Staying in with Barbara Stark-Nemon


Having just returned home from a trip to Bali, Indonesia and what should have been Hong Kong but typhoon Mangkuk stopped that bit of the holiday, what could be better than to head off again, albeit vicariously, and travel to Michigan as I stay in with Barbara Stark-Nemon today?

Staying in with Barbara Stark-Nemon

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Barbara. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me this evening. Which of your books have you brought along?


Thank you for the invite, Linda, and I’ve brought my new novel, Hard Ciderwhich came out on September 18.  Here in Michigan, where I live, we are just rolling into apple harvest season— the days are noticeably shorter, the nights beginning to cool, so it seemed like a great time to bring you a book about a woman’s dream to create hard cider along the shores and dunes of Lake Michigan that she loves.

(It’s certainly heading toward autumn isn’t it? A slightly belated Happy Hard Cider Publication day Barbara.)

What can we expect from an evening in with Hard Cider?

Hard Ciders main character, Abbie Rose, has reckoned with infertility, a complicated family, a career, a long marriage, and now wants to pursue her cider-making dream.  The appearance of a young woman with a shocking secret threatens to derail Abbie’s plan, along with her sense of who her family really is.  Along the way of Abbie’s attempt to overcome a number of obstacles, the reader will learn much about growing cider apples and making the hard stuff!  I like to say this is a “what if” book— what if some of the circumstances that actually happened to me had turned out very differently..

(Sounds great Barbara! I think life is filled with ‘what if’ moments.)

I recently received this review of Hard Cider that spoke to me as much about this new genre I’ve written in, as it did about my book. (My previous novel, Even in Darkness is historical fiction) I loved this!

From Macsbooks…Women’s Contemporary Fiction is not a genre into which I often delve. The scenarios in the book either are so far from my wheelhouse that I cannot relate, or they mirror my own problems so closely that there is no escape or joy in the reading for me. However, because I absolutely adore hard cider, I had to give this book a try. What a wonderful surprise I had in store for me within the covers of this book! …… I was drawn into the story as I related more and more to Abbie and her life. I, too, began an “adventure” at mid-life, one that had no support from my immediate family. Watching as Abbie grew as a woman and as an entrepreneur helped me to see how I, too, could grow and change. It is, in essence, a “coming of age” story for women in the 21st century.

(This is such a lovely review. You must be so thrilled to receive it.)

Surprise at the unexpected but fulfilling way our lives turn out, despite hurdles, is an important theme in both my books.

(And an important theme in life I think!)

What else have you brought along and why?

cider jar

There’s a lot of research that went into writing Hard Cider.  Who knew that the bottles hard cider comes in are called ‘growlers’.  Here’s a photo of my local cidery’s growler.  I love the name of my favorite of their brews— Smackintosh!   I fell in love with hard cider many years ago when I lived and worked in England.

(Hmm – I notice the one you’ve brought is empty!)

Thank you so much for staying in with me to tell me all about Hard Cider Barbara. I think it sounds like such a lovely read and I wish you every success with it.

Hard Cider


Abbie Rose Stone’s acquired wisdom runs deep, and so do her scars. She has successfully navigated the shoals of a long marriage, infertility, challenging children, and a career.

Now it’s her turn to realize her dream: producing hard apple cider along the northern shores of Lake Michigan that she loves.

She manages to resist new versions of the old pull of family dynamics that threaten to derail her plan–but nothing can protect her from the shock a lovely young stranger delivers when she exposes a long-held secret.

In the wake of this revelation, Abbie must overcome circumstances that severely test her self-determination, her loyalties, and her understanding of what constitutes true family.

Published by She Writes Press on 18th September 2018, Hard Cider is available for purchase here.

About Barbara Stark-Nemon

Barbara Stark-Nemon, photo by Chris Loomis Photography

Barbara Stark-Nemon, author of the award-winning novel Even in Darkness lives, writes, cycles, swims, does fiber art, and gardens in Ann Arbor and Northport, Michigan. An undergraduate degree in English Literature and Art History and a Masters in Speech-language Pathology from the University of Michigan led to a teaching and clinical career working with deaf children. Barbara writes novels, short stories, and essays.

You can find out about Barbara by visiting her website and finding her on Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow Barbara on Twitter @bstarknemon.

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