image_brenda1[1].jpgI can’t believe what this woman has done. Four years ago, author Brenda Novak, whose son has juvenile diabetes, decided to hold an online auction to raise money for diabetes research. Many people, mostly her fellow authors, donated items and nearly $35,000 was raised. Since then, the auction has grown into a huge event that runs all of May. All told, Brenda’s raised $250,000 dollars for diabetes research. This year, her goal is $300,000, with the first $150,000 going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the balance to the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami. If you stop by the auction, set aside a chunk of time and be prepared to be overwhelmed! From signed books to trips to San Francisco to an African safari to a manuscript evaluation by an agent, there’s something for everyone. My donation this year? Dinner for four (with me, of course!) at one of my favorite Raleigh restaurants. It’s listed under the one-day auctions on the auction page. Diabetes touches so many of our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Here’s a way you can help while shopping! What could be better than that?

26 Comments

  1. Jeanne VanDusen-Smith on May 7, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Diane. My darling daughter Tracey has Juvenile Diabetes and serves as an activist in the Richmond, VA area. Just yesterday, I learned that my favorite cousin, Linda, has just been diagnosed. Most people don’t realize how many people are struggling with this chronic illness. We need education, we need lobbyists, we need more people like Brenda Novak…and you. Best, jvds

  2. brenda on May 9, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    What a great thing to do…

  3. brenda on May 10, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Have any of you-Margo??? anyone else ??? read Jodi Picoult’s latest, CHANGE OF HEART??? I am having a difficult time reading it…and I liked l9 Minutes and My Sister’s Keeper… What is with this? Let me know>>>

  4. Diane Chamberlain on May 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    It’s on my night table, Brenda. Moving to the top of the stack. I’ll let you know. Right now, I’m re-reading The Time Traveler’s Wife, via audio–wonderful male and female readers who truly bring the story to life.
    I’m not adding a new blog post right now because it’s transition time–my webmasters are working to get the new site and blog up and running. Early next week, I hope!

  5. Gina on May 10, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I am a HUGE Jodi fan and have read all her books. I did not like Change of Heart or 19 Minutes. The last book she wrote that I enjoyed was My Sister’s Keeper. I’ll continue to read her books though, because I just love her.

  6. Denise on May 10, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    What a terrific thing for her to do! She had some wonderful things up for auction–the jewelry is really neat (especially the pieces with seed pearls…love old seed pearl pieces).
    My favorite Picoults “The Pact” and “Sister’s Keeper.”
    Has anyone read “Love Walked In” by Maria de los Santos? Loved it. I am reading her new one now (same characters).

  7. Gina on May 11, 2008 at 8:40 am

    I haven’t read Love Walked In by de los Santos. But they are pushing that one on to alot of bookclubs. It must be good!

  8. Diane Chamberlain on May 11, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I’m not familiar with de los Santos, though I love her name. 🙂 I’ll check her out. Meanwhile, I’m going on a trip soon and want to load a book or two on my nano (audio). Any suggestions for books you’ve listened to? The reader can make all the difference. She or he can make a good book into a bad experience and vice versa.

  9. Gina on May 11, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    I don’t listen to much audio books, Diane. But, if I did, I would listen to Fannie Flagg. Her books are a hoot to read and I think she narrates her own books too. “Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven” is a good book. I would think that would be a good audio to listen to.

  10. Gina on May 11, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Enjoy your special day!

  11. Ashley on May 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I’ve read all of Jodi Picoult’s books and have only really found 2 or 3, of her earlier works, that i didn’t like all that much. Change of Heart had its moments good and bad, but the only part i really didn’t care for too much was that it seemed to leave you with more questions than answers.

  12. Gina on May 11, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    YAY! I finished my last piece of cake…… The Escape Artist. LOL
    That’s the last one I had left to read of Diane’s. It was really, really good. That ending as usual in Diane’s books, was a surprise! Loved it Diane!
    Can’t wait for the new one now. What is the release date again?

  13. Diane Chamberlain on May 11, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Release date for Before the Storm is June 1, technically, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t available May 27th (Always the Tuesday before the release date). I started Change of Heart last night. 40 pages into it and so far so good. And I just downloaded Three Cups of Tea onto my Nano for my trip.

  14. Liz on May 11, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    My good friend has raved about Three Cups of Tea enough times that I’ve told her to keep quiet about it!!! I’ve heard the descriptions too many times!! She loves Jodi Picault – however, our tastes in reading differ somewhat. Diane, I’m curios to know what you think about it. It’s on my list, as are Picaults. I love hearing all of everyone’s reviews because I am making a list that will start July 1, so to all of you, thanks so much. The past few years, I’ve had to stick with tried and true favorites, even, like you, Margo, reading Diane’s books over and over so I have that comfort. With all of your suggestions, I may never get my house cleaned again, but it won’t matter because I won’t have to go to work!

  15. Cheryl on May 11, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    I loved Three Cups of Tea. It is a great book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I would also recommend “can’t Wait to get to heaven” I just finished that and I agree with Gina. It is a good book. I just bought 19 minutes. It’ll probably be the next book I read. The only other Jodi Picoult book I’ve read is “The Memory Keepers Daughter. I am looking forward to Before the Storm, its only a couple weeks away!

  16. Abdullah S Alarcon on May 11, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    I think it was a great feat to be able to raise so much money in one month for such a noble cause to continue the most needed research on diabetes.

