The Divining Wand

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Archive for September, 2009

The Revealing of Therese Walsh

September 30, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

If Therese Walsh’s name sounds familiar to regular TDW’s visitors, it should. For Therese is the about-to-be debut author of The Last Will of Moira Leahy, due in bookstores and shipped from online retailers on Tuesday, October 13, 2009. A full presentation of the novel is scheduled to be presented here on Monday, October 12th and — though this Fairy Godmother would like nothing more that to tell you all about it now — first let’s get to know Therese.

According to her website bio:

Therese is the co-founder of Writer Unboxed, a blog for writers about the craft and business of genre fiction. Before turning to fiction, she was a researcher and writer for Prevention magazine, and then a freelance writer. She’s had hundreds of articles on nutrition and fitness published in consumer magazines and online.

She has a master’s degree in psychology. Aside from writing, Therese’s favorite things include music, art, crab legs, Whose Line is it Anyway?, dark chocolate, photography, unique movies and novels, people watching, strong Irish tea, and spending time with her husband, two kids and their bouncy Jack Russell in upstate New York.

And now for the revealing of the real Therese Walsh.

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: A continually evolving quest for the perfect balance.
Family – Writing – Laughter– Music – Friends – Education – Evolution – Chocolate

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: Worry about that bridge once you’re precariously balanced atop it.
There are no rules.

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: Being at peace with yourself and the world around you…in a hammock…with a great book in hand.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: That something bad happens to one of my children.

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: New Zealand

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: At the moment: Julia Child

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: Oh, too many to choose—from Paul Newman to Oprah to President Obama.

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: I begin many of my sentences with conjunctions. But I like them!

Q: What do you regret most?
A: Maybe I should regret not being a literature major! Really, though, I don’t regret much. Life is a journey, and I’m happy for the road I’ve taken.

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: Calm despite any storm.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: The three things I’ve born that I’m most proud of are my two children and my debut novel.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: I’m persistent.

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: I’m persistent.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: I don’t think I’d choose to be another person (devil-you-know rule), but I would choose to be the invisible friend to my childhood self and give her all sorts of guidance.

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: Oh, boy – maybe that I have dark hair and a witchy nose? I do not cackle but I do brew a mean cider.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: Christopher John Francis Boone from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Severus Snape (Harry Potter)

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: Joe Montana. I would admit to him that I wore black the day he retired, and then I would offer to shine his shoes.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: The hallway light is always on. It must be a ghost as no human ever owns up to touching the switch—and my dog is too small to be considered a culprit.

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Three: cooking, taking photographs, coaching kiddos

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: To work with masseuses-in-training, offering my back, neck and shoulders at any time of the day or night for their educational benefit. (So selfless, I know.)

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Honesty, sense of humor, compassion

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: Wheat salad with lemon dressing and cilantro.

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: This is almost impossible for me to answer! Here are some I love: King of Birds by R.E.M., 
Fields of Gold as sung by the late, great Eva Cassidy, 
I Won by The Sundays, 
Uninvited by Alanis Morissette, 
Strings of Love by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Beyond those, things get fuzzy; there are so many great books out there. I recently read a book called The Wishing Box by Dashka Slater that I adored.

How totally natural and charming? If you wish to learn more about Therese please do follow her on Twitter and friend her on Facebook.

[Note: Leave a comment on Jessica Barksdale Inclán’s The Beautiful Beingpost by this evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT and you’ll have a chance to win one of three sets of Jessica’s trilogy in this week’s Giveaway.]

31 Hours by Masha Hamilton

September 29, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books

Masha Hamilton’s latest novel, 31 Hours, celebrates its official release date today, even though it’s been in bookstores since September 8th. Early praise has been sensational and you can read these critical raves on the author’s website Reviews page. However the following words say it all:
“Gorgeous and complex…a very tense narrative, vividly imagined and eerily plausible.”__Publishers Weekly

This is an author of three other novels — including The Camel Bookmobile which inspired two world literacy programs: the Camel Book Drive, founded by Masha in 2007 to supply a camel-borne library in northeastern Kenya, and the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, begun just this year “to foster creative and intellectual exchange between Afghan women writers and American women authors and teachers.”

