farewell to 2014

This time last year, I was really looking forward to putting 2013 behind me. In 2013, I broke up with my boyfriend, my sister’s beautiful dog Gypsy passed away, and my boss of seventeen years and best friend was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of Leukemia. So, despite the fact that my third novel and fan favorite Blogger Girl was released to outstanding reviews, and my debut Just Friends with Benefits was re-released by my current publisher, Booktrope, to surprisingly best-seller status, the year was pretty sucky all in all.

2014 started out much better. I began the year with a trip to California with several other authors where we talked, laughed, and drank lots of wine with the beach right outside our door. I met up with a guy I had dated several years ago and had such a wonderful time, I was certain we’d get a second chance. Best of all, my boss found a 100% match for a bone marrow transplant. Things were looking up. Unfortunately, the trip to California only lasted a few days and I returned to New York City and the Polar Vortex with a cold that lasted about four months. Despite the connection I was certain was mutual while out with the guy from my past, he kept putting off a second date until I had to assume he didn’t share my feelings. Worst of all, by far, my boss/best friend lost his battle with cancer, passed away in July, and broke my heart into a million pieces.

2014 wasn’t all bad. My publisher released an ebook collection with my three first novels on Valentine’s Day that made the Kindle Top 100; Blogger Girl and A State of Jane were re-released by Amazon Encore pursuant to an exciting licensing agreement with Booktrope; my fourth novel, How Do You Know?, was published in December, Just Friends with Benefits was released as part of a romance anthology called Blended for Love; and I am already halfway through the first draft of my fifth book, Novel Girl.

More important than “book” stuff, my friends and family really stepped up after my boss died and showed me how much they loved me. Their patience, understanding, and unwillingness to let me feel alone showed me how truly blessed I am and I will be forever grateful even while I’m still dealing with my grief on a daily basis.

I’m no mathematician, but I know that with each passing year, I will get a year older which, as those who know me are well aware, doesn’t thrill me. That being said, I am truly ready to put 2014 behind me. Although I have goals for 2015—publication of Novel Girl, possible solo trip out of the country, potential running of New York City marathon, refurnishing of my apartment—I am not making any formal resolutions. All I really want is to be happy.

Or perhaps the resolution is to figure out what it is that makes me happy and go after it.

Thanks to all of you for keeping up with my blog this past year. I hope I have entertained you with my life and book updates. Happy New Year to you all and see you next year!

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Dear Santa

I have decided to write a letter to Santa Claus with my list of Christmas wishes. I am Jewish, but for the sake of this blog post, I’m pretending that Santa Claus loves me as much as my Christian friends and would read my letter and honor my Christmas wishes. I have been very nice, after all.

I make no apologies for the fact that this letter is (mostly) all about me. I have not asked for world peace, the safe return of all American troops to their families, the end of hunger, no more race wars etc. If I believed Santa (or anyone) actually had the power to grant my wishes, there would be some major amendments to this letter, but as it stands, my wishes are either pretty selfish, superficial, or entirely unfeasible. Don’t judge me!

Dear Santa,

My name is Meredith Schorr. I’m not sure you would know that since I’m Jewish, but I am taking a risk that you and your reindeer will stop by my house this year despite my allegiance to the Old Testament.  I’ve been very well-behaved (probably too well-behaved), a loyal and trusting friend, generous to others, a dependable employee, and I ate all of my vegetables! I’ve taken on new challenges, like putting together my own electronic appliances, attempting to expand my cooking abilities, and venturing off the NYC grid without a map. I’ve listened to my body, cutting my running due to Achilles Tendinitis instead of pushing myself. I had regular check-ups, including two trips to the dentist, several mammograms, and even surgery to remove a lesion on my cheek.

It’s been a very tough year for me – not all bad, of course – but the one bad thing kind of rendered everything else inconsequential and made appreciating the good more challenging. Although nothing can make up for the loss I experienced, the things on the attached list might alleviate some of my pain.

So, without further ado:

I really want a vinyl yellow raincoat. Rainy days are so gloomy and I know that slipping my arms through the shiny sleeves of my new raincoat would brighten my day. I’ve been looking everywhere, but no one seems to stock them aside from eBay where I keeping getting outbid despite offering up quite a bit of dough. Can you please help me out?

