Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Giveaway: Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

We have a winner!

CONGRATULATIONS TO NIKKI for winning the copy of ARRANGED! Please stay tuned because next week we will be giving away another great book, The Accidental Adult, by Colin Sokolowski. If you're an adult, this book is for you!
Thanks for reading!


I just finished reading Arranged by Catherine McKenzie and very rarely do I plow through a book like I did with this one! So much so in fact that I dropped what I was doing. I know, I know, you're laughing thinking, "OK, really, what does SHE have to do!?" But seriously, I grabbed a chair, took my butt outside into the 75-degree weather (sorry folks back home), and read, read, read this awesome book!

Here's a quick premise - I don't want to give too much away, because you've GOT to read it:

Anne Blythe has just broken up with another one of her boyfriends and finds a business card in the street promoting what she thinks is a dating company called, ironically, Blythe & Company. Because of the similarity of the company’s name and her last name, she keeps the card and eventually calls this ‘dating’ company only to discover they really arrange marriages. Tired of picking the wrong men, and after deep contemplation, she agrees to be matched for marriage. Soon, Anne is on her way to Mexico to meet, Jack, the man who’s the perfect match for her, sight unseen.

Based solely on personality scores and psychology testing, Anne and Jack meet, and what unfolds from here will have you turning pages so quickly you’ll want to get to the end, yet you’ll also want to prolong your reading enjoyment. Jack and Anne’s relationship from their very first meeting is so real, so sparked with tenderness and that first sexual tension that you’ll have a difficult time putting ARRANGED down.

And lucky for you guys, you'll have a chance to win a copy here! But you have to do a couple things -

1. I would really like it if you aren't doing so already, could you please "FOLLOW" my blog? I think this will mean that when I update my posts, you'll get notices, so that will be good--you won't have to click on every now and then to see when I update - someone who's more familiar with this, can you let me know if this is true? And there's a button over there on the right where it says FOLLOW so it's really easy to do. I think. If not, let me know.

2. Leave me a comment here on some funny story about a blind date, a matched date you had, since the book is about an arranged marriage - tell me something about what you think about blind dates,, anything of that nature. This is your entry to the contest to win the book. Also, you MUST please leave your email. If you don't leave an email address, I can't include you - it's too hard for me to try to track you down. Use the (a) if you're afraid of spammers. Thanks!

3. Head over to Catherine McKenzie's FB page and "LIKE" her. Avid book fans might also enjoy her other FB project: I Bet We Can Make These Books Best Sellers. She is always giving away a ton of books - currently she's giving away 30 books! (She also has another book SPIN that came out before Arranged, which I haven't read yet, but it was a bestseller in Canada. I will be reviewing and giving that one away too!)

I'll draw a winner soon, and there will be lots more giveaways coming your way! Thanks for reading!

PeaCe uP!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Books, Books and More Books on MANIC!

Hello faithful MaNiC MoMMy readers! Thank you all so much for sticking by me and reading for this long! In 2011 I am going to be bringing some fabulous reviews and giveaways to you courtesy of some great authors and publishers and here is a sneak peek of what you can expect in the coming weeks and months!

I’ll be telling you about these authors and their great books and you can expect many giveaways as well! I’m hoping to do a review and/or giveaway at least every other week, but one thing we can count on with MaNiC MoMMy is that we can’t count on her very much! But here are some of the great authors we have lined up for future features!

Kristina RiggleThe Life We Imagined

Juliette FayeDeep Down True, her follow up to Shelter Me, which I loved!

Caroline LeavittPictures of You. I read Caroline’s book, Girls in Trouble a very long time ago and fell in love with her writing, so when I heard she had a new one coming out, I had to get her on this list!

Eileen Cook – Eileen’s a friend in real life. Her newest YA is The Education of Hailey Kendrick. We’ll also be talking about Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood – she’s got some fun youtube videos starring Lauren Wood too! Do a search and check them out.

Jennette Fulda – I am reading Chocolate & Vicodin right now – as a fellow headache sufferer, I can somewhat relate, but Jennette has had the SAME headache for several years and has written an amazing book about her tireless and painful efforts to (UNFORTUNATELY as of this posting) unsuccessfully rid herself of it! Jennette's first memoir was a hit called Half-Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir, the story about how she successfully lost half of herself through diet and exercise, another terrific book to check out!

Jenny Gardiner – Author of Sleeping with Ward Cleaver (she’s gonna kill me because I’ve yet to read it, but man, I sleep with him EVERY night! Hahah, kidding HONEY!), the memoir Winging It, about her ‘lovable’ (OK, vengeful) parrot, and Slim to None. She’ll have a story out later this year with a bunch of other famous authors writing about man’s best friend.

