Monday, December 31, 2007

Ah, resolution time

Happy New Year!

My first resolution is: WRITE MORE IN MY BLOG.

Yes, I've been a complete and total slacker, and I must apologize. I've left you all high and dry for a couple of months. But, I have a good excuse. I was kidnapped by aliens who held me hostage until I could tell them just exactly why Paris Hilton is famous. I was gone so long because I honestly couldn't tell them why. She's rich? She was in a sex tape? I don't really know.

While I may not have been kidnapped by aliens, I did move into a new house. And for those of you who haven't moved in a while, let me remind you a little of what it's like: it blows. I hate packing and I hate unpacking, and the addition of my darling one-year-old daughter did not help. Thankfully, I had my mother on hand to help (she's a Godsend) and she basically did 90 percent of the packing and I did 90 percent of the making-sure-Hana-didn't-eat-tape-and/or-other-packing supplies. I must say, we made a good team. Together, we got moved, threw my daughter a birthday party and somewhere in the mix I turned in my third Bard Academy novel and my new adult book, Southern Fried Omens (out next summer). I don't know how I did it. The last six weeks are a blur.

But, I'm back to wish you a very happy 2008. Oh, and because I've got six weeks of backed-up publicity whore mongering to do, I should also mention that now is the perfect time of year to pick up "In One Year and Out the Other" - now in convenient mass market paperback! It's a short story collection featuring moi and lots of other talented writers and every story has a New Year's theme. It'll go really well with those hangovers I know a lot of you will be sporting. So go put those book store gift certificates that Santa left in your stockings to good use!

And I'll try not to leave you hanging for months this time. I'll be back soon to discussed Lynne Spears' upcoming book on parenting. Oh, wait, it's on indefinite hold! Well, I'll find something else to dish about. Fear not.

And in the meantime, if you want more Cara Lockwood (and who doesn't?) check out my other blog for MTV Books:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Moby Clique

Hi all!

Sorry I've been so remiss about posting, but I'm just seriously lazy. Oh, and I'm writing TWO books at once and am chasing around my soon-to-be-one-year-old who is just starting to walk. She actually went from barely crawling to running in like 1.5 seconds, and I don't think I've managed to sit still for more than a minute since that happened.

Here's the new cover for Moby Clique, the latest and perhaps last installment of the Bard Academy series. It hits stores March 8, but I'll be giving away advanced copies before that. Just keep checking at for more info (not yet, though, because I am just not that efficient).

And for those of you anxiously awaiting my next adult novel, I'm happy to report that I'll be writing something a little different. My next novel will be called Southern Fried Omens, and it'll be a little like Britney Spears meets the Anti-Christ with a chicken-fried steak thrown in. More on that soon!

Until then, I've got to run grab my daughter, who is currently riffling through my husband's CD collection.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Talk amongst yourselves

I have to apologize for disappearing on you this summer. There's been so much I should've been writing about! But here are a few topics I'll throw out to discuss amongst yourselves:

Britney Spears: Bad Mom or just Plain Crazy?

Paris Hilton: Apparently her recent jail time has made her re-evaluate her life. Word on the street is she wants to devote herself to charity work and to getting into David Beckham's soccer shorts. Um, yeah. I don't think Becks needs charity, Paris, but thanks for the offer!

Okay, okay, so that's all I've got at the moment. But, I promise I'll be back for more.

In the meantime, for those of you in or near Chicago, I'll be signing books along with Stacey Ballis and Laura Caldwell at Team Blonde in Forest Park tomorrow night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. I believe their will be beads and such on sale, as well as books. It's supposed to be one fab girly night. For more info, check out:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Laugh It Up

I had a very strange dream last night, which I won't bore you with, but will say that it ended with me body-checking Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker's character from Sex and the City).