I can’t find my flat brown leather boots anywhere. I only bought them at the end of last winter and fear I might have accidentally thrown them out in my attempt to de-clutter my apartment. Can you help me find them? I’m not even asking for a new pair. I’m just hoping you can twitch your nose or something and make them reappear in my closet.

I’ve been talking about getting a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes for over a year. I still haven’t been able to justify the expense, but I think they’d spice up some of my outfits. Those red soles are quite sexy, aren’t they?

Speaking of sexy, I’d really love to meet a wonderful guy in the coming year. Any chance you can help me with that? I have so much to offer and my expectations are not unreasonable: I simply want to find someone whose company I prefer above all others. Smart, funny, warm, available (read: not married or otherwise romantically attached to another woman or man), attractive, trustworthy, somewhat age-appropriate, conveniently located. Bottom line: someone I truly like and can hopefully grow to love who shares my feelings. Help?

I’m kind of digging those Pandora bracelets. My interests include running, writing, reading, baseball, television, music, and wine. Those would make a great start for charms.

My apartment really needs a makeover. I spend most of my hard-earned cash on going out to dinner, maintaining my hair, and books and I know my domestic quarters could be better. My mom and I are going to go shopping for new furniture in the spring. If you can throw some good deals in our direction, I’d appreciate it.

Speaking of my mom, please keep her healthy!

I’m not asking for the dewy, youthful skin of my college days, but if you could prevent any additional wrinkles or unwanted spots from appearing on my skin, that would be great. Same thing with my body. I don’t need to look like a super model or female volleyball player and I’m not even asking for six-pack abs and toned inner thighs. I think I look pretty good. I just don’t want gravity to do any further damage for at least another decade or so.

Last but not least, I miss my best friend Alan real bad. I cry every day. Can you arrange for me to travel back in time so I can spend one more day with him, before he got sick, when he was healthy and happy? I’d do anything to see him again and talk like we used to. It happens all of the time in books, television, and the movies! (If you could swing this one, I’d gladly give up the other items on the list.)

That’s about it.

Thank you, Santa!

How do you know? CentreStage introduces: Meredith Schorr @meredithschorr

I’m excited to be a guest blogger on Nicky Well’s fabulous blog: Romance That Rocks Your World. I’m talking about my addiction to Christmas movies.

Nicky Wells: Love & Thrills

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Welcome to CentreStage with a very special guest indeed! I am delighted to welcome the amazing Meredith Schorr. Now Meredith lives on the other side of the Atlantic, but yet I feel we’re great friends. We’ve been hanging out on Facebook together since forever and, earlier in the year, Meredith took it upon herself to mentor and advise me on the geographic realities of her hometown of New York City. As if that weren’t enough, she then also read the whole first draft of my manuscript for local colour and accuracy. Peeps~Meredith seriously rocks on the talent, love and generosity front. I am honoured to introduce her today!

The one, the only: Meredith Schorr!

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There are two things you should know about me for the purposes of this post. The first is that I’m Jewish—not a religious Jew—I don’t go to temple, and I don’t keep a kosher diet. In…

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New Release – Blended for Love – a four book romantic collection

December has been a very action-packed and exciting month for me so far. First, my fourth novel, How Do You Know? was released on December 2nd and now I’m thrilled to announce that my debut romantic comedy “chick lit” novel, Just Friends with Benefits, has been released as part of a four-book collection with romance as the common theme. The best part is that, while each book features a romance, the sub-genre of each novel is completely different so there is a story to satisfy your every mood, hence the title, Blended for Love.

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The collection includes romantic suspense novel, Tag, by Shari Ryan; Seductive Shadows, an erotic novel by Marni Mann; Blue Midnight, a contemporary romance by Tess Thomson; and last but not least, Just Friends with Benefits, a romantic comedy.

But wait…there’s more! The collection is currently only 99 cents for a very limited time!! If you haven’t read my debut novel yet, now you can get it, along with three other full-length manuscripts by best-selling authors, in one delicious collection. Read on for further details and buy links:

Cali, Charlie, Stephanie, and Blythe. . . four unique women with distinct stories and intoxicating essences to delight any mood. Are you in the need for adventure with a side of sexy marine? Meet fiercely independent Cali from TAG by Shari J. Ryan as she navigates the canyons of Mexico where the waterfalls provide safety and romance has a pesky way of showing up when she least expects it. And Tango is full of the unexpected. 

Need a sultry story with exotic undertones to make your heart race and put a naughty smile on your face? Then Charlie from Seductive Shadows by Marni Mann is your gal. She is a passionate, sensually inspired art student with a job offer at the mansion that is almost too good to be true. Add in the connection to the mysterious Cameron, who stimulates her art, intellect and desires all the way to her core, and you’ll be left captivated by this alluring novel.

Want something light that renews you like a girl’s night out with your BFFs and a few glasses of chardonnay? Meet Stephanie from Just Friends with Benefits by Meredith Schorr, in her pursuit of love, her adventures in friendship, and her journey to discover what really matters. Stephanie’s story couples humor with the age old yearning for Craig, ‘the one that got away.’

Or, perhaps the more mature Blythe from Blue Midnight by Tess Thompson fits your mood. Newly divorced, she questions her road not taken, sexy and sweet Finn Lanigan, and sets out to find him. This is a story of second chances, the complexities of family and learning to trust after betrayal. In these four books, the facets of love all combine to form: Blended for Love.

Please note: Seductive Shadows is for mature audiences. It contains explicit language and sexual content.

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Bio: Shari J. Ryan hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her hubby and two lively little boys. Ryan has published the 3-book Schasm Series for Romantic Suspense/Thriller fans. TAG is her first book written solely for the Romantic Suspense audience. She is also hard at work on Red Nights, a standalone coming early 2015. www.sharijryan.com

Best-selling Author Marni Mann crafts sexy, titillating stories that weave together her love of darkness, mystery, passion, and human emotion. A New Englander at heart, she now lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband and their two dogs who subsequently have been characters in her books. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop working on her next novel, she’s scouring for chocolate, sipping wine, traveling to new locations, and devouring fabulous books. www.MarniSMann.com

A born and bred New Yorker, best-selling author Meredith Schorr writes “real” chick lit and women’s contemporary fiction, securing much inspiration from her day job as a hard-working trademark paralegal and her still single (but looking) status. Meredith is a loyal New York Yankees fan and an avid runner. Her fourth novel, How Do You Know? was released on December 2, 2014. www.meredithschorr.com

Best-selling romantic suspense novelist Tess Thompson lives in a suburb of Seattle with her two young daughters and their two naughty cats. When not writing or taking care of her girls, she enjoys the outdoors, exercise, wine, cooking, sometimes cooking while drinking wine, travel, binge-watching quality television and reading curled up on the couch. Her seventh novel, “Duet For Three Hands”, will be released in February, 2015. www.tesswrites.com

Buy links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

When age isn’t just a number

It’s no secret I believe there are too many stereotypes associated with age. For the most part, I deplore hearing/reading about how people are supposed to look, feel, dress, behave etc. simply based on the year they were born. I organized an entire blog series associated with the phrase, “Age is Just a Number” and one of the reasons I wrote my newly released light women’s fiction novel How Do You Know? was to redefine how some folks perceive women in their late thirties, early forties.

That being said, from personal experience, I cannot deny some things have changed for me over the past few years and the best explanation for these involuntary alterations in my life is that I’ve gotten older. I wouldn’t necessarily describe most of these changes in terms of being “good” or “bad” but yeah, things have changed. For instance:

I can’t drink more than a few alcoholic beverages without losing some, if not all, functionality the next day. This doesn’t bother me all that much because I don’t enjoy being “drunk” as much as I used to and am happy with a nice, pleasant buzz. I have too much to do to risk losing an entire weekend day sleeping off a hangover. While feeling tipsy feels good, crossing over to “drunk” feels icky. And a Sunday Funday isn’t as fun for me anymore if I know I will suffer for it on Monday. Knowing what will happen if I drink too much helps me make wiser decisions, not necessarily in the moment, but when planning my activities. In all honesty, I do over-indulge from time to time anyway because I sometimes lack the self-control to stop after the buzzed state. Case in point: This past Friday night, I drank way more glasses of wine than I needed to and I paid for it on Saturday when I was a zombie and rendered incapable of being productive. My excuse was that I was out celebrating the release of How Do You Know? but I don’t always have an excuse and I do it anyway. But I turned down an invitation to watch football at a bar with friends this afternoon to spend the day writing, something I’m positive I wouldn’t have done even a couple of years ago. Some people might lament this change in preference and say, “I’m getting old” but because I truly had no desire to drink today and looked forward to a day of writing, you won’t hear any complaints from me. It is what it is.

