Randi will be on tour in July/August with her women’s fiction novel Paula Takes a Risk. Print and PDF copies will be available worldwide. Please use the sign up form below if you would like to be in the tour. Randi will also be available for guest posts or interviews, and book excerpts can be provided. I will contact everyone chosen to participate. Thank you!
We all hope for a dream life. However, most of us are afraid or overwhelmed to make changes necessary to have a beautiful dream life. This is the reality for the lead character in PAULA TAKES A RISK by first time author Randi Sherman.
The Happiness Project follows Gretchen Rubin as she dives into making her life an actively “happier” place to be. Rubin is not an unhappy woman: she has a loving husband, two healthy kiddos, a thriving writing career in New York City, family nearby, and financial success. Yet, one day, whilst on a city bus, Rubin discovers that she spends most of her days just going through the motions, never doing the things that she really wants to … and decides that she could be happier. This train of thought leads her down a path that spawns the idea for The Happiness Project. In one year, she will spend each month focusing on different tasks that she believes will lead her to a more fulfilled and overall happier life, and in doing so, she becomes a more internally fulfilled and happier.
I honestly loved The Happiness Project. At first, I was hesitant because I honestly loathe most self-help books, but this one is very, very different. Rubin takes the genre and spins it on its head, creating a fresh, well-researched, in depth look at the steps she takes toward the pursuit her happiness. A refreshingly honest portrayal of a woman pursuing change. Overall, a fantastic read that will leave you thinking about ways to incorporate some of her tips into your own life.
Seventeen year old, Armani Radnelaq a full blooded BaSatai is plagued by a curse in her blood. A curse created from hate and designed to break the divide between two parallel worlds of Earth and H-trae when Armani’s blood is spilled in attack and she dies.
S’teuqoubs have been travelling back and forth across the divide for centuries without trouble. The BaSatai and Guardians monitoring activity and enforcing rules to ensure peace and harmony but if the divide splits and opens, a much greater number of supernatural S’teuqoubs will filter into earth destroying equilibrium which the BaSatai and Guardians will be unable to control. Humanity and the BaSatai will suffer and perish. The parallel divide must remain secure at all costs.
Armani has remained hidden on earth with her adopted father Elijah since her birth. She has been raised in the human way and fights her natural instinct to evolve into a BaSatai. The BaSatai in her requires her to evovle and shift, use her powers and strength. Yet Armani is freaked out by the need to shift. She smokes, has a bad attitude, must deal with aggressive bullies and control her natural BaSatai instinct. Her Guardian with BaSatai Warriors are coming for her. She refuses to accept her fate and doesn’t believe any BaSatai should die to protect her.
The blood curse maturing in her veins makes her a target for her enemies. Her Guardian Karhl and an elite BasSatai Warrior Rafael are the first to arrive and prepare her for her crossing over. Her attraction to Rafael complicates her purpose to stay on earth even more. They both insist she fall into line and follow their lead but she is not ready to leave earth just yet…
Please visit CLP Blog Tours for the full tour schedule! **Anyone who purchases their copy of BaSatai: Outside In before June 25 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five entries into the BaSatai giveaway! You can win: 1) a $30 Amazon gift card 2) a $25 JC Penny’s gift card, or 3) 5 winners will receive an eBook copy of BaSatai: Outside In.**
In Samantha’s Mailbox:
Author: Trisha Ashley
Received: Unsolicited, Harper Collins UK
Synopsis: When Tansy Poole inherits a run-down shoe shop tucked away in the village of Sticklepond, ‘Cinderella’s Slippers’ is born — providing the footwear to make any fairytale wedding come true! Carrying everything a bride would want to walk down the aisle in, Tansy’s shop soon expands to carry shoe-themed wedding favours, bridesmaid gifts and even delicious chocolate shoes. It’s the dream destination for any shoe-lover! If only everything in her personal life could be as heavenly — but with a fiance trying to make her fit into a size 8 wedding dress, not to mention the recent discovery of disturbing family revelations, Tansy takes refuge in the shop’s success. But one man isn’t thrilled by the stream of customers hot-footing it to Cinderella’s Slippers! Actor Ivo Hawksley, resident of the cottage next to the shop, is troubled by a dark secret in his past and has come to Sticklepond to nurse his own broken heart. However, Ivo realises that he and Tansy have a link in their past and soon, they both find out how secrets shared can make a very strong bond indeed! Forget the Jimmy Choos, Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues is the only accessory you need for spring 2012!
