Win Seasons One and Two of The Good Wife on DVD!

March 29, 2012 at 10:00 am , by

The Good Wife is one of our top must-see TV dramas, so we were thrilled to talk with actress Christine Baranski for the In My Words interview in our May issue. One of our favorite soundbites? When asked what she loves most about her take-charge lawyer character Diane she says, “She can live in a man’s world, talk with them and have love affairs with them, without losing herself.” We love that about Diane too!

If you haven’t seen The Good Wife, which is currently in its third season, don’t fret—25 lucky readers will win seasons one and two on DVD! And if you’re already a devoted fan of the series, consider this an opportunity to re-watch some of your favorite episodes. All you have to do is comment on this blog post and you’re entered to win.

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Guest Blog: How a Stay-At-Home Dad Penned His First Novel (And Win a Copy of His Book!)

March 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm , by

The Expats, a first novel by former book editor Chris Pavone, is an international espionage thriller that’s invited comparisons to Graham Greene, John Le Carré and Robert Ludlum. The protagonist, Kate Moore, is (as was Pavone for a time) an expat and stay-at-home parent living a typical expat life in Luxembourg. But she’s also guarding a tremendous, life-defining secret—one that slowly begins to unravel her neat routines. As she begins to uncover secrets about the people around her, she finds herself buried in layers of deceit so thick they threaten her family, her marriage and her life. This expertly crafted story will keep you guessing until the very last page.

In this guest blog, Pavone explains how a mysterious woman on a park bench inspired him to write the book. Plus, find out how to win your own copy of The Expats at the end of the post!

I’d spent nearly two decades sitting behind desks in New York City publishing houses when suddenly I found myself in Luxembourg, sitting on benches in playgrounds in the cold damp, making small talk with vague acquaintances about the things we used to do, the people we used to be, before we became people who did this, here. We were expat stay-at-home parents—in my case, to an energetic pair of then-four-year-old twin boys.

First-time novelist Chris Pavone, back in New York City, armed with the tools of his new trade: a cup of coffee and a manuscript ready for marking up. Pavone wrote most of The Expats in European cafés. Photo credit: Nina Subin

We stay-at-home parents had all arrived via roughly the same path: our spouses got interesting/exciting/lucrative job offers abroad, and we thought it sounded fun (or at least different). So we packed up everything we could bring, and left behind everything we couldn’t. For many of us, the latter included the jobs, the careers, the selves that we’d spent our adult lives defining. Now we had to become other people.

For all the fun of constantly traveling around Europe, and for all the newness of this adventure, it was hard for me to embrace the routine. Taking the kids to their international school, attending class-parents meetings, going to the gym or French lessons or the supermarket. Driving around a city I didn’t really know, ignoring traffic laws I didn’t entirely understand, in a language I didn’t properly speak. Looking for the things that my family needed, or wanted: underwear and raincoats, DVDs and sticker books, a vacuum cleaner and a toaster, a cordless drill and a metric measuring tape. Food that I could pack for the kids’ lunch that they wouldn’t reject.

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Win a Giada De Laurentiis for Target Prize Pack!

March 1, 2012 at 8:00 am , by

Do you love chef and Food Network personality Giada De Laurentiis as much as we do? She graces the cover of our April 2012 issue—which officially hits newsstands on March 13th—and in her interview with us she opens up about her adorable 4-year-old daughter, the importance of friends and family, and her passion for cooking. She also shared exclusive recipes from her new cookbook, Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner, which comes out on March 27th. We loved her cookbook so much that we decided to we decided to give away a copy and throw in over $300 worth of products from her Target kitchen line, including a 10-piece cookware set! Click through the slide show below to see all of the products we’re including in the prize pack, and enter to win by leaving a comment below. Good luck!

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10-Piece Professional Series Tri-Ply Clad Cookware

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Win A Signed Copy of Kate Winslet’s The Golden Hat

March 1, 2012 at 6:00 am , by

In our March issue, the beautiful Kate Winslet shared her new passion project—a crusade to spread autism awareness. After narrating a documentary on autistic children who themselves would never be able to speak, she knew she couldn’t just pack up and go home; she was desperate do something to help them. So Kate (and quite a few of her celebrity friends), put together a wonderful new book called The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism, sales of which will benefit Kate’s Golden Hat Foundation, a non-profit that advocates for the inclusion and education of autistic children everywhere.

