Tuesday, October 02, 2012

A delightful discovery!

Recently I heard (via twitter) about an author who'd had a sad family event just as her book was being published.  All her plans for promotion were pretty much laid flat.  It was suggested we buy her book to help out.  Thus  Pies and Prejudice ended up on my bookshelf.

 Which is where it sat for awhile, cause I bought it not to read but to support the author.

Then one day I needed something to read at the local SudsYerDuds.  I rummaged through the bookcases and there was P&P. Look at that cover. Who could resist magic pie? Certainly not I.

Off I trotted with my sack of smells, clutching a bottle of SharkSoap, a fistful of quarters and this book.  As the duds sudsed  I read it and found myself charmed.  Enchanted even!

It dawned on me that some of the best books I've read have come to me by happy accident. Fortunate discoveries.  Serendipity!

So, I contacted the agent and the editor for Pies and Prejudice and asked if they too had found books by such happy accidents.

Here's what they said:

Jessica Faust
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen was recommended by a client in passing. Just a casual conversation about books we were reading. I was hooked and have read every book she's published.

Kate Seaver

An author once picked me up at the airport and drove me to the conference hotel for a local Romance Writers of America conference. At the time the author was on deadline for a nonfiction book. We got along really well, and she mentioned she’d considered writing fiction. I told her to send me a proposal if she ever did.

Eight months later her agent submitted a wonderful women’s fiction proposal by the author. It made me laugh out loud just as the author had in our brief car trip together. I bought the book, and it was later nominated for a RITA award, and Alyssa Day is now a New York Times bestselling author.

From author's website:

talk about charming and enchanting!

So, what have you read that you found via serendipity? Tell us the title, and how you came to buy it!


delilah s. dawson said...

I randomly won Ann Aguirre's ENCLAVE in a Twitter contest a few weeks ago and *sharkily devoured* it in a day. The cover didn't grab me, so I probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Many years ago, at my local independent bookstore, one of the employees was hand-selling a new novel. She loved it and thought I would too, but I hesitated because it didn't sound like something I would normally pick up, etc. But she was so enthusiastic, I caved. I took the book home, read it, loved, and pretty much bought copies for everyone I knew.

The book? THE KITE RUNNER. (This was waaaaay back before anyone had even heard of it.) :)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

My mom bought Garden Spells for me the same week that I bought The Sugar Queen for myself. Loved them both and have been a huge fan of hers ever since. :)

ChiTrader said...

My serendipitous book is titled "It's OK NOT to Share," by Heather Shumaker. I met Heather in April at a writers' conference in Madison, WI. She was a presenter who shared how she got her agent and had been a success story of the conference. I met her through a mutual friend and Heather told me a little about the book.

The premise is fascinating, and being a writer who believes in supporting other aspiring, struggling new writers, I decided the least I could do was buy Heather's book when it came out in late August.

I'm not a parent and haven't read any other parenting books, but I figured if this unknown author came out of the blue and got this book published so fast, it must be decent.

Wow. Decent is the understatement of the decade. "It's OK NOT to Share," is a fascinating, page-turning read. Her theories of letting kids be kids, develop at their own pace, and urging parents not to try and turn their little angels into mini-adults were so common sense, forehead-smacking "Duh!" moments that I couldn't read it fast enough.

If I were young and had decided to have kids these days, this book would be my bible. Best of all, Heather walks the walk and is raising her two boys the same way she coaches other parents in her book.

The most enjoyable book I've read this year. One of the best non-fiction books I've ever read.


J.M. Bray said...

I was wandering through a Christian book store looking for a gift and saw "The Paradise War" by Stephen R. Lawhead. I don't normally read "Christian" novels as I prefer to get my preaching by other means.

It looked interesting though so I bought it. What a find! Since then I've devoured his works as fast as I could get my hands on them.

j welling said...

_The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea_. Mishima.

I had it shoved in my hands years ago when I reasoned aloud that I could not conceive of child characters harboring the will do do objective violence - at least no serious violence. I had an adolescent character at the time who was especially reactive to changes in her environment.

It took some years and some Flannery O'Conner to desensitize the perspective. Violence is a tool that can be effectively wielded by even the youngest protagonist with a full emotional depth. Perhaps it can be wielded with even greater effectiveness than in the adult.

I learned things about the background of harm from this work. It was vinegar when I had expected a more enticing seasoning. I was learning to enjoy characters whose perspective was pickled.

Stephanie said...

I was at the book signing at a local RWA conference, to support my friend. She knew the author signing beside her and she introduced me to Candis Terry. I bought her book, Second Chance at the Sugar Shack. A few months later, I finally got around to reading it then bought her other two books. Now I'm waiting imaptiently for her next.

Stephanie said...

