Thursday, June 4, 2009

Guest Blogger: Mary Carter & Giveaway

Yesterday, I reviewed a very entertaining book called SUNNYSIDE BLUES. I am so excited that the author Mary Carter agreed to write a guest post for me; and I love that she the "inspiration" behind the post was based on something I said in my review! Talk about a customized guest post!

Where Were You When You Read. . . .

First I’d like to thank Julie of Booking Mama, for reading and reviewing my novel, and giving me the opportunity to participate in this guest blog.

When Julie mentioned she read my novel, Sunnyside Blues, on the train on her way to BEA, it made me think about some of the books I’ve read in my lifetime, and the places where I’ve read them.

And although a good book is meant to take you away, allow you to escape into another world, certain books are intrinsically linked in my memory with a time and a place all my own.

I will always think of my Aunt Bessie’s house in Steubenville Ohio, when I think of Jack Finney’s, “Time and Again”. Besides pulling the book from her shelf, I read it at her kitchen table, close to the jar of sugar cookies, and the refrigerator stocked with coke. (We had neither at my home). And although it didn’t take long for the house to fall away around me as I read, and be replaced with New York City in the 1800’s, when I think back on the book, I, like the character in the story, travel back in time, not only to New York City in the 1800’s, but to Aunt Bessie’s, where her house, those sugar cookies, and the view out her kitchen window linger like a welcoming mist.

I read Ayn Rand’s, “The Fountainhead”, while house sitting in upstate New York. It was an ideal setting to read a good book, a large log cabin surrounded by twenty-odd private acres. I sat near a large pond, book in hand. It was the same week I ordered some kind of miracle lose-weight-by-breathing book, the same week I finally dared to take off all my clothes and walk around in the nude, because there were no humans around, and from what I could tell the dogs did not care. (The losing weight while breathing was a bust by the way). But I will forever associate my introduction to Howard Roarke and his unwavering ideals with that pond, that house, those woods. I was simultaneously at the quarry where Dominique is arrested by the sight of him, and on the warm grass near the pond, with the dogs resting comfortably a few feet away. And I can’t help but wonder if I would have felt injected with the same degree of passion for the book, had I read it, say, while at the dentist, gyno, or in line at the DMV. I think not. I think a Dean Koontz or Stephen King novel is best for the dentist and the DMV. At the gyno, however, you might want to lighten things up with, “Women Who Love too Much and the Men Who Send Them Running for an Unscheduled Visit to the Gynecologist”--

But, I digress. . .

I like to read suspense, thrillers, or chick-lit in airports and on the plane. And for some reason I just can’t do it without a bag of Skittles or Reese’s Pieces, the calories do not count if you buy them at the airport, in a bookstore.

Sometimes, you can love a book so much, you purposefully incorporate it into your life. When I was a kid I read a book about a mailbox a little boy kept in a tree that would somehow fill with magical letters. So I took an old mailbox—a clunky silver thing with a red flag—and I stuck it up in a tree in my backyard. The next day there was a letter in it. Of course I recognized my mother’s handwriting, but I was thrilled (and probably expected) her to indulge my effort to infuse the life of the story with my life.

I asked my sister, who is a screen and television writer, and fellow avid reader, if certain books she read were forever linked to certain places in her mind. She said she read Nancy Drew in the summer time in our basement (oh we loved Nancy, yellow hard-back books still give me a thrill to this day), because she had allergies, and somehow the cool basement lessened their severity. She said she brought a folding chair down there and mom would bring her lemonade. I don’t remember this, where was I? Probably sticking a mailbox up a tree. . .

She went on to say she read “Eat, Pray, Love”, in Barbados, and “To Kill A Mockingbird” in a hammock in France. After that I just couldn’t listen to her anymore—totally heard nothing but “France” and “Barbados”-- she should have stopped with the basement.

I read “Anna Karenina”, and “Tess of the d’Ubervilles”, in a van on the road when I was a traveling actress, perhaps their arduous journeys made me feel less panicked about my own arduous journey-- nine months stuck in a van with three other actors.

I’m always nosing into what other people are reading too. On the 7 train one night, on my way back to Queens, there were three men sitting across from me, reading, in order: “In Cold Blood”, “How I Play Golf” (Tiger Woods), and “Help A Bear is Eating Me”. I don’t know if any of them will think fondly of the 7 train when they look back on the book, (or a woman staring intently at them from across the way), but I will now think of them whenever I see these books. We can’t help it, our brains are built to make connections, to take things in, to make things personal.

Books, above all else, are personal.

And unlike my sister, who’s come a long way from a folding chair in the basement, you can take a good book anywhere, and when you’re done, you might just find you’ve left a little piece of yourself in there as well.

If you’re able to pick up a copy of “Sunnyside Blues”, (or any other good book), I wish you happy reading in happy places. I’d love to hear your book-place stories, feel free to contact me, and as Julie mentioned there will be a give-away of “Sunnyside Blues” on this site, as well as a contest on my website.

Summer is coming, ripe with opportunities for reading, be it on a folding chair in the basement, or on a beach in Barbados, your next adventure awaits, maybe even in a mailbox, up a tree near you.

