My second (virtual) child has turned one! Right before Christmas last year, I was giving myself a wonderful gift in publishing my second title, 14 months after the first. It was such a great feeling because after publishing Destined to Fail, the questions were constantly asked: “When’s the next book coming? Are you writing a second book? How much longer until we can read something from you again?” So. Much. Pressure. I learned a lot about publishing in general from the first book, and it was much smoother the second time around – I had formatters and my cover designer lined up well in advance, I had a marketing plan in place, and I now had readers who actually wanted to read my next book. Quite amazing. So a year has passed and I’ve been so thankful for all the reviews, tweets, emails, and comments on The Green Ticket. I’m happy to be celebrating this occasion on your blog, and the support you and so many others have given me not only with this book, but my first, my upcoming third, and Chick Lit Plus and Marching Ink in general is so incredible. Thank you!
College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty – manager to a successful salon and spa. Thrilled to finally have a real adult job, Alex enthusiastically jumps into the world of schedules, conference calls, and getting a massage when interviewing prospective employees. What she doesn’t expect are the very grown-up issues that comes with a demanding boss. Kevin Dohlman quickly becomes Alex’s worse nightmare – covering up his affairs, dealing with his enormous ego, and trying to protect her female staff from him becomes a full-time job in its own right. Alex has also befriended Kevin’s wife and co-owner, Dani, and is trying to keep Kevin’s secrets hidden from her. The situation only worsens when Kevin starts paying Alex off to make sure she keeps her insider knowledge to herself.
While struggling to keep her wits and stay happy with her new grown-up job, Alex is juggling college courses, a new love interest, and keeping up with her close group of girlfriends. When her roommate and best friend Lila gets offered an opportunity to move to Los Angeles and sign with an agent, Alex realizes her life truly is changing, and everyone around her – including herself –– is growing up. Knowing she is faced with some hard decisions ahead, Alex struggles with keeping her job at Blissful. But does she really want to throw away what she dreamed of as a career – or will the secret-keeping for Kevin become too much to handle? The Green Ticket is a story about morals versus money, and how one young woman navigates the shaky line between the two.
Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and has two published novels – Destined to Fail and The Green Ticket. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers.
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Merry Chick Lit Celebrate the Season with Six Sassy Shorts
In the spirit of giving, six chick-lit authors “present” a charming collection of seasonal shorts sure to inspire holiday cheer-plus love and hope throughout the year, with all proceeds donated to Rocking the Road for a Cure! Featured authors & stories include:
In “Santa’s Gift,” journalist Jessica thinks Santa’s just a silly myth for children, so when he asks what she most wants for Christmas she tells him the one thing she knows he can’t deliver–true love. Or can he…?
In “The Christmas Lights,” one competition pits two families against each other…who will win this war?
Pretty Izzy knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: hunky sales manager Jake Harrington wrapped up with a shiny silver bow–and nothing else. Except Santa may have other plans in “Carol of the Belles.”
Nikki Mahood In “Spinster Christmas,” Cara’s looking forward to spending Christmas alone until she learns her old–and she believes very gay–crush needs a place to stay. Though it soon becomes clear that while still hot, Ronan isn’t gay after all…
Ella’s dreams of making a better life for her and her daughter seem further away than ever in “Iced Dreams.” But as Christmas approaches, and she wishes for a fairy godmother to wave a magic wand to fix her life, things begin to change in ways she never imagined!
In “The Mermaid,” Allie’s content to spend Christmas by herself at a vacant beach house to make good on a promise made to her true love lost, Jeff. Until Jeff’s gorgeous college roommate Tim crashes in on her with his own promise to keep…
Information on the charity:
Rocking the Road for a Cure
Rocking The Road For A Cure is tickled PINK to be selected as the recipient of proceeds from your purchase of Merry Chick Lit.
We are a growing 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the New York City/Long Island area, dedicated to improving the quality of life of people undergoing the often energy-depleting and emotionally draining treatments for breast cancer.
Our name came from our founder and President, Dawn Frey, a musician, who learned through personal experience that “it takes a village” to get through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and not every individual has the support network they need. Rocking The Road For A Cure provides free, in-home housekeeping, health and wellness services to restore strength and confidence, and to rebuild spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.
