Welcome Samantha Stroh Bailey to the Age is Just a Number series. Let’s talk 41!

Welcome, Samantha Stroh Bailey to the Age is Just a Number series. Not only is Sam the author of Finding Lucas, one of my favorite books, and a cofounder of BookBuzz (along with Francine LaSala and me), she is also one of my favorite people and among my best friends. She’s talking 41.

 

I am Forty-One. What? I’m Forty-One?

By

Samantha Stroh Bailey

 

Yes, it is true. I am no longer twenty, thirty, or even thirty-nine. I am now “in my forties,” which shocks me every time I say it. Not because I haven’t lived every one of those years, but because inside my head, I feel twenty-five. Silly, hopeful, and with my future ahead of me. Yet, entering my forties, for some reason, was not as painful as when I turned thirty.

I still remember the night I went to a dance club for my thirtieth. I loved this particular club because they served the most delicious (and free!) sandwiches after midnight. I often embarrassed the people with me by hovering around the kitchen exit at 11:59 p.m., but oh, those sandwiches were worth their mortification.

I was dressed to the nines, as I usually was in those days, in something short, fitted, and showing skin I will never show again. And as the music pumped and drinks were poured, I felt sad and couldn’t figure out why. I had so many wonderful things in my life then — love, family, friends, a teaching career I was still excited about, I was finishing my Master’s degree, and I had almost completed my first novel, something I had on my Things-to-Do-Before-I’m-Thirty bucket list.

I didn’t have any kids yet, and at the time, I didn’t want any. Oh, how that changed. But I digress. I thought thirty meant grown up. No more nights out dancing; no more sleeping in until noon; no more lack of responsibility. My twenties were over. A new age bracket. A new decade. But the same old me who was scared at how fast time had zipped by.

But when the clock struck twelve, I looked around, wiped my sweaty face, and smiled. Always a goal-setter, at thirty, I had accomplished so much that I had wanted to, and everything else was still attainable. Thirty wasn’t old. I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do. And I realized that my thirties was going to be a time when I could do anything I wanted. And I did.

I had two kids, who are the light of my life, and I was published for the first time. A dream I had held for so long. I wrote four more novels, one of which I put out into the world, and many more that I hopefully will. I started my own writing/editing business, which was something I’d imagined but never thought would actually happen. I finally had enough money to buy a house, albeit a tiny one, and I had my own car. Yes, these were all grown-up things, but I also kept my love of life, coffee-fueled energy, and enough naiveté left to be surprised by so many things.

Turning thirty and then forty taught me two very important lessons. The first is that I really have achieved so many of the things I have wanted to, and though not all of my years have been easy, I have gotten through them stronger. The second is that time ticks forward despite our wish to stop it or slow it down. We can’t. So, now eleven years after my thirtieth birthday, I want a hundred more years to spend time with everyone I love and accomplish the new items on my bucket list. But this will likely not happen. So, aging has taught me to appreciate every minute, every second, really, and go after what I want because it is not what age you are that matters. It is what you do with the time you have.

Samantha Stroh Bailey is an author, editor, and journalist. Her published works include the novel, Finding Lucas, and she is the co-editor of the fiction anthology, A Kind of Mad Courage, to which she contributed the short story, Hide and Seek. She is also the co-founder of BookBuzz, a live author/reader event held in New York City and Toronto. When not writing and editing, she can usually be found curled up on her couch devouring a book or watching television with a bag of chips in her hand.

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Connect with Sam!

Website

Blog

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook

 

 

 

Coming soon:

How Do You Know? – December 2nd. 

What if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach?

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 towards 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. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn’t always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number.

 

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Blog Roll – My Writing Process

I’ve been tagged by Samantha Stroh Bailey, author of the fabulously fun novel, Finding Lucas, co-founder of the equally fun and fabulous BookBuzz author/reader mix and mingle, and one of my closest friends and confidants to participate in the Blog Roll – Writing Process. In the post below, I have answered questions regarding my writing process and at the end of the post, I have tagged three authors to answer the questions too and tag three more authors and so on and so on and so on.

Question: What am I working on?

I currently have two works-in-progress. The first is almost ready for submission to my publisher and is about a thirty-nine year old woman who is struggling with the impending end of her thirties having not reached life milestones like marriage and children typically reached at an earlier age. I hope my publisher, Booktrope, will release this novel in late 2014. The second is a sequel to my third novel, Blogger Girl. It is twenty-nine pages and counting!

