Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Mustache: A True Story

Many people have asked how I came up with the mustache predicament that Julia gets herself into in Thirty-Two Going on Spinster.

Sadly, it's because it's true... A true mustache story about... me.

Picture it: Sicily 1912. Okay, actually it was in Orlando and the year was 2001. My roommates and I decided that a cruise with a group of guy friends would be fun. Four girls, four guys - the Caribbean. Dreamy, right?

The day we were leaving for the cruise, I decided that my... er... upper lip hair was not conducive to my chances of making out with one of the four guys that was going on this cruise. And there was one in particular that I wanted to make out with.

The waxing went as it usually does - wax goes on, followed by the paper. But when she pulled the paper off, it hurt. Don't get me wrong, it's never fun to get waxed, and it usually has a bit of sting to it - but this time was different. This time the sting wouldn't go away. It looked a little red at first glance, but it always does so I thought nothing of it.

The stinging continued as I left the salon, but I shook it off. I had a cruise to go on and a boy to make out with, after all. As I finished packing up I did take note that not only had the sting stuck around, but also a throbbing was now accompanying it. My upper lip was still red so I covered it with makeup as best I could, and we were off to the trip of a lifetime.

The first night was amazing. The open sea, the warm air. We laughed until we cried, stayed up late playing games and flirting. The lip, thank goodness, had stopped throbbing.

The next morning, after the foggy mirror had cleared from my morning shower it became clear that my upper lip had grown a friend - a scab... a long, thin scab just above my lip... very Hitler-ish.

I looked like Hitler.

Of course, my roomies found this to be hilarious. They laughed until they cried, actually (witches).

I was able to cover it up, for the most-part. At least I thought I did. It was at dinner a couple of nights later that the scabby upper lip came up in conversation, and my friend Phil said he "just thought it was a cold sore." So which was worse? Herpes or a mustache? HERPES OR A FREAKING MUSTACHE???

I opted to say it was neither. I doubt he bought it.

Hitler mustache aside, the trip was amazing. And in case you were wondering, no, I didn't make out with that particular boy on the cruise. But two years later, I married him.

See? Even true-life mustache stories can have a happy ending.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First look! Chapter 1!