In Sara’s Mailbox:
Author: Alison Lucy
Received: Emily @ Constable & Robinson
Synopsis: One heady summer. Three big secrets.
1989: Newlyweds Danny and Harriet arrive at their honeymoon paradise in the Caribbean. Days later Harriet returns home. Danny is left distraught but finds comfort in the arms of two women. Nine months later, three baby girls are born…
2010: Megan leaves her childhood sweetheart behind in the UK to go in search of her long-lost father. Miles from home and temptation is at every corner – not least in the arms of the gorgeous Ray…
Esmé, a Mexican beauty, married Miguel at fifteen. In unlocking the secrets of her past, can she shed the shackles of her enforced marriage?
Claudia has led a life of privilege but she’s never really known what it feels like to be loved. Could David be the answer? Or will he disappoint her, just like her mother always did?
Three women set off on an adventure to uncover the secrets surrounding their missing father. It may be the only way to lay their demons to rest but seeking out the truth could tear their lives apart.
Title: Confessions of a Cake Addict
Author: Emma Kaufmann
Received: Emma Kaufmann
Synopsis: Londoner Kate Pickles has hit rock bottom. She’s funny, kind, and talented but totally unaware about all the great things she has going for her. Day in and day out, she sits back and whines to her sister Laurie in Sydney, Australia, as her boss walks all over her and her best friend Eva bags the hot guys while Kate ends up dating whack jobs and comfort eating cake. Pouring out her heart to Laurie in a series of letters and emails, Kate longs for her sister to confirm she really is the loser in love she fears she is.
Abruptly, Kate’s life is turned upside down when, on a trip to Vienna with her glamorous pal, Eva, Kate falls for a sexy Austrian and gets sucked into making a Bollywood film.
Kathleen will be on tour in August with her women’s fiction novel Fatty Patty. Please use the sign up form below if you would like to be included. An eBook copy can be provided if you would to host a review, or Kathleen would also be available for a guest post or interview, and book excerpts can be provided. I will contact everyone chosen to participate. Thank you!
Brand New School Year, Brand New Body, Brand New Me!
Small towns, long memories. Everyone in the exclusive summer resort of James Bay, Michigan remembers FATTY PATTY, the chubby little girl with the round face and wild red curls. All grown up now, Patty Perreault teaches at the same elementary school where the painful playground memories still taunt her. She hasn’t forgotten the cruel nickname—plus she still hasn’t lost those extra pounds. Convinced her weight is the biggest reason why she’s a four time loser in the semi-finals for Teacher of the Year, Patty resolves to make some changes in her body and her life.
Sam Curtis, an overweight accountant she meets at the community pool, swims into Patty’s life with romance on his mind. But as their friendship grows, Patty finds it hard to see beyond his extra pounds. She’s torn as Sam refuses to deal with his own overweight issues. Her heart tells her one thing, but her eyes see another. She’s not interested in an overweight boyfriend. When it comes to winning the Grand Prize in life and love, Patty has some hard lessons to learn. Will she be able to confront her fears about the kind of woman she yearns to be? Will she be able to put down the fork and give her heart a try?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KATHLEEN IRENE PATERKA is a brand new voice in Women’s Fiction. She lives in Northern Michigan with her husband, where she’s busy working on her next book for ‘A James Bay Novel” series.
**Kathleen’s tour is now full. Thank you to everyone who signed up!**
Letting Characters Go
I love characters from my favorite TV shows, movies, and books, so I definitely fell in love with my own characters from my debut novel, True Love Way. I spent over two years with these characters, thinking about them, writing dialogue for them, and developing them. It was much more time than I had ever invested in characters from other works because there was one key difference. The characters in my novel are mine. It seemed like I would never be apart from them, since the writing and editing process was long and arduous. But when the day finally came to turn in my final version of my manuscript, I thought I was ready. I wanted to finally be through with two year’s work. I wanted to share these characters and their story with readers. However, I soon found myself thinking, so, that’s it? They’re gone? I didn’t have to create scenes for them anymore or come up with their lines or their personality traits. And to be honest, I was sad. I was also relieved, happy, excited, nervous, and the list goes on. It was a mix of emotions. I adore these characters, especially since they are in my first novel. They are the first group of characters that I brought to life in a full, complete published work.
