For those who joined in or have downloaded last week’s Spreecast chat with Mary Doria Russell, thank you! I hope you enjoyed that wonderful discussion. Mary is a brilliant writer and lovely friend to me. At points, it felt like we were sitting across the couch from one another chatting about writing, life, our dogs and The Baker’s Daughter—oh, and there just happened to be a camera broadcasting it live to the world. Now I know how reality TV stars might feel. Every chortle and hiccup is sent streaming through the media spheres. Lucky for us, our readers graciously embraced our chortles!

That Spreecast was such a success, Crown’s Read-It-Forward has invited me to do a second phenomenal event: a live broadcast on Tuesday, September 11, at 7:30 p.m. EST. Think of it like watching your favorite daytime TV talk show. Only even better because it’s ALL about books, their authors and readers! The incredible advantage in the Spreecast is that you have the opportunity to participate and ask what’s on your mind. 

The lovely book maven of Read-It-Forward will moderate your questions and act as hostess to the marvelous Mr. Vincent Lam (The Headmaster’s Wager) and me. The topic of discussion is historical fiction. Specifically, how we are attempting to turn the old genre on its head by writing exciting, new stories that break the genre boundaries.

You, fabulous readers, will be able to ask whatever questions you like via the comment box at the bottom of your “Viewer Chat” screen then watch as we answer you live on air. Click here to RSVP to the Spreecast now! I’ll see you on Tuesday night. It’s a date! 

Yours truly, Sarah

Posted by: Sarah | August 20, 2012

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

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In June, the fabulous twelve members of Words, Wine and Smart Women book club won copies of The Baker’s Daughter via the contest. Well, friends, these ladies have set the bar HIGH. I’m not ashamed to admit that the thought of moving to Durham, North Carolina, crossed my mind based on the unmistakable proof of that the city is home to superb women, friends and reading taste.

I was blown away by the party they threw in celebration of The Baker’s Daughter this past Tuesday on the very date the book launched in paperback. The “review” from their group was one of the most feted and treasured. I hope she won’t mind if I share a little of what the group’s leader, Lori, wrote to me:

Dear Sarah,
It’s unanimous!  Everyone loved your book The Bakers Daughter.
Our book club gathered on a Tuesday evening for our monthly meeting.  Everyone brought something German to share.  I was able to find the Riesling you suggested, Schwarze Katz.  A good time was had by all. I found a local German bakery, Guglhupf’s, in downtown Durham, NC.  We had Brezel & Linzer Cookies. We also had Sauerkraut Balls, a Black Forest Cake, German Potato Salad, and some Mexican Queso in honor of Ricki.
As far as our discussion of your book, we all agreed it was wonderful.  It was a great read and everyone stated that it was a page turner… Good luck in your future endeavors and we look forward to reading your next novel.
Your new friends,
Words, Wine and Smart Women

New friends, indeed! I can’t thank Lori and Words, Wine and Smart Women enough for embracing and sharing The Baker’s Daughter. That is the ultimate essence of the novel: people connecting, past to present, through food, community, history and literature. Their book club name is so apropos. They are smart women of words and wine! I lift my glass back to them now as they did to me in this video here…

Click image to view video toast.

Thank you a thousand times over! I pray our paths may meet one day. I have twelve hugs on hold for each of you.
Your honorary Words, Wine and Smart Women member,
P.S. If your book club is planning to discuss the book and/or host a The Baker’s Daughter-themed party, send me photos and you could be my Featured Book Club of the week, too! 
Posted by: Sarah | August 14, 2012


Dear Reader Friends,
It is the day: The paperback of The Baker’s Daughter lands on bookshelves across North America! Book clubs and readers get on out and pick yourself up a baker’s dozen. Pass ’em round—they’re piping hot from the publishing oven. Savory, sweet and ready for you to feast.  In case you’re wondering where to get your hands on copies, here are the quick links:
Barnes and Noble

For this special day, I’ve been invited over to visit with Liz, Lisa and the fabulous blog followers of Chick Lit Is Not Dead. I’m sharing the “5 Things I’d Tell The Teen Me.” Wouldn’t we all love the opportunity to tell our teen self a thing or two? As well, Liz and Lisa have five paperbacks to giveaway, so don’t delay! Get over to their blog and sign up to win.

Again, I can’t express how grateful I am to all of you, wonderful readers, for your support of this novel. I look forward to meeting many more of you as I launch out on paperback book tour at the end of this month. Here’s my current schedule. If I’m in your town, I’d be honored to meet you. It’s a paperback party and you’re all invited!

