The Divining Wand

Discovering authors beyond their pages…
Subscribe

Picture the Book: The Inquisitor’s Key

May 03, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Book Trailers

[For fans of CSI type shows and medical/forensic novels, The Divining Wand is pleased to feature a glimpse into The Inquisitor’s Key available on Tuesday, May 8, 2012….enjoy!]

Meet the Authors:

Jefferson Bass is the writing team of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson. Dr. Bass, a world-renowned forensic anthropologist, founded the University of Tennessee’s Anthropology Research Facility—the Body Farm—a quarter century ago. He is the author or coauthor of more than two hundred scientific publications, as well as a critically acclaimed memoir about his career at the Body Farm, Death’s Acre. Dr. Bass is also a dedicated teacher, honored as National Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Jon Jefferson is a veteran journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. His writings have been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and Popular Science, and broadcast on National Public Radio. The coauthor of Death’s Acre, he is also the writer and producer of two highly rated National Geographic documentaries about the Body Farm.

About The Body Farm:

On the campus of the University of Tennessee lies a patch of ground unlike any in the world. The “Body Farm” is a place where human corpses are left to the elements, and every manner of decay is fully explored—for the sake of science and the cause of justice.

And now, there’s a fascinating new fiction series based on reality…

A sample of Praise:

“The real deal.”
—Kathy Reichs, New York Times bestselling author and producer of the FOX television hit Bones

“The Sherlock Holmes for bones.”
—Katherine Ramsland, author of The Forensic Science of C.S.I.

About The Inquisitor’s Key:

The most riveting and ambitious novel to date in Jefferson Bass’ New York Times bestselling Body Farm mystery series, The Inquisitor’s Key takes forensic investigator Dr. Bill Brockton to Avignon, France, and embroils him in a deadly religious mystery that could shake the Vatican itself to its very foundations. Another sterling crime novel in the vein of Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, and Karin Slaughter, as well as TV’s C.S.I., The Inquisitor’s Key adds a touch of James Rollins and The Da Vinci Code to the typically acclaimed Jefferson Bass mix of suspense, surprise, and finely detailed forensic investigation.

Now to picture the book:

(If the video doesn’t appear on your monitor, please view it here.)

Want another sneak peek? Here’s an Excerpt

Also, Jefferson Bass can be followed on Twitter.

Picture the Book: The Right & the Real

April 18, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Book Trailers

Successful YA novelist Joëlle Anthony (Restoring Harmony) returns to bookstore shelves on April 26th with her second book The Right & the Real.

With another bright, brave, and bold teenage heroine, the author tells the tale of how easily life can spin out of control and how difficult it can be to do what’s right.

Kicked out of her home for refusing to join a cult, 17-year-old Jamie must find a way to survive on her own.

Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right and the Real from the start, especially when the Teacher claimed he wasn’t just an ordinary spiritual leader, but Jesus Christ, himself. But she was too taken by Josh, the eldest son of one of the church’s disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh is the most popular boy at school too, and the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But getting her Dad involved in a cult was not part of the plan when she started dating Josh. Neither was her dad’s marriage to the fanatic Mira, or getting kicked out, or seeing Josh in secret because the church has deemed her persona non grata.

Jamie’s life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won’t be easy, but when her Dad gets himself into serious trouble, will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgive him?

The Right & the Real Advanced Praise:

“Fast pacing and a strong first-person narrative voice combine to make this coming-of-age story a harrowing page-turner.” – PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY

“Nail biting tension and a plot that just won’t quit. The Right & the Real is a romance with attitude and a romp with heart.” – Tim Wynne-Jones, award-winning author of The Uninvited and the critically acclaimed, Blink & Caution

“The Right & the Real has everything a reader could want: a gutsy heroine, romance, betrayal, and a pace that will keep you reading late into the night. Anthony’s character shows us what it takes to survive in a gritty urban landscape when all you have are some unlikely allies, your own wits, and belief in your future.” – Eileen Cook, author of The Education of Hailey Kendrick and Unraveling Isobel

However Joëlle knows that, since a picture is worth a thousand words, the following Book Trailer could well be priceless for gaining attention.

