New Year’s Resolutions—2018

Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s been a couple years since I’ve made official New Year’s Resolutions, but I’m inspired to make some goals for the next 365 days. These are goals I hope to accomplish and principles I’ll aspire to abide by, but no pressure and no punishment for failure will be administered.

I hope to complete one novel and make significant progress on another (at minimum). I also want to continue to hone my craft so that each book is better than the last.

I plan to experiment more with cooking. Stomach issues have basically changed my life and made it really frustrating for me to go out to eat—one of my favorite pastimes. I aim to continue to learn more about what ingredients and combinations of food will/won’t trigger discomfort so that eating in restaurants will be fun again. I’d also like to broaden my menu at home. I’ve never enjoyed cooking—eating is much more my style—but I’m proud of how far I’ve come already. Maybe I’ll even host a dinner party in 2018 (but probably not…)

I will attend as many “writerly” events as possible, whether it be book signings, author panels, writers’ conferences, happy hours, etc. I enjoy spending time with other writers so much, so why not do it as often as possible? First up, my annual trip to California with my writing tribe is in less than two weeks!

I vow to nurture my friendships with those people who make happy, accept me for who I am, and truly add joy to my life. I want the most important people in my life to know how much I love them and am there for them, and I am grateful to have friends and family who are there for me as well.

I do not want to waste time on relationships that require me to work too hard, walk on eggshells, or second-guess my own value/worth.

I will try to let go of the past, meaning I will hold hard to the good memories and try to learn from my mistakes, but also realize that change is inevitable and often meant to be.

I aim to truly open myself up to the possibility of meeting someone to share/spend my life with.

I plan to appreciate the quality time I spend with my family, my parents in particular.

I hope to stress the small stuff a lot less. I am definitely getting better at this one. I think it might be related to my entrance into middle age. Some things do get better with age, and letting go of needless worrying is one of them!

And there you have them. Wish me luck!

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? If so, feel free to share some of them in the comments.

 

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Reading for research

Until recently, I thought of reading as strictly for entertainment value. I’m a self-proclaimed book nerd. I love getting lost in stories, and use every available moment, even while on a street corner waiting to meet a friend, to power up my Kindle. I read on the subway, in line at the grocery store, while blow drying my hair. My friends have been known to mock me over it (out of love, course).

Over the last couple years, I’ve discovered that reading is not only fun, but educational. Studying great writers and noting what works so well in their novels motivates me to up my own game. I’ve recently started writing a new book—the first in what I hope will be a three-book standalone series. This book will focus more on the romance aspect than my others, but I intend for it to be funny—very funny. I’m counting on inspiration from some masters of true romantic comedy to keep me on my path. In that vein, I’ve stocked my Kindle with some of the best and will be reading back-to-back romantic comedies beginning…now!

Some authors don’t like to read books in the same genre they write, but I’m the opposite. Some of these authors write books with a little more steam (read: sex) than what I have planned. Some of the romances are a bit mushier than my style of writing. I don’t plan to change my own writing style/voice, but I do hope the funniest of the bunch will remind me not to waste even a line of dialogue or opportunity for conflict, the deepest of the crew will serve as a lesson to add depth to my couples’ connection, and the quirkiest of them will implore me to keep my voice and characters as distinctive as possible. By reading these authors, I will work harder to be funnier, to create fleshed out characters, and to make sure my couples have the chemistry required to keep readers turning the pages of my book just as I am flipping the pages of theirs.

Curious what books are on my TBR for the coming months. Here you go:

MY ONE AND ONLY – Kristan Higgins (Just Finished. LOVED.)

SUNSET IN CENTRAL PARK – Sarah Morgan

GOOD AT GAMES – Jill Mansell

UNTIL THERE WAS YOU – Kristan Higgins

MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY – Jill Mansell

NEW YORK, ACTUALLY – Sarah Morgan

YOU AND ME ALWAYS – Jill Mansell

AT THE HEART OF IT – Tawna Fenkse

BET ME – Jennifer Crusie

SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE – Rachel Gibson

TRUST ME ON THIS – Jennifer Crusie

HOLIDAY IN THE HAMPTONS – Sarah Morgan

IRRESISTIBLE – Stephanie Bond

HOW I MET YOUR BROTHER – Janette Rallison

DAISY’S BACK IN TOWN – Rachel Gibson

NOTHING BUT TROUBLE – Rachel Gibson

AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS – Lauren Layne

DATING YOU, HATING YOU – Christina Lauren

HEAD OVER HEELS – Jill Mansell

TRUTH OR BEARD – Penny Reid

You’ve probably noticed several repeat authors. This is because they are tried-and-true masters of romantic comedy fiction and if I’m going to learn, I want it to be from the best. True confession: I’ve never actually read anything by Rachel Gibson, Christina Lauren, Lauren Lane, Janette Rallison, Stephanie Bond, or Tawne Fenske, but I’ve heard enough positive feedback to trust I will love them as much as I adore the others on the list.

But enough about me. Who are your go-to authors when you want a romantic yet hilarious story?

Kim vs. the Mean Girl is FREE!!

Happy Sunday!

This is a quickie post to announce the exciting news that KIM VS. THE MEAN GIRL is FREE on Amazon and will remain at that low (can’t get any lower unless I PAID you to buy it) price through Thursday, December 14th.

KIM VS. THE MEAN GIRL is my only contemporary YA novel, but it’s also related to my adult romantic comedy BLOGGER GIRL series in that it features many of the same characters, but in high school—in the fall of 2000! This is before Facebook and smart phones. It’s retro!

For what it’s worth, my parents AND my sister told me this is their favorite of all my books. They said it’s adorable, clever, funny, and charming. My mom also used the word “brilliant.”

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These guys LOVE Kim vs. the Mean Girl!!

You should see for yourself. Did I mention it’s FREE?

FREE

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.

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!