The Divining Wand

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Archive for the ‘Advance News’

Coming Attractions: A Movie and A Novel

October 14, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News, Books, Movies

Two popular authors shared exciting news last week and, if you missed it, here’s your opportunity to get caught up:

~ As you may remember Carleen Brice’s (Children of the Waters) debut novel, Orange Mint & Honey was optioned by the Lifetime Movie Network. About a month ago it was cast with Jill Scott as Nona Dixon and Nicole Beharie portraying Shay with the movie title changed to “Sins of the Mother.” Last Friday Carleen visited Vancouver where the film is being shot, then yesterday — Tuesday, October 13, 2009 — posted Pictures from Vancouver on the The Pajama Gardener blog. No news yet of an airdate, but please stay tuned.

~ Last Thursday Allison Winn Scotch (The Department of Lost and Found, Time of My Life) posted a picture too — that of her next book cover for The One That I Want being released June 1, 2010. The cover:


Here’s a brief synopsis: What if you could see into the future? What if you didn’t like what was revealed? Would you still choose to see it?

And you can read more here.

Two Coming Attractions = A Lot to Look Forward to!

Book Giveaway continues with a chance for you to win a copy of The Last Will of Moira Leahy. To enter, leave a comment on this post describing what made your younger self feel powerful, brave, or invincible. The deadline for all entries is THIS evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winner to be announced on tomorrow’s post.

On The Red Carpet with Debutante Joëlle Anthony

August 28, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News, Debs, Red Carpet

It’s been exciting as well as a pleasure to greet The Debutante Class of 2010 on The Red Carpet this week. And the multi-talented Deb Joëlle Anthony (Restoring Harmony YA, May 13, 2010) graces us with her presence on this final day.

TDW: My goodness, Joëlle, you look stunning! Who are you wearing?

Joëlle: You’re too kind…In my mind,Joelle I am wearing a fabulous emerald green evening dress that I knit myself after writing each day. If you saw my sweaters, you’d know this is a fantasy.

TDW: Ah but fantasy and creativity work so well together that, although this will be your debut publication, has there been another book written?

Joëlle: I have a metaphorical drawer full of manuscripts. Restoring Harmony is about my seventh novel. Some will stay buried, but I have hopes for one or two (okay, three) of the others. And I’m working on something new too, which I hope will be my next contracted book. Fingers crossed! I will hopefully know later this year.

TDW: Absolutely, fingers crossed. Have you surprised anyone by writing Restoring Harmony?

Joëlle: I’ve never done things the “normal” way. I mean, I started out my adult life as an actress, so people see me as a creative person and no one has ever really reacted to the idea of me writing a book with anything other than, “Great!” My mum’s a writer too, so it’s not like I had that experience where my family was telling me, “Oh, you should have something to fall back on!” Instead they were always really encouraging. In fact, writing is what I fell back on when I got tired of acting!

TDW: What about characters, have you based one on someone you know?

Joëlle: I’ll never tell! I’ve never done this intentionally, but there’s still time. It is true that I steal all my husband’s best lines, but you know…it’s pretty obvious to everyone that knows him that a lot of my male characters are a lot like him. At least all the cool ones. It’s no secret.

[Aside: Deb Joëlle’s husband, Victor Anthony, is both a musician and photographer. In fact, her lovely picture is courtesy of Victor’s talent.]

TDW: Knowing how important music is in your life, what five songs should be on your book’s soundtrack?

Joëlle: Funny you should ask because next week we’re going into the recording studio (by “we” I mean I will just be standing around) to record some of the music from my book. My main character, Molly, is a fiddle player and in the book she plays a variety of fiddle tunes and songs (in case you have always wondered what the difference between a tune and a song is, it’s that a song has words and a tune is simply music). Eventually, these recordings will be available for free download on my website.

The ones we will be recording are:
Peekaboo Waltz
Handsome Molly
Hard Times Come Again No More
Brianna’s Reel (written just for my book by my friend and fiddle player, Sarah Tradewell)

That’s only four, so you could add the Cowboy Waltz to the list because it’s in the book, although we don’t intend to record it.

TDW: What a wonderful bonus! Your imagination appears limitless, yet what if you couldn’t write, what would you most want to do with your life?

Joëlle: Okay, don’t freak out on me here, but I might actually like to be one of those people who do your taxes. I doubt I’d ever go so far as becoming an accountant, but filling in forms floats my boat. I also like the idea of cooking (vegetarian) professionally or possibly being a home decorator (but not all Martha Stewart…more modern).

TDW: Thank you Deb Joëlle, your Friday posts at this year’s Debutante Ball are certain to be filled with surprises, we’ll look forward to them. Also the free download recordings and, on May 13, 2010, your debut as a YA novelist with Restoring Harmony.

