Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New Release: The Marrying Type by Laura Chapman

Are you ready to add to your reading list? Do I have the book for you! One of my favorite authors, the lovely and talented, Laura Chapman, has just released her second book, The Marrying Type! Color me excited! 

Here's the scoop:

Publication Date: February 20, 2015

You are cordially invited to read Laura Chapman’s new novel, The Marrying Type.

Always the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the 
family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it).

 With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress.

Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future.

Order your copy today by visiting:

You can add The Marrying Type to your to-read list on Goodreads and enter to win one of three prize packages by participating in this Rafflecopter:

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About the Author

Laura Chapman is the author of The Marrying Type, Hard Hats and Doormats and the Autumn and Tuck series, which appear in Merry & Bright and A Kind of Mad Courage. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Until she fulfills her dream of landing a British husband or becoming a Disney princess, you can find her in a bar penning her next novel.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Throwback Thursday - French Toast: The Movie

After writing my post for last week's Fairy Tale Fun Blog Hop, I had Anne Hathaway on the brain. I was suddenly reminded of a post I'd written for the launch of the second book in my French Twist series, French Toast. I was asked to write about my dream cast for the movie version of French Fry. Read on for my magical selections!

Truth be told, it has been a fantasy of mine to see my books made into movies. What author wouldn’t enjoy seeing her brilliant tome turned into a work of art on the big screen! I have no doubt many of you have read books that you just fell in love with and played a fun game of “Who would you have play the title roles in the movie version?” This game is especially entertaining with a nice glass of wine and a bowl of chocolate!

When it comes to my books, the casting selections are a little more personal since these stories are based on my real life French fairy tale. I met my husband while he was in the US on a business trip and we were engaged five weeks later. He picked up his life and moved for me! ME! That in itself would make an incredibly romantic movie. Add to this the fact that he is gorgeous, intelligent, charming and funny and you have a winner! Twelve years and two kids later and we're still like giddy teenagers. (When we're not fighting, that is.)

Now that you have the necessary background, let’s get back to the task at hand. I've given it a lot of thought and if I had to cast my role of Sydney Bennett, I would choose Anne Hathaway. She's admittedly FAR more gorgeous than I am, but this is a fantasy, right? She would need to sport long flowing tresses, so I guess we would need to supply her with a wig since her hair is now in a pixie cut. But she has the height, the beautiful brown eyes and the charm I'm able to project to the rest of the world. (At least I think I do...)

She would be perfect for this role since she's intelligent and funny, but also very adept at playing awkward. Believe me when I tell you I'm awkward with a capital “A.” She wouldn't be fazed by the babbling, pratfalls and absolute lunacy I tend to showcase. You would have to be a talented actress indeed to make those traits appear endearing, as I hope I have in French Toast. You'll have to be the judge!

To make things a little more fun, I let each of my “characters” choose their own actor/actress for our movie. My husband went with the gorgeous Jason Statham to play his alter ego, Louis Durand. I heartily approve of this choice. Mr. Statham is charming, funny and extremely engaging, just like my husband. And he has just the right amount of attitude! Though he may not be from France, I'm sure he could do a wonderful approximation of my husband’s accent – which is actually not a classic French accent, but more of a European mix. People often have trouble placing where he's from when they hear him speak. Germany is the most popular guess!

My friend whom I modeled the rather snarky Maya after chose Archie Panjabi to play her in our big screen adaptation. I know what you’re thinking – the actress who plays a character as intense as Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife is going to be convincing as a shallow, impatient and apathetic wiseacre? Have a little faith! Did you happen to see a little movie called Bend it Like Beckham? I think that Ms. Panjabi was very convincing as the flighty Pinky Bhamra. That’s right! THAT was her. She can totally pull this off.

My sister has chosen the lovely Emily Blunt to play Kate Bennett. She insisted on finding an actress who was witty and charismatic, but also very good at being “bitchy.” This gave me a quite a chuckle since though my sister can turn a nasty phrase when necessary, her character in French Toast is the very image of perfection. I believe Ms. Blunt would be able to capture just the right combination of candor and compassion – with a dash of acerbity.

My brother and I have discussed his resemblance to Robert Downey, Jr. for many years. A favorite actor of both of ours, he was the obvious choice for Charlie Bennett. My brother is the most honest, funny and tender-hearted person you'll ever come across. His scope of knowledge is astounding and his laugh is contagious. Just thinking about him makes me smile! That's the same feeling that I get when I see Robert Downey, Jr. on screen. There's a certain magic about him which I find both captivating and endearing, just like my brother.

As my parents have both passed away, I have no option but to choose their actors for them. My mother would most definitely by played by Sally Field. I've always been impressed with her work and my mother was a huge fan of hers. Murphy’s Romance was her favorite movie of all time. Ms. Field would easily be able to capture my mother’s kindness, determination and sassy sense of humor. She sacrificed everything for us, putting her needs absolutely last on her list, and she did it with such incredible grace. Growing up, she was the mom that all my friends could relate to and I never tired of hearing how lucky I was to have her.

Casting my father’s role is a total conundrum. My dad was a truly unique soul – part teddy bear and part pit bull. He was incredibly intelligent, was full of sarcasm and had a very unusual sense of humor. (I'm convinced I inherited my great love of puns from him.) To make things even more interesting, he was Jewish, but was the spitting image of Santa Clause. How can you find an actor to encompass all of that? The only one I can think of is Sir Anthony Hopkins. We've seen him play a wide range of characters, from the truly frightening Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs to the very kind and loyal James Stevens in The Remains of the Day. I suppose if he can capture all those emotions in different roles, he can combine them into one character. It would be the role of a lifetime!

