The Divining Wand

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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?

AND

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

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

TradecoverMALARIA

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.

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.]

FCLovebn

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!

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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!!!