Mary Carter
Marycarterbooks.com

I think you can see from this guest post that Ms. Carter is a great writer with a wonderful sense of humor! If you'd like to win your very own copy of SUNNYSIDE BLUES, then you are in the right place. Here are the ways that you can get up to three entries into this giveaway:

1) Leave a comment with your e-mail address telling me the name of a book and the place you remember reading it.

2) Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post.

3) Tweet about this giveaway with a link back to this post.

This giveaway is open until June 17th at 11:59 p.m. EST, and I will notify the winner the following day. Only those of you with U.S. or Canada mailing addresses are eligible -- no p.o. boxes please. Good Luck!

54 comments:

Patricia said...

I always remember the books which made me laugh, notably the Gerald Durrell books. When I was young, I used to take the bus to work so I had time to read. I remember laughing out loud so much that teas were rolling down my face as I read "My Family and Other Animals."

Beth F said...

I always like to see what other people are reading on trains and planes -- it's a kind of harmless spying.

I definitely read lighter books on vacation than I normally read -- who wants to think when sitting on the beach?

Sometimes someone will mention a title, and it transports me back to a specific setting or time in my life. The emotional grip some books have on us is amazing.

Ashley said...

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. That's been my travel companion more than once. On a plane one year, the train the next, and the following year in the car for a road trip.

nfmgirl said...

I just remember reading at home or at the beach. I get sick if I read in the car or even on a plane, so I don't do too much of that. The book that stands out in my mind is The Stand. I've read that over and over.

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Brittany said...

I'll never forget going on vacation with my family my junior year of high school. I was reading The Fountainhead and didn't want to put the book down when everyone else was ready to turn the hotel room lights off.

So I went into the bathroom, perched on the (closed) toilet, and read most of the night. The crazy things we do for love of reading! :)

Pam said...

I remember reading "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" while lying on my stomache at the beach. I read the entire book in one afternoon and remember the agony I was in later that night from the sunburn I ended up with. I was so wrapped up in Hogwart's that I completely forgot to change positions and reapply sunscreen!

melacan at hotmail dot com

Bridget said...

Just posted on Win A Book. No need to enter me.

Cheryl said...

"Confessions of a Shopaholic" ... it totally got me through my flights to my Grannie's funeral!!!

Natalie said...

I remember reading "My Sister's Keeper" in my college dorm...sobbing hysterically and totally freaking my roommate out :)

(natalie.mclaury@gmail.com)

bermudaonion said...

I'm so glad to know that the calories from candy bought in bookstores and airports don't count! I look at what people are reading when I travel too. The Glass Castle will always be tied to the beach in my mind and The Soloist to New York! milou2ster(at)gmail.com

WendyK said...

I read Go ask Alice on lounge chair covered in my hot pink and bold hippie flowered sleeping bag in my room when I was 13. Before that I had read Are you there God its me Margret. These are are just a few of the books I have read that I have pasted on to others in my life.

jkinsey@comcast.net

Megan said...

My most recent strong memory of where I was when reading is when I was reading Heartsick by Chelsea Cain (a Portland, OR author - where I live)and my husband needed to go into the hospital for a heart condition. Once we got him into his room and I looked at the book I had brought with me (obviously without thinking it through), I was heartsick. Needless to say, the next day when I returned I had a different book with me - a much better choice - The Island by Victoria Hislop

ANovelMenagerie said...

Yo, Mama! It's cool giving away this book with you!

Hope you are having a good week!

Sher

Melanie said...

Several years ago my husband I drove from NC to my parents in SD. We listened to Cider House Rules by John Irving. Both of us remember that book and trip fondly.

scottsgal said...

Dakota Home, laying on a lounge chair on our balcony on a cruise ship - loved the smell of the salt water and the world slipping by!

msboatgal at aol.com

Kitten22 said...

This looks great! Please enter me!

I remember reading Silence of the Lambs during study halls of my freshman year of high school. Obviously I got no homework done!

BookCrossingKitten22[at]gmail[dot]com

Kitten22 said...

I tweeted about this!

http://twitter.com/BookingKitten22

BookCrossingKitten22[at]gmail[dot]com

Annie said...

I read "Michelle Remembers", which is a very serious read in my bed when I was 15! (some nights I didn't really want to go to sleep as I would dream about the book)

I later was a patient of the dr that wrote that book!


Thanks


nancyrobster@gmail.com

Annie said...

Tweeted


http://twitter.com/greeeneyedwhwom/status/2033491526


Thanks



nancyrobster@gmail.com

bridget3420 said...

I read For A Few Demons More by Kim Harrison while on a plane to DC.

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

bridget3420 said...

Linked on my sidebar

http://bridget3420.blogspot.com

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

bridget3420 said...

Tweet

http://twitter.com/bridget3420/status/2033654188

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

chey said...

Hi,
I remember reading The Firm in my room at University. I started reading and read until I finished the book at 4am.

holdenj said...

I read Moby Dick on the beach in Acapulco. (at least it wasn't Jaws).

Loved the interview with Carter, she sounds like a fun person and the book sounds great too.

