Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winning Wednesday--Last one for 2010!

I will only be posting giveaways on this blog from now on. If you have a giveaway that ends before Wednesday of a given week, please feel free to post it at Chick Lit Central on Facebook. You're also welcome to contact me about any giveaways you would like to have listed. (Chick Lit only, please, unless it is for a gift card or book related device.)
Finally, I am no longer going to seek out contests to post. If they happen to show up in my Facebook or Twitter news feed or on my blog reader, I'll be sure to post them. If you think I won't see your contest, please send it to me so I can include it in this blog.
Thank you!


Have a happy new year!

New giveaways:

It seems like we're not the only ones taking a break from giveaways this week, but here are a few to check out....

"Magnolia Wednesdays" and "The Accidental Bestseller" by Wendy Wax and "Falling Home" by Karen White
Wendy Wax's Facebook Page
Ends January 15th

"The Murderer's Daughters" by Randy Susan Meyers
Goodreads
US/Canada only
Ends January 3rd

"The Night Bookmobile" by Audrey Niffenegger
Regal Literary
US only
Ends December 31st at 12:01 am EST

"The Science of Kissing- What Our Lips Are Telling Us" by Sheril Kirshenbaum
Simply Stacie
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends January 11th at 11:59 pm EST

Previously posted (still going on):

"Rescue" by Anita Shreve (audio)
Redlady's Reading Room
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends January 15th

"Learn, Laugh, Cook" by Mandy Fernandez
The Book Chick
Ends January 5th

"The Map of True Places" by Brunonia Barry
Redlady's Reading Room
US only
Ends today

"The Science of Kissing- What Our Lips Are Telling Us" by Sheril Kirshenbaum
So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends January 7th at 11:59 pm EST

"What I Thought I Knew" by Alice Eve Cohen
A Bookworm's World
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends tonight at 6 pm EST

Win $250 and a $20 Amazon gift card
Simply Stacie
Ends Friday at 11:59 pm EST

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Book Review: There's Cake in My Future

By Melissa Amster


What better way to end a year than to read a book about what could happen in the future. And Kim Gruenenfelder's latest novel really takes the "cake." All attempts at wittiness aside, I really had fun reading this novel.

"There's Cake in My Future" is about how Nicole, who is about to get married, rigs the charms in her cake at her bridal shower so that her friends pick the ones that will be significant for their future happiness. However, a mistake is made with the positioning of the cake and everyone gets charms that weren't intended for them. This especially puts things in a tailspin for Nic and her two best friends, Mel and Seema, when the symbolism in the charms proves to be true for their other friends. Soon they are navigating through uncertainties in their love lives and it leads to unexpected results.

This is my first experience reading one of Ms. Gruenenfelder's novels, and now that I have, I want to read her others. I really liked the distinct personalities she gave to each of her main characters. She kept me on my toes, wondering what was going to happen for them and hoping things would work out for the best. They were each sympathetic and easy to relate to in their own ways. The dialogue was smart, humorous and realistic. The supporting characters were easy to visualize and they added even more substance to the story. She even tossed in pop culture references, which I will never complain about. And having a main character named Melissa scores her some major bonus points, as well. The whole story had the feel of "Friends" combined with "Sex and the City."

Although the ending felt a little vague, I really liked everything about this story and could easily see her doing more with all three of the main characters in a future novel, should she choose to write one. Shall we say "There are more novels in Ms. Gruenenfelder's future?" In the meantime, I have been recommending this novel to my friends and want to recommend it to anyone in the mood for some good chick lit and entertainment.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Winners of "There's Cake in My Future"

To pick the winners, we assigned a number to each entry and asked Kim Gruenenfelder to pick four numbers at random. Here is what she picked:

13, 45, 73, and 1. :)

Congrats to Michele, ADR, Colleen and PoCoKat!

Hope you enjoy the book!

Thanks again to everyone for participating and to Kim for the interview and giveaway!

There will be one more chance to win this book when we kick off our 1000 member giveaway, so stay tuned for that, as well as for more interviews and giveaways in 2011!

Have a Happy New Year and keep on reading!
M & M :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mini-book Review: All is Bright

By Melissa Amster


I need to first say that I'm not normally into reading Christmas stories, being as Jewish as I am. However, when Sarah Pekkanen's name became attached to one, I couldn't resist.

"All is Bright" takes place during Christmas, but it really could take place during any time of year. It's about a woman who has second thoughts about her break-up with her boyfriend (because she wasn't ready to take the next step) and revisits these thoughts during a trip to her old neighborhood in Chicago during the winter holidays. Since this is a short story, I don't want to divulge any further, as to not ruin the plot for those of you who haven't had the opportunity to read it yet.

This story definitely shows Ms. Pekkanen's natural flair for storytelling. The dialogue was genuine and showed each character's personality, the background story and scenery were descriptive without being overwhelming, and the story itself had a nice arc and flow throughout. I do wish this were just a chapter in a longer book where she could elaborate even more and develop the characters further, but it was definitely a nice and quick treat on a cold winter's day. It warmed me and lifted my spirits in the same way a nice cup of hot cocoa (with marshmallows) tends to when it's dark and dreary outside.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Book Review: Twenties Girl

By Melissa Amster


I’m not normally a big fan of ghost stories, and maybe that is why I put off reading “Twenties Girl” for so long. When I started it, I questioned whether I’d even like it at that point. Before I knew it, I was completely drawn in and I gave myself over to the suspension of disbelief, along with Sophie Kinsella’s witty storytelling.

Lara Lington’s life isn’t much to smile about, which is why she lies to her parents about not stalking her ex-boyfriend and having her business partnership become a success (as neither are the case). Then her great-aunt Sadie passes away at the age of 105 and her spirit confronts Lara at her paltry funeral, asking her to stop the proceedings until she can find her treasured necklace. Soon, Lara is being followed everywhere by Sadie and her life becomes a giant roller coaster ride, as a result. However, this leads her to a new understanding about a great-aunt she never took the time to get to know when she actually was alive and she finds ways to take charge of her own life, as well as that of Sadie’s.

I really enjoyed this story more than I ever expected to. I found myself laughing out loud many times and also cringing in sympathy for Lara at others. Ms. Kinsella has a talent for writing about quirky characters and making them feel real, even when they are supernatural beings. The story also had a mystery feel to it (in a “Cold Case” way), which made me devour it to find out what was going to happen next. The dialogue was snappy and I enjoyed following the conversations between Lara and Sadie. The descriptions of the 1920’s fashion were fun to read about and imagine. Overall, it made me wish I had a ghost to help me run my life in some way, even if they were a nuisance at times. The only criticism I had was that she rushed the ending a bit. It seemed like things just happened without much of a back story. I would have loved to see some parts stretched out a bit more.

