Author Name: Teresa Marie Howes
Bio: Teresa Marie Howes is a health enthusiast, expert skinny mixologist, avid runner and published author. Backed with a formal education with degrees in both nutrition and business and over a decade of professional experience consulting in the weight loss industry, she certainly knows the “right” things to do when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. She is also well versed in the challenges that an active social and travel calendar can infringe on ones best efforts to do these “right” things. As it turns out, what’s “right” isn’t always “realistic” and that’s where her personal experience plays a key role. She has battled out the conflict of “right” and “realistic” in the bars, on the road and on vacation for 15+ years – and now in her mid-thirties and at a weight less than she weighed in high school, she’s feeling pretty confident in her strategies and is eager to share them!
Connect with Teresa!
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
Meredith Schorr is now on tour with CLP Blog Tours and Blogger Girl
What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to ﬁnd out. A chick lit enthusiast since the ﬁrst time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law ﬁrm. While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—a cross the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox—for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.
Even if Meredith Schorr wasn’t one of my favorite authors – who I got to meet in person this month – I knew I had to read this book from the moment I read about it. A book about a chick lit book blogger – um, yes please! I highly recommend every book blogger to read this, because it will be so relatable to you. I can’t even count how many times I thought, “Is this book about me? I do that too! Okay, seriously, how did Meredith jump in my head?” while reading. I loved it! It was awesome to meet her at BookBuzz Toronto so I could tell her in person how much I enjoy not only all of her books, but Blogger Girl especially. I could turn that experience into a whole separate post (which I will do, sometime!) but I’ll try to stay focused on the book. Solid writing, great editing, a fast-paced book that made me laugh, made me mad, made me hold my breath, and 5 star worthy! Now go get it!
**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 Blogger Girl before November 25 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**
A born and bred New Yorker, Meredith Schorr discovered her passion for writing when she began to enjoy drafting work-related emails way more than she was probably supposed to, and was famous among her friends for writing witty birthday cards. After trying her hand writing children’s stories and blogging her personal experiences, Meredith found her calling writing “real chick lit for real chicks.” When she is not hard at work on her current work in progress, Meredith spends her days as a trademark paralegal. She is a loyal New York Yankees fan and an avid runner. Meredith is the author of three published novels, Just Friends with Benefits, A State of Jane and Blogger Girl
Connect with Meredith!
**Blogger Girl is now only 99 cents!**
Four authors from Christmas anthology Merry & Bright share their favorite childhood holiday memories.
Lauren Clark: My favorite childhood Christmas memory would have to be making cookies with my mother and two younger brothers. I adored the process—mixing the ingredients, rolling out dough, choosing cutout shapes, and the delicious scent that floated through the house once the cookies turned golden brown in the oven. I am certain that my brothers and I made a terrible mess, but we loved tinting frosting in shades of bright green and cheery red and decorating cookies in the shape of trees, bells, Santa, and stars. The stars have always been my favorite, and I took extra care to dot them with silver nonpareils, glittery sugar sprinkles, and iced dots and swirls. We enjoyed the treats in our pajamas with cups of cocoa while snowflakes fell outside our front window, covering the lawn with a blanket of white.
Laura Chapman: My family decorates our Christmas tree Thanksgiving weekend, and it’s always a fond memory for me. My mom tells me my love for Christmas trees started early. “When you were eighteen months old, we put you down for a nap, and while you were sleeping, we put up the Christmas tree and decorated it,” she said. “When you woke up, we brought you out and your eyes were as big as saucers. You kept turning around in circles looking at it. You were very amazed and very cute.” I’m still amazed when I see an exceptionally beautiful tree.
Nancy Scrofano: I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but when I was a kid, I desperately wanted a new bicycle for Christmas. I had my eye on a bright yellow “big girl” bike, so I asked Santa for it, and I waited and waited. Finally, Christmas morning arrived. I remember racing down the stairs to the family room, and there in front of our Christmas tree was that yellow bike with a giant red bow on it. I screamed so loud that I woke the rest of my family up. I’ll never forget that exciting moment.
Isabella Louise Anderson: Who doesn’t love presents, especially at Christmastime? Being the eager child that I was, one Christmas Eve, I was too excited to sleep because I knew Santa was coming. After waking my younger brother up, I convinced him to go downstairs with me to see if we had any presents. Seeing nothing yet, we went back to bed, and couldn’t sleep the rest of the night. We stayed up talking about what we hoped we’d get—he wanted a Nintendo Game Boy, and I wanted a cash register. Santa was good to us that year.