Thirty-Three Going on Girlfriend

by Becky Monson

Chapter 1

I can’t believe I am here. 
I can’t believe I am standing here, gazing lovingly at Jared, surrounded by our friends and family on this amazing beach with this marvelous sunset, as we make these vows. These incredible sure-to-make-you-cry vows to each other. 
The colors are all muted antique tones. Pinks, yellows, golds. My bouquet is practically busting with soft pink roses. 
My makeup is not whore-ish, as my sister, Anna, would have preferred, and my hair is done in perfect long curls, pulled half up with a small antique jeweled clip. Simple. Understated. Exactly what I wanted.
And then there is my dress. My dress is spectacular. It’s timeless, really. Just slightly off-white, an off the shoulder bodice with details of stunning Chantilly lace and a sweeping train. I heart it. I heart it all. Especially Jared. In his classic suit—none of that penguin stuff for him—he looks like something out of a style magazine. His pants and jacket are perfectly tailored, and he wore the antique pink tie just because I wanted him to.
I gaze over at my bridesmaids, my baby sister Anna and my dearest friend, Betsy Brown, gazing at us with bright smiles—Anna’s with an ever-so-slight look of jealousy—and I beam at them. This is the perfect day. My perfect day with Jared. 
“Do you, Jared Nathan Moody, take Julia Warner Dorning to be your lawfully wedded wife? To have and to hold from this day forward, until death do you part?” the officiate, dressed in all white, asks Jared. 
“I do,” he says simply. 
“And do you, Julia Warner Dorning, take Jared Nathan Moody to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold from this day forward, until death do you part?” the priest asks.
“I do,” I say as I stare into Jared’s eyes, which are filling up with tears, and I begin to tear up as well. 
“Then by the power that is vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wi …”
“JULIA! What the hell? What are you doing in my dress?” Anna’s screeching pulls me out of my fantasy. “Geez, I leave you alone in here for ten minutes, and you think it’s okay to put my dress on? Mom! Tell her to take my dress off!” Anna stomps her foot in a ridiculous, child-like manner. 
My mom comes in the room just after Anna and puts her hand to her mouth. “Oh, Julia dear, what are you doing?”
“Nothing! Geez, I was just seeing how it felt, that’s all. Stop pouting like you’re ten,” I say to Anna, who is practically throwing an adult version of a temper tantrum. 
What’s the big deal? Anna and my mom left the room to go check out veils, and I was left in the room with her wedding dress, just sitting there … all alone. What woman wouldn’t want to try it on? Especially a woman who’s in her thirties … with no promises of marriage on the horizon … 
I can’t believe Anna is getting married. My baby sister. My sister—who is ten years my junior—is getting married. It was a whirlwind kind of thing too. She met Jonathon at my dad’s law firm where she is currently working. Jonathon is a junior partner at the firm. I made the mistake of calling him “Jon,” and that is apparently not acceptable to Jonathon. To say he’s stuffy and pretentious is an understatement. 
My brother, Lennon, and I both have our suspicions about Jonathon. Well, not really suspicions, just a mutual dislike for the guy. We really haven’t tried, to be honest, but there’s just only so much blather about Ivy League Schools (he went to Stanford), and amazing accomplishments (made junior partner in his first year), that we can take. Plus, the guy does nothing to help with the wedding. Not one thing. That’s weird, right?
They’ve only been together for just under six months, and now they are getting married. My boyfriend Jared (I still have a hard time calling him that) and I have been together for nine months and not a peep about marriage. We don’t even say “I love you” yet. I’ve wanted to say it, I feel like I could have said it from the beginning, actually. Call me old-fashioned, I feel like he should say it first. Okay, I mostly want him to say it first because if I say it first, I’m afraid his reply might be the dreaded “thank you.” 
That’s the insecure voice in my mind that creeps in every now and then. Okay, practically all of the time. I don’t want to be that girl, but I can’t help myself. This is my first real relationship in, well, ever. 
Anyway, this is not about Jared and me, this is about Anna and Jonathon. I should not compare. In with the good thoughts, out with the I-hate-my-sister thoughts. 
“Well, hopefully you didn’t stretch my dress out with your butt. It’s bigger than mine, you know.” And there the I-hate-my-sister thoughts are, again. They come and go these days. To say that Anna has been acting like a diva is an understatement. 
“Yes, you’ve said that more than once. Thank you for the reminder that my butt is bigger than yours.” She helps me get out of the dress and then holds it in her arms like it’s a darling baby, stroking the lace with her fingers. I expect her to start cooing at it, Don’t worry my little sweetie-pie, I won’t let that mean big-butted lady touch you again. Never, never again. She tenderly hangs it up. I roll my eyes at her as I find my clothes on the floor in the corner and quickly start putting them back on. 
I'm actually surprised I could get the dress on, to be honest. I’ve packed on about ten pounds in the last nine months. I work at a bakery. The fact that I haven’t put on more is actually a bit of a miracle. Brown says it’s my “I’m in a relationship weight.” Apparently when you are happy in a relationship, you tend to get comfortable and start putting on a few. She claims to have done the same when she first started dating her now fiancé, Matt. I didn’t know her then, and all I see is the perfectly put together pageant queen that she is now. I’m inclined not to believe her at all. 
I did buy one of those ten-minute workout videos. I figured I should be able to fit at least that into my day. If only I could muster up enough energy to put the darn thing in my DVD player. 
“Did you at least check out the options I picked out for your maid of honor dress?” Anna points over to the corner where a bunch of boring different-colored dresses hang. 
Since I am the maid of honor, I get to pick out my dress. Everyone else is wearing the same black dress, and I get to wear the same dress style, but in a color, and she is letting me pick out the color. But not really because I know she has one in mind that she wants me to wear, but for some reason she wants me to pick it out. That way, it looks as if she gave me the option, but under her control. 
“I did look at them, I like the purple one,” I say, knowing full well that purple is not the color she will want. Why did she even give it to me as an option in the first place?
