The Divining Wand

Discovering authors beyond their pages…

Instant Reading Gratification:
Three ebooks at the Ready

January 24, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: ebooks, Recommendations

[Now that ereaders have become more popular than ever The Divining Wand believes that occasional recommendations of ebooks would be a welcome feature. Today, starting off the series of Instant Reading Gratification, there are two comedic novels and one timely drama. May you enjoy!]

Dee DeTarsio (The Scent of Jade) continues to amuse in a thoughtful way with ROS, described as:

DeTarsio’s literary talents shine with tenderness and humor as she once again takes readers into the heart of women’s lives in an unforgettable tale. Filled with friendship, love, loss, betrayal and out-of-this-world challenges that force her characters to find their place in the universe, Ros gives us the hopefully-ever-after we’re all searching for.

When a plane crashed behind Micki Cramer’s house, in San Diego, California, she kept waiting for the sirens and rescue team to show up. As the first responder, it was up to her to tug on the arm that was waving out of the broken wreckage. Holding her breath against the choking smoke, she managed to get the pilot out and carry him to safety into her backyard. He wasn’t that heavy; he was about the size of her 10-year-old nephew, who did play a lot of video games and ate nothing but Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, but still. As it turns out, he wasn’t a guy after all.

Ros, the pilot, was on a mission to find her missing brother who had crash-landed at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. Seems she was a bad driver, too, missing her target by nearly a thousand miles and more than half a century.

If Ros can teach Micki how to use eleven percent of her brain, how can Micki help Ros?

“San Diego author Dee DeTarsio’s Ros is a charming, action-filled suspense novel…With the clock ticking, Ros is a delightful journey of two characters who each yearn to be better.”

“You’ll laugh a lot when you read this book, but under the humor you’ll detect a deftly written story of the redemptive power of love and friendship.” –Carol K. Carr, author of India Black

* * * * *

After spending the last few years writing YA and middle grade books, Lauren Baratz-Logsted (most recent The Twin’s Daughter and Sisters 8 complete series), the versatile and prolific author has written a light-hearted adult novel, The Bro-Magnet published in both Kindle and NOOK Book format.

The description may cause a smile and nod:

Women have been known to lament, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” For Johnny Smith, the problem is, “Always a Best Man, never a groom.” At age 33, housepainter Johnny has been Best Man eight times. The ultimate man’s man, Johnny loves the Mets, the Jets, his weekly poker game, and the hula girl lamp that hangs over his basement pool table. Johnny has the instant affection of nearly every man he meets, but one thing he doesn’t have is a woman to share his life with, and he wants that desperately. When Johnny meets District Attorney Helen Troy, he decides to renounce his bro-magnet ways in order to impress her. With the aid and advice of his friends and family, soon he’s transforming his wardrobe, buying throw pillows, ditching the hula girl lamp, getting a cat and even changing his name to the more mature-sounding John. And through it all, he’s pretending to have no interest in sports, which Helen claims to abhor. As things heat up with Helen, the questions arise: Will Johnny finally get the girl? And, if he’s successful in that pursuit, who will he be now that he’s no longer really himself? THE BRO-MAGNET is a rollicking comedic novel about what one man is willing to give up for the sake of love.

“…an absolutely charming, feel-good read. Lauren Baratz-Logsted writes genuine characters, killer comedic timing and romantic blunders that are truly something special.” ~ Romantic Times

“There are books that make you happy to be a reader. This is one of those books.” ~ Smitten With Reading

* * * * *

Although Kim Arbor has answered So Why Does She Wrtie?, what does she write about in His Wife and Daughters that again can be purchased either as a Kindle Edition or a NOOK Book.

Written from past to present, the novel begins:


Trina Brath and her teenage daughters, Jill and Phoebe, lead happy and privileged lives as the wife and daughters of successful five-term California Congressman Dan Brath. But all that changes when Dan, 52, is suspected of having an affair with Lesley Chisholm, a nineteen-year-old Washington DC intern who has gone missing. Soon Dan Brath is being accused in the harsh media spotlight of not only sleeping with Lesley Chisholm, but responsible for her disappearance.

Despite Trina’s standing by her husband and insisting he is not a murderer—yet keeping the secret that he has cheated on her many times before—the incessant media scrutiny puts a strain on the family, causing their lives to go into a tailspin.

Eight months later, when Lesley mysteriously returns home safe and sound, Dan Brath’s career is over, and his family is in tatters.


