Thursday, March 22, 2012

Get Lost with Bestselling Author Judith Arnold

To get Judith Arnold’s bio, I went to her web page.  Get Lost in a Story Readers, we don’t have a blog long enough to give credit to all this talented author has written.  MIRA, HCI, Harlequin (American, Superromance, Single Title, Temptation).  Let’s just say if Harlequin had a line for it, Ms. Arnold wrote for it (although now that I think about it, I think I’ve got her.  I didn’t see LUNA on the list).  Several of Ms. Arnold’s books have also been reissued as limited editions. 
And, today, I’m particularly excited because she’s teamed with Bell Bridge Books with a new release called, GOODBYE TO ALL THAT.   Please welcome the extraordinarily prolific and talented Judith Arnold.


What do women want? Belgian chocolates? A trip to Paris? A bed strewn with rose petals and occupied by Johnny Depp? Lovely fantasies, but what women of a certain age really want is to put themselves first. They want a life in which they can hold the remote control, a life in which they can eat whatever they want, whenever they want. A life in which they take care of no one but themselves.

            At least, that’s what Ruth Bendel wants. For forty-two years, she’s been a wife, mother, homemaker and volunteer. Now she wants a room of her own, a place where she can blast the classical music her husband loathes and not have to scrub his beard shavings out of the sink every morning. She finds an apartment, lands a job as a convenience store clerk and announces her departure to her family.

            But how will her loved ones cope without her?  Husband Richard doesn’t know how the steam iron works, let alone how to ask a woman on a date.  If Ruth and Richard are no longer together, who will take care of son Doug’s children when he and his wife fly off for a romantic week in Nevis?  Should daughter Melissa heed her biological clock and have a baby now that she’s discovered, at age thirty-one, that she’s the child of a broken home?  And how can Jill, the overwhelmed middle child trying to hold the family together, host a Thanksgiving dinner and her own daughter Abbie’s bat mitzvah when the entire Bendel clan is falling apart?


DONNELL:  Judith, welcome:  Your blurb references Paris.  So here’s our first question.  Have you ever been there?  If so, would you go back?  If not, where’s your favorite place to visit?

JUDITH: No, I’ve never been to Paris.  (Isn’t that a line from a song?)  But I’ll get there someday.  My most recent trip abroad was to Barcelona, which I adored.  And there’s a trip to Hawaii waiting for me a few months from now—I’m counting the days.  I’ve been there before and loved it.  Love the Caribbean.  Love Nova Scotia.  Love Italy.  Love Walt Disney World.  Love Cape Cod.   Honestly, I’m thinking about all the places I’ve visited in my life, and I can’t think of any I didn’t like.

DONNELL:  If you’re not writing, where will we find you?

JUDITH:  On the streets of my town, jogging.  I’m pretty compulsive about it.  I run between 7 and 8 miles every morning, even in rain and snow.  Since I wind up spending the rest of the day sitting at my computer, I crave the exercise and the fresh air I get while jogging.  It helps me clear my head and plan the day’s writing.  And it enables me to indulge my sweet tooth without feeling too guilty.

DONNELL:  What’s in your refrigerator right now?

JUDITH:  Stuff to indulge my sweet tooth. <g>  I’m a serious ice-cream junkie.  Fortunately, I also love fruits and vegetables.  And wine.  There’s usually a bottle chilling in there.

DONNELL:   In your new book, GOODBYE TO ALL THAT, your heroine runs away.  Have you ever ran away in your life?

JUDITH: I’ve lit out for the territories a couple of times, as Huck Finn might put it.  When I was nineteen, I lived on a commune in Nova Scotia for a few months.  No electricity, no indoor plumbing (although there was a clear, painfully cold stream nearby for bathing.)  I had a tent, a cooking pit, a typewriter and a lot of paper.  I wrote my first (not very good) novel there.  When I was twenty-three, I moved to rural Northern California for a couple of years.  I was a native New Yorker; my family was all on the East Coast, as was my then-boyfriend/now-husband.  But I had an interesting job offer, so I stuffed everything I owned into my car and drove across the country.  Two years later, I stuffed everything back into the car and drove home again. 

DONNELL:   Do you bowl? 

JUDITH: Very poorly.  In New England, where I live now, candlepin bowling is popular.  This involves short, squat pins and a ball not much bigger than a softball.  I’m as bad at candlepin bowling as at regular bowling, but at least my thumb doesn’t hurt at the end of the evening.