I don't know why this happened, but it could be because she's way too skinny and too fabulous and my subconscious couldn't take it anymore. I haven't even watched Sex and the City in ages, since it went off the air on HBO (much to my husband's relief. If he had to listen to one more Carrie Bradshaw voice-over, he would've stabbed himself in the eye - even the occasional nudity was not enough to make up for all the estrogen in the show, he said).

I might have dreamed about Carrie Bradshaw because I've been reading Jen Lancaster's new memoir ("Bright Lights, Big Ass") in which she derides the Sex and the City girls for making big city life seem so glamorous, when in reality it has much more to do with rat infestations and being broke than parties and top-shelf drinks.

By the way, if you haven't read any Jen Lancaster - YOU MUST DO SO IMMEDIATELY. Her first memoir, "Bitter is the New Black" will have you spewing Diet Coke out your nose (okay, a bit strange if you happen not to be drinking Diet Coke at the time, I admit), but seriously, she is funny.

If you're looking for other side-splitting laughs this summer, here are my top choices:

Laurie Notario (she's got her first novel out, which I am going to read RIGHT after I finish "Bright Lights, Big Ass").

Leslie Stella - (Fat Bald Jeff is one of the funniest stories about a surly IT guy, period).

McSweeney's Quarterly - This is a journal (read: anthology) formed by Dave Eggers, which is the modern definition of quirky humor.

John Hodgman (The Areas of My Expertise) - You know John Hodgman as the PC in the PC versus Mac ads, but in his book, he's cornered the market on dead pan humor. (My personal favorite is when he remarks that to be a bestselling author he needs to write a book about vampires fighting serial killers - you know, he's not wrong).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

If you like Bard...

Okay, if you've read and/or like the Bard books, you're going to love Diane Peterfreund, who wrote "Secret Society Girl" and her latest - just out - called "Under the Rose." It's like Nancy Drew meets the Ivy League, and her books are completely and totally addictive.

She's having a live chat tomorrow in the Knight Agency chat room, so if you want to talk with her live and find out more about the uuber secret Rose and Grave society, head on over to, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see the “AGENCY CHAT” link on the right, it will take you right there.

Her books are far more thrilling than even Paris' jail antics (which, by the way, am I the only one who thinks she's a totally weenie?! And since when is ADD a reason to get out of jail? Next thing you know, PMS will get me out of a speeding ticket).

So, head on over to the chat room tomorrow at 9 and I just might see you there!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Book Signing Today!

For those of you in the Chicago area, I'll be signing books today at the Barnes and Noble at Webster Place at 7:30 tonight. I'll be appearing with Stacey Ballis (Inappropriate Men, Spinster Sisters) and Laura Caldwell (Burning the Map, The Rome Affair). We're all in that anthology, "Everything I Needed To Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume."

Stop by and say hi!

Friday, June 08, 2007

See Jane Write

This should be the week of Plugs I Forgot To Plug, because, I have to admit there is such a thing as pregnancy brain. And, while I like to consider myself in an elite class of marketing whores, I have to admit that the nine months before December I was not at my marketing best.

Case in point, I forgot to tell you guys about "See Jane Write: A Girl's Guide to Writing Chick Lit" published last summer and written by bestseller Sarah Mylnowski (Milkrun and See Jane Date) and Farrin Jacobs (former chick lit editor).

If you're interesting in writing a novel, you can't get better advice than this. And I'm not just saying that because I'm quoted in it as an expert (honestly, I never thought I'd be considered an expert at anything, so this is a little bit of a thrill). Okay, I am just saying it's great advice because it's MY advice, but still. It's a great book for would-be writers and funny, too.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Everything's in Judy Blume

Okay, kiddos, for those of you who grew up reading "Are you there God? It's me, Margaret" and "Blubber" and snuck a peek at some older sister's copy of "Forever" have I got the anthology for you. It's called "Everything I Learned About Being a Girl, I Learned from Judy Blume."

And even better - I'm in it!

Okay, so you knew that was coming.

