Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry have reportedly split, according to reports from People.com. The Oscar winner and her boyfriend began dating four years ago and have one child together- 2 year old daughter Nahla. There has been no report as to what caused the breakup, and Berry’s rep has yet to comment on the news.
Photo Credit: Dave Allocca/Startraks
Lance Armstrong is about to be a father again- for the fifth time! The cycling champion and cancer survivor, 38, posted via Twitter the happy news for him and his girlfriend Anna Hansen, and then confirmed the baby news to his hometown paper Austin American Statesman. Armstrong already has one child with Hansen, 10 month old Maxwell, and three with ex-wife Kristin: 8 ½ year old twins Isabelle and Grace, and 11 year old Luke.
Photo Credit: Leigh Vogel/WireImage
Time for another book giveaway! Lovely author Sarah Pekkanen has agreed to host a giveaway through Chick Lit Plus, and one lucky winner will receive a copy of her debut novel The Opposite of Me. To get entered, leave a message on this post, comment on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter (be sure to send me a message if you follow me on Twitter so I can enter you)! The winner will be announced on Friday, April 30th. Good luck!
We have a winner! Congratulations to Carleen McElroy! Please email me your mailing address at Samantha@chicklitplus.com. Thanks to everyone who entered.
Jacob Hunt isn’t the average teenager. Though he is seemingly quite smart- especially with forensics analysis, he is terrible at reading social cues and expressing emotions, causing him to be an outcast among his school. But Jacob suffers from Asperger’s syndrome- a form of autism. While he can function at a higher level than those with autism, it doesn’t help him make friends any easier. The only person who really seems to understand Jacob is his tutor- until she is found dead, and Jacob is the prime suspect. Suddenly, Jacob’s family- which includes his single struggling mother and younger teenage brother- are under the spotlight. Could Jacob really have committed murder?
House Rules is a gripping, suspenseful novel by best-selling author Jodi Picoult. By examining different character point of views, readers can get a deeper understanding of the murder mystery at play. The clues help lead the plot along, but are never too informative, so I kept trying to read faster to find out who was the real killer. I had tears in my eyes while reading what Jacob’s mother went through during her daily life- what she needed to do when Jacob has tantrums in public and how she was coping during the days he was in jail. The story is powerful until the end, and keeps you thinking about the characters long after you have finished.
Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been making up stories since I was a little kid, but I think the moment I realized I really wanted to do this was when I was thirteen and decided to write a novel. It was a dreadful, mawkish love story, but I found the experience extremely satisfying. From that point forward, writing became very important to me.
Q: You write both fiction and non-fiction. Why did you decide to write both?
Well, I actually didn’t decide to write fiction professionally for a long time. I wrote a novel right out of college, tried to get it published, and collected enough rejections to heat the house for a week. After that, I walked away from fiction for a long time – walked away from book-length writing completely for a period. I got on with my day job and then a nonfiction writing opportunity presented itself. This turned into a rather steady career. A couple of years ago, though, I realized that I really missed writing fiction. I felt that there were all kinds of things I wanted to say, especially about relationships between people, that I couldn’t ever address in my nonfiction. Fortunately, my fiction writing skills had been quietly improving in the background all these years. My first published novel, When You Went Away is just a tiny bit better than that novel I wrote in college (which will never come out of the trunk).
Q: What do you want readers to take away from your books?
What I’m hoping they get is some level of reflection. Each of my novels have come about because I wanted to do two things: I wanted to explore how people connect with one another and I wanted to ruminate on a particular thing. In When You Went Away, it was parenthood. In Crossing the Bridge it was family, specifically brothers. These are obviously tremendously common experiences, and I’m hoping the novels give people a reason to think about their own lives.
Q: I am about to start reading your third novel, The Journey Home. Where did the inspiration for these characters come from?
The inspiration for The Journey Home was particularly strong: my mother and father’s romance. They had been married for more than fifty years when my father died (I was born after they’d been married quite a while and I’m last in the birth order – more on that in another novel) and they were the most important people in each other’s lives for every one of those years. One of the important viewpoint characters in the novel is an elderly woman whose husband died five years earlier and who has decided to live in her head so she can re-live the time they had together. Some of this is the direct result of conversations I had with my mother after my father passed.
Q: What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I love creating and learning about the characters. I spend a great deal of time thinking about them and getting to know them. My goal is to be so familiar with them that I don’t have to think about how they would react when I’m in the middle of a scene, that it all just comes naturally to me. I also love writing dialogue. I have a tremendous amount of fun playing out the conversations in my head. One day, I’d like to write entire novella in dialogue.
