A tribute to women of all ages; honoring the significant connections that women share with their mothers, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, and friends; the tribe of sisterhood that bonds them throughout their lives, with support, devotion and wisdom. The perfect gift to share with your mother and all your mother friends, and equally important to keep for yourself. (book synopsis and author information via HERE)
The Forward for this book was written by Leeza Gibbons...
Here's what she had to say about the book..."I am thrilled to start off the first of what will hopefully be many Wishes books and writing the forward. I do believe in the power of a wish to have a therapeutic effect for the giver and receiver. It is intimate and always appropriate regardless of your relationship."
Andddd... NOW... The Women Authors behind the Book...
Author, speaker, and mother of four who lives in Avon, Connecticut, with her husband and children. Several of her “Wishes” have been aired on the nationally syndicated radio program Hollywood Confidential, and can be found at: wishesfortheheart.com.
Now... let's get to know these two women and what inspired them to write this book...
Where are you from?
B - I'm originally a New Yorker, born to working class parents; my mom instilled in me the deep rooted belief that education was the pathway to success. So after moving as a child from the Bronx, to Queens, to Long Island, I moved to back to NYC to enter NYU in the theater and fine arts dept. However, my studies brought me to Berkeley University where I studied Chemistry, then back to New York for Biology, Psychology and Chemistry, then out to L.A. for pre-med at UCLA, and Northridge. I remained in L.A. and eventually married at 30 and entered the field of hospitality and furthered my design education, (A.S.I.D.), and created and co-owned and managed a variety of restaurants with my former husband Wolfgang Puck.
T – I was born in Yardley, PA. I moved to California for college and then to Manhattan for grad school. Since getting married, in 1991, my husband and I have moved many times. We are now living in Avon, CT, but we will be moving to the Seattle, Washington area this summer.
Tell us your latest news?
B – I've co-authored, (with Tricia LaVoice), a book of words inspiration and pragmatic support for women of all ages; Wishes for a Mother's Heart, portions of the sale of this book with benefit a variety of women's and children's causes. as well as medical research and the elderly. I have also just returned last evening from an intellectually and emotionally invigorating event called Summit at Sea, (summitseries.com/ summit at sea), which is a "by invite" event hosting some of the most fascinating entrepreneurs, philanthropists, activists, performers, from innovative start-up companies to legends in various fields. ( Richard Branson, Tom's Shoes, Peter Thiel, X Prize co-founder Peter Diamondis, Zappos, Google CEOs, etc.) I'm also gearing up the series of events for this year to raise funds for Meals on Wheels.. an event with Cirque du Soleil, a concert in the park with some top performing artists paired with chefs and wineries.
T - We are gearing up for our first book to be published with Hay House, Wishes for a Mother’s Heart, this April 25th. I'm also writing new Wishes for our second book to be released next year.
When and why did you begin writing?
B - I have been writing poetry since I was a child, and wrote various entries for other people's books including 400 plus pages of The Restaurant ( author Dorf), and in 1980's wrote the intros for Wolfgang Puck's first cookbook and co-wrote the Warner Bros. script for his video)
T - I began writing in 2004 because I had a story to tell that I just had to put down on paper.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
B - I think we are all writers, always, we all have a story to tell. It is when you place it on paper and someone publishes it others refer to you as an author.
T – I am still working on that.
What inspired you to write your first book?
B - This book was inspired by Tricia's beautiful Wishes and her desire and insistence, (said smiling), that I join her. I suppose you could say that love, friendship, sisterhood with Tricia, (and sharing her story of loss and courage), and the belief that we are here to help other women inspired me to follow through.
T – I lost my parents in a car accident in 1993. I had to do a lot of work to move through life without it hurting so badly. I gave out a lot of love and a lot of love came back, helping me heal and letting me love the way I always wanted to love. I felt by sharing this story I was not wasting the pain and I also could help others. Human kindness is very powerful!
