Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Musa Publishing!

Musa is turning one, and we Musalings are full of festive cheer! So much so that the gals in charge are giving away some seriously sweet prizes. Hop on in and join the fun, and you can win one of two swag bags, a $50 Musa gift card or the Grand Dame of prizes: a Kindle Fire! All you have to do is visit the Musa author blogs listed below between October 1st and October 7th. Each blog you comment on earns you another entry into the drawing.

Please note that you'll need a US or Canada mailing address to win the Kindle Fire and the swag bags, but the $50 Musa gift card is open to everyone. Winners will be drawn and posted on October 9th.

Here's a pic of the contents of a swag bag, although I've been told that some 
of the swag may be slightly different and there will be more of it.

In order to celebrate this landmark day, I am giving away a copy of my book, Fashioning a Romance. To enter my drawing, please follow my blog and be sure to leave a comment as well with some way to get in touch with you. My own personal giveaway is open to everyone, so international blog hoppers need not worry.

Here's the blurb for Fashioning a Romance:

Dedicated American fashion girl, Caitlyn Taylor, can't stand players, and has successfully dodged them like enemy fire all her life. And then she meets fun-loving British CEO, John Harrington. Not only is he her boss's brother, he's the charismatic kind of womanizer that nightmares are made of. Worse still: he's exactly Caitlyn's type. As if his being the Superman of sex appeal isn’t enough, he's also got that quirky something-something that she adores. Not that she's even considering falling prey to his methods. No way.

John can’t fathom how Caitlyn can be impervious to his charms, given the extraordinary chemistry between them. The more she resists, the more determined he is to break down the walls she’s built up to keep him out. Forced to get creative, he orchestrates a “surprise” weekend in Paris for the two of them. Game on!

And there you have it! Musa Publishing is giving away some stellar prizes, and each of the 80+ blogs on the hop are also giving away a prize. So be sure to scroll down to the linky list and get hopping (and commenting). Have fun and good luck!!!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Girly Book Blog Hop: Sensational Secondary Characters

The Ever So Darling Sophie Harrington

“True, she was away with the fairies more often than anyone Caitlyn had ever known, but her heart was as big as her bank balance, and on the rare occasion that Caitlyn couldn’t fulfill one of her requests, Sophie was gracious and forgiving.”

– From Fashioning a Romance

Like many other romance authors – I suspect – I fell in love with the hero and heroine of my own book. Although Caitlyn is most definitely not me, we do share a lot of the same qualities. A strong work ethic, an adventurous spirit, tall girl issues. How could this character not be dear to my heart? And John, with his bizarre eccentricities, high intellect and total hotness, is pretty much my dream guy. So naturally I feel an affinity for my hero and heroine. But John’s sister, Sophie, is right up there with these two when it comes to my favorite Fashioning a Romance characters.

Fabulously whimsical and exuding easy charm, Sophie Harrington leads the kind of life that most of us can only ever dream of. She doesn’t have a job (well… not at the beginning of the book, anyway) and lives rent-free in a sprawling house owned by her parents in one of London’s poshest neighborhoods. Her social calendar is jam-packed, her passport is filled with stamps, she spends excessive amounts of time (and money) in the boutiques and the spas, and she calls everyone “darling”.

I knew I was taking somewhat of a risk by creating such a character. Figured there would be some readers who’d write her off as a materialistic airhead or perhaps even a stereotypical stock character – the ditz. She may come off this way in the beginning – although it is clear from the beginning that she’s a kind soul with a fragile side – but by the end of Fashioning a Romance, Sophie is a changed woman. She’s found her direction and she’s taken the first steps towards realizing her dream. She’s conscientious, she’s driven and she’s smarter than you might have thought. But she still calls everybody “darling”. 

Here's the blurb for Fashioning a Romance:

Dedicated American fashion girl, Caitlyn Taylor, can't stand players, and has successfully dodged them like enemy fire all her life. And then she meets fun-loving British CEO, John Harrington. Not only is he her boss's brother, he's the charismatic kind of womanizer that nightmares are made of. Worse still: he's exactly Caitlyn's type. As if his being the Superman of sex appeal isn't enough, he's also got that quirky something-something that she adores. Not that she's even considering falling prey to his methods. No way.

