Under Magnolia : A Wordsmith’s Banquet Captivating All Your Senses

Under Magnolia by Frances Mayes Available April 1st, 2014  Shot with a Samsung Galaxy Camera #VZWBuzz by Katie Shea Design

 “I’ll always marvel at the liveliness of southern speech-so full of metaphor and hyperbole, quirks and vividness.”  ~ Frances Mayes

A few pages into “Under Magnolia” I grabbed a brand new notebook along with a light blue highlighter to keep by my side.  I found myself lingering on sentences and discovering words that I wanted to remember. Reading ever so slowly, stopping to pause, jotting down words and quotes  to come back to was my journey through “Under Magnolia.”

“Images are the pegs holding down memory’s billowing tent.” ~ Frances Mayes

Frances Mayes is a wordsmith who paints vivid images using each word like a paintbrush stroke spreading color all over her canvas. Frances shared her childhood memories with wit, humor, metaphors and hyperboles.

“Families all over have secrets and weird people and foibles, and mine did too.” ~ Frances Mayes

Getting to know Frances as a child, walking alongside her into womanhood certainly exhibited that:

“Your own will can trump how you were raised.” ~ Frances Mayes

My heart ached with sorrow for Frances especially in her fourteenth year. (You will have to read the book to find out!)

“The heart is a lonely hunter.” ~ Frances Mayes

Despite riding on a bumpy road with so many twists and turns, living through losses of great magnitude (“She is the lining of my coat I will have to shed.” ~ Frances Mayes)  she maintained her optimism.

“Everyday an air of possibility.” ~ Frances Mayes

Ever so true that statement!  Frances Mayes is the author of many books:  Bella Tuscany, Every Day in Tuscany, The Tuscan Sun Cookbook and the NY Times Best Selling novel  “Under The Tuscan Sun” that went on to be made into an  iconic movie. This past summer Frances and her husband Ed released their first line of  hand-chosen Italian wines available from Tuscan Sun Wines.

Tondo Tondo Tuscan Sun Wines Tuscan Sun Wines capture France’s sense of wonder and “Prima Famiglia”: Family First Prima Famiglia  Family First Family is the epicenter to the Southern and Tuscan lifestyle that Frances describes in “Under Magnolia.”

I had the pleasure of experiencing Frances and Ed Maye’s Southern, Tuscan hospitality while visiting with them at their mountain house in Tuscany last July.

Frances & Ed Mayes Mountain House Tuscany, Italy  Shot with a Android RAZR HD #VZWBuzz by Katie Shea Design Tuscan Sun wines Mountain House Frances Mayes  Shot with a Android RAZR HD #VZWBuzz by Katie Shea Design

Frances & Ed Mayes Mountain House with Tuscan Sun Wines Italy July 2013  Shot with a Android RAZR HD #VZWBuzz by Katie Shea DesignFrances Mayes Chef Ivan and Silvia Baracchi Shot with a Android RAZR HD #VZWBuzz by Katie Shea Design

Frances & Ed Mayes Mountain House Tuscany, Italy Original Bed in the Movie Under the Tuscan SunShot with a Android RAZR HD #VZWBuzz by Katie Shea Design Tuscan Sun Wines were first introduced to the world on July 4th, 2013 in the heart of the small town of Cortona, Italy.

All roads leads to Under the Tuscan Sun Wines Shot with a Android RAZR HD #VZWBuzz by Katie Shea Design 

Cortona, Italy shot with an Android Razr HD by Katie Shea Design #VZWBuzz

 Cortona, Italy shot with an Android Razr HD by Katie Shea Design #VZWBuzz

 TuscanSunWines Launch July 4th 2013 Cortona Italy | Cortona, Italy shot with an Android Razr HD by Katie Shea Design #VZWBuzz

Cortona, Italy shot with an Android Razr HD by Katie Shea Design #VZWBuzz

Tuscan Sun Wines at DelBrenna shot with Android RAZR #VZWBuzz

Sept 11th, 2013 the Tuscan Sun Wine’s U.S. debut was in Denver, CO and the media party was held at the Denver Art MuseumFrances Mayes at the Denver Art Museum  shot with a Samsung Galaxy Camera #VZWBuzzFrances Mayes speaking at the Denver Art Museum

Frances and Ed traveled around Denver signing bottles of Tuscan Sun Wines even during the wild flooding in the Denver area as to not disappoint many who had awaited their arrival.

