Chick Lit Rocks!

ChickLitRocks

We all know chick lit rocks.  You wouldn’t be here, reading this post if you didn’t think so, right?  Well, you’re in luck because all of the blogs today are featuring playlists to go along with their awesome novels!

I’m featuring Honor’s Lark once again.  This was a really easy post for me, since I already had a playlist made up for the book.  Writing Honor was very natural, because I understand a lot of the issues she’s facing in her life – feeling lonely, unloved, unaccomplished.  This playlist was the music I was listening to while writing, the music that spoke to me about those feelings.

The main song on the Honor’s Lark playlist is “I Choose You” by Andy Grammer.  Andy is definitely my favorite male solo artist.  My friends know him as my future husband! He has a stage presence that’s fun, energetic, and a little crazy (but not CRAZY crazy).  At the same time, he can sing a love song with intense emotion.  “I Choose You” is all about the idea that each individual has the option to choose the person that is right for them.  As he says in the song, we don’t get to choose our heights or our ethnicity, but we do get to choose the person we love. This song was a huge inspiration for me when writing the book, because the world it takes place in believes the opposite: that who you love is destined and you have no say in the matter.  Honor and Sedric are determined to have their say.

If this playlist were a soundtrack to the Honor’s Lark movie (which doesn’t exist, but totally should), this song would play in the trailer and during the climatic scene where… haha, I’m not going to spoil what happens!

Other songs on my Honor’s Lark playlist:

  1. “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me,” by Hunter Hayes – If Honor’s Lark were a movie, this song would play over the opening credits.
  2. “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely,” by The Band Perry
  3. “Everyone is Gay” by A Great Big World – this song might not actually appear in the Honor’s Lark movie, but maybe in one of the sequels.  I based my world on the idea that there is no concept of heterosexuality or homosexuality.  Same-sex and opposite-sex couples are treated equally and respected equally by society.
  4. “Burn,” by Kat Robichaud (and The Design)
  5. “Where I Stood,” by Missy Higgins – this song would play when Honor dances for Sedric for the first time
  6. “Back Home,” by Andy Grammer – this song would play when Honor goes to visit her family
  7. “Drunk Last Night,” by Eli Young Band
  8. “Rockstar” by A Great Big World
  9. “Burn” by Ellie Goulding
  10. “I Choose You” by Andy Grammer
  11. “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” by Eli Young Band – this song would play when Honor has to make a choice about her career.
  12. “Kiss Me Slowly,” by Parachute – this song would play over the end credits

Honor is also a fan of classical music, because of her dance background, but since she lives in a different world/universe, her classical composers wouldn’t be the same as ours.  Think of composers similar to Beethoven and Chopin.  I didn’t add any to my playlist, but let me know in the comments if you have any favorites!

To listen to the entire playlist, check it out on Spotify!

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Purchase Links:

Honor’s Lark on Amazon

Twenty-Five on Amazon

Twenty-Five on Smashwords

List of Participants & Links

Laura Kenyon

Gina Henning

Lauren Clark

Laura Chapman

Jennifer Farwell

Bethany Turner

Clodagh Murphy

Stacey Wiedower

Tracy Krimmer

Jillianne Hamilton

Kristina Knight

Jennifer Collin

Whitney Dineen

Maggie Le Page

Karen M. Cox

T. A. Munroe

K.J. Farnham

Heather Balog

Serena Clarke

Miss Chick Lit Pageant

MissChickLit2015

Hello all!  In case you didn’t know, May is Chick Lit Month, so a bunch of my chick lit writer friends and I are celebrating this week with chick lit-themed posts and giveaways.  My two e-books, Twenty-Five and Honor’s Lark, will be on sale for $0.99 all week, and on Friday, the other ladies books will also be on sale for $0.99.

zoe-saldana honor sandoval
Physical Inspiration for Honor – Zoe Saldana

Our first post is the Miss Chick Lit Pageant and my contestant is Honor Sandoval from Honor’s Lark!

Welcome, Honor!  Tell us a little about yourself.

“I’m Honor Sandoval and I’m here representing Linhill*.  I’m a 30 year old former ballerina with a love for baking and sarcasm.  Not really sure what I’m doing here because I really don’t need anyone else’s validation.”

