My 10 picks for the new television season

Last week, I posted a question on my Facebook author page about the upcoming television season. I asked what shows folks were most excited about. Since mostly everyone loves watching the small screen (although these days, some home television sets are almost as big as the ones in the theater), it got a great response. This week, I’m taking it up a notch in my blog by listing the ten shows I’m most chuffed to return. This list is limited to shows returning in 2017, which sadly eliminates Billions, Ozark, The Affair, and Homeland, which won’t be returning until 2018.

Without further ado:

THE GOOD DOCTOR (9/25): I think this new show sounds great. Several of my friends can’t picture the lead, Freddie Highmore, as anything besides the kid from Bate’s Motel, but since I didn’t watch it, I don’t share their hesitance.

BULL (9/26): I initially watched this show because my late BFF Alan’s son is one of the editors, but the premise is intriguing, the dialogue witty, and the characters totally likeable. The verdict is still out on the new character played by Eliza Dushku. I loved her as Faith on Buffy, but so far, I’m not feeling J.P. Nunnelly.

THIS IS US (9/26): The show brings on the waterworks every single time, but it’s also full of heart and humor. I’m not sure I’m prepared to find out how Jack died.

CRIMINAL MINDS (9/27): I really hope all my favorite team members return, and I also hope the writers give my man, Dr. Spencer Reid, a love interest. He deserves it after everything he’s been through!

WILL & GRACE (9/28): I used to love sitcoms back in the day, but it’s been a while since I’ve considered any of them “must-see” tv. Hopefully, Will & Grace will live up to the hype.

GREY’S ANATOMY (9/28): This one is a surprise entry on my list. I’ve given up on this show so many times, but I always come back. Better than cigarettes, right?

KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD (10/3): I’m really excited about this show, partly because it sounds like fun, but mostly because Jason Ritter is so charming (he must get it from his late date, John). I loved him in Parenthood, and I’m psyched to see him star in his own show.

SCANDAL (10/5): Honestly, I’m embarrassed that I still watch it. It’s so ridiculous, but how could I possibly quit before the final season? Why Olivia wants Fitz and not Jake is beyond me. Scott Foley is fine!!

THE WALKING DEAD (10/22): I cannot wait to see how Rick and the gang finally defeat the evil (but hot) Negan. I also worry about which of my beloved characters will perish this season and how.

BLIND SPOT (10/27): This show leaves me on the edge of my couch every week. Now that Jane and Weller have finally given into their lust, I’m excited to see what happens next.

And there you have ‘em.

What about you? What television shows are you mostly excited to welcome back to your flat screen?

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How binge-watching Suits gave me casting ideas for The Boyfriend Swap

My deadline to deliver the third book in the Blogger Girl series to my editor at Henery Press is Friday, September 1st. Last Saturday, I completed my revisions based on one beta reader’s comments. Since I was still awaiting feedback from my other beta reader, I had no writing-related responsibilities on Sunday. I’ve been battling deadline upon deadline non-stop over the last year and am in desperate need of a break. Rather than get ahead of the game (like I usually do) and start my next book, I opted to put on my pajamas at two in the afternoon and binge-watch the entire first season of Suits.

I love shows that hook me from episode one, and Suits did not disappoint. The characters are well-developed and funny, and the dialogue is sharp. Even though the lazy day was meant to be a break from writing, the more I watched, the more it dawned on me how much two of the female main characters, Rachel and Donna, reminded me of the two protagonists in The Boyfriend Swap.

Donna is sassy, quick-witted, confident, and strong. So is Sidney Bellows.

Donna is a tall redhead. So is Sidney.

Both woman are also flawed and vulnerable

I believe Donna is older than Sidney, who is twenty-eight, but otherwise, they are a great match.

Donna – “If you were ever lucky enough to have me, you wouldn’t want to share.”

Sidney – “I’m sure our respective partners will behave. I keep Will very satisfied.”

Donna – “I’m Donna. I know everything.”

