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WANDERLUST IN SUBURBIA by Marilyn Brant – Launch Party & Giveaway! — 88 Comments

  1. Congratulations, Marilyn, on your new book! I hope you and your husband get your ‘gap year or years’ very soon-seems to me that’s what our generation are doing now when we retire. Until then, I’m glad to hear we’ll have more of your lovely imaginative renderings of places, as yet undiscovered!

    • Many thanks, Jane, for your kind words and good wishes!
      We are in the midst of high school now with our son and enjoying seeing the young man he’s becoming. Still, these years are busier than I ever expected… I thought things would calm down as he got older, not speed up! LOL 😉

  2. Yay!!! Congratulations on your essay collection, Marilyn!! The humor is just the kind I enjoy–reminds me a little of Anne Lamott’s non-fiction trilogy (starting with Traveling Mercies). Wonderful!! 🙂

    Of course, I’d love to be whisked away to Canterbury and stroll the cathedral again, by myself. Perhaps slide into a pew just in time for Evensong. I’d write in my journal in a cozy corner, and I’d once again run my fingers over the stone steps worn into dips by pilgrims’ kneeling in prayer. I’d watch the single candle flicker solemnly over the spot where Saint Thomas was murdered while pondering the philosophy and theology of it all.

    Thank you for a lovely essay! May your book do extremely well, far beyond your expectations and even your dreams! 🙂

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

    • Susanne,
      Ohhh, thank you!! Truly, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that huge compliment — being compared in any way to Anne Lamott — I *love* her writing! Another reader emailed me this week about Wanderlust and mentioned Anne L., too…and I just want to hug you both!! 😀
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Canterbury! There are parts of England I’ve not yet explored but would love to visit, and that is one of them.

  3. Congratulations on the release. I’d love to be whisked away to Derbyshire and the Peak District. I’ve heard it’s lovely there.

    • Deborah~
      Ahhhh, yes — the Peaks! What are men to rocks & mountains, right?! 😉
      I think we’d all love to visit there…sigh. It’s such a beautiful region. I’ve only had the chance to see it once, but it was so memorable. I expected Mr. Darcy to appear around any corner. xo

  4. Congratulations on the new release, Marilyn!! I loved the excerpt and the hilarious food story. Sounds so familiar! I enjoyed the wistful reflective part, too. Good luck with the release. I hope it does well.

    • Monica, thank you so much for the congrats and the luck, too! I loved having the chance to put together this collection in between fiction projects, and I hope those who read it will enjoy it as well 😉 .

  5. Lovely new release! I am not a mom, and will never be, but I’ve experienced a section of this when I married and had to merge our very divergent personalities into one functioning unit and there are days I dream of not being nauseous after I pay the bills and being able to just travel for two weeks because we want to. *le sigh* If I could pick up and travel anywhere, I would go to England (by myself) and go all the places I dream of and to see if I can find any traces of my ancestors. Meanwhile I’ll use all of the books you guys write to escape my own sort of suburbia a little bit at a time.

    • Stephanie,
      Oh, I hear you about the merging of two different personalities… That was quite an adjustment for me too when my husband and I first got married. 😉 Like you, I consider reading a wonderful escape — to different worlds and foreign places and other lives. I love getting to travel that way. Although, a real trip to England would be absolutely marvelous… <3

  6. Congratulations on your new release, Marilyn! I miss those hectic years of having young children. It’s over before you know it. My three kids are all adults now. I now get to enjoy the wonderful experience of being a grandma to a three year old boy. 🙂

    I’d love to visit England. I’d take my good friend, Patty, with me. She’s a fellow P&P lover, and i know she and I would have a blast!

    • Pam, thank you!
      It’s so fun to travel with good friends, isn’t it?!! I’ve gone on a few road trips with mine and have always had such a wonderful time. We’ve never gone anywhere as exciting and distant as England together, though!!
      And, yes, you’re so right about the years with young children and how they fly by. I can’t believe it, actually. A decade and a half went by in a blink… 😉

  7. Congratulations on your new book release. I’ll have to buy a copy for my mom for mothers day. I know she’ll enjoy reading your new book. If I could be anywhere right now it would be in Orlando, Florida with my fiance cause I want to go visit Disney World again. lol

    • Tina,
      What’s not to love about Disney World, right?!! (Especially in your case, since your fiance is there!)
      And thank you so much for wanting to get a copy of the book for your mom! Please tell her that I say “hello” & that I hope she’ll enjoy it 😉 .