She scrunches her face at me. “Well, but don’t you think purple will sort of clash?” 
“Anna, why don’t you just pick the color you want for me? I really don’t mind.” I really freaking don’t mind, is what I want to say. 
“No! You have to pick. Just not the purple. Anything but the purple.” 
“Fine,” I point over to the rack of dresses, “I’ll wear the olive one.” 
“Yes! Perfect. The olive green one will work.” She goes over to the rack, picks it out, and holds it up, contemplating. “Yes, yes …” she trails off, probably picturing the line-up in her mind.
I should just start counting down in my head, five, four, three, two …
“Well … maybe not the olive one.” Yes, I saw that coming. She hangs the dress back on the rack. “Why not the dusty rose one?” She pulls it out and shows it to me. Aha! That’s the one she wanted all along. I should have known. 
“Sure, whatever,” I say and sit down on the couch in the all-white dressing room that looks as if it were made for a queen. And for the money we are spending in this place, it might as well be.
“If you don’t want to be in my wedding, you don’t have to,” Anna says, as she hangs the pink dress back on the rack, an air of frustration in her voice
“What did I say?” I regard her with confusion. 
“It’s just your attitude, that’s all.” She folds her arms.
“My attitude?” I stand up and confront her, ready to spar. 
“Now girls,” my mother chides. “Stop arguing. Julia, you’ll wear the pink. It will look lovely with your skin.” 
“Fine,” I say and sit back down on the couch.
My mother and Anna go over to her dress and start talking about something wedding-y, and I tune them out. All these wedding plans are so boring. Okay, they wouldn’t be boring if they were my wedding plans. But they are not, and I am totally okay with that. Totally okay. 
Only, I’m not. I want to be okay. Anna and I have really bonded over this past year or so, and I love her to death, but I can’t help but feel jealous. Who wouldn’t? I am the first born in the Dorning family, and I’m already not the first to have children. Lennon and his wife Jenny now have baby Liam (whom I adore and I’m pretty sure I’m his favorite aunt), and now I will be the last to get married, that is, if I ever do get married. I shouldn’t dwell on it; I should just get over it. And I try. I really do. 
I remember when she came to my condo to tell me she was getting married. 
“I have news!” she had said, giddily, as she used her key and waltzed right in without knocking, which I told her she could do, but somehow it still got on my nerves when she did. 
I remember she was wearing this big, ridiculously puffy white coat because it had been snowing that day in March. While other parts of the world were starting their spring break celebrations, we still had open ski resorts and sub-zero temperatures. 
I was sitting on the couch, exhausted from my day at the bakery, and trying to unwind. I was glad to see her, though. Since she had started dating Jonathon, we hadn’t spent as much time together, and I missed my Anna and me time. 
“What news?” I looked over at her to see a giddy smile on her face. “What’s with the goofy grin?” 
“I’m getting married!” she spurted out and held up her left hand, which had a giant—and I mean giant—diamond ring on her ring finger.
“What?” was all I could say, while my eyes bugged out of my head. 
“I’m getting married!” She started jumping up and down like a child on her birthday. 
“But … but … you don’t know Jonathon that well! I mean, you’ve only been dating for, what, like three months?” 
“Three and a half months,” she snapped back quickly, the giddy-jumping ended. “Not you too. Mom and Dad said the same thing. Why does everyone want to crap on my parade?” She sulked over to the couch and slouched down at the other end from where I was sitting. Her puffy coat made exhaling sounds as she leaned back on it. 
“Well, how did you expect us to react?” I glanced over at her and saw a tear escape down her cheek. Anna doesn’t cry often, so I immediately felt bad. 
“Look, I’m sorry, Anna. Don’t cry,” I said, and I scooted closer to her on the couch. 
“It’s just supposed to be exciting news, and everyone should be excited, but it feels like all I’ve been doing is convincing everyone that this is what I want. It really is, Julia … what I want.” As even more tears poured from her eyes, I knew I had to get excited, even if it was my best acting job ever. 
“You’re engaged!” I said brightly, jumping my butt around on the couch in excitement (I was too tired to stand up and do it). 
“Oh, shut up,” she said, pushing me away from her. 
“No, really. I’m excited. Well … okay … I will be excited. Now tell me, how did he do it?” 
“Well we were at that fancy steakhouse—the new one I was a telling you about the other day?” Her eyes brightened up as she told me. “And when they brought the dessert out, it was cheesecake, which is not my favorite, but Jonathon didn’t know that.” She glanced over at me to get my reaction, I’m sure she was hoping that I was not giving her an I-told-you-so smirk, since he didn’t even know her favorite dessert. But I played along. 
“Anyway, so there, on the top of the cheesecake was my ring. And he got down on one knee and proposed!” Her smile broadened at the memory. 
“Oh my gosh! That is so romantic!” I grabbed her and hugged her. Anna and I are not huggers, but I wanted her to think that I was extra excited and that I thought it was so incredibly romantic, but the truth was I was still in shock. Plus, the old ring-in-the-dessert wedding proposal is so overdone. I really didn’t want her to get that out of my expression. So hugging it out was my best option. 
“Julia,” she said as she pulled away from my overbearing hug, “I want you to be my maid of honor.” She smiled slightly at me, almost in a bashful way, like she was embarrassed to even say it. 
“Really?” I beamed brightly at her because I was actually really flattered that she asked me. 
“Yes. I must have you there by my side on what will probably be the most important day of my life.” She bit her bottom lip and stared down at her ring. 
“Of course I will be.” I grabbed her hand and held it briefly, letting her know how much that meant to me. 
For the past two months, I have put on a brave face during this torture. But today, here in this stuffy dressing room—well, it’s not really stuffy because it’s ridiculously huge, but it has a stuffy feel to it—I’m just not feeling it.
“Julia?” my mom says, a little louder than her normal tone. I look over at her and Anna, both staring at me.
“Yeah?” I say, realizing I have not been paying attention to them at all.
“You ready to go?” She comes over to me and stands next to the place where I am sitting. 
Oh yes, I am definitely ready to go. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Why a Bad Review Makes Me Feel Like I’m PMSing or Bi-polar (Same Thing)

