“Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Russian”

January 5, 2013

I wrote a little blog post over at USA Today about Children of Liberty,  and about two of my favorite movies, Love Story and The Great Gatsby.I wanted to talk about a deep and central part of Children of Liberty,  which is,  of course, Gina and her experience moving to America.

Winners of the Christmas Giveaway!

January 3, 2013

Dear Everyone, Thank you for your glorious recollections of romantic places. What a delight it was to read them all, to imagine worlds other than my own. There were hardly two that were the same. Beaches in Argentina and castles in Italy. Paris and Prague. London. St. Petersburg. Achill Island and Amelia Island. Minnesota, Michigan, Mexico, Merano’s Gardens. Italy, Italy, Italy, Italy. Venice and Florence and Verona and Rome. Cabins and mountains, balconies, Lebanon, Jordan, Portugal, Thailand. Did I mention Rome? Oh, and Chicago, and Hoboken New Jersey, and even a golf course in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I smiled in puzzlement, and then read that the girl and her lover were skiing on the golf course and said, ah, okay. It was all beautiful.  It made me see your vivid hearts all over this great earth. I wish I could send a book to each and every one of you. My most romantic place is a piano suite at the top of the Carlyle Hotel in New York City, where the windows are floor to ceiling and the entire of Manhattan Island glitters beyond, where I play the piano while hubby sleeps and every once in a while wakes up and says, that was really good, Plink. Where we sit and have afternoon tea, and drink anniversary champagne, and revel in the thirty-two years we’ve been the mates of each other’s souls. Here are the ten winners of a signed copy of Bellagrand, and one for Tatiana’s Table. Jennifer Mengel who saw the Northern Lights in Iceland. Tina Cruz who had a life that novels are made of and dreamed of Cozumel, Mexico. Julie Lowe whose husband took her to Tasmania for their 10th wedding anniversary so they could spend two days alone without five children. Amedeo Soliman, biking through Potsdam. Tina Gaser, skiing through golf courses in Deer Hunter country. Claudia Araujo, who quoted Lord Byron in verse about Sintra, Portugal. Amanda Odendahl who danced in her backyard under the moonlight. Rachel Flynn who made Kylemore Abbey in Ireland come alive. Rosa Bianca who traveled to the magical Valley of Aosta and returned with two children. Carah Walker who waxed poetic about Glendhu Bay in New Zealand. And one signed copy of Tatiana’s Table to: Kristen DeSiena, who healed on Amelia Island in Florida.  God bless you all, thank you, be well, winners please email me your address so I can get the books to you before Christmas, and the rest, keep reading, keeping coming back, keep writing, take some joy, give some joy. You’ve all given me more joy than I ever hoped for.

The Cover for Children of Liberty

January 21, 2012

Ta da! Here is the Australian cover for the new book, out October 1st down under.  Hope you like it as much as I do.

All About “Children of Liberty”

January 20, 2012

Hi everyone: You may have seen this somewhere already, but here’s the official announcement: my new book is called Children of Liberty, and here’s the description (from Amazon):

At the turn of the century and the dawning of the modern world, Gina from Belpasso comes to Boston’s Freedom Docks to find a new and better life, and meets Harry Barrington,  who is searching for his. The fates of the Barringtons and Attavianos become entwined, on a collision course between the old and new,  between what is expected and what is desired, what is chosen and what is bestowed,  what is given and what is taken away. As America races headlong into the future, much will be lost and much will be gained for Gina and Harry, whose ill-fated love story will break your heart. 

I hope you all will enjoy it as much as I have loved writing it.

New Zealand Dates Are Here!

January 15, 2012

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/07/04/0406_liveable_cities/image/5_auckland.jpg Kiwis, mark your calendars for these dates this fall (summer for you guys).  I’ll have locations and more information sometime next week,  hopefully.   Sunday 28 October: Auckland Monday 29 October: Wellington Tuesday 30 October: Masterton,

