Mariana Cotromanes

Writer, Blogger, Crunchy Mom


Sharing insights and info on writing, parenting, books, 
and health.
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Book Review: Z

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (2)

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald


Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of infamous “Jazz Age” writer F.Scott Fitzgerald, was an exuberant woman—intelligent, witty, and impulsive—who shared the spotlight with her husband, making her a historical ...

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Book Review: "The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D"

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Recently I decided to read a book that had been on my Goodreads "to-read" list since before its publication this summer.  At least on a conscious level the timing of reading "The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D" was coincidental-- but perhaps subconsciously, it was not.  Sometimes books fall into our hands at just the right time, and for a reason.


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Book Review: 2013 Guide to Literary Agents

Posted on November 16, 2012 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I put the 2013 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino  among the ranks of Anne Lamott...

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Book Review: Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Between the television series "Once Upon a Time," the movie "Mirror, Mirror," and other Hollywood adaptations of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales, this book (released Nov. 8th) comes along at the perfect time.  Fans of those interpretations will appreciate Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New ...

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My CWC Experience: 15 Tips on Writing & Publishing

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (1)

One month ago I attended my very first writers conference: the inaugural Chicago Writers Conference.  It was held in the beautiful Tribune Tower on energetic Michigan Avenue.  So full of energy and literary accomplishment, it was th...

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Elizabeth's First Birthday: A French Provencal Garden Party

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Seeing your baby reach 12 months is certainly cause for celebration! It means you've shared countless memories, and that your baby's met several milestones: teething, crawling, rolling over, first words... It's an amazing time.  I knew when August 17th came around this year, I would want to throw a big blow-out party to honor our daughter--- and that's exactly what we did.

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Good Reads: Birds and Hemingway

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

It's been a busy summer between family events and baby milestones (she's got a couple teeth in, and she'll be walking any day now!).  I'm grateful I've also had time to get in some good reading. 

Here is a book I read recently and loved, as well as a book I can't wait to get my hands on in the fall wh...

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Book Review: I Couldn't Love You More

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I Couldn’t Love You More by Jillian Medoff is a story told with honesty, sharp prose, humor, care, and has lovably flawed characters.  This is the type of story that stays with you for weeks after finishing. 

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On Being 'Mom Enough'

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (2)

“Are you mom enough?” This is the unfair, inflammatory question on the cover of Time magazine, along with the image of a mother breastfeeding her almost 4-year-old son. The articles within discuss extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting. 


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Moms Who Rule: My Grandmother

Posted on May 4, 2012 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)


I’ve always admired my grandmother (or, Yiayia, as I call her-- it's Greek for grandmother).  She is beautiful, kind, and thoughtful.  And I think that if she were a mother from my generation, she’d be a little bit crunchy! Here are four fun reasons why my (maternal) grandmother is pretty darn amazing:

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"I Couldn't Love You More" GIVEAWAY!

Posted on April 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (8)

Late next month I'll be sharing my review of I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE, by the talented and well-respected author Jill MedoffAnd you have a chance to win a copy! 

To enter the drawing (for U.S. residents only), just become a member of the site and leave a comment b...

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Five Books to Read Now!

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Five Books to Read Now!

Some of these books are getting a lot of buzz, while others should be getting more buzz! Either way, I hope you'll pick them up and enjoy them as much as I have...

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Interview with Sere Prince Halverson, author of The Underside of Joy

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Seré Prince Halverson stopped by the blog for a chat! Her debut novel is one that I love (read my book review here)-- and about which the writing and reading communities are buzzing! See what the author of

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Just Keep Writing: 4 Tips to Persevere

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (1)

Whether you've got a family to take care of, a full-time job, or both, it's tough to find writing time and stay motivated.  Just this morning I was chatting with a fellow mommy and aspiring novelist about how to persevere.

This conversation got me thinking... What keeps me motivated to continue finding time...

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The Best and Worst of Motherhood Advice

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Most expectant mothers are overwhelmed with advice-- from loved ones (and strangers!) and all the parenting books.  Personally, some of the advice I received was helpful, some of it was horrible (and absolutely wrong-- like from my former pediatrician), and some of it just didn't fit with me and my baby. 

This got...

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