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CALM to Share New Chapter with 26th Annual Celebrity Authors’ Luncheon

Featured authors of the March 10 event include Meredith Baxter, Jenna McCarthy, Greg Meng and Simon Tolkien

One of Santa Barbara’s most cherished literary events is just around the corner. CALM’s 26th Annual Celebrity Authors’ Luncheon, presented by the CALM Auxiliary, will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 10 at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd.

Meredith Baxter
Meredith Baxter

Interviewed authors this year include Meredith Baxter, Jenna McCarthy, Greg Meng and Simon Tolkien.

Andrew Firestone will serve as master of ceremonies for the event. Authors will be interviewed by Debby Davison and Tom Weitzel. Book signing and purchasing will begin at 10 a.m., and lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. Author interviews will begin at 12:45 p.m.

Tickets are $125. For reservations or more information, call 805.967.1954. All ticket proceeds and a percentage of book sales will benefit CALM, the only nonprofit in Santa Barbara County focused solely on preventing, assessing, and treating child abuse and family violence.

With new CALM Auxiliary co-chairs Becky Cohn and Carolyn Gillio leading the way, CALM is looking forward to a thought-provoking event this year, thanks to another stellar lineup of celebrity authors coming to Santa Barbara to share their stories. Since 1986, the CALM Auxiliary women have helped raise more than $1 million to help children and families in Santa Barbara recover from the devastation of child abuse, and to live happier, healthier lives.

This year’s interviewed authors include:

» Baxter is a beloved and iconic television actress, most well known for her role as hippie mom Elyse Keaton on Family Ties. Her warmth, humor and brilliant smile made her one of the most popular women on television, with millions of viewers following her on the small screen each week.

Yet her success masked a tumultuous personal story and a harrowing private life. For the first time, Baxter is ready to share her incredible highs (working with Robert Redford, Doris Day, Lana Turner and the cast of Family Ties), and lows (a thorny relationship with her mother, a difficult marriage to David Birney, a bout with breast cancer), finally revealing the woman behind the image. Told with insight, wit and disarming frankness, Untied is the eye-opening and inspiring life of an actress, a woman and a mother who has come into her own.

Jenna McCarthy
Jenna McCarthy

» McCarthy is an internationally published writer, former radio personality and the author of five books, including the recently-released If It Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living with and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married (Berkley Books, 2011).

During the past 20 years, McCarthy’s writing has appeared in more than 60 magazines, on dozens of websites and in several anthologies, including the beloved Chicken Soup series. She blogs regularly for iVillage, Betty Confidential and other websites on topics ranging from celebrity scandals to tattooed Barbies.

This past November, McCarthy was honored to take the stage at Santa Barbara’s own TEDxAmericanRiviera event, where she enlightened the audience with a snarky look at the supposed “secrets” to marital bliss. McCarthy lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and two daughters. Click here for more information and to watch the trailer for her new book.

Greg Meng
Greg Meng

» Meng is the senior vice president of Corday Productions Inc. and Emmy Award-winning co-executive producer for Days of Our Lives. His book, Days of Our Lives 45 Years: A Celebration in Photos, uses more than 500 photographs to give a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse of one of America’s most beloved television shows. Using never-before-seen images of cast, crew, sets and styling, the proverbial “fourth wall” is broken for an extraordinary look inside the studio and into the lives of the stars of the longest-running scripted program in NBC’s history.

Meng graduated with a music major from Oklahoma City University in 1979 and moved straight to Hollywood. Originally he had plans to become a piano teacher, but in 1980, Meng began his career in show business as a page for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson at NBC in Burbank. Meng joined the production of Days of Our Lives in 1999, and has never looked back. He resides in Beverly Hills.

Simon Tolkien
Simon Tolkien

» Tolkien was born in England in 1959 and grew up in a small village near Oxford. His grandfather was J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings. He studied modern history at Trinity College, Oxford, and then went on to become a successful barrister specializing in criminal justice where, according to British custom, he appeared on behalf of both the prosecution and the defense.

Tolkien’s first novel, Final Witness, was published by Random House in 2002 and has been translated into eight languages. His second novel, The Inheritance, was published by Minotaur Books in 2010. The King of Diamonds is the third suspense novel produced by Tolkien. Although he has always admired his grandfather’s books, Simon’s own writing draws more heavily from his experiences as a trial lawyer and his abiding interest in modern European history and the legal and social politics of 20th century British society. Click here for more information.

In addition to the interviewed authors, the following authors will also attend the event and be available for book signing:

» Michael Brown, You Are a Gift to the World: Blessings from My Mom
» Dr. LeeAnne Del Rio, The Loving Divorce: A Guidebook for Divorcing Parents
» Vickie Jenkins, Mammograms, Mastectomies, and Mom’s Apple Pie: My Recipe for Handling Breast Cancer and Returning to a Healthy Life
» Mandy Kahn and Aaron Rose, Collage Culture, Examining the 21st Century’s Identity Crisis
» Sheila Lowe, Last Writes: A Forensic Handwriting Mystery
» Claudia Hoag McGarry, My Aries Secrets
» Chris Messner, Cuba Open from the Inside: Travels in the Forbidden Land
» Michel Nellis and Karen Ramsdell, With Their Eyes Turned Skyward: Santa Barbara’s Fallen Aviators of World War II
» Ed Nordskog, Torchered Minds
» Bill Poett, ABC’s of Peak Performers
» Patricia Selbert, The House of Six Doors
» Karen Lee Stevens, Animals Have Feelings, Too!

CALM, Child Abuse Listening and Mediation, was founded in 1970 to reach stressed parents before they hurt their children. CALM continues to be the only nonprofit agency in Santa Barbara County focusing solely on preventing, assessing, and treating child abuse and family violence through comprehensive, cutting-edge programs. CALM offers children, families and adults a safe, non-judgmental, caring, and strength-based environment to heal and increase family well-being. For more information about all of CALM’s services, click here or call 805.965.2376.

— Jennifer Guess is a publicist representing CALM.

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