  8. Congratulations on your new release! I think I’m going tip pick up a copy as a Mother’s Day gift to myself. As to a week away, I’d probably choose Eleuthera, with my husband, where we’d explore a different deserted beach every day! Love just thinking about that….

    • Lynn,
      I have been daydreaming about beaching all week, so your idea sounds so lovely!
      And *thank you* for wanting to get the book for yourself! I wrote every essay with moms in mind…so I truly hope you’ll like it! 🙂

  9. What a wonderful way to celebrate Mother’s Day! I look forward to reading your book. Hmmm… Travel anywhere? There are so many places to choose from! I think I’d have to say Scotland… Outlander (the series) is doing such a good job of showcasing Scotland’s natural beauty and bringing out a sense of place. And who knows, maybe I would run into Jamie Fraser… Lol

    • Shawnda, thank you!!
      I *so* hope you’ll like the book!
      And yes…yes (!!) to Scotland. I already mentioned this on Facebook after reading your comments there, but I totally agree with you about the filming of the Outlander TV series. They’re making all of us want to travel around the country! And who wouldn’t want to run into Jamie somewhere in the Scottish highlands, right?! 😀

  10. Wow Marilyn How did I miss this. I have to learn to stop and smell the roses more often, what a wonderful project you did here.
    Thanks on behalf of all moms everywhere.
    Oh BTW my baby is getting me a smart phone for mother’s day, I’m finally giving up my flip phone LOL
    You have a wonderful mother’s day!!!
    Love you
    deb

    • Deb,
      Oh, you sweet and wonderful lady!! Thank you, my friend <3 .
      And I just love the gift your clever daughter is giving you! Here's hoping that also means you'll be hearing from her even more often, since you'll now be able to get emails on your phone in addition to calls!
      Love you back. xo 🙂

  11. congratulations! I would transport onto one of those Viking European River Cruises that stops along the Danube river with my husband

  12. Congratulations Marilyn. What a wonderful accomplishment. I would love to visit Italy and walk endlessly and explore the charming towns with my husband. Time is fleeting.

    • Pearl,
      You spoke such wisdom here: “Time is fleeting.” Oh, yes, I agree…
      And Italy is ridiculously beautiful — not to mention having the best gelato on the planet, and don’t get me started on the delicious tiramisu, LOL. My husband is a world history teacher and has family still living in northern Italy so, for both reasons, it was a big priority for us to visit there during our early marriage years. So much to see and learn about and, yes, the beautiful walks…I could lose myself forever in Venice or Florence or Capri or Lake Como… 😉

  13. Congratulations and best wishes. This collection sounds memorable and very special. Wishing you great happiness and success. Travel would be delightful since illness has taken precedence for the past 3 years, but if possible, my desire to be with my devoted hubby and travel to England and France.

    • Anne,
      Huge thanks for both your congrats and kind wishes — I truly appreciate them!!
      And I’m so sorry to hear about the illness… I hope that good health is forthcoming and that European travel will soon be a possibility. How lovely to choose to spend time with your husband, too — he must be a wonderful man!

  14. Congratulations Marilyn! I enjoyed reading this excerpt. I’m single and don’t have kids yet so I was skeptical about reading this post. After reading this, I felt I had a clearer glimpse into married/parenting life through this essay vs. spending a weekend with my married friends with kids. 🙂 I’ll definitely be suggesting this book to those friends who are running on no sleep (and at times, no hope that they’ll be their old selves again) as a reminder to look at the bigger picture.

    I’d love to spend a week in Bora Bora in an over water bungalow with a stack of books (or ebooks) ready to be devoured.

    • Lauren,
      Thank you for the congrats and for your lovely compliment!! I’m so glad you liked the essay and that it gave you a bit of insight into that period of parenting… I hope your friends will enjoy the collection!
      It’s interesting to me, looking back at that time now. Life is such a series of transitions, many of them so subtle at first that we don’t realize the magnitude of change until much later. Now, my son is in high school and, if I were commissioned to write an essay today, I would focus on such different facets of motherhood. So I’m glad that I wrote these pieces in the thick of that earlier mothering experience. Even just rereading them calls back to mind that time for me, and all of its memories 😉 .

