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  • Blog

    Don’t Mean a Thing Blog Tour with Renee Connoulty

    12/11/2016

    Don't Mean A Thing Blog Tour 2016 Banner
    Don't Mean a Thing - Renee Conoulty - CoverRenee is a debut Australian author who I was lucky enough to meet in person at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference this year. I hope you enjoy her novel – Don’t Mean a Thing.

    Title: Don’t Mean a Thing
    Author: Renee Conoulty
    Series: Got That Swing #1
    Release Date: November 2, 2016
    Genres: Chick Lit, Romantic Comedy, Women’s Fiction
    Publisher: Kindred Ink Press

     

     

    Summary

    What if you finally took the lead, but life refused to follow?

    Thirty-year-old introvert, Macie Harman, has finally found a career she is passionate about, and after months of training, she’s begun her new job in the Royal Australian Air Force. Leaving behind her family, friends, and the life she knew, Macie has travelled to the other side of the country where the only person she knows is Rachael, the extroverted girl she went through basic training with. Everywhere Macie goes, Rachael is there too.

    While looking for a way to widen her circle of friends in her new town, Macie discovers a local swing dancing class. The jazz music captures her heart, and Matt, the sexy swing dancer, sweeps her off her feet. Matt has claimed the tropical Northern Territory as home and has no plans to leave. He loves his teaching career with its predictable routine and has a great bunch of friends. All he wants now is the right girl to make his house a home.

    Military life is tougher than Macie expected, and not everyone can deal with the inevitable separations and last minute changes. Is this exciting but unpredictable life something Macie wants to fight for, or could she give it up and put down roots with Matt?

    Renee Conoulty
    Author Biography

    Renee Conoulty is an Australian Air Force wife and mother of two. Her debut chick lit novel, Don’t Mean a Thing, is now available through Kindred Ink Press.

    When she’s not devouring books, reviewing and blogging on HeySaidRenee, or writing her own stories, Renee can be found swing dancing. Or possibly napping. She tweets about reading and reviewing @HeySaidRenee and about writing, military life and dancing @ReneeConoulty, but hasn’t created a handle for nap talk yet.

    Sign up for Renee’s monthly newsletter for her highlights on blogging, reading, writing and life. http://eepurl.com/bPay5r

    Book Links

    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32219339-don-t-mean-a-thing
    Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4RFBS6/
    Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M4RFBS6/
    Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B01M4RFBS6/
    iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1171945608
    Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dont-mean-a-thing-renee-conoulty/1125165298?ean=2940157140847
    Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/don-t-mean-a-thing
    Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/678344

    Social Networking Links
    Website: http://heysaidrenee.blogspot.com.au/
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14782154.Renee_Conoulty
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReneeConoultyAuthor/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/reneeconoulty
    Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.com/Renee-Conoulty/e/B01M2CTMXS/
    Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/bPay5r

  • Blog

    Blog Tour Stop and Q&A with Author Carol Maloney Scott

    5/20/2016

    Accidental Makeovers Blog Tour 2016 Promo
    http://karaneleni.com/2016/03/blog-tour-schedule-t-a-williams-what-happens-in-the-alps/

    Q&A with Author of Accidental Makeovers – Carol Maloney Scott
    Carol Maloney Scott
    1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
    Accidental Makeovers, Book 4 in the Rom-Com on the Edge series, wasn’t inspired by real life events, as much as it was an offshoot of the existing storyline and world I have created. However, I do LOVE makeup, and I did experience an ectopic pregnancy. It’s hard not to touch on my real life experiences when writing about strong, funny women navigating career, love, friendship and motherhood.

    2. When did you take up writing?
    I started writing as soon as I learned about words, and how to put them together to give life to the thoughts in my head. I wrote a tremendous amount as a child, but gave it up around the time puberty hit. I picked it up again a few years ago. After a thirty year break, I have a lot of story backlog in my brain.

    3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
    My books are much more dialogue/character driven, and setting/place only matter just enough to set the stage for the scene. However, I do enjoy fictionalizing many real spots in my town of Richmond, VA. Local residents can guess the inspiration for places like Lorenzo’s, Midtown Lanes, Platinum Billiards, and The Wild Banshee.

    4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
    I really love Max. He’s had to fight for everything he has, and he is a misunderstood man. He loves Bianca and his son, and has a strong sense of right and wrong, which he only tweaks in order to prove himself. He may be a bit misguided, but his heart is in the right place. Plus if you take a stroll over to my Accidental Makeovers Pinterest board, you’ll see that he is a wall of muscle and…heavy sigh…

    5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
    You can’t edit a blank page.

    6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
    Since I have a day job and lots of other activities and responsibilities, I really don’t. I strive for one, but I find I write best when I feel it, not when I schedule it.