To learn more about this former foreign correspondent, please read her Bio. For now, she has turned her attention to the telling of a fictional race against time to stop a mass killer in the New York subway system. Masha Hamilton’s 31 Hours works by also making this a story about a mother’s intuition that there is something seriously wrong with her sensitive son.

Of course this is a story about which one can tell very little or the suspense will suffer. Fortunately, though, there is a choice for how much you wish to know. Listen to an AudioCast with Masha Hamilton on 31 Hours, view the The Book Trailer for 31 Hours and/or read an Excerpt.

While the above options have been provided by the author, The Divining Wand has discovered the August 28, 2009 blog post, 31 Amazing Hours, by yesterday’s featured author Jessica Barksdale Inclan. And, with her permission, Jessica’s post follows:

31 Amazing Hours

When I dream of my oldest son, off in his anarchical life, it’s never a happy dream. Not any more. I dream that he is living in a house surrounded by water. I dream that his foot is so infected I can barely recognize his flesh, the flesh that I am so familiar with. I dream that he is in an airplane heading up and then, no, heading toward ground, fast.

I wake up in a sweat, so sad, so afraid. I weep, sad from the innermost part of me. My core is weeping. I am sad because I don’t know where he is going him. I cannot follow him. When I see him, he seems fine, but I don’t know the mysteries of his heart. I was gifted once with that knowledge, but he has been on his own path for so long, that I can only watch him walk away from me, calling out to him from a growing distance.

And the above is why I’m having a hard time reading Masha Hamilton’s novel 31 Hours. It is a wonderful novel, and that’s the problem. She has created such a true, riveting story about a mother and a son, a mother connected so strongly to her son and then that connection is snapped like a twig. How did it happen? The mother doesn’t know. She has no idea at all. This fully present mother is clueless.

I know the answers because I’ve been too scared to read the novel straight through. I read Carol’s POV, and then I flip to the back of the book, desperate for the answers to the story that I can get–unlike in life, where I have to wait to live through it. What will Jonas do? I have to know. Maybe it will be bearable then. Maybe I will survive the novel and survive my own life with my son.

I’m only on page 30, but I know what happens on page 229. This is how I can read this amazing story. This is the only way, and I move toward page 229 the hard way now, one page at a time.


31 Hours is available for purchase online and at bookstores everywhere.

[Note: Jessica Barksdale Inclan’s Giveaway of three sets of her trilogy, including The Beautiful Being, remains open and your Comment/entry can be posted here until Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT.]

Jessica Barksdale Inclán’s The Beautiful Being

September 28, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books

The description beneath Jessica Barksdale Inclán’s name on her Red Room Blog identifies the author’s writing as, “Some say heartfelt and honest, some say Harry Potter for adults with sex.” What a creatively versatile author who publishes contemporary novels, short stories, poetry, essays and now paranormal romances. Her latest offering, The Beautiful Being — the third and final book in the paranormal romance trilogy which includes, Intimate Beings and Being With Him — will be released tomorrow, September 29th, and is certain to please current fans as well as attract new ones…including possibly you.

Ah, but you don’t read paranormal romance. What about The Time Traveler’s Wife or any of books in the Harry Potter series?

According to Wikipedia: Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of the romance novel. A type of speculative fiction, paranormal romance focuses on romance and included elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the genres of traditional fantasy, science fiction, or horror.

Beyond the more prevalent themes involving vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, or time travel, paranormal romances can also include books featuring characters with psychic abilities, like telekinesis or telepathy.

Paranormal romance has its roots in Gothic fiction. Its most recent revival has been spurred by turn of the century technology, e.g. the internet and electronic publishing. Paranormal romances are one of the fastest growing trends in the romance genre.

