Sunday, August 28, 2011

All Good

I forget sometimes that I tell you stuff that goes on in my life and then things get better but I don't tell you that things get better. I don't consider that there are people out there that care what goes on. That anyone out there wonders, "Is MaNiC doing OK today?" Because I think that would be vain of me to do so. But then I read all these nice comments from you all and then it makes me feel really good that so many of you out there do care, and I appreciate it so very much. Then I feel bad that when things start lifting for me, I fail to let you know.

Things are much, much better, and I want to thank you for your thoughts and very nice messages to me.

Things are so much better. I hope that black cloud stays away for a very long time. And let me please just say that the black cloud wasn't, ISN'T a person, it's rather an entity that can harm a person, that can harm people. And I want it out of the lives that are being affected.

The week went actually very well. And believe it or not, I got up four days and went *running*. I use the asterisks because I still cannot believe that I *run*. It doesn't feel like that's what I'm doing. I laugh when I say it or think it. It's only a mile. I clocked it in my car because I'm that much of a dork. But when I started out three weeks ago, I could only do this for 1/2 of a song. Now I'm up to three whole songs of running. And yes, I will get up again tomorrow at six a.m. and do it again. Maybe even five days this week. I actually like getting up, and showering and being ready for the day as the kids leave for school. What an odd behavior for me.

I'm still waiting to hear something about *the book*. There are those damn asterisks again. I guess I put them in places where I don't know if things are real or not. I mean, I know it's a real book, because I wrote it. But I won't really think it's a real book until I see it live and bound with a cover and my name on it. I guess I have to be patient and hope some editor/publisher falls in love with it. The author, Amy Hatvany, who wrote, Best Kept Secret, has this on her website, and I printed the words out and look at it every day: REMEMBER, IT ONLY TAKES THE RIGHT PAIR OF EYES.

I'm hoping that right pair of eyes is reading my words this exact moment and falling in love with the words I have written.

I also started writing another novel. Just three pages into it, but the idea is there. On the surface, kind of.


YEP! I've got SOOOO many coming soon. And I think this one will take us into October. I'm going to be starting right after Labor Day but will be giving you a sneak peek of all the amazing books hopefully this week. There are some CRAZY AWESOME ONES, and some that I never thought I would EVER read that completely surprised the hell out of me! So get excited about this one! I think I will be doing three features and giveaways a week and then the full giveaway of ALL the books featured at the end of the contest as I did in March, so it's a big one again!

I hope everyone out East has been safe from the weather. I pray you are. What craziness! Please be well everyone, no matter where you live, and THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, for always stopping by and I'm so grateful for you. Truly am!

PeaCe uP!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Having Moments

That's what I've been having ... moments.

And they haven't been great. I've been going through a rough spot lately, and it hasn't been exactly a fun time in my life but I'm trying to work through it by realizing what's been going on has nothing to do with me, but with others. That what's been going on is nothing that I can control. That if I want to make things better, I have to make things better within myself.

So that's what I've been doing. I'm working on myself lately, and I'm going to continue to work on myself. Yes, I know this is very cryptic, but because it involves people I love, I don't want to hurt anyone by outing anyone on the blog; although I know it's being read.

I hope it's getting through.

All I know is that I've got to ... Hell, I don't know what I've got to do, actually. I've got to work on my family, although it's affecting my family. It's part of my family. This thing has been a part of my family my whole entire life. My whole entire life, and maybe it hasn't been noticed before, but I hope it's becoming a realization with recent developments.

I don't want everything to be eaten up by this. There are too many things, good things to look forward to in the future to let it be eaten up by this.

Maybe that's why I love books so much. Maybe that's why I used to hole up in my room, lock myself up in there, escape from everything to read. To get away from the realness of what was happening. To find a way out? To go to the imaginary places, to read about the fictional characters I love and loved so much, and still do today. Just wondering. But probably not. It wasn't that bad. I love and loved my life. It's still good. Just some rough spots I will work through, am doing it.

Hahahah, see, I am soooo cryptic!

And pretty soon, a whole month of some great new books coming your way.... see, I am FIINNNNNE! Had to get this off my chest, and already, I feel better. Thanks for listening, to those of you who are taking the time!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Hey guys, I’m gearing up for another big book promo coming in just a few weeks, beginning in September with lots of new authors I haven’t even featured yet. But in the meantime, I want to tell you about a great new short story you can pick up on for just 99 cents beginning Tuesday, August 16!