    7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
    I am a plotter, but my outlines are very fluid. I usually have several epiphanies while in mid-story, and make changes accordingly.

    8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?
    I don’t have the time to read that I once had before I started writing again, but I still manage to read about a book a week. These are not super current, but within the past few years – Tell the Wolves I’m Home, Room, The Rosie Project, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

    9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
    Oh boy. I just finished outlining all SIX of my current projects. Since I will go crazy if I don’t work on one at a time, I am going with the prequel novella. It is set about a year before There Are No Men, the first novel in my series, and chronicles Claire’s earlier divorced time period, to include the aftermath of her relationship with Ron, the acquisition of Dixie, and her first steps out into the dating world.

    10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on
    their journey?
    I would tell them to be very open to information. Read and study all you can, join writer’s groups, and don’t be afraid to try different things to see what works. And persist. This is a tough business, but if you have stories to share, your readers are out there.

    Accidental Makeovers - Cover
    Accidental Makeovers
    Book Links

    Amazon US: http://amzn.com/B01DPP0JLQ
    Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01DPP0JLQ
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29761405-accidental-makeovers

    Summary

    Twenty-something, single mom Bianca yearns for more. The cosmetology license she worked so hard to get is collecting dust while she waitresses for her mother’s catering business, but she has no clue how to turn her dreams of being a makeup artist into reality. Adding to her unhappiness is her dead-end relationship with her immature, video game-obsessed baby daddy, Max. Although he runs a successful business and Bianca still gets a thrill whenever she sees him play the drums in his cover band, Chain, she can’t deny that he’s starting to feel like her big, tattooed second child.

    In desperate need of a life makeover, her fortune takes a positive turn when she crosses paths with an impulsive, runaway bride who has the connections to help Bianca achieve her goals. Suddenly, doors are being opened for her and she has a fabulous, new job that’s reigniting her zest for life. Too bad Max isn’t on board with these changes, and he starts acting like a jealous jerk, which brings their faltering relationship to a boiling point just about the time Bianca meets Eric, a sexy and charming financial manager. Eric comes from a different world, but one Bianca is increasingly eager to join.

    Bianca expects her friends and family to be supportive of her budding romance with Eric, but to her surprise, they’re all on Team Max and they rally behind him when he launches a campaign to win her back. Nothing wrong with bar fights, fake girlfriends, and strategically placed rodents when they’re all in the name of true love, right?

    Will she be lured back to her familiar life, or will a successful career makeover beautify her love life?

    Author Biography

    Carol Maloney Scott, author of the Rom-Com on the Edge series, is a frazzled new bride and wiener dog fanatic. She is a lover of donuts, and a hater mornings. Recently unearthing a childhood passion for writing, she can once again be seen carrying around a notebook and staring into space. Her stories are witty, fresh and real, just like life.
    Join her on “The Edge” for giveaways, cover reveals, excerpts, contests and members-only content at https://carolmaloneyscott.com.

    Social Networking Links

    Website: https://carolmaloneyscott.com/
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8423427.Carol_Maloney_Scott
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolmaloneyscottauthor/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/CMScottAuthor
    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/carolmaloneysco/
    Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Maloney-Scott/e/B00MAD2EFY/
    Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/blGPJj

  • Blog

    Any Way You Plan It Blog Tour and Giveaway

    5/2/2016

    Any Way You Plan It Blog Tour Banner
    Let the blog tour begin
    Today is the kick-off of the Any Way You Plan It Blog Tour. I’m thrilled to have so many amazing bloggers and authors hosting me over the next two weeks.

    Stop by each and every site on the day listed on the schedule below to read a combination of excerpts of Any Way You Plan It, as well as Guest Posts and Reviews.

    We’re also running a fun giveaway that includes a $20 Amazon Giftcard and e-books which have been donated by many of the hosts. That’s exciting for you as a reader. If you’re anything like me you probably struggle to find new authors in the maze of online retailers. Here’s a great way to discover lots of new ones.

    Any Way You Plan It Blog Tour Schedule

    May 1st Monique McDonell
    www.moniquemcdonellauthor.com

    May 2nd Written by Deb – Deborah Nam Krane
    http://writtenbydeb.blogspot.com.au/

    May 3rd HeySaidRenee -Renee Conoulty
    www.heysaidrenee.blogspot.com.au/

    May 4th Jen Collin Author
    http://www.jennifercollin.com/

    May 5th Pamela Cook
    http://www.pamelacook.com.au/

    May 6th Glynis Astie
    www.glynisastie.com/

    May 8th Caroline Fardig
    http://www.carolinefardig.com/

    May 10th Cat Lavoie
    http://www.catlavoie.com/

    May 12th Isabella Louise Anderson
    http://www.isabellalouiseanderson.com/

    May 14th Celia Kennedy
    http://celiakennedy.weebly.com/

    The Upper Crust Series Promo Banner Original Covers - Autumn
    Grab your copy of Any Way You Plan It now. myBook.to/AnyWayYouPlanIt

  • Blog

    Blog Tour – What Happens in Cornwell – Guest Post by T.A Williams

    7/28/2015

    What Happens in Cornwall - Blog Tour 2015 Promo
    T.A. WilliamsGuest Post by author T.A Willaims – Why I’ve come to love my secondary characters as much as the main ones.