Question: How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My books are inspired by real life and the characters I create are, sorry to possibly overuse this word but “real.” They do not have dream jobs, closets full of designer clothes, regular invitations to hot restaurant openings and parties, and boyfriends with perfectly chiseled bodies. But they are not typically underdogs either. They have a lot going for them. They are intelligent, attractive, down-to-earth women who struggle with (here comes that word again) “real” problems. They do not always act with the best judgment and are often misguided. They feel emotions that women typically do not like to admit experiencing, like insecurity, jealousy, bitterness etc. and, yes, sometimes they drink too much. Some readers have complained that my characters can be whiny and insecure at times but others (most people) applaud them for letting their “flaw flag” fly. Show me a woman who has never whined or experienced insecurity and I’ll flash you my boobs. Seriously! I dare you.

Question: Why do I write what I do?

I write real women’s fiction with humor because it comes naturally to me, probably because I’m a real woman who happens to be quite funny. I’ve made many mistakes myself and I want to speak for women like me to let them know they are not alone. Life can be very challenging sometimes, but even in the most trying of times, someone will make a joke, spill something, trip on the sidewalk etc. Laughter lightens even the darkest moods, even if only temporarily.

Question: How does my writing process work?

I work a full time job and I must make an effort to carve out time each week for writing. Whenever I do not have plans after work, I go straight to my favorite writing place—The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf—where I write for a couple of hours. Additionally, I use most of my lunch hours to do some light writing, like blog posts. I also try to spend at least one afternoon of every weekend writing. So far, this routine has enabled me to release approximately one novel a year.

Question: And the other part of this question, how does my writing process not work?

What doesn’t work is comparing myself to authors who write more quickly and release multiple books a year. Some of these authors do not work full time jobs, but some of them do and yet manage to write more quickly. That is them and this is me and it’s okay. I try to keep my life as balanced as possible, which means having a social life, an on-again/off-again love life (the “off” part is not by choice), working out, and simply zoning out in front of the television. Messing with the balance I strive so hard to maintain does not work for me.

Who’s next?

I am tagging the following wonderful authors below:

Mary Rowan, author of Leaving the Beach, a gritty story about illusion, reality, and the odd ways that music can blur the lines between the two.

Patricia Mann, author of compelling and thought provoking Is This All There Is. Quote from one reader, “This book, quite simply, was stunning.”

Sheryn MacMunn –bestselling author of Finding Out, a story of love found and lost, true friendship, and how the human spirit endures.

Having A Three-Way…Indie Style!

I have some amazing friends and when we get together, we can talk Ad Nauseam about everything from men to annoying family members to sports to current events (not that often, admittedly) to pop culture and more. But since most of my friends are not writers, I try to keep my “author talk” to a minimum to avoid observing their eyes roll to the back of their heads. That’s one of the many reasons I adore having writing buddies. Recently, I had a virtual sit-down with two of my author besties, Francine LaSala (The Girl, The Gold Tooth & Everything) and Samantha Stroh Bailey (Finding Lucas) to talk about marketing books, indie style. So, today I’ll share a snippet of that conversation. As always, it was peppered with spunk since we’re such spunky chicks!

Francine: So you guys know about this big book birthday blog tour bash going on this week, right?

Meredith (smirks): Birthday bash? Whatever do you mean?

Sam (cocks head, playfully): Uh, no. Please tell us more.

Francine (winks): Well, The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything is turning 1 this week, so it’s going on sale for 99 cents for one week only. While it’s on sale, I’ll be visiting different blogs for interviews, guest posts, that kind of thing. But I’m not the only one with something going on this week. Am I, Meri?

Meredith: Well, now that you mention it, I am doing a blog tour the next couple of weeks to promote Blogger Girl which is about, you guessed it, a book blogger. During the three week tour, reviews of Blogger Girl will be posted on some awesome blogs, along with  guest posts and interviews. Insert shameless self-promotion here: Blogger Girl will be on tour with CLP Blog Tours from 11/4-25.

Francine: Oh, did I forget the dates (and the shameless self-promotion) for mine? Sorry! My sale started 11/1 and goes through Thursday 11/7… Which reminds me… Sam? Don’t you have something to share?