DONNELL:  What was your favorite subject in school?

JUDITH:  I loved English (all those wonderful books to read, all those writing assignments!)  Also music.  Like the heroine of GOODBYE TO ALL THAT, I majored in music in college, and like her, I fell in love with the music of Arcangelo Corelli.

DONNELL:   You’re in a boat in the middle of the ocean.  It’s sprung a leak.  Fortunately your cell phone is operational.  Who do you call for help?

JUDITH: My husband.  He can fix pretty much anything—and he also was a varsity swimmer and a Red-Cross certified lifeguard, so I imagine he could rescue me if he had to.

DONNELL:  How many hats do you own?

JUDITH: Lots, and I hardly ever wear them.  I have a few favorites in my collection: a big, floppy “hippie” hat, a fedora that was used as a prop in a play I wrote in graduate school, a straw sunhat for the beach, a blue-and-white striped engineer hat that we always haul out of the closet when my husband sets up his electric train set.  (If the question is how many metaphorical hats I wear...the answer is also lots.  Mother, wife, daughter, novelist, friend, cook, crossword puzzle addict...)
DONNELL:    Do you listen to music when you’re writing?

JUDITH:  Never.  Too distracting.  I often listen to music before I start writing, to get me in the mood.  But once I’m writing, I need silence.

DONNELL:  Do you read your reviews?

JUDITH:  I try to read only the good ones.  The bad ones are obviously written by crazy people. <g>  Seriously, I’ve developed a pretty thick skin, so I can read bad reviews if I have to.  But I much prefer reading good reviews.  If anyone wants to write a good review of GOODBYE TO ALL THAT, let me know.  I’ll read it, I promise!

DONNELL:  If you could visit with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be, and what might you chat about?

JUDITH:  I would visit my sister.  She died fourteen years ago, and I miss her every day.  Sometimes I talk to her in my mind, but it would be so much nicer if we could actually hug each other.  Whenever I think about her, I picture her in a peaceful, verdant garden, sitting comfortably, smiling her gorgeous smile.  If I could visit her, I’d sit beside her and we’d talk about all the stuff we always talked about when she was alive—our kids, our husbands, our friends, our work, books, recipes, laundry, faith, memories...all the things, big and small, that defined our lives.

JUDITH:  How about the old desert island question?  If you were stranded on a desert island, what five books would you want to have with you?
Readers, there you have it.  What a challenge.  Can't wait to hear your answers.  Answer the question and/or comment to be entered in a digital giveaway.
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

DON’T FORGET to FOLLOW us on Twitter (#GetLostStories) or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes. Tomorrow join Jillian Stone as she hosts Deanna Cameron and Angi Morgan week when she hosts RITA finalist Jessica Andersen.


  1. Yay, more Judith Arnold! I loved the Love in Bloom's series! It reminded me of a bagel place I used to go to in Massachusetts called The Bagel Nosh. Thanks for visiting Get Lost!

    As for the desert Island - I'd just bring my Kindle!

    1. Ha, Abigail, great answer. Wonder what Judith will think of that one! Where's your charger, though, Missy, huh???

  2. Welcome Judith, I just love your answer on reviews. That must come with years of being a professional writer. Your answers are inspirational. Thank you for joining us today!

  3. Nice interview. I don't know which I'm more in awe of--the 7 mile runs or the number of finished books. I'm with you on the reviews.

    1. Very nice interview. I am in awe of the seven mile runs but love the ice cream in the frig. Indulge - you are great.

  4. Loved the book blurb - big fantasy of many women, I'm sure. :) Also, the interview was fun and snappy!
    Five books: The Bible. A book for Dummies on how to survive being stranded on a Desert Island. A dictionary/thesaurus. This might be the opportune time to finally get through War and Peace. Without Feathers by Woody Allen.

    What I'd also like is a Kindle with a never ending battery with all of those lovely romance books in my tbr pile!

    1. Ha, great answers, Lynne, but me thinks you and Abigail are cheating with the Kindle! :))) And that goes for Nook, Sony, etc. etc. :)

    2. Lynne, LOL on Desert Island Survival for Dummies! That would certainly be a handy book to have.

      And yes, Abigail, someone needs to invent an e-reader with a solar battery. Brilliant idea!

  5. Lovely interview, Judith. Love your work! I'm in envy of all of the traveling you've done. I bicycled and camped through Nova Scotia when I was 18--on a three-speed. What a gorgeous province! Living there must have been wonderful.