Perhaps one day I'll be lucky enough to see the French Twist series made into a movie, but for now, I'm fully content with the fantasy. Happy Reading!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fairy Tale Fun Blog Hop

I was truly stumped when given the opportunity to compare my heroine and alter ego, Sydney Durand (née Bennett) to a fairy-tale princess. I mean, what princess could possibly be as zany, clumsy and, um, insane as Sydney? Aren’t princesses supposed to be sophisticated, refined and regal? Well, leave it to my good friend, the Fabulous Jayne Denker, to come up with the perfect match.

Who better to capture Sydney’s unique personality than Mia Thermopolis of The Princess Diaries? Or if we’re going to get formal, Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo, Crown Princess of Genovia. (Phew! Need a moment to untie my tongue.) Anne Hathaway brings both beauty and humor to the role of a young girl discovering potential she never knew she had, with a few obstacles along the way. Sydney spent most of her life pursuing perfection, stumbling repeatedly, until she learned to redefine her idea of perfection. In the end, these brave women found the happiness they so richly deserved.

Like Sydney, Mia is intelligent and funny, but also awkward. If you’ve read either of the books in my French Twist series, you’ve discovered that Sydney is awkward with a capital “A.” Mia and Sydney share a penchant for babbling, pratfalls and a small degree of lunacy. Yet they manage to do so in an endearing manner. (Or at least I like to think Sydney does. Not everyone who’s read my books agrees!)

Both Mia and Sydney discover love in the most unlikely of places. While Mia is momentarily distracted by the class hunk, she eventually finds a spark with her best friend’s thoughtful (And gorgeous!) brother. Sydney allows herself to be dragged out for wild night by her smack-talking best friend, Maya, only to be swept off her feet by a charming Frenchman. She is forced to battle her deep-rooted insecurities while in the throes of this whirlwind romance.

And the cherry on top of my choice? Mia bears a quite resemblance to me! Ahem, I mean, Sydney. (OK, Anne Hathaway is decidedly more gorgeous than I am, but a girl can dream.) She’s tall, has long, wavy brown locks, gorgeous brown eyes, a beautiful smile and a stunning pair of legs!

Well, now that I’m feeling pretty good about myself, it’s time to tell you of your extremely good fortune! My post is simply one of many witty fairy-tale blogs courtesy of the inspiring women of Chick Lit Chat HQ. Check out the links below for some highly entertaining reading!

And it get's better! Each of the blogs in this hop provides an opportunity for you to win these scrumptious Magic Morsels from Fairy Tale Brownies! That's 18 chances to win this 48 count gift box of delicious gourmet brownies! What?!? 

Here's the rundown:

*For each of the blogs on this hop, stop by and answer the question at the end of the post. Make sure to leave your email address, so we may contact you if you are the lucky winner! Entries will only be considered valid if email addresses are included.

*A winner will be selected at random and announced on Monday, February 16th.

**Please note: This contest is open to US residents only. 

Are you ready for my question? Which actress would you choose to play yourself in a movie made about your life? 

Now it's time to get hopping!

Fern Ronay     Meredith Schorr     

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Release: Jump, Jive, and Wail by Kathryn Biel

The very talented Kathryn Biel has just released her latest book, Jump, Jive, and Wail! Prepare yourself for another rich tale of struggle, growth and of course, romance. 

Feast your eyes on this gorgeous cover!

Release Date: January 29, 2015

Kaitlin Reynolds is used to fearlessly flying off mountains. But nearly two years after a devastating injury has ended her ski jumping career, Kaitlin is still struggling to put one foot in front of the other and find her new life. A chance meeting with a handsome stranger begins to put life into perspective. Dashing figure skater, Declan McLoughlin has just returned from the Olympics amid a swirl of publicity and fan fare. Just as Kaitlin begins to have hope again, her charming savior turns out to represent everything she has lost. If Kaitlin can just let go of the past and take a leap of faith, will she find herself soaring into Declan's arms?

Ready for an excerpt?

Passing through security, I feel like everyone is staring at me. I know, it's probably my overactive imagination, but I swear the security guard took way too much time wanding over my private parts. I know, she probably didn't even see the magazine, but in my mind every female has. I'm glad Natalya isn't here. First, I need the break from her. She drives me up a wall, not that I can let anyone know it. Frankie and my mom are the only people who know that I can't stand her. I don't even think Natalya knows herself. She always gets what she wants and is convinced that every man is in love with her. Probably like I'm convinced that every woman has seen my shirtless body in People magazine. I know that may seem arrogant, but at this point, it's more paranoia than anything else.
Lost in this train of thought and looking around suspiciously for possible fans, I don't see the woman stopped right in front of me. I don't see her, that is, until I'm running into her. Smack into her butt. Full-on pelvic contact. Worse than Miley Cyrus at the VMAs. Reflexively, I grab her hips and pull her into me to prevent her from falling forward. It's a very intimate position, the back of her legs against mine. With my job, it is nothing to handle a woman's body like this. Apparently, she does not share my comfort level as she yells, "Hey!" But this lady, well, she starts pulling and straining just as I start to let her go. She pitches forward, so I do the only nice thing. I grab her and pull her back toward me to counteract her forward momentum.
This causes her to rock back, and her back slams into my chest. She lets out a little groan, and for an instant I want to do the same. Yes, I handle women's bodies all the time. But they're not like this one. This one feels just right. It has curves and some softness. Natalya is skin and bones. I know she has to be, but this—this is what I want to hold onto.

There's even a video trailer! Check this out!

About the Author

Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients' needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I'm Still Here (2014), and the short story, Fly Robin Fly (Part of Cupid on the Loose!: A Valentine's Anthology of Short Stories, 2015).

Connect with Kathryn:

Are you ready to read Jump, Jive, and Wail? Let's head on over to Amazon!