cover reveal and review of I Don’t Know How She Will Do It

I’m so pleased to share the cover of Kobby Tetteh Gyampoh’s (“Kobby”) debut novella, I Don’t Know How She Will Do It. Keep reading for my review!

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Book Blurb

Lily has had it with Aunt Lizzie. She wants her inheritance. She wants to be free. Aunt Lizzie wants Lily to find a husband, though she thinks it’s impossible. To her Lily could kiss freedom goodbye since it might be about the only person who’d allow that. Aunt Lizzie’s thinking marriage; Lily’s thinking marriage-if-anyone-would-ever-want-me. Aunt Lizzie’s thinking cooking, cleaning and looking after a family; Lily wants a career that isn’t home-running. Aunt Lizzie’s not bent on making Lily have her way. So what would Lily do? She’d plot to gain her inheritance. She’d plot to gain her freedom. Her dad’s will says nothing about Mr. Right, neither does it mention an aspiring actress eager to break into Hollywood.

Join Lily in her quest for freedom as she poses as a couple with Clare behind a camouflage of flashy cars and cupcakes in order to get that inheritance. Follow this hilarious recipe of a low self-esteem girl, a sassy self-employed actress, an Aunt whose quotes would get you raising brows and two grannies who are willing to help low self-esteem girl. But watch out, one has a pistol which she stashes in her underwear

Message from Kobby:

I’ve had lots of inspiration for writing. But the one that moved me into publishing my very first novel, I Don’t Know How She Will Do It, has to go to Allison Pearson. Words can’t describe how much loved I Don’t Know How She Does It─both the book and the movie. Something about Kate’s struggle and how lovable she was portrayed made me nuts to pen something down. Days and days the title I Don’t Know How She Does It resounded constantly in my sleep, in my wake, every moment in my life (mainly because it was one hell of a funky title). I was practically haunted to put down my baby I Don’t Know How She Will Do It. Though they are both different stories, they both portray that sense of feminism that makes women all around the world proud. And that’s why I penned I Don’t Know How She Will Do It, a short story that would make women rejoice for their womanhood and cheering them for giving men a run for their money. There are points I might make you reach for your Kleenex, but forgive me for you will laugh at so many moments they would make up for all my sins. Best, Kobby

Win any one of the Three Digital Copies Kobby is giving out “http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/756fa81/”

About Kobby:

First of all, KobbyTettehGyampoh, simply Kobby, hates referring to himself in third-person

I just turned eighteen. I am Ghanaian and have always loved Chick-lit. My Chick-lit role models would be Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Janet Evanovich and Sarah Strohmeyer. I was introduced to the genre when I was thirteen. Sarah Strohmeyer made the introduction with her Bubbles Series. Since I read Bubbles, I quit writing Harlequin-styled romances and have always considered myself-since then, a humor writer.

My biggest dream is to be an EIC to a lifestyle magazine someday like Kate White-for my obsession for Cosmo’s language since she was running as editor. But for now, I am good with studying English to break into Advertising someday

I am currently working on my next title which is sort of a series like Cupcakes R US, but it’s based on the lives of editors, columnists and freelancers in a Cosmo-lookalike magazine. Which would be available in more formats than kindle. Epub, PDF, Docx, Doc, Mobi, PowerPoint. And oh, Paperback.

If I am not writing something funny, I spend most of my time reviewing something funny on my blog, ChickLit Pad “http://chicklitpad.blogspot.com

Contact Kobby:

Twitter: @chicklitpad

Facebook page: http://facebook.com/chicklitpad

Author’s Blog website: http://chicklitpad.blogspot.com

Buy the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Know-How-Will-Cupcakes-ebook/dp/B00HZ3EGQE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1390618534&sr=8-3&keywords=i+don%27t+know+how+she+will+do+it

My review:

I really didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this story. I know from Kobby’s reviews that he has a biting and somewhat “kooky” sense of humor and so I was not surprised that there were some laugh-out-loud moments in this book. I was, however, surprised by how heartwarming and touching this story was. There were moments that almost brought me to tears—in a good way.

Lily, the main character, has very low self-esteem. She’s very overweight and her Aunt Lizzie never fails to remind her that she can’t hold onto a man, having had two men leave her at the alter before the age of thirty. Lily doesn’t feel worthy and drowns her sorrows by eating cupcake after cupcake – cupcakes she bakes herself, one of her favorite activities. In order for Lily to receive the inheritance left to her by her father, Lily must get married. Since she’s already zero for two in her attempts to tie the knot, Lily has pretty much given up ever escaping her family and managing on her own. And then she meets Clare, an aspiring (and thin) actress/movie producer determined to make enough money to live her dreams of being famous, and the two decide to get married.  Lily’s father only said Lily had to get married; he never specified that Lily had to marry a man. The fun ensues when the two trick Aunt Lizzie and the rest of Lily’s family into thinking they are in love and a wedding is planned.