Sam (laughs): Well, as you both know, I love promoting with other authors, and I’ve done quite a few group promotions. Along with the two of you, co-founding BookBuzz has probably been the most exciting. Creating an interactive author/reader event where everyone can meet and mingle, have a drink and chat about writing and books is such a fantastic way to both market and reach out to readers. And timing is everything, right? Because there will be a BookBuzz in Toronto on Thursday night, November 7, at The Crest at 794 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, from 7pm to 9pm. Here’s the website for all of the info! http://bookbuzz2013.wordpress.com/. I had the great pleasure of organizing this one with author Lydia Laceby and blogger Kaley Stewart.

Francine: Ooooh, sounds like fun! I’d love to be there!

Meredith (rolls eyes and smiles): You are going to be there. And me, too.

Francine (grins stupidly): Right.

Sam (beams): It’s going to be great! I hope we get to do more of these. Such a fun way to get “out there” with our books and touch readers.

Meredith: I know, Sam. It’s so fun! So what are some of the other ways you guys have been able to get “out there” with your books – and what are the challenges you’re facing? For me, with so many quality and affordable books available, I find getting people to click on my books to be extremely challenging. I make a lot of effort to get my books in the spotlight, but I do find that a large population of chick lit readers are still more likely to pay for a big name than to give indie authors, meaning both authors who self-publish as well as those who are published by small, independent presses, a chance, even at a lower price.

Sam: You’re right, Meri. I think marketing is challenging for any author, be they traditionally or indie published. For me, the hardest part was navigating social media. I didn’t even have a Facebook page until I published Finding Lucas! Learning how to use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, well, Pinterest is still a mystery to me, has been both incredible and scary. But, now that I’m using them, I find that I’m quite addicted. I also think it’s hard to gain exposure, but the reader/blogger/author community is so supportive, and I’m grateful to them.

Meredith: You can say that again. During the pre-release of Blogger Girl, I celebrated all things “blogging” by inviting guest bloggers to post on my website for a month long celebration.  As a result, there was already a lot of buzz about the book by the time it was officially launched. Additionally, while I always offer free copies of my books to bloggers in exchange for reviews, as well as participate in an organized blog tour, the blogging angle also helped get my foot in the door with popular beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers, who also agreed to promote Blogger Girl on their websites. Regardless of what avenue of publishing an author takes, marketing is pivotal.

All at once: Thank God for bloggers!

Francine: I’m not sure being “indie” is the big challenge for me. Even if I had a huge marketing budget and push behind me, I do find getting the word out about my books to be an awkward, embarrassing situation. Silly, I know, but I have a tendency to be shy. To be a “behind-the-scenes” kind of person. Which is why I enjoy writing. Marketing puts you right in the spotlight. And I’m old. Bright light is not as flattering as it may have once been. 🙂

Sam: Old? You’re only two years older than me! There are definitely so many more options for marketing now than ever before.

Meredith: Creativity is key.

Francine: Absolutely. As you guys know, I am a book publishing veteran, and I can tell you it’s amazing how formulaic print book marketing can be. This is because in traditional print publishing, if a book doesn’t take off right out of the gate, the remainder table is the fate! With ebooks, a book takes off when it does. There isn’t the same pressure to move those units quickly to make room in the warehouse for next season’s titles. The great thing is that an ebook can take time to grow. To that effect, I can “re-launch” The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything with this big birthday bash. I’m hoping this push will bring me more readers, more reviews, and also start building momentum for the books I plan to publish next year. I still feel like such a babe in the woods over all of this, though.

Meredith: We learn as we go. If I can give any new author starting out advice on how to launch an indie book, I’d say start getting reviews of your book as early as possible. With my first two novels, I didn’t start reaching out to bloggers for reviews until right before the book was being released. With Blogger Girl, I sent out ARCs over a month before the official launch and so by the time the book was published, I already had several reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. It really made a difference as far as sales right out of the gate. I also urge you not to be stingy with offering free books. In addition to book bloggers, offer free copies of your book to readers in your target audience in exchange for a review. From my experience, readers are honored to be asked and if they like your book, they are extremely vocal about recommending it to their friends.

Francine: I agree. I also think that quality is key. It’s so important not to cheap out on your cover design or blurb. People can spot “homemade” a mile away. While that kind of thing can be charming for Pinterest, you want your book to be full-on-pro if you want readers to take you seriously. Also: Have your book edited. It’s heart-breaking to read bad reviews of books that are criticized not for plot points or characters, but for being sloppy. If you want to market your product as a quality product, produce a quality product!