It’s by Lisa Tucker, who some of you may already be familiar with and it’s called Agoraphobics in Love. Here’s a quick blurb about the short story, which is actually 50 pages of a great read:

After the accidental death of her parents, Emily retreated to their home, where she freelances for an online greeting card company and tries to come up with words for feelings she can no longer feel. Jules climbed his way up to creative director of an advertising agency; he had power, a girlfriend, and a great apartment in New York, when he started having the panic attacks that would leave him in a tiny sublet, unemployed and alone. But when Emily and Jules both join an online board for agoraphobics, what begins as friendship quickly develops into something much more. Now if only they can find the courage to leave their "safety zones" and actually meet for the first time...

Witty, wistful, and deeply moving, "Agoraphobics in Love" is an O. Henry story for the twenty-first century. In sparkling prose, Lisa Tucker perfectly captures the miracle of two lonely people finding each other—and finding their way back to life.

Buy the short story for just .99 starting Tuesday, August 16th:

BONUS: The short story also has the first four chapters of Tucker's amazing new full length novel - THE WINTERS IN BLOOM, which I will be featuring here in September, for you to win!

Here’s what The Winters In Bloom is about, which I am very excited to read!

Together for over a decade, Kyra and David Winter are happier than they ever thought they could be. They have a comfortable home, stable careers, and a young son, Michael, who they love more than anything. Yet because of their complicated histories, Kyra and David have always feared that this domestic bliss couldn’t last - that the life they created was destined to be disrupted. And on one perfectly ordinary summer day, it is: Michael disappears from his own backyard. The only question is whose past has finally caught up with them: David feels sure that Michael was taken by his troubled ex-wife, while Kyra believes the kidnapper must be someone from her estranged family, someone she betrayed years ago.

As the Winters embark on a journey of time and memory to find Michael, they will be forced to admit these suspicions, revealing secrets about themselves they’ve always kept hidden. But they will also have a chance to discover that it’s not too late to have the family they’ve dreamed of; that even if the world is full of risks, as long as they have hope, the future can bloom.

So, check out Agoraphobics now by ordering it online for just 99 cents HERE and then stay tuned for The Smashing September Book Giveaway where I’ll be featuring The Winters In Bloom along with at least 15 other great new books and authors you’ll love to learn about!

Want to know more about Lisa Tucker?

Lisa's the author of six novels: The Song Reader, Shout Down the Moon, Once Upon a Day, The Cure for Modern Life, The Promised World, and The Winters in Bloom and the short story Agoraphobics in Love. Her books have been published in twelve countries and selected for Borders Original Voices, Book of the Month Club, the Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, People magazine Critic’s Choice, Redbook Book Club, Amazon Book of the Year, Barnes & Noble Reading Group program, Target “Breakout” Books, Books A Million Fiction Club, the American Library Association Popular Paperbacks, the Book Sense list and the Book Sense Reading Group Suggestions.

Lisa's Website.

Lisa on Facebook.

Lisa on Twitter.

Thanks for always sticking around to find out about great authors and books here on MaNiC!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

I’ve been in a funk the past few days. By now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’ve written a novel, two actually, and the second one is what they call “on submission” with editors at publishing houses. The rejections are coming in. While they are expected (heck, JK Rowling was rejected, and even the author of The Help was rejected like 50 or 60 times), they sting. They’re not horrible rejections, and some are really flattering, like one editor said she was worried that people on the subway were reading the steamy scenes over her shoulder (wait, is that flattering?).

Anyway, this is where I do one of those hugely exuberant and wistful sighs like I wanted to write what they sound like on Facebook yesterday. SIGH. Because it’s just BLAH.

So, the only thing to do is wait. And now I don’t want to know about any of the rejections. Why bother. I’d rather just cover up my ears and squinch my eyes really, really tight like my four-year-old self and shake my head back and forth and yell, “BlahhhhhhhhhhhhhhICAN’THEARWHATYOU’RETRYINGTOTELLMEEEEEEEEE!I’MNOTLISTENINGTOYOUUUUUUU!” Like I would when my little brother and sister would annoy me.

Because it’s annoying.

I just did another one of those exuberant wistful sighs. Damn, I’m getting good at those. They’re so dramatic. And I don’t think I’m really a dramatic person. I should ask around to those people who know me in real life.

Keeping busy is what I’ve got to do now, and that’s going to be super-duper (AJer’s new word) easy. School starts tomorrow for the kids. Eighth, seventh and fourth. And then there’s the fact that the other weekend after a couple mandarin orange vodka tonics with a huge wedge of orange (try ‘em, they rock), I might have kinda told my friend I would consider training for a half-marathon with her … BWHAHAHAHAAHA!

So yeah, I have been getting up at 6 a.m. to walk/run (the running part lasts about half to three-quarters of a song). And I’ve only gotten up four times to do this, but maybe I’ll keep it up.

