Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bree Housley is woman's best friend and has a book to give away

Introduction by 
Melissa Amster

**Giveaway is now closed**

Having a best friend is one of the most important things in the least I feel that way. My best friend and I have so much history together and no matter how often we disagree about things, we also have each others' backs. We know exactly what will make the other laugh out loud. I can't imagine life without my best friend. Unfortunately for Bree Housley, life without her best friend became a reality. Bree and her best friend Shelly were inseparable since fourth grade (Think "TullyandKate" from Firefly Lane). Their friendship survived almost everything until the unthinkable happened...Shelly passed away at the age of 25, due to complications from Preeclampsia. In order to keep Shelly's memory and legacy going strong, Bree and her sister spent a year doing crazy things that Shelly would have done, like giving Valentines to strangers or singing at a karaoke bar. And to document the year, she wrote a book, We Hope You Like This Song. Shelly's "deathiversary" was on January 16th, so the timing for having Bree here is oddly, but nicely, coincidental. In honor of her deathiversary, Bree recently posted a bunch of photos of Shelly on her Facebook page and invited people to share pictures of themselves and their best friends.

Bree is a freelance writer who grew up in Walcott, Iowa (a.k.a. the World's Largest Truckstop). She now lives in Chicago, where she spends most of her free time drinking cocktails with friends or sitting in sweatpants and watching movies with her husband and their dog. And for the record, she is not named after a French cheese. And she is not Jen Lancaster's long lost twin, even though they look alike. She's here today to talk about her best friend AND man's best friend.

We, at Chick Lit Central, hope you like this book. Bree even has one copy to share with a lucky reader in the US or Canada!

You can find Bree at Facebook, Twitter and her website (which also has her blog).

Check out her book trailer (we dare you not to cry):

Since you wrote a memoir, what is one piece of advice you have for others who would like to write their own memoir?
Go for it with all your guts. Don’t sugarcoat the ugly stuff or worry that someone might remember things differently. It’s your story. No one else’s. People know that when they see your name as the author. Sure, you might have to include an apology to your mom in the epilogue for using the f-bomb, but you’ll end up with a much richer, more impactful story if you put it all out there.

What was your favorite activity that you did to keep your best friend's memory alive?
My favorite activity was the “resolution” that spoke most directly to who Shelly was. We called it “the social butterfly.” My sister and I had to make five friends in one week. Saying “hi” to a stranger wasn’t enough. We had to learn one thing about them and also snap a picture with our new stranger-friend. Have you ever asked someone you barely know to pose in a picture with you? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Weird.

I’m quite introverted so I had to approach my day differently. Instead of plugging my ears with headphones and keeping my eyes on the ground, I made eye contact with people. I realized that every person I shared the sidewalk with was a new opportunity to connect. I’m sure I freaked some people out, but in the end I got some photos I’ll always treasure.

Describe your writing style in three words.
Unfiltered. Imperfect. Friend-y.

What did you do to celebrate when your book was published?
I exhaled. And then I put on my headphones, listened to my favorite Stuart Davis album, and walked to the grocery store for some Ben & Jerry’s Late Night Snack.

When I received the first physical copy of the book, I took it to the cemetery and read the prologue to Shelly. It only seemed right to celebrate with the person who inspired me in the first place.

Tell me the funniest thing your dog did recently.
We were at my in-laws house over the summer and everyone was out in the pool. Our dog, Willie, was hanging out on the edge, checking things out. He leaned so far toward the pool that all 75 pounds of him splashed in without warning. He freaked.out. My sister-in-law was the closest so she sprang into action by hoisting him back onto land. Willie was so ashamed that he ran and hid in the bushes. It was such a human emotion. Adorable.

What is your favorite thing about having a dog?
I spent a lot of hours in my basement office working on my memoir. I oftentimes worked from 9 PM – 3 AM so I could also work my day job. Willie made me feel like I had a friend in the room during those hours…but he didn’t distract me with cocktails and chitchat like my human friends would. Perfect writing partner!

If you were to give advice to someone getting their first dog, what would you tell them?
I like to say I “married into” my dog so I’m definitely still learning. My husband, Eric, rescued Willie from a shelter a couple years before we met. Sometimes when I look at his sweet eyes, it makes me sad that he could’ve been killed if Eric waited just a few days. So my advice would be to visit animal shelters before making a decision. Why not save a dog’s life if you can? (Cue the sad McLachlan music.)