*Linhill is the city Honor lives in, in the fictional region of Belburn, in the Lark universe.

Swimsuit Competition:

Honor, what are you wearing at the beach this summer?

“I like clean and classic styles.  I love this suit because it looks like something I could have worn when performing with the dance company.”

JOG Swimwear(3)

Talent Competition:

Honor’s talent is an original solo ballet she choreographed.  Something along the lines of this:

Her dance is inspired by the range of emotions she went through when she injured herself and ended her ballet career, lost both her lifegivers, and met the love of her life, Sedric.

Interview:

Honor, which awesome fashion trend do you wish would make a comeback? And which awful fashion trend do you hope to never see again?

“Like I said earlier, I simple simple and classic styles.  I love leggings and billowy tops & dresses that allow for maximum comfort.  I hate anything binding.  I don’t want to tie myself down in life, why would I in my clothes?”

Thanks, Honor!  Good luck in the Pageant!

Now it’s time for a GIVEAWAY. You can be a beauty queen too with this $100 gift card!$100

In order to be entered, respond to the same interview question Honor was asked during the pageant: which awesome fashion trend do you wish would make a comeback? And which awful fashion trend do you hope to never see again?

Post your answer in your blog’s comment section, along with your e-mail address (Make sure you underline, bold, and highlight this as we must have a way to contact the winner!) A winner will be chosen via Random.org on Monday, May 18th.

The contest is open to international readers, so don’t hesitate to answer if you aren’t in the US.  You can earn more entries by visiting all of the participating blogs (see list of links below).  That’s 19 chances to win!

US/Canada winner – $100 gift card to Sephora

UK winner – £65 gift card to Lush Cosmetics

Australia winner – $125AUD to Mecca

HonorsLarkCoverPurchase Links:

Honor’s Lark on Amazon

Twenty-Five on Amazon

Twenty-Five on Smashwords

List of Pageant Participants & Links

Pippa Franks

Laura Kenyon

Gina Henning

Tracie Banister

Cat Lavoie

Amy Gettinger

Celia Kennedy

Glynis Astie

Engy Albasel Neville

Tracy Krimmer

Cait Reynolds

Franky Brown

Monique McDonell

Colleen Oakes

Whitney Dineen

Maggie Le Page

Kathryn Biel

Laura Chapman

Fairy Tale Fun Blog Hop

SpritesArtwork

It’s February, which means Valentines Day is almost here, which means romance is being shoved down your throat wherever you go, which inevitably means a Disney Princess movie marathon, right?  Oh, that’s just me? Well, luckily, my fellow chick lit authors think like me and have organized this snazzy Fairy Tale Fun blog hop!  The authors participating (i.e. super cool awesome women just like me!) have been asked to compare their heroines to princesses, and since I love a good princess (see my post on the Defense of Disney Princesses for proof) I jumped at the chance to participate.

Deciding which Princess to compare my heroines to was more difficult, though.  I love both of my female main characters (Abigail from Twenty-Five and Honor from Honor’s Lark), but neither of them scream “Princess!” to me.  Abigail is meek at times, unsure of her worth, and full of big dreams that she needs a push to accomplish.  Honor is (to quote her boss), “prickly”.  She’s also selfish and has a weird relationship with the truth.  I racked my brain for weeks trying to figure out which princesses my characters would relate to, and even now, I’m not sure how accurate my choice is!1052889_10100455146559846_619394793_o

Honor is going to have to stand on her own.  She wouldn’t WANT to be a princess and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t appreciate being compared with one, either. (Good for you, Honor!)  Abigail, on the other hand… She would totally cuddle with me on the couch and sing “I See The Light” at the top of her lungs while watching Tangled.  Not that I’m comparing her to Rapunzel, but I’ve got to keep you on your toes!  So, which princess is it going to be?  My first thought was Belle, who is famous amongst her counterparts for being a lover of books and a dreamer of adventure.  Abigail is often described as being a prolific reader and I’m sure Belle would approve of her bucket list, which includes such adventures as riding a motorcycle, climbing a mountain, and going scuba diving.  But something didn’t feel right to me about the Belle/Abigail comparison.  I love Belle, she’s probably my favorite Disney Princess, but I don’t know that I approve of her choice in men.  Sure, the Beast’s heart grows three sizes once he falls for her, but the whole hate turning to love thing is just kinda “meh” for me.  I think Belle would agree that being an outsider is no excuse for being an aggressive kidnapper.  Besides, Abby’s one true love is the boy-next-door type.

