#NewRelease: The First Year by Genevieve Gannon

About the Book

The first year of marriage is hard no matter what. Throw in jealous
exes, high-pressure careers and two wildly different families, and the degree
of difficulty goes up a few more notches. Determined to beat the odds, one
couple comes up with a plan to keep their romance alive – but life has other
Saskia is an up-and-coming jewellery designer, waiting tables at a
trendy cafe to keep her fledgling company afloat. Andrew is a corporate lawyer
who wants to be known for more than his family’s money. They’re passionate
about their work and each other, but with Andy’s job in jeopardy and Saskia’s
jewellery label taking off, the pressure is taking its toll.
As life pulls them in different directions, the two of them are forced
to decide: Just how important is their marriage? And how hard are they willing
to work to protect it?
‘Genevieve Gannon writes with a fresh and funny narrative voice …
chick lit at its very, very best’ Tess Woods, author of Love at First Flight

‘A clever and entertaining read-into-the-wee-hours-of-morning story
about love, creativity and the things that make us tick. Genevieve Gannon
writes with passion and wit in a story you’ll relate to whether you’ve
struggled through love, art or the wrath of public transport ticket
inspectors.’ Claire Varley, author of The Bit in Between


Genevieve Gannon is an Australian
journalist and author. She has worked in newsrooms in Canberra, Sydney and
Melbourne. Her writing has appeared in The Age, The Australian, The Guardian
and The Daily Telegraph, among others. Most recently she covered crime in
Melbourne for Australian Associated Press before moving to Sydney to be a
feature writer for The Australian Women’s Weekly.
Her favourite books are We Need To Talk
About Kevin, Middlesex, Atonement, Prep and One Day. She likes Terry’s
Chocolate Oranges and wasabi (not together) and hates mangoes.
Her first book, Husband Hunters, was
published in 2014. The First Year is her third novel.
Twitter: @gen_gannon
Instagram: @gen_gannon
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is your new novel about?
The First Year is a novel about a newly-in-love
couple who got married way too fast. Andy Colbrook is a high-flying lawyer with
a snobby family and Saskia Hill is a bolshy jewellery designer whose father has
done several stints in jail. On their honeymoon, Andy offers to support Saskia
so she can quit her day job at a café and devote herself wholly to her art. But
Saskia’s fledgling business is only just recovering from the financial blow it
suffered when her ex-fiance cheated on her then ditched her with the bill for
the wedding, and she is uncomfortable being reliant on her new husband. Tensions
begin to emerge. Things are exacerbated when Andy discovers his law firm is in
financial trouble. Despite their best efforts to keep the flame alive their
marriage begins to suffer. Then Saskia makes a discovery that blows her world

inspired the book?
This one came about slowly. When I sat down
to write my first two novels, the concepts were fully formed in my head. I
rejigged the stories and characters a lot, but when they were finished, they
were how I had imagined them from the beginning. With The First Year, I found
myself unsure what I wanted to do. I had an idea of following a couple
day-by-day through their first year, but I didn’t know what would happen to
them over that time. I thought the concept of the first year of marriage being
the hardest was a good one to explore in a romantic comedy. So I wrote a few
chapters and scene fragments, then I hit a bit of a wall. I knew I wanted Andy
to be a corporate type, and Saskia to be an artist, but I didn’t have much more
detail than that. Then one day I came across an article about a designer who
had made the same discovery Saskia makes in the book. I did a bit of research
and it turns out it is a really common problem. I don’t want to spoil the plot
by revealing the big discovery, but once I had that I knew what I wanted Andy
and Saskia’s story to be.

makes the main character who they are?
Saskia Hill comes across really brash but
she’s actually quite vulnerable. She loves a man, Andrew Colbrook, who wants to
support her as she builds her business, but the idea of being reliant on him
conflicts with her feminist values. She eventually accepts his offer to back
her financially until she is established, but it never sits right with her and
ultimately is the cause of much tension. 
One of my favourite lines in the book comes
when Saskia receives a letter from her mother-in-law addressed to Mr and Mrs
Andrew Colbrook. She has not changed her name and when the letter arrives she
asks of Andy, “What am I? Some sort of subsidiary of you?” I feel like this
sums her up perfectly.

you base your characters on real people?
My characters are original creations, but
inevitably I find myself incorporating traits of family and friends. Usually
it’s just a little thing to give the character a ring of authenticity. When
trying to *show* rather than *tell* – something that a lot of writers struggle
with – I find it helpful to think about how real people display their emotions
– the way their postures change, the tone of their voice, what they do with
their hands and eyes. Sometimes I’ll lift a small anecdote (with permission) or
give a sly nod to a friend by including a personal joke. But generally I try to
ensure the characters are wholly their own people.

