Debut Authors and Titles – January 2012
Author: Molly Shapiro
Available: January 1, 2012
Synopsis: In Molly Shapiro’s fun and sexy debut novel, four women try to sort through the wild and complicated world of text messaging, status updates, and other high-speed connections.
Best friends and fellow midwesterners Katie, Annie, Maxine, and Claudia are no strangers to dealing with love and relationships, but with online dating and social networking now in the mix, they all have the feeling they’re not in Kansas anymore. Katie, a divorced mother of two, secretly seeks companionship through the Internet only to discover that the rules of the dating game have drastically changed. Annie, a high-powered East Coast transplant, longs for a baby, yet her online search for a sperm donor is not as easy—or anonymous—as she anticipates. Maxine, a successful artist with a seemingly perfect husband, turns to celebrity gossip sites to distract herself from her less-than-ideal marriage. And Claudia, tired of her husband’s obsession with Facebook, finds herself irresistibly drawn to a handsome co-worker. As these women navigate the new highs and lows of the digital age, they each find that their wrong turns lead surprisingly to the right click and, ultimately, the connection they were seeking.
Author: Sarah Pinneo
Available: January 31, 2012
Synopsis: A delectable comedy for every woman who’s ever wondered if buying that six-dollar box of organic crackers makes her a hero or a sucker.
Julia Bailey is a mompreneur with too many principles and too little time. Her fledgling company, Julia’s Child, makes organic toddler meals with names like Gentle Lentil and Give Peas a Chance. But before she can realize her dream of seeing them on the shelves of Whole Foods, she will have to make peace between her professional aspirations and her toughest food critics: the two little boys waiting at home. Is it possible to save the world while turning a profit?
Julia’s Child is a warmhearted, laugh-out-loud story about motherhood’s choices: organic vs. local, paper vs. plastic, staying at home vs. risking it all.
Author: Erin Duffy
Available: January 24, 2012
Synopsis: When other little girls were dreaming about becoming doctors or lawyers, Alex Garrett set her sights on conquering the high-powered world of Wall Street. And though she’s prepared to fight her way into an elitist boys’ club, or duck the occasional errant football, she quickly realizes she’s in over her head when she’s relegated to a kiddie-size folding chair with her new moniker—Girlie—inscribed in Wite-Out across the back.
No matter. She’s determined to make it in bond sales at Cromwell Pierce, one of the Street’s most esteemed brokerage firms. Keeping her eyes on the prize, the low Girlie on the totem pole will endure whatever comes her way—whether trekking to the Bronx for a $1,000 wheel of Parmesan cheese; discovering a secretary’s secret Friday night slumber/dance party in the conference room; fielding a constant barrage of “friendly” practical jokes; learning the ropes from Chick, her unpredictable, slightly scary, loyalty-demanding boss; babysitting a colleague while he consumes the contents of a vending machine on a $28,000 bet; or eluding the advances of a corporate stalker who’s also one of the firm’s biggest clients.
Ignoring her friends’ pleas to quit, Alex excels (while learning how to roll with the punches and laugh at herself) and soon advances from lowly analyst to slightly-less-lowly associate. Suddenly, she’s addressed by her real name, and the impenetrable boys’ club has transformed into forty older brothers and one possible boyfriend. Then the apocalypse hits, and Alex is forced to choose between sticking with Cromwell Pierce as it teeters on the brink of disaster or kicking off her Jimmy Choos and running for higher ground.
Fast-paced, funny, and thoroughly addictive, Bond Girl will leave you cheering for Alex: a feisty, ambitious woman with the spirit to stand up to the best (and worst) of the boys on the Street—and ultimately rise above them all.
Author: Tracie Banister
Available: January 2012
Synopsis: A power-trippin’ bitch, a has-been, a skanky ex-model, a press-shy indie queen, and a British stage actress no one knows – this is how the Best Actress hopefuls in this year’s too-close-to-call Oscar race cattily describe each other. Which of them will win the much-coveted gold statue and what price will they be forced to pay as they travel the red carpeted-path to Hollywood glory?
Amidst all the press-schmoozing and angsting over which designer gown to wear, these Oscar contenders feud, commiserate, and face a succession of personal crises – scandalous secrets come to light, marriages implode, accidents land two nominees in the hospital while another receives news that could derail her career, all culminating on Tinsel Town’s biggest night when anything can happen, and does.
