THIRD WISH, Robert Fulghum (Author of All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten)

Listen Now“It’s a love story, but in a much larger sense it’s about loving lifethird wish
and wanting as much of it as you can have,”
says Robert about THIRD WISH

Written over a period of ten years, Third Wish is an epic novel that is above all – a love story – not in the usual sense, but the story of people who love life and go to great lengths to live it in a flourishing way. In fairy tales, the third wish is the last one left when the first wish was foolish, and the second wish was used to undo the first. Now the remaining wish must be used wisely and well – with the help of co-conspirators. The story threads its way through Greece, Japan, France, England, Spain and Seattle. Woven into the fabric is cultural history, art, philosophy, archeology, poetry, theater and music. The mode of the novel is contained in these three words: SLOWLY, SURPRISE, WITNESS. The two-volume set is divided into five parts and includes over 150 illustrations by three accomplished artists.Come experience THIRD WISH and don’t forget to listen to the companion music!

(from his website)

Robert: Well, Mr. Fulghum, what’s new? robert fulghum
Robert: I’ll answer with a joke. An old geezer is sitting in the confessional booth of a Roman Catholic Church. The priest is surprised. He’s seen the man in the neighborhood, but he’s not a member of the parish. “What can I do for you?” asks the priest. Exuberantly the old man blurts out, “I’m eighty today and I’m in love with a beautiful 25 year old woman who spent the night with me. And she’s moving in to live with me.” The priest replies: “Aren’t you Jewish?” “Yes,” says the old man. “So why are you telling me?” The old man shouts, “I’m telling EVERBODY!”

Robert: Crude, but I get the point. You’re excited about . . . ?
The publication in English of my novel, Third Wish. At last. Something I was beginning to think would never happen. (Hence the joke.)

Robert: But wasn’t Third Wish published first in Czech – several years ago?
Yes. And that’s a lovely story you’ll find elsewhere in this revised website (Third Wish – Czech Edition). But having it published in English was my great hope. I’m telling EVERYBODY!

Robert: Keep going . . .
Robert: So the next day, the same priest finds the same old man sitting on a park bench, holding his face in his hands. The priest walks up and says, “I thought you were very happy.” “I was,” whispers the old man. “Weren’t you telling me you had a beautiful young girl friend who moved in with you?” “It’s true,” whispered the old man, “she’s at my house now.” “Then what’s wrong?” The old man looked up, tears streaming down his face, and said, “I don’t remember where I live.” MORE

  • Robert’s wonderful blog post on the Emergency Meeting of the Security Council ,p>
  • Robert’s Other Books, including All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten and It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It
  • Robert’s Favorite Author: Chaucer
  • Robert loves reading so much, he spent $9,000 on books last year! That’s NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS!! Wow!
  • Robert’s next book: IF YOU LOVE ME STILL, WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME MOVING? Tales from the Century Ball Room
  • Play Fulghum’s game to get to know people better:  Left, Right, Surprise!! Share and find out things about one another you’d never think to ask…and you’ll be amazed what you never knew you never knew!
  • Visit Robert Fulghum’s Website:

Enter to Win a FREE PERSONIZED copy of THIRD WISH:

  • Subscribe to the Words To Mouth e-newsletter

  • Leave a Comment Below about YOUR third wish

  • Call 206-309-7318 and leave a voice mail message I can play on-air

  • U.S. & Canada residents only; No P.O. Boxes, please

  • Deadline: May 15th, 2009 ~ midnight, EST

The Middle Place, Kelly Corrigan FREE COPY

Kelly C

ENTER to Win a FREE Copy:

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  • Deadline April 30th, 2009 midnight EST

  • U.S. & Canada Residents Only; No P.O. Boxes Please

Good Luck!!


The Pirate’s Daughter, Margaret Cezair-Thompson

Listen Now

“Back in America, little was known of my life in Jamaica,” wrote Errol Flynn

I had the privilege of meeting and cruising with the Manic Mommies back in November. One of the lovely mommies, Kim Erskine, organized an on-ship book club and we all met up in the library one afternoon to chat about The Pirate’s Daughter. It was the perfect backdrop to talk about a book set in the tropics. The conversation was thought-provoking and as with most book clubs, impressions were introduced that weren’t previously considered. Some of the questions our group had about the book went unanswered, so it was wonderful to pose them directly to the woman who penned the words. I contacted The Pirate’s Daughter author, Margaret Cezair-Thompson and asked her to speak with me about her book.

