Friday, December 11, 2009


I got pretty much the awesomest email on Wednesday from my editor. My publisher is picking up my second manuscript and THEY LOVED IT. I couldn't believe how enthusiastic she was in the email. It was awesome. Did I mention that already? She words like "Stupendous" and "Pulitzer Prize" and "Nobel for Literature" and "Stephenie Meyers who?" or something like that. Anyway, we had an impromptu family dinner celebration at the Cheesecake Factory that night and it was fabulous.

You'd probably guess I'm in a swell mood now. You'd be right. This week has been full of all kinds of Christmas cheer and fun so I figured I'd spread the wealth a little. This past Friday I went to the cutest party. The idea was to bring your favorite things but the whole gift had to be less than $6. You brought five of whatever your favorite thing(s) was and got five different things from other people. I ended up getting earrings from Forever 21, cool little kitchen gadgets, candy bars, lip gloss, a couple of nail polishes, etc.

I gave:  a Hershey with almonds bar, a black cotton headband, cherry passion Tic Tacs, a homemade mini-pumpkin loaf, copies of my three favorite recipes and a list of all my personal favorite things: books, TV shows, local restaurants, etc., all in a cute little snowman bucket from the dollar spot at Target.

I'm so delirious with excitement over having my second manuscript picked up, my embarrassment of riches from the Favorite Things party, and the general punch drunkeness of Christmas that I'm going to pay it forward with a small give away of a couple of my favorite things.

There's a catch, of course. If you want to enter, it's all about a little quid pro quo. You must answer the five following questions in the comment trail so I can get some good ideas for new favorite things. The questions are:

1. Your favorite book (that's been published in the last ten years)
2. Favorite album of the past year
3. Favorite beauty product
4. Favorite store bought treat
5. Favorite all time TV show

You can't skip any questions or say "I don't know" if you want to be eligible. I'll choose the winner on Sunday using the random number generator and this is what the winner will get:

A box of chocolate covered candy cane Joe Joes from Trader Joe's AND
A palette of lip glosses in all kinds of colors (I haven't decided from where yet)

Some of my favorite candies

And I'll send it out next week so it arrives in time for Christmas.

All right, hurry up, join the party in the comment trail. Whoo hoo! And Merry Christmas!


Lara said...

Congratulations! How very exciting! I can't wait to read your books.

Okay, my answers:

Favorite book: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Favorite album: Harry Connick, Jr.-Oh What a Night! (I know it came out last Christmas, but...)
Favorite beauty product: Lipstick in general, Estee Lauder's Live Wire color specifically.
Favorite store bought treat: Ben & Jerry's Karmel Sutra ice cream
Favorite All Time TV Show: 24

Brooke said...

Favorite book: The Visions of Ransom Lake by Marcia Lynn McClure
Favorite album: Daughtry (the new one)
Fav. beauty product: Mary Kay moisturizer
Fav store bought treat: Peanut M&M's
Fav tv show: Top Chef

Kristina P. said...

Guess who currently has an unopened box of Joe Joes, on my counter? Booyah!

1) Mario Lopez's "Mud Tacos"
2) The Hoffs Album
3) Hemmhroid cream for my wrinkles
4) Anything chocolate
5) The Realhouswives series

Jami said...

Oh congrats! No time to play, but I'm just so happy for you!

janabananagirl said...

Congrats on the manuscript!

Favorite Book: Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Favorite Album: a toss-up between Ocean Eyes by Owl City and Crazy Love by Michael Bublé
Favorite beauty product: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Favorite store bought treat: chocolate covered cinnamon bears
Favorite TV show: M*A*S*H

Sandi said...

Kristina should win because her answers made me choke on my hot chocolate and I think there is some in my lap as well. But I need to win something so here goes:
Fav book: The Hunger Games...(freaked me out completely)
Favorite album: David Cook
Fav. Beauty product: Clinique liquid foundation (age reversal..ya right)
Fav store bought treat: Almond Roca
Favorite all time TV show: Seinfeld

By the way congrats on your book news!

wonder woman said...

Yay yay YAY!!!

Favorite book: how about books that have changed my life the most? The Peacegiver and And They Were Not Ashamed.

Favorite album: Haven't bought an album, or even started an iTunes account, but I'm seriously considering the Glee season 1 album as a stocking stuffer for myself.

Favorite beauty product: Revlon Color stay lipstick. It stays for hours.

Favorite treat: Mint M&Ms

Favorite TV: Grey's Anatomy

Migillicutty said...

1. Your favorite book (that's been published in the last ten years): Harry Potter #4

2. Favorite album of the past year: Taylor Swift's Fearless

3. Favorite beauty product: Mascera
(♫ maybe it's Maybelline!♫ )

4. Favorite store bought treat chocolate chips! I can eat a whole bunch without feeling guilty, cuz they're tiny!

5. Favorite all time TV show: So You Think You Can Dance! (dance, dance, dance!)

Sarah said...

All right... I'll stop lurking for a moment for this give away (congratulations!). It's too fun to pass up.

Favorite book released in last 10 years: Spindle's End
Favorite Album of the year: I didn't buy the whole album (I'm more of an itunes girl), but I bought enough of it to say Taylor Swift's Fearless
Favorite Beauty Product: Mascara
Favorite store bought treat: Chips and a fantastic salsa
Favorite All Time TV Show: Probably Boy Meets World. I STILL love the reruns... but for this year would be 24.

Becca said...

This is great, great news. Will they let you keep your title? (Because they should.)

Book of the last 10 Years: Book Thief
Album: Into The Woods Soundtrack
Beauty product: Wet-n-wild lipliner, #666 (99 cents)
Treat: Blue Bunny Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate ice cream
TV: The Simpsons (can we still be friends?)

But really, just so very excited for you. Good work.

Susan said...

Of course they said all of those wonderful things about your book, because it is all of those things. Your two main character's chemistry is popping and sizzling. Can't wait to own it.

My answers:

Favorite Book: (I hope it's okay that I put a series) The Children of the Promise by Dean Hughes

Favorite Album: Mindy Gledhill-Feather in the Wind

Favorite Beauty Product: Anything Clinique, but particularly their eye shadow

Favorite store bought treat: Reese's peanut butter cups

Fav tv show: Right now it's The Mentalist. It used to be Alias back when it was on.

Congrats Melanie!

Dedee said...


Favorite book--The Books of Bayern series by Shannon Hale. I'm just re-reading them all for the third time. Enna Burning is my favorite, but I love them all.

Favorite album--I don't listen to lots of new stuff, so can I just give you a song? I love David Cook's "Time of My Life".

Favorite Beauty product--lip gloss, which is why I want to win. A lot of mine are drying up and I want lots of new colors.

Favorite Store-bought treat: Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie, or Lindt chocolate balls, or York peppermint patties. . I could go on and on.

Favorite TV show--Extreme Makeover Home Edition--we're a little obsessive about it at my house.

Anonymous said...

That is so terrific that they are so enthused about your book!! Congratulations.

Book: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Album: wow this one is really hard for me because all the album's that I though came out this year were all 2008 but I really like Cowboy Casanova by Carrie Underwood. But some of my favs artist are Sufjan Stevens, The Raconteurs and Cage the Elephant.

Beauty Product: Microdermabrasion Set from Mary Kay Cosmetics

Treat: Skittles, I have always loved these

TV Show: Firefly

MommyJ said...

Yay!! Congrats on the manuscript! And I mean that sincerely. Because even though I don't know you, I like you, and your writing enough to be happy for you, even though I'm not there yet. :)


Favorite book: It's a toss up between The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, and The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak. LOVED them both.

Favorite album: Five for Fighting's Slice

Favorite beauty product: Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Enhancer... works as a moisturizer and a gives a layer of tint without feeling like heavy foundation. LOVE it!!

Favorite store bought treat: A Baby Ruth Candy Bar and a Cherry Coke. Enjoyed simultaneously.

Favorite TV show: it WAS Three Rivers, until CBS up and cancelled it. Shame on you CBS!! It was clean, heartfelt... I knew it was too good to be true.

Erin said...

We always knew you were an awesome writer!

Favorite book: No More Goodbyes by Carol Lynn Pearson
Favorite album: John Mayer's Battle Studies
Favorite beauty product: Philosophy's Purity facewash cleanser
Favorite store bought treat: Peanut butter Twix, when I can find it
Favorite TV show: used to be Friends, but Glee is quickly edging it out

CountessLaurie said...

Yahoo! Happy times! Cheesecake! Congrats!

1. book - Wake, Lisa McMann (My absolute fave - Outlander is 18 years old. DANG!)
2. album - New Moon Soundtrack (I beg forgiveness, but I am usually into older stuff and haven't listened to new music in forever!!)
3. beauty product - Suave Lilac Conditioner, turns my brassy blonde into a pretty blonde that is easy to brush
4. treat - 100 Grand Bars, yum. now I want one.
5. TV show - LOST, totally addicted, can't believe they are gonna wrap it up.

Kaylie said...

Congratulations on your good news! That makes me want to finish my MS, too, so maybe someday the same will happen to me.
Book: Very difficult. I'll go with Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. But anything by Shannon Hale is way up there on the list.
Album: Nonstop by Vocal Point
Beauty product: anything in Mango Mandarin from Bath and Body Works.
Store Bought Treat: Jamba Juice
TV show: Battlestar Galactica

Andrew & Sarah Clawson said...

Congratulations Melanie!

I can't skip one huh?????? Poo!

Here's my top 5 faves:
Fave book: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Kahlid Housenni

Fave Album??????? Can I use I'm Dreaming of a White Bing Crosby ( don't hate! )

Fave beauty product- eye shadow by bare mineral- anything from bare minerals! :-)

Fave store bought treat- Does SEE's count?? Peppermint Patties!!! If not SEE's then Trader Joe's Peppermint Jo Joes!

Favorite All Time TV show- The Office

Congratulations Melanie!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Melanie, I am so happy for you! congrats!

DeNae said...

I have already told you, but my heart skips a beat when I think about your awesome e-mail. And we must truly be friends, because I can honestly say that when I read it (ha ha, other commenters, MJ let me read a part of it!) all I felt was this welling of love and pride and not even a HINT of professional envy. Seriously. So happy for you.

So here's my list:

1: "Night Watch" by Terry Pratchett. (He's a satirist who sends up fantasy writing. Funny and smart and the sort of writing you could recommend to your bishop or your 16-year old.)

2: I'm with Lara on Harry Conick's "Oh What a Night".

3: I wear plum colored mascara, usually from L'Oreal. Evidently it makes my hazel eyes "POP!"

4: I love those Hershey's candies with toffee and almond chunks. I know. I'm a philistine.

5: The best TV show ever made only lasted a couple of seasons. It was "Pushing Daisies." My current favorite is "30 Rock".

evitafjord said...

1. I'm awfully fond of Angels and Demons or just about anything by David Baldacci
2. Slice (Five for Fighting)
3. Generic Oil of Olay moisturizer. I don't use many beauty products. I'm really fond of the 4-blade razor my husband bought me too, but IDK what kind it is. It's dark pink, does that help?
4. Whatchamacallit
5. House Hunters

Anonymous said...

1. At least I can easily answer this one question. "Bound on Earth" by Angela Hallstrom. I like Harry Potter and fantasy YA stuff, too (such as most things by Diana Wynne Jones) but this one is very worth reading if you haven't yet.

2. I was going to have to give up since I do not keep up on music at ALL, but then I remembered that my brother's been working on recording his songs.

3. Another area of knowledge deficiency for me . . . I'll go with Lubriderm fragrance-free (the only thing that keeps my skin at all intact in the Utah winters) and good old Maybelline Great Lash Mascara.

4. Maybe See's chocolates. Or fancy textiles: fine Swiss batiste and Swiss laces, or something from Amy Butler or Heather Bailey. Or nifty sewing tools or paper crafting tools. (I think you might be able to see what I pay attention to instead of music or makeup.) (After reading the other responses I see that "treat" was only meant to be a foodstuff, but fabric and tools feed my creative side.)

5. All time I guess would have to be Law & Order. For several years though, it's been The Office, and 30 Rock makes me laugh very hard lately.
CONGRATULATIONS about your book! That's wonderful.

P.S. I should have read Kristina's comment first and it would have removed a lot of the stress of coming up with good answers.

Kazzy said...

1. Gilead
2. David Cook
3. Mary Kay powder
4. Chocolate Raisins
5. House Hunters/ HGTV

And WAAHOOO on your manuscript! That is fab!

Kimberly said...

I am SO thrilled for you Melanie! Congratulations!

1. Elantris - Brandon Sanderson.
2. Nobody's Tune - Wouter Hamel
3. Lip gloss. I'm an addict. Really.
4. Chocolate covered pomegranate.
5. Doctor Who (new version).

L.T. Elliot said...

How awesome! I'm so happy for you, Melanie! You rock!

My answers:
1. Your favorite book (I've read this last few months): The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown
2. Favorite album of the past year: Taylor Swift, Fearless
3. Favorite beauty product: Lip Balm
4. Favorite store bought treat: Symphony with almond and toffee
5. Favorite all time TV show: Medium

LisAway said...

I almost never read anything written less than 100 years ago (aren't I awesome?) But I just want to CONGRATULATE YOU!!! That is super awesome. But a little unfair of you to advertise before I can even read your first book! Ugh! I can't wait, Mel!

InkMom said...

Congrats, and I have to hurry because baby is hungry, and I hate one-handed typing.

