with a little help from my friends

Confession: Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been in a writing slump. I’ve always prided myself on my immunity to the dreaded “writer’s block.” Creating ideas and finding the words to express them has never been a problem until recently. I’m about half-way through writing the first draft of Novel Girl, a sequel to Blogger Girl, and while I have a concrete vision of where I want things to go, turning the images I see in my head into words on the page has been challenging over the past couple of weeks. I’ve spent numerous evenings after work, sitting at my favorite coffee shop, and after two hours, I’ve considered it a “productive” time if I managed to add a couple of paragraphs. Writing makes me happy; writer’s block makes me sad. In other words, when the writing doesn’t flow, Meri doesn’t glow.

This past weekend, I was fortunate to take part in the second annual “Beach Babes” weekend in California, near Santa Cruz, at the invitation of the lovely, generous and talented author, Eileen Goudge. Also in attendance were Samantha Stroh Bailey, Jen Tucker, Francine LaSala, and Julie Valerie. These ladies were also at the first annual “Beach Babes” weekend. This year, we added another author, Josie Brown, who fit in so well, I can practically remember her in last year’s memories too.

The mornings were cold, but I spent them drinking coffee either at the large kitchen table of the beach house, sprawled across the couch in the living room, or on the back porch with slippers on my feet, a sweatshirt over my pajamas, and a blanket across my lap. The afternoons got warm and I went for a run with the ocean breeze whipping across my face. (Once. I went running once, but it still counts.) The evenings got cool again, but I was kept warm by the wine, the advice and support of my fellow housemates, and the ever-present (and often inappropriate) humor.

Some of the women read from their works-in-progress—I was too shy as a result of my bout with writer’s block—and I was blown away by the talent in the room and how differently each of us crafted our words. I’m embarrassed to admit that while I listened to them, I was equal parts impressed, envious, and fearful that Novel Girl lacked that something something. But my writer friends who have read all of my novels coaxed me out of my inferiority complex and ultimately out of my writer’s slump. The enthusiasm these authors possessed for their books and for their fellow authors was contagious and I caught the bug. Finally. In fact, I used about two hours of the five hour flight home last night to work on Novel Girl and I’m thrilled to announce that my writing mojo is back. Even better, my talented Beach Babes have inspired me to take it to a whole new and improved level.

Sadly, we need to wait an entire year for the third annual Beach babes weekend, but I am so there. SO. THERE.

I hope you enjoy the pictures as well as some of the newsworthy events I’m sharing below:

Book signing/reading – Thursday, February 12th at the Manhasset location of Barnes and Noble. More information here: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4829697

Giveaway: Enter for your chance to win up to 40 books in this amazing Valentine’s Day giveaway: http://www.feelingbeachie.com/valentines-day-massive-book-giveaway-2/

 

view from the back porch

view from the back porch

view from my run

view from my run

Eileen's famous "skinny" salad. SO good.

Eileen’s famous “skinny” salad. SO good.

The Beach Babes!

The Beach Babes!

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Shake it off. Shake it off. Managing expectations with respect to fans

When I wrote my first novel, Just Friends with Benefits, I basically winged it. I was walking to work one day when an idea for a story popped into my head. I made the decision to write a book and never looked back. I had no formal training and no experience, but the novel was pretty well received. I considered it a very positive start to my writing career and looked forward to releasing my second novel, A State of Jane.

Everyone who read A State of Jane before it was released commented on how much my writing had improved. The pacing was tighter, the story flowed easier, and the humor was sassy and fresh. I assumed if people enjoyed Just Friends with Benefits, they would LOVE A State of Jane. And many of them did. But then negative reviews came flowing in—Jane was unlikeable, the ending was not satisfying. Some preferred Just Friends with Benefits. Even though I stood by my plotting decisions, I was devastated. How could people not understand that Jane was a work in progress? How could they not appreciate the growth of her character and applaud her independence? How could they not notice how much I’d honed my skills?

