New Release – The Marrying Type

I don’t often feature guest posts on my blog, but I think this new release by author Laura Chapman sounds like so much fun. Featuring a wedding planner, reality television, and one of my favorite cites in the world (Charleston, South Carolina), I can’t wait to tear through the pages of this book and think my blog followers will enjoy it as well. So, without further ado, you are cordially invited to read Laura Chapman’s new novel, The Marrying Type.

 

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Always the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it).

 

With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress.

 

Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future.

 

 

Order your copy today by visiting:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Marching Ink

 

You can add The Marrying Type to your to-read list on Goodreads and enter to win one of three prize packages by participating in this Rafflecopter:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/be50fc8710/

About the Author

Laura Chapman is the author of The Marrying Type, Hard Hats and Doormats and the Autumn and Tuck series, which appear in Merry & Bright and A Kind of Mad Courage. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Until she fulfills her dream of landing a British husband or becoming a Disney princess, you can find her in a bar penning her next novel.

 

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The Casting of Blogger Girl Series – Bridget the BFF!

Welcome to the third installment of The Casting of Blogger Girl Series! To recap, we’ve already cast Isla Fisher in the role of our heroine, Kimberly Long and Matt Long in the role of *swoon worthy* Nicholas Strong. Today, I am going to cast the role of Bridget, Kimberly’s best friend since the 7th grade.

At the opening of Blogger Girl, Bridget, like Kim, is a single lady. “Gun shy after after an uncharacteristic one-night-stand generously left her with a case of crabs, she hadn’t done anything with anyone in over a year.”  From Kim’s perspective, Bridget is a beauty, but she doesn’t take her looks too seriously or seem to have any idea how pretty she really is. Although I barely remembered my life pre-Bridget, every once in a while it hit me how stunning she was, mostly when she substituted her usual attire of cargo pants and T-shirts she collected from various rock concerts for more trendy pieces. Tonight she was wearing dark blue skinny jeans, a form-fitting glittery grey top and matching high grey boots. Her long cherry red hair, normally up in a messy ponytail, cascaded down to her chest in curls and she had done her makeup to emphasize her emerald colored eyes.

Now for the fun stuff! When I was considering Michelle Williams for the role of Kim, I actually considered Isla Fisher for the role of Bridget. But it became clear to me pretty quickly that Isla was Kim and I obviously could not cast the same actress for both roles unless they were identical twins 🙂

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Once Isla Fisher was eliminated, I considered Amy Adams but I thought she might be too old for the role. I also wasn’t sure I could see the chemistry between Amy and Isla, whereas Kim and Bridget are super close.

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My sister mentioned that she could picture Rachelle Lefevre from Under The Dome in the role. I actually cast Rachelle as Jess in Just Friends with Benefits and Lainie in A State of Jane and so it would be really cool if she could be a part of Blogger Girl too but I didn’t feel it. It could be that she seems too big in comparison to Isla but it doesn’t work for me. (Not to mention that her acting in Under the Dome leaves something to be desired…)

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Very few readers have commented on who they pictured as Bridget, but Melissa Amster from Chick Lit Central suggested Ari Graynor. I don’t love this choice only because I see Ari Graynor as more as the comic sidekick and although Bridget does instigate much of the humor in the book, she’s also supposed to be really pretty. No offense to Ms. Graynor but I don’t think she quite makes the grade in that regard.

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So, now we come to my choice. This actress is stunning, yet she’s played the tomboy role before and I think she could absolutely pull off the laid back Bridget.  Although her hair is usually blonde, she has also worn it red and I’m not entirely sure which is her natural shade. I could also picture this actress as Isla Fisher’s best friend and most trusted confidante on screen. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Bridget!

That's my spunky Bridget!

That’s my spunky Bridget!

 

Blake Lively!

 

What do you think of my choice? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Who would you have picked? And stay tuned for next week for the final installment – The stinging Queen Bee, Hannah Marshak!

For a recap, see you I cast as Kimberly here: http://wp.me/p2PJqp-eH

And Nicholas here: http://wp.me/p2PJqp-f6

Casting of Blogger Girl Series – Installment One – Kimberly Long

Welcome to the first installment of the Casting of Blogger Girl series! Now, I know that Blogger Girl has not been contracted for a movie but I am a dreamer and I like to dream big. Probably why I love writing so much – so I can dream up fun stories to entertain other people. So, for shits and giggles, let’s say that I have, in fact, sold the movie rights to Blogger Girl and let’s suspend reality even more and say that I, as the author, actually have a major say in casting said film. In this series, I will be sharing my picks for the roles of Kim (heroine), Nicholas (love interest), Bridget (best friend) and Hannah (high school nemesis/villain). I will also share my thought process as to how said actor won the role. In some cases, the decision was virtually instant. In other cases, I changed my mind five or six times before I knew – like the way you just know. Finally, since a few bloggers/readers shared their thoughts on the casting, I will include their picks too and give credit where credit is due. First up is the role of Kimberly Long.

