Tuesday, May 19, 2015

CHARACTER INTERVIEW - WHITNEY DINEEN (THE REINVENTION OF MIMI FINNEGAN)

<Blogger’s Note: I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan and fell in love with the writing and the characters. You can read my rave 5-star review here. I always cast characters in my head while reading books and shared my choices for Mimi, Elliot, and Richard with Whitney. She approved them all, so I thought it would be fun to post some photos of my actress/actor picks to give you some visuals to go along with Whitney’s Mimi interview. Enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of the book for yourself. You will love it!>


WHITNEY’S Q&A WITH MIMI

Today, I’m interviewing Miriam May Finnegan, a.k.a. Mimi. Mimi is the star of her very own romantic comedy which is currently #15 in Hot New Releases on Amazon.

 
Q: Would you consider yourself the typical heroine of a romantic comedy?
A: God, no! I mean, I have a bunion. I’m a size 12 and let’s face it; I pale in comparison to my sisters.

Post-makeover Mimi has red hair and a va-va-voom figure, so I imagined her looking like the curvy and gorgeous Christina Hendricks.

Q: Let’s chat about your sisters for a moment. Who are they and why do you think they are so amazing?
A: My oldest sister, Renée, used to be a supermodel (You may remember her from her work with Cover Girl.) and is now a famous clothing designer. Next is Ginger, nearly as gorgeous as Renée, and a Rhodes Scholar to boot. She’s the curator of The Pipsy Museum of Modern Art and married to my boss, Jonathan. Then there’s Muffy. All of you tennis buffs will remember her from her Wimbledon appearances. She’s currently the women’s tennis pro at The Hillsdale Country Club.

Q: What about you, what are you known for in your family?
A: Well, I used to be the sister with the pretty feet. Not any more though. Now I have a bunion. I guess I’m known for being the only single sister in our quartet. I’m also the only one who wears double digits. Truthfully, I’m nothing compared to my sisters.

Q: What do you aspire to in life, Mimi? What are your goals and dreams?
A: I’d like to fit into my family better. I’m starting to think my mom cheated on my dad with a circus clown and I’m the result. I want to feel like I’m just as exceptional as they are. I would also love to get married and have a family. I’m thirty-four and my last boyfriend left me to marry his distant cousin. The last guy that hit on me had a bratwurst in his pants. So essentially my batting average sucks.

Q: Is there anyone you’re interested in right now?
A: Between you, me and the fencepost, yes. His name is Elliot Fielding. Yes, THE Elliot Fielding, British legal thriller author extraordinaire! My sisters are trying to set me up with him but it’s not going very well.

Englishman Elliot is tall, blond, and rather posh with his style and manners, so I envisioned him as the dishy Rupert Penry-Jones.


 
Elliot isn't the only contender for Mimi's heart. Big Apple businessman Richard Bingham also does his best to win her over. I adored this character so much that I wasn't sure which guy to root for! The dark-haired and dreamy Richard Armitage would be perfect in this role!

Q: If you could be the star of any television show, past or present, which would you pick?
A. Sex and the City, without a doubt. I love the friendships between the women. If I had friends like those, it would make my life a lot easier to swallow.



MIMI EXCERPT

Elliot pushes his chair out and stands. His eyes slide up and down the length of my body and he smirks as he raises his left eyebrow in a supercilious question mark. I have no idea what that’s all about so I simply extend my hand and smile, “It’s very nice to meet you Elliot.”

Instead of extending me the same courtesy, he tilts his head to the side, nods it once and declares, “Indeed.” Like, “Indeed, you should be happy to meet me.”

Well that settles it. I don’t care if he was well over six-two or his slightly receding strawberry blonde hair is the most gorgeous color ever or I find him immensely attractive. He’s ruined it for himself. I am not going to marry Elliot Fielding.

I rush to lower my extended hand back to my side, where it obviously belongs, when at the last moment he chooses to take it. I try to pull away as if to indicate he has had his chance and the offer is now withdrawn. I’m so peeved by his arrogance that I yank my fingers from his, setting into motion a domino effect I’m sure Renée will later claim ruined Camille’s party.
       
Elliot bends at the waist and gently touches his lips to my reluctant appendage in what I’m sure he assumes is a display of superior English manners, yet my whole body responds in an angry shudder. How dare he think he can “indeed” me and then put his mouth on my person. I yank my hand back, upsetting my very delicate balance, at the same time Elliot takes the hint and releases me. He does not attempt to aid me in any way as I fall backwards, straight into the pool.

BUY THE BOOK



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

While attending the University of Illinois in Chicago, Whitney Dineen was discovered by a local modeling agent and began an unexpected career as a plus-size Ford model. She modeled in New York City before moving to Los Angeles with her husband. 

