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A Scrapbook Novel Giveaway from Darien Gee


Scrapbooks and storytelling—what could better than that? The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is the latest book by Darien Gee, who infuses her writing with a love of crafting and the opportunity to make new friends through crafts. In this special guest post, Darien offers her insight on why scrapbooking is such an important activity. If you’re an avid scrapbooker—or just love a good read—make sure to enter Romance at Random’s giveaway!

Get a bunch of scrapbookers together (or, better yet, spend the weekend cropping with them), and one thing’s for sure: the stories never end.

There’s a reason for this, of course, because scrapbookers are the consummate storytellers. They don’t just leave a picture on a page or stick a movie stub in between the pages of a book. They caption the photos, offer details and explanations on journal cards, add embellishments that evoke a sense of the moment. They guide you through the baby shower, the family vacation, the graduation. They pull you into an experience they have lived and invite you to be a part of it by being witness to it.

“I don’t scrapbook,” is the first thing out of people’s mouths when they hear the title of my book. I then go on to explain that scrapbooking takes many forms, that at its heart it’s about memory keeping. “Ohhh,” I’ll hear, because they understand that. They know about memory keeping, about holding something close, about the risk of losing that very thing. And then guess what happens? They beckon me to sit down next to them and the stories never end.

The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is about people and about the stories we hold tight to. For Isabel, fixing up her house so she can sell it means confronting painful memories; for Frances, it’s about how her life will change if their family adopts a special needs girl from China; for Yvonne, another chance at happiness means looking at the life of privilege she once left behind; and for Connie, who also appears in my first Avalon book, Friendship Bread, finding a wayward goat triggers a sense of aloneness that makes her question what home really means. And then there’s Ava, a single mother who is trying to do the best by her son but realizes she needs more support and there’s only one person who can give it.

Through the eyes of these women we see the thread of the story, a woman named Bettie Shelton. Bettie is a nosy, pesky, annoying neighbor who happens to be the founder of the Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. She’s been carrying a secret all these years, and that’s what propels her to get everyone to put picture to paper. Bettie knows the value of remembering, and knows what’s lost when we forget.

We are all the storytellers of our own lives. Scrapbooking is the means by which we prove our connection—with ourselves, our past, our present, and our future. It’s about how we interact with the world around us. It’s the evidence that we exist and are alive in the world. It reminds us of the people who have been a part of our journey. Scrapbooking reminds us of who we are.

-Darien Gee

Darien Gee lives in Hawaii with her husband and their three children. She is also the author of Friendship Bread. Find her on Facebook or check out her recipes at Friendship Bread Kitchen!



Theresa February 6th, 2013

I love scrapbooking. In the past I have made the usual scrapbooks–baby, graduation, wedding but the funnest ones are the unusual topics. My sister’s log cabin, my cats, my neighbor’s colorguard, my heritage album–these all focus on one theme but there is so much that can be done with them. I also scrapbook for all the different clubs I have been in–gardening, herbal, camera. I only wish my mother had started a heritage album because there are pictures I found that I would love to know who the people are and why they were there (esp the pictures of them sitting on the cemetary bench). And if she had placed pictures in an album, then my sister would not have tossed 2 big boxes of my childhood and family pictures. They are lost forever—such a tragedy!!

Beth T. February 7th, 2013

I was fortunate to receive an early copy of this novel. What a wonderful book! Ms. Gee has invited us in to a community filled with people who feel very real; they are generous, they are flawed, they do remarkable things, they grow and change and we share in their journey. This book will touch a reader’s heart and make her look at the people around her with renewed appreciation and compassion. I highly recommend The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society, as a stand-alone novel or a sequel to Friendship Bread.

Kathleen February 7th, 2013

At family gatherings, when we start telling stories about our childhood, the younger generation usually puts aside their electronics and really start to listen. It’s amazing how interested they are in the way things were back when. Keep sharing those stories!



About the Book
Michael Symon's Carnivore
120 Recipes for Meat Lovers
Written by Anastasia Young
Category: Cooking - Meat; Cooking - American
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
On Sale: October 16, 2012
Price: $35.00
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