Who is your favorite pet on a TV series?
Was Alf considered a pet? If not, I’d have to say Digby from Pushing Daisies. The show didn’t last long, but my passion for the relationship between Digby and sexy pie-maker Ned burns on, always. If you aren’t familiar with the show, Ned had a special power where he could bring the dead back to life with a simple touch. He first discovered this as a little boy when Digby was hit by a car. But here’s the kicker, if Ned touches the person/animal a second time, they drop dead again forever. So poor Ned could never touch Digby or pet him, but he found other ways to show his canine BFF love.

Special thanks to Bree for visiting with us and sharing her book with our readers.

How to win We Hope You Like This Song:

Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.) 

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Since this book is about best friends and it's still pet/animal month, please tell us: If your (human) best friend were to be any kind of animal, what kind would they be and why?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

5. Follow us on Twitter and/or Pinterest.
6. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends January 23rd at midnight EST.


Unknown said...

Congratulations on the new book, Bree. If the trailer caused me to tear up, I cannot imagine the amount of tissues I'll go through reading your memoir. XOXO

Elizabeth Seckman said...

That is really sad. Pre-eclampsia? That just seems so wrong that they couldn't save her! such an awesome tribute and gift to all those who loved her. She must have been a great lady.

TinaB said...

Can't wait to read! Sounds like a great book! I already follow you on fb & pinterest.

rubynreba said...

I'd love to read this!

rubynreba said...

GFC Follower

rubynreba said...

Follow you on facebook

rubynreba said...

It would be a dog since they are just about always loyal!

Sara said...

My best friend would be a horse- she LOVES them!

Marthalynn said...

I love her stranger-friend challenge and what it meant to her. That was so inspiring to read.

My best friend would probably be some sort of toy dog - a Maltese maybe. She's kinda feisty and territorial! ;)

I follow

marthalynn16 at gmail

Nova said...

So sorry for your loss ...will be looking forward to reading this book.
My best friend would definitely be a cat. She is fiercely independent but still needs me to rely on at times.

Nova said...
I follow on pinterest.
I am a fan on facebook.
I follow the blog by email and GFC.

bn100 said...

Fun question about the favorite pet on a tv show.

I'd say a dog because they're friendly.

I follow the blog.


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this story...

i'll pick a tiny, furry dog who loves to cuddle

i'm a follower, too

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Videoclimber said...

I follow on GFC as Tia

If my best friend was an animal, it would be a bear, because he's a teddy bear.


Linda Kish said...

Mine would be a dog because they always love you and are always there when you need them.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Literary Chanteuse said...

Hmmmm...tough question I'll say a turtle or a sloth because she is quiet (I do most the talking lol) and usually running late we when we meet.

-blof follower
-posted on twitter
-member of CLC on fb
-follower on twitter & pinterest


Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I heard about this book a few months ago when there was an article in the paper! I think they're from a small town in Iowa? I can't wait to read it!
missamberljohnson at gmail dot com
I follow on FB, Twitter and GFC.
My best friend would definitely be a loyal dog!

Nina said...

As a cancer survivor, I have to confess the question of how my memory would hopefully live on has crossed my mind before, so I am particularly touched by this memoir and how she honored her best friends life! That being said, my best friends would definitely be a loyal dog. ;)
I follow on Twitter and RSS

susieqlaw said...

Definitely loyal.

sendsusanmail at gmail dot com

I tweeted this #giveaway at susieqlaw.

I follow CLC blog, Pinterest, twitter, and Facebook.

Lauren McCormick said...

If my best friend was an animal she'd definitely be a bunny because I call her my Hunny Bunny! She lives in Spain and we met on an online game. Thru an awesome app Viber we can text send pics and talk on the phone for hours! I pray with tax return money I'll finally meet her in person! It's been a year that we've been BFF!
I follow the blog on FB and in Pinterest.

Maureen said...

I would compare her to a cat since she is independent.
I follow on GFC - Maureen
Twitter - @MaureenCE
mce1011 AT aol DOT com