Thursday, October 31, 2013

Novellas, Weddings, and Meerkats

Happy Thursday, all! And Happy Halloween! (I'm always so confused about whether or not to put in that apostrophe.)

Hope the week has been treating everyone well. It's been a busy one for me! I published a Christmas novella...

We attended the super-fab wedding of writer Michele Gorman...

Chris Manby, the beautiful bride, and me. 

And this little guy needed a costume!

Isn't it obvious? I'm a meerkat!

And such is the life of a writer! Hope you all have a great week. I'll be back with a meatier post soon, I promise!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blogger Girl Meets The Pollyanna Plan in NYC

Happy mid-week! I've no idea where the days are going. As promised, here I am for my second post of the week. I'm taking part in United Authors of Chick Lit, and today Emma from The Pollyanna Plan will be hitting New York. Her guide is the character Kim from Meredith Schorr's  Blogger Girl.

Over to Kim and off to NYC!

I am delighted to share the details of the exciting day I spent with Emma Beckett from The Pollyanna Plan. We were introduced by two authors and became such fast friends that I invited Emma to visit with me in New York City and I flew to London to spend time with her. I was totally stoked for my trip across the pond, home of my favorite characters in chick lit, like Becky Bloomwood, Bridget Jones, and Serenity Holland. The mini holiday in London did not disappoint but I will let Emma tell you all about it while I recap her visit to The Big Apple.

Emma met me at my office in the New York Life Building instead of breakfast at Serendipity as originally planned, since Rob was preparing for a crazy trial and I had to supervise a copy job of epic proportions first thing in the morning. I felt guilty that my uninspiring job got in the way of delicious frozen hot chocolate but Emma had a great attitude; she was actually excited about spending time in a law firm. I introduced her to Rob who, of course, made a point to give me shit about my blog in front of Emma. I forgave him when he gave me the rest of the day off.

Once I escaped from prison, er, work, I treated Emma to lunch at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, where we indulged in the best burger, fries, and shake combination ever. We had time before meeting my best friend Bridget for drinks and so I took Emma on a walking tour of Gramercy Park, the Flatiron District and Union Square. I thought Emma would be impressed by the cool shape of the Flatiron Building but she said there is a Flatiron Building in London too. Who knew? I even dragged her to the Strand Bookstore and showed her books where authors included my name in the acknowledgment section. 

If Emma was bored senseless, she kept it to herself, but I knew she was happy when we finally met Bridget at Banc Café for happy hour. I told Emma it was at Banc Café where I had my first non-work-related conversation with Nicholas. We had a moment of silence for swoon-worthy Nicholas and then Emma told us about her love interest, Will. Over our second round of watermelon martinis, I complained to Emma that Hannah Marshak, my high school nemesis, had the nerve to ask me to review her debut chick lit novel on Pastel is the New Black and Bridget shared some of Hannah’s evil machinations from back in the day. When Emma suggested that maybe Hannah had matured, Bridget asked Emma if she was on crack, but Emma explained that she was simply trying to look on the bright side of things. 

After two cocktails, I was buzzing big time (being under 5”0’ doesn’t bode well for drinking on an empty stomach) and the three of us went for dinner at Primehouse across from my office. The restaurant brought back bad memories because it was during Rob’s birthday lunch there that he announced hiring condescending Daneen, who not only wants to jump Nicholas’ bones but also makes my life miserable at work on a daily basis. Emma promised we would make new memories and we did.

At the end of the night, Emma gave us a big hug and said we reminded her of her best friend from home, Alice.  When Nicholas made an appearance after finally getting out of work, Emma even offered to stay at Bridget’s apartment so I could have sex with him. While I thought it was an awfully sweet and tempting offer, I declined. Spending the evening as a wanton sex goddess with a very bad man between my thighs would, of course, be wonderful, but hanging out with my new British BFF was even better.