Merry & Bright Book Description
Sip your eggnog, linger under the mistletoe, and make a Christmas wish. Merry & Bright brings you six tales of Christmas cheer, featuring stories of budding romances, Southern charm, lost loves, heaps of humor, and lots of pie by authors Isabella Louise Anderson, Cindy Arora, Laura Chapman, Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, and Nancy Scrofano. From sunny Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South, Merry & Bright will take you on a heartwarming adventure you’ll love to visit again and again. Wrap yourself in holiday mirth and prepare to be swept off your feet.
I am interviewing Facebook Jeanie author Addison Westlake!
Around nine or ten years old I started keeping a journal and writing stories in those little blue examination books. Writing for me has always been like having a great conversation with a friend; I find it really fun and enjoyable. I don’t think I ever formally thought about pursuing it, I’ve just always done a lot of writing.
How would you describe your books?
My books are pure escapism and entertainment. I write books to read while curled up on a comfy chair with a glass of wine or a mug of hot cocoa. I think we all need to relax and unwind with a book that makes you laugh a whole bunch and sigh happily at the happily-ever-after ending. So that’s what I write.
Why was Facebook Jeanie a book you wanted to write?
I think we all have those moments when we wonder… what if? What if our lives hadn’t followed the path we chose? What if we did take that job offer in another city or if we did decide to marry that ex-boyfriend? “Facebook Jeanie” came out of that universal experience. I imagined what if there were some way for a character to have a ‘do over’ with the one that got away.
What do you think are the best and worst aspects of social media?
I find social media fascinating—it both connects and disconnects you. You can keep in touch with friends and family, and you can spend two hours on it not paying any attention to the friends and family in the room with you. I created a character stuck in a Facebook rut, engaging more with photos of someone in her past than anyone in her present. And then I imagined what would happen if a new Facebook app let her travel back in time, making her past her present. It was a fun way to play with both the best and worst aspects of social media.
Finding the time to write!
What are your favorite genres to read?
I love light and entertaining reads of all kinds, particularly in the romance genre. I also enjoy nonfiction when it’s written in an engaging manner like Malcom Gladwell’s books.
What do you want readers to take away from your story?
I really want my readers to simply enjoy themselves while they’re reading. I suppose if “Facebook Jeanie” does have a larger message, it’s about how essential gratitude is to finding real happiness. But that sounds awfully heavy for a book that’s essentially a chocolate-covered, caramel-filled bon-bon of a treat.
How important do you think social media is for authors these days?
For self-published writers, social media is the difference between being read or not being read. It’s essential. I’m still figuring out how to use it well or to the best advantage; I’m always trying to learn from others and reading advice on the subject. Twitter, in particular, feels like learning a new language. Happily, I’m enjoying as I’m learning so I take that as a positive sign!
What would be your advice to aspiring writers?
Write what you enjoy and don’t be critical of yourself. If you worry too much over the quality of your work at the outset, you’ll stop your writing process before it has even begun. And sometimes the best way to get better is to simply write and then write some more.
Please welcome Facebook Jeanie author Addison Westlake to CLP!
I’m a chick lit writer. My books are filled with young women finding themselves and discovering love with lots of bumps in the road and pratfalls along the way. But back when I was in my early to mid 20s in the middle of dating craziness, bouncing from one hilarious bad date to the next, I wrote serious stuff. I wrote political essays and research papers.
Now that I’m in the next phase of life—happily married with young kiddos—what do I write about? Twenty-something characters fumbling around trying to figure out who they are and whom they’re going to end up with.
It’s got me wondering: do you have to be out of a phase of life to write about it?
I was an English major in college and I remember studying James Joyce. So much of his writing is set in Dublin, all about the Irish in Ireland. But he left Ireland at the age of 22. After his last visit at age 30 he never returned, yet he wrote about it the rest of his life. I recall a writing teacher posing the question—did Joyce have to leave Ireland to write about it?
Now, far be it from me to compare my lighter-than-air comedies to the likes of Ulysses. But maybe the same principal applies? I can certainly see how it works in extremes. If you’re in the middle of solving a murder mystery in real life you probably don’t have time to be writing one.
It makes me wonder, what is the typical profile of a romance or chick lit writer? For me, now that I have some distance from the all-consuming question of Is He The One???—not to mention How Do I Look In These Jeans???—I’m finding it really entertaining to write about that time of life. It still feels fresh enough that I can conjure it up in vivid detail. Yet I have enough emotional distance to really see the humor in mistakes, the hilarity in bad decisions.