I applaud Ms. Kinsella on an enjoyable and entertaining story that kept me on my toes throughout. I look forward to seeing what she’ll come out with in 2011. I also hope that this story gets made into a movie. It would be fun to see the characters come to life on the big screen. It has a “Drop Dead Fred” feel to it in some ways, but I’m sure it would be even better than that movie. If you are like me and put off reading “Twenties Girl” for the same reason I did, I can assure you that it’s worth the time you waited and recommend that you pick it up today!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winning Wednesday--December 22nd

I will only be posting giveaways on this blog from now on. If you have a giveaway that ends before Wednesday of a given week, please feel free to post it at Chick Lit Central on Facebook. You're also welcome to contact me about any giveaways you would like to have listed. (Chick Lit only, please, unless it is for a gift card or book related device.)
Finally, I am no longer going to seek out contests to post. If they happen to show up in my Facebook or Twitter news feed or on my blog reader, I'll be sure to post them. If you think I won't see your contest, please send it to me so I can include it in this blog.
Thank you!


Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it!

New giveaways:

Brand new! "I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti: A Memoir of Good Food and Bad Boyfriends" by Giulia Melucci
Chick Lit is Not Dead
Ends Sunday at 6 pm PST


"There's Cake in My Future" by Kim Gruenenfelder:
*Chick Lit Central
US/Canada only
Ends Sunday at midnight EST

*Chick Lit is Not Dead
Ends tonight at 6 pm PST.

"Rescue" by Anita Shreve (audio)
Redlady's Reading Room
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends January 15th

"Learn, Laugh, Cook" by Mandy Fernandez
The Book Chick
Ends January 5th

Books, chocolates, charity donation and an eReader
Sarah Pekkanen
Ends on Christmas

"The Map of True Places" by Brunonia Barry
Redlady's Reading Room
US only
Ends December 29th

"The Science of Kissing- What Our Lips Are Telling Us" by Sheril Kirshenbaum
So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends January 7th,11:59 pm EST

Previously posted (still going on):

Win "What I Thought I Knew" by Alice Eve Cohen from:
* A Bookworm's World
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends December 29th at 6 pm EST

* Bookhounds
US Only
Ends December 26th

At Home with Books
US/Canada only
Ends December 26th at 11:59 pm PST

"Secret Santa": $50 gift card for your favorite bookstore
Josie Brown
Ends December 25th at midnight PST

"Sundays at Tiffany's" by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
Books and Needlepoint
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends December 27th

Win $250 and a $20 Amazon gift card
Simply Stacie
Ends December 31st at 11:59 pm EST

Monday, December 20, 2010

How Kim Gruenenfelder celebrates the winter holidays...plus a book giveaway!



**Giveaway is now closed**

Kim Gruenenfelder lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son, and continues to avoid anything even remotely resembling a real job. Her acclaimed debut novel, "A Total Waste of Makeup," has been published in six languages and eight international editions to date. Her two other novels are "Misery Loves Cabernet" and "There’s Cake In My Future" (which is in bookstores today). She has also written feature films, episodic teleplays and two stage plays. She has made homes for herself on Facebook and Twitter.

Kim stopped by Chick Lit Central this week to tell us about how she celebrates the holidays. We also have four copies of "There's Cake in My Future" to give away to some lucky winners in the US or Canada.

Favorite winter holiday tradition: Going to my father’s and stepmother’s house on Christmas Eve. My parents are divorced, but they have always spent Christmas Eve together, and always gotten along well on that night (as has my mom and stepmom). I would find out later that there were Christmas Eves when no one was really getting along, but I never knew it. Mom and Dad made a rule when they got divorced: we will always love our daughters more than we hate each other.

Favorite winter holiday food: Champagne. That counts as a food.

Favorite winter holiday song: "Jingle Bells" as sung by dogs.

Favorite winter holiday movie: "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." The scenes with Max the dog still make me laugh out loud. I love watching it with my son now.


Favorite winter holiday memory: Too many to count. This year's favorite so far involves my husband - when I was decorating the house, I asked him at one point: "Okay, look around the house. Now there are two ways we could go: simple elegant, or completely over the top. Which do you think we should do?" He looked around our living room and said, "Depends. Which one am I looking at now?" (BTW, I would say he was looking at "simple elegant". He would probably beg to differ.)


Favorite winter holiday gift you've ever received: Is there candy under the tree right now? I could use some candy.


Favorite winter holiday gift you've ever given: A duck. Well, a picture of a duck - it's a long story.


Thing you're most looking forward to during the winter holidays this year: Watching my son open his presents Christmas morning.


Thing you wish there would be more of during winter holidays: Love. And cake. There should always be more cake.


Thing you wish there would be less of during winter holidays: Fruitcake. Seriously - has anyone ever munched on a good one?


Thanks to Kim for answering our questions and for the books to give away!


How to win "There's Cake in my Future":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page if you can receive messages there.)

1. Please tell us: What do you wish there were more or less of during the winter holiday season?
2. Please tell us: Has a wish of yours ever come true? If so, what was it?
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends Sunday, December 26th at midnight EST.

Check out Kim's bucket list at Chick Lit is Not Dead.

Winner of "The Boyfriend of the Month Club"

To pick the winner, we assigned a number to each entry and asked Maria Geraci to pick one at random:

How about 51?

Thank you to everyone who commented. Enjoy your winter holidays and happy reading!
Maria


Congrats to Jonita!

Thanks to everyone who participated and to Maria for the interview and giveaway.

Stay tuned for a giveaway from Kim Gruenenfelder this week!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Book Review...oldie, but goodie: Breakfast at Stephanie's

By Melissa Amster


Earlier this year, I wrote about how much I love Sue Margolis' novels. I mentioned how I read all of them except for "Breakfast at Stephanie's" (and the hard-to-find "Sisteria") and that I was planning to check it out soon. I finally got a chance to read it and was not disappointed. It followed Ms. Margolis' story format and was an enjoyable read.

"Breakfast at Stephanie's" is about Stephanie Glassman, a single mother and singer, who works odd jobs to make ends meet for herself and her son. Suddenly, she has two men vying for her attention and a job offer that promises good money but no fame, as well as a moral dilemma. To top it off, she receives conflicting advice from her best friends and her overbearing family. She has to eventually figure out what is best for herself in all areas of her life.

