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?