Happy Anniversary A State of Jane and guest blogger!

With all of the fuss over the release of my third novel Blogger Girl and the re-release of my debut novel, Just Friends with Benefits, I almost forgot all about my “middle child” A State of Jane. (I’m surprised I haven’t heard the voice of Jan Brady whining “Blogger Girl, Blogger Girl, Blogger Girl!”)  But Jane Frank need not fret as I could never forget the anniversary of the day her story was released to the world. Happy Anniversary to A State of Jane! In honor of this momentous milestone, I have a special guest blogging about the first year anniversary. Welcome Beth Bacon to my blog! I am very lucky in that my publisher, Booktrope, provides marketing support to all of its authors in the form of a Marketing Manager. Beth Bacon is my Marketing Manager and she’s fantastic. I truly think I hit the jackpot of Marketing Managers. And, really, how many other Marketing Managers would agree to guest post on their author’s blogs? So, without further ado, I will hand this over to Beth:

Cheers!

Cheers!

The 1-Year Anniversary… What does it mean?

Happy birthday, Jane.  It’s the one-year anniversary of the publication of A State Of Jane. The first copies started rolling out of Amazon warehouses in mid-September 2012. The chick-lit world has never been the same.

One year. What does a year mean? The marker can trigger a celebration or act as a kick in the pants—Crap! A year has gone by already?

That’s the way Jane feels at the opening of A State of Jane. She’s been single for one year. The anniversary is like a wake up call. BRING! Time to get a life.

Granted Jane is the one who wanted the break up. But in the twelve long, dry months after that, Jane hasn’t dated a single Tom, Dick, or Harry. Crossing the one-year threshold jolts her into action. She needs to find a guy. The guy. The one. And fast. Especially because her ex is now happily engaged—to someone… nice.

What is it about the one-year milestone that spurs Jane to get off her butt and start dating like a her pants are on fire? What is it about the calendar circling around onto itself that makes one day different from the day before? Why do we mark anniversaries at all? And why, why do we feel so excited to celebrate the date that the book A State of Jane was launched into the world?

Okay, hold on, wait. This is not a philosophy blog. This is a chick lit blog. Forget I went there.

Instead—LET’S PARTY! A STATE OF JANE IS ONE YEAR OLD TODAY!

WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?

How do I decide?

•  Skinny blue jeans and white t-shirt like Kim on the cover of Blogger Girl?

•  An A-line dress cinched at waist with pumps like Stephanie in Just Friends With Benefits?

•  A V-neck cashmere sweater, black jeans and boots like Jane in A State of Jane?

WHAT AM I GOING TO DRINK?

So many tasty cocktails.

•  A skinny flute of Prosecco like Kim in Blogger Girl?

•  A dirty Martini like Hannah in Blogger Girl?

•  Wheat beer like Stephanie in Just Friends with Benefits?

•  A nice glass of white wine like Jane in A State of Jane?

WHERE SHOULD WE GO TO CELEBRATE?

Lots of places to check out.

•  Vero Wine Bar, Banc Cafe, The Hurricane Club, or Ryan’s Daughter like in Blogger Girl?

•  The Round Robin Bar, the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, or the Rhino Bar & Pumphouse like in Just Friends with Benefits?

•  Whisky River, Hillstone, or the Lex Bar like in A State of Jane?

HOW LATE AM I GOING TO STAY OUT?

Not too late. I’m gonna’ get home early, curl up in bed, and re-read A State of Jane.

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Steph the Bookworm opens up as the Celebration of Bloggers continues!

On my blog today is Stephanie Territo, creator of Steph The Bookworm Blog. 

