Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Guest Post With Karen White and Giveaway

Please join me in welcoming Karen White, the author of many wonderful novels including the soon-to-be-re-released Falling Home (my review) to The Book Chick today. Today she shares with us one of her definitions of the word "home":

Home is Where the Person Who Does Your Laundry Lives

"My oldest child, Meghan, started her freshman year in college—a six hour drive away from us here in Atlanta—this past August. Since birth, she’s been my independent, “do it myself” child so I never really envisioned her clinging to the car bumper as we drove away after move-in weekend. She did not disappoint. She even made sure to tell us that we probably wouldn’t be hearing from her until Thanksgiving. Not exactly what a mother wants to hear, but some small part of me did applaud her independent spirit. There’s a reason why people who know us both call her “Mini Me.” Just never within her hearing, of course.

The first chink in her armor occurred on Saturday of the move-in weekend. We were on our 50th trip to Target to pick up a shoe rack that actually fits inside the tiny wall compartment that’s supposedly a closet when Meghan remembered that we hadn’t purchased any of her laundry supplies yet. I suppressed a shout of glee as we headed to the appropriate aisle.

You see, doing laundry for my family has been the bane of my existence for about eighteen years. In the wide scope of things, I don’t have it that bad: I’ve got a really large laundry room, a state-of-the-art HE washer and dryer, and the laundry room is even located upstairs where all the bedrooms are so there’s no hoisting up and down the stairs. If I didn’t always have a pressing book deadline, I might even enjoy the eight to ten hours every week that I spend in there. Yes, my children are old enough to do their laundry, but since I don’t cook, I figured I couldn’t bail on the laundry, too.

So when Meghan headed off to school, I’d begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel with my laundry duties finally waning. Truly, laundry had always been something I did out of necessity, never once suspecting that anybody actually noticed.
Which is why it was a huge surprise to see Meghan picking out the exact same products I used: the detergent, the bleach with the ocean scent, the lavender fabric softener sheets. When her father pointed out that their store brands that were a lot less expensive (since paying that first tuition bill, my husband has become a lot more cost conscious than before) Meghan nonchalantly mentioned that she wanted her sheets and clothes to smell just like they did at home.

What? She noticed that? Without question, I pulled the old familiar standards from the shelves and loaded the cart and happily shelled out the money for my daughter’s piece of home away from home. I remembered, too, doing the same thing and how I would dream of coming home for holidays and burying my face in my pillow to sniff deeply and feel home. Even after I got married and had my own house and family, I continued to use the same detergent as my mother.

In my new book, FALLING HOME, I explore the concept of home, and what it means to each of us. Cassie Madison, estranged from her family for fifteen years, returns as a stranger to the small Georgia town where she’d been raised, only to find out that home is a place that lives in your heart, waiting with open arms to be rediscovered. It’s what I call my “Steel Magnolias” book, covering the whole spectrum of emotions. It also explores the correct use of “butter my butt and call me a biscuit,” but that’s for another blog.

For the record, Meghan texts, emails, or calls at least twice a day—a lot more communication than I had with her while she was actually living in the same house. She’s coming home for her fall break in two weeks. I’ll make sure that she’ll have freshly laundered sheets on her bed, and will pretend to listen when she claims that I probably won’t hear from her again until Christmas."

Thank-you so much to Karen for taking the time to stop by today! Now, courtesy of Joan Schulhafer Publishing and Media Consulting I have two copies of Falling Home by Karen White to give away.

To enter:

1. *Mandatory Entry* Do you still live in/close to the place that you grew up? If not, do you ever think about "returning home"? Please include your e-mail address with your response. No e-mail = no entry.

2. *Bonus Entry* Become a follower of this blog through Google Friend Connect and leave me a comment to let me know that you follow. Already a follower? Leave me a separate comment to let me know that you already do.

3. *Bonus Entry* Spread the word about this contest in any way that you choose. Facebook it, Tweet it, post it on your blog or sidebar. Just leave me a separate comment to let me know how you did it.

This contest is open to Canadian and US mailing addresses only, and runs until November 17, 2010. Winners will be notified by e-mail. Good luck!

56 comments:

  1. I would love to win a copy of this book! I do live about twenty minutes from where I grew up. However for awhile I lived cross country and visiting home was all I ever thought about. Thanks for offering a great giveaway!(Boy can I sympathize about the laundry!)

    bthgordon(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am also a google follower

    bthgordon(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love to read this book!!

    I live in the same town where I was born:)

    foxchick0323@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a google follower!

    foxchick0323@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tweeted @happymama82


    foxchick0323@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. This sounds like such a great read. I live about 3 hours from home, just recently moved. I have always lived far from my home town. Funny thing though my parents moved up to NoVa about 4 yeras prior to when I relocated, so now we are living the closest we have ever - 1 hour away!

    kdurham2@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am an old follower!

    kdurham2@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I grew up in the military so I am nowhere near "home" except for the fact that I've stayed in one place for the last 13 years so I call this home.

    teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am a GFC follower.

    teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I live really far from home, like a seven hour plane ride, and although I'd like to be closer someday I don't see myself actually living there again.

    strandedhero(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am a GFC follower :)

    strandedhero(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I live just 1/2 hour away from where I grew up.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This sounds like a great book! I live in Boston and was raised in New York, so I do not live anywhere near where I grew up. I would love to go home, but "home" no longer exists since both parents passed and the house belongs to another family. From what I have been told, the town is completely different.

    I follow on blogger, but that is all.