Sidney – “You put in a good effort, but you’re up against a champion fighter. It’s best you accept your loss and move on.”

Donna

The similarities between Rachel Zane and Robyn Lane are more related to their physical appearance. Both are very attractive women with long, dark wavy hair. Aside from the fact that Rachel has brown eyes and Robyn’s are blue, I can totally picture Robyn looking like Rachel. Rachel is of mixed race, unlike Robyn, but Robyn is of mixed religion. Rachel is also older than Robyn, who is only twenty-six, but since I’m only on the first season from six years ago, the age difference doesn’t seem so big. Both woman are also very strong without being forceful or overly aggressive. They show a lot of empathy toward others and are kind until provoked.

Rachel – “Here’s your goddamn birthday card. I don’t appreciate you coming into my office saying that no one at the firm has what they’re supposed to have, and I don’t know what crawled up your ass today, but I take care of my business.”

Robyn – “Thank you very much, Sigmund Freud. I knew a Juris Doctorate permitted you to give legal advice, but I had no idea it also qualified you to psychoanalyze me.”

Rachel – “I am not the goody-goody you think I am.”

Robyn – “You said yourself, my nickname had nothing to do with my purity. I might have been a naughty schoolgirl, but I guess you’ll never know.”

Rachel Zane

THE BOYFRIEND SWAP – “THE HOLIDAY” MEETS “THE PROPOSAL”

COMING 11/7/2017 BUT UP FOR PRE-ORDER NOW
AMAZON: myBook.to/TheBoyfriendSwap

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-boyfriend-swap-meredith-schorr/1126945247?ean=2940158732935

The Boyfriend Swap (available for pre-order now) – how it differs from my other novels

The Boyfriend Swap is now available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

How is The Boyfriend Swap different from my other novels?

All the adult romantic comedy novels I’ve published so far, while very different in plot, have shared some similar characteristics. I took a different direction in The Boyfriend Swap. Some examples:

  1. While all the novels so far were told from one character’s perspective, The Boyfriend Swap is told in alternating dual perspectives—Robyn Lane and Sidney Bellows, two twenty-something New York women.
  2. The main characters in all my other novels worked in a law-firm setting, either as a legal secretary, a paralegal, or a marketing manager. By contrast, Robyn works in an elementary school as a music teacher, and her career plays a major role.
  3. The setting for all my novels before has been a city—Washington, D.C. for Just Friends With Benefits and New York City for the others. Although Robyn and Sidney both live in Manhattan, the bulk of The Boyfriend Swap takes place in the suburbs—Bala Cynwyd in Philadelphia and Scarsdale in Westchester.
  4. None of my previous characters drove, at least not within the pages of the novels. In The Boyfriend Swap, both Sidney and Robyn drive, and several scenes take place with them in the car.

There are probably many other differences, but you’ll have to read the book to find out. Did I mention it’s up for pre-order?

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EXCERPT

Perry pressed his lips together, appearing to ponder his next words. “Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll be Sidney’s boyfriend for a few days—in name only, of course.” He shined his baby blues on me. “I’ll miss you, but if it’s what you really want…”

I swallowed hard. It was what I wanted, wasn’t it? Why else would I be on a double date with Sidney, a virtual stranger, and her boyfriend—Will Brady? I’d agreed to lie to my parents, something I never did, just to avoid their blatant disdain for my dating choices. So what if I had an unrequited crush on Will the entire duration of my childhood? I was an adult now, and I was dating Perry. I needed to protect him from my parents’ judgement and maintain my sanity over the holiday weekend. This was what I wanted.

Then why did I feel like I was going to throw up?

“Of course it’s what she wants,” Sidney responded for me.

I nodded timidly. “Sure.” Taking a deep breath in and letting it out, I clarified my answer with a more confident “Yes.” I met Will’s eyes across the table. “As long as Will’s okay with it too.”

“What do you say, Will?” Sidney asked, sounding certain the answer would be a resounding “Yes.”

 

Cover reveal – The Boyfriend Swap

They knew swapping boyfriends would change their holiday. They didn’t plan on it changing their lives.

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“The Holiday” meets “The Proposal”

Up for pre-order August, 2017. Releasing 11/7/2017.

Goodreads

What do you think?

 

THE BOYFRIEND SWAP – blurb

If you follow me on social media, you already know the title of my next novel—THE BOYFRIEND SWAP. I actually shared the title by video. I’d never done that before, and it was equal parts exhilarating and scary! Anyway, I’m beyond excited to share this book with you when it’s released by Henery Press on November 7th. In the coming months, I’ll share the cover, teasers, excerpts etc. Today, I’m revealing the back-cover-copy. In other words, what the heck is THE BOYFRIEND SWAP about anyway?

Here you go:

The Holiday meets The Proposal

Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year? New Yorkers Robyn Lane and Sidney Bellows aren’t so sure.

Robyn has always dated struggling creative types. For once, her parents would love her to bring someone with health insurance and a 401(k) to their Chrismukkah celebration. Her actor boyfriend doesn’t qualify. While across town, Sidney’s professional life already belongs to her parents. She’s an attorney at her father’s law firm and she works tirelessly to keep her love life private. If she brings her lawyer boyfriend to their annual Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have the wedding planned by New Year’s Eve.

A mutual friend playfully suggests they trade boyfriends for the holidays. The women share a laugh, but after copious amounts of wine, decide The Boyfriend Swap could be the perfect solution. This way, Robyn can show off her stable attorney boyfriend and Sidney’s high-society family will take no interest in her flakey actor beau.

It’s a brilliant plan—in theory. In practice—not so much. When Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years, and Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe, one thing is certain: The Boyfriend Swap might just change their lives forever

The book has been added to Goodreads and I hope you’ll add it to your “to read” shelf.

What do you think of the title? The blurb? If you have any questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to add them in my next post.

Until next time!

missing my friend three years later

It’s been exactly three years since one of my favorite people in the world lost his battle with cancer. Since I’ve posted about him many times in the past, I won’t bother to refresh your memories as to who he was, except to say he was my boss for almost two decades, only so much more. He was my closest friend for about ten of those years and probably the person with whom I spent the most time since we worked and had lunch together nearly every day. He was the person who made me laugh more than anyone else. He brought out the best in me, but accepted the worst in me. He was my sounding board, my words of wisdom when I needed them, a frequent shoulder to cry on, my figurative GPS when I lost my way, and my confidence when I struggled to feel worthy. His friendship changed my life and his death brought me to my knees.

I’d never experienced loss like this before and I had no idea what to expect. In all honesty, I never gave it much thought. Grief isn’t something that can be anticipated or prepared for until you’re immersed in it and by then, it’s too late. I legitimately never imagined a time when Alan wouldn’t be around, and so it never even occurred to me to gauge how long it would take to go on with my life without the near constant yearning to see him, talk to him, laugh with him, and simply exist on the same plane. I’ve read many books where a character loses someone she loves whether a parent, spouse, lover, sibling, or friend. Typically, the character is an emotional mess for approximately one-to-two years before coming to terms with the loss, accepting it and moving on the best they can. At that point, they are usually able to think about the person without crying. They can embrace the good memories without breaking down and asking “why?”

Where am I in the process compared to these fictional characters? I’m not even sure. I haven’t come to terms with the loss yet. Most days, I still have to remind myself that it’s real—that he’s truly never coming back. And I continue to ask “why” on a regular basis. At the same time, I’m frequently able to summon up a memory without crying. In fact, I mention his name in conversation each and every day because it brings me comfort. Usually it’s at work. My new boss, Deborah, adored Alan as well and we joke about him all the time and repeat “Alan-isms” often. I’m unbelievably thankful for those moments when we laugh about him (and sometimes “at” him) and grateful Deborah and I are in this together. His picture is in both our offices and we’ll point at it and say, “Isn’t that right, Alan?” or “Do you agree, Alan” and then we’ll predict what he would have said in response. These moments make me smile, but they also leave a lump in my belly and an ache in my heart when I remember (again) that he’s not really there. He’s not going to jump out of the wall and say, “It’s not a matter of if you’ll make a mistake. It’s a matter of when,” so we just have to say it for him.