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I was introduced to Stephanie back in 2010 when she participated in the CLP Blog Tour for my debut novel, Just Friends with Benefits.  Both Stephanie and her mom really loved the book and so when A State of Jane was released, asking Stephanie to review it was a no-brainer.  She loved it even more than JFWB which puts a lot of pressure on Blogger Girl but I think it’s up to the challenge! Although our introduction was based on the fact that she’s a book blogger and I’m an author, it turns out we have more in common – we’re both runners too.  I am happy to report that I consider Stephanie a virtual friend separate and apart from our blogger/author relationship.  I was really pleased when Stephanie agreed to open up on my blog as part of the Blogger Girl launch.  See her touching and inspiring post below and definitely check out her blog http://www.stephthebookworm.com/.

Blogging the Big Moments by Stephanie Territo (stephthebookworm.com)

When the internet first started becoming big when I was in middle school, I was excited but apprehensive. I let my lifelong anxiety cause me a slight bit of paranoia, and I was all about anonymity. I would never use my full name, and I refused to sign up for Facebook, even when all my friends were getting obsessed. I even told them I did not want them posting pictures of me on there. Why? I guess I thought people would find me and try to stalk me or something. Yeah, right. Sometimes, there are no explanations when it comes to anxiety. Anyways, after a few years, they secretly signed me up for an account, and now I fully embrace the Facebook lifestyle. I even post tons of pictures… and no one has come after me yet (haha!). This is all to say, I started out being nervous and anonymous online, but now I let it all hang out. I finally embraced the internet.

Growing up shy and anxious, the internet started becoming an outlet where I could be myself, where I could speak without fear. Then, I started a book blog in September 2009 which is still very much active, but now combines a little personal element too. In fact, the personal posts seem to be the most popular of them all. I share all of the big moments of my life, from the bad to the good. I’ve talked about break-ups, wedding plans, losing 115 pounds, becoming a runner, meeting my fiancé… anything big that happens to me is bound to get written about. Why do I share these big moments of my life on the internet? Why do I bare my heart and soul on my blog, when I know plenty of people I’ve never even met are reading it? Because these are the moments I want to remember. I wanted to capture the way I felt when I crossed the finish line of my first 15K. I wanted to remember the day I met Jerry, the moment I first laid eyes on him at the airport. And I want my friends, these people I have met through blogging from all over the world, to share these moments with me too. My life has changed considerably since I learned to open myself up online. I have made so many friends, some that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in real life, and others who I just chat with online. We initially connect through our love of books via our book blogs, but then our relationships grow into actual friendships, and it’s a beautiful thing. There is nothing quite like having a friend who understands your obsessive love of books and literature, and the towering piles of books all over your house (and probably has them too!).

I even met my fiancé online, on a fitness website, where we have lost over 300 pounds together. This is all the proof I need to know that you really can create true, lasting friendships and relationships online. This is the reason I share it all on my blog – all of the moments of my life, big and small.

Follow Stephanie on Twitter here: @stephbookworm ; Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/StephTheBookworm and Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/stephbookworm/

Coming soon: Blogger Girl

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chicklit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

guest blogger – my mom!

It’s been a crazy week for me between the day job and getting ready for the launch of Blogger Girl.  When I told my mom that I didn’t have time to write a blog post this week, she offered to step in as a guest blogger.  I had no idea what to expect but figured an “unexpected blog” was better than no blog at all and so I accepted her generous offer.  See her blog post below along with comments from me in red:

I always look forward to a blog post from my daughter, Meri.  After I read it, I am amazed that she came out of me.  I also feel very special and loved when she refers to me in her blogs.  I was especially flattered to be the inspiration for the mother in her first novel, “Just Friends with Benefits”.  (Even if she did paint me as an overbearing Jewish mother dying for her daughter to get married and give her more grandchildren.)  (You are a *sometimes* overbearing Jewish mother dying to marry me off.  Although to your credit, you have backed off quite a bit lately. I hope you haven’t given up on me!)

