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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Guest Post by Terri Giuliano Long, author of In Leah's Wake

Hi, everyone!


I am pleased to participate in Terri Giuliano Long's In Leah's Wake Virtual Book Publicity Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book.

About Terri:
 
Terri Giuliano Long is the bestselling author of the novel In Leah’s Wake. Her life outside of books is devoted to her family. In her free time, she enjoys walking, traveling, and listening to music. True to her Italian-American heritage, she’s an enthusiastic cook. In an alternate reality, she might be an international food writer. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College. In Leah’s Wake is her debut novel.

Website: www.tglong.com



Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Terri!

Terri has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.


“It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, 1999


Finding Balance – Or Not
by Terri Giuliano Long

As a young mom with four active daughters, involved in school, music and sports, my life was a hodge-podge of bustling activity. I wrote part-time, at night or in the wee hours of the morning, while my family slept. Back then, I fantasized about a time when my life would be my own – no more afternoons spent driving from one activity to the next, no volunteer work, no laundry fairy multiplying the loads. I imagined long, uninterrupted days at my desk, immersed in my work.

Now our daughters are grown, two with families of their own. While, yes, I occasionally spend 10, 12, 14 hours at my desk, those days are rare. Like most women writers, I constantly struggle to find balance.

My husband is a terrific guy. When the girls were little, he, not I, got up in the middle of the night. Even now, he does more than his fair share of the chores. When our daughters need something fixed - their car breaks down, for example – they don’t hesitate to call him. With emotional issues, I’m the one they rely on. Believe me, talking is far more time-consuming than finding a mechanic to fix the transmission.

Whenever the need arises, because I’m a mom first, before anything else, my work takes a backseat. Deadlines get pushed back, the article or story goes unedited, the book sits in a file, waiting, neglected. And I feel guilty for letting it go. If I do focus on work, I feel guilty for not devoting more time to my family. Either way, I feel bad about myself.

Every female writer I know says the same thing. We love our families – we want to give of ourselves – but why does it have to be either-or?

Years ago, I attended a seminar with Alice Hoffman as the keynote speaker. It was not merely that I loved and admired her work. No, I wanted to be Alice Hoffman. This successful female writer put out a bestselling book every year. And they were good. Very good. And she had kids.

This was a woman who did it all, and did it all well. I couldn’t wait to learn how. Imagine my surprise when she talked about the difficulty of striking a balance. “My kids,” she said, “think I don’t have a job.”

Say what? Would the kids think the same if their dad were a writer?

Probably not. Because he’d have an office and it would be off-limits.

Most men I know store their roles in separate compartments, to be taken out, dusted off, and worn at appropriate times. Our role is fluid. We can’t turn off, tune out or otherwise escape family responsibility. We’re always on. In all fairness, fathers are fathers every day of their life. The difference is, we mothers are moms every minute of ours.

I don’t resent this, not for an instant, and I’m sure you don’t either.

I want to be with my family. In fact, as I’ve come to realize, I’ve actively chosen this life.

Men find balance – by marrying us. Yet, even if we had wives, their needs, I suspect, would be at least equal to ours. Most women are people-centric. Sure, we value success, but we’re relationship-oriented. The people we love truly are our reason for living.

I’ve spent a lifetime seeking balance only to find that it doesn’t exist. Balance is elusive, a figment of our imagination, reinforced by culture in movies and TV. If we’re to be contented, we have to let go. We’ve got to accept that we can’t always do it all – and quit feeling guilty!

She who dies with the most toys – or the cleanest house or the best brownies - does not necessarily win. Or maybe she does. But, believe me, unless she’s got ice running through her veins, she feels guilty too. That’s who we are. Better to accept it than always fight and feel guilty.

Our lives are big and wonderful and, yes, messy. And that’s OK. So go ahead – kiss those boo-boos. Call a friend. Spend an extra hour or two at your desk. The beds will get made, the cleaning picked up, the laundry folded. Maybe not in that order. Really, why does it matter?



Wow, Terri! I don't know about the rest of the moms out there, but I really need this pick-me-up today! I'm guilty of trying to "do it all," and your post reminded me that I don't need to live up to anyone else's standard! 

Thanks so much for joining us today, Terri!


Title: In Leah's Wake
Author: Terri Giuliano Long
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback, Kindle
ISBN: 1456310542
Publisher: CreateSpace

COMING DECEMBER 1 – NEWLY EDITED UK EDITION, PUBLISHED BY INSPIRED QUILL PRESS. NEW DISCUSSION QUESTIONS, AUTHOR INTERVIEW AND A BRAND NEW ALTERNATE ENDING!


ABOUT IN LEAH’S WAKE

2011 BOOK BUNDLZ BOOK CLUB PICK
Recipient of the Coffee Time Reviewers Recommend (CTRR) Award

The Tyler family had the perfect life - until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn't want to be perfect anymore.