As I mentioned above, this story had some belly-laugh moments. My favorite had to be when the old ladies taught Lily how to cook a meal all the while wiggling and shaking her behind for the benefit of her husband… er ”spouse.” But my true favorite part of this story was watching Lily discover her true spirit and not only find self-acceptance, but self-love – cellulite and all. This is truly a story about self-discovery and coming of age and finding out that friendship and love can come from the most unlikely of sources.

I definitely look forward to seeing what Kobby comes up with next.

This is NOT California

It’s cold out there!

We are in the crux of Polar Vortex 2 and it is difficult to believe that I was in sunny California only three days ago.

Vanilla Kiss Latte from Cosi

Vanilla Kiss Latte from Cosi

Yes, I was lucky enough to be invited to join five other authors (Eileen Goudge, Julie Valerie, Jen Tucker, Samantha Stroh Bailey and Francine LaSala) on a beach vacation in Watsonville, California over MLK Junior weekend. To think I almost declined the invitation. Yeah, when the subject first came up last June, I was completely stressed out, and the idea of planning a vacation for seven months down the road was too overwhelming. Leave it to me to get stressed out over planning a vacation where the sole purpose is to de-stress! When the topic was revisited later in the year, I welcomed the opportunity to escape New York City and my own troubles for a few days and now, as I sit in Cosi drinking my Vanilla Kiss Latte (see above photo), I am visualizing myself on the back porch of the beach house looking at the Pacific Ocean right across the street.

Is that gorgeous or what?

Is that gorgeous or what?

The trip started out in typical “Meri” fashion—I was in such a hurry to meet my friend and fellow “beach babe” Francine LaSala at the airport bar that after purchasing a water bottle and a bag of pistachio nuts for the flight, I ran out and left my phone in the store. (I blame my friend Dee for texting me about a possible trip to Las Vegas while I was paying for my items, but it is my fault alone for responding immediately rather than waiting until I could focus properly. I don’t multitask well.) By some stroke of good luck, a man found me in the bar and advised that the clerk was holding my phone. I chugged my beer and ran back to get it. (Okay, I didn’t really chug the beer first.) After getting sufficiently buzzed off of my bottle of Sam Adams Seasonal (yes, I’ve turned into a serious lightweight), I really had to use the bathroom but the flight was boarding and I feared it would leave without me. Francine assured me I had plenty of time and so I ran to the bathroom and back to the gate as fast as I could (I probably looked like a huge dork in the process) and she was right; I had plenty of time. As I made my way to my aisle seat in row 15, a man called out, “Did someone lose her lady hat?” I turned around knowing it was my “lady” hat to which he was referring. In my tipsy state, I yelled, “It’s mine!” and the hat was subsequently passed through the line of people behind me until it was safely back in my hands. I have no idea how I lost it in the first place but I’m so used to losing things or leaving items behind that it doesn’t faze me. I’m just glad I got it back because it is a super cute hat and while I didn’t need to wear it in California, I cannot leave the house without a winter hat this week in New York!

Anyway, that is how my vacation began. From that moment on, it was smooth sailing. The flight there was comfortable and turbulence-free, and there was no one in the middle seat of my row which is always a good thing. I even managed to write a couple of pages of my fourth novel, although I only did it because when I got up to go to the bathroom, I saw that Francine had her laptop turned on and assumed she was writing. I felt guilty for not taking advantage of the free time to write and so I put away my Kindle (was reading Sophie’s Turn by Nicky Wells –awesome book) and got to work. My only issue during the flight was how badly my ears hurt during our descent to San Jose airport. I’ve been having sinus/congestion issues since Thanksgiving and correctly predicted that flying would put unwelcome pressure on my ears. They were still popping the next morning!

What is there to say about the weekend itself? Are you curious what writers talk about when we get together? In no particular order, it is this 1) writing, 2) sex, 3) marketing, 4) sex, 5) food, 6) sex, 7) reviews, 8) sex, 9) children and 10) sex.

