Come celebrate Kevin Gillespie’s new Southern-inspired cookbook, “Fire in My Belly: Real Cooking,” at Woodfire Grill on Tuesday, October 9. “Fire in My Belly” has over 120 easy-to-make recipes developed by Gillespie specifically for home cooks.

The party is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and includes a tasting of hors d’oeuvres including mushroom toast, fried green tomatoes, smoked trout puffs, ribs, chicken sandwiches, squash tarts and banana pudding.

Cost is $75 per person and includes a copy of the cookbook personalized by Gillespie during the event. Tickets can be purchased online or the door for $90, pending availability. Additional copies of Gillespie’s book will also be available for purchase.

Woodfire Grill is located at 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road. For more information, call 404-347-9055 or visit www.woodfiregrill.com.

If you can’t make it out to this event, make sure to check out Kevin Gillespie’s new restaurant, Gunshow, opening in Glenwood Park in early spring 2013.

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Local author, Nora McFarland talks with Best Self about her latest book “Going To The Bad”

What inspired you to write this book?
My main character, Lilly Hawkins, began the series as an isolated loner. Over the course of two books she’s developed a group of friends and allies at her job and has committed to her first stable romantic relationship.

For Going to the Bad, I wanted to test Lilly’s emotional growth by giving her a major loss to overcome. The character who’s shot at the beginning of the book is the family member Lilly’s always been closest to. He doesn’t judge her when she makes mistakes and he’s always there when she’s in trouble.

I hoped that if Lilly could come to terms with a loss like that, and make sense of it by solving the mystery of why it happened, that she’d emerge as a healthier and stronger character.

Are any of the characters in “Going to the Bad” that are based on people in your life?
I’ve been very lucky to have supportive friends. Some characters like Leanore Drucker are based on people who have been there for me during tough times. We all need cheerleaders who want good things to happen in our lives.
How has being a TV news photographer influenced your writing?
The pace of the job is relentless and I tried to capture that in my books. Being a shooter—slang for a photographer—in a small market where resources are stretched thin is like having a twenty-four-hour-a-day job. You’re always running from assignment to assignment. I tried to pace the books in a similar fashion. They each unfold in one or two days and during that time Lilly is constantly on the move.

Can you share the plans for your next book?
Thanks for asking! I’m working on a mystery/adventure book for tweens. As soon as that’s done I’d like to write an adult book about a pandemic flu. Having lived in Atlanta, I’ve always been fascinated by the CDC and the work they do.

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Wear Your Support
I am such a fan of OKA b., an Atlanta-based footwear company that is as functional as it is stylish. This manufacturer of eco-friendly spa shoes, sandals and ballet flats announced a partnership with the American Cancer Society to provide comfortable spa shoes to cancer patients nationwide. The initiative, “Our Greatest Feat,” will donate one pair of its signature Madison Slides to a cancer patient for every pair sold online at Oka-B.com through Oct. 31.

In addition to donating products to those who could use a little extra pick-me-up during a challenging time in their lives, OKA b., in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, has created a Limited Edition Pink Ribbon Madison slide to help raise money for cancer research.

For every pair of the Pink Ribbon Madisons sold online, $10 will go to the American Cancer Society. To purchase, visit 
www.OurGreatestFeat.com.

madion pink ribbonJessica Dauler
For more info on Jessica visit 
www.jessicashops.com

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By Erin Cotter

Want to do your part to make lunches healthier and tastier for kids? Well on Oct. 18 you’ll get your chance. Stop by JCT. Kitchen & Bar where your dine-in or to-go order proceeds will go to new nutritional programs for children.

Chef Ford Fry will be hosting the Local Lunch Break for the second year in a row, and he along with about 75 other chefs will be participating in this important fundraiser. Chef Ford Fry understands the necessity to bring our children healthy meals that include fresh produce and less fattening foods, and he needs your help!

To get a great meal and make a big difference in the lives of children, dine at JCT. Kitchen & Bar on Thursday Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. JCT. Kitchen & Bar is located at 1198 Howell Mill Road #18 Atlanta, GA. For more information on the project go to www.lunchbreakforkids.com

In its second year, the Lunch Break for Kids is a national fundraiser organized by the makers of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dressings & dips and the ACF to support the Chef & Child Foundation.

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Atlanta’s local doctors provide answers to all your medical questions. One Best Self reader asked: I’ve read that you can decrease your breast cancer risk by exercising. I’m 45 and I am worried that even if I start exercising now, the damage has already been done by years of not exercising. Should I even bother?

