Release days, free days, sale days: Oh My!

Today is a big day. Huge. COLOSSAL.

It’s the release day of my fifth novel, Novelista Girl. The standalone sequel to my fan favorite third novel, Blogger Girl.

Readers first met sassy Kimberly Long in Blogger Girl, and now the feisty New Yorker is back in a sequel packed with quick wit, friendship, heartache, and of course, romance.

Kim runs the most popular chick lit book blog on the web, loves playing house with her sexy lawyer boyfriend, Nicholas, and is finally pursuing her lifelong dream to become a published author. At first glance, her life is five-pink-champagne-flutes worthy.

But is there more to the story than meets the eye?

After hearing the phrase “chick lit is dead” more times than she’s read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim is driven to desperate measures, seeking advice from up-and-coming chick lit author, Hannah Marshak, her high school nemesis and resident “mean girl.” As if Kim doesn’t have enough on her plate balancing her secretarial duties with her blog Pastel Is The New Black, shrugging off the growing pile of agent rejections, and keeping her best friend from turning green over Kim’s budding friendship with Hannah, Nicholas is so blinded by his career ambitions, he doesn’t see that their home sweet home could use more than a dash of sugar.

This is the year when all of Kim’s dreams—professional and romantic—are supposed to come true, but will the story have a happily ever after, or will Kim end up unpublished and all alone.

This novel can be read as a sequel or as a standalone and is best accompanied by a cocktail, preferably a pink one.

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

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But wait, there’s more:

My fourth novel How Do You Know? is FREE on Amazon. Yes free! It is currently number #23 in the entire FREE Kindle store and #1 in Women’s Humorous Fiction AND Coming of Age!!

Life doesn’t happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age is just a number.

On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn’t look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding toward her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary “break” from her live-in boyfriend results in a “break-up,” Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0.

As Maggie reenters the New York City dating jungle, suitors present themselves quickly, but who is “The One?” Is he a sexy coworker, one of many bachelors at a speed-dating event, or is he the man she already set free? How do you know? Her fun-loving friends and supportive family, including meddlesome “no-filter” Aunt Helen, eagerly share their (often unsolicited) opinions, but Maggie is determined to find her own way, even if she falls on her face—repeatedly.

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And finally, my bestselling debut novel, Just Friends With Benefits, is only 99 cents!

When a friend urges Stephanie Cohen not to put all her eggs in one bastard, the advice falls on deaf ears. Stephanie’s college crush on Craig Hille has been awakened thirteen years later as if soaked in a can of Red Bull and she is determined not to let the guy who got away once, get away twice. Stephanie, a 32-year-old paralegal from Washington, D.C., is a 70’s and 80’s television trivia buff who can recite the starting lineup of the New York Yankees and go beer for beer with the guys. And despite her failure to get married and pro-create prior to entering her thirties, she has so far managed to keep her overbearing mother from sticking her head in the oven. Just Friends with Benefits is the humorous story of Stephanie’s pursuit of love, her adventures in friendship, and her journey to discover what really matters

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Three novels for only $3.98! It’s big, huge, COLOSSAL, but it will only last, well, a week! So grab your copies now!

 

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Blogger Girl – cover reveal and excerpt!

I’m so excited for the official launch of Blogger Girl on August 28th and am thrilled to share the following with you today:

  1. 1.       The cover
  2. 2.       An Excerpt

So without further ado, here you go!

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 chick lit 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.

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“What blog?”

I felt a flush creep across my cheeks as I turned around to face the source of the question. I wasn’t surprised, since I blushed whenever I talked to Nicholas, even when the phone rang at work and I saw his name on my caller ID.

“You didn’t know about Kim’s blog?” Rob asked, his blue eyes reflecting amusement.

Nicholas shook his head, not removing his eyes from mine.

All I could think about was running my fingers along the dark stubble on his jawline. Never completely clean shaven, he currently looked like he hadn’t touched a razor in several days. I held his gaze willing my voice not to give away my crush, but the heat on my face suggested a crimson complexion that probably already had. “I have a blog where I write book reviews.” I figured Nicholas didn’t know about my blog since our opportunities to socialize outside of work had been few and far between in the four months we’d worked together. It was that unfamiliarity which I blamed for my chronic bashfulness in his presence. Well, that and his overwhelming sex appeal. Unable to maintain eye contact a second longer, I glanced back at Rob hoping he’d pick up the dialogue.

“It’s incredibly popular. Publishers actually beg my secretary to read and review their client’s novels on a daily basis.” Rob beamed at me like a proud uncle as if he was somehow responsible for my blog’s immense popularity.

I turned back to Nicholas and smiled shyly. “Every other day basis is probably more accurate but yes, it’s a widely read blog. I have several thousand followers and get requests from authors, publicists and agents pretty often.”

Nicholas looked at me with admiration. “Awesome. What types of books do you review?”

I hated this part of telling people from work about my blog. I never knew if the attorneys would raise their noses in the air and judge my taste in “literature.” Here goes nothing. “Chick lit,” I admitted.

Nicholas tilted his head to the side. “Like the gum?”

I giggled as if I’d never heard that one before. “Yes, it’s called chick lit, like the gum. But it’s also a book genre. Like Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Devil Wears Prada. You know?”

Nicholas looked thoughtful as he rubbed his thumb along his chin. “My ex-girlfriend had a bunch of books with pink covers. Were those chick lit?”

Forcing myself to stay focused instead of wondering what his ex-girlfriend was like, how long ago they broke up and why, I smiled and said, “Probably.” Although chick lit had certainly evolved beyond stereotypical pink covers, it wasn’t the time to go into defense-mode.

Nicholas smiled wide. “Very cool, Kim!” Glancing at his empty glass, he said, “Time for a refill. Be right back” and walked towards the bar.

I tore my eyes away from the back of Nicholas’ light blue business shirt and back to Rob. But Rob was now talking to Lucy about some guy she had deposed the previous day. Boring work talk. I downed the rest of my prosecco and walked over to the bar. After quickly getting the bartender’s attention, I ordered another glass, on Rob’s tab of course, and observed Nicholas finish sending a text. As he smiled into his phone, I felt my Hanky Panky thong practically melting off. At only about 5”7’, his stature might have kept him off of some women’s top five lists but since I was vertically challenged too, he was currently number one on mine. I couldn’t even think of who would follow him in second and third place.

“Penny for your thoughts, Blogger Girl.”

I snapped out of my list making and faced Nicholas, silently praying he was not a mind reader.

He looked at me expectantly.

I swung my free hand in dismissal and lifted my drink towards him. “Nothing important. Cheers!”

Nicholas clinked his glass against mine, said, “Cheers” and took a sip of his drink.

Following his lead, I took a sip of mine.

Nicholas inched closer to me. Speaking in almost a whisper, he said, “Having fun yet?”

Very aware that we’d never stood this close to each other and that these were practically the most words we’d ever exchanged one on one, I replied with faux nonchalance, “Can’t really complain about free drinks. You?” The cuffs of his shirt sleeves had been pushed up to his elbows and I pondered whether the dark hair on his arms was coarse or soft. I wondered what it would feel like to run my fingers up and down his arm. I also wondered if he could hear my heart beating through my chest.

“Definitely can’t complain about that,” Nicholas agreed. “And a break from work is always welcome, especially these days.” He smiled. “Doing anything good this weekend?”

I had practically forgotten it was Thursday night, which was odd for me since I lived for the weekends when my secretarial duties did not get in the way of my reading. “Not sure yet. Probably drinks with friends. And I need to catch up on some reading. For the blog. What about you?” Please don’t mention a girlfriend.

“Oh, this and that.” His eyes glowed, almost like he was holding back a secret.

I bit down on my lip and without thinking, blurted out, “Do This and That have last names?”

Nicholas gave me a once over before shaking his head laughing. “I’ll probably spend most of it at work actually. So, tell me more about this blog.”

I tipped my head to the side. “What do you want to know?”

“I don’t know. Like, what made you start it?”        

“The condensed version or the truth?”

Nicholas cocked an eyebrow. “How long of a story is the truth?”

“Why? Do you have a date to rush off to?” I swallowed hard. Nice, Kim.

Laughing, he said, “It’s just that your answer was rather mysterious, you know?”

I shuffled my feet. “Well, I usually tell people I started the blog because I’ve always loved to read, blah, blah, blah.”

“Blah blah blah. Gotcha.”