    Most books have got a hero or a heroine, or both. Most books, unless they’re set on a desert island, have got other characters in there, who interact with the main ones. As an author, I get a lot of fun out of creating a host of secondary characters who add to the plot, but, above all, provide a bit of humour.

    It may sound weird, but my favourites, who feature in all my books, are the dogs. There’s always a big black dog who offers support, sympathy and a discreet shoulder to cry on. Like most dogs, they are always obsessed with food and ever ready to put on the old canine, “They don’t feed me,” expression when meeting strangers carrying food. Some have obedience problems, some flatulence, but they all share one thing; they provide the main characters with uncomplicated love. We all need a bit of that from time to time (that’s the love thing, not the flatulence).

    There’s a female vicar in When Alice Met Danny that I enjoyed writing. She tells Alice apologetically,

    ‘I’m afraid it really does say, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s ass”. I regret to disappoint you, but that’s what it says, however nice the man may look.’.

    There’s more than a touch of Dawn French in The Vicar of Dibley in her character, but she’s massively supportive to Alice when she’s going through some difficult times. Similarly, the character of Becky in my latest book, What Happens in Cornwall…, serves a similarly supporting role. I had great fun with Becky. She’s a woman on a mission; to find herself a handsome man as soon as possible. She and Sam are archaeologists, and one of Becky’s recurring gripes is that there are precious few hunky men in that field. ‘Where’s an Indiana Jones when you want one?’ is one of her regularly repeated moans.

    I was maybe a bit surprised to find that one of the supporting characters who is most popular with my readers is Marco from What Happens in Tuscany… . He is a former male model, stunningly handsome and he knows it. He describes himself modestly as ‘the most beautiful man in Tuscany,’ and when he invites Katie out for a drink, he doesn’t mince his words.

    ‘A glass of champagne with a man as handsome as I am has to be every girl’s dream.’

    Marco is as gay as Elton John’s tailor, but this seems to make him all the more appealing to the readers. But, underneath his outrageous exterior, he is another very supportive character.

    And, finally, there are the two Italian paparazzi. I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t read What Happens in Cornwall… yet, but Giancarlo, the serial philanderer, still manages to raise a smile. Like when he tells Beppe his latest conquest thinks of him as a Latin lover.

    ‘Latin, eh? So I suppose it’s, veni, vidi, vici?’

    Giancarlo had done Latin at school. He grinned at the fat man. ‘Well, the first of the three anyway. Several times.’

    What Happens in Cornwall - Cover
    Excerpts from What Happens in Cornwall…

    At nine-thirty on the Sunday evening, fortified by a large glass of Chardonnay each and bearing a bottle of Rioja as an offering, they turned up at the party. It wasn’t in a scruffy terraced house in the heart of student town, but in a fine Georgian villa, high on the hill above the university, with a terrific view across the historic city. Even more surprising was the fact that the music was provided, not by a tattooed DJ with an earring and a couple of battered loudspeakers, but by a string quartet set up under a pergola of exquisite white roses. As they rounded the side of the house and took in the scene, both of them stopped dead in astonishment. They glanced at each other, the same thought on both their minds.

    ‘Bugger! We should have dressed up.’ Sam looked down at her shorts and regretted her decision not to go with a dress. Beside her, Becky was doing her best to tug her very short skirt down to her knees without baring her bottom.

    ‘There’s something about Bach, isn’t there?’

    They turned towards the voice. It emanated from a tall man, probably in his early forties, with a patrician accent and immaculately styled long brown hair. He was wearing jeans and a plain white shirt. Samantha began to feel a bit less conspicuous about her choice of clothes. He smiled down at them. ‘Miles Vernon, Professor Miles Vernon. And you are?’ He held out his hand.

    He was very good-looking and he knew it. Sam read the interest in his eyes, but she took a surreptitious step backwards, definitely not attracted to him and keen to avoid his getting the wrong idea. At the same time, she didn’t want to appear rude to a professor, even if his was a new name to her. But she needn’t have worried. Before she had time to extend her own hand, Becky had grasped his with both hands and was pumping it up and down. She beamed up at him. ‘Hello, Professor Vernon. I’m Becky and this is Samantha. We’re PhD students in the Archaeology department.’ She paused, then added for clarification, ‘At the university.’

