Saturday, February 27, 2016

"What You Don't Know Now" by Marci Diehl

What You Don't Know Now
by Marci Diehl

What You Don't Know Now is currently on tour with Merge Publishing. The tour stops here today for my interview with author Marci Diehl, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to join the Facebook event to follow the tour. Best of all, the book is ON SALE for only $0.99 (save $5.00) to 28 February. So get in quick!

It’s the summer of 1967, and 18-year-old American Bridey McKenna is in Europe for the first time. It’s supposed to be the ultimate mother-daughter vacation, but nothing about it is working out that way. Chances for adventure, romance and enlightenment look slim-to-none until Bridey arrives in Umbria and meets Alessandro - someone who could change everything about her future. Alessandro is no ordinary singing waiter, and he’s the last person on earth Bridey’s mother wants in her daughter’s life. 

Bridey’s only hope is to connect in Rome with her worldly aunt and uncle - a man who holds a position at the British embassy in Jordan that no one ever quite defines. When an emergency takes Bridey off the tour, on to Athens, and further into her aunt and uncle’s world than Bridey ever dreamed, the complex terrain of family, love and womanhood holds a surprising itinerary.

Book Video


Praise for the Book
"Against the backdrop of Germany, Italy, and Greece, Bridey McKenna’s summer adventure plays out in ways she could have never imagined. Marci Diehl’s magical storytelling invites us to smell the sea, bask in the Mediterranean sunshine and join Bridey on an emotional journey that is an intricate blend of intrigue, sexual awakening, romance and self-discovery." ~ Kathy Johncox, author of What a Kiss Can Do
"My mouth was literally agape as I read certain sections of this fun and engrossing story." ~ Cynthia Kolko, author of Fruit of the Vine
"Reawaken your sense of adventure! Have you ever read a book that gave you the feeling of packing your bags and just going where your feet will take you? What You Don’t Know Now is definitely a book to read this summer." ~ Goodreads review by Scribes23

Interview With the Author
Author Marci Diehl joins me today to discuss her book, What You Don’t Know Now.
Marci, what genre is your book?
What You Don’t Know Now is a coming-of-age novel. This is women’s fiction (a commercial novel with a female on the brink of life change and personal growth, and includes a hopeful/upbeat ending to her romantic relationship). It also crosses into a new genre – New Adult (a genre of fiction with protagonists in the 18-25 age bracket, with a focus on issues such as leaving home, developing sexuality, and negotiating education and career choices).
Please describe the main character, Bridey McKenna.
Overprotected, raised to follow the rules, and longing for even a hint of adventure to experience, Bridey McKenna is an 18-year-old American touring Europe in the summer of 1967 with her mother, aunt and 14-year-old cousin on a 21-day, 7-country bus tour. The tour is loaded with nuns, widows, a priest and an elderly man, and worse, is inauspiciously named the Summer Vacation Pilgrimage. Smart, flippant, and self-absorbed, Bridey is a ‘60s girl with her long hair, mini dresses, and Twiggy eye makeup but she’s no hippie. She’s just graduated from an all-girls school, college-bound for Georgetown University. "She wasn’t about to follow some priest around all day. She planned on finding enlightenment in other ways."
Bridey comes from a small town in western New York State where her father is a carpenter and her mother stays at home, raising Bridey and her two brothers. But Bridey has an aunt and uncle who have lived most of her life in Pakistan, Lebanon and Jordan. Bridey idolizes her glamorous, worldly Aunt Maura while feeling intimidated by her mysterious and distant Uncle Hugh, who has a job with the British government no one talks about. Bridey’s journey causes her to question old rules and roles, and stirs her rebellion, her blossoming sexuality, and her awakened sense of miraculous possibility in life and the world around her.
What made you write this story?
When I was 18, I took a similar trip in Europe and kept a travel journal. Turning 18 is a threshold for girls – a step into early womanhood, and most 18-year-olds think they know all they need to at that stage. I think I certainly felt that way. The tour I took was so terrible I knew it would make a great (possibly funny) book someday. It wasn’t until I was grown and re-read the journal that I saw myself as an 18-year-old complaining endlessly about the misadventures of the tour, not appreciating what was before me. I did see how much I loved my family for keeping their sense of humor and bond despite separation.
I imagined a different story unfolding. It was a story about the love between mothers and daughters, aunts who were like "second mothers", and the bond of sisters. I also wanted to write about the idea of the lightning-strike of love during a summer holiday, and the question of whether you fall in love with someone because of his charisma and talent. The push-pull of love.
Our trip also included dumping that tour and heading to Athens, where my aunt, uncle and cousins were staying after being evacuated out of Jordan during wartime. The uncle character in the novel is based upon my own uncle, who was a spy for the U.S. – but I had no idea as a teen that he was an important intelligence officer. I thought the idea of writing about the "normal" side of a spy’s family life was intriguing and lent an unusual element to Bridey’s story.
Who should read your book?
It’s definitely for adults at least over 18, due to the sexual content of a couple of scenes. Who should read it? Mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, grandmothers, nieces; women who lived through the 1960’s; anyone who took a trip to Italy or Europe and found a romance (there are more women out there that did than you may imagine!). People who are interested in history, travel, operatic tenors and their incubation, Italy, the Vietnam War era, life in the 1960’s, or Greece. Or anyone who has faced the choice of giving up what you most want to keep.
Thanks for stopping by today, Marci. Enjoy the rest of your book tour!

About the Author
Marci Diehl has been a writer ever since she was the geek who got excited when her grammar school class had to write paragraphs for English. She kept a "log" of her experiences as an 18 year old on an ill-fated bus tour of Europe. That trip became the basis for her debut novel What You Don’t Know Now.
She spent 10 years traversing the nation as a PGA Tour Wife, from the East Coast all the way to Hawaii, Jamaica and Japan. As a traveling mother of four, she wrote for national and regional magazines - Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, Success Magazine, SCORE (Canada), Jacksonville Today (Florida) on lifestyle, golf, travel, humor, and business. Behind the scenes of writing non-fiction for a living, Diehl always has a short story or novel in progress.
She's been an avid reader her entire life. When she isn't walking her dog or going to the movies for the popcorn, she is a writer, editor and producer for multi-media and marketing. She lives in the Finger Lakes area of New York State.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes: an ebook of What You Don't Know Now (international), an autographed softcover of What You Don't Know Now (US only), or an mp3 download (international) or CD (US only) copy of "Love Songs from Italy".