writing, colds, and Seattle Oh My

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted a more personal blog, so today is your lucky day! I’m writing this from a writer’s group I connected with through Meetup. I’m in a few of them. It’s nice to interact with other writers and it’s also a great motivator to get out there and put in a few hours of writing time. This is the first time I’ve been able to participate in this particular group because it usually meets during the week and I have that pesky day job. (That pesky day job that pays most of my bills and provides me with health insurance and a generous 401K so I’m not complaining. That much…)

I’m not feeling so hot. I was fine at about 2:30 on Tuesday afternoon and by 2:45, my throat was sore and I was coughing. By the time I went to bed that night, I felt like I swallowed a shard of glass. I tossed and turned for hours and decided to call out sick on Wednesday. I slept almost the entire day. Although I still wasn’t feeling great on Thursday, I didn’t feel comfortable taking more days off from work since I have several vacation days in the near future. I’m still not at optimum health but it didn’t stop me from running outside all weekend. I just couldn’t resist this fabulous weather. I am loaded up on drugs and hope to get this cold out of my system soon! In fact, I am heading off to Seattle on Thursday and will be really upset if I’m still alternating between coughing up a lung and blowing snot out of my nose. (TMI?) Especially since flying already wreaks havoc on my sinuses.

over-medicated much?

over-medicated much?

Why I am traveling to Seattle you ask? My publisher, the fabulous Booktrope, is based out of Seattle and they are hosting a table at the Association of Writers & Writer’s Programs 2014 Conference & Bookfair. They asked if any of their authors were interested in participating—many of them also reside in Washington State. Although New York City is a long way from Seattle, I decided to attend the conference so that I could meet my publisher and some fellow Booktrope authors, as well as reunite with some close friends who live there. I’m also scheduled to do a book signing on Saturday morning and so I had 30 books shipped to my friend Megan’s apartment in downtown Seattle (10 copies of Blogger Girl, 10 copies of A State of Jane and 10 copies of Just Friends with Benefits). In hindsight, I probably should have shipped far fewer books since my signing is only from 11:00-12:00 on Saturday and, seriously, how will I possibly sell 30 books in one hour unless I change my name to Nora Roberts, Emily Giffin or Jennifer Weiner? I hope to sell one to be frank…

I have been a writing machine this past month and my fourth novel is already 58,000 words. My novels are typically 75,000-85,000 words so I’m really making progress. I am so excited about this book and so I fly out of work almost every evening and head to various coffee shops in the city to put in some writing time. If I have any chance of publishing it in 2014, I can’t really afford to go straight home from work and watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and so, unless I have social plans after work, I can usually be found at either Argo Tea in Union Square, or The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Murray Hill. They know me now at the latter and before I open my mouth to order, the guy at the register (who I learned is named Brian) says, “Chai Latte?” Sometimes I feel bad when I switch things up and order a Vanilla Latte instead, but I’ve got to keep them on their toes. Familiarity breeds contempt and all that.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Argo Tea

Argo Tea

Before I sign off, I wanted to thank everyone who purchased my Real Chick Lit for Real Chicks collection. When the boxed set went on sale for .99, I broke the Amazon top 100 bestseller list for the first time ever!  Pretty exciting stuff.

photo 3

photo 4

Ok, signing off now to continue working on my novel.

Cheers!

Valentine’s Day ebook Super Sale!

ebook-super-sale

We’re spreading the love this Valentine’s day. Ten fabulous (and mostly chick-lit) authors have teamed up to offer you an amazing ebook promo. See below to download FREE or hugely discounted bestselling books. Valentine’s Day only.

It’s Got to Be Perfect– FREE – today only!

#1 Amazon Bestseller (Humour)
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‘This book kept me laughing the whole time!’

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‘Meredith Schorr is such a witty author. She brings heart and humor to every story she tells.’

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Conditional Love – Today only $0.99!
‘A witty, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy with a protagonist you’ll love and I highly recommend it!’
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‘This was a fantastic story of love, loyalty, and patience. A must read!’
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‘I really enjoyed reading Rebecca’s book and admire her candour and honesty.’ — Richard E Grant

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‘A refreshing and unapologetic look at love after fifty’

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“What Stays in Vegas is a quirky, fun, chick lit novel written by someone who has seen it all firsthand in the corporate world – a self-professed “worst best secretary you’ll ever have the pleasure of reluctantly doing business with.” – Chick-Lit Books.com

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Finding Lucas – Today only $0.99!

‘…extremely well written and I really enjoyed the comedic aspect of it. I hated having to put the book down and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.’ — Marlene Engel, Chick Lit Central

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One Summer in France – FREE today only!

