All Posts Tagged With: "relationships"

The Truth About You, Marcus Buckingham ~ Win A FREE Copy


RE-Post (if that’s a word)

Unbelievably, three out of five chosen winners have not claimed their copy of The Truth About You
So, I’m opening the contest back up to three new lucky winners 

To Enter to WIN, you MUST:

  • Subscribe to my e-newsletter (this is the way I get in touch with you to let you know who won) AND

  • Leave a comment below and / or

  • Call 206-309-7318 and leave a voice mail message I can play on-air


Check out Susan Bratton’s (Personal Life Media) DishyMix interview with Marcus and his presentations on YouTube. He’s a phenomenal speaker and offers wonderful guidance. MarcusHe’s also interviewed with Oprah, so check him out. Click HERE for Marcus’s website.

                            ~ GOOD LUCK ~

How Far is the Ocean from Here, Amy Shearn

Listen Now

oceanI’ve had this interview in my back pocket for awhile. I took to heart an expert podcaster’s advice to have at least 10 shows in the hopper, so as to be prepared and it sort of backfired. I think I do best living life a bit more on the edge. So…my apologies on the delay to Amy. I think you’ll agree, it’s worth the wait ~ She’s a pleasure. Listen in as we talk about her life, her book, and her blogs.

Afterwards, don’t forget to comment below and/or call 206-309-7318 and leave a voice mail message to be entered to win a FREE copy of HOW FAR IS THE OCEAN FROM HERE. You’ll need to subscribe to my e-newsletter to make it quick and easy for me to announce the winner! Please leave me a review on iTunes and don’t forget to subscribe to Words To Mouth to get it delivered to your computer for free, so you can listen wherever and whenever you’d like. “Thanks” as always to Natalie Brown for You Gotta Believe from the Podsafe Music Network. About HOW FAR IS THE OCEAN FROM HERE: Susannah Prue is a young, unmarried surrogate mother who, in the days before her delivery date, panics. Jumping into her car, she flees her Chicago home and a few days later pulls up to a bleak motel in the Southwest—the Thunder Lodge. There, she encounters misfits, much like herself, who also carry secrets: the motel’s terse proprietors, their mentally disabled son, and a woman transporting her niece to the father she’s never met. But when the parents of Susannah’s baby discover her whereabouts, she can no longer ignore the profound power she holds over their lives. Beautifully written, How Far Is the Ocean from Here explores the ways in which people care for one another and the ways in which they fail, the kinds of families we create when we have no one else to turn to, and the strangeness and unpredictability of love.

Book Excerpt: Chapter One, “Otherhood”

Along the highway in that stretch of desert, some-where between West Texas and East New Mexico, there was nothing and nothing and nothing and then the Thunder Lodge. But what a nothing! There the horizon had a weight she hadn’t known a horizon could have; a plain unvaried by cactus or tree, unstirred by lizard or coyote, undimpled by even a shadow, only here and there the slightest swell of hills. A house, a diner, a roadside attraction—an abandoned gas station with leaking, ancient snouts; a gigantic plaster dinosaur; a man in a gorilla suit advertising discounted tires—any distraction would have inspired as raucous a land ho as has ever been heard. But there was nothing, and still she moved onward, and still the desert lay insensible to any human who entered it.

That is to say, the highway was so forgotten in those stretches that it was difficult to believe it had ever been built. Out walking on its dusty shoulder, her hands pressed to her belly as if it might detach in the heat, sweat trickling between her shoulder blades, Susannah tried to imagine the men who had done such a thing, these ghostly men who’d installed the devolving asphalt: bending their backs in the sunlight, their lungs struggling in the grit of reddish dirt, the hides of their legs and hands torn from arguing with the sinewy tangles that accounted for vegetation. On the whole she spent entirely too much time daydreaming—it was a weakness, she knew— picturing what it was like to be somebody else, trying on different versions of herself like suits of skin. Now she was entirely out of context, a paper doll slapped onto an unfamiliar backdrop, just any pregnant girl standing on the side of the highway twisting her spine, giving the overheated car a minute to tick time-bombishly, a chance to stop steaming from the hood. (For more, go to the full excerpt on Amy’s website