A little excerpt from the wonderful Blogger Girl (definitely on my TBR list!):

Nicholas patted the seat next to him. “Sit with us.”
Daneen looked at me like I was a rescued stray cat she wished would get lost again. “Yes, join us if you’d like. Although, it will probably be super boring for you. We’re working.” She pointed towards the pile of papers like I wouldn’t have noticed them otherwise.
“A little break won’t kill us,” Nicholas said winking at me.
I smiled at him and took a bite of my sandwich. When no one said anything, I took another bite and decided to feign interest in what they were working on just to break the awkward silence. “So…”
“So, how long have you been a legal secretary?” Daneen interrupted.
“Almost three years,” I answered. I was too taken aback that Daneen had actually initiated a conversation with me to go into more details.
“Have you taken the LSAT yet?” Daneen asked.
Surprised by the randomness of the question, I stuttered, “Huh? Um, no.”  
“You are going to law school, right?” She probed.
“Why do you ask?” Nicholas questioned.
Daneen looked at Nicholas like he had an eyeball in the middle of his forehead. “I just can’t imagine anyone graduating college and working as a legal secretary unless she hoped to get good recommendations from attorneys for law school.ˮ Turning her attention to me, she said, “You went to college, right?”
 I shredded my napkin wishing it was her face. “Yes.”
Daneen nodded. “Where’d you go?”
“Syracuse,” I said.
Momentarily looking at me with envy, Daneen said, “I wished my parents would have let me go to a party school!”
“Syracuse had a great communications program and it might seem shocking to you, but I’ve never had any desire to go to law school,” I said assuredly.
“It’s not shocking to me,” Nicholas said, squeezing my knee under the table. “And Syracuse did a great job. Kimmie is a super communicator. You should check out her blog.”
Daneen looked at me with renewed interest. “What kind of blog?”
“It’s a chick lit blog where I post about chick lit novels. I write reviews, interview authors. That sort of thing.”
With a furrowed brow, Daneen said, “I thought chick lit was declared dead ages ago. I read Bridget Jones’s Diary in college but don’t know anyone who reads it now. Except my sixteen year old niece. She has that Shopaholic series, but I assume she’ll grow out of it soon.”
“No one writes chick lit like Sophie Kinsella,” I said.  
Daneen looked at me blankly. “Well, that’s great, Kimmie! Your blog sounds cute.”
I tried not to lose my lunch over her use of his nickname for me, especially since it might have been the first time she had ever directed me by name.

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, "Pastel is the New Black," has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that "chick lit is dead" once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim's day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that's turning heads--and pages--across the land. It's also popped into Kim's inbox--for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim's coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl”makes the grade in her off-line life.

Available on; Amazon UKB&N; and Apple iTunes.

I'll see everyone next week!

Monday, October 21, 2013

United Authors of Chick Lit

Why, hello! Happy Monday!

You may (or may not) have noticed I didn't post last Thursday - the day completely got away from me, and then I figured I'd do it on Friday, and then . . . I was hungover, due to a book launch and a bottomless glass of wine. But this week I'll make up for it, because I'll be posting twice! In one week! Crazy!

Why, you ask?

Well, I'm taking part in United Authors of Chick Lit, bringing together writers of the genre from over the Pond and beyond. The next few days, chick lit characters will be jetting across the ocean to visit with fictional friends on either side of the Atlantic.

 On Tuesday, 22 Oct., read about Stella from Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes and Chloe from Lying to Meet You as they travel across the Atlantic to visit each other.

On Wednesday, 23 Oct., it’s time to discover what happens when Emma from The Pollyanna Plan and Kim from Blogger Girl meet.

On Thursday, 24 Oct., Izzy from Izzy’s Cold Feet and Jamie from Finding Lucas will be taking you on a trip alongside their characters.

And on Friday, 25 Oct., Kate from Sealed with a Kiss and Pilar from In Need of Therapy will be chatting about their overseas experiences.

Here’s a little sneak peek at the fun, frothy books and sassy gals featured in our international promo, all of which are priced at £2.99 or less:

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey – Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind? Available on Amazon UK and Kobo
In Need of Therapy by Tracie BanisterHandling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself? Available on Amazon UK and B&N
Lying to Meet You by Anna Garner – Overworked New York fashion girl Chloe Lane has no time for a real relationship, but when her childhood pal asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test a theory, she decides to go for it. The lies start piling up and things start getting crazy. Will Chloe be able to keep it together? Available on Amazon UK and B&N
Sealed with a Kiss by Rachael Lucas – Kate breathes a sigh of relief when she's dumped at her best friend's wedding. When she takes a job on the island of Auchenmor, she's determined to have a year off men, but that's before she rescues Flora the seal pup with the help of Roddy, her mysterious new boss... Available on and Amazon UK 

The Pollyanna Plan by Talli RolandEmma Beckett has always looked down on 'the glass is half full' optimists. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancé, Emma makes a radical decision: from here on in, she'll attempt to see the upside, no matter how dire the situation. Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea? Available on and Amazon UK

Blogger Girl by Meredith SchorrKimberly Long has two passions: her successful chick lit blog and Nicholas, her handsome colleague down the hall. But when her high school nemesis pops onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book and eyes for Nicholas, Kim has to make some quick revisions to her own life story. Available on Amazon UK B&N and Apple iTunes

Izzy’s Cold Feet by Sarah Louise Smith – Izzy is engaged to Greg, who is everything a girl could want. The trouble is – all she can think about is the men she loved before she met him. In the week leading up to her wedding day, Izzy is forced to ask herself who she loves the most. And, given the choice, who would she want to spend her life with? Available on

Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson – TV Producer Stella is over worked, over weight and under fire battling to balance family, career and those weighing scales. In the past she’s always found comfort at the bottom of her mixing bowl but now the most delicious lemon sponge with zesty frosting has no effect. However, life is about to get even tougher... and Stella has to face some truths about herself, her life and her future. Available on and Amazon UK

Whooooop! I'll be back on Wednesday! Have a lovely week, everyone.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Day in the Life

I've done these 'Day in a Life' things before, but I have to say it's a whole different story with a baby around (I know - duh). So, because the glamour quotient in my life is rather lacking these days, I thought I'd bore you with some minutiae. And to be honest, I really can't think of what else to blog about at the moment!

5 a.m. - Get up very quietly so as not to wake the baby (he's a very light sleeper in the morning). Tiptoe to the kitchen, cursing the creaking floorboards, and make a cup of coffee so strong the spoon stands up in it. Head to my desk (aka 'sofa'), boot up my computer, and furiously write.

6 a.m. - Baby TR wakes up! I work over his coos (aka 'cries') until they join together in one lengthy wail. Usually the coo to wail transition happens over a five-minute period, if I'm lucky. I bounce, play, walk, crawl and generally dust the floor with the length of my body.

7 - 9:30 a.m. - Feeding and yet more floor-dusting.

9:30 - 10:30 a.m. - Baby naps! I jam burnt toast down my throat and head back to my desk for more work.

10:30 - 1:30 p.m. - Feeding, floor dusting and a stroll to the shops where Baby TR and I terrorise the population of Kensington. We have a particular fondness for the lift in Boots.

1:30 - 3 p.m. - Baby naps! I lunge for whatever food is nearest, then make a break for my desk.

3 - 5 p.m. - Yet more feeding and floor dusting. I have a very clean floor.

5 p.m. - Mr TR's home! I hand over the baby and return to my desk.

6:30 p.m. - Baby TR's in bed and it's wine o'clock!

And there you have it! A day in the life of a writer/mum/floor duster.

What's the highlight of your day?

Monday, October 07, 2013

Locked In: Paul Anthony Shortt

I've got ten minutes until the baby wakes up! Ready . . . steady . . . blog!

Right, well, I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. London has been blessed with an abundance of sunshine and warmth; not quite sure what's happening there. Thank you all for the comments on last week's blog post. It's good to see I'm not alone in my struggle to keep a balance.

Although I normally post on Thursdays, I'm dropping in today with a special guest post from Paul Anthony Shortt. I seriously do NOT KNOW how this man finds the time to write! With twin daughters under a year and another one on the way, all I can say is he must be a super-hero.

Take it away, Paul!

A Love Reborn

I’m back on Talli Roland’s blog, the day before my second novel, Silent Oath, hits the shelves. I am so excited about this! This new book pushes Nathan to the limit, and offers him his greatest reward: Love.

In the world of the reborn, there are many challenges. Their beliefs make them targets of the Council of Chains, and they must frequently contend with issues that carry over from past incarnations. The Common Laws forbid them from letting past grudges or rivalries to carry over from life to life, but they’re only human, and emotions can get the better of them.

Of all the challenges reincarnation brings, few are as delicate and complicated as love.

Many new characters make their debut in Silent Oath, but the most important is probably Elena DeSantis. Readers of Locked Within will know her better as Malcolm, lover of Nathan’s past self, Katherine O’Reilly. As you will soon learn, Elena and Nathan have been lovers in many lifetimes, and have a history that goes back further than either of them realise.

Writing a romantic sub-plot like this proved to be a challenge. After all, you can’t have the shy, nervous introduction like you would with a traditional love story. Nathan and Elena know each other’s past selves intimately, and it was inevitable that some connection survived their reincarnation.

Instead, I chose to focus on the idea of a reunion. Two people, forced apart for literal lifetimes, suddenly thrust into each other’s lives again. That was an interesting thing to write. I know what it feels like to be separated from friends from long periods of time, and the combination of fear and excitement that accompanies a reunion. Would they still love each other? Would things be the same between them? Had too much changed in the time since they last saw one another, leaving them clinging on to the hope of a memory, and nothing else?

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Nathan and Elena’s reunion is marred by the machinations of their enemies, including a man they know only as Athamar. A reborn who has hunted them across lifetimes, determined to cause them nothing but misery, Athamar is a deadly foe, who brings with him powerful allies.

Only together can Nathan and Elena put a stop to Athamar’s plans, and that means putting aside their hearts’ desires for the time being. But it also means facing their past and coming to terms with things they have done, both in this life and in previous incarnations. There will be no easy answer for these two reborn lovers.

I’d like to open this one up to discussion. 

Do you guys think two lovers can rekindle their feelings after a long time apart? Even if each has been with other people in the interim? Should they even try, or should they accept that the past is over and move on?

A child at heart who turned to writing and roleplaying games when there simply weren't enough action figures to play out the stories he wanted, Paul Anthony Shortt has been writing all his life. Growing up surrounded by music, film and theatre gave him a deep love of all forms of storytelling, each teaching him something new he could use. When not playing with the people in his head, he enjoys cooking and regular meet-ups with his gaming group.Paul lives in Ireland with his wife Jen and their dogs, Pepper and Jasper. Their first child, Conor William Henry Shortt, was born on July 11th, 2011. He passed away three days later, but brought love and joy into their lives and those of their friends. The following year, Jen gave birth to twins, Amy and Erica, and is now expecting their fourth child. Paul's first novel, Locked Within, was released on November 6th, 2012, by WiDo Publishing. Silent Oath is the second book in this urban fantasy trilogy.

Thank you, Paul! See everyone on Thurday.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Keeping It Real

This week, I read a great blog post by Jessica Bell, Let's Fix This Before We Die. In it, Jess points out that many of our blogs have been taken over by promo pieces for other writers, making blogging less personal and fun.

I couldn't agree more, and I admit I'm guilty.

Back in the days before self-publishing, only a few lucky writers achieved the then-holy-grail of being published. We were all happy to jump on board the chosen writer's promo pony to help spread the word of their novel.  Now, many of us can -- and are -- being publishing by other means, and promo posts seem to have taken over the world (okay, just the blogosphere).

I think it's great that the blogging community is super-supportive. For my novel releases, I've had fantastic support from so many fellow bloggers it's made my eyes tear up, and I want to do my bit in return. But with so many releases, I have to draw the line somewhere to ensure my blog remains my own . . . and that any new readers and followers can still see 'me' in it.

I know when I visit blogs, I'm not that keen to see a cover reveal or a random author interview. I want to read what my blog buds are up to; see photos of their life (what can I say, I'm a little voyeuristic!). I miss that sometimes amidst the promo pieces.

How do you balance supporting other writers with keeping your blog personal?