We’re over the moon about this book, and can’t wait for you to pick it up—so we’re giving away 20 signed copies! To enter, just post a comment below.

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From One of LHJ’s Own: “Why I Wrote a Historical Thriller” (And a book giveaway!)

January 25, 2012 at 10:52 am , by

First-time novelist and today’s guest blogger Nancy Bilyeau was a features editor at Ladies’ Home Journal for three years. Here, Bilyeau tells the story of how her new novel, The Crown, morphed from a pipe dream into a reality. Plus, find out how to win a copy of her book at the end of the post!

“I want to write a novel set in sixteenth century England.”

That’s what I told the four people sitting in a circle in a small 5th-floor apartment in the West Village seven years ago. In a “What the heck?” spirit, I’d joined a fiction workshop held every Monday night. I wasn’t sure what kind of novel I wanted to write except the century I’d place it in. I’d loved Tudor history since I was 11 years old and saw The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth with my parents. Over the years, I kept coming back to biographies and historical fiction set in the 16th century. I enjoyed the drama of the personalities, the wars and the divorces, the excitement of the Renaissance—even the fashion.

I wanted to write a woman’s story, but I felt that plenty had already been written about the queens and princesses and ladies-in-waiting. I settled on a protagonist, Joanna Stafford, who was a nun. Henry VIII destroyed the monasteries when he broke from Rome and I was drawn to that turmoil.  While most Tudor historical fiction takes the side of the Reformation, I thought it would be more interesting to explore what happened to the nuns, friars and monks whose lives were upended by this sweeping transformation.

My first pages were not good and my writing group, while perfectly polite, let me know. But I kept at it. I decided to make my story a thriller, and loved nothing more than losing myself in research and plotting my story. I read everything I could find on the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the people at its center. My kind of book isn’t researched through Google: I spent hours at the New York Public Library, poring through the collections. I discovered some of the most exciting, little-known facts in books written more than a century ago. In some cases those writers had access to sources lost to us. I also started corresponding through emails with historians and curators in England. It took months for me to find out what a prisoner would eat while imprisoned in the Tower of London, but I did it! When I got a copy of a 16th century daily “meal sheet” (think mutton, mutton and more mutton), I danced around my apartment.

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Crazy Stupid Love and a New TV

November 1, 2011 at 8:00 am , by

 We fell for Crazy, Stupid Love (not to mention Ryan Gosling’s abs) back in July, which is why we’re so excited to be giving away the DVD. Plus, we’ll throw in a brand-new flat-screen TV to watch it on!

In case you missed it, Crazy, Stupid Love is the story of 40-something, straight-laced Cal Weaver (Steve Carell). He’s living the good life until his wife (Julianne Moore) cheats on him and asks for a divorce.While his life is unraveling, he meets the handsome player Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who takes him on as a protégé and teaches him how to be a desirable, single man. Cal learns, however, that the one thing that can’t be made over is his heart.

Leave a comment below to enter to win!

Buy it 11/1 on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack with UltraViolet Digital Copy* or Download to Own
Crazy, Stupid, Love. © 2011 Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
*Restrictions apply. See packaging for details.

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Recipes For Life – SpaFinder Giveaway

October 11, 2011 at 8:45 am , by

Need a good memoir to read? We’re giving away 10 copies of Recipes: My Memories by television star Linda Evans. One grand prize winner will receive a $500 gift card to plus a copy of the book!

You’ll probably remember Linda Evans from her role as Audra Barkley on The Big Valley, or as Krystle Carrington on “Dynasty.” More recently, she won the  British version  of Hell’s Kitchen, working under Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White.

Now Linda opens up, sharing secrets for living in her book Recipes for Life. With a delightful assortment of anecdotes, photographs, and recipes she’s enjoyed and collected over the years, Linda talks about growing up her life in Hollywood, the friends she’s made, and the loves of her life.

Enter to win now!