Full 2012 Tour Information

January 8, 2012

Hi everyone, The Children of Liberty Australia/New Zealand tour for October/November has been finalized. Ta da! See the dates and locations below. New Zealand Sunday October 28th: Talk/Reading Whitcoulls Sylvia Park Mt Wellington, Auckland 3 pm Monday October 29th: Signing Whitcoulls Queensgate Mall Wellington 12:30-1 pm Talk/Reading Whitcoulls on Lambton Quay,Wellington 6 pm Tuesday October 30th: Signing Masterton Paper Plus Masterton 12:30-1 pm Talk/Reading Palmerston North Library Palmerston North 6:30 pm (Tickets $5, from the Library 06 351 4519 or Paper Plus 06 359 4635) Wednesday October 31st: Signing Whitcoulls The Plaza, Palmerston North 11-11:30 am Talk/Reading Paper Plus Napier 6 pm Thursday November 1st: Signing Whitcoulls Corner Queen Street, Auckland City 12:30-1 pm Australia Sydney and Surrounding Areas: Friday November 2nd: 12 pm Dymocks Chatswood Event 5 pm Dymocks Erina Event Saturday November 3rd: 11am Castle Hill Library Talk Sunday November 4th: 11:30 Wagga Country Golf Club Literary Lunch Monday November 5th: 7 pm Norton Cinema Talk Brisbane and QLD: Thursday November 8th: 6 pm Clovely Estate Literary Dinner Perth: Friday November 9th: 6:30 pm Presbyterian Ladies College Theatre Evening Event Saturday November 10th: 3:30 pm Karrinyup Library Talk Adelaide: Monday November 12th: 7 pm Brighton Performing Arts Centre Event Tuesday November 13th: 10 am Norwood Town Hall Talk 3 pm Blackwood Library Talk Melbourne: Thursday November 15th: 6:30 pm Ebony Quill Cafe evening event Friday November 16th: 12:30 pm Torquay Resort Talk 7 pm Weirrebere Plaza Library Cocktail Night Hobart: Sunday November 18th: 11:30 pm Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania Talk Canberra: Monday November 19th: 6 pm Woden Library Talk For more information on how to book certain events, please see my Facebook page, which has phone numbers and contact info. Looking forward to seeing you all,

In the Yankee Hats, the Lucky 15

January 29, 2011

Here are the following ten names who will get a signed copy of Tatiana’s Table:   SARAH MEADOWS from New Jersey ROSALIND BRONKHORST, South Africa ASHLEY ADKINS, US (?) PEGGY BAILEY,US JACOB EVANS, US ANNIE CHANTALE VILLARREAL CHIU, Mexico SONJA POPKO, Germany YAEL APEL-SOFER, Israel HICRET SANCAK,  Turkey JENNIFER MCCULLOUGH





Congrats to the above and grateful thanks to everyone for being so generous with their time and family traditions. As it turns out,TATIANA’S TABLE is harder to get hold of than a cab in the the rain, and we’re fortunate to scrape up ten copies of it.  But I also have in my possession the freshly minted special edition of The Bronze Horseman,just out for publication in Australia.

This Christmas edition contains a letter from me,  and also a new “deleted” scene between Tatiana and Alexander. I have five of these I’d like to sign and send to the next five names I pull out of the Yankee hats, two from one hat, three from the other.  Or should I do three from one, two from the other?

The Bronze Horseman recipients are:

JENNIFER SEXSON, US MODI ALYSSA, Madagasgar CRISTINA, from Italy (I had several “Cristinas” submit recipes, and this one didn’t include her last name, but the recipe was for Frico) LISA HUSSAINOV, New York KRISTIN VETERE,  US   I will be publishing the winners’ recipes on my Facebook page and here in the next few days.

Of Chocolate Hedgehogs and Grasshopper Pies

January 29, 2011

Hello, my Culinary Friends, I have never been more famished.  I sit here in my little studio holding on my lap your hundreds of recipes and letters, salivating over your family delights. All I have with me here to eat is an old can of cashews, Greek yogurt with early November’s expiration date, Nespresso coffee capsules, and bags of ice in the freezer.  I believe I will go dig up a TV dinner and nuke it for my midnight dinner. Be right back. …  OK, I’m back. This has been an illuminating, gratifying, deeply entertaining contest.  Because I have received almost as many recipes as there are countries.  Some countries were very well represented, such as Italy, and some woefully underrepresented, such as France. But Malaysia yes And Vietnam The Netherlands And Chile And Germany Germany Germany Mexico And New Mexico, thrice Spain and Israel Turkey and Australia The Country of Man, which submitted four Man recipes. And a voice from the great beyond: a woman named Maria Pavlova from St.Petersburg wrote to me with her recipe for Solyanka. My grandmother’s name was Maria Pavlova.  She was from St. Petersburg.  She made Solyanka all the time.  On my hungry lap I hold instructions for, among others, empanadas and tapenades Yorkshire Pud and Bread Pud and Egyptian Milk Pud Assam Laksa and Bratwurst Chocolate Sausage!!! Pizza (from scratch) Stuffed cabbage with Moose Meat Corn and Crawfish Stew Grandma’s Pie and Almond Pie And Lemon Meringue Pie Nut Rolls and Beef Samosas Casadiellas and Cucoli Fritti Hot Fudge Cake and Borsht Chocolate Muffins with Nutella inside; where are you, Nutella-loving Che, are you reading this and drooling? Oliebollen and Aalsterse Vlai Corn Souffle and College Drive-in! Melting Moments and Chocolate Bundt Cake Oatmeal Bake and Potato Bake And let’s not forget Fire Crackers. I wish I had two hundred books to give away.  Thank you all so much for enriching my life with your lives. You’ve given me a great gift, because now I’m going to make your concoctions all December, through New Years. From now on just call me Porky Pig.  I will have to walk through my door sideways.  I have written out your names on strips of paper, rolled them up and placed them in two Yankees baseball caps. I will now go and eat my cooled-down tofu with peas or whatever is waiting for me in the microwave, and pull out ten names and be right back.  Cue waiting music…