Chick Lit Chat HQ does it again

What’s your favorite fall activity? What’s the coolest pumpkin design you’ve ever done? What’s your favorite autumn treat? What are you dressing up as this year … or what’s your most memorable costume to date?

If you can answer any one of these questions, you’re ready for Chick Lit Chat HQ’s next killer Facebook hop: PUMPKINS AND PAGES!

From October 1st through the 7th, more than 50 Chick Lit and Romantic Comedy authors are banding together to bring you our most awesome event yet! Along with individual author prizes, we’ll be giving away a beautiful fall wreath by Etsy superstar TwoInspireYou (valued at $160), as well as THREE grab bags overflowing with pumpkin-scented, pampering goodies from Bath & Body Works. Pumpkin spice lattes, chunky sweaters, and crunchy leaves ain’t got nothing on this week-long party!


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Have you seen these?

Check out this new line of Disney Toms, so far featuring Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and now Snow White.

I wonder who’s next. Penelopea perhaps? 😉

Use this link to save $20 off a $75 order

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Readers’ Favorite announces 2018 winners (and look who’s listed!!)

I’m very excited to announce that Desperately Ever After has received the Finalist Award for Fiction – Chick Lit in this year’s Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest, which receives thousands of entries from over a dozen countries.

According to press materials, “Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the ‘Best Websites for Authors’ and ‘Honoring Excellence’ awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.”

Respectively, the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals went to The Summer of New Beginnings, by USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby; Seeds of Intention, a 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award winner, by Andrea Thome; and The Royal Treatment, by Melanie Summers.

For more information, visit

Congratulations to all the winners!


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Mother’s Day


My plan, several weeks ago, was to organize a casual Mother’s Day get-together with my brothers, buy the wine my mom said she liked last month, get her either the orchid or sweet mason jar arrangement I spotted during my always frantic errands, and have my girls draw something just for her.

Maybe, if all that panned out, I’d even have time to write a glowing but still private tribute to her on this blog. I would tell her how, now that I’m a mother, I’m ten million times more appreciative of how she kept all four of us alive each day … let alone fed us, took us to school, scheduled play dates, broke up our fights, cleaned up our vomit, nursed our wounds, kept us clothed (especially pre-online shopping!), read bedtime stories, helped with our homework, planned adventures, made us laugh, taught us values, tucked us into bed every night, and made sure we always knew we were loved. 

I’d also tell her how, now that I’m a mother, I don’t know how she did all that without someone like HER helping out. Because she still helps me so, so much. She is the strongest woman I know. I am so grateful to have her, and also grateful that my daughters have her now. 

So while the flowers didn’t quite work out as planned (blame: a witching hour toddler tantrum for the ages), and I couldn’t find the wine I wanted (blame: poor inventory and poor time management), I did manage a nice Saturday afternoon get-together at her house. And my toddler did come through with a beautiful crayon portrait of her and Grandma. These days, two out of four ain’t bad — and I know she understands that. 

I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day 🙂

For all you moms and moms-to-be, may you enjoy as restful a Sunday as this role allows. It isn’t an easy one. The hours are ridiculous, there is no employee handbook or HR department to vent to, and the parameters shift every time you finally start to figure things out. But you can’t find a job with better perks anywhere, the rewards last a lifetime, and the memories will always make you smile.

The following video from Motherly draws on that point. It is absolutely beautiful, but be warned: you’ll need tissues.



A few reminders:

  • Click Lit Chat’s Happily Ever Hop ends tonight! Dozens of prizes are up for grabs, including gift cards, a “royal treatment” grand prize package, and a copy of Desperately Ever After’s first audiobook. Check Facebook for details.
  • Tantor Media has released the Desperately Ever After and Damsels in Distress audiobooks, with Skipping Midnight coming out Tuesday. They are available at both and Amazon.
  • If you want to save some $$ on the audiobook or ebook, read this before buying.


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Happily Ever After Hop — and giveaway!


In addition to some gorgeous weather this morning, today comes with a very exciting event: the start of Chick Lit Chat HQ’s Happily Ever After Hop!

I am thrilled for several reasons. First, because there are so many wonderful, funny, talented writers participating beside me. Second, because I love giving things away. And third, because this hop truly seems tailor-made for my books.

Each day during the hop, a handful of us will take to Facebook to discuss how our books relate to the themes of “searching for Prince Charming” and living “happily ever after.” Well, in my case the question should actually be: How DON’T they relate? The Desperately Ever After series is a direct result of these concepts. It’s what happens when you take our most beloved fairy tale princesses and imagine how things went down after true love’s kiss. Did Snow White’s prince ever lose his luster? Was Belle eternally happy after Beast traded his fur for skin? Did four kids and the pressures of running a kingdom ever weigh too hard on Cinderella? Like us, the women in these books struggle with family, kids, career, regret, and especially … men. Like us, not everyone who’s achieved her “happy ending” seems to know it, and not everyone who hasn’t seems to know what she wants.

Thankfully, my CLC friends and I have put together a truly fantastic prize package that you most definitely WILL want — unless you have an aversion to jewels, chocolate and gift cards, this is.