Sam: Absolutely! Publishing a book is expensive, no doubt. But if being a professional author is what you really want to do, it is crucial to have the best book you can on the market. Hiring a professional editor, cover designer and formatter, if you need one, are some ways to create the most professional product. Here’s where I can do a bit of a shameless promo plug…

Francine: Thanks for taking one for the team, Sam!

Sam: By doing team edits on clients’ manuscripts, Francine and I have found it’s been fantastic to have more than one set of eyes on a story. I love working with you…

Francine: And I, you!

Sam: And it gives me great pleasure when we hand over the final product and our authors are so happy with our work.

Francine: Don’t forget that Meredith also does manuscript evaluations that are incredibly spot on.

Sam: So true. Her thorough and eagle-eyed beta read on my new novel really helped so much.

Meredith: Aw, thanks.

Francine: Seriously. Not blowing sunshine up your butt, Meri. When I read your reviews, I’m amazed at how much insight you have into the books you read–how much you care.

[Virtual group hug.]

Sam: Speaking of caring, I have to say the writer support groups I’ve found in the virtual world have changed my life. My friends and family are very proud of me, but it can be boring to listen to me prattle on about plot lines, sales, and promotions. Talking to and working with other authors who know exactly what my day is like has meant the world to me.

Meredith: Like right now!

Francine: True, dat. While we are all doing this to promote our various efforts, I have learned so much just speaking with you guys today.

Sam: I’ve learned I want to use “True, dat” in a sentence. But seriously, I hope we’ve been able to share more with readers than just the details of our various promotions.

Francine: Do you think the readers remember? Let’s remind them again!

For information on the Birthday Bash for The Girl the Gold Tooth & Everything, please click here.

For more information about the blog tour for Blogger Girl, click here.

For more information about BookBuzz Toronto, click here.

Meredith: See you guys next week at BookBuzz!

Francine: Looking forward to it!