My third novel, Blogger Girl, had both a “nice” main character and a more typical romantic comedy storyline. On top of that, I was still growing as a writer. If people enjoyed Just Friends with Benefits, I knew they would love my more polished but equally romantic Blogger Girl. And if A State of Jane wasn’t light and fluffy enough for them, I was certain Blogger Girl would win them over.

The reviews for Blogger Girl were by and large very good. It made it onto about ten blogger’s lists for the best books of 2013, has 111 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.5 and only one 1 star and zero 2 star reviews. For the most part, it is the fan favorite. Still, there were some naysayers, especially on Goodreads—Kim is too aggressive and full of herself. She’s so insecure! And she doesn’t do any work. One person wrote a review on Goodreads that my writing gets worse with every book. In her opinion, Just Friends with Benefits was, by far, my best book, followed by A State of Jane. She hated Blogger Girl with a passion.

*Sigh* For the love of God, who do I have to sleep with to write a book that everyone likes?

My fourth novel, How Do You Know? was released last month. I thought: this is it. This is by far the most emotional and heartfelt book I’ve ever written, and my growth as a writer is evident. My fans will be delighted! It’s got it all—sass, humor, romance, heartbreak, likeable characters. I’m as good as golden!

And then I had two bloggers who adored Blogger Girl and who enthusiastically agreed to read How Do You Know? decline to write a review because they didn’t connect with it as much as they would have liked. I appreciated their honesty and willingness to refrain from writing a review, but “ouch.” Then the doubts came flooding in. What if I am a bust at writing women’s fiction? Should I stick to chick lit? What if everyone hates this book except my mom, sister, beta readers, and publishing team? But then glowing reviews for How Do You Know? came flowing in: “Meredith’s best book yet.” “Meredith Schorr has done it again.” “I loved this book as much as her others.” My confidence soared again until I received a four star review from someone on New Year’s Eve who said How Do You Know? was engaging enough, but she liked my other books much more. Despite the four-star review, I was disappointed that it wasn’t her favorite.

And then it occurred to me that I’m a multi-published author and to expect every reader to enjoy each of my new books more than the one before is…well…expecting too much. Not to mention that unless I want my previous books to stop selling, I should hope readers will have different preferences so that there is consistent buzz for all of my books. The reality is that not everyone has the same tastes. Some readers prefer pure escapism to depth. Some people love a flawed character they can root for even as they scream at her. Others don’t want a character who might remind them of their own shortcomings. Some folks appreciate an uplifting, but realistic ending; others prefer the fairytale. Some people get a kick out of grown up characters acting juvenile and making fools of themselves. Others think it just makes them look foolish.

The good news is that between four novels, I now have something to please or offend *almost* everyone. I say *almost* because you can’t please everyone. At least, as evidenced in this blog, I have not mastered that skill yet. But as long as I continue to please people more often than not, I will be happy. I’m going to keep writing the stories that inspire me to the best of my ability—which will hopefully continue to improve with each book, even if some fans still prefer an earlier book.

Happy Publication Day to How Do You Know?

It’s finally arrived! Today is the official release day of my fourth novel, How Do You Know? Although I love all of my book babies equally, this book is especially close to me as its themes are extremely relevant to where I am in life. I believe the book will resonate with so many women—single, in a relationship, or “it’s complicated” alike. I sure hope I’m right!

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BLURB:

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 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. 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.

 

“If Doug isn’t “the one,” am I wasting time that should be spent on finding the man who is? And at almost forty, has that window already closed? Is passionate love only available to the young?

I know I will have to work through my feelings eventually, but it’s not something I want to do on my birthday. The truth is I absolutely want to get married. I’m just not certain I want to marry Doug.

But my heart also aches at the thought of losing him.”

