Saturday, November 9, 2013

Taking a break!

 




When posting reviews for blog tours started to feel like a chore that I was dreading, I knew it was time to take a break. I will not be participating in any blog tours until further notice. Unless I know you, I am not taking requests to review any books at this time either.


Friday, October 25, 2013

A day in the writing life of author Heather Wardell




Thank you, Michelle, for letting me hang out on your blog today! You'd asked about my typical writing day, and I'm happy to describe it for you and your readers.

I am a full-time writer, but that doesn't mean I write from 9-5. I wish I could, but I have found that I've got about 3-4 hours of solid heads-down writing in me and then I'm done for the day.

Here's how I generally work my schedule. In the morning before breakfast I figure out what I'm going to work on for the day and answer all of my email. (I don't go back into email except in emergencies until the next day - it saves me a ton of time for other things!)

After breakfast, my husband leaves for work and I get started too. I like to do my hardest work (the full-on creative part) in the morning when I'm fresh, so I usually spend around two hours either planning or writing the first draft of a new book.

At lunch I need to clear my head, so I usually watch an episode of some television show I've seen a million times. I don't have to strain my brain trying to keep up, and I feel like the visual aspect of it works better to relax me than reading does at that point. My favorite shows are nearly all no longer running, but I love them anyhow: the great Canadian series Corner Gas, the cancelled-far-too-soon Firefly, the wonderful Futurama, and the "as a child of the 70's/80's I am legally obligated to love Jason Bateman" Arrested Development.

Then it's time to edit. I am nearly always working on two books at once, because of how I like to schedule my days, and so I will now spend around two hours again on either the second or third draft of a different book. All of my books get codenames because of this process, so for example at the moment I am writing the first draft of Mango and editing the second of Llama.

An interesting sidenote - because the books go by codenames right up until I find their titles during third draft, in my head they still get called by their codenames long after their release dates. I have caught myself during get-togethers with readers referring to "Eaglet" and "Jasper" instead of "Blank Slate Kate" and "Everybody's Got a Story", and I appreciate how willing my lovely readers are to put up with me. :)

At around three to three-thirty, I am done for the day writing-wise. I do occasionally push further, but then I find it almost impossible to do four hours the next day. Instead, I spend the rest of my day doing things like writing this blog post, formatting my books for release, and investigating promotional opportunities. And of course I make dinner (if my best friend the crockpot hasn't taken care of that for me) and give the house a quick tidying since I am one of those horrible "walks away and leaves her stuff everywhere" people and my husband is not.

It's a constant juggling act to make sure everything gets done without letting the administrative things take too much time away from the writing, but I'm pretty happy with my schedule at this point. It's literally taken me years to get to this stage, and I think it's been worth the trip. :)


Author Bio:

Growing up, I was an avid (rabid?) reader. I am a natural speed reader, regularly clocked at about 1200 wpm (I read Harry Potter 5 in just under three hours), and always have several books on the go, nearly all in e-book form on my Kindle.
I have always made up stories in my head, but never considered becoming a writer. Instead, I intended to be a high school music teacher. I was sidetracked by my enjoyment of my psychology courses in university, and ended up with a psychology degree with a concentration in computer science.
This took me to a major Canadian bank as a software developer. I stayed there for just over four years, and then went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. After four years teaching elementary school computer science, I took up the National Novel Writing Month challenge and attempted to write a novel in a month.
I succeeded, and the first draft of "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" was the result. I realized I love writing. I left teaching, and I haven't looked back since!

In my non-writing time, I read, run, swim, crochet, take care of my 55 gallon aquarium and my cat Trinity, and play drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.
 
Connect with Heather!

Buy the Book, Everybody's Got A Story!

