The Divining Wand

Discovering authors beyond their pages…

Archive for November, 2009

Praise, Interviews, and Peeks at 2010 Books

November 10, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News

The upcoming year of 2010 promises an overwhelming number of excellent offerings by debut and many of our favorite authors. If you’re ready to begin anticipating, please take a look at the following:

Sarah Pekkanen whose novel, The Opposite of Me, debuts March 9, 2010 received this early praise from NYT bestselling author Allison Winn Scotch (The Department of Lost and Found, Time of My Life and The One That I Want coming June 1, 2010): (the novel) “hits the delicious sweet spot in its portrayal of a woman who must lose everything in order to find herself.” This is in addition to the cover quote of “Fresh and Funny and Satisfying.” __Jennifer Weiner

Joëlle Anthony (Restoring Harmony YA coming May 13, 2010) announces that she was one of the debut authors chosen to be interviewed for the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2011. She will be part of a series included in the guide under the heading First Books and will be interviewed by editor, Alice Pope.

And, if you haven’t heard yet, Allison Winn Scotch (The Department of Lost and Found, Time of My Life and The One That I Want coming June 1, 2010) has posted an excerpt of Chapter One from The One That I Want on her website. To learn more about the background of the novel, please read here.

Also do remember that the books mentioned and linked in all The Divining Wand posts are available for Pre-order.

Books Our Authors Love to Reread

November 09, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

With a slight lull in book releases, The Divining Wand decided to take this time to go beyond its authors pages and discover what favorite books they reread.

Are any of the following on your own list?

Katie Alender (Bad Girls Don’t Die):

“I find “‘Pride and Prejudice'” rereadable in the extreme. That’s my old standby (and I love the audiobook and all the movie versions, too). Of books I’ve read over the past year or so, I can see myself going back to “‘Story'” by Robert McKee. It’s so densely packed with information that another pass would definitely be useful and no less interesting than the first one!”

Judy Merrill Larsen (All the Numbers):

“I used to reread To Kill a Mockingbird every year or so. Now, there are so many books on my TBR pile that it’s hard to justify re-reading anything, but a few that I’d reread include The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, any Faulkner, and East of Eden and Grapes of Wrath. I like to revisit the masters from time to time.”

Holly LeCraw (The Swimming Pool coming April 6, 2010):

“I reread any book that inspires me. Some of my all-time favorites are: The Great Gatsby: So Long, See You Tomorrow; All the King’s Men; To the Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway; Evening; Gilead; Atonement; The Unvanquished; the Last Gentleman; and many, many more. I tend to read books like this over and over. You always learn something new, or, if necessary, can use the best books to bring you back to your own center.”

Trish Ryan (He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Love, and Happily Ever After, A Maze of Grace: A Memoir of Second Chances coming in June 2010):

“Right now, I’m working on a novel, so I’m immersed in fiction. I just finished THE PROMISED WORLD by Lisa Tucker, and I’m going back to read all her others–she’s a master at moving the story along without giving away secrets. And Laura Dave’s LONDON IS THE BEST CITY IN AMERICA and THE DIVORCE PARTY show me what it looks like to create an entire world with words. Her books make me forget where I am.

“For memoir/essay, an unsung genius is Heather King. Her most recent book, about her transitions (from barroom drunk to married lawyer to divorced Catholic seeker) is called REDEEMED. Her words and her honesty raise the bar pretty high for those of us who want to write our own stories.”

Kristina Riggle (Real Life & Liars):

“I re-read books all the time. Some of my favorites: BREATHING LESSONS, Anne Tyler, NOTES ON A SCANDAL, Zoe Heller, THE GREAT GATSBY, F. Scott Fitzgerald, anything by David Sedaris. Also, I haven’t read them a second time yet but I know I will: THE EMBERS by Hyatt Bass and CONFESSIONS OF A PREP SCHOOL MOMMY HANDLER by Wade Rouse.”

For Holiday Gift Giving: An Autographed Book

November 05, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Uncategorized

More than likely those visiting this site would agree that books are among the best holiday gifts with autographed ones being perfection! Autographed, is that possible without going to a book signing?

