Wednesday, January 7, 2015

THE FIVE W’S and HOW Of Colleen Oakley + giveaway

Colleen Oakley's articles, essays, and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook and Martha Stewart Weddings. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, two painfully cute kids and a huge lapdog named Bailey. Before I Go is her debut novel.

Of Colleen Oakley

WHO? Who are you besides a writer? 
A mom to two adorable kids (with two more on the way!), a wife to a handsome and far-too-logical man, a maker of peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, a drinker of margaritas, vodka tonics and wine (when I’m not pregnant), a Scrabble champion (most years, though sometimes my Mom steals the crown) and a French fry connoisseur.

WHAT? What do you enjoy doing other than writing in your spare time?
Reading! A perfect day to me is hours of uninterrupted time with my nose in a book. Preferably while lying on sand and looking at water. I watch the Food Network religiously and often cook meals that look nothing like they did on TV. I also train for 5Ks, 10Ks and triathlons that I have no hopes of winning.

WHEN? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Early. Ever since kindergarten, I’ve been making up stories, and often dreamt of seeing my name on the front of a book. To be fair, at that age I also wanted to live on a Care Bear cloud and marry Bo from Dukes of Hazzard, so it was a little unclear which dreams I was actually going to make good on.

WHERE? Where do you write? 
Well, each time I’ve thought that I was finally getting a home office, we’ve found out that we were pregnant and had to turn that office into yet another nursery. So I’ve been relegated to the armchair in the den. But sometimes I write in bed, next to my snoring husband or at the kitchen table while my kids do arts and crafts and pepper me with questions every five seconds that I can’t possibly begin to know how to answer. (What is the Internet? Why are there stars in outer space? Why can’t Elsa freeze things through her gloves, if she’s so magical?)

WHY? Why do you write?
So that I’m an easier person to live with. I’ve found that days where I haven’t made time to write (and the times when those days have turned into a week or more), I’m kind of unbearable (as my husband would gladly attest to). When I write, I’m a better mom, wife, friend, daughter— just happier in general. Unless my fantasy football team loses. And then I’m kind of unbearable again.

How? Has your writing success changed your life?
Yes! Our new private jet and weekend trips to St. Tropez have been especially nice. Just kidding. Getting my first book deal has been exciting, thrilling— a real honest-to-goodness dream come true. But on a day-to-day basis, my life is pretty much the same. I write, I eat (a lot, since I’m pregnant with twins) and I make more peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches then I ever thought would be possible in a single lifetime.

Before I Go
by Colleen Oakley

A heart-wrenching debut novel in the bestselling tradition of P.S. I Love You about a young woman with breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away.

Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy already beat breast cancer three years ago. How can this be happening to her again?

On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.

With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?

I know I can't wait to read Before I Go! Well the publisher has offered me one copy to giveaway to someone with a US address! Just comment below telling me why you'd like to read this book and leave me your email address. I will pick a winner by random draw. You can earn a second chance by tweeting about the giveaway and leaving me a link to your tweet in the comment section and tag me @anovelreview1 in the tweet. Good luck!

Thanks everyone for entering! Congratulations to Connie for winning!

Follow Colleen Oakley

Buy your copy of BEFORE I GO


  1. I keep seeing this book all over the place and with everything I've read so far, I can't wait to read it. I've also tweeted: sharn3960 [at] comcast [dot] net

  2. I'm so excited to start reading this book today. I love this post format!! Thanks.

  3. This sounds like a very emotional story. I think we'd both enjoy reading about Daisy's brave quest. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx.

    I also tweeted a link to your post:
    Thanks again.

  4. I'm dying (no pun intended) to read this book because it's not the typical love story. It sounds like an emotional story.
    Email: nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

  5. I've been looking forward to reading this book for quite a while now (I follow the Debutante Ball so have been anticipating this "birth"!) Wow, Colleen, I feel like a slacker-writer after reading about your hectic day. I can't imagine how the twins will amplify things (and likely give you more story ideas!)

  6. The premise of this book makes me wonder what I would do in this situation. Would I try to secure an answer for his future happiness or would I try to cram every second of the here and now in making memories that would help him in his grieving process. I would love to win this book but I definitely plan to read it.

    I have tweeted about this blog post.

    Thanks for this giveaway and interview. Blessings to both of you!
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

  7. I've been hearing about Before I Go for some time now. I was at B&N earlier this week and picked up the copy to check it out. I read the first page and was hooked! Would love the copy.


  8. I'm so excited to start reading this book today. I love this post format!! Thanks.
    Read Best story Online

  9. This book description grabs my heart. My mother died of breast cancer, so I can relate to the fear of a short future. I'd love to read this book!

    1. Oops! I forgot to leave my email. ;) nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com