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OGQII9E/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0D67KXN7041J840S7M6E&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Know-Seeking-Happily-Ever-After-ebook/dp/B00OGQII9E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1416414201&sr=1-1&keywords=how+do+you+know%3F

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-do-you-know-meredith-schorr/1120809409?ean=9781620155875

Also available on iTunes

Christina Boyd, 46, shares her thoughts & fears on aging – Age is Just a Number

Thank you, Christina Boyd (reviewer, editor, social media specialist, publicist), for your honest thoughts below on aging. I see a lot of my own thoughts and fears in this post.

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AGE IS JUST A NUMBER by Christina Boyd

  1. Four away from 50. Four away from half a century. If I dwell on the number, I might hyperventilate. Or at least get that tight, squeezy feeling I have been starting to experience these last few years when in confined spaces.

I used to think that age was but a number. And that really, if I was satisfied with my life, happy with who I was with, what I was doing, where I was… then getting older was no big deal. That was when I was 25. Newly married to a dashing naval officer and had recently re-invented myself from a chipper, efficient flight attendant, and before that, a glory seeking pageant winner/wannabe model/college co-ed. But before I had re-invented myself many more times. Small business woman. Mother. Artist. Campaigner. Book reviewer. Book editor. And book publicity manager. Regardless, I know for a fact that 25 year old Christina would have thought a 46 year old was old. Definitely old. Not ancient, but certainly middle age.

So back to 46. And being 4 years from the big 5-0. It scares the hell out of me! There. I said it. Mostly because I recognize the new lines on my face and increasing number of greying hairs as surely proof of my own mortality. And damn, if each new birthday doesn’t mean Death is sneaking closer. Scary thought indeed. Thankfully my favorite aesthetician reminded me at my last birthday that I should wear my age like a badge and that each line or grey hair is really an indication of the growth and achievement, regardless of breadth. (Bless her heart. Obviously she is also very good at an hour’s worth of rejuvenating my soul as she expertly sands those lines off my face.)

Not long ago, I started reading the obituaries while having my morning cuppa and have found I am morbidly fascinated about these strangers’ lives, regardless of how big or small a mark they left. (Another sign of aging when I started reading the obits?) I was struck with how one of the dearly departed was described as having “completed his 80th trip around the sun.” What an exciting sentiment! Each year, an adventure around the sun. I have become so enchanted with that idea that now when I wish someone happy birthday, I prefer to congratulate on successfully completing another trip around the sun.

I wish I was always as confident about growing old gracefully as I endeavor to appear. Alas, there seems to be so much left on my Bucket List, and while checking things off of my Daily Task Lists and often feeling subjected to the schedule alerts on my iPhone, I wonder if I am making progress towards any of those Bucket List items. With grim thoughts like that, it doesn’t take much to start identifying with the Fanny Price character in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.” Mostly that’s just on dreary, blustery days as the days grow shorter and darker. So I do what I tell my kids, go outside. Take a run. Get some fresh air. And as I breathe deeply, despite a near constant cover of clouds and rain this time of year, I start to relax here in the lush, verdant Pacific Northwest. Take another cathartic breath. And it doesn’t take long before I am reminded of all the blessings that indeed fill me up. Soon all those niggling thoughts about schedule alerts start to come into perspective.  Usually by the time I am finished my run (or walk), I am feeling more patient, more generous and more energized. Not old at all.

As fifty looms near, I confess I may not be comfortable with the idea of aging (though I am strongly against the alternative), I am hopeful by the prospect of another adventure around the sun. And with any luck, 46 more trips. Like my new daily regime of reading the obituaries, I must remember to stop, take a breath and count my daily blessings. Because when I am 92, wouldn’t it be a shame to reflect how my younger self worried about all the wrong things?

Christina Boyd wears many hats as she reviews for Austenprose.com, is an editor at Meryton Press, is a social media specialist and publicist at a hybrid publisher, Booktrope, and is a ceramicist for the Made in Washington stores under her own banner Stir Crazy Mama’s Artworks. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest (not 5 miles from the Canadian border) with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers and a retriever named BiBi. After reading The Six major Jane Austen works, her thirst for more could not be slaked, despite discovering on-line fan fiction, purchasing all the movie adaptations, attending Jane Austen Society of North America Annual General Meetings and becoming a life member of JASNA. Visiting Jane Austen’s England remains on her bucket list. Connect with Christina on twitter: @xtnaboyd

 

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 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. 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.

