#Giveaway! The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes!

IMG_3449

So pretty.

Giveaway: One slightly used well-read paperback copy of the latest from Marian Keyes: The Woman Who Stole My Life! This title will not be released on our side of the pond until next summer, but I have a copy!! *That I already read. *And loved. May or may not contain a few, little teeny-tiny coffee splatters and cookie crumbs for your page-turning pleasure. 

IMG_3454 copy

I swear, I’ve tried this on.

 

Our-side-of-the-pond cover!

US Cover

 

Background: My favorite storyteller on the planet is Marian Keyes. She’s a Virgo, I’m a Virgo. She’s a successful, internationally recognized goddess of an author, and I . . . well, I’ve read everything she’s ever written. Her most excellent Ms. Keyes is from Ireland, I love the color green. I expect we would be best friends. From her first book, Watermelon, (my seventh favorite fruit) to Sushi for Beginners, (I’m only up to California rolls myself) to Anybody Out There — I have loved, read, and reread every word.  Don’t even get me started on The Walsh Sisters—I have four sisters, myself! We are practically related. Sestra! (Marian, if you haven’t checked out Orphan Black yet, you really should!)

Goddess Marian Keyes

Goddess Marian Keyes

 

 

Dees-sister

My sister, Beezer. (I sometimes call her an eejit.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter-Winner @MarianKeyes is channeling her creativity into refinishing furniture with her BeachHouse BanjoTM. I like to tinker around with home improvement projects, too.

IMG_3477

I want to spray paint this thing a bright, reflective silver, but my kids are freaking out. *Shrugs* It’s pretty much their inheritance, so good for them. #AllIGetIsALamp?

Back to The Woman Who Stole My Life. She’s looking for a good home and I will pass her on to a reader who simply can’t wait: @DeeDeTarsio. (Sorry @auntnancis, US only!)

Advertisements

Not Enough Midol In The World!

The amazing (and very, very funny) author Jess Riley invited me over, today! For some reason, she wanted to know about my teenage years. (Nothing to write home about.) (Move along.) (Not enough Midol in the world!) MidolIn any case, please mark your calendar for July 16th so you can be sure to read her new novel, Mandatory Release! (Thanks, Jess!)

Mandatory+Release+amazon+cover

Dear George R. R., Please Don’t Read This!

Dear George R. R.,

Please do not read any farther. (Note: I Grammar Girl Googled farther vs. further. Now both words are stuck in my head and neither sounds real.) If you do need to take a quick break from getting on your giddyup for The Winds of Winter (2015? Really?) you may want to check out what your fans are saying on Goodreads.

Game of Thrones photoI, on the other hand, obviously have plenty of time to kill. Thanks to some crazzzzy Amazon algorithms, we were hanging out—Cheers from Ros.

Give my best to Jon Snow! See you soon—Game of Thrones, Sunday, March 31st!

I Spy Something Splendid!

images-1India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy is number trois in the clever Carol K. Carr’s historical fiction series (set in Victorian England), and as I always say, this one is my favorite.

From Mrs. Drinkwater, who’s name somehow highlights both her lack of cooking skills and fondness for stealing India’s liquor, to the stinky Vincent, who’s still not allowed on the cushions due to his eau de filth, India is at her smartest, most sarcastic self. Through twists and turns among the villainous anarchists, India reveals just enough to let us wonder what she’s up to.

The spy stuff is brilliant, but those tantalizing personal pieces of the puzzle—moments with French, the mystery surrounding her mother, and oh, those notes to and from the Marchioness Tullibardine, (which could be a short story itself!)—tie the whole adventure together. We are amused.

Rating: Inhaled!

Still not convinced? Then check out her short story, India Black and The Rajah’s Ruby.

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!

Where’d You Go, Maria Semple?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? has to be my favorite book of the year. Bernadette is a woman after my own heart, so too, by extension is her creator, Maria Semple. I love the way she makes me laugh at the sadness of life.