John can't fathom how Caitlyn can be impervious to his charms, given the extraordinary chemistry between them. The more she resists, the more determined he is to break down the walls she's built up to keep him out. Forced to get creative, he orchestrates a "surprise" weekend in Paris for the two of them. Game on!

And now for the details on my giveaway:

For your chance to win a $5 gift certificate to Amazon, I need you to do these two things 1) follow my blog and 2) leave a comment below with your opinion on the sort of guy you think I should pair Sophie up with. I’m toying with the idea of writing a romance for Sophie. If I do (and I’m not promising anything here) what kind of guy would you like to see her with? Please share your thoughts in the comment section and don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Thanks for stopping by, best of luck and happy hopping!!!


Linky Link to Girly Book Blog Hop Blogs

Click on the links below to get hopping:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Author Interview: Meredith Schorr

Hello all! Today I've got Meredith Schorr on the blog, whose new novel, A State of Jane, was released earlier this month and I can't wait to read it! From what I can tell, Jane Frank is a heroine who's oh so relatable. Read on to find out more about Meredith and to learn a fabulous new term she coined. Let me just say: Balpha. So brilliant. Sorry to be so cryptic. Don't mind me. And away we go...

Here's a little teaser from A State of Jane's back cover:

"Jane Frank is ready to fall in love.  It's been a year since her long term relationship ended and far too long since the last time she was kissed.  With the LSAT coming up she needs to find a long term boyfriend (or husband) before acing law school and becoming a partner in her father's law firm. There's just one problem: All of the guys in New York City are flakes.  They seemingly drop off the face of the earth with no warning and no explanation.  Should she join her best friend Marissa in singlehood, making cupcakes and watching True Blood?  Or should she follow her co-worker Andrew's advice and turn the game on those who scorned her? As Jane attempts to juggle her own responsibilities and put up with the problems of everyone around her, she starts to realize the dating life isn't as easy as she originally thought."

LM: I hear that! Welcome to my blog, Meredith. I hear you work as a paralegal. Did you interview a lot of lawyers about the LSAT and the quest for partnership?

MS: Actually, no.  I’ve been a paralegal for 15 years and in that time, I’ve met and worked with so many lawyers and aspiring lawyers that it really wasn’t necessary to do extra research.

LM: The cover of A State of Jane is fabulously eye catching. Could you tell us a little about what it represents?

MS: I am so glad you like the cover!  The spinning globe and falling objects from the book shelf represent a lack of control which is exactly what happens to my main character, Jane Frank, when her life plan veers way off track.  When a Type A loses control, it isn’t pretty!

LM: I'll bet! Now, that bit in your blurb about “turning the game back on those who scorned her” is certainly intriguing! Any hints as to what that might entail?

MS: I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that after one too many guys flake on Jane without any warning, after initially showing so much interest, she becomes quite keen on turning the tables.

LM: That's fabulous. Tell me, how is A State of Jane different from Just Friends With Benefits? How are the two novels similar?

MS: Well, both books are similar in that they are light, fun, humorous reads.  They are also similar in that the characters are realistic and the problems they face are relatable to women everywhere.  The main difference, I think, is that while both books are chick lit, Just Friends With Benefits contains a strong romantic element and A State of Jane does not. 

LM: How long ago did you start writing?

MS: I took my first writing course in 2002 or 2003 focusing on short stories and then I spent a couple of years blogging, but I did not start writing my first novel, Just Friends With Benefits, until 2008.

LM: Did you always want to be an author or did you get there by a roundabout way?

MS: I definitely did not always want to be an author. In fact, one of my older sisters used to write some of my assignments back in school!  My love of the craft first started in my role as a trademark paralegal. I enjoyed writing to my clients and loved receiving comments that I had exceptional writing skills.  That is when I began writing creatively.  I had no idea at the time that I would someday be a published author.  I count my blessings almost every day for discovering my passion for writing as it brings me more happiness than almost anything else I do.

LM: Aww, that's so wonderful to hear. Tell me: Do you have any wild or wacky writing quirks?

