Thursday, March 31, 2011

GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT by Stacey Ballis

Winner Announced!
Congrats to:
Siobhan!
You have won Good Enough To Eat!
Please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com with your full name and address and I'll get your book to you. Thanks everyone for sharing your favorite part of yourself with me. I can tell you are all beautiful people! This was such a fun post for me to do and for me to imagine what you guys might look like! Think positive about all of your good traits! : )




First of all, THIS IS NOT THE END! I have FOUR more books to offer you guys after today's book, and then we have some housekeeping stuff to figure out! So, don't think this is the last book! It's NOT! YAY!!!




Book: Good Enough To Eat

Author: Stacey Ballis

Website: http://www.staceyballis.com/index.php

I read Stacey’s first book, Inappropriate Men, way back when and probably contacted her online to tell her how much I loved it. Then, when her next book came out, Sleeping Over, she invited me to her book launch party. My first ever book launch party! She was so nice and kind to me, and I was smitten! (What a fun word!) Of course, I’ve been a fan ever since. She’s talented in many ways – with writing and in cooking, and she’s been on the Rachel Ray Show and on CBS countless times.

In the book we’re offering today, Stacey Ballis incorporates her talents in writing and cooking to bring you Good Enough to Eat.

As I’ve not had a chance to read it yet, here’s the review from Booklist:

Melanie Hoffman and her husband Andrew have been happily married for almost 10 years but when Melanie slims down to a trim size 6 after once tipping the scale at 290 pounds, her hubby leaves her for another chubby lady. Now divorced, the 39 year-old finds solace in her successful Chicago restaurant serving healthy gourmet fare. She has a small support group there consisting of her energetic, gay sous chef, Kai, a ballsy part-time cook, Delia, and her new roomie, a 24-year-old whimsical vagabond named Nadia. As Melanie slowly sweeps up the crumbs of fallen love, she finds Nathan and the handsome documentary filmmaker helps her overcome her body image issues. Ballis's (The Spinster Sisters) use of the enjoyment of cooking and eating as a continuous theme with featured recipes in the back is a nice addition, but the heart of her book lies within the jagged mind of Melanie and her daily struggle that most women, fat or thin, endure. Women will savor the brutal honesty of how Melanie sees her body, her battles with food, her failed marriage, and her fear of new love.

If you love to cook and to eat, (and who doesn’t LOVE to eat?!) you’ll especially love Good Enough to Eat because there are a ton of pages of recipes you’ll want to try out at the end of the book!

Since part of this book is about Melanie’s body image issues, I want you to tell me the physical part of you that YOU LOVE BEST. For me, I really like my long legs the best! Your turn!

*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win Good Enough To Eat! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

THIS IS NOT THE STORY YOU THINK IT IS by Laura Munson

Winner Announced:
Congrats to Carie Casey!
Please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com with your full name and address and I'll get your book to you! And this was one of my most favorite comments from all of you! I loved your memoir titles! I have NO idea what I would call my memoir! You all have such clever ones! Thanks for sharing them with me! Loved them!




Book: This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness

Author: Laura Munson

Website: lauramunsonauthor.com

Winner Announced Above

Today’s book is an incredibly special one, and so is the author. I had the awesome pleasure of meeting her a while back when she was in town to promote her New York Times bestseller, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness

Laura Munson first became famous for her emotionally-charged essay, Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear, which was published in The New York Times Modern Love section. The New York Times site crashed because of the overload of comments the essay brought in. You have to click over and read this essay after you’re done commenting here. It’s … I don’t even have the words to tell you how much of an impact it will have on you. It’s THAT powerful.

The essay is about Laura’s husband’s confusion in their marriage at that time and his desire to get out of it. When he told Laura he didn’t love her anymore, her reaction was, “I don’t buy it.”

What powerful words, and what strength Laura Munson had. She writes in her essay that some people might think she was a pushover or that she was weak. I say that she is one of the strongest women I know. To have that kind of power to withstand those words. To stand there in the face of an impending crisis, to look her husband in the eye and tell him that she wasn’t buying it, that she would give him “responsible distance” to figure out whatever was happening in his life, that is a brave woman. To her credit, Laura wasn’t going to give him years to make his mind up – she did put a time limit on how long she would put up with his behavior.

Laura was strong enough to know that what was going on in their marriage was not a “we” thing, but rather a “him” thing, and she was powerful enough to know that she wasn’t being rejected. It wasn’t because of anything she had done.

So she took her knowledge of what she learned and how she faced the crisis, and how she didn’t let it turn her life completely upside-down or ruin her family, and she wrote a book about it.

May we all be this strong when faced with any hardship that may come our way, whether it be in our marriages, with our children, our family, our jobs, our discontent with our personal self-satisfaction, our emotional desire to be something other than what we are. This Is Not The Story You Think It Is. This is a book for all women, and even all men. It’s for all people dealing with a personal crisis. It’s empowering, it’s powerful. It’s a self-strengthening book that everyone can take something away from.