Catherine McKenzie – who’s book ARRANGED I am currently reading and LOVING!! It’s got a ton of OMG moments, and I’ve only cracked the surface!

Shana MahaffeySounds Like Crazy. I read a review on Facebook and had to have it. 'Nuff said. The power of the internet!

Shawn Klomparens – Two books by Shawn - Jessica Z and Two Years, No Rain – both I’m dying to dive into.

Angela BalcitaMoonface: a Memoir – Angela received a kidney from her soulmate and shares the amazing story. I love memoirs and this one will sure to be a great one.

Sarah PekkanenSkipping a Beat, the follow-up to her incredible first book, The Opposite of Me! I’ve already read, and you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one.

Stacy MorrisonFalling Apart in One Piece, the paperback edition. An amazing memoir about how she held it together amidst a divorce she didn’t ask for or see coming.

Colin SokolowskiThe Accidental Adult – fab book of essays on become an adult when you least expect to. So, so funny. And totally relatable on all accounts.

Kim WileyLove in Midair – a hardcover hit, will soon be in paperback. And I’ll have it to share with you!

Laura DaveThe First Husband – Laura’s third book. Her first two were AMAZING: London is the Best City in America and The Divorce Party. Read The Divorce Party and you will NEVER look at Red Velvet Cake the same again. I promise you.

Jen Lancaster – You can bet I’ll be bringing you her very first novel: If You Were Here. Can’t wait to read the stuff she makes up if the stuff that’s REAL is so freakin’ funny!

More books coming your way include:

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow

Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee

Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands

Dreaming in English by Laura Fitzgerald

Friday’s Daughter by Patricia Sprinkle

There are even more authors than what I have listed here coming to MaNiC and I hope you’ll stick around for it! Thanks for hanging out this long! So many great books and I can’t wait to share them with you, but not to worry, I’ll still be sharing the other mind-numbing, mopey whiny, gripey stuff I’m so good at too. Whether you like it or not!

PeaCe uP!

~MaNiC MoMMy

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Kids Are Resilient My Ass

Kids Are Resilient.

I used to believe that. I truly did. They bounce back from injuries like that. All three of my kids have had their tonsils out and the very next day they were eating meatloaf or chicken nuggets as if they hadn’t just gone under the knife. Kids break bones and come away from painful mishaps as if it were no big deal. They’re like rubber bands that snap back into place.

When we moved to Scottsdale seven months ago, everyone assured me that my kids would be fine.

“They’ll make new friends.”

“They’ll love their new school.”

“Everything will be fine.”

Yeah, some of it has been great.

But some, not so great.

They really miss their friends back home. Terribly.

They actually miss the snow. A lot.

They miss Chicago. I don’t know if they miss the city of Chicago or the idea of Chicago, but they miss it. A ton.

All of this, as a mother really, really sucks. Because this is something I can’t put a band-aid over. I can’t make this one better for them.

The other night, my Tukey came into my bed at 11 o’clock telling me he couldn’t turn his mind off. I brought him into bed with me. You know why he couldn’t turn his mind off? Because he is NOT resilient. I let him sleep with Mr. Manic and me. I will let him sleep with me all the days of his life that he needs to because I am his mom and that is my job. He’s my baby. That’s what I’m here for. To take care of him, and if he needs me at 11 at night, that’s what I’ll do for him.

Last night, when I was tucking Diva into bed, she began to cry. She said to me, “I know home is where the heart is, but I think I left my heart in Chicago.” No lie, this is exactly what she said. Does THAT sound like resiliency to you? Nope. That sounds like a kid with a broken heart who is missing all the things she was used to back home. That broke MY heart. I can’t put a band-aid over that injury. When will THAT pain go away?

Someone reminded me of the quote the other day, “You’re only as happy as your least happy child.” This is the truest statement I’ve ever heard. Moms can only be as happy as their least happy child. And sadly, mine are still finding their way here, and they’re not resilient, and they’re going through hard times, and it makes me mad that adults brush off kids by saying they’re resilient, just because they are kids. They’re little people, with big, huge feelings that should never, ever be discounted, and I love my kids to pieces and I want them to know how much I never take them for granted and how I want them to be so happy in their lives.

And they’re not right now. Some days yes, they are, but on the days they’re not, they are really, really sucky. And that’s what’s been on my mind lately. So that’s why I’m telling it here. On my blog. Because it feels good to share it here. Because it feels like there’s nowhere else to say it.

If you could stomach this, you might also like, What's Your Joy of Motherhood?