Cheers to all the new Debutantes – Emily Winslow, Sarah Pekkanen, Alicia Bessette, Maria Garcia-Kalb and Joëlle Anthony – who have joined us on The Red Carpet this week. These charming ladies are about to enter The Debutante Ball and begin waltzing on Monday. Please join them for The Ball which is the ultimate source in discovering about-to-be authors beyond their pages!

On The Red Carpet with Debutante Maria Garcia-Kalb

August 27, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News, Debs, Red Carpet

As this week on The Red Carpet with The Debutante Class of 2010 winds down, the energy level is about to rise up a notch or two when we greet Maria Garcia-Kalb (101 Ways to Torture Your Husband coming January 18, 2009).

TDW: Hello, Maria, how elegant you look on The Red Carpet.

mariaonairMaria: It’s the black, I always wear black, unless there’s an appropriate animal print.

TDW: Well you make a statement as does your book. Although it’s your first to be published, have you’ve written others.

Maria: Believe it or not, the first book I wrote is titled “Ethan’s First Words” after dealing with my son’s speech delay. Now he makes me dizzy, barely taking a breath between sentences! I’ve written several children’s books I’d like to get out there, as well as a fun tome titled “The Fat Girl’s Guide to Fabulous Clothes that Fit,” but we’ll deal with torturing husbands first. 😉

TDW: So whose reaction was the most surprising when you announced that you were being published?

Maria: My husband’s. He was THRILLED (and apparently hasn’t realized this is a man-torturing manual).

TDW: Does that mean the character examples are based on someone you know?

Maria: All the male references are based on men who have come through my life in one way or another.

Many of them are my friend’s husbands… you know who you are!

TDW: Did you need any food or drink item to help get you through the book or was it all sweet revenge?

Maria: I am addicted to “Mike and Ike’s” chewy fruity candy. I probably plowed through 50 boxes to get the manuscript completed.

TDW: You are into big numbers, aren’t you? What is it that you promised your publisher? 😉

Maria: My goal is to have a million friends and drive the Facebook administrators nuts! Go ahead. Friend me. I also have a Facebook Group for the book, so I hope everyone joins that too.

TDW: While writing the book, what did you have on in the background?

Maria: I can’t live without my iTunes playlist. My favorite jams at the time were “Shake It” by Metro Station, Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold,” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” The SNL skit with Justin Timberlake in those tights and heels is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

TDW: It’s been delightful, Maria, and there’s no doubt that Thursdays at The Debutante Ball will never be the same. Enjoy and have fun with it all!

And, remember, Deb Maria will be the first to be presented when 101 Ways to Torture Your Husband becomes available on January 18, 2010!

On The Red Carpet with Debutante Alicia Bessette

August 26, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News, Debs, Red Carpet

Here it is mid-week on The Red Carpet with The Debutante Class of 2010 and we’re about to meet Wednesday’s Deb, Alicica Bessette (All Come Home due Summer 2010).

TDW: Alicia, you’re just lovely. Please share what this fashion statement.

Alicia: I’m wearing what I wear most days: yoga pants; Alicia one of several soft cotton tops I’ve owned for years; and dented, scratched eyeglasses that I just haven’t gotten around to replacing. My hair is rumpled, and I’m barefoot.

TDW: Aha, going for comfort so you likely have written more than All Come Home<. Care to share what you’ve done with other unpublished books?

Alicia: There is one on the top shelf of my closet, inside a dusty manuscript box. Someday I’ll shred and recycle the old beast. But it endured a fair amount of rejection, so I figured I’d give it a little respite!

TDW: It’s a bit like an old friend, isn’t it? And, on that subject, was there a character in this novel created from someone you know?

Alicia: Very much so. In All Come Home, France, the small-town police officer, was inspired by someone I met once. She struck me as smart, tough, loyal — and just a touch odd. She was very memorable, and I couldn’t resist turning her into a character.

TDW: Did you need specific food or drink to help you through the book?

Alicia: Yes Earl Grey tea, plus organic chocolate purchased most Friday afternoons from the little shop below my apartment.

TDW: Hmm, more chocolate… But what about putting a soundtrack to your novel, can you name five songs that should be on it??

Alicia: Rose-Ellen, a 34-year-old widow, listens to heart-wrenching breakup songs by Gladys Knight and the Pips — on vinyl, on an old trash-picked record player. Within the contexts of grief and widowhood, the songs take on heightened meaning as Rose-Ellen pieces her life back together.

So, All Come Home’s soundtrack would include the following hits, as performed by the great Gladys Knight and the Pips: Make Me The Woman You Come Home To; It Should Have Been Me; Letter Full Of Tears; All I Need Is Time; and Every Little Bit Hurts.

