What are ‘The Rules of Conception’?

Handing over today’s novel to one of the TBYL Reviewers was difficult, I really wanted to read it myself. But alas, in order to be timely I am learning to  share, and to that end, the lovely Steph recently took a look at the hilarious and engaging, The Rules of Conception by Angela Lawrence (Harlequin). She was also able to ask a few questions of Angela, giving us further insight into how this fascinating story made it to the page.

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“Rachel Richards is ready to be a mother. She’s got a great job, a good income, a beautiful inner city apartment and a great group of supportive friends. All she needs is a father to have the child with….”

Rules of ConceptionSingle motherhood is an emotionally charged topic often hotly debated in the media. Angela Lawrence’s The Rules of Conception from Harlequin should be mandatory reading for anyone entering into the debate.

“While I’m watching, the little boy reaches up and gives his mother a big smacking kiss on the cheek. She tickles him and he laughs hysterically before being so tired that he puts his arms around her neck and closes his eyes. And it hits me right then and there, while sitting on the bus, looking at the little boy’s chubby arms and sleeping angel’s face. I am not going to miss out on that.”

Angela Lawrence has written a fantastic story about one woman’s solo journey to become a parent. From the moment we first meet Rachel, as she is being stood up by her boyfriend on her birthday, to the final exciting chapter of her story, we are drawn into the emotional rollercoaster that is pregnancy. Who could begrudge Rachel the chance to experience the unconditional love that she sees between mother and son on the bus.

Rachel is a great character, likeable and easy to relate to. She has a nightmare boss in a job she loves, great friends and a supportive family. Rachel could easily be your sister, cousin or workmate. She explores many options for solo pregnancy and along the way encounters supportive and discouraging people in the most unlikely of situations.

Angela Lawrence shows the ups and downs of pregnancy and going it alone. Rachel’s birthing class experience is hilarious and totally relatable to anyone who has been to one.

I really enjoyed reading The Rules of Conception. It is a funny, engaging book which will appeal to mothers and singles alike. You will love Rachel from the moment you meet her, and will be cheering her on as she embarks on a sometimes turbulent, sometimes hilarious journey.

It was wonderful to be able to ask Angela a few questions last week…

You present a well balanced and realistic portrayal of single parenthood. Was it almost cathartic to write about the single mother road as it is one you, yourself have travelled? 
I decided to write The Rules of Conception after seeing a couple of interviews with single mothers by choice and felt that these women were represented by the media as lonely and slightly disappointed. It occurred to me that people are willing to accept a stereotype about single mothers that is increasingly becoming outdated – particularly with reference to those who have children alone by choice, or are happy to fall pregnant even if they are single. So, in that sense that I was pleased with how Rachel’s character and choice developed as the story progressed.

I guess, the main area that was cathartic for me, was writing about being single and pregnant. There are so many great things about it – but at the same time, it is unchartered territory and not without it’s challenges.

How supportive was the donor and planned single parent community when you were researching the book?
In my wider circle, I was lucky enough to be introduced to a small group of men who had become known donors or co-parents. It was great to get their perspective on how they pragmatise their decision. A lot of my perspective however is from observing and talking to men and women on donor forums and some were quite happy to talk about their actions and choices. These people have thought about their decisions and have taken a really bold step in going online to make it happen. Given they’d reached this point, those who I spoke to, could articulate their reasons extremely well.

Rachel is an immediately likeable character – how did you go about putting her on the page in such an endearing way? 
I think that Rachel’s likeability comes from her imperfections. On the whole, she’s very level headed and her plan is well thought out and executed – but she’s still capable of doing dumb things, making bad decisions, and expressing her own human frailty. Plus, she can always see humor in less than ideal scenarios

Initially, when I started writing The Rules of Conception, Rachel was far less flawed and she came across as a little too smug as a result. I remember reading what I’d written and thought to myself: If I don’t like her, who will? So I went back and made her a lot more self deprecating.

Was it important to you to present this quite emotional topic with humour and lightness?
Absolutely. The moment I decided to write The Rules of Conception, my plan was to create something accessible and entertaining. This is a subject that is relevant to a generation of women who have grown up on chick lit and fiction that takes a light approach to their big issues. I really wanted single parenting to be treated in the same way.

What’s next for you Angela? 
It’s a good question. I’ll probably spend some time in the short term, Googling reviews for my book and alternating between being really happy and somewhat mortified as a result. Other than that, I’m in the midst of writing something new, child wrangling and taking each day as it comes.

You can find out more about The Rules of Conception here…

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We’ve got two copies of Angela’s book up for grabs this month at That Book You Like… courtesy of Harlequin. Check out this month’s edition of TBYL News: All Things Bookish… for details of how to enter to win!

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Two tickets up for grabs!

As you may already know, TBYL is running is first real-life event this month where we’ll get to hear from a group of talented and passionate authors and illustrators who work to help kids deal with the challenges life has thrown at them…

What's he Reading

 

It’s an intimate event, only 30 seats… and it’s at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne and promises to be pretty incredible. If you’d like to find out more about “Making Tough Times Easier” you can read about it here…

Tonight though, I’ve got two tickets for up for grabs for one lucky winner. All you need to do is…

1. Email TBYL at info@thatbookyoulike.com.au, subject line “Easier”
2. Tell me why you’d like to attend the event.
3. Be available to attend “Making Tough Times Easier” at Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne on 27 March 2013 (7pm – 8pm)

Entries will close 5pm, Wednesday 13 March 2013 and at the close of the competition I’ll use an online random generator to pick one winner. Please note, tickets can’t be exchanged for cash or another event, but you can pass it on to a friend or family member if you’d prefer.