The best way to move on from one book is to jump right into the next one, right? Wrong. For me, anyway. I tried to get started on my next book immediately after I turned in my final draft of True Love Way. I even wrote thirty five thousand words of a young adult novel while I was in the midst of trying to get True Love Way published. But something just wasn’t quite right. I wasn’t connecting with the new characters because I was still too focused on the characters from True Love Way. I hadn’t actually let them go, even though I was sure I had. It was just too soon. And I think part of me didn’t want to let them go. I wondered if I would find the right mix of characters ever again. I was letting doubt take over. But eventually, in time, I was ready to create again. I cleared my head and to my surprise, when I wasn’t searching for new characters or forcing them, they found me. I’m getting to know a new group and loving them. It’s an exciting journey again, and I can’t wait to see where these new characters go and where the story takes them. I realized that sending characters on their way so they can entertain readers is actually a wonderful part of the publishing process. Hopefully, readers will love them like I do. And who knows? Maybe I’ll revisit the True Love Way characters someday to write a sequel.
Nancy Scrofano is the author of True Love Way and writes book reviews for a prestigious book review magazine. Additionally, she is the founder and managing editor of The Chick Lit Bee, a book blog that promotes and celebrates women’s fiction. Nancy is at work on her next novel. For more information, please visit http://www.nancyscrofano.com.
At the age of 40, Pippin picks up her life and moves to the exclusive community of Dover, Massachusetts, shortly following the divorce from her husband who was having an affair. Upon arrival, she realizes that she is in uncharted territory- in a new town filled with Thin Rich Bitches (literally). Pippin finds a job with a local architect, where she renovates kitchens for the wealthy women of Dover who treat her like hired help. Fed up and irritated, Pippin creates a business plan that caters to the dogs of the rich, and successfully beats them at their own game.
Janet Eve Josselyn successfully creates a witty and charming main character in Pippin that the reader will absolutely fall in love with. In general, I have found that most authors try to write comedy into their books, but most of the time it just comes across as tired and overwhelming, but Josselyn writes humor effortlessly and it never feels like she tried too hard. And, although this book is humorous, the story never falls flat (like other comedies do). Overall, this book is very entertaining and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a humorous beach read.
From Sarah Pekkanen’s debut novel, The Opposite of Me, I knew the women’s fiction world had gained a truly talented author. Not at all disappointed by her sophomore book Skipping a Beat, I was thrilled when offered the chance to review These Girls. Once again – immaculate story-telling, a build-up of memorable characters and situations, and another novel to add to my Favorites list.
The story follows the lives of three very different women. First there is Cate, newly promoted features editor for the lifestyle magazine Gloss. She fears that she may have gotten the job for the wrong reason, a reason that makes her think about a secret she is hiding from her past. Then there is her roommate Renee, who is desperate to get promoted to beauty editor at Gloss. She thinks if she is skinnier she might get the job over her competition, so she starts taking extreme risks to lose the weight. She also has her eye on the delicious Trey, who seems to have his eye on Cate…Rounding on the threesome is Abby, Trey’s sister. Abby fled to be by her brother when her personal life spirals out of control after she falls for the father of the little girl she nannies – who is very much married. Renee and Cate take Abby in, and the girls all form a bond that helps one another through their obstacles.
I thought These Girls had a little bit of everything – romance, love, heartbreak and scandal. It also had some fun chick lit ties in there with Gloss being a focus, and the focal point of the female friendship was really spot on. I loved the little dramas each girl was dealing. Abby’s story was particularly sticky for me, falling in love with a married man and the reason her parents have always been so cold to her was chilling – no pun intended. Pekkanen really hit another home run with her latest. I can’t wait to read what she has next for us!