I would like to say that we woke up at a leisurely hour, but this is not true for me as I was woken up at the ass crack of dawn by the voices and laughter of my fellow housemates. Fortunately, it came as no shock as I already knew these ladies were early risers based on the number of tweets I wake to every morning before 7 a.m. I got used to it eventually and it wasn’t as if I needed a good night’s sleep to participate in the weekends lazy festivities. We spent mornings talking over coffee or tea on the back porch or sitting around the large kitchen table. I managed to go for a run on the last morning as well.  Some of us got writing done (not me…) and Julie Valerie gave some lessons in social networking. She’s a master!  She even shot a trailer for the box set I am releasing of all three of my books next month. (More information regarding the set as well as the trailer will follow in a separate post.) Afternoons were spent taking walks on the beach or more laziness on the back porch. During the evenings we drove into Santa Cruz and Capitola-by-the-Sea where we walked around and ate dinner. (There were six of us in one car and so poor Sam had to sit between Julie Valerie’s legs and duck whenever we drove past a police officer. That’s what she gets for being so adorably petite.) And nights were spent drinking wine, laughing, sharing writing/marketing advice and swapping stories until one by one, we all said “goodnight”. I shared a room with Sam and we spent our last waking minutes talking about the books we loved and venting about bad reviews.

Beach babes at dinner at Laili Restaurant in Santa Cruz

Beach babes at dinner at Laili Restaurant in Santa Cruz

Tears were shed when we all said goodbye. Jen was the first to leave early Sunday morning and I was glad I gave her a big hug on Saturday night because while she promised to wake us up the next morning, I had a feeling she would let us sleep instead. On Sunday evening, Francine, Julie and I shared a cab to the airport. Julie’s flight left first, but Francine and I had several hours to waste (or get wasted) in the airport. We were so early that there was no representative from Jet Blue available to check my bag and we had to wait an hour and a half. Once that was taken care of, we made our way to a bar at the airport. Funny how things come full circle like that, although this time, I didn’t lose my phone or my “lady hat.” Once again, there was no one sitting next to me on the flight home and I spent most of it with my head on the tray table trying to get some sleep as it was a redeye flight and I was still tired from the three hour time difference and waking up so darn early! The first thing I did when I got home was crawl under my covers and sleep for five hours.

And that, in a long summation, was my trip to California! What fun it was re-living that wonderful beach vacation while looking at the snow in frigid New York City (see photo below)! Before I get back to the real world, I would like to extend gratitude to each of the beach babes as follows:

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Eileen – thank you for inviting me to join you on this mini-holiday and for your generosity and hospitality. Thank you for your humor. You are the only New York Times bestselling author I have ever spent significant time with and I am so happy to experience first-hand how genuine and laid back you are. And thank you for your dating advice and sharing your experiences with me. I won’t settle – I promise!

Julie Valerie – Thank you for sharing such helpful information regarding marketing and social media. Thank you for being so uniquely funny and creative and slickly finding out which scarf Eileen preferred! Thanks for volunteering to have Sam sit on your lap whenever we got in the car! Finally, I promise I won’t share “the picture.”

Jen – thanks for allowing me to vent my concerns/fears about my best friend’s illness and for listening to me talk about my love life. Thanks for making me giggle when you involuntarily raised your eyebrows during your “exercises.” You are adorable and I love you so very much!

Francine – Thank you for being hilarious and never failing to make me laugh. Thanks for the company of your coolness, for not getting angry when I bought the same jacket (“We never hang out!”), for assuring me that people hating Jane is actually a good thing and for being the best airport drinking buddy a girl could ask for. You and your books are NEVER a waste of time!

Sam – Thank you for always “getting” me and therefore making me feel that I am not alone in my neurosis. Thank you for your hugs. Thanks for making me laugh always but making it safe for me to cry as well and thanks for not thinking I am a bitch for some of the things that come out of my mouth. Thanks for letting me have the full sized bed and for being just as sloppy as me.

silly back seat selfie!

silly back seat selfie!

Cover Reveal – The Right Design by Isabella Louise Anderson

I am very excited to invite Isabella Louise Anderson to my blog today. As a blogger (The Chick Lit Goddess), Isabella is amazingly supportive of other authors. I have written guest posts for the Chick Lit Goddess on numerous occasions; Isabella posted a fantastic and thorough review of Blogger Girl; and she has participated in two of my own cover reveals. It feels good to turn the spotlight on Isabella as she prepares to release her debut novel, The Right Design.

 

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Blurb of The Right Design:

Interior designer Carrie Newman’s day starts out perfectly. For their sixth anniversary, her boyfriend, Roger, gives her diamond earrings, but the sparkle is lost later that same day when she catches him in the act with another woman. Heartbroken and in disarray, Carrie chooses to leave the past behind, possibly forever. She lands in ritzy Palm Beach, Florida where a new job and a new client leave her wondering if THE RIGHT DESIGN for her life has finally been found.

