Thursday, April 26, 2012

Celebrating spring with Vanessa Diffenbaugh's "flowers," plus a book giveaway

Photo courtesy of Infinity Portrait Design
Introduction by Kathryn Hamilton

**Giveaway is now closed**

Today, Vanessa Diffenbaugh is visiting us and we are celebrating the early April paperback release of her debut novel "The Language of Flowers" (reviewed here). Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a native Californian now residing in Massachusetts with her husband and three children. Aside from teaching arts programs to children living in low-income communities after completing her college degree, Vanessa is also the founder of the Camellia Foundation, which assists youth making the transition out of the foster care system.

To celebrate the paperback release of "The Language of Flowers, Random House is offering a copy to TWO lucky readers anywhere in the US.

To find out more about Vanessa visit her at her website, The Camellia NetworkThe Language of Flowers Pinterest Page, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Who are three authors who have inspired you?
Toni Morrison
Jeanette Winterson
Sandra Cisneros

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I have wanted to be a writer since my mom gave me my first diary when I was 6 years old. My first entry: I have 206 chicken pox!

If "The Language of Flowers" were made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
Victoria: Jennifer Lawrence
Grant: Ryan Gosling
Elizabeth: Julianne Moore
Renata: Meryl Streep

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Past—it would make research so much easier!

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Find one or two writers (or readers) whose opinion you trust, let them read your work, and then listen to what they say. Really listen—even if (and especailly if) it is exactly the thing you don’t want to hear. Then go back to your draft, and keep working.

Characters really make the story for us. What 3 words would best describe your hero, and what about her called out to you and made you want to write her story?
I would describe Victoria as tough, resourceful, and loving (even though this last one she doesn’t believe about herself!). I wanted to tell her story because I wanted to explore what it is like to learn how to love and trust when you haven’t been loved as a child.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Eating ice cream in bed!

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Co-founding a non-profit, Camellia Network ( with a mission to create a national network that connects every youth aging out of foster care to the critical resources, opportunities and support they need to thrive in adulthood.

What project are you working on now?
I’m writing a new novel—stay tuned!

Special thanks to Vanessa for a lovely interview and to Random House for sharing "The Language of Flowers" with our readers.

How to win "The Language of Flowers":
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What is your favorite kind of flower?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

US only. Giveaway ends May 1st at midnight EST.


Kritters Ramblings said...

i am not much of a flower person, but i love the innocence of sunflowers
i am a fan on facebook
i follow via gfc

Marthalynn said...

She seems lovely and I like her advice for aspiring writers!

My flower obsession right now is Gladiolus - so beautiful.

I follow via gfc.

marthalynn16 at gmail

Jeryl M. said...

I would like to read this book.

Jeryl M. said...

My favorite flower is a Rose.

I am a subscriber.

I am a Facebook fan.

Nina said...

Love the cause the Camellia network is working towards! She also further won me over by picking Jennifer Lawrence in her cast. ;) Hahaha. My favorite flower would be bird-of-paradise!

Cyndee said...

My favorite flowers are sunflowers and daisy's(any color)
I follow the blog/facebook too.
Cyndee Thomas

susieqlaw said...

My favorite flower is the pink carnation (surrounded by baby breath). I am a member of Chick Lit Central on FB and twitter.

sendsusanmail AT gmailDOTCOM

Unknown said...

I LOVE Tulips

I follow the blog.

I tweeted

I "like" the blog on FB


Jenna said...

papajm25 AT gmail DOT com

1. My favorite flower: peonies
2. Already follow on GFC
3. I tweeted (@LittleBirdReads)
4. Newly requested to join FB group

Stephanie said...

I love peonies!

gfc follower

ANNIE M said...

O1. swtiine(AT)gmail(DOT)com
O2. My favorite flowers are probably lillies & roses :)
O3. I already follow the blog via GFC

Bridget O'Neill said...

I absolutely LOVE Gerbera daisies!