Amy’s Book Recommendations:amy shearn

  • The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton ~  “It is so wonderful. If you just want to spend a weekend at home weeping, I highly recommend it,” says Amy.
  • Amy says about her favorite author: “Virginia Woolf inspires me…at the same time making me feel like there is no point in writing anything”

Amy’s Blogs:

Amy Shearn’s Website

The Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough, The Smart Cookies and Jennifer Barrett

**Thanks to Christine for the following guest book review ~ I’m still recovering from my whirlwind Manic Mommies Escape Cruise complete with head cold, so Christine’s submission came at just the right time! 

The Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough
By: The Smart Cookies and Jennifer Barrett
Guest Book Review by Christine Olson-Mader


I was excited to read a book about successful personal finance written from the perspective of real women who didn’t have professional backgrounds in banking or investing. The Smart Cookies are easy to relate to, they are like most young women today who have careers, relationships, friendships, shopping to do, and bills to pay. Their real-life examples of being in debt, how they got there, and how they worked to get out are enlightening, informative, at times funny, and also inspiring.

M.I.L.D.E.W. (Mothers-in-Law Do EVERYTHING Wrong) Liz Bluper and Renee Plastique (audio interview)

Listen NowMildewM.I.L.D.E.W. (Mother-in-Laws Do Everything Wrong), now in its second printing, is a hysterical marriage companion book every woman should have in her back pocket–either to make herself laugh when those inevitable mother-in-law issues arise or to have at-the-ready for a girlfriend who may need a dose of M.I.L.D.E.W. perspective. Co-Authors, Liz Buper and Renee Plastique (okay, their names have been changed to protect their identity 😉 bring humor to an otherwise extremely frustrating dynamic. The acronym, M.I.L.D.E.W., is infiltrating today’s vernacular and every woman can relate–we all have a personal or “friend” story to  contribute when the mother-in-law topic is broached. Hear about some of the biggest challenges and funniest MILDEW stories, plus some great strategies to deal with MILDEWS.

Check out and earlier Words To Mouth written interview and click the gray arrow below to hear about the book from the author’s own lips.

Matters of Faith, Kristy Kiernan

Listen NowMatters_of_Faith150

 Be sure to leave a comment below or call 206-309-7318 and leave a voice message to be entered to win a FREE copy of Matters of Faith and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes! (Please excuse the funky sound quality ~ for some reason we faded in & out ~ but worth it, just the same).

Chat with Kristy

Carrie:  What inspired you to write Matters of Faith?

Kristy:  There were two inspirations for this book, the first coming as long ago as thirty years. When I was eight or nine I did a book report on a book I’d found about religions around the world. It was supposed to be two pages long, but I turned in something like fifteen pages. I realized that religion wasn’t a choice in most parts of the world, but simply a lottery of geographical and familial tradition, and a lifelong fascination was born. The second inspiration came in 2005, when a Canadian teenager was reported to have died after kissing her boyfriend, who had eaten peanut butter several hours earlier. My first thought was wondering how parents of a child with such sensitive allergies were able to ever let them leave the house and have a life, and I began researching severe food allergies. It was later discovered that the cause of death for the young woman was not an allergic reaction, but the writer’s brain had kicked into gear and I was too far involved. I put the two ideas together, and Matters of Faith was the result. Carrie:  Tell us a bit about Matters of Faith.Kristy

Kristy:  A young man’s search for faith causes tragedy in his family when he brings home a new girlfriend whose religious beliefs– including the evils of medical intervention– threaten his younger sister, who suffers from severe food allergies.

Carrie:  What is the primary message you’d like your readers to take away from this book?

