TLC Book Tour, Giveaway, and Author Guest Post: Sea Escape

Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin
ISBN 978-1-4391-8060-0
304 Pages
Simon & Schuster (July 2010)

I was delighted to accept Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin as part of a TLC Book Tour. The book takes an in depth look at a mother-daughter relationship and how family secrets can create misunderstanding and pain…but it is also about forgiveness, redemption, and the process of grief. I enjoyed this novel which will appeal to those readers who like women’s fiction (read my review). I am delighted to be able to offer two books for giveaway – a hardcover of Sea Escape, and a soft cover of Griffin’s earlier work Life Without Summer (scroll to the bottom of this post for details).

I am also very happy to have Lynne Griffin on my blog today with a guest post. Let me tell you a little about her first:

Lynne Griffin is a nationally recognized expert on family life. She previously published Life Without Summer in 2009 through St. Martin’s Press, and Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment in 2007 through Penguin. As the parenting contributor for Boston’s Fox 25 Morning News, she appears regularly in the segment Family Works.

Griffin teaches in the graduate program of Social Work and Family Studies at Wheelock College, and at Grub Street Writers. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts with her family. Learn more about Griffin and her work by visiting the author’s website.


Love Letters

By Lynne Griffin

My father died suddenly of a heart attack when I was a sophomore in high school.  He went on a business trip with my mother and only she returned from New Orleans.  This event disrupted our family in unimaginable ways. Each of us continues to grieve the painful loss to this day.  And until my mother passed away in 2000, twenty-four years after my father did, she was never the same.

In the years since my father’s death, I’ve laughed often and loved much, but I’ve been forever changed too.  Whatever you call it, a hole, the missing piece, my soul wound, I accept–even embrace–my need to continually make sense of the death of my parents. The stories I write, each unique in their way, highlight aspects of grief that are universal.  While every person’s journey toward healing is deeply personal, we’re all tied to each other in the collective experience of it.

In Sea Escape, I explore the ties that bind one woman to her mother.  The character Helen struggles with what’s called prolonged grief disorder.  A specific kind of depression brought on by loss that for some reason refuses to follow the typical trajectory of grief.  Like my mother once did, Helen gets stuck in the past, gripped by the pain of her loss. And like me, the character Laura continues to try to make sense of losing both of her parents, seemingly at the same time during her father’s funeral.

In my years as a grief counselor, I’ve met countless people who simply cannot move through the grieving process.  I began writing fiction at forty after my mother’s death stirred my fear of loss, the stabbing pain of it.  Somehow writing to the heart of a story about a grieving woman and a lonely child gave me the chance to sort through things long buried, and to offer hope to others who may be afraid.  Without being prescriptive, telling others how to grieve, writing stories is my attempt to comfort those who know loss intimately as I do.

Inspired by my own mother-daughter relationship, and the love letters my father wrote to her in the early days of their romance, Sea Escape is an imagined story about the strength of love, the power of hope, and the gift of forgiveness.


Thank you, Lynne!!!

Now here are the details of the book giveaway:


Simon & Schuster is generously offering TWO books for giveaway…a hardback edition of Sea Escape AND a trade paperback of Life Without Summer (Lynne Griffin’s first novel). Here are the guidelines for the giveaway:

  • Contest is open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses.
  • I will choose TWO winners – one for each book – using
  • To enter, leave me a comment on this post no later than July 20th at 5:00PM PST telling me about a summer memory.
  • I’ll draw the winners the night of July 20th and post them to my blog. I will also email the winners. If you win, you must send me your snail mail within 5 days of the drawing, or I will choose another winner.


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    • Serena on July 13, 2010 at 04:20

    Wow, that was a moving guest post for a moving book. I’ve heard some great things about this one. Thanks for the guest post. Grieving is hard, most of us struggle with it…though there are some of us who cannot help by avoid it.

    • Karen on July 13, 2010 at 09:21

    When I was just a girl, my brother, sister and I would get in the car wearing our pjs and we’d take a nice long drive with our parents to cool off. Sometimes we’d stop for ice cream. Those kinds of things mean a lot when you’re little. Young people today are missing that.

  1. Thanks for the great post:

    One of the summer memories that I have is my first summer after I became a teacher. I was exhausted from my first job, and alone in my new house-feeling very adult, but very alone. I spent days reading, trying out new foods, relaxing, just being by myself. I haven’t had that kind of time since, and I miss it sometimes now that the house is full and I am NEVER alone 🙂 .

  2. No need to enter me, babe. I’m dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I’ve got this posted at Win a Book for you.

    • Julie H. on July 13, 2010 at 15:16

    Wow, that was a really great guest post. I can’t wait to read her newest book.
    One of my favorite summer memories is of swimming in the pool at night with the pool light on. There were always bugs flying toward the water because of the light and we would escape by swimming underwater.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

    • Margie on July 13, 2010 at 19:01

    Best memories are summer days at the cabin when the kids were small. Lots of fun swimming in the lake with our dog.

    • Marjorie on July 14, 2010 at 06:36

    Best memories of summer were going to LaSalle Park in Ancaster, Ontario.
    I like the storyline of the books.

    • Bailey on July 14, 2010 at 11:50

    I think my favorite summer memory right now comes from almost exactly a year ago -my now-boyfriend handed me his number as I was leaving the restaurant where he works. It made my day back then, and he’s made every day special since then, too. 🙂

  3. My favorite summer memory is from my summers in a beach share – the favorite part of my weekend would be when I was sitting in my beach chair by the shoreline in the early evening after spending the entire day at the beach. I would read and enjoy the cooler weather – perfection!

    • Andrea on July 14, 2010 at 20:20

    I absolutely love summer and one of my favorite memories happened a few years back. My friend had come over because I was upset and it was really hot inside so we decided to sit outside for a while. Well somehow I decided it would be a good idea to lay in the middle of the street like they do in the Notebook(mind you I live in a small suburban town). We laid in the middle of the street watching the stars for a while, until a car drove by and we had to get up.

  4. I already have an ARC, so no need to enter me. Just wanted to say I was moved by this guest post and am anxious to read the book. Not really knowing the premise of the story, I was surprised about the aspect of grief. You know i’ll be anxious to read it now. While I feel like i’ve moved forward with my own grief, I still feel an attraction to novels that focus on the subject. Always helps to have one’s feelings validated.

    • Amy on July 16, 2010 at 10:23

    Lynne Griffin wrote a wonderful, thoughtful guest post. I never heard of prolonged grief disorder but after my father died I think my mother experienced something like that. After a long marriage it doesn’t surprise me that the grief some spouse’s experience doesn’t follow the “normal” course.

    Thank you for a great post.

    My best summer memories are of the timewhen I was a child between the ages of 8 and 14. My parents took my sister and I to Nantucket Island for 2 weeks over the 4th of July every summer. At that time it wasn’t the crowded place it often is now. We spent many enjoyable days and nights together as a family and my sister and I experienced a little bit of freedom, too. We were allowed to go to the local beach an hour or so before my parents or stay a little later after they left; at night the two of us walked down the cottage-lined lane to the small candy and ice cream store by ourselves and on rainy days we went to town to browse and my sister and I were allowed to go off by ourselves for a bit. Those days we spent on Nantucket were beautiful, fun, laughter-filled days during which my sister and I tasted what it would be like to grow-up but then were able to return to the comfort of our parents. I will always remember those family vacations.

    Thank you for a great giveaway!

    ` Amy
    Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

    • karenk on July 16, 2010 at 10:37

    i always enjoy visiting amusement parks w/ my family & friends 🙂

    • Jenna on July 16, 2010 at 16:53

    Summer reminds me of bike rides and swimming pools. 🙂

    Thanks for the contest!

    • Beth C on July 16, 2010 at 19:15

    Summer trips to visit my aunt and cousins in Minnesota are something that I will never forget. I am still closer to these cousins than the ones that live close by.

    • Debbie D on July 17, 2010 at 15:22

    One of my favorite summer memories, from when my dad was alive, his birthday was June 29th and my mom always had a barbecue for him. It was always so much fun, swimming, eating, and playing poker. Please include me in your giveaway.
    Debbie D

    • Laura W. on July 17, 2010 at 17:22

    One of my favorite summer memories is being pregnant last year with my son (weird coincidence because my name is Laura and his name is Henry) and playing “Isn’t it a Lovely Night” by the Decemberists, because it always made him move. I hated doing kick counts and I’m a huge worrier, so even the first few notes of that song relax me. Henry seems to like it too.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. Summer memories… just the freedom of being a kid, hopping on your bike and riding around the neighbourhood, hanging out at the park, tennis lessons, and scarfing down fresh strawberries.

    • JHS on July 18, 2010 at 09:54

    This is my first visit to your site via Sunday Salon!

    I would love to win these books . . . I’ve heard so many good things about both.


    jhsmail at comcast dot net

    • Lana Phillips on July 18, 2010 at 13:26

    Two summer memories–reading, reading, reading as much as I could and going to the beach and getting sunburned!!!

    • Laurel on July 20, 2010 at 07:53

    My favourite memory of a recent summer was in 2007 when I had just abadoned big city life to join a man I’d fallen in love with in his home in the country.
    We went through many growing pains that summer as I tried to fit in and figure out life as country bumpkin 🙂 and also as we merged familys into a tiny 400 square foot apartment overtop of an old barn. I brought with me my beloved companion of four years, Beanie, the Beagle and my attention-seeking 4 month old Pharaoh Hound, Rouge. Shane already had 4 year old Copper, a farm dog he’d rescued from a duffel bag in the river years earlier and everyone was struggling to get used to a new life full of new people and new canines.
    On one perfect summer afternoon, Shane surprised me by comming home from work early. We borrowed a friend’s rubber boat, loaded all members of the household, both two and four-legged and headed out to a fishing spot.
    When I look at the pictures I took of that day it seems utterly ridiculous; two adults and 2 large and 1 medium-sized dog in a tiny boat! I have to wonder why we didnt leave the dogs at home. They could have ended up hating the idea of getting into the boat and then what would we have done? They could have run away, following their noses somewhere. We were brand new to the area and had never been to this spot before; we could have lost them.
    There were a million “what-ifs” but when i review the pictures we look so serene and happy all together: 2 people, 3 dogs, 1 tiny boat and a couple of fishing rods. I remember the drive home and being perfectly content and thinking for the first time that country life, and this life in general, might work out after all.
    Today, 3 years later, the same three dogs have formed a tightly nit pack together and I am in love and engaged to the man I followed my heart on a whim to move in with. I am also pleased to report that we have since upgraded to a slightly bigger home 🙂

    • Wendy on July 26, 2010 at 06:45

    Thank you all who stopped in and shared their summer memories…I loved reading all of them! I agree with those of you who commented that this was a great guest post. Thank you again, Lynne, for providing it!!!

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