While her parents fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah's younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake.

What happens when love just isn't enough?

This mesmerizing debut novel tells the tale of a contemporary American family caught in the throes of adolescent rebellion - a heartbreaking, funny, ultimately redemptive quest for love, independence, connection and grace.


PRAISE FOR IN LEAH’S WAKE

Susan Straight, National Book Award Finalist, author Take One Candle Light A Room
 “Terri Long’s accomplished first novel takes the reader on a passionate roller-coaster ride through contemporary parenthood and marriage. It’s sometimes scary, sometimes sad, and always tender.”

Margot Livesey, author of Banishing Verona and Eva Moves the Furniture
“I felt I knew these characters better than my friends and neighbors. In Leah's Wake is a beautifully written and absorbing novel."

Holly Robinson, Contributing writer, Family Circle, Parents, Ladies’ Home Journal, author of The Gerbil Farmer’s Daughter: A Memoir
"By turns howlingly funny and achingly sad, the book details the vivid, harrowing journey of a fragile family that unravels – and finds redemption – thanks to a teenager’s rebellion. In Leah’s Wake is an irresistible read.”

Jennifer Donovan, Managing Editor 5 Minutes for Books, Top 50 Book Blogger
“There are no quick and easy solutions here for Leah or for her parents. They . . . pulled me right along as I continued to make comparisons to my own life.”

Susie Kline, Blogger, Motherhoot
"As a mom, I felt what Zoe felt. It tore my heart out to see the promise of a child being replaced with the nightmare of reality… I’m adding Terri Giuliano Long to my list of authors I want to be stranded with."

Monica Madsen, Blogger, A Mother’s Touch Bookshelf
"I give In Leah’s Wake 5 stars and recommend reading to anyone with tweens. Although it is fiction, this book can be a great reference for parenting teenagers."

Haley Stokes, Blogger, Triumphal Writing 
In Leah's Wake is beautifully written, haunting, fascinating, and a book that has a lot to say, a lot to teach you, without getting preachy.


MAJOR SALES LINKS



BOOK TRAILER





Tour Participants

Monday, November 14
Interviewed on Blog Talk Radio’s A Book and a Chat (airs LIVE Saturday Nov. 12)

Tuesday, November 15
Interviewed at Book Cover Lovers

Wednesday, November 16
Interviewed at Blogcritics

Thursday, November 17
Interviewed at Literarily Speaking

Friday, November 18

Monday, November 21
Interviewed at Review From Here

Tuesday, November 22
Interviewed at Examiner

Wednesday, November 23
Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz

Monday, December 5
Book reviewed at The Book Garden

Tuesday, December 6
Interviewed at As the Pages Turn

Thursday, December 8
Guest blogging at Darlene’s Book Nook

Friday, December 9
Book reviewed at Books, Biscuits & Tea

Monday, December 12
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book

Tuesday, December 13
Gust blogging at Coffee and a Keyboard

Thursday, December 15
Book reviewed at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark

Friday, December 16

Tuesday, January 3
Book reviewed at Just Another Book Addict

Wednesday, January 4
Guest blogging & book giveaway at Colloquium

Thursday, January 5
Book reviewed at Colloquium

Friday, January 6
Book reviewed & guest posting at Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Monday, January 9
Book reviewed at Curling Up By the Fire

Tuesday, January 10
Book reviewed at Splashes of Joy

Wednesday, January 11
Book reviewed at Twisting the Lens

Thursday, January 12
Book reviewed at Bellas Novella

Friday, January 13
Interviewed at Krazy Book Lady

Monday, January 16
Book reviewed at Readinista
Book reviewed at Bookspark

Tuesday, January 17
Book reviewed at Words by Webb

Wednesday, January 18
Guest blogging at Mad Moose Mama

Thursday, January 19
Book reviewed at Year of Jubilee Reviews

Friday, January 20
Book reviewed at Reading Frenzy

Monday, January 23
Book reviewed at Celtic Lady’s Reviews

Tuesday, January 24
Book reviewed at Everyday Is An Adventure

Wednesday, January 25
Book reviewed at True Media Solutions

Thursday, January 26
Book reviewed at SOS Aloha

Friday, January 27

3 comments:

  1. I was totally thrilled to read this post about a mom trying to achieve balance in her life including her writing. The book sounds interesting too though with a family dealing with changes.

    Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for hosting me, Darlene! I'm excited to be here! I'm grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts with you and your readers.

    I'm so pleased that you like the post! There are so many things we're told should do. Yet, like finding balance, they're so often unrealistic. If we buy in, we just feel guilty. :) It's so liberating to realize that we can just be who we are!

    Thank you again for hosting me!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for your kind words, Sophia! I'm so happy that you enjoyed the post!

    ReplyDelete

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