Posted by: Sarah | January 2, 2013

Where is Sarah McCoy? Hermitage 2013

Book 3 has me transported to its fictional territory until completion in early summer.

Book 3 has me transported to its fictional territory until completion in early summer.

Dear Reader Friends,

Let me start by wishing you all a beautiful, blessed and prosperous 2013! What a tremendous year 2012 was for us— a whirlwind of THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER magic that took me from Boston to Santa Cruz to the bestsellers list in Amsterdam. I can’t thank you each and all enough for your enduring support and devotion to me and my work. I met so many new friends that instantly became forever kindreds. Thank you for every open hand of grace and hospitality in every city across the globe. Thank you for reading and loving my characters and sharing your personal stories with me. Thank you for each warm hug and each cheek kiss. I am overcome with gratitude for the blessings of 2012. That being said, I have GREAT expectations for an even more miraculous 2013, brimming over with hope, joy, adventure and wonders. I’m certain the same awaits each of you. My momma tells me that if you look patiently and expectantly for the sun, it will eventually shine. It’s a law of nature. So is the good in each day.

Now, to the true news of this post. I must bid you farewell for a time, put on my cloak and go under the spell of the writerly night. However, I assure you that Hermitage 2013 is not perpetual. I am taking a social media hiatus (blackout) from now (January 2013) through the spring. I have an early summer deadline, you see. I’ve promised Crown/Random House and you, good readers, my third novel. To meet that goal, I must disconnect myself from the tweets and “Likes” and pings of email. Reality must wane so I can venture back-back to the third book’s fictional dreamscape where my characters have waited (impatiently) all of 2012 as I book toured for THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER.

Antebellum Virginia GoodsTo give you a taste of that, here’s the book news snippet from the publishers marketplace:

Fiction (General/Literary: Author of the international bestseller The Baker’s Daughter, Sarah McCoy returns with her third, much-anticipated novel, about the daughter of a famous historical abolitionist who is rendered sterile and a modern couple struggling to conceive who find a mysterious relic in their renovated home that links the past to the present and helps them see that there has always been more than one way to have a family, to Crown.

I hope that wets your whistle and you forgive me the truancy from our beloved literary community on Twitter, Facebook and blogs. I hope the idiom “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” rings true and my voice doesn’t fade from your imaginations during my sabbatical. While my body may be at my desk in El Paso, my mind will be in antebellum and present-day Virginia. I’ll reemerge here when the weather warms with a new beloved book baby under my arm.

Meantime, there is one caveat to my recluse writing contract: I will be online tweeting Sunday nights during the hour episodes of Downton Abbey. I am a huge fan, turned onto the show by my Twitter readers of impeccable taste. That will be my reward each week for keeping my resolve not to procrastinate and socialize on social media. If you care to say hello, I’d absolutely love to hear from you! However, once that magical hour is over, I’ll have to pop back into my pumpkin carriage and drive off before my trusty steeds turn to mice. So if I don’t respond, please, please know that I read your tweet and it is taking every ounce of discipline not to reply immediately.

How I shall miss you, friends, most desperately. But the sacrifice is necessary. The writing demands it and is a fiercely jealous muse. Please continue to chat with me and other readers on Facebook, Twitter, send me emails, and request signed bookplates for all of your lovely books and e-Readers. I promise to read every message and send spirit hugs to you. So now… I bid you adieu until Sunday’s Downton Abbey hour or the first blush of summer’s arrival. 

Yours most truly, Sarah

Posted by: Sarah | November 28, 2012

#FREE #Holiday Bookplates 2012

‘Tis the season to… wear ridiculous costumes for your family’s merrymaking.