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Register below to be the first to hear about chick-lit promos and new releases!

Valentine’s Day Celebration – fun, flirty facts about Nicholas Strong

The Valentine’s Day Celebration continues with my interview of Nicholas Strong, leading man of Blogger Girl.

The one!

The one!

                Meredith: Who is the celebrity you’ve been told you look like?

                Nicholas: *laughs* Most recently, I am being told I resemble Peeta from The Hunger Games but it’s only because no one would call either of us tall. I’ve heard Jake Johnson from The New Girl and Chris Messina from The Mindy Project but again, I think it’s because we’re all kind of short and have lazy shaving habits. *scratches scruffy jawline*

                Meredith: What naughty food do you like to indulge in?

                Nicholas: Guacamole. Lots of guac.

                Meredith: What do you wear to bed?

                Nicholas: Nothing *winks*

                Meredith: *blushes* Favorite body part of the opposite sex:

                Nicholas: I’m a breast man. *cheeks turn pink*

                Meredith: *looks down at her small Bs in regret* How many people have you said “I love you” to?

                Nicholas: I assume you mean in a romantic way…Two.  I take those three words very seriously.

                Meredith: Relationship deal-breaker?

                Nicholas: *frowns* Laziness.

                Meredith: How old were you when you had your first kiss and did you instigate it?

                Nicholas: I was eleven and, yes, I instigated it. It was her first kiss too, but I could tell she wanted it because she kept looking at my lips. So, I just took a deep breath and went in. It wasn’t the smoothest lip-lock but I’ve gotten better.

                Meredith: Do you have any tattoos or piercings? If so, describe.

                Nicholas: No piercing or tattoos. If I was going to get one, it would be something music-related. Or The Beatles.  

beatlestat

                Meredith: What’s your favorite alcoholic drink?

                Nicholas: I like a good full-bodied red wine, but I’m pretty easy to please.

                Meredith: Describe your dream girl:

                Nicholas: *gazes over my head with dreamy eyes* – I like a girl with personality. Someone who I can’t quite figure out but am endlessly interested in. Of course, she’s gotta be cute. I’d prefer on the petite side since I’m only 5’7” but I’ve dated taller girls. And like I said before, I’m a breast man so that would be cool. But, honestly, if I really like a girl, none of this “list” stuff matters.

                 Well, I hope you enjoyed learning more about Nicholas. For more information, read the book 🙂

*** Just Released on Amazon, B&N and iTunes:
Real Chick Lit for Real Chicks: The Meredith Schorr Collection
This boxed set contains all three of my chick lit novels: Blogger Girl, A State of Jane, and Just Friends With Benefits

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Valentine’s Day celebration (ChicklitLove) continues with flirty excerpt from Blogger Girl

A few minutes later, we sat side by side, each with a glass of Montepulciano in front of us. I angled my body toward his. “So besides writing diddies like ‘Kimmie Long was in my pants’, tell me more about your love of music.”

His face turning red, Nicholas started laughing.

“What’s so funny?”

Still laughing, Nicholas covered his mouth with one hand and held two fingers of his other hand up to me.

“What the…” I started laughing along with him even though I wasn’t in on the joke.

Finally, Nicholas stopped laughing and wiped a tear from his eye. “I’m sorry about that.” He started laughing again.

“C’mon!”

“Okay. It’s really stupid.” Nicholas clamped his lips together.

“What’s really stupid?” I took a sip of my wine.

“Diddies,” he said without embellishment.

“What about them?”

His lips trembling again, he said, “I assume you mean ‘ditties’, as in the plural of ‘ditty’ or short song. But it sounded like you said diddies, which is different.”

I rolled my eyes. “Thanks for the grammar lesson, counselor.”

Nicholas scooted closer to me and gently moved a hair away from my face. Smiling softly, he said, “I’m sorry. It’s just that ‘diddies’ is slang for titties and, well, hearing it come out of your mouth made me…” he started cracking up again.

I threw my head back and laughed out loud. “That’s why you broke out in uncontrollable laughter? Because you thought I said ‘titties’?” Shaking my head at him in disbelief, I said, “How old are you?”

Nodding, he said, “I know. I’m totally embarrassed that I lost it.” He started laughing again.

“I can see that!” We laughed together for a second until we both stopped at the same time and smiled at each other, neither of us saying anything.

Breaking the silence, Nicholas raised his shoulders in a shrug. “I’ve always loved music. Started listening to punk and new wave as a baby and saw my first concert as a toddler – The B-52s.”

I pictured a young Nicholas clapping his hands and dancing along to the music. “So even as a young’un, you enjoyed diddies, huh?” I flashed him a devilish grin.

Nicholas winked. “Yeah. And I thought music was pretty cool too.”

*** Just Released on Amazon, B&N and iTunes:
Real Chick Lit for Real Chicks: The Meredith Schorr Collection
This boxed set contains all three of my chick lit novels: Blogger Girl, A State of Jane, and Just Friends With Benefits

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Valentine’s Q&A with Blogger Girl’s Kimberly Long

It’s almost upon us— Valentine’s Day— the “romantic love” holiday. In honor of this festive-for-some-depressing-for-others-day, a bunch of popular chick lit/romantic comedy authors thought it would be fun to feature the more romantic aspects of our books on our blogs all week.

Today, Kimberly Long, the main character in my most recent release, Blogger Girl, answers some questions regarding her love life.

Kimberly Long

Kimberly Long

Meredith: What three qualities do you find most attractive in a partner?

Kim: I’d have to go with sense of humor, sex appeal, and aggressive without being overbearing.

Meredith:  What’s your idea of romance?

Kim:  On a grand scale, I would love for someone to serenade me at Karaoke or write me a love song but in realistic terms, someone who loves me unconditionally and never lets me doubt it for a second.

Meredith: Who’s your favorite on-screen couple (Film or TV)

Kim:  Hmm, well I’m not a fan of the sappy love stuff. I’m also not a fan of the alpha male/meek woman, like Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey. I like couples who challenge each other and make each other laugh. I’d have to go with Harry Burns and Sally Albright. Although I also have a special place in my heart for Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara.  Oh, and Mindy and Danny from The Mindy Project, but they’re not officially a couple…yet.

Mindy&Danny

Meredith: What’s been your most embarrassing moment in regards to the opposite sex?

Kim: Not to toot my own horn, but unless I am so overwhelmed with attraction for someone that I can barely cross my legs, I’m pretty cool around the opposite sex. I’m not one of those girls who gets herself in crazy, awkward situations like spilling things or falling on my face. I have, however, been known to babble too much about Pastel is the New Black, my chick lit blog, and most straight men can only take so much of the book talk.  

Meredith: What was your first impression of your partner or crush? How accurate was it?

Kim: My first impression of Nicholas was definitely that he’s a player. Either a player or too good to be true. Time will tell…

The one!

The one!

Meredith: How have you coped with break-ups in the past?

Kim: Well, my first boyfriend—my high school sweetheart—became my friend with benefits years later. So far, none of my break-ups have been tragic because I don’t think I was truly in love. I have a feeling it won’t be as easy to recover from the next one…

Meredith: Which hot actor would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with and why?

Kim: Josh Holloway because a) his dimples are divine, b) I am a sucker for scruffy men and he wears it so well and c) after being stranded on “the Island” as James/Sawyer, he could probably take care of both us. 

I heart Sawyer.

I heart Sawyer.

Meredith: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?

Kim: Admittedly, I’ve never been one to make grand gestures. I think I worried too much about being rejected and so I just let it go. But I think someday, if the situation warrants it, I will have to take a page out of one of the fantastic chick lit books I have read and pull out all of the stops. Those chick lit heroines always get their man!

Meredith: PDA: How much is acceptable?

Kim: I think it’s definitely nice to hold hands and tastefully touch your partner in public. Even a few kisses are acceptable. However, unless you are a teeny-bopper at a dive college or straight-out-of-college-bar, full-on sucking face and groping is totally inappropriate. I like to lock eyes with my partner over a drink or dinner in the knowledge of what we will do to each other once we are alone. Flirting in and of itself is an extremely sexy activity. Almost as fun as the main event—but not quite!

Meredith: What is the best relationship advice you’ve ever gotten?

Kim: To have enough confidence in yourself and your appeal to be able to accept and believe a man who says he is interested and acts like he is interested is, in fact, interested until and unless he proves otherwise, rather than letting your own insecurity sabotage the relationship before it has really even gotten started.

I hope you enjoyed my interview with Kim. Stay tuned for tomorrow when I will post an excerpt from Blogger Girl that showcases the flirtier/sexier side of the book!

*** Just Released on Amazon, B&N and iTunes:

Real Chick Lit for Real Chicks: The Meredith Schorr Collection
This boxed set contains all three of my chick lit novels: Blogger Girl, A State of Jane, and Just Friends With BenefitsCollection_widget

Cover reveal and extract for IF YOU ONLY KNEW by Zanna MacKenzie

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for Zanna MacKenzie’s third novel If You Only Knew. Keep reading for an excerpt and information on this fabulous chick lit author.

If You Only Knew

Book: If You Only Knew

Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing

Published on:  February 7th 2014

Genre: Chicklit

Tag line:   Is the past about to destroy the future for Faith when she discovers her new boyfriend and her first love are in business together?

Book blurb:

Would you have the courage to feel the fear and fall in love anyway…?

Faith owns The Coffee Pot in the outdoor adventure sports mecca of Derbyshire’s Peak District. She hasn’t had a man in her life for a while, as she has been too busy serving cakes to weary rock climbers and mountain bikers to find time for the complications of a relationship with the male of the species.

Then Zane and Matt arrive on the scene as the new owners of the Carrdale Adventure Sports Centre.

Dating Zane, she soon discovers he’s not the Mr Perfect she thought he was; and why is he so reluctant to talk about his past?

As for Matt – well, to Faith he isn’t Matt at all because he was a completely different person when he broke her heart all those years ago.

With her new boyfriend and her first love running Carrdale as business partners – Matt out to cause trouble and Zane keeping secrets – Faith struggles to keep the peace between them whilst trying to figure out how she feels about the two men in her life…

 

Main buy links for book:

*Crooked Cat Publishing

http://www.crookedcatbooks.com/

*Amazon UK

TBA

*Amazon USA

TBA

 

Book extract:

This couldn’t be happening.

Zane had said his business partner was called Matt. She was sure of it. Yes, he’d definitely just introduced him as Matt. But the man standing before her wasn’t Matt.

It was Aaron.

Faith wiped her hands on a tea–towel. She wanted to speak, but couldn’t get her brain into gear enough to make her mouth form the words.

She’d thought Aaron was gone from her life.

It looked as though she was wrong.

She took a step back, wrapping her arms around herself. Suddenly she felt cold and shaky. Aaron was back? This was impossible.

Yet here he was, standing in her kitchen. She felt dizzy and light-headed.

How should she react? Should she admit they knew each other? Why had Aaron changed his name to Matt anyway? Would he prefer it if the fact they knew each other was kept quiet?

But she knew she couldn’t keep something like that from Zane.

As she debated what to say and do next, the room remained awkwardly silent. Zane was looking at her questioningly.

What should she say?

Come on, think, woman. Think.

Too late. Aaron spoke first.

“Faith, it’s amazing to see you again after all these years.”

OK. So he didn’t want to keep it a secret that they already knew each other.

“Aaron,” she managed to say. “This is a bit of a shock.”

“That’s an understatement,” Matt replied, stepping forward to pull her into a hug.

“Hang on a second,” Zane said, pushing into the room. “Aaron? That’s your proper name isn’t it?” He raised enquiring eyebrows at Matt. “What’s going on? You two already know each other?”

——————

Author bio:

Zanna Mackenzie lives on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.

Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!

If You Only Knew is Zanna’s third novel; her previous books The Love Programme, and How Do You Spell Love? were both published in 2013.

Find out more about Zanna on her blog http://www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk, on Twitter via @ZannaMacKenzie or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/zanna.mackenzie

Follow Links:

Find out more about Zanna at:

www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk

www.zannamackenzie.co.uk

Twitter: @ZannaMacKenzie

Facebook: www.facebook.com/zanna.mackenzie

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10703273-zanna-mackenzie

Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zanna-Mackenzie/e/B00BKY1A18/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

My thoughts on Super Bowl XLVIII Part two

Well, I’ll be damned; the Seahawks won the Super Bowl! Quite a surprise to most of the people at the bar last night who were rooting for the Broncos. I kept quiet throughout the game rather than bragging since, like I said in my earlier post, even though my public preference was for a Seahawks win, I didn’t care much either way. I also heard Yogi Beara whispering in my ear, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Even though the Seahawks took the lead very early on and were winning 22-0 by halftime, I didn’t want to be presumptuous and have all of my friends tease me about it if the Broncos came back in the second half. Alas, they didn’t, and I wished I had bet my friend Todd. Oh well, Monday morning quarterback.

So, this was going to be a post about my favorite moments from the Super Bowl but, unfortunately, I can’t remember any of my favorite moments, aside from texting my nephew after the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed at halftime. You see, when my nephew was very young, he couldn’t pronounce the letter “r” and when we asked him who sang “Californication”, he responded with his accent, “the Red Hot Chili Peppows!” and it was the cutest thing ever. Almost as cute as when he said his favorite New York Yankee was Derek Jetow. Even though my nephew is now 16 and fully able to pronounce the letter “r”, I can’t listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers without thinking of him, and so I texted him and we went back and forth a few times. That was my favorite moment. I love that kid.

