Friday, May 25, 2012

The Return of the Stennifer Lunch Tour Contest

In honor of my 42nd birthday, which happens to be today.....

The Stennifer Lunch Tour is BACK!

We are adorable.  Don't you want to have lunch with us?

 That is right, my bestie Jennifer Lancaster, NYT bestselling author of such literary masterpieces as My Fair Lazy, Such a PrettyFat and the brand new Jeneration X (all of which have some cameos by yours truly) has agreed once again to take our tabloid selves, known to all as Stennifer, on the road to support the release of my new book OFF THE MENU.

OFF THE MENU is the tale of Alana Ostermann, the executive assistant chef to bigtime bad-boy celebrity chef Patrick Conlon.  Her job is 24/7, and has no boundaries, but is lucrative and exciting.  She gets to develop recipes, help him write his cookbooks, travel to exotic locations and eat at fabulous restaurants.  She also gets to fire people who annoy him, break up with his girlfriends when he tires of them, and generally try to keep him out of trouble.  It can be frustrating, but she makes enough money to help out her retired immigrant parents, and be a doting aunt to her eight nieces and nephews, and mom to Dumpling, an oddly arranged mixed-breed pup who is her mostly companion.  It all suits her reasonably well, until a fluke online connection brings RJ into her life.  A Southern gent with a sparkle in his eye, a quick wit, and a deep appreciation for Alana’s qualities, RJ quickly makes Alana want and need to rearrange her priorities, much to Patrick’s chagrin.  And a potential career change offers its own temptations, but would require some sacrifices Alana isn't sure she is ready to make.  Will she be able to keep the guy AND keep her job?  You’ll have to read it to find out!

 I am indescribably excited about this book, and so are some other people.

 Stacey Ballis dishes up another fabulous and soul-satisfying meal in her newest novel.  With the perfect blend of humor and heart, Ballis' writing is powerfully honest and genuinely hilarious, and embodies everything I love about contemporary women's fiction.  Off the Menu is an irresistibly delicious five-course read! 

                 --Jen Lancaster, NTY bestselling author of My Fair Lazy and If You Were Here

 A wonderfully joyful ode to good food, best friends, tough choices and great love.  Off the menu = one delicious read...that comes complete with recipes! So much fun.

                --Alison Pace, author of Pug Hill, and You Tell Your Dog First

 Smart, sexy and delightfully buoyant, OFF THE MENU is, in a word, scrumptious. Stacey Ballis has managed to capture happiness between the covers of a book.

                --Quinn Cummings, author of Notes from the Underwire

Pre-orders are very important to authors.  Pre-orders can make the difference of a book going all bestseller, and fizzling out.  Here is how that works:  Publishing is expensive.  All that paper and ink.  So, especially in this economy, publishers try not to produce more books than they think they will sell.  And when the sales force looks at the size of the print run, that tells them where they need to put their energy to sell the books to bookstores.  A lot of pre-orders show the publishers that a book might be very popular, so they print more copies.  When they print more copies it tells the sales force that they better get behind the book so that all those copies sell and don't sit around the warehouse all sad and frumpy, so they tell the bookstores to get excited and that they should order lots of copies.  Bookstores look at all those copies they ordered, and tell their staff to work to sell them to consumers, and then the trickle down effect is that authors get exciting things like getting to live indoors with electricity.

 So while I am grateful for every copy of a book I sell, pre-ordered books hold a very special place in my heart.  And last year, to encourage pre-orders and reward those who participate, the Stennifer Lunch Tour was born. 

 Last year we got to travel to Dallas, a fave place of Jen’s and my first trip there, for a fabulous lunch with the winners Alyson and Bertta.  We had a terrific time, and are so excited to see where we end up this year!

SO MUCH FUN!!!!  Don't you wish this was you?

The winner of the contest will get lunch for themselves and a guest with Jen Lancaster and myself in their hometown, along with a gift basket of some signed books, limited edition promotional items, and other goodies.