Laura’s book may very well offer you the power you might need in the moment you may least expect it. Her words will strengthen your mind, your heart, and your soul.

So I do say this to you now, this book is NOT about a divorce – Laura and her husband did not divorce, they got THROUGH their crisis. This book is a book to help you through whatever it is that you’re going through in life right now, or maybe what you may be faced with down the road. It may not be the story you think it is, but it’s absolutely, positively one that you’ll want to read.

I love learning about each and every one of you, and I wish there were books for all of you to win! How about this for a question for this comment entry: tell me what the title of your memoir would be.

*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win Laura Munson's book! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

LONDON, DIVORCE, HUSBAND by Laura Dave

Winner Announced!
Christina L...
who said dessert and wine was sexy is getting ALL THREE of Laura Dave's books and The First Husband isn't even OUT YET! Congratulations! And I loved EVERYONE's answers, and a ton of you said chocolate-covered strawberries were sexy! Guess what I made over spring break? Yup! Chocolate covered strawberries! Hardly sexy though cuz a bunch of kids ate them - actually, they ate the chocolate around the strawberries and left the soggy fruit. Stupid kids! Christina, please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com with your full name and address so you can receive all three of your books! But not to worry everyone, these three books are included in the grand prize giveaway coming up soon!





Books:
London is the Best City in America
The Divorce Party
The First Husband


Author: Laura Dave

Website: http://www.lauradave.com/page.php?category=05

Winner Announced Here

It’s a THREESOME!

Laura Dave is one of my absolute favorite authors and to think I almost missed out on her. Seriously. I almost didn’t read her first book because of the title, London is the Best City in America. I mean, it didn’t make sense to me. And truthfully, I was at some reading stage in my life where I thought it was a book about London and I didn’t really feel like reading a book about London.

Oh, silly silly me.

Thank GOD for my bestest bestest friend Swishy for telling me I HAD TO READ IT. Because I did and OH MY GOSH! Awesomeness. Laura Dave’s writing is AMAZING. You fall in love with her writing style and then also with her characters. And yes, I mean absolute love, with her male characters immediately, and she kind of makes you fall in love with a couple of them at one time so you don’t know who to love more, which makes reading the books all that more exciting. Like, hmmm, should she be with him, or that other hottie? And it just makes for fascinating books!

And yes, I said BOOKS because Laura is so generous and kind she is giving away ALL THREE of her books, and here’s the other thing, her third is NOT EVEN OUT YET!

Is this not the best ever!?

So, Laura’s first book is London is the Best City in America which I read a long time ago, but still, to this day, consider it a fave of mine!

Her second is The Divorce Party, in which I think about every single time I encounter red velvet cake, whether it be cake, cupcakes, frosting, ice cream, frozen yogurt (there is such a thing!), anything with that flavor, I think, “Laura Dave, The Divorce Party, Awesome book!”, and most of the time, I will then FB her and say, “I had red velvet cake this weekend and thought of you and The Divorce Party.” I wonder if she gets sick of hearing that from people or if I’m the only psycho who does that? Now you definitely HAVE to read the book to know where I’m coming from.

Her third book is The First Husband, and is the most recent one I read, and I LOVE IT! The food that comes to mind from that book is eggs and lobster, which I would probably never eat together, but Laura makes it sound divine in the book. Sooo good, and so sexy! But let me say, maybe I’m hungry right now? Since The First Husband is the newest, NOT EVEN OUT UNTIL MAY book, let me give you my review:

Laura Dave has done it again with her third novel, The First Husband. Readers will fall in love with travel writer, Annie Adams, who is unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend Nick of five years and now doesn’t quite know where to call home.

Her rebound guy quickly becomes the real deal, and Annie’s First Husband. Griffin is caring, selfless, compassionate, and only wants practically everything good for Annie. She follows him to rural Massachusetts to open his restaurant where she is thrown into a world she is completely unfamiliar with. Griffin’s brother Jesse, his ex-girlfriend Gia, and his overbearing mother all play intricate parts in making Annie wonder if her very real love for Griffin is enough to make her marriage work.

When Nick comes back into Annie’s life, realizing he has always loved Annie, and a new job offer surfaces, she’s even more confused. How can Annie figure out where home is for her, and what will she do to find the comfort she so desperately needs?

Laura’s writing is so genuine and rich; her characters are real and sweet. The men – I’ve always loved the men in her stories! And what I love about The First Husband is that I found myself wondering all through the book, “Who is Annie going to end up with?” And I think whoever she chose, I would have been happy with her decision, because first and foremost, I knew that whatever Annie was going to do, she was going to take care of her own happiness before choosing to be with the absolute perfect man for her.


With all this food talk, tell me a food that you think is sexy and I'll enter you in the book giveaway? I dig crab legs and warm butter! YUM! Ooh, and put me on a beach while eating them. Even better! With a bottle of chardonnay ….


*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win Laura's books! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!

