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Introducing author Eileen Goudge

Posted by Nancy Carty Lepri on March 26, 2012 at 7:15 PM

I recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Eileen Goudge's The Replacement Wife for ReaderToReader.com.


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I also had the privledge of interviewing Eileen on her latest novel, due for release tomorrow, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. You will find her interview after the review along with a recipt Eileen so graciously sent. Enjoy!


The Replacement Wife

by Eileen Goudge

Open Road E-riginal (March 27, 2012)

Thorndike Press (Hardcover - April 6, 2012)

 

    Envision having a handsome successful husband, two well-behaved children, a home you love, and running a business as a matchmaker. Life can’t get better…or so Camille Harte-Constantin thought. That is, until her oncologist informs her her cancer has returned and is now at the Stage IV status.

     Filled with dread and anxiety, Camille ponders over her choices. She refuses to suffer through the horrendous turmoil she encountered with her first stem cell transplant and chemo treatment. And, how will she tell her beloved Edward, fourteen-year-old Kyra, and nine-year-old Zach that she is dying? Loving them all beyond passion, in her mind, the best choice is for her to find another wife for Edward; one who will love him and her kids and make sure they are well taken care of.

     Camille successfully paired many couples and believes this will be the answer to her problem. She confides in a client named Elise about the situation, asking her to meet her husband and children. Elise is appalled and does not want to remarry after a disastrous divorce, but agrees to see how things pan out.

     The main problem is Edward. Incensed Camille would even consider trying to fix him up with another woman when he is in love her; he goes along with theplan on the advice of his good friend, a psychiatrist, who tells him to do as Camille wishes to keep the peace.

     Elise visits the Constantin’s summer house on Long Island, and she finds herself welcomed into the family setting. When Camille takes ill and is admitted to the hospital, Elise and Edward stay in the waiting room all night, talking. They find a mutual ground, enjoying each other’s company, but Edward remains angry with Camille and her plan, thinking she is giving up on herself.

     As Edward’s anger builds, and he and Camille drift apart. To make matters worse, Elise falls in love with Edward, but he does not share her feelings.

     Not long after, Camille’s doctor approaches her about getting into a new clinical trial. Though she is hesitant, she realizes she has nothing to lose. Edward pushes her keep fighting.

     The Replacement Wife uses the heartbreaking topic of terminal illness teamed with a woman who loves her family so much she wants to make sure they are loved and taken care of after her passing. Little does she realize she unmasks a horrible plot with disastrous consequences. But, does anyone know what they will do when death comes knocking at their door, and they are concerned about their loved ones? This story takes the reader on an emotional ride dealing with love, betrayal, loss of trust, and the painful realities of life,offering much food for thought.

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My Interview with Eileen


How did you research the match-making industry for your book?


I interviewed real-live matchmaker, Janice Spindel, who is one of the most sought-after and successful in thebusiness. She has arranged over 2,000 marriages to date, and not a divorced couple in the mix. That’s a pretty solid track record! In fact, the producersof  The Bachelor could take notes from her. One thing I learned: It’s often busy professionals who seek a matchmaker’s services, men and women who don’t have time to date dozens of potential love interests in search of The One. Most have high incomes or are down right wealthy. So I guess the old adage money can’t buy happiness isn’t strictly true. Or not true with many of Janice’s clients, at least.   


What are some things you learned about yourself while writing the book?


I learned so much about myself in writing The Replacement Wife. Mostly, for me, it was a journey through the past. As in my past marriages (yeah, okay, I’ve had more than one, but who’s counting?). I was reminded of the need for honesty in a relationship and of being true to yourself. Also, of the importance of not turning a blind eye to cracks in a seemingly solid marriage that could become fissures later on. My fictional story tells of a marriage that appears solid but only because neither husband nor wife is willing to look at it too closely. You have to be willing to look, even if the truth hurts. Because it will hurt even more down the line if you ignore what needs to be done.


Your novel is so full of rich and complex characters; who were some of the characters you related to most or least?


I totally relate to Camille; she is probably the most like me of all the characters in The Replacement Wife. Mainly because she truly believes she can bring about a desired result merely by organizing and orchestrating it to fruition. When, in fact, that kind of thinking can backfire if you don’t watch out (I should know, having To-Do listed myself into a bad place more than once!). She’s also a loving wife and mom, a place I know well as a wife and mother of two who never rode on a plane while my children were growing up that I didn’t worry about what happen to them if the plane crashed.     


Where I’m like Angie, Camille’s husband’s unlikely choice, is her love of cooking. I love to cook! Throwing together combinations to create gourmet feasts is what I do to de-stress after a day at the computer. Baking is my favorite thing next to writing. Now, if only I could eat all those mouth-watering baked goods without gaining weight…. hmmm, food for thought for a character in another book? A true fantasy of mine: Being able to eat as much bread as I want without getting a muffin top.     

 

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EILEEN'S OPEN-FACE BURRITOWITH JICAMA-AVOCADO SALAD


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit


For burrito:


2 corn or whole-wheat tortillas


2 -3 teaspoons olive oil, divided


6 to 8 (or more, depending on how thick you want it) heaping tablespoons canned refried beans, divided


8-10 tablespoons shredded Jack cheese, divided


Jarred green chili salsa, to taste (I use Mrs. Renfro’sgreen jalapeno chili salsa, available in many grocery stores)


For salad:


I cup peeled, cubed jicama


I  peeled, cubed avocado


1 small to medium tomatillo, diced


Approximately ¼ cup chopped cilantro (or more, according to your taste)


1 medium tomato, diced


3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Salt and red pepper flakes to taste


Jarred or packaged mild or medium-hot tomato salsa (optional)


Place tortillas on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Smear olive oil over both sides of both tortillas with hands.  Dot one side of each tortilla with half of refried beans and smooth into fairly even layer witha knife.  Sprinkle cheese over tops.  Bake in oven for 10 minutes or so, until cheese is melted and tortillas are  golden brown and crispy around the edges. 


Place ingredients for salad in a bowl and toss with lemon juice, salt and red pepper to taste. 


Dot green chili sauce over bean-cheese mixture on tortillas, to taste.  Spoon half of salad over each tortilla.  Spoon a tablespoon or so of tomato salsa on top of salad on each salad, if desired.


Serves two people

 

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Thanks, Eileen :)

 

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