 
§  Amazon.com (Kindle)
§  Barnes and Noble (for their nook reader)
§  Kobo (ePub format)
§  Smashwords.com (variety of formats)
§  Sony (for their ebook readers)

If you prefer print, you can get "Everybody's Got a Story" at:

§  Amazon.com
§  Amazon.ca
§  CreateSpace.com

Review: Everybody's Got a Story by Heather Wardell


 Both personally and professionally, Alexa knows all too well the power of words. Two years after her boyfriend Christophe's vicious attack, she's still trying to see herself as more than simply 'his victim', still trying to figure out her own story.

After his trial, she moves from New York City to Toronto in an attempt to start over, but his words cling to her and even in a new country she can't see how to move into relationships with the new people in her life while hiding the secret of Christophe's worst offense.

She can't hide that secret from her coworker Jake, though, because the news buff has recognized her from the coverage of the assault and trial and knows every word she can't bring herself to say about her ordeal.

With Jake's help, can Alexa reclaim her story and her life?


I have a confession to make - This is the first book by Heather Wardell that I have read! (Yes, my head i hanging in shame at that confession.)  The synopsis greatly intrigued me and I eagerly turned on the Kindle and started to read this book.  I wish I could say that I read it in one sitting, but it took me a couple of days to read this and then it has taken me a few days to write the review.  And it is not what you are now imagining - that I didn't like the book.  It is completely the opposite as I was so swept up in what was happening that I had to unwrap myself from the powerful writing.  Emotionally and physically damaged by an attack from the one man that claimed to love her, I was pulled in immediately by Alexa's story.  From Alexa's struggle to just remain anonymous to her victory in finding herself again, this a solid book all the way through.  Alexa is someone that I loved getting to know and root for as the book progressed. She exhibits strength through her weakness and the incredible will to overcome and not just be known as a "victim".  The title of the book is perfectly fitting as every single one of us have a story to tell and Heather Wardell definitely delivered the story here. 

As an aside note - I have corrected my error and have since purchased numerous books by Heather and am anxious to get started on them.

 

Author Bio:

Growing up, I was an avid (rabid?) reader. I am a natural speed reader, regularly clocked at about 1200 wpm (I read Harry Potter 5 in just under three hours), and always have several books on the go, nearly all in e-book form on my Kindle.
I have always made up stories in my head, but never considered becoming a writer. Instead, I intended to be a high school music teacher. I was sidetracked by my enjoyment of my psychology courses in university, and ended up with a psychology degree with a concentration in computer science.
This took me to a major Canadian bank as a software developer. I stayed there for just over four years, and then went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. After four years teaching elementary school computer science, I took up the National Novel Writing Month challenge and attempted to write a novel in a month.
I succeeded, and the first draft of "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" was the result. I realized I love writing. I left teaching, and I haven't looked back since!

In my non-writing time, I read, run, swim, crochet, take care of my 55 gallon aquarium and my cat Trinity, and play drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.

Connect with Heather!

Buy the Book!

§  Amazon.com (Kindle)
§  Barnes and Noble (for their nook reader)
§  Kobo (ePub format)
§  Smashwords.com (variety of formats)
§  Sony (for their ebook readers)
If you prefer print, you can get "Everybody's Got a Story" at:
§  Amazon.com
§  Amazon.ca
§  CreateSpace.com

Monday, October 21, 2013

United Authors of Chick Lit Blog Hop




 
Fasten your seatbelts and put your tray tables in the upright and locked position. Over the next few days, some of your favorite Chick Lit characters will be jetting across the Atlantic to visit with fictional friends on the other side of the pond.

The event kicks off on Monday, Oct. 21.

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, read about Stella from Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes and Chloe from Lying to Meet You as they travel across the Atlantic to visit each other.

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, it’s time to discover what happens when Emma from The Pollyanna Plan and Kim from Blogger Girl meet.

On Thursday, Oct. 24, Izzy from Izzy’s Cold Feet and Jamie from Finding Lucas will be taking you on a trip alongside their characters.

And on Friday, Oct. 25, Kate from Sealed with a Kiss and Pilar from In Need of Therapy will be chatting about their overseas experiences.