Describing the literary genre of The Beautiful Being is as simple as that, however to present the final book of a trilogy in a coherent and intriguing manner requires a bit more explanation. And Jessica’s following answers go a long way in revealing that.

Q: How would you describe your paranormal romance in 10 words?
A: The world will end if they don’t find each other.

Q: What is your backstory maxim for the trilogy?
A: You may think you are alone, but your soulmate is there. Just wait.

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness for your characters?
A: Finding peace by finding each other. And peace is happiness, pure and simple.

Q: What are their (the characters) greatest fear?
A: Never finding one another–living life alone and in a perpetual state of longing and quest.

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: One novel, I had a character “biting her lip” and “chewing her cheek” over and over again. Frankly, it is a miracle she had a face left after the story was over.

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: Speaking fluent and impeccable French.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: My two boys, though all I mean by achievement is actually pushing them out into the world. The rest is really all about them.

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: I am the most impatient person on the planet Just writing this sentence took too damn long.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: I am interested in everything.

Now here’s The Beautiful Being Synopsis:

They are here among us…

Far from home, gifted with special abilities, hunted for their powers. And they are desperate to find their other, the one who completes them…before it’s too late…
Together, anything is possible…
As leader, Eden Mirav must protect his people from the enemies who wish to destroy them. Despite his extraordinary abilities, Eden has not been able to locate his double—the one person who could make him whole and help him control his remarkable power to age himself with a simple thought. With her, he can grow even stronger. Without her, he is doomed to an uncertain fate. Just when he’s about to abandon all hope, she stands before him in the blazing hot sun of the desert like a shimmering mirage…

Recently rescued and freed, Ava Arganos has been working in the desert—and waiting for the day that her double finds her. When Ava first lays eyes on Eden, she doesn’t recognize him immediately even though she feels the charged, sizzling connection between them. Now united, Eden and Ava surrender to a fiery, explosive passion that only renews their bond as they combine forces to battle their most treacherous foe yet…”

Rather than “show” instead of “tell” more about this novel, please view The Beautiful Being Book Trailer and then read an Excerpt from the novel.

In Jessica Barksdale Inclán’s Bio you’ll discover that a few of her credits are: internationally-known author, a finalist (debut novel Her Daughter’s Eyes) for the YALSA Award for the best books of 2001 and best paperbacks for 2001, and an instructor for on-line and on-land creative writing courses for UCLA extension. Jessica has also studied with great women writers, including Sharon Olds, Anne Lamott, Kate Braverman Grace Paley, Marjorie Sandor, and Cristina Garcia.

Jessica is an amazing talent and now, having written the final book to her trilogy, says: “I love science fiction, fantasy, alternate worlds, and paranormal romances allowed me to play in that field for awhile. It was a challenge, a stretch, and I do feel that it helped me grow as a writer. Whether or not I will publish more paranormals remains to be seen! Currently I am working on a novel that is more like my first six, contemporary women’s fiction. And essays, too. It is all good.”

The Beautiful Being will be available for purchase tomorrow at your local bookstore or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s and other online retailers. However Jessica has generously offered three sets of the trilogy as a Giveaway! Remember the mention of how you too could become a fan? Now here’s your golden opportunity to win the complete set for yourself, a friend or a family member. To enter, please leave a comment on this post between now and Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT. The winners will be announced in Thursday’s post. And to quote Jessica, “It is all good.”

Our Writers’ Myths or Not

September 24, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

Writers, creative by nature, are well-known for comforting themselves on their lack of productivity (or success) by citing writing myths which include:

*There’s No Such Thing as Writer’s Block
*I Have to be in the Mood to Write
*I Need the Perfect Space to Write
*I Need the Perfect Tools to Write
*I Have no Time to Write

Wondering how true these were, The Divining Wand asked two of its established authors and two of its debut authors what one writing myth didn’t apply to them?

Mia King (Table Manners, Sweet Life, Good Things):
“That it’s next to impossible to get published without an MFA.”