Kristina Bowen, MD of Georgia Cancer Specialists: The old saying that it’s never too late to change really applies here. A recent study shows that exercise and weight loss significantly decrease a woman’s breast cancer risk, before and after menopause. So you can start exercising later in life and still enjoy great benefits! This even applies to overweight or obese women—those who exercised had a lower risk of breast cancer than those who were not physically active at all.

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beet breast cancerRaise your glass and toast to finding a cure at The Albert in Inman Park. Their new cocktail, The BBC (which stands for Beet Breast Cancer), is a sweet concoction of fresh squeezed beet juice, Cathead Honeysuckle vodka and lemon lime soda.

For the month of October, a dollar from each BBC cocktail sold will benefit breast cancer research.

918 Austin Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA, (404) 872-4990,
www.thealbertatlanta.com

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Come out on Oct. 6 to celebrate local photographer Peter Doyle’s new book, “Breast Cancer Portraits: Wisdom From The Journey, at 
a Pink soiree brunch, from 
10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
This portrait book pairs photos of local breast cancer survivors with a personal note of wisdom. A portion of the proceeds from this book and ticket sales will go to local breast cancer organizations. Purchase the book at www.breastcancerportraits.com and the tickets at www.pinksoiree.com.
Details: M. Rich Building, 115 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW, Atlanta, GA, (770) 846-9274, www.projectstoryboard.com

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surfset fitnessSurfSET Fitness/Total-Body Surf Trainer and Shark Tank – This combines two of my favorite things. I discovered this new fitness trend on the television show, Shark Tank. This show is great because it features real entrepreneurs and inventors pitching their ideas to a group of savvy but shrewd investors (the Sharks). SurfSET Fitness was one of the ideas that was pitched and won a deal with investor Mark Cuban. Using a stand-alone surf board engineered to allow you to perform an array of exercises, the “rider” gets all the benefits of surfing, like core strengthening and improved balance, without being in the water.  
SurfSET Fitness Tour will be coming to Atlanta on Nov. 8. Check our Facebook page for more event details.
www.surfsetfitness.com

kirkland salmon filletsKirkland Salmon Fillets – If you would like to add more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, this is an easy, cost-effective way to do it. Super easy and cooks in less than 10 minutes, these flash-frozen Atlantic salmon fillets are absolutely delicious. Seven individually wrapped servings are $18.99.
Your local Costco, www.costco.com

ship and anchor pubKaraoke on Saturday nights in Sandy Springs – If you want to add some off-beat fun to your life, check out this odd mixture of an old English pub and sing-along karaoke. Often hosted by uniquely-styled DJs, it is quirky, funny and sometimes even really good. It is so much fun to see people forget their inhibitions and just sing for fun.
The Ship & Anchor Pub, 5975 Roswell Road NE, Sandy Springs, GA, (404) 256-3550

evos wrapEVOS – I love this healthy fast food place. There are plenty of health food options like veggie, turkey and salmon burgers, great salads, fruit smoothies and more.
Details: The Prado, Sandy Springs. www.evos.com

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atlanta streets alive festivalGet ready to run, walk, jump or dance your way down North Highland Avenue on Oct. 7 from 2 to 6 p.m. for the Atlanta Streets Alive! festival.

This event will give you and your friends and family two miles of freedom to enjoy outdoor activities such as soccer, yoga, Zumba and more. Get up and get out of your boring weekday routine.

North Highland Ave.,
 Atlanta, GA, (404) 811-1112, 
www.atlantastreetsalive.com

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By Erin Cotter

If the changing role of women in the workplace and world are of interest to you, then sign up for the Womenetics Conference, happening on Oct. 4 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Georgia Aquarium. The title of this year’s conference is “Creating Effective Leadership for the 21st Century: Popular Culture and Positive Role Models for Women and Girls.” The discussions with revolve around ways to develop more positive role models for young women and girls in our society.

Womenetics has gathered an amazing group of inspiring women who have challenged the traditional women’s workplace roles. The presenters come from various backgrounds including media, arts, entertainment and business and all demonstrate the ideals that Womenetics seeks to encourage in younger women.

There will be many speakers of interest including Madeline Di Nonno, the Executive Director of the Geena Davis Institute, Jean Kilbourne, author of Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel, Edit Schlaffer, founder of Women without Borders, and Pola Changnon, vice president of on-air promotions and creative director of Turner Classic Movies. Don’t miss this inspiring event!

To register or for more information, go to www.womenetics.com or call (404) 816-7224.

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