The book was edited by my pal and formerly fellow Chicago author, Jennifer O'Connell (Bachelorette #1, Book of Luke), which is probably the only reason I'm in it, considering the heavy hitters involved like Megan McCafferty (Sloppy Firsts), Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries) and Melissa Senate (See Jane Date). It also has the very talented Stacey Ballis (The Spinster Sisters) and Laura Caldwell (Burning the Map) and Beth Kendrick (Exes and Ohs), as well as Julie Kenner (Carpe Demon) and many, many more.

There's a lot of buzz about the book, and for good reason. Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly, and most importantly People Magazine (I mean, if People writes it, it has to be true, which is why I do believe that Kate Middleton got a totally raw deal) all say you should buy it, which is way more objective than me saying you should buy it because I'm in it.

My humble story in the group focuses on the antics of my very-much-like-Fudge little brother, who may or may not forgive me for revealing that as a toddler he ate crickets and refused to wear clothes. But then, that's what sisters are for, aren't they?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

This is for all you Moms out there. You know who you are. The ones who are knee-deep in dirty diapers, spit-up or sippy cups. The ones who are shuttling kids back and forth from soccer practice, play dates and slumber parties. The ones who have lost hours and hours of sleep to teething, the flu or because you let your son or daughter borrow the family car for the first time. For working moms and stay-at-home moms, stepmoms and grandmas.

You are all my heroes!

Hope you have a great day. Now, go get your toes done! You deserve it!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Flabby Goes To the Gym and Other Post-Baby Adventures

Okay, so I have never claimed to ever really be "in shape." I am not one of those people who has any idea what they can bench press, and "spinning" class sounds to me like something to do with pottery.

I'll admit that in high school, I played for the tennis team. But, honestly, this was only to get out of gym, because in gym they made you run laps and in tennis, all I had to do was chase after a little fuzzy yellow ball. Occassionally. When I wasn't talking to the cute guys on the varsity squad. After all, I had my priorities.

So, having never really been "in shape," I decided, four months post-baby (a pregnancy during which I gained 40 pounds for my five foot one frame - and the 40 pounds is all I'm actually admitting to - what I actually gained is sealed forever in my medical records) that maybe I ought to join a gym. Our local gym happens to offer daycare and a few free personal training sessions, which I thought was perfect. I'll drop my darling daughter off, go do a few exercises with my trainer, jog around in my new, coordinating work-out outfits, and in a few weeks I'll look like Gisele.

Rewind to my first work-out with my personal trainer: after literally four leg lunges and five minutes doing stair-stepping exercises, the room starts spinning, my head gets light, and I feel like I'm going to pass out. Well, I wish I passed out. It would've saved me the embarrassment of hurling all over the brand new pristine floor in my neighborhood gym.

Yeah, apparently I was way, way, way more out of shape than I ever imagined. it seems that climbing a flight of stairs is out of my league at the moment. I'll have to work up to that by practicing sitting down and getting up from my couch.

Needless to say, I no longer have delusions of looking like Gisele. At this point, I'd settle for not passing out in the produce aisle of the grocery store because the cart is too heavy for me to push.

Luckily, typing doesn't require much upper body or cardiovascular strength, so I can blog and write novels just like I used to. Maybe that's all the exercise I need at the moment.

Speaking of work, I've just turned in a draft of the third Bard Academy book. It's called Moby Clique and it's coming out this fall.

I'm also starting a new adult book. It's still sort of a secret at the moment, but I can tell you that it's got both humor and a murder mystery at the center of its plot. More on that to come later. It won't be out until 2008. I know, I know - sounds like forever. But having a five-month-old means that I might as well be writing with a quill pen. I pretty much finish about a paragraph a day. Of course, that's when I'm not tossing my cookies at the gym.

