The Divining Wand

Discovering authors beyond their pages…

What If….Emily Winslow, Tish Cohen,
Eve Brown-Waite?

July 06, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Authors' Favorites

What a day — or more — for a daydream in the summer heat of July. In fact it feels like the perfect time to wonder “what if” The Divining Wand possessed magical powers and could grant authors, who create their own magic with “what if,” the following two questions:

Based only on their writing, what author would you want to be?


If given the opportunity to have written ONE book in your lifetime, what would that title be?

~ Emily Winslow (The Whole World):

“I like Ruth Rendell’s career longevity and vivid characters. I’d love to look back at the end of my career and see a stack of books like hers!”

The Secret History was my favorite book for years. I have no idea if it would still be my favorite if I re-read it now; I read it while an undergraduate myself, so it was a case of perfect timing. But I would love to write something so iconic.”

~ Tish Cohen (Town House, Inside Out Girl, Little Black Lies YA, The Truth About Delilah Blue):

“Elizabeth Strout.” “Olive Kittridge.”

~ Eve Brown-Waite (First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How A Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and A Third World Adventure Changed My Life):

“Amy Tan because she’s such an incredible writer. Or Anne Lamott because she writes just the kinds of books I want to write.”

“FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA – because I am quite certain that was the book I was always meant to write. And if I never get a chance to write another book, I’ll always be content that I at least got to write that one.”

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More Blogs Favored by Our Authors

June 24, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

How about learning more of the enlightening, entertaining blogs that our authors favor on a daily basis? You might enjoy following along with:

Alicia Bessette (Simply from Scratch coming August 5, 2010):

~ The Divining Wand –

~ The Debutante Ball! –

Eileen Cook (Unpredictable, What Would Emma Do? YA and Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood YA ):

~ LOL Cats –

~ LOL Dogs –

~ I love food sites, this is one of my favorite baking sites. What this woman can do with cake is amazing.

~ Yarn Harlot. Knitting is a hobby so this is fun place to troll

~ It Made My Day People write in with something they saw/did etc that made their day.

Holly LeCraw (The Swimming Pool)

~ The Rejectionist –

~ The Intern –

~ The Forest for the Trees –

~ Facebook –

~ The Divining Wand –

Randy Susan Meyers (The Murderer’s Daughters):

~ Pimp My Novel –

~ Betsy Lerner’s Forest for the Trees –

~ Beyond The Margins (truth in advertising, I am one of the 12 writers on the one) –

~ Writer Unboxed –

~ STET –

Sarah Pekkanen (The Opposite of Me)

~ Writer Unboxed –

~ Ask Allison –

~ A Moment of Jen –

~ Murderati –

~ A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing –

Ivy Pochoda (The Art of Disappearing)

~ –

~ The Millions –

~ The Rumpus –

~ FU, Penguin – (my favorite)

Therese Walsh (The Last Will of Moira Leahy)

~ Writer Unboxed (naturally!) –

~ A Writer Afoot –

~ ArtsJournal: Daily Arts News –

~ Flickr Most Interesting Photos –

~ ScienceDaily –

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Eve Brown-Waite has a new Book Trailer out for the paperback edition of First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How A Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and A Third World Adventure Changed My Life.

Eve says:

“People are loving it (the book), laughing and learning a bit about this great big world of ours. Plus, 10% of all my royalties go to CARE International to fight malaria in Africa.

* * * * *

Announcement: The winner of Trish Ryan’s A Maze of Grace: A Memoir of Second Chances is Elizabeth@LongToLove.

Congratulations! Please email: diviningwand (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address, and the book will be sent out promptly.

First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria by Eve Brown-Waite – Now in Paperback

April 12, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books


Feeling restless, adventuresome, yet vacation time is still months away? Eve Brown-Waite might be able to offer an easy chair alternative when her memoir First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How A Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and A Third World Adventure Changed My Life is released in its Trade Paperback edition tomorrow — Tuesday, April 13th. Imagine those exotic, Third- World countries you can visit, not risk danger or disease, and stay on budget!