I had fun reading this story, as it was humorous, had characters that were easy to relate to and the sex scenes were written in the classic Sue Margolis style (too bad I don't smoke...). I liked that Stephanie was realistic about what she had to offer as a singer, as well as what she had to do as a mother. She wasn't a diva by any means. She was a good friend to Lizzie, who was experiencing problems in her marriage and Cass, who was constantly on the prowl for a man. She was also patient with her family, as crazy as they tended to be. Her grandmother was hilarious, always sharing too much information about her love life. Her 2 1/2 year old son reminded me of my own son of the same age, but seemed more easy to manage. I also liked that she was Jewish, even though it bothered me that she was eating pork and going after non-Jewish guys, as well as celebrating Christmas. (This is a gripe I have about a lot of Jewish female main characters in a lot of chick lit novels; something I'll get into another time.)

Overall, it was a light and fun read and I'm glad I finally took the time to check it out. It reminded me why I still like Ms. Margolis so much and why I still hope to chat with her one of these days so I can tell her how much I enjoy reading her novels.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winners of "Goodnight Tweetheart"

To pick the winners, we assigned each entry a number and then asked Teresa Medeiros to pick two numbers at random:

How about 17 and 156?

"I want to thank Chick Lit Central and all the readers who stopped by to visit my interview and took the time to leave a Comment! I was inspired to write GOODNIGHT TWEETHEART by the connections I was making on-line with my readers, which is why the book is dedicated to YOU! I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, a joyful holiday season and a bright and blessed New Year :)."

Thanks again, Melissa A & P, for the opportunity!

Warmest,
Teresa


Congrats to Jenlovesbooks and Aik!

Thanks again to everyone for participating and to Teresa for the interview (or "Twitter"-view, in this case) and for offering the books to give away.

Here's another chance to win a copy of "Goodnight Tweetheart!" Not sure when it ends, so enter today!

Don't forget to enter our current giveaway, which ends Sunday at midnight EST. (US/Canada only): "The Boyfriend of the Month Club" by Maria Geraci

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winning Wednesday--December 15th

I will only be posting giveaways on this blog from now on. If you have a giveaway that ends before Wednesday of a given week, please feel free to post it at Chick Lit Central on Facebook. You're also welcome to contact me about any giveaways you would like to have listed. (Chick Lit only, please, unless it is for a gift card or book related device.)
Finally, I am no longer going to seek out contests to post. If they happen to show up in my Facebook or Twitter news feed or on my blog reader, I'll be sure to post them. If you think I won't see your contest, please send it to me so I can include it in this blog.
Thank you!


New giveaways:

Brand new! "Good Enough to Eat" by Stacey Ballis
Chick Lit is Not Dead
Ends Friday at 6 pm PST

"Goodnight Tweetheart" by Teresa Medeiros
Chick Lit Central
US/Canada only
Ends Friday at 8 am EST

"The Boyfriend of the Month Club" by Maria Geraci
Chick Lit Central
US/Canada only.
Ends December 19th at midnight EST

Win "What I Thought I Knew" by Alice Eve Cohen from:
* A Bookworm's World
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends December 29th at 6 pm EST

* Bookhounds
US Only
Ends December 26th

At Home with Books
US/Canada only
Ends December 26th at 11:59 pm PST

"Secret Santa": $50 gift card for your favorite bookstore
Josie Brown
Ends December 25th at midnight PST

"Too Good to be True" by Kristan Higgins
Free Book Friday
Ends December 17th


Previously posted (still going on):

"Sundays at Tiffany's" by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
Books and Needlepoint
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends December 27th

Win $250 and a $20 Amazon gift card
Simply Stacie
Ends December 31st at 11:59 pm EST

Win "Sundays at Tiffany's" by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet from:

*Redlady's Reading Room
US/Canada only, NO PO Boxes
Ends December 18th

*Luxury Reading
US/Canada only
Ends tonight at midnight EST

"A Weekend with Mr. Darcy" by Victoria Connelly and some goodies
Victoria Connelly's website
UK only
Ends tonight at midnight GMT

How Maria Geraci celebrates the winter holidays...plus a book giveaway!



**Giveaway is now closed**

Maria Geraci was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised on Florida’s space coast. She lives in north Florida with her husband and children and writes fun, romantic women’s fiction. Her third novel, "The Boyfriend of the Month Club" is a romantic comedy about a woman who turns her dysfunctional book club into a boyfriend club where women come together to discuss the men they’ve dated, comparing them to classic literary heroes and villains.

You can visit her website, join her facebook page and follow her on Twitter.

Maria stopped by Chick Lit Central to dish on the holidays and has offered to give away a copy of "The Boyfriend of the Month Club" to one lucky reader in the US or Canada.

Favorite winter holiday tradition: That would be decorating the Christmas tree. I have a few ornaments that have been in my family for decades and over the years, I’ve given my three kids an ornament for each Christmas. So when I open up the box with the ornaments it’s like greeting old friends. Each ornament holds a different memory. I’ve been known to sniffle while decorating the tree!

Favorite winter holiday food: I’m Cuban American and we celebrate a traditional Noche Buena (Christmas Eve.) We have lechon (pork that’s been marinated in garlic and sour oranges), black beans and rice, and other traditional Cuban foods. My mouth is watering just typing this!

Favorite winter holiday song: Silent Night.

Favorite winter holiday movie: "It’s a Wonderful Life." I could it watch it over and over.

Favorite winter holiday memory: A few years back we went to Asheville, NC, right after Christmas and while we were there it snowed. My kids played in it for hours. So did the adults! (We live in Florida, so snow is a novelty)

Favorite winter holiday gift you've ever received: The first Christmas I was engaged, my husband (then fiancĂ©) got me a set of Mikimoto pearls to wear on our wedding. I was surprised that he knew I loved pearls because I hadn’t ever mentioned it to him. When I asked him how he chose the gift, he said he’d noticed that every time we were in a jewelry store I always gravitated toward the pearl necklaces. I was really touched, especially because he’s an engineer and kind of nerdy and not very observant (at least that I could see) about stuff like that. So of course I wore them on my wedding day. I hope that both my daughters will wear it too.

Favorite winter holiday gift you've ever given: Gosh, I have several of those, all involving my kids. When my oldest daughter was very young, Santa (or rather her dad and I) got her one of those big plastic kitchens. She loved it. We played together on that thing for hours over the years. Ditto for the train set we got our son when he was three. The look on his face Christmas morning was priceless. He’s in college now, but I still remember it. I probably always will.

Thing you're most looking forward to during the winter holidays this year: Visiting with family and friends.

Thing you wish there would be more of during winter holidays: More charitable giving, more good will toward men, more of all the good stuff.

Thing you wish there would be less of during winter holidays: Less commercialism. Less calories!

Thanks to Maria for answering our holiday questions and for offering a book to give away.


How to win The Boyfriend of The Month Club":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page if you can receive messages there.)