Kristy:  Choice is a wonderful thing, when those choices are placed in context and guided appropriately. No matter how mature kids seem these days, they still need guidance and discussions about the big choices in life. We talk to kids about sex and drugs at such young ages, but I rarely hear about religion or faith being discussed in depth unless the family is already observant of their particular religion, and then the discussion revolves around the beliefs of that religion only. We live in a religious world, and religion has been the greatest cause of all of our world’s wars. Why aren’t we talking about it in a broader way? Matters of Faith is also about long term marriage and the hundreds of little things that can undermine it on a daily basis, and the choices (there’s that word again) men and women make to either strengthen their relationship or allow it to gradually disintegrate. And, of course, it would be incredibly gratifying if I could help people understand what families with allergic children have to go through on a daily basis just to keep their child alive.

Carrie:  Tell us about your writing process.

Kristy:  I tend to think about stories for a long time before I start them. Sometimes, as with Matters of Faith, for years. If I come up with a title I’ll usually write that down so I don’t lose it, but other than that I just let it marinate. Once I think I have enough (and don’t ask me for specifics on what “enough” is, I just know somehow), I start to make notes in a spiral notebook. As I get those initial ideas down on paper I start to devote even more time daydreaming about my story, and once the critical opening scene comes to me I sit down and begin to write.
Once that starts I write 2,000 words a day and don’t quit until I reach that goal. I write on a laptop and work anywhere in the house that makes me the most comfortable. One day it’s the bed, the next the sofa, and for my new book I’ve been out on the back patio a lot. And a lot of Diet Coke is generally involved.

Carrie: Who are your favorite authors and who influenced your writing?

Kristy:  I could go on for days listing my favorite writers, but we’ll start with: Marianne Wiggins, Tasha Alexander, Lionel Shriver, Amy MacKinnon, T. Cooper, J.D. Rhoades, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Laurie Notaro, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichi, Janet Fitch, how much room do we have? As far as influences go, I’ve always loved the old southern saga writers, Pat Conroy, Anne Rivers Siddons and the like.

Carrie:  What are you reading right now?

Kristy:  Julia Glass’s new one, I See You Everywhere, House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, and a non-fiction book on the subject of my next book, which I’m keeping private right now.

Carrie:  Can you offer a glimpse into your “real life” and share with us a bit of your personal life—Outside of writing, what’s important to you?

Kristy:  My “real life” has always revolved around reading. I have no other hobbies. Reading lets me learn about hobbies other people have, so I get to have hundreds of different hobbies but never have to pay for them! I’ve been with my husband for eighteen years and we have great fun together. We love going out to lunch, catching a movie once in a while, and hanging out at the beach. I was lucky enough to marry a reader, so we both have our nose in a book at any given time. We don’t have children, so our dog is definitely our substitute. Granted, she’s a hairy, slobbery substitute, but hey, at least we don’t have to buy her a car or put her through college, so we feel it’s a pretty fair trade.

Carrie:  Tell us something surprising about you and/or something very few people know about you.

Kristy:  I am terrified of sharks. And driving a car into water. And raw tomatoes absolutely horrify me, gaaah, all slimy and seedy.  Also, contrary to popular belief, I think a lot of things I don’t say.

Carrie:  Would you be willing to share your biggest challenge/failure and how it changed your life? How about your biggest success, personal and/or professional and how it affected your perspective?

Kristy:  I constantly fail at everything I do. I can barely navigate my way around my own house without bumping into a wall. I’ve never succeeded at anything on my first try (except swimming, I was a good natural swimmer right off the bat, ha!), and the publishing industry has been the biggest, most heartbreaking and exhilarating challenge I’ve ever faced. I wrote three long novels before my fourth, Catching Genius, sold. During that time I slowly went broke and wound up selling my car in order to continue to write. My perspective never changed though, I’ve always just had to work and work and work to succeed, and publishing has been no different. I’m still working to succeed at it, to achieve my rather ambitious goals within it.