Whereas I used to have no problem sleeping in—sometimes until close to eleven—now I have trouble sleeping later than 9:30am even after a late night. Some people still consider 9:30 late, but it’s pretty early for me relative to my sleeping habits of younger years. This doesn’t bother me either because starting my day earlier leaves me with more time to get things done.

While I’ve always known how deadly cancer is in an abstract sort of way, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen and experienced first-hand how devastating, far-reaching, and indiscriminate the disease is. These days, I can’t even hear the word without getting sad and afraid. A diagnosis of cancer by someone of my young age is not the “norm” but I’ve seen it happen enough to know it’s not that rare either and it freaks me out to the point that every doctor’s appointment—even the routine check-ups—cause me anxiety. While I’ve always worried about my mother’s health, now I find myself more aware of the mortality of younger people, like my sisters and friends. (It’s worth noting that my best friend lost his battle with cancer earlier this year and this tragic event, and not my age, could also be the cause of my anxiety.) It’s not just cancer and other diseases, but with age, I’ve become more aware of the simple randomness of life and knowing that things can change on a dime.

When I watch television shows, I no longer crush on the young son. It’s all about the dad or “adult” male character. I have a feeling if I watched an old episode of Growing Pains, Kirk Cameron would no longer do it for me. (Although neither would Alan Thicke). (Exception: I’d still lust after Jordan Catalano in My So Called Life. )

I can’t be as brutal on my body without suffering consequences. I can still keep up with the twenty-somethings on the track and in spin class, but I find myself with Achilles Tendinitis and other aches and pains afterward if I’m not careful. Whereas I used to take my limbs, joints, etc. for granted, I don’t have that liberty anymore. Sometimes I lift heavy boxes at work and forget that I’m not eighteen anymore. Just because I can do these things, doesn’t mean I don’t need to be more careful.

I have no desire to stay out really late. I love to go out to dinner and have drinks with friends or go on dates, but I’m perfectly happy to get home by midnight. I’d rather get up early (9:30…) and get things done than get home past 3am and sleep the day away. Contrast this with my younger days when I prided myself with closing down the bar.

I have more patience. When I find myself in a long line, I’m less likely to tap my feet in annoyance or mumble expletives. When I break items or have trouble putting them together, whereas I used to cry and throw tantrums, after an initial expression of frustration: “Shit!” “Motherfucker” “For the love of God!” I’m better able now to take a deep breath and calmly form a game plan.

Finally, I have more appreciation for the journey of each day and the importance of making myself happy, living in the present, and not worrying so much about tomorrow. Every day counts, whereas in my youth, I thought I’d live forever. I still need to work on this, but it gives me something to look forward to as I get older!

So, yes, age sometimes really is more than a number and things do change as the years go by. As my late and great best friend Alan said to me only a couple of months before he died when I complained about getting old, “None of us get younger, but we don’t have to succumb to it. All we can do is deal with it.”

 

Happy Publication Day to How Do You Know?

It’s finally arrived! Today is the official release day of my fourth novel, How Do You Know? Although I love all of my book babies equally, this book is especially close to me as its themes are extremely relevant to where I am in life. I believe the book will resonate with so many women—single, in a relationship, or “it’s complicated” alike. I sure hope I’m right!

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BLURB:

What if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach? On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn’t look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding toward her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary “break” from her live-in boyfriend results in a “break-up,” Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn’t always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number.

 

“If Doug isn’t “the one,” am I wasting time that should be spent on finding the man who is? And at almost forty, has that window already closed? Is passionate love only available to the young?

I know I will have to work through my feelings eventually, but it’s not something I want to do on my birthday. The truth is I absolutely want to get married. I’m just not certain I want to marry Doug.

But my heart also aches at the thought of losing him.”

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OGQII9E/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0D67KXN7041J840S7M6E&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Know-Seeking-Happily-Ever-After-ebook/dp/B00OGQII9E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1416414201&sr=1-1&keywords=how+do+you+know%3F

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-do-you-know-meredith-schorr/1120809409?ean=9781620155875

Also available on iTunes