1. Please tell us: What is your favorite winter holiday gift that you have either given or received?
2. Please tell us: Which book, movie or TV character is your significant other most like? (If you are single, who would you ideally want a potential mate to be like?)
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends Sunday, December 19th at midnight EST.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How the Melissas celebrate the winter holidays

Since we're asking authors how they're celebrating the holiday season, we thought we'd share how we're celebrating, as well. Turns out we have one answer in common between our questionnaires. :) Feel free to share your holiday traditions and thoughts with us in the comments section, just for fun.


Melissa A:
Favorite winter holiday tradition: Lighting the menorah with my kids and eating latkes at some point. (The picture is of our menorahs on the 8th night.)

Favorite winter holiday food: Latkes!

Favorite winter holiday song: Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song and also the Barenaked Ladies Hanukkah song.

Favorite winter holiday movie: "Home Alone." Such a classic hilarious movie!

Favorite winter holiday memory: This one time my friends and I saw a late showing of "Aladdin" during my junior year of high school and when we got home, my dad stayed up until midnight making us latkes.

Favorite winter holiday gift you've ever received: I think it had to be a Little Mermaid watch from my cousins in 1993. It played "Under the Sea" when you pressed a button. My friends always wanted to hear me play it and would grab my wrist and put it to their ear. I guess I just enjoyed the attention. :) I also love the "Rent" soundtrack, which was a holiday gift from my cousins in 1996.

Favorite winter holiday gift you've ever given: I don't know. Anything that has made anyone happy, I guess. I love shopping for kids in need during the holidays. One year in college, my friends and I got together to buy some gifts for a child in need. It was so nice to share in that experience and be able to make someone's holiday brighter.

Thing you're most looking forward to during the winter holidays this year: Well, Hanukkah is over for this year, but I always like New Year's Eve. It's on Shabbat this year, but I'm hoping to have a group of friends over for a potluck.

Thing you wish there would be more of during winter holidays: Snow. :) Makes it feel more authentic, even though it's a pain to deal with.

Thing you wish there would be less of during winter holidays: Christmas music played on every radio station and in every store (and on every TV show...hint, hint, "Glee"). There are more winter holidays besides Christmas going on. December just seems so Christmas-centric.

Happy holidays and have a wonderful new year!
Melissa A


Melissa P:
Favorite Holiday Tradition: Every year my sister, mother, niece Baylee and I go to the Ritz Carlton for the Teddy Bear Tea. We get dressed up and enjoy an afternoon drinking tea, champagne (adults only :)) and nibbling on amazing tea sandwhiches. I love watching the childrens eyes light up when the Teddy Bear comes out with Santa and Mrs. Claus! The hotel is always decorated beautifully and we look forward to it every year. (The picture of my family and me is from a past tea.)

Favorite holiday food: My husband and I host Christmas Eve at our house every year. Since he and I are both Italian (Him more than I) we always throw some Italian foods in with the usual party fare. So along with the lil' smokies and artichoke dip, we also serve baked ziti with Italian sausage, an antipasti platter, and meatballs. It's a nice tradition that we have started and the whole family loves my ziti :)

Favorite holiday song: This is a tough one because I have so many favorites...but I would have to say that my number one favorite is The Nutcracker Suite. I have seen The Nutcracker dozens of times and as a dancer I have always loved the soundtrack. It has a special place in my heart. Also, I love "Baby, it's Cold Outside". It makes me feel as if I am sitting in a cozy living room with a glowing fireplace, sipping a martini in the 1940's.

Favorite holiday movie: This is easy. ELF! I crack up every single time I watch it and I have seen it probably close to 50 times!
When I was younger it was "White Christmas" though. I loved all of the singing and dancing.

Favorite holiday memory: Growing up in Chicago we spent every Christmas eve and Christmas day visiting with numerous family friends. We would hop from house to house and always had a wonderful time. We all got dressed up in our holiday best and drank hot chocolate at one house and then eggnog at the next. It was always freezing outside, but it made it feel more like Christmas to me. That is the hardest part about living in Arizona. It rarely looks or feels like Christmas, at least how it looked and felt to me growing up.

Favorite holiday gift received: This is really tough because I have gotten so many great gifts over the years. A few years ago my dad surprised my mom, sister, and I with diamond earrings! They are so beautiful and it was so wonderful to be surprised like that.


Favorite gift given: Four or five years go my husband and I surprised his daughter with a car. I got a keychain with her initial on it from Tiffany and had it professionally wrapped with the car keys inside. We saved it for her very last gift and when she opened it up, she thought it would be a necklace or bracelet from Tiffany. It was pretty cool.

Most looking forward to: Just spending time with my family. With my grandfather ill, my mom has been back east for a while taking care of him. I'm hoping that I get to see her soon and that we can all spend Christmas together this year. My husband and I were supposed to go back to NYC to spend Christmas with his family, but with my grandfather's health being so fragile, we had to reschedule NY for next year. I just pray that my family makes it through this season together and that we don't lose my grandfather before Christmas.

Thing I wish there would be more of: SNOW! I know everyone thinks I am crazy for saying that, but it's going to be 80 degrees in AZ this weekend. I feel like the holidays just pass us by every year because there is no way to mark the passing of time. Every season runs into the next because the weather just goes from hot to hotter. It's kind of sad in a way.

Thing I wish there would be less of: Stress. Everything seems to become magnified during the holidays. I am trying to just take it day by day and enjoy what I can and not dwell on what I cannot change. Stress makes people do crazy things though.

Happy Holidays everyone and thank you so much for being a part of our Chick Lit Central Family!
xo
Melissa P

Monday, December 13, 2010

The BIG giveaway!

Before you get all excited...it's not starting just yet. As of right now, we have 970 members. When we reach 1000, the prize vault can be opened and the giveaway can begin.

This is a list of authors contributing to the giveaway:
Susan McBride
Stacey Ballis
Marilyn Brant
Megan Crane
Jane Green
Caprice Crane
Alicia Bessette
Sarah Pekkanen
Beth Kendrick
Jillian Cantor
Julie Buxbaum
Irene Zutell
Jenny Nelson
Stephanie Olivieri
Josie Brown
Robyn Harding
Aidan Donnelley Rowley
Kim Gruenenfelder
Debbie Viggiano
Jane Porter
Holly Christine
Jenny Gardiner
Carole Matthews
Jill Kargman
Mia King
Clodagh Murphy
Janet Skeslien Charles
Alisa Kwitney
Adena Halpern
Maureen Lipinski
Adele Parks
Melissa Senate
Brenda Janowitz
Emily Giffin
Beth Hoffman
Maria Geraci

Authors: It's not too late to contribute if you're interested. Please contact Melissa A to make arrangements.