My biggest success was probably helping my grandparents in their final years. I can look back at those years and know I did the right things, made the right decisions. It changed my perspective on aging, on patience, on terminal illness, and on the ways frustrating obligations can turn into an honor.

Carrie:  What’s next for you ~ Anything else you’d like to offer?

Kristy:  I’m trying to finish my next book. Not an easy task with Matters of Faith just out, but I’m learning that if I want to make writing my career I have to fit it all in. Writing a book, while publishing another book, while figuring out what the next book will be, while promoting and marketing a book, while trying, desperately, to control e-mail (I fail at that, too!).

For more Q&A with Kristy, click HERE and check out Kristy’s awesome website HERE

Book Excerpt:  Matters of Faith is told from two points of view, the mother, Chloe, and the son, Marshall. This is an excerpt from Marshall:

[Ada] shifted up to fifth and tossed her head, trying to get a lock of dark hair blown by the wind out of the side of her mouth. He reached for it at the same time as she did, but she got there first, hooking her index finger over it and drawing it out, and had she drawn her shirt over her head it couldn’t have left him more breathless. He shifted in his seat and nearly groaned aloud.
His hands curled of their own accord, his fingers grasping the air beside his thighs the way they wanted to grab hold of her hair.
“So what else did your mom say?” she asked. “What should I call her?”
He shrugged, irritated to have the image of his mother sliding over Ada’s, but relieved too. “Chloe, I guess,” he said. His mother had always told his friends to call her Chloe. He didn’t figure it would be any different for Ada.
“Chloe,” Ada repeated, drawing it out, glancing at him sideways. “Chloe and Calvin. Cute. Chloe and Cal and Meghan. And joining them for the weekend, Marshall and Ada the vegetarian,” she sang, squeezing his knee playfully.
He laughed, his irritation and bordering-on-violent desire fading, pride at the thought of walking into his house with this beautiful girl lifting his spirits and filling his lungs with something lighter than air. He went with it, praising God for the sheer miracle going ninety miles an hour in the driver’s seat beside him.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Words To Mouth on iTunes, so you can get the audio podcast delivered to your computer for free. You can listen wherever and whenever you wish.

Thanks, to Natali Brown for You Gotta Believe from the Podsafe Music Network.

More Links:
Queen of the Road, Doreen Orion ~ “absolutely hilarious,” according to Kristy

Bittersweet: Confessions of a Twice-Married Man, by Philip Lee (Another FREE Book)

The winners of spotlighted Words To Mouth authors have been randomly chosen and I’m working on getting the announcement posted. Meanwhile, I found another freebie for you to tide you over:


You can download Bittersweet: Confessions of a Twice-Married Man by award-winning investigative journalist Philip Lee between 12:00 midnight September 19th and 12:00 midnight September 21st, 2008.

So, mark your calendar for your free copy of this author’s male perspective on love, parenting, and relationships.

The site provides an excerpt for you to whet your appetite (look over to the righthand column). 

Trish Dish Part II

Trish Ryan is such a good sport. Here’s a portion of her answer to my second question. Go check out the rest at her blog site:

So one of the many things that never made it into my pages is the fact that my BIG dream in life back then was…. To own and run a private, maximum security prison. Yep. Seriously. This was my plan. I was fascinated by the utter failure of our national correctional system (really, there aren’t many places where we get less bang for our buck as taxpayers), and I was certain that a kinder, gentler approach to rehabilitation was the key. And clearly I was the perfect candidate to turn this ship around: my political science major meant I had stored up four years of strong opinions. Pair that with my minors in philosophy and dance, and who wouldn’t think “Prison Management” when looking at my resume?

Thanks, Trish.

Hey, Words To Mouth friends ~ let me know what you’re thinking…comment below or call (206) 309–7318

Take good care!