Happy Holidays, friends! Macy’s Santa Claus has arrived, which means the official holiday gift-giving season has commenced. Gilly is outfitted for merriment and lucky for me, fur-babes can’t bill their flesh family for costume trauma therapy. The sight and sound of him jingling about the house (the collar has bells on it) makes me holly-jollier than I can express. My oh-Christmas-tree’s lovely branches are bedazzled and my halls are decked so now… 

In the spirit of giving, I am shouting the online word that I have FREE HOLIDAY BOOKPLATES for your gift(s) and/or personal copies of The Baker’s Daughter in my hot, little hands. If you are an e-Reader fan, you can also receive a signed holiday bookplate to put wherever your heart desires.

Truthfully, I wish I could send you each a gift of thanks for the extraordinary year you’ve given me. So many new friends met at each book event from California to Boston and across the globe to Holland. I’m thrilled to send you personalized bookplates. It’s the very least I can do to wish you warmest greetings this holiday season.

Now that I’ve gushed on how amazing you are,
here are the technical details of requesting the free holiday plates:

Simply go to my website CONTACT page and fill out the form. Ta-da! That’s it. If you’d like to contact me regarding a book club Skype visit in 2013, I’m booking the calendar so please email me at the provided address.

See how easy that is? Click-click, type-type, done. You can’t even write St. Nick a letter that fast. Well, unless you’re an elf with thumbs made for iPhone/SmartPhone. I happen to have rather large writer thumbs flattened to the size of ladyfinger cookies from too much use. They work perfectly for holding an ink pen and signing bookplates. So click on the link above and request yours today!

My momma and daddy
in Virginia

I’ll be mailing bookplate gifts up until the hour I’m secreted away to the chestnuts roasting- Jack Frost nipping- Yuletide caroling- dressed up like Eskimo hideaway that is my family home in Virginia. 

Happy Holidays
(I hear Bing Crosby every time I say it),
Sarah 

Posted by: Sarah | November 26, 2012

Obama Christmas Shopping With [The Baker’s] Daughter[s]

Given that First Lady Michelle Obama is the author of the organic gardening guide/cookbook American GrownI imagine Sasha and Malia are “baker’s daughters.” So it seems serendipitous that our reelected leader and his beautiful daughters found themselves standing beneath the book wings of The Baker’s Daughter this past Saturday.

Rewind… let me tell you the brief story of my Thanksgiving weekend from the beginning.

Thursday, of course, was Thanksgiving–our Great American Holiday of gratitude. Doc B and I gobbled a delicious roast turkey at the table of my vegetarian friend and her carnivore husband. God bless her. A more loving hostess I cannot imagine. She kept her eyes on the stuffing casserole while we carved the bird. I owe her a bottle of prosecco for being so hospitable to our meat-eating.

Black Friday, I stayed home. I didn’t even go out on the roads. Instead, I kept my turkey-laden self in elastic-waisted comfy pants at home, giving thanks for leftovers and good digestion.

I spy The Baker’s Daughter over their shoulders…

Saturday, however, was Small Business Saturday. Honestly, this is the first year I’ve known about it, but it’s been around since post-Thanksgiving Saturday 2010. I like it more than Black Friday by far and plan to make it a personal tradition from here on out. For my part, I shopped at a local “Texas western shop.” Forgive me for refraining from telling you the name, but I purchased Christmas gifts for Doc B here and don’t want to ruin the surprise. However, my buying was the least interesting news of the day. The BIG hoopla came when I received a fabulous tweet from my dear author friend, Kelly O’Connor McKnees in Chicago. It was this image:

That is our fabulous American President participating in Small Business Saturday by visiting my beloved Arlington, Virginia, bookstore family at One More Page Books

These fine folks were my hosts for The Baker’s Daughter’s “hometown” book release party— yes, the one with the life-sized replica of the novel in CAKE.

The Baker’s Daughter launch party.

Dear bookstore staff friends!

I jumped out of my seat and nearly did a cartwheel when I read that the shop receiving the most dignified and grand patrons in the nation. Then I recognized the lovely red-hatted lady over President Obama and his daughters’ shoulders: THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER poster.

