Chick Lit Central – Giveaway of Blogger Girl

Melissa Amster of Chick Lit Central hails Blogger Girl another top favorite of 2013 and considers it the Girls Just Want to Have Fun of books.

Check out her review here and enter for your chance to win an ecopy of Blogger Girl.

International Chick Lit Month Author Blog Hop

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Welcome to my stop on the Second Annual International Chick Lit Month Author Blog Hop!

As you probably know by now, one lucky hopper will win the GRAND PRIZE: A FREE Kindle Keyboard 3G, with Free 3G + Wi-Fi, and a 6″ E Ink Display. That lucky grand prize winner will also receive a “chick lit starter library” filled with great chick lit books written by the indie authors participating in the blog hop. Please see bottom of post for instructions.  For More Information Click Here:

The topic of this Blog Hop is “What’s on Page 25” and today, I am sharing the contents of page 25 of my chick lit novel, A State of Jane.

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On page 25 of A State of Jane, my main character, Jane Frank, is assuring her doting father that she is studying hard for the LSAT exam. There’s one problem though: Jane is lying.

Jane’s father is definitely her favorite of her two parents as she considers her mother to be a bit on the critical side. Whereas her mother often encourages Jane to wear dark clothes to disguise her curvier lower half, Jane can do no wrong in her daddy’s eyes and she’s a daddy’s girl to the Nth degree. Since she was a little girl, Jane and her father talked about working side-by-side on multi-million dollar deals as legal partners. Jane’s life plan includes kicking butt on her LSAT exam so that she can get into a top tier law school like the Ivy League Columbia.

Unfortunately, Jane’s life plan also includes finding a serious boyfriend. She waited the requisite year after breaking up with her first and only boyfriend of nine years and is ready (and eager) to fall in love again. Jane is afraid that if she waits too long to commence the boyfriend search, she will start law school single and have no time to date. After a few “false-starts” on eHarmony, Jane is getting ready for a first date with a guy she randomly met at an ATM machine and her daydreams about their future together are getting in the way of her studies. (Win the grand prize! The 7th secret word in the 25-word sentence is: Blog) Jane is positive that she can juggle preparations for the exam with her romantic aspirations and she does not see the need to concern her father with minor details like how much she has strayed from her studying schedule ( a lot).

Does Jane really have it all under control or is she about to encounter a rocky road on both the academic and romantic fronts? You must read the book to find out and I hope you will 🙂

Learn “How to Hop & Win!” New to blog hops? Want to learn how to win the grand prize? Find complete information here.

Keep hopping! Click here to return to the list of blogs.

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P.S. Speaking of buzzing over books and summer parties… If you happen to be in NYC on Thursday, May 30th, please come on down to Stone Creek Bar and Lounge on East 27th (between Lex and 3rd) from 7pm to 9pm for a mix-and-mingle event a few of us in this Hop are hosting. Should be a hoot! Book Buzz 2013–click here for details!

likeable “unlikeable characters” in chick lit starring Jane Frank & Giveaway

The winner has been chosen – congratulations to SusieQ – you have won an ecopy of my first novel, Just Friends with Benefits!  Thanks for playing all 🙂

 

“Somehow, rather quickly Jane became that friend who you love, but drives you crazy along the way.”

Jane Frank, the main character in my novel, A State of Jane, is a twenty-six-year-old woman who has had a pretty easy life.  She comes from a well-to-do family, her parents are still very much in love, she earned good grades in school and her first romantic relationship was a loving and supportive one.  Jane has never wanted anything she couldn’t have and her childhood dreams of becoming a partner in her father’s law firm and being married by 30 are only 3 years of law school and a great boyfriend away.  Or so she thinks

 Sometimes I found Jane to be naïve, childish and rather self-absorbed but I also found her to be funny and just trying to find her path.”

Jane re-enters the dating world a year to the day after her break-up with her first and only boyfriend of nine years only to discover that finding a second boyfriend isn’t as easy as she thought and studying for the LSAT is a little difficult when all she wants to do is decipher the Manhattan male.  Why are they all completely smitten with her one day and then gone the next? 

“As the story went on I saw how Jane had to go through this dating journey to end up where she did.”

My desire in writing A State of Jane was to tell a story of a girl whose life spiraled out of control after she realized that things didn’t always go according to plan.  Jane Frank is a good person at heart but she is naïve and sheltered.  She would never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings but is ill-prepared to handle what she deems as failure.  Jane becomes obsessed with controlling her destiny to the detriment of her career aspirations and her relationships with friends and family.  She becomes self-absorbed and unlikeable but it’s all part of her path to self-discovery and growing up.  I don’t want to spoil anything for people who haven’t read A State of Jane yet but Jane ultimately sees the error of her ways and makes amends.

“Through her vulnerable, all-about-me phase, I enjoyed watching her character arc of becoming just plain Jane.”

