Fifty Years Old…and a Giveaway

Wow. Fifty years. Half a Century.

I woke up this morning, looked at myself in the mirror and thought “So this is what 50 looks like.”

Hard to believe…but its true!

So what would a birthday be without presents? In celebration of half a century of living, I’ve decided to give away five books – one for each decade of my life.

This is an international give…but it has a few rules if you want to be included!

First, let’s look at the books I have up for grabs (there are six listed, but only five will be given away):

*clicking on the book title below will take you to a description and more information about the book

  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (brand new trade paperback from Picador – release date September 2010)
  • Love Begins in Winter by Simon Van Booy (brand new trade paperback)
  • One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakarumi (Unread Advance Readers Edition)
  • Still Missing by Chevy Stevens (Unread Advance Readers Edition)
  • Gemma by Meg Tilly (brand new trade paperback)
  • Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson (audiobook – can only be played on an MP3 compatible CD player)


Make sure you follow the rules to have your entry count!

1.  For ONE ENTRY – Leave me a comment on this post with the following information:

  • Your preferred books (from the list above)…tell me which books you would pick in order most preferred to least preferred; AND tell me your favorite birthday memory OR if you are 50 years or older, what do you like best about being 50 or older

2.  Want five extra chances to win? Then give me the best birthday present you could give me by helping to find a cure for cancer by doing ONE of the followingthen leave me a second comment telling me what you did:

  • Join my project Reading for a Cure (if you have already joined the project, just leave me a comment letting me know)
  • Make a donation to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation (using the Reading for a Cure button on their donation site).
  • Make a donation to ANY organization which is helping to find a cure for cancer of any kind.

3.  Contest is open through August 27th (Friday) at 5:00 PM PST to EVERYONE (no geographical restrictions)

4.  I will draw FIVE winners on the 28th – one winner I will pick purely based on the BEST answer to the question of your favorite birthday memory or what you like best about being 50 or older (so make them good!). The other four will be random picks from

What are you waiting for?  Celebrate my birthday with me by entering the contest!!

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  1. Happy Birthday Wendy! I hope you have a wonderful day. You are certainly a fabulous 50. 🙂

    (no need to enter me)

  2. Happy birthday, Wendy! Hope it’s grand.

  3. Fifty is the new thirty! Happy birthday, Wendy – I hope you have a fabulous day! No need to enter me.

    • Ellen on August 19, 2010 at 07:15

    Happy 50th birthday! What beautiful dogs you have in your header! It reminds me of our dear German Shepherd, Freddie, who passed away in 2006. Honestly, though I read a lot, you don’t need to enter me because I read large print books now. (It’s easier on the eyes and I can even read them outside without glasses.) But I’m glad I found your blog. As for what I like best about being 50 or older, I’d say the freedom to say “this is who I am.” When you’re younger, you’re always thinking “what do I want to be?” or “what am I going to be?” But I think by the time you’re 50 (or older), you know.

  4. Happy Birthday, Wendy!

  5. No books for me, but wanted to say Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day!

  6. No books here! My TBR pile is monstrous, but I wanted to wish you a very Happy 50th Birthday Wendy!!!

    • ikkinlala on August 19, 2010 at 08:55

    Happy birthday!

    One of my favourite birthday memories is of a birthday I spent collecting agates out of a deposit on the side of the road near a friend’s house. We found a lot of nice rocks and had a picnic in the ditch.

    The order in which I would pick books is: Love Begins in Winter, Wolf Hall, One Amazing Thing, Gemma, Still Missing, Suite Scarlett.

    • Nicola on August 19, 2010 at 10:11

    I don’t need any more books (although I salivate at the thought of Still Missing) so don’t enter me!!

    Just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday!! Have a great. Hope you get to spend it with your favourite people doing your favourite things!

    I heard somewhere that 50 is the new 40, so nothing to worry about!!

    • JoAnn on August 19, 2010 at 11:37

    Happy Birthday, Wendy!! Hope your day is just perfect.
    (No need to enter me in the giveaway)

    • Lori L on August 19, 2010 at 11:48

    Happy Birthday!
    My preference would be:
    Still Missing; One Amazing Thing; Love Begins in Winter; Gemma; Wolf Hall; Suite Scarlett

    The best thing about being over 50? Hmmmm… On the one hand I am an even better listener, with more patience and compassion than I had when younger. More life experiences make it easier to see the “big picture” without sweating the small stuff. On the other hand, I’ve also become more fierce and less likely to suffer fools gladly. I know who I am and no longer feel the need to prove myself or tolerate extreme stupidity, so I am more likely to speak my mind if pushed too far.

