A Season’s Toast: To Writerly Talent

 By Kate Bast

Those of you who have met her know BRAVA contributor and speaker Ann Garvin is lovely and smart. And funny—she’s the gal who can always find the humor in any situation. And she’s also the kind of gal who’s a damn great writer and tenacious advocate for female authors.

Garvin, a university professor and USA Today best-selling author has three novels of her own. Her most recent, “I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around,” is a witty and warm look at relationships and how people can fall apart, and fall together.

Garvin’s own book is a delicious read to savor over an equally delicious wine. Maybe a glass each night till each page is through. And, of course, being smart, Garvin and her Tall Poppies organization have figured out a way to make the experience even better—delivering both directly to you.

Garvin founded Tall Poppies as an author-driven marketing co-op—the first of its kind in the U.S.—to lift women authors while connecting them directly with readers and the publishing world.

With the mission “Smart authors, bright readers, great books,” Tall Poppies promotes more than 44 award-winning women authors—and their 165 books—including fellow Wisconsinites Erin Celello, Amy Reichert, Kelly Harms and Susan Gloss, and nationally well-known authors Katie Moretti, Karen Karbo and Camille Pagan across a variety of genres.

“The voices, opinions and experiences of women matter and we don’t get heard enough. The Tall Poppies believe a rising tide lifts all boats and so we decided to help each other instead of compete to be heard,” Garvin says.  

A perfect pairing, bringing wine drinkers into the mix, has risen out of Garvin’s and the Tall Poppies’ efforts. The Francis Ford Coppola winery has just taken a deep interest in the Tall Poppies’ books—and the co-op’s idea to pair Coppola wines with their books as gift box sets.

“Frances Ford Coppola is nothing if not a lover of stories. His movies and vineyard have in common the goal of telling a tale. It was a natural fit to pair wines that have a backstory with books and add authors and book clubs to the mix. We think it’s a perfect relationship of taste and story,” Garvin says.

The first Books & Bottles companions box, released December 2017, includes Garvin’s, “I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around” and the thriller, “The Truth About Thea,” by Amy Impellizzeri. Each box features a choice of companion wines—Coppola’s Rosso & Bianco Pinto Grigio or Votre Santé Chardonnay, and Rosso & Bianco Rosso or Votre Santé Pinot Noir. The gift box includes a mini-magazine about the authors, with their favorite recipes meant to pair perfectly with their books, and the selected wine. There is even a song list for each title to get you in the spirit of the book. If that doesn’t lay the groundwork for a perfect night in, or feeling like you’re meeting the author over dinner, I don’t know what does.  

Book clubs will also love this offering—no more debate over what to read. So will book lovers on anyone’s gift lists. Smart authors, bright readers, great books and great wine. They go together. –Kate Bast


For more on women authors: tallpoppies.com. And access the latest info about Books & Bottles at: https://tallpoppies.org/wine-book-club/.

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