INTO THE WOODSSo, moving on. My next thought was Cinderella, because Abigail did have that unfortunate quality of waiting til a man came around to change her situation.  But! She’s more badass than Cinderella because once she realizes that’s what she’s done, she leaves!  She makes the decision to head off on her own and try and build the life she wanted without help from a man (or anyone else).  She seized her independence. And that act made me think of the Cinderella of Into the Woods (you can see my review of the movie here).  She thought everything would be better when she married the Prince, and in some ways she was right.  She moved to the palace and had servants and clothes and food and everything else she could want, but it didn’t make her happy.  She realized she needed more than the dream of perfection and she told him so.  She struck out on her own.  I loved that about the movie.  Because fairy tales always end with happily ever after, but life isn’t quite that easy.

In the end, Abigail’s prince (i.e. boyfriend) does come back to her, but they both admit they made mistakes and they both know that she had to leave in order to be happy.  To clinch the deal – I “cast” Anna Kendrick as my dream Abigail!

Abigail is Into the Woods Cinderella, but with an infinitely better Prince.

 

Sprite 24Don’t run off, yet!  There’s more!

There’s a fabulous prize available to all who hop with us today.  The Grand Prize is the Sprite 24 Gift Box from Fairytale Brownies, which includes a snack-size assortment (Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate, Original, Peanut Butter, Pecan, Raspberry Swirl, Toffee Crunch, Walnut, White Chocolate, Espresso Nib, Cream Cheese) of 12 delicious gourmet brownies.  The Giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry my international lovelies) and there are a bunch of opportunities to win!  Just head to each stop on the hop and leave a comment answering their question attached to the giveaway.  Entries MUST include valid email address in order to win.  My question for you – on a rainy day, what’s your favorite romantic movie to get all cozy with?

 

Now, what are you waiting for – go check out the other hoppers and see which Princesses they paired their heroines with!

April Aasheim

Sheryl Babin

Kathryn Biel

Brea Brown

Geralyn Corcillo

Patricia Eddy

Erin Emerson

Jamie Farrell

Hilary Grossman

Gina Henning

Celia Kennedy

Tracy Krimmer

Becky Monson

Theresa Munroe

Diane Rinella

S.K. Wills

The Road Ahead

Well, well, well.  It’s that time again – time to say goodbye to the past year and hello to the new one.  2014 was big for me.  I published my second book, gained two new nieces, got a tattoo, turned 30, and visited London for the first time – several dreams come true (just not the turning 30 part).

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I also finished the first draft of what is going to be my third published book: Junie’s Confession, the second book in the Lark series.  I’ve been getting great feedback from the first book, Honor’s Lark, and I’m excited to see what people think about this next installment.  I’ll be spending the next several months performing extensive edits, with a goal to publish on July 15th, 2015!

That’s right, friends, my next book will be out on July 15th!

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I’ve got other big plans for this year.  In addition to publishing Junie’s Confession, my goal is to blog once a week (look for a new post every Wednesday) and write two new first drafts.  One of those drafts will be book three in the Lark series and the other will be a new, stand-alone, romantic comedy.  If you’re good boys and girls, I’ll post excerpts and milestones as I go 🙂

 

I’ll also have a BIG announcement in a couple of weeks about an exciting new project, so keep your eyes open.

 

2015 is going to be amazing!