    I can't wait to read GOODBYE TO ALL THAT. Since the unexpected breakdown of my marriage 5 years ago, I've come to cherish my independence. Now that the grief has passed, having a place that's my own feels like a gift.

    My 5 desert island picks?

    MRS. MIKE, Benedict and Nancy Mars Freeman
    MORNING GLORY, LaVyrle Spencer
    WAITING FOR THE MOON, Kristin Hannah (Loved, loved, loved the cast of damaged characters living in the doctor's house)
    And of course, I can't visit your blog without mentioning one of yours, HOPE STREET

    Those beautiful happy endings of romance novels are all about hope.

    1. Oh, now I have to check out Hope Street, thank you for stopping by msullivan!

  6. Wonderful interview! A travel bug, too. I've been to Barcelona and would love to visit Italy. And here's a cheer for the metaphorical hats women wear!

    Books on a deserted island -
    Bible - it provides all the excitement and fodder for future stories you could possibly want.
    The Army Survival Guide :)
    And any fiction I could grab in a hurry. Too many to make a choice, so I'd have to scoop and run.

    Good luck with Goodbye To All That - I'm off to find my copy.


    1. The Army Survival Guide is an excellent choice!

      The official release date for GOODBYE TO ALL THAT is next Wednesday, March 28th. You'll be able to pick up a copy then.

  7. What a fun interview! The new book sounds fabulous, Judity, good luck with the release... Um, desert island books. The Princess Bride, some kind of survival kit book...preferably one having a Find Me Here beacon, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Bible, Sonnets from the Portuguese.

  8. Great interview, Donnell! Judith, this sounds like such a fun book (with drama of course--who was it that said humor is drama viewed at a safe distance, or something like that?)I've added "Goodbye to all of That " to my to be read list. Looking forward to the read!!

    As for the island, I agree, an e-reader would be best, but only if we have an outlet to charge it! I'd be hard pressed to pick just 5 books...

  9. Great blog, ladies! Judith, your 7-mile run every day boggles my mind. You're inspiring in many ways. I'll be watching for your latest. Love the title! Love the comments and great book choices given from everyone, too. My first choice to take would be the Bible, but I'd have a hard time choosing only four more.
    Donnell, thanks for giving the entertaining interview.

  10. Congratulations on the book! I'd select some Kresley Cole and Lisa Kleypas books.


  11. I would make sure to mix the five books with my keepers and those that are new to me. The list would include Outlander, Dream a little Dream, also some Kristin Hannah, Kristan Higgins and Carla Neggers books. I have many more but these ones came to mind.

    I have several of your books in mind and one of them is Barefoot in the Grass.


  12. Great choices for books to be stranded with on a desert island! I'm taking notes.

  13. Hi Judith,
    What a fun interview. I love that you're a traveler. I love going new places and have a whole list of "want to return to's." If I were stranded I'd have to have my Bible, one or two Susan Elizabeth Phillips books, Lisa Kleypas and a classic, maybe To Kill A Mockingbird. But then again, maybe I'd wish for some of my TBR pile -- being stranded may be the only way I'll ever get to some of them!

  14. Judith and Donnell!!!!!!! This was so fun! But it's unfair for you to throw out that question without first giving YOUR list. I couldn't even begin to list the five I'd take with me. That's too much of a Sophie's Choice. I have to many babies on my shelves. Although Love In Bloom's could be one of them. Atlas Shrugged, not for the politics, but for the plot. I loved that intricate plot. Brainiacs of the world disappearing, the heroine trying to figure out who is kidnapping/brainwashing them, etc. And of course, I'd have to pick at least one Susan Elizabeth Phillips because if I'm stuck on that island, I sure need something to laugh about. BTW, May I have, in addition to my solar powered Kindle, solar powered laptop, my solar powered iPod so I could listen to my favorite books and songs? Too many choices, so little time. :)


  15. Sorry I missed chatting with you Judith. I took an unexpected day to UNPLUG. Sort of nice, but now I'm playing catch-up.

    A pleasure to read your interview!

  16. Judith, your answers were as interesting as Donnell said they were. Your writing always speaks to me.

  17. Great post Judith! I am running behind myself, spent yesterday in doctors office, I hate it when they don't get you in and you have to stay half the day.

    Just wanted to say I love your books, I have been reading a few on Kindle and really enjoying them.