Monday, March 28, 2011

ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell

Winner Announced!
DaphneSFL!
Congratulations, and Daphne, you better love this book because I DID!! Soooo much! Please email me your full name and address and we'll get your book out to you. I LOOOOOVE this book and Rainbow is a kick-butt author! I'm so happy to have found her! And now you get to have her book too! My email is stephanieelliot@gmail.com! 



Today's Book: Attachments
by Rainbow Rowell!
Please note, yesterday's book got posted late so please make sure to enter to win Stay by Allie Larkin as well too! Also, I promise to pick winners for the previous books Monday or Tuesday--we have company and were at the Grand Canyon!






I absolutely positively LOVE this book. Attachments is NOT even out yet. It comes out on my birthday, April 14! You know who else loves it? Jodi Piccoult loves it. She wrote a blurb about it. So did Haven Kimmel and Claire Cook. So you KNOW it’s going to be a SMASH HIT novel!

I want to write the best review here for you to fall in love with this book as much as I did but I am afraid I won’t do it justice. The story is set in 1999 when email is just coming onto the scene. Two of the main characters, Beth and Jennifer, both who work at a newspaper, correspond with one another through email. The guy whose job it is to monitor email at the company, Lincoln, falls in love with Beth through her emails, never having seen her because he works nights.

The book’s main character is Lincoln, and it is told from his perspective, and he is sweet and darling and you’ll fall in love with him too and you’ll root for him through the whole way as he has to face many obstacles. He really doesn’t like his job as an email monitor (guilt factor), he lives with his mom although he’s in his late 20s and needs to find a place of his own, and he’s in love with Beth, who currently is in a relationship (with a very hot band member, btw, making for some interesting turmoil!).

Jennifer, in the story, has her own troubles, trying to decide if she wants to get pregnant or not, and then dealing with some drama in her own life as well. The ‘dialogue’ between Beth and Jennifer is told throughout the story in only emails, which adds to the coolness of the book. It’s truly an amazing read, and definitely one for those of you who love John Hughes movies, the MTV era, and growing up when the internet phase was just starting out. It’s also a great read for anyone who has ever had a secret crush but didn’t know how to ‘fess up and went around feeling lost and forlorn over the fact that you’d wonder if he’d ever notice you. Really though, Attachments is a wonderful love story that you’ll read and shut, and then want to open up to the beginning and start right over again.

And of course, Rainbow (yes, her real and really cool name!) had me at page two with the mention of ZIMA, which happened to be my favorite malt beverage choice in the late ‘90s!

To win Attachments, tell me about an interesting email correspondence, or if you've ever gotten in trouble for writing an email. If you don’t have one, that’s OK!


*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win Attachments! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

STAY by Allie Larkin

Winner Announced:
Meredith aka Mommy Mer
(which always makes me think of a mermaid, I don't know why!?)
Congrats! You have won STAY! Please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com with your full name and address to receive your book! And it was so much fun hearing about all of your pets and their names! I loved it! Thanks for sharing everyone!


Book: Stay

Author: Allie Larkin

Website: www.allielarkinwrites.com/

Winner Announced Here

Alright all you dog lovers out there, and I know there’s plenty of you, here’s one you’ve been waiting for. Allie Larkin’s novel, Stay, is the perfect read for pet fans and book lovers alike. People magazine called it a “feel good debut!” Grab your four-legged friend and curl up with this one, it’s a winner!

Savannah “Van” Leone has loved Peter since the day they met. The problem is, Peter has loved Van’s best friend, Janie, since the moment they met. And now they’re walking down the aisle, with Van standing nearby in a Halloween orange bridesmaid dress, her smile as hollow as a jack-o-lantern. After the wedding, Van drowns her sorrows in Kool Aid-vodka cocktails and reruns of Rin-Tin-Tin, and does what any woman in her situation would do: She buys a German Shepherd over the internet.

The pocket-sized puppy Van is expecting turns out to be a clumsy, hundred-pound beast that only responds to Slovakian. Van is at the end of her rope—until she realizes that this quirky giant may be the only living being who will always be loyal to her, no matter what. And thus begins a friendship that will alter Van’s life in ways she never imagined.

Joe leads Van to Dr. Alex Brandt, a rugged vet with floppy blond hair and winning smile. But just as things are starting to heat up, the newlyweds return from their honeymoon, forcing Van to decide just how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to have everything she ever wanted. Warm and witty, poignant and funny, Stay marks the arrival of an irresistible new voice.


Read chapter One of Stay.

Check out the BOOK TRAILER HERE!

Allie lives in Rochester, New York, with her husband, Jeremy, their two German Shepherds, Argo and Stella, and a three-legged cat. She is the cofounder of thegreenists.com, a site dedicated to helping readers take simple steps toward going green. Allie's essay about Stella will be in Wade Rouse's dog anthology, I'M NOT THE BIGGEST BITCH IN THIS RELATIONSHIP, due out September 6. (You can bet I'll be sharing a copy or two on MaNiC!)

