Leftover Pasta?

Who throws out leftover pasta?” I yelled at my friend (who had invited me over for a delicious dinner) who was about to toss out a whole colander full of perfectly good noodles. They were still warm!

“What are you going to do with them?” she asked me. Fair question. I don’t cook—I present. Cheese, crackers, salads, artichoke dip. Cookies. I am an amazing milk-pourer on cereal—I must be, why else would my kids wait three hours for me to come home and do it for them?

photo (4)There is one dish my kids request, and it only has TWO ingredients: Fried Eggs-n-Noodles. The noodles have to be leftover, next day or five, preferably spaghetti. Glob A LOT of butter into the frying pan, add the old (don’t smell them) noodles, scramble in some eggs, salt and pepper, more salt, a little more, more. Garnish as desired. Oh, who am I kidding? It must be eaten with ketchup.

Dynamic Duo Review-O!

imgresDynamic Duo Review-O

by Dee DeTarsio and Jackie Bouchard

Jackie: I’m not sure about the title of this blog post.

Dee: Really? The title? We can’t agree about the title? 

Jackie: It’s fine.

Dee: Fine? Two syllables fi-ne? What, are we dating now?


Dee and Jackie!

Jackie: Let’s just talk about the book.

Dee: But, let’s give a little background first.

Jackie: Wow. It would be so hard to write a whole book with someone else.

Dee: I’m sitting right here.

Jackie: No, not you in particular.

Dee: *Looking around* Who are you talking about? Jennifer Weiner? Sarah Pekkanen?

Jackie: I’m just saying that you take two smart women,

Dee: Accomplished, impressive, funny . . . 

Jackie: Sophisticated, polished . . .

Dee: Wait a minute. Who are you talking about?

Jackie: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Who are you talking about?

Dee: Never mind.

Jackie: Can we least agree on how much we loved their book, Your Perfect Life?

Dee: Loved it! And how great is it that we have been able to get to know Liz?

Jackie: I do believe it’s her turn to buy coffee next.


Liz and Lisa!

Dee: I do believe your spreadsheet is showing, thank you very much, but you are correct. I could hear Liz’s voice all the way throughout the book—smart, sarcastic and sweet—and I feel like I know Lisa. How can anyone resist the premise of switching bodies with your best friend? Especially with Facebook, where we all think everyone else is living the life.

Jackie: I really liked their characters, too, and the dialogue. It was very real, and very fun.

Dee: And don’t you love it when books and authors are in harmony, and that relationships (whether virtual or in person) with the author strengthen the story, and vice versa? Like you are so Jane in Rescue Me, Maybe. Liz is Casey, right?

Jackie: I thought she was Rachel.

Dee: You are killing me.

Jackie: Even women who don’t know Liz and Lisa will like this book, and will feel like they know them after they read it, right?

Dee: Absolutely. 

Jackie: Stay tuned for a co-authored bestseller from Dee and Jackie, coming soon…The 12th of Never.

Dee: Very funny.

Jackie: At least we managed a blog post together! And it only took us, what, a month?!

Dee: It’s a start!

Your Perfect Life, really is coming soon, (June 10, 2014—available for pre-order, NOW!) If you click on over to Jackie’s doghouse at Pooches Smooches, you can meet Liz and Lisa’s dogs—so cute!!



San Francisco Book Review April 2014

From this month’s issue of the San Francisco Book Review!

Chick Lit Check ListChick Lit Check List 2

(Update: Marian Keyes IS releasing a new novel this Fall, The Woman Who Stole My Life!)



Readers’ Choice Awards!

Big Al’s Books and Pals, one of the most respected indie book review sites, has just compiled a list of nominations for the 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards, featuring tops picks of the year in everything from Romance, to Mystery, to Fantasy, YA, Contemporary, Humor, Crime, Paranormal, Short Story, and more.

Haole Wood has received a nomination for Chick Lit!! final-kindle-cover-web

There is time to vote through March 12th, so click on over and help support Indie Authors—Thank you!


Dialogues With The Devil (Conversation With A Literary Agent: Selling Your Soul)

Layout 1Me: “It is (“air quotes”) ‘a warm, witty’ novel; friends-on-an-adventure facing insurmountable odds.”

