Today’s guest: Darien Gee
Why we love her: We fell in love with her book, Friendship Bread, and plan to devour anything else she writes–ever.
Her latest: The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society
The scoop on it: Welcome to Avalon, Illinois, Pop. 4,243. At Madeline’s Tea Salon, the cozy hub of the Avalon community, local residents scrapbook their memories and make new ones. But across town, other Avalonians are struggling to free themselves of the past: Isabel Kidd is fixing up her ramshackle house while sorting through the complications of her late husband’s affair. Ava Catalina is mourning the love of her life and helping her young son grow up without his father. Local plumber Yvonne Tate is smart, beautiful, and new to Avalon, but finds that despite a decade of living life on her own terms, the past has a way of catching up—no matter where she goes. And Frances Latham, mother to a boisterous brood of boys, eagerly anticipates the arrival of a little girl from China—unprepared for the emotional roller coaster of foreign adoption.
Enter Bettie Shelton, the irascible founder of the Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. Under Bettie’s guidance, even the most reluctant of Avalon’s residents come to terms with their past and make bold decisions about their future. But when the group receives unexpected news about their steadfast leader, they must pull together to create something truly memorable.
By turns humorous, wise, and deeply moving, The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is a luminous reminder that the things we hold most dear will last a lifetime.
Our thoughts: A charming novel we couldn’t put down. We simply love the way she writes!
Giveaway: FIVE copies (US only). Just leave a comment & be entered to win. We’ll select the winners after 3pm PST on February 3rd.
Fun fact: You might also know Darien as Mia King, the author of more fabulous books!
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS…DARIEN GEE’S 5 BEST EVERS
BEST SONG: Love Song by Sara Bareilles. I loved the song the first moment I heard it, but it was the video of her listening to her song playing on the radio for the first time (you can do a search on YouTube) that really did me in. I think she’s a great songwriter and artist.
BEST BOOK: She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, which really taught me about great characters, great plot, great writing. It was a book that really spoke to readers, and it changed the way I viewed literary and commercial novels.
BEST MOVIE: Baby Boom starring Diane Keaton and written/directed by Nancy Meyer. I have a lot of respect for both of them, actress and writer. My novels, especially my Mia King work, follows in the same vein. I would follow Nancy Meyer to the ends of the earth (Something’s Gotta Give is another favorite).
BEST LIFE MOMENT: My third child was born at home. My first birth had been a Cesarean section, and there’s not a lot of respect for natural birth after a surgical birth. I’m also a chicken when it comes to pain and obviously there are no meds with a home birth. So this was a game changer for me on a lot of levels, the least of which was that I really learned to trust myself, my body and my own instincts.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE: “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” Steve Jobs. I think this is especially great advice for women, who are consummate multi-taskers. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean that we should, and learning to deliberately choose where we put our time, energy and heart can make the difference between happiness and unhappiness, success and failure.
Thanks, Darien! xoxo, Liz & Lisa