Ed & Frances Mayes Denver CO.  Shot with a Samsung Galaxy Camera #VZWBuzz by Katie Shea DesignEd Mayes & Frances Mayes Denver Co. bottle signing

Frances Mayes & Kathleen DeCosmo ( Katie Shea Design)  Shot with a Samsung Galaxy Camera #VZWBuzz by Katie Shea DesignFrances Mayes & Kathleen DeCosmo (Katie Shea Design) Denver 

signed bottle by Frances Mayes Denver Co.  Shot with a Samsung Galaxy Camera #VZWBuzz by Katie Shea Design

A Wordsmith’s Banquet Captivating All Your Senses “Under Magnolia” is to be savored with every page turn. ~ KatieSD

Under Magnolia Available April 1st, 2014

 Some of my favorite “Frances Mayes Words”:  SangfroidScuppernongFrangipaniCatawampusMunificence

”I’m always in wonder over the mysteries of love-how it endures in a molten state even under the hardest strata.” ~ Frances Mayes

In addition to her worldwide bestselling Tuscany memoirs, FRANCES MAYES is the author of the travel memoir A Year in the World.  She has published a novel, Swan, set in the South; The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide for Reading and Writing Poems; and five books of poetry.  Her books have been translated into more than fifty languages.  She divides her time between Tuscany and North Carolina. Visit her at www.francesmayesbooks.com.

Frances Mayes on Twitter | Frances Mayes on Facebook | Frances Mayes on Pinterest

 For more information, visit TuscanSunWines.com, or follow Tuscan Sun Wines on Facebook and Twitter. For updates and news on TUSCAN SUN WINES, join the mailing list.

I received a complimentary review copy of “Under Magnolia”  from : Random House/Crown publishing.

Images shot with a Verizon Android RAZR HD Smartphone and a Samsung Galaxy Camera  #VZWBuzz

Verizon Wireless Lifestyle Blogger Program


Balsamic and Garlic Brussels Sprouts Paired with “Abbraccio” Tuscan Sun Wine

Recipe Designed by Katie Shea Design

Balsamic  and Garlic Brussel sprouts

Source Tuscan Sun wines AbbraccioRelated Links:

Tuscan Sun Wines

Bramasole Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Trader Joe’s

Katie Shea Design’s images shot with a DROID ULTRA by MOTOROLA smartphone #VZWBuzz

Verizon Wireless Lifestyle Blogger Program

Baracchi Winery and Wine Resort at the IL Falconiere, Tuscany Italy

Your invited to sip award winning wines by Baracchi Winery available online through Curious Cork Imports or visit the Baracchi Winery Wine Resort in the territory of Cortona, celebrating the Tuscan tradition.

Baracchi winery and Wine Resort at the Il falconiere

This past summer I had the pleasure of being a guest of Silvia and Riccardo Baracchi and enjoying their hospitality in their historic luxury resort.

Il Falconiere grounds framed KSD

The typical Tuscan villa which dates back to the 17th century was the home of the famous poet Antonio Guadagnoli. Now completely restored and transformed into countryside Relais; Il Falconiere it is part of the prestigious chain Relais & Chateaux, which exuberates the art of hospitality. The old olive groves and the new vineyards surround the property.

steps door Collage images by ksd

Riccardo with his son Benedetto strongly desired to continue the family tradition of grape growing and wine -making, which began in 1860, adding now a modern and high quality character.

Sangiovese, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet and Trebbiano: these are the grapes which liven up Baracchi wines. A tribute to the land of Cortona and to the pleasure of the good wine. An invitation to taste the evolution of an ancient family tradition.

road to Baracchi Winery Collage

While visiting the Baracchi Wine Resort you can discover the vineyards, the philosophy of production and wine making techniques.  All accompanied by the opportunity to dine at the Michelin Star Restaurant “Stella” and stay at the Relais & Chateaux Il Falconiere.  Enjoy the Thesan Etruscan Spa via cheer with wine therapy.

IlFalconiere Food Collage

6. Dessert at the IlFalconiere_1

I recommend treating yourself to classes at the World Famous “Under the Tuscan Sun Cooking School” with Chef Silvia Regi Baracchi.

The Tuscan Sun Cooking School

Silvia Regi Baracchi organizes the  courses/ cooking lessons which are true culinary experiences to discover the true flavors of the Tuscan tradition.

