Tag Archives: Zondervan

Guest Post: The Guest Book and a Novel Giveaway!

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Whenever I discover a guest book in a beach house or mountain cabin, I’m intrigued by the entries on every page. So when I found a novel titled The Guest Book at the Zondervan booth at BlogHer, I grabbed it. I’m delighted to present this post by the book’s author, Marybeth Whalen:

I received a letter in response to my first novel, The Mailbox, a story about a mysterious mailbox on the coast of North Carolina that united two people over time and against the odds.

The reader wanted to tell me how much the book meant to her, and to share that reading the story brought back memories of her girlhood days spent at her grandmother’s lake house.

She wrote that her grandmother had a guest book in the lake house and that it was customary for the family members who vacationed there to leave a message about what they’d done and enjoyed in their time there, connecting the family members to each other via this simple little book.

She shared that when she was very little—too small to write words, her father had encouraged her to draw a picture instead, reminding her that pictures could communicate as much as words.

Instantly an image filled my head—the little blonde girl bent intently over the guest book, endeavoring to make her drawing the best, to say all that she could about a wonderful vacation in this one drawing. But the little girl in my head wasn’t alone. She had this loving father standing in the background, watching proudly as she drew. In that moment, The Guest Book was born.

The other elements—Macy’s prayer, the three men showing up in answer, the final scene, her daughter and mom and brother—all emerged slowly, as I waited patiently for them to.

I love this quote from author Andre Dubus about letting the elements emerge: “There’s a profound difference between making something up and imagining it. Imagining it instead is falling into your psyche, your imagination, and finding something that’s already there that wants to come out—instead of you pushing it into the world.”

I am so happy that reader wrote me and shared her story, because her story morphed into Macy’s story. A story I was surprised by, yet so happy to find.

Marybeth Whalen and her husband Curt have been married for 20 years and are the parents of six children, ranging in age from college to kindergarten. (See the Christmas photo below.) They live outside Charlotte NC. Marybeth is the author of The Mailbox and She Makes It Look Easy.

Her newest novel, The Guest Book, brings readers back to Sunset Beach NC and was released in the summer of 2012. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She is always at work on her next novel. You can find her at www.marybethwhalen.com

Giveaway: To win a copy of The Guest Book, please enter a comment saying you’d like to win by August 28 at noon, E.S.T. Winner will be chosen at random. Thanks!

BlogHer Encore: It’s Mostly a Girl Thing!

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My favorite part of BlogHer is the exhibits. Companies show off their stuff, especially what’s new and groovy. Since most of the attendees are women, there’s a focus on all things womansy, from nail care  and makeup to high tech to baby stuff to nutrition and health to fashion to household products.

I was pleased to pick up a novel by Marybeth Whalen in the Zondervan booth. The book’s cover tells me the story begins with a guest book in a Carolina beach house. I love to study the guest books left in beach and mountain rentals and country inns. Should be a fun read!

I’m a button collector, so I was pleased to find some new gems for my button box:

Now that I’m going to be a grandma, baby stuff has popped back into my world.  Hooray!

I picked up this all natural teething gel in case Baby Yet To Know His Name Younger-Monson needs it in about six months. (Is that when they get teeth? Funny what you forget.)

And maybe in a year or so, I can bring him presents in this shiny orange Lorax bag.

But what really caught my eye was this display:

Hologic, a woman’s health company, offers NovaSure Endometrial Ablation (EA).  This procedure is designed for women who suffer from “heavy periods due to benign causes who are finished childbearing.”

This condition plagues many perimenopausal women and can keep a girl housebound. I spoke with the representative about a guest post for Friend for the Ride that explains the procedure. One promised!

Hologic also offers 3D mammography, and I hope to have them do a post on this new type of mammogram, too.

And I sure do like the t-shirt they gave me. That’s about the color I’d like my mother of the bride dress to be. I wonder what Laura would do if I wore it to the wedding? Maybe I could have a skirt stitched on. After all, weddings are a really girl thing!

I’m back to the conference hotel for a comedy show put on by Poise. They’re introducing a line of menopause products. (That guest post and giveway are already in the works.)

I’ll let you know just how funny menopause sounds at the Hilton in the Big Apple tonight. After the show, I’m headed back down to Time Square to marvel at the people and the lights.

Thanks again to Estroven for sending me and to all of you for your good wishes!