Rich, Lani Diane 1971–
Rich, Lani Diane 1971–
Born June 7, 1971; married; children: two daughters. Education: Syracuse University, B.A., 1993.
Home and office—P.O. Box 15186, Syracuse, NY 13215-0186. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer. Has worked as a theater reviewer and a freelance marketing consultant. Previously held various jobs, including working in the fishing industry in Alaska and as a temporary "pyrotechnician" at Old Tucson Studios, Tucson, AZ, 1995.
Time off for Good Behavior, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Ex and the Single Girl, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Maybe Baby, Warner Forever (New York, NY), 2005.
The Comeback Kiss, Warner Forever (New York, NY), 2006.
The Fortune Quilt, New American Library (New York, NY), 2007.
Crazy in Love, Warner Forever (New York, NY), 2007.
Lani Diane Rich wrote her first novel, Time off for Good Behavior, in thirty days as part of a National Novel Writing Month contest. "I was lucky; I got an agent pretty quickly, who then got me a two-book deal with Warner, and life since then has pretty much been a whirlwind," Rich noted in a letter to readers on the Romance Readers at Heart Web site. Time off for Good Behavior tells the story of Wanda Lane, a foul-mouthed, neurotic woman who has divorced her abusive husband, lost her job, and narrowly survived a blow to the head. Wanda begins to drink heavily but decides to turn her life around aided by an unusual want ad in the paper and a sympathetic lawyer. "First-time author Rich has managed to skillfully blend serious topics with humor, and readers will love her for it," wrote Aleksandra Kostovski in Booklist. Tara Gelsomino, writing on the Romantic Times Online Web site, commented that "debut author Rich deftly crafts an unpredictable plot that charts Wanda's emotional growth without letting the character lose her edge." In a review for BookLoons Online, Sally Selvadurai stated that "Rich's first book is a success."
In Maybe Baby, Rich tells the story of Dana Elizabeth Wiley, whose family wine business is going under. Furthermore, she may lose the business to her archenemy Melanie Biggs, who had an affair with Dana's fiancé, Nick, precipitating Dana to call off her upcoming wedding. Nick, who still loves Dana, works with Dana's mom, Babs, to help rich people in financial trouble get money from their insurance companies. In one case, Babs steals a client's rare, smelly parrot, leading to a kidnapping. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented: "While the frenzied tempo can short-circuit the brain cells at times … the merriment keeps the pages turning." Harriet Klausner, writing in MBR Bookwatch, noted that "fans will appreciate this fine contemporary romance starring a commitment phobic female and the dude who still loves her." Susan Mobley, writing on the Romantic Times Online Web site, noted that "there are some pleasant laugh-out-loud moments, along with warmly affectionate ones." Calling Maybe Baby "a hilarious romance," Writers Unlimited Online contributor Kim Swiderski commented that the author "interweaves her brand of humor into serious situations with a skill that tantalizes. Her wit grabs hold and keeps you turning the pages as quick as you can. She will warm your heart and tickle your funny bone." In a review on the Romance Reader's Connection Web site, Tangela Williams wrote: "Are you in need of a good laugh? Then grab a copy of Maybe Baby and enjoy a hilarious, magnificently written love story that you will be unable to put down."
Published the same year as Maybe Baby was Ex and the Single Girl, a romantic comedy about a woman who fears that she has inherited from her crazy female relatives an uncanny ability to drive away men. A year later, The Comeback Kiss was published, reintroducing a character from an earlier Rich novel. Ten years have gone by since sisters Tessa and Izzy lost their mother in a suspicious accident; the return of former bad boy Finn causes chaos as Tessa struggles with memories of their past romantic relationship and Izzy enlists his help in finding her mother's killer. Armchair Interviews reviewer Jilian Vallade commented that the novel "offers a perfect balance of quirky and realistic townspeople" in its cast of characters.
The Fortune Quilt, Rich's fifth novel, "shows that chick lit can deal intelligently with fate, family issues and romantic relationships," remarked a Publishers Weekly critic. Reporter Carly McKay receives an assignment that takes a Personal turn: a psychic quilter whom she interviews for a story predicts that Carly's life is about to change. When the prediction comes true in a big way, Carly struggles to come to terms with the results, although a new relationship with the psychic's neighbor helps her to become more open minded.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 2004, Aleksandra Kostovski, review of Time off for Good Behavior, p. 64.
MBR Bookwatch, May, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Maybe Baby.
Publishers Weekly, May 9, 2005, review of Maybe Baby, p. 52; January 15, 2007, review of The Fortune Quilt, p. 34.
Armchair Interviews,http://www.armchairinterviews.com/ (June 25, 2007), Jilian Vallade, review of The Comeback Kiss.
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (August 20, 2005), Sally Selvadurai, review of Time off for Good Behavior.
ChickLitBooks.com,http://chicklitbooks.com/ (August 20, 2005), interview with Rich.
Lani Diane Rich Home Page,http://www.lanidianerich.com (August 20, 2005).
Literary Chicks,http://www.literarychicks.com/ (August 20, 2005), "Lani Diane Rich Joint Web Log with 2 Other Authors."
Romance Reader's Connection,http://www.theromancereadersconnection.com/ (August 20, 2005), Tangela Williams, review of Maybe Baby.
Romance Readers at Heart,http://rich.romancereaderatheart.com/ (September 23, 2005), letter from author to readers.
Romantic Times Online,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (August 20, 2005), Tara Gelsomino, review of Time off for Good Behavior, and Susan Mobley, review of Maybe Baby.
Writers Unlimited,http://www.writersunlimited.com/ (September 23, 2005), Kim Swiderski, review of Maybe Baby.