Sam: I can’t wait to welcome you both to my city!

~~~~~~~

Connect with Francine, Samantha, and me by clicking on the links below. Have a great day, everyone!

 Author Photo_Francine LaSala

Find Francine LaSala online:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/francinelasala

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Francine-LaSala-Author/223109337705912

Blog: http://clippingsintheshed.wordpress.com/

Creative Services website: https://francinelasalaproductions.wordpress.com/

Author website: www.francinelasala.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4679863.Francine_LaSala

The “Joy Jar” Project: https://www.facebook.com/groups/318621974904272/

Buy The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything JUST 99 CENTS THIS WEEK!: viewBook.at/B009NF9VQ2

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Buy Rita Hayworth’s Shoes: viewBook.at/B007ZHVB1I

 

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Find Meredith Schorr online:

 Twitter: @meredithschorr

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/MeredithSchorrAuthor

Website/Blog: meredithschorr.com

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4355520.Meredith_Schorr

 

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/meredithgschorr

Buy Blogger Girl:

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http://www.amazon.com/Blogger-Girl-ebook/dp/B00EDTLDSW/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375994653&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=blogger+girl+meredith+schorr

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blogger-Girl-ebook/dp/B00EDTLDSW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1376945948&sr=1-1&keywords=blogger+girl

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blogger-girl-meredith-schorr/1116358028?ean=2940148503125

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blogger-girl/id686654939?mt=11

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Find Samantha Stroh Bailey online:

samheadshotauthorcentral 

Blog http://samanthastrohbailey.blogspot.ca/

 

Twitter https://twitter.com/perfectpen

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-Stroh-Bailey/420736011289684

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832614.Samantha_Stroh_Bailey

 

Business website: http://perfectpencommunications.com/

 

Buy Finding Lucas

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Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Lucas-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1383158769&sr=1-1&keywords=finding+lucas

 

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Lucas-Samantha-Stroh-Bailey-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383158822&sr=8-1&keywords=finding+lucas

 

KOBO http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/Finding-Lucas/-wfpLcDV6keHZR-T80qCUg

United Authors of Chick Lit!

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Fasten your seatbelts and put your tray tables in the upright and locked position. Over the next few days, some of your favorite Chick Lit characters will be jetting across the Atlantic to visit with fictional friends on the other side of the pond.

 

The event kicks off on Monday, Oct. 21.

 

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, read about Stella from Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes and Chloe from Lying to Meet You as they travel across the Atlantic to visit each other.

 

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, it’s time to discover what happens when Emma from The Pollyanna Plan and Kim from Blogger Girl meet.

 

On Thursday, Oct. 24, Izzy from Izzy’s Cold Feet and Jamie from Finding Lucas will be taking you on a trip alongside their characters.

 

And on Friday, Oct. 25, Kate from Sealed with a Kiss and Pilar from In Need of Therapy will be chatting about their overseas experiences.

 

Here’s a little sneak peek at the fun, frothy books and sassy gals featured in our international promo, all of which are priced at $3.99 or less:

 

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey – Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind? Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Lucas-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A/ Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Lucas-Samantha-Stroh-Bailey-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A and Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/books/Finding-Lucas/-wfpLcDV6keHZR-T80qCUg

In Need of Therapy by Tracie BanisterHandling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself? Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/In-Need-of-Therapy-ebook/dp/B008N6Z36Y Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/In-Need-of-Therapy-ebook/dp/B008N6Z36Y and B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-need-of-therapy-tracie-banister/1112265620?ean=2940015006889

Lying to Meet You by Anna Garner – Overworked New York fashion girl Chloe Lane has no time for a real relationship, but when her childhood pal asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test a theory, she decides to go for it. The lies start piling up and things start getting crazy. Will Chloe be able to keep it together? Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Lying-to-Meet-You-ebook/dp/B00EZR5M9I Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lying-to-Meet-You-ebook/dp/B00EZR5M9I and B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lying-to-meet-you-anna-garner/1116838753?ean=2940148616924

Sealed with a Kiss by Rachael Lucas – Kate breathes a sigh of relief when she’s dumped at her best friend’s wedding. When she takes a job on the island of Auchenmor, she’s determined to have a year off men, but that’s before she rescues Flora the seal pup with the help of Roddy, her mysterious new boss… Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Sealed-with-a-Kiss-ebook/dp/B00BE9EUW0/ and Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sealed-with-a-Kiss-ebook/dp/B00BE9EUW0/ 

 