Do you have a specific writing style?
B- Tricia gave me the directive on what she felt would best support the book's message, the core started with her poetic/prose Wishes and my thoughts and my action suggestions supplement the meaning and hopefully provide additional significance and an active means to have these feelings carry through into daily actions in your life.
T – When writing the book about the loss of my parents I focused on just telling my story. With Wishes for a Mother’s Heart I wrote in a more poetic style.
How did you come up with the title?
B- The title was Tricia's suggestion and is quite direct and explanatory while still eliciting a lovely sentiment.
T - I write Wishes, short poetic thoughts and insights. My writing partner, Barbara Lazaroff offers concrete actions to accompany each Wish. Since our first book is for mothers the title Wishes for a Mother’s Heart was most fitting.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
T - Motherhood is beautiful and hard, and by supporting one another in our quest to be great mothers, it is just easier. Every mother is someone’s daughter. We never stop benefitting from love and support.
B- The message of the book is one of sisterhood, that we as women are a tribe of mothers, sisters, women of all ages, and that we have a responsibility to our brethren to offer and provide support, by genuinely listening and acting, by tendering love and understanding, by being a sincere friend, mentor, an example to others that women are truly the moral compasses of society. We raise the future!
How much of the book is realistic?
B- This book is a genuine outpouring of our beliefs and experiences, and the wisdom we have garnered from our mothers, our other women friends in the course of our lives, so far.
T – I would hope all of it.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
B- Once again, yes, Tricia and I have been very open with our feelings and experiences. Some of the book has been generalized in the terms of offering advice, but all of those suggestions spring from life experiences with marriage, divorce, raising children, loss, fears, dreams, struggles and success and well as failures.
T – Yes, Barbara and I both share personal experiences throughout the book.
What books have most influenced your life most?
B - I have been influenced by a variety of books, but my reading has changed and been influenced by the stages of my life. When I was younger I was moved by novels that were imaginative and stylistic such as Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I was a great lover of poetry; Delmore Schwartz, Baudelaire (in French), Yeats, Keats, Kenneth Patchen, there was also an anthology of poems written by women entitled No More Masks. In college I also read Sylvia Plath, Gertrude Stein. I went on to read a great deal of scientific books and was engrossed in biographies of Einstein, Nikola Tesla, and Watson and Crick. Now I still read scientific books, but for pleasure I have read Cutting for Stone and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I also read marketing, business books; recently Never Eat Alone, and have read Malcolm Gladwell's books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers.
T – The Secret Life of Bees; Change Your Thoughts, Change your Life; It Takes a Village
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
B - I was most inspired by the author Janet Fitch I was mesmerized with the usage of sound and syntax in White Oleander. I read and re-read, sometimes out loud, the phrases in her book. The choice of descriptive words illuminated the events and feelings in the novel; some quite painful, but so enormously powerful. Often I was transported to the protagonist's sad room in a foster home, or her mother's wild internal fury. When I met Janet I told her how much I appreciated her style of writing and said I would like to be able to communicate as she does in print one day. Also I feel the same about author Tom Robbins. I do not however feel I was trying to channel those styles for this book; my work in Wishes for a Mother's Heart is to relate to other women and hopefully provide some strength, caring and advice, and illuminate Tricia's work.
T – There are many authors I admire, but when I think of a mentor I think of who inspired me to be more. It may sound funny however it was Leeza Gibbon’s book on scrap booking that gave me my courage to be honest without worrying about being judged. Leeza offers short personal stories in her book. One story she shares is about her youngest son’s feelings towards her working so hard. I appreciated her courage to share.
What book are you reading now?
B - I've read a number of ( marketing) books prior to my Summit cruise, since Tricia and I were both introduced to Keith Ferrazzi's books recently. I started with his first, Never Eat Alone, but I'm presently reading Rebel with a Cause which a friend handed to me, but it is proving difficult to read because it concerns heroic underground war efforts and I am not in the proper mindset. I am also one quarter through The OMG Chronicles about what God means to people around the globe; and I have two books started on my Kindle, The Three Weissmanns of Westport, and The Help (I'm reading it a second time), for pleasure.