Maud Carol Markson (Looking After Pigeon, When We Get Home):
“I don’t know any writing myths…. (are they out there and I’ve missed them?!)”

Ivy Pochoda (The Art of Disappearing):
“Writers Block is something I’ve never suffered from and it is something I don’t quite understand. I always have a little too much going on in my mind, much of it irrelevant. I can certainly procrastinate translating ideas into words, but I never suffer from lack of inspiration. I may write in circles and into dead ends, but I’ve never sat down and said to myself, “‘I can’t think of a single thing to write.'” As Alice Mattison once told me,”’Don’t be afraid to invent hundreds of possibilities for what comes next. Make lists of events.'”

Lara Zielin (Donut Days):
“I’ve heard that “’a writer writes every day’” but that’s just not true for me. With a full-time job and a busy schedule, I can’t hack it. So instead I carve out bigger chunks of time on the weekends and I write then. I also take “’writing vacations’” where I do nothing but write for days on end. I would argue that my productivity level is just as high as someone who writes every day.”

And, finally for this week, the winner of the Looking After Pigeon Book Giveaway is Debutante Alicia Bessette! Congratulations. Please contact me with your mailing address and Pigeon will be winging her way to your home.

The Revealing of Tish Cohen

September 23, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

The lovely, warm, and incredibly gifted Tish Cohen is the author of two adult novels — Town House, Inside Out Girl — and two middle grade novels — The Invisible Rules of the Zoe Lama, The One and Only Zoe Lama — which have garnered award nominations, along with film and TV series’ rights. Since we met in September 2006 at The Debutante Ball, Tish has become a respected and popular author…so why reveal her now?

Simply put, on Tuesday, October 13, 2009, Tish Cohen debuts in the YA genre with Little Black Lies which has already earned the following praise:

“I’ve read and loved every single one of Tish Cohen’s books. Little Black Lies is her best book
to date.”
—Lauren Baratz—Logsted, author of Crazy Beautiful

“Tish Cohen is a master storyteller who gives me everything I long for in a book and then some. Loveable, memorable characters, page—turning energy, a use of language that leaves me breathless, fierce intelligence, humour mixed with compassion—in short, this is a zinger of a book that portrays a daughter’s deep love for her unbalanced father. Made me sadder than sad, and bursting with hope. This book makes the world a better place.”
—Sheree Fitch, multi—award winning author of The Gravesavers

“With heart, wit, and a good dose of fun, Little Black Lies reminds us that when it comes to life even the smartest of girls has a lot to learn.”
—Jenny O’Connell, author, The Book of Luke and Local Girls

Little Black Lies will be presented here soon but, for now, let’s get to know the real Tish Cohen…beyond her pages:

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: I no longer wish I was a collie.

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: You attract what you think about

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: Being up north, at our chalet with my husband, two boys and our Standard Poodle. Perfection.

Q; What’s your greatest fear?
A: Being trapped anywhere I can’t escape from. Planes count, as do large crowds where the exit is far away.

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: Huntsville, up in Muskoka.

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: Eleanor Roosevelt. Because she had fears and faced them.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: Diane Keaton, I think. She’s had a dignified career and never gave into Hollywood pressure to conform. She is her own person.

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: Every time my boys go to a skate park I say, “Not allowed to get hurt.” And it actually works!

Q: What do you regret most?
A: Not believing in myself earlier.

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: I would be the greatest ballerina in North America.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: Being shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Town House. It’s a prize that covers the regions of Africa, the Caribbean and Canada, Europe and South Asia and South East Asia and Pacific and typically comedic books aren’t considered. When my editor called to tell me, I dropped to my knees and just cried.

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: I am easily distracted.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: I guess I’m driven.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: A New York Times Best Selling author.

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: Warmth, I hope.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: Owen Meany from A Prayer from Owen Meany.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Hannibal Lecter

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: Does it make me a loser if I can’t think of one?

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Telemarketers (occupational hazard when you work from home).