    Sam had a hard job restraining herself from giggling. Miles Vernon probably didn’t realise just how close he was to having his clothes ripped off him, Viking-style. You didn’t need a PhD to see the ‘target acquired’ look in Becky’s eyes. Sam waited until Becky had reluctantly released him and then shook hands with him in her turn. ‘Good evening. Is this your lovely house? Is this your party?’

    He smiled at her, exposing a set of immaculate white teeth as he did so. ‘Good evening, Samantha.’ He pronounced it ‘Sementha’ and she repressed a shudder. ‘The answers are yes and yes. The house is indeed mine, and I thought I should do something for all my new friends at the university.’

    Summary

    For a very British summer holiday…

    When archaeologist Sam realises her relationship is as dead as the skeletons she’s exhuming, she knows it’s time to make a change. But with bills to pay her options are limited…until a discovery on Rock Island in Cornwall gives her a reason to escape…

    Head to the Cornish coast!

    In Cornwall, questions are thrown up at every turn: who is the glamorous owner of Rock Island that the paparazzi are so interested in? How has the irresistible, but impossibly arrogant, history professor James Courtney managed to get so far under Sam’s skin? And will it ever stop raining so Sam can lose the cagoule and sip a cool drink in the sun? One thing’s for sure: there’s never been a holiday quite like this one!

    Enjoy a summer of surprises and romance with What Happens in Cornwall…, the perfect retreat for fans of Fern Britton.

    Goodreads Link

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25672068-what-happens-in-cornwall

    Buy Links

    Amazon US: http://amzn.com/B00YUTHNNY

    Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YUTHNNY

    Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-happens-in-cornwall-t-a-williams/1122082544?ean=9781474036580

    Author Biography

    Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…

    I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.

    I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.

    I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.

    Social Networking Links

    Website: http://www.tawilliamsbooks.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrevorWilliamsBooks

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/TAWilliamsBooks

    Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GRTAWilliams

    Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/T-A-Williams/e/B00FDVNVMA/

    http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c48fa52738/?

     

  • Blog

    The Stupid Movie Blog Tour brings you Better Off Dead…

    11/6/2014

    Better Off Dead Movie PosterToday it is my stop on The Stupid Movie Blog Tour and my choice is the wonderful, horrible and magical Better Off Dead. It’s an 80’s teen classic. This movie isn’t as well known as The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink but everyone I mention it to, who has seen it, says they love it.

    Why did I choose this movie? In 1985 when I was an Australian exchange student called Monique who happened to be in America, this movie, about French exchange student called Monique who happened to be in America ran almost weekly on cable TV. It was on so much one of my host sisters started calling me Mow-neek in the accent of the horrible host mother in the movie, complete with the face smushing actions.

    So I love this movie because it holds a personal connection to me but for several other reasons as well.

    1. John Cusack
    What’s not to love about John Cusack. This may well have been the first movie I saw him in he was quirky and intelligent and interesting. He didn’t look like the cookie cutter teen movie heartthrob one was used to seeing and I liked that. I’ve liked him in just about everything I have seen him in since. Apparently John himself kind of disowns this movie and won’t discuss it (his from a man who was in Hot Tub Time Machine!). I think that’s a mistake because I know lots of people who met and fell in love with John in this movie.

    2. Diane Franklin’s Monique.
    I really liked this character. She was just about the only one in the whole cast who was’t a lunatic. She did dazed, confused and intelligent all at once. She was frustrated and exasperated but she was always a kind character. Oh yes and the short, foreign chick with curly hair got the guy. That’s perfection right there.

    3. Cast of wacky characters
    In the movie Layne has been dumped by his girlfriend, the very perfect Beth, and he doesn’t want to live without her. The kid is already depressed and he’s not helped by the characters that torment him daily from his own oblivious parents, the psychotic paper boy or the Japanese race car drivers who burn him off, complete with track-style commentary, at the traffic lights every day. Of course these characters are absurd and over the top but they take the edge off the serious subject – Layne’s many hopeless suicide attempts – and in a weird way show his reaction to being dumped is also ridiculous and over the top. Suicide isn’t a funny subject but this movie makes it funny and it also shows that things get better, if you just hang in there.

    4. Memorable moments
    You know a movie is good if years later moments in your day to day life remind you of the movie. There are a few scenes like that in Better Off Dead. The movie often uses Layne’s internal dialogue – he commentates with his inner thoughts so you get to see his awkward teen angst through his eyes. There’s one where Beth rubs her nose so he rubs his she rubs harder so she does too and until their rubbing their faces with both hands like utter lunatics – each thinks the other is trying to say “Dude you have a little something….”. Every time someone ‘has a little something” this scene flashes through my mind nearly 30 years later.

