Mill Park Publishing of Eagle, Idaho was created in 2003 by author Elaine Ambrose.
The company facilitates fee-based book publication and marketing for local authors
and organizes writer's retreats.
PO Box 1931 Cell phone: (208) 890-8122
For Immediate Release, May 12, 2014
New Book by Idaho Author Wins National Humor Award
Midlife Cabernet – Life, Love & Laughter after Fifty by local author Elaine Ambrose won the Silver Medal for Humor in the annual Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) competition that honors independent authors and publishers worldwide. More than 6,000 entries were judged in this year’s competition to recognize and reward independent spirit and creativity in publishing. Awards will be given on May 28 in New York City.
Midlife Cabernet was published by Mill Park Publishing of Eagle. Ambrose founded the company to publish works by local women writers and donate proceeds to local charities. This is the company’s second IPPY award, and Ambrose’s other books also have won a national humor award from ForeWord Magazine and five awards from recent competitions sponsored by the Idaho Book Extravaganza.
“We are thrilled to receive another award to acknowledge quality books from Mill Park Publishing,” said Ambrose. “The success of Midlife Cabernet proves there are millions of middle-aged women who would rather laugh than break something, preferably while holding a bold Cabernet.”
A national review by ForeWord Reviews wrote that, “Elaine Ambrose’s Midlife Cabernet is an Erma Bombeck-esque tribute to women who are over fifty and ready to explore life on new terms. It’s a humorous and sassy-yet-compassionate view of life over the hill, as well as a retrospective on the climb to the top. The writing and mechanics are solid, and the tone is cheerful and friendly.”
In the past few years, Mill Park Publishing has donated more than $10,000 to local non-profit organizations and charities. Proceeds from the novel The Angel of Esperança by Judith McConnell Steele provided $1,000 to fund a Writer in the Schools teacher sponsored by The Cabin. Other recipients include Dress for Success Treasure Valley, the Women’s and Children’s Alliance, the West Valley YMCA, and the University of Idaho music program.
Ambrose is the author of nine books, including the bestseller Menopause Sucks. Her blog “Midlife Cabernet” is featured on www.Blogher.com and on her web site www.ElaineAmbrose.com. Mill Park Publishing also organizes writer’s retreats throughout the year, and details are listed on www.MillParkPublishing.com. Books are available from the web sites, amazon.com, and local book stores.
Midlife Cabernet: Life, Love & Laughter after Fifty
Mill Park Publishing
Four Stars (out of Five)
Elaine Ambrose’s Midlife Cabernet: Life, Love & Laughter after Fifty is an Erma Bombeck-esque tribute to women who are over fifty and ready to explore life on new terms. It’s a humorous and sassy-yet-compassionate view of life over the hill, as well as a retrospective on the climb to the top.
In a series of themed essays in which her enjoyment of good wine is the connecting thread, Ambrose eschews ladylike censoring in her tale of life over fifty. With frank sexual references, sagging body parts, and visits to the plastic surgeon, Ambrose moves the reader from skin-deep concerns to the social and emotional challenges of working motherhood, child rearing (“It comes down to survival of the funniest”), post-career life transitions, friends with later-inlife illnesses, the richness of decades-long friendships, empty-nest syndrome, caring for older parents, and the joys and challenges of grandchildren. Through it all, Ambrose returns to the metaphor of good wine, facetious in her described devotion to celebrating the special occasions as well as the everyday: “I’ll drink fine wine if my hangnail heals.”
The writing and mechanics are solid, and the midlife focus is perfectly matched by the cover, with its antique typewriter. What is mostly a punchy and humorous series of essays—(“If you are what you eat, I’m a gigantic chocolate chip cookie floating in a vat of red wine”)—at times turns tangential, such as when, in an essay about bad investments and “avoid[ing] crooks,”
Ambrose dives into a nostalgic reflection on what she learned in English class, thanking her “heroes” (English teachers), who taught her how to diagram a sentence. Later chapters also contain lists of a mix of sensible and humorous advice for travel with grandchildren and travel alone, lists that at times lack the same energy exuded in earlier chapters.
Throughout, though, the tone is cheerful and friendly. Ambrose reads like a not-too-tired fifty-something who still has the energy to play a joke on a friend, enjoy romance with her spouse, and hop around with grandkids—appreciating life all the more when in relief against its inevitable challenges.
Midlife Cabernet is an argument for joy despite parents with dementia, grandchildren with Down syndrome, financial loss, broken relationships, and slow metabolisms: “Your challenge throughout the year is to keep the music playing. Sing and play your own songs long after the confetti is thrown into the garbage, the bills are past due, and prosperity is still elusive.” Ambrose will draw readers looking for frank conversation and a pick-me-up in the face of all the challenges midlife has to offer.