Jane Frank has a strong character arc and a lot of readers have commented that they found her extremely relatable, even though they wanted to shake her at times.  I’ve also received comments from readers who couldn’t warm to Jane despite her character development.   Jane is definitely a flawed character and if that is not your cup of tea, you probably will not enjoy A State of Jane.  I feel very protective of Jane as if I gave birth to her, which I kind of did.  But I know that if Jane really was my daughter, I’d probably have to sit her down at some point and explain that not everyone would like her and that’s ok – it’s part of  life. I might introduce her to some other imperfect female characters in chick lit, such as the following:

Darcy Rhone – Something Borrowed/Something Blue – Emily Giffin –Introduced to readers in Something Borrowed, Darcy is the completely self-absorbed, selfish and conceited best friend of Rachel Green and the fiancée of Rachel’s love interest. 

From Publisher’s Weekly: “Perhaps beautiful Darcy Rhone isn’t really wicked, but she is one of the most shallow, materialistic, self-centered and naïve 29-year-olds around.”

Darcy was an unlikeable character yet most readers appreciated her growth as a character.

“You really did come to care for and root for Darcy as she became less self-centered.” 

 “Emily Giffin has done a great job creating a character that, at first, I found myself disliking, and then in the end rooted for her as she founded her happy place in life”

Maggie Feller– In Her Shoes – Jennifer Weiner – The younger and more “beautiful” of two sisters, readers instantly dislike Maggie when she sleeps with her older sister Rose’s boyfriend.

From Publisher’s weekly, “Twenty-eight-year-old Maggie Fuller relies on her looks and size zero body to flirt her way through life while working dozens of dead-end jobs and dreaming of stardom.”

Maggie was easy to dislike at the beginning of the novel having betrayed her sister in one of the worst ways imaginable. It is also difficult to relate to a woman who is completely lazy and irresponsible, relying on her looks to get by in life.  However, readers see a different side to Maggie as she comes to terms with her inferiority complex and works hard to be a better person and sister. 

 “Maggie was so irritating and unlikeable, that the first half of the book was difficult to endure.  The second half brought redemption, healing, and transformation to Maggie.”

 “Just as you start hating Maggie, the one who has it easy getting jobs and men, Weiner emphasizes a hidden dimension of her character that allows us to empathize with her and realize that maybe she doesn’t have it so easy after all.”

Mattie Johns – The Hating Game – Talli Roland – Mattie Johns is very tightly wound to say the least.  She has built walls up around her to keep others away and she’s not a very nice person.  However, as the story develops, readers learn that Mattie is in fact capable of true love and selfless behavior. 

 “At first I found Mattie unlikeable.  But even in the beginning, I could detect her vulnerability within her uncompromising exterior.  This is a woman who wants to be in control, so it’s interesting to see how she grows as her life becomes more and more out of control.”

Just like these characters, Jane Frank is not always likeable.  She’s not always nice.  She doesn’t always do the right thing and she can be flat-out selfish.  In a word, she is human.  Another word is “flawed.”  But just like these other characters, there is an explanation for Jane’s behavior, and the consequences of her actions lead her to the path to redemption.  I hope that readers will forgive Jane’s “all about me” phase and admire her for putting her flaws out there for the world to see. 

“I liked that Jane was not perfect, and even got a little mad at her myself while reading.  But that is what makes her a real character.” 

What about you?  To win an ecopy of my first novel Just Friends With Benefits, please comment with your email address AND the name of one of your favorite flawed females in fiction! 

Q & A and giveaway with author Sophie Meyer

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED! WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND WILL BE NOTIFIED SHORTLY BY AUTHOR.  THANKS FOR PLAYING 🙂

I am very excited to welcome Sophie Meyer to my blog today. Sophie is the author of the enchanting new chick lit novel called Where’s the Groom.  Sophie was kind enough to answer some questions about herself and her writing so read below for the answers and leave a comment for a chance to win one of five ecopies of Where’s the Groom!!  

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Me: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Sophie: I’ve been writing since I was about ten, and knew it right away. It’s who I am, natural to me.  Once I started I never wanted to stop.

Me:  What inspired you to write Where’s The Groom?

Sophie: I’ve been around so many women searching for love for so long – and am also very familiar with self-improvement workshops. It often occurred to me that it would great fun to do a novel about both of them…to see how these techniques really worked, take it to the limit. Can we really attract the man of our dreams by changing our consciousness? That was the question that spurred this book.

Me:  Are you working on another novel?  If so, can you give us a sneak peak of what it’s about?

Sophie: I am actually in the process of planning another novel, about star crossed lovers, who are always in the wrong place at the wrong time, until something dramatic happens that changes both of their destinies. It’s about soul mates and what is needed for them to be together at last.

Me: What are some of your favorite books and authors?

Sophie: I love Gone with the Wind and the novels of Jane Austen

Me: What are your biggest fears as a writer?

Sophie: My biggest fear as a writer is that people won’t enjoy what I write, that it won’t connect with others.

Me:  Who would you cast as Ashley in the movie version of Where’s the Groom?

Sophie:  I think Jennifer Anniston or Kate Hudson would be perfect as Ashley.

Me: What would the story of your life be entitled?

Sophie: The story of my life would be entitled The Incredible Circle of Life

Me:  What aspect of writing is easiest/most difficult for you?

Sophie: The easiest part of writing for me is the enjoyment I receive from watching the characters develop as the book goes along. The most difficult part is marketing it – making sure it gets out there and is read.

Me: Any advice for new writers?

Sophie: I’d tell new writers to just sit down and write. Don’t edit, don’t hesitate. Let it all pour out. There’s a wonderful saying I heard about this, “You don’t know what you think until you see what you say”. Say it. Discover surprises. Then you can edit and shape it into what you like.

Me: Biggest celebrity crush?

Sophie: Hugh Grant

Me: Favorite television show?

Sophie: Love The Bachelor

Me: Me too! I love to hate it too 🙂 Favorite romantic comedy movies?

Sophie: Sleepless in Seattle, Moonstruck and Pretty Woman

Me: Guilty pleasure?

Sophie: chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate please?

Me: So… can I take it you like chocolate?  If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you want to be?

Sophie: If I couldn’t be a writer, I’d be a singer (if I had a good voice.)

Me: Do you believe in the power of positive thinking as encouraged by Vince, Ray and eventually Ashley in Where’s the Groom?

Sophie: I do believe in the power of positive thinking. I see how what we believe, hold in mind, and wish for ourselves goes out into the world and attracts all kinds of events and situations.

Thank you, Sophie! 

Check out the blurb for Where’s the Groom here:

Ashley, just turning thirty, is struck with a string of bad dates that keep getting worse. The last of her group of friends to be single, she’s quickly becoming hopeless about finding The One. When a friend convinces her to attend a new-age workshop on making your dreams come true, she gets onto a roller coaster she can’t get off of. The poignant and hilarious comedy of errors begins. The workshop sweeps through her life like a tornado and turns her reality upside down. She is told: visualize it, and he will come. Ashley takes it seriously, and before she knows it, she’s planning a wedding she can’t get out of. There’s only one problem: there’s no groom. Things quickly spiral out of control as one misunderstanding after another occurs, and Ashley’s friends and family become more and more involved and want to know who the groom is? Backed into a corner, Ashley finds herself having to make up one story after another as her wedding plans become more and more of a reality. Everything intensifies as Ashley chooses her bridesmaids and is caught in a whirlwind of looking for dresses, choosing a venue, finding a band, and a thousand other arrangements. Soon a date is set, invitations are sent out, and there is no backing out! As all this goes on, Ashley is desperately dating, hoping for The One to show up in time! The book explores love, dating, fantasies and a thousand crazy detours on the way. In a shocking ending with a twist, Ashley draws true love into her life in the most unexpected way.

 

And my review here:  http://www.amazon.com/Wheres-Groom-romantic-comedy-ebook/dp/B00BAO5KZA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363401870&sr=8-1&keywords=where%27s+the+groom

 

And purchase the book here:

http://www.amazon.com/Wheres-Groom-romantic-comedy-ebook/dp/B00BAO5KZA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363371027&sr=8-1&keywords=Where%27s+The+Groom%3F

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wheres-the-groom-sophie-meyer/1114296283?ean=2940016392486

 

Sophie’s bio here:

Sophie Meyer has been writing for years, and has always been in love with love. With a background in psychology, philosophy and theater, she’s helped many find love, avoid detours and climb out of  inevitable pitfalls. The essence of her life and work are exploring the wonderful, spontaneous and unpredictable surprises life loves to provide. She also offers talks and workshops on finding and living a life of love.

FOR A CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF FIVE ECOPIES OF WHERE’S THE GROOM UP FOR GRABS, SIMPLY LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS BELOW!

And the winners are…

In the past two weeks, I have hosted two giveaways for a free e-copy of Just Friends With Benefits.

The first giveaway was in honor of reaching 300 fans on my book’s Facebook page. I’m pleased to announce that the winners of that giveaway are Michele W and Jane Cook.

The second giveaway was part of the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop. The winner of that giveaway is Kassandra.

I will be in touch with the winners by email shortly. Congratulations!  I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.  To everyone else, thank you for participating. I hope you will consider buying my book anyway 🙂 Otherwise stay tuned as I will probably host another giveaway to honor the release of my 2nd book, Planet of the Flakes, later this year.

 

the “I’ve reached 300 fans on Facebook” e-book giveaway!

Back when the Just Friends With Benefits Facebook page had under 250 fans, I made a promise to give away an e-copy of the book when I reached 300 fans. Many months later, I have finally reached my goal and it is time to make good on my promise. But I am going to do it one better – I am going to give away not one, but TWO e-copies of Just Friends With Benefits. To win your copy, I need you to leave a comment below with 1) your email address and 2) a line from your favorite television show theme song, for example, “What might be right for you, might not be right for some” – Different Strokes!

It’s that easy. Oh, and if you could either follow me on Twitter and/or like the Just Friends With Benefits page on Facebook, that would be super.

Unfortunately, this contest is limited to entrants in the United States.

Good luck! And, if you do not win this contest, I am happy to report that I am participating in the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop next week and will be giving away another e-book then.

Please tell your friends!!