Happy Release Day to THE BOYFRIEND SWAP!

Today is the day—a big day—the release day for THE BOYFRIEND SWAP!

If you subscribe to both my blog and my newsletter, you already know that, but exciting news should always be shared twice!

Haven’t ordered it yet? You can do it here:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

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From Publishers Weekly: “Schorr mixes and matches couples with charming aplomb in this sweet-natured romcom.”

If you love Christmas movies, as in you check the Hallmark Channel guide starting in July, then hang on to your stockings, because here comes the merriest of indulgences in print. It’s “The Proposal” meets “The Holiday”. 

First meet Robyn Lane. She’s always dated struggling creative types, including her current squeeze (Perry, an actor). For this year’s Chrismukkah celebration, her parents would love her to bring someone stable, reliable, steadily employed. You know, with health insurance and a 401(k). 

Now let’s meet Sidney Bellows. Her parents already plan her professional life (she’s an attorney at her father’s law firm). If she brings her current boyfriend (Will, an attorney) to the family Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have their wedding planned by New Year’s Eve.

Leave it to a mutual friend (and copious amounts of wine) to find a playful solution: Swap those boyfriends, fool the parents, and enjoy the holidays. It’s perfect! Robyn can show off a successful attorney boyfriend, and Sidney’s high-society family won’t ring those wedding bells when they meet a flaky actor beau.

The fun isn’t in the theory, it’s in the practice. 

Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years. Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe. 

Fool the parents? Enjoy the holidays? Swapping boyfriends never sounded so good or went so bad. Take time to read this one. It’s like Christmas in July.

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Advice I’d give to my college-aged self

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase: “Youth is wasted on the young.” I often wish I could go back to my days as a college student at Suny Albany with the knowledge I have now and live those four years again. But what would I do differently?

Major

What I’d change: I didn’t discover my passion for writing until I was in my thirties. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be when I “grew up,” but it wasn’t a writer. I majored in criminal justice with a minor in sociology. Armed with the knowledge I have now, I’d go back and major in English with a minor in communications or journalism.

Why I wouldn’t: My interest in the law resulted in my career as a paralegal. Even though it’s not my passion, I am financially secure because of it. I’m extremely grateful for that. My day job at a law firm also brought people into my life I’d otherwise never have met, in particular my late boss, Alan. Over the course of eighteen years, Alan became my best friend, confidante, mentor, cheerleader, therapist, and comic relief. The thought of beginning my writing career right out of college and never experiencing a friendship I consider one of my greatest accomplishments makes my heart hurt. If given the chance to go back, I’d still sit through lectures in criminal justice if only to ensure I’d meet Alan again.

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

Work
What I’d change: I didn’t come from a wealthy family. Most of my college tuition was paid for with financial aid. (For a lot of people, student loan debt is a big issue. Refinancing your student loans through a company like Earnest can be a great resource for graduates who didn’t get as much financial aid. Check out more information here.) I also worked summers as a camp counselor and was fortunate to have a small allowance from my grandmother for my spending money during the school year. Despite having to stretch every dollar as far as I could, it never occurred to me to get a job during the year. I wasn’t prepared to balance my school work, my social life, and a part-time job. In hindsight, I don’t know how I didn’t starve. Two of my roommates had jobs at the campus bookstore. If I went back in time, I’d try to get a job there, as well. I could spend hours at a bookstore. To get paid would be the chocolate sprinkles on my ice cream cone!

Why I wouldn’t: The fact that my impoverished self was able to manage financially without a job is something of a miracle. The post-graduate version has been working continuously since she was twenty-three, and retirement is about two decades away. Knowing there would be forty-plus years of work in my future, I’d probably skip the job again and enjoy the freedom while I had a chance!

Romance:

What I’d change: I never considered using college to get my M.R.S., i.e. to find a husband. I was way too young to think of getting married. I didn’t even have serious relationships in college. I’ve had them since, but none of them have led to marriage. I often wish I had spent less time partying in college and more time making meaningful connections with the opposite sex. Maybe I’d be married now with a house full of children (or an empty nester by now). If I could go back, I’d be more aware of how much harder it becomes to meet attractive, interesting, smart, kind, and available men as you get older.

Why I wouldn’t: While I sometimes give myself a hard time over the romantic choices I made in my younger days to explain my single status today, if I fell in love at university, I doubt we’d still be a good match today. I’ve changed so much since college—my priorities, interests, etc. I don’t think I was ready back then. Besides, I spent those years making countless memories with my four best girlfriends—Jesse, Laurie, Christine, and Gina. We’re still friends today, and I wouldn’t give up any of my time with them.

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In closing, I’ve shocked myself with this post because I’ve realized that if given the chance to go back to college, I probably wouldn’t do things much differently the second time around. For sure, I’d drink a little less, study a bit more, have more confidence in myself, and not worry about the minutiae. But it’s comforting to discover that the eighteen-to-twenty-two year old version of Meredith Schorr would make the forty-something version very proud simply by following her heart.

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?

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!