Today, this song below came on, and I kept playing it over and over because it spoke to me. It actually said, “Stephanie, listen to these words, maybe it’s about your book. Or maybe it’s about Natasha talking about a girl who wants to do something else.” The cool thing about this song was that it came on at the right time, when I needed to hear it:


I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

The thing about this book I’ve written that is on submission right now is that if it doesn’t get published, then I don’t know if I’ve got it in me to write a whole ‘nother book. (I just like saying it like that, even though “a whole ‘nother” makes no sense, and as I wrote that, I thought, “ooh, that would look good in a book,” so maybe I do have it in me to write another?) … after all, I think I thought the same thing after I wrote my first one, and that one didn’t sell. So maybe I do.

The rest is still unwritten …

Monday, August 08, 2011

About My Third Child

I have a third child. When he was a baby, he was often shoved in a corner. I didn’t realize it, but later on, when watching home movies, I noticed he spent most of his babyhood swinging away in the baby swing. When he was born, he had a three-year-old brother and a two-year-old sister who demanded much of his dad’s and my time.

Who am I kidding? His brother and sister demanded ALL of our time when Luke was a baby.

Luke was the baby who hated the car. Unlike his brother and sister, who would immediately calm down during car rides, Luke would howl in the car. How could this be? I thought all babies were soothed when they felt the rhythm of the engine. My other two kids loved the car. Why didn’t Luke? Now I understand it was because Luke was constantly tossed into his car seat and taken for car rides. He had to go wherever I had to go – and I had to go to a lot of places with two other kids – Luke was along for the ride. All of the time.

He had to go with the flow. He never got the luxury of scheduled naps. He never got to be his own person, he’s always had to share – friends, toys, a bedroom. He’s always had to have the hand-me-downs. He never got to enjoy his own playgroup. He always had to tag along.

But the one thing he did get is the most very special gift of all. And I remind him of it every chance that I can.

I tell Luke this, in the quiet of night, when I am tucking him in to bed. I say, “Luke, do you know why you are so special to me?”

He always grins at me, and my heart melts a little bit each time, because by now, he knows.

“It’s because you know that Daddy and I didn’t have to have you. We already had a boy. We already had a girl. We could have stopped right there, with the perfect little family. But we wanted you. We wanted another child so badly and we knew our family wasn’t complete, and then you came into our lives.

You made us be our whole family.

Previously posted on Real Moms Guide. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 04, 2011


Apologies! It's been a very long time but I have the names of the two winners of the bunch of books promised for the June Blast-O-Books contest! I also want to try to get a couple more goodies to add to the prize if I can swing it but here is the list of books that I have collected and two of you will be sharing them!

Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando

Emily Hudson by Melissa Jones

What French Women Know about Love, sex and other matters of the heart and mind by Debra Ollivier

My Name is Marry Sutter by Robin Oliveira

Threats at Three by Ann Purser

The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano

Un Amico Italiano Eat, Pray, Love in Rome by Luca Spaghetti

Missing Persons by Clare O’Donohue

A Play of Piety by Margaret Frazer

The Florabama Ladies’ Auxiliary and Sewing Circle by Lois Battle

The Power of Receiving By Amanda Owen

The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

Lies of the Heart by Michelle Boyajian

Shroud of Dishonour By Maureen Ash

A Thread of Sky by Deanna Fei

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

This Is Just Exactly Like You By Drew Perry

A Marked Man by Barbara Hamilton

Bad Girls Go Everywhere By Jennifer Scanlon

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Forgiven by Janet Fox

Death and the Running Patterer by Robin Adair

War & Watermelon by Rich Wallace

So Much Cloer by Sesane Colasanti

Now Is The Time To Open Your Heart by Alice Walker

The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes

Flutter by Erin E. Moulton

There may be more to include, and hopefully you'll find some great new authors in your complete new library of books. I did a random drawing from all of the entries throughout the month of June, as I did for the March promo, and that's how I'll do it for the September Smash promo I'm gearing up for as well, and that one will be more like the one in March, where I'll be able to give away duplicates of each book being featured; however I put together this June one fairly quickly, so that's why this was a kind of surprise mix of books that the winners are getting!

I hope you like them anyway, and here are the two winners who will be sharing them ... they are:


Congratulations to you both! Please email me at so I can get your mailing info! Also, for all of you out there who enter these contests, I do have to let you know, there was a random person who previously entered but left your entry anonymous -- your name was picked originally, but you couldn't win because you did not leave an identifying label to your name. Please be specific to your entries so I can know who you are if you do win!

Thanks, and I'll be back soon with more! School starts a week from today for us, and I've been dealing with basketball, football, new braces, etc! Been a crazy end of the summer. I hope you have all been enjoying it and have been safe!

More books and stuff coming your way! Thanks for reading!

PeaCe uP!