T – I always keep a stack next to my bed and seem to be writing a little of all of them at the same time. Last night I focused on Keith Ferrazzi’ s book Who’s Got Your Back. I am also enjoying the Time magazine tribute to Mother Teresa.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
B - Tricia is always so sweet and supportive, I love her Wishes and I know she's been influenced by certain inspirational writers but her work is uniquely her own. As for others, I am always finding new writers because I adore reading, (sadly, I never have enough time). Actually some of the writers I have "discovered" are "new" to me, but have been writing for a good deal of time; such as David Sedaris who is recognized for his highly sardonic, witty and perceptive commentaries on society. I know there must be some wonderful new authors emerging but there is a top heavy heap of novels about vampires, black magic, and zombie-type creatures, all not of my liking! I am going to purchase Chris Cleave's book Incendiary, and Karen Russell's book Swamplandia!
T – I have known my writing partner, Barbara Lazaroff, for years as friends and as mothers. Although she has worked on other books, this is her first published inspirational/self – help book. Her writing is so eloquent and insightful, that when I read her section of the book I learn from her. She inspires me to be the best I can be.
What are your current projects?
B - I have been working in short sections, (not chronologically), on the story of the creation of Spago and the frenzy and humorous exploits that followed. I am more focused in the moment on some upcoming charity events for foundations with which I am deeply involved such as AVIVA, and Meals on Wheels, and the ICRF.
T – Right now we are focusing on Wishes. We hope to release a series of Wishes books for different focus. Once we get Wishes on it way I will shop Pieces of My Mother, the story of my journey overcoming the loss of my parents.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
B- My girlfriends, and my sons, and my the terrific man in my life. However I think Tricia and I know "we have each other's back" as she likes to say.
T - An assembly of wonderful, most fabulous, supportive, and patient friends!
Do you see writing as a career?
B - I have been working for thirty years in the design and hospitality businesses; writing is only one of my expressive outlets, but I am greatly enjoying the process. I am desirous of one day writing a design book, a poetry book and a series of children's books.
T - Yes, that is my hope.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
B - I would have liked to had more time for the release, to organize more effectively, but the INSIDE reflects our hearts, experience and thoughts at the time; this question will be far more interesting a number of years from now.
T – Thankfully, No.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
B - I have always loved to write; I was the editor of my 6th grade journal, (I named it the Culture Vulture; adorable in retrospect.) My poetry was read for years after my departure at school assemblies at my school in Queens, I found this out after a friend's much younger sister ran into me and told me; ( I was touched that my teachers remembered me.) Then I abandoned writing except for press releases for our restaurants, writing for my ex- husband, and a few articles on design. Now I have interesting stories about the 80's in Hollywood to relate, but I jokingly tell everyone, "I'm waiting for more people to die!"
T – I had a story to tell.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
B – Tricia has printed some of the Wishes on our blog, and we've posted some of the work on our Wishes Facebook page, here is one quote I wrote that I will share:
" We strive to give our children a feeling of their place in the world by grounding them with home and family; a heritage of belonging. If we have done a fine job, one day they will soar off and find a place of belonging wherever life may take them; because they carry "home" in their heart."
I also speak a great deal about intent to help is not the same as actually doing something to help; "the smallest act of kindness is greater than the grandest of good intentions."
T - We have shared a few excerpts from the book at www.wishesfortheheart.com
A few quotes I share in the book are: "I can think of no more beautiful gift a friend can give to another friend than to love her children and help make a positive difference in their lives."
Also, "It is never too soon or too late to find your place amongst women."