    My e-mail is: teadrnkr36@yahoo.com

    Erin

    ReplyDelete
  14. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

    I live no where near where I grew up. My hometown would have nothing for me now, and besides, I can't handle the winters!

    areallibrarian[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  15. yes, i do live in my hometown.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. i'm a follower :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. As the mom of two college kids, I so LOVED this! How great.
    I live about 2 hours from where I grew up but my mom lives here now too so I moved most of home here:)
    fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. jennie748 at sbcglobal dot net

    I actually live just outside of my hometown and since my parents still live there I am there quite often. We are actually talking about moving back there next year.

    I am a follower.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I live about 5 hours from where I grew up (Atlanta) and I don't think about moving home because I dont; miss all the traffic! I do think about convincing my parenst to move where I am so I guess I want hoem to come to me!

    the round file @ live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I just started following you on GFC.

    theroundfile at live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I grew up on Long Island, but left to move to the west coast more than 30 years ago. There are still some unspoiled rural places in the east but in general there are just too darned many people for me to want to move back.
    Please enter my name in the giveaway. thank you.
    pennyt at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I actually now live on the same property that I grew up, moved away for years and then moved back and built a new house on the same property. Its nice being back, but I kinda liked being away also. Thanks for the chance into this giveaway.

    unforgetable_dreamer_always (at) hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I live in the town where I grew up.
    chey127 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I follow.
    chey127 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm a follower.
    fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Tweeted: http://twitter.com/suburbsanity/status/29041834370
    fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I still live fairly close to the place I grew up. Every once in a while we drive by the old house.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  28. blog follower via GFC
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I would really love to be entered to win a copy of this book. I was born and raised in California and ten years ago I was transplanted to Indiana. I would love to go back to visit friends someday and of course visit Disneyland too!

    Smiles,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am a GFC follower.

    Smiles,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I live far from where I grew up and I enjoy it here. thanks for this giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I would never return home since no one is there now and I live in a better place now. Lovely giveaway. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yes, I not only live in the town where I grew up, but I hang out with people I have known my entire (literally) life. And I own the home my parents built in which I grew up, and again lived in it for 7 years until I decided to buy another house last year (my husband now lives in my childhood home & I live in my new house . . . I've discovered the secret to a happy marriage: separate residences).

    JHS
    Colloquium

    jhsmail at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  34. Google follower.

    JHS
    Colloquium

    jhsmail at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  35. I grew up a gypsy... I lived all over the world and never really had roots to a single place, but with people instead. I love the place I live at now, it's the most permanent home I've had. Thanks!

    Aliya D.
    aliyadaya(at)shaw(dot)ca

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm a public Google Friend Follower under Swedish Mamas... Thanks!

    Aliya D.
    aliyadaya(at)shaw(dot)ca

    ReplyDelete
  37. I live about 20 minutes from where I was born {town in NY}. But I grew up mostly in PA {in two areas} and I am always considering going back to one of those two towns to live! If my fiancee could find a job in those areas, I would do it in a heartbeat! I would miss my family...but that is what visiting is for!

    Thanks for the chance.
    bekki1820cb at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. GFC follower. bekki1820cb at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Unfortunately we don't live close to home right now. I'm desperate to move back to a familiar place and familiar faces, especially now that we're expecting our 2nd child. I miss the sense of family surrounding me and bumping into someone I know at the grocery.

    Thanks for sharing this author and novel. Sounds like a tear jerker.

    lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm a follower.

    lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  41. I tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/LostLibraryGirl/status/29671604128

    lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  42. I really enjoyed "On Folly Beach" by Karen White and would love to win Falling Home!
    Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

    I don't live far from where I grew up and I love to go back and drive around the area, spend a day at the beach in summer and visit some of my favorite spots.

    Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm a new google friend's connect follower of your blog.

    ~ Amy
    Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  44. I actually did move away in my 20s and then moved back "home" a few years later. My husband and I live about 20 miles from where I grew up.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I just moved about 15 minutes by car away from my childhood home. I do miss it and wish i could live closer but can't afford that neighbourhood.

    billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I live about 30 minutes from where I grew up. My homeplace is gone, as are my parents and one brother. I am a family person and miss the togetherness we once had.

    Would love to win this book. Thanks for the chance!

    jillhagemeier@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I lived in Tallahassee, FL for the first 25 years of my life. When my husband and I moved, we moved all the way to....Tampa, FL! We don't like to get too far from home base :).
    candc320@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I am a GFC follower (Colleen Turner).
    candc320@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. Yes, I only live about 10 minutes from where I grew up.

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

    ReplyDelete
  50. I follow on GFC.

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

    ReplyDelete
  51. I live far from my hometown & realize when I go home to visit my family that it's not the same & that I really like where I am now.

    ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I totally love the story about Meghan; I'm always surprised at what my older girls do with their children that is straight from me "But, Mom, that's just the way we do it, right?" - My youngest girl goes to college next year, and even though my Bebe Boy will still be home, I know that this last girl going will be 'different' than the other two, as I'll almost have an empty nest.

    I grew up in a small college town, Oberlin, Ohio. I live in the city now, about 20 minutes away. I don't necessarily dream of going home to Oberlin, but there's this tiny little mountain town in Pennsylvania called Eagle's Mere .. my dream is to save up some cash, and once the Bebe Boy is out on his own, move up to Eagle's Mere, buy a nice little house, and open up a yarn shop. I'll be the "lady in purple" :)

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries
    knittingandsundries(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  53. I follow via GFC as jewelknits!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries
    knittingandsundries(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I live in the same city where I was born. I have no plans to live anywhere else.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  55. GFC Follower

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  56. Tweet! Tweet!
    @NancyeDavis

    http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/5103118165483521

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete