September 23, 2008


Okay, I'm SO EXCITED to be hosting this giveaway. You guys know the Chicken Soup for the Soul books right? No? it's basically a collection of short stories ranging from heartfelt and insightful, to funny and life altering. Really great books.

Well, they're coming out with a "moms" type series, and I have 3, count 'em THREE books for you to win.

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Moms Know Best

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Like Mother, Like Daughter

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Moms and Sons

And, to wet your whistle, here's an excerpt from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Moms Know Best.

In Mom We Trust

The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.

~James A. Garfield

My mom embarrassed me. In fifth grade, she was the
mom interrupting sex education with my birthday

cupcakes. In seventh grade, she picked up the phone
and told me it was bedtime at 9:30 on a Friday night when I was on

the phone with Eric, the cute boy in art class. And after Sam stood

me up on the night of winter formal, my mom stormed into his work

and made a scene, demanding he pay for my unused dress and shoes.

Although (I must admit) it would have been classic to see the look

on his face had I been there, I was furious with her for making matters

even more humiliating. Mom was always there to serve and protect.

She was like a superhero who just seemed to make everything


During the middle years when every month brought changes

in bra size, boyfriends and hair color, my mom was as impossible to

hide from as puberty. She was like a supernatural force, a divine spirit

with psychic abilities. If I made any sort of mistake, she knew about

it before I walked through the front door. She had a sixth sense, and

it wasn’t fair. My friends could experiment and lie and be out past

curfew, and their parents would never in a thousand years catch on.

As for me, if I were to even sample a beer or inhale one drag of a cigarette,

my mom knew. As a result, by high school I had learned that it was best
for me not to lie — after all, I knew better. I had a mom who

knew everything, anyway.

And then there was a night when I couldn’t be honest. All my

friends were making a journey down to Mexico for the evening. The

boy I especially liked invited me to come along. He was older and

had a car. I really, really wanted to go. I had resisted in the past,

but this time I found myself agreeing to the invitation. (My parents

thought I was spending the night with my best friend.) We went, and

it was fun and dangerous and stupid, and GREAT! Luckily, we made

it home safely that night, and I spent the night at a friend’s house.

His parents weren’t home, but if they had been, I have a feeling they

wouldn’t have cared that ten high-schoolers were gathered in their

living room after a night in Tijuana. They were the type of parents

who just didn’t seem to care all that much about anything, which at

the time I thought was pretty cool.

The morning after my little rebellious experience, my dad opened

the front door to greet me.

“Hi Bec,” he cheered. My mother put down her dishtowel and

kissed me on the cheek. I waited for her to notice something different

about me, something that might lead her to believe that I had been

up to no good.

“I’m gonna take a shower now,” I began.

She didn’t say anything. She just hugged me tightly and asked

me not to forget to clean my room. I spent twenty minutes in the

shower wondering what I should do. My mom would surely figure it

all out sooner or later. Should I tell her?

I decided to stay rigid. I was a good little actress. I could cover

for myself if I needed to. A lie (just this once) couldn’t hurt anyone.

When I came down for breakfast, I waited for the inquisition, but to

my surprise, it never came. Mom’s crystal ball must have been cloudy

that day, and for once, she didn’t suspect a thing. I was in luck. I was

relieved. I was shocked. I was guilty.

My conscience caught up with me after a few days. I couldn’t

stand it anymore and I told Mom everything, every detail. She cried,

of course, scared for my life, afraid of what could have happened to

me, and through her gentle tears she grounded me — for an entire

month! Why, might you ask, did I tell her? Trust me, I asked myself

that same question every day of that miserable month. I could have

gotten away with it. I know that for a fact — or do I?

Sooner or later she would have probably found out about everything.

And if that had happened, she would have not only grounded

me, but would have lost all of her trust in me, as well. You see, after

the Mexico incident, after I had confessed and then served my sentence,

I eventually earned back my parents’ trust. In return, I was

given a later curfew, not to mention more privileges.

I didn’t tell my parents everything after that. Instead, we had a

system. I told Mom and Dad where I was going, when I would be

back and the important things that were happening in my life. It

turned out that superpsychic mom was cooler than I had originally

thought. I liked that she cared about me and my life, and I really

liked being able to share with her.

Over the years, Mom’s embarrassment factor has dimmed like

an old night light, but she remains the raging superhero she always

was. Even though I’m living one hundred miles away, she brings me

soup if I’m sick, helps with my work when I’m swamped and makes

sure that boyfriends are treating me right. She still has her crystal

ball on hand and will often call me on a bad day to cheer me up even

before I tell her that I was just fired, dumped or just plain lonely. She

has grown to be my best friend, and even though I don’t live at home

anymore, I still confide in her and tell her everything. Well — almost.

~Rebecca Woolf

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love & Friendship

Now, all you have to do? is comment. (and leave some contact info m'kay?)

Contest closes Wednesday October 1, 2008 at midnight, est.

I'll be picking a winner at random and will contact you if you've won.