The Pollyanna Plan by Talli RolandEmma Beckett has always looked down on ‘the glass is half full’ optimists. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancé, Emma makes a radical decision: from here on in, she’ll attempt to see the upside, no matter how dire the situation. Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea? Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/The-Pollyanna-Plan-Talli-Roland-ebook/dp/B00AFAW2GK and Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Pollyanna-Plan-Talli-Roland-ebook/dp/B00AFAW2GK

 

Blogger Girl by Meredith SchorrKimberly Long has two passions: her successful chick lit blog and Nicholas, her handsome colleague down the hall. But when her high school nemesis pops onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book and eyes for Nicholas, Kim has to make some quick revisions to her own life story. Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Blogger-Girl-ebook/dp/B00EDTLDSW Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blogger-Girl-ebook/dp/B00EDTLDSW B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blogger-girl-meredith-schorr/1116358028?ean=2940148503125 and Apple iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blogger-girl/id686654939?mt=11

 

Izzy’s Cold Feet by Sarah Louise Smith – Izzy is engaged to Greg, who is everything a girl could want. The trouble is – all she can think about is the men she loved before she met him. In the week leading up to her wedding day, Izzy is forced to ask herself who she loves the most. And, given the choice, who would she want to spend her life with? Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Izzys-Cold-Sarah-Louise-Smith/dp/1909841005/

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Izzys-Cold-Sarah-Louise-Smith/dp/1909841005/ B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/izzys-cold-feet-sarah-louise-smith/1116263752 and UK Nook http://uk.nook.com/ebooks/izzys-cold-feet-by-sarah-louise-smith/2940045154499

 

Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson – TV Producer Stella is over worked, over weight and under fire battling to balance family, career and those weighing scales. In the past she’s always found comfort at the bottom of her mixing bowl but now the most delicious lemon sponge with zesty frosting has no effect. However, life is about to get even tougher… and Stella has to face some truths about herself, her life and her future. Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Girls-Fairy-Cakes-ebook/dp/B005L92JB8 and Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fat-Girls-Fairy-Cakes-Watson-ebook/dp/B005L92JB8

 

 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

 

Tuesday, Oct. 22

Stella will be on Anna Garner’s blog http://libby-mercer.blogspot.com/ and Chloe will be on Sue Watson’s blog http://fatgirlsandfairycakes.blogspot.com/

 

Wednesday, Oct. 23

Emma will be on Meredith Schorr’s blog https://meredithschorr.com/blog/ and Kim will be on Talli Roland’s blog http://talliroland.blogspot.com/

 

Thursday, Oct. 24

Izzy will be on Samantha Stroh Bailey’s blog http://samanthastrohbailey.blogspot.ca/ and Jamie will be on Sarah Louise Smith’s blog http://sarahlouisesmith.com/

 

Friday, Oct. 25

Kate will be on Tracie Banister’s blog http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/ and Pilar will be on Rachael Lucas’s blog http://rachaellucas.com/blog/

 

The Celebration of Bloggers Tour welcomes Samantha Stroh Bailey!

I’m thrilled to invite Samantha Stroh Bailey to my blog today as part of the Celebration of Bloggers Tour.  Not only is Samantha one of my favorite authors – Finding Lucas – was at the top of my favorite books of 2012 and is up there on my list of favorite chick lit books ever – but she is one of my dearest friends.  I remember when I saw the 5 star rating she left on Goodreads for Just Friends with Benefits. I was so excited since I had been following the Chick Lit Plus blog tour for Finding Lucas and knew all about Samantha. I was flattered that she chose to read Just Friend with Benefits without knowing me and that she loved it.  I immediately read Finding Lucas, devoured it (as mentioned above) and then Sam and I connected and the rest is, as they say, “history.”  (I also learned that no one who knows her personally calls her “Samantha” unless they are angry with her.)  Anyway, although Sam has a blog on her website, she is not a “blogger” per se, but as you will see in her post below, she has the utmost admiration for book bloggers and so I invited her to be part of my tour to talk about it.  Please read her touching post below and then do yourself a favor and download Finding Lucas. You won’t regret it!

 

 

ODE TO BLOGGERS

 

I met Meredith through Twitter after reading her first novel, Just Friends With Benefits. I was addicted to the story, and when I finished it with a huge smile on my face, I knew I had to say something to her. But I was a bit nervous to reach out to an author I didn’t know (oh, how things have changed!), but I wanted her to know how much I loved the book. A deep, instant friendship was formed. When she let me read Blogger Girl, I was so excited and stayed up late way too many nights tearing through the pages to get to the heart-pounding ending. I am truly honored to be included in this celebration of bloggers!

Before I self-published Finding Lucas in April of 2012, I spent a good many hours on book blogs. I loved reading the reviews, author news and hearing about the new releases. The sites were so well-organized, eye-catching and constantly updated. At the time, I had no clue that these bloggers make no money at all. They blog simply for the love of books and to help promote the authors they adore.

When it was my time to contact bloggers to review Finding Lucas, my hands shook, my mouth went dry and my stomach jumped. Who was I to ask these bloggers, who reviewed well-known and best-selling authors, to look at my book? Well, I was amazed by their kindness, warmth and willingness to review Finding Lucas. Not only that, but I have formed some great friendships with bloggers through shared histories, favorite films and television and our obsession for books.