Listen in as Margaret speaks so eloquently about her book and the Caribbean island nation she adores so much. She is a gifted storyteller and simply a delightful person.

PirateThen, join the conversation & be entered to win a FREE copy of The Pirate’s Daughter by:

  • Leaving a comment below and/or

  • Calling 206-309-7318 and sharing your impressions of the book or this interview–something I can play on-air

  • Deadline February 15th, 2009, EST

  • No P.O. Boxes Please

  • U.S. & Canada residents only

Unbridled Books Description:

In 1946, a storm-wrecked boat carrying Hollywood’s most famous swashbuckler shored up on the coast of Jamaica, and the glamorous world of 1940’s Hollywood converged with that of a small West Indian society. After a long and storied career on the silver screen, Errol Flynn spent much of the last years of his life on a small island off of Jamaica, throwing parties and sleeping with increasingly younger teenaged girls. Based on those years, The Pirate’s Daughter is the story of Ida, a local girl who has an affair with Flynn that produces a daughter, May, who meets her father but once. Margaret

Spanning two generations of women whose destinies become inextricably linked with the matinee idol’s, this lively novel tells the provocative history of a vanished era, of uncommon kinships, compelling attachments, betrayal and atonement in a paradisal, tropical setting. As adept with Jamaican vernacular as she is at revealing the internal machinations of a fading and bloated matinee idol, Margaret Cezair-Thompson weaves a saga of a mother and daughter finding their way in a nation struggling to rise to the challenge of independence. 

A wonderful book review excerpt from BookingMama:
THE PIRATE’S DAUGHTER by Margaret Cezair-Thompson has been on my radar for over a year now so I was very excited when one of my book club members selected it for our December meeting. News about this book just kept popping up everywhere, and all of the buzz was so good. I think it was only a matter of time before I picked it up.

I first heard about this novel when Unbridled Books released it last fall. The book’s description sounded very interesting to me. Then, it started receiving some big-time praise including including the #1 October 2007 Book Sense Pick as well as 2008 Essence Magazine Literary Award for Fiction. In August, the trade paperback version of THE PIRATE’S DAUGHTER was released by Random House with a bright, gorgeous cover. And just a few months ago, Celestial Seasonings’ Adventure at Every Turn selected it as one of their book club picks. I am just so glad that someone finally selected it for us to discuss.

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I began reading THE PIRATE’S DAUGHTER, but I have to say that the book was a little different than I thought it would be. While I knew that the story was about a young Jamaican girl, Ida, who falls in love with Errol Flynn, I didn’t know that the book also included a lot of historical information about Jamaica. Having known absolutely nothing about Jamaica and their struggle for independence in the 1970s, I thought it was very interesting. The author did a tremendous job of incorporating the history with the characters in this novel.

I had always known that Errol Flynn was a unique figure to say the least, but I had no idea how much trouble this man could cause. I found him to be extremely distasteful — he seemed to prefer under-age girls and lots of alcohol; however, I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of him and his actions — these scenes were excellent. He must have been such a charismatic figure because men and women alike wanted to be in his presence (although to me he just seemed disgusting.) I found it so sad that Ida fell in love with him (or the idea of him) and ended up sacrificing her entire life because of her feelings. For More . . . 

Margaret’s Suggested Reading:

  • Mister Pipp, by Lloyd Jones “I love and highly recommend,” says Margaret

Margaret’s favorite author (when forced to pick ONLY one!):


The Fiction Class, Susan J. Breen

To enter to win a free copy of The Fiction Class:

  • Be sure to subscribe to the Words To Mouth e-newsletter ~ That’s how I announce winners!
  • Help me get the word out! Tell at least three friends about Words To Mouth and ask them to comment below this interview citing your first name

FictionclassA Conversation with Susan J. Breen

Carrie:  What inspired you to write The Fiction Class?
  I was at a funeral of someone I didn’t really know. I was sitting with some friends and we began to talk and everyone, absolutely everyone, was telling a story about her mother. And when I left, it hit me for the first time just how powerful mother/daughter stories are—how funny and infuriating. I wanted to write about it.

Carrie: Tell us just a bit about The Fiction Class.
  Arabella teaches a class in creative writing in Manhattan, but she’s having some difficulties with her students. Things aren’t going well with her mother, either, but when she begins to teach her mother how to write, Arabella’s surprised when their relationship takes an unexpected turn.

Carrie:   What is the primary message you’d like your readers to take away from The Fiction Class?
Writing fiction can be healing (And, just because you’re mad at your mother now, doesn’t mean you have to be mad at her your whole life; and vice versa).

Carrie:   Which character do you identify with the most and how much of yourself shows up in The Fiction Class?
There’s a lot of me in Arabella, who is the protagonist of the book. Part of why I wrote this novel was to understand my relationship with my mother, so in some ways I was doing a form of psychoanalysis on myself in creating Arabella’s character. The way she sees the world and reacts to things are very much my own. However, Arabella’s also quite different from me—younger, taller, single. So I see her more as a young friend who’s going through situations similar to ones I went through.

Carrie:   What are you reading right now?
  The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. It’s wonderful.  Also, Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

My Half of the Sky, Jana McBurney-Lin

An intimate yet epic portrait of a young woman in modern ChinaKeri Holmes, The Kaleidoscope

Half Sky

Jana McBurney-Lin’s BIO

Jana McBurney-Lin, author of My Half of the Sky, lived in Asia for fifteen years. She wrote for media in seven countries, including National Public Radio, Writer’s Digest, Hemispheres (United Airlines), Islands Magazine, Singapore Straits Times, Japan Times and dozens of others. She was an editor at ALC Publishing in Tokyo when she met her husband, a native of southern China. They then lived in Singapore, frequently visiting his family in Fujian province, China. Jana now lives in the Santa Cruz mountains of California with her husband and four children. She’s a dedicated participant in the Bay Area writing community, having served five years as President of the Peninsula Branch of the California Writer’s Club. She also founded the Writers Camp for Kids and works in the local schools to teach creative writing.Jan Lin

Carrie’s Chat with Jana

Carrie: What inspired you to write My Half of the Sky?
  One year, my husband and I were back in his village of Fujian, China. I spotted a poster painted on someone’s house, a huge ad depicting a couple with an infant. Underneath the smiling couple were the words, “A girl baby is just as precious as a boy baby.” I turned to my husband and said, “That is so cool that the government is obviously behind the valuing of little girls.” “The government can say what they like.” He just shook his head. “But a house with no male is a real problem.” That’s when I thought, “Ah-ha, now there’s a story.” What if a girl was born into a household and managed to survive? How would she continue to thrive, to succeed, in this world where the traditions are against her?

Carrie: Tell us about My Half of the Sky?
  The late leader of China, Chairman Mao ZeDong, said “Women hold up half the sky.” My Half of the Sky is the story of a contemporary young woman who is trying to do that—trying to be a modern woman and hold up her half of the sky—but the traditions of her village keep pulling her back.

American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld (Guest Book Review, Avis from She Reads and Reads)

WifeAvis answered my Guest Book Review Invitation with a resounding “YES” and submitted the following review. To get links to more reviews on Sittenfeld’s American Wife or read more great reviews by Avis, check out her website, She Reads and Reads.

Avis’s She Reads and Reads American Wife review:

When I requested American Wife, I had no idea it was a fictionalized account of Laura Bush’s life. All I knew was that it had been written by Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep, which I first read about in an article in the New York Times about the making of a bestseller. My curiosity was piqued, so when I heard about Sittenfeld’s latest book, I wanted to read it.

The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel (audio interview)

**Scroll down to the gray arrow to listen to the interview

DiaryThe Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel

Introduction written by Lily Koppel:Lily
Ever since I climbed into a dumpster outside of I apartment building and rescued a 75-year-old diary, kept by a young woman in the 1930s, I strongly believed that this story was an important one to tell. THE RED LEATHER DIARY: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal (HarperCollins), is about my discovery of Florence Wolfson’s diary, the amazing life that is portrayed in its pages and the return of the diary to its owner at 90. T
he book speaks to the significance and “private truths” of all of our lives.

Thanks for baring with the sound quality–sometimes these phone interviews are challenging.For a chance to win a FREE copy of The Red Leather Diary, simply leave a comment below the interview post on or call 206-309-7318 and leave a voice mail. Be sure I’ve got your mailing address ~ email at iTunes

Thanks as always to Natali Brown for You Gotta Believe from the Podsafe Music Network.


The Darkest Night, Ron Franscell, (Quick & Wordy author audio interview)

Darkest night cover SMALL

**Scroll down and click gray arrow to listen to interview

THE DARKEST NIGHT (as described on

On a chilly autumn night in 1973, 11-year-old Amy Burridge eagerly rode with her 18-year-old sister, Becky, to a neighborhood grocery store in the small town of Casper, Wyoming. When they finished their shopping, they discovered a flat tire on Becky’s car. Two men politely offered them a ride home. But they were not Good Samaritans.