long did it take you to write The First Year?
I am often asked this question but this is
the first time I’ve ever been able to answer it properly. For about a year, I
had a few fragments of this story and a vague concept but didn’t know what I
wanted to do with it. Then I made the discovery that revealed the plot to me
and it was all very fast. It took me about three months to write a three
chapter sample, a synopsis and a plot outline. I pitched it to HarperCollins in
November, got the go ahead in December and had completed the manuscript by
June. It was quite a fast process because I had been thinking about the
characters and the supporting players for so long. As is always the case, it
needed some major reworking and I relied heavily on my amazing beta-readers.
But it basically took one year of procrastination and six months of furious

is your typical writing routine?
I used to write at night and on weekends
but now that I live in Sydney I find myself getting up early and writing before
work. I assume that’s because it gets hot and sunny here very early. That being
said, I still try to get some writing in after work. And I can be found most
weekends in a café somewhere with a pile of manuscript pages and a laptop.
People love to ask writers if they are
planners or pantsers. I think I’m a combination of both. I like to have a plot
outline before I begin, but sometimes it is very vague and details emerge – and
characters are created or killed off – as the writing progresses.

do you write?
I do a lot of writing at my dining room
table – but I far prefer to write in cafes. It’s not always possible, of course.
Sometimes you have a burst of creative energy at 2am when all the good cafes
are selfishly closed, and realistically it’s just not possible to mainline
lattes for eight hours and a Saturday or Sunday. But my preference is
definitely to write in a café. When I was living in Melbourne I would write a
lot at Milkwood in East Brunswick (try the white beans on toast) or a Minor
Place (more white beans, these come with Dukkah and avocado). Another favourite
is a café called True North in Coburg. They have lovely booths that I like to
spread out in, and do great sandwiches with heaps of vegetarian options.

book do you wish you had written and why?
This is a complete departure from the type
of fiction I write, but I am in awe of We Need To Talk About Kevin. Lionel
Shriver creates so much tension and complexity. I adore her prose and the way
she uses a million little perfectly phrased observations to make-up the
story.  I love the way she tricks the
reader into thinking they know what is happening, only to discover all is not
as it seems as the narrative slowly reveals itself.

are you favourite writers?
This is such a difficult question to answer
because there are so many, and I turn to different writers for different
things. I love Caitlin Moran for the sheer joy she gives me with her hilarious
stories. No less important is the strong feminist message in everything she
does. I really admire Curtis Sittenfeld’s skill as a story-teller, and Gillian
Flynn for the ease with which she spins complex narratives, imbuing her
characters with light and shade. Jeffrey Eugenides remains an all-time
favourite. Whenever I’m asked about my favourite books Middlesex is always at
the top, and his first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was hauntingly,
devastatingly beautiful. Oh, and Michael Chabon for so many reasons, especially
In terms of my own genre – which I consider
to be a loose grouping of contemporary chick lit with rom-com tendencies –  I LOVE Lauren
who wrote She’s Having Her Baby and Crazy Busy Guilty. I also can’t go
past fellow HarperCollins authors Tess Woods and Sunni Overend. The Regulars by
Georgia Clark is great fun.

is your favourite literary character?
I have racked my brain, trying to come up
with an answer that isn’t a total cliché, but it is a truth universally
acknowledged that Elizabeth Bennett is a sublime literary creation, and has to
be my favourite character. She’s clever, sensitive, witty and warm. She loves
her sister Jane and her friend Charlotte Lucas, and she’s loyal but not without
flaws. She speaks her mind and isn’t intimidated by those who think them better
than she is. At a completely different end of the spectrum is Uncle Oswald, a
recurring character in the short stories of Roald Dahl. Uncle Oswald is a
hilarious, wealthy, horny old man who often finds himself entangled in
pseudo-scientific schemes with hilarious outcomes.

are you working on at the moment?
Having just finished a book I’m a bit of a
free agent at the moment. I have two ideas that are in the very early stages,
so I’m playing with both of them, thinking about the characters and deciding
which one to commit to. I have just started a new job as a feature writer so I
am finding that at night I’m spending the time I would normally dedicate to
fiction thinking about feature ideas. That being said, I want my next venture
to be a departure from my usual books. Neither of the concepts I’m currently
playing with could be described as romantic comedies. The First Year has parts
set in a court room, which came about because I spent the past few years
covering courts as a journalist and my two new ideas are also inspired in part
by that part of my job.