Yours truly, Sarah

Dear Reader Friends,

I promised to announce the exciting Spreecast details and here they are!

Crown’s Read-It-Forward program has invited me to do a live webinar-style broadcast on Tuesday, August 28, beginning at 7:30 p.m. EST. What exactly does this mean? It means you’ll see and hear me in real time, and you’ll be able to ask whatever questions you like via the comment box at the bottom of your “Viewer Chat” screen. It will be as if I’m sitting in your living room/dining room/office/bedroom (hmm, that might be a little too close there…) having a lovely tête-á-tête with YOU and whomever else you please.

The fabulous moderator is none other than the glorious, inimitable Mary Doria Russell, author of such powerhouse bestsellers as The Sparrow, Doc, and many more! I’m a huge, huge fan of Mary’s, and now have the privilege of calling her a loving friend. She’s excited to visit and talk all things The Baker’s Daughter

You do NOT want to miss this, my friends! It’s a once in a lifetime event. And I don’t want to miss you! So mark your calendars in red pen with a gigantic gold star and silver glitter, maybe a rhinestone or two if you have one of those bedazzler tools. You get my point. TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 7:30 P.M. EST.

This is going to be such TREMENDOUS fun and all in celebration of the paperback release next week, August 14So go order your copy now–order your book club copies too, and they’ll all arrive in plenty of time for the Spreecast discussion! 

I desperately need this apron.

Please pause for another moment of major baker jazz-hands… 

Yours most truly, Sarah

Posted by: Sarah | August 8, 2012

Open Invitation: @CrownPublishing Facebook Chat #WW

Dear wonderful readers,

You are cordially, lovingly, enthusiastically invited to join the Crown Publishing Group’s Facebook jamboree on Thursday, August 23 from 7-8 p.m. EST where I’ll be chatting live on the wall answering all questions about The Baker’s Daughter.

Recently, my Crown sister Gillian Flynn did one of these Facebook wall chats for her tremendous novel Gone Girl. Both the discussion and the book have been a mega hit. I’m looking forward to ours, so mark your calendars! I would love to see your beautiful Facebook avatars online that night… and you don’t even have to get out of your pajamas. (Confession: I’ll probably be in mine.) 

More fun events on the way to celebrate the paperback release, including something called a “Spreecast” sponsored by Crown’s Read-It-Forward program. I can’t wait to share that with you and the AMAZING author who will be playing moderator to your questions. I promise to announce later this week!

Yours truly, Sarah 

Posted by: Sarah | August 6, 2012

Giveaways Galore: The Baker’s Daughter in Paperback

In paperback

This time next week, The Baker’s Daughter in paperback will be 24 HOURS from hitting shelves all across the North American continent. To remind you again, this edition is not just the novel and Elsie’s recipes (click the box at right to read what others had to say about the hardback), but also a new Reading Group Guide. This includes Q&As for discussion and suggested party activities for your book clubs! As well, the paperback will have my delightful Q&A with author Lisa See. All that a gorgeous, new paperback package. Perfect for back-to-school classrooms, libraries, or Labor Day beach bags.

So y’all know I love giveaways, right? Indeedy. I am the woman who championed Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s back in the 90s before they were all “popular” on the basis that anybody who gave out free samples with such enthusiasm was a good egg in my book. It is for a similar reason that my husband and I joined Costco a decade back. Yes, I do believe I shall try a sample of that marinated shrimp, thank you very  much.

All that being said, there are BOOKS to be had!

1) Crown Publishing Group Facebook Page: Last week, my publisher gave away 25 copies of TBD in paperback on Facebook in celebration of the August 14 release AND announced my live Facebook discussion on August 23 (mark your calendars, friends).

2) Goodreads: The FB contest was met with such an outpouring of reader demand that now Crown is giving away 25 more copies on Goodreads. This contest runs through August 13, the day before the paperback launches. So do NOT wait another minute: Jump over to Goodreads and sign up to get in on the contest sweepstakes!

3) Another opportunity for freebies: Five signed copies are being given away to Dear Readers that “Like” my Facebook page and enter to win. Click here for details.

4) Chick Lit Is Not Dead: Last, but certainly not least, I’ve been invited over to visit with the gals of Chick Lit Is Not Dead where I’ll be sharing my “5 Things I’d Tell My Teen Self” and… yep, you guessed it, Liz and Lisa have five copies to give away exclusively to their blog readers! Which could be you in a snap. All you have to do is click here, read, and enter.

