Thursday, January 8, 2015

Release News: Twin Piques by Tracie Banister

Hello, my little gumdrops! As always, sorry about the radio silence (hangs head in shame)but I had to resurface so I could share the news about my awesome writer friend's new book! Tracie Banister's latest, Twin Piques, is a seriously fantastic book. I've read it, and I am so in love with it. I recommend you run out and snap it up now!

Here's the skinny on the book:

 Forensic accountant Sloane Tobin and kooky pet psychic Willa may have the same face, but that’s the only thing these identical twins have in common.

 How she can read the hearts and minds of animals has always been a mystery to Willa, and her rotten luck with men is equally baffling. Although she’s been looking for “The One” for what feels like forever (A teenage marriage to a French mime and dating a guy named Spider seemed like good ideas at the time!), optimistic Willa refuses to give up on love. When she meets Brody, the handsome rose expert hired to save her grandmother’s garden, she’s instantly smitten, but why does he keep sending her mixed signals? Does he return her feelings, or is their attraction all in her fanciful head?

Unlike her twin, Sloane has zero interest in romance. Her passion is her job, where she uses her gift for numbers to take down slimy embezzlers and asset-hiding spouses. When she’s assigned two high profile cases, Sloane feels confident the promotion she’s been angling for is within her grasp. But will her plan to climb the corporate ladder be thwarted by difficult clients, her co-worker-with-benefits, or – most surprisingly of all – her own sister? And how’s she supposed to stay focused on the drama at work when her childhood friend, Gav, moves in next door and the spark between them becomes impossible to ignore? To get what they both want, can Willa and Sloane band together and rely on each other’s strengths? Or will their differences drive them apart once and for all?

 Meet, Tracie, the super talented author of Twin Piques:

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play that she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Twin Piques is her third Chick Lit release. The pet psychic character in this novel was inspired by Tracie’s rascally rescue dogs. She’d love to know what goes on in their heads! 

You can find Twin Piques on Amazon US, Amazon Global or on Goodreads.

And you can find Tracie on her website, on Goodreads, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest and on Amazon Author

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Guest Post: The Feel-Good Factor of a Romantic Comedy by Sarah Louise Smith

Hello my little maple leaves! Yes, that's right. I've come out of hiding again. Well... sort of. Today's blog post is courtesy of the fabulously talented Sarah Louise Smith. Take it away, Sarah!

The feel-good factor of a romantic comedy

Firstly, thank you so much to Anna/Libby for allowing me to take over her blog today!

If you don’t know me, I’m Sarah and I’m a chick-lit author. But enough about me. Today I’d like to talk about romantic comedies and why we ladies love them so much.

Now, I may be biased (being British myself) but aren’t British romantic comedies such so darn cute and charming? How can any warm-blooded woman not enjoy a bit of Hugh Grant bumbling over Andie McDowell or Julia Roberts? Or Bridget Jones flitting between him and the lovely Colin Firth? And, one of the best of them all, there’s Jude Law and Cameron Diaz falling in love in Surrey, England in The Holiday – just wonderful.

Then there’s the American chick-flicks – a bigger budget perhaps, a more confident hero, definitely – like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Definitely, Maybe and Friends with Benefits … not to mention the other half of The Holiday.

There are tonnes more, of course. My personal favourite is probably Love Actually.

So what is it that makes us keep watching these so-called chick-flicks (I use the term ‘chick’ loosely; my husband enjoys them too!)?

I think it’s the feel-good factor.

When the boy gets the girl, and they share that first kiss or utter those three magical words, I get a warm, gooey happy feeling inside.

And that’s why I write chick lit. I read a lot, and I like to pick up a book that’s fun, romantic and gives me that feel-good factor. Sure, it needs a little depth too, but really want I’m looking for is that happy, satisfied feeling when I close the last page. So to create that story for someone else, hoping they too get that nice warm buzz from my story, well, that’s something I can’t resist.

So, now I’ve rambled about that feel-good factor and shared a few of my favourite movies; back to little old me.

I’ve just written my third chick-lit novel – Independent Jenny – and it’s out on September 16. It’s about a girl who’s husband cheats on her, and then her brother-in-law tells her he has feelings for her… then she meets her ex-boyfriend again and between these 3 men, her feelings go hay-wire. If you too like the feel-good factor of a nice rom com, you may enjoy this, or one of my other books too. Shameless plug over.

Have a fantastic day!

About Sarah Louise Smith:

Sarah Louise Smith lives in Milton Keynes, England, and spends most of her time reading and writing chick-lit. She’s the author of three novels: Amy & Zach, Izzy’s Cold Feet, and Independent Jenny, all published by Crooked Cat. Visit Sarah’s website/blog:

About Independent Jenny:

“I slept with someone else.”

Those five words changed everything.

After her husband Ross drops a bombshell, Jenny’s emotions go hay-wire. Things are made even more complex when his brother Aiden makes a confession of his own…

A holiday escape with her friend Hayley seems the perfect way to figure out what – and who – she wants. But Hayley has a hidden motive that results in Jenny spending time with her ex-boyfriend Will, who is now married.

