Wednesday, July 27, 2011

June Blast-O-Books Giveaway


And I have a bunch of books to give to TWO winners who commented on all the books featured in June! You're still out there right?

I shipped a bunch of books back from Chicago that were still being sent to my old house. It's a random surprise collection that you'll be winning, plus a few of the books that were already featured in June. I'll be randomly selecting TWO winners by the end of next week and alerting you who those two winners are here on the blog.

I may or may not have time to do a YouTube post on the announcement like I did for the March Madness giveaway.

In the meantime, I have been busy scheduling a bunch of great books for the September Smash Blowout Book Giveaway!

We've got a TON of new authors and books to share with you. I am AMAZED at the generosity of these authors and publicists! They want you to know about their books and are so excited to share them with you.

Some of them who have already signed on to be featured include:

In Malice, Quite Close by Brandi Lynn Ryder

Mice, by Gordon Reece

If It Was Easy, They'd Call The Whole Damn Thing A Honeymoon, By Jenna McCarthy

Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl, By Susan McCorkindale

500 Acres And No Place to Hide, By Susan McCorkindale

I'm Not The Biggest Bitch in the Relationship, Edited by Wade Rouse and a bunch of AMAZING writers

The Whole Package, By Cynthia Ellingsen

With A Little Luck, By Caprice Crane

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, By Karen Doornebos

Pinch Me, By Adena Halpern


Monday, July 25, 2011

Home Sweet Home

... And it feels that way.

I wasn't sure it it would. Coming home to Scottsdale.

Our trip was wonderful. We had so much fun. It was better than I could have ever anticipated. The kids had such a great time seeing their best friends, spending every single moment with friends, having sleepovers, laughing, going into the city, swimming, staying up way too late every single night, doing things I normally wouldn't let them do (like seeing movies by themselves, going to restaurants by themselves, walking to Starbucks by themselves, wearing MAKEUP!). It seems they all got to grow up a little bit this summer.

I got to spend time with more friends than I could count. I lunched and I breakfasted and I coffeed and I drank more than I ever could have expected. We saw U2 and REO, and watched birds chase squirrels from their birdhouses, and also watched preying mantis grow and eat fruit flies. We had parties and I laughed a shitload and created memories that are too fun and too private to share on this blog. Porch regret! We planned the next Buttercup Retreat, and a Vegas getaway. I slept in, read some great books, got awakened by the big brother I never wanted at six a.m. by him playing the saxaphone -- WHO DOES THAT? Only the big brother I never wanted!

And now we're back. And they survived. And I survived. There were tears. It was difficult. I felt the emotions of leaving. It felt like saying goodbye all over again to my close friends, it felt like I was coming back here to nothing all over again. I wasn't sure how I would feel, coming back to the desert, to the heat, to a house I might not remember.

But we came back, and it was like, "Ahhhhhh." and "Home."

Our friends are our friends no matter the distance. My children know that now. They had the time of their lives. They're all here now, in their home, doing their thing. McKaelen is chatting on her cell phone with someone, I think a friend from here. Luke is playing his piano, and I've signed him up for football. Ajers is probably Xboxing it up. He gets his braces taken off today. McKaelen gets molds for hers to come ON today. Life keeps moving, just as it did. We had a great trip back home. We made incredible memories.

We're going to make incredible ones here to. In Scottsdale. Here. In our home now.

Friday, July 08, 2011

June Blast O Books Quick Update

One week of our trip is over.

Read This If You Want To Know about Grand Prize Info and the last of the book winners have been announced! It could be YOU! I will need you to send me your address, but you may not get your book until I return.

Read This if you want to know what's been going on since we headed to Chicago.

Also, please note, my email, if you need to get in touch with me, is spelled ELLIOT with ONE T. There is an awesome other Stephanie out there who spells her last name with two Ts. She has been getting my emails, and I have been getting her emails. Please make sure you spell it correctly when sending me your address for books and stuff. It's One T. Thanks guys!

If you have any questions about the book contest, or anything else, or if you have a suggestion for an author you would love to see on here, please leave a note here in the comments and I will try to answer them next week! There are TONS of great books coming your way in September. I am soooo excited to be sharing them with you!

ALSO, if you have reader friends who would like to know about books, It would be so awesome for you to share this blog with them. I would LOVE for you to help spread the word. Thanks! Hope you are all enjoying your summer.

For those of you who asked, Summer Shandy is an awesome beer made by Leinenkugel -- lemony and light, it's a great chick beer. And I am so not a beer drinker. But it doesn't give me migraines OR hangovers!