To win Stay, tell me your current pet or pet’s names or a previous pet’s name. We grew up with Bullet the German shepherd, Gypsy the calico cat, Blackberry (the cat who ran away but reappeared miraculously two different Christmas days at our back stoop but ran away again), Brandy the cocker spaniel, another Bullet, some gerbils and hamsters. Then as a married adult we had some cats before children: Puck, who sadly died, then Buko, and Cyclops, who, believe it was a black one-eyed precious female kitty we adored. Now, your turn!

*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win Stay! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

FALLING APART IN ONE PIECE by Stacy Morrison


Winner Announced:
Jen, who was one of the last ones to post, is the winner of Falling Apart in One Piece.
Jen said she needed "Book, prayers, sleep and hope." Jen, I'm giving you (along with the help and generosity of Stacy Morrison!) the book, and also sending prayers, and thoughts for sleep and hope! I want to thank everyone very much for your kindness especially about how we handled the giveaway for this book. (And all who commented are entered on this day so not to worry!) It's a fabulous book and I do hope you'll all take the time to read it because Stacy taught me more than I could have ever imagined about the human spirit through her story. Jen, please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com. Send me your full name and address and we'll get the book out to you.

Book: Falling Apart in One Piece

Author: Stacy Morrison

Website: http://www.fallingapartinonepiece.com/

Winner Announced Here

I can’t even begin to tell you how much Stacy’s book impacted me. Even now, long after I’ve read it, I think of it so often. Hers is a book that will stay with you for a long time. Her spirit and ability to see the good in all is truly amazing. I will tell you it begins as a story of divorce but it’s so not the main focus. Anyone can read it, so don’t let the fact that it’s based on her divorce stop you from checking it out. You will close this book and sit there and think. It’s that kind of book.

Stacy is as generous and kind off the book page too. The former editor-in-chief of Redbook, she has reached out to her readers on Facebook and the internet, and she also now has a website that helps women going through what she has been through at http://www.fallingapartinonepiece.com/.

Through her site, she wants to create a safe, compassionate, and hopefully occasionally funny environment, to help people find their inner reslience. Check out her BLOG here. Falling Apart was also just named one of the top six books on Divorce on Huffington Post, so if you are going through this struggle, it is definitely a book that will bring healing to you during this time in your life. If you've been through divorce, it is also a must read.

Here’s what I wrote about Falling Apart in One Piece after I read it.

Even if you are in a happy marriage, this is a must read for all women. Stacy Morrison tells the story of her personal journey through her unexpected divorce; how one day her husband of 10 years walks in and decides for the both of them that it's over. He decides he's done with the house, the marriage, and their baby. Stacy is left to pick up the pieces and figure it all out on her own, and she does this with a kind of grace I don't know many women would have. I certainly wouldn't. She has a sense of calm in her writing and never places blame on her ex, which again, I don't know if I could be that kind of woman.

Through her ordeal, a broken home (literally and figuratively), floods, fire, tears and self-doubt obstruct Stacy from finding peace; and she is also in charge of doing most of the difficult and thankless parenting duties on her own. Stacy manages to keep it together, and she and her ex maintain a beautiful parenting relationship for the good of their son. She learns more about herself, and in the end, prevails, making Falling Apart in One Piece a beautiful love story to whom it matters most, her son, Zack.


IMPORTANT!
I've thought about this particular book and realize that while it's a beautiful book and I want to share it with everybody, some of you may need to read Stacy's words more than others. It can be a life-changing book for some of you. So here's what I would like to do:

If you are in a happy stable relationship and think someone else might better benefit from winning Falling Apart in One Piece, you can write PASS in your comment and I'll still enter your name today for the final drawing at the end of the month.

If you are struggling in your marriage or have divorced and feel you need Stacy's words now more than ever, simply write NEED, and you'll be entered to win the book today.

Either way, all of you who comment will be entered for the grand prize of all the books at the end of the month. Thank you for understanding! And if you'd like to add more in the comment, feel free to share something GOOD that has recently happened to you. For me, this Book-A-Day Giveaway has been amazing. I love reading about each and every one of you and discovering something new about you guys! It's becoming a fun little community and I really don't want it to end!

*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win Falling Apart in One Piece! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!

Friday, March 25, 2011

IF YOU WERE HERE + WINNER'S CHOICE! by Jen Lancaster


Winner Announced!
Liz!
This is so there is no confusion of who the winner is because I just so happen to have her profile picture! Congrats Liz! Please email me your full name, mailing address and your other book of choice by Jen Lancaster and I'll get you your ADVANCED READERS COPY of IF YOU WERE HERE and the other book as soon as I can!







Book: If You Were Here

Author: Jen Lancaster

Website: http://www.jennsylvania.com/

Winner Announced Here

This is one I know many of you have been waiting for, me included! Jen Lancaster’s debut FICTION! I know because of the generosity of Jen, many of you are here today. I owe her a lot because of the success of this giveaway so if you happen to pop on over here Jen, thank you, thank you, thank you! Maybe if I keep typing Jen Lancaster, Jen Lancaster, Jen Lancaster, her google alerts will explode and she’ll stop on over and comment, what do you say guys, how about if I make all of you just comment JEN LANCASTER for this one! Hahah. That’ll be good!

