When we heard that Chicagoan, and TCLB alum, Emily Belden was having her first book published we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it!  After all, Emily shares our passion for one-liners and a good night out… how could that not equate to literary gold?

Amazon sums up Emily’s book perfectly in their description:

Chicagoan Emily Belden has no idea what to do with her twenty-something life — particularly as it pertains to love — which is a tough problem for a hopelessly romantic half-Jew who’s fresh out of a failed relationship. But if “figuring it all out” and “wanting it all” were Olympic sports, Emily would have been a gold medalist in both categories. Never one to admit defeat in the face of the enemy, Emily gets back in the dating ring again and again. But, the more she tries to make her therapist proud, the deeper down the rabbit hole she goes. While recovering the pieces of her broken heart, straight-A Emily’s dating world morphs into a mad soirée of drug addicts, embezzlers, perverts, and pimps. Just as she begins to believe that a bottle of wine might be her only shot at happiness, a chance encounter with a man she never should have met resets Emily’s buttons. What she experiences next satiates her heart, her soul, and her stomach, as she frees herself from the perils of her mid-twenties and becomes exactly who she is supposed to be.

Today, we’re super excited, because not only do we have an exclusive excerpt of Eighty Sixed to share with you… but we’re also giving away a signed copy of the book, and the opportunity to have Emily come to your book club, or join you and your girlfriends for lunch!  Either way, she promises to expand upon juicy stories shared in the book  [and trust us, this girl never disappoints and will have you all in stitches!].  All you have to do to enter is subscribe to the blog on the right hand side of the site with an email address that we can contact you at if you win.  Just a note, anybody is eligible to win the signed copy, but you must be in Chicagoland to have Emily join your book club or lunch.

Now, without further ado, enjoy this exclusive look into Eighty Sixed…

Once inside the club, about twenty-five people, including myself and Kelle, proceeded to dance to house music in a roped off area the size of Harry Potter’s bedroom. For the rest of the night, Kelle and I did our parts to contribute to a $1,600 bottle service tab, toward which we chipped in nothing. But if letting a forty-five-year-old divorcee pull my hair to the beat of an Enrique Iglesias remix could be considered currency, I’d say that actually I overpaid that night for sure.

“Hey, this club is going to close soon,” said the divorcee (I never did get his name). “Why don’t you and your sister (My sister? You wish.) come back to our hotel room. We have a hot tub,” he sloppily pitched to me.

At that point, I exercised my ability to say “no” for the first time in twelve hours and downgraded our “baller status” by grabbing Kelle and throwing her in a cab back to Lincoln Park.

“That was fun,” Kelle said in a haze out the window.

“That was fun,” I concurred; knowing in the back of my head what wasn’t fun was the text I let slip earlier on. The regret was already sinking in, big time.

Alas, we bid each other goodnight, once home, and passed out in our dresses until four o’clock the next day.

Ten missed calls, four text messages, and two frantic “Are you alive?” voice-mails from my mom later, I finally came to. Stumbling into the living room, I saw my accomplice, bloated with the mixing bowl next to her, barely contributing to society. I felt similarly sinful and dehydrated, and only two things could remedy the situation: a substantial charitable donation, and a Turkey Tom with cheese from Jimmy John’s.

After our freaky-fast delivery, we took turns rehashing the night, selectively choosing which events we’d immortalize, and which would remain unspoken. I suppose you can imagine under which category the drunken text to my ex would go.

By definition, I fell off the wagon. In fact, not only did I fall off the wagon, I tumbled down a dirt road, too. What I sent him was vastly inappropriate and a huge step backwards in the recovery process. Not to mention, it went unanswered, which meant I had ceased to be relevant to him anymore. All I could do was clear out my sent messages folder and forget it ever happened: just like the ten or so other things I regrettably did that night.

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