There are so many bloggers I want to mention, but it would take me pages, and I’m sure you don’t want to stick around for that. So, I want to give a shout out to a few who helped me so much in the beginning of my publishing journey. The first blog I wanted to contact was Chick Lit Central because it’s so professional, fun and popular. Melissa Amster and I immediately clicked, and I even though I’ve never met her in person (I will!), she has become a close friend. She sent me a huge list of other bloggers to contact, answered my inane questions and truly held my hand. She is a gem, and because of her and Chick Lit Central, chick lit continues to thrive.

Samantha March of Chick Lit Plus is amazing. We all call her Superwoman because she has a fulltime job, manages the blog, writes, runs a small press and has been planning a wedding with all of that. She answers emails in seconds and is so warm, lovely and easy to talk to. I did my first ever book tour with Chick Lit Plus, and I’d love to do one for every book I publish.

A newer blogger who has been an endless support to me is Marlene Roberts Engel from Book Mama. She shouts from the rooftops how much she loved Finding Lucas, and I cannot thank her enough. Now the sister blog to Chick Lit Central, Book Mama offers fantastic reviews and giveaways. Chick Lit Central and Book Mama together will make even the most skeptical reader pick up a pastel colored book.

And if you don’t know Julie Valerie of Chick Lit Chit Chat, you should. She is brilliant, hilarious and generous, and her posts and reviews are unbelievably good. When seven authors and I hosted Book Buzz 2013 in NYC this past May, Julie stood behind a table the entire night selling our books and making us all look good. She is one of my favorite people in the world.

There really are a ton of bloggers I can gush about, like Lydia Laceby from Novel Escapes, Kaley Stewart from Books Etc, Laura Chapman of Change the Word, Kathleen Higgins Anderson of Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Josie Thomas from Ebook Addict, Crystal Serowka of The Indie Bookshelf, Sabrina Kate-Eryou and the incredible founder of The Chick Lit Goddesses, Isabella Louise Anderson. I can go on and on. Are you still reading?

As a writer, I am often asked to review books. Now, I can write a book, but a review? There’s an art and a skill to that that I don’t seem to possess. I love reading and reviewing books for pleasure, especially those from authors I’ve loved, but formal reviews? I leave that to the professionals. Truly, writing a detailed, honest and thoughtful review takes a lot of time, work and finesse. The book bloggers have it.

Without book bloggers, our novels would never get the exposure they do, and I am beyond grateful. Support these incredible people by following their blogs, commenting on posts, and sharing them with other book lovers. We’re all in this together.

Blogger Girl – coming 8/28

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.

Valentine’s Day ebook sale – 9 authors, 9 ebooks, 99 cents each!

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Love is in the air . . . and it can be on your Kindle, too!

Do you want to fall in love with a good book this Valentine’s Day weekend? How about 9? Then don’t miss this special promotion. For four days only (February 14th – February 17th), 9 popular Chick Lit authors will be lowering the prices on their favorite rom-coms to 99 cents on Amazon.com! At that price (A bottle of wine costs more!), why not sample them all? Some delicious literary treats await you, and unlike chocolates these goodies are calorie-free!

And guys: If your sweetie is a book-lover, you’ll make her Valentine’s Day by gifting her with one (or more) of our fun, romantic stories! 

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey – Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind? http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Lucas-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister – Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself?  http://www.amazon.com/In-Need-of-Therapy-ebook/dp/B008N6Z36Y 

Rita Hayworth’s Shoes by Francine LaSalaJilted bride Amy’s down on everything until she convinces herself to purchase a cute, ridiculously expensive pair of second-hand shoes. Once she does, life starts looking up, and she falls into an unexpected new romance with the last man she’d ever expect to love. But can a pair of shoes really be magic? And is her new prince really just a frog? http://www.amazon.com/Rita-Hayworths-Shoes-ebook/dp/B007ZHVB1I/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie – When Roxy Rule shares a passionate kiss with her lifelong best friend, she must come to terms with her feelings for him while dealing with two sisters in full crisis mode, a boss who makes her want to stab herself with a letter opener and a fiancé who can’t wait to walk down the aisle. Can she keep it together–or will she break under the pressure? http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-the-Rules-ebook/dp/B008UZYPLW

The Green Ticket by Samantha March – College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty, but her good fortune quickly turns disastrous when she realizes her job is filled with lies, betrayal, and cover-ups. Keeping up with classes, her girlfriends and a budding romance, Alex feels the pressure – but will she overcome the challenges? http://www.amazon.com/The-Green-Ticket-ebook/dp/B00AI02BO0

Unmasking Maya by Libby Mercer – Disgraced New York fashionista, Maya Kirkwood, is fashioning herself a new life as an artist in San Francisco when she’s hired to do an installation of her work by dorky, yet dashing dotcom executive, Derek. The sparks soon start to fly, but this could mean disaster for Maya – a woman with an explosive past and far too many secrets.http://www.amazon.com/Unmasking-Maya-ebook/dp/B00AN7CCV0

