I know someday I'll be able to write. I don't know if that will ever happen. But with each book I learn more about the craft. And each book thrills me more and more.

10) Fill in the blank: Hartford Books Examiner is _____.

Clever, handsome, and damn funny.


With thanks to Suzanne Palmieri for enchanting us with her virtual presence.

The following is a list of Ms. Palmieri’s upcoming appearances:

Tuesday, May 13th – R.J. Julia Booksellers, 7 PM. This event is free; reservations are required and can be made online or by calling the store at 203-245-3959. R.J. Julia is located at 768 Boston Post Rd. in Madison.

Friday, May 16th -- Monte Cristo Bookshop, 7 PM. This event is free and open to the public. The bookshop is located at 38 Green St. in New London.

Sunday, May 18th – Stockbridge’s Gourmet Cheesecakes & Cafe, 3 PM. This event is presented by Written Words Bookstore. Tickets cost $30/person and include a copy of the book and full tea service. Seating is limited; reservations are required and can be made by calling the store at 203-944-0400. Stockbridge’s is located at 509 Howe Ave. in downtown Shelton.

Thursday, May 22ndBank Square Books, 12 PM. This is a luncheon event. Tickets cost $20/person and include a copy of the book, and include a catered lunch with white wine and sparkling water. Reservations are required and can be made online or by calling the store at 860-536-3795. BSB is located at 53 W. Main St. in Mystic.

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