There. Now that you’ve met The Real Sheila J. Petre, let’s talk a little more about her book.
Thirty Little Fingers: Seasons of Young Motherhood is a charming mixture-book, as if Sheila gathered up her best concoctions – the tastiest reserved morsels and most delicious literary crumbs – and sandwiched them all between its covers. There are many short stories about real-life motherhood, some that make me want to cry and many that make me laugh. There are toothsome recipes from her kitchen. There are poems, always my favorite portions of her work. There’s baby talk and word pictures and messiness and color and joy. And superglue. And HoHo cake.
One of my favorite things about the book is this: not only is it about being a young mother, it is perfect for young mothers. You can open it to any page and start reading – that’s what I do. And then set it down to settle a fight or tuck a young ragamuffin back in bed. And then pick it up again in a new place, and read and laugh and cry. A lovely index at the back of the book helps you find the right parts over again, when you want to return to them.
Sheila writes about marriage and mothers-in-law, about jealousy in relationships and about savoring the moment, about other languages and cultures, about mothering mishaps, about meltdowns and giggles, about everyday life with small people. She is an expert at capturing emotion and detail, and surprising you with a twist at the end of the story.
She is selling Thirty Little Fingers for $13 each, which includes shipping.
She’d also like to offer you Confessions readers a chance to win a free copy, but there is one small problem. She loves to give, but as an honest and hardworking Mennonite woman she does not believe in reaping where you did not sow. For this reason, she would like to invite you to earn a copy by taking a whack at the following quiz.
Can you correctly identify the ten titles below, chosen from among the dozens in Thirty Little Fingers?
- Six of them are stories (in your answer, mark them with an S)
- Two are poems (mark with a P)
- One is a recipe (R)
- And one is not in the book at all (mark N/A)
Isn’t that fun? You are invited to give the quiz your best shot; we will give away up to five free copies of Thirty Little Fingers based on your scores. There shall be nothing random.org about this, unless of course you all tie for the top. Please don’t.
Here’s the quiz:
- The Boundaries of an Odor
- A Camel in the Night
- Domestic in Early Winter
- Domestic in Late Winter
- How Often Overwhelmed
- Incidents in a Paper-Chain Factory
- Love, Prayer, and a Muslim Daughter
- Mixed Pickle
- Supermom and the Super Glue
- Yes, You May Come to Dinner, if You Don’t Mind Eating under the Kitchen Sink
I took the quiz myself before seeing a copy of the book, and scored less than fifty percent correct – which all in all I thought was quite good, in fact better than Sheila’s husband scored (and he read the manuscript).
Feel free to tell your friends about this book and giveaway, especially young-mom friends. Remember: even if you don’t find yourself in need of Thirty Little Fingers, you have a young mother somewhere in your life – and I cannot think of a more perfect gift to give her than an hour of your time and a copy of this book.
Want to give it a try?
Obviously if you’ve already viewed this book and its contents, your quiz answers will be considered unfair and your comments will be stricken from the record. So please be honorable.
You can copy and paste the ten-title-quiz into your comment below, or simply do it like this: 1 – R, 2 – S, 3 – N/A, etc. (No clues are contained in the preceding sentence.)
Thirty Little Fingers can be purchased for $13 each including shipping, or $11 each when ordering five copies or more. PA residents should add 6% sales tax. Make checks payable to Sheila Petre. To order, contact Sheila at PO Box 127, Mercersburg, PA 17236, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I earned two copies of Thirty Little Fingers in exchange for hosting this earnaway. All opinions expressed are my own.
This offer will close next Thursday at midnight, with results to be posted on December 22.