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Rendahl, Eileen 1962-

RENDAHL, Eileen 1962-
(Eileen Jane Rendahl)

PERSONAL:

Born May 24, 1962, in Dayton, OH; married Fred Rendahl (deceased); children: two. Education: Attended college in St. Louis, MO. Hobbies and other interests: Running, bicycling, swimming, yoga, crochet, quilting, drawing, and painting.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Davis, CA. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

Has worked variously as a copywriter, editorial assistant, art gallery assistant, graphic designer, communications manager, and ceramics studio worker.

WRITINGS:

Petals on the Pillow (novel), Avid Press (Brighton, MI), 2001.

Do Me, Do My Roots (novel), Downtown Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Balancing in High Heels (novel), Downtown Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Un-Bridaled (novel), Downtown Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Un-Veiled (novel), Downtown Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of fiction to anthologies, including In One Year and Out the Other, Downtown Press, 2004.

SIDELIGHTS:

Eileen Rendahl is the author of novels, most of which fall into the category of chick-lit, books written with strong female protagonists that focus on issues faced by contemporary women. Laced with humor, her novels nonetheless often deal with some important themes. In Do Me, Do My Roots, the Simon sisters look at hair dyeing as an important personal ritual, particularly in terms of hiding the inevitable gray hairs that spring up with mounting knowledge and experience. Eldest sister Leah tends toward keeping her hair shaded in reds and blondes, while middle sister Claudia runs a gamut of brown tones. Youngest sister Emily does not yet have to worry about unseemly grays, but her hair color is the least of her worries. Emily, still devastated over the death of her husband, Vince, struggles to care for her young daughter, Abby; she also contemplates a new romance with Jake, Vince's best friend who is always ready and willing to help her and Abby any way he can. Meanwhile, Claudia is frustrated by a series of unlikely suitors she has been dating, and Leah falls for a very attractive man several years her junior. When ill health threatens two of the sisters, the siblings find themselves closer than ever, combining their strengths to endure the rigors of both mortality and romance. "This is an engaging relationship drama that, though told predominantly from the perspective of Emily, provides insight into the lead character and her extended family," commented Harriet Klausner on All Readers.com. Kristine Huntley, writing in Booklist, called the book a "warm and touching novel."

Alissa Lindley, the protagonist of Balancing in High Heels, has reached her boiling point when her philandering husband tells her he is leaving. When she takes her frustrations out on a piece of office equipment, however, she ultimately finds herself facing the onerous prospect of court-ordered anger management classes. Leaving her job as a public defender and returning to San Jose does little to reduce her stress, since the women who are important in her life are also suffering their own troubles. Her mother, for example, fights depression, while her best friend finds little appealing about her life as a stay-at-home mother. An unusual means of stress relief enters Alissa's life when she meets Sheila, a stripper who, along with an assortment of dancer friends, makes it their almost superheroic mission in life to seek justice by confronting greed and rudeness, whether by finding and accosting deadbeat dads or by showing incompetent drivers the errors of their ways. Soon, other lingerie-wearing vigilantes are copying their antics. While trying to keep the spirited strippers out of legal trouble, Alissa finds herself facing the prospect of romance with delectable detective A.J. Rodriguez. Rendahl creates an "an enjoyable tale of starting over" with elements that will prove appealing to readers who enjoy "both romance and crime fiction," commented Aleksandra Kostovski in Booklist.

In Un-Bridaled, bride-to-be Chloe Sachs gets cold feet and abandons her nuptials and her fiancé at the last minute. Suddenly alone and miserable, Chloe takes up residence in a rental property owned by her grandmother. There, she takes stock of her life, prospects, and sanity. As she begins to participate more fully in all areas of her life, however, she realizes that her abandoned fiancé had exerted a more pernicious controlling influence over her than she realized. Working at a temporary waitressing job, she considers returning to school and finds romance with a local veterinarian. Chloe realizes that her misery would have been compounded if she had gone through with her wedding, and that the freedom of being "un-bridaled" is a good thing. "Rendahl successfully blends romance and humor in this tale about starting over," observed Kostovski in another Booklist review.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 2004, Kristine Huntley, review of Do Me, Do My Roots, p. 1427; March 15, 2005, Aleksandra Kostovski, review of Balancing in High Heels, p. 1266; March 15, 2006, Aleksandra Kostovski, review of Un-Bridaled, p. 34.

California Bookwatch, May, 2006, review of Un-Bridaled.

ONLINE

All Readers.com, http://www.allreaders.com/ (September 29, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of Do Me, Do My Roots.

BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (September 29, 2006), Kim Atchue-Cusella, review of Un-Bridaled.

Eileen Rendahl Home Page,http://www.eileenrendahl.com (September 29, 2006).

Fallen Angel Reviews,http://www.fallenangelreviews.com/ (September 29, 2006), review of Un-Bridaled.

Literary Chicks,http://www.literarychicks.com/ (September 29, 2006), Lani Diane Rich, interview with Eileen Rendahl.*

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