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
B- It was a bit challenging at first to be responding to the Wishes. I had to analyze and then discuss with Tricia her deeper feelings regarding the selection of certain "descriptives", her intent with each Wish, what she was trying to convey and what she wanted the reader to feel viscerally and absorb cognitively. As we moved forward I realized my approach was too exacting; each reader would interpret each Wish with their own personal emotional and intellectual fingerprint. I however still had to stay on point with the "to do's". There were some changes that occurred when we collaborated, a few words were "tweaked" to better express the precise message.
T – I feel that if a writer holds back the writing suffers . When writing about such personal subject matter, opening myself up as I do, I need to be careful not to withhold. I cannot bring about change without being honest, but that takes trusting the reader with all your heart.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
B- Both Tricia and I adored The Red Tent, but I have so many authors I truly admire, as I said previously, I think Janet Fitch writes beautifully; I guess if I was stranded on the proverbial desert island with only one book I would want the Bible so I could read it over and over, although I am not particularly religious; it has so many interesting lessons about life, character, the foibles and strengths of mankind. As for other favorite authors I'm a lover of Faulkner, O'Neill, Tennessee Williams and Shakespeare; all masters of the English language, and witnesses to their time and culture.
T – I love Anita Diamant’s work. Her book, The Red Tent, is my all time favorite book. I loved how she took her knowledge of history, and created a fiction story bringing the reader back in time.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
B- We haven't traveled a great deal as of yet, but the Summit at Sea was partially a vehicle to publicize the book, and we hope to be doing radio and T.V. shortly.
T – So far I have had to do just a little traveling however, I hope to do more once the book is released.
Who designed the covers?
B- (see Tricia's response) We also felt strongly about retaining the image of the dandelion on the cover, and Hay House carried that through on the interior. The dandelion is our visual metaphor for Wishes; the idea that you can dream and then work to realize those dreams, (on the wind of imagination and persistent hard work.)
T - We self published our book before Hay House picked it up. Doghaus Designs did the initial cover, which we loved, so Hay House made some small adjustment to that cover for this release.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
B- Tricia is my dearest friend so there were moments when issues of sensitivity, exhaustion, and deadlines come to bear, but it was a collaborative effort of love and sharing.
T - Honestly, nothing comes up for me as being difficult. Sharing any project always has its benefits and difficulties, so having two authors working on one book is no different. Although we hit a bump or two while working on Wishes for a Mother’s Heart, for the most part Barbara and I have worked well together.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
B- We learned a great deal about the publishing world and the hard work of getting a book recognized. I have been in the work world for over 30 years however so I'm quite familiar with the challenges of business and the need to be tenacious and to have faith in your own capabilities. In this case we also had to believe in each other, which we always have.
T - I could write a book on everything I have learned writing this book. Since I am a stay home mom, and this is my first book, I had a lot to learn. I think the most important thing I learned is that if you believe in yourself and just keep moving forward, you can do what you set your mind to doing.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
B- Be honest, write every day, at least try, share with others only if you are able to accept suggestions, believe in your story....and the all time mantra: "write about what you know!" If not, you better do an enormous amount of research to create a believable and interesting story.
T - Write as if no one else is going to read what you are writing but you. Then go back and edit what you are not comfortable sharing. Don’t hold back.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
B- We hope you enjoy Wishes for a Mother's Heart and share it with your friends, your mom, your daughter, your children; even the men in your life; they will learn about the sacred and special bond women share. Happy Mother's Day and this is our gift to you.
T - Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share Wishes for a Mother’s Heart with you. Simply, a token of love for you and those you love.
Thank you to Tricia and Barbara for a lovely interview...
This book is a PERFECT gift for Mother's Day
YOU may purchase the book via their site
Wishes For A Mother's Heart
Wishes For A Mother's Heart
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Deadline to enter is May 7, 2011 @ noon California time...
THERE WILL BE ONE WINNER!!!
Bonne Chance - Good Luck!
WINNER: French Heart
WINNER: French Heart