Do you want to get an advanced copy of my next novel, Who We Were?
This chick lit novel follows Maylee Keagan as she endures her ten-year high school reunion. When her brother falls in love with her old rival, Josephine Crawford, drama from high school comes right back into her life. However, there's one thing that lessens the sting of old hatred--Benson Drake. The once nerd turned sexy intellect has come back into Maylee's life thanks to a wardrobe malfunction at the reunion.
I'm looking for fans willing to review Who We Were on release day, which is February 25th. If you're interested, you'll receive a FREE copy of Who We Were right now! All you need to do is email me that you're interested and give me your kindle address. Also be sure to add "@gmail.com" as an approved sender to your Kindle, and you're good to go!
Get your hands on this highly anticipated novel now. Don't miss your chance!
Summer Secrets by Jane Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Weaving my way out of the room, one sober and sobering thought makes its way into my head: Nothing is as perfect as it seems."
I'm a fan of Jane Green because she covers women's issues in a realistic way--but infuses her writing with a sense of humor. This book was no exception.
The book follows Cat throughout her life as she struggles with more issues than most of us could ever dream of. Alcoholism is one major focus in the book as Cat feels the pull of the booze haunting her best years of life. I liked that Jane Green covered the issue in a realistic, eye-opening way without going over the top. She shows you that alcohol can sabotage your life even if you never end up in jail or doing something truly horrific. I found Cat's struggles to be genuine, honest, and probably very true to what many women face.
Cat also deals with secrets, as you could guess from the title. One major secret leaves Cat spiraling, trying to grasp her new identity. She also struggles with being honest with herself throughout the book, something she works on and overcomes.
I liked how Cat develops as a character throughout the book. Even though she makes so many mistakes, I was rooting for her the whole book. She really tries to do the right thing, to be a better person. I think we can all relate with her struggle; so many of us want to be a better version of ourselves but don't know where to start.
The writing style was also perfect. It's descriptive and poetic at times, but humorous and quirky at other times. I like how she makes light of things all women can relate to, from skinny jeans to muffin tops.
The book covers a huge span of time. Initially, I felt like the book had too fast of a pace. Some aspects seemed skipped over quickly. By the end, however, I realized the book wasn't really focused on what I thought it would be at the beginning--there was so much more to the story. I came to realize the pace was just right.
This book was never dull or boring. The plot is complex, and there are so many twists and turns, true to real life. Jane Green does a great job at developing real characters who are flawed but lovable. This book is a fabulous summer read, beach read, or weekend read.
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When I hear the word “chick lit,” I automatically picture the condescending looks I’ve received from others. The scrunched up nose, the vomity face, the eye roll… I’ve seen it all.
For reasons I won’t address in this article, Chick Lit gets a bad rap. People associate the genre with mindless literature, with gossipy women talking about lipgloss and men while sipping on tea and wearing all pink. There’s this notion that Chick Lit is not deep lit at all. As Kirsty Schofield discusses on her website, though, Chick Lit is much more complex a genre than given credit. It encompasses many types of works with many different styles.
Even before I started writing in the genre, I’ve been a fan. I’ve ignored the eye rolls, the snide remarks. I’ve been an avid follower of books and writers.
Chick Lit does cover talk about lip gloss and men and tea and pink… sometimes. But this is not all that categorizes the genre. To me, Chick Lit is an approach to explaining the modern woman’s struggle to find a lot of things--to find love, to find satisfaction, to find fulfillment, and to find identity. These searches can be humorous, can sometimes involve a man, can sometimes involve a gaggle of gossipping friends. But sometimes they don’t. Chick Lit, like any genre, is diverse in its tone, its goals, its message.
It is the same in several respects, though.
It is relevant. It is deep. It is real.
Many women can find themselves, find characters like themselves, in the pages of these books. At the end of the day, isn’t that what qualifies something as having literary value? Don’t we all want to connect to something, to see ourselves in the pages of a story?
