Receiving high praise from Chick Lit Plus and A Novel Review- if you are looking for a new book in the chick lit genre- this may be the book for you!
Now on to the interview! Continue reading
Receiving high praise from Chick Lit Plus and A Novel Review- if you are looking for a new book in the chick lit genre- this may be the book for you!
Now on to the interview! Continue reading
Hey folks,I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Memorial Day! Before the BBQ-ing, the lazy day at the pool, and the homemade ice cream (yum!), I want to take a minute to think about the reason for Memorial Day- bless the veterans and current military ( and those who gave their lives) so we can have the rights & freedoms we have!
*Traveling With T won this book in a giveaway from William Morrow.
“I Thought He Was The Love Of My Life…. And He Thought I Was A Sock”
Six months ago, Abby’s life fell apart for all the world to see. Her longtime boyfriend-turned-fiancé, Ben, unceremoniously dumped her-on Facebook-while she was trying on dresses for the big day.
When the usual remedies-pints of Ben & Jerry’s, sweatpants, and a comfy couch-fail to work their magic, her best friend, Grace, devises a plan to get Abby back on her game. She and Abby are going to spend the summer in Newport, in a quaint cottage by the sea, enjoying cool breezes, cocktails, and a crowd of gorgeous men.
But no matter how far away they go, Abby and Grace discover that in the era of social media-when everyone is preserving every little detail of their lives online-there is no real escape. Dating has never been easy. But now that the rules are more blurred than ever, how will they find true love? And even if they do, can romance stand a chance when a girl’s every word and move can go viral with a single click?
A few weeks ago, Notting Hill Press contacted Traveling With T about the chance to do a book spotlight on THE EXPAT DIARIES: SINGLE IN THE CITY by Michele Gorman. This book was previously released in the UK where it had great success- and now they are launching SINGLE IN THE CITY for good ole USA! Read on for book covers, blurbs, and more about the book- and be sure and check it out- especially, the chick lit fans!
Book Spotlight Blurb
This book was sent to Traveling With T from Harlequin in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson
Elizabeth Scott is over rich and entitled men. In her job as a teacher at an exclusive private school, a rich and powerful man has set out to make her life miserable- and Elizabeth needs a break. One day, while showing her sweet dog at a dog show- she sees another rich and entitled man- a man that has a brusque and aloof air about him. A man that makes her pulse race. Elizabeth sees a Mr. Donovan Darcy- a good looking and rich man- and while attracted to the physical aspects, the personality leaves her a bit cold. After the dog show is over, Elizabeth knows she won’t see this man again- he has his own estate in England- and Elizabeth can quit thinking about his level of hotness that makes her pulse race.
When Elizabeth is offered a temporary job grooming dogs for shows in England- she jumps at the chance. To leave behind the scandal in New York, to be with dogs that she loves, to have a clean slate. So Elizabeth says “au revoir” to New York and crosses the pond to London. To find out that her neighbor is Mr. Darcy. Upset at first, Elizabeth is not sure what to do. Slowly, though, she and Mr. Darcy begin to interact in a friendly way- they begin to learn bits and pieces about each other’s life- and an attraction, though neither wanted to admit, grows between them.
The romance between Elizabeth and Donovan Darcy is not a smooth one- especially when news of what happened in New York reaches England. Will Elizabeth throw away an opportunity at love, at finding herself- because she misjudged Donovan Darcy? Or will she see the man he is- behind the wealth and entitled life- the man that he truly is?
Traveling With T’s Thoughts
First, when an author writes about Mr. Darcy- certain expectations are naturally expected. Darcy is a man that is a “good-looking character”. Teri Wilson shows that in spades. Of course, the original Darcy also has certain rules of courtship to abide by- but in current time- not so much. So this Mr. Darcy is a bit more free to show his attraction- and Teri writes a Darcy who has romance, but is also more current in courting. Which is all good things!
Before I read Unleashing Mr. Darcy, I had read 2 or 3 fiction books that had a WWII theme. I was due for something light and enjoyable- and Teri Wilson provided it. The interactions between Darcy and Elizabeth were humorous at times- and while I had a basic idea of how this book would end- Teri did provide some twists to the story that I enjoyed.