  15. Congratulations, your new book looks fantastic. Enjoy celebrating!

    I would love to spend a week in Italy. I want to taste the wine, eat some delicious food and enjoy the sun. I would go with my husband who’s my soul mate and high school sweetheart. We love making new memories together and we’re both romantic people, so I’m sure we’re going to have a wonderful time.

    • Suze,
      Thank you!! I’m glad you like the look of the book — I’m in love with the cover! — and I hope you’ll enjoy the essays, if you read them ;).
      And, oh, yes!! Italy is the perfect place for romantics! I love hearing about couples like you and your husband, who have been soul mates since high school. How *wonderful*!

  16. Heartiest congratulations on your new release, Marilyn. I loved the excerpt you shared here. If I get the chance, I would like to be in England and visit cultural and heritage sites such as Bath, Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, the famous landmarks in London, Lyme and all the great estates used in my favourite Jane Austen films. I would take my best friend to travel with me so that I can show her the sites that I always dream to visit.

    • Lúthien,
      Thank you so much for your warm congrats!! I’m truly pleased that you loved the excerpt and took the time to comment!
      And taking a trip to the famous Austen sites in England is a fabulous idea! I love hearing that you’d like to share the experience with your best friend, too. What a wonderful guide you’d be!
      🙂 xo

  17. I am so ready for a vacation I would love to be transported just about anywhere. Congrats on your book!

  18. Champagne! Caviar! Chocolate! Confetti!

    Congratulations on your launch, Marilyn. This was a wonderful post. As a mother and grandmother, I would have to chose Ecuador with my daughter and her family as my destination du jour. If we could all be together elsewhere, I would chose a week in England with Abigail, Cassandra, Monica, Sophie, and the rest of the crew. How fun that would be!

    • Ooooh, Joy, thank you!!
      You know what I like…especially that chocolate!!! 😀
      I’m thrilled you enjoyed the post. That means a lot to me, especially since I know you’re reading it as both a mom and a grandma. (One of the included essays is actually in appreciation of grandparents! I don’t know what my husband and I would have done without the wisdom of both my parents and my in-laws when our son was little… <3 ) I know you left a piece of your heart in Ecuador when you returned to the States. Hope you'll get to see all of your beloveds again soon!

    • Addison,
      Thank you!! And I’d love a tropical getaway, too… Would love to visit Fiji!
      What do you think the chances are that we could get Ryan Gosling to join us there?! “Hey, Girl. No, don’t get up from your comfy spot on the beach…I’ll bring you a coconut drink.” LOL 😀

  19. Lovely post and great new release which is meaningful. This would make a perfect gift. A week away is my wish and would love this escape to a paradise, ocean, sun and peace with my love.

    • Ellie,
      Thank you!! I’m delighted you liked the post, and I appreciate your thoughts on it. It was my hope, in publishing it, that I was creating something meaningful and a book that would make a thoughtful gift for anyone interested — especially moms, stepmoms, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, good friends… 😉
      And your mention of ocean and sun has me happily daydreaming!

  20. Wow! That’s a hard one! If I could take only one person, it’d be my Hubby. We’ve been working so hard lately, we could use the time to reconnect. Where would I want to go? Anyplace! We’ve always wanted to go to an Island, where the water is clear, and the sand is beautiful. Or I’d take him to London or Paris. If I could pick a place, and take the whole family, it would definitely be London. We huge HP fans, and I heard they have a HP tour there. I’d love to see & experience what he did. That’d be so cool!

    • Maria,
      I just love the HP series!! It would be fascinating to do a tour in London — wow!!
      And thank you for taking the time to comment on my post! I appreciate it 🙂 .

  21. Congratulations, Marilyn! This *was* a secret project – at least to those like me who don’t have a facebook! lol I don’t have kids, but my mom and I are very close, plus I love your writing, so I’ll definitely be reading this! She was a single mom and I wish she could have taken more quality time for herself to do lovely things like traveling.

