thank you

So the summer is over and the truth is it was not a great one for me. Instead of frolicking in the pool and celebrating the weddings, showers, and graduation parties that were on my calendar, I went to doctor appointments and googled my way across the WWW trying to find an answer for the extreme fatigue, weight loss, and nausea I was experiencing. I’ve been here before (although not with the exact same symptoms) but I’ve been very sick for a very long time with “invisible chronic illness” and I really hoped I was done learning the lessons I needed to learn in that particular life course curriculum. Of course life doesn’t care whether we’ve been there before or had enough, it just keeps happening, and when the going gets tough we all have to choose if we’re going to be proactive-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other warriors or head-in-the-sand whiners. I must confess to have been a bit of both this past summer.

My health has recently improved a bit since this mystery illness first began, and although the weight loss has slowed to a crawl compared to a couple months ago, I still can’t gain even though I’m taking in plenty of calories. I know some of you are probably thinking “I have a few pounds I could send your way”, trust me, that offer has been on the table from friends and family for months and if I had been able to take them all up on it fitness guru Richard Simmons would be at my front door with a crane ready to haul me off to weight loss boot camp!

Still, I truly believe that no matter what is happening in your life there is always an opportunity for gratefulness and grace so here is my list of summer “bests”.

1. Birthday parties for my two grandchildren. Brooklyn turned 3 in July and Ashton had his 1st birthday party in May. I am thankful for those little arms that wrapped themselves gently around my neck this summer, the sweetness of those hugs helped me feel whole again.

2. I won a free night in Toronto with an Instagram photo I did for a contest organized by Josh Johnson and sponsored by ALT Hotels. My pic is now part of a permanent art installation in the lobby of the ALT Toronto Pearson hotel and me and Mr. Bookbabie are hoping to take a road trip this fall to see it in person and use my gift certificate, thanks Josh and ALT Hotels!

3. My debut novel, The Wonder of Ordinary Magic, won a silver medal in the 2012 Readers Favorite Award Contest! The awards ceremony will be held in Miami this November during The Miami Book Fair International, the largest book fair in America. As a first time author it is a thrill to be honored by this group, thank you so much Readers Favorite.

4. Always, always on my gratitude list is my husband Doug. Without him by my side I would simply feel lost and adrift as I navigate life’s bumpy waters.

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” ~Meister Eckhart

winning wednesday

Mr. Bookbabie dipped his germy little fingers (he’s home with a nasty cold) into a hat (yes, I really do it the old fashioned way!) and he pulled out a winner. Drum-roll please…..the winner of the March Madness Book Giveaway is Ti! I’ve sent you an email asking for an address, as soon as I get it a new, hard cover copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will come your way directly from Barnes & Noble. Congratulations Ti, hope you enjoy the read:)

the winner is…

The winner of my summer book giveaway contest is (insert drum roll)…Dennis at Pappy’s Balderdash! Now not to worry, the fix is not in, Pappy’s undignified begging did not help his chances one bit. Actually, not choosing a chick-lit book seemed to help everyone’s chances this time around, there were about half as many entrants than there were for the spring book giveaway. Oh well, Lief Enger is a wonderful writer and I’m sure Dennis will enjoy the read:)

bookbabie’s big give

My first book giveaway was so much fun. I literally put all your names in a hat and made Mr. bookbabie close his eyes and reach in to pick the winner. Now I understand why Oprah likes to give stuff away! I know, it’s just one little book, not anywhere near the same level of generosity as Ms. Winfrey, but hey, giving is giving and my only regret is that all of you who entered can’t win the copy of Sophie Kinsella’s newest book, Remember Me? And so without further ado, the winner of the first ever bookbabie book giveaway is…Beth, congratulations Beth! I think I’ll keep my eye on the NY Times Bestseller list and do another giveaway this summer, hmm, maybe a good old fashioned murder mystery to take to the beach:)

vote for bookbabie!

amazon.gif I have some super exciting news today. A while back I had the local noon news on and the talking head briefly mentioned that was having a contest for new writers. The thought crossed my mind that it was an unusual thing for the news to be reporting on, and my first inclination was to go about my day and not look into it. But if you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know that I often write about the importance of paying attention to those little “taps” on the shoulder from the universe, so I figured I’d follow my own advice and go ahead and upload one of my novels just in case that was one of those moments. My book was accepted into the contest (which was pretty exciting in itself) and last night I learned that my novel, The Wonder of Ordinary Magic, was chosen from 5000 entrants to be a semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest! And here’s where you, my wonderful, smart, lovely, loyal readers come in (yes, that was a kiss up…too much?). I need you to go to, read the excerpt of my book, and like it enough to review it and rate it. Click on the contest badge (or any link in this post) and it will take you to my page in the contest. When you get there click on the “Download for Free” button. It takes you to a window that lets you read an excerpt on-line, download it, or e-mail it to yourself. If you like what you read please go back to my page and leave a good rating and a review, that’s your vote.

***I just found out that if you’ve never shopped at Amazon you have to create an account before you can review, and you can’t review unless you’ve bought something. I’m not happy about this turn of events and I certainly don’t expect anyone to buy something in order to rate my book. Apparently this has always been their policy for reviewing products on their web site, it’s their way of keeping the riff-raff out. Oh well, if you’d like to learn more about the novel click here and go to my website where I tell “the story behind the book”. Feel free to tell all your friends and family that bookbabie needs their vote!