Everyone: Start telling your friends, family members, co-workers and other chick lit lovers in your lives to join Chick Lit Central. Post on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc. Send invitations through our group's page. Only members of Chick Lit Central can participate in the giveaway. Here is a shortened link to our Facebook page: http://bit.ly/do02Jf

Just to make it extra fun, we're having a contest for most publicity. Please e-mail Melissa A with every place you have posted about CLC and/or the names of everyone you invited. Keep an ongoing list and we will post another message when we're ready for them.

The person who does the most publicity for us will get a special prize package. We've done this once in the past, and the person who won really enjoyed their prize. :)

Let's see if we can reach 1000 by this time next month, if not before then. :)

Book Review: Last Night at Chateau Marmont


By Melissa Amster

I first have to announce that I am a fan of the new "90210" series and have taken an interest in the storyline of Adriana's rise to fame and how her boyfriend, Navid, deals with it--and her--on a daily basis. I can definitely sympathize with Navid, and he isn't even followed by paparazzi the way Brooke Alter, Lauren Weisberger's latest heroine, is after her husband's similar rise to stardom.

"Last Night at Chateau Marmont" follows Brooke as she supports her husband Julian in his music career by taking on two jobs. His sudden rise to fame is exciting, but proves to be a nuisance once the paparazzi and gossip magazines get involved. Soon, Brooke finds her life turning upside down and she has to figure out what is most important to her.

When I read Ms. Weisberger's first novel, "The Devil Wears Prada," I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. I also thought that nothing she wrote would be able to compare. While her other two books were also fun and entertaining to read, I felt that "Last Night at Chateau Marmont" was a reminder of why I like Ms. Weisberger's writing style so much. She definitely made me never want to look at a tabloid or check out Perez Hilton's website again without feeling a stab of guilt. Brooke was a well drawn out character and very easy to sympathize with. It was impossible not to join her on her emotional roller coaster ride. The dialogue felt realistic and natural and the characters each stood out in their own way. She also used description in the way that it conveyed what she wanted her readers to see, but didn't take away from the story. I also enjoyed the Jewish references, but I'm biased that way.

I hope Ms. Weisberger continues to write novels like this one and I will make sure not to wait almost half a year before reading them next time.

Winner of "Stockings and Cellulite"

To pick the winner, we assigned a number to each entry and asked Debbie Viggiano to pick one at random.

I asked my daughter to pick a number for me and she said 44!

Congratulations to the winner. I really hope you enjoy reading my novel, Stockings and Cellulite. To everybody else, do please check out a few pages of the novel at www.debbieviggiano.com and let me know what you think PLUS I would LOVE to count you all amongst my Facebook friends, so do please add me! And wherever you are in the world, I wish you a wonderful Christmas and the brightest New Year.

Many thanks Melissa A & P.
Best wishes and kind regards,
Debbie Viggiano


Congrats to Ruthie!

Thanks again to everyone who participated and to Debbie for the interview and giveaway.

For another chance to win a new book, check out our latest giveaway:
"Goodnight Tweetheart" by Teresa Medeiros
US/Canada only
Ends Friday

How Teresa Medeiros celebrates the winter holidays...plus a book giveaway!



**Giveaway is now closed**

Teresa Medeiros is a New York Times bestseller who wrote her first novel at the age of twenty-one, introducing readers to one of the most beloved and versatile voices in romantic fiction. Her novels have appeared on every national bestseller list and she currently has over seven million books in print and is published in over seventeen languages.

She is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America Honor Roll, Kentucky Romance Writers, and Novelists, Inc. She was chosen as one of the "Top Ten Favorite Romance Authors" by Affaire de Coeur magazine and won the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for "Best Historical Love and Laughter". She lives in Kentucky with her husband and her cats Willow and Buffy the Mouse Slayer. Her 20th novel (and also most recent NY Times bestseller), THE DEVIL WEARS PLAID, was released in August 2010. GOODNIGHT TWEETHEART (Gallery Books, January 2011, reviewed here) is her first contemporary women's fiction novel, about a man and woman who meet and fall in love on Twitter.

You can visit Teresa's website, join her on Facebook and, of course, follow her on Twitter!

@ChickLitCentral: Tell us, Teresa, what is your favorite winter holiday tradition?
@TeresaMedeiros: Making Christmas cookies! Every year I make around 32 dozen Tollhouse cookies from scratch to give to friends and family.
@ChickLitCentral: So how do we get on that list?
@TeresaMedeiros: Well, I still have a couple of cousins who are unmarried.

@ChickLitCentral: Besides raw cookie dough, what is your favorite holiday food?

@TeresaMedeiros: I love to put Harry Connick, Jr. on the stereo and watch the Christmas tree lights while sipping egg nog. And I even like the unspiked kind!
@ChickLitCentral: The perfect segue into music! What is your favorite winter holiday song?
@TeresaMedeiros: Anything by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra! There's nothing sexier than long-haired guys in tuxes playing Christmas carols on electric guitars. @ChickLitCentral: When you're not rocking out with TSO, what's your favorite holiday movie?
@TeresaMedeiros: Does GREMLINS count? DIE HARD? Maybe LETHAL WEAPON?@ChickLitCentral: I was thinking about something with a lower body count.
@TeresaMedeiros: Then I'd have to go with A CHRISTMAS CAROL, either the Alistair Sims OR George C. Scott version and of course, A CHRISTMAS STORY.
@ChickLitCentral: Hmmm…I've heard rumors there's a bunny suit in GOODNIGHT TWEETHEART. Were you inspired by Ralphie's pajamas?
@TeresaMedeiros: What can I say? I WAS Ralphie as a kid. I lived almost exclusively in my imagination.
@ChickLitCentral: So what is your favorite winter holiday memory?
@TeresaMedeiros: Getting a really cool present in a large box as a kid and spending the rest of the day playing with the box. My dad made me a car out of it!
@ChickLitCentral: Would you like to share your favorite winter holiday gift?
@TeresaMedeiros: My husband surprised me one year with a beautiful antique mantel clock circa 1913. He drove over 100 miles to find it.
@ChickLitCentral: And what's the favorite winter holiday gift you've ever given?
@TeresaMedeiros: Based on how much use he's gotten out of it, I'd have to say I'm glad I surprised hubby with an iPod one Christmas.
@ChickLitCentral: Aside from eating raw cookie dough, what's the thing you're most looking forward to during the winter holidays this year?
@TeresaMedeiros: I'm really looking forward to the release of GOODNIGHT TWEETHEART. I've never had a book come out at Christmas before.
@ChickLitCentral: What do you wish there would be more of during winter holidays:
@TeresaMedeiros: Snow! And time to read!
@ChickLitCentral: And what do you wish there would be less of during winter holidays?
@TeresaMedeiros: New fat deposits on my thighs! :)

Thanks to Teresa for "tweeting" with us and for offering the books to give away!


How to win "Goodnight Tweetheart":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page if you can receive messages there.)