  17. Margo on May 12, 2008 at 8:17 am

    What a great cause. My husband has suffered from diabetes for 20 years so I know what people go thru. He’s very brave and a hero to me. 5 stars to Brenda for raising money & awareness! Diane, wherever your going have a wonderful vacation…you deserve it! After reading PILLARS OF THE EARTH I was ready for a beach book and have started Luanne Rice’s BEACH GIRLS. Her new book this summer called LAST KISS has some of the same characters. Brenda, have never read Jodi P. but bought CHANGE OF HEART a few weeks ago. I have a huge stack of books to read on my bedside table but I have to tell all of you, as soon as I get the call from Border’s that my reserved copy of D’s BEFORE THE STORM is in, everything gets pushed aside so I can read it!

  18. brenda on May 12, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I liked THE PACT, Sister’s Keeper, Nineteen Minutes…
    Diane-I admire you…I had to give up on CHANGE OF HEART…too many viewpoints and took way too long for the viewpoints to point to why they came together…I just can’t finish reading it, and I don’t do that with many books-I persevere no matter what. Gina, do you agree or was there something else you did not like about it? I am not a critic and always give the author the benefit of the doubt, but what is going on???
    Sundays at Tiffany’s (patterson)…the last John Grishham-about a football player in Italy was it??? Do the FAMOUS authors just put out books to get them on the shelf (I don’t include Jodi in that one because most of her books are well thought out and really great!!!!!!!) There are about l0 mainstream authors who are doing something different…I can’t pinpoint it…
    Diane-let me know about Change of Heart…Without finishing it, I would imagine that the man who killed the stepdad gives this girl a heart…that is not giving anything away-I am guessing. Also guessing the man was innocent of what he was acused of doing…

  19. brenda on May 12, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Cheryl-NINETEEN MINUTES-I liked it and often use that title as a THOUGHTFUL JOURNAL for my students. What would you do in l9 minutes that could change your life, etc????
    However, Memory Keeper’s Daughter is by Kim Edwards…

  20. Diane Chamberlain on May 12, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    I’m glad to hear such good things about Three Cups of Tea, since I now have all 15 hours of it in my Nano, ready to entertain me on my journey. (I’m going to Washington state for my niece’s wedding and then San Jose to FINALLY get my mitts on my granddaughter!) Brenda, if I’m counting correctly (from my memory), Change of Heart has four POV’s (points of view), which is the same number you will find in Before the Storm, so I hope you don’t have the same problem with it! It doesn’t bother me at all, but rather intrigues me to wonder how they’ll all come together. I’m guessing the same things you are, so I’ll see if she surprises me or not.
    Margo, I didn’t know your husband was diabetic. I hope he’s doing well with it. Such a tough disease in so many ways. I love Luanne Rice and will have to check out those books.
    Abdullah, welcome to the blog!

  21. brenda on May 12, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Diane-I think the viewpoints in your book are family…I am used to that…many authors do that and it is quite interesting.
    This book has not had the continuity that is often found in that type of writing. However, I tried it again today…just could not do it…
    Have a great trip…enjoy….
    I LOVE BEACH GIRLS by Luanne Rice–I love her books.

  22. brenda on May 12, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Off topics–The pres. election is active in WV. Hilary and Bill CLinton are here regularly…my phone is inundated with invitations…
    I noticed today that some of my students were quoted in the newspaper-former students-I am so glad that they are getting involved.
    I have noticed, unfortunately, in the past, that residents of my state (I returned home to this county after 30 years away…) voted with emotions instead of issues.
    Although the candidates are within a few miles of my home, I have been teaching during the time they are here or last night, my daughter and granddaughters were here from Indy-and I could not go…I would have liked to have gone to hear all the candidates…
    Tomorrow is election here…I have already voted-we have EARLY voting where I live…
    Hope all of you are are interested also…does not matter if one votes R or D–just important to vote-that is unless you live in Florida-where my son voted-those votes don’t count…how can that happen in this day and age???
    Enough…I am just so political…

  23. Cheryl on May 12, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Brenda, I meant My Sister’s Keeper. I read both this and My sister’s Keeper around the same time and for some reason I always get the titles confused. Sorry.
    Cheryl

  24. Diane Chamberlain on May 12, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Ack, Brenda! Don’t get me started on politics. I like being politic neutral with my readers.
    Cheryl, I always get those titles mixed up, too. I’m going to try to avoid the words “wife” “sister” “daughter” and “mother” in my future books.

  25. Denise on May 24, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I finished “Belong to Me,” Marisa de los Santos’ (love her name, too!) newest, and it is absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend it! You don’t have to read “Love Walked In” first but I would recommend that you do.
    If anyone is in an Irish frame of mind, I recommend Cathy Kelly. Her latest “Past Secrets” is very good; I liked her others, too. I also like Cecelia Ahern, another Irish author (P.S., I Love You); I’ve read all of her books.
    Three Cups of Tea is on my list. I was in a ‘Middle Eastern Women’ mode late last year and am surprised I haven’t read this one yet! The “Kabul Beauty School” by Deborah Rodriguez is interesting.

  26. Registered User on May 24, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Denise, thanks for sharing those great recommendations. On this trip, the only time I have to listen to Three Cups of Tea is in bed at night and I keep falling asleep to the reader’s voice. Not sure that’s a good thing!

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