That’s right, Chickens, STENNIFER hits the road to come take your fabulous self and your bestie to an elegant lunch in your area. And we bring you presents! Are we not the greatest?

 This year, a fun new option…if you and your bestie are sick of your hometown, and want to use this as an excuse for a little getaway, Jen and I will meet you in another city!  Want to hit NYC and catch a show and do some shopping? Stennifer LOVES New York.  Have a town you’ve always wanted to visit?  As long as it is in the contiguous 48, we’ll meet you there. (And if that town you always wanted to visit HAPPENS to be Chicago?  BONUS FOR YOU!  We’ll shift your lunch into a dinner at an amazing restaurant where we know the chef, who will cook us a special one-of-a-kind eight  course dinner with insanely fantastic wines from Charming Suitor’s personal cellar, AND Stacey will help you plan the rest of your trip by suggesting cool stuff to do and delish places to eat.)

Here is how it works…you go (no, go NOW!) and pre-order a copy (or many) of my new book OFF THE MENU. E-mail the confirmation (or receipt or a scan or screen shot of your order) to staceyballisinfo (at) gmail (dot) com.

IMPORTANT!!!!  Please make sure you read and understand all the rules at the bottom of this post and make sure that the SUBJECT LINE of your e-mail reads:  I accept the rules of the Lunch Tour Contest. We legally cannot accept entries unless they specifically state that you accept the rules.   
EVERY BOOK YOU ORDER IS ITS OWN ENTRY.   Enter as often and in as many ways as you like.

Order 10 copies? You have 10 entries. Want to give them out as Holiday Gifts to everyone in your company? Order 200 and you will have 200 chances to win. (The entries are connected to the e-mail address from which I receive them, so if you have a lot of friends you think might enjoy the book, but they don’t care about the contest, have them pre-order their copies, forward the receipt to you and you send them to me for multiple entries. So easy!)

Even better? No purchase required to win, you can also get entries for helping Jen and me to spread the word!

For every 20 people you tell about the contest, you get yet another chance to win! Just CC staceyballisinfo (at) gmail (dot) com on an e-mail (again subject line I accept the rules of the Lunch Tour Contest) with 20 different e-mail addresses (I will not store these addresses or sell them or use them in any insidious way, I just need to see that you actually sent it to 20 people.) with a link to this blog post or a link to pre-order the book on Amazon and a brief description of the contest, and you’ll get another qualifying entry. Know a lot of people? Send 20 e-mails (to 20 different people each) and you’ll get 20 more entries. Get 20 people to Like a Facebook post about the contest (of which the first line must be I accept the rules of the Lunch Tour Contest) with a link to this post or a link to pre-order the book on Amazon and tag me in the post or send me a screen shot, and BAM! Another entry.   If you get 100 people to like that post, that is five entries!

We have not been able to figure out a way to reward tweeting or getting people to follow us, but we do hope that you will tweet about the contest, and the book, and encourage people to follow us just in a good-faith karma kind of way J

 Did you find out about this contest from a pal by word of mouth and HATE technology?  Send either a copy of your receipt for your pre-order or a postcard or note saying STENNIFER LUNCH TOUR ENTRY with your name and contact information and a line saying I accept the rules of the Lunch Tour Contest to:

 Lunch Tour 
PO Box 471225 
Chicago, IL 60647. 

(We cannot be responsible for the US Mail system, so if you are using this option, please send in your entries no later than June 20 to ensure that they get to us by the deadline, as we are working with entries in hand and not postmarks.)
The winner’s lunch will be documented on both
Jen’s Blog and my own.

Already pre-ordered? Just send in that receipt! And maybe go order a second one for a pal….

On Kindle? Pre-orders now available! OFF THE MENU KINDLE EDITION

Lunch to take place on a date between Sept. 15, 2012 and Sept. 15, 2013, specific date based on mutual availability.

Contest ends at 11:59PM CST on July 1, 2012, and the winner will be announced on my blog and Jen’s and notified via e-mail on July 3, 2012.

NOTE: Contest NOT open to blood related family members of either of us. That would be unfair. Friends and friends of family are welcome. And family of friends are awesome!