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Sitting on the bow of our little boat while we slowly cruise around the shores of the lake and dream.

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: Psychologist or ballet dancer.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Sense of humor, intelligence, honesty.

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: French bread.

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: Elvis Costello’s Every Day I Write the Book,
Elton John’s Blue Jean Baby, Meat Loaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Bach’s Concerto in F for Harpsicord, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kittredge, Anne Tyler’s Breathing Lessons,, Jane Austen’s Emma, Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex, Rosamunde Pilcher’s September

[Note: The Book Giveaway for Maud Carol Markson’s Looking After Pigeon ends this evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT. To enter, please leave a comment with the most unusual first name of a “real” person you know. The winner will be announced in tomorrow’s post.]

From Soup to Sex to…

September 22, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Blogs, News

expert literary advice, that’s what you’ll discover on three blogs by our authors, well beyond their pages.

Debutante Joëlle Anthony (Restoring Harmony YA coming May 13, 2010) offers both a writing blog and a fun blog. In fact AnthonySundaySoup allows the writer to share her passion for cooking on a site that’s described by the following:

Every Sunday afternoon we open our home to friends and family and sometimes even the occasional stranger who can prove they know us through the six degrees of separation! We serve a homemade vegetarian soup and bread and this blog is a weekly update of our fun!

This about-to-be author is a pro in the kitchen as she proclaims in her introductory Debutante Ball post, Deb Joëlle’s real talent is… knowing how to make butter!

On the other hand, Debutante Co-Founder Anna David (Party Girl, Bought) knows a lot about sex, dating and relationships. Receiving questions about these subjects for years, she recently announced: “I’ve never had the time or space to answer them before. But now I not only can do that but also can give you access to a lot of the questions I’ve already answered — on everything from AOTS to the Today show.”

Visit annalyticalanswers to read more and then check this page for specific details.

Lynnne Griffin (Life Without Summer and Sea Escape coming in Summer 2010) and Amy MacKinnnon (Tethered) know a lot about writing/publication and have transformed The Literary Maze with the Monday, September 7, 2009 post, Our Services.

In prefacing these Services, the authors acknowledge:

“The road to a published book is long and winding. We’ve worked hard and been fortunate to have our writing make its way through the labyrinth to find terrific agents and well-respected publishers. The Literary Maze is a new venture to help writers navigate the world of publishing. Through consultation on manuscripts and query letters, and insight into a book’s journey to publication, we’ll guide writers in making the most of their talents and opportunities.”

For those interested, do read the entire post.

Happy blog surfing!

[Note: The Book Giveaway for Maud Carol Markson’s Looking After Pigeon remains open until Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT. To enter, please leave a comment with the most unusual first name of a “real” person you know. The winner will be announced in Thursday’s post.]

Maud Carol Markson’s Looking After Pigeon

September 21, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books

Almost two weeks ago The Divining Wand showcased The Revealing of Maud Carol Markson, an author who debuted twenty years ago with When We Get Home. And — although this literary fiction novel earned high praise, including Andre Dubus’s (the critically acclaimed author of numerous short story collections, recipient of a Guggenheim Grant, etc.) quote: “It may be the best story we have about marital love.” — it still took two decades for Maud’s second novel, Looking After Pigeon, to be published this summer.

Of course such a time gap between two books begs the question of “Why?” and Maud graciously explained that she had put her family first…while continuing to write and send her work out occasionally. However the reality is that getting literary fiction published is difficult and, when rejections began to take their toil, the author turned her focus on being a good mother, wife, tutor, friend, dog owner and volunteer — all things she could be proud of.

Indeed it’s frequently noted that to succeed in the world of publishing one needs a “thick skin” and avoid taking rejections “personally.” Nevertheless what Maud did was brave and right for her. Besides, stepping away from the competitive field for a while gave her perspective. She continued to write without thinking of herself as a writer — both a luxury and a respite. And once her teenage son was away at college she allowed her “wonderful writer friend” — Harriet Scott Chessman (Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper — to push her into sending out her work again. Thank goodness for Ms. Chessman because that is how Looking After Pigeon came to be published.