I write contemp rodeo romance and over a year ago, I stumbled onto a website. The author had an excerpt from a book she was working on and I fell in love with her writing. I didn't bookmark it and forgot her name. A few months ago a twitter friend asked if I knew her. I went to the website and found Kari Lynn Dell. Her writing is real and funny. Can't wait for the book.

Anna said...

I downloaded The Front Porch Prophet from Free Friday for Nooks. The book was amazing and I was stunned by my good luck. I've since given it as gifts many times.

Laurie Dennison said...

I found Anita Shreve's The Last Time They Met at the grocery store. This was the first and last book I've bought at a grocery store, but I needed something quick for a weekend trip. I'd never heard of The Pilot's Wife, which is now one of my least favorite of Shreve's books, and I'm so glad that I didn't start with that one. The Last Time They Met is one of my all time favorites.

Lauren said...

In my current editor's letter, I talk about picking up Michael Crichton's early book, The Great Train Robbery, for, oh, about the dozenth time. As I neared the end, I finally grew curious enough to wonder about the real story. Googling it brought up more than the usual sites; one of them turned out to be the UK publishing house, Hale Books, which just released The First Great Train Robbery by David C. Hanrahan, the true and perhaps more compelling tale of that "crime of the century." It is on its way to me now. I can't wait to read it!

Terri Lynn Coop said...

Several years ago I had signed up for a critique at a writers' conference with John Gilstrap. He had been a solid mid-lister for many years before taking a hiatus. At this conference, he was back as a straight-up thriller writer.

I got his newest autographed at the conference, got the best critique ever, and am now a big fan. When I met Jeffery Deaver at this year's Killer Nashville, I told him how his friend Gilstrap had savaged my work years ago, he laughed.

And then a few months ago I won a sharkly contest and met some dude named Steve Ulfelder who has written a couple of books. Those are now autographed and on my shelf and I am proud to call Steve a Facebook friend.

You just never know . . .


Angie Brooksby said...

Last Wednesday, library day for my four year old, while she harangued the other children in the kids section, I was able to find a novel in the English books section published later than year 2010: Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore. It wasn’t what I was looking for. When I flipped the pages, what caught my eye was a painting of Van Gogh. I thought this was funny for a fiction novel, not to mention the blue-violet typescript.

I’ve ravished it, reading faster than I normally do in those stolen moments. It’s an irreverent tale of those Parisian artists who have become close to seraphic icons of painting. Lessard, Pissaro, Renoir Degas curse like mill workers, drink absinthe bonk their models. But the story is not their debauchery, that is just the means Moore uses to build the tale.

This is the first book by Moore I've read. His other titles look great.

edwin said...

I found Barbara Hambly when someone threw Time of the Dark into the paper recycle bin at work.

Muriel Gibboney said...

My friend's daughter wrote a short story, and my friend wrote about it on facebook. It was about the game Angry Birds, which I don't play, so I bought it on kindle just to support. Then one night I decided to read it and was delighted at how entertaining it was, no understanding of the game necessary. And I believe the author is a fan of Ms. Reid, as she has posted about her on facebook before. The story is called "When Pigs Fly: An Angry Birds Parody" and is quite well written. Glad I read it.

S.P. Bowers said...

I won an arc of IN A FIX by Linda Grimes. Didn't get around to reading it for a few weeks then couldn't put it down. Loved it.

Kristin Laughtin said...

I like pie. I like Pride and Prejudice. I am intrigued.

I came across FEED, by Mira Grant, by total serendipity once at Comic-Con. I don't normally like zombie stuff, but I LOVE the series that book spawned. I'm not sure I've ever anticipated books 2 and 3 in a series more than with that one.

Ashley Zimmerman said...

Hee hee thanks for the compliments Mrs. Muriel, and yes indeed, I am a fan of Ms. Reid :D

I haven't found any books that I LOVED via serendipity, but I made a trip to the thrift store today and bought "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" for a buck. Heard it's amazing and hoping I'll love it!

Augustina Peach said...

I was browsing the juvenile fiction section at work for books to use in an exercise on censorship for my Intro to Rhetoric class, and I pulled Ann Turnbull's "No Shame, No Fear" off the shelf. I was intrigued by the cover, so I checked it out. I loved the book, and since then I've bought all her wonderful YA historical fiction. I had to order the last one ("Seeking Eden")from the UK, though, because it wasn't available in the US. I worry that publishers aren't interested in historical fiction anymore, especially for young adults.

Amanda K. said...

I know this is going to sound a bit like brown-nosing, but I have found many, many books that I would never have read otherwise on this blog. Especially EVERYTHING by Charles Yu. That's one of the things I like most about your blog. Keep the suggestions coming. I'll check out Pies and Prejudice soon.