Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Izzy's Cold Feet Meets Finding Lucas in London

As part of the United Authors of Chick Lit adventure, Izzy from Sarah Louise Smith's Izzy's Cold Feet is visiting today to take Jamie Ross from Finding Lucas on a tour of London. Thanks, Izzy! Izzy's Cold Feet is a fantastic book, and I'm happy to have Izzy here today.


It was a lovely sunny day in London and I greeted my friend Jamie in Hyde Park. She was visiting from Chicago and we had planned a day of sightseeing. We walked down to Buckingham Palace and I felt quite proud, as if I’d built it myself, as Jamie got excited about it. Then we went to Big Ben, which she said was smaller than expected, from there we walked over Westminster Bridge and joined the queue for the London Eye. 


That’s when I told her about my fiancĂ© Greg in more detail. I told her about how great he was for a good five to ten minutes before she interrupted me and said:

“But do you really love him?”

How did she bloody well know? I mean, it’s like the woman has a sixth sense or something. Maybe she’s been through this uncertain feeling herself. Maybe she knows real love when she sees it. I don’t know. But I told her it was all fine. Of course it’s all fine!

And we carried on our day, having a lovely time, without another moment’s thought about Greg. For now.

One month later... and only a week to go until my wedding day...

It was time to get up. An idea had formed in my mind. Without giving myself the opportunity to hesitate, I got up and went to the shoe box I kept in the bottom of my wardrobe and pulled it out. I’d guiltily stuffed it behind all my shoes when I’d moved in [with Greg] six weeks earlier, not really expecting to ever want to look at it again, but not quite ready to dispose of it either.

I’m a hoarder. I keep stuff. Somewhere in my parents’ attic are several boxes full of mementoes from my youth: toys, books, letters, postcards, cassette tapes, scarves, my old school tie and a bunch of photos. Those things meant something to me and I couldn’t throw them away.

This box at the back of my wardrobe contained somewhat different, more adult memories. I sat on the carpet and stared at it for a few seconds, knowing that it was a bad idea to open it, and yet knowing that I couldn’t resist it anyway. I may as well get on with it.

Slowly, I slid the lid off the box and picked up the envelope resting at the top. It contained photographs, and there, ready to seed the doubts even further, were the faces of all the men in my life before I met Greg.

First, there was a photo of Ewan, with his stupid straggly long hair, broad shoulders and sexy smile. Oh, how I’d loved him. I sighed again. I wondered what he was doing now. Did he ever think of me? There were a few photos of him: sitting on a beach showing off his muscular chest; another where he was standing in front of a mountain with a thoughtful look in his eyes; and then one of us together in Verona. My heart ached at the sight of us, side by side. We looked so happy. Until the day we’d split up, I was happy. I had never doubted my feelings for Ewan, like I was doubting my feelings for Greg.
What did that mean?

Next, my eyes fell on a photograph of Jason, looking serious and sophisticated in his dark grey suit. I tried to remember which wedding it had been taken at. I looked closely into his dark eyes and felt a tingle inside my chest, remembering how he used to make me feel whenever he looked at me. There were several more photos of him cooking and of us together with other people. I was always smiling in those photos. I’d been happy with him. Why had I screwed that one up?

I quickly pushed the photos of Dexter to the back of the pile. Every time I saw his face I still felt the humiliating wound he’d left. If he hadn’t hurt me would I still be with him now? I’d been asking myself this ever since I last saw him. It was no good. I’d never know. I’d probably still be with him. But he doesn’t love you, I reminded myself.

I put the photos down and looked at the other items I’d saved: a beautiful platinum engagement ring, which I realised now with a shudder of guilt, I preferred to the one I was wearing; a post-it note that said ‘I love you!’ in Jason’s neat handwriting; a pen from Venice;  a shell from a beach in Pembrokeshire. Each object held a memory of the man I’d been in love with at the time.

I put the lid back on the box. This was stupid. It would do no good to look through the memories of the men who were no longer in my life. It would only add to the ‘what if’ question that was burning through my mind. What if one of them wanted me back? Would I marry Greg then? Who would I choose if I had the choice? Who had I loved most?
~
Find out what happens when each of Izzy’s ex-boyfriend turn up in the week leading up to her wedding day...



One bride to be. Three ex-boyfriends.
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: sexy Ewan, the first love of her life; dependable Jason, who loved her more than she deserved; and irresistible Dexter, who broke her heart…
Then there’s the fact that her sister has been missing since Izzy was twelve. After such a traumatic childhood all Izzy wants is a normal, happy, settled life, but love is never simple.

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?

Buy Izzy's Cold Feet!