Here’s a little sneak peek at the fun, frothy books and sassy gals featured in our international promo, all of which are priced at $3.99 or less:

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey – Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind? Available on Amazon Amazon UK and Kobo
In Need of Therapy by Tracie BanisterHandling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself? Available on Amazon  Amazon UK and B&N
Lying to Meet You by Anna Garner – Overworked New York fashion girl Chloe Lane has no time for a real relationship, but when her childhood pal asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test a theory, she decides to go for it. The lies start piling up and things start getting crazy. Will Chloe be able to keep it together? Available on Amazon  Amazon UK  and B&N
Sealed with a Kiss by Rachael Lucas – Kate breathes a sigh of relief when she's dumped at her best friend's wedding. When she takes a job on the island of Auchenmor, she's determined to have a year off men, but that's before she rescues Flora the seal pup with the help of Roddy, her mysterious new boss... Available on Amazon and Amazon UK

The Pollyanna Plan by Talli RolandEmma Beckett has always looked down on 'the glass is half full' optimists. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancĂ©, Emma makes a radical decision: from here on in, she'll attempt to see the upside, no matter how dire the situation. Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea? Available on Amazon and Amazon UK

Blogger Girl by Meredith SchorrKimberly Long has two passions: her successful chick lit blog and Nicholas, her handsome colleague down the hall. But when her high school nemesis pops onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book and eyes for Nicholas, Kim has to make some quick revisions to her own life story. Available on Amazon  Amazon UK B&N and Apple iTunes

Izzy’s Cold Feet by Sarah Louise Smith – Izzy is engaged to Greg, who is everything a girl could want. The trouble is – all she can think about is the men she loved before she met him. In the week leading up to her wedding day, Izzy is forced to ask herself who she loves the most. And, given the choice, who would she want to spend her life with? Available on Amazon Amazon UK B&N and UK Nook

Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson – TV Producer Stella is over worked, over weight and under fire battling to balance family, career and those weighing scales. In the past she’s always found comfort at the bottom of her mixing bowl but now the most delicious lemon sponge with zesty frosting has no effect. However, life is about to get even tougher... and Stella has to face some truths about herself, her life and her future. Available on Amazon and Amazon UK


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

Tuesday, Oct. 22
Stella will be on Anna Garner’s blog and Chloe will be on Sue Watson’s blog

Wednesday, Oct. 23
Emma will be on Meredith Schorr’s blog and Kim will be on Talli Roland’s blog.

Thursday, Oct. 24
Izzy will be on Samantha Stroh Bailey’s blog and Jamie will be on Sarah Louise Smith’s blog

Friday, Oct. 25
Kate will be on Tracie Banister’s blog and Pilar will be on Rachael Lucas’s blog.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cover Reveal: Just Friends With Benefits by Meredith Schorr

Back in 2011 when I was just starting out doing reviews, one of my very first ones through Chick Lit Plus was for JUST FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, the debut novel by Meredith Schorr.  Of course, since then you know that she has had two more excellent books come out and you also know that I just absolutely adore everything about Meredith.

That delightful debut novel has been given a new look with an adorable new cover and I'm so excited to share it with you. 


(I told you - adorable!!)



When a friend urges Stephanie Cohen not to put all her eggs in one bastard, the advice falls on deaf ears. Stephanie's college crush on Craig Hille has been awakened thirteen years later as if soaked in a can of Red Bull and she is determined not to let the guy who got away once, get away twice. Stephanie, a 32-year-old paralegal from Washington, D.C., is a 70's and 80's television trivia buff who can recite the starting lineup of the New York Yankees and go beer for beer with the guys. And despite her failure to get married and pro-create prior to entering her thirties, she has so far managed to keep her overbearing mother from sticking her head in the oven. Just Friends with Benefits is the humorous story of Stephanie's pursuit of love, her adventures in friendship, and her journey to discover what really matters.

Sounds like a fun book, right?  Check out my review from August 2011: Review: Just Friends With Benefits


Buy Links:



Contact Meredith:
web: meredithschorr.com
Twitter: @meredithschorr
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/MeredithSchorrAuthor