Seriously, though, this a wonderfully informative, humorous book that deserves critical praise:

“A laugh-out-loud debut about humanitarian work . . . . As revealing as it is entertaining.” —Kirkus Reviews

“With an appealing, down-to-earth voice, Brown-Waite chronicles her adventures abroad in an accessible, humorous tone sure to appeal to armchair travelers.”—Booklist

Even better this memoir deserves the praise left on the post in Comments to The Revealing of Eve Brown-Waite:

However such words are to be expected after reading the book’s description:

Eve Brown’s dream is to join the Peace Corps … and maybe solve world hunger and win a Nobel Peace Prize along the way. But she secretly fears she isn’t tough enough to survive the bug-infested jungle, much less life without toilet paper and decaf cappuccino. Then she falls head-over-little-black-heels in love with John–a dashing Peace Corps recruiter whose do-gooder passions outshine her own. She becomes more determined than ever to get into the Peace Corps – and to win John’s heart in the process. 

Assigned to Ecuador, she yearns for warm showers and cold beers (instead of the other way around!) . And though she occasionally finds herself overwhelmed by her work reuniting homeless children with their families, she learns to delight in small successes. But a year into her service, a tragedy befalls one of her fellow volunteers which unearths troubling memories from Eve’s past and causes her to return, rather unceremoniously, to the US. Back home, Eve attempts to settle down with John and get reacquainted with the joys of sushi and supermarkets. But faster than she can say “pass the malaria pills,” John accepts a job with CARE in a remote corner of Africa and Eve gets a second chance to test her mettle in the Third World. 

With uproarious wit and candor, Eve Brown-Waite details the (mis)adventures that ensue. From intestinal parasites and guerrilla warfare, to culture clashes, and unexpected friendships, First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria captures the thrills and absurdities of global humanitarian life in a story any globetrotter – armchair or otherwise – will love.

And, finally, there is my original presentation/review — written on April 3, 2009 and reposted here on August 19, 2009:

From the cover of her memoir, Debutante Eve Brown-Waite’s “eye” peeks out from behind the jungle foliage of either a Latin American, Asian or African country, and one can only imagine what she has seen. Perhaps it’s something exotic, dangerous, or yet another test of daily survival during her years in the Peace Corps?…Read more…

So lace up those hiking boots, grab your safari jacket, and trek over to the nearest bookstore where a passport in the book guise of First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How A Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and A Third World Adventure Changed My Life is waiting to take you away….

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria in a random drawing of all comments left on this post. The deadline is Wednesday, April, 14, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winners to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return on Thursday to possibly claim your book.

The Revealing of Eve Brown-Waite

April 07, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

evebrown1Eve Brown-Waite had an “idea” that joining The Peace Corps might be exciting for a recent college graduate without a career goal in mind. She met the recruiter, fell hard for him, and thought her commitment to The Corps might bring forth a romantic commitment too. Yes it’s the girl meets boy theme that begins Eve’s memoir, First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How A Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and A Third World Adventure Changed My Life, which will be released in Paperback next Tuesday, April 13, 2010.

Here’s what one Book Club reader, Rolf Potts, said about the hardcover edition:

“First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria is an unconventional but enthralling love story …. This book evolves into a wonderful tale of one woman’s adventures in marriage, family, career, and world exploration.”

Who has Eve Brown-Waite become? By reading her “official” bio, you’ll learn:

Eve Brown-Waite was a finalist for both an Iowa Review Award and a Glimmer Train Award, and the first runner up for the 2008 New Millennium Writings Award for stories she wrote about her time abroad. She lives with her husband and two children in Massachusetts.

And now let’s get to know the “real” Eve:

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: Pretty damn good, but sometimes I forget that.

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: The whole family happy and healthy, discovering a new place together. Ideally, a developing nation where we could stay for awhile and do some good.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Getting to the end and feeling like I’ve wasted my life.

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

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: The very strange lovechild of Erma Bombeck and Che Guevera.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: Al Gore. When the country gave him a huge, stinking lemon, he used it to try to make a difference.

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases
A: My kids would probably say, “Make good choices.” Either that, or “penis.”

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

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: Still being sane, happily married to an incredible man, and the mother of two really awesome kids.

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: I care way too much what others think about me.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: I see the funny in everything!