I want to send Sasha and Malia red hats, and a signed copy of THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER for them to give as a gift to… whomever they please. Ahem.

I thought my escalation was at its peak until I saw that The Baker’s Daughter stood alongside more beloved friends. From left to right: Rachel Simon’s The Story of a Beautiful Girl, Erika Robuck’s Hemingway’s Girl, Junot Diaz’s This is How You Lose Her, and Nichole Bernier’s The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. I am honored and overjoyed to share the shelf with these amazing authors and their book angels.

I wish I could’ve whispered to President Obama, Look up, look up, kind sir. All of these fine stories will move your mind and heart. Pick up one that stirs your imagination. Or even better– all of them!

These are my visions of sugarplums.

But no matter what books currently capture the Obama Family’s attention, I salute President Obama and am entirely grateful for a national leader who selects an independent bookstore to honor 2012’s Small Business Saturday. As an author and woman devoted to literacy, I applaud you, Mr. President. Whether or not he, Sasha or Malia noticed The Baker’s Daughter and her red hat is inconsequential. What matters is that they brought paper and glue, beautiful books “home” to the White House from their shopping day with their father. Now that’s my kind of American dream. 

Here’s the video link from CBS. 

Enjoy!
Yours truly, Sarah

Friends, readers, countrymen, lend me your ears:
The Baker’s Daughter is a nominees for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction in 2012– and the winner is determined by YOU!

THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER up for Best Historical Fiction.
Please vote, friends!

I have no bones about summoning the mighty spirit of Shakespeare’s Mark Anthony regarding this award. I’m humbled to my knees with gratitude for the nomination. My fellow nominees are some of the most admirable and lauded writers in the business. To be beside them in your esteem and consideration is a dream come true. Goodreads being the voice of the reading people, this means so very, very much to me. Whether The Baker’s Daughter wins or not, the fact that she’s on the voting ballot nearly a YEAR after releasing! Well… I’m bubbling over like a hot apple pie.

So while the voting has just begun, and I have no idea what the outcome will be, I want to express my wholehearted thanks: Thank you, my amazing readers, for passing this book to your book clubs, loved ones, friends, neighbors, and everybody else. Thank you for cheering me on through my many months of book touring the country. And most importantly, thank you for embracing this story and its characters with such devotion and warmth. I’ve hugged many of you at bookstores around the globe and virtually sat in book group living rooms via Skype, but I still wish I could be in touch with more of you! You each deserve a personal thank-you. I can only hope that my appreciation is felt in spirit, if not in body.

If you’re a Goodreads member, please vote for your favorite books in every category of these Choice Awards. If you’re not a member, sign up is free! Don’t wait another minute. I am extending the official invitation. Then you can not just vote but join an incredible community of readers and books. This is an electoral year, after all. Voting for books seems to bolster the literary community as a whole rather than dividing, and I like that very much. So exercise your voice and choice. Get your clicker finger warmed up and head on over to Goodreads here: VOTE #GoodreadsChoice Awards.

On a quick, other note: October was a tremendous month. This amazing Goodreads news came just after I returned from a fabulous California book tour. Here’s a link to the Booktopia Q&A podcast on the final day. I can’t stop crowing about how much fun we had together. While I usually don’t subscribe to the “picture is worth a thousand words,” for brevity, I do believe it fits here. So if you missed any part of my Booktopia Santa Cruz, Books Inc. and Sonoma stops, click here for the Facebook albums. If you’re interested in seeing all the “between takes,” here are the rest of our Cali journey photos. Doc B was with me from Nashville to Santa Cruz this busy book biz month. It was a blast! 

Booktopia Santa Cruz featured authors with our glorious Random House hosts.
Back row: Cara Black, Grover Gardner, Adam Johnson, Lynne Cox, Tupelo Hassman, Ann Packer. Front row: Simon Vance, Tayari Jones, Michael Kindness, Ann Kingman, Sarah McCoy, Matthew Dicks.