For example, back when I was on a first date with a man who never took off his sunglasses inside of a dark restaurant, it didn’t seem that funny. I remember the hour-long meal felt like it lasted a whole day and I prayed I didn’t run into anyone I knew for fear I’d die of embarrassment. Now, I love that I went on that date. I haven’t used that scene in a book yet, but it’s bound to happen.
How about you? When you write, are you drawing on stuff that’s happened recently, in the past, or perhaps you write about things you’ve never experienced at all? How much of what you’re writing about do you need to know first-hand? Is writing best when we’re describing what we’re feeling in the moment, or reflecting back on something in the rear-view mirror? I’m curious, are we all just like Joyce?
Marching Ink is proud to publish the second title from Cat Lavoie this October, titled Zoey and the Moment of Zen! Chick Lit Plus is helping start the excitement by sharing the cover – how cute is this? Big thanks to Scarlett Rugers for her hard work on the cover, and we can’t wait to share the book with you soon!
When coffee shop owner Zoey Everwood takes her obsession with ex-boyfriend Braden too far, everyone—except Zoey—is convinced a bit of fun in the sun at the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort will help her get over him once and for all.
But Zoey’s relaxing vacation turns out to be anything but peaceful when she meets Shane Lawson, a resort guest who bears a striking resemblance to Braden. And things get even more complicated when the resort’s owner starts spilling secrets about Zoey’s aunt Nessa, the woman who raised her. Add a snarky Wellness Coordinator and Nate Holmes—Shane’s grumpy friend—to the mix, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect tropical storm.
When Zoey comes back home with a new husband instead of tacky souvenirs, she must convince everyone she hasn’t completely lost her mind. As Zoey and Shane struggle to keep the magic alive outside the resort, Zoey discovers that she isn’t the only one having trouble letting go of the past. And when Nate drops a bombshell that changes everything, Zoey must decide if the old saying is true—what happens at the Moment of Zen stays at the Moment of Zen.
Cat Lavoie lives in Montreal, Canada with her tempestuous cat, Abbie. Her debut novel, Breaking the Rules, was published in August 2012 by Marching Ink. If Cat isn’t reading or writing, she’s most likely watching too much TV or daydreaming about her next trip to London.
CONNECT WITH CAT
Bio: Cara Alwill Leyba is a best selling author, and certified life and wellness coach from New York City who empowers women to live their most effervescent lives and celebrate themselves. She encourages women to indulge in the things that make them happy, and swears that every woman can live a “champagne life,” no matter how busy she is or how tight her budget.
Her blog, The Champagne Diet, boasts a following of thousands of loyal readers and has been featured in Glamour, Shape, Cafe Mom, Daily Mail UK, MSN Australia, AOL UK Lifestyle, and a host of other publications worldwide. Cara’s writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, xJane, Mind Body Green, MTV News, and many other sites.
Cara regularly appears on the “Ask Dr. Fritz” radio show on WWRL New York, where she helps host Dr. Fritz answer questions from callers about love, career, family, relationships and more. She also hosts her own lifestyle and wellness show, “Uncork Your Best Self” on Blog Talk Radio.
Cara’s first book, SPARKLE, became an immediate #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Happiness and Self-Esteem categories upon hours of its release. She celebrated the release of her book with a book signing in New York City this past fall.
When she’s not popping bubbly, blogging, or working with her coaching clients, Cara spends her days leading a digital advertising team at MTV Networks. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and dog-child.
Connect with Cara!
Cara’s website: www.LiveCreateSparkle.com
Cara’s blog: www.TheChampagneDiet.com
Want to learn how to sparkle? Join Cara’s “Sparkling Start” workshop next month and kick off 2013 in glittering, shimmering style! http://www.livecreatesparkle.com/group-workshops.html
Thanks to Aimee Duffy for sharing this Q&A with CLP today! Keep reading below for an excerpt from Sinfully Summer
I’ve always loved making up stories. It wasn’t until I went to high school that I realized my imagination could be put to a better use.
How would you describe your books?
Flirty, fun, and humorous with a little heat to zing it up.
Why was Sinfully Summer a book you wanted to write?
I was playing around with ideas in my scrap book when I came across two words. Girlie holiday. Now I have plenty of experience to draw from that alone—my friends and I took part in crazier things than my heroine does for her dare that kicks off Sinfully Summer. I wanted Alexa to be young, bubbly, fashion conscious and carefree, so I put her opposite in as her match. A young woman who doesn’t want to settle down faced with a Sexy, tortured, Spanish hunk is enough to make any girl bend her rules.
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Starting a new story. It takes me a while to get to know my characters and they often surprise me. Alexa did so much I ended up re-writing Sinfully Summer twice! I’ve no idea how Ric has the patience for her )
What are your favorite genres to read?