Indeed it is and, with the holidays only more than a month away, this Fairy Godmother contacted authors who had had a new book released within the past six months to ask, “Do you autograph by mail?” So anyone searching for that unique, reasonably priced, perfect present, here are what some of our authors do:

Arrangement with a local bookstore:

Eve Brown-Waite (read Presenting Debutante Eve Brown-Waite and First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria) says:

” Via a special arrangement with my local bookstore I can purchase, personalize, autograph and send a copy of FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA to anyone in the USA for just $25. That would be the cost of the book itself in most stores. This book would make a great gift for any world traveler, do-gooder, or Peace Corps-type on your holiday list (also, anyone who just loves a good read). I don’t make any money on this, but it certainly helps spread the word about my book and supports a great, independent bookstore. I need all orders by BY NOVEMBER 15 in order to ensure delivery by the holidays. Anyone interested can contact me at”

Therese Fowler (Souvenir, Reunion) offers:

“I made an arrangement with my local indie, Quail Ridge Books & Music — 800-672-6789 — in Raleigh. When a reader calls and orders an inscribed copy, the store lets me know and I drop by to inscribe it before they ship the book. For basic autographed copies, they ship from signed stock that they keep on hand.”

Ivy Pochoda (see Ivy Pochoda’s The Art of Disappearing) says:

“If you’d like autographed copies of my book, contact my local bookstore BookCourt — 718-875-3677 — in Brooklyn.”

Books in the mail:

Mia King (Mia King and Table Manners is doing a holiday special – $20 for a signed/dedicated book of choice and ceramic “live simply” plaque. $5 shipping. Contact

Carleen Brice (Orange Mint & Honey, Children of the Waters):

“If people send me a book with return postage, I will autograph and send it back. But let’s say for the holidays return shipping is on me. They just have to buy the book and send it to: Carleen Brice, P.O. Box 7108, Denver, CO 80207.”

And Jessica Barksdale Inclan (Being With Him, Intimate Beings, The Beautiful Being) offers the same. Contact

Maud Carol Markson (Looking After Pigeon) provides two options:

“I could send out personalized book plates or if the person prefers, he/she could purchase the book directly from me and I could send it to them ($20.00 would probably cover the cost of the book and the packaging and shipping to anywhere in the US).) Contact

Book Plates:

Tish Cohen (Little Black Lies,Town House):

“I do mail out signed book plates, as well as sign books mailed in to me.” Contact

CJ Lyons (Urgent Care):

“I offer my readers customized signed bookplates.

I’ve sent dozens of these all over the US and abroad, even had a few people ask for several, all personalized to various friends they were gifting with my books.” Contact

And with this early planning you can do the same!

Our Authors’ Rearview Mirrors

November 04, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

Art + Business = Writing Lessons Learned.

Yes, once again, several of our authors responded to the question of: If you knew then, what you know now about writing as an art and business, what might you have done differently?

And, as much as these storytellers love their art, most have discovered there’s more to success than creativity.

Ad Hudler (Man of the House, All This Belongs to Me, House Husband):

“I would not have signed away my audio rights. As it is now, only one of my four books have been made into audio … and I hear from a reader at least once a week, asking for the audio version. So … in the future I’m going to make sure I keep the audio rights, and I’m going to record the books myself with a production company and sell them, downloadable, on my website.”

Kristy Kiernan (Catching Genius, Matters of Faith and Between Friends coming April 6, 2010):

“I would have been much, much kinder to myself. I would have been more guarded with other writers and listened to my instincts. And I would have been a better custodian of my time and energy.”

Randy Susan Meyers (The Murderer’s Daughters coming January 19, 2010):

“I would have started far earlier to learn to combine craft with art.

For many years I bought into a belief that writing was magic, where my flying thoughts, imagination, and natural writing bent would somehow combine through alchemy and be tapped out through my fingers. Later in life, I realized that like any builder, I needed to learn the trade, use the right tools, and start building plumb. At that point, I put my head down and worked at learning more from others—both by reading books about the craft of writing and by participating in writer’s workshops.”

Barrie Summy (I So Don’t Do Mysteries, I So Don’t Do Spooky Ages 9 – 12, coming December 8, 2009):

“I think I would’ve started submitting earlier. Instead, I felt that getting published was so far out there and so almost unattainable that I found it difficult to be disciplined and sit still long enough to write.’