(If the video doesn’t appear on your monitor, please view it here.)

The Divining Wand has scheduled an interview with Joëlle Anthony for Thursday, April 26th — release day for The Right & the Real, available for Pre-order now.

Picture the Book: Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure

April 17, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Book Trailers

If the book title, Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure, sounds familiar there’s a good reason. For on March 14, 2011, the presentation/review — Suzanne Anderson and Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure — appeared here as the author’s first ebook. And, although it was a well-written story, Suzanne wasn’t satisfied and knew she could improve on her work.

Truth be told, Suzanne Anderson did much more than rewrite. She chose a new cover, published the new Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure in paperback and Kindle Edition, and also created a Book Trailer to capture her revision.

Why? First there was the luxury of being able to do so with an ebook and foremost there was her personal need for a “do-over.” Suzanne explains the differences in the novel:

“Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure, in its original form, was quite a bit different from the book I recently published in some important ways:

First it was written in the First Person Point of View, which gave it a much more intimate feel, which as it turns out, was the right POV for a story about a family experiencing the most terrifying moments of war.

Second, it was actually set in Budapest, Hungary during World War Two, not in the fictional other-world it was thinly disguised as.

And finally, it had a spiritual element that explored a particular element of religious faith that has always perplexed me….the challenge of believing in something we cannot see.

Here’s the synopsis:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…



Hungary’s fragile alliance with Germany kept Natalie, a renowned children’s book author, and her family out of harm’s way for most of the war. Now as the Führer’s desperation grows during the waning years of the conflict, so does its threat. Natalie’s younger sister, Ilona, married a Jewish man, putting both her and her young daughter, Mila, in peril; Natalie’s twin sister, Anna, is losing her already tenuous hold on reality. As the streets of Budapest thrum with the pounding boots of Nazi soldiers, danger creeps to the doorstep where Natalie shields them all.

Ilona and her husband take the last two tickets to safety for themselves, abandoning Natalie to protect Anna and Mila from the encroaching danger. Anna’s paranoid explosion at a university where was once a professor, sparked by delusions over an imagined love triangle, threatens their only other chance for escape. Ultimately, Natalie is presented with a choice no one should ever have to make; which of her family will she save?



An inspirational story of faith and family, strength and weakness, and the ultimate triumph of love over hate. Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure demonstrates the power of faith to light even the most harrowing darkness.



… faith is the evidence of things not seen.

The book/ebook has garnered enthusiastic readers as well as the the following critical praise:

“A study in character development, Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure is a mesmerizing historical fiction for WWII readers. Highly recommended!” ~ The Kindle Book Review

Yet Suzanne also wanted a Book Trailer to reflect the feel of the era that held a personal significance, echoing her own European ancestry. Mixing the style a Pathé newsreel and sweeping musical score, the author worked with Three Moon Bay to picture her book of emotional, historical fiction and truth.

(If the video does not appear on your monitor, please view it here.)

This book now embodies Suzanne Anderson’s faith and belief in herself. The new Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure in paperback and Kindle Edition is a hauntingly impressive first novel with its story’s unique spiritual — yet universal — feel. The author took control over this book, allowing her characters to do the same with their lives. For those who both believe and wonder at the power of faith, this is your book.

Picture the Book: MWF Seeking BFF:
My Year Long Search for a New Best Friend

February 16, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Book Trailers, Books

In relocating to Chicago writer/editor Rachel Bertsche almost had it all: a newlywed husband, elite writing credits, loving family and friends….who now, alas, lived too far away. And, though the love of her life was her best friend, he was a guy! Rachel needed a new girl friend and thus began her organized quest chronicled in her debut, MWF Seeking BFF: My Year Long Search for a New Best Friend.