    It’s hard sometimes to say why one movie stays with you so clearly and others fade. I’m not really a big fan of slapstick and prat-falling in movies and this movie has plenty. I think what this movie had as well, which is why I remember it, is heart oh yeah and a happy ending.

    Better Off Dead DVD Menu
    Comments

    Deborah Nam-Krane
    11/6/2014 07:21:06 pm

    First, thank you for participating in the tour!

    Second- ha! My husband is a much bigger fan of Cusack (and this movie) than I am, but when I think of this movie, I think of this line and snicker:

    Kerrie Olzak
    11/6/2014 07:42:34 pm

    Great movie! “I want my two dollars!”

    Melissa
    11/6/2014 08:49:21 pm

    I love that movie! So funny.
    Have you seen One Crazy Summer? That’s a good one too. 🙂
    Reply
    Monique
    11/7/2014 05:25:31 am

    You never look at the paper boy the same way after this movie!

    That is a great line…I really need to watch this with my teenager.

    I have seen that Melissa…also fun!

  • Blog

    Building Attraction – blog blast

    11/13/2013

    Building Attraction - Book Blast - Monique McDonell - Banner
    As part of the launch of Building Attraction I have had the lovely Jaidis at Juniper Grove Books help me arrange a blog blast/tour.

    What that means is that Building Attraction will be featured on a number of wonderful blogs on November 14 & 15 (US time) and that you can visit them to go in the running to win an Amazon GC.

    This is the list of all the wonderful bloggers who are hosting on the tour. I hope you stop by their blogs and support them.

    Book bloggers do a wonderful job letting readers know about new releases and supporting authors so I urge you to support them. Take a look around their pages…you might find some other wonderful new authors to support yourself.

    Building Attraction by Monique McDonell:

     

     

     

    Link to your book blast page: http://junipergrovebooksolutions.com/building-attraction-monique-mcdonell/

  • Blog

    Blog tour visit from Tamara Lee Dorris with give-away

    10/23/2013

    Tamara Lee DorrisFootball From a Chick Lit View by Tamara Lee Dorris
    (Note for my Australian readers this is on American football)

    It’s that time of the year again! We can all forget our table manners and inside voices and act like whoever wins the game will affect our lives in any way whatsoever. Yay football season! Okay, seriously, I’m a big fan of watching Super bowl fans. And hey, I’m all about any Sunday that says Americans can start drinking before noon.

    In addition to imbibing early, I’ve noted these other American Approved activities, because, after all football season is that one time of year we can:

    Go charge a flat screen television larger than our first car—this is especially acceptable if your state team is headed for the Super Bowl.

    Drink our weight in alcohol, especially brewski, so you better pack a porta-potty because you don’t want to miss a minute of scrimmage (something like standing in line at Macy’s on Black Friday, right?).

    Eat massive amounts of food products that literally contain no food. My favorite? Processed cheese smothering processed chips. Mmmm nachos.

    Have something new and exciting to argue about on facebook. (if I see one more football helmet profile pic I’m going to spank my cat).

    My whole problem with football is the colors and the costs.

    I’m sorry, but I refuse to wear a jersey that’s the same color as my mother’s living room. What’s wrong with pink? You make an NFL team color pink, and I’ll buy the whole damn outfit. Think about it! A pink jersey says, I’m soft, but I’m here to play ball, right?! Of course, if the whole team wore pink, I suppose the estrogen might kick in. You know, instead of fighting over the ball, they’d have to play nice and seek mediation. Oh, and there would be no butt-patting; elbow touching only. And can’t you just hear the Quarterback asking, “Do these pants make my butt look big?”

    Speaking of the Quarterback, how come if he’s the team leader, he only gets ¼ of his back, while some other guy gets all of his own back? If I had my druthers, I would certainly opt to be a full back with a pink fitted jersey and white pants. And please, no padding around the hips! Mommy’s hips are plenty padded, thank you very much.

    What about the commercials? Reportedly the Super Bowl half-time is the most expensive advertising opp on the planet. You could buy Morocco or a 10-second spot. Why do advertisers pay so much money for this? Don’t they know everyone is going pee? I get it though, come Monday morning, the Internet will be full of youtube videos recapping all the commercials so that everyone has something new to talk about, now that they’ve realized that whether their team won or lost, all they have to show for it is five extra pounds, a really big television and an even bigger credit card payment. But, mmmm, nachos.

    Go Red Sox! What? Wrong team? Pssh.

    Q & A
    When did you come up with your story?
    When I was trying to do yoga once I concluded that there must be other women whofound it as ridiculously complex as I did and that it had to make for a funny story.

    Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
    I like Melissa because we share a love of wine, yoga and always wanting to lose ten pounds. However, she is a little more neurotic than me (and I don’t know why my family can’t see that). Otherwise, it is true that we both have mothers
    that drive us batty.