Wendy Tokunaga (Midori By Moonlight, Love in Translation coming November 24, 2009):

“On the business side I would have invested some of my own funds for outside publicity for my first novel instead of only relying on my publisher and everything I could do myself. On the art side, I would understand that writing is subjective. I would not have worried so much about comparing my writing to that of other writers and have the confidence to know that I have my own style.”

Two Young Adult and Chick Lit Interviews

November 03, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Interviews

Although this Fairy Godmother doesn’t do the standard interview, thank goodness for those who do and for our interviewed authors whose responses take us beyond their pages. Between last week and today two YA authors and a Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction writer have been interviewed in the most thoughtful and charming fashion. Read and discover:

Katie Alender (Bad Girls Don’t Die) talks about turning her debut novel into a series, featuring two more books, in Old People Writing for Teen’s post, Chills & Spills: An Interview with Katie Alender. This YA author also discusses how important she feels book trailer videos really are and her years of making online friends/acquaintances.

Debutante Joëlle Anthony (Restoring Harmony YA coming May 13, 2010) reveals how much the manuscript for her debut novel evolved in Pamela Jane’s post, An Interview with Joellle Anthony. Like Katie, this about-to-become YA author chats about enjoying meeting authors and readers online — it’s natural.

And Allison Winn Scotch (The Department of Lost and Found, Time of My Life and The One That I Want coming June 1, 2010) is the subject of The Chick Lit Club’s featured November Interview. Think you know all about Allison? Well here you’ll learn new news about the TOML movie, thoughts on her former relationships, a sneak peek at The One That I Want — including its main character –, favorite celeb interviews and even more.

All three of these interviews are fascinating, revealing and well worth your time…please take some to enjoy.

For Your Health and Well-Being

November 02, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Health

Since the importance of your health and well-being has never been as important as it is today, this Fairy Godmother is pleased to announce an affiliation with Lisa Davis — founder, director, host, etc. — of It’s Your Health, a radio program “dedicated to providing strategies for healthier living.” By reading the host profile you’ll learn of Lisa’s impressive and extensive background as well as her genuine caring to inform the general public about all types of health-related topics.

Yet what will Lisa Davis offer in her guest blogger appearances — of at least once a month — on The Divining Wand? Simply put, a sneak peek review of several books scheduled for her upcoming shows. You’ll be able to read about them, note their LIVE airdates and hopefully “tune in” to It’s Your Health radio. However all programs are archived and available for listening at your convenience.

Now, without further ado, here are Lisa’s first two book choices:


Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredients to a Fulfilling Life by Todd Kashdan, Ph.D.

What leads to true happiness in life? Many may answer that it depends on the individual yet, according to Todd Kashdan, Ph.D., the answer is curiosity. In his book, Curious?, he presents the message that in order to live a meaningful life — filled with opportunities for personal happiness — being curious is essential.

In fact the author believes that it’s possible to develop a sense of curiosity about anything and everything, including the most mundane. Making his case through story, science and practical exercises, Dr. Kashdan teaches the reader to become “a curious explorer” who is comfortable with taking risks and facing challenges. Rather than fear the discomfort of the unknown, being curious enables individuals to handle the unpredictable with confidence and the happiness of being successful.

My advice: Pick up Dr. Todd Kashdan’s insightful book. After all you must be curious.

This author will be interviewed Thursday, November, 5th at 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. It’s Your Health.

PatientstoryEvery Patient Tells A Story by Jill Sanders, M.D.

As a major fan of the television show “House,” I was more than curious to read Jill Sanders, the technical advisor to the program filled with a weekly medical mystery. Forgive my naivete but for some reason it seemed as though there had to be fiction mixed in with every dire health crisis that House and his team solve. Instead this eye-opening book reveals the doctors who go to great lengths to discover the medical problem and offer a cure for the patient.

Although occasionally frightening to realize the odd array of things that can go wrong with the human body, Dr. Sanders provides mix of medical mystery stories along with the inner workings of a physician’s mind. Yes it’s cool and so is the science of the diagnoses. The reality of the stories in the book, however, are not from a Hollywood set and deal with both triumph and tragedy.

My recommendation: If you like “House,” you’ll be fascinated by Every Patient Tells A Story by Jill Sanders, .D.

This author will be interviewed next Tuesday, November 10th, at 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. It’s Your Health.


Note: Offering a variety of non-fiction books to visitors — on an occasional basis — has been The Divining Wand’s goal, please comment on how you feel about this. Thank you.