I still think about him numerous times throughout the day, but I’m able to focus completely on my work, my writing, and whatever other activities I’m engaging in (exercising, socializing, marketing, reading, dating etc.). I couldn’t do this when he first passed away. At the same time, something will frequently be said that will drive my thoughts to him. For example, a phrase will be uttered that he used to say, or a memory will pop into my head, or a venue will be mentioned where we went together—it doesn’t take much. It’s anyone’s guess whether the memory will warm my heart or fill it with the familiar pain.

Random things make me sad. I wrote four books before he died. I’m writing my eighth now, which means at some point soon, I’ll have written more books after he died than I did while he was alive. That hurts even though I’m certain he’s proud of me and wouldn’t want it any other way. He bought me many electronic devices as birthday gifts. They all have a limited shelf life. Once they all break or have been upgraded, I won’t be able to say “Alan bought this for me.” I hate this for reasons that having nothing to do with buying my own devices!

Before he passed away, we texted to a ridiculous degree. Nearly every random thought in my head was shared with him because I knew he’d “get” it. If I was waiting in a doctor’s office and bored, I sent him a text. If I witnessed something funny, did something stupid, or just had time on my hands, I texted him. I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself when he was gone. I hadn’t a clue where to put those thoughts. Of course, I have other friends, but the esoteric nonsense we exchanged was so particular to our friendship. My solution was to write him notes on my phone just to get the thoughts out. I still write him notes, but with much less frequency. Rather than several a day, I can go entire months without doing it now. And then sometimes I’ll send three in a week again. But I’ve learned to live without communicating with him constantly. (I do talk to him sometimes and, no, he doesn’t respond…at least not the way he used to.)

Two years ago, I posed the question whether grief was a process with a beginning, middle and end or if it was a permanent condition. From my own experience three years in, it’s permanent. The severity varies from day to day, week to week, and sometimes month to month, but it’s always there. I can’t hear about someone else’s loss of a loved one without acknowledging my own ongoing pain. I know what these people are in for and my heart breaks all over again—for them and for me. I feel their loss deep in my gut because I know it’s an ache that doesn’t really have an end.

I might not have come to terms with Alan’s death, but I have accepted that I’m never going to wake up one day and no longer miss him. I’m not really sure where that leaves me, but to borrow one of his favorite phrases, “it is what it is.”

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My late, great best friend and boss of almost two-decades. I miss him every day!

weekend musings

After two different people told me this week how much they enjoyed reading my blog posts, particularly the more personal ones, I knew what I had to do—write a blog post, obviously!

The weather is sort of crappy today, but it didn’t bother me because I had obligations that kept me from enjoying the outdoors anyway. After a morning excursion to the gym, I spent several hours working on my eighth novel, the third installment of my Blogger Girl series. Now I’m doing laundry while I simultaneously write this blog.

Let’s continue where we left off last time. I’m convinced that online dating is not the way to go for me. I haven’t had any desire to meet the various men who have reached out to me. The one guy I was corresponding with before my vacation to Barbados disappeared before we could set up a date. The fact that I wasn’t at all surprised or disappointed spoke volumes as to my actual interest. The truth is, I’m incapable of getting excited about someone until we meet face-to-face and until that happens, I have nothing vested.

Since I brought up Barbados, let’s change direction, shall we? I spent six days there with five of my girlfriends over Memorial Day and it was wonderful! It was my third time there because it’s a triple threat—aside from an occasional brief thunderstorm, the weather is amazing; the seafood is fresh and delicious, and the people are super friendly. Rest, relaxation, cocktails in the pool, amazing food, and time with my besties? Yes please.