    How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
    Tac bugs me. I mean, he’s got big hair and sells a lot of houses. Whoopity doo. He can barely do yoga and he drinks white wine. I just don’t trust him.

    Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
    Well, I want readers to relate to the main character who is a wine-drinking neurotic woman. Mostly, so I feel better about myself.

    Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
    So being neurotic is not quite enough? I enjoy directing four-way traffic at intersections, but who doesn’t?

    What is the quote you live by?
    “Turn the light off, it’s not even noon yet.” Oh, and I like the one by Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” He was smart and built cars.

    Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you.

    I have been to rehab for my gummy bear addiction.
    I do not know
    what my natural hair color is.
    I look good in green.

    What’s the strangest dream you’ve ever had?
    Toto was involved. That’s all I’m saying. Unless you have a warrant?

    How old were you when you started writing?
    My mother will tell you I was born with a pencil in my hand, but she lies a lot so you can’t really trust her. I remember deciding I would be a writer at age 11 when I fell in love with John Boy Walton and his Red Indian writing pad. I
    think I wrote stories before that, though.

    Are you married?
    Yes, but if you’re going to ask how my husband tolerates me, I’m afraid he’s not home right now. Call back later.

    Thank you for having me! XO

    Secrets of a Spiritual Guru - CoverTamara Lee Dorris has been a life-long fan of personal and spiritual development, and has written several books that fall under the category of “self-help.” She wrote Secrets of a Spiritual Guru as a way of poking fun at how easy it is to become an online expert. Her other novels revolve around contemporary issues and spiritual enlightenment. Tamara is also an adjunct professor, radio host, and long time real estate professional who has gone crazy selling houses, loves yoga, drinks wine and is still as addicted as ever to personal development. She lives in Northern California with a bunch of annoying animals and her husband. She has four kids that she likes a lot and a mother that drives her nuts. Learn more at tamaradorris.com.

    Buy the Book!

    http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Spiritual-Guru-Estate-ebook/dp/B00CXWDM80/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375368947&sr=8-1&keywords=secrets+of+a+spiritual+guru

    Blog Tour
    http://www.clpblogtours.com/2013/08/secrets-of-spiritual-guru-by-tamara-lee.html
    October 7 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
    October 8 – Spiced Latte Reviews – Review
    October 9 – Nana Prah’s Blog – Guest Post
    October 10 – As the Page Turns – Q&A & Excerpt
    October 11 – Everything Books and Authors- Excerpt
    October 14 – The East Village – Review
    October 15 – Ai Love Books – Excerpt
    October 16 – A Blue Million Books – Q&A & Excerpt
    October 21- Chick Lit Goddess – Excerpt
    October 23 – Monique McDonell – Guest Post, Q&A
    October 24 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
    October 28 – Author and Readers Book Corner – Review & Guest Post
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Comment

    Athalia
    12/15/2016 06:33:30 pm

    All the things you like and dislike relate to wine haha. Nice!

  • Blog

    Q&A with Author of Between Boyfriends Sarka-Jonae Miller

    10/21/2012

    Sarka-Jonae Miller1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
    When I was in college, I had a few friends who kept jumping into terrible relationships. They would break plans with me at the last minute, rarely return calls and just were not around when they were needed. Yet then they would get dumped and suddenly they could not be alone. They called all the time, needed a shoulder to cry on, would beg me to go out
    with them… Then ditch me when they found a new guy. It was very upsetting and downright annoying. I wondered why these girls were like that. I think we all act a bit boy crazy in high school, but relationship hopping is not healthy for adults. I wondered what would happen if these girls just quit dating cold turkey, if they were single and shifted their focus to their education and their friendships. This idea slowly turned into “Between Boyfriends.” Jan does exactly what we all want our crazy girlfriends to do: she decided to be single and figure her life out.

    2. When did you take up writing?
    As soon as I could. I always loved to write in school. I would write really long “short stories” and started my first novel in junior high.

    3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
    In a sense very and in another not at all. I love writing about places I have spent a lot of time in so that the descriptions of the people and places feels real. I also like to bring in international locations to show cultural differences. I went to Thailand twice for a month each time when researching the “Between Boyfriends” sequel. I also spent a week in Paris
    working on another chick lit novel I am writing. Interesting locations add to the story, yet I think that a good story that is character-focused can be told anywhere. I do not think I make the location a character in my books as much as
    some people do, but I do like to use the culture and the people as important aspects of the story.

    4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
    I love most of my characters. I did have to write a couple of villians and I despise them to be honest, but they play a necessary role. I would say that Jan, the main character, is my favorite. I really love Raven and Shauna too and wish I could have used them more in the story, but it just didn’t work out that way.

