Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday Tidbits - Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

I have a very important Sunday Tidbit for you to kick off 2010. This is my review of a debut novel that I think will be one of the hottest books of the year, Beth Hoffman's Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. January 12th is the official release date date for the book, but I don't want you to forget about it. Order it now; get on the waiting list; plan to see Beth Hoffman if she comes to your town. Her publisher is excited about Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and they have quite a book tour planned. Very nice for a debut novel!

I originally reviewed this book for Library Journal, but I was so impressed with the characters and the story, that I contacted Beth after the review appeared. Tomorrow, I'll introduce you to her, through an interview. I'm going out on a limb here, predicting that Saving CeeCee Honeycutt will be one of the most popular books for book groups during the year.

As a reminder, here's my original review of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, reprinted, with permission, as it appeared it Library Journal. I hope you stop by tomorrow to "meet" Beth Hoffman.

Hoffman, Beth. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Pamela Dorman Bks: Viking. Jan. 2010. c.320p. ISBN 9780670021390. $25.95. F

In Hoffman's charming debut, Cecelia Rose (CeeCee) Honeycutt tells the story of her tragic life and the strong women who stepped in to save her. At age 12, CeeCee realizes her mother, flouncing around Willoughby, OH, in prom dresses and matching shoes, is crazy and the town's laughingstock. Her father is never home, and nothing is going to change so CeeCee buries herself in books as an escape. But her true liberation comes after her mother's tragic death when great-aunt Tootie sweeps CeeCee off to Savannah. There, a group of powerful, independent women offer the young girl love, laughter, and a new chance at life. Readers who enjoy strong female characters will appreciate CeeCee, a survivor despite her heartbreaking childhood, and Aunt Tootie and her friends, all of them steel magnolias. VERDICT Exemplifying Southern storytelling at its best, this coming-of-age novel is sure to be a hit with the book clubs that adopted Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees. Interestingly enough, both novels share the same editor. [Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/09.]—Lesa Holstine, Glendale P.L., AZ

Copyright © 2009 Cahners Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. Reprinted with permission.

Beth Hoffman's website is


Oh, and item 3 that you didn't know about me. I did my first book reviews for VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates Magazine, a library magazine for those serving young adults.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm really excited about this book, Lesa. It sounds right up my alley. And Savannah is a *wonderful* place to set a book. I can't wait for "Saving CeeCee" to come out.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Lesa said...

Elizabeth, I hope you like this book as much as the rest of us do. Bermudaonion's review was up a couple days ago, and she loves it. I sent my mother my ARC, and she loved it. CeeCee, and the women who take her under her wing, are very special people. Fabulous debut novel!

Kay said...

I am reading this book very, very soon. Everyone is so enthusiastic about it and I want to find out why. :-)

My book clue has our selections set through June, but this one just might be a great one for the fall. Looking forward to the interview tomorrow. I saw a wonderful video of Beth yesterday and she seems just charming.

Kay said...

Of course, that was book club, not book clue. Getting my book clubs mixed up. This is not for the mystery one. :-)

bermudaonion said...

I loved this book, too and totally agree that it's going to be big. I can't wait to read your interview tomorrow.

Lesa said...

Kay, I haven't met Beth in person, but she and I have become friends since I wrote that review, and she's just as charming as she appears in the video. I have no doubt that you're going to love her book. Can't wait to hear what you think.

Oh, and I like that - book clue. I knew what you meant, and it didn't dawn on me about the mystery book club. Good one!

Lesa said...

Bermudaonion - There's so much more I would have asked Beth now that I know her better. But, we did the interview way back in October, so we could do it before she was wrapped up in events. With that travel schedule, she's going to be too busy to blog, I'm sure! I think CeeCee is going to be this year's Guernsey Literary Club - the book of the year for book discussion groups.

Kaye Barley said...

I'm totally sold, and have pre-ordered this. Thanks, Lesa!!

Sounds like it has a little bit of everything I love in a book.

Beth Hoffman said...

Good morning everyone!

I wanted to jump in for a minute and share something. Last September when I learned that a review of my novel would soon be published in Library Journal, I was so nervous I couldn't think straight.

October 1st came and I logged onto LJ's website, slowly scrolling down the page until I saw my name. And then a saw a star! I squealed like a 5-year-old.