Design Intervention starts the second season with its own surprise makeover. Interior designer Victoria Bryce must break in her temporary co-host, Aussie Russ Rowland. Victoria, former socialite wild child hopes the reality show will give her the clout to launch her own design line without her family connections. Russ, former bad boy Australian TV star is using the show to launch his acting career in the States. Sparks fly on camera as they argue over paint colors and measurement mishaps leading to passions igniting behind the scenes. But when their pasts collide with the present will the foundation they built withstand the final reveal?
Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops!
Liz Matis is a mild manner accountant by day and by night a writer of fun, flirty, and fiery romps! She is a Kindle Best Seller and winner of the NECRWA First Kiss Contest. Married 26 years and counting she believes in happy ever afters.
Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, ever since I was a kid, when one of my favorite things to do was to sit in my bedroom and write books on three-ring binder paper. A few years ago, my niece borrowed one of my old Nancy Drew books and discovered a letter tucked inside – I’d written it on Raggedy Ann stationery (oh so professional!) and it was addressed to a publisher, asking when my book, titled, “Miscellaneous Tales and Poems” would be in stores. Now I carry that faded old letter with me every time I go to New York to meet with my publisher, as a reminder that dreams really do come true.
Q: Your debut novel, The Opposite of Me, was a hit! Where did the inspiration for Lindsey’s story come from?
Thank you! I’ve always been intrigued by the complex relationships my friends have with their sisters – and I always wanted a sister of my own. Since my parents didn’t cooperate (though they gave me two terrific brothers) I imagined what it would be like to be a sister – a twin, no less – and I tried to make the relationship of my main characters, Lindsey and Alex, as juicy and competitive and loving and tangled as possible. I’ve heard about twins who are so close that they create their own language, and can feel each other’s pain from miles away – but I wondered what would happen to twins who were completely different. What if two sisters had nothing in common, but were constantly being compared? How would that shape their relationship?
Q: Do you plan on writing another novel continuing the story of these two sisters?
I don’t have plans for a sequel at the moment, but definitely wouldn’t rule one out! My second book, which is scheduled to be published next spring, tells the story of a 32-year-old woman named Julia Dunhill who discovers her husband has woken from a dramatic and sudden medical trauma as a completely transformed man. It’s similar in voice and genre to The Opposite of Me, so I hope readers who liked my first book will enjoy it every bit as much.
Q: You had the opportunity to work with Jennifer Weiner when your book was set to be released. How great was it having her to help promote your work, and how flattered were you that you had her on your side?
Oh, my gosh, it was beyond any story I could ever dream up! Jen Weiner is simply the most amazing, generous woman in publishing. Perhaps even in the world! We have the same editor, and Jen read an early copy of my manuscript – then she endorsed it in an incredible way. She actually gave away hundreds of copies of her books to people who pre-ordered The Opposite of Me a week before it was published. I’ve never even met Jen in person, but she sponsored this huge giveaway – which prompted USAToday to interview me – because she remembered what it was like to be a debut author (excited and anxious and overjoyed!) and she wanted to help out another female author. I’m in awe of her kindness and I can only hope to pay it forward some day. And I’m dying to meet her in person, even though I’m such a fangirl I’m sure I’ll embarrass myself by getting all weepy, or I’ll spill a drink on her in my excitement.
Q: How were you able to break into the writing industry?
I didn’t have any real connections, so I just wrote my book, then I wandered around bookstores reading the acknowledgement sections of books I liked to find out the names of agents (authors usually thank their agents in the acknowledgements section – and if they don’t, you probably don’t want that agent). I complied a list of names, came home and Googled the agents to get their addresses, then sent off a one-page query letter which described my book to the agents. Most agents have public websites that tell you, step by step, how to submit a query letter for a book. They’re not in hiding; they really want to discover new writers and if you write a good query letter, you’ll get a good response.
Q: What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Book titles! I’m not kidding – I am horrible at coming up with titles for my novels. I turned in my latest one and actually called it “Book 4.” My editor usually spends hours coming up with titles for my books – she picked them for my first three novels – because I seem to have a mental block about it! But I never get blocked when I write. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think that I need to fill 300 pages, and I get a little scared about whether I’ll pull it off, but putting down words on the page has never been a problem for me. Maybe that’s because I worked as a journalist for almost a decade, and I learned to write on deadline.