Screen shot 2013-02-12 at 9.34.53 AMI am sure Ms. Semple isn’t sitting around Googling herself (like some insecure misfits I could name), but if she was, I’d like to think that maybe she saw me raising a fruity, pineapple toast in her direction.

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!
images-2

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!

images-1

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!
images-3

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!
images-4

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!

Kick-Ass Bios

Bios are b-o-r-i-n-g. Unless it’s your own, and then tweaking it is like getting to second base, with yourself. When I eavesdropped on a friend of mine who said he didn’t like my bio, he quickly recovered with a song and dance about how wonderful I am. My feelings weren’t hurt (much!); I really wanted to know how to make it better.

Here is a crazy good getting-to-know you video bio – not a boring frame to be found, from the co-star of MTV’s new show, Catfish:

Max Joseph, Catfish

So how to translate that to an official bio? While it wouldn’t hurt to be an award-winning film director and star, don’t be afraid to make an ass of yourself, because you are. I know you are but what am I?

————————————–

DEE DeTARSIO is considering a nom de plume, believing that Delilah could come up with better steamy scenes.

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.

The World’s Worst Novelist?

My novel Ros shows up next to Irish author Amanda McKittrick Ros, and her book, Irene Iddesleigh. Ros self-published in 1897, and her reputation as the world’s worst novelist is being remembered at the Celebrate Literary Belfast festival later this month, (Awful Author Addicted to Alliteration Achieves Acclaim Again!).

Amanda McKittrick Ros

This teacher/novelist/poet provided hours of entertainment to fellow writers—an Oxford literary group, which included C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, held competitions to see who could read her work the longest without laughing. When a critic sarcastically called it “the book of the century,”  Ros suggested he was so hostile because he was secretly in love with her.

“. . .He found himself, altogether unconsciously, clasping her to his bosom, whilst the ruby rims which so recently proclaimed accusations and innocence met with unearthly sweetness, chasing every fault over the hills of doubt . . .”

You’d Be An Eejit Not To Read This Gobshite . . .

One week and counting to the goddess Marian Keyes’ newest novel, The Mystery of Mercy Close, and only four more shopping days ’til her birthday! To get the party started, The Best Author on the Planet released a short ebook, Mammy Walsh’s A-Z of the Walsh Family.

You’d be an eejit not to read this gobshite. (That’s the only Irish I know.) Though I am diligently working the phrase, `taking agin’ into my daily speech. (I’m taking agin my family who keeps telling me to knock it off.)

Mammy had me when talking about her next-door neighbors, the Kilfeathers: “Lovely people. We are terrific pals, of course. And yet, I find that I very much hate Mrs. Kilfeather.” Which makes me love Mammy that much more.

“They say the Eskimos have a hundred words for snow, but we Irish seem to have at least a hundred for the state of being intoxicated.” Mammy is hilaire, as Helen would say, and is a woman after my own heart in the kitchen, in C is for Cooking.

From tales of the Jolly Boys and those hideous Feathery Strokers, (public enemy number one), Mammy and her girls feel like part of the family. From A-Z, we get highlights of all five Walsh girls and their exploits, and Mammy even shares sweet stories about her grandchildren, and by sweet I mean nightmare. (Her word, not mine!)

Mammy Walsh is such a superstar. (Does Amazon sell the Eeejit Stick yet?) I applaud her infatuation with Slicers! and the women who wear them. Though I had to Google Padre Pio and Cornetto (stupid American), I laughed aloud at the V is for Vajazzling scene, especially when Mammy can’t resist reminding Helen: “When you think about it,” I said, happy as you please, “I must have done it at least five times!'” Brilliant! Marian Keyes does the best dialogue on the planet!

Thank you, Marian Keyes,
I fangirl double-heart xoxo you!