1. Please tell us: What is your favorite winter holiday tradition?
2. Please tell us: What is the most memorable experience you've had with someone you met on Facebook or Twitter?
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends Friday, December 17th @ 8 am EST.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winning Wednesday--December 8th

I will only be posting giveaways on this blog from now on. If you have a giveaway that ends before Wednesday of a given week, please feel free to post it at Chick Lit Central on Facebook. You're also welcome to contact me about any giveaways you would like to have listed. (Chick Lit only, please, unless it is for a gift card or book related device.)
Finally, I am no longer going to seek out contests to post. If they happen to show up in my Facebook or Twitter news feed or on my blog reader, I'll be sure to post them. If you think I won't see your contest, please send it to me so I can include it in this blog.
Thank you!


New giveaways:

"Stockings and Cellulite" by Debbie Viggiano
Chick Lit Central
Ends December 12th at midnight EST

New! "Uncharted TerriTori" by Tori Spelling
Chick Lit is Not Dead
Ends Friday

New too! Easy about Africa--Books and goodies giveaway
JaneBlog
Ends Thursday night

Also new! "Sundays at Tiffany's" by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
Books and Needlepoint
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends December 27th

Win $250 and a $20 Amazon gift card
Simply Stacie
Ends December 31st at 11:59 pm EST

Win "Dating Mr. December" by Phillipa Ashley from:
*Between the Pages
US/Canada only
Ends Friday

*Laura's Reviews
US/Canada only, no P.O. Boxes
Ends Friday at midnight EST

"She's Gone Country" by Jane Porter
Free Book Friday
Ends December 10th

"Children of the Waters" by Carleen Brice
Girlfriends Book Club
Ends December 10th at 5 pm MST

25 Books for the 25 Days of Christmas
Catherine McKenzie's Facebook page
Ends December 12th at midnight EST

"The Boyfriend of the Month Club" by Maria Geraci
Chick Lit is Not Dead
Ends tomorrow at 6 pm PST

"There's Cake in My Future" by Kim Gruenenfelder
Beth Kendrick's Facebook Page
Ends today (so hurry up!)

"Brava, Valentine" by Adriana Trigiani
Jo-Jo Loves to Read
US/Canada only, no PO boxes
Ends December 11th at midnight EST

Previously posted (still going on):

"Dating Mr. December" by Phillipa Ashley
The Book Chick
US/Canada only
Ends December 13th at midnight EST

Win "Sundays at Tiffany's" by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet from:

*Redlady's Reading Room
US/Canada only, NO PO Boxes
Ends December 18th

*A Bookworm's World
US/Canada only, NO PO Boxes
Ends December 12th at 6 pm EST.

*Luxury Reading
US/Canada only
Ends December 15th at midnight EST

*So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends December 10th at 11:59 pm EST


"The Ice Cream Theory" by Steff Deschenes
Books and Needlepoint
US/Canada only
Ends December 13th

"A Weekend with Mr. Darcy" by Victoria Connelly and some goodies
Victoria Connelly's website
UK only
Ends December 15th at midnight GMT

"Winter Garden" by Kristin Hannah
"Like" Kristin Hannah's Facebook Fan page and you're automatically entered!
Ends December 10th

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Review: Goodnight Tweetheart

By Melissa Amster


I usually am not someone who can read a whole book over the span of one day. However, I set a new record with Teresa Medeiros' latest novel, "Goodnight Tweetheart." It was difficult to put down, as it was such an easy and entertaining read.

Abigail "Abby" Donovan is a bestselling novelist who has slipped under the radar while trying to get through writer's block on her second novel. In an attempt to bring her back into the limelight, her publicist signs her up with a Twitter account. After a few experimental tweets that show how novice she is, she receives some intriguing tweets from a man named Mark, who is an English professor on sabbatical, determined to teach her how to tweet like a pro. Soon, she is caught up in direct message conversations with him, each one ending in "Goodnight Tweetheart." However, there is a lot of mystery and intrigue involved, as they haven't seen each other's faces or spoken by telephone.

I liked a lot about this novel. I thought the banter between Abby and Mark was humorous and witty and enjoyed all the pop culture references (especially anything related to Adam Lambert or "Glee"). It all felt like a natural online conversation that flowed easily. It reminded me of the days before dating sites existed and meeting someone online had a "You've Got Mail" appeal. It also reminded me a little of "Rosie Dunne" by Cecelia Ahern (a novel told through e-mails, chats and handwritten letters). I don't know that I necessarily liked the direction Ms. Medeiros chose to take the novel, but even so she found a way to keep with the consistency of the story. I'm still pondering over it though and also hoping for a sequel to tie up some loose ends. Overall, it was a fun and contemporary novel that will definitely keep readers entertained during the upcoming cold months (or even by the pool in the summer), when it is released in January. I know Ms. Medeiros has mainly written historical romance novels prior to "Goodnight Tweetheart." However, I applaud her first crack at the chick lit genre and hope she will continue to write novels with a similar appeal in the future.

Note: Teresa Medeiros is visiting Chick Lit Central next week to "tweet" with us about the winter holidays. You'll have a chance to win a copy of this book at that time. Come back on Monday!

How Debbie Viggiano celebrates the winter holidays...plus a book giveaway!



**Giveaway is now closed**

Debbie Viggiano is 48 years old and a UK published author. She has written all her life but was published for the first time this year.

Her debut novel, "Stockings and Cellulite," is a contemporary romance falling within the Chick Lit category. It is a light-hearted humorous story about a 39 year-old mother of two rediscovering life and love again. You can check her out via her website and read a few pages of "Stockings and Cellulite" to give a taster! You can also add her as a friend on Facebook.

She has just completed a working draft of her second novel, "Flings and Arrows." She lives with her Italian husband in leafy Swanley Village, England. Together, they have three children and a food-obsessed beagle that believes she is their fourth child.

We recently had the opportunity to ask Debbie some holiday-themed questions and enjoyed hearing what she had to say. She offered to give away one copy of "Stockings and Cellulite" to a lucky reader, as well!

Favorite winter holiday tradition: It's got to be the annual family gathering for Christmas Day:

Favorite winter holiday food: Roast salmon, baby new potatoes and winter vegetables baked with a drizzle of green pesto sauce.

Favorite winter holiday song: "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid...I think the song is about 25 years now but whenever that comes on the radio you can be sure what time of year it is!

Favorite winter holiday movie: "Home Alone" with a very young Macaulay Culkin. Good clean family fun.

Favorite winter holiday memory: When my grandparents were alive and spending Christmas with us. Now that was magical.

Favorite winter holiday gift you've ever received : A ski trip. Aside from writing, my other passion is skiing up and down mountains.

