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!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cover Reveal: I Don't Know How She Will Do It by Kobby Tetteh Gyampoh and a Giveaway

Hello, my little snowflakes!

I know, I know. My lack of presence is abysmal. I'm sorry. I'm in the process of recharging and hope to come back in full force in a few weeks. But... I've decided to come out of hibernation in order to help spread the word about Kobby Tetteh Gyampoh's upcoming release. Check out the cover:

And now for the blurb:

Lily has had it with Aunt Lizzie. She wants her inheritance. She wants to be free. Aunt Lizzie wants Lily to find a husband, though she thinks it’s impossible. To her Lily could kiss freedom goodbye since it might be about the only person who’d allow that.
Aunt Lizzie’s thinking marriage; Lily’s thinking marriage-if-anyone-would-ever-want-me. Aunt Lizzie’s thinking cooking, cleaning and looking after a family; Lily wants a career that isn’t home-running. Aunt Lizzie’s not bent on making Lily have her way. So what would Lily do? She’d plot to gain her inheritance. She’d plot to gain her freedom. Her dad’s will says nothing about Mr. Right, neither does it mention an aspiring actress eager to break into Hollywood.
Join Lily in her quest for freedom as she poses as a couple with Clare behind a camouflage of flashy cars and cupcakes in order to get that inheritance. Follow this hilarious recipe of a low self-esteem girl, a sassy self-employed actress, an Aunt whose quotes would get you raising brows and two grannies who are willing to help low self-esteem girl. But watch out, one has a pistol which she stashes in her underwear.

Sounds like a fabulous cast of characters and I can't wait to read it!  Here's a bit about Kobby:

First of all, KobbyTettehGyampoh, simply Kobby, hates referring to himself in third-person.
I just turned eighteen. I am Ghanaian and have always loved Chick-lit. My Chick-lit role models would be Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Janet Evanovich and Sarah Strohmeyer.
I was introduced to the genre when I was thirteen. Sarah Strohmeyer made the introduction with her Bubbles Series. Since I read Bubbles, I quit writing Harlequin-styled romances and have always considered myself-since then, a humor writer.
My biggest dream is to be an EIC to a lifestyle magazine someday like Kate White-for my obsession for Cosmo’s language since she was running as editor. But for now, I am good with studying English to break into Advertising someday.
I am currently working on my next title which is sort of a series like Cupcakes R US, but it’s based on the lives of editors, columnists and freelancers in a Cosmo-lookalike magazine. Which would be available in more formats than kindle. Epub, PDF, Docx, Doc, Mobi, PowerPoint. And oh, Paperback.
If I am not writing something funny, I spend most of my time reviewing something funny on my blog, ChickLit Pad.

And now a word from the author:

I’ve had lots of inspiration for writing. But the one that moved me into publishing my very first novel, I Don’t Know How She Will Do It has to go to Allison Pearson. Words can’t describe how much I loved I Don’t Know How She Does It─both the book and the movie. Something about Kate’s struggle and how lovable she was portrayed made me nuts to pen something down. Days and days the title I Don’t Know How She Does It resounded constantly in my sleep, in my wake, every moment in my life (mainly because it was one hell of a funky title). I was practically haunted to put down my baby I Don’t Know How She Will Do It. Though they are both different stories, they both portray that sense of feminism that makes women all around the world proud. And that’s why I penned I Don’t Know How She Will Do It, a short story that would make women rejoice for their womanhood and cheering them for giving men a run for their money. There are points I might make you reach for your Kleenex, but forgive me for you will laugh at so many moments they would make up for all my sins.

You can find Kobby on Twitter @chicklitpad, on Facebook or on his blog.

Keep your eye out for I Don't Know How She Will Do It, which is scheduled for release on February 3rd, and if you'd like a sneak peak, be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below. Kobby is giving away three digital copies:

a Rafflecopter giveaway