Anyway, the book today is IF YOU WERE HERE, by none other than … say it with me, JEN LANCASTER, memoirist-now-fiction writer, and I know you’re all dying to read it. It’s not even due out until MAY, and I’ve got a hot little copy RIGHT HERE that I promise to mail out early. One thing is, I do not know if this one will be in the grand prize lineup (sidenote, some others may also not be, but that’s a post for another day, along with another question – there are so many books—should we have two grand prize winners?)

Back to today’s book! Along with winning IF YOU WERE HERE, I’m also going to throw in another Jen Lancaster book because we all love her so much, and I think I’ll make it Winner’s Choice! So, whoever wins can tell me which other Jen book you’d like and I’ll send that one to you too.

Cool huh?

Do you want to know what IF YOU WERE HERE is about? Okay then, here goes:

Told in the uproariously entertaining voice readers have come to expect from Jen Lancaster, If You Were Here follows Amish-zombie-teen-romance author Mia and her husband Mac (and their pets) through the alternately frustrating, exciting, terrifying-but always funny-process of buying and renovating their first home in the Chicago suburbs that John Hughes's movies made famous. Along their harrowing renovation journey, Mia and Mac get caught up in various wars with the homeowners' association, meet some less-than-friendly neighbors, and are joined by a hilarious cast of supporting characters, including a celebutard ex- landlady. As they struggle to adapt to their new surroundings- with Mac taking on the renovations himself- Mia and Mac will discover if their marriage is strong enough to survive months of DIY renovations.

I love the fact that from page 4, Mia uses Jen’s trademark footnotes in her storytelling too! A classic!

You’ll love this book you guys!

And if you haven’t already checked out some of my archives with Jen, here’s a bunch – you’ll have to scroll through, but some of it’s pretty entertaining, like a video where I annoy her during her Pretty in Plaid book tour.

So to win, I’m making this so easy, comment, “JEN LANCASTER … (FILL IN THE BLANK).”




Miss ya Jen! So glad you're coming to Scottsdale / Phoenix!

*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win IF YOU WERE HERE! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

THE OPPOSITE OF ME & SKIPPING A BEAT by Sarah Pekkanen


Winner Announced!
Congrats to
Lauren Royall...
Lauren says her favorite dessert is German Chocolate Cake and the "opposite of me" is her husband! You have won both of Sarah Pekkanen's books! Please email me your full name and mailing address and you'll receive your books! Congrats! stephanieelliot@gmail.com





Books: The Opposite of Me and Skipping A Beat

Author: Sarah Pekkanen

Website: http://www.sarahpekkanen.com/

Winner Announced Here

Sarah Pekkanen may be one of the relatively newer voices on the scene but she’s also one of the hottest. Her first book, The Opposite of Me, was so well-received, it caught the attention of author Jennifer Weiner. Word of mouth and a little contest to help spread the author love, and The Opposite of Me was noted in People, Redbook, USAToday. Sarah was all over the place, and after reading The Opposite of Me, it was no wonder. I fell in love with Sarah’s writing. Truly stories I wanted to tear through, but didn’t want to see end.

Since I read The Opposite of Me so long ago and didn’t write a review then, I'm just going to give you the back-of-the-book blurb:

Twenty-nine year old Lindsey Rose has, for as long as she can remember, lived in the shadow of her devastatingly beautiful fraternal twin sister, Alex. Determined to get noticed, Lindsey is finally on the cusp of being named Creative Vice President of an elite New York advertising agency, after years of 80 plus-hour weeks, migraines, and profound loneliness. But during the course of one devastating night, Lindsey’s carefully-constructed life implodes.

Humiliated and desperate, she flees the glitter of Manhattan and retreats to the time warp of her parents’ Maryland home. As her sister plans her lavish wedding to her prince charming, Lindsey struggles to maintain her identity as the smart, responsible twin, while she furtively tries to put her career back together. But things get more complicated when a long-held family secret is unleashed that forces both sisters to reconsider who they are and who they are meant to be.


And here’s my personal review for Skipping A Beat:

Usually when you love an author's first book, you don't expect to be blown away by her second book, but with Sarah Pekkanen's Skipping a Beat, that's exactly what I was. Blown away. From the very first page I was swept up into Michael and Julia's story of how they were less than privileged high school sweethearts turned millionaires by his DrinkUp flavored water. Yet, because of her father's gambling habit, Julia requested a pre-nup before she and Michael were married so that she could be responsible for her own money and have a secure life unlike her own mother who lost everything because of her father's gambling habit.

How was she to know that her own husband would become a man worth millions, 70, to be exact, and then unexpectedly die, for four minutes and eight seconds, but then come back to life and find money meaningless? And want to give it all away? Michael does exactly this, but in doing so, wants to prove his love to Julia at the same time.