Q: What do you regret most?
A: Not opening a Thai cooking school for tourists on Koh Samui.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: Me, but happier. And taller.

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: Unfortunately, my voice. I have a condition called, Muscle Tension Dysphonia, which makes me sound like I’m about a hundred years old and on my last breath.

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: Tiger Woods, and I’d say, “Why am I supposed to give a hoot about your sex life?”

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: That the publishing industry is far more concerned with BIG SALES than with great books. Oh, I also hate radio commercials that use kids as spokespeople. (I know, I know, I’m sorry. But it just drives me batty!)

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Doing freelance ministry.

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: Doing random acts of kindness, writing funny and inspiring blog posts or columns about them and getting paid for it!

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
Honesty, kindness, a sense of humor.

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: Really, really good Tom Kah Gai (Thai chicken and lemongrass soup)

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: That’s too hard! There are too many! How about five from the “soundtrack” to FIRST COMES LOVE? The Story by Brandi Carlile, On The Road to Find Out by Cat Stevens, Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel, The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens and Every Day I Write the Book by Elvis Costello.

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: Oh my god, there are soooo many! Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Amy Tan’s The Hundred Secret Senses, Jim Fergus’s One Thousand White Women, and then I have to include two of my absolute favorites from many, many years ago (and I haven’t re-read them in quite awhile, so I’m not sure if they still even hold up, but they made such an impression on me when I was younger that I must include them). Dorothy Bryant’s The Kin of Atta are Waiting for You, and Herland by Charlottte Perkins Gilman.

Eve Brown-Waite is funny, talented, and dedicated to love — including noteworthy Causes. Become a friend on Facebook and follow along on her journey through life.

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Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away a copy of The Swimming Pool in a random drawing of all comments left on this post. The deadline is tonight at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winners to be announced here in tomorrow’s post. If you enter, please return tomorrow to possibly claim your book.

Our Authors’ Go-To Writing Books, III

March 25, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Q&A

Today’s post presents the third and final additions in response to this question:

I wondered, what do your authors read in the way of writing books? Do they have favorites they refer to again and again? Do they read the classics like, Bird by Bird, or Writing Down the Bones, or do they favor books on craft like, Save the Cat?

Reading (and writing) minds want to know!

Shana Mahaffey (Sounds Like Crazy):

“The best investment I EVER made was Blockbuster Plots by Martha Alderson. The book is terrific, it is well written, full of examples and exercises. I also invested in getting my plots whispered out of me via consultation with Martha. You can’t go wrong with this book and/or her help.”

Emily Winslow (The Whole World coming May 25, 2010):

“I love Donald Maass’ books. He does a good job of inspiring without being too precise.

“I no longer read books on releasing one’s imagination and creativity. They’re invaluable when you need them, but I had enough “release your inner creativity” in acting school to last me a lifetime. (I’m also of a specific age and demographic that had touchy-feely public school. Remember trust falls? We used to do those in *gym class*.) I’m glad I learned it, but I don’t need to add to it any more.

“At this stage, I get most of my writing advice from industry blogs and discussion at Absolute Write and Backspace.”

Robert Gregory Browne (Kill Her Again, etc. and Down Among the Dead Men coming May 25, 2010):

“The only book you’ll ever need is TELLING LIES FOR FUN AND PROFIT by Lawrence Block.”

Danielle Younge-Ullman (Falling Under):

“I always come back to Steven King’s On Writing and there’s a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield that’s great. Both of these are particularly good for motivation, pushing through when you don’t feel like it. (And I guess I prefer writing books written by guys named Steven, lol.) For editing I like Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.”

Meredith Cole (Posed for Murder, Dead in the Water coming May 11, 2010):

“I enjoyed reading Bird by Bird and Stephen King’s book On Writing. I have a large collection of screenwriting books that I reread as well. Creating Unforgettable Characters by LInda Segar is worth a read, no matter what you’re writing.”

Alicia Bessette (Simply from Scratch coming August 5, 2010):

“The writing books I’ve found particularly helpful include Stephen King’s ON WRITING and YOUR FIRST NOVEL by Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb (the latter discusses both writing and publishing). And yes, I adore BIRD BY BIRD.”