I never set out to write a book that I thought everyone would love and I would get all five star reviews. I mean, well yes, of course I set out to write that book, but I knew the truth: that book doesn’t exist.

The beauty of the world is that we all have different personalities and tastes. It’s what makes us different, interesting. It’s what sets us apart from each other.

So why, then, does a bad review affect me like it does? I should appreciate the review for what it is, learn from it, grow from it, become a better person because of it. Instead, I take it to heart and then I go through what I like to call the “Five Phases of Bad Reviews”.

Phase one: False-confidence. This phase is mostly filled with “I don’t need you, or your bad review” and other things such as, “I am better than your review and I know it.” In this phase, I am a confident (albeit, false) and strong woman. I can handle anything. Bring.It.On.

Phase two: Sadness. This phase actually comes quite quickly after phase one (hence the comparison to PMSing). And it includes some shedding of tears and verbalizations such as: “Why do you haaaaaate meeeee?” and “What did I dooooo to deserve thiiiiissss?”

Phase Three: Judging. In this phase, I look to criticize said reviewer even though I don’t know them from Adam. Such things come out of my mouth (or stay in my head, which is probably for the best) like: “She must be a mean and bitter person. I am sad for her.” or “They just don’t get me or my sarcastic humor. They have a sad, pitiful life”.

Phase four: Research. In the next phase I scour other reviews that this particular reviewer has done and look for comparisons. Maybe she hates chick-lit? Maybe she hates literature altogether? If I can find out why, then maybe I won’t feel so bad. This phase never works.

And finally, phase five: Acceptance. I finally make peace with the bad review and move on. So far 95% of the time people have positive things to say, whether they liked my book or not. The other 5% are the haters. I must accept that there are haters out there and be okay with it. It’s not against me personally, it’s their opinion. And they are entitled to it.

So in summary, bad reviews make me feel PMS-y/bipolar. Someday I will grow up and be able to accept and move on without going through the other phases. Or perhaps I will just stop reading my reviews altogether. I doubt either of those will happen. But I can hope. There’s always hope. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Five Biggest Distractions from Writing

I’m newer to the novel writing world. I've always been a writer of sorts, but never took myself seriously nor had the gumption to even try writing an entire book. So when I finally made myself do it (and to be perfectly honest, my initial reason for writing a novel was to prove to my type-B personality that I could, in fact, finish something), I learned things about myself. I found out that I’m a procrastinator. Okay, that wasn't news at all, but the extent of my procrastination took a whole new level when I started writing. 

The good news for me is I’m not alone. There are a plethora of articles out there about how to get off the procrastination runaway horse. Because it is a runaway horse… and one that sometimes can take forever to get back on the right path.