So between the four of these, your chances of winning a book is looking bright as the August sun! Get in on as many of these contests as you can while the getting is good, friends. And stay tuned as I have many, many more exciting events to share this week before The Baker’s Daughter‘s paperback release… Somebody flash some jazz-hands with me. Oh, yes, the frolic is on! 

Yours truly, Sarah 

Paperback release August 14, 2012

So, I admit, it’s been awhile. I’ve been blog neglectful. Forgive me, friends? I believe I have a valid excuse: I’ve been deep in the caverns of research and writing where no social media network extends. And that is a very exciting place to be right now. Very.

All this being so, I have some equally thrilling news that I couldn’t wait one more day to share. Ahem…

The stork has officially dropped the paperback of The Baker’s Daughter at my publisher in Random House Tower. Woo hoo! I am ecstatic. She is just as gorgeous as her big sister, only now she comes with some bonus features: a book club question & activities guide and my Q&A chat with author Lisa See! All of that plus the novel and recipes in a handy-dandy paperback edition. BOOK CLUBS get your pre-order on! The book will officially be shipped to doorsteps on August 14! Two more things to keep in mind: 1) I’m a Skype-aholic and would love to virtually visit one of your parties to chat. 2) I have bookplates that I can personalize and send on request. Simply contact me via my website and I’ll have those in the mail ASAP.

To go along with the paperback parade, I’ve just finished uploading all the current paperback book tour stops— virtual and bookstore events. So click over and see where and when we might meet… then check back in often because I seem to be adding cities and sites every day. I absolutely love meeting readers and since this is my second book tour for The Baker’s Daughter, I’m thinking of doing more fireside chat-style events where YOU, my good readers, are able to ask questions. Shoot, I might even throw in some The Baker’s Daughter-related games and such–maybe a baked good will be involved. Hm, I’m not entirely sure yet. I just know I like interaction. It’s always more fun to attend an author event when the author is OUT from behind the podium. Don’t you agree?

