News in Brief

Wow. The last few days have flown by. Hand Me Down has been out in the world for four days and so far, so good. There are still a million things I need to do, but I have some quick, exciting highlights to share with you.

The review in People magazine was great. They gave it 3.5/4 stars and called it a “sad and compelling read.” My name is in People!

A friend told me she went to a Barnes & Noble in Salt Lake City and asked for my book. They had sold out. The clerk called all 3 other B&N’s in the area and they were all sold out too!

My first reading and signing went well, despite my nerves. My hometown bookstore, Copperfield’s, is so great. I even got to choose a book as a gift from them at the end of the night! The wonderful employees put the People review up next to my book on the shelf, and this was the first place I got to see my baby smiling back at me from her new home with all the other books.

We went to Book Passage in Corte Madera, one of the premier bookstores in the Bay Area, and found my book in three places! On two different new arrival tables and a shelf. Next to Joyce Carol Oates. While I was taking a million photos (more of which I will post later) I was asked if I needed help by a very nice sales girl named Jessica. I pointed at Hand Me Down, told her it was my book. She said she was excited to read it. She said, “And I’m not just saying that.” In fact, she told me, she’d been waiting for a while because all the advance copies of it kept being taken by employees to be read. How cool is that?

John Lescroart gave Hand Me Down this great recommendation, and Jennifer Chiaverini called it “compelling, heart wrenching, and ultimately redemptive.” She is offering a free signed copy of one of her bestselling Elm Creek Quilts novels if you buy a copy of my book in a bookstore. Details on her Facebook page.

As of right now, Hand Me Down is holding steady at #5 on Amazon’s Hot New Literary Fiction list. Yesterday it was at #3. It’s been in Amazon’s Literary Fiction Kindle bestseller list since Friday, in the top 50, getting up to #29.

On Friday and Saturday, the book was #3 or #4 on the Trending Nook Book list on B&N.

And, maybe most wonderful, is all the support I’ve gotten from friends and family, old coworkers and students. Emails, Facebook and Twitter messages and posts, calls, even flowers. People congratulating me, telling me they knew I would make it, or that they ordered their copy, or got their copy, or are planning to buy it when they come to see me read. People saying they saw my review in People or the AP review that was everywhere last week; that they saw Hand Me Down in a store; that they just finished reading and they loved it.

I’ve probably forgotten something—I’m finding that my brain is struggling to hold in all this new stimuli—and I can’t tell you exactly how I’m feeling yet since my emotions are still settling, but the one big thing I am aware of now, is gratitude.

Thank you for all of your kind words about my book. Thank you for the messages, the posts, the shout-outs and shares, and referrals. Thank you for buying a copy. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t say it enough.

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Bursting at the Seams

I’ve been waiting to post here until I could take the time to write something poignant and meaningful, offer some deep reflections on the days before my book is born into the world for real. But, man, releasing a book requires hustle. So maybe—hopefully—that post is on its way, but this is not it.

In this post I want to tell you how full I feel. Stuffed, actually, bursting at the seams with news, with gratitude, with pride. I feel nervous, happy, scared, loved…this process has been a wild ride, that’s for sure. And it’s only going to get wilder.

More musings to come, but for now, let me share with you some of the latest news about Hand Me Down.

  • People Magazine gave the book 3.5/4 stars! They called it a “compelling read.” Look for the review it in the April 23rd issue, on sale today.
  • ML Johnson at the Associated Press wrote this wonderful review of Hand Me Down, which was then picked up by dozens of news outlets, including the Huffington Post and the Washington Post! “Melanie Thorne’s debut novel is raw with emotion.”
  • Last Sunday the San Francisco Chronicle included the first line of Hand Me Down in their book section of the paper and online. W’s mom called all excited to see that I’d shown up in her Sunday paper.
  • Cindy Wolfe Boynton at Book Page wrote a thoughtful review, Reality Sparks Affecting Debut” that made my day. She called the book “impossible to put down” and said, “Readers vividly see and experience right along with Liz, thanks to Thorne’s sharp storytelling.” It was included in this special edition of Book Page. Plus, she interviewed me for a piece that is going to run in the Salt Lake City Tribune.
  • Daily Candy featured my book in their “Spring Ink” section, “15 Books to Read While the Trees Blossom.” The other books in this list look really interesting, too!
  • Hand Me Down made it onto Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Fiction” list for April.
  • Confessions of a Vi3tbabe posted a great review this week. “A heartfelt story that I couldn’t put down…Hand Me Down is truly a moving and empowering story, one I think everyone should read.”
  • Candace’s Book Blog also posted a wonderful review. “This book was pretty fantastic. I thought it would be one I’d only read just a little at a time…but the second day I picked it up I ended up reading the whole thing. It sucked me in and I totally and completely ached for Liz and her horrible horrible situation.”
  • And finally, I got a tiny mention in the Press Democrat in an article about books set in Sonoma County along with fellow Dutton authors Sere Prince Halverson and Jennifer Chiaverini. And, this reporter may do a feature on just me a little later!

See, that was a lot of news! Not to mention the Goodreads reviews—mostly great—my launch event tomorrow night at Copperfield’s, my event with Pam Houston at the Booksmith in SF next week, my other upcoming events, my live interview on Capital Public Radio in Sacramento on May 1st, and a forthcoming Q&A in the East Bay Express. Phew!

I’m so happy for all the attention my labor of love is getting, and I really appreciate all the support from my friends and other authors and booksellers and people I don’t know who took the time to write something kind about my book. Thank you, thank you.

Book Launch Event Confirmed!

Yay! Another book event has been confirmed! The launch event for Hand Me Down will be at Copperfield’s bookstore in Petaluma on the day the book officially hits shelves, April 12th. I love Copperfield’s. I’m so excited to have the release event in a fantastic bookstore filled with light and good vibes and employees who really love books. I spend so much money every time I go, I have to limit my visits.

I’ll keep you posted as we get closer. I hope you’ll join me for the event and spend some of your money on good books from a great source, including a signed copy of Hand Me Down fresh off the presses.