So, when you settle back and relax to enjoy reading Merry Chick Lit, please know that you have helped us help a breast cancer patient to also settle back and relax…and heal.
Rocking The Road For A Cure http://www.rockingtheroadforacure.org
The Green Ticket is turning one! To celebrate the big day – December 3 – I am offering up a week of fun! During the week of December 2, I am looking for bloggers to host me and the book. I can write guest posts, answer interview questions, or even just a birthday announcement or giveaway post will be much appreciated. If you would like to review the book, an eBook copy can be sent to you for that. A giveaway will be going on all week, with the winner scoring the following prizes: The Green Ticket ink pen, Marching Ink post-it notes, Marching Ink stress ball, and a print copy of Marching Ink’s latest release, Zoey & The Moment of Zen by Cat Lavoie! If you would like to review the book, host me, post about the book’s birthday or even just the giveaway, please fill out the form below! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me, my books, and Marching Ink throughout the years. It is much appreciated!
CLP is excited to share the cover today for Hard Hats and Doormats by debut author Laura Chapman! Look for the book to be released by Marching Ink in December!
Lexi Burke has always been a stickler for following rules and procedures. As a human resources manager for a leading Gulf Coast chemical company, it’s her job to make sure everyone else falls in line, too.
But after losing out on a big promotion––because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol.
While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders.
Who says nice girls have to finish last?
To celebrate the cover reveal for her debut novel, author Laura Chapman is sharing behind-the-scenes tidbits about the making of Hard Hats and Doormats with her “Hard Hat Confessions.” Visit http://change-the-word.blogspot.com/2013/11/hardhatsanddoormatscover.html to read the confessions.
Laura Chapman found a way to mix her love of romance and humor as a women’s fiction author and blogger. A 2008 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Laura studied journalism, English and history. She traveled across the United States as a writer/photographer before settling into a career in communications. She also maintains Change the Word, a blog devoted to promoting women’s fiction and documenting her experiences as a writer. Born and raised in Nebraska – in a city, not on a farm – she is a devoted fan of football, British period drama, writing in bars and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Hard Hats and Doormats is her debut novel.
Connect with Laura
Thank to Miranda Dickinson for taking the time to answer some questions for CLP today!
I wanted to write stories from around the age of five. I remember asking my Mum if she thought that my local library would put one of my stories on their shelves if it was made into a book! I wrote all through my childhood and teenage years and even when I stopped writing in my twenties, stories were always there at the back of my mind. I started writing seriously when I turned thirty, although by then very few people knew that I wrote.
How would you describe your books?
I think my books are essentially comedies with a positive message, showing true to life characters who have real jobs, face real problems and learn about their own strengths through the story. I hope they will make you laugh, sometimes make you cry and leave you with something to think about.
Why was Take A Look At Me Now a book you wanted to write?
I wanted to write about someone who doesn’t let life get her down. So many people are feeling uncertain about life right now – money is tight, jobs are shaky and it can be difficult to feel positive about the future. I wanted to show that the end of a job could actually be the start of a whole new chapter of someone’s life. That’s what happened for me. Six years ago I had just lost my job when my unpublished novel was discovered by my publisher on an online writing website. I didn’t know it then, but losing my job was actually the best thing that happened to me, because it made me consider that I could one day earn a living from the stories I had been writing for fun.
Editing! I love the creative bit of writing a first draft as a novel, mainly because I can get lost in the story and only I can see it. As soon as I begin to edit the book other people’s opinions are taken into consideration and it becomes a little like those tile games where you push around pieces until you find a complete picture. It’s absolutely necessary but can sometimes feel like surgery!
What are your favourite genres to read?
I love comedy, especially crazy comedy like Sir Terry Pratchett’s novels, thrillers for their fast pace and books that have an other-worldly quality to them, such as novels by Neil Gaiman and Sarah Addison Allen. I actually don’t read a lot of romantic comedy because it feels a bit like work!
What do you want readers to take away from your story?
