Friday, August 13, 2010

Write the Right Words - A Book Review and Giveaway

From the website for St. Martin's Press/MacMillan:

A Warm and Practical Guide to Writing the Perfect Card Message

Are you at a complete loss for words when a birthday card or congratulatory card circulates at the office?

When was the last time you mailed a “thinking of you” card to a faraway family member, just to say hello?

What should you write to a grieving friend? How do you comfort a colleague in a time of need?

Every greeting card needs a personal, handwritten message to make it complete. In this comprehensive, encouraging guide, journalist and lifestyle expert Sandra Lamb offers a wealth of advice, inspiration, and examples for anyone who wants to add the perfect personal touch to their card messages---as well as anyone who wants to know the etiquette of when and what to write.

Something as small as a heartfelt message on a greeting card can help remedy our hectic, e-mail--dependent lives. Lamb provides tips and sample messages for every occasion under the sun, both happy and somber (thank-you, birthday, birth and adoption, condolence), and explains the meanings of possibly unfamiliar holidays and religious rituals to aid in the writing of appropriate messages.

This personal, indispensable guide will help you rekindle the joy of putting pen to paper and truly connect with loved ones and friends.

When I received the request from Ms. Lamb's promoters to post a blog about her book I must admit that I was a little skeptical. I was not personally familiar with Ms. Lamb's work and so did not really know what to expect.

What I discovered is a delightful book, not simply filled with standard messages to be copied to a card or in a note, but filled with prompts and wonderful ideas to kick start your own imagination when it comes to writing personal notes from the heart.

Ms. Lamb's book is broken into seven sections:

Part One: Connecting Messages - takes you through various ideas and writing prompts designed to help you get your creative writing juices flowing.

Part Two: Happy Day Messages - this section is also filled with ideas and prompts for your message with a focus on birthdays, graduations, weddings, births and many other celebratory days. If you really get stuck she has provided some wonderful suggested messages for the specific celebration.

Part Three: Holiday Messages - follows the same template as Part Two but I love her approach. Quote: "Spread the joy by sending a greeting card with a special handwritten note to holiday time...But before you do, it's important to know - in at least a bit of detail - the beliefs of those your're sending a message to, in order to be sure you message will add to their celebration, and not offend."

Throughout these sections she has provided quotations that may be used and guidelines for message etiquette which are thoughtful and thought provoking. In addition to all the wonderful quotes and prompts contained within this book, each section begins with a wonderfully thought out and relative description of the purpose of the section. This book is not confined to handwritten notes, although that is the main focus, but also suggests when an email may be more appropriate.

Part Four: Social Grace Messages - this section deals with everything from the simple act of saying thank you, to retirement and beyond. This section truly deals with the handwritten note as a act of just thinking of another person, we all know how wonderful it is to receive an unexpected note from someone who is just letting us know that we are being thought of.

Part Five: Care and Concern Messages - addresses get well notes and loss. This section covers the least number of topics but is the second longest section of the book, which is no surprise when you consider how difficult it can be to express sincere condolences to someone without making the situation more painful.

Part Six: Creating a New Relationship Messages - this section deals with everything from creating relationships with your in-laws and step-family members to restoring broken connections with friends adn family.

Part Seven: Dates to Remember - provides space for you to record your own special dates. It is organized by month.

This is a wonderfully well written delightful book that everyone should have on their bookshelf, I'm sure that we will all find it a useful tool at some point in our lives.

So with that I conclude my love fest for this book and I have a giveaway to announce.

Ms. Lamb has graciously offered to send one lucky reader a signed copy of her book. This giveaway has only a few rules, but a limitation that does not normally apply here, only US and Canadian postal addresses are eligible (sorry my international readers).

So if you would like to enter, please read the following rules:

1. Leave a comment on this blog my midnight EDT on August 20th.
2. Be sure to include an email address so that I may notify you if you win, if I have no way to contact you I will pick another winner

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review by TLC Tours and the publishing company but was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own.


Patrick @ The Norsk Woodshop said...

I'll jump. I can always use a bit of schooling on the ways of writing the perfect sentiment.

I have also been looking for a good book on writing thank you cards and the like to use as special customer thank you presents and in donation baskets. So maybe this will be a winner.

patrick [at] norskwoodshop [dot] com

Anonymous said...

This would be great! I love sending cards and letters but always feel stuck writing the sentiments.

julie001 at gmail dog com

Zoƫ said...

Sounds like a neat idea!

LisaMM said...

YAY for a lovefest for Write the Right Words! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for taking a chance and participating in this book tour. We really appreciate it!

journalingarts said...

I love this book! Thank you for taking the time to review it. My email is cynthia at

Sam H said...

this book will fill a neeed

Jp in Ca said...

Very generous of the author & great review. Makes me think I should buy a copy, unless of course I win the giveaway. ;-)

ginigin said...

Great review, had seen this and wondered if it was more substantial than a Hallmark greeting and am happy to see that it is indeed. I think this would be really helpful for the kids I work with especially, since most of them don't write letters and when I encourage them to do so, they say they don't know what to write. Thanks to you and author for the giveaway. you know my address aka ginigin

Kim said...

This book would give me th perfect reason to use my fountain pens more often. My teens also like to see examples of what to write before they send out their mail.
email: kmsjanes (at)

Carys of the 13 and a half cats said...

The book sounds lovely, and I'd like to enter.

Carys at starfire-studio dot com

R.E. Wolf said...

This book sounds like it should be required reading for all adults.

Sara said...

apparently i've entered this giveaway in a very vivid dream so i've decided to reenter it in my waking reality :)

thanks for the chance! :o)

James said...


james at everydaycorrespondence dot com

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