posted on September 19, 2016 by Joanne Rock

Double the Birthday

By Joanne Rock

bdaySeptember is my birthday month (the 8th) and this year, September is also a book birthday month for me. I’ve been celebrating like a fiend!

As I get older, I’ve been creating more hoopla for my birthdays anyhow. I know many people do the opposite—curtail the birthday celebrations once they hit their twenties or thirties. But I played it cool for years—deferring the birthday extravaganza so the emphasis went to my kids when their big days rolled around. Then it occurred to me… why am I not taking advantage of a day that should be all about ME?

flowersI don’t ask the family to stop everything and pay attention to me or anything. That’s not my style. I’m more apt to hop in the car on my birthday morning and go to the florist so I can pick out fresh flowers myself. I highly recommend this! It’s fun and feels decadent. And I’d NEVER done this until a few years ago.

Next, I think hard about what I want to do. Usually, I like shopping for something mega-girly since my shopping outings are usually fast and functional. I get a good coffee and browse. Buy magazines that I don’t usually splurge on. Buy other things I don’t usually splurge on. Basically, I pick up some ME presents. Is that totally tacky?  I do it anyway, and it makes me feel completely spoiled.

This year, I had a book birthday on September 1st, too. Whispers Under a Southern Sky is now available and that’s really fun news to share! Yet a book release day isn’t the same kind of Me-Fest that my real birthday has become. When I have a book birthday, I do like to shop around for it in stores so I can see it live. That’s fun and rewarding for all the hard work that goes into the writing. But after that, it’s all about the book. I make graphics to share with readers and visit some blogs for spotlights and giveaways. I share some excerpts, and cross my fingers for reviews.

So was it a self-indulgent month? Perhaps. But I like to remind myself, “If not now, when?” No one else knows the secret wishes of your heart on your birthday, so I think it’s okay to make them come true. As for the book release… it never gets old. I am still as excited to have a book in the world as I was that very first time when I headed to a Waldenbooks (remember Waldenbooks?) and snapped a pic of myself with my Harlequin Temptation title, Learning Curves. These days, I might take a screen shot of Whispers Under the Southern Sky on Amazon—especially on a day when it’s a bestseller! Thank you, my friends, for scooping up copies and giving me another happy moment to celebrate .

Tell me your favorite birthday tradition for a chance to win your choice of book from my backlist! Winner chosen at random from all commenters.


Joanne Rock

Joanne Rock

Four-time RITA finalist Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn't like. The USA Today bestselling author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small-town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly---love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she's not writing, Joanne enjoys travel to gather new ideas.

36 thoughts on “Double the Birthday”

  1. Avatar Christy Ray says:

    In my family we always sing Happy Birthday in German and we lift someone up in a chair several times. Which can be highly entertaining when they are full grown adults. I also love buying stuff for myself on my bday. Always lots of fun. Also, I have your book “Learning Curves” on kindle. I’ve enjoyed examining the book that first made you big. So exciting! *Hugs*

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      What a fun tradition, Christy!

  2. Avatar Phyllis Lamken says:

    Spending time with my daughter, Amber Rose. She shares my birthday.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      What are the odds?! That’s so neat, Phyllis!

  3. Avatar Julie-ann Ford says:

    We always get together and have a family dinner for each birthday. As a matter of fact, my daughter’s birthday was yesterday and we are having her dinner tonight because a few people were working last night.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Do you go out to a restaurant or does someone do the cooking at home? I’m curious because I always do the cooking, but when it’s my birthday, I’d like the night off ;-).

  4. Avatar Johanna Owen says:

    The birthday person chooses what they would like for their special dinner and we make that and then have cake after dinner.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      That’s what we do here too, Johanna!

  5. Avatar Renee Rousseau says:

    Happy Birthday! Mine is tomorrow & the tradition is Banana Cake!

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Hope you had a fabulous day, Renee!! I’ve had Banana Cream Pie and Banana Bread, but I don’t think I’ve ever had Banana Cake! So curious…

  6. Avatar Vickie Gerlach says:

    When my kids were still living at home, I always fixed their favorite meal.
    Now that they are adults, we take them out to dinner at the restaurant of their choice…. we’ve started this with the grandkids too…. even if picky grandpa doesn’t like the restaurant …. he still goes…. and he pays for the meal for everyone! I think he’s gonna stop paying for everyone soon… because now that the oldest grandson has a girlfriend… the group just keeps growing…. lol…

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      My grandfather always took us out for my father’s birthday… so it was just one outing a year, but it was very special and I always looked forward to dressing up for it :-).

  7. Avatar denise says:

    Each family member picks the restaurant of his/her choice for a meal and picks the kind of cake (regular birthday, DQ ice cream, cupcakes, etc…)

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      You know, I kind of got addicted to ice cream cake when my kids were younger. Now, I find myself craving them for my b’day too!