Eve Brown-Waite (First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How A Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and A Third World Adventure Changed My Life):

“My very favorite writing book has always been, Bird by Bird. Also, when I read what I consider a really, really well-crafted book, I re-read it, trying to see how the author did that. Amy Tan’s THE HUNDRED SECRET SENSES and Margaret Atwood’s THE HANDMAID’S TALE. fall into that category for me.”

Therese Walsh (The Last Will of Moira Leahy):

“I gravitate more toward craft books than inspirational ones, though I own both. My two favorites—the ones that will always be on my keeper shelf—are “Writing the Breakout Novel” by Donald Maass and “Save the Cat” by Blake Snyder, because they provide the tools for creating a standout novel.”

A major thank you to all our authors who contributed to this book list!

Our Authors’ Go-To Writing Books, I, Our Authors’ Go-To Writing Books, II

Happy Holidays from CJ Lyons, Holly LeCraw, Kristina Riggle, and Eve Brown-Waite

December 22, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Authors' Holidays

‘Tis the season for rejoicing in memorable music, books and movies as well as sharing with others in need, and that’s what our authors offer today.


CJ’s Favorite Holiday Entertainment

CJLyonstmbI know many people will say It’s a Wonderful Life and I too, love that one. But my two favorite movies that I never miss over the holidays are The Bishop’s Wife (the original with Cary Grant and Loretta Young) and Scrooge! with Albert Finney.

I love Scrooge! because the music is wonderful, tunes that make your toes tap all yearlong, and Albert Finney does a wonderful job of giving Scrooge a real emotional depth rather than just the stereotype he’s become to our jaded, modern eyes.

I also re-read Dicken’s A Christmas Carol each year–and yes, still end up crying everytime!!!

As for Christmas carols, I love to sing them all year round! My favs include Carol of the Bells, Angels We Have Heard on High, O Holy Night, and The Holly and the Ivy….

Here’s hoping everyone, no matter your own beliefs or traditions, has a holiday filled with good food, great joy, and the love of friends and family!
CJ Lyons (Lifelines, Warning Signs, Urgent Care)


Holly’s Choices for Favorite Music, Book nd Movie

HollyLetmbWhen I was in high school I sang with the choir, and we had a wonderful book of carols from England that had some beautiful, rather obscure ones. One of my favorites was “See Amid the Winter’s Snow.” I really wish I had that book now. I also love “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”–it’s an advent hymn–it is so solemn and spooky. The lyrics are from the fourth century. [And can be read/heard here.]

Book–well, everyone, I mean everyone, should hear Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory read aloud at least once, and preferably many times, during their lifetime. I would also like to mention that I know The Night Before Christmas by heart. Even “The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow/Gave the luster of midday to objects below…” So Victorian. (Sorry for showing off!)

Movies– I am just a sucker for all of them, but I always cry at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street–the original. (And I am not a crier.) That cane in the corner! Chills!
Holly LeCraw (The Swimming Pool coming April 6, 2010)

Kistina’s Ultimate Carol

KristinatmbMy favorite holiday carol by far is “O Holy Night.” The music is so beautiful it makes me want to weep, and I like to sing it (to myself) though I know I can’t do those soaring notes justice. My favorite memory associated with that song is when I went as part of a church youth group to an old folks’ home. Mostly we were singing, but I had my violin, and I played solo, without accompaniment of any kind, “O Holy Night.” Watching the elderly men and women become transported by that beautiful hymn has stayed with me all these years. Music is my other favorite way to connect with people, besides my writing, of course.
Kristina Riggle (Real Life & Liars)


Eve’s Best Gift Given

EvetmbHands down the best present I ever gave was a check for the $300 to someone I used to work with to buy a new hot water heater that had broken down two weeks before Christmas. This woman had a pretty rough row to hoe – wracked with arthritis, taking in some tough foster kids to help make ends meet and now had to shower in ice cold water (in New England in December, no less). I knew she didn’t have an extra $300 lying around for this unforeseen expense.

