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Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando, Giveaway & My Roommate/Rental Story #roomiesbook @lbkids
Jan 10th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Roomies

ROOMIES by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

Giveaway

& My Roommate/Rental Story

Novel Description:

The countdown to college has begun.

When Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment at the beginning of summer, she shoots off an email to coordinate the basics: TV, microwave, mini-fridge. She can’t wait to escape her New Jersey beach town, and her mom, and start life over in California.
The first note to Lauren in San Francisco comes as a surprise; she had requested a single. But if Lauren’s learned anything from being the oldest of six, it’s that you can’t always get what you want, especially when what you want is privacy.
Soon the girls are emailing back and forth, sharing secrets even though they’ve never met. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives…and each other.
With humor and heart, Sara Zarr, National Book Award finalist for Story of a Girl, and Tara Altebrando, acclaimed author of The Pursuit of Happiness, join forces for a novel about that time after high school, when everything feels like it’s ending just as it’s beginning.

– See more at: Hachette Book Group

Go see Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando in these cities:

  • January 12, 2014 – New York, NY: McNally Jackson [venue link]
  • January 15, 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT: The King’s English [venue link]
  • January 16, 2014 – Provo, UT: Provo Library [venue link]
  • February 4, 2014 – San Francisco, CA: Books Inc, Opera Plaza [venue link]
  • February 5, 2015 – Petaluma, CA: Copperfield’s Books [venue link]

My Roommate/Rental Story: Take Pictures

After three years at UW-Madison and only one semester left before I would graduate, I needed a place to live. This was a problem. I had worked very hard, both academically and physically, getting great grades and holding two jobs during the summer plus working during the school year. I received very little financial support from family. Unfortunately, I did not qualify for financial aid because I was still considered a dependent and their income was too high. Yet, I was pretty much on my own.

My budget for housing was minuscule. Getting out of school and into the “real” world to work to support myself was a necessity of survival. One semester left! I knew I could do it. But I had to solve a major problem first, and that was finding a place to rent for September through December. In a college town like Madison, finding month-to-month leases aren’t easy. They cost a lot more. Most landlords want to keep tenants for an entire year. There was no way I could commit to that.

After an exhaustive search, I finally found a young woman who owned a house off campus. For $200/month, I could rent her spare bedroom. It seemed like a win/win. I had a place to live temporarily and she had help paying her mortgage. I’d have use of the bathroom and space in her refrigerator. Other than the guest bedroom, I was to stay out of the rest of her home. I wasn’t wild about her two German Shepherds—okay, the scared the crap out of me—, but she promised to keep them locked up and away from my things. At this point, I had no other housing option. I took it!

I never felt comfortable in her home. The dogs often got loose and I was terrified from their barking and snapping teeth. I tried to avoid them at all cost. I rarely put anything in the refrigerator and spent as much time away from “home” as possible. When I was there, I holed up in the room, door shut.

After graduation, I was so relieved to move out. During the inspection of my room, the owner accused me of causing the varnish on the floor to peel up. It came off in flecks, and now she was going to have redo the entire floor—strip, sand, and re-stain it. And how was she going to pay for this? With my security deposit.

I made several mistakes – and actually she did too. The biggest was that she didn’t have me fill in an inspection form before I moved in, and I didn’t know enough to ask for one. If I had, the flaking floor would have been a part of it.

Many arguments later, and with help from my boyfriend Jim, she grudgingly admitted that I didn’t do anything to “cause” the problem. I received my $200 security deposit back.

The best advice I can pass on to people about renting any space, whether alone or with roommates, is that you should photograph the space BEFORE you move in, write everything down, and pass on copies to your landlord. That way, when you moved out, you and the landlord can compare the pictures and notes to how the space is at the time you move out.

GIVEAWAY – One copy of ROOMIES (US only!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easy by Tammara Webber Discussion Questions for Mothers-Daughters, Sisters, Friends & Giveaway
Jan 10th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

PAGE-TURNER THURSDAY

The New York Times Bestseller:

Easy by Tammara Webber

Readers Guide/Discussion Questions for

Mothers-Daughters, Sisters, Friends

International Giveaway:

Rules: 1 paperback copy of Easy. 18 and older. Outside of the US, only for countries where there is free shipping through The Book Depository. Ends January 18, 4 PM, CST. For more information, check the Rafflecopter.