Kimberly Long is a twenty-eight year old legal secretary/book blogger living in New York City. Kim has long, straight light brown hair and brown eyes. Her most distinctive physical feature is her height – only 4 feet and 11 inches. Kim is the first to admit to compensating her lack of height by emphasizing her proportionally larger breasts: “I needed to give people a reason to look down far enough to see me.”

Kim describes herself as “cute” and is not all that aware of her sex appeal:

Nicholas: – “Yes, I guess Hannah is cute, but you are sexy.”
Kim: “No, I’m cute.”
Nicholas: “Fine, you are cute. But you’re also sexy.”

There were only two actresses I considered for this role. My choices were somewhat limited because I couldn’t choose a very tall actress. My choices are slightly taller than Kim but, hey, it’s the movies and movies often stray somewhat from the book.

My runner up for the role of Kimberly Long is Michelle Williams:

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Although Michelle is a terrific actress and certainly cute enough to portray my girl Kim, I wanted someone a little more “quirky” and my pull towards the other actress was just too strong.  

Other thoughts for the role of Kim included:

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Hillary Duff (courtesy of Elizabeth Grunderson who, by the way, wrote one of my favorite reviews ever.)

Amanda Seyfried (Courtesy of fabulous blogger Melissa Amster from the equally fabulous Chick Lit Central).

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I actually think both of the above options are not at all off-base and I wouldn’t terminate the movie contract if either of these actresses were cast. However, by the time I finished the first draft of Blogger Girl, I had a very clear picture of Kimberly Long and, without further ado, here she is!

imageskim

Definitely_Maybe-7-Isla_Fisher

Isla Fisher!

She’s adorable and sexy, yet approachable and not intimidating. I think she is perfect to play a comic role, a romantic lead and a vulnerable young woman learning what it takes to make her happy and how to make it happen.

Stay tuned for next week’s installment of the Casting of Blogger Girl series – Nicholas Strong!

Chick Lit Central – Giveaway of Blogger Girl

Melissa Amster of Chick Lit Central hails Blogger Girl another top favorite of 2013 and considers it the Girls Just Want to Have Fun of books.

Check out her review here and enter for your chance to win an ecopy of Blogger Girl.

Melissa Amster celebrates blogging!

Celebrating all things “blogging” today is Melissa Amster, founder of the immensely popular chick lit blog, Chick Lit Central and Merryland Girl.  Before I was introduced to Melissa by Amy Bromberg, I knew of her and I certainly knew of Chick Lit Central.  It has been one of my favorite book blogs for years now.  Since getting to know Melissa better, I can say that she is extremely supportive of the genre of chick lit (duh – the name of her blog is Chick Lit Central)!  She is extremely generous to authors, both well-known and just starting out, and quite simply, she is a really nice person!  I am so happy to have her on my blog today, answering some blog-related questions.   Her answers both surprised and inspired me, but see for yourself! I especially enjoyed her answer to question #15 – you tell ‘em Melissa!

After you’re finished reading, please do yourself a favor and check out her blogs  Chick Lit Central / and Merryland Girl.

 

1. How would you describe Chick Lit Central in 140 characters?

A place where people from all over the world can discuss chick lit books, read reviews, meet authors, make friends and win new books! (Just 7 characters shy of 140…)

2.  What inspired you to start Chick Lit Central?

Having a small group of women to discuss chick lit novels with made me want to expand the conversations to include people all over the world. Then I saw other book blogs and was inspired to start my own.

3.  Are your reasons for maintaining the blog different from the reasons you began it in the first place?  If so, please explain. 

I think the reasons for beginning it in the first place are still there, especially when I meet and become friends with people I might not have normally met if I hadn’t started the blog. I’ve also become more passionate about spotlighting new authors and helping them connect with other bloggers and readers.

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

Being able to express myself creatively. Blogging is a LOT of work, but I love the satisfaction I get from a good interview, especially when I can come up with new ideas for questions and receive positive feedback from the authors for those questions.

5.  What are some of your favorite third party blogs and why? Do you stick to other “book” blogs or do you also like other types of blogs, for instance “beauty”, “fashion”, “cooking”, “dating” etc.

I’ve been enjoying Thought Catalog and Kveller these days. I also frequent some other book blogs, especially Booking with Manic and Chick Lit is Not Dead, who were both inspirations to me in the beginning. Book Mama is a new favorite of mine, which is why I chose to have CLC affiliate with it as sister blogs. I wish I had all the time in the world to read every blog in existence, but I usually just click on something from Facebook when the topic catches my interest.

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

My kids go to sleep at a reasonable time and my job doesn’t extend past the work day. Also, most of the reviews (and even some interview introductions) are from our review associates and guest reviewers, so I don’t write all of them myself. I just format them when they’re done. I’ve been trying some more simplistic interview styles to make things easier on myself, as well.

7. Did you ever imagine Chick Lit Central would be as successful as it is? 

I hoped, but didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. I am thrilled with the feedback I’ve been receiving over the blog and all the participation I see in the giveaways. Just hearing someone say it’s their favorite chick lit blog is enough satisfaction for me!

8. Tell us a little bit about your Merryland Girl blog. 

I started it at the end of 2009 as an outlet to share my thoughts on life beyond marriage and motherhood. It was just another way to express myself. I currently post two entries a week. One is “52 Stories,” which allows me to feature a different person each week so people can learn more about them. The other is a blog project I do with three other friends. We rotate who picks the topic and then we all share our thoughts on that particular topic, linking in to each other’s blogs. It’s a nice way for me to think of stuff I might not have given any consideration to writing about before.

9. Do you ever disagree with the reviews your associate reviewers have posted? If so, is it difficult for you to see these reviews posted on your site?

I usually don’t read the same books since I don’t have time to personally review everything out there. I just ask that it is fair and balanced. If they think their review will hurt an author’s sales, I ask them not to review it and we’ll find other ways to feature it. Everyone has their own opinions, after all!

10.  Has an author ever complained about a review that was posted on Chick Lit Central?  Obviously, no need to be specific! 

As a matter of fact, that happened earlier in the year. The author linked to it from her blog and wrote some comments about how the reviewer didn’t know what she was talking about.

11.  How responsible do you think Chick Lit Central and book blogs in general are towards helping an author reach a bigger audience? 

I think we carry some weight because of social media. It’s not just what is written on our blog, but the work we do to showcase each blog post via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.  We aren’t getting paid for publicity work, but it’s a nice feeling to know we helped an author sell some books through our interview, review, book shelf spot, social media post, etc.

12.  I assume that you have probably corresponded with many highly successful authors either via email, phone or even face-to-face.  Any particularly memorable stories you care to share? 

I think the story that takes the cake is when I went to Jennifer Weiner’s book signing last year in DC. I raised my hand to ask a question and she called me by name! Later, some other woman was asking her something and referred to herself as “eema,” which means “mother” in Hebrew. So Jennifer asked if she was @eema2emma, which is actually my Twitter handle.

A few months ago, Jane Porter hosted a dinner for her readers in the DC area and I was thrilled to be able to attend. It was so nice to finally meet her in person. It was like meeting a celebrity! Sarah Pekkanen was also there and I enjoyed getting to chat with her again, as well. Especially since she was the first author to offer a book to review at CLC.

Finally, just being able to connect with Sue Margolis online, as I love her books. She’s so sweet too!

I have met so many wonderful authors and could spend days sharing stories about my experiences.

13. What is your favorite genre to read?  I know that the title of your blog suggests that it is “chick lit” but I also know that you read and review a variety of genres. 

It honestly is chick lit. I read other books that are not chick lit, but those are few and far between. I love Wally Lamb and Khaled Hosseini. I also don’t consider Jodi Picoult’s books to be chick lit. I read books outside of my norm for the local book club I’m in, but the story really has to grab me or I am not guaranteed to read it the whole way through. The last really good one someone chose for book club was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I still think about it a lot!

14.  In your opinion, how has the increasing popularity of indie authors changed the face of chick lit?

It has allowed new authors to get their books out there sooner instead of going through all the stress of finding an agent and getting published. I’ve met such cool authors that I might not have met if they didn’t have this opportunity. (One of them is interviewing me at this very moment. ;))

I think that sometimes a connection gets lost when I have to go through a publisher or publicist to interview an author. I have worked with some great publishers and publicists, but when the interview isn’t directly with the author, something personal gets lost. There was one time when we didn’t work directly with an author and she changed some of our questions to more generic ones. Everything was done through her publicist and it just felt so impersonal all-around. Another time, the publisher dropped the ball and I lost the interview opportunity as a result.