I follow the blog on e-mail.

I am a fan on FB

Lilian said...

1. Please tell us: What is your favorite kind of flower?

Dahlias. They literally look like lanterns of color. I first saw them at a spring craft fair, and I just had to buy a pot for my mom for Mother's Day.

2. I'm a follower! =)

3. Tweeted:

4. Joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.


Anonymous said...

My favorite flowers are orchids.

I'm a follower!


karenk said...

i love tulips.

thanks for the chance to read this beautiful story.

i'm a follower, too!

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Wendy Chen said...

This book sounds right up my alley.
I love orchids -- they are beautiful and actually easy to grow.
Tweeted about this!
wendy AT wendychenbooks DOT com

Debbie said...

1. My favorite flower is everyone else's favorite weed - the dandelion.

2. I follow through GFC

3. I tweeted this -!/LibraryOfOurOwn/status/195898707340836864

alibraryofourown at gmail dot com

Cher B said...

I love peonies and irises, though really, there are few flowers that I don't enjoy!

- blog follower
- fb fan

I actually read this book on kindle library app and absolutely loved this beautiful written and moving story; I highly recommend it! I would be thrilled to win a copy of my own to reread and to share with my friends. I thought the flower index at the end of the book was fascinating!

Thanks for the chance to win,
Cher B

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

I love daisies! And I loved this book but is was a library book. I would love to have my own copy. Thanks for the chance!

I am a GFC follower and 'like' CLC on Facebook.

EFC Chrissy said...

Great interview! This book is being considered by my book group as an upcoming read. I would love to win a copy!

I love daisies.

I follow via GFC: The Every Free Chance Reader

my email:

bn100 said...

I like roses.

I follow the blog.

Thanks for the giveaway.


KK said...

I love any type of orchid or lily.
I'm new to the blog but will be following and joining on fbook!
kristinrose28 AT hotmail DOT com

Movie Passenger said...

Irises are my favorite flower.

I've heard great things about this book!

DD said...

My favorite flowers are dahlias. So pretty with all the many petals.

I am a follower as well. Thanks!

dawndennis66611 at yahoo dot com

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book!

1.My favorite flower is a Tulip
2.GFC Follower
3. I Tweeted
4. FB Post
FB ID: Nancye Epperson Davis
5. I follow/like you on FB

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

bas1chs said...

I have heard good things about this book and loved Random sharing the meaning of flowers with us on twitter.

1. My favorite flower is the calla lily. But I also love hyacinth.
2. I'm a GFC follower.
3. I tweeted about the post:!/ggjunk/status/197169384236654592

Thanks for the chance to win!
bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

Anjana said...

I'm totally a daisies girl. Love them.

GFC : Anjana

E-Mail :

Fan on FB.

Tweet :!/anjanavasan/status/197230879268024320

Jennifer said...

My favorite flower is an orchid.

I am already an FB fan and follow the blog on RSS


Unknown said...

Just followed the blog! I've heard such lovely things about this book...and my favorite flower is a fuchsia rose!

sharon.pelletier at gmail

Laura Kay said...

I'd love to read The Language of Flowers!

My favorite flower is the daisy, they remind me of my mom.

I am a GFC follwer

and I am a member of the Chick Lit Central Facebook page :)

Laura Kay

Krystal Lynn said...


Tulips. I love getting roses but tulips are my favorite. :)

- Krystal

Netherland said...

"The Language of Flowers" is the story of anyone that has made that journey back into the light, back into the stream of life. Sometimes you may sympathize with Victoria, at others you just want to shake some sense into her, but you can never be ambivalent about her. By title and subject "Flowers" may give off the scent of being "chick-lit", but there is nothing perfumed about life here - there are plenty of falls and sharp edges and thorns among the roses.

I don't judge books by their covers, but rather by how eager I am to pick them back up and reluctant to put them down. By all my marks, Vanessa Diffenbaugh speaks a language that I understand.