The Reviews: Authors/Publications are glowing as well they should be from the book’s description: “In this, her second novel, Markson once again explores the sometimes humorous, and always complex, realm of family and love. Her characters struggle to answer the questions—who will care for me? How will I care for myself?”

Why should they question or worry? Please read the following one sentence synopsis:

“One spring day in New York City, five-year-old Pigeon’s father disappears, leaving her to face a new and bewildering life with her mother and older siblings in an uncle’s house on the Jersey shore.”

A perfect description of Looking After Pigeon, but what’s even better is the backstory. For Maud Carol Markson’s explanation of a backstory is fascinating:

“As for the “backstory” on Pigeon — It is the “backstory” for all my novels. A line gets into my head that I can’t stop thinking about. In this case it was “My mother named us after birds.” Then I start thinking about what kind of woman would name her children after birds. Having an unusual name myself, I think about names a lot. Then I thought about the person who “says” this line. What bird is she? How did this affect her growing up? What are the names of her siblings, the other birds? The characters build from that one line, and then the story builds from the characters.”

Who is Pigeon? Meet her in these two Excerpts from the book as she begins telling her summer story through a fictional memoir format that works brilliantly and had some reviewers wondering…autobiographical?

Definitely not! Except, as the author concedes: “But the emotions of all the characters are mine — that I can’t escape.”

And those who read Maud’s characters’ emotions will not escape their engagingly bittersweet tale. Simple and profound, Pigeon’s story is about a watershed moment in her all too young life that shapes her forever. We all have those moments — recognized at the time or not — but this little five-year old must deal with so much.

She yearns to belong, even to a dysfunctional family, and comes across as an old soul wrapped within a little girl’s body. That enough of her innocence remains intact offers everyone else both hope and strength.

Yes I do love “quiet little novels” which roar with enormous insight and wisdom. If you do as well, visit a bookstore or online retailer to purchase Looking After Pigeon and take it home. Because home is where Pigeon wants to be.

[Note: In celebration of today, the last day of summer, The Divining Wand begins another Book Giveaway. To enter to win a copy of Looking After Pigeon, please leave a comment with the most unusual first name of a “real” person you know. The deadline for this contest is Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winner announced in Thursday’s post.]

What Kind of Book Are You?

September 17, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Fun

Among the most popular posts appearing on my Seize a Daisy blog had to be those containing a Blogthings Quiz. These were quick, fun and revealing with the results willingly shared and compared but this Fairy Godmother never expected to discover one that was appropriate for The Divining Wand…until recently. For what could be more worthy of this site than “What Kind of Book Are You?” My results are both ironic (for some who claim not to know me) as well as true:

You Are a Mystery

You are a natural problem solver. You like figuring out the best way to do something.

You are very intuitive. You are good at picking up on people’s moods and predicting the future.

You can’t help but being a bit of a detective and a snoop. You always want to know what’s going on.

And while you may have the scoop on everyone you know, you’re not a gossip. You’re a pro at keeping secrets.

So now do share: What Kind of Book Are You? And remember the type of book which describes you best may not be what you favor in reading or writing.

[Note: Once again, with only two comments entered in the Book Giveaway for The Art of Disappearing, it felt unfair to choose only one winner. And that means both Suzanne and Keetha will be receiving copies of Ivy Pochhoda’s debut novel. Congratulations! Please contact me with your mailing address as soon as possible.]


September 16, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Uncategorized

In choosing an author as I would a friend, I’ve “met” and made wonderfully caring writers/friends during the past three years. And Judy Merrill (Moticka) Larsen (All the Numbers) is certainly one of them. In fact, shortly after we met and a post of her debut novel appeared on my former blog, Judy was inspired to create her own blog, Not Afraid of the “F” Word. However you may have heard that inspiration struck again on Monday afternoon when Judy launched JUST BE NICE… in an attempt to reclaim respect and civility for today’s society.