Favorite winter holiday gift you've ever given: A trip to Lapland to see Father Christmas when the children were young. Their faces were so incredulous seeing reindeer pulling jingling sleighs and watching elves beavering away in Santa's workshop, I'll never forget it.

Thing you're most looking forward to during the winter holidays this year: Well currently I'm housebound from a freak heavy winter snow fall. This country is just not geared to dealing with more than one inch of snow. As we've currently had two feet in 72 hours, the thing I'm most looking forward to is getting out of the house, to the shops and buying a great big fresh green salad with all the trimmings!

Thing you wish there would be more of during winter holidays: Daylight.

Thing you wish there would be less of during winter holidays: Mince pies. I'm in danger of turning into one!

Thanks to Debbie for answering our questions and for offering a book for the giveaway!


How to win "Stockings and Cellulite":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page if you can receive messages there.)

1. Please tell us: What is your favorite winter holiday themed movie?
2. Please tell us: What is your favorite winter holiday themed song?
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Giveaway ends Sunday, December 12th at midnight EST.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winners of "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt"

To pick the winners, we assigned a number to each entry and asked Beth Hoffman to pick 5 random numbers. She picked: 11, 93, 38, 71 and 59

Check the comments section later for a message from her. :)

Congrats to:
Ruthie
Michele
Colleen
MissReneer
Heather

Thanks to everyone for participating.

Thanks again to Shannon Twomey from Viking, Penguin Books for doing this giveaway with us.

Another giveaway coming tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Book Review: Promises to Keep

By Melissa Amster


I had been waiting quite a long time to read “Promises to Keep.” I first heard about it when I went to a book signing for Jane Green in the summer of 2009. She was then talking about her friend who inspired the story and how it was in the works. When it came out this summer, I didn’t get a chance to read it right away. However, I obtained a copy a few weeks ago and devoured it in less than a week, as a result. It was well worth the wait!

“Promises to Keep” is about a family in different phases of their lives. Callie has it all together, a great job, loving husband and children with whom she shares mutual adoration. Her sister, Steffi, is a chef but doesn’t know what she wants out of her life. She keeps dating guys who live like they’re still in college and adopts dogs only to pass them along to her mother’s friends. Their parents have been divorced for over 30 years and future marriages (on either end) ended in death or another divorce. Then a tragic circumstance brings the family, along with a close friend, together in ways they never thought possible.

This novel felt different from most of Jane Green’s previous works. Sure, there were the beautiful descriptions of people and scenery and the laid back quality that she usually lends to her stories, giving off a cozy feel overall. However, it also read like a cross between a Jennifer Weiner novel and a Kristin Hannah novel. Not that it’s a bad thing, since I love both authors and their works. However, I felt that it took away from Ms. Green’s true voice and it made me check the cover a few times to make sure it really was her novel. She definitely can write a Jewish woman’s voice to rival that of Jennifer Weiner and Stacey Ballis. She can also write a tearjerker to rival those of Kristin Hannah’s novels and “Promises to Keep” is proof of that! Having said that, the only other thing I would have changed was to leave out additional perspectives that weren’t as crucial to the story (they could be demonstrated in other ways) and to strengthen Callie’s “voice,” as she was supposed to be the central character. I felt everyone else’s emotions so strongly, and yet Callie’s were only really displayed when she spoke. Perhaps it was because Ms. Green didn’t want to assume how she was feeling when she didn’t know what was going through her head, for sure.

Overall, I truly loved this story and am thankful for the opportunity to read it. It made me honestly cry, which is rare for books to do. I also wanted to hug the people I was closest with when I was done (however, that wasn’t easy as I had finished it in the lunch room of my office building). Ms. Green shares a little about her friend at the end of the book and I think she would have been proud to read such a heartfelt “love letter,” had she lived to see this in print.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winner of "What I Thought I Knew"

To find the winner, we assigned everyone numbers by the order in which the entries came in and used the Custom Random Number Generator. It picked number 28.

Congrats to Kat!

Thanks again to Alice Eve Cohen for answering our questions, and to Crystal Patriarche and Lisa Steinke from BookSparks PR for arranging the interview and giveaway.

Don't forget to enter our current giveaway:
"Saving CeeCee Honeycutt" by Beth Hoffman
US/Canada only
Ends Sunday at midnight EST.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Guest post: Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

A few weeks ago, I had asked you to help with a survey about chick lit book covers. Thanks to those of you who participated. Here is the essay that utilized those surveys.

DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER
An Essay about Chick Lit Book Covers


by Finda Ayu

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is one of the most popular idioms in the world. This means that we can’t determine the worth of something based on its appearance. That idiom may have a great meaning especially in humanity. But in reality, I believe we are losing counts how many times we fail the idiom.

Looking at design field, the packaging is the first thing that attracts us to find more about the product. Packaging is our first impression of one thing. If it’s good enough, it will lead us to decision to buy the product.

Same thing happens in book design field itself. The cover of a book is usually something that attracts us at the first place and makes our mind to know more about the book. Book cover is such a powerful tool to gain customers and also have a role as a marketing tool.

Chick lit is a genre of books that are mainly written by women for women. The books range from having main characters in their early 20’s to their late 60’s. There is usually a personal, light, and humorous tone to the books. Sometimes they are written in first-person narrative; other time they are written from multiple viewpoints. The plots usually consist of women experiencing usual life issues, such as love, marriage, dating, relationships, friendships, roommates, corporate environments, weight issues, addiction, and much more. Chick lit is told in more in personal tone. Humor is a strong point in this kind of book.

Book cover design is a powerful marketing and sell toll towards a chick lit book with no doubt, as it is agreed by 36 respondents (60%).

36 respondents (60%) said that they have ever bought a book just because the cover looks nice. It’s proven that a good book cover design affects the sales of the book.

Even though it’s powerful, 32 respondents (54%) said that synopsis is still their most important consideration in picking a chick lit book while 14 respondents (23%) said that it is the author’s name. Book cover design is in 3rd place with 8 voters (13%). We can see here that book cover design hasn’t beaten the importance of the story and author’s name.

Most of the respondents said that they didn’t have any specific criteria of visual, typeface, and colours of the book cover. They thought everything is fine, depends on how good it relates to the story and represents the book well. But another big part of respondents answered that they like illustrations with bright and bold colours on the front cover and hand written look or script typeface on the title.

There is actually no exact rule in how to make a good book cover design because everyone may have their own preferences and tastes. There are people who like bold and bright colours on the front cover while the others like pastel colours more. There are people who like illustration as the cover while the others like real photo.

On my questionnaire I asked whether they had experience towards not so good book cover design but has great content and great cover design but the content isn’t that good. I also asked them to specify which book they meant. From their answers, I found that there are few books that one respondent said that its book cover design is disappointing while the other said that it looks good.

