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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

#ReadThis @LivConstantine2 #TheLastMrsParrish by #LivConstantine @HarperCollins @HDRUCKER

As we recently mentioned in the praise for Joshilyn Jackson, there really has not been much to brag about this year at all in terms of fiction literature recently published.  Peachy has been going back to her favorites: Fitzgerald, Twain and Dickens because a lot of people alive have disappointed us (but never Mover and Shaker Charles Kipps, best living author ever!)

The Last Mrs. Parrish has just become the best new fiction book we've read this year.
It is stylistically unique, intelligent and entertaining; a rare combination to be found today in a bookstore under "New Releases."

The characters are stunningly brilliant.   Conniving.  Good versus Evil is mastered. The innate predatory nature of some will heighten the sensory experience of all intense Manhattanites, who obviously possess many of these same characteristics to survive and ultimately, thrive here.  Wickedness ensues.  But Amber, what are you doing imbibing upon Pinot Noir?  Ugh.  Amber and Daphne, two parts....we hesitate to go on.  You need to pop this open for yourself.  It's a brilliant dichotomy of frenemies.  The double perspective is fabulous.

They also nail it  (we say they because the author, though a singular name, is actually two sisters) with the slugability factor of Gregg, who is the epitome of revolting, humming along.  (Slugability factor: you want to SLUG HIM.).  

We love Bella's demands to sleep at The Plaza like Eloise!  She however overlooked the BEST PART OF THE PLAZA: EDWARD TRICOMI.  The fact that Bella got her desired accommodation definitely underlines the fiction, as the kind of room in the book is probably almost never available last minute, especially when you consider the lack of supply due to the new condos.

Constantine proves her individualism with phrases like YMB which leave you guessing, until you read carefully later of course, and the scenes that develop make you think that you would be dying to know what the score would be WHEN not IF this gets made into a movie.

The authors prove their accuracy in painting Manhattan correctly and their quality verbiage provides spot-on parallels throughout. 

Part of it takes place in the Great State of Connecticut, and we think they made up Bishops Harbor.  There is a Bishop's Corner in West Hartford...however, being an ancient, Peachy can verify that you do NOT acquire an accent from going to boarding school (p. 17) and that on the Connecticut coastline, the air is not that salty-smelling, especially the closer you get to New York.  (For prime time salt smell, go to the West Coast of Ireland or the East Coast of Florida.)  Up with the Friendly's mention and why on earth can we not find a Friendly's in Manhattan?!

Lessons learned:

People smile with their EYES.

All that glitters is not gold.

Perfect for a plane trip!

The Last Mrs. Parrish is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know!


Dominick Dunne meets Liane Moriarty in Liv Constantine’s addictive debut novel THE LAST MRS. PARRISH (Harper Paperbacks; on sale: June 5, 2018; $15.99; ISBN-13: 9780062667588), a mesmerizing psychological thriller full of delicious twists and turns, about a coolly manipulative woman who worms her way into the lives of a wealthy “golden couple” from Connecticut to achieve the privileged life she wants. 

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She is convinced she deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne and her husband, Jackson— 

the beautiful philanthropist and the confident real estate mogul—are a golden couple straight out of a fairytale, blessed with two lovely young daughters. 

Amber’s envy could eat her alive…if she didn’t have a plan. Determined to step into Daphne’s shoes and become the next Mrs. Parrish, she’s figured a way to insert herself into this family’s life and has a meticulous scheme to undermine Daphne. Before long, she’s Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes, and getting closer to Jackson. But there is a secret from her past that may undermine all that she has worked towards, and if Daphne discovers it, then all may be lost. 

This propulsive thriller has two reliable narrators: Amber is a smart, manipulating young woman, and Daphne, while nice to a fault, is sharp and keenly aware. However, both have major tricks up their sleeves. Fans of women’s detective fiction will revel in this social-climbing thriller—confessional and conniving—and readers will be seduced by the elegant intermix of glamour and greed. THE LAST MRS. PARRISH is indeed a devilish delight. 