    • Teddy on August 19, 2010 at 12:13

    Happy Birthday and Many More, Wendy!

    (No need to enter me in the give).

  7. No need to enter me in the giveaway – just wanted to wish you a happy birthday, Wendy!

    • Paula on August 19, 2010 at 15:02

    Happy Happy Birthday Sis! I’m not entering the giveaway….just wanted to pop in and wish you the best day ever (it sure started out in the most amazing way!!) Love you sooooo much.

    • Alyce on August 19, 2010 at 16:41

    Happy Birthday! I hope it’s a wonderful one!

    My order of preference would be:

    Wolf Hall; One Amazing Thing; Suite Scarlett; Love Begins in Winter; Still Missing: Gemma.

    My favorite birthday memory would have to be the sleepover I had in junior high when all of us girls lip-synched to various songs including “Hanging Tough.” It’s on video somewhere at my parents house. Majorly embarrassing now, but it was so much fun at the time.

  8. Hi, Wendy – no need to enter me, but wanted to say Happy Birthday!

  9. Happy birthday again, Wendy! My favourite birthday memory: Mr. B took me to Paris for my 29th birthday so we could have dinner in his favourite restaurant in the world! We were only in Paris for a long weekend, but it was lovely. The funny thing was we didn’t reserve a hotel room in advance and wound up staying in a very pink room on the Left Bank. (And when I say very pink, I mean everything was pink: the walls, the sheets, the towels, the toilet paper… It was a bit much!)

    Although I don’t need more books, I’d love to win Love Begins in Winter (after hearing you rave about Simon Van Booy in NY). My second and third choices would be One Amazing Thing and Wolf Hall. (I have Suite Scarlett and don’t want to read the other two.)

    Hope you had a fabulous birthday!

    • Cheryl on August 20, 2010 at 03:59

    I’m a little late, but Happy Birthday – and here’s to the *next* 50!

  10. Happy Birthday!

  11. Happy Birthday Wendy, keeping you in my thoughts!

  12. Happy Birthday Wendy! I hope you have a great day of celebration!! No need to enter me in your giveaway, as I have a toppling TBR pile already!!

    • Kay on August 20, 2010 at 09:03

    Wendy, wishing you a very happy belated birthday!! Hugs big time to you! I’m just back from vacation and sorting through things, but wanted to stop by with good wishes for you. No need to enter for the giveaway. My word, do I have too many books!!

    Best thing about being over 50 (and I’m 52 – almost 53) is that I don’t care that I’m over 50. I’m here, alive, cancer-free, and grayhaired (stopped coloring and what a relief that was!). My hubby and I just took a marvelous 2-week vacation and had our 30th anniversary and it was great. He loves me, I love him and we’re hoping to have 30 more together. Maybe life begins at 50! LOL

  13. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I just turned 50 too.
    No need to enter me, just letting you know this was posted on win a book.

    • Anonymous on August 20, 2010 at 13:02

    1. One Amazing Thing
    2. Still Missing
    3. Love Begins in Winter
    4. Gemma
    5. Wolf Hall
    6. Suite Scarlett
    My favorite birthday memory is actually about the birthday of a friend of mine, who I shall call A since I probably don’t have her permission to use her real name. Another friend, who I’ll call B, and I decided that for A’s birthday, we would surprise her with a cake and a balloon. However, the only time that she was free that day was right after school, so we had to do this in the school. Fortunately, our history teacher, whose class we were in last on that day, allowed us to use his room (unsupervised; I have no idea why he trusted us in there alone), and also let us hide the cake and balloon in his closet. On A’s birthday, we had her sister keep her away from the room and the hallway outside in the morning so that we could sneak the cake and balloon around her into the closet. Then, after the end of the school day, we distracted her to keep her in the room and brought out the cake and balloon. We had about 10-15 other people come in, and some of them even brought food/drinks. Basically, we had a surprise party in a classroom.

    • pearl on August 20, 2010 at 13:28

    Happy Birthday. I would love to read these wonderful books.
    1. Still missing, 2. Love begins in Winter. 3. Gemma. 4. One Amazing Thing.
    My favorite birthday memory would be a milestone birthday two years ago. My husband took me away for the weekend to a lovely place in the mountains where we could walk, talk and relax together. The setting was memorable and the beauty made me feel so good about everything. The best thing about being over 50 is that you feel more comfortable about yourself and your perspective in life has altered as well.

  14. No need to enter me. I’m just here to wish you a belated Happy Birthday!!! I hope you had a fantastic day with your wonderful husband and dogs. Here’s to the next 50!

    Hugs to you, dear friend.