If you like romance, read this. If chick lit is your cup of tea- read this. Needing a laugh and a story that you sink into and just enjoy? Read this.
Unleashing Mr. Darcy takes a beloved character and shows him as a dog lover. I mean what could be more cute than Mr. Darcy with a dog? Nothing!
*This book was sent to Traveling With T by a publicist at Harlequin in exchange for a fair and honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are mine alone.
Thanks to the nice folks at Harlequin Books, I have another giveaway for November!
Summary from Goodreads:
What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise? Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there or she would if dating in Manningsport, New York, population 715, wasn’t easier said than done.
Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind.
In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn’t easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love .
Want to win? Simply comment on this post from November 5th-12th! Winner will be notified November 13th! Please leave an email address (you may use the AT and DOT). Giveaway is open to US/Canada only (sorry!)
A few months ago, I won Dana Bate’s debut, The Girls’ Guide To Love And Supper Clubs from Hyperion Publishing. I was very excited to read the book because the plot sounded funny and sweet- and, I LOVED that cover (I mean LOOK at it- who wouldn’t love a cover like that?!)
Lucky for me- Dana agreed to be interviewed on Traveling With T!
Interview with Dana Bate, author of The Girls’ Guide To Love And Supper Clubs
Dana- Thank you so much for stopping by Traveling With T for an interview.
Thanks so much for having me!
Dana- what was the inspiration for The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs?
Before I even started writing, I knew I wanted to write a story that involved food. But I also wanted to write a story that was fresh and fun – a new food angle or setting that hadn’t really been used before. Then in the fall of 2009, when I was living in London for a brief stint with my husband, I came across an article about a woman in London who hosted an underground supper club out of her flat. She turned her tiny apartment into a secret restaurant, and people would come from all over and pay to eat in her home. The idea really captured my imagination, and shortly thereafter, I began what would eventually become THE GIRLS’ GUIDE TO LOVE AND SUPPER CLUBS.
When creating characters, do you find that you base them on people you know or create them from your own imagination?
I tend to create characters from my own imagination. That said, although I never base one character on one specific person, I’ve definitely combined attributes of various people into one character – sort of like throwing a bunch of different ingredients into a bowl and baking them up into something new.
Who is your favorite character in The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs?
Oooh, tough call! I love them all, but I suppose that’s because I created them. I do love Hannah, though. As her character developed, I felt as if she were someone I could know in real life – sometimes funny, sometimes infuriating, confused, goodhearted. I had so much fun writing her.
Can you describe The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Club in 15 words or less?
A woman stuck in an unfulfilling job and doomed relationship opens an underground supper club.
Dana- tell us about your writing space. Do you have a space or a routine?
I tend to write in my office, though I have been known to head to a coffee shop or bookstore when I need a change of scenery. I recently had a baby, so at the moment my routine is a bit of a work in progress, but before that, I would start writing at 9:00 a.m. and write until I’d written at least 1,000 words, preferably more. My rule was that if I met my word goal by 10:00 a.m., great – the rest of the day was mine. But if I didn’t meet my word goal until 10:00 p.m., so be it – I’d be writing until 10:00 p.m. The reality was usually somewhere in between. With a baby now in the mix…I’ll get back to you on how that all works out 😉.
The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs is chick lit. Why do you think chick lit sells so well?
Does it? I feel like I’m always hearing that chick lit’s moment has passed. I don’t think the moment has passed at all, but I think some people balk at the term “chick lit” or use it (totally unfairly) as a derogatory term. Whatever you call it, I love a fun, breezy read, especially on vacation. I love heavy books, too, but chick lit provides a great breather from those more serious books. I think other people feel that way, too, especially when real life can be serious enough. It’s great to escape through a fun story. That isn’t to say chick lit has to be mindless or vapid. Some of my favorite chick lit mixes a deeper message along with the humor.
Hannah opens an underground supper club and it changes her life in many ways- some humorous, some not. Dana, how did you decide on an underground supper club as being part of the plot?
After reading that article I mentioned above, I knew I had to make an underground supper club part of the story. It sounded so fun – and so risky. I mean, this woman turned her apartment into a restaurant, without the approval of the health department or anyone else! What if someone got food poisoning? Weren’t there a zillion things that could go wrong? The setting seemed ripe for mishaps and secrecy – not to mention culinary adventures.
Dana- what are you working on next? Do you have an idea for a future book?
I’m working on my next book as I type! I recently landed a two-book deal with Kensington in the US and Constable & Robinson in the UK. I’m thrilled! I can’t tell you much about my next book yet, but like my first book, it involves family, relationships, humor, and, of course, food.
*Special thanks to Dana Bate for agreeing to be interviewed!
Dana Bate, when not working on her future books or taking care of her new baby- can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Dana also has a website! Dana is also a 2012-2013 Deb at The Debutante Ball! Here is an article she recently posted: Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid.
To read Traveling With T’s review of The Girls’ Guide To Love And Supper Clubs, visit here.
Brenda Janowitz, author of Recipe for a Happy Life, stopped by to answer questions about the writing process, who would be perfect for a movie version of Recipe for a Happy Life, and much more. Read on for Brenda’s fun and interesting interview!
Interview with Brenda Janowitz
Brenda, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview. Recipe for a Happy Life sounds like a fun read!
-Thanks so much! I’m so delighted to be here!!
What was the inspiration for Recipe for a Happy Life?
-One summer, when I was single, my Grandma Dorothy informed me that she would be renting a house in the Hamptons. No more of these silly share houses I was doing with my friends each summer. They were getting me nowhere (read: still single and over thirty). Instead, I was to stay with her and she would help me meet someone. The only problem with this scenario was that I was sure she’d meet a man before I did. She had sparkling crystal blue eyes and a killer figure. My own hazel eyes and good birthing hips were no match for her easy glamour and style.
When she found out that a Hamptons summer rental costs more than the gross national product of some countries, the idea sort of fell apart. But it gave me an idea—what if a young woman spent the summer out in the glamorous Hamptons with her even more glamorous grandmother?
Are any of the characters based on people you know in real life or created from your imagination?
-See above: my grandma Dorothy! But becoming a mother also inspired me, as did my own mom, who is my best friend.
Both of my own grandmothers really inspired me to come up with the character of Vivienne, the glamorous widow six times over. Neither was a widow six times over, but both of my grandmothers were very glamorous ladies. When I think of my childhood memories, I’m not likely to picture them in aprons baking cookies. I picture them in evening gowns.
This (Recipe for a Happy Life) is your 3rd book. Does the writing process get easier with each book?
-I don’t think that it does. Every time I finish a book, I feel like everything I know about the world—everything I ever knew—is wrapped up in those pages. It feels like I don’t have anything more to say. I’m amazed each time I come up with something new.
If Recipe for a Happy Life was made into a movie- do you have an idea of a dream cast?
-Oooh, this one’s tough, because one of the main characters in the book is a 76 year old grandmother. There’s not too many 76 year old grandmothers running around Hollywood.
I think Joan Collins would be perfect to play the part of Hannah’s grandmother, but my editor likes Shirley Maclaine. (Joan, Shirley, call me!)
For the granddaughter, there are so many talented actresses I love: Natalie Portman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Garner, Drew Barrymore. The list could go on….
Brenda, can you describe Recipe for a Happy Life in 15 words or less?
-Oh God, no. I definitely cannot. I can’t even do it in less than 30!! But here’s as short and sweet as I can get it:
When Hannah finds herself spending the summer with her glamorous grandmother, a widow six times over, at her sprawling beach-front Hamptons estate, she learns that there’s more than one recipe for happiness.
How long from beginning to end did Recipe for a Happy Life take to write?
-Years and years!! I began work on this novel back in 2006, before my first novel was even published. But I don’t think I was ready to write this story just yet.