Thanks
JHolden955 (at) gmail (dot) com

Dawn M. said...

Whenever I read Harlequins it takes me back to my grandmother's house. I would spend the day reading whenever I was there. She always sent a sack of them home with me too. :0)

Thanks!
librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Stacie said...

Anytime I read the Little House series to my kids, I am taken back to my parents house and remembering laying in my bed reading the books. Also, I remember laying out in the summer and reading Judy Blume's books. Staciele(at)netins(dot)net

olympianlady said...

I read the paperback edition of 'Twilight' on the plane to visit my grandma in Reno. Then, I read the paperback of 'New Moon' on the way home. It's a long trip from Alaska.

Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks!

tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

catsnbooks12 said...

I recall spending part of a summer when I was a teenager reading Stephen King's books on the back patio in a lawn chair. I think I read Carrie, The Stand, The Shining,The Dead Zone,The Tommyknockers, The Talisman, Cujo and Salem's Lot. Read them one right after the other.

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

kelly said...

I read Shantaram -- partially set in Australia, when I was in Australia. I love to do that when I travel.

Great post, and FYI, Julie, great BEA coverage (especially since I couldn't go!)

gaby317 said...

I was reading Enigma of Arrival on the train from Paris to Switzerland and felt sick on the train. I accidentally left the book on the train...

gaby317nyc@gmail.com

Cheryl S. said...

I remember starting "The DaVinci Code" on a lounge by the pool in the Cayman Islands. I finished it shortly after I got home.

megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

Jo-Jo said...

The books that come to mind for me both have to do with my sister when I was visiting her in hospitals. The first one was a couple of years ago in the hospital, it was Have You Found Her by Janice Erlbaum. The other one is Shanghai Girls by Lisa See...I was reading this the end of March at the Hospice Center with her.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Amber said...

I remember reading Made in the USA on a reallllly long CTA ride in Chicago - there were delays galore!

Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

MonieG said...

I remember reading I'll Love You Always at our Mother's Day celebration 5 years ago. My mom gave it to me and I started bawling like a baby.

nfmgirl said...

I blogged it:

http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2009/06/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-06-06-09.html

Carlene said...

Well a couple of weeks ago we went to the lake for the day and I read Dog On In by Spencer Quinn. It was a fun, lite read. Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Carlene
Iluvreading(at)verizon.net

Gwendolyn B. said...

I read GONE WITH THE WIND the summer I turned 12 - mostly lying on my belly in my own backyard!
Thanks for a chance to win a copy of SUNNYSIDE BLUES.
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Marie said...

Most recently I remember rereading the entire Harry Potter series while stuck in the hospital for a month earlier this year -- it made the time go a little bit faster!

marielay@gmail.com

Carrie K. said...

I remember two summers ago devouring Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows poolside while my kids swam. The smell of chlorine will always be associated with that book in my memory!

I also blogged about your giveaway:

http://booksandmovies.colvilleblogger.com/2009/06/06/bookish-links-for-saturday-june-6-2009/

nnjmom at yahoo dot com

etirv said...

Love historical romances, read one last night in my living room: The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt!
Thanks, I subscribe!
delilah0180 AT yahoo DOT com

A Reader said...

I read alot of my books on a commuter bus. The last one I finished on the bus was The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.

Kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

A Reader said...

Posted on my blog under Current Giveaways.
http://metroreader.blogspot.com/

Jo-Jo said...

I blogged about your contest here.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Julie said...

I vividly remember reading The Notebook on a flight to Florida. I had bone crushing motion sickness and could not relive the pressure in my head to save my life...I think it was the only thing that kept me from crying the whole way!

Great contest,
Cheers,
julie.sherritt[at]gmail.com

Allison said...

I will never forget reading Jennifer Lancaster's Bitter in Black on the subway and laughing out loud. People kept looking at me.

allygotts567[at]hotmail[dot]com

Gwendolyn B. said...

Here's my Tweet: http://twitter.com/ASeaOfBooks/status/2132604786

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Patti said...

Well I usually read books at home but on vacation in Arizona I had to pick up my first Tony Hillerman book - Skinwalkers.


budletsmom(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sue W. said...

I don't often do this but I took my party boat out to the middle of our lake one day and just let it drift while I read Stuart Woods book Under the Lake. Felt that was really appropriate!!
roylsue(at)telpage(dot)net

Sue W. said...

I posted this giveaway on my blog at:

http://gourdcrafter.blogspot.com/

roylsue(at)telpage(dot)net

Sue W. said...

I'm a subscriber by e-mail.
roylsue(at)telpage(dot)net

Sue W. said...

I twittered this giveaway. My tweet is (kona15hilo)
roylsue(at)telpage(dot)net

Kerri said...

I read Swimsuit (and savored the beach scenes) by James Patterson last week tucked away in my bed because it was snowing outside.

Kerri said...

Oops:

ravndahl at hotmail dot com

Patricia said...

Snowing outside! Where do you live? I just finished the Anita Desai book which took me about a month because of my commuting schedule. Now comes the task of selecting a new one to read. Think that I'll just lay a stack of books on the floor and toss a coin.