51svuaqeq5l_sl500_aa240_The winner of One True Theory of Love by

Laura Fitzgerald is …

Natalie of Book, Line, and Sinker!

Congratulations!  I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!

Just a reminder- today is the last day to enter the contest for Hope’s Boy by Andrew Bridge!

One Last 100K Celebration Giveaway: Things I Want My Daughters To Know by Elizabeth Noble

9780061122194Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you are canoodling with your honey and staying warm!

For this final 100K Celebration Giveaway, Danny from HarperCollins looked over my blog and thought my readers would be interested in the book Things I Want My Daughters To Know by bestselling author Elizabeth Noble!  It seems appropriate since I talk about my preteen girls so much.  

There will be a Book Club Girl On Air show occurring online on Tuesday, February 17th, at 7 pm with Elizabeth Noble on  It’s an interview with the author where book club members can call in or write in with questions about the book.  Pretty cool!

6a00d8341c9ac653ef010536f1eeee970b-120wiHere’s a little information about the book:

How do you cope in a world without your mother?

When Barbara realizes time is running out, she writes letters to her four daughters, aware that they’ll be facing the trials and triumphs of life without her at their side. But how can she leave them when they still have so much growing up to do?

Take Lisa, in her midthirties but incapable of making a commitment; or Jennifer, trapped in a stale marriage and buttoned up so tight she could burst. Twentysomething Amanda, the traveler, has always distanced herself from the rest of the family; and then there’s Hannah, a teenage girl on the verge of womanhood about to be parted from the mother she adores. 

But by drawing on the wisdom in Barbara’s letters, the girls might just find a way to cope with their loss. And in coming to terms with their bereavement, can they also set themselves free to enjoy their lives with all the passion and love each deserves?

This heartfelt novel by bestselling author Elizabeth Noble celebrates family, friends . . . and the glorious, endless possibilities of life.

My Daughters, My Loves

My Daughters, My Loves

Sound good?  For a chance to win a copy of Things I Want My Daughters to Know, leave a comment by Saturday, February 21st, telling me something that YOU’D like your daughter (or future daughter, or niece, or random young girl) to know.

As for me, there are a million things I want my girls to know, not the least of which is how to behave themselves!  But also how much I love them and how much being their mom has changed me forever.  Happy Valentines Day to you and yours!

Book Giveaway from Penguin: The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon

roseofsebastopol_finalMatt from Penguin Group USA is graciously offering this beautiful book, The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon, to be given away in my big fat 100K Celebration!  Isn’t that a romantical cover?  I don’t know about you but I am not above choosing a book based on the cover alone.  Come on, you know you do it too.  Leave a comment by Saturday, February 21st,  for a chance to win this lovely book (US and Canada residents only).  It’s coming out in hardcover March 5th but is available for pre-orders now.

Here is the product description from  The first person who can correctly guess why I got a big chuckle out of it gets 5 EXTRA CHANCES TO WIN.

The #1 UK bestseller comes to America— a sweeping historical novel about love, war, betrayal, and discovery.

In 1854, beautiful, adventurous Rosa Barr travels to the Crimean battlefield with Florence Nightingale’s nursing corps. A headstrong idealist, longing to break out of the rigid confines of life as a young lady, Rosa is determined to make a difference in the world.

For Mariella Lingwood, Rosa’s cousin, the war is contained within the pages of her scrapbook, in her London sewing circle, and in the letters she receives from her fiancé, Henry—a celebrated surgeon who has also volunteered to work within the shadow of the guns. When Henry falls ill and is sent to recuperate in Italy, Mariella impulsively decides she must go to him. But upon her arrival at his lodgings, she makes a heartbreaking discovery: Rosa has disappeared without a trace. Following the trail of her elusive cousin, Mariella’s epic journey takes her from the domestic restraint of Victorian London to the ravaged landscape of the Crimea and the tragic city of Sebastopol, where she encounters Rosa’s dashing stepbrother, a reckless cavalry officer whose complex past —and future—is inextricably bound up with her own. As Mariella’s quest leads her deeper into the dark heart of the conflict, her ordered world begins to crumble and she finds she has much to learn about secrecy, faithfulness, and love. 


100K Celebration Giveaway from Random House!

Not wanting to miss out on the party, Rochelle at Random House has jumped in and offered some fabulous titles to my readers! I’m so excited!

Ok, Ok.. lemme see… yep, Rochelle said 5 (five) FIVE!! copies of each title- WOW! Ok, ok. Let’s do this- we will pick Two Grand Prize winners who will receive all 3 titles! And then a whole bunch of other winners (9? Is that right??!!) who will get one title each!  ARE WE HAVING FUN YET??????