    As much as I love the thought of visiting the UK (especially Jamie Fraser Isle – or The Country Formerly Known As Scotland! 😉 my first getaway place would be Italy. I’ve dreamed of going there since I was a little girl. I’d probably take my mom with me. Unless Sam Heughan is available! lol

    • Monica,
      Your comments always bring such a big smile to my face — thank you!!
      Yes, this was a *very* secret project…because I was trying to surprise my mom 😉 . I wanted her to hear about it from me first and I also wanted to be able to give her the very first paperback copy. She and I are different in many ways, but, as with you & your mom, we’re very close, too… I know several people who don’t have a strong relationship with theirs, so I’m always conscious of what a tremendous gift it is! And thank you for what you said about my writing — I really hope you’ll like the rest of the essays. *HUG!!*
      As for your trip ideas, you couldn’t have chosen better, IMO!! (Where *is* Sam H. these days anyway?! I told Diana G. that I’d love to meet him…why hasn’t he stopped by yet?! 😀 ) Love the thought of you and your mom traipsing through Italy, btw. You two would have a blast there!
      xox

      • Did you get to hang out much with Diana at SOKY? I wanted to go so bad but just couldn’t swing it. I’m so jealous if you got to meet her, and jealous of her if she got to meet you!

        • Monica, I think *everyone* at SOKY wanted to talk with Diana (!!), so I felt really lucky to get to chat with her one-on-one for about five minutes at the Authors’ Reception. She is *lovely* and so very gracious! I posted a picture of us the last time I blogged on AV, but I’m not sure if you saw it. It’s here: http://austenvariations.com/holding-out-for-a-hero-by-marilyn-brant/
          I also heard her give a one-hour talk the next morning on “Outlander” — but it was in a room PACKED with people!
          And you know that one of these days you & I are going to meet…I can’t wait for that. XO 🙂

  22. Congrats on this new release! Where I would go, a secluded beach, tranquil and restful. Warmth and beauty. And with my husband. May is our anniversary and a very big one.

    • Thanks on the book congrats, Elaina!! And Happy Anniversary to you and you hubby!!!
      The beautiful beach you described definitely sounds wonderful & relaxing! *happy sigh* 🙂

  23. Waiting for summer so I can catch up on all your books, poolside, in my backyard. My dream destination? I want to go somewhere where it’s warm and the water is clear and bright blue!! ☀️

    • Kathy, ohhh, I *love* it!! Thank you! I’m grinning at the thought of you with such a big stack of books (or an e-reader packed full of them), in your backyard by the pool! I’m sending you a platter of summertime snacks and a cool glass of your favorite fruity beverage to go along with your reading. 😀

  24. I would like to travel the world, but if I could go anywhere, I’d go to India and I’d take my mother. My mom hasn’t visited the land of her birth since 1986 and in that time she’s lost all of her aunts and uncles, except one. Some of her cousins have passed and the landscape has changed beyond recognition. I’d like for her to see her family and friends and visit all the historic and religious sites her heart wishes to see.

    • Chanpreet,
      What a lovely and thoughtful gesture to want to take your mom to India!! I’m sure it would be a wonderful thing for her, not only to see all of the sites she loved and remembered, but to see them all anew with her sweet daughter! There are sites in the world I’ve visited and loved, but I long to be able to take my son to some of them and enjoy getting to see him see those places for the first time… 😉

  25. Congratulations on your wonderful book. I would go to a tropical island with my husband and just be pampered.

  26. Congrats on your new book. I seriously need to come to a book signing or something just so I can see you again. We definitely need to meet up soon. Love you!

    • Heather,
      It is *always* a pleasure to see you!!
      Might be possible that I’ll be doing a library event this summer somewhere nearby… I’ll let you know if that happens 🙂 .
      Love you back! xo

  27. Your book sounds great. If I could go any where. I would love to see Jane Austen’s home and all the places that inspired her stories. Gordon that trip I would want it all to myself.

      • Schilds,
        Thanks for your lovely comments about the book!
        As for a place to visit, seeing the world where Jane Austen lived and wrote is a *wonderful* plan 🙂 . Hope you’ll get to go there soon!
        And LOL about “Gordon”!! My phone will add in such weird words… Almost every time I try to type “too,” auto correct will change it to “Rio” — who knows why??! 😀

  28. I would bring my hubby and go to Derbyshire and Peak district. Once we have shucked the kiddos, I want to travel and live in Europe and Southeast Asia.

    Congrats on the new release.

    • Patty,
      I suspect there are a lot of us here that would love to spend some time wandering around in prettyish wildernesses in the Derbyshire area!! I hope you’ll get to take these European and Asian excursions with your hubby 😉 . And many thanks for the congrats, too!!