And through sharing her pursuit, she also found praise:

“Friendship is one of the most important elements of a happy life—but it can be tough to make new friends. In MWF Seeking BFF, Rachel Bertsche weaves together her engaging and often hilarious adventures in search of a new best friend with the latest research about the science of friendship. I couldn’t put it down.”—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

“Reading about Rachel Bertsche’s search for that special someone, you’ll find yourself thinking about all the friends you’ve ever had—and the ones you hope are right around the corner. Rachel writes with engaging humor and a measure of poignancy, too. You’ll enjoy joining her on her journey.” —Jeffrey Zaslow, author of The Girls from Ames

“Rachel Bertsche’s yearlong diary of searching for best friendship in a new city is compulsively readable and will plant a smile on your face as you turn the pages. Funny, forthright, and honest as a midnight phone call, Bertsche’s zesty hosanna to female bonding defines what it is to be a double-X Millennial.” —Sheila Weller, author of Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon—and the Journey of a Generation
“I guess you could say Rachel had me at ‘Hello’ — I found myself totally invested in her honest, earnest, oftentimes hilarious quest for meaningful female friendship. Whether you’re actively seeking a ‘BFF’ yourself or simply recognize the value in making quality connections with other women, MWF Seeking BFF underscores the profound rewards we women stand to reap when we simply open up, reach out to one another, and go for it. A smart, fun, and inspiring page turner that will surely resonate.”—Kelly Valen, author of The Twisted Sisterhood

An introduction:

When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code, let alone an apartment, with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, Bertsche realizes that her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington, D.C. Still, in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl talk over brunch or a reality-TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: She’ll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever.

In her thought-provoking, uproarious memoir, Bertsche blends the story of her girl-dates (whom she meets everywhere from improv class to friend rental websites) with the latest social research to examine how difficult—and hilariously awkward—it is to make new friends as an adult. In a time when women will happily announce they need a man but are embarrassed to admit they need a BFF, Bertsche uncovers the reality that no matter how great your love life, you’ve gotta have friends.

Now Picture the Book:

(if the video doesn’t appear on your monitor, please view it here.)

Ah yes, there’s also an Excerpt.

Rachel Bertsche’s need for a friend is universal and her insights into how, when, why, where are spot-on. However it’s no wonder since the author’s work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, More, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Fitness, Women’s Health, New York, Huffington Post, CNN.com, and more.

Follow her on Twitter and visit her daily blog,MWF Seeking BFF, where you might just find a new friend too. Enjoy!

* * * * *

Announcement: The winner of Erika Liodice’s Empty Arms is: Melissa. Congratulations! Please email diviningwand (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address.

Picture the Book:
The Mother-Daughter Show

February 02, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Book Trailers, Books

Natalie Wexler is the author of an award-winning novel, A More Obedient Wife, and a journalist and essayist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post Magazine, the American Scholar, the Gettysburg Review, and other publications. Her latest novel, The Mother-Daughter Show, was published in December, 2011, to glowing praise:

“A terrific read. Funny and heartbreaking and so credible I laughed out loud.” Susan Shreve, author of Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood at FDR’s Polio Haven.

“A wise and lively look at real grown-ups, alleged adults, and women-in-training. The setting is perfect for Natalie Wexler’s satire.” Susan Isaacs, author of As Husbands Go.

“Every page of this very contemporary page-turner is written with a heartfelt, humorous touch, with characters so vivid and real, they came to feel like friends I’d known forever.” Rachel Simon, author of The Story of Beautiful Girl.

“Witty and wise throughout, The Mother Daughter Show highlights Natalie Wexler’s keen perceptions–of family dynamics, social mores, and professional subcultures–and reminds us of life’s one constant: change.” Erika Dreifus, author of Quiet Americans.