Now, what are you waiting for?
CLICK HERE to pre-order your copy or copies right now!

And please follow me on Twitter
@staceyballis. And Jen @altgeldshrugged.

And thank you in advance for all of your support.  If I had it in me to take each and every one of you to lunch, I would.  But know that even if you don't win, I think you are going to love this book, and more importantly, if we really get the numbers for pre-orders high, maybe I will get to go on a book tour and meet you in person!

Yours with much love, and in Good Taste,
The Polymath

Rules/Fine Print/Legal Stuff:

This is a contest, not a lottery or sweepstakes.  NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO WIN.  All entries are equal, regardless of format or number of entries per person.  Each entry will be numbered in the order in which it is received, and a random number generator at will be used to choose the winner.  Contest runs until 11:59 PM on Sunday July 1, 2012.  Winner will be announced on Monday July 2, 2012.  Winner will have one year (September 2012-September 2013) to schedule their prize at the discretion and availability of the authors.  (Authors request that when looking at scheduling, that you avoid times when your hometown might have large events or conventions that make airfare and hotel booking difficult or extra-expensive!)

 Means of entry:  E-mail either a screenshot, jpeg, scan, or forward a copy of a receipt for a pre-order purchase of OFF THE MENU by Stacey Ballis.  EACH COPY LISTED is one entry, you can enter as many times as you want, and do not need to have separate receipts for each one.  Stacey Ballis and Jennifer Lancaster are not responsible for technological glitches or errors, and cannot be held liable for corrupted files, or entries not received.  One entry for every 20 people on an e-mail CC’d to staceyballisinfo (at) gmail (dot) com about the contest, and one entry for every 20 Likes on a facebook post about the contest- both e-mails and Facebook posts MUST include both a link to the contest post on The Polymath Chronicles Blog, AND a link to pre-order the book on Amazon.  In the event a question regarding a winner’s identity arises, entries will be deemed made by the holder of the e-mail account associated with the entry.

 For snail mail entries, end a either a copy of your receipt or a postcard or note saying STENNIFER LUNCH TOUR ENTRY with your name and contact information to Lunch Tour  PO Box  471225  Chicago, IL 60647.  Mail entries must be RECEIVED by 1:00PM on Friday June 29, 2012.  Stacey Ballis and Jennifer Lancaster are not liable for failure of the USPS to deliver your entry by this date, so you are encouraged to mail entries no later than June 20, 2012 to ensure timely delivery.

 The retail value of this prize is $400, which is the estimated cost of lunch for four hungry girls with wine at a schmancy restaurant.  You may not request the money in lieu of the prize. If you choose to travel to another city to have your prize, all expenses EXCEPT the lunch which you have won are your responsibility.

 Odds of winner are dependent on number of entries received.  In 2010 there were 609 entries, so odds of winning for each entry in the last contest were 1 in 609.

 Anyone is eligible to enter, but lunch MUST TAKE PLACE in the contiguous 48 states.  If you want to enter and you are from outside that area, you must travel to a city in the contiguous 48 for the prize.

Stacey Ballis and Jennifer Lancaster will make every good faith effort to ensure that the winner receives their prize.  They are not responsible for cancellation of travel due to acts of God, illness of any involved party or spouse, airline issues.  Stacey Ballis and Jennifer Lancaster reserve the right to cancel, suspend, modify or terminate this contest in the event of any technical malfunction, including any unauthorized tampering, or anything beyond the control of the promoter.

E-mail addresses and contact information will not be stored, sold, traded, or in any way shared with any other party.  Entries received through e-mail will automatically be added to Stacey Ballis’ e-mail list for newsletters and other information unless specifically requested in the e-mail to not be added to the list.  Participants can opt out of this list at any time.

Void where prohibited.


  1. Happy Birthday! It's my birthday too- 32.
    I love the caveat about Chicago, since that's where I live... that would be a total score! Thanks to you and Jen for this amazing contest, it was so fun to read about last year. Jen's hair debacle didn't hurt the entertainment value, as someone from Texas, I totally understand! Off to send in my entry, have a wonderful birthday!