Lindsay Detwiler, Author
"I better get going. I have an early shift tomorrow at the bookstore," she said. He nodded, telling Charlotte good-bye and giving Butternut a scratch. Annie stayed behind to round up the cat and to catch up with Grandma Charlotte.
Heading to the elevator hand in hand, Owen looked down at her, smiling.
He shook his head. "Nothing. It's just, God, life is exciting with you." He winked.
"You call stealing an already stolen cat and fighting with a psycho exciting? You need a life," she teased.
He laughed. "You might be right. But seriously, what other girl could offer me such mad, crazy entertainment?" He purposefully bumped into her shoulder with his.
They walked into the elevator, and he squeezed her hand, prompting her to look up at him.
"What now?" She grinned, feeling fluttery in her chest. Even in a hospital elevator, he made her smile.
I'll admit it... I'm still working on this whole author thing.
A year ago, I hesitated to call myself a writer. Sure, I'd always loved to write. Putting pen to paper was natural and easy. But a writer? That seemed to be an assumption you were good and other people read your work.
Fast forward a year, and I'm calling myself an author. Do I still hesitate sometimes? Do I still waver in confidence and wonder what the heck I'm doing? You bet. But it's getting easier to own up to the author title because I've found I love this work. I am addicted to the idea of creating worlds in my head to share with others. I'm addicted to seeing my words, my name on the cover of a book.
Do I still have a lot to learn? YES. A ton. But the thing is, I've committed to learning it. I want to keep writing. Most importantly, I want to write pieces with meaning and depth. I want to write pieces that stir emotion in the reader, that make the reader say, "Yes, I get that! I've felt that, too." I want to connect.
That's perhaps why I'm so excited for my third book, Then Comes Love. This is the book I've always wanted to write. This is the book I think represents who I am as a writer most accurately.
Then Comes Love was a step out of my writer shell, for sure. It still has the descriptive style of my other books. It still focuses on love and realism.
But it's different, too. Here's what makes Then Comes Love a bit different than my other works and what I think makes it so special.
If you think it will speak to you, check it out on March 18th when it releases with Hot Tree Publishing. You can also see it on Goodreads and add it to your TBR pile now. Thanks, as always, for your support.
1. Second Loves
I married my first love.
I have absolutely no experience with second loves.
In Voice of Innocence and even in Without You to an extent, I focused on the power of first love. I think first love always stays with us...and especially in my case.
But I've had friends who haven't stayed with their first loves. I've know others whose lives were racked with tragedy and loss. They had no choice but to move on to second loves.
In Then Comes Love, I wanted to explore this idea. Some marry their first loves, but many do not. I wanted to explore the confusion, complications, and also beauty of a second love.
For Charlotte, second love comes because of tragedy.
For Annie, it comes because of divorce.
And for Amelia, it comes because she just realizes her first love doesn't fit.
All three women have to learn to move on, to let go, and open their hearts again. I felt like many women could connect to that.
2. Humor Mixed With Drama
In real life, I'm no comedian.
Chad takes that role in our lives.
In writing, though, I've found that I enjoy capturing the humor in life. Voice of Innocence was a very heavy book. Some readers found the mom a bit zany and humorous. In Without You, I eased into humor. There were definitely some funny scenes, but I still held back, not sure if I could pull it off.
In Then Comes Love, I let go of my insecurities. I went all in for the humorous scenes.
So far, I've gotten good feedback about it, too.
Charlotte is eighty in the book, but don't let that fool you. Witty and wild, she certainly has a penchant for getting into some peculiar situations that are filled with laughter. From bingo catastrophes to dance aerobic issues, I think she has plenty of laughter-inspiring scenes.
Mixed in with the humor, there's still the drama I love. There are issues dealing with aging, loss, and self-identity.
I would describe Then Comes Love as a mixture between the styles of Nicholas Sparks and Janet Evanovich. There's heavy and sweet scenes mixed with outrageous antics.
3. A Sexy, Tattooed Rocker
We've all got our fantasy book boyfriend, right?
Mine happens to be a rocker.
