Writing Goals 2017: Just Hold It Together

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anxietySo. 2017, eh? That shouldn’t be a difficult concept to grasp. Coming year, fresh start, New Year’s resolutions, long-term plans. But for those of us who are having a hard enough time wrapping our minds around something more immediate…like…oh, I don’t know…tomorrow, maybe, or even a couple of hours from now…”next year” and its goals can be a big scary monster we’d prefer to pretend isn’t lurking in the bedroom closet. Long-term plans? I cannot even. Read the rest of this entry

Fugitives from the Library

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libraryI love Julie Valerie’s topic for her blog hop this month. Libraries! Avid writers/readers like me are passionate about libraries! And I’ll bet anything we have similar warm memories of the place—devouring everything in the juvenile section, from Go Dog Go to Judy Blume; discovering our genre of choice that we actually ended up writing as adults, like romance or mystery; meeting our friends there; spending rainy afternoons wandering through the stacks. We can all expound on the feeling of being surrounded by thousands of volumes, the smell of old books, the crinkling sound of the clear plastic covers protecting the hardbacks, the nice (or mean) librarian who always seemed to be behind the counter, the thunk of the card reader.

So, to avoid repeating a tale every library lover knows by heart, I’ll tell you about the time I became a fugitive from a library. In a foreign country. Read the rest of this entry

When the Book Club Goes Boom—Er, Fizzle

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I was a member of a book club once. It was a glorious five minutes.

I live in a very small village that’s best described as pretty much entirely unlike the idyllic Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. It’s the Upside Down of Stars Hollow, in fact. No quirky neighbors, not many cute shops, very few fun events. Knitathon for charity? Newp. Picnic basket auction? Nuh-uh. (And don’t even get me started on the sad lack of hunky Luke types.)

Needless to say, when a friend invited me to join a book club, I exclaimed, “There’s a book club?!” and said yes without hesitation. What a rush—a circle of educated, intelligent women spanning the ages of late-thirtysomething through seventysomething, all eager to discuss literature instead of, well, one another/their friends/their relatives/their neighbors—all of those categories overlap, by the way—which is pretty much the official village sport. Read the rest of this entry

Confessions of a Former Bookschlepper

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When Julie Valerie announced this month’s Fiction Writers Blog Hop theme was “bookstores,” I was so excited. The mere thought of those hallowed retail establishments inspires all the feels in me, because they’re my second home—and not just for shopping. My undergraduate degree was a BA in creative writing, which meant that it was highly likely my first job was going to be at a bookstore, and…yep, it was.

I started out at the Village Green Bookstore in Rochester, NY, for the incredible minimum wage of $3.35 an hour! When I got a whopping 25 cent raise, I thought I’d hit the big time! (Yes, I had to live with my parents, but I loved that job, so it was worth it.) My second bookstore was the Brookline Booksmith, where I worked part time while I was attending Boston College for grad school. And when I became disenchanted with teaching high school, I sought refuge at Borders, once again in Rochester. So after two indie places and a chain store, I kind of know a little bit about bookstores. Here’s the inside scoop: Read the rest of this entry

Glynis Astie’s Gamer Girl Is Here!

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Glynis Astie, chick lit author extraordinaire, has a new book out! You need to read it! No, seriously, I had the honor of being one of Glynis’ beta readers, so I know what I’m talking about. It’s a fun, touching read about an introvert, well, gamer girl, who has to find as much courage in her real life as she displays in her beloved computer game, Spellbound, to achieve her happily-ever-after with hottie Morgan Chandler. Here’s a little sample of Gamer GirlRead the rest of this entry

Breaking: Fluffy-Tailed Rodent Takes Revenge on Unsuspecting Homeowner

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Squirrelsville – An unnamed gray squirrel lashed out violently today when denied its normally easily obtained meal of sunflower seeds. Read the rest of this entry

Chatting With the Chicks of Chick Lit

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May is International Chick Lit Month! The ladies of Chick Lit Chat are celebrating with a week of festivities (see my previous post to enter our contest to win a Kindle and Amazon gift card!) Today we’re chatting with some of my main characters!