A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr – Jane Frank is newly single after nine years and looking for a second chance at love. But when she dives head first into the NYC dating scene and finds it infested with flakes who are interested today and gone tomorrow, it may be time for Jane to turn the tables! http://www.amazon.com/A-State-of-Jane-ebook/dp/B009CDVZ64

True Love Way by Nancy Scrofano – When her high school sweetheart, Josh, suddenly returns after twelve years in Paris, Marlo Spencer travels to her hometown to try to rekindle their relationship. But when dreams of a blissful reunion are shattered as old secrets and betrayals are revealed, can she forgive and forget, or will true love find a different path to her heart? http://www.amazon.com/True-Love-Way-ebook/dp/B007VA4AZI

Picture Perfect by Lucie Simone – Lauren Tate’s perfectly planned life quickly unravels at the seams when a smear campaign threatens her career as a top TV executive, but she learns just how cutthroat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart goes missing. http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Perfect-ebook/dp/B0093H0326

 

Season’s Readings!

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In the spirit of coming together for the holidays, eight popular Chick Lit authors are “partying it up” with a shared promotion for book lovers! That means eight fun and fizzy e-books, each priced at $3.99 or less, that are packed with plenty of laughs and romance to keep you entertained on those long winter nights! And if you’d like to gift one of these books to a Chick Lit fan, we’ve got you covered with your choice of paperbacks!

 Which books are featured in this festive promo?

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey – Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the “one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind?

E-book and paperback available on Amazon.

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister – Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself?

E-book available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble; paperback available on Amazon.

What the Dog Ate by Jackie Bouchard – Discovering what her dog ate turns Maggie Baxter’s world upside down. With her chocolate Lab, Kona, as her guide, can Maggie forego her overly analytical ways to find a new life filled with tail-wagging joy?

E-book available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes; paperback available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Girl, the Gold Tooth, & Everything by Francine LaSala – Suburban housewife Mina, beaten-down and struggling with amnesia, starts getting her memory and her mojo back. But she soon learns everything has a price in this fast-paced, richly layered, and darkly humorous satire!

E-book and paperback available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie – When Roxy Rule shares a passionate kiss with her lifelong best friend, she must come to terms with her feelings for him while dealing with two sisters in full crisis mode, a boss who makes her want to stab herself with a letter opener and a fiancé who can’t wait to walk down the aisle. Can she keep it together–or will she break under the pressure?

E-book available on Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble; paperback available on Amazon.

Fashioning a Romance by Libby Mercer –

Devastatingly handsome and deliciously weird, John Harrington is the man of Caitlyn Taylor’s dreams… and her nightmares. She has no use for a womanizer like him, and dodges his advances like a pro. But when they end up in Paris together, Caitlyn feels her resolve begin to slip. How will she ever be able to resist the irresistible in the most romantic city in the world?

E-book available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr – Jane Frank is newly single after nine years and looking for a second chance at love. But when she dives head first into the NYC dating scene and finds it infested with flakes who are interested today and gone tomorrow, it may be time for Jane to turn the tables!

E-book available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes; paperback available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Picture Perfect by Lucie Simone – Lauren Tate’s perfectly planned life quickly unravels at the seams when a smear campaign threatens her career as a top TV executive, but she learns just how cutthroat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart goes missing.

E-book available on Amazon; paperback available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Stay tuned for blog posts from each of the above authors when we answer 8 Holiday Questions for 8 Authors.

  1. Samantha Stroh Bailey – Mon, Dec 3 http://samanthastrohbailey.blogspot.ca/
  2. Francine LaSala – Tues, Dec 4 http://clippingsintheshed.wordpress.com/
  3. Libby Mercer – Wed, Dec 5 http://libby-mercer.blogspot.com/
  4. Jackie Bouchard – Thur, Dec 6 http://poochsmooches.blogspot.com
  5. Tracie Banister – Fri, Dec 7 http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/
  6. Cat Lavoie – Mon, Dec 10 http://www.catlavoie.com/blog/
  7. Lucie Simone – Tues, Dec 11 http://luciesimone.blogspot.com/
  8. Meredith Schorr – Wed, Dec 12 https://meredithgschorr.wordpress.com

Finally, a world of thanks to the amazingly generous bloggers below who have agreed to help us spread the word about our books!  We invite everyone to check out these fabulous blogs!

December 3

Girl Who Reads

Lost in Literature

The Book Fetish

December 4

Chick Lit Goddess

Julie’s Chick Lit

The East Village

December 5

Ebook Addict

I Read Indie

December 6

Chick Lit Plus

December 7

Books Etc

Chick Lit is Not Dead

December 8

Change the Word

Every Free Chance Book Reviews

December 10

Reading Renee

December 11

Just Jump

Michelle’s Book Nook

December 12

Chick Lit Central

December 13

Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

December 14

A Novel Review

Forget the Housework, I’m Reading

My Book and My Coffee

December 17

The Phantom Paragrapher

December 18

Crib Notes

The Book Bag

December 19

The Romance Bookie

Tifferz Book Review

December 20

Autumn Review

December 27

The Book Chick

TBA

Chick Lit Bee