THE DARKEST NIGHT is an intensely atmospheric portrait of people in a simple and safe place, forever changed by evil. It’s the story of how one violent crime has echoed over decades in a small town. It’s also a story of resilience in the human spirit. Humans were not intended to live behind walls, so we must find our place in a messy world … or not truly live at all.

Carrie:  What inspired you to write THE DARKEST NIGHT?

Ron:  Three weeks after 9/11, I was dispatched by my editors at the Denver Post to wander around the Middle East seeking answers to questions we still haven’t answered fully. On the plane home after a long and exhausting tour-of-duty, I picked up a European news magazine that contained photos of people who leaped from the World Trade Center — the likes of which I had never seen. In one, two people held hands as they plunged to their deaths. Suddenly, I saw in that image two childhood friends of mine who were the victims of a monstrous 1973 crime and who plunged to their deaths from a high, remote bridge near our hometown — which remains palpably haunted by that crime 35 years later.  In them, I saw a story that transcended the small town where I grew up. It also transcended my own personal fears. I was compelled to tell it.

There, in the transatlantic darkness, I began to re-imagine their story as a parable for the Age of Terror, where life can be innocent, virtuous and full one day — and bereft of hope the next. Everything changes. And I’ve learned as a newspaperman that our most important stories often blossom in that brilliant moment between the old times and the new.

I also believe in the power of storytelling. Sometimes it’s helpful for us to have all our memories, fears and dreams collected in one place, where we can easily find them.

I Found a Great Site to Share: Books On the Night Stand

Nightstand-adding-to-your-sI was playing around on Chris Brogan’s website where he graciously lists his subscriber’s podcasts (Rockstars) and was thrilled to find Books On the Night Stand ~ A conversation about books and reading ~ by Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman. Both work for Random House, but are quick to point out their views are no way affiliated with their employer.

I appreciated Michael and Ann’s latest “Top Ten” and wanted to share it with you. I struggle to find time in the day to read and the list below offers some great ideas. I had to laugh at the synchronicity of finding this list today, because just last evening my youngest daughter and I had a “conversation” (yes, a bit heated) about her goal of reading at least one book this summer. So what if it’s Stephenie Meyer’s third novel, Eclipse, boasting nearly one million pages. Hey, that was her choice, not mine. Anyway, I’m waiting for her to wake up, so I can share the list.  Something tells me, she’ll opt for #5 to find more time to read. Not an option!

Hmmm, maybe I should present the Top 9 Ways to Find More Time for Reading

10 Ways to Find More Time for Reading      

  1. Unplug. Seriously. Step away from the computer. Turn off the television. It’s a no-brainer, but it might be the hardest thing to do all day. A newspaper story about author James Patterson reported that “he also reprimanded adults who say they don’t have time to read: ‘People read thousands of pages. No content. No stories. It’s called your BlackBerry’.”
  2. Embrace television, but in an old-fashioned way. Drop the Tivo remote. Use the commercial breaks to squeeze in some reading time. Short stories work great for this, or books that have short chapters. I recently read Seth Godin’s MEATBALL SUNDAE this way. The chapters are short, but thought-provoking, making them perfect for commercial breaks. If you’re still reading when the commercials are over, you can pick up the remote and pause the TV until you’ve finished the chapter.

Jeff LeJeune, Postmarked Baltimore

LeJeune_Author_Photo[1]I met Jeff LeJeune on GoodReads website, a place where writers and readers can share reviews, recommendations, and most anything. 

A Bit About Jeff LeJeune:  Jeff LeJeune played basketball in high school and then for two seasons at McNeese State University before a deadly disease redirected the course of his life. He is now a professional novelist (The Final Chase and Postmarked Baltimore) and a columnist for Writers News Weekly. He teaches at St. Louis Catholic High School in Lake Charles, LA, where he was recently named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction.

Postmarked Baltimore (Book Jacket Summary): On New Year’s Eve, 1989, Father Perry Burns is sitting in his study, accompanied by a mysterious stranger. Perry has just received a letter from his former sweetheart, whom he jilted years earlier after making a terrible decision. He joined the priesthood to hide from his emotions, but now he finds himself recalling, almost reliving, his checkered past. Will the mysterious stranger win the fight for Father Burns’ soul, or will the struggling priest denounce his false life and return to Baltimore to answer to the woman he has always loved?

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    Carrie created Words-to-Mouth—a blog & companion Internet talk show introducing new book releases and their authors to a community interested in excellent writing that may not  necessarily top the New York Times Bestseller List—Yet! To learn more about Carrie, click here