What's sexier than a man who can sing? What woman doesn't want a song dedicated to her?
Add to that some tattoos, a six-pack, some gorgeous hair, and a wicked sense of humor, and you've got Owen, my favorite male character in this new book. I loved writing his character.
He's got a touch of bad with a huge touch of romantic. He's edgy but sweet. He's the perfect balance of excitement and stability. I adore him, and I think you're going to love him too.
He's my favorite male character I've written to date. I hope he's your new book boyfriend.
4. Relates to All Ages of Women
This book follows three women: Charlotte is eighty, Annie is fifty, and Amelia is thirty-two.
I love the concept because I really wanted to show the connections between women in a family. I also wanted to show that every stage of life is filled with complications, woman drama, and also beauty.
I think no matter who you are, you'll find yourself in a piece of this book. Charlotte's dealing with the hardships of aging and losing her freedom. Annie is dealing with a mid-life crisis and being a caregiver, which isn't an easy job (See my post on caregiving). Amelia is dealing with reconciling what society tells her a thirty-something should want and what kind of life she actually wants.
This book shows us that no matter what your age, life and love can truly be crazy.
5. Cats and Henry
Okay, so this is a similarity.
There are cats in Then Comes Love.
And Henry makes his appearance.
I've been asked about Henry being in my books.
He's my mastiff. I'm obsessed with him. That's it. :)
I'd like to say there is symbolic meaning in his appearance or literary significance. But there's really not.
I'm just a crazy cat lady who also loves her dog way too much.
So if you read Then Comes Love and review it, don't forget to mention your favorite character: so far Henry got a few shout outs in reviews, and I must say it makes him happy.
Three generations of women,
Three second loves,
All with a dose of chaos mixed in.
Author: Lindsay Detwiler
Title: Then Comes Love
Release Date: March 18th
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Sometimes in life, changes can be good…
After losing her husband, her five cats, and her home, Charlotte Noel hates feeling dependent. As Charlotte tries to find her identity in this new stage of life, she comes to realize that drama never ends, dance aerobics can be a war zone, and love is always a possibility.
You never know when a midlife crisis is going to strike…
Charlotte’s daughter, Annie, is going through struggles of her own. Recently divorced, she is feeling frumpy and worn-out. Run ragged, Annie mourns her youth and wonders where her life is headed, all while hoping she can help her daughter Amelia get it together.
Settling down can be overrated, especially when you’re falling for a rock star look-alike…
Amelia is the wild child of the family. Working three jobs, because she just hasn’t figured out what she wants in life, she realizes happiness isn’t always settling down with a steady, dependable man; sometimes it’s about following your true passion and living on the edge.
No matter what age you are, life and love can be crazy…
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An high school English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink and/or glittery, Lindsay's the English teacher cliché; she love cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe.
She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, and Bob; and their Mastiff, Henry.
Lindsay's goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows she's done her job.
Lindsay's hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
“What do you write?”
“Contemporary romance and women’s fiction.”
“Oh, I see.”
I never realized there was a stigma with “chick books” until I started writing them. For me, I’ve always been a fan of women’s fiction/chick lit/any other genre for women. From Debbie Macomber to Liane Moriarty to Jojo Moyes, many of my favorite writers pen books in this sometimes loosely defined genre. Looking at my book list, many of my favorites could be labeled as chick books.
Once I published my first two “chick books,” though, I quickly realized people do not always understand or appreciate the genre. There is a misconception that a chick book cannot hold the weight of a “real literary” piece. There are labels such as “mindless” or “light reading” thrown around in the genre, all of which are far from the truth.
Misconceptions About Chick Lit
1. Everyone gets a happily ever after.
2. There are a lot of women being “saved” by men.
3. The only decisions grappled with are what man is hotter, what makeup is better, and which outfit to buy.
4. It’s all about sex.
5. They are glorified soap operas in writing.
Chick books are often treated like the drugstore beauty brand of lipstick standing beside the designer brand. They are looked down upon…but why?