would you do if you weren’t a writer?
This one is tricky because writing is both
my hobby (fiction) and my livelihood (journalism). My other hobby is baking, so
perhaps if it all falls in a heap I could retrain as a pastry chef. I have made
a few wedding cakes for friends, and I really enjoy playing with flavour ideas
and pretty shapes. Strangely, when it comes to savoury meals I’m terrible, but
I have mastered cakes.

are you reading right now?
I just finished Big Little Lies by Liane
Moriarty which I devoured, barely lifting my eyes to draw breath. Liane dazzles
me with her ability to tease and entice. I am also reading Sweet Bitter by
Stephanie Danler. I cheated on Sweet Bitter with Moriarty because I found
myself at the airport without a book and knew I couldn’t go wrong with one of
Liane’s books.

wine or something else?
I am completely addicted to coffee. I don’t
drink much wine, unless I’m sharing a bottle at a dinner party or something. If
I’m at a bar I’ll order sloe gin (rocks and lime), a gin and tonic or a
cocktail. Sometimes when it’s really hot I’ll take my laptop to a pub and write
while drinking cider and ice. But generally on those days my preference is a
café and an ice coffee.

is your favourite social media platform and why?
I am addicted to social media. I love
Instagram and Twitter but for different reasons. In my day job, I work as a
journalist, so I love being able to keep an eye on the issues of the day as
they unfurl on Twitter. I follow major news outlets, journalists I like and
admire, politicians and specialists in my areas of interest. I also follow a
few funny accounts to break it up. I like checking-in on Twitter when I take a
break from work. Instagram is great for book recommendations, food and bar
recommendations, fashion, recipes and just keeping up with what my friends are
doing. I recently moved interstate, so it’s great to be able to see what my
friends have been up to with a few swipes of my phone.

all your books, do you have a favourite one?
This is like being asked to choose between
your children! I hate to admit it, but I do have a favourite one. My latest
novel, The First Year, is my third. I think because I had been through the
process twice before it was less daunting and stressful. I had a lot more
confidence and I think it shows in the writing. I also quite like the story. My
previous books were what I’d call caper romances. In both, the protagonists
hatched hair-brained schemes in order to find love. The First Year is a lot
more grounded in reality. The characters’ families and work colleagues play a
great role and I feel like they’re more rounded because of it.

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Author Interview: Lyss Stern

Today on CLP I am welcome DivaMoms.com creator and author Lyss Stern! Keep reading for an interview with Lyss and watch for her new book that is releasing April 18th – Motherhood is a B#itch

lyssWhat is a Diva Mom, and why was it important for you to create DivaMoms.com?

A #divamom does not allow motherhood to define her. She is a mom but also a boss. Looking fabulous and feeling good on the inside and out. Divamoms.com was inspired by my 1st son Jackson. I realized moms needed a reason to get out of the house with and without their kids, and at the time there wasn’t an outlet that provided events, social outlets and fun.

Motherhood is a B#tch is your next book release. What can readers expect from this?

Some parenting advice, fun tips to unleashing your inner diva and hopefully lots and lots of laughter!

10 Steps to Regaining Your Sanity, Sexiness, and Inner Diva. The book tells it like it is and explains how women lose their sense of self once they have children and why it’s so important to reclaim it. In the end of the book the readers will feel happier, healthier, and hotter than before.

What is your best advice for a first time mother to be?

All mothers like to give unsolicited advice to new moms. My advice is to do it YOUR way, if it works. Ask lots of questions (no questions is stupid) and don’t google every little thing. Most important is to find your own parenting style, what works best for you and your child. There is no magic recipe for motherhood. You will find the right one that works for you and your family.

How has social media made an impact in your life and business?

Of course, social media is essential to branding and reaching a fresh new audience while growing on my established clientele. I do all my own social media and truly try and keep it real and on point with my brand. I do not believe in putting everything out there about my personal life on social media. However, that’s just my opinion. My son always jokes around that I should be more like Kim Kardashian on social media, he’s thirteen.

What is your advice for someone who wants to be their own girl boss?

Go for it! Girls are more powerful than ever before. The world is finally listening to us and we are empowered. Take your ideas and make them a reality before someone else does. Own it, and work it!

My book is the modern mom’s bible for dealing with the day to day chaos with style and grace. It’s written to empower every mom out there. It’s time to take it all back!