Q: I saw on your website that you have a humiliating story of how you got a literary agent. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to open the page, but I am quite curious to hear this story! Can you give us a little background?
One author I admire is Karin Slaughter, and in her book she thanked her agent Victoria Sanders. So, I sent a query letter to Victoria and a week or so later, she emailed me back and requested my manuscript. Then I thought, “I’d just better check out this Victoria Sanders.” So I wrote a note to Karin via the address on her website, introducing myself and asking if Victoria still represented her. Literally two minutes later, I got an email back that began, “This is Victoria Sanders. I check Karin’s email when she is on her European tour….” I literally froze and even stopped breathing, but thankfully the next line said, “Don’t worry, I’m checking you out, too!” I ended up signing with Victoria – and we still laugh about it!
Q: How long did it take you to write The Opposite of Me?
Nine months – but I had long stretches of time because my two older kids were in elementary school. Now I have a baby, and the writing is coming more slowly because my schedule is so much busier! Still, I squeeze it in whenever I can.
Q: You now have three books out. How would you describe your novels?
All of my books have a common theme: they focus on the important relationships in a woman’s life. My first book was about sisterhood, my second about marriage, and my third about friendship. I’m fascinated by female relationships, and find them so textured and complicated and lovely. Most people call my books beach reads. I try to wrap important messages, like the power of friendship and how friends can become the family we never had, into books that are compulsively readable.
Q: What are your favorite genres to read?
I read much more fiction than non-fiction, and other than commercial women’s fiction, I devour thrillers. I love the pacing and tension in thriller, and I try to learn from the techniques displayed by great thriller writers so I can infuse my own pages with that sense of urgency.
Q: What do you want readers to take away from your story?
I’d love it if readers turned the final page of These Girls, then felt like reaching out to the women in their lives because they felt a sense of appreciation for their friends.
Q: Where would your dream vacation be?
Any place that can provide a sunny beach, an unending stream of fruity frozen drinks with little umbrellas, a stack of books, and David Beckham to rub oil into my back! My husband can come along, but he is not allowed to complain about David Beckham. If he does, he’ll be sent back home (the husband, not the Beckham).
Q: Can you give us the scoop on your third novel, THESE GIRLS?
Sure – THESE GIRLS is the story of Cate, Renee, and Abby, who have come to New York for very different reasons. In a bustling city of millions, they are linked together through circumstance and chance. Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated. Cate’s roommate Renee will do anything to nab the plum job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills—despite the racing heartbeat and trembling hands that signal she’s heading for real danger. Then there’s Abby, whom they take in as a third roommate. Once a joyful graduate student working as a nanny part time, she abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. No one knows what shattered Abby – or why she left everything she once loved behind.
At first, I was a bit nervous to put myself into the heads of three very different characters, and let each of them narrate different chapters of These Girls. So I plotted out this novel carefully before writing a single word. I bought index cards in different colors – yellow for Renee, rose-colored for Cate, and blue for Abby, because for me, each of those colors conjured up something essential I wanted to convey for my characters. I detailed my scenes on the cards before spreading them out on my dining room table. By the time my table was completely covered, I had the bones of my book in place, and I felt a lot more confident about writing!
Q: How important do you think social media is for authors these days?
Incredibly important – and getting more so all the time. We’re seeing newspapers and magazines fold these days, and it’s harder and harder to get the word out about books, especially for new authors. Bloggers have stepped into that breach and helped support the publishing industry in a huge way – simply because bloggers adore books and get excited about discovering new authors. Facebook and twitter also let authors interact directly with readers, which is always fun. I personally love it when I go on Facebook, which I do every day, and readers help me name a character or weigh in on which author photo I should use. If you haven’t already found me on Facebook, please do so!
Q: What is your advice to aspiring writers?
Write one page a day. You’ll finish your book in a year! Sometimes it’s hard to write because the self-doubt sets in – the voices in our heads can be really cruel, can’t they? – but the main thing is to get those raw words down on the page. Once you’ve got a draft, you can reshape it into something special – but just getting the words down in the first place is the key.