November marks the beginning of my Skype-only agenda. So if you and your book club are interested in chatting, feel free to get in touch with me. I’d love to hear from you. Now… off to the polls we go! Each vote counts as we decide both the man to lead our nation and the 2012 books that led our imaginations! 

Yours truly, Sarah 

Posted by: Sarah | October 17, 2012

#BooktopiaCA– Santa Cruz here I come!

I’m off to California for the glorious author-reader love-fest that is 2012 #BooktopiaCA, Santa Cruz!

Having just spent four days in Nashville for the incredible Southern Festival of Books, I’m pit-stopping in El Paso with exactly three days between airplanes. (If you’re interested in the pics from SFOB, including fabulous authors Gillian Flynn, Junot Diaz, Ruta Sepetys and more, click on this link for my Facebook “2012 Southern Festival of Books” photo album.)

This wanderlust life has me riding high and throwing my OCD-packing anxieties to the wind. No time for them. I’m simply swapping my small suitcase for my larger one, tossing everything from one to the other, dirty clothes in the hamper, clean clothes in a row, and off we go from one end of the USA to the other! I knew going into the month that October was going to be a carousel of book fun, so I was prepared for the carnival sugar surge that I’m currently tanked up on. This, you see, is officially my last month of official book touring for The Baker’s Daughter. (Or, at least, no more travels are currently planned for 2012… but I’m a ‘yes-yes’ woman so you never know.) I’m determined to go out with a big glass of Napa Valley Prosecco in hand. 

Up next: Books On The Nightstand’s #BooktopiaCA weekend with a sold-out crowd of reader attendees and this fine list of featured authors:

I’m honored to be with these amazing writers, audiobook narrators, podcast organizers Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman, plus a phenomenal audience of weekend retreat readers. If you are not yet familiar with Books On The Nightstand (BOTNS), I can’t recommend this pair of brilliant, genuine book aficionados more highly. I’m an avid listener and they never fail to leave me smiling and purchasing new reads. Here’s a link to get you started: Podcast #197 with “Two Books We Can’t Wait For You To Read” featuring The Baker’s Daughter. The #BooktopiaCA weekend is October 19-21.

Following that, I’m making a research stop for Book #3 on Monday, October 22, before cruising into San Francisco for an event at Books, Inc. (Marina): Tuesday, October 23 at 7 p.m. If you’re a Bay Area reader, COME ON OUT! This event is free and open to all. I’d love to meet you! Afterward, I’m back on the road to Sonoma for my last stop on the Cali tour.

THEN, I have sworn to the sun (my editor/publisher at Crown), moon (lit agent) and stars (book 3 characters) that I will sit down at my writing desk and work until my eyeballs fall out of my skull.

Two things I promise to do before/during that predestined period: 1) Post pictures of every stop on my West Coast book tour and 2) SKYPE with book clubs across the globe for the rest of 2012 into 2013. I have a handful of clubs signed up for the New Year already so email me to secure your date ASAP, friends! As soon as I’m settled at my desk in November, I’ll upload those SKYPEs to my events calendar. 

What an incredible year it has been. The Baker’s Daughter launched in January 2012, so it’s been nearly a year of book touring for her. My deepest thanks to ALL the amazing booksellers who’ve invited and hosted me at their lovely bookstores. Most of all, my gratitude is to you, THE READERS, who’ve welcomed me to your cities and countries, your homes and living rooms, and even your kitchen tables! I am daily humbled to be blessed by your devotion to this novel and my writing. 

Yours truly, Sarah

P.S. “Like” my Facebook Fan Page for all the California event updates and photos. 

 

Posted by: Sarah | October 8, 2012

Fantastisk! @Gyldendal sends me the Bakerens Datter!

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It’s another cover-loving Monday!

My fantastisk Norwegian publisher Glydendal sent me a Christmas-morning-like box of these stunning Norwegian editions of The Baker’s Daughter (translation: Bakerens Datter). It is a jaw-dropping jacket design, complete with a hanging backerei pretzel sign, German village street (just as I envisioned Garmisch) and WWII fighter planes in a V-formation on the back. And may I just take a minute to comment on the size, which is different from every other country’s version of the novel: it’s a hardback between the dimensions of the U.S. hardback and paperback (as shown in the photo above). It makes a lovely package— a hardback that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. I’m nuts over it. I’ve been walking around the house carrying it all day. Maybe it’s just me. It harkens back to the feel of some of my most treasured literary classics in a similar size.

In gratitude (and in my excitement) for the gorgeous and exceptional job Glydendal did in translating and packaging my book, I baked banana bread! Well, banana-oat-&-flaxseed bread muffins. My husband (Doc B) is a fan of sweet breads in muffin form. He claims the parchment paper cups help maintain the freshness versus a sliced loaf. You won’t catch me arguing. Muffins (and their cousin, the venerated cupcake) are such happy, little noshes. Plus the sight of a dozen muffins in a row— or V as the case may be— appeals to my Type-A love of symmetry.

A stor tusen takk (big thank you very much!) to my superb publisher and Norwegian publishing team! I am so grateful for all your work to bring The Baker’s Daughter to your fabulous country and readers. I can’t wait for it to launch and hit bookshelves!

Yours truly, Sarah 

Posted by: Sarah | October 5, 2012

THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER: Featured Book Club of the Week

The Open Minds Book Club: LaDonna Burke-Mills, Mary Lou Albert, Deb Edwards, and Janet Anderson

This week’s featured book club comes from the glorious and colorful city of Cedaredge, Colorado. The Open Minds Book Club of Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church chose The Baker’s Daughter as their September pick and were gracious enough to share their incredible meeting with me. The club’s faithful member, Janet Anderson, described their evening so delightfully that I had to copy and paste it here:

Color Sunday in Colorado. Photo by Janet Anderson.

“… we had a ‘tasty’ meeting devouring and digesting THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER along with a generous serving of Schnecken Sticky German Snails (p.284) thoughtfully made by Mary Lou Albert. Our facilitator stressed the deceits and truths in each character on a personal, familial, and national level…”

 
 
I was thrilled to hear that my book solicited such thought-provoking topics of discussion, and that the ladies made German sticky buns. What a treat! Thank you for wholeheartedly embracing The Baker’s Daughter–in mind, spirit and body! Mm-mm, I bet Mary Lou’s baking was scrumptious! 
 
 

Grand Mesa, Colorado. Photo by Janet Anderson.

I’ve spent a majority of the week in novel-land working on Book #3, but it is such a joy to resurface from my writing hermitage to wonderful readers and book clubs like this! Thank you, Janet, and The Opens Mind Book Club. You’ve made my week bright with your photos and emails! 

 
Yours truly, Sarah 
 
P.S. Stay tuned for more featured book clubs, which could be yours! If your club is discussing The Baker’s Daughter and would like to send me photos of your fun event, please feel free to contact me at sarah@sarahmccoy.com. I’d love to hear from you!  
Posted by: Sarah | October 1, 2012

Bellissimo! @EditriceNord Sends Me an Italian Peek

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The mailman is better than Santa Claus. A) He comes more than once a year. B) While good ole Saint Nick brings glitter-wrapped toys, my mailman brings me sandy brown boxes of BOOKS. Seriously. No elf workshop can compete.

This weekend the mailman delivered this… all the way from my publisher NORD in Milan, Italy. It is the extraordinary advance promo package being sent around to all the booksellers in Italy introducing The Baker’s Daughter months ahead of its release. The Baker’s Daughter is titled La Figlia dei ricordi, which translates to the Daughter of Memories. It and the cover are so ethereal and poetic, they take my breath away. Quite literally.