 

Let me fill you in

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.  I am such a blogging slacker.  I don’t even have a good excuse, but for all 5 of you who read this (when you see it posted on my facebook page), here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Publishing Honor’s Lark!  The book went live on May 13th on Amazon, with the official release (i.e. me telling everyone I know about it) on May 15th.  Sales and reviews have been trickling in slowly (like really slowly.  like glacially slowly.  like the hare lapped the tortoise twice and is coming up on lap #3), but I’m so proud of it.  Even if only one person buys it and reads it, I’ll be happy (and my mom did both, so I’m good!).
  • Fulfilling a lifelong dream.  My friend Brooke and I went on a 9 day trip to London, baby!  It was amazing.  I’ve been jokingly calling it my Jane Austen pilgrimage because we literally did everything I could find that was Jane Austen related.  We went to her house in Chawton, which has been converted to a museum, and saw the rooms where she ate, slept, and most importantly – wrote.  It was a literal dream come true.  I cried. Not heaving sobs or anything, but dainty, Austen-like tears.  (Hell, I cried when the plane landed in London.)  We went to the British Library, where they have a copy of Persuasion written in her hand and her old writing desk.  We went to the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, where she once lived.  We walked streets and saw buildings she wrote about.  We did a lot of other things in London and it was all amazing, but I would have been happy to just travel to Chawton and spend all day there.
  • Celebrating.  My friend Tracy Banghart’s self-published book, Shattered Veil, was bought by Alloy Entertainment as part of the launch of their Amazon digital first imprint!  The book (which is amazing and you should definitely read) is now titled Rebel Wing and is available exclusively on Amazon.  We went out last night and had a blast celebrating the awesomeness that is Tracy and her book.  You should definitely go and check out the twitter feed from the party, after all, you need to know what the official hashtag (#flamingscorpion) is all about.
  • Celebrating.  My two best friends both had babies in May!  I have two beautiful new nieces, Finley and Emerson.  They are so sweet.  I’ve been so busy, I’ve only been able to see Finley once, but I’m going to rectify that really soon.
  • Celebrating.  My sister is pregnant again!  Another little boy or girl will be joining our family in January.  Plus, we had an adorable Minnie Mouse-themed second birthday party for my niece Addison in June.
  • Turning 30.  Oh, the big 3-0.  It came, it went, I survived.  I even got a tattoo in honor of the occasion!  Abby would be so proud.
The Honor's Lark paperbacks arrive
The Honor’s Lark paperbacks arrive
My new tattoo.  Sometimes I need a reminder...
My new tattoo. Sometimes I need a reminder…
My sister, niece, and brother-in-law at the cutest Minnie Mouse birthday party ever
My sister, niece, and brother-in-law at the cutest Minnie Mouse birthday party ever
Jane Austen's home in Chawton
Jane Austen’s home in Chawton

We Need Diverse Books

With 9 days to go until Honor’s Lark is officially released via Amazon, I’m getting excited and sentimental.  I feel like a parent about to release her baby into the real world.  So, before I do that, I want to let the world know how I view my baby and it’s main characters.

There was a hashtag trending on twitter last week: #WeNeedDiverseBooks.  I thought it was wonderful that people were calling attention to the fact that so many books (the good, the bad, and the in-between) are lacking in the diversity department.  When I started writing Honor’s Lark last September (when it was still called simply Lark), I thought a lot about the world I was creating and how I wanted it to be as inclusive as possible.  I am never much of a descriptive writer, though I usually give my characters a few physical traits.  Not in HL.  I wanted readers to be able to envision themselves in the characters, regardless of what they looked like, so I barely described the characters at all.

Having said that, I do have pictures in my head of what I think the characters look like.  I imagine in this world that, due to the larks, people have traveled all over and if races did exist, they’ve been combined over time so that they aren’t really identifiable anymore.  Basically, everyone has some color to their skin.

So, here’s what my main characters look like in my head.  They may not look like this in your head when you read the book.  In fact, I kinda hope they don’t!  Picture them however you want and then let me know what you see 🙂

zoe-saldana honor sandoval

 

 

Honor Sandoval

Sedric Eckland : wentworth miller
Sedric Eckland

Diversity isn’t just about race, though.  I also thought a lot about sexuality when creating these characters.  The initial concept – that everyone is destined for another person – gave me the perfect opportunity to showcase that love is love, no matter a person’s gender.  The terms heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual don’t exist in the world of the larks.  I know it’s not a perfect representation of all members of society, but hopefully readers will appreciate the effort.

 rashida-jones bonnie

Bonnie

Hannah-Simone- caron

Caron

9 days to go.  NINE DAYS!!!