When she wasn’t modeling, she was in the kitchen, baking delights to share with friends. Soon, her friends began asking her to send baskets of her wonderful candies and cookies to business associates, agents and production studios. Word spread like wildfire, and the rest, as they say, is history. Whitney’s sensational creations are still in great demand by her loyal celebrity clientele.

During “The Hollywood Years,” Whitney was bitten by the writing bug and started creating characters that are inspired by strong women with a great sense of humor.

In addition to her love of chick-lit, Whitney has also written a series of adventure books for middle readers The first of which, Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory, is nearing completion.

Whitney and her husband, Jimmy, have recently relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to raise their children, chickens and organic vegetables.


CONNECT WITH WHITNEY



 

Monday, May 18, 2015

FIND YOUR NEXT CHICK LIT READ / #CHICKLITMAY GIVEAWAY!

May is International Chick Lit Month. Let's be honest—it's the best month of the year! 

Every year, Chick Lit readers and writers get together to celebrate, share, discuss and gush about their favorite book genre. Not familiar with Chick Lit or Chick Lit Month? Visit International Chick Lit Month for more information. 

This year marks the fifth anniversary of ICLM. To celebrate, a bunch of enthusiastic authors got together and made an infographic to help readers find their next Chick Lit read. 

We're giving away 19 e-books to 19 lucky readers. Just enter to win the books you'd like to read! 

To enter, comment on the blog post below, listing which books from the graphic you'd like to read and WHY you would like to read them. (Make sure to include your email address so we can contact you.) Entrants can only enter once per blog, but can check out other blogs with this same post and comment there for extra entries! All those links are down below. 

Entries close on midnight Friday, May 22 (Pacific Daylight Time), and winners will be contacted directly on May 31. Good luck everyone—and happy reading! 

(Even if you missed this giveaway, feel free to share this graphic on your blog and spread the Chick Lit love!) 


Find the authors and books here, and enter again!

Deeper Themes
* * *
A Little Magic
* * *
Laughs Guaranteed
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Light & Bright
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On Distant Shores
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Enter one more time at these great Chick Lit blogs!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

RELEASE DAY BLITZ - FRENCH FRY BY GLYNIS ASTIE


French Fry

Sydney Durand had finally achieved the perfect life she had always wanted. After a whirlwind romance with a charming Frenchman, she endured the three weddings it required to satisfy the members of the newly formed Bennett-Durand clan. All she had left to do was stroll into the sunset with Louis to enjoy their long-awaited happily ever after.

But everything changed when the stick turned blue. Suddenly, Sydney finds herself facing the daunting task of becoming a mother before she has even returned home from her honeymoon. Keeping a tenacious hold on her hard-won happiness, Sydney is determined not to give up without a fight – no matter what or who is thrown in her path…and that includes an overbearing mother-in-law, a know-it-all father and her own anxiety about having a baby.

Will she finally be able to tame her neuroses for the sake of her unborn child? Or will her hormone-induced panic cause a meltdown of epic proportions? One thing is clear: Sydney and Louis’ nerves are going to fry…




About the Author

Glynis never expected in her wildest dreams to be a writer. After thirteen years in the Human Resources Industry, she decided to stay at home with her two amazing sons. Ever in search of a project, she was inspired to write the story of how she met and married her wonderfully romantic French husband, Sebastien, in six short months. The end result became her first novel, French Twist. As this was just the beginning of their epic love story, Glynis continued to chronicle their adventures in the sequel, French Toast and the final installment in the series, French Fry.

When Glynis is not writing, she is trying to keep the peace amongst the three men and two cats in her life, finding missing body parts (Lego pieces are small!), supervising a myriad of homework assignments and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity.


Buy French Fry



Giveaway begins on 5/13/15 at 12:01 AM and ends on 5/20/15 at 11:59 PM. 3 prizes will be awarded.

1. $25 Amazon gift card and e-book set of the French Twist series.

2. 2 e-book sets of the French Twist series.

This giveaway is open for US only.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 10, 2015

MISS CHICK LIT 2015 - #CHICKLITMAY

Congrats to Arielle Deltoro for winning the Miss Chick Lit Giveaway!

Hi, my name is Willa Tobin, and I'm a 32 year-old pet psychic from San Francisco. Because of my profession, my fondness for carrying Hello Kitty and ladybug purses, and my perpetual sunniness, people sometimes say that I'm whimsical or eccentric, but I'm just being me, a glass all-the-way-full kind of gal. I have an identical twin sister named Sloane who has no idea I'm here today. <whispers> Unlike me, she is not a fan of pageants. When we were kids and I tuned in to watch Miss America every year, she'd throw popcorn at the TV and say that the contestants' hair was bigger than their brains. </whispers> But what Sloane doesn't know won't hurt her, and I know she'll be impressed when I bring home the Miss Chick Lit title and tiara. To be honest, I don't really care about the title; I just really want that tiara (So pretty and sparkly!)  