It just so happens that the day I received this gift, my rosebushes burst with red and yellow blooms. Perhaps the garden angels were gushing over what they knew was en route. In the wake of a slightly neurotic weekend, these blooms and books (no matter how common others might think them) were nothing short of seraphic wonders in my world. I’ve got them sitting side by side at this very minute, and I’m still marveling. I have a feeling I’ll be doing so for quite some time.

A wholehearted molte grazie to the exceptional team at NORD publishing! If this is what they’ve put together for the pre-release, I can’t even imagine what they have up their magical sleeves for the official launch celebration. I’ll be sure to share every moment with you all. So sound the horns to all your Italian nonnas and famiglia! Perhaps I’ll even have the chance to meet some of them in the future. It would be il mio onore.

(While I’m continuing to learn Dutch, I’m now pulling out my Italian dictionary, too!) 

Yours truly, Sarah

Posted by: Sarah | September 28, 2012

THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER: Featured Book Club of the Week

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Another fabulous fall week brings another fabulous featured book club! This time the powers of Skype took me to the Windy City of Chicago and THE BEST BOOK CLUB where Kathy, Marcie, Jane, Debbie and Mary Alice had prepared a German feast in celebration of The Baker’s Daughter. Marcie made Elsie’s brötchen and Oma’s cherry jam from the recipes in the back of the book and showed off her glorious delights, fresh out of the oven. I felt as if I weren’t just a laptop video head, but an actual guest at their bountiful table. Kathy was the impeccable hostess and the others brought the vittles, including German beer, stollen and weinersnitchel with hot mustard! Now that, my friends, is a dinner party much approved by The Baker’s Daughter and me.

We talked about everything under The Baker’s Daughter‘s oven light: Elsie leaving her parents for America, research for the contemporary story, the untold German side of WWII, the heartbreak of the Hebrew ring, the ways in which our own lives are shades of grey (and not at ALL like Fifty Shades– kudos again for tossing that book aside, KP!), plus so many more insightful discussions and much laughter! I even gave them a little bonus teaser of my third novel that I’m working on now. They were very good at coaxing out more info than I’ve previously divulged! Clever readers. ;)

I can’t thank THE BEST BOOK CLUB enough for inviting me into their home and decades-long sisterhood. You ladies inspire me, and I’m honored to count you as faithful fans. I gave my word that the next time I’m in Chicago, we will rendezvous. I can’t wait to make good on that. It will be entirely my pleasure. Until then, I’m grateful for your love and cheerleading of my novels. I know we won’t be far apart in spirit. Prost to you, my dears!


Yours truly, Sarah

P.S. Stay tuned for more featured book clubs, which could be yours! If your club is discussing The Baker’s Daughter and would like to send me photos of your fun event, please feel free to contact me at sarah@sarahmccoy.com. I’d love to hear from you!  

Posted by: Sarah | September 20, 2012

THE BAKER’S DAUGHTER: Featured Book Club of the Week

At the end of August, just before I hit the jetway for paperback book tour adventures in D.C., Virginia and Holland, I had the divine pleasure of visiting with a book club of Dallas divas at A Real Bookstore. The beauty of Skype technology once again enabled me to be there without being there, and we had quite the fiesta in the middle of the bookstore! Cookies were passed. (I swear I could smell them through the computer hardware.) The conversation was full of insights and laughter and even a discovery that one of the book clubbers and I lived in the same town in Virginia for a time. (Small, small world.) 

I love the idea of featuring book clubs. I think they— YOU, dear readers— deserve the spotlight for not just reading and championing my novels, but investing yourself. Investing your busy hours and even busier emotions in my characters. That means more to me than I can ever express. So I curtsy in gratitude once again and am pleased to show off this week’s fabulous book club from A Real Bookstore in Dallas, Texas. 

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Stay tuned for more FEATURED BOOK CLUBS, which could be yours! If your club is discussing The Baker’s Daughter and would like to send me photos of your fun event, please feel free to contact me at sarah@sarahmccoy.com. I’d love to hear from you!  

Yours truly, Sarah 

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