When I was a little girl, I got a typewriter for my birthday, and I used to write stories about my dog,Trixie all the time. So the dream of being a writer was always there, but it wasn’t until I moved to New Orleans that got the courage and made the decision to do it.
What gave you the idea to write Phone Kitten?
I’ve always worked in the customer service field, and there are clients and customers you see regularly who become part of your life in a peripheral way, and sometimes for reasons you never know, they disappear. I’ve also always had one of those voices that prompts people to say “Have you ever considered working on a phone sex line?” Well, that seemed like the ultimate customer service job, and in it, you would see an intimate side of a person, yet you never really know them at all. Everything would be a fantasy. But what would happen if that person disappeared. That was a jumping off point for me.
How far did you go for your research for the book?
I decided to try working on a phone sex line. I worked for two different companies, both of which are very successful. One was a call center of sorts. At the other company the calls came straight to my home. All the calls that are in Phone Kitten are calls I actually took. Names were changed to protect the not-so-innocent, but the fantasies were real.
What was one of the most surprising finds when you were doing research?
There are men in this world who will pay you to sit on the phone, in another state and watch TV with them, and it’s usually a girly reality show, like Project Runway. It’s okay if you laugh. Thee caller knows the whole thing is ridiculous. There is always something out there that will surprise you.
Do you have a certain writing routine that you stick to?
I’m a night owl, so I don’t really get started writing till late, and I think I’m a little loosey goosey with writing. I don’t set a goal in regards to word or page counts; I just want to write something. I listen to a play list that I made that reminds me of the story or characters to get me in the mood, I make a pitcher of iced tea, I reread the last thing I wrote, probably make a couple of changes, and then dive right in. Once I’m in, I’m set, I fall in love with the story all over again.
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Starting. I can avoid writing like no other. There are so many interesting things on the Internet.
How do you spend your free time?
I always like taking my dog, Dash for a walk in French Quarter. He’s a happy dog, and we get stopped by tourists who want to take his picture, and he has a few friends at different places he likes to visit. I carry my camera too. I’m not a great photographer, but it’s hard to take a bad picture in New Orleans. I can never have too many snapshots of flowered balconies. I also cross stitch, right now I’m working on a zombie pillow.
Do you think social media and eBooks are a must for authors these days?
Absolutely, and I’m just beginning to navigate the social media thing. Till recently my FaceBook was exactly like everyone else’s, I used it to keep up with friends and high school buddies. Now I’m using it more to keep updated on what is going on in my old home St. Petersburg FL. I am trying to use FaceBook and Twitter more to promote Phone Kitten, I have a blog at www.missquoted.com, and there have been times when something embarrassing will happen to me, or I will see something odd and the first thing I think is “YES! Something to blog about!” I think eBooks are the future, so is social media, writers have to embrace it. I’m working on it.
Are you working on a new project?
I think my girl Emily has a few more stories in her, so right now I’m working on a “sequel” to Phone Kitten. Emily has a new job, new friends, neighbors, and a whole new crime to solve. I’m loving every minute of it.
What is your best advice for aspiring writers?
I think that the BEST advice I ever given to me was from an award- winning mystery writer. She told me that at some point, something in the story you are writing should make you cry. I’ve never forgotten that. It keeps your writing honest. Also invest in a comfortable chair, you’re going to be sitting for awhile.
Where would be your dream vacation?
I did a lot of dream vacationing when I was younger. I worked for an airline and the travel benefits were amazing. So I’ve had the opportunity to see lots of the things that people dream about already. Maybe I’d like to take another trip up the East coast, or go to Little Big Horn (Can you tell my Dad was a history buff?) But really, my favorite destination is my own city. In New Orleans, there’s always a festival or an adventure around the corner.
Debut Authors & Titles- Summer 2011
Synopsis: Dani Wilder is a rising star on the Hollywood culinary scene, and she thinks she has finally found the perfect locale for the launch of her first restaurant. The prime spot sits on Sunset Boulevard, highlighted with rich wood beams, a vaulted ceiling, private booths and a stunning loft so high that the fall could kill someone. In fact, it did.