TDW: It’s no secret, after one glance at your website, that you’re a gifted musician. Is that what you would choose to do, if you couldn’t write?

Alicia: I’d travel the world either as a concert pianist or a wildlife photographer. Or maybe both.

TDW: Who knows, you may be traveling the world as an author once All Comes Home is published next summer.

Thank you, Deb Alicia. Enjoy the music of The Debutante Ball and all the “firsts” coming home to you this year!

On The Red Carpet with Debutante Sarah Pekkanen

August 25, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News, Debs, Red Carpet

In our second day on The Red Carpet with The Debutante Class of 2010 we have Tuesday’s (posting) Debutante Sarah Pekkanen (The Opposite of Me, March 2010).

TDW: Welcome, Sarah. You look glorious. Please give the details of what you are wearing.

Sarah: Thank you, but you’re too kind. Oh, no one can actually see me, can they? Sarahresiz Good. In that case, I’m wearing a size-six sleek black dress and sky-high heels. No, let’s make it a size four. My makeup is flawless, and I just had a manicure.

TDW: Perfect. Now tell us about the first book you wrote. The Opposite of Me will be your first book published, but there must be other completed works.

Sarah: My very first book was titled “Miscellaneous Tales and Poems” and I wrote it when I was about 10. I actually sent it to publishers and waited eagerly to learn when I could find it in bookstores (it has been a very, very long wait). A few years ago, my young niece borrowed one of my old Nancy Drew books and discovered, tucked between the yellowing pages, a letter I’d written on Raggedy Ann stationary asking a publisher about the fate of my story and poem collection. I’ve got that letter posted on my website, and when I went to New York to meet editors who were interested in my novel, I tucked the letter into my briefcase as a good-luck charm.

TDW: Since you’ve always wanted to be a writer, were there any surprise reactions when people heard you were writing another book?

Sarah: Well, I’ve always worked as a writer — I started at a news service right out of college — so people didn’t seem too surprised. Or maybe they were, but didn’t let on. Although I have to say my father’s shocked reaction was priceless when he read an early draft of my novel: “Hey! You might actually be able to get this thing published!”

TDW: Have you based a character in the book on someone you know, but who would never in a million years recognize themselves?

Sarah: People always think they see themselves in my novel (and occasionally get offended), but it’s fiction, people! I made it up! In fact, my book is about twin sisters who are complete opposites — and I don’t even have a sister.

TDW: Was there one food or drink item got you through this book?

Sarah: Oooh, chocolate. It gets me through everything in life! I always think there’s no problem too big for a group of girlfriends, a few bottles of wine, and some chocolate.

In fact, if I couldn’t write, I’d be the quality-control taster at the Godiva factory.

TDW: Sarah, you and Founder Deb Mia King definitely need to get together over chocolate!

Right now, though, we look forward to your dancing (especially in those heels) at The Debutante Ball every Tuesday and the March 9, 2010 release of The Opposite of Me. Enjoy the year!

On The Red Carpet with Debutante Emily Winslow

August 24, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News, Debs, Red Carpet

All this week we’ll be greeting the five about-to-become authors when their first books debut between January and August 2010. As they walk The Red Carpet into The Debutante Ball – in order of their post appearances – The Divining Wand (TDW) will ask them for comments but not introductions. They’ll begin doing that next week Monday and continue throughout the year.

This is your open invitation to attend The Ball and discover these authors beyond their pages.

TDW: Now let’s welcome Emily Winslow (The Whole World Spring 2010). Emily_Winslow Hello Emily, you look wonderful. Please tell us what you are wearing?

Emily: Sweatpants and an oversized top. I’m alternating between the bad postures of hunching over my laptop with playing on the Wii Fit.

TDW:That sounds like you’ve found the writer’s fashion, but you must be excited about your novel being published. Who was the most surprised to learn that you were about to be published?

Emily: Everyone was as supportive and wonderful as I’d hoped and expected them to be, except for one acquaintance who abruptly stopped speaking to me.

TDW: Well it’s true that The Whole World will be your publishing debut, yet what happened to the first book you wrote?

Emily: I’ve written poetry and plays, my favorites of which I printed up for my friends. “The Whole World” is my first completed novel after several false starts and a wretched novella.

TDW: What food or drink did you rely on to get you through to The End?

Emily: Coffee. The baby was waking up twice a night for most of the year I wrote “The Whole World.”

TDW: What did you have on in the background while you wrote?

Emily: DVDs of the US version of “The Office.” I resisted it for years, since I loved the UK version so much. Then I watched a couple episodes on an airplane and got hooked. “The Whole World” is eerie, not funny, so it may seem a weird choice of mood. But I really feel inspired by the compassion “The Office” creators have for their characters. No one is just a buffoon or just a jerk. They’re well-rounded buffoons and jerks who make me root for them. I use multiple narrators in my work, and I aim that kind of compassion myself.