Pre Order Your Copy!

motherhoodMore About Lyss

Lyss Stern is the CEO/Founder of Divalysscious Moms (www.divamoms.com), a national, NYC-based marketing and event company with a database of millions of mothers and mompreneurs. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Lyss is the go-to source for toptier media, where she discusses topics ranging from business to parenting to politics. Lyss, through the strategic building of her brand, media presence, speaking engagements and business acumen, is in the coveted position as being a social media influencer, with followers who avidly trust and follow her on various social media platforms.
Thirteen years ago, before marketers were even using social media marketing to target moms, she created Divalysscious Moms, as a way to get her groove back after giving birth to her first child and help other mothers find themselves post-baby. Today, with a database of a million moms across the country, DivaMoms is the premier marketing and event company for the New York area’s well-heeled moms.
As a trend spotting mom, Stern always is researching and engaging with her followers about the latest parenting and lifestyle trends, it is this type of business instinct that led to DivaMoms launching E.L. James Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy in the U.S. When Stern posted the event invite to her Facebook page, it was at full capacity within the first two hours.
DivaMoms continues to be an in-demand platform for Mommy-driven products and services, which Lyss has single-handedly built by organizing sophisticated events and connecting highend brands including Fendi Kids, UPPABaby, Stokke Strollers, Nestle’s BabyNes, Red Carpet Kids NY, Sweaty Betty, The Chord Club, Flywheel and many more with an elite group of women and children.
In addition to her work with DivaMoms, Lyss was the editor in chief of Jared Kushner’s “Observer Playground” magazine and co-authored the best-selling book, “If You Give a Mom a Martini “ (Crown) offering her expertise on Mommy Me-time to women everywhere. The book, which has recently been optioned to become a motion picture, features contributions from celebrity moms like Kelly Ripa, Christie Brinkley, Melissa Joan Hart and more. The Long Islandnative, and mommy-of-three (sons Jackson, Oliver and sister Blake), is also the co-creator of the NickMom short-form series “Story Time For Moms” as well as the co creator of the Scripps Networks short-form series “Bad Moms In History”. Her next book “Motherhood Is A B#TCH, 10 Steps to Regaining Your Sanity, Sexiness, and Inner Diva” (Skyhorse Publishing) by Lyss Stern and Sheryl Berk (foreword by Jill Kargman, star of “Odd Mom Out”) comes out this spring.
Lyss can often be seen offering her parenting expertise to television audiences for networks like Fox News and on programs including NBC’s Today Show and CBS This Morning. Her commentary has also been featured in national publications such as Crain’s New York Business, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post. Lyss writes a few columns including the SummerLYSST, which appears in Social Life Magazine and FabULyssFinds in Manhattan Family Magazine..
Lyss also prioritizes giving back to the community, which she focuses on through her involvement with a variety of organizations including OCRF and Pediatric Cancer


Today is the big day! My fifth novel DEFINING HER is officially on sale ! I am so excited to share this book and it feels a little surreal that after two years of writing, revisions, writing, revisions, that Defining Her is now on sale. Please keep reading for more information on this edgy women’s fiction title & how to buy!

defining her samantha marchAbout Defining Her

Nellie Hawthorne is a woman who has it all. A devoted husband, her own business, a wealthy lifestyle. But the Nellie she is now is much different from her past. A past filled with abuse, addiction, and men. Nellie’s carefully constructed new life is suddenly in jeopardy when a blast from the past emerges in her small town and her overbearing mother-in-law starts pushing for grandchildren and questions start being asked. A budding new friendship presents itself at an opportune time, and a once friendless Nellie finds herself growing closer to Prue Doherty.
Prue Doherty is the quintessential good girl. Always making the right decisions, always playing it safe. Until she meets a man that could change all of that. Still reeling from a devastating breakup and betrayal that had her fleeing from Chicago and settling into suburb life with her mom close by, Prue finds herself in a damaging funk. But everything changes when she befriends Nellie Hawthorne.
Nellie is trying to escape her past. Prue wants that perfect future. While both women strive to change their lives, they continue to cling to the past. But what defines us? Who we were then . . . or who we are trying to be now? Lies, manipulation, and deceit are woven throughout the pages of this edgy women’s fiction novel, with an ending you won’t see coming.

Get your copy!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nn88vt

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/defining-her-samantha-march/1125950914

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/defining-her

Order a signed print copy! : http://chicklitplus.com/buy-your-signed-copy-of-defining-her/


Samantha March on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2mFKkog

samanthamarch2017About the Author

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 beauty, fashion and fitness. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and has five published novels – Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket, A Questionable Friendship, Up To I Do and Defining Her, and one holiday novella, The Christmas Surprise. You can also find her on Youtube sharing beauty reviews and creating makeup tutorials. When she isn’t reading, writing, or vlogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.

Find Samantha

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marchbeautyword/

Youtube: http://bit.ly/2cGNR34

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BySamanthaMarch

Snapchat: Samantha.March

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/samanthamarchauthor

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Samantha-March/e/B005ZWOGJY

Blog: http://www.chicklitplus.com/