EasyEasy by Tammara Webber is one of those books that may deeply alter a person’s life. It’s about love, relationships, and rape. Personally, any parent who is sending off a son or daughter to college would benefit from reading Easy. It should be read by sorority sisters and friends. Because what happens in Easy takes place EVERY SINGLE DAY! The events depicted in Easy need to be talked about. Daughters need to be prepared so that they can be proactive and safe just in case they run into a situation that could put them in harm’s way. Sons need to know how to have healthy relationships with young women. If you need guidance with that, then Easy is a helpful source, a launching point for discussion. You may not agree with everything that transpires. That’s okay. It’s about having the opportunity to create a dialogue with those you care about. If you don’t have someone to talk to about these issues or don’t feel comfortable doing so, then that’s okay too. Easy is an outstanding novel to help you formulate your own opinion.

As a parent, teacher, writer, I wanted to create my own guide to share with my friends. Now, I’m posting it on my blog. I personally have purchased Easy for several friends and their college-bound daughters to read and discuss. I was told by my friends that they each read Easy separately, then came together to discuss it. Both moms and daughters said their discussions was extremely helpful and meaningful because of this book.

Note: There also is a helpful publisher’s readers guide in the back of the book. The questions created by me were done before I saw the guide. Use them both.

Link to my Readers Guide – Discussion Questions for Mothers-Daughters, Sisters, Friends.

There are spoilers, so utilize the guide after you read Easy.

http://www.whorublog.com/?page_id=1696

From Goodreads:

Tammara Webber

Tammara Webber

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

To see my Goodreads review, click here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/443052366

To learn more about Tammara Webber and all her novels, please visit her website: http://tammarawebber.blogspot.com

(Mature Young Adult/ New Adult)

There are spoilers, so utilize the guide after you read Easy. http://www.whorublog.com/?page_id=1696

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Roommate Problems And How To Resolve Them
Aug 31st, 2010 by Liza Wiemer

Help!  My Roommate Is Driving Me Crazy!

It’s hard to live with someone else in a tiny space, especially a dorm room.  Many find themselves facing one of these problems at one point or another.  This is a long post, so feel free to scan down for your particular issue.  Feel free to share your own if you don’t see it on the list.  I will be happy to help you resolve an issue and/or post it anonymously, too.  If you have creative solutions or ideas, please share them.

General comments: 

  1. Avoid problems by setting clear boundaries with your roommates first. 
  2. Don’t let problems fester.  Discuss them as quickly and calmly as possible.
  3. Avoid name-calling, vicious sarcasm, and accusations.  Be kind.
  4. Look to see how you may have contributed to the problem. 
  5. Always try and resolve an issue first before you involve others, including an RA, unless it is life threatening or dangerous.
  6. If you’re venting, need space, in a bad mood, make sure you communicate!  Your roommate isn’t a mind reader!  Be upfront, be honest.

Problem: Turning on main overhead light while you’re sleeping or trying to sleep.

Solution:  Put a note on your door that you’re sleeping.  Can even be one of those hotel styles that hang on the knob.  Buy small lamp that can be turned on instead of overhead light.  Light bulb should be low wattage.  If one roommate wants to read while others are sleeping, purchase clip on reading lights.  They come in various sizes and can be purchased online through Amazon, at bookstores, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Problem:  Food issues – either roommate takes your food without permission or does not replacing what she takes.

Solution:  Keep a list next to your refrigerator of all your food items.  Cross out what you eat/drink.  Keep a list of IOUs and replace what you owe.  Label your food and drinks – buy and use Sharpies.  Keep a separate shelf for each roommate’s food/drinks.

Problem:  Dirty – clothes everywhere.  Leaves used plates, bowls, take-out containers and doesn’t wash them or throw them out.  Throws their stuff everywhere.  Doesn’t bathe.

Solution:  This is a tough one.  The key is to be upfront and deal with this issue right away.  Explain that you understand that your roommate may have been in a rush, but that you are embarrassed to bring in guests and have them see the person’s underwear or filth.  Leave a note.  Please clean up mess – we’re having guests.  Please clean up your stuff.  I’ve noticed a horrible odor in our room.  Please help me figure out what it is and let’s resolve it.  

Problem:  Gossips or talks about you to others.

Solution:  Best to be honest and confront the issue right away.  Speak in private outside your dorm.  Maybe go out for breakfast or take a walk, but talk it out. 

Problem:  Roommate doesn’t pay his or her portion for cleaning supplies or other shared items like toilet paper.

