Monday, September 18, 2006

Confessions of Super Mom

by Melanie Lynne Hauser

This is a special Girlfriends Cyber Circuit entry for me. Not just because I enjoyed this book so much, but because my connection to Melanie is unique ...

A year ago last spring, my researcher husband came home prattling about some website I had to check out. This is nothing unusual. My husband is an information junkie and is always throwing bouquets of data at my feet. Please don't tell him, but if I'm cooking dinner or emptying the dishwasher or trying to find the honey mustard or reading over someone's homework, I don't always pay that much attention.

He was really excited by this one, though. He told me about this book that was coming out in hardcover--like mine--and looked like a smart, funny, poignant book for suburban moms.

"This woman is like the Midwestern version of you, honey. Really. You have to check it out."

"Yeah, sure. Where's the salad dressing?"

So anyway. A few busy days went by and he kept bugging me, "Did you check out that woman's site yet?"

Finally, I did, heading straight to the link to read an excerpt. This was followed by a hurried phone call to my husband.

"Hey! That Melanie Lynne Hauser person--she can really write!"

"I know."

"I mean she's good. And smart. And funny."

"I know."

So of course, I bought Melanie's book and read it right through and absolutely loved it. Then I started commenting on her blog, and before you knew it, we became friends. Since Melanie was about a year ahead of me in the publishing process, she was able to answer a lot of my questions, and was hugely generous with both time and information.

Eventually, we met in person, and she was disarmingly funny and honest and a notch or two edgier than you might think. I dug her.

So there you have my Melanie Lynne Hauser story. And now, before I tell you a little bit about her story, I want you to know that Confessions of Super Mom is now available in paperback. So you have no excuse not to buy this truly delightful novel. Here's a synopsis:

For every harried mother who dreams of cleaning with the power of 10,000 Swiffers, putting her children into Super Time Outs with just a flick of her Merciless Gaze, and employing a little Super Eavesdropping when the occasion warrants, CONFESSIONS OF SUPER MOM is a must-read. Filled with romance, intrigue, humor and a colorful cast of characters, this delightful new novel introduces a superhero for the Swiffer generation.

Birdie Lee is an average hard-working single mother of two teenagers, PTA lackey, and mild-mannered grocery clerk at the local Marvel Fine Foods and Beverages. One morning, while getting ready for work, Birdie is sidetracked by a stubborn Stain of Unusual Origin on her bathroom floor. Unable to let the stain get the best of her, she tries to annihilate it with every household product she can find--to no avail. Angry, hot, light-headed (and forgetting to turn on the exhaust fan), she makes one final desperate attempt to eradicate this vile, dastardly stain: she loads her Swiffer Wet Jet with every household cleanser she owns, aims, and fires ...

And passes out, overcome by the fumes. After regaining consciousness (and reminding herself to scrub the bottom of the toilet since from her perspective-- flat on her back--it was looking a little dingy), Birdie realizes something's amiss. Her ears begin to buzz and her senses are aquiver. Eventually, aided by Martin, her geeky thirteen-year-old son and trusty sidekick, Birdie understands that she now possesses extraordinary powers--superpowers, to be exact. Birdie soon learns, however, that, to quote Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility and she finds herself struggling to balance a new onslaught of challenges, both at home and in her community. While trying to keep her distant 15-year-old daughter's heart from being broken (something not even a superhero can do), and dealing with her smug ex-husband and his over-achieving new wife, she must manage her job, PTA responsibilities and a budding romance--all the while trying to rescue her beloved town of Astro Park from an evil force that threatens its children.

So forget those chores--pick up CONFESSIONS OF SUPER MOM and relish in a much-deserved escape. This charming novel will keep readers glued to the page as they cheer for Super Mom to root out injustice and surrender herself to love. Readers everywhere will find themselves in its pages and rejoice in finding a book that celebrates their overlooked everyday acts of heroism.

Doesn't that sound ... filmic? Here's some great news--Hollywood thinks so, too! In fact, they've optioned this book with plans to turn it into a movie. I think they have a winner on their hands.

Here's what the critics think:

"Like its title character, this debut novel has a secret's unexpectedly poignant and packs an emotional punch despite the cheery veneer... at the heart of this story is a narrative about a lonely, wronged woman who just wants to do right by her children and stand up to an uncontrollable world. Hauser slips in soliloquies on motherhood and womanhood that, though brief, are moving, showing us Birdie Lee's heart and in that, the wishes and dreams of super moms everywhere. "- Publishers Weekly

"This silly but fun twist on the superhero tale comes packaged with a socially responsible message about consumerism, but it doesn't get in the way of the high jinks."--Booklist

"From the book's very first page you find yourself grinning...never has there been a more loveable, down-to-earth superhero...with wit, humor and some age-old motherly advice, this book gives the reader a true-to-life hero, helping every mom find the Super Mom inside!"

"Looking for something TOTALLY different than all the rest of the books on the shelves? This is the perfect escape using romance, laugh out loud moments, and super powers that every woman would secretly admit to wanting!"-- Madison McGraw,

I hope you'll buy this book. It's available in paperback at your favorite bookstore. You can order online, too, of course. For more information, visit Melanie's website,


Susan Henderson said...

Great story! And I believe it about the edginess because you can see a little mischief in her eyes.

robin said...

Thanks for the reminder, Ellen. I meant to read Melanie's book a long time ago.

And I can so relate to this: Please don't tell him, but if I'm cooking dinner or emptying the dishwasher or trying to find the honey mustard or reading over someone's homework, I don't always pay that much attention.

Um, especially since he waits until I'm doing all those things at once to tell me his long siloloquies of knowledge. Not that I have anything against knowledge.

I won't tell if you don't.

Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Oooh! Edgy! I've never been called edgy before, but I've always wanted to be! (Girls who have been called "cute" all their lives always secretly want to be "edgy.")

You're my BESTEST friend, Ellen!

Anonymous said...

I loved Melanie's book. So now I have to go out and buy yours. Thanks for putting another ding on the old Borders credit card! ;)

Liane (found you from Melanie's Refrigerator Door....)

Ellen said...

Sue, you're good at spotting mischief. ;)

Robin, ha! Our secret.

Melanie, I see right through that cute exterior! I bet there was a black leather jacket somewhere in your past.

Liane, thanks! I hope you like the book! (And I got a kick out of how you list your age. I might have to copy that ...)