15.  How do you feel about the sentence: “chick lit is dead”?  

It’s a joke. I think chick lit is stronger than ever and the readers who visit our Facebook group and blog on a daily basis are proof of that. I even asked about the future of chick lit for our 1000 follower giveaway and the comments there are enough to say that chick lit is alive and kicking…big time!

16.  Where do you see Chick Lit Central in five years? 

I hope that it will still be going strong, but I also hope it will be less time consuming. I may eventually just have it as an all-review blog or just focus on new authors for interviews. I guess time will tell and all sorts of things could happen in five years anyway.

THANKS MELISSA!

Coming August 28th from Booktrope Publishing: 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 chicklit 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.

Celebration of Bloggers/Blurb of Blogger Girl

Before writing books was even a blip on my radar, I was a blogger.  I blogged about everything from my friendships, to my family, to my BFF from high school who turned out to be a pretty horrible friend, to the effects of PMS on my personality, to unrequited crushes, to romantic relationships – especially romantic relationships.  I often surprised myself by how honest and open I was, even when it left me feeling very vulnerable or didn’t paint me in the best light.  I loved it.  There is something about putting all of your deepest thoughts in writing that is extremely cathartic.  While I was blogging, I became friendly with other bloggers across the globe, from Virginia, to Florida, to Kentucky to Belfast to Pittsburgh, to North Carolina to Australia and everywhere in between.  These “virtual” friends became as important to me as my off-line friends and I felt a stake in their lives just as they felt one in mine.  In many cases, these people knew more about me than the people I saw on a weekly basis.  After my first novel came out, I became less comfortable putting myself out there to such an intimate degree but I still keep in touch with some of these bloggers.  In fact, one has become a best “off line” friend and I’ve planned a vacation to visit her later this summer. 

Back when I was blogging personal experiences, I thought that was what “blogging” was – publishing an online personal diary.  At the time, I was not aware of book bloggers, beauty bloggers, mommy bloggers, fashion bloggers, food bloggers etc.  After Just Friends with Benefits came out and with my introduction to social media, I became very familiar with other types of bloggers, especially book bloggers.  Book bloggers have become a very important part of my publishing experience and some of them have become good friends of mine as well.  To take the influence of book bloggers on my life to a whole new level, they inspired the plot of my third soon-to-be-released novel, Blogger Girl.  Keep reading for the blurb of Blogger Girl, to be released in August, 2013.

To celebrate the launch of Blogger Girl, I have decided to celebrate blogging and bloggers in general beginning, July 16th.  Each day, I will host a different blogger on my website.   I have asked each blogger to either write a post about anything related to “blogging” or take part in an interview.  I have been the guest on a countless number of blogs over the past three years as an author and I think it’s time to turn the tables and give these amazing bloggers the spotlight.  So, stay tuned for guest posts from amazing bloggers like the following:  (I plan to continue the blogger celebration well after the release of Blogger Girl and so if you’d like to be featured, please let know!) 

Samantha March, author and founder of Chick Lit Plus
Kelly Perotti, author and founder of mommy blog Crib Notes Kelly Isabella Louise Anderson, founder of Chick Lit Goddess
Marlene Roberts Engel, founder of Book Mama Blog
Francine LaSala – author and founder of Clippings in the Shed
Stephanie Territo, founder of Steph the Bookworm
Eleanor Parker, founder of The Writing Life
Melissa Amster, founder of Chick Lit Central and Merryland Girl Blog Laura Chapman, founder of Change the Word
Kaley Stewart, founder of Books Etc.
Ashley Williams, founder of The Book Fetish Blog
Samantha Stroh Bailey, author and blogger
Michelle Bell, founder of Michelle’s Book Nook
Julie Valerie, founder of Chick Lit Chit Chat

And now, without further ado, the blurb to 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 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. And 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 all 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.

Blogging for someone else…for now.

Hi there,

I’ve been very neglectful of my blog of late and for that I apologize.  I’ve been very busy revising my second novel and keeping up with my day job as a trademark paralegal.  I am pleased to report that my second novel is completed and I plan to start the submission process in the next month – wish me luck!!  And I also hope to resume my weekly blog soon. 

In the meantime, the ladies at Chick Lit Central were kind enough to host me on their blog and I have attached the link for your enjoyment!  Leave a comment to win a copy of Just Friends With Benefits!

Special thanks to Melissa and Amy 🙂

http://chicklitcentraltheblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/becoming-friends-with-meredith.html

Meredith