 

 

 

 

Author Julie Farley talks turning 41 on the Age is Just a Number blog series

Welcome Julie Farley, author of The New Ever After book series, to the Age is Just a Number blog series! I love reading about individuals learning to accept themselves, warts and all. Not that I think Julie has any warts, of course. Keep reading for her thoughts on turning forty-one.

When Harry Met Sally was one of my favorite movies when I was in high school. As I went through my twenties and then my thirties, I always remembered when Sally was lamenting the fact that she was going to turn forty…in eight years. But as I approached the big number, I had the opposite reaction. I wanted to be forty. All of my friends were a little bit older than I was and for some weird reason, I longed to catch up with them. I craved the authority and respect that came with being forty. So the big day came and I roller-skated into the night with my BFFs and the milestone was reached with nothing but smiles.

And then forty-one arrived without any hoopla or excitement. Just another year older. And forty-two came with even less. At first I missed the celebration, multiple cakes and plethora of balloons that came along with the previous year’s milestone, but then a sense of satisfaction and contentment coursed through me something I hadn’t felt in the preceding decades.

I’m finally comfortable with my imperfections; the hair that turned grey rather prematurely, the spider veins I earned from carrying four children, and the muffin top that slowly creeps out of my low-rise jeans. I appreciate people who are real and their messes especially when they’re sprinkled with honesty. I’m on a path that I chose and one that I enjoy. I don’t care about being seen, the next new thing or dancing till dawn. I prefer intimate gatherings, conversations under the stars and things that tickle my whimsy even if they’re not the popular choices.

Life at forty-two is more raw and precious. I’ve gained an appreciation for carpe diem and YOLO the hard way. Moments are treasured and no longer taken for granted. The sky is a little more blue, the tulips a little more yellow, but my eyesight a little bit worse. Forty-two finds me relishing the crisp and the blurry and happily looking toward forty-three.

JulieFarley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to book one in The New Ever After Series http://www.amazon.com/Tripped-Love-Ever-After-Book-ebook/dp/B00NUHIN04/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414967428&sr=1-1&keywords=tripped+up+love
Link to book two in The New Ever After Series http://www.amazon.com/The-Ever-After-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00OCZDN3U/ref=pd_sim_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=00DSG5KCEMN15Y8976JD
Follow me on twitter @juliefarley1
Visit my blog at http://www.juliefarley.com.

 

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.
Meredith Schorr, best-selling author of light women’s fiction, digs deep in her newest novel and raises the age old issue of the ‘proverbial clock’ that haunts many women, in a way that is refreshing and sassy no matter your age or relationship status.

Age is Just a Number Series: Author Hilary Grossman talks turning 25

Welcome Hilary Grossman, author of Dangled Carat, and my friend and fellow Booktrope author to my blog. Hilary compares how she imagined she would feel turning twenty-five with the reality of her feelings on that day. (PS: Happy Birthday, Hilary!!)
It all started in September.
I wasn’t able to put my finger on what was happening at first.  All I knew was that something simply wasn’t right.  I was unhappy.  I was scared.  I was frustrated.  And slowly but surely a feeling of dread began to wash over me.  With every very passing day the feeling got stronger, encompassing every aspect of my life.
In early November I left work early. I  wasn’t feeling well. I had chest pains. I couldn’t catch my breath.  My mom picked me up at the train station and drove me to my doctor.    He didn’t react the way that I thought he would. He gave me a quick exam.  Rather than confirm that I was dying from a heart attack, he simply said I was having a panic attack.
He helped me calm down.  My heart rate returned to normal and I was able to breath easily once more.  But I had to admit to myself and my mother what was causing me anxiety. And by this time I already knew.
November 10th was right around the corner.  My birthday.  I was turning twenty-five and I was dreading the day.  How can I be twenty-five and feel the way that I did?
Hilary at twenty-five