That anything is possible. And that often what you think is the worst thing can be a gateway to something better than you could imagine. I also hope my readers fall in love with San Francisco through Nell’s eyes.
How important do you think social media is for authors these days?
I think it’s very important, but I think authors need to find a sense of fun doing it or else it can become a huge pressure. I have so much fun with social media and I’m fascinated by how much collaboration between author and reader it can encourage. For Take A Look At Me Now, I ran a series of #getinvolved questions, asking my followers on Twitter and Facebook to name characters and businesses, choose items for a character’s apartment and even invent recipes for an after-school baking club. Every suggestion I used as I was writing the book earned the followers a mention in my book acknowledgements – and it was so much fun to share the writing process with people who would eventually read the book.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers?
If you’re writing, don’t call yourself an ‘aspiring writer’! Aspiring writers are those annoying people who tell you that one day they will write a Booker Prize-winning novel, but who never even start… Write the stories you want to write, believe that you have stories other people will want to read and never, ever give up. Take advice and learn from other people, but keep the joy of writing at the centre of everything you do. And don’t listen to the doomsayers who tell you how impossible it is to be published. It happened for me, so it can happen for you!
Thanks to Renee Rosen, author of Dollface, for answering questions on CLP today!
I love the Roaring Twenties and am thrilled that there’s a renewed interest in this decade. It’s one of my favorite time periods and I just knew there was a story waiting to come out of this era.
What research did you have to do for the book to make sure it had that authentic feel of the 1920’s?
I spent about 10 years doing research for Dollface. I read through old newspapers and magazine from the ‘20s and from there, I dug down a bit deeper. Being from Chicago, I had the luxury of visiting many of the historical sites that I used in the book including, The Green Mill, the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the bullet holes still visible in the cornerstone of Holy Name Cathedral and other landmarks. Also, since part of the story takes place at the Union Stock Yards, I toured the last remaining slaughterhouse. I also met with anyone and everyone I could find who had a connection to Capone or members of the North Side Gang and was surprised by how many people still observed “omerta”. Once I started asking questions, they came down with a case of “Chicago Amnesia” and refused to talk to me. I was however fortunate enough to have lunch with Al Capone’s great niece. As you can see, I could go on and on about the research!
Why did you choose the 1920’s? Do you think you will visit them again in future novels?
I think a story like Dollface could have only taken place in the 20s and in Chicago. The premise of Vera, the main character, being torn between two men who belonged to rival gangs seemed organic to the times. I don’t think that dynamic would have worked if I’d set the story in another era.
Obviously I love the 20s and would love to do another novel set in that time period though nothing concrete is planned for that yet. My next novel, What The Lady Wants, takes place a little earlier, late 1800s to early 1900s.
Getting started and then letting go. In the beginning, in those first few chapters, you’re laying the cornerstone for your novel and for me that’s the trickiest writing. You need to control every word, every sentence to make sure you’ve laid the foundation for the rest of the story to unfold. You can’t reveal too much or too little. And then, once you get your story down and you’ve done your revising, there comes a time when you have to let it go and for me that’s oh so difficult. I know I’ll miss my characters. I’ll know that there are still scenes and sentences that I could have done better. But there’s comes a point where you have to let your baby go and make its way in the world.
How important do you think social media is for authors these days?
I think social media is an incredible tool for authors who want to interact with their readers and bring them into their process. One thing I will say is that social media is just that—‘social’. I don’t think Twitter and Facebook are effective or even appropriate avenues to sell books. Sharing news is one thing, but buy my book is another. I worry that too many authors go in for the hard sell on social media and end up turning readers off.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers?
Aside from the usual, read, write and repeat, I think it’s important to seek out and be open to critiques. I’m a firm believer that no one can write a book all by themselves. We need perspective, we need to hear the truth about our early drafts and be willing to roll up our sleeves and do the hard work even after we’re convinced that a manuscript is done and ready to go out the door. I think editing and revising make all the difference in the world, so don’t resist it. Embrace it!
What a fun and clever idea United Authors of Chick Lit is! The event was happening all this week and ends today, and I’ve been following along Facebook! Check out these cute posts and enjoy!