How can she trust that he's not throwing away their lives, when the past few years all he's been focused on was building his empire, and now he wants to trash it all and finally work on their marriage? Fortunately, Julia's got a thriving party planning business of her own, but will it be enough if she decides she cannot stay with Michael now that he's going to give it all away? And will she want to stay with Michael after the years he's been absent in her life? He's asking her for the next three weeks to prove his love to her. Can she give it to him? And what will she discover in those three weeks?

Skipping a Beat had me on the edge of my seat, and my own heart was skipping beats as I plowed through this book, anxious and excited to find out what would happen at the end. A couple of things I predicted would happen, but they were good things, and made for a happy ending despite some surprises that did have me tearing up while reading as well! Loved, loved, loved this book and it catapulted Sarah Pekkanen to my top five list of favorite authors, right alongside Emily Giffin!



Read the first chapter of Skipping a Beat HERE.

Here’s the amazing Book Trailer.

Skipping a Beat, is an O Magazine Pick-It-Up-Now book for April, among being listed in other places. Sarah’s hit it big time!

To enter to win these books, tell me the answer to these two questions:

In Skipping a Beat, the main character is a party planner and there’s a lot of talk about yummy desserts. In fact, the book opens with decadent cupcakes. What is your favorite dessert?

And, tell me what you think the opposite of you might be?



*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win Sarah's books! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

SHELTER ME & DEEP DOWN TRUE by Juliette Fay

Winner Announced!
Congratulations to:
StephRochelle!
You have won both of Juliette Fay's books! Please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com with your full name and address so I can get your books to you! Thanks for entering every single day. It has paid off! And don't worry everyone -- there's still a chance to win the BIG PRIZE!




Books: Shelter Me and Deep Down True

Author: Juliette Fay

Website: juliettefay.com

We’ve got a Double-Whammy for you today, and these are two amazing books that you’re all going to LOVE! Juliette Fay is a terrific author who writes from the heart in a style that has you at the very first word. You’ll adore her!

Shelter Me, Juliette Fay’s debut novel, touches upon a very delicate subject matter. The book opens four months after Janie LaMarche loses her husband and she’s still in the grieving process, trying to make sense of her new life as a widowed mother of two very young children.

I love Fay’s characters, from the teeniest Baby Carly (who delights and keeps things in perspective), to meddling Aunt Jude, and each and every one brilliantly serves his or her purpose in the book. I fell instantly in love with Janie’s 4-year-old son Dylan, and cried for him as he waded through his own feelings of grief trying to understand his father was no longer with him.

Shelter Me is a beautiful family love story with little stories entwined, and as I read, I found that many times I couldn’t even begin to guess what would happen next. As Janie slowly pulls through her grief with the help of a very unlikely cast – a contractor hired by her dead husband to build her a porch, a priest who seems more manly than priestly, a baker cousin, an outlandish neighbor – we see that it takes all types to create a tapestry of love, and this book is truly that – a beautifully woven novel that will have you angry, sad, excited and hopeful for Janie, the true hero of this book.

Here’s the back-of-the-book blurb:

Four months after her husband's death, Janie LaMarche remains undone by grief and anger. Her mourning is disrupted, however, by the unexpected arrival of a builder with a contract to add a porch onto her house. Stunned, Janie realizes the porch was meant to be a surprise from her husband—now his last gift to her.

As she reluctantly allows construction to begin, Janie clings to the familiar outposts of her sorrow—mothering her two small children with fierce protectiveness, avoiding friends and family, and stewing in a rage she can't release. Yet Janie's self-imposed isolation is breached by a cast of unlikely interventionists: her chattering, ipecac-toting aunt; her bossy, over-manicured neighbor; her muffin-bearing cousin; and even Tug, the contractor with a private grief all his own.


As the porch takes shape, Janie discovers that the unknowable terrain of the future is best navigated with the help of others—even those we least expect to call on, much less learn to love.

Read Shelter Me Chapter One HERE

Juliette’s second novel, which I haven’t gotten to yet, but am dying to find the time, is called Deep Down True. Read the FIRST CHAPTER HERE and you will be hooked. Trust Me!

Dana Stellgarten is the protagonist of Deep Down True. She’s newly divorced, running low on funds, and has her hands full as her happy-go-lucky son suddenly develops anger management problems, and her daughter struggles to keep her head above the shark-infested waters of middle school. Things seem to be looking up as Dana finds work, begins dating and is befriended by the popular mother of her daughter’s new BFF. But she soon learns that the tension between being true to herself and being liked doesn’t end in middle school.

So, let’s see, since her newest is called Deep Down True, tell me something you know is TRUE!
And good luck to you all!