So here is a list of the five biggest distractions that keep me from writing (in no certain order):

1.  The plethora of articles about how to stop procrastinating. There’s nothing like reading a bunch of articles about the things you can do to stop procrastinating, to really help you procrastinate. Quite the distraction, indeed.

2.   My children. Don’t get me wrong, those snot-nose, screaming, crying, tantrum-ing little terrors, are the apple of my eye. Life would be so very dull without them. But nothing distracts me more than my three kiddos. I’ll have a fabulous idea for a story line or something a character could say and I will run to my computer or grab my phone to quickly type some notes and then someone will crap their pants and whoosh – just like that, it’s gone. Never to return to my brain again.

3.  My husband. I really do heart the guy, and he is a very supportive of my writing career. He’s always encouraging me to write and wants me to get my next book done, however he also constantly wants me to come see something funny he’s watching on TV, or read a clever article he’s just read, or rattle off who he thinks the Denver Broncos should draft. I get it, I’m his best friend and he should want to share those things with me, but it’s always when I’m supposed to be writing. Always. Case in point, he just made me step away from my computer and my writing of this article to come and look at his nose because he’s convinced it’s getting bigger. True story.

4.  Reading other books. Now, I’m an all or nothing kind of girl and so when I get sucked into a book (recently it was Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid – could not put it down), I must finish it. Which means, when I’m reading, I can’t be simultaneously writing. I try, I really do. I try to use it as a treat – like I tell myself if I can write 1,000 words then I can go back to reading. But then I remember I’m a freaking adult and I tell myself to shut up and go back to reading with no writing done whatsoever. So yeah, that is a major distraction of mine.

5.  Social media. Honestly, do I even need to explain that one? It’s also an entire-life distraction, if I’m being honest. 

Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg for me. I dream of a week-long getaway, by myself, with no distractions, so I could focus. But heaven knows I’d find a distraction in that scenario as well (“oh look! A bug!”). Someday I’ll find that focus that I desire, until then I will continue on as I have been… distractedly writing. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Very Inspiring Blogger Award/Tour

Yikes! I've been tagged!! 
This is my first blog tag. I'm feeling quite loved! I was tagged by the fabulous Tracy Krimmer. Check her out here: Tracy is the author of Pieces of it All, which I'm DYING to read!! Got it loaded up on my kindle and ready to go... now I just need a vacation so I can read all the books I want to read. 
These are the rules for the bog hop: 

1. Link back to the person nominating you for the award. 

2. Display the Very Inspiring Blogger Logo.

3. Reveal seven things about yourself.
Uh, seven things about myself... yikes. Okay, here goes: 
Tidbit #1: If I was stranded on a deserted island I would be happy for the rest of my life with cantaloupe and Hot Tamales (the candy). Okay, and chocolate too. 
Tidbit #2: Throughout my life I have attempted to play the violin, the cello, the bass violin, the clarinet, the piano, the guitar, the ukulele, the drums, and the electric bass. I stuck with guitar the longest, but probably haven’t picked up my guitar in about 3 years (sad). 
Tidbit #3: I love to sing and once sang back-up on an album for an up-and-coming rap artist in Boulder, Colorado. I've never heard of him since. 
Tidbit #4: I have always wanted to have magical powers – thus my love for Sabrina the Teenage Witch reruns and Harry Potter. 
Tidbit #5: I hate shredded coconut and I tell people I am allergic to it so I don’t have to eat it. 
Tidbit #6: In the 6th grade I got my ears pierced and then pretended like they got infected so I could get attention. 
Tidbit #7: I love math and wish I were better at it. 
This should really be called seven random things that have no rhyme or reason. :) 
4. Nominate seven others to receive the award.
Get excited! :) I nominate: 
Kathryn Biel: Biel Blather One cool chick and an amazing writer as well. She's my on-line author BFF. So, my OLABFF. 
Tracie Banister: Books by Banister One of my fav chick lit authors and the admin leader (for which I am a partner-in-crime) for Chick Lit Chat HQ 
Ophelia London: My sista from anotha mutha and author extraordinaire. I heart this gal. 
Cat Lavoie: Mucho mucho talented author, Cat knows her chick lit and writes it well. 
Jennifer Gilby Roberts: British chick lit author who's books I adore. Can't say enough fabulous things about Jennifer. 
Melissa Baldwin: New to the writing world, Melissa's debut novel is fab! She is also a dear friend (so don't hate me for tagging you). 
Glynis Astie: Another author who's book I can't wait to read! This author journey has introduced me to a lot of people and I'm lucky I've gotten to meet and spend time with Glynis! 