The Happily Ever After Hop runs all the way through Mother’s Day, with new giveaways opening up each day (mine’s May 10 — mark your calendars).

For all the details, head over to the official Happily Ever After Hop event page via this link:

Thanks and good luck!

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Psst… want to save some $$$?

The audio version of Damsels in Distress (Book 2) was released April 17, with Skipping Midnight coming out May 15. What better time to let you in on a few money-saving tips?

On the e-book:
Three years after blogging about Amazon’s Kindle Matchbook program, I’ve finally gotten with the program. Going forward, each purchase of a Desperately Ever After print book comes with the opportunity to add the Kindle version for just 99 cents. That’s right. No longer will my readers have to agonize between portable e-book and cozy paperback. Hey, in today’s crazy world, every bit of happiness counts. Am I wrong?

On the audiobook:
Aside from subscribing to Audible and listening in for free, Amazon’s Whispersync program allows anyone who has purchased the e-book to add audio for $7.49. Simply log in to the Amazon account you used to buy the e-book for details.

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The audiobook is out!

A few weeks ago, I let my Facebook followers and email list subscribers in on a not-so-little secret: the sale of Desperately Ever After’s audio rights to Tantor Media! I just couldn’t wait until the first recording was finished to announce. I was already bursting at the seams.

But today … I can finally shout to the WORLD that THE FIRST DESPERATELY EVER AFTER AUDIOBOOK IS OUT!!!!!!!!

What’s more, I can introduce the woman who is giving my series a voice, Sarah Mollo-Christensen.

Sarah Mollo-Christensen

According to her official Tantor bio, Sarah is a stage and voice actor who graduated from both Dartmouth College and the Atlantic Theater Company’s Acting Conservatory in New York City. She has appeared on many regional stages, including the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C., and can be heard on public radio’s This American Life. Her bio says she “enjoys finding the humor and depth in the stories she narrates,” and AudioFile magazine praised her ability to hit “the awkward moments and the sweet with equal sensitivity.”

It’s a pretty impressive resume. But that’s not what drew me to Sarah. What hooked me was her voice’s uncanny ability to change faster than my three-year-old’s moods. After all, there are a lot of characters in the Desperately Ever After series; it would be easy to lose track if Rapunzel, Belle, Cinderella, Snow, Dawn, and Penelopea all sounded the same. So when Tantor sent me their narrator recommendations a few months back, the choice was a no-brainer.

And she didn’t disappoint.

But don’t take my word for it. Hear the final product for yourself at or Amazon.

Additional release dates:
Damsels in Distress: April 17, 2018
Skipping Midnight: May 15, 2018


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Filed under Desperately Ever After, Industry News

Timeless lessons from Dr. Seuss

Earlier this week, my toddler came home from school with a copy of Horton Hears a Who. She had borrowed it from her class lending library, which the students stock with their favorite books twice a year.

My first thought when I saw the bright orange cover and grinning elephant was, “Oh, she’s not going to like that.” For even though my younger brother was a Dr. Seuss fanatic … and even though I have marvelous childhood memories of Go, Dog, Go! … and even though The Lorax holds a place of honor in this house … I don’t remember liking Horton very much as a child. Perhaps the kangaroo and her minions were just too cruel. Perhaps the thought of boiling an entire civilization in oil was too disturbing.

Or perhaps I disliked Horton simply because it wasn’t the “fun” side Dr. Seuss. There was no dog party, no hopping on pop, no goo-goo goggles, and not one single hat-donning cat. It was serious. It was Shakespeare’s Othello for someone expecting A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And I wasn’t old enough to make the wider world connections at that point.

But as I read it to my daughter over a breakfast of eggs and gluten-free pancakes, something unexpected happened. After a week of anger and fear and depression over yet another school shooting, I felt my spirit begin to rise. After a flurry of futile cries for change over social media, a dozen conversations with other anxious moms, and several moments of frustration doubting I could ever make a difference, I began to have some hope. Here was a book written almost 64 years ago, telling me that EVERY voice counts … telling me that you don’t have to be the mouthpiece to make a difference. You don’t have to be the mayor or the marching band beating kettles and pans.

In this case, all Who-vile needed to finally make itself heard, to convince the headstrong kangaroo and her toadies that they were real, was a tiny boy with a yo-yo … who at the last moment added a “Yopp!” to the other Who’s cries.

And that Yopp…
That one, small, extra Yopp put it over!
Finally, at last! From that speck on that clover.
Their voices were heard! They rang out clear and clean,
And the elephant smiled. “Do you see what I mean?…
They’ve proved they ARE persons, no matter how small.
And their whole world was saved by the Smallest of All!”

It’s the sort of message I think we all need to hear right now. Right now … and the next time an issue grabs us by the heartstrings and won’t let go. Because, you know, there’s always something. Even if we somehow eradicate these current storm clouds, there are always more.

My little girl liked the story too. She really seemed to care about the people on the dust speck. I could see the concern in her eyes when the vulture carried it away, and her dismay at everyone else’s cruelty. It’s probably a good thing that she, like me at that age, didn’t truly understand the larger meaning. But I’ll continue reading it to her over the years. Maybe someday her spirit will need lifting too, and this story will help.

I’ve learned a lot about parenthood over the past almost-four years. One is that children understand a heck of a lot more than we give them credit for at even the youngest age. Another is that while there are thousands of books out there that teach our kids about letters, numbers, colors, etc., there are very few that teach them how to be good people — at least not in a way that engages them.

(I’ve been working on a future post about the children’s books that have stood out for me and my girls. You can check back for that later or follow this blog for upload alerts. There are also some great recommendations at Filling Baby’s Bookshelf, run by a fabulous friend and mother of two.)

Little Jo-Jo’s “Yopp!” is just one of the countless wonderful, engaging messages in Dr. Seuss’s books — maybe not Hop on Pop and Mr. Brown Can Moo, but can you think of a better way to prime children to care for our planet than by reading The Lorax?

So today, on what would have been Theodor Seuss Geisel’s 114th birthday, I want to thank Dr. Seuss for teaching us how to laugh, how to imagine, and how to stand up for what really matters in this world.


“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
~ The Lorax


“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

“I’ve got to protect them. I’m bigger than they.”

“So, open your mouth, lad. For every voice counts!” 

~ Horton Hears a Who


“I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”
~ Yertle the Turtle


“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.” 

“Step with care and great tact, and remember that life’s a great balancing act.”

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” 

~ Oh, the Places You’ll Go!


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
~ I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!


“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!”
~ Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!


“I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.”
~ The Cat in the Hat
(a lesson I’d love my kids to learn)


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A Valentine’s Day event to drool over


What do you expect on Valentine’s Day? A romantic dinner and flowers? A sweet text in the middle of the day? A trail of rose petals leading from your front door to a bed flanked by caviar, chilled champagne, and diamonds?

Personally, I’ve never made much ado over the Hallmark holiday. (Not that I mind a nice flower arrangement or a massage should they be offered.) But lucky for you, my author comrades over at Chick Lit Chat HQ are Valentine enthusiasts. And they’ve put together a fun-filled event that celebrates everything there is to love about Cupid’s big day.

That’s right, book lovers. Starting today, more than forty chick lit and romantic comedy authors will be throwing a fabulous, Valentine-themed bash on Facebook (hereafter known as the Sweet Treats & Yummy Reads Hop) offering giveaways galore. Up for grabs will be books, gifts, author swag, and loads of other wonderful prizes that fulfill the “yummy reads” part of the party.

But what about “sweet treats,” you ask?

Well, hold on to your skinny jeans, folks. Because CLC HQ will be giving a six-pack of Wicked Good Cupcakes* to not one, not two, but THREE grand prize winners for this hop. And the best news of all? You get to choose your own sinfully delicious flavors! (Commence happy dance now.)


So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Sweet Treats & Yummy Reads Hop on Facebook and join the group page. Here, you can chat with fellow readers; meet some of the most popular authors in your favorite genres; enter to win one of the grand prizes; and find out what the forty-plus participating authors are giving away on their respective pages. I look forward to seeing you there!

*Wicked Good Cupcakes only ships to destinations in the United States, so the Grand Prize portion of this hop will not be open to international entrants. However, the 40+ individual author giveaways will be open internationally.

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Twelve romance movies to watch over … and over … again

A few weeks ago, I somehow found myself stuck on the couch with nothing in reach but my phone and the TV remote. (Nursing moms will understand this.) Ordinarily at a time like this, I’d wind up losing myself on the web, clicking on news stories I shouldn’t, and filling online carts I’d never actually check out.

But this night, I told myself I deserved a break. I deserved to get lost in a good movie … but not one that required too much attention. What I wanted was something familiar, something that would make me smile, something that would take my worries far away and keep me company like an old friend. So scrolled down to “Leap Year” and spent the next two hours with Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, and a countryside full of jaunty Irish brogues. 

We all could use that sort of mental escape every so often. It’s like visiting a spa that works on your psyche instead of your pores. So this Valentine’s Day, I’m posting a list of the top romantic movies I could watch over and over. (In other words, while I think “An Affair to Remember” is a fantastic movie, it’s a little too heavy for this list.)

Please feel free to leave comments below. I’d love to hear what you think.

Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂


This is one of those typical girl meets boy, boy and girl hate each other, boy and girl fall in love deals. But the humor and the actors make it so much more than that. Seeing the Irish countryside is an added bonus.


I can’t let a single Christmas pass without watching Love Actually. It shows love in almost every situation imaginable. And unlike the vast majority of ensemble movies, you’ll never forget this one.


I still remember the first time I saw this movie. I was in Cape Cod with my cousin, and the theater somehow managed to stretch the film so that it looked as if John Goodman was playing Sandra Bullock’s body double. But I’ve loved both her and Bill Pullman for decades, and am pretty sure it’s a love that will last a lifetime. Continue reading


Filed under Distractions, Hollywood