  15. still missing looks riviting
    best thing about being 50 is more self confidence & caring less about what everybody else thinks.thx for contest

    • amandasue on August 20, 2010 at 18:41

    Happy Birthday!!! My choice of order would be 1. Gemma 2. One Amazing Thing 3. Still Missing 4. Love Begins in Winter

    My favorite birthday memory would be 3 years ago, I dont have any family around and I was sick of being alone and by myself all the time so I decided I was going to adopt a pet for my birthday! I was put on an adoption list at a local humane society and was called when the perfect match came in and as soon as I met her I knew I made the right choice, and ever since then my birthdays have been great and I haven’t been lonely since!

    • Carol M on August 21, 2010 at 12:48

    Happy Birthday!

    Still Missing
    Love Begins in Winter
    One Amazing Thing
    Wolf Hall

    I’m over 50. I’m even over 60! lol I love being a grandmother to my seven grandchildren!

  16. I’d love to win any of these books since I haven’t read them yet!

    My favorite birthday memory was my 30th (last year.. uhhuh…that’s right…oh, I mean, I remember it like it was last year!) when my honey, family, and friends through me a surprise party.

    • scottsgal on August 22, 2010 at 05:55

    1. Love Begins in Winter
    2. Gemma
    3. One Amazing Thing
    4. Still Missing
    5. Wolf Hall
    6. Suite Scarlett

    I’ll be 50 in a couple years – I will say my 40’s have definitely been my best decade and hope the 50’s continue that trend.

    Hope you had a great birthday

  17. Obviously I’m late in catching up on my blog reading/commenting. I have to admit, you stunned me with this post. I’m 50 and for as long as I’ve ‘known’ you I’ve thought you were at least 10 years younger than me. I’m not entering the giveaway, but just wanted to stop by and wish you a happy belated birthday. As I said, not entering the giveaway, but I can say for myself that turning 40 felt very empowering, and turning 50 felt very freeing to me. I’m more confident and content with myself and my life than I ever have been and it just keeps getting better. Or maybe I keep getting better and ignoring or avoiding that which causes aggravation.

    Anyway – happy happy belated birthday and I hope you’re finding 50 as much of a great age to be as I am.

    • Carol Wong on August 22, 2010 at 08:26

    Happy Birthday! 50 is young Hope that your birthday was great. My fifties were great!

    Books in the order of preference:
    1. Still Missing
    2. One Amazing Thing
    3. Love Begins in Winter
    4. Wolf Hall
    5. Gemma
    6. Suite Scarlett

    • Amy on August 22, 2010 at 15:41

    Happy, Happy Birthday and Best Wiahes for a terrific Year!

    A treasured Birthday memory of mine is my sixteenth birthday. I have a twin sister, we were born in January. We wanted a fun party in the warm weather because we lived in a home with a big backyard. My mom and Dad agreed and on June 27th threw us a large and fun, casual party for our friends. It was an amazing night that my friends still talk about. It wasn’t fancy just great food, great company & lots of fun!

    My book choices: Wolf Hall; Still Missing; Love Begins in Winter; Suite Scarlet; Gemma; One Amazing Thing

    Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

    • Audrey on August 22, 2010 at 18:48

    My favorite birthday memory was my 18th birthday, where nothing special actually happened. But about a week afterwards, my friends all got together and threw me a HUGE surprise party where they brought all my favorite foods, tons of gifts, and a lot of people. I was so surprised, even though it was pretty obvious looking back on it. I loved that so many people cared about me enough to be there.

    1. Still Missing
    2. One Amazing Thing
    3. Wolf Hall
    4. Gemma
    5. Love Begins in Winter

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Andi on August 23, 2010 at 07:06

    Happy birthday! I would love to try for a copy of Love Begins in Winter. My favorite birthday memory is of big dinners at my grandparents’ house when they were alive. We had a blast, and they really brought all the branches of our family together.

    • Wendy on August 23, 2010 at 07:29

    Thank you all for the happy birthday wishes! And I am loving all these great birthday memories and what is wonderful about being fifty and over!!!

  18. Happy Birthday!!

    One of my favorite b-day memories was my 18th. I graduated from high school that day so we combined birthday and graduation parties and had a great time.

    Please enter me for Gemma. The others all look good too, but I already have One Amazing Thing and Still Missing.

    • Anna on August 24, 2010 at 18:44

    No need to enter me. The Girl and I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday!!

    • Amanda on August 30, 2010 at 18:05

    Ack! I am so far behind in my Google Reader! I don’t mind missing the giveaway at all, since I’m not acquiring books, but I’m sad I missed your birthday. Happy belated!

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