book giveaways

I’ve meant to do a blog give away of a couple of my friends’ latest books for awhile. What can I say, when I’m doing revisions a lot of things fall through the cracks. This is mostly because I’m sitting by my laptop rocking back and forth, mumbling things about certain editorial comments, but I digress.


First up is Kersten Campbell’s book, Confessions of a Completely Insane Mother. I immediately liked this book because I am often a completely insane mother. If you’ve ever taken a group of boy scouts to the police office for a tour, you can relate. It’s a book full of Erma Bombeck-like vignettes, you know, supposing Erma Bombeck had five kids that she had to get ready for church in ten minutes because she overslept. (I have done this. I can relate. One day I’ll have to tell you about my two-year-old son who refused to wear pants to church. Ahh, happy memories. Well, not really.)

The odd coincidence about this writer is that although I’ve never met her in person, she is now living in my old hometown of Pullman, Washington and is married to my friend’s little brother. It’s weird to think of him as a grown man since he was about six when I left home.

I suddenly feel old.


The second book is for all of you regency romance lovers: Donna Hatch’s The Stranger She Married. It has a guy in a mask. That’s always cool. Alicia, our heroine is in dire straits (or maybe straights, I can never keep all of those dire places, um, straight) and vows to marry the first wealthy man she meets. Enter Cole Amesbury, a dashing lord. Personally, I think there are not enough dashing lords around when you need them, so I was glad this book was doing its part to help the shortage. Plus I liked it because I love romance, but not bodice rippers. So potential readers, rest assured you will not be impaled by flying bodice parts if you read this book.

For this give away tell me one insane mother moment, or one romantic one (or a romantic one you’d like to have some day) and I’ll enter you in the giveaway.


  1. Southern Princess
    May 7, 2009 at 6:50 am

    One of my most Romantic Moments happened August of ’08(I am not yet a mother): My husband & I were sitting in our living room just watching television. (I had recently had surgery to remove an ovary & sitting watching TV was what I did a lot of at the time) He stood up and asked if I needed anything from the kitchen – I said no, but he countered with “are you sure? I brought home some snacks today.” Well I mean who knew what the snack would be so I said ok. It took him about 5 minutes before he came back & when I looked up he had a tray with a small vase, a plate of cheese, apples & chocolate (some of my favorites) and on the edge of the tray was a red cut out heart. You know like the kind you made in kindergarten for Valentine’s day. It even had a sucker taped to it. On the front it said “to my sweetheart” (the sucker was a red heart)Inside it said: “I love you more than life. You have given me more happiness than one man deserves. Through all of this craziness this summer your strength has never ceased to amaze me. You are my love. Thank you.” I had been so stressed over everything, the surgery, the fear, the idea of never getting to be a mother or how I would disappoint him through everything & here he was telling me I was strong? I cried and he kissed my cheeks. Then I laughed. It was the sweetest thing I had ever seen and he definitely surprised me. That moment crosses my mind everytime I feel like there is something I cannot survive.

  2. Laura Moffitt
    May 7, 2009 at 6:54 am

    Well I am not a mother yet so that one is probably out for me. I can tell you that I was a terror to my poor mother. I was never afraid to go out on my own, ever. We were in the mall, I was five or so, I walked away from her and she couldn’t find me for over an hour! Come to find out I was having a grand old time hiding in the circular things that the clothes hang off of.

    Ah Romance the funny thing is when someone would do the romantic things that I always wished for I regretted it. Like I had someone cradle my chin in their hand and look me straight in the eye and tell me how they felt about me. I was so uncomfortable and giddy at the same time that I didn’t know what to do so I did the natural thing, I cried.

  3. Janelle
    May 7, 2009 at 7:14 am

    I have three children, and therefore plenty of insane mother moments, most of which are escaping my extremely frazzled mind at the moment.

    The only one that is coming to mind is once I was at the little playground at the mall so my two and three year old children could play while I held the newborn and my husband did a little shopping. At first they played well, even interacting nicely with the other kids. I tried to keep my eye on them most of the time, but occasionally I would lose sight of one or the other. Just as I was realizing I didn’t know where the two year old was, he went bolting for the entrance and was halfway across the courtyard before I could catch up. I brought him back, but within two minutes he was on the run again. After three times I finally just strapped him in the stroller

  4. Chantele
    May 7, 2009 at 7:47 am

    I have a 4 year old boy, and a 2 years old little girl. A few months ago, we were at Target, and both of my kids were walking next to me as I pushed my cart. My sister was also with me with her two kids. Now, my sister’s little boy is very high spirited, and is very emotional, but he was being good for the moment. Well, we were walking, looking at different things, when my son suddenly ran away from me. I had to chase him through the aisles, and was trying to laugh and say sorry to people we passed. I caught him, finally, and went back to the cart. I threw him in, so embarrassed, (I didn’t actually throw him, but you know when you want to!) and my daughter does the same thing! You have to know my kids. They NEVER run away from me! I was so mad I carried my daughter back to my cart and threw her in on top of my son. They were both screaming hysterically, and everyone was staring at me, but I ignored them and continued shopping. You know those insane mothers that just let their children scream at the top of their lungs and don’t take them out of the store? Yeah. That was me that day. My sister could not stop laughing, since it was usually her boys having the problems! Sorry! That was long!;)

  5. Krista Darrach
    May 7, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Janette, cute idea. I love reading everyone’s comments.
    My insane mother moment was back when Damian, my youngest son was 4(that great age).
    Damian had a knack for getting away from me at Walmart. (Several code-adams, tears, and rage were the norm).
    On one occation, we were at Walmart, I was only picking up one thing (thus no cart). He once again, tried to get away from me. I planted a vice grip on his wrist and wasn’t letting go, as I drug his little body behind me toward the checkout.
    He wiggled, and whined as I stood behind a girl holding a newborn (3 days old).
    “I hate this family.” Damian spouted off. “I don’t want to be part of this family anymore.”
    The young mother looked down at Damian, then smiled.

    “You’re hurting me! Let go. I’m leaving this family. I’m gonna find a better family.”
    My unaffected response, “Okay Buddy you do that. Good luck.”
    The lady turned to me and said, “Is this what I have to look forward to?”
    “Oh we’re having a good day today. I have four others that make him look angelic.” (what a horrible thing to say- I still can’t believe I said it!)She raised her brows and turned back around without comment.

    In the parking lot I released my grip. Unlocked my door, got in and turned the car on. Damian stood outside the car trying to open his door, his face pressed up against the window and his hands pounding on the glass. I carefully backed the car up(just a tad). “Mom!” he screamed.
    I rolled the window half-way down, “I thought you were going to find a better family?”

    He began to cry. “No. I’m not.”
    I unlocked the door, “Alright, if you’re sure, get in.”

    Damian is 18 now and graduating in two weeks. He’s a great kid. Where did the time go?

  6. Elise
    May 7, 2009 at 10:25 am

    As far as romance goes, one of the funniest moments came only after a month of dating my to-be husband. I was in a marriage prep class at BYU (I know, ridiculous, but the professor was hilarious and it filled the three credits I needed) and one of the assignments was a “do something different” assignment that came from a list of things to do that were, obviously, different from the norm and all had different point values assigned to them. Instead of doing something small that would give me a few points like giving a person of the opposite gender food and talking to them for a half an hour, my roommate talked me into doing the whole assignment in one go by asking someone to date me exclusively for 2 weeks who I hadn’t dated before. Yeah. Brilliant. So I got up the courage one night as he was walking me home and he asked “Is this just for the assignment?” and I said a very flustered “no.” He agreed to it and things went from there. It was a rather interesting beginning and people don’t take me seriously when I tell them that’s one of the ways our relationship began.

  7. Windsong
    May 7, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Only one? 😉

    I have four, the eldest is six, so we have many insane mothering moments. The one that sticks out the most is when my 1-year-old and 4-year-old went through a standing in the cart phase. One would stand, and after I helped the guilty part sit back down, the other would pop up. It was a bit like playing the gentler toddler version of Whack a Mole!

  8. Weston Elliott
    May 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    My best mother moment? That’s a hard one – ask me my worst and that would be easy. We’re in the process of adopting a 5 year old boy, whose original mother wasn’t very good at being one. Our little guy got bounced around a lot before he came to us, and got here with a lot of emotional baggage.

    It was super hard for a while, even to the point of violence – he would hit, kick, scratch, anything to get away from me when he didn’t want to do what I wanted him to (like go to bed at night). Finally, after he’d been with us for seven or eight months, and things were beginning to calm down a bit – he told me:

    “I like you, Mom. I like you so much I think I’ll keep you forever. You’re my favoritest Mom.”

    What do you do when your heart explodes? You hug someone quick – and that’s exactly what I did.

  9. Melissa
    May 7, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I’m sure I’ve had wonderfully romantic moments, but just can’t remember them (then again, maybe not: my husband proposed during a ballet, and I wasn’t even paying attention to him)… would it be sharing too much to say that I dream of the day when he rents some Regency clothes and learns to dance? Does that count?

  10. Noble M Standing
    May 7, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I was suffering from undiagnosed post partum depression. One day my teenage daughter said something snotty and I freaked out. You know that thing about “the last straw”? Yeah, I was at that point. I grabbed a cookie sheet off the table and chucked it. It flew into my livingroom, bounced off the floor and crashed through the front window.

    I felt terrible, my kids were horrified to the point of silence. I called a friend to come take care of my kids while I called my husband to tell what I’d done. he kinda laughed and said it would be okay.

    To be honest, I am glad for that moment, It was at that point in time that both my DH and I saw how severe my depression had become and decided I needed help.


  11. Melanie J
    May 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    When we were dating, I traveled over to Scotland to meet my husband where his band was touring. i got stranded overnight in the Dublin airport and I was exhausted and scared to be travelling alone. He was frantic to help me and I jokingly (through some tears) told me he could make me a sign like the limo drivers have and hold it up when I finally landed in Glasgow. I walked off the plane hours later and sure enough, he was holidng up a big old sign with my name on it with rainbows and hearts done in crayons he borrowed from a kid in the airport. I still have it.

  12. Kelsi Rose
    May 7, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Well, I don’t really have a mother story because I am not a mother, and romance has escaped me thus far in my life. However, I can tell how I exasperated my mother. You see, I am the only girl in my family, and I am also the only child to eat dirt. My mom would put me in pink frilly dresses and I would go out to the backyard and eat dirt. I would come in with a dirt goatee and a dirt stain down the front of my dress. None of my brothers would eat dirt, just me.

  13. kersten campbell
    May 7, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks Janette for reviewing my Insane Mother book! I love reading about everyone else’s insane mother moments!

    Note: whenever you have one of these moments, pick up a copy of one of Janette’s books. Escapism always helps!

  14. Kari Pike
    May 7, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    One of my most insane mother moments…hmmmm…I think the one of the funniest occurred shortly after I gave birth to our fourth child. He couldn’t have been more than a couple of weeks old when I was gifted with one of those rare few minutes where the newborn and the two-year-old were sleeping and the three and five-year-olds were quietly playing. I took advantage of the situation to try to comb my hair and wash my face. A few minutes later, I heard the baby cry. My three-year-old came running to tell me his baby brother was crying. I said it was okay and that I would go upstairs and pick the baby up in just a minute and that he should go back to playing. Well, the baby stopped crying and I took an extra couple of minutes to finish my hair. As I walked into the family room, my five-year-old said, “Don’t worry Mama. We’re taking care of the baby. Look!” Once I got over the shock of wondering how in the world they got the baby down the stairs, imagine my surprise when I saw my three-year-old son with his shirt pulled up and a tiny newborn sucking away at his chest. He had a hickie the size of a half dollar!

  15. Stephanie Humphreys
    May 7, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    My romantic moment was a little insane too, so that’s the one I choose. When my second husband decided to propose to me, he planned a wonderful evening so he could pop the question. He arranged a sitter for my three children, made reservations at a nice restaurant and even planned to present the ring in some creative way. His impatience got the better of him and instead of waiting until evening, he pulled the ring out and popped the question as we were sitting on the couch in my living room watching “Sesame Street” with my three year old daughter. She actually tried the ring on before I did. Ah…good memories. (I still got my nice evening out too:)

  16. Stephanie Black
    May 8, 2009 at 6:36 am

    One of my romantic moments occurred just yesterday–my husband told me it was a special day. I didn’t know why. He then told me now many days we had been married, which was cool, but I still didn’t know why it was significant until he told me we had now been married the exact same number of days that I had been single. He then gave me a gift to honor the occasion–a beautiful new watch. It was a total surprise, and so romantic!

  17. Janette Rallison
    May 8, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Ahhh! These are all so sweet and touching–and I’m glad I’m not the only one whose kids are terrors in stores. I still won’t take my six year old shopping with me because I spend the whole time telling her not to run off and not to touch things.

    You can just imagine how it was with twins and their older brother who was–what’s the nice way to put it? Spirited.

  18. Lu Ann Brobst Staheli
    May 8, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Perhaps it’s cheating, but I’m going to once again share a blog post I wrote last February on my own blog. If this doesn’t prove mothers as insane, I don’t know what does.

    Insanity: Thy Name is Lu Ann
    The last six months have been a very interesting part of my life. First, I was enrolled in the final class to complete my Masters’ degree in Instructional Technology and Library Media Administration when I took my sons to Los Angeles for a vacation. My husband had been working on a television series there and hadn’t been able to get home for several weeks, so we thought going to California to see him would be a lot of fun.

    It was until the night we attended the symphony at the L.A. county arboretum, and I took my great fall. To make a long story short, when I got back to Utah and we got past the July 4th holiday, we discovered that what we thought was a sprain and a simple fracture in both of my arms, turned out to be a dislocated elbow and a crushed radial head.

    I couldn’t do surgery until my two day required face-to-face graduate class presentation was complete, so my left arm was in a sling for about six weeks once all was said and done. Two days after surgery I wrote my final grad paper, finishing the class and graduating with a 4.0, and I returned to my own classroom a couple of weeks later.

    But that’s not all that I’ve finished since then, while my arms were nearly non-functional. I wrote a screenplay adaptation of an LDS novel, “Seasons of Salvation”, which is in pre-production.

    I wrote and published several magazine articles, including “Bringing the Library Back to Life after the Library Dragon is Slain” which will be in the March issue of Library Media Connection Magazine and “Mr. & Mrs.: What’s in a Name” in the current issue of Desert Saints Magazine.

    But the biggest project of all is the book I wrote with Erin Herrin titled “When Hearts Conjoin”. This is the true story of the Herrin family, including their daughters Kendra and Maliyah who were born conjoined in 2002 and separated in 2006 at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. We’re both excited about this project because the family will soon be featured on a TLC special and Oprah will have them on her show again as well.

    One thing all of this has shown me is that, no matter what the obstacles, if I just keep plugging away at my writing, good things can be accomplished, and my kids can all survive. Even though there have been times when I thought I was losing my mind, that a project was too hard or taking too much time, I managed to make it through in the end. I think it all turned out okay, despite the stress and pain.

    But then of course, the insane usually do believe their lives are normal.

  19. Hannah
    May 9, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    While completely unrelated to this post, I wanted to share this link with you.

  20. Janette Rallison
    May 9, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Oh–I was afraid that would happen! Another author used the same photo that’s on My Fair Godmother for their book. (Although that fairy has no pink hair and sunglasses.)

    On the brightside, it’s a self published book so probably won’t show up on the book shelves next to my book and confuse people.

  21. Marielle Carlisle
    May 9, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    With two little kids, my insane mother moments are when both kids are crying at the same time. It’s like, who do I help first?

  22. Julie Wright
    May 12, 2009 at 11:37 am

    My most romantic moment was sitting in the back seat of my boyfriend’s car at makeout point while listening to the songs Forgotten Carols and reading the book. Make out point and we didn’t even kiss. We didn’t need to.

  23. Janette Rallison
    May 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Okay, using the very scientific method of having my daughter pick numbers between 1 and 22 (I can’t choose a winner using regular methods–they’re all great stories)we have some winners!

    For the Confessions of a Completely Insane Mother book: The winner is Weston Elliot. For The Stranger She Married, the winner is: Melissa.

    Ladies, email your addresses to me at rallison1 at cox dot net and I will send you your book.

    For those of you who didn’t win–I have another book giveaway coming up soon! Mind Rain. It’s a book made up of essays on Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series which yours truly contributed to

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