Let the games begin!  


SWIMSUIT

I love retro fashion, especially styles from the '50s and '60s. So, I flipped when I saw this navy-and-white polka dot halter bikini by Betsey Johnson. It looks like something Annette Funicello would have worn in one of those Beach movies, don't you think? Ruffles - SQUEE! So cute!

Bonus: I got this suit for $29 at Nordstrom Rack. I love a bargain, which is why I shop at vintage stores and/or make my own clothes most of the time.



TALENT

I will be doing a dramatic reading of a monologue from one of my all-time favorite books, The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I think it's the most beautiful declaration of love I've ever had the pleasure of reading. SIGH  

And this gown I'm wearing was inspired by the ice blue dress Buttercup wore in the iconic film based on the book. I designed and sewed it myself!

Oh, and standing in for Westley will be my dog, Cicero.


I love you, I know this must come as something of a surprise, since all I've ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm. Your eyes are like that, did you know? Well they are. How many minutes ago was I? Twenty? Had I brought my feelings up to then? It doesn't matter. I love you so much more now than twenty minutes ago that there cannot be comparison. I love you so much more now than when you opened your hovel door, there cannot be comparison. There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that. Do you want me to crawl? I will crawl. I will be quiet for you or sing for you, or if you are hungry, let me bring you food, or if you have thirst and nothing will quench it but Arabian wine, I will go to Araby, even though it is across the world, and bring a bottle back for your lunch. Anything there is that I can do for you, I will do for you; anything there is that I cannot do, I will learn to do. I know I cannot compete with the Countess in skills or wisdom or appeal, and I saw the way she looked at you. And I saw the way you looked at her. But remember, please, that she is old and has other interests, while I am seventeen and for me there is only you. Dearest Westley--I've never called you that before, have I?--Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley,--darling Westley, adored Westley, sweet perfect Westley, whisper that I have a chance to win your love.


INTERVIEW

Have you had any marriage proposals? If so, what were they like?

Once upon a time I received a very romantic proposal from a handsome Frenchman named Alphonse. After a three-week courtship in the City of Lights, he asked for my hand in the most romantic way. Early one morning, he took me down to the cobblestone streets of Montmartre, where he re-enacted our first meeting. Did I mention that Phonsey was a mime? So, this was a silent re-enactment and he had on the white face makeup just like the first time I saw him when I stopped to watch him perform and was mesmerized by his artistry (and how sexy he looked in horizontal stripes!)

He led me down the street where the different vendors were setting up and he stopped at one who gave him a red heart-shaped balloon with the word "Veux" on it. He handed it to me, then we walked a bit more until we reached another vendor who gave us a second balloon and this one had the word "tu" on it. I really had no idea where this was going until we got to a third vendor who had a balloon that read "m'épouser?" Veux-tu m'épouser? is "Will you marry me?" in French. Of course, the answer was a very enthusiastic "YES!" Phonsey was a struggling artist, so he didn't have much money, but he was able to scrape together enough to buy me an antique engagement ring with a pink stone (My favorite color!) It was the perfect proposal. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the marriage that followed, but I haven't given up on love. I look forward to receiving another wonderful proposal some day, except this one will stick!


Want to read more about Willa, her search for love, and her sisterly relationship with Sloane, who has plenty of romantic problems of her own? Grab a copy of Twin Piques today - e-book on sale for just $1.99!


MISS CHICK LIT GIVEAWAY

You can be a beauty queen, too! Enter to win a $100 beauty store gift card. This is an international giveaway. Prizes will be as follows depending on where the winner lives:

US/Canada winner - $100 Sephora gift card
UK winner - £65 gift card to Lush Cosmetics 
Australia winner - $125AUD to Mecca

HOW TO ENTER

Answer the following question in the comments section below:

Have you had any marriage proposals? If so, what were they like?

Please include your full name and e-mail address along with your comment. We must have your e-mail address so that we can contact you if you win!

The gift card winner will be chosen via Random.org on Monday, May 18th.

Read all the charming and funny posts of the other Miss Chick Lit participants (see links below). You can enter the giveaway at each of these blogs, so that's 19 chances to win the $100 beauty store gift card!

Pippa Franks                    Cait Reynolds
Laura Kenyon                   Franky Brown
Gina Henning                   Monique McDonell
Tracie Banister                Colleen Oakes
Cat Lavoie                       Whitney Dineen
Amy Gettinger                 Maggie Le Page 
Celia Kennedy                  Kathryn Biel
Glynis Astie                     Rachel L. Hamm