Interview with Author Melissa Baldwin!

Today, I'm introducing you to a new author on the block - Melissa Baldwin!

Tell me about your latest book:
My debut novel- An Event to Remember… or Forget.

Sienna Harris is used to planning every aspect of her life.  She is starting her own company, finally leaving Carrie’s Classic Events and More.  Everything is going perfectly, except in her relationship. Her boyfriend Luke is somewhat emotionally unavailable, but she really loves him so she is patient with him. Everyone around her seems to be moving on in their relationships and she is hoping for the same thing.

When Luke’s friend Ace shows up it really throws her for a loop. In the mean time she is struggling with the guilt of leaving Carrie and not being honest about her new company. She also has made the commitment to personal friends/clients to plan their charity event and doesn't want to disappoint them. It is a fun story full of ups and downs and there are plenty of surprises that I don’t think readers will expect.

What inspired you to write this story?
I have always loved writing; I kept journals for years. In college I actually enjoyed writing papers.

I started my first book about three different times over the years. Each time it had a different plot and main character(s). I could never seem to pull it together until a very good friend followed her dream and published her first novel. This inspired me to finally follow through.

Tell me a little about your Works in Progress: 
I have started my second novel/ a spin off to An Event to Remember…or Forget, I’m really excited to explore the characters some more. I think the readers will really enjoy it.

Do you have a favorite writing snack?
This is a funny question. I usually write late at night. Before I started writing I would snack at night, since I started my book I don’t snack anymore. I guess that is a good thing?

If a movie was made about your book, who would be in your ideal cast?
This is hard (even though I admit I have thought about it)

I think Amy Adams would be the perfect Sienna. Luke-Bradley Cooper, Ace- Ryan Gosling, Madison- Cameron Diaz, Abby- Reese Witherspoon, Carrie- Michelle Pfeiffer, Craig- Neil Patrick Harris

Do you have a character you've enjoyed writing the most?
I really connected with all of my characters. Ace being the perfect “book boyfriend” was fun. I also enjoyed Craig and Carrie

What do you do for fun when you’re not writing? 
Another funny question- I have so many other responsibilities there is not much free time. Other than being with my family, I love to work out, read and travel.

What sort of books do you like to read?
Chick-Lit is my genre. I have tried to branch out but I seem to always come back.

Do you have any advice for people wanting to write their own book?
Be patient with yourself, try not to get to frustrated when the ideas aren't flowing.

What parts of the writing process do you love and hate the most?
I love creating and developing characters. I also get excited as I watch my word count go up.The editing/proofreading period is my least favorite part, I hate waiting!

I highly recommend this book! It's a fun chick lit escape! To purchase click here: 

Follow Melissa: 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Dr Pepper Prophecies' One-Year Anniversary!!

One of my favorite books is on sale this week! Grab a copy today! 

To celebrate The Dr Pepper Prophecies’ one-year anniversary since publication, Jennifer Gilby Roberts has put the Kindle version on sale 8-10 May 14 at 99c/99p! 

She’s also offering the chance to win one of two paperback copies through Goodreads 1-31 May 14.  The paperback is available to buy through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


25-year-old Mel Parker has a few tiny problems:
  • Her job is terrible
  • She's been dumped yet again
  • Her ex is now her boss
  • Her parents think she's a loser compared to her perfect younger sister
  • All her efforts to improve her life seem doomed to failure
  • Her best friend, Will, is in grave danger of being stolen away by his evil girlfriend
  • There just isn’t enough chocolate in the world to make up for the above.

So what do you do when you've pretty much given up on your own life? Help others, of course!

After all, what's the worst that can happen?


My thoughts on The Dr Pepper Prophecies'...

I adored this book. I loved the characters, I loved the writing, I LOVED the humor. It was a feel good, brain-candy, escape, and it's been a long time since I've read one of those. I also love that it was clean. Very little swearing, no kinky parts. Too much of that going around these days. What a welcome change! It is rare to find good (real) chick-lit and I'm thrilled I've found this author. I will read more, most definitely.