Style, Sex, and Substance: It’s a launch week scramble and giveaway [UPDATED]

March 5, 2012 | 100 comments

UPDATE (3/5): The book has sold out on Amazon. I’m told there are still some copies available directly from the publisher here, and they’re getting more as fast as they can. Because of the delay, I’m extending the giveaway deadline to Wednesday, 3/14.


I sat down at my computer this morning to write a nice, leisurely post while sipping my coffee, only to find out that Amazon has started shipping Sex, Style, and Substance two days earlier than we expected. So I promptly spit out my coffee and began frantically typing. Let’s begin with the links to where you can get it. Here you go:

Who’s up for a giveaway?

We’ve been working on this book for months, and now that it’s finally out, I’m in the mood to celebrate. I’m going to do a small giveaway with five winners: one will get a $25 Amazon gift card + a bookplate signed by all 10 authors, and four other people will get the signed bookplate. Here are the details:

  • To enter, just leave a comment to this post.
  • This is open to anyone who buys the book any time before Sunday, March 11, so if you pre-ordered, you’re eligible too!
  • You don’t need to show any proof of purchase to enter; I’ll just ask that the winners have some kind of receipt-like thing showing they bought it on or before March 11.
  • The giveaway will close this Sunday, March 11, at midnight.

(By the way: imagine, if you will, the logistical effort that would be involved with getting 10 women scattered all over the country to get pen-and-ink signatures onto the same document. Now multiply that by a thousand, and you have some idea. Which is to say: these bookplates are EXTREMELY VALUABLE.)

Why I think you’ll like it

This really is a fun book. It’s not meant to be a purely “Christian inspiration” style book that focuses only on the positive aspects of Catholic life; rather, it’s an informal, often funny, collection in which 10 women each take one area of life (marriage, sex, motherhood, the single life, etc.) and share their personal struggles, as well as what they’ve learned about how to make it all work.

Allow me to introduce you to my fellow contributors:

Some excerpts

Here are excerpts from some of the chapters:

Rebecca Teti on work:

To cite a silly example, when I first converted and was eager to “learn the ropes” of my newfound faith, it happened that three of the most faithful Catholic women I knew were much “girlier” than I was or am. They wore a lot of pink, and any time a faculty member turned up on our university campus with a baby in tow, my friends would squeal and coo and fuss over him as some women will. They seemed moved by an inner prompting not entirely within their control to squeeze and cuddle any child they ever saw. I had no hang-ups about babies, but I did not share this urge myself.

In all the wisdom and experience of my nineteen years (and a few whole months of Catholicism!), I saw all the women around me behave this way and, comparing their effusive affection with my reserved heart, concluded that I wasn’t feminine and wasn’t up to motherhood.

I carried this notion that I did not and could not measure up to what the Church expected of me as an unspoken wound in my heart for a long while, until a year spent teaching first-graders in Rome uncovered and developed my rapport with naughty little boys. What a relief to learn I was not a failure as a woman (at the ripe age of twenty-one), but simply had yet to discover my personal way of incarnating the vocation to womanhood.

Simcha Fisher on motherhood:

O modern woman, does the idea of receptivity make you a little itchy? You’re all in favor of the motherly virtues of strength and wisdom, good council and courage—all very valiant, very Joan of Arc. But receptivity? Isn’t that kind of…passive? Don’t you just imagine a reclining reed of a woman, her tentative profile framed in lace, trembling among the potted ferns as she waits for Life to happen to her?

I know: That’s not you. Even if such an image appeals to your romantic side, a soft fantasy like this comes rapidly unstuffed the first time you’re up all night wrestling among milky sheets with a baby who is as hungry as three frantic wolves, but somehow can’t figure out, after all this time, how to find the nipple. And when the sun rises on your sleepless face, you’re still supposed to get up and do stuff. Poof go the last feathery rags of that gentle mist of motherhood, and “Howdy!” barks the harsh, daylight reality of your new life as Mom.

Barbara Nicolosi on engaging the culture:

Serious Christians need to experience the cultural arena not as fans but as apostles. We should be brooding over today’s art and stories as signs of the times, not simply absorbing them like sponges. We have to fortify ourselves spiritually, philosophically, and ethically, so that we can enter into the cultural climate the way a doctor enters into a hospital. If we shun the hospital because there is some sickness there, it means that some of the souls entrusted to us will die.