Hilary at twenty-five

Thanks to all the wonderful books and movies out there I had definite ideas of what twenty-five should feel like, and my life was nothing of the sort.  Forget about not having a fairytale existence there was nothing about my life I was happy about!
I spent the last few years studying for and passing the CPA exam. Why I kept wondering? I hated my all consuming job.  I was always on the road with no control of my schedule. I worked ridiculous hours. I was bored out of my mind half the time and the other time I was walking on eggshells because my boss was the modern day version of Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde. I never knew what to expect when I showed up for work.  As a result, stomach would constantly be in knots.  I used to wake up every morning and count down the number of days I had until I either retired or died.  What happy mornings those were!
Of course I didn’t have a boyfriend at the time either.  I was okay with that (or I told myself).  What I wasn’t okay with was I had no social life. None, zero, zip!  All I did was work.  Most of the year I worked for the CPA firm 6 days a week. But I also continued to wait tables nights and weekends.  And if there was a lull in that excitement,  I added the occasional babysitting gig into the mix.  #partytime
This was not what twenty-five was supposed to feel like.  Was it?
I started to express my feelings to others. I learned there was a term for what I was going through – a quarter life crisis.  Knowing I wasn’t alone, I started feeling slightly better.  And after the dreaded birthday passed I decided to make some changes in my life.
I cut back on waitress shifts. I started to hang out with friends.  I started to date. I allowed fun back into my life. And when I was presented with an opportunity to shift my career path I jumped at the chance.  Slowly but surely I found happiness.
I am turning forty-one on November 10th. I wish I could go back and tell my twenty-four year old self that everything will be okay. That the sacrifices that were made then would allow for much successes and joy later.  But I can’t. And even if I could, I know that I wouldn’t listen…
Hilary in present day

Hilary in present day

Links:
Twitter @feelingbeachie
Dangled Carat

 

Author Mary Rowen talks turning 50 as the Age is Just a Number blog series continues

Thank you, Mary Rowen, for joining the Age is Just a Number blog series. Mary is the author of Living by Ear and today she shares her thoughts on turning 50. Her comments regarding the randomness of life really does drive home the point that age isn’t everything.

On Turning Fifty

When I think of fifty, the first thing that comes to mind is Molly Shannon as Sally O’Malley on SNL, kicking and stretching. When I first saw that skit, I laughed hysterically. It seemed reasonable at the time—I was in my thirties—to assume that women start to lose it a bit when they hit the big 5-0.

But now that I’m here, I don’t spend much time telling people about my age, or kicking and stretching either, for that matter. And honestly, I like myself a lot more at fifty than I did thirty years ago.

If that sounds crazy, let me explain. Aside from the wonderful teaching job I had in my twenties, my life was a mess. I was in a dysfunctional relationship, and was extremely sick with bulimia. And although I considered myself a writer, I never did more than scribble poems in a notebook.

In my thirties, things improved considerably. By the time I was thirty-four, I was bulimia-free, married to a good man, and pregnant. My second child was born when I was thirty-seven, so turning forty didn’t phase me a bit. How can you feel old with two preschoolers ruling your life?

And now? Well I still don’t feel old. I’m extremely happy writing novels and working with a great publisher. My kids are in their teens, and although both of them can make me crazy at times, I really enjoy spending time with them. Then there’s our dog, who may actually be part coyote. If he doesn’t get two good workouts a day, he starts destroying the house, so I jog with him every morning. Yes, I grumble—especially when it’s wet or cold outside—but he helps keep me in shape.

