Chick Lit Author Blog Hop 2012

When author Tracie Banister invited us to be a part of the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop we knew exactly what we wanted to write: a thank you note to Jane Austen. It was the perfect opportunity to express our gratitude to one of our favorite authors for paving the way for Chick Lit. We thought it would be a nice tribute and a fun post to write!

Well, we were stymied from the start. The first and most basic question had us stumped. How do we address this thank you note? “Dear Miss Austen” seemed appropriate but way too formal. On the other hand, “Dear Jane” was a little too informal.

Tricky business. So we procrastinated. We debated. And in the end we decided if we were stressing over how to address this imaginary thank you note, then our post might be a little doomed.

So what to write?

Recently, the “Pride and Prejudice” movie adaptations came up at a dinner party. The topic naturally turned to who played the better Darcy; Colin Firth or Matthew MacFadyen. One group favored Colin Firth’s austere Darcy, while the other valued MacFadyen’s vulnerability.  What initially started as a healthy discussion eventually resulted in impassioned verbal fisticuffs. (We won’t divulge our opinion lest this post turn into a massive throw-down). Let’s just say neither side would bend and the debate ended with a weak proclamation from the hostess that “they were both excellent.” Then she distracted us all with red velvet cupcakes and the matter was promptly forgotten.

And that’s what got us thinking – of course we all love the Austen women, but it’s the men who really heat things up. When we started listing some of our favorite Chick Lit heroes we realized – they all have a home in Austen.

And Miss Austen (Jane?) has given us some wonderful heroes – steadfast and true: Mr. Knightley, Mr. Darcy, Henry Tilney, Edmund Bertram, Colonel Brandon, Edward Farrars, Captain Wentworth… Sigh. These shining examples of manliness are still the archetypes for our fictional crushes today.

But it wasn’t just the hero that she crafted and perfected – she bestowed us with another important archetype – the Bad Boy. Admit it, we’ve all pulled a Marianne and fallen for the Bad Boy at one time in our lives (though hopefully without as much “Willoughby!” wailing nonsense.)

Helen Fielding’s “Bridget Jones’s Diary” was our introduction to the world of Chick Lit.  It’s the book that made us fall in love with the genre and it opened up irresistible possibilities for our own writing ambitions.

Obviously we adored Mark Darcy – he was Fitzwilliam Darcy sans breeches and the man who loved Bridget…just as she was. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t swooning over rakish Daniel Cleaver. (If it weren’t for that whole cheating debacle Mark Darcy would have had some real competition there.)

Although Daniel Cleaver must be at least loosely based on Mr. Wickham, he reads as more of a Henry Crawford from “Mansfield Park” to us.  Henry was flirtatious, amusing, romantic… just a delightful scamp who nearly won Fanny Price’s heart, or at least her hand. (Fine, fine, he was a bit of a cad, but Edmund was so bloody earnest!)  In the end, of course we were happy with Bridget/Fanny’s choice, but we must admit we were swayed by Cleaver and Crawford’s charms.

Our next Chick Lit love was “Mr. Maybe” by Jane Green. One could argue (and we will!) that “Mr. Maybe” is really Willoughby’s story from “Sense and Sensibility” with a happy ending.  Bear with us here.

Marianne Dashwood and Willoughby were perfect matches in every way, save one. Marianne was poor and Willoughby needed to marry rich (okay, fine he also had a dubious character but we’ll save that for another topic.) Instead of going with his heart, Willoughby chose chilly Miss Grey and her 50,000 pounds.  Unhappiness abounds.

In “Mr. Maybe” Libby is torn between fetching-but-penniless-writer Nick and wealthy stuck-in-the-mud Ed. Libby’s champagne tastes leave her with the same dilemma as Willoughby: Love or money? Luckily for Chick Lit fans, Jane Green and Libby did the right thing.

Jane (Ms. Austen?) has given us countless prototypes of tempting rogues. We even see some parallels between “Emma’s” Frank Churchill and Marcus from “Something Borrowed.” Both Frank and Marcus serve as red herrings who were initially presented as possible suitors for our heroines only to be caught having secret affairs.  Frank is far more tempting than Marcus (especially movie Marcus, don’t get us started) but they both serve as interesting counterpoints to the leading men.

So we’re here to thank Jane/Miss Austen for creating some of our most beloved charmers and rogues.  As readers, it’s both compelling and dismaying when we know our heroine is getting swept away by the wrong man.  In the end, she usually makes the right choice, but it makes the journey much more gripping when we’re swept away right along with her.

Thanks so much for reading and don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of “Unscripted.” Below are the rules for the blog hop and your chance to win $150 Sephora Gift Card. Good luck!

    • Each of the 34 participating authors has written a special Chick Lit-centric piece. At each blog hop stop, you will have the opportunity to enter to win a FREE Chick Lit e-book from that particular blog’s owner/author.  All you have to do is leave a comment on the blog post, including your name and e-mail address, and you’re automatically entered to win.  If you visit each blog hop stop, that means you have the chance to win 34 different e-books! Please see the list of all of the stops at the bottom of the page.
    • In each of the author’s blog posts, there will be a “secret word.”  This word will be italicized, so it will be easy to find.  All you have to do is make note of this secret word at each blog hop stop.  Collect all 34 secret words and submit your list to before midnight on Sunday, May 20th and you will be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing!  The winner of this drawing will receive a $150 Sephora gift card!  $150 to spend on make-up, fragrance, bath and body goodies, skin care, and hair products!  How fun is that?  This gift card can be redeemed online, or at any Sephora store in the US.
    • Winners of each of the participating author’s e-books, as well as the Grand Prize winner of the $150 Sephora gift card will be announced on Monday, May 21st.
    • Contests are open to residents of the United States only.

Below is the list of participating authors — be sure to check them out! We want to give a big thanks to Tracie Banister for putting this event together! Happy International Chick Lit Month!

Good luck with the hop!

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77 thoughts on “Chick Lit Author Blog Hop 2012

  1. Fab-Fab-Fabulous blog post ladies! I’d have to agree that Austen’s ‘Bad Boy’ archetype lends a big hand in page-turning. Guilty as charged for fancying reading about those trouble-makers. :) Yay for int’l chick lit month!!
    -Savannah Page

    • Thanks so much, Savannah! Yahhh – they are hard to resist! We won’t tell a soul!

  2. Thank you so much for the great hop and prizes!
    I love Jane Austen. Chick lit is so lite and fun. I can’t wait to go to all the sites and find new authors. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rhonda – thanks so much!! We’re so thrilled to be a part of it! Good luck!

  3. Well done. :)

    Btw I also disliked movie Marcus. It felt like a bad joke and was nothing like book Marcus.

    • Thank you, Lizeth! Re: Marcus…right??
      Such weird casting (and re-write). How could anyone take him seriously? (Ohoh we’re getting started)
      Thanks for the comment & have a great day!

  4. As much as I like Colin Firth I would have to say I preferred Matthew MacFadyen as Darcy ;)

    • Kassandra – you are not alone. It’s a little like “Sophie’s Choice.” Oh the guilt (but he’s so hot…!)
      Thanks for the comment – have a great day!

    • Heh…the rage is already building! Thank you for the comment!

    • Thanks so much, Allyson! We’re so happy we’re a part of it! Chick lit love abounds this month!

  5. Have to go with Collin Firth myself. No wait…make that Matthew MacFadyen. This is why I can never do jury duty.

    Nice blog!

    • Ha! It’s a dangerous topic. Next time you get called for Jury Duty make sure to try the Darcy excuse as an out.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Thank you, Chelle! We’re loving it too! Good luck on the hop!

  6. I’ve completely enjoyed reading this post this morning. I completely agree with the compliment towards Jane. Every girl and woman deserve to be captured and mesmerized by a charming and thrilling love story that takes the reader through the obstacles of what we call love.

    • Thank you so much, Isdarlys! Where would we be without Jane Austen?

      • You’re very welcome. This would be an upside down world. Without her realism in her romantic fiction that set the start in a whirlwind of future romance novels. I might be young but reading should be part of every girls & womans day.

        • Completely agree. The realism is what grounds us – and makes it all seem possible. Daily reading is definitely something to aspire to – I know it would help balance my day!

          • Yes and the fact that it makes it all seem possible is what gives many girls and woman the drive and ambition to make positive outcomes occur. I completely agree, I started off in high school with hard cover books and now i can’t get away from my ibooks application on my ipad!

          • When kindle first came out I resisted – now I rarely buy hardcovers (except for cookbooks – I can’t get used to the idea of using iPad for that!) It’s definitely making it easier (and more convenient) to curl up with a good book!

  7. This is what happens when you are mesmerized by Jane, rouges, and red velvet! You get a great post! LOVE YOU GIRLS! XOXO Jen Jen

  8. What a great “letter” to Jane Austen! I really enjoyed rambling down Chic-lit lane remembering the great books I’ve read!! Thanks for the blog hop!!

    • Thank you, Theresa! And we didn’t even have to commit to calling her Miss Austen or Jane. Thanks for the comment!

  9. Great post! I have to say I looooove Colin Firth. Pass the red velvet cupcakes please. I’d like to be invited back!! Barbara bb dash bjd at comcast dot net

    • Thanks so much, Barbara. Virtual cupcakes on the way. Colin/Darcy wet shirt scene is forever singed on our brains!

    • Ha – we know what you mean. We’ve been reading the 33 other blogs – can’t get any work done either!

    • Tracie is a genius! It’s our first real hop and we’re having a blast! Thanks for the comment.

  10. I have been reading romance novels for 38 years and have not read or seen any movies from Jane Austen. I know it’s a shame, but I just never got around to it. I love doing blog hops though.


    • Mary – you must! If you’ve been reading romance then you should probably start with the most recent adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. It’s beautifully done and very romantic! Get on it!

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

  11. I am on board with the movie Marcus loathing – glad I’m not the only one! Loving the hop, too!

    • Kristen – good to know we have another Movie Marcus hater on board. If we form a posse we will let you know!

      Thanks for commenting – the hop is so fun!

  12. Thanks so much for participating in the hop! I love the whole genre of chic lit and I like doing hops for finding new authors/series to add to my TBR list.

    mimirose41209 at hotmail dot com

  13. I loved the movie but I just refuse to read the book. don’t know why but I refuse to read the book. Love Me some Chick lit novels. This month my challenge is chick lit by asian, indian or latino authors.

    • Ooh that is a good challenge! Hmm I wonder why you have the book resistance? It’s hard to commit but you won’t be disappointed!

  14. I am completely in the Colin Firth camp in the debate of the Darcy’s! Firth brought to the role an understated vulnerability, under his solemn, somber manner. And aside from that, Colin Firth is just amazing! Love the blog post and the hop is so much fun! : )

    • Michele – thanks so much! We’re loving it too. “Understand vulnerability” – that’s a good way to describe Colin’s Mr. Darcy. It’s so very hard to choose. Can we have both?

    • Caitie – we’re so happy we’re a part of the Blog Hop!! It’s so fun getting a glimpse into everyone’s world :)

  15. looking forward to winning a FREE Chick Lit e-book! i have seem to become a book whore lately!

  16. I’m in Canada so I can’t go for the big prize but winning a few chick lit e books sounds wonderful to me! Thank you!


    • Hi Margaret! Sorry you can’t go for the gift card but I hope you get some free books out of it! Thanks for commenting!

    • Thank you, Jen! Sometimes having a last name that starts with A is helpful! ;)

  17. I’m so excited to discover new chick lit authors! As a high school English teacher, I love being able to just read for fun!

    • Thanks, Erica! We’ve discovered some new ones as well – so excited!

    • Thanks, Jeryl. We’re putting the names into a bowl (our very scientific device!) Have a great day!

  18. This is so much fun. It’s a great way to find out about the authors and their books. Thanks for doing the blog hop.

  19. Great post. My favorite line was: Admit it, we’ve all pulled a Marianne and fallen for the Bad Boy at one time in our lives (though hopefully without as much “Willoughby!” wailing nonsense.) LOL



    • Ha! Thank you! We all love Marianne but you kind of want to shake her after a bit :)

  20. Pingback: Tracey’s Seal of Approval: Links from the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop « Tracey Livesay's Blog- Mimosas at Midnight