Q: I read that you were previously a teacher. How were you able to break into the writing industry?
Lucky break, really. Someone needed a co-author for a book and I happened to have the right skillset for the job. I connected with that person’s agent and things have been very steady since.
Q: If you were stranded on an island and had to have on celebrity with you, who would choose and why?
That’s a huge challenge for me. If you were going to spend a huge amount of time with another person, you’d want that person to be genuinely interesting rather than simply a personality. I admire many celebrities for their craft, but I’m not sure they’d be all that much fun to hang out with once we got past the starstruck stage. I’d probably say Bruce Springsteen because I not only love his work, but I admire his passion and the causes he supports. I would imagine we’d have a number of fascinating conversations, though I doubt I’d be able to hold up my end of them.
Q: What is your best advice for aspiring writers?
Write what you love and write it as passionately and honestly as you possibly can. Also, never do it because you think you’re going to be a star. If that happens, great, but it’s unlikely to happen if this is your only reason for doing it.
Q: Where would be your dream vacation?
It would be a week each in all of the dining capitals of the world. And since we’re taking “dream,” I’d get to eat like a true gourmand and not gain a single pound.
I have written before on teeth whitening, and covered ideas such as whitening strips and dentist visits to get your pearly whites even more, well pearlier. But the May edition of Prevention magazine says you don’t need expensive bleaches or UV lasers to get the desirable white teeth. You can follow two simple tricks to make your teeth look even whiter than they might be. The first tip: Avoid gold necklaces and earrings. The tone can pick up and enhance the yellow on your teeth. And the second tip: Wear lipstick with a blue undertone, such as a berry color. These colors will counteract any of the yellow. Even better? Clinique has 12 shades of lipsticks that are proven to whiten by at least one shade. Check out your best color of Clinique’s Brighter Smile Lip Colour Collections!
Sandra Bullock has officially filed for a divorce, ending her five year marriage to Jesse James. People.com exclusively broke the relationship news, and also reported the actress has adopted a 3 ½ year old son, Louis.
Louis Bardo Bullock was born in New Orleans, and Bullock and James began the adoption process four years ago. They brought Louis home in January, but had decided to keep their baby news a secret until after the Oscars- until Jesse James’ affair allegations were reported. Bullock has confirmed to People.com that she is finishing up the adoption paperwork as a single parent.
Jesse James has released a statement through People.com on Sandra’s decision to file the divorce. “My whole life has been full of hard decisions.”
“The decision to let my wife end our marriage, and continue the adoption of Louis on her own, has been the hardest. The love I have for Louis cannot be put to words. Not having him around to love and to hold has left a huge hole in my heart.
“Sandy is the love of my life, but considering the pain and devastation I have caused her, it would be selfish to not let her go. Right now it is time for me to beat this addiction that has taken two of the things I love the most in life.
“I have always taken great pride in proving people wrong. That time has come once again to show that I am not what everyone says I am. I know in my heart that I can be the best father possible to my four children, and the mate Sandy deserves, and realize that this is an incredible mountain to climb. But I believe that the steps I have taken in the last 30 days are the foundation for making this happen. The lifelong commitment I am making is what being a real husband and father is all about.
“I ask that you please do not judge Sandy for the things I have done. She has done no wrong. She played no part in any of this. She has been an amazing wife, mother, and best friend, for the over 6 years we have been together.”
Photo Credit: People.com
Matt Damon and wife Luciana are expecting! The actor’s rep confirmed the baby news to Usmagazine, saying, “everyone is excited.” Damon, 39, and Luciana, 34, have two children together Isabella, 3, and Gia, 21 months. Luciana also has an 11 year old daughter, Alexia, from a previous marriage.
Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
I’m a little late posting this, but some of you still have time! Bestselling author Emily Giffin is teaming up with Irene Zutell for a fabulous giveaway! Buy Irene Zutell’s Pieces of Happily Ever After and send your receipt to Emily Giffin, along with which of Giffin’s first four books you want, and get a signed copy of that book! So that’s 2 books for the price of one! It’s for today, April 28th, only so head over to Amazon.com and get your copy of Pieces of Happily Ever After.
One of my favorite exercise routines is the most basic- walking! Usually I make it on the treadmill three times a week, walking at a brisk pace at a steep incline. Even though I am “just” walking, the pace and the incline are giving me a great cardio workout. Shape.com has a great walking workout plan, that includes two different workouts, a 30 min quick blast and a 60 min fat torcher that you can alternate between. Check out both workouts here and get walking!
Photo Credit: Shape.com