On the other hand, living for five decades has given me enough views into mortality to assure me that it’s real, and often fickle. It all started in kindergarten when my teacher—a nun—showed up at school one Monday morning in tears, because the convent where she lived had burned down over the weekend. The poor woman—who must’ve been in shock—told an entire class of five-year-olds about young nuns running through the streets, dying, in burning clothes. It took months for me to recover from that story, but it also taught me that you don’t need to be old and sick to die.

Not too long after that, my mother told me about her brother Joe—a young man just home from WWll—who was killed in a car crash when my mom was only ten. Then, when I was in eighth grade, a classmate lost a brother to drowning. When I was in college, my very first boyfriend—we’d “gone out” for a couple of weeks as high school freshmen—died in a rock-climbing accident. And shortly before I got married, a close friend went out for a jog and dropped dead.

So by the time my father—who was healthy and active—died of a brain aneurysm in 2001, I was already convinced that death sometimes just swoops in takes people down. And if I had any doubts about that, they were dispelled a few years later, when my mom’s cousin—a vibrant, working woman—fell down a flight of stairs, became paralyzed from the neck down, and died shortly thereafter.

So what’s my point? Certainly I’m not attempting to write my own version of Jim Carroll’s song, “People Who Died.” Nor am I a morbid person. But after living for fifty years, I realize that age is only part of the story. Fate—or God, or the Universe—also plays a huge roll, so I try to focus on making the most of each day, rather than thinking about how many pages I’ve torn off the calendar.

Maybe when I hit sixty, I’ll start kicking and stretching. But for now, you can find me driving my kids around, running with the dog, and writing.

Click here to learn more about Living by Ear

From Kirkus Reviews
“Debut novelist Rowen reinvigorates familiar elements… short chapters rife with references to the music scene and pop culture…. A quick-tempo novel that will strike a chord with women’s-fiction fans….fresh, poignant and funny.”–Kirkus Reviews

MaryRowen

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Rowen loves music and is a Boston area mom to teenagers. All of her novels focus on women of various ages growing up, or at least becoming comfortable with themselves. Her essays have been anthologized and/or published on multiple blogs. Mary grew up in the Massachusetts Merrimack Valley, is a graduate of Providence College, and has worked as a teacher, writer, salesperson, and political canvasser. She firmly believes that all of those jobs provide good preparation for an aspiring writer.

Please visit her blog at: http://www.maryrowen.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Rowen-Author/128709923953918

Twitter: @maryjrowen

 

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.

 

 

 

Kicking off the Age is Just a Number blog series

One thing all human beings have in common is the aging process, although some of us are more fortunate than others when it comes to how far the process takes us.

As much as most of us hope to live a long, happy, healthy life, it is common to struggle with getting older and the effect it has on so many aspects of our lives, from our outward appearance, to our health, to our physical stamina, to what milestones we are expected to have crossed, to the dreams we hope to make reality, and to our individual mortality. Some of us struggle with turning specific ages. My most difficult to date was turning forty and I wrote a post about it for the Women’s Fiction Writers blog. My post ties into my upcoming novel, How Do You Know?, which is about my main character’s struggles with her impending fortieth birthday as a single, never-been-married woman.

In anticipation of the release of the novel on December 2nd, I decided to host a series of blogs on aging, and I have some fabulous authors and bloggers lined up to share their feelings with respect to turning certain ages, including twenty-five, thirty, thirty-one, forty, fifty, and sixty. The Age is Just a Number series will begin in early November, but I have linked to my own post below on turning forty for the kick-off. Please give it a read.

http://womensfictionwriters.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/guest-post-an-author-fearing-forty-by-meredith-schorr/

Please stay tuned for the wonderful and often humorous posts to follow and check out the Goodreads page for How Do You Know?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23365751-how-do-you-know?ac=1

Finally, I wanted to share some pictures from my book signing in Port Washington this weekend at the Dolphin Bookstore and Cafe, along with two other Booktrope authors, Hilary Grossman (Dangled Carat) and Jennifer Gracen (Seasons of Love Series). We had a blast!

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COMING SOON:

HOW DO YOU KNOW?