I picked it back up after finishing my second novel, which was published in 2008, and then worked on RECIPE for years after that. In the time since I began this novel, I met my husband, got married, bought a house, bought a car, and had two children. Shortly after getting my book deal, I lost my Grandma Dorothy, who gave me the initial idea for the book.
So, yeah, I guess you could say it took a long time.
When describing your books, would you use the term “chick lit”?
–My first two novels would be classified as “chick lit,” which is to say they’re smart, funny novels with heart about a single girl living in the city. And that’s exactly what I was at the time. But just as I’ve grown up, my writing has grown up, too. But that doesn’t mean that I mind the “chick lit” label.
I’d consider this novel commercial women’s fiction, but you can call it anything you like. I think that any label that helps readers find authors and books that they love is a good thing!
Are there any book signing/book tours in place for Recipe for a Happy Life?
-My publicist is working on it as we speak! I’m hoping to have a few readings set up soon.
Brenda, what are you working on next? Do you have an idea or are you just gathering ideas?
-I’m about 2/3 of the way done with my fourth novel! But don’t ask me what it’s about. I never really know what a book is about until I’ve completed a first draft. Up until it’s finished, it’s just a bunch of ideas on paper. It’s the re-draft that really turns it into something.
* Special thanks to Brenda Janowitz for agreeing to this interview.
Brenda Janowitz, author of Recipe for a Happy Life, is working hard on her fourth novel. If you read and enjoy Recipe for a Happy Life- consider checking out her earlier works- Scot on the Rocks or Jack with a Twist. For more information on Brenda, check out her website, Twitter, and Facebook page.
** Giveaway! A lucky person will win a copy of Recipe for a Happy Life! To enter, comment with your recipe for a happy life! Please include your email address (you may use the AT and DOT). Contest is open to US only (sorry!) Giveaway runs from Monday, July 8th- till Sunday, July 14th at 11:59pmEST. Winner will be announced July 15th!
Friday- it’s a beautiful day and I have a glass of lemonade- it almost does not get more #southernlit than this.
Deep South Magazine has their Literary Friday up and running- with news of Huckleberry Finn and ABC, James Franco, various festivals and book signings, and writing tips from Mark Twain.
Also, if you’re a fan of Erin Z. Bass- creator of Deep South Magazine (and if you’re not- you need to be; this girl is fantastic, funny, and fabulous!) Erin was a guest on Melinda McGuire’s Southern Creatives blog this week- so click HERE for that!
And not to toot Deep South Mag’s horn too much- but they are tasting and discovering new Southern Food products and want to know other people’s favorites and must-haves! Click HERE for that article. Personally I feel that Blues Hog BBQ Sauce needs to be on the list- it’s got a sweet, but somewhat tangy flavor, and makes a pork tenderloin great! My next addition to the list, for when a person gets thirsty, would be Fat Mama’s Knock You Naked Margarita Mix from Natchez, MS (but can be found in many stores and even Amazon- if Natchez is too far away!)
Friday Reads- Currently reading Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks and A Teeny Bit of Trouble by Michael Lee West. Both books are good- if you read Gone With A Handsomer Man and loved Teeny- rest assured, she’s back and better than ever.
In addition to Friday Reads- let’s discuss authors- new and old! Any favorite authors coming out with new books that are eagerly anticipated? See a book by an author that you’ve never read before but are drawn to? Chime in! And do tell- I’m all ears 🙂
If you do the Twitter thing- check out #SRblognetwork- a great group of bloggers that are reviewing books that She Reads Book Club has picked.
Listening to a discussion the other night, and a woman was talking about how she dislikes “chick-lit” and called a couple of books that are really more “Southern-lit” the term “chick lit”. Is there a difference between Southern-lit and chick-lit (I think there is, but do others think that?) Is any book that is written by a female considered “chick lit”? Is “chick lit” dead, evolving, or staying strong in terms of readership?
And finally to end Literary Friday on the cutest note possible- my dog, my wonderful Zeke, pictured earlier on my blog “reading” Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich- the other day, while I was reading the book, sat beside me and kept looking at the book. I imagined him saying “Hey! I wasn’t finished with the book!”