  2. Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day, and have your best year yet!

    Ohh, I'm so excited. It's definitely time to preorder and get on facebook to get extra entries. Would love to meet the two of you, have lunch, and chat!

  3. Happy big day to you Stacey! I'm so excited for this- am going to order and pimp everywhere I can. I have a pretty decent gaggle of people reading my blog every day (like 500+ according to my trusty stats). If I make a blog posting about this as well, does that count as an entry? Let me know! :0)

  4. Happy Birthday Stacey!!! I am wondering if a kindle pre-order counts too? I get the point about pre-ordering a book because that's a bigger printing but what happens when I pre-order for my kindle? Does it still count?

  5. I WANT TO WIN, but I know I can't---I will still pre-order many books, just because you are AWESOME and I love your books. To the future winners, you will LOVE Stacey & Jennifer----it seriously was The.Best.Lunch.Ever.

  6. Whoo hoo!! Happy Birthday Stacey!! Thanks for finding a way to allow Canadian chicks into the contest!! Squeeee!! I'd TOTALLY travel to have lunch with you and Jen!!


  7. Happy Birthday Stacey!!!
    I just pre-ordered... I have read all your books and can't wait to read this one...

  8. Nook pre-orders count too, right? Just wanted to check since you mentioned the Kindle specifically! I've also read all your books and have loved every single one.

  9. Any pre-order from any bookseller or online retailer counts!

  10. happy birthday ... I just pre-ordered!

  11. Love this!! Happy Birthday!

    Just bought three copies!

  12. Well how do you feel about lunch in Colorado?! Happy Birthday, this sounds like a wonderful book!

  13. I just preordered from Amazon. I've enjoyed your other books and know that this would be one of THE best 50th year experiences EVER (technically, I'm 49...but this is my 50th year!) :):) Sending evidence via snail-mail. Thanks, S & J! :) ktmixon315

  14. I tried to submit my pre-order on the other website and it isn't working.

  15. I'll be pre-ordering but not entering the contest (I'm a Canadian girl).

    However, I just HAD to say that I am laughing so hard right now considering that I am currently reading "Jeneration X" and just TODAY read the story about the blow out bar in Dallas. Getting to see a pic today, knowing the back story? HAHAHAHAHA!!! (Although really, Jen, your hair looks just fine!!!)

  16. Happy, Happy Birthday! May your next year be even more richly blessed!
    Now, regarding the contest, I am grievously sobbing. I don't have 20 friends to email, and with the year I've had, I may not get to read your newest unless I win a copy from some type of giveaway. You see, I made the mistake of picking a 4 leaf clover, and my life has gone to hell ever since. I've had the health department called on me because the only home I can afford to live in is my late mother's 1976 mobile home, which had needed major work to make it liveable according to statute. I am currently owing my handyman brother-in-law over $260, and that's mostly for materials.
    I also had a hard time finding a place that I could get our male cat fixed. I got it done at a "Neuter for a Nickel" Event. Unfortunately, he discovered one of our unspayed female cats, and the joy of marking his turf a couple of weeks before getting neutered. Among the victims of spraying, a couple of bags of library books. If that wasn't enough, our "free" library insisted all of the books we returned had odor, and are charging us replacement cost plus processing. Sadly, the cost is so prohibitive, I honestly don't expect to ever get to use our library again.
    Oh, and did I mention health dept wants us to get rid of half our pets? I am disabled, and unable to get on disability? We wouldn't be surviving if not for my husband's disability, and my daughter working as a nanny instead of pursuing her writing.
    At least I got to read "Jeneration X" before the library cut me off.
    As a cautionary tale, if you happen to see a 4-leaf clover or a penny on the ground face up, STOMP ON THEM, before they destroy your existence!!!

    1. You can still win by sending a postcard to Stennifer Lunch Tour PO box 471225 Chicago IL 60647. Here's to things getting better!