    5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
    A friend who used to be in the publishing game told me that the most important skill a writer can have that most writers lack is a keen eye for proofreading. He told me that most writers need heavy proofing and editing, which is fine for big names but can be huge obstacle to a new writer looking for a publisher. Publishing houses just do not have the time and resources to do extensive editing on new books, even if the stories are promising. I had already taken editing courses for journalism in college but I signed up for a proofreading course after I received this advice, just to brush up my skills. It helped a lot. I think all authors still benefit from working with skilled editors, but we writers can catch a lot of the small errors ourselves.

    6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
    I cannot write on a schedule. I wish I could. I became self-employed in my 20s because I just can’t stand being on a schedule for anything. The only thing I do at all on a regular schedule is kung fu classes three days a week. Even that
    feels confining sometimes.

    7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
    There was a lot of winging going on for “Between Boyfriends” but I have since become a plotter.

    8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?
    My absolute favorite books are really series. Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series are just hilarious and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books are just incredible. My other favorite series are actually fantasy. The Shannara series by Terry Brooks, the Strand series by Gael Baudino, the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman are all amazing.

    9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
    Why I’d love to 🙂 I currently am writing the Between Boyfriends sequel. Jan has a lot of growing up to do still and many funny adventures to come. I am also writing a book about a girl from San Francisco who loses her heart in Paris. It’s more of a love story than Between Boyfriends yet still has the coming of age aspect that I adore writing about.

    10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
    This is probably the most unorthodox answer but my advice is get as much money together as you can. Of course fledgling writers should seek to perfect their craft, but assuming you can already write well what you really need is money. Money can get you into writer’s conferences so you can get invaluable advice directly from experts. Money can get you a review from Publisher Weekly and Kirkus Reviews that as a new author, you won’t get any other way. Money can help you advertise your book, pay for professionally editing, get a quality formatter and cover designer… there is
    so much a writer with some spare cash can accomplish that would take a starving artist forever to do regardless of talent.

    Between Boyfriends - CoverYou can find out more about Sarka and Between Boyfriends below:
    Amazon
    Amazon  UK
    Author Website
    Facebook  Page
    Twitter
    Between Boyfriends  Blog
    Goodreads

     

     

     

     

    Follow the tour and be entered to win an autographed copy of New York Times Best-Selling author Janet Evanovich’s Motor Mouth or an autographed picture of American Idol star Lauren Alaina. Plus everyone can download a FREE copy of Between Boyfriends on November 2.

    Only people who comment on every blog post are eligible to win. Also, check out Hollywood & Vine magazine next month for an article about Between Boyfriends. Don’t forget to pick up your FREE copy of Between Boyfriends on Amazon or Amazon UK on November 2.

    For details go to http://www.sarkajonae.com/blog-tour.html

     

    Comments

    Miss. Lucinda Fountain
    10/22/2012 05:38:54 pm

    Thank you for a really interesting interview with the author of Between Boyfriends. I very much enjoyed reading this facinating post, and look forward to finding out more along the journey of this epic book blog tour. x

    Susan Buchanan
    10/28/2012 05:50:08 pm

    Love the premise for the story and haven’t we all had friends like that, and perhaps occasionally been like that ourselves, when we are blinded by a new relationship? Good, realistic advice re preparing for becoming a writer, too. Great interview, Sooz

  • Blog

    Love Comes Later blog tour – Q&A with author Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

    8/9/2012

    Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar1. What was the inspiration for your novel?

    I grew up in a culture that believes in arranged marriages and was startled by the similarities I found between Indian and Qatari society attitudes towards women, adulthood, and yes, love. Pondering on how hard it is for young people to establish their own identities in these cultures, I brought the two sets of questions together to explore what the modern twentysomething traditionally conscious person does when faced with the choice of family over individual identity.

    2. When did you take up writing?
    I’ve been writing some version of books since I was in middle school. As an adult I wrote for more than 10 years, first putting out academic work as a scholar of literature and then waiting to get an agent in order to get to a publisher. Becoming an indie, or self published author is the best decision I made (about a year ago). Now I have six books out that readers love.

    3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
    Setting is pretty key to the stories I tell because they give shape to how the characters react and what happens. If Love
    Comes Later wasn’t in Qatar, for example, or you didn’t have the overflowing streets of London during the Olympics, then the dramatic tension would have to arise from another source.

    4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
    I feel for them each differently but for Abdulla the most. People forget that in societies where masculine privilege is
    heavily emphasized, it disadvantages women but also men. Men can’t be who they want to be if they’re expected to live up to some idealized stereotype.

    5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
    Write. Every day you can for as long as you can.

    6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
    It used to be for three hours on Saturdays. I was then lucky enough to quit a full time job at a publishing company and go back into teaching at the university level which is what I’ve been doing for the last year or so. During this period I was editing, writing, or marketing a book everyday. It was exhausting but exhilarating at the same time. So much so I had
    to spend July completely away from the desk in order to
    recover.

    7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
    I have an outline or sketch of how the story begins and where it ends. The complications in the middle are the
    surprises to develop along the day.

    8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?
    There are so many to choose from! I recently finished Colin Cotterill’s The Corner’s Lunch which is set in the 1970s in Laos. I loved the dry humor of the 70 something old protagonist and how Cotterill brings an unfamiliar place and person right to the reader as if he’s someone you’ve known all your life.

    Other reads… Bitter in the Mouth is lyrical in prose and delivery. Anything by Alice Munroe.

    9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
    I’ve saved August for a massive re-write of the first novel I ever attempted, An Unlikely Goddess. It’s a coming of age story of a South Indian girl in the United States and though the manuscript is complete, it isn’t yet what I know it could be.

    Be honest with yourself about why you’re writing.

    Love Comes Later Synopsis

    Hind is granted a temporary reprieve from her impending marriage to Abdulla, her cousin. Little does anyone suspect that the presence of Sangita, her Indian roommate, may shake a carefully constructed future. Torn between loyalties to Hind and a growing attraction to Abdulla, Sangita must choose between friendship and a burgeoning love.

    A modern quest for the right to pursue love and happiness, even when it comes in an unconventional package, LOVE COMES LATER explores similarities between the South Asian and Arab cultures while exposing how cultural expectations affect both men and women. Identities are tested and boundaries questioned against the shifting backdrops of Doha, Qatar and London, England.

    About the author
    Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was good in many ways, since that is where she met her husband, had a baby, and made the transition from writing as a hobby to making it her full-time gig. She has published three e-books this year: Mommy but Still Me, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, and Coloured and Other Stories. Since she joined the e-book revolution, she has dreamed in plotlines.

    Mohanalakshmi Phongsavan, PhD
    www.mohanalakshmi.com
    Maktaba, Children’s Library Project, co-founder
    www.maktabaqatar.org
    Twitter@moha_doah

    Love Comes Later - Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar - Cover

     

    Comments

    Mohana Rajakumar
    8/10/2012 07:25:06 am

    Thanks so much for hosting me Monique. I’m new to the world of contemporary romance but really loving it so far :).
    Reply
    Monique
    8/10/2012 09:18:49 am

    My pleasure. I enjoy ‘meeting’ and learning about new authors.

  • Blog

    In Praise of Motherhood – blog tour

    8/8/2012

    Phil Jourdan
    Back in late 2009, when I began
    working on Praise of Motherhood, I had envisioned a book
    very different from what I ended up submitting to my publisher. I’d just lost
    the woman who’d raised me, and when I wasn’t sitting around numb and brooding, I was frantically trying to contain the universe of loss and suffering in a single Word document on my laptop.

    I wanted to write a book that expressed the impossibility of letting go. We’re often told, when someone close
    to us dies, that we have to move on, that things will get better. I couldn’t accept this back then: I didn’t think it was possible to let go of my mother, who had been so patient and kind during my weird teenage years.

    The first two versions were entirely different from each other in form and tone, but they did have a certain
    delight in chaos in common. I was mourning the only way I knew how: by adopting a hundred different voices, each trying to say something about my mother that the others couldn’t say. One chapter was pure dialogue; another was a series of letters; for a while I wrote in breathless page-long paragraphs because it was the only way I could feel “honest” about what I felt. I’d swing from rage to self-pity to sadness to bliss to sheer bafflement.

    It was only when I decided to turn this book into something that others could actually read without going insane
    that I figured out how to structure a book like this. I cut a great number chapters because they were “honest” but unhelpful. I tried to make myself a sort of antagonist, so my mother’s qualities as a human being could be emphasized. I
    left things relatively ambiguous instead of offering anything like words of wisdom to my readers. I tried to leave the book as open as the wound that stayed after my mother died.

    This has irritated some people. They ask why I don’t provide a real sense of what my mother was like on a
    day-to-day basis, or why I focused so much on how she affected my life instead of just writing about her, as a person in her own right. Fair questions — but I never set out to just “write about my mom”. I wanted to write about the struggle
    of losing her, and what made losing her so painful. That’s why I ask questions in the book that I never really answer: because I was never able to answer them myself. They are questions that will remain.

    Praise of Motherhood isn’t a book praising all mothers across all ages. It’s not meant to praise the idea of “motherhood” itself as some glorious ideal. I wrote this book because I wanted to transmit something of my mother to those who
    didn’t know her; those who, perhaps, need to hear that it’s okay to say you love your mommy and you wish she could still be here when you feel like crying.

    ***
    As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Praise of Motherhood eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

    The prizes include $500 in Amazon gift cards and 5 autographed copies of the book.

    To enter click below or leave me a comment.
    Praise of Motherhood - Phil Jourdan - Blog Tour