MS: I’m not sure this qualifies as a “quirk” but I do a lot of writing on my phone and my iPod touch.  It is less intimidating to fill a small screen with words as it is a large screen.  And it’s very convenient for writing on the go!

LM: Who are some of your favorite authors?

MS: Emily Giffin, although I have not read her most recent yet, is one of my favorites.  I also really enjoy Sophie Kinsella, Julie Buxbaum and Adena Halpern. Although these are the more well-known authors in my genre, I’ve recently been made aware of some great new authors including but definitely not limited to Tracie Banister, Natalie Aaron, Denise Grover Swank and Samantha Stroh Bailey.  I’m excited to read your book too!   

LM: Thanks! I hope you like it. What's your all-time favorite opening line?

MS: “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” - J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

LM Nice one. What’s your ultimate professional dream? Bestselling author status? Hollywood film adaptation? Total world domination? All of the above?

MS: I would really just like to make enough money writing that I could do it full time. I would love to have a nice-sized loyal readership. And, of course, I always cast who would play my characters in a movie or television show, you know, just in case :-)

LM: I hear that! What's your next project? Can you give us a little teaser of what’s to come?

MS: I am working on revisions of my 3rd novel, also chick lit.  I don’t want to give much away, but the main character is actually a part time popular chick lit book reviewer/blogger who finds herself being asked to review the book of her high school nemesis.  There is also a romance.

LM: I love the sound of that. So much built in conflict! Okay, now let's move on to a little something I call "pick one". First question: Plotter or Pantser? 

SM: I am primarily a panster.  I have a general idea of how the novel will end but how it happens is mostly a mystery.  I think it’s more fun that way.

LM: Character first or Plot first?
MS: Hmm, I’ve never actually thought about it.  I would say I come up with the general plot first and then tweak it depending on the characters I create.

LM: Mac or PC? 

LM: Edit as you go or Power Through and Edit Later?
MS: Both! I edit while I write and then I edit again when I am finished.

LM: Morning person or Night owl? 
MS: During the week I am a morning person – I get up early to go to the gym and like to go to bed by 11.  On the weekends, I am more of a night owl.  I stay out later at night and love to sleep in.  I try to revolve my Saturday afternoon schedule around sleeping late!

LM: Coffee or Tea? 
MS: Coffee

LMCoke or Pepsi?
MS: Neither, not a fan of soft drinks.

LM Sandals or Stilettos? 
MS: Both depending on the occasion.  I save Stilettos for special occasions and when I want to look super sexy.  Otherwise, sandals are much more comfortable!

LM: Diamonds or Pearls? 
MS: Diamonds

LM: Snow-capped mountain or Sandy beach? 
MS: Sandy beach

LM: Cowboys or CEOs?
MS: I don’t really have a “type” so it’s difficult to say. If Bradley Cooper showed up at my door, I would let him in whether he was wearing a cowboy hat/ boots and nicely fitted jeans or a designer suit.  I do like intelligent guys, but I wouldn’t make assumptions that CEOs are any smarter than cowboys.

LM: Ginger or Mary Ann? 
MS: Mary Ann.  I feel like Ginger tried too hard whereas Mary Ann was sexy without being so in your face.

LM: Superman or Batman? 
MS: Superman – I loved Christopher Reeve!

LM: Alpha heroes or Beta heroes? 
MS: May I have a little bit of both, please?  Is there such a thing as a “Balpha”?  I like a hero who is supportive and expressive yet also strong and protective.  Sexy for sure and he has to be funny. I also appreciate a man who can be aggressive and take-charge but easy going and laid back is also a nice quality.  *sigh*

LM: Austen or the Brontes? 
MS: To be honest, I am not a fan of either.  I am ducking for cover in case you want to throw things at me.  It’s not that I dislike either of these authors, but I haven’t read any of their work.

LM: Hehe. No worries. Mr. Darcy or Captain Butler?  
MS: I would have to go with Rhett Butler.  Mostly because I did not read Pride & Prejudice and loved Gone With The Wind.  That being said, I do love Colin Firth and am aware that he played Mr. Darcy in the BBC adaption so I might need to reconsider my answer…

LM: Well there you have it, folks. I hope all of you are as excited about reading A State of Jane as I am. Meredith, thanks so much for stopping by!