Devil: “Is there an alien in it?”

Me: “Yes, but . . . “

Devil: “Science Fiction.”

Me: “No, but . . . “

Devil: “No Sci-Fi for me.”

Me: “Me neither . . .”

Devil: (Recorded message) “Thank you for considering Us for submission of your manuscript. ’Twill be a frigid day, yada, yada . . .”

Me: “It’s not Science Fiction! Not that there’s anything wrong with that . . .”

Devil: Cloven hoof tapping impatiently.

Me: “Think of it as a coming-of- (voice lowers to whisper) space- (louder) age story!”

Devil: “SF.”

Me: “No, not at all! Geez. I do not write erotica. I wish I could. I mean there is romance in there, and a few NSFW scenes that while gratuitous, certainly do serve to move the story along.”

Devil: “Fantasy.”

Me:  (Considering) “Maybe.”

Devil: Static on line. Rustling sounds. “Crackle, living, fantasy, world.”

Me: “Hey, now. That whole sci-fi fantasy world doesn’t have to be riddled with monsters, or zombies or vampires, or Woolite®-sponsored underground silo sagas. Hugh Howie would love Ros. search

Me: “Hello? Are you still there?”

Ros was taped before a live studio audience. For a transcript of the show, please visit Ros. And is it just me, or has anyone else wondered about that dystopian Woolite® tag line, “No clothes left behind.”

Mr. Howey, Woolite® called and wants its unmentionables back.

Cootie Protection

cpIndie authors have cooties. I can say that because I . . . have cooties. I don’t have an agent or traditional publisher. I do have a couple of books and seven amazing fans. I have tried to imitate the cootie-free and their platforms—the way they announce new books on facebook and twitter, their sincere gratitude for readers, how they conduct author interviews. (Though I’ve stopped short of discussing my “craft” unless it’s followed by macaroni and cheese).

Their confidence smells so good vs. the decaying-baby-rattlesnake-clobbered-to-death-in-the-bottom-of-a-baseball-bat-bag-undiscovered-for-a-whole-season whiff of desperation that harbors the stinky bacteria of cooties.

Since I’m an indie, I guess I have to do it myself and make my own C.P.

Cootie Protection
2 TBSP Febreze
1/2 cup finely minced jealousy
1 cup blanched dreams
Stir in handful of Suck It Up
Shake fist at Universe
Spray liberally and make sure to get it in your eyes.

Who’s A Good Book? Who’s A Good Book?

imagesIt’s so much fun to “vet” an author who loves dogs! And reading What the Dog Ate by my new friend, author Jackie Bouchard, was a total treat! (Jackie and I had a chance to meet up for coffee and voila! I have a new author crush.) What the Dog Ate will chew on your heart just like a big chocolate Lab puppy—Hey, Kona! I’m trying to come up with cute dog metaphors here, but if I rate it five bones! that sounds like the wrong kind of genre. Five dogs could just be taken the wrong way. OK, I’ll stop! Just go read it, because her new book, Rescue Me, Maybe, is coming out next month!

Blogger Girl!!

Readers are to writers what bloggers are to authors! My friend, the awesome author Meredith Schorr, knows that better than anyone—and has written a new novel about it: Blogger Girl!
BG_front_cover_med What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chicklit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

A born and bred New Yorker, Meredith Schorr discovered her passion for writing when she began to enjoy drafting work-relatedOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA emails way more than she was probably supposed to, and was famous among her friends for writing witty birthday cards. After trying her hand writing children’s stories and blogging her personal experiences, Meredith found her calling writing “real” chick lit for real women.  When Meredith is not hard at work on her current work in progress, she spends her days as a trademark paralegal.  Meredith is a loyal New York Yankees fan and an avid runner.  Blogger Girl is her third novel.

Go say hi to Meredith! And then read her books!

For Pete’s Sake!

I don’t really know who Pete is, but anytime my Midwestern roots are showing, you better believe Pete will be there, too.