Solution:  Keep a checklist:  Item:  who made the purchase with the date and the cost.  Either agree to alternate or split the cost between roommates immediately or every two weeks.  

Problem:  Roommate turns music on while you’re studying or invites guests in while you’re trying to get work done.

Solution:  Ask roommate to use headphones.  If you’re tired, ask roommate and guests to go to someone else’s room.  Be upfront and honest. 

Problem:  Roommate snores.

Solution:  Buy a fan for background noise, buy and wear earplugs (Walgreens, CVS stores carry them), buy a CD that plays wave sounds that will block out snoring.

Problem:  Roommate’s alarm wakes you up too.

Solution:  If your roommate doesn’t wake up to “normal” beeps or light music, ask him or her to buy a wristwatch that has an alarm.  That way, it will buzz or beep on his body and reduce noise. 

Problem:  Roommate binge drinks and vomits in your room.

Solution:  This is a hot topic and difficult problem.  Binge drinkers can suffocate on vomit and need to be watched carefully.  Keep a bowl or a garbage can readily available. 

Problem:  Roommate gives you the silent treatment after arguments.

Solution:  See if you can break the silence between you by starting out with simple phrases like “Good morning” or “Have a good day” or “See you later.”  Communicate using notes.  Let cooler heads prevail – let a day or two pass and start the conversation.

Problem:  Roommate lies, and then lies that she lied.

Solution:  If confrontation doesn’t work, then write a note spelling it out clearly for the person.  He may not change, but at least he knows you’re not being fooled.

Problem:  Roommate doesn’t do his fair share of the work.

Solution:  Discuss it first.  If it doesn’t help, leave a note.  

Problem:  Roommate pushes their religious perspective on you.

Solution:  Be blunt.  Ask the person to stop.  Say I am not interested.  There should be mutual respect and no one should push his faith on another.  One person told me that she would sing every time her roommate brought up religion.  Eventually, the roommate got the message.  In one extreme case a girl told me that her roommate was constantly leaving literature or telling her she was going to hell.  They ended up switching rooms.    

Problem:  One roommate has sex while the other is supposedly sleeping.

Solution:  Private business should always be private.  Leave your roommate a note and say that you had trouble sleeping and ask them to take his/her private business elsewhere.

Creative Solutions:

From a senior who was fighting a lot with her roommates:  “I went out and bought a card and some of my roommates’ favorite things like soda, soaps, things for their hair.  I put the gift together and wrote a note thanking them for being awesome roommates, even through tough times.  It helped smooth things over.

From a senior who had one roommate without a boyfriend:  We had four girls living in one small room.  Three of us had boyfriends and the one who didn’t always felt left out.  Our solution was to plan special girls only activities.  It made a difference and eased tensions.

Online services to help your find a compatible roommate:  Through Facebook: http://www.roombug.net/ or URoomSurf: http://www.uroomsurf.com/

Don’t see your roommate often, but need to communicate?  Maybe this notepad can help express what needs to be said – as long as you both agree to use it!  Some of the things to check off can be harsh!  http://www.shakespearesden.com/notepad-magnetic-roommate-fyi.html 

Some roommate nightmare stories I’ve heard:

Jane told me a story about her roommate, Alisa, who refused to take out their garbage.  The solution was to get separate cans.  One day Jane wasn’t thinking and threw some of her garbage in her Alisa’s can.  Alisa had a hissy fit and retaliated by dumping out garbage! 

Beth walked into her dorm room and found dirty dishes in the sink, on the floor, and on her bed – all belonging to her roommate, Sara.  She asked Sara to clean them up and Sara threw the dishes at Beth. 

Ben’s roommate, Jeremy, confronted Ben and said he owed her money for cleaning supplies.  They had been arguing about other things, too.  Ben paid Jeremy the three dollars he owed him.  Jeremy said he needed space, and asked Ben to get lost for an hour.  When Ben returned, Jeremy was gone.  He left Ben a present on his bed.  Jeremy had cut up the dollar bills and spelled the word “TRUCE” with the destroyed money.

Be careful with whom you confide in about your roommate and any problems you may have with him.  I heard several stories from people who discussed their roommate problems with dorm neighbors, mutual friends, even openly on Facebook.  In each of these situations, the roommate found out.  D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R!  Don’t do it.  If you absolutely need to confide in someone, make sure the person is trustworthy and helps you to resolve the problem by allowing you to take care of it without his intervention.  Start with a friend who doesn’t go to the same school, a parent, or a sibling, or perhaps your RA.

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