The author’s “About Me” description is simply put: I’m a middle-aged midwestern mom, wife, novelist and former high school English teacher. I’m a mom/step-mom to five between the ages of 16 and 24. I tried to teach my kids (and my students) to be nice. It’s not rocket science. I’m trying to spread the word.”

What prompted the author to take on this new platform? I’m sure you know, we al know, but here is Judy’s explanation:

“Yesterday [Monday] morning, on my way home from the gym, I started thinking about the insanity of rudeness . . . and I posted about it on my regular blog (Not Afraid of the “F” Word). Carleen Brice (love her!) e-mailed me and said I needed to write a non-fiction book using my mom and teacher experiences to promote good behavior. Non-fiction is a bit out of my comfort zone (plus I’m in the middle of writing my newest novel) but, in the shower, I thought, hmmm, maybe start an internet movement . . . a new blog . . . let’s be nice, let’s get people talking/demonstrating about kindness and accountability and showing you can disagree politely. That kind of thing. What we learned from our parents/teachers/preachers and teach to our own kids.

So, I started a new blog. And put it out on FB. And people twittered about it. And then I heard back from the twitterers that people had asked how we get the movement started. And, after a brief moment of “‘I have no idea what I’ve just gotten myself into'” panic, I thought, heck ya, let’s start a movement. Carleen (my muse in this) suggested the “‘Tuesday’s child is full of grace'” idea, and I love your idea about “‘Friday’s child.'” I started a group on FB and have had over 130 visitors to the new blog in the past 24 hours. Folks are linking from all sorts of blogs and on their FB walls. It’s so gratifying to see good behavior being talked about rather than just the bad.

For now, and until I really get a sense for what I’m doing, I’m going to hold off on a press release (until someone tells me not to!) and I’m also thinking of bracelets (like the LiveStrong ones). I’m open to ideas and help.

But from the comments/e-mails I’ve gotten, people are very excited about this — all over the country. That’s thrilling to me.”

As well it should be, especially since Judy updated me a few hours later with:

“The word is clearly spreading . . . over 400 visitors [to the blog] since it started yesterday afternoon. Wow!”

And to think that all this excitement and support is about Just Be Nice.

If you wish to learn more, have suggestions or merely weigh in with moral support, please visit JUST BE NICE where you can read Monday’s initial post, What Mama Said, followed by the second post, Tuesday’s Child Is Full of Grace.

Also consider joining the JUST BE NICE Group on Facebook.

Judy Merrill Larsen’s all-time favorite book is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and on the right-hand sidebar of her new blog she notes: “Atticus Finch taught Scout to walk around in someone else’s shoes. He was right.”

And so too is this author, well beyond her pages…

[Note: The Book Giveaway comments/entries will continue to be accepted for Ivy Pochoda’s The Art of Disappearing until this evening at 7:00 p.m EDT. Here’s a great opportunity to win a most memorable debut, don’t let it pass you by!]

Literary Visuals

September 15, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Trailers

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many pages would a Book Trailer be? Today is all about our author’s videos, so settle back and enjoy!

Meg Waite Clayton’s The Wednesday Sisters is available in trade paperback. A national bestseller, this novel was a Target Bookmarked Club Pick for the Summer and a Borders Book Club Pick. Watch The Wednesday Sisters Book Trailer now.

31 Hours by Masha Hamilton uses the New York City subway as one of its characters. View the subway Photo Gallery and then catch the Book Trailer.

Due to be released on Tuesday, January 29th, The Beautiful Being by Jessica Barksdale Inclan offers a paranormal romance. Interested? Here’s The Beautiful Being Book Trailer.

With a sneak peek into January, Debutante Maria Garcia-Kalb invites you to view the promo video for 101 Ways to Torture Your Husband.

And Founder Deb Eileen Cook’s second YA novel, Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood will also be released in January 2010. First, however, there is the Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood Book Trailer.