Meet my BFF, whom I’ve never actually met, for Pete’s sake, author Jess Riley. In Closer Than They Appear, a chance encounter at a stop light begins the quest that had me Midwestern rooting for her charming, quirky characters.images

But let me back up, for Pete’s sake. Jess had me at her intro, up through and all the way to the bonus vegetarian recipes at the end, (that I will never, ever make), best served with Tostitos and cabana boys named Gustavo!

bingoHey Jess, I will see your Festival Bingo (you’ll have to read about it yourself!) and raise you my adult relationship-building coloring book, Men Are From Jupiter, That’s Why They’re Stupider!

Happy Hula Days!

Mele Kalikimaka from Haole Wood! What a great year of reading—with some of my favorite books. BONUS: Cool author alerts—I am an adoring fan of each of these amazing, uber-talented writers, and they are all kind, fun, and funny!

imagesThe fabulous Carol K. Carr kicked off this year with the second historical romance in her series, India Black and The Widow of Windsor. We are amused! India Black (Tres) and The Shadows of Anarchy will be out in February. Go behind-the-scenes to see how it all started, with Carol’s eshort, (to be released New Year’s Eve) India Black and the Rajah’s Ruby!

Off to the south Pacific, please meet the lovely Kiana Davenport who is as gracious as she is talented. Start with her Opium Dreams —one of the most beautifully imagined, well-written collection of short stories I have ever read. “Because love, the search for it, the failure of it, and especially the loss of it, is how we progress and mature, how we attain an inner nobility.” Mahalo, Kiana!


I went all in early on when Apron realizes that “Laura Ingalls Wilder was the nicest girl I’d ever not known.” The heartache of middle school? Check: “But brains didn’t need bras, so boys never noticed me.” Girl Unmoored is a beautifully written, amazing read. And Jennifer Gooch Hummer better be working on a new novel!

Three generations of women. Four secrets. One stage. (And a beautiful cover.) In Something New, Malena Lott expertly intertwines four romantic stories in this page-turning contemporary novel, for readers in love with love! I’m also checking out her other novels—le sigh!

See Jane Date. See Jane Dine. See Jane Dash. In A State of Jane, see Plain Jane, as she finally listens to her heart in this very well-written chick lit tale.  Awesome author Meredith Schorr delivers, right up to the very last page!

mariankeyesGoddess Marian Keyes is working on a new novel, working title: Project Karma. Pinch me now!

Happy Hula Days to All!

Happy Birthday, Marian Keyes!

Goddess Marian Keyes

Happy Birthday to Marian Keyes, Best Author on The Planet! Only 3 more days to her new novel, The Mystery of Mercy Close, and I 5-Star recommend her Mammy Walsh family history!

I fangirl double-heart Marian Keyes because her books shine with the magic of laughing at the sadness of life.

I dedicated my novel, Ros, to Marian Keyes—#FREE this week.

To Marian Keyes—and to the Marian Keyes in every woman—that smart, funny, sad, put-upon, brave part of your soul that makes this world a brighter place.

Dear Chick Lit,

When Love Walked In, Certain Girls who were Good in Bed were shaking with Little Earthquakes. Anybody Out There? I called. My heart was Skipping a Beat I’ve Got Your Number. It may have started as Something Borrowed but you’ve taken me to Almost Paradise, keeping me Spellmanbound and now, you Belong to Me. Don’t play Hunger Games with my heart, Take A Chance on Me and spirit me away to The Forgotten Garden where, Believe It or Not, I have Dreams of Joy.

P.S. I Love You!

Happy International Chick Lit Month – go chick out some great reads!

Thank you ChickLit Club, Chick Lit Central, Chick Lit Is Not Dead and Novelicious!

Name Dropping

I have met (in name only!) a wonderful group of women in my spam folder:

There’s Vera Yanez . . . I imagine her love for big boobs (#barkingupthewrongtree) makes her quite a fun character.

As for Mignon Kallenburger, her expertise in the pharmaceutical industry by day, (complete with white coat, and of course hair done up in a chignon, right?) surely leaves plenty of time for exciting exploits by night.

Margrett Giralomo, Gilma Fuhriman, and Keira Trombley, could all be best friends, n’est-ce pas? As for Fallon Zollicoffer, I think she is in a class all by herself . . . maybe living in Napa Valley, definitely drinking Cabernet.

A big thank you to these ladies for reaching out. And if any writers are stumped for character names, you’re welcome!