Be Nice and Don’t Eat Sugar

6:30 am    Rise and shine.
6:31 am    Be Nice and Don’t Eat Sugar!
6:45 am    Coffee and Facebook.
6:47 am    Oops. And cinnamon Pop-tart.
6:49 am    I’ll be better the rest of the day.
7:30 am    Head to gym.
7:32 am    Honk at woman in car in front of me as she applies MASCARA in left turn lane at stoplight that turned GREEN 30 seconds ago.
7:33 am    Fishtail through yellow-turning-orange light.
7:34 am    I’ll be better the rest of the day.
7:40 am    Set up shop on treadmill.
7:42 am    Woman on treadmill next to me performs what appears to be hopped-up version of tai-chi.
7:43 am    Flinch as her outstretched arm enters my airspace.
7:43 am    Repeat.
7:43 am    Repeat.
7:43 am    Repeat.
7:45 am    Hairy beast enters treadmill to my left. Why did he eat Fettucini Alfredo for breakfast?
7:46 am    I’ll be better the rest of the day.
7:47 am    Pick up the pace. Hope to dodge tai-chi lady and incoming garlic bombs.
7:48 am    Pop-tart crash. Tennis shoes feel like anvils.
7:51 am    Must. Stop. Watching. Clock.
7:53 am    What in the world is that lady wearing?

7:54 am     Tomorrow is another day.

Estie Effieux: Patron Saint of Alter Egos

I met the lovely Estie Effieux in Del Mar, California, on such a perfect summer day I was lulled into thinking I looked good in my wide-brimmed chapeau. Waves were crashing, the breeze was a waft of all that smells good, and the sun made the day look instagrammed.

Behind my over-sized sunglasses I beamed and smiled at passersby. Then the Director butted in. “Move to the right, single-file, single-file,” he barked out. I don’t know who died and made him logistics coordinator of pedestrian traffic at the beach, but I complied. The first time. By the third time, his heavy-handed, high-stepping, over-reaching need to tell me how to walk in the sand made me invoke the goddess herself.

“Estie Effieux,” I prayed, stumbling as the Director gave my flip-flop a flat tire. “Give me strength.” She appeared before me, dazzling in her femme fatale fierceness. “Estie Effieux,” I told the Director.

He shut up.

Gaping Hole of Unmet Needs

Oh, what a tangled web of weeds,
When we doth are a gaping hole of unmet needs.
-Every author, everywhere

The best part about being a writer is reading everyone else’s books. The worst part is talking about “craft” without adding macaroni-n-cheese.

In the losing game of please-buy-my-bookery, the plan is to get noticed. The problem is to do it without looking like a total eejit.

Since I blew my budget on a pair of Lululemon writing pants, I thought I’d make hand-crafted bookmarks. (I realize there are three major problems with that sentence. Nevertheless.) Hand-crafted is not a word to be used lightly, especially when one mixes in sand and hot glue gun.

I’m taking pre-orders—Who wants one?

Dammit. I’m pretty sure Marian Keyes and Jennifer Weiner don’t have to do this.

How Did I Get Up This Creek and Where Is My Paddle?

When San Diego weathercaster, Jaswinder Park, is mysteriously summoned to the island of Maui in Hawaii to help her grandmother, she ends up losing her job. This fair-haired, light-skinned foreigner, called haole by the natives, decides to stay in Maui for a couple of days until she can figure out what to do with her life. She realizes that her quick trip to Maui may not be all she’s hoping for when:

  • She has to bail her Hawaiian/Korean grandmother out of jail for possession of pakalolo.
  • The only thing she can understand her grandmother say is: “Not that.”
  • She can’t decide which hurts worse, her sunburn, hangover, or memories of the night before.
  • She’s labeled the “Liquor Licker” on the front page of the Maui News in a photo that shows her doing a shot of tequila with a hunky Hawaiian who’s been found dead.
  • It seems she’s had orgasms that have lasted longer than her career.
  • She scrapes the bottom of the barrel to find her guardian angel.