51luakxjkrl_sl500_aa240_ Welcome to the Departure Lounge: Adventures in Mothering Mother by Meg Federico (Just released in hardcover this week!)

About the book:
The adventure begins when Meg’s mother, Addie, vacationing in Florida, takes a spill. At the hospital, Addie bolts upright on her gurney and yells “I demand an autopsy!” before passing out cold.

“One minute, she is unconscious, the next, she’s nuts,” observes Meg Federico in this hilarious and poignant memoir of taking care of eighty-year-old Addie and her relatively new (and equally old) husband, Walter, in their not-so-golden years.

With a fresh voice and a keen eye for the absurd, Meg Federico writes a story that will resonate with the generation now caring for their parents. Welcome to the Departure Lounge is a moving and madcap chronicle of a family–their moments of joy, the memories they’d rather forget, and the just plain loopiness of their situation. “How’s life at the Departure Lounge?” Meg’s brother asks. Meg doesn’t know where to start. “Let’s just say the drinks are outrageous, and they never run out of nuts.”

41mgmxucf6l_sl500_aa240_ American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld (Just released in paperback this week!)

About the book:
A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown, she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privilege. And when her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with–and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona. As her husband’s presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.

The author’s website is HERE.

3 Gardens of Water by Alan Drew (Just released in paperback this week!)

About the book:
Gardens of Water is an enthralling story of two families, and two faiths, in Turkey at the time of the cataclysm of 1999. It tells of Sinan, whose daughter, Irem, dreams of escaping the confines of her family and the duties of a devout Muslim woman. She sees in Dylan, an American boy and her upstairs neighbor, the enticing promise of another life. But then a massive earthquake forces Sinan and his family to live as refugees in their own country and leads to a dangerous intimacy with their American neighbors, as Irem and Dylan fall in love. When Sinan finds himself entangled in a series of increasingly dangerous decisions, he will be pushed toward a final betrayal that will change everyone’s lives forever. Powerful and beautifully written, Alan Drew’s Gardens of Water marks the debut of a brilliant new American writer.

Check out the author’s website HERE

This 100K Party is in full swing now!!  Leave a comment by Thursday, February 19th, for a chance to win one, or possibly all three, of these great Random House titles!  Blog about it and come back with the link, and you’ll get 3 extra chances!  (So sorry, international peeps, this is only open to residents of the US and Canada).

<———————-More stuff to win over there.. go see..

Matrimony Giveaway

cover150x229Matrimony by Josh Henkin is a much read, reviewed, and revered book around the blogosphere. Josh is a great guy and an author that really understands and appreciates the time and effort we book bloggers put into our blogs and our reviews. He is so supportive of bloggers and has done a great job of marketing his book online. He is generous with his time, offering author chats (by phone and in person) to book clubs all over the country. He loooooves getting feedback on his book and sitting in on discussions!

Josh wrote a wonderful guest post for me last year about book clubs that really struck a nerve, judging from the dozens of comments and incoming links to that post. Josh encourages reading groups to think outside the box and choose titles that are a little different. He noticed that book clubs were making selections from the same 10 or 12 titles and missing out on some really interesting stuff by sticking to the tried and true. Josh, I want to thank you for that guest post, and for always providing a link to this blog whenever you refer to it.. whether that is with Shelf Awareness, Book Club Girl, Reading Group Guides, or various other interviews you’ve done. I really appreciate that! For more on Josh’s thoughts on book clubs, check out this article titled Author, Your Group is Calling, from The Philadelphia Enquirer.

So.. Matrimony. Have you read it? It’s about 2 couples: Julian and Mia, and Carter and Pilar. It’s about love and life and birth and death and everything in between. It was a 2007 New York Times Notable Book. A Book Sense Highlight Pick of the Year. A Borders Original Voices Selection. It’s quite the celebrated book!

Josh is offering an inscribed, paperback copy of his book to one lucky commenter! Just leave a comment by Thursday, February 19th. And since we’re just a couple days away from Valentine’s Day, I’d like you to finish this sentence: “Love is … “

Contest Deadline Extended 24 Hours!

Last chance to win! The deadline for my July giveaways has been extended until midnight tonight, July 16th.

Karen Harrington, author of JANEOLOGY, had a birthday yesterday, July 15th (Happy Birthday, Karen!), and in celebration of her big day she generously offered to give away an additional copy of her book! So we will have TWO lucky winners of JANEOLOGY!  Comment HERE by midnight to get in on the fun.

