date night

5 Things Liz & Lisa Didn't Know About...Hyatt Bass

We first heard about debut author Hyatt Bass  (btw, what a great name!) when Allison Winn Scotch tweeted about her last year. With an endorsement from one of our favorite authors, we snatched up The Embers immediately and also started following @HyattBass on Twitter (when we tweeted her, she tweeted back!).  And from the first page, Hyatt's novel was incredibly satisfying. Her writing is engaging and real. As is the story of Emily whose engagement makes her take a difficult look at how her family has been torn apart since her brother passed away. The story moves between past and present over the course of sixteen years and is told from the perspectives of Emily, her father and mother as they all come to face the many buried secrets in the family.

The Embers is out in paperback today. And if you leave a comment here, you know what that means! A chance to win a copy of this fantastic novel. We say it's perfect timing for the holiday weekend!

So here she is.... the fabulous Hyatt Bass! (And PS: If she wasn't already fabulous enough... guess who she's married to? The writer of the hilarious movie, Date Night!)

1) The Embers actually started out as a screenplay (I’d written & directed a film, 75 Degrees In July).  When the script for The Embers didn’t work, I had a crazy idea to try writing it as a novel.  Ironically, the book is now out to filmmakers, and I think it would make a great film.

2) My son (5 at the time) had a melt-down when he found out People magazine had chosen The Embers as one of its “Get Set For Summer” books of 2009 but had excluded his “book.”  Who saved the day?  My filmmaker husband of course, writer of Date Night and Shrek Forever After, who offered to make a movie of our son’s book with his Flip camera.  I wrote this essay about it at The Daily Beast.

3) My great passion outside of my work and my family is The New York Women's Foundation.  I also met up with women’s funds all over the country during my book tour, and it was one of the most rewarding parts of publication.

4) Until I was 18, I wanted to be a professional ballet dancer. I decided to go to college instead, but I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to take that other path.

5) Before our children were born, my husband and I used to take each other on birthday road-trips to surprise destinations. The hotel in The Embers is based on a combination of places we visited this way.

To find out more about the incredibly talented Hyatt Bass, visit her website.


Mommy Monday- Yes or no to GNO? by Liz

Girls night out. Three beautiful words that always seem to light up the faces of whoever utters them.  Back in the day, it meant putting on your favorite pair of Seven jeans and going on the prowl for Mr. Right-dancing the night away at your favorite club and eating Jack in the Box at three in the morning.

And when I did find Mr. Right,  I was so smitten that I was willing to gain seventy pounds, not once, but TWICE in order to bear him two children.  And somewhere along the way I started saying N-O to GNO.

At first, it was because I was pregnant for what seemed like three years straight.  During which time I would only stay up past midnight when I was rocking a screaming baby.  Or cleaning their throw up off my pajamas. Or trying in vain to fall back asleep after my little darling crawled into our bed, giving me approximately three inches of space. (WHY do they always come to my side?)

And let's not even bring up those last ten pounds of  baby weight that was still firmly cemented on my body, making a mockery of me each time I dared try to squeeze into one of those old GNO tops that still hung in the back of the closet.

But something happened when my youngest turned two.  Finally able to get a good night's sleep, I  found the energy to care about more than how I could manipulate my daughter into picking the shortest book on her bookshelf to read that night or how to get my son to eat something other than pasta. And the baby weight?  I went on Weight Watchers and rid myself of that damn muffin top that had been plaguing me each time I shoved my ass into those Seven jeans.

I was back, baby!  It was time to get my GNO on.

I had GNOed sporadically during what I like to call the "battleground years".  But each time, all I could think of was the hell I would pay the next day.  That it would take me a week to recover from staying out too late and having a cocktail or two.  Or I'd be so tired that I'd almost fall asleep in my champagne, barely able to hold up my end of the conversation. And while my husband and I attempted to have a date night each month, I found myself daydreaming at dinner about getting a hotel room by myself so I could sleep in peace for a few hours.

Thank God those days were over- I had finally reached the promised land! Well-rested and sporting my pre-prego jeans, I was ready to take on the world! 

Happy hour? Bring on the half-priced appetizers!!

Friend just got dumped and needed some girl time to recuperate? I'm your gal! 

Want to celebrate your latest promotion? I'll have the champagne waiting!

The world was my oyster once more.  Or at the very least, I was going places where they served oysters instead of chicken strips and fries.

And it was about so much more than just having a glass of wine.  It was about reconnecting with the person I was before I had kids-the one who used to play tennis, read three books a week and was the life of the party. And cultivating all those beautiful friendships again that I missed so much. (There's only so many poo-poo and  spit up talks people are willing to have with you!)

While I love my kids and feel incredibly blessed to have them, I'm not ashamed to admit that there's a part of me that misses my pre-mommy self. And even though  I'll never again be the girl who dances on the tables, (long story!) I  like to think that by making time for myself every so often, I'll find a nice middle ground that both myself and my family can live with.  Because I don't believe that being a great mom means you have to give up who you used to be or the friendships that keep you grounded.

So next time you're invited to GNO-don't say N-O.  Remember that Mommy needs some me time too.  I'll see you there-I'll be the one toasting you from across the room.

Do you make time for yourself?  Leave a comment and be entered to win one of FOUR copies of Irene Zutell's breakout novel Pieces of Happily Ever After, an intriguing story about a mom who struggles to find herself after her husband dumps her for an A-list celebrity.

xo, Liz