It’s always a pleasure to stumble across new to me writers, and I’m delighted to welcome Tara Delaney to Linda’s Book Bag today to tell me about a book that has been a long time in the making. For those of you wondering whether to join in with NaNoWriMo this year, I think Tara’s answers will be very heartening!
Staying in with Tara Delaney
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Tara and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Hi Linda, thank you so much for having me.
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
Today I brought along, The Red Bike, my debut novel. I’m excited to be returning to fiction writing after twenty-five years working as a pediatric occupational therapist serving children with disabilities as well as speaking throughout the country on Autism, Dyslexia and sensory processing. This novel was written more than twenty years ago (last saved in 2000) along with other works of fiction, then pulled off a computer in 2020 and I began the process of editing.
Crikey – that’s quite some length of time for your debut fiction! Congratulations on finally getting to print!
What can we expect from an evening in with The Red Bike?
The seed for this novel was planted during a graduate class learning that the most powerful bond in the primate world is the mother/infant bond. I started to wonder what happens when something goes wrong with that relationship and the child doesn’t feel protected. The Red Bike explores how early experiences can impact us as adults and closely examines how we perceive our parent’s decisions. This is a mother-daughter drama with a steamy romantic backstory.
The Red Bike sounds fascinating. Have you got a small part you can share with us?
Here you are Linda.
I wish I could convey this story without prejudice from an altered state of my mind. It is often very difficult to tell a story with any degree of accuracy after a metamorphosis has occurred. Surely the larvae wrapped in darkness does not perceive the world the same way as the butterfly spreading its wings in spring. However, I will attempt to record the events of the past year in such a way as to remind myself of who I was, and why I changed.
And now of course, I want to find out exactly what it is that Abbey is alluding to! How is The Red Bike being received by readers?
Here’s a review I particularly like Linda:
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, what a great title, what a great cover photo and what a great book!!
Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2021
Wow, what a great title, what a great cover photo and what a great book!!
Tara Delaney’s debut novel is a powerful story of redemption – I was reduced to blubbering tears by the last time the red bike appeared and had to take a deep breath and make myself a hot cup of tea before starting this review.
I don’t give out 5 stars easily, but this book hits all the marks: the writing is excellent, the character development is superb, the setting is unique, the narrative stays interesting through out the book and it packs an emotional wallop at the end.
The Red Bike sounds exactly my kind of read Tara. You must be delighted with that kind of response.
What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?
The Red Bike takes place in Austin, Texas in the late 90’s so it is best enjoyed with some Tex-Mex or BBQ – pair that with Shriner Bock beer or a Margarita…to put yourself in a Austin state of mind, find Guy Forsyth (an Austin Blues Icon mentioned in the novel) on Pandora and let his soulful blues escort you to Austin. The photograph on the cover represents the award winning photograph that Abbey takes of the mother gorilla and her baby. This photo is the driver for Abbey to return to Austin and reconcile her relationship with her mother.
Well I hope you won’t mind me sharing a photograph of a gorilla mother and her baby from when I trekked to see them in Uganda Tara. It’s no where near the quality of Abbey’s photo, being somewhat blurry as I was using my phone and my hands were shaking with excitement, but you can probably see why The Red Bike cover drew me to it!
Thanks so much for staying in with me to chat about The Red Bike Tara. I think it sounds a smashing read and I’ll just give Linda’s Book Bag readers a few more details whilst you start up the BBQ!
The Red Bike
Fans of Jo Jo Moyes and Jennifer Weiner will fall in love with Tara Delaney’s riveting debut novel, The Red Bike. Gritty, raw and steamy, this genuinely unputdownable novel will haul you through every emotion!
Abigail Gallagher needs answers. Which of her mother’s lives was real? The life she led or the one she left behind?
When wildlife photographer Abbey captures the tenderness between a protective mother gorilla and her newborn baby, she wonders if she can ever feel the same family bonds. First, she must break free from the intense anger she has carried since learning of her mother’s affair. Her mother’s self-centered behavior remains the wedge that keeps Abbey and mom apart.
After a year away, Abbey returns to Austin from Africa just before her 31st birthday. Her boyfriend Ryan cannot pry any commitment from her for their future together, despite her mother’s playful, but pointed, urging and interference.
When her mother is diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, Abbey offers begrudging assistance to lighten her father’s care taking load. Slowly, the secret layers of her mother’s life are peeled away, until Abbey has no choice but to face a new and unsettling truth.
Can she close the gap in her relationship with her mother before her life slips away? Can Abbey open herself to Ryan enough to repair their attachment and resume their romance, to make plans for a life together?
The Red Bike is available for purchase here.
About Tara Delaney
Tara Delaney is an author of both fiction and non-fiction books. Her most recent book is a fiction novel, The Red Bike.
Tara is a best selling author of non-fiction books related to sensory processing disorder and autism. Her books include: The Sensory Processing Disorder Answer Book: Practical Answers to the Top 250 Questions Parents Ask; 101 Games and Activities for Children With Autism, Asperger’s and Sensory Processing Disorders as well as Building Social Skills for Autism, Sensory Processing Disorders and Learning Disabilities: Over 105 Strategies, Activities and Sensory Tools for Children and Adolescents. She speaks throughout the country on autism, sensory processing and dyslexia.
Tara Delaney is an occupational therapist MS OTR/L who has been practicing for more than twenty years. She has advanced training and education in the practices of sensory integration, therapeutic listening, visual-perception, and visual-vestibular integration. She graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Biology and Occupational Therapy before attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Tara is fascinated by how early experiences impact adult behavior, including the cultural imprint from the various places one grows up.
Tara lives in Northern California with her husband, Bill, and their two children. She enjoys listening to NPR, reading books, wine tasting with friends and traveling. She still misses Austin, Texas, especially Texas BBQ and Guy Forsyth!
You can find Tara on Instagram.