Perhaps the food would be among my favorite moments but our bar had a limited Super Bowl menu and the choices included wings, nachos, artichoke dip, chili and salad—no French fries, mozzarella sticks or onion rings were available since the bar decided to reserve its deep fryer for the wings. That kind of sucked and we all had a nice time complaining about it. Thankfully, my friend Hilda picked up cupcakes in honor of Abbe’s birthday and they were delish.

food

artichokedip

bdaycupcakes

Happy Birthday Abbe!

Happy Birthday Abbe!

The halftime show with Bruno Mars and the aforementioned Red Hot Chili Peppers was great, however, it seemed much shorter in duration than it was in years past.

Many of the commercials were funny. My favorites included the Cheerios commercial with the little girl making a deal with her dad that if her parents have another baby, she gets a puppy; the Budweiser commercial with the horse and the Golden Retriever; the Bud Light commercial with the guy who doesn’t know he’s in a Super Bowl advertisement; and the “time machine” Doritos commercial.

Anyway, that’s about the extent of my memories from Super Bowl XVLIII. A good time was had by all, aside from the die-hard Denver Broncos fans, but not a very memorable one. Perhaps the seemingly never ending supply of beer and birthday shots for my friend are to blame for the memory loss…

And then there were four.

And then there were four.

There was a lot more beer where this came from!

There was a lot more beer where this came from!

Pre Super Bowl thoughts from a non-football fan

Yes, I admit it. I don’t like football. I feel bad about this since my biggest client at my day job is the National Football League and I work with some lovely people, but the truth is that I am a sports monogamist—I’m a baseball fan all the way—Go Yankees. Shut up, haters! Okay, so I have confessed that I do not really care for football, but I do enjoy beer, fattening foods, and drinking on Sundays. Years ago, I would join my football-loving friends and go to the bar every Sunday to *watch* football but I realized that, aside from always enjoying spending time with my friends, I wasn’t having a very good time. I couldn’t really contribute to the conversations going on around me, the bar was loud with people screaming at the various games going on, and I would feel almost claustrophobic with nowhere to look but at twenty different television screens displaying all of the various games, none of which I understood. The next day, I would have no idea who won the games and even who played. I would, however, have a hangover from drinking really cheap beer and I would feel guilty about all of the fried food I consumed. And so, this past year, I told my friends that I wasn’t going to join them on Sundays. Instead, I would do other things, like run errands, make plans with my friends who, like me, were not football fans, and I would write. I write a lot on Sundays! Sure, I miss my friends and feel a bit left out when they talk about how much fun they had, but I know that these friends love me and my not taking part in the Sunday-Funday won’t change that.

However, Super Bowl XLVIII takes place on one of my best friend’s birthdays (Happy Birthday, Abbe!) and this best friend is the football fan of all football fans and so I am going to watch the game. (Truth is, my friends told me I was going to watch the Super Bowl with them whether I wanted to or not. And I do want to, the Super Bowl is not just your regular weekly football game. It’s…well, it’s the Super Bowl!) And, if you’re wondering how I know it is Super Bowl XLVIII, no, I didn’t look online, the NFL is my client and I know my stuff!

So, who will I root for, the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks? The first and most obvious answer is neither: I don’t care. I really don’t. But I know I will enjoy the game more if I have some sort of stake in the conclusion. My friends are all rooting for the Broncos, probably because Peyton Manning is the quarterback. Stop looking shocked that I know this. I don’t live under a rock people!! I, however, am torn. Denver is the home of my oldest sister, her husband, two of my nieces and one of my nephews. On the other hand, Seattle is the home of my publisher, one of my old roommates from college, my ex-boyfriend who treated me really well and who I still have fond feelings for, and one of my best friends, Megan. So who do I choose? Is it a family thing? A matter of friendship? Of writing prosperity? It all comes down to this…the uniforms.  Yes, the uniforms.

I am rooting for the Seattle Sawhawks because, like I told my friends last night, I find the bright blue and green colors of their uniforms to be very festive. And I’m not a fan of horses, especially orange ones. Finally, the horse design of the Broncos logo is one of the most copied logos of the NFL and dealing with these third party pirates causes me grief at work on a regular basis. I know the odds are in favor of the Broncos. Peyton is arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and the puppies on Jimmy Fallon picked them to win. We’ll see. And I like I said, I really don’t care.

Stay tuned for my next post: favorite moments of the Super Bowl from a non-football fan. I have no idea what these moments will consist of—I might share some of the funny things my drunk friends said/did throughout the evening, maybe I will write about the commercials or the halftime show, and maybe, just maybe, I will actually be able to follow the game itself. Haha.