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I didn’t want to come home, but I softened the blow by taking a few extra days off from work. I caught up on the writing I didn’t do in Barbados, met up with the president of my publishing company, Henery Press, who was in town for the Book Expo America conference, and attended a cousin’s wedding with my family. I also got home just in time to watch the newly streaming third season of Bloodline. Anyone else watching it?

Back to dating. One of my author friends wants to set me up with someone—her friend’s friend. Apparently, he was very excited to get in touch with me. I gave my friend the go-ahead and haven’t heard a peep yet—shocker. Again, nothing vested. I’m also strapped for time right now due to writing obligations so it’s best not to go out of my way to add things to my social schedule. Which brings me to deadlines!

I have until September 1st to deliver my next book to my editor. I’m heading toward the end of my first draft and gave myself a self-imposed deadline of August 1st to finish. I already sent the first two hundred pages to my beta readers to give them a head start. I’m nervous because summertime always brings more social outings and I hate to miss out on excursions with my friends. I’m already stressed out about the plans I’ve made so far. My oldest sister is also visiting from Denver in late July and my close friend from Seattle in August. I need to reserve enough time to write in between my day job and all this fun stuff. On top of that, as much as I love being social, I’m an introvert at heart who is not only very comfortable with alone time, but craves it. I need it to recharge. It’s one of the reasons I’m very selective about who I date. I have very limited free time as it is and I need to enjoy my time with him as much as and hopefully more than my “me” time. That’s my test. Most men don’t make the cut, but I’m confident he’s out there. Maybe I already know him and we just haven’t crossed the line from friends to more yet. Anything is possible!

Before I bid you adieu, heads up that I will be announcing the title of my next stand-alone romantic comedy in my next blog, shortly after July 4th. I am more excited about this new release than any of my others so far. (Although I probably always say that.) Maybe I’ll also share my pictures from the mini-break I’m taking to the vineyards in Connecticut over the holiday.

Finally, my contemporary young adult novel, Kim vs. the Mean Girl, is currently on sale for $0.99 cents. If you haven’t picked it up yet, this would be a good time to get it
cheap. It’s a great read  🙂

Giveaway – 32 e-books and a Kindle Fire! (Humorous fiction June BookmarkIT Giveaway)

How would you like to win a Kindle Fire and up to 32 e-books? My publisher, Henery Press, is hosting a fantastic giveaway where you can do just that between June 7th and June 13th. Enter here!

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Good luck!

 

 

#ChickLitMay Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

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“I can’t help that I’m irresistible.”

I said that to my girlfriend, Kim, on our first date. It wasn’t exactly a date, more like the first time we—never mind. In any event, she was all pouty because Hannah, her high-school nemesis, was touching me.  We were at her ten-year reunion and Kim was jealous of Hannah, which I never understood. I’m NICHOLAS STRONG, by the way, book boyfriend from the Blogger Girl series (Blogger Girl and Novelista Girl). I’m up for CLC HQ’s Book Boyfriend 2017.

I’m supposed to talk myself up, but I’d rather talk about Kimmie. If only she could see herself through my eyes. She’s sexy and adorable in perfect proportion, passionate, sassy, sweet, and vulnerable underneath a tough exterior. And don’t get me started on her rack.

And, sure, it was kind of obnoxious of me to tease her that night—the way I purposely brought attention to my scruffy jaw after she confided how sexy she thought it was. But flirting with each other is a language we speak fluently. I was dying to take her home to my bed, but all she could focus on was Hannah. “Hannah wrote a novel.” “Hannah’s cute, right?” Honestly, if I didn’t find Kim utterly charming—the way she’d boldly stare me down and then shyly look away a second later—the insecurity might have turned me off. On second thought, Kim could bathe in a garbage bin and I’d still love that girl. I probably shouldn’t say so much. Don’t want to be spoilery for those who haven’t read about us yet.