But here’s the real rub: If we avoid the hospital, we will also die, because we aren’t just doctors to the times, we are also patients. We need the divinely inspired prophecy that all the modern popes have assured us comes through the arts. Just as much as our pagan neighbors, we need stories to lead us to wonder, hope, and compunction. If, in an effort to be safe from the corruption of modernity, we cut today’s stories out of our lives, we cut out the normal channel in which God helps human beings grow in psychological, emotional, moral, and intellectual depth and sensitivity.

Here’s the Amazon link again. I can’t wait to hear what you think. And as soon as you get your copy, don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


  1. Kaitlin

    I can not WAIT to read this book. Sometimes I feel so alone in what are obviously OUR beliefs. Sigh. THANK YOU, and the other authors (whom I am now stalking also) for putting this book together. Strong Catholic Women UNITE!!!
    *cough cough* I may need to get out more. At least my kids are cute. 😉

    • Kaitlin

      PS please enter me in your drawing! 😀

  2. Emily

    I would love win this! Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Sarah

    Already ordered mine on Amazon! So excited.

  4. bearing

    I could definitely use more substance.

  5. Karen in SC

    Looking forward to reading it!

  6. Jennifer D.

    Kicking myself for not pre-ordering. Hoping it doesn’t sell out! 🙂

  7. Ashley

    Thanks for the giveaway. I pre-ordered it last week, so I should be getting it soon!

  8. Jennifer H

    Please enter me in! I didn’t even know this book was coming out (or being made b/c I’m that out of the loop!) and it looks like a great read! 😀

  9. Becky

    I ordered it, I am commenting, but I don’t know how to do a receipt thing. What if I quote from the book when I get it? What if I take a picture of my “writing space” with the book showing? What if I just tell you that I have ordered it? What if I SEND you the book and ask you to autograph it? I want to make sure that I am entered in the contest.

  10. Andrea

    Looking forward to reading the book — loved the excerpts so far! Congrats!

  11. Sara Kraft

    Hoping to read this with my book club! I’m expecting my first child in late July (actually have our first ultrasound this afternoon), so I’m so excited to learn more!

  12. Lisa

    I just bought the book today. Can’t wait to read it!!

  13. Lynn G.

    I pre-ordered one for myself and one for my daughter! Do I get two chances?

  14. Kimberlie

    Amazon sent me a note saying my book will be delivered on Thur, Mar. 8th! Can’t wait!

  15. Christy

    I’m hooked! Ordering it today!

  16. Patti

    This looks like a must-read for me and my daughters! Don’t care if I win or not; once this book is in my hands, I’ll be happily reading it and that feels as good as winning about anything.

  17. Colleen Martin

    Thanks for the giveaway! I ordered mine a while ago, and can’t wait to get my hands on it 🙂

  18. JoAnna

    Ordered my copy last week-and can’t wait for it!

  19. Kersti

    Thanks! I would love anything signed by Rebecca Teti!

  20. Jess

    I pre-ordered mine a few days ago! So excited!

  21. Marcia

    waiting for my copy!! I chose to do Kindle so I could get it faster. (yes I live in a fast food nation!)

  22. Lauren S.

    I’m in! I’m loving the thought of reading thoughts from all these good Catholic woman!

  23. Carley

    I ordered two for friends and one for myself. I saw they shipped today! I’m so excited to get my copy and excited to surprise my friends!

  24. Elizabeth

    Just bought it on Kindle! If I will I’ll buy a few copies for my friends!

  25. Trish

    Please sign me up! Can’t wait to read it! So glad it comes for kindle!!

  26. peggy

    I want this book! Looking forward to reading chapters from some of my favorite authors. Long live the strong Catholic woman!

  27. Carrie

    Hope to do this for bookclub!

  28. Pam

    I just purchased a copy for my Nook – hope that counts too!!

  29. Sharon

    I bought a Nook copy. Sign me up for the giveaway!!

  30. JW

    Is the kindle version transferrable to iPad? I’m new to the electronic version of reading!!!!

  31. Anna

    When my baby was born 3 months ago I received an amazon gift card with the request that I use it to buy a book to read while I breastfeed. I used it immediately to pre-order this book and I am so excited that it is coming soon.

  32. EML

    I just received an email from Amazon saying my copy of the book has shipped…hooray!!!!!

  33. Lianna

    I am a single person, but would love to win this! I know there are chapters I could benefit from.

  34. wewh

    Just bought a copy for my wife.

    It appears, based on the comments so far, that I may be the only male to buy this book. =)

  35. Tammy

    Hope I win, it looks like an awesome read!