 ILA

 

About Isabella Louise Anderson:

Isabella Louise Anderson grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn’t blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with writing and editing.

She lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading.

 

Isabella’s short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design will be first novel.

 

**Release date: Coming soon!

 

Contact Isabella Louise Anderson:

Website: http://chicklitgoddess.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ila121209

Facebook – Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isabella-Louise-Anderson-Author/253277964716883

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7382151.Isabella_Louise_Anderson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ILA121209?lang=en

I heart television!

I have an unwavering devotion to the medium of television. Over the past couple of weeks, my regular television shows were on a winter hiatus and sadly, the Lifetime and Hallmark Channels ceased broadcasting their corny-yet-I-can’t-get-enough-of-them holiday movies. I’m not a fan of repeats unless they are for shows no longer on the air – I can watch repeats of Beverly Hills 90210 and Felicity from dusk to dawn – and there was no way I was going to forgo watching television until my favorite shows returned. So, what did I do? Fortunately, I own a Roku device which allows me to watch shows on Hulu Plus on my television set. Hulu Plus has episodes of so many shows that are no longer on the air. Without Hulu Plus, I never would have discovered one of my favorite shows of seasons past – Fringe. I love Walter Bishop, and his son Peter was kind of a hottie! I am also fascinated by the idea of an alternate dimension. This time around, I chose Lost since I never got into it when it was originally aired. After the first episode, I became undeniably hooked and am now already halfway through the third season. I even dreamed about Sawyer last night but, unfortunately, it was not one of those types of dreams 😦 I am dying to find out more about “The Others” and “The Dharma Initiative” and whether “Freckles” will end up with Sawyer or Jack.

Since many of the current shows are airing first run episodes again and others will start soon, I will have to limit my time watching Lost at least for a while, but rest assured, I will absolutely watch the entire series at some point. In the meantime, these are some of the current shows I am most excited to get back to:

The Following – I do not believe for a second that Joe Carroll is dead. I’m just really glad they didn’t kill off Mike the way they did Deb. Word to the wise: do not eat while watching this show. It is graphically violent but very addictive!

Revenge – I can’t believe the producers resorted to giving Emily amnesia. They should change the name of the show to Revenge of All of My Children at General Hospital since amnesia is a total soap opera cop-out! But I love it!

The Black List – It’s so obvious that Elizabeth is Red’s daughter but I like their relationship. And I have a huge crush on Elizabeth’s husband and hope he’s not actually a bad guy.

Downton Abbey – I mourned the death of Matthew, but I still anticipate Sunday nights with a fervor. Lady Edith is my favorite.

Parenthood – Every episode of this show moves me. Currently, I am concerned that Julia and Joel won’t be able to work things out. I also hope Drew loses that douche bag “friend with benefits” Natalie – hate her!

How I Met Your Mother – This season is really pissing me off but I’ve already invested so many years in it and I must see how it concludes. I’m hoping it won’t end with Ted simply meeting “the mother” since we’ve known who she is all season. I want to watch them fall in love.

Grimm – I like the chemistry between the characters more than anything else. It reminds me of the “Scooby Gang” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Another show to avoid watching while eating. Really gross!

Criminal Minds – This show is SICK and, once again, if you watch while eating, you might get sick too. But…I am riveted to my television screen.

The Mindy Project – Hilarious. I totally want Mindy and Danny to hook up already but the show would probably jump the shark if they did. The only thing that bothers me about this show is how easily Mindy meets guys in New York City who turn out to be “boyfriends” – completely unrealistic look at dating in NYC. But, again, hilarious. By far my favorite sitcom.

Castle – Nathan Fillion. ‘Nuff said.

Other shows I enjoy and watch when I’m around but don’t necessarily keep up with are:

The Goldbergs

The Millers

Marvel’s Agents of Shield

The Big Bang Theory

Law & Order: SVU

And, of course, there is the train wreck known as The Bachelor. I will admit that I skipped the first episode as the show only gets enjoyable to me when the competition really gets going. I also think I might be outgrowing it. If I hear another twenty-four year old talk about how she’s been looking for her soul mate her “entire life”, I might have to reach inside my television screen and kick her in the gut. I’d like to see a thirty/forty-something version that I might actually be able to take seriously, but I think that would defeat the purpose of the show. Oh, well.

What about you? What are you favorite television shows?