*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win Juliette Fay's books! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

THE ONE THAT I WANT by Allison Winn Scotch

Winner Announced!
Congrats to
Leanne!
Who went to a psychic once and was told about a sister that she actually found later in life!
Please email me at
stephanieelliot@gmail.com with your full name and address and we'll get your book to you! Also, thanks everyone for your patience - I'm trying to keep up with getting winners announced and books posted every day! Thanks to you all for your terrific and fun answers every day as well!





Book: The One That I Want

Author: Allison Winn Scotch

Blog: Ask Allison

What if you woke up one day to all your dreams coming true...but those dreams were more like nightmares?

I love the story about how Allison and I first connected online. Not only is she a New York Times Bestselling author, she is also a very successful freelance magazine writer. She had put out a query for an article she was writing about marriage, something about keeping it fresh, and I answered her questions and she followed up with me and my quotes got in the magazine. At that time, her first book, The Department of Lost and Found, wasn’t out yet, and I didn’t know she was going to be a super-star author.

A while later, I discovered the book, and her name rang a bell. I was like, “WHOA! I know that chick!” Not that Allison’s a chick, well, she is, but she’s classy, and all that … well, you get the drill.

So, I probably contacted her, chatted her up online until she could stand me no more, and here we are, ready to give away her third book! Allison also has an exciting fourth book coming out early 2012, called, The Song Remains the Same! Sneak Peek HERE

And for all you writers out there, don't forget to check out Allison's blog, Ask Allison, where she is always available to answer your writing questions! It's a great blog, very helpful and inspiring!

Here’s her latest, and "The One That You Want Today." Hahah. It’s called The One That I Want:

Tilly Farmer is thirty-two years old and has the perfect life she always dreamed of: married to her high school sweetheart, working as a school guidance counselor, trying for a baby. Perfect.

But one sweltering afternoon at the local fair, everything changes. Tilly wanders into a fortune teller's tent and meets an old childhood friend, who offers her more than just a reading. "I'm giving you the gift of clarity," her friend says. "It's what I always thought you needed." And soon enough, Tilly starts seeing things: her alcoholic father relapsing, staggering out of a bar with his car keys in hand; her husband uprooting their happy, stable life, a packed U-Haul in their driveway. And even more disturbing, these visions start coming true. Suddenly Tilly's perfect life, so meticulously mapped out, seems to be crumbling around her. And as she furiously races to keep up with - and hopefully change - her destiny, she faces the question: Which life does she want? The one she's carefully nursed for decades, or the one she never considered possible?

Here’s my question for the comment section: Have you been to a fortune teller? Personally, I have not. I don't want to know what's going to happen in my future. But what about you? Have you gone to one? Yes, no, why, why not?


*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win The One That I Want! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.

Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!

PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.

Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!

It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!

Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!











Monday, March 21, 2011

THE BREAK-UP DIET by Annette Fix

Winner Announced!
Congrats to Anne Beth
who told of this break-up:
"My first boyfriend in college, when I found out he was dating someone else :(
Oh well, it worked out MUCH better!"
Please email me your full name and mailing address at stephanieelliot@gmail.com so I can send you your book!






Book: The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir

Author: Annette Fix

Website: http://www.thebreak-updiet.com/

Winner Will Be Announced Here

“If you’ve ever loved and lost, and eaten fudge topping out of the jar” … ladies, this one’s for you!

We haven’t featured a memoir since last week, so here’s one for today, The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir by Annette Fix.

I met Annette online, and again, I think it was through that fabulous Yahoo Chick Lit group where we first connected. We’ve remained online buds and swear that someday we’re gonna meet up. Here’s her story:

Annette Fix thought she had it all. She had been the sole support for her son for 12 years and was planning her happily ever after with the man of her dreams, when her life turned upside down and she got dumped. Hard.


Her immediate remedy? Hot fudge topping, and not spoonfuls. She needed vats of it. And fast.

Her breakup - and how she recovered - is told boldly, heartbreakingly and humorously as it unfolded in her book, The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir . What I love about this memoir is that it's so much more about Annette's life than just her breakup. She had her chocolate and her Wonderboy son to get her through the rough spots, and she charged onward. An alternative title might be: An Exotic Dancin' Homeschoolin' Mom's Break-up Memoir.

Annette powers through the tough times and comes out ahead. An inspirational book for all women whether you’re a mom or not, and all those who've ever gone through a break-up!

Current news on Annette: She was offered an option to adapt The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir as a cable TV series. She's currently working on the pilot and obsessively cutting out celebrity faces from People Magazine to assemble the cast. Keep an eye out on Amazon and B&N.com in the month of April for the release of the ebook version of The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir.

Break-up story time—tell me yours, short and sweet, but I hope it’s not too heartbreaking – I don’t wanna cry!

*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!


Annette powers through the tough times and comes out ahead. An inspirational book for all women whether you’re a mom or not, and all those who've ever gone through a break-up!

Break-up story time—tell me yours, short and sweet, but I hope it’s not too heartbreaking – I don’t wanna cry!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

ANNIE BEGINS by Michelle Toth

Winner Announced!
Random.org has chosen
Melinda S.
who commented:




I met my husband at a Hot Buns/Hot Legs contest at a popular local bar...neither of us were contestants!
Congrats! You have won Annie Begins! Please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com with your full name and mailing address!