Chuck: Ha ha ha ha welcome, welcome everyone to Chatting With the Chicks of Chick Lit. I’m your host, Chuck Lottateeth, and I am so thrilled to be able to introduce you to some of the most fascinating characters in literature today. I’m talking about the leading ladies of chick lit—those enchanting, romantic, darling, sexy, sweet, funny, headstrong—and, let’s face it, sometimes downright frustrating—modern women who headline this fabulously fun genre. I’m sure you’re going to love getting the skinny on these “novel” heroines, and who knows? You might just find your new BFF on the pages of one of these books!

Without further ado, please put your hands together and show some love for today’s guests, the heroines of Jayne Denker’s small-town series!

DoL coverWelcome the main character of the first Marsden novel, Down on Love: Georgiana (“George”) Down! Georgiana’s a blogger whose advice column/anti-relationship site, Down on Love, is really taking off, but she gets in over her head when she moves back to Marsden after being away most of her adult life.

Picture This (eBook)Our second guest, from the second Marsden novel, Picture This: Celia Marshall! We first met Celia in Down on Love, as the former girlfriend of George’s crush from high school, Casey Bowen. In Picture This, she’s moved to New York City to be a photographer’s assistant, and she’s caught the eye of a bona fide movie star.

Our third guest, from the third Marsden novel, Lucky for You: Jordan Leigh! Celia’s younger—and much more troublesome—cousin, Jordan settles in Marsden for the first time since her family moved away when she was a child, and she’s got some baggage. Namely, an ankle monitor. She’s under house arrest, and is being babysat by straitlaced but sexy police officer Will Nash.

What a threesome we’ve got here! Let’s get started, shall we? Read the rest of this entry

Chick Lit May A to Z: X Is For…

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Hooray for International Chick Lit Month! Hunting for prizes? You’ve come to the right place! Hop on the #ChickLitMay “A to Z” Scavenger Hunt and collect all 26 words for the chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite and a $100 Amazon gift card! My letter is… Read the rest of this entry

The TV Character Bloodbath: Not White? Not Male? Not Safe!

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Two weeks ago I was spitting nails about the horrible season ender of Sleepy Hollow. Yeah, yeah, spoiler alert. Everyone should know this by now: Abbie Mills, the main character, was killed off. You can read my reaction to it here—I can’t bear to go through it all again.

As is probably apparent in my previous blog post, I was livid at not only the actual choice to kill Abbie off, but also the sheer ineptitude with which it was done. As a writer, I boggled at the ham-fisted fashioning of the season finale (series finale? at this point I hope so)…actually, at the entire trajectory of the show after the creators left at the end of the first season.

I’m still pissed—yes, still! it was that poorly done!—but once I started thinking about the why of it all, my rage got even hotter. So here’s another blog post, rant No. 2. Buckle up, and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Read the rest of this entry

Trainwreck TV: The Untimely Demise of Sleepy Hollow; or, Who Wrote This Sh*t?

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I should have known something bad was going down with one of my favorite TV shows, Sleepy Hollow, when my literary agent sent me a tweet about the season finale. With three red angry faces in the tweet. Not a good sign.

Unfortunately, I can’t say I didn’t expect to be kicked around by the show. I’d been watching this season with shoulders tensed and eyes squinted, like a kid forced to share the back seat of the family car with a sibling prone to punching my arm at unexpected intervals. Sleepy Hollow had been punching the daylights out of my enjoyment of the series for the past two of its three seasons; why should it change its tune with the season 3 finale?

Sure enough, the last episode was far from pretty, culminating in (do I still have to say “spoiler alert”? okay: spoiler alert) the death of…oh, nobody special, just Abbie, the main character. That was several days ago, and the fandom hasn’t calmed down yet. Nor should it. Not only was it an untimely death, it was…hm, how to put this…a stupid, stupid move.

Why did it happen? The accusations are still flying: Read the rest of this entry