As both an avid reader and writer in the genre, I’ve come to realize the misconceptions sometimes stem from a lack of reading of modern books in the genre. Despite their reputation, chick books cover the same depth of issues as any other genre.
Realities About Chick Lit
1. Many chick books deal with heavy issues like suicide, loyalty, identity, self-realization, infertility, marriage, monogamy, death, and loss. Not everyone gets the rosy, rainbow ending. There is often a lot of drama, even if things do eventually turn out okay.
2. There are also strong women in chick books. Jojo Moyes writes about a lot of strong female characters, as does Janet Evanovich. Louisa Clark from Me Before You does not strike me as a weak woman needing saving. She’s bold, sassy, and perhaps the stronger character in the book.
3. Sure, there may be discussions of hot men and makeup, but there are so many other issues grappled with in chick books. Modern chick books deal with the tension of opposites women face—how do you balance the call of motherhood and domestic life with the desire for a career and other successes? How do you find who you really are when society is always trying to tell you who you should be?
Chick books go beyond the obvious “girly” topics and delve into situations and choices that real women face. My favorite chick book, What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, deals with memory loss but also the main character’s identity crisis. What happens when you wake up in the middle of your life and don’t recognize who you’ve become? What happens when you realize your life isn’t what you want?
4. Chick books often focus on the emotional development of characters and relationships. In my own writing, any sex scenes are closed door scenes and few and far between. My focus is on the magic of the development of the relationship—the first look, the first kiss, the first argument.
Real love doesn’t become apparent during a rated R moment. It happens when a character opens her heart again after the tragic death of a husband. It happens when a woman regains her confidence and goes for hot chocolate after an ugly divorce has stripped her of her confidence. It happens when a character realizes a physical disability doesn’t have to prevent him or her from finding connections.
5. Okay, I’ll admit: I’m a fan of soap operas, so this misconception doesn’t bother me. Chick books, though, get this stigma of being cheesy, corny, and unrealistic. This is simply not true. I’ve read gut-wrenching chick books that speak to me at the core. I’ve read chick books about affairs and lying, about confusion and death. I’ve read chick books that speak to inner questions we as women often face. While in soap operas every woman gets a new man every few minutes, chick books are much more true to reality, where sometimes we find ourselves all alone.
Foundations of Chick Book Stigma
The stigma surrounding chick books (and chick flicks, for that matter) perhaps stems from the false, antiquated view that women only care about superficial, lighthearted issues. In a way, it stems from longstanding beliefs that a woman’s intellectual ability and, thus, life issues are inferior to the heaviness of issues in the other gender.
Certainly, we know this is not the case. I would argue that the modern woman is, in fact, facing more difficult identity issues than in the past. There is a constant battle between being the social acceptable child bearer and wife our culture values and the strong willed, “go get it,” achiever our culture also promotes. Somewhere in the crosshairs, many women find themselves confused about what they want out of life and who they should be. These issues are far from superficial, and chick books give these scenarios a platform to express themselves in combination with other conflicts presented in other genres.
Thus, in a society that has come to realize women are, in fact, an equal gender, I think it is important to re-evaluate our views of literary genres geared toward women.
Improving Views of Chick Lit
A part of the solution must stem from both the authors and readers of chick books. We must stop shying away from the genre and stop contributing to the falsities drowning out the value of these books. We must own our reading preferences and start seeing them in a positive light.
My newest book, Then Comes Love, will be classified as chick lit…and I couldn’t be prouder. Sure, there will still be some who squirm at the genre, who dismiss it to the doldrums of “mindless” literature.
But not me.
I’ve read enough life-changing chick books, books that speak to me as a woman, to know the beauty and value of the genre.
To give a woman the chance to find herself in a book, to see her own life issues mixed with a touch of humor and fun, is a truly beautiful thing. Literature is about creating connections. For me, I will continue to make those connections with fellow modern women who are able to juggle identity crises, love, and everything in between.
How about you? What are your favorite chick books?
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