You probably don’t know this but Meri was a delight to raise.  (What do you mean “you probably don’t know this”?  Are you suggesting my readers would be surprised that I was a delight to raise?  Ahem, I am a delight now too!  Most of the time.)  However, she did have an issue with biting that lasted way too long.  (I only had 1-5 victims and I was over it by the time I turned 21!!  Seriously, I was probably still under 6 when I stopped the biting. Right?)The only negative comment from teachers was Meri’s incessant talking in class, hence, taking away a shopping spree.  (Yeah, that was mean.  But it worked.)  Nonetheless, she was in the Gifted and Talented Program (“GATE”) in elementary school and graduated college with honors (I always suspected that I only got accepted to GATE  because I was the teacher’s pet, especially since everyone else in the program got upwards of 1300 on the SAT exam and attended Ivy League universities and I, well, didn’t…)  

Despite being a very pampered baby sister, Meri has become “Miss Manhattan(Um, I’m not sure about that but thanks…) with two great careers and she’s not afraid to try new experiences.  

Now if she would only get married…. (*rolls eyes* But at least she hasn’t given up on me.)

Isn't my mom cute?

Isn’t my mom cute?

Thanks, mom, for stepping in.  I’ll be back with a blog post this Monday with big news about the launch of my third chick lit novel, Blogger Girl!

Guest Blogger – Zanna Mackenzie, author of How Do You Spell Love?

I’m very excited to invite the lovely Zanna Mackenzie, author of the newly published chick lit novel, How Do You Spell Love?, to my blog.  Take it away Zanna!

Today we’re interviewing the character of Summer from Zanna Mackenzie’s novel How Do You Spell Love? (HDYSL)

Tell us a bit about yourself Summer

I’m a bit of a modern eco warrier I suppose. I manage the local Save The World charity shop in the town where I live in Yorkshire, I grow all my own fruit and veg on my allotment in town and I’m a practising white witch.

Wow! A witch eh? I don’t think I’ve ever met a white witch before, what does that mean exactly?

It means I cast ‘spells’  but only good ones, not ill intentioned or evil ones. I do spells to help others, asking for things like protection or fertility or, the most popular, for love.  I inherited this ‘gift’ from my gran and I abide by the old code of never accepting money for any spells I do and never wishing anyone any harm. Another code is not to cast spells asking for something for yourself. I usually abide by this one but, as you’ll see if you read the book, I end up bending the rules a bit on this point.

So what do these spells involve?

Usually the chanting of a rhyme and the use of things like herbs, essential oils, plants and crystals. I perform most of my spells in a shed on my allotment / vegetable plot.

So you mentioned bending the rules to perform a spell asking for help for yourself, can we ask what that was about?

I don’t know if I should say too much but, well, it involves Rob, my boyfriend, we’re having problems at the moment and I thought a lunar love spell might get our relationship back on track.

And did it?

Unfortunately, it just seemed to make things even more complicated!

In the book blurb for HDYSL it mentions that you meet a guy called Tom, can you tell us more?

My friend and co-worker Kat invites me to a party her family are having and that’s where I meet Tom. He’s her cousin and we get talking about this and that.  He mentions he grew up on his gran’s allotment/veg plot and how much fun it was, when I mention about having an allotment myself. Then, a few days after the party, he turns up at my veg plot and asks if he can help out from time to time but we both know he’s asking for much more than that! Anyway, I agree, ok, I admit, I do like him, but for a whole variety of reasons we really can’t be together so I’m soon left wondering why on earth I agreed to him being around and what on earth  is going on between us.

Thanks Summer!

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FACTS ABOUT HOW DO YOU SPELL LOVE?

Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing Published on: March 1st 2013 Genre: Chicklit/rom com with magical theme

BLURB:

Make A Wish…

Kat can’t help wishing there was more to life than this. What happened to her dream job? What happened with Nathan?

Summer is wondering where her life is going too… battling the developers of a controversial housing estate and working out why boyfriend Rob is increasingly distant.

When the developers win the battle and move into town everyone’s life is turned upside down.