  36. Ashley

    That’s the good thing about ordering for my kindle: I could stay up and read it at 12:01 am!

    …you know, if I didn’t have to be up at 5 for work tomorrow.


  37. Amanda

    It would be wonderful to win! I’m so glad to have pre-ordered a couple of weeks ago.

  38. Lacia C

    I should have pre-ordered this book too…oops….maybe i’ll win! 🙂 Looking forward to reading it once it is available!

  39. MaryBeth

    Can’t wait to read it and am so excited it shipped early… you may be stalked by a few of us at the Behold Conference for a signature (if its delivered before Friday), so consider yourself forewarned 🙂

  40. Melissa

    Woo-hoo! Amazon told me I’ll get my kindle version of the book tomorrow! Psyched for you, the other contributors & for myself! Thanks for the bonus of giveaways!

  41. Dreena Tischler

    I just noticed that my book shipped! Yippee! Please enter me in the giveaways!

  42. Aileen

    I’ve preordered mine and I can’t wait to get it!

  43. Julia

    Looks like something I would enjoy reading!

  44. Anne

    I can’t wait to read the book. I have been following the blogs of several of the women. Everything I ‘ve been reading has been like another gulp of much needed oxygen. I am currently a missionary in Taiwan, and with the humidity and the pollution, added to my underlying daily challenge to trust in God’s plan and providence, it is quite hard to just breath here sometimes. He always comes through though—and with incredible flying colors which is one of the reasons we are still here. Thanks for brightnening up many of my days.


  45. Natalie

    Just pre-ordered it on my kindle! I cannot wait to read this gem! Gooooo Catholic women folks!

  46. Donna

    I’m in … wondering if this might be a good “one parish, one book” read!

  47. Tracey

    I ordered mine a few days ago. Congratulations on getting it out! (Looking forward to your book, too…)

  48. Peggy

    Thank you for promoting this book! As a “Loud, Proud Catholic Woman” (this was the cool phrase found on a pin my daughter bought at a flea market several years ago)and after reading the selections, I am really looking forward to ordering this book.

  49. Michelle B

    I can’t wait to read this book!!

  50. Maria

    Thanks for the reminder Jen! I pre-ordered my book thru Kindle and it’s supposed to arrive tomorrow. Can’t wait!

  51. Megan

    Please enter me in the drawing! I’ve recently subscribed to your blog’s feed, and I’d love to read more! God bless! Megan

  52. Claire Modie

    I’d really love to win! Got it on Kindle.

  53. Cley

    I can’t wait with the near March 11 give away, I think I can be one that beautiful face contributors…

  54. Wynona

    I love this! 🙂 It’s really my pleasure of joining this and hopefully win this! Thank you for being so generous.. Kudos!

  55. Tina

    Oh, yes, I want to win!!! Lesson learned in not pre-ordering.

  56. Jennifer

    I ordered this morning, Amazon says ten bazillion other people are in line ahead of me, and I have to wait, but I ORDERED!! 😀 😀 Can’t wait until it comes…and can’t wait to win that awesome bookplate to stick in the front.

  57. Catherine

    I preordered my copy last week- can’t wait to get it! Please enter me in your drawing! Blessings to you & your family-

  58. Paul Forgette

    I just ordered my copy.

    Congratulations on “selling out!”

  59. Terri

    I wanna win!!!

  60. Bill Mance

    How do I get a copy signed by all the contributors for my wife Kim? I heard about it from The Son Rise Morning Show this morning when Brian and Anna were talking about it. I was a few years ahead of Rachel in school. Thank you for writing this book! Thank you and God Bless. Bill Mance

  61. Emily

    I got my email from Amazon this morning that my copy shipped. Can’t wait to read it! 🙂

  62. Katie

    I just ordered it on my Kindle! Thanks for the chance to win and your constant witness to the Catholic Faith!!


  63. Eileen Riehle

    Congrats, I ordered a kindle version, looking forward to reading. Keep up the good works ladies.

  64. Genevieve

    I had read about this book before and forgot to order a copy. I come back to the blog today to get the title so I can buy it on Amazon and I see a giveaway…. How amazing!!!

    i’m very excited to get my hands on a copy!!!

  65. Becky

    Preordered it last week….the excerps had me laughing too hard to not order it….I also now have so many more catholic bloggers to stalk, hahah

  66. Mich in MI

    Wow! Congratulations on the sell-out!