A brief description of The Mother-Daughter Show:

At Barton Friends a D.C. prep school so elite its parent body includes the President and First Lady – three mothers have thrown themselves into organizing the annual musical revue. Will its Machiavellian intrigue somehow enable them to reconnect with their graduating daughters, who are fast spinning out of control? By turns hilarious and poignant, The Mother Daughter Show will appeal to anyone who’s ever had a daughter – and anyone who’s ever been one.

Now Picture the Book.

(If the video doesn’t appear on your monitor, please view it here.)

What was the author’s inspiration for the novel? Natalie Wexler explains:

“I wrote The Mother Daughter Show partly to try to maintain a sense of humor about a situation I found myself in—the real Mother Daughter Show, a longstanding tradition at Sidwell Friends School, where my daughter was a senior. Every year the mothers of graduating senior girls write and perform a musical revue for their daughters, and it seems like almost every year peculiar things happen between the mothers. I wanted to understand why—what was it about this situation that made people act in ways they usually don’t? One obvious possible reason was that the senior year of high school is a stressful year, for mothers as well as daughters: there’s the pressure of applying to college, the stress of wondering where your child will get in, and the emotions stirred by the prospect of your precious little girl leaving the nest.

So I wanted to explore that, but I also saw the novel as an opportunity to write more broadly about the mother-daughter relationship. I gave each of my three main characters a mother of her own as well as a teenage daughter, to allow for a multi-generational aspect to the book.”

As was mentioned, there’s a personal connection to the story since both Ms. Wexler’s two children are graduates of Sidwell Friends School. Therefore how much of the book is drawn from real life?

According to the author, “In terms of the details, not that much. To some extent I’m satirizing things that probably go on in any private school milieu (although as far as I’m aware, Sidwell is the only school that has a Mother Daughter Show). Of course, there’s a Washington, D.C. aspect that’s distinctive—for instance, a President’s daughter attends my fictional school, and the Obama girls currently attend Sidwell. But the Presidential daughter in the novel, who is an extremely minor character, is clearly not Sasha or Malia, any more than any of the characters are real people.

What I did borrow from real life about that situation is the excitement surrounding the presence of the First Family at the school, at least when they first got there (the novel begins in February 2009). In the book, tickets to the annual auction and the school play sell at an unprecedented rate, because people think the President and First Lady might show up. That really happened, more or less. Of course, as in the book, the President didn’t end up attending many school functions, apparently because he was a little preoccupied with trying to solve the nation’s problems.”

A satirical, absorbing read with compelling characters and a dishy setting,The Mother-Daughter Show offers a uniquely entertaining selection for you and/or your reading group.

Have a sneak peek with this Book Excerpt. Enjoy!

Picture the Book: PURE

January 19, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Book Trailers, Books

When Julianna Baggott appeared on The Divining Wand last May, she had written the lovely romance The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted as one of her Bridget Asher novels. That was then and oh how time and books change.

For on Wednesday, February 8th, the author’s highly anticipated, riveting, breakout novel PURE — the first volume in her post-apocalypse thriller trilogy — will be released.

Fox 2000 has already acquired the film rights to PURE and the reviews are amazing:

“Julianna Baggott enjoys living on the knife edge between hilarity and heartbreak, and that makes her a writer after my own heart.”
— Richard Russo, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“[PURE is …] a great gorgeous whirlwind of a novel, boundless in its imagination. You will be swept away.”
— Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage

“… extraordinary … an important book … by one of our finest writers.”
— Robert Olen Butler, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Ah, but those are only three raves, here is an entire page of Praise about the book.

In a Letter to Readers, Julianna explains the origins of PURE.

The synopsis:

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it’s his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again

And now the opportunity to picture the book.

(If the video doesn’t appear on your monitor, please view it here.)

Please remember that PURE is available for Pre-order in both Hardcover and ebook editions and will be released on Wednesday, February 8, 2012.

However, while you wait, enjoy the Prologue.