Monday, July 22, 2019

"You’ve Been Volunteered" by Laurie Gelman

You’ve Been Volunteered
(Class Mom Book 2)
by Laurie Gelman

You’ve Been Volunteered (Class Mom Book 2) by Laurie Gelman

You’ve Been Volunteered is the second book in the Class Mom series by Laurie Gelman. Also available: Class Mom.

Class Mom by Laurie Gelman

You’ve Been Volunteered is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

In the eagerly anticipated follow-up to Laurie Gelman’s “irreverent and hilarious” (The New York Post) hit Class Mom, brash, lovable Jen Dixon is back with a new class and her work cut out for her
If you’ve ever been a room parent or school volunteer, Jen Dixon is your hero. She says what every class mom is really thinking, whether in her notoriously frank emails or standup-worthy interactions with the micromanaging PTA President and the gamut of difficult parents. Luckily, she has the charm and wit to get away with it - most of the time. Jen is sassier than ever but dealing with a whole new set of challenges, in the world of parental politics and at home.
She’s been roped into room-parenting yet again, for her son Max’s third grade class, but as her husband buries himself in work, her older daughters navigate adulthood, and Jen’s own aging parents start to need some parenting themselves, Jen gets pulled in more directions than any one mom, or superhero, can handle.
Refreshingly down-to-earth and brimming with warmth, Dixon’s next chapter will keep you turning the pages to find out what’s really going on under the veneer of polite parent interactions, and have you laughing along with her the whole way.

I stare at my computer screen and ponder my email. Is it too short? Too kind? Too sincere? Normally I wouldn’t give a royal rip, but we have a new PTA president starting this year. I haven’t met her yet, but she sent out a note saying she wants to be copied on all class parent emails. This fact alone has me at DEFCON 3. Smells like a micro-manager to me. Nina would never have wasted her time on that crap.
Sadly, Nina is no longer PTA president, nor is she living in Kansas City. My best friend in the world now calls Tennessee home. She moved to Memphis with my former trainer, Garth, and her daughter, Chyna, in June, shortly after it was named the fattest city in the U.S. for like the hundredth time. The mayor decided to start a “Cut the Fat” citywide health initiative and Garth was recruited through one of his Wounded Warrior buddies to develop a middle school program. It was an easy move for Nina—she can run her web design business from anywhere, and Chyna was more than happy to start high school in a new city after her less than stellar middle school years, poor baby.
But all their change and excitement has left me without my best friend, my kick-ass trainer, and a great babysitter … and everyone knows how hard it is to find a great babysitter. Returning as class mom would be so much easier if Nina was still living here—especially since she was the one who, once again, convinced me to jump back into the thankless cesspool.
“Just do it. You know you miss it,” she said on our latest phone call.
“What I miss is you, you big jerk.”
And I really do. There is a little hole in my heart and an emptiness in my life that no number of texts or phone calls is able to fill. Truth be told, that’s why I agreed to rejoin the class mom-palooza. I need something to distract me.
Thank God she didn’t move away last year. I wouldn’t have gotten through it without her. Our family was thrown for a loop when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a rough go for quite a few months and Nina was pretty much the anchor of our care circle. No matter how bad it got, Nina never wavered.
Laura, my sweet second-born, was finishing her last year at KU, but she came home every weekend to cook and clean for my parents. Right before our eyes she went from lazy college kid to domestic goddess. I’m not sure where she learned to make a bed with hospital corners, but I’m thrilled she did.
My oldest daughter, Vivs, moved back to Kansas City from Brooklyn, where she was cohabitating with her architect boyfriend, Raj, and took a job as a nutrition consultant at our local Jenny Craig just to be close to all of us. I nicknamed her the Lone Arranger because she single-handedly scheduled all of my mother’s chemo and doctor visits along with a schedule of who would be taking her to said visits. Finally, her bossy firstborn personality was used for good instead of evil.
Max was eerily quiet but very cooperative no matter how many nights he spent with Chyna babysitting him. And my husband, Ron, was—well, he was a man and frustrated because he couldn’t just fix the problem.
As for me, I was not ready to lose my mother, no way, no how. But instead of standing strong and defiant, I was a very disappointing tower of Jell-O. Who knew I’d fold like origami when the going got tough? There were lots of tears (on my part) and prayers (on my parents’ part), and it was all very bleak and sad until one day my mother, Kay Howard, up and decided that cancer had picked the wrong bitch to mess with. She actually said that, out loud. It was the first time I had ever heard her swear and I learned very quickly it wasn’t going to be the last.
With my mom in fight mode, cancer became our punching bag, literally and figuratively. I hung a boxing bag in my basement workout area, aka Ron’s Gym and Tan, slapped a picture of a cancerous boob on it, and beat the shit out of the picture every day. It was Garth’s idea and it really worked. Not only did my arms get toned, I got out all my frustration, so I was ready to face my mother and her never-ending demands. Not demands for herself, mind you, but for my father. Kay was taking no prisoners, but Ray was struggling with the thought of a life without his darling girl, as he calls her. I always knew my parents loved each other, but I’d never realized how in love they still are. Mom was ready every day with a list of things my dad absolutely needed. It usually looked something like this:
The newspaper
A poppyseed bagel from Einstein’s
Snapple Peach Tea
That toothpaste that tastes like cherry
At least ten hugs

Praise for the Book
“Gelman gets right to the point reuniting readers with the main character they fell in love with in her debut, Class Mom … Her antics are laugh-out-loud funny, and she shows no signs of slowing down. The tone and pacing are excellent, and new characters, who come with their own issues and snark, are delightful.” ~ Library Journal
“Wisecracking Jen Dixon is back in Gelman’s enjoyable follow-up to Class Mom. This refreshing take on modern suburbia will appeal to fans of Lauren Weisberger.” ~ Publishers Weekly
“Dixon's emails to and escapades among the concerned parents of Kansas City have the same anodyne quality as an old-fashioned television sitcom, with a pratfall, a wisecrack, and a chuckle every few minutes like clockwork … Just add chardonnay.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
“All mothers will find themselves relating to Jen’s struggles as a mother and wife in You’ve Been Volunteered.” ~
“I just wish Jen was real so I could hang out with her. Hilarious and the exact escape I needed at night after putting my kid down. Funny, heartwarming, and fulfilling. Brava!” ~ Katie Lowes, actress

About the Author
Laurie Gelman
Laurie Gelman was born and raised in the Great White North. She spent twenty-five years as a broadcaster in both Canada and the United States before trying her hand at writing novels. The author of Class Mom, Laurie has appeared on Live With Ryan and Kelly, Watch What Happens Live, and The Talk, among others. She lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Gelman, and two teenage daughters.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman (US only).


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