  67. Becky

    The way you get a book plate (a sticker that goes in the front of the book that usually says something like “This book belongs to….”) signed by all the contributors is to win this giveaway. Who wins is in God’s hands. The only way that I know of to get an actual book signed by all the contributors is to buy a book, then travel around the country, taking the book first to one, then another. It would be an exciting adventure, and then you could write a book about it, which we would all want to read.

    Or you could enlist the aid of the US mail system. Which would not be such an adventure. If you do that, make sure that you make it VERY EASY for the writers to return the book to you after they have signed it. I don’t think that they have a mailing department.

  68. Marnie Quirk

    I’m really looking forward to the book – I’ve enjoyed reading the blog in the last year and I recommend it to all my friends. Most recently I told a friend who is moving to Arizona that if she reads your blog, she’ll find a kindred spirit when it comes to scorpions.

  69. Karen

    I would love one! Thanks!

  70. beth in CO

    love everything you do, so i know i will love the book!!!!

  71. joy

    Ordered book, please enter me in your giveaway.

  72. Alicia

    I just ordered your book via Kindle download and I can’t WAIT to jump into it. It seems like a refreshing take on Catholic life. I love that it is written by so many talented women! Thank you for this giveaway!

  73. Christina

    Please enter me in your giveaway. =)

  74. Carla

    I just ordered the book and would love to be included in the drawing. LOVE your blog, wish you posted a bazillion times a day…ok, how ’bout more often.

  75. Stephanie

    Ordered mine last week..can’t wait to see it in the mailbox!

  76. Kristy

    Please enter me too! I’m excited it’s extended… somehow I missed it the first time!

  77. Beth

    Already ordered, and it should be here tomorrow! 🙂

  78. Lisa

    I just had to write and tell you how funny I thought the first chapter you wrote was. While the content was wonderful as well…it was just a good laugh too. I bought the book long ago and got my copy today. I have been reading and laughing ever since. I am thrilled for Hallie and love the book!
    Great job to all of you….

  79. Susan

    Congratulations on having a successful book right away! I just ordered it in book form from Amazon so I can share it with others, after I read it.
    Please enter me in your giveaway!

  80. Cathy35

    I am so excited for the give away.. Thanks for hosting! 🙂

  81. Melanie Gillespie

    Please enter me in the giveaway. My copy arrived yesterday, I can’t wait to read it!

  82. Jenny

    I want to win the book! Can’t wait to read it either way!

  83. Andrea

    Oh what a fun giveaway! I would so love to have one of those bookplates!
    Anyway, I pre-ordered the book (and was SO excited when my FedEx guy showed up with it today!).
    I’m off to grab a cup of coffee and start reading!

  84. Lisa Schluttenhofer

    Hi! I’d love to be entered in the giveaway! I’ve been breathlessly reading the excerpts. 🙂

  85. Melody

    i’ve begun reading my Kindle copy! Your chapter was great. I love your blog and read it regularly.

  86. Arleta

    I would love to read the book!

  87. anne

    I would love to win this book! Looking forward to hearing you speak at the Behold conference this weekend!

  88. Christi

    I just purchased the book for my mom as a birthday gift, I know she will love it and I’m excited to read it as well. Thanks for this opportunity to enter the giveaway!

  89. Billy Kangas

    I would love to win!

  90. Lindsay

    You sold me on it, Jen. The opportunity to win a signed bookplate was enough to pull me from “this will make a good item for my review column” to “I want to win! Must have book now!” 🙂

  91. Sarah

    A friend recently shared your blog with me. I enjoy it.
    This is the first book I purchased for my kindle. I’m excited to start reading it.
    Please enter me in your giveaway.

  92. Jessica

    I bought the book from you earlier today at Behold. You didn’t give me a receipt, but you signed it, so I think that will work. I was the sweaty one with a baby, strawberry stain left shoulder, name tag on my back. Yeah, that one.

  93. Kara

    I am so excited to read this book! Sometimes it’s so challenging to find good books that have both solid content and a sense of humor, so I’m psyched! 🙂

  94. AnnMarie

    Looking forward to reading it. Sounds like it would make a great gift for a birthday for my closest friends!

  95. Collette

    I’d love to have a copy of the book — it’s on my wishlist now. Thanks for the giveaway!

  96. David L.

    I would love to win the book and give it to my wife (of course, I would also read it!).

  97. Mary Beth

    Just got my Kindle version yesterday. I am loving it already! You ladies are great, as you always seem to be able to put into words what I am thinking. Thank you all for sharing yourselves with us!

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