The scandal that rocked the Brath family continues to take its toll. Amid media reports of new political sexploits almost every week, it’s a handy reference point for a gossip-hungry public. Besides her trust issues with men, Jill self-medicates with food. Phoebe leads a self-destructive life, having been estranged from the family for years. And Trina, who continues to blame Lesley Chisholm for the family’s financial and career misfortunes, maintains a codependent relationship with her husband.

To make matters worse, Lesley Chisholm is breaking her silence with a tell-all memoir—a book Trina is trying to stop—which is sure to make Dan Brath’s wife and daughters relive the trauma all over again. Will Jill, Trina and Phoebe be able to cope, heal their wounds and move on with their lives?

Told from the viewpoints of the three women, His Wife and Daughters is a moving story of how one family attempts to survive the ultimate betrayal.

“Although sensational and devastating, HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTERS is a quiet little novel about real people. …And what they do and say may stun, annoy, or simply amaze you to wonder: How could they or how could they not?

Kim Arbor holds love and loyalty to the ultimate test in this timely book!” ~ Larramie

* * * * *

ATTENTION: Three Wishes the collaborative true story of three friends’ journey to motherhood (see presentation/review) is officially out in paperback today.


Book Giveaway: In celebration of release day for Sarah McCoy’s The Baker’s Daughter, The Divining Wand will give away one copy of the book — in a random drawing — to anyone who leaves a comment on this post by 11:59 EST tonight! The winner will be announced here on Thursday.

Author Kim Arbor: So Why Does She Write?

January 11, 2012 By: larramiefg Category: Guest Posts

[Have you ever wondered why authors write? It’s not the easiest, stress-free, or stable and secure career choice yet it remains a dream/goal shared by so many. Throughout the next weeks, months, and onward, The Divining Wand will have authors explain their personal reasons.

Introducing this series is Kim Arbor, the pen name of an award winning, New York published novelist who has both an MFA in Creative Writing and a serious addiction to gummy bears. Kim is the author of the new women’s fiction novel, His Wife and Daughters, about a congressman’s political sex scandal of twenty years ago and the effect it still has on his wife and two daughters today. His Wife and Daughters is available as an e-book on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.]

Kim Arbor: So Why Does She Write?

When I get asked the question, “Why do you write?” my first response is usually to say that I can’t not write. I’ve used the written word to express myself in some way or another since I learned to put pen to paper and fingers to keyboard. Letters, journals, songwriting, web content, tech writing, short fiction, novels, nonfiction—I’ve done it all and can’t get enough of it.

But although it’s some kind of addiction for sure and a never-ending drive to communicate (I am, after all, a Gemini—the great communicator of the Zodiac) if I continue to think about it, I suppose I write because I’m embarking on a constant journey to try to solve, understand and attempt to explain the puzzles and complexities of human behavior. Well, what else would you expect from a college psychology major?

Last fall a study conducted by psychological researchers at the University of Buffalo concluded that readers don’t read fiction for escape or fantasy, but to connect with others. The researchers asserted that reading novels provides “the opportunity for social connection and the blissful calm that comes from being a part of something larger than oneself for a precious, fleeting moment.”

The mention of social interaction brings us to the e-word: empathy. And why shouldn’t this fulfillment of a need for a social connection also be the impetus of the fiction writer? I know it is with me.

It can be said that empathy is one of the great powers of fiction. I find it fulfilling and challenging to try and identify with a character, enter her consciousness, and explore her motivations. That’s one of the things that turns me on about writing long fiction and having the time and space to build characters that live and breathe. In attempting to make sense out of the world and the people in it through my characters, I need to fall in love with them and understand them as deeply as I possibly can.

When I create a character like Trina Brath in my new novel, His Wife and Daughters, I’m not drawing from my own life. I’ve always been puzzled and, frankly baffled, by wives of politicians who stand by their men after being humiliated by their husbands’ sex scandals. But instead of taking an exterior view of these women, throwing my hands up and stating “they’re crazy,” and feeling how there’s now way I’d ever do that, I go deeper. I look into how I’ve perhaps misunderstood these women; I try to get into their skin. I find an empathy, even a love, for my characters, which I hope will make them complex and empathetic to my readers even if they’re not necessarily the type of person we’d want to emulate.

And being empathizers in the fictional world hopefully makes us better people in the real world. Understanding others is important to everyone—readers and writers alike. And that’s a big reason why I write.