Should Jenny forgive Ross? Can she ignore her feelings for romantic Aiden? And why can’t she get Will out of her head?

One thing is for sure: Jenny doesn’t want to be alone. Surely any man is better than no man, right?

Fancy a read?

You can purchase paperbacks or e-versions from all the usual online book sellers.

Follow Sarah on Twitter:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Christmas in July

Hello, my little candy canes!

Some of my author friends and I are celebrating Christmas in July by dropping the price of our Christmassy e-books down to 99 cents.

So, brew up some peppermint tea (feel free to serve it iced!) treat yourself to a box of gingersnaps and get into the holiday spirit by downloading one or more of these fabulous books:

Winter Wonderland by Belinda Jones
Married by Christmas by Scarlett Bailey
Weight till Christmas by Ruth Saberton
Merry & Bright (a festive anthology by six authors, including yours truly)

Tis not the season, but we're going to deck the halls and pretend that it is.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why Sugar Spun Sister?

Hello, my candy floss girls!

As usual, apologies for not keeping this blog up to date. I'm so hopeless... Anyhoo, today I'm talking titles. A lot of people have asked me what's up with the title for my latest book, Sugar Spun Sister. Well, I'll tell you.

Since the book is about three friends who open up an ice cream shop, I spent a lot of time on Google, searching for movie titles and song titles that have ice cream-related words in the title. (I love how titles can't be copyrighted!) So I searched and searched and searched some more until I came across "Sugar Spun Sister" and had an AHA moment.

The song, "Sugar Spun Sister" is by The Stone Roses, one of my favorite bands from way back when. I do love this song, and since it's a bit obscure, I feel that using it for my book title gives it a kind of secret special meaning. Not so secret now, though, haha. Plus, I love alliteration, so quickly made an executive decision to christen "Cricket's Story" with the name of the song.

If anyone feels like having a listen, here's the song on YouTube. It's a catchy tune. They never did a video, but there are band pics to look at. Gosh, they were so young!

If you'd like to know a bit more about the book, Sugar Spun Sister, here's the blurb:

Life isn’t exactly sweet for Cricket Whittier. Her boss hates her, her work is soul-destroying, and the sexy guy she’s hooking up with doesn’t want to date her. But this girl is far from hopeless. When Cricket’s in the kitchen with her ice cream maker and a few choice ingredients, her troubles slip away as she becomes a delectable dessert-designing powerhouse. She loves it so much, she dreams of opening her own ice cream shop one day.

As it turns out, “one day” just might be closer than she thinks. Propelled by the help and encouragement of her best friends, Lindsay and Nora, Cricket starts making plans to set up shop. Which is easier said than done what with the internal squabbling, the sky-high costs, her parents forecasting failure and her increasingly complicated love life. Despite all these hurdles, will Cricket be able to make her sweet dreams come true?

And the cover:

I had SO much fun writing this book. It's the first of a trilogy. Each of the three girls will be getting her own book, and I'm halfway through writing Book 2, featuring Nora, Cricket's glamourous and impulsive friend. It was a tough start (Nora is very different from me) but I'm really on a roll now and enjoying the process immensely.

And as much as I struggle with titles, I'm proud to say that "Nora's Story" already has one! Be on the lookout for Sundaes with Nora, which will hopefully be out by the end of the year if all goes as planned.

Thanks so much for reading!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What the H?

Hello my little tulips! As usual, apologies for never posting anything. No excuses, really, except that I'm horribly disorganized. Oh, to one day have a personal assistant... Anyhoo, I've got something kinda unusual to blog about today.

It all started when I was on Lying to Meet You's Amazon page the other day and I saw I had a new review. A bad one (sob). Bad reviews are unavoidable, of course. You can't please everyone in the world, but this one has really been bugging me because the reviewer is clearly a romance fan and I reckon she read the book wanting a more traditional romance rather than a work of chick lit. The main problem she had with the story was a plot twist that would never fly in category romance.

I'm not just trying to rationalize here, I promise. The reason I know she's a romance fan is because she mentioned "the H and h" and "the H's parents" etc. which is the standard way for romance aficionados to identify "the hero and the heroine".  I must admit, the H/h thing got stuck in my craw for a bit. There isn't really an "H" in my story, per se. You don't really know for sure who Chloe's "hero" is until close to the end.

Eventually, I got over being bummed out over the bad review, but this H/h thing has really been bugging me. Not my reader's use of it in the review, but the use of it in general. When you think about it, it's so blatantly sexist. "H" means "hero" and "h" means "heroine". Why is that?

Just look at these two letters side by side:

H h

The big "H" is so strong and solid, whereas the little "h" looks a bit meek and fragile standing next to it. To me, the little "h" looks unfinished somehow, not fully developed. Definitely inferior. And this really bothers me. Perhaps I'm reading waaay too much into this (it's been known to happen) but I find it  frustrating that the women who write, edit and read these books use the H/h identifiers so easily.

Hop on over to Julie Valerie's Hump Day Blog Hop for links to loads of fabulous blog posts!