TDW: You must hope that your novel provides a wonderful reading experience, do you have a favorite one?

Emily: Yes reading A.S. Byatt’s “Possession” while disoriented by fever. Normally I wouldn’t attempt such a challenging novel while not at my best, but there were only two books within physical reach. The other one was a child’s picture book about whales, which I read first, multiple times. Finally I cracked open “Possession.” My wooziness from medication, contrasted with the urgent need to relieve the intense boredom of bedrest, combined unforgettably.

TDW: That would be unforgettable. Thank you Emily for stopping to chat and here’s to your debut year, we’ll be following and cheering you on.

A fascinating new author for you to discover at The Debutante Ball next Monday, August 31st.

What Comes After Time of My Life

July 23, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News, Books

Although the paperback edition of Allison Winn Scotch’s NYT bestseller, Time of My Life, will not be available until Tuesday, August 4, 2009, the author has been busy writing her third novel and trying to come up with its title. Yesterday, in her blog post of “Well, It’s Not Free Books, But…,” Allison announced:

“I DO have a title for the next book. Hurrah!

“After much debate, back and forth, and brainstorming, we have all agreed on the title of….



“Yay! I love it! (I actually came up with it, so it’s a good thing I do.) And yes, there is a Grease subplot in the book, so the title is fitting in many more ways than one. By the way, have I even told you guys about it? I don’t think so. Wow. Okay, so here’s a little description, that I’m writing as we speak, so it might be rough around the edges, but should give you a general idea.”

Interested in the off-the-cuff synopsis? Read more…

You also may have guessed that Allison will be giving away free copies of Time of My Life so be sure to keep checking her blog.

As for “THE ONE THAT I WANT,” patience…its release date will likely be Summer 2010!

Mia King Preps for Table Manners

July 01, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News, Books

Did you know that author/friend Mia King and her debut novel, Good Things, hold the distinction of being my very first book presentation? Now two and a half years later, there’s only one month and three days left until her third novel (and sequel to Good Things), Table Manners is released on Tuesday, August 4, 2009.

A highly anticipated novel, the book club rights for Table Manners have already been sold to Doubleday, Literary Guild, Rhapsody, and Book of the Month book clubs. And Mia recently learned that there will also be “a nice little/big mailing to book clubs across the country.” Coordinating with that will be call-ins — that is, chats with the author from her home in Hawaii — and even possibly using Skype to reach out and virtually share thoughts on Table Manners with as many readers as possible. So on the things “To Do” list before August 4th, upgrade Mia’s computer!

First, however, there’s an upcoming holiday weekend to celebrate and Mia, well-known for her variety of recipes, has a refreshing summertime beverage to share. Yes you will also find this in Table Manners, but let’s go beyond her pages and enjoy Sparkling Pomegranate Lemonade now:

Serves: 6


* 3 tablespoons sugar
* ½ cup fresh lemon juice
* 1 liter club soda or sparkling water
* 1 cup pomegranate juice
* ice cubes
* Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish


1. Combine sugar and lemon juice. Stir until well dissolved.
2. In a tall pitcher, combine lemon mixture and pomegranate juice.
3. Add club soda and stir.
4. Pour into glasses filled with ice. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

Cheers to Mia who, only yesterday, commented on Facebook that she was: “Deliriously happy for no reason other than happiness is a good thing.”

[ Note: Table Manners is available for Pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.]

The Truth of a Fortune Cookie

June 23, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Advance News, Books

As a researcher and writer for Prevention magazine, and then as a freelance writer, Therese Walsh’s byline has appeared on hundreds of articles on nutrition and fitness published in consumer magazines and online. However, on October 13, 2009 — now less than four months away –, Therese will become a novelist with the debut of The Last Will of Moira Leahy. Is this a dream come true? Well, actually, it’s her fortune cookie prophecy coming true!

On international bestseller author M.J. Rose’s blog, Backstory (“Where authors share secrets, truths, logical and illogical moments that sparked their fiction or memoirs.”), the debut author confessed all in her June 19th post, Therese Walsh’s Backstory. Hmm, and may it be also noted that she has a master’s degree in psychology? 😉

It’s possible to tease here because of the great buzz already describing Moira Leahy. In fact please visit news/reviews on Therese’s website and then wander through truly magical pages that hint at and share parts of the story.

Therese Walsh and her novel will be revisited again in upcoming posts over the next months for what could be better or more exciting than choosing a debut author as a friend? And for those readers who wish to pre-order The Last Will of Moira Leahy now, you may do so at any one of these online stores: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, IndieBound.