My family and I had just decided to splurge on an aquarium as a gift for the whole family. But when I heard Diane’s story I came home and asked everyone if instead of buying ourselves a fish tank, could we give the money to her for a hot water heater. The first gift was that our kids – who were about 8 and 11 at the time – agreed without too much arm-twisting. And the second gift was that Diane accepted the money. You know how they say it’s better to give than to receive? Well, giving that gift definitely felt better than any gift I’ve ever received.
Eve Brown-Waite (First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How A Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and A Third World Adventure Changed My Life)

The Muse in the Mirror

December 03, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

Throughout the fall The Divining Wand has asked its authors: What does your Muse look like? Or what does s/he sound like? Or what does s/he feel like? Muse(less)? What inspires you to write? While all the responses have been fascinating and varied, it’s now time to put the Muse to rest with these final thoughts.

Melanie Benjamin (Alice I Have Been coming January 12, 2010):

“Well, my muse for Alice I Have Been was the photograph of Alice Liddell herself, at age 7, taken by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll). But I really don’t think I have a muse; I have a great curiosity about many things, and I follow that until it leads me to the next amazing story I just have to write.”

Eve Brown-Waite (First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How A Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and A Third World Adventure Changed My Life):

“I don’t think I have a muse … and I’m starting to feel left out. I was inspired to write my book because I JUST HAD TO TELL THAT STORY. IT WOULD NOT LET GO OF MY LIFE until I did. Plain and simple. I have felt at other times like I have JUST HAD TO WRITE an essay, a political commentary or (don’t laugh) a letter to the editor, as well. This urgency comes not solely because I feel strongly about something, but more because I feel like I am seeing it a way that others are not. I guess my muse (such as it is) is just feeling like there is something I just have to say!”

Tish Cohen (Town House, Inside Out Girl, Little Black Lies YA):

‘He’s purple and hairy. He sulks quite a bit, if I’m being honest. He has a naughty chair. Or what does s/he sound like? Like the adults on the Peanuts. Believe me, that gets old…fast. Or what does s/he feel like? His feet feel like leather.”

Judy Merrill Larsen (All the Numbers):

“My muse (or muses, perhaps?) is more the voices in my head–characters sort of start talking or muttering, sometimes even shouting, until I know I have to sit down and write. When I’m on a roll (and the muse is happy, I suppose) I feel kind of itchy-twitchy until I can get back to the WIP.”

Lauren Baratz-Logsted (most recent Crazy Beautiful YA):

“I’m embarrassed to say that my Muse looks like me. How vain is that? But seriously, if I don’t drive me, I don’t know who will.”

Allison Winn Scotch (The Department of Lost and Found, Time of My Life and The One That I Want coming June 1, 2010):

“I’m not sure that I have a muse, in fact, I definitely don’t. I think my muse is more myself, at least that’s what inspires me to write. What I mean by that is that I enjoy taking snippets of my emotional map – for example, maybe wondering about my what-ifs, exploring my feelings about my past and how it’s led me to where I’ve become, – and putting them into my characters. This is true for both my protagonists in my first two books, and to an extent with my third protagonist with my upcoming book. I like exploring women who maybe aren’t taking full responsibility for living complete lives and seeing if I can transform them. So that’s really my inspiration – I always feel like I learn a little bit about myself as I write.”

Emily Winslow (The Whole World coming May 25, 2010):

“Is it too glib to admit that my muse looks an awful lot like a good cup of coffee?”

Is there a question you’d like the authors to answer? If so, please email it to diviningwand (AT) gmail (DOT) com

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’ 20/20 Hindsight

October 08, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

Knowledge, wisdom even savviness comes through learning and living life experiences, whether personal or professional. And, while we all go through this process, writers who become authors usually do so through the school of hard knocks. With this in mind, The Divining Wand asked its authors: If you knew then, what you know now about writing as an art and a business, what might you have done differently?

Here are some of their responses and musings:

Eve Brown-Waite (First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How A Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and A Third World Adventure Changed My Life):

“I’m actually so glad I did NOT know much about the writing business while I was pushing so hard to write and get my book published. If I did, I might have just given up. An awful lot is expected of the authors in terms of book promotion after the book is published. And more often than not, authors do it on their own with little support from their publishing house and they pay for most of it themselves! Of course, you can choose NOT to do it, but that just diminishes your chances of success on the first book and the chances of getting a good deal on your next book. So writers often feel stuck doing what they don’t like to do or may not even be good at. And they’re pretty much in it on their own. Of course, I’d heard all this, but didn’t totally “get it” until it happened to me.”