Beautiful fabric found in her grandmother’s closet unfolds a future for Jaswinder as she designs sensuous silky wraps called sunshminas that provide sun protection. She tries for a Hollywood connection, but her company, Haole Wood, has some growing pains. From trying to find a killer, to selling her sunshminas, to lusting after Dr. Jac, the island dermatologist, to trying to ignore her so-called guardian angel, can Jaswinder learn to embrace the island way of life? Aloha!

Haole Wood – less pesky orgasms than Fifty Shades of Grey.


Why Do I Want This?

You want me to drink what?

Ninety-four percent of writers drink coffee, according to IMTU (I Made That Up). As part of that group, I am comfortable in representing that we could cheerfully kick tea drinker’s collective arses. And as for chai tea? Really? I would rather suck on bathroom spray, since that is exactly what chai tea smells like.

Don’t rush, me, I am getting to the good part. While hopped up on caffeine, I Googled Luwak coffee. (Go on, I’ll wait for you.) Why do I really, really want to try that? What could possibly be missing from my life that I seriously considered plunking down money on coffee beans that have . . . well, it is pretty funny how successful they have been in selling that. There’s a marketing lesson here somewhere!

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!

Neither Pretty Nor Profound

I don’t know why I like to write.
I say stupid things.
I do embarrassing things.
I cheat in yoga.
I drink a lot of coffee.
My bra and underwear don’t match.
I may slightly exaggerate situations to make myself look better.
Eleanor Brown’s reasons for why she writes is an Ode to Awesomeness, an iambic pentameter of epic proportions, a pretty, profound, pied piper potpourri of prose, containing secrets of the universe, including the key to writerly wisdom . . .

I am one flawed human being.

Such a Pretty Word…

Schadenfreude

Say that three times fast, and then pretend you’ve never felt it.
Schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\ noun:
 A malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others. OK, that’s a little harsh and I am not proud of myself, but I was feeling the sting of a crappy review, and to make myself feel better I clicked over to my very favorite author, the goddess herself, Marian Keyes.

Goddess Marian Keyes

Say what? Imagine my surprise to find she received TEN one-star, really mean reviews, à la: “Why??” “SO disappointed,” to “Was this gobshite even edited?”
Mean reviews, like TMZ, are really funny. (Except when they’re not.)

One of my favorite historical fiction novels, The Botticelli Secret, also received its fair share of dings. I think the author, Marina Fiorato, is brilliant, with the most amazing voice for dialogue. Not everyone agrees: From “Do not buy this book!” to “Silly and shallow!” to “I feel angry and cheated and tore off the cover and threw it away!” to having vendettas out against the people who had the nerve to recommend it, “I’m looking for the sweet little old lady at the bookstore who convinced me to buy it: what lies beneath that nice lady persona?” mean reviews are, if nothing else, passionate.

Schadenfreude comes from the German, Schaden, “damage” + Freude, “joy” — and can apparently be abbreviated as TMZ.

Yes, I am damaged goods…but misery does love company.

Meet Ros…

I always knew Ros would be a tough sell, but she has good intentions…

She has been compared to a cross between E.T. and Starman, but ultimately, she’s women’s fiction…with a hopefully-ever-after ending, dedicated to my idol, Marian Keyes.

If I haven’t lost you yet, please check out author Vaughn Roycroft’s brilliant review of Ros!

I would love to hear what you think!

(Marian Keyes, where are you?)

PS: Oh my gosh, you’re still here? Why don’t you go click the “Like” button on Ros!

Is Your Kindle Making You Fat?

I was going to go with an eOrgasms article to spice up this dreary winter day, but I sat in front of my computer for such an embarrassing length of time, nothing came. Har har. (I wish I could write erotica…I hear it pays well.)

