Tag Archives | Cascade

Tell Me Something True – A Visit With Maryanne O’Hara

Today’s post by Maryanne O’Hara | @MaryanneOHara

We’ve got a copy of Maryanne’s novel, CASCADE, up for grabs today. Just leave a comment on this post to be entered.

Maryanne O’Hara

UPDATE: the winner for this giveaway is Janet Estridge. She has been notified by email. Thanks to everyone who entered! And don’t forget to visit again soon.

“He’d made lunch for us. He had wine. “

Way back when Cascade was a short story idea—an idea about artists in New York in the 1930s—the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum put me in touch with a few people who had painted for Roosevelt’s “New Deal ” art projects during the Depression. I was interested in the fact that the government, for the first time, had said, 1, that putting artists to work was just as important as putting bridge builders to work, and 2, that art was for everyone.

One of the artists, James Lechay, lived down on Cape Cod. I arranged to interview him one summer Saturday, and although I was looking forward to it, I dreaded the five-hour round-trip trek. My plan was to zip down as fast as I could, interview him, then zip home in time for my evening plans.

But when I arrived in Wellfleet, the loveliest man was eagerly awaiting my arrival. Indeed, he had planned his whole day around it.

James Lechay was 91, and he would live only another three years, but nothing about him seemed particularly old. Even his house was cool and edgy—gunmetal gray, with modern lines and a flat roof, built to his specifications years earlier. He himself was tall, elegant, with soft white hair that fell to his shoulders. Inside, the house was serene and spare. A wall of glass overlooked pine thickets and the distant sea; his semi-abstract paintings lined other walls.

I saw that he’d set the table. He’d made us lunch. He had wine.

No, I didn’t zip anywhere that day. Instead, I spent a long and precious afternoon talking about New York in the thirties, and painting, and about the drive to create that never gets quite satisfied and which never goes away. In fact, I later read that he painted right up until a few days before his death.

My interview with him and two other artists turned into an article for an arts magazine, not a short story. But years later, I incorporated much of that research into Cascade. Some of James Lechay’s spirit inspired the character of Dez, and he completely inspired the novel’s last line.

The nicest true thing? Last year, when Cascade was in production, my husband and daughter gave me one of his paintings for Christmas. A perfect, wonderful gift.

During the 1930s, in a town fighting for its survival, a conflicted new wife with artistic promise must choose between duty and desire
Fans of Richard Russo, Amor Towles, Sebastian Barry, and Paula McLain will devour this transporting novel about the eternal tug between our duties and our desires, set within the context of the Depression, NYC during Roosevelt’s New Deal era, and the approaching World War.

1935:   Desdemona Hart Spaulding was an up-and-coming Boston artist when she married in haste and settled in the small, once-fashionable theater town of Cascade to provide a home for her dying father. Now Cascade is on the short list to be flooded to provide water for Boston, and Dez’s discontent is complicated by her growing attraction to a fellow artist. When tragic events unfold, Dez is forced to make difficult choices. Must she keep her promises? Is it morally possible to set herself free?

What do we have to give up to be whom we yearn to be?   CASCADE unfolds like a Shakespearean tragedy, with an ending you won’t see coming. Much like a drowned town, the novel becomes something that you can’t take your eyes from or stop thinking about in wonder.”    The Boston Globe

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club, She Reads, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Her novel, THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS, will be published in January 2014 by Doubleday. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.

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YA Worth Reading: Cascade, Lisa Bergren

Review by Nicole O’Dell

Back in February, I reviewed WATERFALL, book one in the highly acclaimed River of Time series. Have you read it yet? If not, you need to, because you’re going to want to get your hands on book two immediately. And you’re in luck! CASCADE releases today.

CASCADE is the perfect follow up to WATERFALL and picks up right where book one left off. Gabi Betarrini (17) and her sister, Lia (15), are back at it again. Though they’ve returned from the Medival past to to their mom’s current-day Etruscan archeological dig, Gabi can’t stay. She must return to Medival Italy because Marcello, the handsome knight she fell in love with in book one, is in danger.

Still dressed in their Medival attire, Gabi and Lia convince their mom to travel back in time with them. When they arrive at their destination, they find themselves in the midst of accusations and backstabbing. Who are their friends, and who are their enemies? Even they don’t know for sure.  In the midst of a war, the sisters realize that they are targeted. With a couple of swords and some blind faith,  these two teenagers are forced to fight for their very lives.

The combination of romance, adventure, and humor reach a delectable balance in CASCADE,  and Lisa Bergren has done an awesome job of keeping the characters vibrant. The River of Time Series is one of my favorite YA picks so far. The bar is set for future YA romance.  And, though the series is definitely YA fiction, I truly believe that any reader would devour these books.

That all being said, I do want to issue a bit of a disclaimer for the squeamish among you. CASCADE does portray quite a bit of violence–even some torture. I wouldn’t say it’s at all gory or sensationalistic–it is true to the story–I just wanted to make sure that any sensitive readers knew what they were getting into.

Be sure to read WATERFALL first, if you haven’t. Then grab CASCADE right away, because TORRENT, the third and final book in the River of Time series, will follow in September, 2011–right around the corner. Thank you to David C. Cook, publisher, for putting these books out in such rapid succession!

Read an Excerpt (WATERFALL):http://www.scribd.com/doc/46485013/Waterfall

Read an Excerpt (CASCADE):http://www.scribd.com/doc/52610822/Cascade-by-Lisa-T-Bergren

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 30 books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. She just finished writing a Colorado historical trilogy (the first book,  Breathe,  Sing and  Claim), and has begun a teen series called River of Time (Waterfall, book 1, comes out in February 2011).

Lisa’s time is split between managing home base, writing (including a fair amount of travel writing), consulting and freelance editing (with a little speaking here and there). She’s married to Tim, a liturgical sculptor, graphic designer and musician. They have three kids—Olivia (15), Emma (12) and Jack (7).

 

We have a copy of Cascade to give away to one of you! If you’d like to enter to win, leave a question for Lisa Bergren in your comment. I’m going to be interviewing her on Teen Talk Radio in a couple of weeks, and I’ll pass your questions along to her then.

About Maureen Bureson

I'm 63, from AZ, retired on disability, enjoy writing and reading, and am excited to discover all that P31 offers beyond the daily devotional

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