Eileen Cook (Unpredictable, What Would Emma Do? YA and Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood YA, coming January 5, 2010):

“Ah hindsight…. I’m not sure I would do anything different. Everything that has happened so far, both good and bad, has been a part of the journey. If I could go back in time and tell my pre-published self to relax a little I would. This is what I wanted for so long that I spent a lot of time worrying about every step of the process instead of always enjoying it. I’ve been very fortunate to have met and been supported by so many great writers. For example, Kristy Kiernan invited me to be a founding member of The Debutante Ball. This was such a great experience and connected me with so many other writers including Meg Cabot who gave me a blurb for my second book. Kristy is a great example of how by giving, you gain so much more.”

Therese Fowler (Souvenir, Reunion):

“I don’t know that I’d do anything differently. I’ve had a few hard knocks because of enthusiasm and/or naivete, but the outcome has been so positive that I consider even those knocks as a necessary and maybe even desirable part of the process.”

Emily Winslow (The Whole World coming May 25, 2010):

“I would have started using PLOT years ago. Vivid settings, interesting characters and insightful themes are all well and good, but they really need to DO stuff….”

Announcement: The winners of Tish Cohen’s Little Black Lies are RKCharron and Jane. Please email: diviningwand (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address and your copy will be sent out. Congratulations!

Presenting Debutante Eve Brown-Waite and First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria

August 19, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books, Uncategorized

[Note: It’s mid-week of the continuing celebration for The Debutante Class of 09 and it’s time to spotlight Eve Brown-Waite’s adventurous memoir which debuted in April.]


From the cover of her memoir, Debutante Eve Brown-Waite’s “eye” peeks out from behind the jungle foliage of either a Latin American, Asian or African country, and one can only imagine what she has seen. Perhaps it’s something exotic, dangerous, or yet another test of daily survival during her years in the Peace Corps? But tomorrow — April 14, 2009 — readers throughout America can follow her journeys when they pick up and purchase First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life. And yes, that’s correct, it all began in her quest for love…well, sort of.

By reading (and you know you will) the brief bio, on the back flap of the book’s dust jacket, you’ll learn:

“Eve Brown-Waite was a finalist for both an Iowa Review Award and a Glimmer Train Award, and the first runner up for the 2008 New Millennium Writings Award for stories she wrote about her time abroad. She lives with her husband and two children in Massachusetts.”

You’d like to learn more, wouldn’t you? Well, to immediately know and love Deb Eve, all you have to do is read her September 5, 2008 Debutante Ball post, Last One Out … or Eve in a Nutshell. This writer with the large and engaging personality may only be 5′ 2″ but TRUST that most of her is all heart.

Since Deb Eve has written a memoir — which she has told us is all true and funny –, the backstory of what inspired and/or motivated her to write the book should be obvious. However it’s the December 5, 2008 post, Do the Dictionary and Thesaurus Count? OR My Love Letter to Anne Lamott, by Deb Eve that explain the real reasons. Hmm, a book that changed her writing…what could reading First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria do for you? Here’s the Synopsis:

From Booklist
“College graduate Eve is looking for a meaningful endeavor and settles on the Peace Corps. Though she’s not sure a life without creature comforts is for her, she is certain of one thing: John, the Peace Corps recruiter, is the guy for her. The couple faces a two-year separation when Eve receives a placement in Ecuador. Reluctantly, Eve leaves John and heads to South America where, after a time, she finds her niche reuniting lost children with their families—until a coworker’s rape brings up traumatic memories for her and she’s sent back home. Though her stint in the Peace Corps is over, a future with John means a life less ordinary, and soon after their marriage he accepts a job with CARE in Uganda. Once there, Eve finds the people welcoming but the lack of amenities—the power is turned on for only three hours at night—and the persistent insect population daunting. With an appealing, down-to-earth voice, Brown-Waite chronicles her adventures abroad in an accessible, humorous tone sure to appeal to armchair travelers.”