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 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. 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.

Meredith Schorr, best-selling author of light women’s fiction, digs deep in her newest novel and raises the age old issue of the ‘proverbial clock’ that haunts many women, in a way that is refreshing and sassy no matter your age or relationship status.

The Cat is out of the Bag – title/blurb/cover reveal

The time has finally arrived for me to share the title, cover, and blurb for my fourth novel and I couldn’t be more excited.

Title: How Do You Know?

Genre: Women’s Fiction—-

This is the first book in my new series: Seeking Happily Ever After. Each novel will feature a different character and stand on its own.

Blurb:

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.

Although How Do You Know? shares the humor and sass of my previous novels, it tackles deeper issues as well. I am a life-long devotee to the genre of chick lit and will continue to do my part to keep the genre alive and kicking, but I had a wonderful time delving into uncharted territory in my first women’s fiction novel.  I hold this book very dear to my heart and hope it resonates with a wide audience.

The novel is officially being released on December 2nd.

Please remember to add it to your Goodreads “To-Read” Shelf 🙂

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23365751-how-do-you-know

HDYKcover

Why haven’t I blogged? Mystery solved.

My goal is to write a blog a week. I’m not so strict that I need to post a blog every seven days, but I like to have one blog posted for every Sunday-Saturday week. Although I don’t usually have difficulty sticking to this schedule, when I visited my blog earlier today, I saw that my last post was September 22nd—sixteen days ago. I pride myself for taking responsibility for my shortcomings and so I am not going to simply write a new blog and hope no one noticed how long it’s been since my last one. I am going to own my absence on meredithschorr.com and try to get to the bottom of this failing so that it doesn’t happen again. The best way to do this, in my inexperienced opinion, is to retrace my steps. What have I been doing over the last sixteen days to explain my failure to blog?

I’ve been busy working on the final details of my fourth novel, to be released in early December. Much of my time has been spent going over the cover art with my book manager and my cover artist, making final edits on the manuscript, sending it to my proofreader, and generally daydreaming about the release and how it’s going to be best-seller, skyrocket me to fame and fortune, and be made into a blockbuster movie.

When I haven’t been finalizing details of my fourth novel, I’ve been writing my fifth novel—the second book in the Blogger Girl series. The book is currently eighty-four pages and I aim to write at least one hundred by the time the fourth novel comes out. With almost two months to go, this goal seems to be within reach.

I’ve been enjoying the return of some of my favorite television shows, like Parenthood, The Black List, Castle, and The Mindy Project and forming an addiction to some new ones, like Forever and How to Get Away With Murder. I’m starting to give up on a few old favorites, like Revenge, looking forward to the return of The Following and Grimm and continuing to catch up on Orange is the New Black and The Good Wife.

I’ve been fearing, experiencing, and recovering from oral surgery to remove a blister on my cheek and busy with pre-op screening and other related doctor’s appointments. The surgery was yesterday and although my mouth is sore, I’m glad it is over. I have one last follow up appointment with my doctor on Monday and after that, I’m hoping for a nice long break from doctors, at least until 2015!

My day job has been crazy busy and I spend most of my day trying to stay one step ahead of my supervising attorney and clients so I do not get buried in work!

I’ve continued to miss my friend Alan who passed away and who is on my mind almost constantly.

Reading. I’ve read several books over the past week, including This is Where I Leave You (started out great, but I gave up after I was overcome with desire to strangle the main character), The Publicist One and Two (both fun, fast reads), Exactly Where They’d Fall (interesting and not what I expected) and The Infinite Sea (sequel to The Fifth Wave and pretty awesome).

Visiting family – I spent most of last weekend with my family to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. It’s difficult to write on an empty stomach and so I used the two hour bus ride in both directions to read.

So there you have it.  I couldn’t find the time to write a blog post because I was too busy with all of the above. I hope you’ll forgive me and I will try not to let it happen again 🙂

See you next week. Hopefully!