Another jewel I discovered at this lovely establishment was the Chapel of St. Jerome, a private chapel, built in 1650, is located on the property. Its facade is in Baroque style. Inside the frescoes of flavor country are influenced by the famous school of Cortona.  The chapel is still consecrated, and you can organize blessings Catholic or Protestant, renewal of vows, anniversaries.

An alternative to the special ability to use the garden for a blessing exclusive country-chic style!

Chapel of Saint Jerome

Have your Wedding cake @Ilfalconiere  by Chef @SilviaBaracchi #tuscandream

Wedding Cake at the Ilfalconiere Cef Silvia Baracchi

The Baracchi Wine Resort at the Ilfalconiere, Tuscany Italy is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway any time of the year!

“THE Falconer Restaurant * 1 Michelin star”

“Italy’s Top Hotel – 3rd in Europe – 6th in the World,” Travel & Leisure 2007-2008

“400 The World Best Hotels”, Forbes Traveller

An  Android RAZR HD smartphone was used this summer to shoot all images by Katie Shea Design in this post.  #VZWBuzz

Verizon Wireless Lifestyle Blogger Program

Tweet Chat of Distinction #TuscanSunChat

Congratulations  From Katie Shea Design

To Frances & Edward Mayes on the Release of Their New Book

“The Tuscan Sun CookBook”

In Celebration of their New Book Frances & Edward participated in a Tweet Chat  March 13 th P.M. EST

For My readers that do not know what a Tweet Chat is I will explain.

Twitter tweet chat is a pre-arranged chat that happens on Twitter through the use of Twitter updates (called tweets) that include a predefined hashtag to link those tweets together in a virtual conversation.

Formal Twitter tweet chats are arranged in advance and occur at a specific time. They may include a formal agenda with a specific leader or “speaker”, or they might involve a free flowing discussion between all participants.

The  #TuscanSunChat  took Place last night on Twitter.  More info http://www.chefrobinwhite.com/?page_id=2740

Signorello Estate of Napa   http://www.signorellovineyards.com/ was Lead Sponsor for Frances & Ed Mayes’s Live Tweet up to celebrate the release their new cookbook “The Tuscan Sun Cookbook”.


     Hosts:   Chef Robin White / @canapes45                                                                          Cynthia Bogart /@thedailybasics 

   Chef Michael McMillan /  @SignorelloChef 

 For those of you who might have missed the #TuscanSunChat

you may visit http://tweetchat.com/room/TuscanSunChat


#TuscanSunChat transcript: http://www.curatede.com/Tweet/ChatTopic/TuscanSunChat?topicid=795  to have fun reading  some of last night’s Tweets By:

 @francismayes & @Edwardmayes 

Authors of : ” The Tuscan Sun CookBook” as wells  as all that participated.  http://www.amazon.com/Tuscan-Sun-Cookbook-Recipes-Italian/dp/0307885283

Just a few Tweets fom  the #TuscanSunChat:

Command Central  @SigVin w/ @canapes45@CordairGallery @alawine @deblovespinot @VitaeVinohttp://ow.ly/i/vy1E @JE_Uncorked

                                               Command Central

Napa   http://www.signorellovineyards.com/ Meet the players! #tuscansunchat

#TuscanSunChat #wine & Pizza! Yay!

 #tuscansunchat @sigvin 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon perfect 4 a chat w/ @francesmayes & @edwardmayes about their new book.

#TuscanSunChat beautiful pizza recipe brought to life by@SignorelloChef  http://ow.ly/i/vxqm

Frances website: http://www.francesmayesbooks.com

Ed’s Olive oil http://www.thetuscansun.com

Chef Robin White ‘s  ‏ @canapes45

Big Announcement!!!