Can’t wait to read your entries!

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

Subscribe to TBYL News: All Things Bookish… out monthly!

Hey guys, you’ve won a bundle of books!

As the TBYL big book give-away draws to a close, I’m a little sad. I’ve so enjoyed reading your competition entries – your favourites, your virtual b’day gifts, your stories. A huge thank-you to everyone who got involved and submitted entries!

I wish I had enough books to give one to everyone, but alas, I must choose (at random) three winners from our bookish crew… and they are:

bundle of books

 

First prize
A bookish bundle consisting of three great titles… Wild, by Cheryl Strayed (Allen and Unwin), Alice in Zombieland, by Gena Showalter (Harlequin Teen) and Produce to Platter: Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Ballarat and the Pyrenees, by Jonette George and Daniele Wilton (Smudge Publishing) has been won by Samantha Thomas.

Second prize
More great titles… The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Joanasson (Allen and Unwin) and Produce to Platter: Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Ballarat and the Pyrenees, by Jonette George and Daniele Wilton (Smudge Publishing) have been won by Barbara McCauley.

Third prize
Finally, a copy of the very funny Curses and Blessing for All Occasions, by Bradley Trevor Greive (Allen and Unwin) has been won by Monique Mulligan.

All winners will be contacted by email today.

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Again, thanks to everyone who entered the competition and also to Allen and UnwinHarlequin Teen, and Smudge Publishing who kindly provided these prizes. Don’t forget to check out their websites for other amazing titles.

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

Subscribe to TBYL News: All Things Bookish… out monthly!

TBYL big book give-away has started!

I’ve gotten too impatient,  I can’t wait for 1500 Likers. The number’s just not all that important, when we’ve build such a wonderful bookish community already.

And so, with no further ado, I’m going to run our big book give-away now!

Because I’ve got so many books to give-away, I’m going to be running this competition over a couple of weeks, and there will be multiple opportunities to enter (the first of which you’ll find below). All you’ll need to do is keep an eye on the TBYL blog and on our Facebook page for chances to enter. Each time there’s a chance to enter you’ll need to…

1. Follow the directions given.
2. Email TBYL at info@thatbookyoulike.com.au with the information requested.
3. Have an Australian postal address.

All emails  will count as one entry and at the close of the competition I’ll use an online random generator to pick three winners. The prizes are fantastic…

First prize
A bookish bundle consisting of three great titles… Wild, by Cheryl Strayed (Allen and Unwin), Alice in Zombieland, by Gena Showalter (Harlequin Teen) and Produce to Platter: Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Ballarat and the Pyrenees, by Jonette George and Daniele Wilton (Smudge Publishing).

Prize 1

Second prize
More great titles… The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Joanasson (Allen and Unwin) and Produce to Platter: Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Ballarat and the Pyrenees, by Jonette George and Daniele Wilton (Smudge Publishing).

Third prize
A copy of the very funny Curses and Blessing for All Occasions, by Bradley Trevor Greive (Allen and Unwin)

I’ll draw three winners on 11 February 2013. Winners will be announced here and contacted by email as well.

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Today’s chance to enter is an easy one…

All you need to do is email info@thatbookyoulike.com.au with the subject line MY FAVOURITE and tell us which of the books being given away in this competition would you most like to get your hands on. Don’t forget to include your name and postal address in your email.

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I hope you’ll enjoy this fun and games, I can’t wait to give-away some goodies! Don’t forget to let you friends know about competition and about That Book You Like! The more the merrier!

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Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

Subscribe to TBYL News: All Things Bookish… out monthly!

Just a few friends away from a massive book give-away

A little while back, I promised to hold a big give-away when we hit 1500 likers on Facebook. Since then we’ve been creeping towards the magic number, but we’re not quite there yet. I need your help so that I can send some book prizes to some lucky readers!

Once we hit 1500 on our Facebook page, which you’ll find here… I’ll open up entries to win one of three prize packs!

First prize
A bookish bundle consisting of three great titles… Wild, by Cheryl Strayed (Allen and Unwin), Alice in Zombieland, by Gena Showalter (Harlequin Teen) and Produce to Platter: Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Ballarat and the Pyrenees, by Jonette George and Daniele Wilton (Smudge Publishing).

Prize 1

Second prize
More great titles… The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Joanasson (Allen and Unwin) and Produce to Platter: Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Ballarat and the Pyrenees, by Jonette George and Daniele Wilton (Smudge Publishing).

Third prize
A copy of the very funny Curses and Blessing for All Occasions, by Bradley Trevor Greive (Allen and Unwin)

Prize 2 and 3

You like?

So, once we hit the big one-five-oh-oh I’ll open the competition for entries – let’s see what we can do!

The ticket – That Book You Like on Facebook – spread the word!

Join us:   Facebook  and  Twitter
Sign up for TBYL Book Club here…

Subscribe to TBYL News: All Things Bookish… out monthly!

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