I would normally do a #FridayReads tea party today, but the truth is that I can’t divulge what I’m reading as it directly pertains to my third novel. I wouldn’t want to give that away and spoil all the future fun! So in lieu of talking about my reading (though my eyeballs some nights feel as if they’ve been pickled in vinegar from sheer quantity), I’m going to share what my momma is reading. A better title for this real-life short-short might be:

~~~~~The Odd Case of ‘Where The Heck Did This Book Come From?’~~~~~

I called my mom to catch up the other day. She’s been on the road quite a bit this summer and asked me at the beginning of July for some book recommendations. Knowing her travel trajectory, I tried to offer some novels that suited her journeys and tastes. We both adore everything BBC so I suggested Dodie Smith’s I CAPTURE THE CASTLE. She was headed to Colorado for a spell so Sandra Dallas’s PRAYERS FOR SALE made the list. And I take after my momma in dog fanaticism and love of the classics, thus THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE by David Wroblewski too. I figured three books would keep her entertained for the month of July.

So, as I said, I called her between trips to see how things were going. After we’d touched on all the particulars of daily life (Gilly’s still barking up a storm; the weather in Virginia is raining like a monsoon; mom made a new GF cauliflower pizza crust that sounds delicious, etc.), we turned to books.

“I really liked most of your recommendations,” she said.

I was in the middle of frying chicken in a skillet so I was half listening– not surprised that she liked the books. So I said something like, “Uh-huh, uh-huh, good, good.”

So inappropriate, but I couldn’t resist. This is the image I had in mind by the title she claimed.

“I’m in the middle of the one set in the Carolinas–the biography– Backwoods Barbie or something. I’ll admit I’m kind of struggling with this one. If you hadn’t recommended it, I probably wouldn’t read it.”

“Huh?” I won’t lie, I screwed up my nose something ugly. Not because she wasn’t liking the book but because I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about. I thought perhaps she was taking HUGE liberties with the title. Carolinas? A biography? I cycled back through all the book recommendations I’d given her since Christmas, and I swear to the moon, the only memoir I’d suggested was Cheryl Strayed’s WILD. That’s in the woods, I thought, but not the Carolinas and certainly no backwoods or barbies involved. Plus we’d already had a lengthy discussion about WILD and my mom loved it. So maybe she was lost on the reading trail.

“Oh, I can’t remember,” she said. “Let me pull it up on my Kindle. Hold on, hold on.”

So I waited. Turned my browned chicken. Added salt, pepper, thyme. She first had to find her reading glasses before she could work the Kindle.

“Okay,” she returned. “Yes, Backwoods B___ : A Tale of One Woman’s ______.”
(I’m butchering and fabricating the title a touch so as not to defame the work in case there are those who cherish it.)

“Mom,” I said. “I did NOT recommend that. I have never, never heard of that and I guarantee, I would never, never recommend it.”

I’ll spare you the back and forth banter of a mother insisting that her daughter did recommend this title and a daughter emphatically protesting that she did not. I even busted out the ‘senile v. youth’ card because I would not be held responsible for my mom reading a random ‘backwoods’ book.

I’m pretty sure my dad gave her this same look when he saw her reading “Backwoods.”

“Well, where the heck did this book come from??” she finally conceded. “I must’ve fallen down the Kindle rabbit hole. Probably was looking at a book you recommended, then clicked on a ‘If you Like this novel then you’ll like this’ sidebar then clicked off that to something else with an interesting cover and before you know it, I’m paying good money for Backwoods B____, and it’s not even the right book!”

By this point, I was laughing so hard, I was crying over the fry pan, and it had nothing to do with the sautéed jalapeños. My mom was entirely frustrated by it all, she shut the Kindle off and swore never to return to the Backwoods.

I thought this so very exemplary of why we desperately need our living, breathing book communities in brick and mortar bookstores. We need guides! We need friends to steer us back to the path of good literature. We need to be able to ask questions and get answers that have nothing to do with sales numbers, dollar signs, and New York Times bestseller lists. Because if we follow those, we’ll be lost down the rabbit hole having a mad tea party with the cast of Fifty Shades of Grey or tromping through the Appalachian backwoods, bemoaning the journey, and wondering how we came to be there— as was my momma’s case.

Recently, one of my Twitter friends, Leigh Newman, tweeted a quote from Franz Kafka: A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. I thought that so inspiring. We need more axes that break open our minds in positive ways and bring us fresh water. Being able to have a person-to-person discussion with other readers is critical to that. The “If you like this novel, you’ll like this” link just doesn’t cut it.

Reading this post back, I do believe it may be a big love letter to book clubs and bookstores… but I’m not one bit ashamed of that!

Yours truly, Sarah

Dear Pepper Cowboy Snowman, please send us some relief…

Oh the weather outside is frightful.

Brush fires are not delightful.

And since we’ve no place to go,

Let’s dream snow and baked goods with cocoa!

Yes, I’m declaring it Christkindl in July.

If you’ll indulge me while I banter on a personal subject: I’ve had a case of the Mondays that started this past Friday and sort of stretched across the weekend. It’s just been one of those “things” you can’t put your finger on but can’t seem to shake. I’ve decided the oppressive heat is partially to blame. A woman does not feel herself at 110 degrees, sweating to stink in half a minute and swelling up like a bratwurst on the charcoal grill. The calendar gives me no consolation either. It’s only July 9th, for heaven’s sake! The summer has only begun and already I’m dreaming of a cool down. Granted, El Paso has been blazing beetles since April, but it’s going to stay this way through Halloween so there’s no use griping now.