And I thought it would be a good idea to extend my Hatchette Book Group giveaway as well, since it’s been buried several posts down during my vacation, so click HERE by midnight tonight for a chance to win TWO beach reads by Elin Hilderbrand, A Summer Affair and Barefoot!  Click on the Hatchette link for other giveaways of their books.

Good luck! I will be posting about a new contest in a few days, so stay tuned.

Guest Post and Giveaway: Elin Hilderbrand talks about A Summer Affair

The awesome and generous Hatchette Book Group has joined up with Books on the Brain to give away TWO beautiful beach books by Elin Hilderbrand!  One lucky winner will receive A Summer Affair, her latest, and Barefoot, which was just released in paperback this month.  All you need to do is leave a comment here by July 15th for a chance to win.  If you blog about the contest and link back here, you’ll get an extra chance!

In this guest post, Elin Hilderbrand talks about her new book, A Summer Affair, which is being published TODAY!! Congratulations, Elin!   

A Summer Affair is a novel about a woman named Claire Danner Crispin, the mother of four children who has an artistic career and who, because of some old guilt and her inability to say no, agrees to chair a huge summer benefit concert for a local Nantucket charity…and as she does so, her life slowly falls apart. 

Where did I come up with such an idea, you ask???  I myself (with only three children and an artistic career) sit on the Board of Directors of no less than three Nantucket non-profits.  I have chaired 5 major summer events in the past 5 years; much of the fodder for this novel came from my own experience…in meetings, and more meetings, and more meetings.  However, meetings alone do not make up a novel.  The drama that unfolds as various personalities collide over this band or that caterer does not a best seller make.  And so although Elin Hilderbrand the Board Member/Event Co-Chair donated the seed of the idea for the book, Elin Hildebrand the author of six previous novels about love and betrayal and friendship between women and sex and regret and healing took over. 

A Summer Affair is a novel about all of these things, but primarily it is about one woman, our darling Claire, and her struggle to balance what is best for everyone else with what is best for herself.  It is about veering off the path and then correcting oneself.  It is about pursuing one’s forbidden fantasy and then taking comfort in the security of home and family.  It is about food and drink, rock and roll, work and play.  It is about me, yes, and it is about all of us.

Blogger Bio: Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

Guest Post and Giveaway: Phyllis Zimbler Miller, author of Mrs. Lieutenant

Author Phyllis Zimbler Miller talks about her book, Mrs. Lieutenant, and how she’s had to become proficient at online marketing and html! Please leave a comment here by June 30th for a chance to win a copy of Mrs. Lieutenant. Oh, and that is the real Mrs. Lieutenant at a Coronation Ball in 1967. What a lovely up-do!

I’m reading Stephanie Chandler’s new book “The Author’s Guide to Building an Online Platform” with the subtitle “Leveraging the Internet to Sell More Books.” It’s one of several such books I’ve read as well as numerous teleseminars I’ve listened to along with attending John Kremer’s two-day marketing event 10 Million Eyeballs.

All the advice is excellent – and if I could replicate into 4 to 6 copies of myself, I’d be able to follow all this terrific advice in the next, say, two to three years.

And yet the truth remains that an author has to self-promote or get completely overlooked. In 1992 when the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION that I co-wrote with Rabbi Karen L. Fox came out, she and I had to do all our own marketing. At least now, thanks to the internet, this is easier to do – as well as harder because there are many more opportunities to chase.

Just the “simple” question of my blog for MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL: How do I attract people to the blog? Where else can I post the blog? Is what I’m writing on the blog of any interest to anyone else? And, oh, could I somehow magically learn html so I could add fancy “things” to my blog?

Yet I do believe that authors self-promoting through blogs is very important. Only perhaps very important on other people’s blogs – blogs that have been around longer and have a loyal following. In fact, I’m on a virtual book tour this month through Pump Up Your Book Promotion – and I’m really enjoying writing guest posts and being introduced to some great blogs.

In addition, I’m co-sponsoring “Tell-Your-Own-Story,” a contest for military spouses in connection with season 2 of Lifetime Channel’s ARMY WIVES television series. The contest is HERE, and Lifetime is contributing prizes.

MRS. LIEUTENANT is told from the point of view of four women (read a chapter from each HERE. These women in the spring of 1970 come together because their husbands report for Armor Officers Basic at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, during the Vietnam War.

I wrote the novel because of the experiences I had as a new army officer’s wife – I wanted to share this specific time in women’s social history. And, yet, I do think the novel has much relevance for today, especially as the U.S. heads into a Presidential campaign in which race will undoubtedly be an issue as well as the current unpopular war.

I’m hoping book clubs will discuss MRS. LIEUTENANT, and for that reason I wrote book group discussion questions and provided these as a download off the home page of my website. (SPOILER ALERT: Skip question 7 until you’ve read the book.)