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 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? 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 Roland – Emma 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 Schorr – Kimberly 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
Wednesday, Oct. 23
Thursday, Oct. 24
Friday, Oct. 25
Where to start this post? I really can’t believe another launch day is here for Marching Ink and Cat Lavoie. I feel so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing working relationship with Cat. She chose me as her editor for her debut novel Breaking the Rules, and while I read her book I knew there was something magical about the story. I was hooked. Imagine my shock – and extreme joy – when I offered my small, independent publishing company contract to Cat and she said yes! Then double all that again when we decided to work together once again on her sophomore novel Zoey & The Moment of Zen. I’m not sure what I did to deserve connecting with such a person as hard-working, fun, inspiring, and dedicated to her passion as Cat Lavoie. It’s truly been such an amazing experience to work with her, and I am so excited to get to meet her in person in just a few short weeks at BookBuzz Toronto. I sincerely hope you will get your copy of Zoey & The Moment of Zen, and hopefully you have already read Breaking the Rules. Cheers to you Cat – hope you enjoy your release day!
Kimberley Patterson is now on tour with CLP Blog Tours and The Three Month Plan
Kelly Callahan had everything going for her. Everything that is, except for a relationship. It wasn’t for the lack of trying, it just seemed like she was a magnet for all the wrong ones. But all of that was about to change the minute she laid eyes on Jake.
On a dare from her close friend, Michelle, Kelly accepts a challenge to date and become Jake’s girlfriend within three months. The consequence of losing is global humiliation, and she refuses to lose.
Enlisting the help of her childhood friend and confidant, Brian, Kelly manages to catch Jakes attention. She also unknowingly hooks Brian who tries to sabotage the plan. Kelly finds herself with a dilemma; take the final step with Jake and win the plan or follow her heart and reveal her feelings for Brian.
**Everyone who leaves a comment on the tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of The Three Month Plan before November 11 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**
Horses were one of my first loves, and writing soon followed. As a child, I spent hours writing poems, and short stories (about horses). My parents realized that I was horse-obsessed and decided to buy me one after taking riding lessons for two years. I think they hoped that all of the hard work, and hours spent mucking stalls would help me give up this expensive hobby. They were wrong. Writing is still a passion of mine, although now I primarily write fiction. My first novel, Red Rock, was published in 2010, and big surprise, there are horses in it. My second novel, The Three Month Plan was released August 2013.
Other Loves: My family, yoga, skincare and makeup, sushi, and raising money for pediatric cancer. I have two rescue dogs and would have more if there weren’t zoning restrictions. I’m always trying something new, as I tend to get bored very easily. Thankfully, my love of driving around with the gas light on fuels some excitement. I love novels with happy endings, and am a hopeful romantic. My latest obsession is browsing Netflix, and I can name all 50 states in alphabetical order in under 30 seconds. Do I feel a wager coming on?
To read more about Kimberley or to purchase her books please visit the following links:
CLP is excited to share this cover reveal today, as Andrea Murray is part of the team! Take a look at this amazing cover for Omni, which is set to be released in November.
Pierce only wants a shot, a real shot, and not just the excuses he’s been handed his whole life. Harmony wants to escape her future, the future she fears will be chosen for her. After their chance meeting, they might get exactly what they want.
Since taking over the US government years earlier, the Omni party has created a perfect existence. From consorts to job assignments, every choice, every facet of life is under their control. Each citizen has a specific role in one of the four strata. Seventeen-year-old Pierce is a Drudge, the lowest social stratum in society. For over two years, he’s hoped—prayed—that his upcoming aptitude test will finally free him from his virtual slavery and give him a chance at a better existence. When he rescues Harmony, an Artist and member of the most successful stratum, at a publicity event for her latest movie, his life takes an unbelievable twist. With his gallant act and good looks, he becomes a media sensation. Every stratum in society seeks his membership for their publicity, but as he becomes closer to Harmony, Pierce realizes what fame in the all-seeing eye of Omni is truly like. His choices will not only affect him but Harmony as well. The life Pierce thought he wanted may not be worth the cost to either of them.
More from Andrea Murray: