Chick Lit Author Blog Hop Winners


All good things must come to an end and we’re sorry to say that the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop is over. This was our first hop and we loved every minute of it – we’re thrilled to have met so many new readers and authors! We want to thank all of the Chick Lit lovers for hopping around and leaving comments. We also owe a big thanks to Tracie Banister (author of “Blame it on the Fame”) for all of her hard work in putting this hop together!

Now on to the winners!

Tracie announced the winner of the $150 Sephora gift card on her blog today- congratulations to Tiffany White! We hope you enjoy it!

We’re also excited to announce that we’ve decided to give away two e-book copies of UNSCRIPTED today! The first name was chosen by random drawing… and the ebook goes to…Amy Sherman! The next copy goes to Isdarlys! We loved our back and forth and wanted to thank her for her thoughtful responses. Congratulations and happy reading, ladies!

Thanks again to everyone for participating in the hop! We had a blast and hope you did too!

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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Six Sentence Sunday

It’s our first Six Sentence Sunday here and we’re excited to share a few lines from our novel, Unscripted!

Unscripted is the story of Abby Edwards – a reality TV producer who is navigating the  “realities” of reality television…and who finds love where she least expects it.

Set up: Last time Abby saw Will Harper she humiliated herself in front of him. Now, it’s 10 years later and she’s been hired to work on a reality show that he’s producing.  This is the moment she’s been dreading – it’s her first (and possibly last?) day on the job and time to meet up with her new boss, Will Harper . . .

“Hey, there. Actually, we’ve already met,” I tell Peter, gesturing to Will with my empty water bottle.

“We have?” Will asks. I can tell by his quizzical expression that he’s trying to place me.

Why didn’t I just pretend I didn’t remember him?

“Well it was years ago…” and while I’ve merely aged, you’ve become a beautiful George Clooney butterfly.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing our first Six Sentence Sunday with us – we hope you enjoyed! And if you get a chance, swing on by Six Sentence Sunday and check out some of the other contributing authors.

How Buffy the Vampire Slayer Brought Us Together

We met in the summer of 2001. It was, as the media dubbed it, The Summer of the Shark.  For us, the shark was a five-hour clip show – a beast of a job with a tight deadline. We had hundreds of hours of footage and photos to go through and many celebrities to book and interview – and it all had to be finished before Christmas.

We were working out of the MTV Networks building – it was pretty much what you imagined working at MTV would be like in those days – overrun by youth – responsible, hard working youth, but youth none-the-less. And while we were young enough to enjoy the atmosphere, we were too square to understand fully what the youth in the building were actually up to (and by the way, we still have no idea).

Natalie had spent the last three years at MTV, working on Behind the Music. Marla was a recent hire, she’d just finished up working as a researcher for a feature film writer/director. We shared an office with three other girls.  Natalie knew them from Behind the Music and Marla was the new kid, but we all clicked, thankfully.

We, in particular, discovered just how much we had in common: we traded our favorite books like “Mr. Maybe” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” we compared our similar and extensive collection of VHS tapes (“You love Buffy? I love Buffy more!”) and when Marla introduced Natalie to Nutella – it became a forever kind of love.

Since Natalie was the first to start on the show, she snagged the best desk – the power spot – all the way in the back. Marla was stationed right in front of her, so Natalie could always see when she was dicking around. In turn, Marla sat behind Angela – an AP on the show – and could see when Angela was screwing around as well.  Which due to the schedule, wasn’t very often, unfortunately.

The three of us, along with our line-producer, (who had her own office) became work-besties.  We loved the other two girls in the room, but they were working on other shows so we didn’t share the same bond. And in retrospect, our, er, enthusiastic natures probably got on their nerves.

As it happens on many shows, the early days of production felt like a normal job. We logged footage, made calls and waited to hear back from talent.  We were in a bit of a denial bubble – we knew the bad time was coming, but it felt far far away.

So our happy foursome was able to take an occasional lunch – just like you would at a normal job.  It gave us time to bond – and that bond cemented the Three Musketeers mentality that would keep us working nights and weekends together without (much) complaint.

After about two weeks of this semi-leisurely pace, the reality of the show came crashing down – we had to produce five hours of television in just a few short months. By this time, the full staff was working – they had hired two producers to conduct the interviews and two researchers to help us out – and thus began one of the best and worst work experiences of both of our careers.

In a flash, our lives were all about the job.  Leaving before 9:30 p.m. became a treat. Working on a Saturday wasn’t just expected – it was actually necessary.  The only thing that made it all bearable was being together – if one of us had to work late, we all stayed late.  So our work misery was tempered with this odd feeling of togetherness – we didn’t blame the job, or even the schedule – we just knew we had to get the work done.

And that tight bond carried us through 9/11 as well.  That day we cancelled an interview with a major celebrity and all stayed in our homes to watch the coverage, calling each other in disbelief as the situation unfolded.

The next day, we wheeled a TV into our office.  We watched CNN coverage non-stop for about a week.  When we needed a break between news stories, Natalie brought in “Once More with Feeling,” the legendary musical episode from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  We were thrilled to have the musical distraction, singing along with Buffy and her friends as we organized photos.  Did our three office mates enjoy it? Maybe the first three times we played it.  Did we care? Not so much.  Don’t worry – they had their revenge – there were Disney musicals played aplenty.

Over the next couple of months we discovered that:

  • Because of the Anthrax scare, the mailroom guys went from slackers who listened to music all day to terrified Hazmat suit wearing bomb-detectors who had to search every piece of mail that entered the building.
  • It was almost impossible to hide large cartons of Baskin-Robbins ice cream in a communal freezer.
  • Our line-producer had a very sensitive stomach and was prone to stress-puking. We can’t get into it – it’s really gross.
  • Even though we all knew Marla was leaving for two weeks to get married we still punished her when she returned.
  • In person, Blair Underwood was really as nice (and handsome) as he seemed on camera.
  • When sorting through thousands of photos and slides, it’s best to create an organizational system early on. The “throw them in a box” technique was surprisingly ineffective.
  • It’s always good to have a supporter at the production company. Our biggest ally and sympathizer was the Head of Production. While the owner of the company was off on vacation, we were forced to work until 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve in order to make the air-date. The only highlight was when our beloved Head of Production brought us chocolate, a few hugs, and much-needed laughter at the absurdity of it all. That was our only gift from Santa that year!

After it was all said and done, we felt (and looked) like zombies, like years had been taken off our lives. But it definitely had a positive outcome – the two of us became more than just work-besties and eventually decided to write a book together. We still miss our little foursome but we keep in touch with the girls (and the Head of Production). We’d probably do it all over again just so we could hang out together like old times (but only if we were threatened with death).