Inkandescent Book of the Month

Romance is Redefined in Rebecca Serle’s “Expiration Dates”

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This month on Authors Between the Covers: Expiration Dates

March 2024: "Expiration Dates" is the story of a woman in her 30s who receives a slip of paper with his name and a number on it every time she meets a man. And the number on the paper reflects the exact amount of time they will spend together. What happens next? Listen and learn!

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Spring 2024: A Note from Hope Katz Gibbs, founder, Inkandescent® PR & Publishing Co.“Being single is like playing the lottery — always the chance that with one piece of paper, you could win it all,” says New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Serle about the theme of her newest novel, Expiration Dates, available this month. Promoted as a romance that will define a generation, this is Rebecca’s 8th book — and after reading it, and crying during my 9-hour plane trip from Frankfurt to JFT, I can tell you that is certainly true.

Here’s the story: Daphne Bell believes the universe has a plan for her. Every time she meets a new man, she receives a slip of paper with his name and a number on it—the exact amount of time they will be together. The papers told her she’d spend three days with Martin in Paris; five weeks with Noah in San Francisco; and three months with Hugo, her ex-boyfriend turned best friend. Daphne has been receiving the numbered papers for over twenty years, always wondering when there might be one without an expiration. Finally, the night of a blind date at her favorite Los Angeles restaurant, there’s only a name: Jake. But as Jake and Daphne’s story unfolds, Daphne finds herself doubting the paper’s prediction and wrestling with what it means to be both committed and truthful. Because Daphne knows things Jake doesn’t, information that—if he found out—would break his heart.

What critics are saying: Told with her signature warmth and insight into matters of the heart, Rebecca Serle has finally set her sights on romantic love. The result is a gripping, emotional, passionate, and (yes) heartbreaking novel about what it means to be single, what it means to find love, and ultimately how we define each of them for ourselves. Expiration Dates is the one fans have been waiting for.

Below, find our Q&A: An article based on our interview will be published in the March 2024 issue of Costco’s magazine The Connection. This isn’t my first time writing about Rebecca and her books for Costco. I had the privilege of interviewing the author — who also developed the hit TV adaptation Famous in Love, based on her YA series of the same name — in 2018 when she published The Dinner List — an enchanting story about who you’d invite to that one magical dinner when anyone, from any time, could attend. This book strikes a similar cord, linking magic to reality. Buy the new book here!

Authors Between the Covers: Check out our video interview on Inkandescent.tv, and our podcast on InkandescentRadio.com. Scroll down to read more!


Hope Katz Gibbs, Inkandescent® PR & Publishing C0: Rebecca, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us about your new book out this month (March 2024), your new marriage, and your path to being a New York Times bestselling novelist. As I mentioned, we met in 2018 when you published The Dinner List. Tell us first about that book.

Rebecca Serle: I’m so happy to be here and to see you again, Hope. Yes, The Dinner List was my first novel for adults. It’s sort of like the answer to that famous question. If you could have dinner with any five people, living or dead, who would they be? So this woman shows up to her 30th birthday dinner, and it’s that dinner and Audrey Hepburn’s at the table and her father, who passed away when she was very young, and her best friend, who she’s struggling with in their relationship, and then her ex-boyfriend. And the chapters go back and forth between sort of, like, times of this unfolding dinner and her love story with this man. So that was a really fun one. But publishing that book feels like another lifetime ago, It was the start of so much of my career, and so much has happened since 2018.

Inkandescent: You have written eight books about finding love — and in October 2023, you got married! Mazel tov.

Rebecca: I did! I just got married. I love marriage. I think it’s the best. I’m, like, a really big fan. We wanted a very small wedding, and we knew we didn’t want to have a big thing, so we wanted to elope, but we wanted our families to be there. And so we went to France and got married with just our parents. And it was lovely and wonderful. And then we went on and honeymooned around France. We married in Provence and then went to Saint Tropez and Paris for a few weeks. It was wonderful, and I feel very lucky. It’s a different chapter for me, and it’s a different chapter for my work. I imagine all of it will be reflected in what comes next.

Inkandescent: Amazing, and again, congratulations! So let’s talk about this new book, Expiration Dates.

   Rebecca: The story takes place in Los Angeles, and we have a little bit of the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel colors on the cover, even though there are no scenes in there. But, yes, this is it. Expiration Dates is the story of a woman in her 30s who receives a slip of paper with his name and a number on it every time she meets a man. And the number on the paper reflects the exact amount of time they will spend together. The book opens with her receiving a piece of paper that has the man’s name on it, and the time is blank. It is also my book about looking for love, and it’s my book about romantic love. Specifically, I’ve written a lot about different kinds of love. I think the dinner list was about romantic love, but it was also about familial love and sort of, like, icon love and the love between best friends. That’s complicated. And in five years, it was obviously, like a story between two best friends. And one Italian summer was a mother-daughter love story. And so this one is really about romance.

Inkandescent: I love your romantic, powerful plots and the fact that your books float in the space where magic meets reality. (more…)

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