Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Bookends of My Life

Finance and literature are the two bookends of my life. I am a former New York City banker and a present day author. Recently I attended an event at The Morgan Library and Museum – “a must see” in Manhattan. Adjacent to the former residence of J.P. Morgan is the majestic Italian Renaissance palazzo with Pierpont Morgan’s library and personal office.

This historic place was where Pierpont ended the Panic of 1907. Behind closed doors in that office, Pierpont urged his fellow bankers to provide liquidity to the banking system. In the elaborate, three story library, Pierpont stored his priceless collection of manuscripts and Bibles. One of the few remaining Guttenberg Bibles is on display. How fitting that behind the collection of Bibles is a hidden staircase that leads to the different levels of the library. (A subtle life lesson that many hidden truths can be found if we just take a look at the Bible.)

The event I attended was a book launch party for Beth Pattillo, author of Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart (Guideposts Books) was a lovely event. Jane Seymour read excerpts from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and Beth read from her new release. For those with inquiring minds, Yes. Jane Seymour is gracious and beautiful. She is a talented artist, too. I have one of her paintings. In addition, she has launched her Open Hearts jewelry line at Kay Jewelers.

Since this is also a blog about food, I of course must mention the scrumptious hors d’oeuvres menu that Carl Raymond, head of marketing for Guideposts Books and chef extraordinaire custom designed for the guests:

  • Parmesan Cheese Straws
  • Braised Beef Short Ribs Miniature Popover
  • Chicken and Pineapple Sate with Spicy Peanut Sauce
  • Chesapeake Bay Crab Cake with Remoulade Sauce
  • Parmesan Frico Wafer with Whipped Mascarpone Cheese and Carmelized Pears
  • Lobster Bouchees with Champagne Sauce
  • Lion of Lamb on Toast with Rosemary Mustard

I encourage you to get a copy of Beth Patillo’s new book, Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart. This is the second in her Jane Austen series. The first book was Jane Austen Ruined My Life (Guideposts). Beth is an accomplished woman. Not only did she earn a Divinity degree, but she also knits and has written 10 novels. Here are her tips for aspiring writers:

1) Keep writing. Make it a daily practice, even if it’s just 100 words a day. Writers write.
2) Find support and other writers who can help guide you.
3) Network and learn everything you can about writing and getting published. Attend writers’ conferences and research through the internet.

Beth also stresses perseverance. It took her seven years to get her first novel published. Encouraging words to keep me pursuing my dream of publishing my first novel. If you want to listen to my full interview with Beth on my internet radio show Kitchen Chat, here is the link:
Kitchen Chat 02-12-2010

Also, enjoy her recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup. Bon Appetit!

By the way, what are the bookends of your life?


  1. Wow! I can't imagine how fun it was to get to hear, see and taste everything at the event! Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite book...I will definitely check out Beth's books! They sound like a beautiful diversion!

  2. Hi, Kristen. Thanks for visiting the fiction blog! You will love Beth's books.



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