If you're looking for a Cara-fix sooner rather than later, you can check out another of my short stories in a new kick-butt anthology coming out. It's edited by my friend, Jennifer O'Connell, and it's called "Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume." It hits book stores June 5!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Credit Cards and other bad relationships

Ah, credit card bills. I hate them. If only my credit limit was actually what I had in the bank. Sigh. Actually, I've come quite a long way towards being a responsible adult when it comes to spending. I used to charge everything, especially shoes at DSW. I'm pretty sure in another lifetime I was Emelda Marcos.

If you want to read about my youthful days as a credit card junkie, check out my essay in "It's a Wonderful Lie: 26 Truths About Life in Your Twenties." It's edited by Emily Franklin, and if you're in your twenties, it'll make you realize you aren't the only twenty-something with problems, and if you're out of your twenties (like me), it'll make you feel old and wise. Okay, maybe not old. Just wise.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Okay, so I have to apologize for leaving you guys hanging these past few weeks. This new mommy-hood thing has me sort of busy, which explains why - no matter how often I change my clothes - I always seem to be wearing spit-up. To solve this problem, my brother Matt gave me a white track suit, so that the spit-up wouldn't show!

One of you, however, did ask if I named Hana after the character in the Bard Academy books. I'll tell you that I've always liked the name, and after writing seven books, I found I used up a lot of the names I really liked. They all went to characters! And Hana was special to me, because it's a Japanese name, but also a common western name, and I figured since my daughter is a quarter Japanese and a quarter Scottish, it worked really well. And more importantly, my husband liked it (Unlike the other 20 names I really liked and he didn't). So, there you have it - the story of Hana's name!

Anyhow, speaking of new mommies, I have to say I really do feel for Britney. Normally, I am the first person to laugh at her gaffaws (um, barefoot in a trucker bathroom, anyone?). But I think there is actually something really wrong with her (First, Paris Hilton and now a shaved head? Eek!). I don't know if it's alcohol, drugs or postpartum depression, but when you make K-Fed look like the responsible parent, something is definitely wrong. So, I really hope she stays in rehab and gets the help she clearly needs.

In the spirit of reconciliation, I should offer an apology to all you blog readers out there who've been subjected to the x-rated spam comments posted on the blog. I've been slacking as Blog Administrator these past few weeks, and well, the not-so-good folks at Viagra and Hot Housewives and Underage Video have taken advantage. So, I'm sorry for all the lewd postings. I have to admit, it's kind of funny to read the "Dear Penthouse" kinds of comments. Just who is a fan of sister-on-sister action? Some guys are just such dorks. I'm so glad to be a woman, I tell you. At least my weakness is a good shoe sale and not lame internet porn.

Speaking of being glad to be a woman, my friend, Stacey Ballis, has a new book out that you MUST read! It's called The Spinster Sisters, and it's her best work yet (and given that her other books are hilarious, that says a lot!). You can read more about it at

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Happy Belated New Year

Okay, so I've left you all hanging for the last month, and I have to apologize. I do, however, have an excellent reason for doing so, which is that on December 9, I gave birth to my first baby, a girl, Hana MacKay Lockwood, who weighed in at a hefty fighting weight of 8 lbs and 14 ounces.

Since then, as any of you moms know, it's been a blur of no sleep and scrambling to find that five minutes a day to brush my teeth. In fact, I'm sacrificing dental health at this moment to write this blog, because I have priorities, dammit!

I have no complaints, however, since I've been blessed with the Most Beautiful Baby In The World. Honestly, I feel sorry for the other babies out there. It's just no contest. Makes me think there should be a Baby Universe pageant, but only if Donald Trump didn't own it.

Speaking of, am I the only one out there who really doesn't care what he and Rosie O'Donnell say about each other? Honestly. It's like the blind fighting the blind. Or should I say the bad hair fighting the worse hair?

Anyway, on to more pressing news, which is the birth of my other child, the second book in the Bard Academy series, The Scarlet Letterman, which is now in stores. It's already getting rave reviews (of course, what would you expect from the mother of the Smartest Baby in the World?):