Trish Ryan’s Response

Here’s an excerpt from Trish Ryan’s blog response to the first question I posed in my He Loves Me He Loves Me NOT review post:

I think the “deep abyss” Carrie refers to IS filled by my relationship with God, but not entirely. I think he wants the rest of it to be filled by real, 3D relationships with other people. I don’t buy that we’re supposed to do life alone; I just don’t see much evidence that it works all that well.The key, for me at least, is that I can’t maintain any of these relationships without God’s help. On my own, I’m just not all that great a friend, a sister, a daughter, or a wife. At best, I’m a mediocre dog owner. But with God, I’ve built relationships that are stronger than my mistakes, bouyed by a love that is far bigger than what comes out of my little heart. That is a fun place to live, and I’m glad I wrestled with faith and love and life for long enough to get here.

I appreciate Trish’s perspective. She makes me take pause–she makes a strong point. I suppose, I always came from the stance that ideally, I wanted to be as “evolved” as possible before I plunged into marriage–two wholes coming together, not two halves making a whole. But, that notion can be sort of like trying to grab the elusive brass ring. In retrospect, I realize I was far from evolved (still am)—in fact, I didn’t have a clue who I was or what I wanted when I said “I do” nearly twenty years ago.  Marriage can be one of the most fulfilling relationships, but I don’t care who you are, or how prepared you think you are, or or how much in love…at times, marriage is just plain hard. Like Trish and her hubby, my marriage is anchored in faith and I’ve found that makes ALL the difference.

I’ll be interested to possibly hear Trish’s response to my second question, too. I do appreciate her introspection and willingness to share.

How ’bout you? I’d love to hear what you think.

Until next time…

Barefoot, Elin Hilderbrand (review)

BAREFOOT ~ A beach house, two sisters, and a girlfriend…Sounds heavenly–relaxing, even with a couple kids in tow…

Now, I can handle a bit of vomit and lost luggage, but Hilderbrand mercilessly tugs at all of my feminine heartstrings; marriage, motherhood, sisterhood, and friendship…oh, and that pesky fear-of-death thing.

Meet the Girls: 

  • Melanie deals with infertility overshadowed by infidelity, and then further complicated with pregnancy — “POW!”
  • Brenda’s promising academic career hangs in jeopardy due to an entirely separate affair—this one seemingly harmless, except for the minor detail that it was with one of her students — “ZING!” 
  • And then there’s Vicki  with two small children to raise and hit with a cancer diagnosis — “BAM!”

Pan to the dark clouds parting, casting light down upon the crown of an attractive college student, Josh, who ends up being so much more to these conflicted women than a “Guy Friday” (Hence, Self magazine’s “Beaches meets The Graduate” review).

And this is all just in the first chapter…

Phew! And here I thought I was in for a relaxing day on Nantucket’s shores. I need a vacation, just trying to keep up with these gals. 

All facetiousness aside…Barefoot was my first of Hilderbrand’s books, but not my last. It’s a quick read with a poignant underlying theme and resolution. Her descriptions made me anxious for that coveted time at my family’s North Carolina beach house. Thank God, I don’t have to deal with all the Barefoot turmoil.

I love what Hilderbrand shares in the “Conversation” at the end of the book. She says, “I had claimed that, after A Summer Affair (her next novel due out July 1st). was complete, I would take a ‘year off.’ My ‘year off’ lasted for about two weeks. Writing is like a genetic disease…and I can’t seem to find a cure!” 

Now, THAT’s good news for us!!

**As stated in my audio interview with Robert Hicks (A Guitar and a Pen), the first person to call and leave a voice mail message at 206–309–7318 wins the one-and-only FREE copy of Barefoot!

You can always comment below or email me at

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  • About WordstoMouth

    Carrie created Words-to-Mouth—a blog & companion Internet talk show introducing new book releases and their authors to a community interested in excellent writing that may not  necessarily top the New York Times Bestseller List—Yet! To learn more about Carrie, click here