And the literary trade journal, Kirkus Review says:
“A laugh-out-loud debut . . . a refreshing voice . . . As revealing as it is entertaining.”

Why not test such high praise out right now by reading, Chapter One In the Beginning (There Was John).

Now how’s that for a tease? Deb Eve “hooks” us without even leaving home! A few weeks ago, though, she finally shared a few of her adventures by writing: “One of my sweetest and most fulfilling memories of living abroad – and specifically in northern Uganda – was finally mastering the art of cooking – fine meals – up in the bush.” To be truly amazed, read the entire post, The Real Reason, by Deb Eve.

It’s the fun in life that this memoirist seeks out, just visit her website and click The Author to learn:

“We had a saying in the Peace Corps: “‘If you go to Latin America, you’ll come back fomenting revolution; If you go to Asia, you’ll come back spiritually enlightened; And if you go to Africa, you’ll come back laughing.'” All of which begs the question: what happens if you go to Antarctica? Well, I can’t answer that question. But I can tell you what happened to that wacky girl who graduated (after only five and a half years) from the State University of New York College at Oneonta (school cheer: “‘Give me an O; Give me an N; Give me a beer!'”). She went to Latin America, Asia and Africa, and she came back a weird amalgam of Che Guevara, Mother Teresa and Erma Bombeck! She also came back with malaria and roundworms. But at least she’s never alone!

“For seven years, I lived in Ecuador, Uganda and Uzbekistan – sometimes with the Peace Corps, sometimes with CARE, and sometimes just following my big, brave, do-gooder husband around the world. I am neither big nor brave, but that doesn’t seem to stop me from going to some pretty far-out places and getting into some pretty dicey predicaments (or jail or someone else’s civil war). I live in Western Massachusetts now (with the guy I call “‘St. John'” cause he hates when I refer to him as “‘the live organ donor,'” and with the two kids we made with stuff we had lying around the house). Being back in the states hasn’t stopped me from writing about life in the rest of the world – and it hasn’t necessarily kept me out of trouble (or jail) either.”

So what does Deb Eve hope to accomplish — in addition to entertaining you — with First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria? After much serious thought, she shared her purpose in the recent post, Calling All Angels, by Deb Eve. And for anyone who didn’t click the linked “How much good can a do-gooder do with one good book?,” here are the writer’s Causes.

Almost ready to head on over to your local bookstore or order First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria online. Eve Brown-Waite will take you places that even she never dreamed of going, but she did and those experiences changed her life. And, while merely reading about her adventures likely won’t change your life, it could very well change your perspective on living in this world…enjoy!


For every author the first time they see their book on a bookstore shelf brings on a goosebump moment, however there are other such moments and Deb Eve agrees:

“It was an entire year of goosebumps. A year of goosebumps and frustrations in a funny way. But one of the goosebumpiest, most joyful moments had to be on the evening of my book release event – the big one in my hometown. It started with a window FULL of my books in the local bookstore. What a thrill! Then two and a half hours of people LINING THE STORE waiting to get my autograph! People kept asking if my hand was getting cramped. But the honest truth was, I could have happily signed books forever! I really felt like a celebrity as John and I walked down the street to my party. I had flowers and balloons and people were waving and cheering. Then we walked into the party and my jaw dropped. Everyone stood up and applauded as I walked in. I was absolutely speechless (and that does not happen very often for me!). I felt like a superstar. St. John took the stage and said the sweetest things and then I had to speak. I talked about why I had felt compelled all these years to write the book. Why I just couldn’t give up. Why I HAD to share the story of where I’d lived, what I’d seen and how I knew we really all were connected. And people cried! They actually cried. And then lined up to buy some more books! We sold 186 books that night. It was the most amazing evening of my life.”

[There are goosebbumps galore too for Deb Founder Tish Cohen who announced hat “film rights to Inside Out Girl sold to producers Steven Pearl (Untraceable, The Baster) and Rosalie Swedlin, with the wildly talented Allison Burnett (Fame, Untraceable, Autumn in New York, Feast of Love) adapting for film” with Tish herself signed on as consulting producer! Congratulations Tish!!!