The Divining Wand

Discovering authors beyond their pages…
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Mia King and Table Manners

August 03, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Contests, News

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Two and a half years ago Mia King debuted as a novelist with Good Things and immediately had fans wanting more of her heroine Deidre McIntosh’s story. Writing in a style that made Deidre’s life and environment oh so real, the author — after publication of her second novel Sweet Life — turned her attention back to Deidre, her friends and even Marla. Indeed she discovered there was much more story to tell and, better yet, this book (although a sequel) could easily stand on its own. Of course you can judge for yourself when Table Manners appears for purchase in bookstores and online tomorrow.

However visit the author’s website now and read Mia’s synopsis:

“I am so excited about TABLE MANNERS, which is a selection of the Doubleday, Literary Guild, Rhapsody, and Book of the Month Club book clubs. It’s a book with generous servings of food and friendship, with wonderful recipes from prominent chefs and foodies from Seattle to Paris. You’ll meet the ever-resourceful lifestyle maven Deidre McIntosh, who has a knack for getting back up when life knocks her down. At 41, she’s created a new life for herself and has a wonderful relationship with Kevin Johnson, one of Seattle’s most eligible and sexy bachelors. Creative, energetic and loving, Deidre is the person people go to whenever they need a helping hand.

“But when her branded line of baked goods runs into trouble and an ex-fiancée shows up intent on finagling her way back into Kevin’s life, it’s Deidre who needs help. On top of that, the two people she can count on the most—Lindsey Miller and her best friend William Sen—have crises of their own and are relying on her to see them through.

“I hope you’ll read TABLE MANNERS and see how tenacious and creative Deidre can be while making room for the things—and people—that matter most. I know you’ll be cheering for her as much as I do!”

Now here’s an Excerpt from Table Manners.

In the First Review for Table Manners: Four Stars, Romantic Times, Sandra Garcia-Myers wrote:

“In this the follow-up to Good Things, Deidre McIntosh must figure out the right ingredients to make the recipe for her life work. As she does this, King provides a feast for the imagination, since much of the plot revolves around food. There’s no real doubt that this will end with a happily ever after, but the reader will enjoy getting there. There’s a treat at the end, where several mouthwatering recipes await.”

And Food Loves Writing’s post, Take it with you, of July 17, 2009, says:

“The literary version of a romantic comedy … as engrossing as any chick flick.”

Although these reviews are both positive and true, there’s much more than food and a seemingly light-hearted storyline to Table Manners. In fact, to Mia’s credit, she deals with serious and timely issues in this women’s fiction novel including: the current economy; women’s health; gay rights; single parenthood; trust in a relationship; the repercussions of sibling rivalry and the ultimate goal of believing in one’s self. Perhaps that she does so without over-the-top maudlin scenarios – along with the promise of “happily ever after” ending – creates the feeling that this is just a “fun” read. And it is, along with being filled with a substantive message.

In the author’s own words, the novel revolves around: “Food, friendship, and family. Also, that everyone has a story, that nothing is set in stone, and that anything is possible. People can change, for better or for worse, but I believe that it’s always an evolution towards something better. TABLE MANNERS reminds us how much joy exists and everyone can get a share no matter what their situation.”

Could it be that this savvy writer – who is also a wife, mother of three, homeschooling parent, business owner and writing teacher – understands that a spoonful of sugar helps one face and deal with reality? If Mia does, she’s provided Table Manners readers with her trademark recipes (fortified with sugar and healthy ingredients too) from prominent chefs, chocolatiers, restaurateurs and food bloggers from Washington state and Paris.

Table Manners is meant to be enjoyed on several levels, so indulge in reuniting or getting to know Mia King’s characters. And, once you’ve reached The End, go beyond her novel’s pages and discover those delicious recipes…what a treat!

For anyone wishing to win a copy of Table Manner, just leave a comment as your entry to the contest. A random drawing will be held with the winner to be announced in Thursday’s post.

[Note: Mia King was one of the six Founder Debs of The Debutante Ball’s Class of 2007 and yesterday The Debutantes of 2010 were announced.

Congratulations to: Joelle Anthony, RESTORING HARMONY (YA, Putnam, May 2010); Alicia Bessette, ALL COME HOME (book club fiction, Dutton, August 2010); Maria Garcia-Kalb, 101 WAYS TO TORTURE YOUR HUSBAND (chick-lit humor, Adams Media, January 2010); Sarah Pekkanen, THE OPPOSITE OF ME (women’s fiction, Atria Books, March 2010); and Emily Winslow, THE WHOLE WORLD (literary/mystery, Bantam Dell, May 2010).

The outgoing Deb Class of 2009 promises: “These debut authors and their books represent a variety of categories and genres, and most importantly, authors with clear, smart voices that will resonate with the Debutante Ball’s readers.”

Their waltzing (aka weekly blogging) begins the week of August 31st, yet it is hoped that this Fairy Godmother can meet up with them on the Red Carpet the week prior to their formal bows and introduce them here. TRUST: There isn’t a better way to discover authors beyond their pages than at The Debutante Ball! And this year daily attendance will be even easier now that there is a Twitter feed, where you’ll find each day’s, along with Deb news highlights. Please click here to follow!]

News, Reviews and An Interview

July 09, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Books, Interviews, News

There’s a bit of everything to report for the end of this week, beginning with Holly Kennedy (The Silver Compass, The Penny Tree and The Tin Box), offering some writing inspiration (or maybe just a break away from it all) to fellow authors. Where? Hawaii! For details, please visit Holly’s blog and read Hawaii bound for writing inspiration. Now those are authors who will be going far beyond their pages!

Mia King has received this first “official review for Table Manners due out on August 4, 2009:

“In this the follow-up to Good Things, Deidre McIntosh must figure out the right ingredients to make the recipe for her life work. As she does this, King provides a feast for the imagination, since much of the plot revolves around food. There’s no real doubt that this will end with a happily ever after, but the reader will enjoy getting there. There’s a treat at the end, where several mouthwatering recipes await.”__Sandra Garcia-Myers, Romantic Times

The novel garnered four stars which, according to their guide, translates into compelling — page-turner.

Reviews and blurbs for Crazy Beautiful also have Lauren Baratz-Logsted smiling. Scheduled for release on September 7, 2009, the novel’s early praise includes:

“Somehow, this romance transcends all of its potential pitfalls to create a powerful story about recovery and friendship.”__Kirkus

“Lauren Baratz-Logsted doesn’t write icky, gooey love. She writes stark, broken, gorgeous love. When you need a retreat, when you need to feel something, or when you just need a breather from your own freaky life, this is the love story you’ll run to. Crazy Beautiful has two hearts, one soul. I can’t wait to read it again.” ~ Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of WAKE

“Written in spare, evocative, prose, Lauren Baratz-Logsted crafts a beautiful story of love and redemption so gorgeously rendered I was enthralled from the very first page. This book is simply breathtaking—and one you’ll want to return to again and again!”- Alyson Noël, #1 New York Times bestselling author of EVERMORE

“CRAZY BEAUTIFUL is gripping, with moments of sheer brilliance.” ~ Ellen Hopkins, New York Times bestselling author of CRANK and IMPULSE

And for anyone interested in how this site came to be (as well as a little about me), please visit Suzanne Anderson’s A View From Table One to read The Divining Wand — A New Spell Is Cast. Suzanne has been a great friend and enthusiastic cheerleader and I send her a hundred thank yous!

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

Ingredients:

* 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

Directions:

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.]