As this mild-mannered chef prepares to open L.A.’s “it” restaurant, she stumbles upon the sordid, dark secrets of her otherwise perfect boyfriend’s past. Impossibly handsome and pediatrician to celebrity kids, Jack has it all – including a former fiancée he never mentioned, or got over. Accused of pushing a woman to her death in the space on Sunset, Rebecca Sterling shares more than history with the restaurant, she was engaged to Jack and now she’s back in town.
Yes, Rebecca returns to do what she does best: spin a web of lies and get her way. And her deceptive methods work as usual with Jack. It’s certainly awkward for Dani, but is it dangerous? Dani suspects Rebecca got away with murder, lied to Jack, and is sabotaging the restaurant. Dani’s love, life, and livelihood are entangled in Rebecca’s scheme, and at what cost? After all, the only thing Rebecca loves more than making an entrance is making an exit.
Available: May 26
Author: Amanda Egan
Synopsis: Ever felt like you don’t belong?
When Libby Marchant and husband Ned made the monumental decision to sacrifice luxuries and holidays to see their only son Max through private education, they hadn’t expected to meet so many unsavoury and dislikeable personalities along the way.
Happily, the cruel jibes of the pompous ‘Meemies’ are made more tolerable by the lasting and loyal friendship they strike up with the affluent Fenella & Josh.
Follow Libby’s journey as she discovers the chasm between the Haves and the Have-Nots in her mad new world of school committees, designer handbags, bitching and botox.
With Fenella by her side, Libby is able to maintain her sanity. But what happens when the credit crunch bites, you’re desperate for another baby and your Asian neighbour is trying to match-make you with her infatuated son?
Available: June 2011
Author: Stephanie Stiles
Synopsis: One thing sets her apart from other modern-day superheroes: mom genes. Annie Fingardt Forster used to be a lawyer who wore dry-clean only and shaved both legs. But things have changed. Now a stay-at-home mom, she wears cargo pants and ponytails and harbours a nearly pathological hatred towards hipster parents. With a three-year-old and a baby on the way, Annie knows what to expect … at least, she thought she did. Faced with her husband’s job loss, pre-school politics, and a playground throwdown with her arch nemesis, Annie realises that even with her husband and friends by her side, what she really needs is to learn to suck it up – and take it like a mom.
Available: July 5, 2011
Debut Novel: The Hating Game
Talli contacted me via email asking me to give her debut novel a review. After reading the synopsis and learning it was about reality TV dating shows, I had to read it! I am a reality TV junkie, so much so, it’s a little embarrassing. But Talli and I are on the same page there- her blog quotes her as saying if she were “forced to wax anyone’s hairy chest it would have to be Simon Cowell.” I enjoyed reading The Hating Game, and watching the producers do whatever necessary to bring more drama into the dating show. Here is a clip of my four star review:
“The Hating Game by Talli Roland has romance and scandal, along with likeable characters and fast plot points. The reality TV spin calls for some hilarious twists as the producers of the show try to inject more drama among the contestants. I liked the main character and the fact she wasn’t whining and complaining throughout about her love life. Instead she was a tough chick, not letting her ruined romance get in the way of her business and success.”
The Hating Game is currently available as an Ebook only, but the paperback version will be for sale in March of 2011. Be sure to check out Talli’s website or blog for more news from this London author, and to get your copy of The Hating Game.
Debut Novel: Four Thousand Miles
Jesi and I connected through the great land of Twitter, and she offered to send me a copy of her debut novel, Four Thousand Miles. I gratefully accepted, another book to read and another new author to meet, and Jesi agreed to do a Q&A session with me. After checking out her blog, http://diaryofabibliophile-jesilea.blogspot.com/, I found out we are from the same hometown of Dubuque, Iowa- we even went to the same high school, just during separate years. What a small world! Jesi was really inspiring to chat with, and gave some great insight on why she decided to begin her journey as a writer without an agent. She works with a fabulous publishing company, DCL Publications, and is steadily writing her second novel- which I can’t wait for! Four Thousand Miles was a terrific story filled with romance, uncertainty, and my favorite part- travel! Read a clip of my review:
“Natalie was a terrific heroine, and I supported her when she boarded that plane to London. There were real people with real problems going through the motions and figuring out their lives. And I love that! I think Jesi Lea Ryan did an outstanding job in Four Thousand Miles, and I hope she has more for us soon.”