1. The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. AWESOME.

2. Pearl Jam, Backspacers. Also AWESOME. And the free live album they gave away at the Coldplay concert. Acoustic "The Hardest Part" is now my favorite Coldplay song.

3. Beauty products? Cannot be called beauty products after I've used them. Because the advertised result is definitely not achieved. How about hair? TIGI Catwalk Curls Walk curl amplifier.

4. So many to choose from . . . Lorina Orangeade (French soda) or Mexican Coca-Cola (glass bottle, real sugar) or Scharffenberger chocolate. Or any combination of the three.

5. All time? Seinfeld. And early ER (Carter, pre-stabbing). And now 30 Rock -- which would not be here without Seinfeld. And The Cosby Show. And I'm loving Castle lately, too.

stewbert said...

Congrats congrats! That's very exciting!

Favorite book -- Drat. Princess Bride is older than that. I read a lot of YA fiction (because it's clean and I can make sure it's okay for my daughter to read), and really like the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson and the Artemis Fowl series.

Favorite album of the past year -- Susan Boyle's CD.

Favorite beauty product -- Mary Key's chestnut eyebrow pencil. I can't leave the house without it and some mascara.

Favorite store bought treat -- Right this minute, hostess pies. Pregnancy sure makes me weird.

Favorite all time TV show -- Alias.

Luisa Perkins said...

Squee! SO exciting about the new ms.

Favorite book from last 10 years: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Favorite album of past year: I'm loving Sting's If on a Winter's Night right now.
Favorite beauty product: Dr. Hauschka's foundation
Favorite store bought treat: Kettle Chips Tuscan Three Cheese potato chips
All-time Favorite TV Show: Firefly

April said...

Merry Christmas to YOU! Awesome news!

1) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Ann Barrows
2) Favorite Album:Your Songs by Harry Connick, Jr.
3)Blush Stick by Clinique
4)Twix (mini size to be eaten in twos every evening)
5)Burn Notice

Sabby said...

Wow, very impressive Melanie, Congrats!

Favorite book: All that I can think of is Hunger Games
Album: Celine Dion Christmas- it is a few years old but has great memories!
Beauty Product: cinnamon lip gloss from Bath and Body Works
Store Bought Treat: Cinnamon Bears, chocolate covered ones are the best!
TV Show: Lie to Me

Annette Lyon said...

I've already congratulated you, but I'm still happy dancing over here! Wahoo!

1. Your favorite book (that's been published in the last ten years).
Poisonwood Bible

2. Favorite album of the past year
Kid Stuff, by Voice Male (It's fun. What can I say?)

3. Favorite beauty product
Cover Girl waterproof mascara, the blue tube. (For a girl with long, blonde lashes, this is a must.)

4. Favorite store bought treat
Guittard's silver bag of milk chocolate chips

5. Favorite all time TV show

Kelly O. said...

I am so happy for you and can't wait to get my hands on those books of yours!!!
Favorite book:An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison
Favortie album:Jon Schimdt (he is my longtime friend from way back when).
Favorite beauty product: Burt's Bees Lip shimmer Shade:guava
Favortie store bought treat:plain old MnM's
Favorite all time tv show: Friends
Love you Mel!!!

Terresa said...

That's huge! I would be dancing in the streets with such news! Congrats to you!!

Here are my answers:

1. Water for elephants by Gruen

2. "And winter came" by Enya

3. Bath & Body works Brown Betty Mint Tinted Lip Balm (heaven in a tube, I tell you!)

4. See's dark chocolate almond cups

5. Absolutely nothing

Nicole said...

Hey Mel!
Can't wait to read your book! That's exciting! Congrats!

Okay - to play along:
1-Hunger Games (cuz I just read it so it's recent in my mind)
2-Bon Jovi
3-Some Clinique stuff I put under my eyeshadow to keep in place - can't remember the real name though

Josi said...

What were the questions again? :-) Don't enter me in the drawing, but I just wanted to congratulate you, again, on the acceptance. It makes me so happy. Enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

Heather said...

Congrats on having a new book picked up!

Favorite book: The Childrens Book by A.S. Byatt.
Favorite music: Glee Soundtrack
Favorite beauty product: Guts10 by Redken (hair volumizer)
Favorite treat: A&W Cream Soda
Favorite TV show: Northern Exposure

Anna said...

Favorite book: Hard to decide, but Hazardous Duty series by Betsy Brannon Green
Favorite album of past year: Lenka (self titled album).
Favorite beauty product: Aveeno hand lotion (awesome for eczema)
Favorite store bought treat: Grasshopper cookies
Favorite all time TV show: Lately: Glee