Open Book with Tori Whitaker

This holiday season I have been giving thanks for so many things as we continue this difficult time in all our lives. One thing that I have been so grateful for, more than ever, is the power of storytelling and books. I sound like a broken record but the best place for me to escape these days is within the pages of a book. I am so thrilled to have Tori Whitaker as my latest Open Book as her debut novel, Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish, is a literary delight with dual timelines and complex female relationships. I also love that Tori made her book dreams come true as she always wanted to write a novel and made that goal happen. Books and authors like Tori are what make me so grateful to be a reader and author champion ❤

via Amazon ~

Three generations of women—and the love, loss, sacrifice, and secrets that can bind them forever or tear them apart.

Millicent Glenn is self-sufficient and contentedly alone in the Cincinnati suburbs. As she nears her ninety-first birthday, her daughter Jane, with whom she’s weathered a shaky relationship, suddenly moves back home. Then Millie’s granddaughter shares the thrilling surprise that she’s pregnant. But for Millie, the news stirs heartbreaking memories of a past she’s kept hidden for too long. Maybe it’s time she shared something, too. Millie’s last wish? For Jane to forgive her.

Sixty years ago Millie was living a dream. She had a husband she adored, a job of her own, a precious baby girl, and another child on the way. They were the perfect family. All it took was one irreversible moment to shatter everything, reshaping Millie’s life and the lives of generations to come.

As Millie’s old wounds are exposed, so are the secrets she’s kept for so long. Finally revealing them to her daughter might be the greatest risk a mother could take in the name of love.

1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?

Sarah Jessica Parker – Like me and my book’s protagonist, she was born in Ohio. Sarah attended a school for performing arts in Cincinnati, in fact, in the historic OTR neighborhood where my Millicent grew up. Maybe author Chris Bohjalian, too, for interesting discussions about books and the world—and singing legend, Tina Turner.

2. Current binge series?

We just finished MadMen and still have a MadMen hangover. Can’t seem to settle on a new binge yet!

3. Last favorite book?

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

4. What 3 things do you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

Hubs and I live outside of Atlanta and we missed our spring get-away because of the pandemic. I’m still waiting for that trip in our older Corvette convertible, top down, driving through the verdant Kentucky Bluegrass region, and touring distilleries of the Bourbon Trail the way one visits vineyards in Napa. I’d pack my “Life Is Good” ball cap, a ponytail scrunchie, and my Ray-Ban sunglasses.

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly? NYT

6. Last movie you saw?  Rebecca on Netflix

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake. It’s got it all–unforgettable characters, fascinating historical settings, multiple generations and timelines, secrets and regrets, important themes from class to race, and gorgeous prose.

8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?

There was Mrs. Bradbury in ninth-grade English who encouraged me, though she wasn’t a full-blown mentor.

9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

Absolutely not. I need silence.

10. Describe your writing space?

I write in my home office upstairs—never on a laptop in a cabin or coffee shop. I have a computer desk near a bright window, tables for spreading out research materials and outlines and such, and built-in shelves stuffed with books that inspire me.

11. Tell me your coffee/tea order?

Well … I don’t drink either. My daily caffeine fix is chocolate!

12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

Hmm, not really.

13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

Ariel Lawhon’s Code Name Helene. It’s the fictionalized story of a true-life bad ass woman.

14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

I married at age 18, and we celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary this year. That’s a pretty big part of my life and family! So the song would probably be: Led Zeppelin’s, Thank You. Here’s a sense of the lyrics.

If the sun refused to shine
I would still be loving you
When mountains crumble to the sea
There will still be you and me

15. Must have beauty product?

OMG, Clinique’s lipstick in A Different Grape. My friend and I met at work 15 years ago and bonded when discovering we both wore the same color. It was a minor life crisis for us when they changed the formula a year or so ago! They still call it A Different Grape, but it feels, well, different.

16. Royals- yes or no?  If so, who is your favorite?

Yes, and young Princess Charlotte is my fav. When she stuck out her tongue at reporters, I knew she might grow up to make Princess Margaret, the queen’s sister, look boring.

17. Favorite Instagram account?

Yikes, there are too many to name.

18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? 

Perhaps the book, Girl with a Pearl Earring? The lipstick would be: Barely Pearl-ly Pink

19. Current #TBR pile?

I’m still waiting to read Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan and The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson.

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t pray for things you want. Rather, pray for direction in life.

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