How to find Meredith Schorr:

Purchase A State of Jane:
Amazon (print)
Amazon (e-book)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Can't Even Think of a Title for This Post!

Hello, my dearest lovelies.

I am trying to decide on a title for my first ever self-published book and I'm having the hardest time with it! I'd love to get your opinion on this. Here's the skinny on the book, a romance/chick lit hybrid:

Maya is a former NY fashion designer who's run out of town because of a scandal. She reinvents herself as a fabric artist in San Francisco and is commissioned to do an installation at a dot com headquarters in Silicon Valley. Derek is the wunderkind tech entrepreneur who Maya goes to work for. He's a crazy workaholic - Maya describes him as a cold, robotic, superhuman android type. The story begins with her already in San Francisco, so the scandal stuff is in the past.

The cover will lean more towards chick lit than romance (even though Derek will be on there) and so I thought maybe the title should be more romantic. I'm afraid of irritating chick lit fans who might think there's too much romance in it so thought the title should maybe clue them in to the content. Then again, the blurb will do that...

Decisions, decisions.

Okay, here are some title options:


Woven Fabric

Butterfly Threads

Interlacing Threads

But Robots Can't Cuddle

Reinventing Maya

Masquerading as Maya

Maya 2.0

Which one would you pick? None of the above? If there are two or three of them that you like, please let me know. Many thanks!!!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Author Interview: Tracie Banister

Folks, today I've got Tracie Banister on the blog, author of the brand new novel, In Need of Therapy. I've just finished reading her first one, Blame it on the Fame, and let me tell you, it's a hilarious tale of five very different Academy Award nominees during the run-up to their big night. Packed with LOL moments and a few oh-no-she-didn'ts, I loved it and I can't wait to read In Need of Therapy. And now, without any further ado...

LM: Welcome, Tracie. Please tell us a bit about your new novel, In Need of Therapy.

TB: I think my book blurb says it best: 

Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she's everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how's the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart?

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who's equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it's "too late." Although she'd like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar's romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he's reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with a bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger.

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.

LM: Sounds fabulous. Have you worked as a therapist? If not, what was the research process like?

TB: I seriously considered psychology as a career and took several fascinating classes on the subject in school, but in the end I decided that I didn't have the patience to be a good therapist (I always want to tell people what to do and get very frustrated when they don't follow my excellent advice!) I've also been to therapy myself, so I know how psychologists operate and what the whole therapeutic process is like. So, the only research I really had to do was into specific psychological issues like Transference or Hypochondria or Sudden Wealth Syndrome.

LM: Hm. I wouldn't mind having Sudden Wealth Syndrome. Tell me, did you find it challenging to write from the POV of a Latina?

TB: Not really. I thrive on writing for characters who have different backgrounds, family dynamics, personalities, and careers than mine. Putting myself in someone else's shoes is fun! With Pilar, I enjoyed turning the whole Latina stereotype (loud, brash, vulgar) on its head and making the character really smart, grounded, career-oriented, and classy.

LM: Inquiring minds want to know: who would play Pilar in the film adaptation?

TB: I always pictured Pilar as Eva Mendes because Eva is sexy and pretty without being intimidating. Plus, Eva has this lovely, warm smile and kind eyes, just as I imagined someone as nurturing as Pilar would.

LM: How is In Need of Therapy different from Blame it on the Fame? How are the two novels similar?

TB: Both novels have humor and romance; they just vary in tone. The humor in my first book, Blame it on the Fame, is more biting as that story is set in Hollywood where there's a lot of competitiveness going on. And In Need of Therapy, the humor arises more from the situations the heroine finds herself in both personally and professionally. One big difference in the books is that Blame has some spicy language and love scenes while Therapy is much tamer in that regard. I'd like to think that books one and two are equally fast-paced and fun.

LM: I'm sure there are. Tell us - how long ago did you start writing?

TB: I can't remember a time when I didn't write! I was writing plays when I was in elementary school, multi-part stories in junior high, and literary analyses in high school. I started work on my first novel (Historical Romance if you can believe it!) when I was 20. So, writing has always been a very big, important part of my life.

