Category Archives: Blog Hops

Mark your calendars: Another reason to love Valentine’s Day

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In less than a week, I’ll be joining 49 other chick lit and romantic comedy authors as they celebrate friendship and romance in the #ChickLitLove Hop on Facebook. Please stop by as we honor Galentine’s Day (February 13) and Valentine’s Day (February 14) with giveaways, freebies, and a chance to win several grand prize SpaFinder gift certificates.

Here’s a list of the participating authors:

GALENTINE’S DAY (Monday, February 13)
Traci Andrighetti
Melissa Baldwin
Tracie Banister
Kathryn R. Biel
Renee Conoulty
Geralyn Corcillo
Whitney Dineen
Lauren Faulkenberry
Amy Gettinger
Elizabeth Hein
Laura Kenyon
Liberty Kontranowski
Jennie Marts
Monique McDonell
Kirsty McManus
Becky Monson
Joy Norstrom
Kate O’Keeffe
Meredith Schorr
Carol Maloney Scott
Holly Tierney-Bedord
Barbara Valentin
Heather Wardell
Stacey Wiedower

VALENTINE’S DAY (Tuesday, February 14)
Cindy Arora
Glynis Astie
Laurie Baxter
Laura Chapman
Adria J. Cimino
Karen M Cox
Maggie Dallen
Lindsay Detwiler
Katlyn Duncan
Liz Durano
Laurie Finkelstein
Tina Ann Forkner
Hilary Grossman
Kate Hewitt
Cristina Hodgson
Erin Huss
Elaina Jadin
Andrea Johnston
Beth Labonte
Robyn Neeley
Elise Noble
CeCe Osgood
Amy Rivers
CF Rose
Charlene Ross

Check the Facebook event page (click here to join) on both days for prompts on where to hop and how to win. In addition to snagging a few goodies, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new characters, learn more about your favorites, and perhaps even find the perfect way to say “I love you” to the special people in your life.

See you at the party!

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Holly Jolly Chick Lit Hop

Updated December 9, 2016

Make the holiday season even merrier by discovering new reads from some of today’s best chick lit and romantic comedy authors during the Holly Jolly Chick Lit Hop on Facebook.

Here’s how it works: every day from Monday, December 5 through Friday, December 16, readers are invited to hop around to more than 60 authors’ Facebook pages (with about five stops each day) to receive gifts and enter to win prizes.

First, check out my Facebook author page, where I will be giving away one paperback bundle of the entire three-book Desperately Ever After series (autographed, of course) … as well as four Kindle copies of the title that started it all, Book One, Desperately Ever After.

In addition, the participating authors have pooled their resources to offer several Amazon gift cards as bonus prizes on the event page. Every day that you participate and leave a comment on the main post for the day, you will be entered into the drawing to receive the prizes. Be sure to check back every day to maximize your chances!

Here is the schedule, which includes the list of authors posting (and offering goodies!) each day:

MONDAY, DECEMBER 5
Rich Amooi
Glynis Astie
Melissa Baldwin
Laura Chapman
Nikki Mahood
Carol Maloney Scott

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6

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Interview with author Ann Galvia — plus a giveaway!

 

sbsabhverticalbanner“You see what a strange circumstance it is,” she said, feeling some fleeting relief. “You know our acquaintance has not been easy.”

Elizabeth Bennet—stubborn, quick to judge but slow to revise her opinions, and entirely prejudiced against the man who had just proposed marriage at Hunsford—awakens to learn she has been in an accident. Bedridden in an unfamiliar house, she learns eleven years have passed since the last moment she can remember.

She finds herself a married woman, the mother of four, and pregnant yet again. Her children are strangers, and most mystifying of all, Fitzwilliam Darcy is her husband! How could she have married a man she loathes?

Confined to the house by her injury, Mr. Darcy’s company is inescapable. But is just being side by side enough to overcome their differences? What happens when Darcy, improved in manners and happily married to Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy, is faced with an obstinate, bewildered Miss Elizabeth Bennet?

 

Interview with Side by Side, Apart author Ann Galvia:

Ann_Galvia_head copySide by Side, Apart centers around the marriage of two of Jane Austen’s most beloved and iconic characters, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. What can you tell us about the story?

Elizabeth Bennet wakes up confused and in pain. As her head starts to clear, she realizes she’s married to Fitzwilliam Darcy–funny, didn’t she say no?–and is pregnant by him. She learns that she’s been in an accident. Over eleven years have passed since the last thing she can remember. She’s an invalid, far from home in a strange house, her husband is a mystery and her children are strangers. She understands pretty quickly that she can’t get out of this life. She just has to figure it out. The story follows only Elizabeth, the reader sees only what she sees. But the reader also has more background knowledge than she has, so you are invited to combine what she learns with what you know to create the full picture of her life.

 

What inspired you to write it?

There were two things at work. One is that I have always enjoyed “amnesia” stories, especially the idea of the hard-earned happily ever after suddenly being gone because one of the characters just isn’t that version of themselves anymore. Continue reading

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Mend a Broken Heart — blog tour & giveaway!

htmabhverticalbannerI’m very happy be participating in L.S. Parsons’ blog tour for her new book, How to Mend a Broken Heart, inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and set three years after Mr. Darcy’s disastrous marriage proposal to Elizabeth Bennet. Read on for a message from the author and a chance to win the book!

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How to Mend a Broken Heart is Fitzwilliam Darcy’s story. It is the story of his quest to win the favorable regard of Miss Elizabeth Bennet, the woman he has never stopped loving. The fact that he is engaged to another lady does not impede his pursuit.

Through the many ironies of life, Elizabeth finds herself the guest of the Dowager Lady Matlock, Mr. Darcy’s aunt. Through her patronage, Elizabeth evolves from an avowed spinster to a woman ruled by desire and passion for a man she knows she cannot have.

Elizabeth is apprehensive about meeting Mr. Darcy again, due the rancor and bitterness of their last meeting three years prior. But the Mr. Darcy she encounters is not the same man she knew before. He is amiable, humourous, and extremely sexy. You need only look at the book’s cover for a visual aid! Continue reading

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A Little Whimsical in His Civilities — excerpt & giveaway!

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Today, I’m very happy to kick off the final weekend in J. Marie Croft’s blog tour for her new novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities. Inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the novella is told entirely from Mr. Darcy’s point of view as he returns from Hertfordshire in pursuit of the sharp-tongued love of his life, Elizabeth Bennet.

Read on for a message from the author, an excerpt, and a chance to win the book!

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Thanks, Laura, for participating in the Whimsical blog tour. While you’re quite an accomplished author, I’m obviously still struggling to become well versed in the craft.

My pastime is nocturnal by necessity. I work at a full-time job five days a week. Moonlighting as a writer – burning the candle at both ends – is not always easy; but those precious, after-midnight hours are productive ones … especially when there’s help at hand, wanted or not.

Picture this.

on my shoudersI’m at my computer, working on a novella for Meryton Press. There’s a teeny lady perched on my right shoulder, averting me from anachronistic words like ‘eye contact’, ‘reticence’, and ‘paperwork’. The woman is garbed in an authentic Regency-era muslin dress and bonnet, so it’s not Debbie Styne, my Whimsical editor.

On my other shoulder is a handsome, early-19th century gentleman, dictating into my ear. His breathy whispers are both annoying and rather seductive. But who’s the guy in Elizabethan trappings, sitting on the Regency chap’s broad shoulder? Lo and behold, he’s coaching the other fellow in the use of acerbic adjectives and insolent insults.

Let’s take a peek at a snippet from A Little Whimsical in His Civilities, as told from Mr. Darcy’s lofty point of view. The passage is about writing, so it seems apropos. I thank the famous author on my right shoulder for allowing such blatant reworking of her own words.

Excerpt

If my vanity had taken a literary turn, I suppose this mooning, this lovesickness, this insanity, would have proven invaluable. Powerful emotion has fuelled many a bard’s pen, even Shakespeare’s, my favourite. Unfortunately, I have not the talent to compose pretty verses on my lady … although, over the years, I have made a few daft and doltish stabs at poetry.

Speaking of stabs, would it sway Elizabeth if I tried to eloquently articulate in what manner her arrow transpierced my psyche and made me equal parts pessimism and optimism? Such sentiment, no doubt, could be worded beautifully by someone with a special aptitude for the turn of a phrase. Unfortunately, I am incapable of elegantly expressing my emotions. Lud, I certainly proved that at Hunsford.

Although Elizabeth’s mother might be delighted with any poem written by a daughter’s suitor, my attempt at a sonnet would surely have my heart’s desire running for the hills. Wait, the hills! It is, after all, my fondest wish to have Elizabeth settled in the Peak District. Perhaps if I composed fourteen lighthearted lines in iambic pentameter about my love, such unmitigated drivel would send her in Derbyshire’s direction.

Pish! Although a true proficient at odious letters of business, not to mention one egregious piece of personal correspondence written in a dreadful bitterness of spirit, I could no more create a love poem than a Gothic novel. The mere thought of composing romantic verse under any other motive than to save my life is ludicrous. And if it were absolutely necessary for me to persevere as sonneteer and never relax into laughing at myself, I should surely swing from the gallows before completion of the first quatrain.

Any weedy, slime-sucked gruel leaking forth from my pen would not come close to the heartfelt poetry Elizabeth deserves. Even a fine, stout, healthy love would choke on such swill. Bingley had the right of it, I suppose. Possessing, as I do, a weak-hinged fancy for written words of at least four-syllables (which Bingley calls break-teeth words), my rhymes would surely end up awkwardly stilted. It matters not. I shall certainly never expose myself to ridicule by becoming a vile versifier. Criminy! What would people think if Fitzwilliam Marmaduke Lucius Darcy started penning poetry? ’Tis laughable.

* * * * ***

Do you know what else is laughable? My daft and doltish stab at poetry inspired by the name of Laura’s blog.

Here’s to you, Laura, and to Skipping Midnight.
To reading and writing while others sleep.
Imaginative night owls, winging fanciful flight.

Here’s to brilliance born beneath blanket of darkness.
To liveliness of mind in the dead of night.
Black letters on white pages in all their starkness.

Here’s to inky-skies, candlelight, flare and flair.
To incandescent creativity sparked by stars.
Emotion fueled by moonbeams. Souls laid bare.

Here’s to embracing shadows and staying up late.
To being held captive, spellbound, by words.
Dreamy minds. Awakened muses. A need to create.

Here’s to sleight of hand, writing, and magic.
To nocturnal creatures conjuring by moonlight.
Ideas whimsical, romantic, comic, or tragic.

Here’s to the wee hours.
To readers and writers.
Skipping Midnight.

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Author bio

Marie Croft is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” Her light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight(Meryton Press, 2013), her humorous short story, Spyglasses and Sunburns, in the Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summeranthology (Meryton Press, 2015), and her novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities (Meryton Press, 2016) bear witness to Joanne’s fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter.

stars in morocco

stars in morocco

Click HERE to enter for a chance to win either a print or e-book copy of J. Marie Croft’s A Little Whimsical in His Civilities

Links

Twitter
Facebook
Amazon Author Page
Website
Pinterest

To purchase
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

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Introducing the Desperately Ever After soundtrack! And a special treat…

ChickLitRocks

The Desperately Ever After series is supposed to be witty, passionate, sarcastic, thought-provoking, and above all else: FUN! So when it came to creating a playlist, the songs I chose had to reflect that.

Some (especially Katy Perry’s Not Like the Movies) just screamed DESPERATELY EVER AFTER the moment I heard them. Others (Demons, Bloodstream, Holding on and Letting Go, Ocean Wide) reminded me of specific storylines or characters (no spoilers!) and even helped set the mood while I was writing Damsels in Distress.

Wires, All I Need, and Save Me just seemed to fit all the romantic dilemmas the characters face throughout the series. But when it came time to hit the town or party on top of Rapunzel’s penthouse, I couldn’t help but picture the ladies of Marestam dancing to Jessica Simpson’s A Public Affair—with lots of wine and sparkle!

In all honesty, this playlist could have been twice as long (and it still is on my laptop).

I hesitated to include a song as “played out” as Walk Away, but it and Dare You to Move fit Belle’s story so well. And while I initially chose Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me to introduce her beast of a husband, I figured The First Five Times and Let’s Get Highwere jokey enough. And I had to draw the line somewhere!

The best and easiest way to listen is through Spotify, which is totally free and can be accessed through this link:

LISTEN TO DESPERATELY EVER AFTER’S PLAYLIST

Option #2, which is way less high tech, is a list of the songs. When possible, I’ve linked the to YouTube videos, but your imagination will work better without them, and I couldn’t shake some of the advertisements.  Continue reading

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Sneak a peek at page 45 — plus a SWEET giveaway!

What'sonPage45

What’s on page 45 of Damsels in Distress, the second book in the series that’s 1 part Sex and the City, 2 parts Desperate Housewives, and 3 parts Brothers Grimm? Read on to find out!

Sleeping Beauty bedWhen Dawn Tirion awoke from three centuries years of slumber, she was buried beneath an inch of dust, her childhood kingdom was an overgrown mess, and a strange man’s tongue was forcing its way into her mouth. The former crown princess was confused, scared, and unbelievably groggy. Not a great time for making life decisions.

Fast forward eleven years and the “sleeping beauty queen” has an updated wardrobe, two children, and a royal husband (Hunter) she barely knows. Sleeping Beauty forestWhat’s more, having expended enough shuteye for three lifetimes, she’s physically incapable of sleeping and spends every night wandering the woods around her castle and imagining things were different. Dawn knows she’s supposed to be grateful to this modern world and her so-called “rescuer.” But secretly, she wishes she was back in the 18th century, racing around the castle with her friends, and imagining her future with a boy named Davin.

By this point in the book, we know Dawn believes Davin was her first love. We also believe he died during her kingdom’s 300-year-coma—a historical period now known as the Great Sleep. But he’s still the one she fantasizes about when free to be alone with her thoughts. Mystical forest - purpleThat is, until a perilous misstep during her nocturnal wanderings lands her in the arms of someone new. Someone handsome, mysterious, inexplicably familiar, and dangerously REAL.

On page 45, she hasn’t actually met this stranger yet, but she’s watched him. She’s watched him many times in the moonlight, making up stories about who he is (hence the three names) and where he came from. That’s where she’s headed when her foot snags a rock and she tumbles to the edge of a cliff—forcing her to shout for help. Here’s a brief peek: Continue reading

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Vote for Miss Chick Lit 2015 — and win a free makeover!

MissChickLit2015

 

Welcome to the 2015 Miss Chick Lit pageant, where literary ladies from around the globe compete for the coveted title!

Up next is Rapunzel Delmonico from the illustrious United Kingdoms of Marestam. So grab your cocktails, strap a seatbelt on your men, and prepare to be enchanted!

After her segment, don’t miss your own chance to become a beauty queen with a $100 makeover 😉

 

Introduction:

Greetings all. My name’s Rapunzel and I’m here thanks to too many martinis and an ill-conceived bet with some of my girlfriends. (I’m looking at you, Cinderella.) Not that I mind strutting around in a swimsuit in front of a few dozen cameras or anything … I just don’t need the validation. But let’s make the best of it, shall we?

Yes, I’m that chick from the tower. No, my hair is not thirty feet long, but it does change color and style roughly three times a week. As an infant, my parents sold me to a witch for drugs, so I  don’t know where I actually came from. But now I live in a fabulous bachelorette pad on the Upper West Side of Carpale. And if you didn’t already know any of those things, you don’t pay much attention to the gossip pages.

 

Rapunzel 2Swimsuit:

I chose this little number because it’s a kinda funky, kinda flirty, and it was the first one to catch my eye.

See, this might come as a shock, but I care almost as little about making someone’s best-dressed list as I do about marrying into royalty—or marrying in general, for that matter. Nothing more than a waste of time and freedom. And in my experience, all you actually need to make that list is confidence. (Again, Cin, I’m looking at you. Belle too.)

 

Talent:

Funny story. I was all ready to drop some drawer—haha, I mean, some jaws—with a gravity-defying acrobatic spectacular. But somebody spotted my prop box just now and made a ruckus with the censor board. So instead, you lucky kids get to see the swimsuits I picked for my five closest gal pals. Please keep in mind I went by their tastes, not my own. Continue reading

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Two summer reads FREE through Monday!

Free promo 7-11 aug 2014.
Today, I’m pleased to bring back Greek author Effrosyni Moschoudi, who interviewed here back in April. When she told me that all of her books were going to be free on Amazon this week, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spread the word. The sale runs through Monday, August 11.

Read on for more information about her, about her books, and about this fleeting opportunity! Continue reading

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My Writing Process blog tour

Immortal Longings cover (new)A few weeks ago, author RG Dole tagged me in this Writing Process Blog Tour. RG is the author of a supernatural star-crossed lovers book called Immortal Longings (as a fan of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, I hope to get to it soon!), and I’m honored she thought of me for this.

I’ve been struggling to find the time to pick up the torch, so without further ado:

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What am I working on?

dfw-lk-did-cover-midDamsels in Distress, the sequel to Desperately Ever After, is due out next month. It’s hard to say too much about the story because the first book is still brand new and I don’t want to give anything away! I’ll just say that Damsels in Distress continues Belle’s struggle and also adds Sleeping Beauty (Dawn) into the mix. Dawn is a background character in Book One for space reasons, but her story is actually one of my favorites. I really can’t wait for everyone to get to know her better. There are so many questions people never ask about the Sleeping Beauty tale: What kind of man would discover a comatose woman in the woods and decide to kiss her? How would she feel waking up covered in dust with a stranger’s tongue in her mouth? What if she had been in love with someone else before the curse hit? How would she reconcile her old life with her brand new existence?

After that, I’ll be diving into the third installment in the series, as well as writing my first Desperately Ever After novella. The latter will tell the story behind Grethel, the woman who took Rapunzel as a baby and kept her in that tower. There are so many minor characters in the series that I’d love to explore further, so I hope it’s the first of many side projects. Continue reading

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