I tried to find out exactly who Lesa Holstine was, and after some Internet sleuthing, I obtained the address of her library. I wrote Lesa a thank-you note, and then we connected on Twitter. Shortly thereafter we began emailing--sharing stories of our cats, Christmas memories, and our love of books.

Lesa's review in LJ gave me the courage to believe that my story of a little girl and the women who stepped in to save her really did have literary merit.

Thank you, Lesa, for believing in CeeCee ... and me! And thank you to all the book lovers, authors, and bloggers who have embraced CeeCee’s story. I feel so blessed and grateful to start 2010 with y’all at my side.

Lesa said...

I'm glad we sold you, Kaye. Being in North Carolina, you won't be disappointed at all with this gorgeous book.

Lesa said...

Oh, Beth! Thank you for stopping by, and I'm looking forward to running your interview here tomorrow. I'm sure, now that we know each better, that we would have done a slightly different interview. But, I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to "know' you better, just as I have over the past months. I'm looking forward to a bright future for CeeCee, and a number of years of friendship, Beth.

Molly said...

How I wish this author was coming to the midwest --- I would love to meet her in person after reading your glowing review!

I will definitely have this book at the top of the 2010 reading list!

Lesa said...

This book needs to be at the top of your reading list, Molly. I know you're going to like it.

She's not coming to Arizona either on her book tour. And, I know I'd love to see her talk about her book. But, she and I firmly believe we'll get a chance to meet in 2010, somehow. Beth is going to make that happen.

Mason Canyon said...

Another wonderful book to check out. Thanks Lesa. Looking forward to the interview tomorrow.

Thanks for item 3, as well.

Lesa said...

Item 3 wasn't quite as exciting, Mason, but I wanted something that didn't seem intrusive.

You do want to check out CeeCee, Mason!

Christie said...

I read this book yesterday, Lesa. Mom gave it to just the other day. I did enjoy it. My second book for the new year, I ready The Lost Recipe for Happiness on Friday, I am off to a good start with you recommendations. Unfortunatley, Change-Up isn't available yet in our library system. Happy New Year and Go Bucks!

Diane said...

Lesa.....I so LOVED this book as well. I hope it is a huge success --well deserved by Beth.

Inside A Book said...

It's because of you, Lesa, that my hold list at the library never grows short!! I zapped right on over this morning after reading this and put it on reserve. Lots of others must read you too, because I am already #7 on the list!!

Truthfully though, you keep me fresh - aware of books from the past and looking to books for my future. I love your vision and take on what might fit me perfectly. Thanks for reviews and blogging!!

Lesa said...

Hi Christie!

Sped right through both of those books, didn't you? I loved CeeCee, but I'm glad you took me up on my suggestion of The Lost Recipe for Happiness. Nice way to start the new year!

Happy New Year! Way to go, Bucks!

Lesa said...


I haven't yet heard anyone say they read this book, and didn't love it. It's a pretty special book, isn't it?

Lesa said...

What a beautiful comment, Inside a Book! And, since you make children into readers, that influence might be spreading. Your enthusiasm for your own reading has to be contagious with the kids.

Thank you SO much for the beautiful words.

caite said...

darn! What is it, the 4th, and already by attempt to buy no new books this year and start working on that TBR pile is hitting a big obstacle. ;-)

Lesa said...

This is a really BIG obstacle, too, Caite. I hate to say it, but I'd add this book to the TBR pile.

DizzyC said...

I am on my last few pages of this wonderful book. Fab summer read.
I dont think it is on general release in the UK yet. It will surely become a favourite when it is.
I came across it on a blog review and a dear friend picked it off my wishlist for my birthday. What a great friend :)

Lesa said...


That truly was a great friend who gave you Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. I'm glad you enjoyed it! And, I hope it has success when it's released in the UK. Just a great cast of characters in the book, isn't there?

DizzyC said...

Yes, a great friend. :)
That's what I love about reading other peoples' blogs. I can find out about some great books from over the pond that we dont have yet in the UK.

Lesa said...

Now, with me, DizzyC, it only makes me jealous when I know the book is already out in the U.K. or Canada, and we have to wait for it! Because I wait for it so I can review it when most of my readers can get their hands on it. Even so, I do like to read other blogs.