After he said that, he winked at me and when my knees wobbled in response, I grabbed the bar with my free hand. “The truth is that one day I was bored at home surfing the internet and I found all of these blogs dedicated to romance books, like Harlequin stuff, and then I found some more devoted to science fiction, thrillers and so on. But I could barely find anything dedicated to chick lit and it pissed me off because I love it. I figured if I love it, there must be other girls who love it too and maybe if I started this blog, I’d find them and we’d bond.” I paused. “Aren’t you glad you asked?”

As his phone rang, Nicholas distractedly responded, “Yeah, that’s cool,” before bringing it to his ear. He whispered, “Sorry” before answering it.

I wondered if it was from “This” or “That.”

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.

Celebrating Bloggers Tour : Marlene Roberts Engel and Book Mama Blog

Celebrating all things “blogging” today is Marlene Roberts Engel, creator of the Book Mama Blog.  I was only recently introduced to Marlene through Facebook, but I already knew who she was and that she was a big supporter of chick lit and the indie author.  I liked her before I corresponded with her directly and I like her even more now!  I’m very excited that Marlene has agreed to review both Blogger Girl and A State of Jane on the Book Mama blog and that she agreed to answer some questions for me in celebration of the launch of Blogger Girl and bloggers everywhere! 

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After you’re finished reading Marlene’s interview below, definitely check out her blog here:    http://bookmama2.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html, like her Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/bookmama22#, follow her on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/mengel22, Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/mengel2/ and Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5401033-marlene-engel

1. What is the name of your blog?

Book Mama

2. What type of blog is it?

It’s mostly a blog about books/authors, but at times I may put something up about family/kids or anything else that may pop into my head at the time.

3. What inspired you to start a blog?

Actually, Melissa Amster from Chick Lit Central kept saying that I should start my own blog. I was hesitant because I didn’t think anyone would read or want to follow it. I have to say, I’m not only glad that I started it but I’m really enjoying having it!

4. What do you like best about being a blogger?

I really enjoy sharing my passion for reading/books with others. I have discovered a lot of very talented indie authors and want to get their names and books out to the public more too. I also LOVE doing book reviews and hosting fun giveaways.

5. What are some of your favorite third party blogs and why?

I love Chick Lit Central. I think that it’s a very classy, professional looking blog. It has great reviews, book suggestions and giveaways. It also happens to be Book Mama’s  sister blog (since we recently affiliated).

6. How do you juggle blogging with your other responsibilities like family and/or career?

Doing a blog is very time consuming. Thankfully I work from home and am able to jump on the computer when I have a few minutes to spare. I also do a lot on my blog after my daughter goes to bed. It’s my “quiet time” where I can get a lot done with no distractions.

7. How often do you blog?

I blog every day. I am constantly updating the free e-books, posting on the Book Mama Facebook page or on my Twitter.

8. Do you have any pet peeves with respect to third party blogs/bloggers?

No, not really. I try to support other bloggers and in return they have shown me a lot of love as well.

9. When you read blogs written by other people, do you prefer blogs that are “theme specific”, for example, “book reviews”, “cooking”, “fashion” etc. or do you take an interest in “personal blogs” as well, for example “A Day in the Life” type blog where the blogger talks about his/her own personal experiences in general?

I mostly read book blogs, but there are a few personal blogs that I enjoy reading as well. I’m a book nerd, so book blogs are definitely my preference.

10. Do you think there is such a thing as “TMI” when it comes to blogging?

Most definitely! I personally haven’t had any experience with a blog who shared too much (or inappropriate) material, but I’m sure there must be some out there.

11. What are your goals with respect to your blog? For example, “I want to have 1000 followers.” “I want someone to write a movie about me.” “I am using it to build a platform for a future writing career.”

My main goal is to share the books that I love with others. I also really want to get more exposure to indie authors. There are so many self published or small publisher authors out there. They don’t get the exposure that the authors signed with larger publishers get and I’d really like to help get their names/books out to the public more.

12. Why should readers check out your blog? What insight do you think you might have that others might lack?

My blog is fun! I think readers will enjoy the book reviews, author interviews, giveaways and fun interaction. I don’t think I necessarily have insight that others lack, but I just try to keep my blog fun and positive. No negativity allowed on my blog.

13. Bonus question: What actress would you like to play you in a movie featuring you and your blog?

Hmmmmm, that’s a good question. I would have to say Sandra Bullock. We seem to have the same goofy/silly sense of humor and we’re both adoptive parents.

Marlene, thank you so much for taking the time to answers these questions! 

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.