    • Sharame,
      I agree!! Both destinations are incredibly fascinating — wow! I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Paris, but I have yet to see Egypt… What a land of famous sites, history and culture! 🙂

  29. What a wonderful idea for a book! I already got it in e-book!! If I could go anywhere, I would finally take my husband to Italy; I had gone with my church choir and we sang our way through Italy and it was wonderful, but the kids were little, and we couldn’t afford for more than my fare. It has been over 20 years, but we’ll make our 40th anniversary in Nov, so who knows, but maybe…

    • Evelyn,
      YAY!!! Thank you so much for already picking up a copy! I was so pleased to see it on the Amazon bestseller list for “Motherhood” — that’s thanks to wonderful readers like you! XOX
      I love your idea of getting to celebrate your 40th with your husband in beautiful Italy… What a wonderful and romantic place to spend your anniversary!!
      🙂

  30. Congrats on the new book Marilyn! I look forward to reading it! If I could be transported anywhere it would be to the UK. I need quiet country life right as bout now

    • Thanks so much for the congrats, Tina!! 🙂
      I know you’ve been feeling under the weather…and I agree that some quiet country living would be restful — especially somewhere as lovely as the UK. (I’m sending Emerson & Thoreau over from London to your house to make you some chicken soup!)
      Sending you big hugs, my friend. Feel better soon!! xo

  31. I loved the excerpt. It was funny and touching and true! I hope that soon you will take a special trip
    with your husband and start making new memories.

    If I could go anywhere, it would be to London
    (with a train trip to Bath for an overnight) and I
    would go alone, just so I could be completely
    selfish. I would so enjoy just seeing and doing
    whatever I wanted every day!

    • Oh, Susan, thanks so much for your very kind comments about my essay! I truly appreciate what you wrote 🙂 .
      Your London/Bath trip idea sounds fantastic, btw! And sometimes there’s nothing better than to get to explore an area completely independently…and really soak it in!

  32. What a wonderful excerpt! The voice is great, and so relatable to every other mom out there. Have enjoyed your other works and know this will join my list of favorites. 🙂

  33. Congrats on your release! Love your excerpt and journey with food. Hope you’re able to travel and enjoy a fancy meal besides the canned pasta… 🙂

    I would love to travel more too! I’ve only been out of the US once and it was amazing to experience the culture. I would love to travel more in Europe and around the world to take in all the culture and sample all the food! I think my next destination has to be Italy.

    • Dung, thank you so much for the congrats and for your comments on the excerpt! I’m really glad you loved it 😉 . And LOL about the canned pasta!! Yeah, thankfully my son is now in high school and a much more adventurous eater…but back then, not so much!
      As for Italy, I truly hope you’ll get to see it soon. What a gorgeous and fascinating country!!

  34. I would grab my husband and go to New Zealand, it is our dream trip. I am already going to two of my dream locations this summer, Bath and Paris.

    • Kristine,
      I’ve heard that New Zealand is *stunning*!! I was so close…and, yet, unable to really visit. (I was in Australia as an exchange student and our flight stopped at the Auckland airport, but we didn’t get to leave and tour around!!) Hope you’ll have a fabulous time in Bath & Paris this summer 🙂 .

  35. I would go to visit England and all the authors’ homes like The Brontes, Austen, Dickens – all of them! And I would want to take my grandmother who passed away in 2001 because I miss her SO much every single day and if I could have one day with someone it would be her. We never had the chance to say goodbye she died in the middle of the night without ANY warning we don’t even know what happened but she was fine that day I talked to her just hours before. She always supported my love of English literature and getting my degree so I think she would enjoy seeing that as well because she never had the chance to travel 🙂

    • Oh, Erika, I’m so sorry for the loss of your grandmother! Her passing must have been a terrible shock… You were fortunate to have had such a close relationship with her, though, and she sounded like an absolutely amazing woman! I’ll bet she would have loved the England trip you imagined very, very much 😉 .

    • Nancy,
      An Alaskan cruise sounds wonderful!! I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska, but that’s one spot I have yet to convince my husband to travel… My friends who’ve been there have ALL raved about it 😉 .

  36. Thanks for the sale for Mother’s Day – I treated myself – now to find time to read it. It does sound fantastic.

    • Thank you so much, Sheila! It was lovely of you to get a copy! I truly hope you’ll enjoy it and I will look forward to your thoughts on the essays sometime 😉 .
      ♥♥

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