Instead, I’ve decided to have a mini-Christmas celebration right here in July. We won’t go full out—no caroling or wool sweaters (Lord, no!). I’ll leave the Claymation series DVDs packed away with the red bows and tree lights. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do a GIVEAWAY with all the festive flair of the season to come. After all, 50 percent of The Baker’s Daughter’s story begins on Christmas Eve 1944 and the paperback of TBD releases in a little over a month.

Paperback release: August 14, 2012. Pre-order now!

The Baker’s Daughter Countdown to Paperback Release Contest

FOUR lucky readers will each win a The Baker’s Daughter-themed countdown-to-the-paperback-release gift, straight from my Christmas-loving door to yours. If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know I’m a woman who loves putting together splendiferous packages for my readers, friends, and family. It’s a treat for me—and, hopefully, you too. (Plus it helps my aforementioned Monday blue devils to take a hike.)

So you’re saying to yourself, I love Christmas. I love gifts. I want a The Baker’s Daughter-themed present under my July palm tree. How might I win such a contest, Sarah?

Easy! All you have to do to enter to win one of these merry gifts is go to my Facebook fan page: 1) ‘Like’ the page, 2) write something on the wall—anything you want but you must 3) hashtag it #TheBakersDaughter. And bibbidi-bobbidi-bakery! You’re entered to win Christkindl in July!

Feel free to tweet the contest (this blog link is probably the easiest way) so friends on Twitter can get in on the fun. The contest isn’t partial to Facebook friends. It’s just the easiest place to organize and keep record of contestants.

I’ll draw my four winners at the end of this week: midnight Friday, July 13 with winners announced Saturday, July 14. That way gifts can arrive in plenty of time.

Click over to Facebook and enter now! It’s a spontaneous, weeklong contest to help us beat this crazy heat and dream of cool, jolly days with a novel that Executive Editor of Book Riot Bethanne Patrick told NY1 was one of her winter favorites: “It’s a great one to curl up to with a mug of tea”

Sounds delicious and dreamy to me! So let’s turn up the air-conditioning and curl up together, shall we? Maybe Mother Nature will join us in celebrating TBD’s paperback release and dip temperatures under the hundred mark.

I look forward to announcing and meeting the winners!

White Hot Desert by Eleane McCoy

One last news tidbit before I jet off. Here’s a lovely new review from for The Baker’s Daughter: “Emotional and thought-provoking, Sarah McCoy’s storytelling skills will draw you into this novel.”

Happy summer Monday, friends!

Yours truly, Sarah

Posted by: Sarah | June 24, 2012

Hey Doc: Happy 7th Anniversary

It’s been a full two weeks of graduation events here, and I’m happy to report that after five years of indentured servitude, practicing and perfecting, Doc B has graduated from his medical residency. Hallelujah! Does this mean I don’t have to wash anymore bloody scrubs? I’m told the answer is no. Nonetheless, it’s been a celebratory June with both my family (whom many of you good readers have met at East Coast events) and my in-laws visiting us in the Wild West of El Paso.

Now, finally, we’re taking a few days of quiet rest before I head off to Chicago for the fabulous Glen Ellyn Bookfest! I was there last year with the amazing authors I now consider good friends, Mary Doria Russell, Luis Urrea and his beautiful wife Cindy, Brigid Pasulka, Cristina Henriquez and their families. We had such a phenomenal time that the good folks of the Glen Ellyn Bookfest in partnership with Just The Bookstore have invited me back for the honor of participating on the festival’s Ladies’ Luncheon panel featuring Libby Fischer Hellmann, Hannah Pittard, Charlene Ann Baumbich and me. I’m so looking forward to meeting these fine writers and the many readers attending!

This is a ticked affair. The luncheon is being catered by a scrumptious local restaurant and we’ll be dining at the Glen Ellyn Public Library. Tickets are going fast! Twenty were snatched up between yesterday and today. I’d hate to miss seeing any of you. Once all the tickets are sold, the library won’t be able to accommodate anymore, so don’t wait. Get your tickets now and have lunch with me while I’m in Chicago exclusively for this festival.

For my plane ride to the Windy City, I’ve picked up a book lent to me by a good friend. It’s Jennifer Weiner’s Then Came You. The Washington Post wrote that it is a storymost centrally about women being each other’s fairy godmothers, each other’s ‘mysterious benefactors.’ If you’re a Weiner fan, you’ll lap it up. And if you don’t know her yet, here’s the place to start.” I admit that I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of Jennifer’s other work so I fall in the latter category of this quote and am following the WaPo’s instructions.

I know I can be openly truthful with you friends: I’m a touch worn down after all the events of the June, so I’m sipping cups of Guayakí Yerba Mate for both the caffeine and the theorized medicinal properties. Yes, yes, Doc B rolls his eyes at this kind of holistic, herbal self-prescription for fatigue, but with each cup I feel a bit rejuvenated. Is it psychosomatic? Possibly, but it’s mighty tasty all the same.
I must thank my sweet friend Carrie from the Hampton Roads Literary Society Book Club who sent me this tea with a lovely note of thanks for our Skype visit. A generous gift when I’m the one honored by the club’s choice of The Baker’s Daughter as the book of the month.

Sarah’s Sipping Summary:
Given that both Then Came You and my cup of Yerba Mate arrived to me from reader friends, I’d say they go hand in hand as I journey to Chicago to meet and have a lunch with more reader friends!  

June is already zooming to its finale with July 4th celebrations just around the bend. Summer is in full swing, my dears. So I wish you a spectacular week of long, sunny hours reading on the hammock and munching picnic lunches with cold pickles. (That’s my vision of perfection. Feel free to insert your own dreamscape here.) I hope to see some of you in Chicago this Saturday. Cheers!  

Yours truly, Sarah 

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