Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Tina Ann Forkner | My Summer of Romance Novels
Author Guest / December 5, 2014

One summer when I was about sixteen and out of books to read, I happened across a heavy brown paper bag full of books. I knew they were my mom’s romance novels and that she sat on the sofa reading them every night while the family watched television. Once, when I asked her if they were any good, she told me they were, but that I was too young to read them. With a sigh I’d gone back to reading the teen paperback novels that I constantly swapped with my friends. The problem was, I had read all of the books my friends gave me that summer. I’d also read through all of the books my grandma had on her little shelf, and to make matters worse, the school library was closed and our small rural town didn’t have a public one at that time. I was out of luck, or so it seemed. This was how the school break always went for me, but when I ran out of books that 16th summer, I thought of my mom’s bag of romance novels. I decided for myself that I was old enough to read them. Of course, I wasn’t brave…

Tina Ann Forkner | Reading is Sweet
Author Guest / October 8, 2014

Have you ever taken a bite of cake and been transported to heaven? I bet your answer is yes. For me, it was a slice of my mom’s strawberry-lemon cake served chilled on a hot summer day in Oklahoma. All I remember is the taste of cool lusciousness when the fork met my mouth. When Joy Talley, the main character of my newest novel, WAKING UP JOY, wakes up from a coma, it’s not in heaven, but she creates heavenly desserts in her kitchen to make herself and others feel happy: “Strawberry-lemon, of course—chocolate, carrot, you name it, I wanted it. So, during the weeks after my coma, I cooked up a storm. Baking was my thing. And we’re not just talking cupcakes, although I made my share of those. We’re talking oodles of five-layer cakes with fresh flowers on top, French-looking pastries with Momma’s secret frosting, and even donuts, which Miss Donna’s shop bought to sell at her place in town every Monday morning at 5:30 am.” I wish I could tell you that baking is my expertise, but sadly I’m much better at eating cake than making it. That’s what I love about being an author. If I…

Tina Ann Forkner | The World is a Book
Author Guest / May 24, 2014

I love to travel. I think it’s because I grew up in a small town and always imagined what it would be like to live in faraway places such as Shakespeare’s England or on a tropical island like the girl in Scott O’Dell’s ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS. Reading only stirred my traveler’s heart. The more adventures I had through books, the more adventures I wanted to have in real life, so my parents probably weren’t too surprised when I was off to see the world at the tender age of eighteen. Now that I’m past the backpacking through Europe phase, I’ve learned that I also enjoy staying in places that have comfy mattresses, a Starbucks downstairs, and a neighborhood in which I can wander around and experience my travel destination’s culture. Naturally, my booklover’s heart still looks for literary connections everywhere I go, so in New York City I had a martini with my husband at the Algonquin’s Blue Bar where Dorothy Parker and her friends started The Algonquin Round Table in 1919. And just last week during a visit to Chicago, my book-loving friend Jennifer and I made our way to the Newberry Library. Do you remember the…