LM: Did you always want to be an author or did you get there by a roundabout way?

TB: I always considered myself to be a writer, but I didn't think about writing to get published until about 8 years ago when my long-time job came to an end. Friends and family encouraged me to devote myself full-time to my writing and really make an effort to get my work published. Once I started down that track, there was no turning back!

LM: I hear ya. Do you have any wild or wacky writing quirks?

TB: I don't know about any of my quirks being wild or wacky, but I am a creature of habit. I always write in the same place (at my desk in my office), I always wear my Old Navy hoodie cardigan (which I call "my writing sweater"), and I always drink the same thing when I'm working (Lemon La Croix - I'm convinced that the carbonation stimulates my imagination!) Oh, and I always touch the head of my Shakespeare paperweight, which my brother bought for me in Stratford-on-Avon, before I started writing. For luck or inspiration, I'm not sure which.

LM: Cool. Who are some of your favorite authors?

TB: Of all time? Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Georgette Heyer, and Shakespeare. The author who made me want to become a writer was Kathleen Woodiwiss. I discovered her in my late teens and fell in love with her strong female characters and the well-developed romances in her books. The modern-day authors who inspire me are Lauren Willig, Gail Carriger, Elizabeth Peters, Nora Roberts, and Janet Evanovich.

LM: What's your all-time favorite opening line?

TB: It doesn't get any better than Pride and Prejudice: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

LM: I totally agree. What a brilliant opening line. What's your ultimate professional dream? Bestselling author status? Hollywood film adaptation? Total world domination? All of the above?

TB: Since I'm such a visual person and a lifelong fan of the movies, I'd say that seeing one of my books brought to life on the big screen would be the biggest thrill I could imagine. Heck, I'd be thrilled to see one of my books turned into a Hallmark Channel movie! :-)

LM: What's your next project? Can you give us a little teaser of what's to come?

TB: My next project is a still-untitled Chick Lit novel about two sisters who are polar opposites and live in San Francisco. I can't say anything more without getting spoilery, but I can promise plenty of comedy, romance, cute guys, and even cuter dogs.

LM: Ooh, I can't wait to read it. Now let's move onto a little something I'm calling "pick one".
Plotter or Pantser?

TB: I'm both actually, so call me a "Plotty Pantser!"

LM: Character first or Plot first?

TB: I almost always start with a premise first, then the characters just naturally spring to mind.

LM: Mac or PC?

TB: I used a Mac way before it was cool, but they're too pricey for me now. So, a PC is this struggling writer's computer of choice.

LM: Edit as you go or Power through and edit later?

TB: Edit as I go.

LM: Morning person or Night owl?

TB: I've always been a morning person.

LM: Coffee or Tea?

TB: Tea. Must be the British blood from my grandmother's side of the family.

LM: Coke or Pepsi?

TB: I live in Atlanta, which is where Coca Cola headquarters is located, so I'd probably be ejected from the state if I didn't say Coke. I'm drinking a Diet Caffeine Free Coke right now.

LM: Sandals or Stilettos?

TB: Neither, really. I'm more of a sneakers girl.

LM: Diamonds or Pearls?

TB: Diamonds. They're my birthstone!

LM: Snow-capped mountain or Sandy beach?

TB: Snow-capped mountain all the way. I'm a big fan of cold weather.

LM: Cowboys or CEOs?

TB: CEOs, definitely. I love a man in an expensive designer suit.

LM: Ginger or Mary Ann?

TB: Ginger. She had a better wardrobe!

LM: Superman or Batman?

TB: Batman. Superman is too much of a goody two-shoes!

LM: Alpha heroes or Beta heroes?

TB: It really depends on the story. I like to read and write about both.

LM: Austen or the Brontes?

TB: This is like Sophie's Choice! I'll go with Austen as she's my all-time favorite writer.

LM: Mr. Darcy or Captain Butler?

TB: Captain Butler, of course! I love a snarky bad boy! :-)

LM: Tracie, thank you so much for stopping by and telling us about your new book.

TB: Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Libby!

Where you can find Tracie Banister:

Tracie's blog

Purchase In Need of Therapy:
Barnes & Noble

Purchase Blame it on the Fame: