Category Archives: Contests

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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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:

Rich Amooi
Glynis Astie
Melissa Baldwin
Laura Chapman
Nikki Mahood
Carol Maloney Scott


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Skipping Midnight pre-order giveaway

dea3-promo-domestic-bangleHappy November … and I have an exciting announcement to make!

Pre-order a copy of Skipping Midnight between now and November 15, and you could win one of two enchanting prize packages inspired by the Desperately Ever After series!

To enter, please e-mail your proof of purchase (a screenshot will do) to by midnight November 15, 2016. Be sure to include your mailing address so you’re entered into the right contest(s). One winner will be selected via random drawing for each giveaway on November 16. Good luck!

Pre-order link:


Prize Pack 1
(US only):


A signed paperback copy of all three novels in the series: Desperately Ever After (Book One), Damsels in Distress (Book Two), and Skipping Midnight (Book Three)

A stunning “Live like there’s no midnight” charm bracelet, custom made by My Initial Charm and inspired by the Desperately Ever After series

An assortment of treats for your next girls’ night in (sorry, rampion not included!)

A snazzy memory box to ship it all in 😉


Prize Pack 2


This fantastic set of six wine charms, handcrafted by Etsy artist Sarah VandenBrink (specifically for this giveaway!) and representing each of the six main characters: Belle, Rapunzel, Dawn, Penelopea, Snow White, and Cinderella. I LOVE these!!


Skipping Midnight blurb:

One part Sex and the City. Two parts Desperate Housewives.
Three parts Brothers Grimm.

dfw-lk-sm-cover-midFor the women of Marestam, “happily ever after” has always come with a grain of salt. Be it infidelity or aging, deferred dreams or lost love, or even the pressures of raising a family, they have always seen each other through life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a brand new take on old-fashioned chivalry. But when rage and treachery take over, everything they hold dear comes under attack. 

Suddenly, the monarchies are crumbling, Cinderella is missing, Belle is harboring the secret of all secrets, Rapunzel is facing the one dilemma she spent her whole life trying to avoid, and Dawn could lose everything she’s finally learned to love. In order to save everyone and unmask the wolf in their midst, this iconic group of friends must follow a dogmatic fairy no one trusts, invoke an ancient magic no one understands, and face a past they thought they had buried long ago.

Rapunzel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and the rest of Marestam’s favorite females return in this third and final novel in Laura Kenyon’s Desperately Ever After series, which takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale princesses several years after true love’s kiss … and asks readers to rethink everything they believe about happy endings. 

At heart, it’s a tale of ordinary women coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

Release date: November 16, 2016
Click here to pre-order

Postcard - white border w NIEAPrevious Books in this series:
Desperately Ever After (Book 1)
Damsels in Distress (Book 2)

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A Little Whimsical in His Civilities — excerpt & giveaway!


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!


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.


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.


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


Amazon Author Page

To purchase
Barnes & Noble



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


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:


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’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!



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 😉



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.)



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


Filed under Blog Hops, Contests, Desperately Ever After

Eric Wilder of The Grimm Report is in the house! And he’s got a new book!

I HumptyWhat if Humpty Dumpty didn’t actually fall from his infamous wall, as we’ve all been led to believe … but jumped? What Rumpelstiltskin’s “straw-to-gold” scandal landed him on the wrong side of the law? What if TMZ didn’t report on inebriated celebrities, but the marital mishaps of fairy tale icons like Beauty and her feral spouse?

As a huge fan of The Grimm Report — Eric Wilder’s mock-tabloid website that satirizes popular fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and folk tales — I’m extremely excited about his new book, I, Humpty (available now at Amazon). Eric’s here today to talk about it, answer some questions, and give one lucky reader an autographed print copy of the new release. Enjoy!


1. What can readers expect from I, Humpty? 

I, Humpty is a collection of mock-tabloid satire that marries the reality of everyday life with popular elements from fairytales, folklore, and nursery rhymes. Rejoice with the Beast as Belle grants him permission to convert the den into a man-cave. Learn why the third little pig grows weary of his live-in brothers. Follow the courtroom drama of Rumpelstiltskin’s indictment in the Straw-To-Gold Scandal. I, Humpty covers all of these stories and more.

The articles within I, Humpty were selected from a website called The Grimm Report, a fake news site featuring fairytale/current event mashups to celebrate the absurd. Creating a book gave me an opportunity to expand on some ideas I had. I invite you to take a look at the results.


2. How did The Grimm Report and its mock-tabloid stories come about?

A couple of years ago I took a creative writing class at a local literary institution as an extracurricular diversion. One evening my instructor challenged students to take well-known characters in the public domain and reinvent them. That week I had come up with an elaborate story, detailing on how Humpty Dumpty hadn’t merely fallen off the wall. Instead, he was a crazed thrill-seeking daredevil who jumped. Continue reading


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Desperately Ever After dream cast — and an extra shot at Once Upon a Time

Aside from securing a seven-figure book deal or winning a Pulitzer, the coolest thing I can imagine as an author is to one day watch my work come alive on the big screen. To see the jewel-toned spires of Carpale’s skyline. To hear Rapunzel’s rants against “true love.” To join in as others cheer Belle’s growing independence, laugh at Cinderella’s vengeful “masterpiece,” and roll their eyes at Penny’s helicopter mother-in-law.

Unfortunately, Hollywood hasn’t called just yet. But just in case, here is my Dream Cast* for the Desperately Ever After series. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared! 😉

(Contest Bonus: Leave your own picks for an additional two bids in the Once Upon a Time/Damsels in Distress giveaway. Details and instructions at bottom of post.)



"Emmy Rossum, 2011" by MingleMediaTVNetwork

“Emmy Rossum, 2011” by MingleMediaTVNetwork*

Belle (Beauty and the Beast): Emmy Rossum

During the course of the series, D.E.A.’s Belle goes from a sweet, naive, ingénue to a strong, independent, kick-ass woman. I’ve loved Emmy Rossum since she played innocent Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, but her performance as Fiona in Showtime’s Shameless really blew me away.



"Kristen Bell" by pinguino k from North Hollywood, USA

“Kristen Bell” by pinguino k from North Hollywood, USA*

Cinderella: Kristen Bell

For D.E.A.’s Cinderella, I picture an actress who shines playing the super smart, responsible, sophisticated woman who tends to bite off way more than she can chew and gets crazy paranoid when the slightest things go wrong — but still remains cute and lovable the entire time. For those of you who’ve seen When in Rome, all I have to say is “fountain breakdown.” For those who haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?

. Continue reading


Filed under Contests, Desperately Ever After, Hollywood

Q&A (and giveaway!) with author Celia Kennedy

kennedy- coverI‘m very happy to welcome Celia Kennedy to the blog today. Celia is the author of both Venus Rising and Charlotte’s Restrained–which she is offering to one lucky reader. After the interview, leave a comment for the chance to win!


Charlotte’s Restrained is described as “a comical fictional tale of what happens when the paths of a celebrity god and a mere mortal collide.” Sounds enticing. What else can you tell us about the story?

SmallPhotoCharlotte has four fabulous friends that she met at Oxford, while doing graduate work in business law. Right out of the gate you know these are intelligent, driven women. However, they let their hair down when they are together, so these capable ladies sometimes run amok. Hence, Charlotte lands in a bit of trouble and in the public eye.

I wanted to write an intelligent and funny tale, set in real locations, where Charlotte rescues herself. While she is, a great romance, or two, blossoms, but the tale really is about the strength and friendship of these women.


What inspired you to write it?

I was addicted to television show, Inside the Actor’s Studio. Every actor/actress interviewed appears to have multiple talents, have overcome serious life issues, and has astounding resilience and fortitude.  Continue reading

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