We’ve been through a lot, Kim and me, and I definitely see choppy waters in our future. I think we’ll pull through. Kimmie’s a master of writing her own happy endings, so I just have to hope I’ll continue to remain the man of her dreams. Good thing I’m so irresistible…

In case you’re wondering what I look like, I’ve been told I resemble Gunnar from Nashville. I’m just a few inches shorter. You can see him by clicking on the link above or here. I’d post a picture directly, but I’m an intellectual Property attorney and don’t want to get in trouble.

I hope you’ll vote me as your Book Boyfriend, but as far as I’m concerned, I already hit the jackpot with Kimmie. You can vote for me by emailing traciebanister@gmail.com

Even though I’d like to win (and Kim would “reward” me handsomely), you should check out my competition by hopping to all the stops (list below), collecting the other candidate’s names at each, and then submitting all 30 names to the above email address. This is how you’ll be entered in the Grand Prize giveaway. This giveaway includes a Kindle Paperwhite + 30 e-books, one from each of the authors participating in the hop. My stop includes a gifted copy of Blogger Girl (or if you already own it, the sequel, Novelista Girl or the prequel, Kim vs. the Mean Girl). Entries for the hop will be accepted until Sunday, May 21st at midnight E.D.T. A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 22nd. This Grand Prize giveaway is open internationally.

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simply catching up

Today, I’m not revealing a book cover or announcing a new release, I’m just going to share a few thoughts currently on my mind.

I broke down and joined an online dating site last month. I’m not going all-in and revolving my life around “the search,” but I check out my matches every couple of days and have been on two dates already. I still hope to meet someone through introductions or simply living my life and doing the things I enjoy, but as the old saying goes, “it only takes one.” So far, there are two things that totally turn me off about many of the profiles I’m seeing. One: the negativity. “Please be local. Not looking for long-distance ladies!” “None of this lunch date nonsense. If you can’t spare an evening for dinner, how are you going to have time for a relationship?” “Please no pictures of you with your pets.” I shudder when I read profiles like this. How about posting what you do want and simply ignoring the profiles that don’t meet your criteria? By doing it your way, you sound bossy, full of yourself, and not like anybody I’d want to date.

But even more repulsive, to me, are the men who say they are looking for women who, at their oldest, are still ten years younger than them. If you’re a forty-eight-year-old man who isn’t even willing to meet someone even five years younger than you (or God forbid a year older), you better have the body of Channing Tatum, the brains/success of Jeff Bezos, and the sense of humor of Jimmy Fallon. And you know you don’t. Get over yourself. Even when my age falls into their criteria, it really turns me off.

If you’re dating or can remember back that far, what are/were some of your biggest turn offs?

Moving on. What is with this new trend in men’s tailoring where the pant length is so short? I don’t care if it’s the newest thing, high-waters are not attractive. I was on the street next to a very well-dressed, attractive thirty/forty-something man. Naturally, I checked him out. I was “yea” until I saw his ankle-exposing pants and it was all “nay” from there. Just because it’s in style, doesn’t mean it looks good. What do you all think of this new trend: Yea or Nay?

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I love my blog, but with all the hype about newsletters, I’ve set one up on Mailchimp. I haven’t figured out how I’m going to use it, but I know my subscribers will get treats likely not accessible to anyone else, whether it be free books, giveaways, or first-looks at new covers/titles. The sign-up is below and also on the right sidebar of my website. You can unsubscribe at any time.

http://meredithschorr.us15.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=eca39fdf7afba9a294f05ca3b&id=b53f05c3b8

I’ll be announcing the title of my November release with Henery Press in June. I’m beyond excited about this book! While I finalize the editing process and await the cover art, I’m working on the third Blogger Girl book, releasing in April, 2018. I’m planning a wedding, something I’ve never had to do before, and my street team already helped me choose the flavor for my couple’s wedding cake. If you’re interested in joining the street team, please reach out for details.

Finally, I’m giving away two print copies of Kim vs. the Mean Girl on Goodreads. Enter between now and May 31st. (U.S. only.)

I think that’s enough for today. I have a client manuscript critique to work on, a monthly word count to meet, and dinner plans tonight. And I haven’t even showered yet. TMI?

Until next time.