Book: Annie Begins

Author: Michelle Toth

Website: http://www.anniebegins.com/

Winner: Melinda S.
You guys are going to love this debut book by Michelle Toth. Annie Begins tells the story of 29 year old Annie Thompson, who is brilliant in business, yet disastrous in relationships. It’s the dawn of the dot-com boom, and Annie is determined to make it big. But her single-minded focus on work is put to the test when the man of her dreams announces that his wife is divorcing him, and designates Annie “the best listener he knows.” Suddenly she’s juggling his mixed signals and her entrepreneurial ambitions—not to mention a complicated friendship with her new supervixen of a roommate.

Annie's pursuit of Mr. Tall, Dark and Barely Available takes a turn for the unexpected when her young, terminally ill cousin, April, makes it her mission to find Annie a husband. But the fiancĂ© April picks is definitely not the kind of man Annie would have chosen. Now, Annie has to ask herself what exactly she wants and values most deeply in a man—and in herself.

So, to win Annie Begins, let’s make this really fun – since the character April in the book tries to find Annie a husband, tell me how you found your current or previous BF, partner or husband? Blind date, match.com, were you set up by your best friend, did you meet him in a bar like I met Mr. MaNiC? … Doesn’t have to be long-winded – Short and Sweet tells it best!

Thanks for being so wonderful with all of these answers. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying waking up and reading all of these every day! Hope you’re having fun too!

Michelle’s Bio: Michelle Toth divides her time between New York City and Boston, where she serves on the board of directors of the non-profit Grub Street Writers. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Harvard Business School, Michelle works as the director of talent development for an investment management firm.

*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win Annie Begins! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

THE RAISING by Laura Kasischke

Winner Announced!
OK, I have to admit, you guys had some scary stuff you shared with me! And some freaky weird stuff happen to you too! Thanks for telling me those stories, and sorry if it brought up some memories you might not have wanted to remember. Anyway, good old Random.org chose one of you and it happened to be one that did really kinda freak me out. It is...
Buttah!
Check out her story in the comments -- definitely a paranormal one!
Thanks to you all, and there are still more books coming, along with some two-fors and a three-some heading your way!



The Book: The Raising

Author: Laura Kasischke

Winner Will Be Announced Above

Today’s book is not like any that I’ve featured here yet. The Raising, by Laura Kasischke, which is brand new this month (and unfortunately, this means I haven’t had a chance to read it yet!), will have you on the edge of your seat. Noted as “part Stephen King, Part Donna Tartt, and wholly unforgettable” it is a gripping psychological thriller.

Review From Booklist:

Set in and around the campus of a fictional midwestern university, Kasischke’s eighth novel centers on a tragic car accident that has taken the life of beautiful, straight-A student Nicole. A year later, her sorority sisters are still up in arms and lay the blame for Nicole’s death on her boyfriend, Craig, who, they claim, is an irresponsible rich kid. But Craig’s roommate, Philip, who grew up with Nicole, has begun to think that she is not really dead and approaches his sociology professor, who is teaching a class on death, for help. Meanwhile, a witness to the accident has given up trying to straighten out the many erroneous newspaper accounts stating that Nicole was found covered in blood, for the girl she saw was not bleeding and not dead. Kasischke excels at depicting the psychology of the young and the traumatized even as she delivers a scathing indictment of the siege mentality of college administrators. In this literary page-turner, reminiscent of Donna Tartt’s Secret History (1992), the talented author inlays her academic novel with a touch of the supernatural and a deep sense of foreboding.

From everything I’ve read online this book is a crazy thriller and I’m almost scared to start reading it. But I’m dying to because it sounds so mysterious, and I want to know what really happens to Nicole. Is she alive? Is she dead? Does she just not want to go to Chemistry class? Was she being hazed so badly at her sorority, this was the only way she could think to get out of it alive … hahah, am I hilarious or what? If you want to find out, leave a comment here. Tell me something scary that happened to YOU in college or high school!

*****
Please leave a comment, and all those who do will qualify to win The Raising! I’ll draw the winner in a couple of days and I will post the winner’s name at the TOP of this post, in the highlighted area.


Come back and read about each book every day in March. Choose the books you'd like to win. Enter for any or ALL the books. Each entry will count as an entry toward the grand prize of winning ALL 31+ books at the end of the month. You can win the book of the day and still qualify to win ALL the books at the end of the month!


PLEASE be specific with your name in the comment section, and IF YOUR NAME is listed as the winner, you must email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com in order to claim your prize. Email me with your full name and address so I can have your book(s) sent to you.


Thanks, and GOOD LUCK! And come back tomorrow to see what book I’ll be giving away then too!


It’s MaNiC MoMMy’s March Madness Book-A-Day Giveaway! Read ALL the Rules and Details Here!


Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents only!