OK Big Announcement!!  Meet @francesmayes in person @sigvin on:

July 22, 2012  for dinner prepared from the book by @signorellochef  #tuscansunchat

@canapes45:  Frances will also be doing Pizza party book signing @sigvin wine tasting 21st July tix will be available soon#tuscansunchat

@canapes45:  Tickets @napafest. tickets are limitedand will go very fast. This ticket includes Joshua Bell concert first #tuscansunchat

‏ @thedailybasics Week of July 20th? @AVIA_Napa: Come for the food and the wine. Stay with us for @Napafest #tuscansunchat

@thedailybasics  Hosted at Signorello Estate! @francesmayesin person @SigVin July 22 for dinner @SignorelloChef#tuscansunchat

@canapes45:  We’re Partnering w/ @napafest & @sigvin to have a great party not only here but virtually around the world. #tuscansunchat

@canapes45: thank you everyone for attending I hope you all enjoyed your time with @francesmayes and @edwardmayes Cheers and good night!#tuscansunchat

@THE DAILY BASICS ‏  said: @sigvin Signorello Estate has been so kind to sponsor a tweet up during this chat and sponsoring this chat THANK YOU SO MUCH! #tuscansunchat

@Edward Mayes ‏ : RT @francesmayes@canapes45 We are going to have a grand time at Signorello on 22 July. Over-the-top entertainment!#tuscansunchat

Cathy Bennett Fusco ‏ :  @francesmayes Can’t wait to see you tomorrow in Wilmington, DE!!! #tuscansunchat

 Francis & Edward Maye’s Book tour Schedule


Dine with @FrancesMayes in Napa!

July 22,  2012 @SigVin


  Ticket includes Joshua Bell Concert…..

Dinner, Wine And Signed Cookbook

Tickets & Info http://bit.ly/wCKo29

More Links:

Festival del Sole  @napafest

Napa Valley Festival del Sole is an annual celebration of music, #wine, food, dance and wellness for an authentic feast for the senses.

July 13-22, 2012

Napa, California ·  http://festivaldelsole.org

Editor of Distinction Cynthia Bogart of The Daily Basics

What is The Daily Basics?

This growing community is developing a unique lifestyle environment on and off the web. Strategical live and virtual events  are included in this eco-system where communities of people from all avenues in lifestyle are engaged.

The Daily Basics is all about Lifestyle – the quality, differences, style and trends on how people are actually living.  Never before has there been a directory of key lifestyle bloggers integrated into an eco-system where the average person can easily engage with the best daily conversation online in one destination.   To quote Cynthia “We are not replacing the magazine, we are simply a new way of delivering content to readers with same warm and cozy experience they got from their paper magazines but in a deeper more meaningful way”.

Cynthia Bogart:  Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Basics

If  you’ve opened up a copy of Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home, Renovation Style or Kitchen & Bath Ideas, you might have seen a few of the articles The Daily Basics editor, Cynthia Bogart has been producing for the last 18 years.  Cynthia’s job was to find homes and trends; style and work with top photographers, shoot the stories and then write the manuscript for many of the articles you’ve been reading all these years.  Is it any wonder that when the trend turned from paper to online that she was a few steps ahead of everyone else?  Cynthia’s vision is to give YOU,  the reader,  fresh cutting edge content from people who are lifestyle & home experts every day,  five days a week.

Basically Loves:  Living a great quality lifestyle based on old fashioned principles in a new trendy way!

March 13th 2012 8PM EST  Cynthia Bogart AKA  The Daily Basics  and  Chef Robin White  @canapes45  will be Hosting  the #TuscanSunChat  Tweet Chat  moderating an hour long event to celebrate the release of the new book:

“The Tuscan Sun Cookbook”.   Authors Frances and Edward Mayes will jump on to Twitter to chat with all their fans, ready to answer your candid questions.

To follow all the action on the night of the Tweet Chat you will want to make sure to “follow”  on @Twitter .

Lead Sponsor for the Tweet Chat is Signorello Estates, in Napa, known for their great wines.   Follow them on Twitter @SigVin.

To join in the chat, go to Tweetchat.com at 8PM EST on March 13th and login.

Search the hashtag #TuscanSunChat.

 Follow along with:

Hosts :

Cynthia Bogart  @thedailybasics

Chef Robin White  @canapes45

Authors :

Frances Mayes  @francesmayes

Edward Mayes @Edwardmayes

Chef Michael McMillan  @SignorelloChef  from the  Lead Sponsor for the Tweet Chat  Signorello Estates, in Napa, known for their great wines.   Follow them on Twitter @SigVin.

Chef  Robin White’s Web Page:  http://www.chefrobinwhite.com/page_id=2740  has very specific    #TuscanSunChat  instructions  as well as a link  for TWITTER LESSONS.

Hope You Join The Tweetchat.com  March 13th 8PM EST  #TuscanSunChat!