Kat meets building site project manager Alex. She enjoys his company far too much, even though he’s on the town’s most hated list.

Summer meets Tom who has plenty of relationship troubles of his own, so things could get really complicated.

Soon everyone is keeping secrets, lives change and hearts are broken. Is everything falling apart, or does life just work in mysterious ways…

BUY THE BOOK HERE:

*Crooked Cat Publishing – http://www.crookedcatbooks.com/

*Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Do-You-Spell-Love/dp/1908910771/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1361800360&sr=8-2

*Amazon USA – http://www.amazon.com/How-Do-You-Spell-Love/dp/1908910771/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361800417&sr=1-3&keywords=zanna+mackenzie

CHECK OUT THE FABULOUS EXCERPT HERE:

How Do You Spell Love?

Kat pushed the last of the cottage cheese and shrimp sandwiches into the cool box and slammed the van door shut. As if her life wasn’t enough of a disaster zone as it was – no money, lousy job, losing Nathan, having to move back home to live with her parents – now this had to go and happen. Plus, of course, it didn’t help that today she was feeling shattered after spending half the night chanting some ridiculous protection spell in the middle of the allotments with Summer.

Cringing as a van full of builders stopped at the nearby traffic lights, Kat braced herself for the inevitable. After the standard-issue wolf whistles had drifted across from their van, next came the leered, “Wouldn’t argue with that, love!” as one of them nodded towards her sparkling clean van, parked neatly at the curb. The words “A Bit of Crumpet on the Road” emblazoned down the side in deep purple, glittery lettering. Not for the first time Kat cursed her boss Janice for calling her bakery-cum-deli that name.

Kat sighed, well it certainly drew comments from the public and from their customers, not always welcome ones, but as Janice was always keen to point out, any kind of publicity and attention was, in her eyes, good publicity and attention.

Pulling her navy and white striped apron more tightly around her T-shirt and shorts, Kat ignored the builders and climbed into her van to begin that morning’s deliveries. As she indicated to pull out into the busy street in Luisborough, she mulled over the bad news – that she was to add the controversial Netherton Meadows housing development to her daily sandwich round.

Netherton Meadows. Yippee. If Summer found out, she’d surely be ostracised for fraternising with the environmental enemy. This was a development that pretty much everyone in Luisborough had fought against for getting on towards a year. It had been the focus of STW campaigns. It went against everything that Kat believed in environmental-wise. Everyone hated the Netherton Meadows developers. Except, it seemed, Janice, who was perfectly happy to, in her words, ‘supply yummy builders with yummy sandwiches.’

Lost in thought, Kat just managed to spot the approaching traffic lights had turned to red and hastily slammed a foot on the brake. The van lurched to a halt and several boxes of crisps and one of the cool boxes in the back tipped over. Damn. It was shaping up to be one of those days.

Two hours later Kat had visited all her usual drops, was extremely hot and bothered, and could put off going to Netherton Meadows no longer.

Driving through the assorted vans, machinery and portacabins Kat parked next to a building marked as being the Site Office and hit the button on the dashboard. Tinkling chimes filled the air as Kat climbed from the driver’s seat and made to open the back doors of the vehicle. It was embarrassing enough that the van had the company name in large lettering along its side but, just to make sure that it received maximum exposure – and achieved maximum embarrassment – Janice had had some irritating chimes fitted to the vehicle too. Kat was under strict instructions to sound the chimes when she called at all of the sites where people came out to the van; such as they were about to at Netherton Meadows.

A man came down the steps of the office with a grin on his face and walked towards her. “Hi, you must be Kat.” He wedged a clipboard under his left arm and offered a hand to shake. “I’m Alex. Project manager for the site.”

“Hi,” mumbled Kat, spotting a group of hard-hat-clad builders advancing towards her with hungry expressions on their faces.

“Right, lads,” Alex turned towards the men. “This is Kat and she’s very kindly agreed to venture onto this site to bring you all your lunch. Don’t give her any hassle, OK?”