Hop on over to Sarah Louise Smith's blog to find out where Jamie from Finding Lucas is taking Izzy...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

United Authors of Chick Lit


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 
Amazon UK
Kobo 
In Need of Therapy by Tracie BanisterHandling 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 
Amazon UK 
B&N 
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
Amazon UK 
B&N 
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 
Amazon UK 

The Pollyanna Plan by Talli RolandEmma Beckett has always looked down on 'the glass is half full' optimists. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancĂ©, 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
Amazon UK 

Blogger Girl by Meredith SchorrKimberly 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 
Amazon UK  
B&N
Apple iTunes

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 

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 
Amazon UK 


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Tuesday, Oct. 22
Stella will be on Anna Garner’s blog and Chloe will be on Sue Watson’s blog 

Wednesday, Oct. 23
Emma will be on Meredith Schorr’s blog and Kim will be on Talli Roland’s blog 
Thursday, Oct. 24
Izzy will be on Samantha Stroh Bailey’s blog and Jamie will be on Sarah Louise Smith’s blog

Friday, Oct. 25
Kate will be on Tracie Banister’s blog and Pilar will be on Rachael Lucas’s blog 

I'm very excited to be a part of this international celebration of chick lit with some incredibly talented authors. Hope you'll join us on our adventure!




Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Mystical High by Lisette Brodey

I think it was on Twitter where I first met the incredibly talented author Lisette Brodey. We discovered we had similar senses of humor, a love of life and some serendipitous connections through Toronto. And when I read Molly Hacker is Too Picky, I knew that I would read anything else Lisette writes. If you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it. Lisette is smart, generous, kind and hilarious, and I'm honored to participate in the cover reveal for her latest book, Mystical High.

Here is the cover for Mystical High, the first in a YA paranormal desert series trilogy! I can't stop staring at the girl's eyes on the cover.



Author:  Lisette Brodey
Publisher:  Saberlee Books
Word Count:  approx. 72,700
Genre:  YA Paranormal
Content Warning: Mild sexual content and non-gratuitous profanity
Recommended Age:  14+

Synopsis:  In Mystekal, a small, dying town in the Southern California desert, only 75 students attend the old, sometimes creepy high school dubbed “Mystical High,” where strange things have been known to happen. Jessie Dalworth and Jinxsy Patterson are juniors and lifelong best friends. At home, Jessie deals with the pain of an absentee mother who has abandoned the family for the lure of Hollywood; Jinxsy contends with a 17th “birthday present” she never wanted or expected.

Meanwhile, at school, the unexplained activity begins to escalate when Jinxsy keeps seeing a long-haired guy in the hallway checking her out. Jessie can’t see him, but her younger brother, River, can.

Then, in English class, a stapler mysteriously flies off teacher Eve Carrow’s desk, hitting a student in the face who has just mouthed off to her. The beloved teacher is in the unenviable position of having her brute of a father as principal, so she hates sending any student to his office. As Principal Ernest Carrow begins to terrorize Eve and others more openly, something or someone unseen decides that it’s payback time.

School is getting stranger, and Jinxsy and Jessie are faced with mind-boggling changes in their home lives that complicate everything. When a string of shocking events expose explosive secrets, decades-long mysteries are finally revealed.

Buy Mystical High!

Excerpt from Mystical High

Eve Carrow, Mystekal High’s English teacher, glanced at the giant wall clock as Jessie and Jinxsy slipped into their seats seconds before the bell.
“Welcome, you two. I wasn’t sure you were going to join us today. I like to be fashionably late at parties sometimes, but school is a different story.”
The old bell sounded loudly.
Jessie opened her notebook, grabbed To Kill A Mockingbird, the current class book, from her backpack, and sat upright in her chair. “See? We’re on time. Ready to go.”
“Yes, you are.”
Jinxsy, still fumbling through her backpack, looked at her friend, then at her teacher. “Jess had a mishap with her locker. Cut her finger.”
From the back of the room, Taylor cackled. “Yeah, it took her ten minutes for Her Vampiress to suck a few drops of blood and ten more minutes for the Jinx to calm her down.”
Jessie turned abruptly in her chair. “You are so exaggerating, Taylor. Keep out of my business.”
“Your boring business.” Taylor ran her fingers through her blond and purple hair. “No wonder you don’t have a boyfriend when the biggest part of your day is a little boo boo on your finger. Waaaaaaaah!”
Eve, though usually of the sweetest demeanor, slammed a book down on her desk. “Taylor Dennison. Stop. Now. Everyone else, face front.” As she looked around the room, her angry look softened. “Okay, who wants to begin our discussion about Boo Radley?”
Sophia Chavez raised her hand. “I will.”
“Thank you, Sophia. Please go on.”
“Well, I know the kids made up a lot of stories about him, but it’s only natural, you know? I mean, he never came out of the house. There were creepy rumors, like how he stabbed his dad in the leg with scissors. If I heard that about someone, I would be thinking the same way that Scout, Jem, and Dill did.”
Eve nodded her head in agreement. “It’s very easy to assume all kinds of things when we don’t know the truth.”
“So why is that, Ms. Carrow?”
“Well, Sophia, I think it’s because as human beings, we like answers. If an answer can be looked up or found out, most of us will choose that route. But when the answer to a question isn’t readily available, we tend to make things up, to satisfy our inquiring brains. It’s not a good thing to do, but human beings engage in this practice quite liberally. What do you think of my assessment?”
Jessie, with little animation on her face, responded to her teacher’s question. “I think you’re right.”
Taylor yelled from the back of the room. “Why? Because people talk crap about your hermit crab aunt?”
Jessie turned and glared at Taylor. She bit her lip so hard it almost bled. She knew that if she responded, the words would be ugly ones she wouldn’t want to be heard saying.
Eve was furious. “Taylor, that was positively uncalled for. And just plain cruel. I’m being extraordinarily generous by not sending you to the principal’s office. But one more outburst and I won’t hesitate.”
Silence fell over the room. The principal of Mystekal High was Eve’s father, Ernest Carrow. He had been the principal since Eve herself was a student. The only person who seemed to tolerate him at all was his secretary, and he seemed to like children as much as picnic goers like ants.
Carrow was the wealthiest man in Mystekal and owned a large percentage of the real estate, both commercial and residential. He didn’t need the salary he earned as Mystekal High’s principal, but he liked to control people, and being in charge of everyone at the school helped him to do just that.
Even though she couldn’t stand sending students to her father’s office, Eve hated making empty threats even more. She despised him, and sending a student for discipline meant that she had to deal with her father as well. She would have to endure a lecture about how she wasn’t able to control her class or how she had failed to mete out proper discipline. Eve pretended not to hear Taylor’s last remark and prayed she would not step over the line again. At least for the remainder of class.
“Would you all please take out your class assignment for this week? We’re going to share.”
Cade Swift raised his hand.
“Yes, Cade?”
“Do you mean the paper you asked us to write on who we thought Boo Radley really was? The one where you wanted us to write a description of how we saw his life inside that house?”
“The one and only.”
Cade bit his lip. “Uh, would you mind calling on me last?”
“Since when are you shy?”
“I’m not. But after what you said to Sophia I’m thinking maybe I need to rewrite my paper.”
Taylor’s boyfriend, Santino Vega, laughed. “Dude, don’t you mean write it. Period.”
Cade, the dark-haired boy known for his smiling eyes was quick to respond. “No, Vega, I mean rewrite it.”
Eve Carrow was intrigued. “Why do you want to rewrite it, Cade?”
Cade looked embarrassed and responded more softly than usual. “Um, I think maybe I was too judgmental. Just want to do it over.”
Jessie looked admiringly at Cade, then at her best friend. Jinxsy knew Jessie had a crush on him but had been denying it. Jessie’s glance confirmed that she was ready to admit it. But whether or not she was ready to seek out Cade’s affections was an entirely different story.
Eve Carrow smiled. “Actually, Cade. I’d like you to read your paper as you wrote it and then tell us how you’d like to change it.”
“Oh, man. Do I have to?”
The class giggled and Jessie’s eyes grew wide with anticipation.
“As your teacher, I would truly appreciate it.”
“Read it, dude. Then tell everyone how you’ve gone soft on Radley.”
Eve looked sternly at the class loudmouth. “Mr. Vega, I can only surmise by your comments that you would prefer to lead the class into this exercise. By all means, why don’t you go first?”
Santino looked angry. “Listen, Ms. Carrow. I think it was really a stupid assignment. I mean, Harper Lee already wrote the character. There’s no point in us rewriting the dude. Sorry, didn’t do it and I’m not gonna do it. Any questions?”
As Santino’s words fell on the shocked class and the disrespected teacher, a gust of desert wind rushed through the open window, blew a small stapler off Eve Carrow’s desk, and sent it flying through the air before it landed sharply on Santino’s mouth.
“What the —?” Santino wiped the blood from his mouth.
As the class focused on the freak accident, Eve looked out the window and noticed that it was a very still day. The sagebrush was not moving. There was not even the faintest trace of wind.




Lisette Brodey was born and raised in Pennsylvania. After high school, she moved to New York City where she attended Pace University and studied drama. After ten years in New York, several of them working in the radio industry, she moved to Los Angeles, where she held various positions at Paramount Studios in Hollywood and CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA.

Back on the East Coast, she worked for many years as a freelance writer, specializing in PR and the entertainment industry. In 2010, she returned permanently to the Los Angeles area.

Her first-published book, CROOKED MOON (General Fiction) was published in both the trade paperback and Kindle editions in 2008. Her first-written, second-published book, SQUALOR, NEW MEXICO (Young Adult/General Fiction) was published in the Kindle and trade paperback versions in 2009.

Her third novel, MOLLY HACKER IS TOO PICKY!, a romantic comedy, was published December 1, 2011. The author blogged as her character, Molly Hacker, for over a year. All blogs can be found at www.mollyhacker.com.

In January 2013, the author edited and published a book of her mother's poetry (written 50 years earlier) called MY WAY TO ANYWHERE by Jean Lisette Brodey.

Lisette's fourth novel, MYSTICAL HIGH, is the first book in her YA Paranormal Desert Series trilogy.

Connect with Lisette!


Giveaway! 

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
  • Print copy of Squalor, New Mexico (US Only)
 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

BookBuzz Toronto!

Over the last year or so, I've become incredibly close to two amazing authors: Meredith Schorr and Francine LaSala. They are my author BFFs, and together, we founded BookBuzz 2013, a promotional and interactive author/reader party that kicked off in NYC last May. The event was a huge success and brought together authors, bloggers and readers from all over North America.

A few months ago, I was chatting with Lydia Laceby, Kaley Stewart and Cat Lavoie, and we decided that Toronto needed its own event because we have such a fantastic community of readers and authors here. BookBuzz Toronto was born, and on November 7th from 7-9 p.m. at The Crest, ten women's fiction authors, including me, will be having a mix and mingle party! So, if you're going to be in Toronto, swing on by for a free Pink Stiletto drink, some delicious snacks and get signed books at a reduced price for one night only. Featured at BookBuzz Toronto are: Lydia Laceby, Cat Lavoie, Chantel Guertin, Meredith Schorr, Francine LaSala, Kate Hilton, Romi Moondi, Samantha March and Heather Wardell. Now, that's an incredible lineup of talent!

I'm so excited about this event because it will bring together the literary community in a fun, relaxed and fantastic party that celebrates books and Toronto. For more information, check out our website and please RSVP to bookbuzz2013@gmail.com to snag your space! Also, be sure to check out some hilarious Would You Rather blog posts from the BookBuzz Toronto authors at Novel Escapes.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cover Reveal! Vegas to Varanasi by Shelly Hickman

It is such a pleasure to participate in the cover reveal of Shelly Hickman's third novel, Vegas to Varanasi. Readers always comment on the messages woven throughout Shelly's books; yet, these messages aren't forced. Her novels provide joy, entertainment and an opportunity for growth and self-reflection. Shelly is warm, funny and smart, and I can't wait to read this when it is released in December, 2013!


Anna has never been the beautiful one; she’s always been the nice one. So when the gorgeous man sitting across the table at a wedding reception remembers her from high school—and quite fondly at that—she’s taken off guard. Formerly overweight and unpopular, Kiran has never forgotten Anna, the one person who was kind to him when no one else could be bothered, and Anna’s a bit flustered as she slowly comes to grips with his intense attraction for her. In what feels like a romantic dream come true, all-grown-up, hunky Kiran invites Anna on a trip to Varanasi. But her troubled, whack-a-do ex-boyfriend starts interfering, creating drama at every turn, which begs the question, “Can nice girls really finish first?”


Who doesn't love a story about the unpopular girl finally getting noticed?


Living in Las Vegas since she was two, Shelly Hickman has witnessed many changes in the city over the years. She graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor of Art in 1990, and in her early twenties worked as an illustrator for a contractor for the Nevada Test Site. In the mid-90s, she returned to school to earn her Masters degree in Elementary Education. She now teaches computer literacy and media technology at a middle school in Las Vegas. She loves to write about people, examining their flaws, their humor, spirituality, and personal growth. Shelly lives with her husband, two children, and their dog, Frankie.

Connect with Shelly!

Twitter: @shellyhickman

*NOTE FROM SHELLY:
 
Reviews can be a pain in the patootie to accumulate, but are so very important to authors. As part of my cover reveal, I’m offering an advanced reader copy to anyone who would be willing to share a review on Amazon (and Goodreads, if it’s not too much trouble) during the first week of December. If you are interested, please contact me at sydneyhickman91@gmail.com, or message me on Facebook, indicating in which format you would like your ARC (Kindle, Nook, or pdf), and I will gladly send you a copy.