There is maybe one rule, if it can be said to be a rule, to create a good book cover design. We need to get the essence of the book content and what is the author’s message on this book and try to implement design elements to create ‘the right’ book cover design. It must show what kind of book it is, what the genre is, the target market, and other information that will be needed by the customer.

A good book cover design helps writers and publishers to sell the book. A bit deeper into the author’s point of view, the book cover is also something important for them in term of showing the book. More or less, the cover defines the ‘pride’ of the book; it’s like an unseen reward of their long term hard work writing the book.

To make a good book cover design, collaboration between the author and the publisher is highly needed. The author has the idea about what is inside the book; she or he is the one who knows the soul of the book. In the other hand, the publisher is the one who markets and sells the book to the public. The publisher manages how to make the book a success out there. Both of them hold an important role of a book’s existence.

Most of the respondents said that the existing chick lit book cover design is good enough while another big part of them said that it can be improved to be better. Evolving from long time ago where books didn’t have any ‘proper cover’ when they were published, book cover has become one of the most important things in publishing a book nowadays. It impresses the customers and readers of the content. It attracts them to get to know more about the book. And finally it’s one of the most important considerations of someone to buy a book.

“Great book cover designs increases sales and profits.”
(Hall-Bills, 2008)

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover. 2010. (accessed August 26, 2010).
What is Chick Lit? 2010. (accessed October 17, 2010).
Henry. How to Design a Book Cover. (accessed August 26, 2010).
The Art of Book Cover Design. 2009. (accessed August 26, 2010).
Conrad, P. 2009. This Time You Can Judge All You Like. (accessed August 26, 2010).
Hall-Bills, PJ. 2008. Importance of Book Cover Design. (accessed August 26, 2010).
The Importance of a Great Book Cover Design. 2009. (accessed August 26, 2010).
Leah. 2010. Editor Article: What Makes A Good Book Cover?
(accessed October 25, 2010).


FINDA AYU is an Indonesian who has made friends with colouring books, pencil colours, and children stories since kindergarten. She has been in love with design and Adobe Photoshop since high school.
She is inspired by imaginations, great thoughts, and the beauty of this very own life. She believes in black and white as much as in colourful things.
She's currently pursuing her bachelors degree in graphic design in Limkokwing University, Malaysia. For more information about her artworks, visit her online portfolio. As long as there’s internet connection, she can be reached at finda.ayu.w at gmail dot com.

Winning Wednesday--December 1st

I will only be posting giveaways on this blog from now on. If you have a giveaway that ends before Wednesday of a given week, please feel free to post it at Chick Lit Central on Facebook. You're also welcome to contact me about any giveaways you would like to have listed. (Chick Lit only, please, unless it is for a gift card or book related device.)
Finally, I am no longer going to seek out contests to post. If they happen to show up in my Facebook or Twitter news feed or on my blog reader, I'll be sure to post them. If you think I won't see your contest, please send it to me so I can include it in this blog.
Thank you!


New giveaways:

"What I Thought I Knew" by Alice Eve Cohen
Chick Lit Central
US/Canada only
Ends Thursday at midnight EST

"Saving CeeCee Honeycutt" by Beth Hoffman
Chick Lit Central
US/Canada only
Ends December 5th at midnight EST

New! Mystery Prize Package
Janeblog
Ends TONIGHT!

Best Gift Ever!
The Divining Wand"
US/Canada only
Ends TODAY at 11:59 pm EST

"Dating Mr. December" by Phillipa Ashley
The Book Chick
US/Canada only
Ends December 13th at midnight EST

"Starlit" by Lisa Rinna
Chick Lit is Not Dead
Ends Friday at 6 pm PST

Win "Sundays at Tiffany's" by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet from:

*Redlady's Reading Room
US/Canada only, NO PO Boxes
Ends December 18th

*A Bookworm's World
US/Canada only, NO PO Boxes
Ends December 12th at 6 pm EST.

*Luxury Reading
US/Canada only
Ends December 15th at midnight EST

"The Ice Cream Theory" by Steff Deschenes
Books and Needlepoint
US/Canada only
Ends December 13th

Previously posted (still going on):

"A Weekend with Mr. Darcy" by Victoria Connelly and some goodies
Victoria Connelly's website
UK only
Ends December 15th at midnight GMT

"Hollywood Ending" by Lucie Simone
The Book Chick
US only
Ends December 6th at midnight EST

"Sundays at Tiffany's" by James Patterson
So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
US/Canada only, no PO Boxes
Ends December 10th at 11:59 pm EST

"Winter Garden" by Kristin Hannah
"Like" Kristin Hannah's Facebook Fan page and you're automatically entered!
Ends December 10th

Win an ARC of "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown from:
* Reading Group Guides
US only
Ends today at 12pm EST

* Goodreads
US only
Ends today

Book Review and Giveaway: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

By Melissa Amster



**Giveaway is now closed**

There are times when I like to have a book take me to the south, as I don't spend much time there to begin with. I find it fascinating to get caught up in the imagery of the stories that are spun by authors who know the south like the back of their hands. And Beth Hoffman definitely fits into this category. With "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt," she takes her readers on a trip to 1960's Savannah, Georgia and introduces us to a bunch of eccentric and fascinating women.

Twelve year-old Cecelia Rose Honeycutt has the unfortunate task of looking after her mother, who still thinks she's the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen. With her outrageous temper and outlandish dress habits, her mom manages to ruin her own reputation in their Ohio suburb and take Cecelia down with her. Then a tragedy strikes and Cecelia is whisked off to Savannah to live with her great aunt. There she meets a bunch of different women who offer her advice on how to live her life and she also learns about the power of female friendships.

With "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt," Ms. Hoffman drew me into the story right away with her captivating prose, strong visualizations and interesting characters. Cecelia is a very sympathetic narrator who is both strong and vulnerable at the same time. Each character who came into her life had their own style and was memorable, as a result. The dialogue was honest and refreshing, as well as easy to follow along. There were morals and sage words of advice dished up in a way that wasn't preachy and left me longing for more southern women wisdom. There were also a lot of funny parts that made me laugh out loud. I could definitely see this story being made into a movie someday.

Overall, "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt" reminded me of some Fannie Flagg novels I have read. This is a good thing, as I am a fan of Ms. Flagg's work, as well. However, it was also original and will stick out for me for years to come. It had a lighthearted flair, but was also meaningful. It made me think about and treasure all the female relationships in my life from the ones with my grandmothers to the ones with my newfound friends. I recommend this for anyone who wants a "feel good" story any time of the year.

Thanks to Shannon Twomey from Viking, Penguin Books for the review copy and for offering five copies to some lucky readers in the US and Canada.


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US/Canada only. Giveaway ends Sunday, December 5th at midnight EST.