The men laughed and then nodded. “Sure, Alex. You’re the boss.”

Fifteen minutes later it seemed that all of the team at the development had made their sandwich, crisp and drink selections and sloped off to devour them in the sunshine. Only one of the builders, a portly man who must have been twenty years Kat’s senior, had pushed the boundaries a little, despite Alex’s earlier warning. As he’d selected a smoked salmon and cream cheese roll – a choice that had surprised Kat somewhat, having pegged him as a ham and cheese kind of guy – he’d asked Kat if she’d fancy joining him for a drink sometime. She’d politely declined his offer, saying that she had a boyfriend. No need to tell him that, technically, she and Nathan were no longer an item. No need to tell him why either.

ABOUT ZANNA MACKENZIE:

Zanna Mackenzie lives in the UK 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!

Formerly a travel agent and therapist (she has qualifications in clinical aromatherapy, crystal healing, naturopathic nutrition and herbalism) she loves walking the dogs and gardening – that’s when she’s not writing or reading!

Zanna has written two novels, The Love Programme (Astraea Press) and How Do You Spell Love? (Crooked Cat Publishing) and both were published in early 2013.

FOLLOW ZANNA HERE:

www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk

www.zannamackenzie.co.uk

Twitter: @ZannaMacKenzie

Facebook: http://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

A Life Plan Similar to Swiss Cheese – guest post

In celebration of International Grilled Cheese Month*, I wrote a guest post for the lovely Julie Valerie over at Chick Lit Chick Chat. In addition to reading my very deep and thought provoking comparison of Jane Frank’s life plan to Swiss cheese, if you catch the blog by April 29th, you will have an opportunity to win a $5 gift card to Amazon. You can buy five 99 cent ebooks with that. Or two books for $2.99 (hint: A State of Jane is a good one 🙂 )

Check out the post here:

http://www.julievalerie.com/2013/04/24/meredith-schorr/

*How cool is it that there is an entire month devoted to one of my favorite sandwiches? I wonder if there is an International Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich month too…

 

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!

My interview with author Susan Buchanan

One of my virtual writer friends, Susan Buchanan, author of two chicklit novels “The Dating Game” and “Sign of the Times” recently interviewed me for her blog. She asked me some tough questions, for instance, whether I’ve ever been so wrapped up in my love life that I allowed my other relationships to fall by the wayside (like Jane Frank did in my novel, “A State of Jane”) and some of my more embarrassing dating moments. Read on to see my answers, but please note that the giveaway of A State of Jane is over. The book is still only $2.99 though… 🙂

I am also currently reading “The Dating Game” so stay tuned for my review on Amazon and Goodreads!

http://susancbuchanan.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/interview-with-us-chicklit-author.html

Guest Post and giveaway – Author Cari Kamm!

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I am so excited to host author Cari Kamm on my blog today.  Cari’s new novel, For Internal Use Only, was just released on February 14th which is also Cari’s birthday! (Happy Birthday Cari!)  Read below for Cari’s Top 5 Inspirations/Muses when writing and leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of For Internal Use Only.  Cari is giving away not one, but two copies of the book and the lucky winner can choose if she wants a paperback or ecopy.  (The giveaway is open to only U.S. and Canadian residents.)

Top 5 Inspirations/Muses when writing:

1. Travel

I love to travel! I think growing up in a small town in West Virginia (population 3,500) and then moving to New York City with access to JFK International Airport and Penn Station, created the extreme need to be spontaneous and take advantage of the opportunities. Whether it’s a walk into a different neighborhood to have lunch at a random spot, a day trip by train or a passport destination, I’m inspired by not only the self-discovery but the characters I create in those moments. For that small amount of time I can see life through the eyes of my protagonist.