  8. Avatar melissa Mcentyre says:

    When I turned 59– I had several different friends & family that I was ask to do something with (my B-day is the end of July)– So I called it my B-day Season– i have now has my 61st and each year I am still having a B-Day Season that starts the middle of July and ends by the middle of Aug– It is so fun and no one feels bad about it not being closer to my day– so win/win for all

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Good for you, Melissa!! I’m moving toward this for myself too…. and why not?! It’s a joy to be blessed with friends who want to share in your special day. My sister took me out for my birthday earlier this week even though my b’day was two weeks ago. It’s never too late for a sister outing!!

  9. Avatar Linda Herold says:

    Nothing too special. Usually dinner out and a chocolate cake!!

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      You can’t go wrong with chocolate cake. Yum… now I want to bake one. My family is always so grateful for baked treats!

  10. Avatar Jess Dimovski says:

    My birthday tradition is to go to the spa in the morning for a pedicure, and then hit the mall in the afternoon for shopping, and finally and go out to dinner with my hubby. Another year older but I’ve also had a great day to kick it off!

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      You are wise to make the day all about YOU and what you enjoy!!

  11. Avatar Linda May says:

    I love celebrating my birthday no matter what age I am. We have friends over my husband usually makes my favorite meal, We buy a birthday cake with of course butter crème frosting my favorite. My friends sing Happy Birthday & I open gifts. I say celebrate & have fun it’s your day & your month. Thanks for this very generous giveaway, I do appreciate it.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Hi Linda! A house full of company sure makes you feel loved, doesn’t it? I had some of my girlfriends and their families over at the end of July this year and it was so fun I vowed to do it again next summer.

  12. Avatar Lista Klocow says:

    I love birthdays because it is my day and life is precious and it should be celebrated. So I try to make my birthday last as many days as I can. Coffee with a friend one day, lunch with others another day, card in the mail, telephone call wishing me happy birthday, it can go on and on.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      🙂 🙂 You are so right. Cheers to celebrating those moments.

  13. Avatar Riet Strijker says:

    We don’t have a birthday tradition now, but when I was a child (until in my teens) every birthday my mum woke me up with the gift, and we ate cake later that afternoon/night. In the weekend my grandparents and some aunts and uncles (my mum had 9 siblings) would come as well, so we had double celebrations.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Nine siblings! That fills a house with company in a hurry, Riet. How fun for you :-).

  14. My oldest daughter, Mandy, lives with me and every year I have bought a birthday cake from Wegman’s. She’s had Pirates of the Caribbean, John Cena, The Lion Guard, a rainbow and unicorn, too many to remember after 37 years!!! One of the reason’s she has gotten a store bought cake is her birthday is in June and it’s way too hot in a trailer to use a oven. Sometimes I surprise her with whatever is on top. This last birthday was the Lion Guard. Who know’s maybe next June it will be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      That’s a fun tradition, Pam! My husband forgot about a cake for me one year, and I had no problem running to the local grocery store and picking out the pinkest cake I could find covered with Disney princesses and Disney princess rings. My sons looked skeptical. But I was thrilled to wear all of my princess rings myself, and they don’t discriminate when it comes to cake, so every bit was eaten ;-).

  15. Avatar Candace Woods says:

    We always do a birthday dinner, and for me, we usually go to half-price books (to share some love on older, forgotten books) or sometimes Barnes and Nobles. It depends on what books I’ve had my eyes on. (My husband insists we fo to Gamestop for him. Lol.) My husband and I also try to have a date night around our birthdays and catch a movie. Its rather difficult to have date nights when we both work full time on opposite shifts and have a 7 year old son. Lol. I also had a birthday this month (September 15), but we haven’t been able to really celebrate much yet. Hopefully we’ll be able to celebrate in a few weeks after we recover from paying our rent. This is one of those times I don’t like “adulting”. Lol.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Ah, Candace! Opposite shifts is tricky for marriage, but I’m sure it helps with raising your son. Many moons from now, he will see how hard you worked for his sake :-). Hope you had some time to celebrate your b’day sooner or later!!

  16. Avatar Ann Mettert says:

    My mom used to make each of us a favorite meal and cake. Then. Now I don’t really have any traditions. I try to send cards to friends and small children.

  17. Avatar Kristine R says:

    Happy Birthday month. September 19th was my birthday. My birthday tradition from my family is being wished Happy Birthday at 5:50 am which is the time I was born we usually eat dinner together at home then have the cake cutting then opening of presents.

  18. Avatar Saundra McKenzie says:

    Happy Belated Birthday. My hubby takes me out to breakfast every year on my birthday and then we spend the day together. This has been happening for almost 44 years.

  19. Avatar Mel K. says:

    Buying (or ordering) a huge stack of books! And my hubby makes me cookies or cake or cupcakes…whatever I want. 🙂 Happy (Belated) Birthday, Joanne. And happy book birthday too!!

  20. Avatar Jackie says:

    I get together with my family and we always have my favorite from Dairy Queen. An oreo cookie ice cream cake. mmm mmm good. Happy Belated Birthday to you!

  21. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

    Congratulations to Vickie Gerlach, winner of the thread prize!! Vickie, I’m messaging you privately and thank you to all for the birthday wishes and making this such a fun visit!

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