About the Author 

Liv Constantine is the pen name of sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine. Separated by three states, the two plot via Skype and burn up each other’s emails. They attribute their ability to concoct dark story lines to the hours they spent listening to tales handed down by their Greek grandmother. They live in Connecticut and Maryland, respectively. Follow the authors on Twitter @LivConstanteine2, and visit their website for a complete speaking schedule,



ON SALE: JUNE 5, 2018 


400 PAGES 

ISBN-13: 9780062667588

“Writing THE LAST MRS. PARRISH with My Sister”

By Liv Constantine

Most sisters argue over borrowed clothes or who had it easier growing up. My sister, Valerie, and I have disagreements about our imaginary friends. Are you nuts? She wouldn’t wear that, say that, do that, think that. Actually, we may want to blurt that out, but our discussions are in fact much more diplomatic. Do you really think a millionaire wouldn’t know anything about designer labels? Would a famous and eccentric author drive such a boring car? Does a teenager even know what a disco party is? Is it really necessary to use THAT word? (The last comment usually applies to a sex scene.) 

Emails fly back and forth as we send each other images of what we imagine our characters to look like, houses that would be suitable for them, clothes they would wear, cars they would drive, and other details that flesh out the story world we’re creating. Most of the collaboration is great fun, and we have lots of laughs developing our characters and our plotlines. We try hard not to offend each other and to make any criticism constructive. 

As we wrote THE LAST MRS. PARRISH, our first thriller together, we discovered what works best for us is to divide and conquer. The novel has two protagonists, both strong female characters, so it made perfect sense for us to each take one. This eliminated the need to merge our voices. Two women. Two perspectives. Amber is wicked and Daphne good. Guess whose voice is more fun to write? Being the nice sister, I agreed to give Valerie Amber, and I took Daphne. Very generous of me. Or was it? That division of labor meant that I got to write Part Two which included the dynamic Jackson Parrish. I enjoyed my time doing research to make his psychological profile as realistic as possible. That’s not to say Daphne wasn’t also fun to write—amorality is not a necessity for an interesting character. 

One of the great things about having a writing partner is the immediate feedback you get on a scene. We both delighted in reading the misdeeds each of our characters had committed. Often, one of us would ask the other to read a new chapter aloud while we were on FaceTime so we could see the reaction it garnered. That helped each of us to tell right off the bat if we’d struck the right chord with a given scene or plot twist. 

It’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, Valerie and I complement each other. It’s not unusual for me to write a scene and type in the middle of it: ADD MORE DESCRIPTION, all in caps. It’s like magic. I send it to Val and it comes back with great details. Meanwhile, she’ll send me a scene she’s written with a note saying RAMP UP THE DIALOGUE IN THIS ARGUMENT, and I’ll turn up the tension. In our case, two heads are better than one. 

Can I talk now? Valerie, here. Lynne and I FaceTime daily, usually around 4 or 5 in the afternoon, and those appointment times are “written in ink.” In these sessions, we review our work for the day and plot our characters’ next moves. But occasionally I’ll get a call from Lynne in the morning. She’ll open with, A great idea came to me while I was walking the dog. This might sound crazy, but just listen first. And sometimes she gets a similar call from me. Her ideas come to her while she walks, mine while I lie in bed at night thinking about our characters. The process always feels organic, a living, breathing story that goes off in directions we never predicted, much like life does. And when one of us is confounded about where the story is headed, we tell the other to relax and let the character lead the way. It sounds mystical and mysterious but it’s very intuitive. We live with these characters every day, know their secrets, feel their fears, internalize their longings. And long before they appear on the page, we together create their being––their looks, their past, their beliefs––those things that work together to make them who they are. It doesn’t matter that many of these details will never make it into the story. They are nonetheless vital in creating authentic and believable characters. 

In addition to what working together brings to our craft, there is another enormous benefit of collaboration: ACCOUNTABILITY. For me, especially, that is essential. I was always the student who wrote her term paper the night before it was due. I have a love/hate relationship with deadlines. Lynne is the more disciplined of the two of us and sometimes is frustrated by my propensity for letting life get in the way of my writing. It has been a slow process for me to let go of other “stuff” and plop myself in front of the computer.

It’s been said that writing is a lonely profession. In our case, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s brought us closer, given us great belly laughs and great insights into our own psyches. And no one understands the anguish of rejection or the joy of accomplishment like your co-author. The bond of sisterhood is a precious gift. To be lucky enough to create together makes it priceless.

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