I apologize–this is strangely personal for someone you’ve never met. Let me digress. I grew up in Ennui, Ohio. (Which is a joke.) (Because it gives far too much credit to my hometown.) Back then, I would have traded clear skin for being fat in a heartbeat. Well now, the joke’s on me–I can eat exponentially greater quantities of potato chips when I read on my kindle, than while fumbling with a paperback book. That’s not to say I haven’t fumbled a bit with my Kindle–we’ve been to third base, (thanks to an overambitious, delicious, non-nutritious reading feast that included a glass of wine). Salty fingers are no friend to the digital domain, either, (orange-colored crumbs are even worse) but have no fear, a toothpick combined with a napkin serves as a tiny magic wand, erasing the evidence.

Thanks to a steady diet of so many new books to explore,  I do try to limit my grazing while gazing…feeding while reading…glutton on the button…


“Oh, dear God, please let this woman write better novels than blog posts,” you may be thinking. When updating my blog, I fear no one really cares about what an author has to say; whether or not I donate spare change to street musicians or have pet names for family members. My husband informed me he wants to be known as “Director,” (he does direct TV shows) but you’ll be happy to know I shined him off by directing him to “Direct this,” while grabbing my own arse. As for my kids, I could full out ID them by their cell phone-slash-social security numbers for all the impression I make on them–they never notice anything I do.

Back to me. Focus. I like to write because I say really stupid things. I do embarrassing things. I am a shit-talker. Guilty of Schadenfreude. I cheat in yoga. My bra and underwear don’t match. To add insult to injury, my kindle is making me fat.

Misery loves company, as they say–won’t you join me?

Ros

Book Club in a Box…and a Bag!

Call me unimaginative, call me a Virgo with a stymieing need for order and control, just don’t call me late to the “monthly wine-swilling club where we pretend to discuss books we read.” (Call-out quote from Ros.)

I’m partial to stories that have built-in food themes for book club picks, and while my novel, Ros, hasn’t been recommended for any book club (yet! A girl can dream…) I offer up an easy presentation, using only ingredients found in Ros–including Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. Enjoy!

Dialogues With The Devil

(Conversation With A Literary Agent: Selling Your Soul)

Me: It is a warm, witty (hopefully, though God alone knows how many of us try to pass off the unfunny by calling it warm and 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, either.

Devil: (Recorded message) Thank you for considering me for submission of your manuscript. I kindly ask that you refrain from darkening my doorstep in the future.

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. Never. I mean there is romance in there, and a few NSFW scenes that while gratuitous, certainly do serve to move the story along…

Devil: SF!

Me: No! I do not write erotica.

DevilStatic on line; indeterminate rumbling that sounds a lot like “Maybe you should.”

Me: Who’s to say this didn’t really happen? Or that it won’t happen? The whole sci-fi world doesn’t have to be riddled with Stephen King monsters, or werewolves or vampires. Sookie Stackhouse would love Ros!

Devil: Dial tone.

Me: Oh, Ros. I miss you so. I mean, I would miss you if you had actually…Oops. My lips are zipped.

Ros was taped before a live studio audience. For a transcript of the show, please visit Ros!

The Kitchen Shrink SWAG…

NEW! The Kitchen Shrink, A Novel…

If your lifeʼs a mess, your house could probably use a makeover, too! The Kitchen Shrink, a new novel featuring the humor, vulnerability, honesty and flaws of a suburban heroine…Welcome to the behind-the-scenes world of reality TV in The Kitchen Shrink.  Enter The Kitchen Shrink Giveaway:
-Amazon Kindle eGift of The Kitchen Shrink
-Invisible The Kitchen Shrink Bookmark!
-Domestic Diva Clean-Up Gloves
-Five-In-One Hammer/Screwdriver Tool
-1.5” Perdy Paintbrush
-Groovy Toolbox!

To Enter:

Please leave a comment on this post!

Winner will be chosen at random by my dog, Leo, on May 23, 2011 (my son’s birthday). Please check back! Thanks for reading!!




Continue reading