Recently on a podcast interview I was asked what I hope to achieve with my book. The answer: besides entertainment and a window into a past era, the opportunity for people to consider their own prejudices from the safety of a book’s pages.

A former Midwesterner and “Mrs. Lieutenant,” Phyllis Zimbler Miller lives in Los Angeles with her husband. She got a B.A. in Journalism from Michigan State University and an M.B.A. in Finance from The Wharton School. She’s the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION and, besides working on the sequel to MRS LIEUTENANT, she currently writes three blogs:, the teen and young people advice blog, and her newest blog She’s on an intense self-directed course to learn internet marketing, and her biggest addiction is clicking the “buy now” for books she sees on Amazon.

Note from Lisa, Books on the Brain: I haven’t read this book yet, but check out the reviews at Fizzy Thoughts and Planet Books.

Jill Smolinski, Author Interview and Book Giveaway

Tonight our book club had the privilege of speaking to Jill Smolinski, author of The Next Thing On My List, reviewed HERE. Jill was warm and funny, and she patiently answered all of our questions.  We had a great time talking with her!  And is it just me, or does she look a lot like Courtney Thorne Smith?  Anyway, she generously offered to send a book to be given away here at Books on the Brain (BOTB) and agreed to answer a few questions about her best-selling book, which just recently came out in paperback.

BOTB:  Where did the idea for The Next Thing on My List come from? 

JS:  I knew I wanted to write about a woman doing a “life list” ever since I started one of my own before my 40th birthday.  I set out to write a story about a woman who was doing a list that she herself had come up with, but as June developed as a character, I knew she’d never really do a list of her own.  She was too passive about life.  It would take something really big to force her out of her rut, which is how the idea of her trying to complete someone else’s list came about.

BOTB: Were any of the characters or events based on real people or situations?

JS:  June’s job at the rideshare agency is based on a job I used to do – running carpool programs in Los Angeles.  A few of the characters started out very loosely based on people I know, but as I progressed, they took on personalities of their own.  Strangely enough, sometimes they’d do or say things that surprised me!

BOTB: You started your own Life List on your blog, with a twist-trying something new each day for a year. What was your experience with the list?  Did it change your outlook on life? 

JS:  It was harder than I expected to come up with something new to do every day – but that’s part of what made it such an incredible experience.  I did little things (like trying new foods or treating myself to a bubble bath) and things that scared me (holding a snake) and things I’ve always meant to get around to doing (get my ears pierced).  Like a lot of people, I have a tendency to put off things I really want to do because of all the things I “have” to do – this made me put a priority on getting more out of everyday life.

BOTB: Are you a list maker in every day life (to-do lists)?  How important is it, do you think, to write down your goals, big and small?   To set deadlines for your goals, the way Marissa did?  To try new things? 

JS:  I’m a big believer in writing down goals.  It takes something from being a mere idea and makes it concrete.  I’ve talked to so many people who’ve done life lists since my book came out, and I’ve learned that it’s the ones who’ve put their dreams in writing who tend to be actually making them happen.

BOTB:  I read that TNTOML was picked up by NewLine to be adapted to film.  Congratulations!  How did you feel when you got the news?  Can you tell us anything about when the movie might be coming out?    

JS:  I couldn’t be more thrilled about the movie – especially since it’s being produced by Wendy Finerman, who did Devil Wears Prada.  It’s in the screenwriting phase now so it’s still in the very early stages.

BOTB: Are you a member of a book club?  

JS:  Yes, for 18 years now!   It’s great because when you’ve finished reading a really good book, you’re dying to talk about it, so this gives me a chance to do that.  I also often call in to book clubs that have read my novels – I love talking to readers & also learning how other book clubs do things.

BOTB:  What is the message you’d like readers to take away from The Next Thing on My List?

JS:  At the risk of sounding corny – live life to the fullest every day.  Amazing things can happen.

**For a chance to win a copy of The Next Thing On My List, leave a comment on this post by May 15th!**

Book Giveaway at Hey, Lady!

The lovely Trish at Hey, Lady! is doing a book giveaway on her blog that you must go check out.  There is a great story behind the book and how it finally got published, and Trish has links posted to excerpts and the author’s website. Leave a comment on Trish’s blog by Friday, March 21 to win Did I Expect Angels? by Kathryn Maughan.  Trish enjoyed this book so much that she can’t bear to part with her copy of the book, so she went out and bought two more copies from to support the author and give away to a lucky commenter.  Hope it’s me, but if not, I’ll be picking this one up at the book store.