A new year, a new blog…sorta

Hi,

My name is Kat.  Some of you may know me from the two earlier books in the Spotlight on Sentinel Pass series that Debra wrote. My book is going on sale this month. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have my deepest, most personal thoughts, foibles and dumb mistakes made public. Thanks, Deb.

Actually, the book—DADDY BY SURPRISE—turned out better than I expected. After all, this is my life we’re talking about. And I’m a screw-up. Ask anyone. Except Jack. Don’t ask him. He thinks I’m pretty darn amazing. That’s what makes this book sorta fun. That and the really weird, surprisingly sexy, off-the-wall part. I’d talk about it, but then I’d have to cry SPOILER. Don’t you hate that? Do you skip whatever follows or read it and wish you hadn’t?

I already polled our book club with that question. Here are their answers:

Libby – skips over it.

Jenna – skims over it, retaining only what she wants.

Char – erases the whole message.

I — read the spoiler and wish I hadn’t.

Very telling, don’t you think?

Anyway, this morning, when I woke up in Deb’s head, I had a very specific goal in mind to introduce our new Wine, Women and Words book club exchange, but now I’ve forgotten what it was. You try keeping up with two kids (Tag and Jordy are great, BTW, thanks for asking) and a new love. Jack is…there aren’t enough words. Trust me. Deb did her best, but a whole book isn’t enough. Guess that’s the good part of a connected series. We’re there in Mac’s book (in May) and Char’s book (in September). All of us book club gals will be in all the books.

Speaking of the book club, here’s how this non-blog book club works…we hope. We pick a book for the month and discuss it. We expect this to take a month because, although the main members of the club will get together for food and wine on a certain night, the rest of you Members-At-Large will chime in as you stumble across this.

The December book was: THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY.

Here’s a quick breakdown of each member’s response to date:

Libby: “I read it on the plane back to L.A. The worst part was trying not to laugh out loud and cry profusely in public. Cooper thought I was going to melt in a big fat puddle in the seat. Thank God for First Class—leather seats.”

(That’s not bragging. That’s just Lib.)

Jenna: “I told Shane he needs to bid on the movie rights. I loved the story. It played out in my mind once I figured out how to read it. Funny how letter-writing has become such a thing of the past that letter reading has also gone out of vogue. Can you picture someone writing a story made up entirely of text messages?

Char: I liked it but I wanted the author to give me more from inside each character. It was a little too superficial for me. But I loved the setting and historical element. The time and place were both new to me and I enjoyed learning about it. And the part about the people of the island having to make a decision within an hour of keeping their children with them during the occupation or sending them off to live with strangers broke my heart.

Kat: Thank God it was a little book. My head is so swamped with student teaching, the kids, the holidays, Jack…Speaking of Jack, he loved the book. He said he was rooting for the plain guy (not the suit) all along. He sees himself in that role. Jenna sees Toby Maguire. I loved the story and hope to read it again when my life settles down.

If you’ve read this book and would like to comment, please do. If you haven’t read it, post anyway just to say Hi. Deb is going to post something soon. She promises. She might even tell you the embarrassing thing that happened when she tried to buy the book at the Detroit Airport.

Kat has left the building… J

Welcome to the Words, Wine and Women Bookclub.

Discover, debate and discuss books over wine with Libby, Jenna, Kat and Char from Sentinel Pass in the Wine, Women & Words Bookclub.

Our First Book:

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

“ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways. (description from the hardcover, from randomhouse.com.)

Available for purchase:
Amazon.com | B&N

Questions

1. The most heart-wrenching moment for me in this book was when the parents on the island had to decide whether to send their children away to keep them safe or keep them near and hope for the best. What would you do?

2. There were some unconventional heroines in this book—the main protagonist, of course, but also the women who dared eat pig—and set up a book club. One woman fell in love a member of the occupying force and stood up to her brutal captors. Each was tested by her times and by love. Discuss.

3. Humor. For me, there were an equal number of smiles and tears in this book. Share your favorite example of each.