2. Music

This is a huge one for me. I have designated songs to help create that emotional connection to the scene I’m writing. I use music to move me along.  The only catch is… the song is played on repeat! I’m easily distracted by lyrics. Whether I’m writing for fifteen minutes or five hours, the song plays on repeat! My writing playlist includes my favorites: Sia, Regina Spektor, David Gray, Lana Del Rey, Imogen Heap and Classical.

3. Writing Groups

Meeting other writers is fantastic! I’ve participated in several writing groups. Some are 6-8 weeks and some are only for an afternoon. Mediabistro offers awesome courses! Most recently, I attended a workshop hosted by the lovely author Alison Pace. Attending groups is brainstorming at its best and allows everyone to benefit from constructive feedback. We are all in this creative journey together.

4. Books & Movies

When I need a kick in the inspiration department, I tend to throw myself into a book or movie.  There is no discrimination in the genre department! If that fails, curling up on the couch with reruns of Sex & The City always works. I have recently become addicted to Homeland and watched eight straight hours of it. I was up until 4:00 a.m. This proves #4 can sometimes back fire.

5. Socks

I’ve never told anyone this before! No matter where I’m writing from, I find comfort in wearing really hideous socks that no one else can see! Recently, my boyfriend bought me a pair to add to my collection. Dorothy ruby slippers! These even have glitter. It reminds me to laugh at myself and not be too serious.   

InternalUseOnly_cover_

Check out the blurb for For Internal Use Only here:

Chloe Kassidy has just been accepted into one of Manhattan’s most exclusive art exhibits, Love Through Light. However, with her singular dedication to her career, she soon realizes that in sacrificing her personal life, she has never been in love. A hopeless romantic who is terrified of heartbreak, Chloe begins to enlist the help of her circle of friends to learn about love through their very different stories and experiences.

In Chloe’s emotional rollercoaster to having the greatest love story ever told, she’ll learn that like her photography she must use the negatives in life to develop and prove that she’s a strong woman who found her way to love through light.

And a fabulous excerpt here:

In this excerpt, Chloe is anxiously awaiting for the envelope to arrive that contains her destiny.

 

Chapter 2

My love for photography had led me down an unimaginable career path. Most currently, it led me to anxiously sitting on a stoop outside the New York City mid-rise building that contained my overpriced one-room apartment. I closed my eyes, allowing the morning light to calm me while I took in the delightful bird chirps and excruciating taxi beeps of the East Village, ignoring the slight smell of urine that accosted my senses.

I started my afternoon again with stalking. I eagerly awaited the mailman’s arrival between 1:06 and 1:13 p.m., while he transported paper fate, sporting his pale blue polyester trousers, tucked in long-sleeve shirt pressed, and Converse sneakers.

We lived and loved through technology, so I was frustrated that my fate was arriving via snail mail and the timing matched every part of the description. Technology was the trusted source of banking transactions, meeting your husband, ordering your groceries, making restaurant reservations and even spying on your pets through a kennel cam while sunburning on a beach. But today, this life-altering letter crawled its way to me by a government official, a man I rarely saw, and never exchanged words with. I was waiting to hear if my dream would come true, and dreading it would never be.

 “Good afternoon,” I said, with a smile, merely able to stare at the navy stripe that lined his pant leg. The clock showed that it was 1:11 p.m. I made a wish.

“What a surprise,” he muttered, while he manhandled the heavy stack wrapped with a thick, green rubber band and passed by me. I studied him meticulously stocking the empty boxes, one by one, approaching my slot.

“Do you mind if I just grab the mail for three-C, please?” I interrupted.

“If that’s what it’ll take,” he moaned.

Between my J. Crew catalogue and my electric bill was a fancy rectangle of heavy stock ivory paper with gold trim. I squeezed the four-by-six response card. Contained in this saliva-sealed envelope were the words that would inevitably change my life. The weight of those words was heavy in my fingers and I was hesitant to open it. Without the answer the card contained, I still was able to hold onto hope.

 My destiny was in my lap with the warmth of the sun counteracting the fresh chill October presented while I flipped from sweating to freezing like an on/off switch. I reassured myself it was only rejection. I had my health and photography. Whether it was amateur or professional, it was still my first love. Even if it was a two-letter response, I would remember my love for art, and how every time I shot I searched for the immense beauty that existed within the balance, tone, and temperature of my tiny frame. Having an image worth a thousand words was never my intention. I wanted to capture one word to describe each photograph. One word can define everything, love being a true example. There is something compelling about visualizing a picture and capturing it. There is nothing compelling about the words, We regret to inform you.

My fingers trembled and taking a couple photographs would be soothing. Photography to me was the perfect cocktail: one part heart, one part head, a dose of imagination, with a splash of patience.

The tearing of the envelope felt like scratches on my heart. I proceeded with caution, hoping this document wouldn’t be only a keepsake to remind me what if.

Inch by inch, I slid out the card to reveal the twelve-point Apple Chancery font and held it to the light, observing the maker’s name in the watermark. Rubbing my index finger over the engraved symbol, I was impressed. The brand, Smythson of Bond Street stationery, supplied paper to the British royal family. I was holding the same stationery as the Queen.

________________________

Dear Miss Kassidy,

We write to inform you of your acceptance into the exclusive Bruce Smith Gallery as part of our exhibit for emerging artists, hosted by curator Grayson Gates. You will be receiving your review and luncheon date via e-mail. Please be prepared to present your theme for the Love Through Light exhibit within the deadline. You will be required to exhibit three pieces.

Opening Night & Reception

Friday, February 7, 8:00 p.m.

Bruce Smith Gallery

504 West 22nd Street

________________________

I read your acceptance at least ten times, intoxicated with excitement and then Love Through Light offered a swift sobering sense of reality. I began to panic. I couldn’t deny the exhibit theme made me uncomfortable.

The Love Through Light exhibit was inspired by the word photography itself and its Greek meaning, writing with light. As the emerging artists in Grayson Gates’s exhibit, we were to create stories of love. Instead of ink, we would be writing with our three photographs.

 I composed a text to Stephanie, Kate, and Emma, my inner circle. I’m in!

Our bonds from beginnings to endings were unbendable. Each our own elements, but together our friendship made a rare metal.

Cari’s Bio here: 

Cari Kamm has worked in the beauty industry for over a decade, building brands, working behind the scenes, and even selling her own skin care line. She has a master’s in clinical nutrition from New York University. Kamm currently works in corporate social media management with clients in the beauty, fashion, and restaurant industries. Living in New York City with her mutt Schumtz, Kamm loves finding inspiration in the most unexpected places, being a novelist, and convincing her boyfriend that ordering takeout and making dinner reservations are equal to cooking. More information can be found on her website, CariKamm.com. To check out the book trailer, click here: http://tinyurl.com/bdr7bfn.

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And don’t forget to leave a comment with your email address to enter the giveaway! Giveaway ends on Friday, February 22nd at 11:59pm.

How I get into my character’s heads

As part of my blog tour for A State of Jane with Chick Lit Plus, I stopped by the lovely Kaley’s Book Etc. blog. Kaley asked me to share my thoughts on how I get into my character’s heads. Read here for my secret. Although it’s not a secret anymore now, is it?

http://booksandstuff-kstar.blogspot.com/2013/01/guest-post-meredith-schorr.html

The Future of Chick Lit

As part of the A State of Jane blog tour with Chick Lit Plus, I was asked by the lovely Isabella “Chick Lit Goddess” Anderson to write my thoughts on the Future of Chick Lit. There have been whispers that “chick lit is dead”. Do you think I am in agreement? Here’s a hint, I have published two novels which clearly fall in the definition of “chick lit” within the past three years and am in the process of editing a third. Read more here:

http://chicklitgoddess.com/category/guests-authors/meredith-schorr/