Review and Blog Tour for Family Plots by Mary Patrick Kavanaugh

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Family Plots October Virtual Book Tour ‘09Join Mary Patrick Kavanaugh, author of the autobiographical fiction novel, Family Plots: Love, Death & Tax Evasion (iUniverse) , as she virtually tours the blogosphere in October on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

Mary Patrick Kavanaugh started the twenty-first century as an aspiring novelist and regular human being. However, her arduous travels through hope, rejection, resignation, and self-publishing led her to morph into her alter ego: Cemetery Mary. To become fully animated after the transformation, Cemetery Mary endured hundreds of injections of artificial colors, flavors, and Botox, and is very pleased with her youthful appearance as a cartoon character. (Warning: Don’t try this at home.) Currently, Cemetery Mary devotes her time helping herself and others transform life’s crap into compost via her blog,

A writer since the age of eight, Mary’s award winning creative non-fiction has been published in Alligator Juniper, Room of One’s Own, San Jose Mercury News, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her professional writing has appeared in numerous trade journals. Mary is the recipient of the nonfiction award from the Soul Making Literary Competition sponsored by the American Pen Women. She was awarded writing fellowships at The David and Julia White Artist Colony, Hedgebrook: Women Authoring Change, and The Vermont Studio Center. She recently launched Family Plots: Love, Death and Tax Evasion, at an outrageous public funeral event. More than anyone might want to know about this spectacle can be learned at .

Despite over-the-top, public displays of disappointment over the rejection of her first novel, the author celebrates having one perfect daughter, one happy marriage with a loving (but now dead) husband, one well-adjusted cat that prefers to live with her aunt, a great day job, and a personal life that looks hopeful. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco (2003), a BA in History from San Francisco State University (1988), good teeth, and an excellent credit rating. Mary currently serves as director for group of successful innovators and leaders at the University of California at Irvine, and well as producer of an ever-changing line-up of creative projects and events.

Attention!!! Mary Patrick Kavanaugh (aka Cemetery Mary) is holding a funeral (December 31, 2009) and resurrection (January 2, 2010). These two events will allow others to bury dead dreams, dashed hopes, old habits and grudges in 2009 so they can come to the resurrection to begin again in 2010. Information about the live and webcast events will be posted at, so readers are invited to sign up for the mail list.

Despite its unfortunate rejection by a list of misguided NYC publishers, Family Plots is getting rave reviews as a darkly comic autobiographical novel about a young mother trying against all odds to create a normal family life with her new husband, a criminal attorney, who–it turns out–is committing a few crimes of his own. The book offers a wry, unsentimental account of a marriage barreling toward calamity. In an attempt to find romance, family, and financial stability, its struggling heroine stumbles into a world of pseudonyms, fake weddings, and hidden bank accounts. Events that land many of the players in the family cemetery plot also reveal unexpected secrets and stashes that manage, in small ways, to transform a tale of seeming tragedy into one of surprising healing and redemption.

Watch the Trailer!

Read what reviewers have to say!

“Mary Patrick Kavanaugh tells her story with such unabashed honesty and rapier-sharp humor that she had me hooked from page one. This is one of those ‘you couldn’t make this stuff up’ kind of books that makes you think that’s awful, while you’re laughing out loud at the same time. But beneath the wonderful wit in this dark comedy is a layer of poignancy that takes my breath away. In the end, it’s about all the crazy things we do for love.”

—Lolly Winston, New York Times Bestselling Author of
Good Grief
and Happiness Sold Separately

“…[It] reads like a thriller. I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about it all the time I was reading it, and finally just took the phone off the hook to finish it.”

—Adair Lara, Author of
Hold Me Close, Let Me Go
(among others)

“…Family Plots has a great story at its heart: the tension between the longing for security and the longing for excitement, played out in the narrator’s romance in which she increasingly sacrifices steady judgment and middle-class dreams to the power of her attraction toward a man whose charm gives him away as a con man and a dreamer. In a subtle way, this story also makes an argument for a compassionate understanding of human imperfection and of the possibility of healing, in small ways, our sins against one another.”

—Catherine Brady, Author of
Curled in the Bed of Love and The End of Class War

Mary Patrick Kavanaugh’s FAMILY PLOTS VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ‘09 will officially begin on Oct. 5 and end on Oct. 30. You can visit Mary’s blog stops at during the month of October to find out more about this great book and talented author!


I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but it ended up being quite a bit of fun. It definitely was one that I had problems putting down once I got started. I thought the beginning was a little slow, but it picked up after a bit.

The book flows in the telling of this unforgettable story, what the author refers to as 'autobiographical faction'. I'm not sure how I felt about the story really after I was done. I think part of what makes it hard to put down is you just can't seem to stop wanting to know what they come up with next!

I will say that the cast of characters is entertaining and have just enough goofiness about them to be real. This isn't a funny ha-ha type of book. This is very dark humor about some very flawed people and their very dysfunctional relationships that seem to work for them.

This is an outstanding novel, very quirky and dark. But ultimately, it's a book you won't want to put down, and one that you won't forget anytime soon.

Thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion and the author for sending me the book and letting me participate in the tour.

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