PeaCe uP and happy reading! I just finished Jennifer Weiner's Then Came You, her BEST YET! And also read my first Beth Harbison - Always Something There to Remind Me. Next up, I'm getting down and dirty with Chad Kultgen's Men Women & Children -- he's hardcore for sure, and I LOVE his books!

What are YOU guys reading!?

Can you tell I MISS YOU with how much I am blogging? Hope you'll leave me a comment! xo


Thursday, July 07, 2011

So Far in Chicago ...

We've been here almost a week. I'm at a B&N right now. I wrote this first part the second day we were here, the part that's italicized down below. Then I'll recap some other stuff. I'll also try to choose the last of the winners while I'm able to do so right now, and promise when I get home to do the grand prize drawing. I've got a huge stack of great books that I got from my old house here that I'll be taking back with to give to the grand prize winner(s)!

Here's the first thoughts I had upon return here:

I feel displaced. We’re back ‘home’. Literally, in our old neighborhood, and I never thought it would be this emotional. It’s like I have discovered I really don’t have a home now. We went back to our old house today. My daughter, “Diva” broke down when she walked in, and that made me cry. It brought back too many memories. She said, “That’s the tree we used to climb in.” We saw the swing set they played on forever. So many things in the home are still ours. Things we left behind for the new owners. It’s still a beautiful house, we loved that house, it’s still a great house. It might have been a mistake to go back. To be at a party there, with the new family and their people, their friends, their family. We felt displaced.

Then I think back to our house in Arizona. I’m trying to think of how it looks, what it’s like. I was just there two days ago. It’s like I can’t remember it. Does it feel like “our” home? Just because it’s got “our” stuff in it? My kids are here now, in Chicago, the place they grew up, and you’d not believe what they’re like—they are so happy here. My oldest has been with his best friend non-stop, running around having a blast, and so has Tukey. Diva has spent the whole time with her best friend, sleeping over there, swimming, doing each others’ hair. They have missed each other like crazy.
I’ve seen a bunch of girlfriends. I’ve cried. I don’t have friends like this in Scottsdale. I mean I have friends, some really great ones, but not a huge bunch of close friends in my neighborhood like I did here. And not a big group. Not yet. I haven’t tried all that hard. My neighborhood in AZ is not like this one. Not like I can tell my kids to just go on out and come home at dinner time. This neighborhood in Illinois is a 1950s dream ‘hood. Go out, play all day with your friends, and when you hear me call you for dinner, come home. That’s what we lived when we were here. Damn, I missed it. I realize it now. And now, it’s like we’ve got to relive the whole moving away from Chicago all over again when we go back home to AZ in a few weeks. I don’t know how my kids will react when it’s time to go home.

So, I'm not feeling THAT sad now. And hey, I've since heard there was a HORRIBLE SAND STORM by where we live in Scottsdale. Have you guys heard about it? Whoever reads this and lives there, please comment and tell me how bad it was! I don't know if I'd rather be in a sandstorm like THAT or be in the Blizzard Chicago had here last winter?

We went to Naperville Ribfest when we got here with neighbor friends and had a blast--REO Speedwagon played and a band called DOT DOT DOT opened for them and they actually were really GREAT! I have to google them to find out more about them. Then Saturday was kind of a melancholy day because we went back to our old house and where I wrote that stuff above. Sunday we had a GREAT day in our old hood with awesome neighbors and friends at a pool party, and Monday we went to a friend's lakehouse.

SUMMER SHANDYs are a plenty out here and I've finally found the drink of choice (aside from my beloved POOL BOYS) that do not give me hangovers!

Then Monday we headed to Mr. Manic's boyhood home and met up with his sister and her family and I got to see my nephew and two nieces, one of whom I never met, and they are ADORABLE! We got so much lovin' from them.

And then... THEN, Tuesday night, I got my U2 redemption! We saw Bono! Last time I was supposed to see U2, this is the horrible thing that happened to me. So let me tell you, it was awesome that I FINALLY got to be at a U2 show! And it ROCKED! And they played ONE TREE HILL, which apparently they've only played it four times EVER! And With Or Without You was awesome, and so was Where The Streets Have No Name, and I personally vote Bono for President!

Yesterday we had an awesome day doing a whole family photo shoot and there are pics on FB if you're my FB friend, and if you're not my FB friend, go ahead and FB friend me, just tell me you know me from MaNiC MoMMy when you friend me. I gotta run now but thanks for checking in!

xo MaNiC