Chick-lit, contemporary/paranormal romance and crime thrillers.
What do you want readers to take away from your story?
More than anything I’d love it if my readers finished the book with a smile on their lips and their hearts racing from the rollercoaster of emotions I hope they will experience through Ric and Alexa’s journey.
How important do you think social media is for authors these days?
Very, especially for us authors who are published digital first. My gratitude goes out to all my Twitter and Facebook friends for helping me spread the word, and Samantha for having me on your wonderful blog today!
What would be your advice to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up—I know everyone says it. I mean it though. It’s a long road, full of rejections (even published authors have to face them, trust me, I’ve had my fair share). The only difference, in my opinion, between a published author and an unpublished author is that the unpublished author gives up. Keep at it, learn your craft, devour books in your chosen genre. You. Will. Get. There. Believe in yourself!
Huge thank you to Chick Lit Plus for having me today. Samantha, you rock!
Adrenaline roared through her veins. This was her only chance. Pushing away from the wall, she rounded the lift, desperately seeking an escape. She barely noticed the plush furnishings, soft-looking leather sofas and floor to ceiling window which showcased the most spectacular view she’d ever seen. Instead she focused on the walls surrounding the elevator.
‘Are you lost?’
The heavily accented voice froze her to the spot. She darted a glance toward the sound. Dark brows furrowed over the richest coloured eyes she’d seen. His gaze swept over the length of her body, then up, lingering on her rear for a beat too long. Her skin tingled under his scrutiny.
Turning her whole body to face him, she slapped a hand on her hip. ‘Had a good enough look?’
His lips quirked in a sexy, lopsided grin. The jitters were back and Alexa swore the temperature in the room shot up ten degrees. Her gaze dropped to his broad shoulders, covered in a thin white t-shirt, then down to a well filled chest. She could see a dark pattern beneath the t-shirt. She longed to find out what kind of tattoo he had. Usually, tats didn’t do it for her. But on that body…
‘I could ask you the same thing.’
She snapped her attention back to his face. He stepped toward her, his jaw set, his eyes dancing with humour and something darker…something that made her blood heat and her mouth water.
Alexa raised her arm, palm out. ‘Hold it there, Mr. Any closer and I’ll scream.’
He paused by the sofa. Propping his hip against the cream leather, he folded his arms across his chest, causing the muscles to bulge. The moisture drained from her mouth and flooded in her belly.
‘No one’s here to hear you.’ He cocked a brow. ‘You seem to be forgetting where you are and,’ his gaze dipped down to her breasts causing the nipples to peak against the lacy fabric ‘how underdressed.’
Alexa thought this moment would have topped the blush scale. She planted her other hand on her hip and glared at him, unwilling to show any weakness. ‘I’m just leaving.’
She turned and strode back to the lift, keeping her back straight and trying not to wiggle her hips too much. The predatory sheen in his eyes made her body more jittery than the idea of sprinting around the lower floor in her underwear. She reached out to hit the button, but a large hand circled her wrist before she made it.
Alexa squeaked and darted back a step. He was so close, and his chest was right in her face. She could see the dark outline of the tattoo beneath the thin cotton. The outline of a burning sun, she thought, or something that looked like a sun. Her hands itched to lift the material and see for herself.
‘I’m up here.’
She snapped her gaze back up to his smirking face and took another step back. His lips kicked up at the corners and his eyes darkened. She swallowed against the urge to step closer, to feel his hard body pressed against hers. But she realised she was in little more than her bra and knickers in a stranger’s home. Unease skittered down her spine.
Alexa squared her shoulders, trying to quash the fear turning her heated blood into cold sludge. ‘I’m leaving now.’
‘After you explain what you’re doing in my home in your undergarments.’
‘Undergarments?’ Alexa pressed her lips together to keep a giggle at bay. ‘Seriously?’
About the Author
All my life I’ve been dreaming up stories. My mum said when I was little I used to make all the My Little Pony figurines talk to each other, and even fall in love. Later, it was Barbie and Ken. In my teens, I played matchmaker with my friends at school.
When I wasn’t creating imaginary scenarios, I had my nose stuck in books, reading across genres and there was one thing I loved more than the escapism—the fact a story can touch me so deeply, like I was experiencing everything along with my characters. I knew from early on this was something I wanted to do for others.
Fast forward a few years, and the dream almost got lost in real life, but I still couldn’t shake it completely. Now I write sizzling romance with the hope of making my readers’ hearts race like they are falling in love for the first time.
You can find me here: