Independence Day and Writing


As we head into the fourth of July holiday weekend, here in New York, I am struck with how much, as a writer, I can relate to this celebration.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all of my holidays.  I love Christmas (who doesn’t love presents . .  especially if the wrapping is light blue and says “Tiffany” on it !)  I love New Year’s Eve with all its promises of resolutions which I know I will never keep (new year = clean slate).  I love Memorial Day and the start of summer (especially being able to wear white pants with flip flops).    But the Fourth of July! Well, the Fourth of July holds a very special place in my heart (and that’s not just because of the sales . . . although that is a big perk!). 

For Americans, it marks day-long festivities of delicious barbeques (I love my hamburger and corn on the cob), cold glasses of beer (yum) and fireworks.  It’s spending quality time with friends and family and wearing red, white and blue.

But, more importantly, it marks my country’s independence. 

As with most authors I know, I think I was born with the innate desire to write (if I could have had a pen and paper in the womb, I would have started on my first novel much sooner than I did!)  But before the birth of electronic readers and the availability of platforms for writers such as myself to showcase their books, the dream of being an author was just that  . . . a dream. 

Now, this Fourth of July, three years after my first book hit Amazon, I am celebrating my own independence of sorts.  I am celebrating the release five books (I still can’t believe it!)  I am celebrating being a part of a wonderful community of writers and readers.  I am celebrating the freedom of sharing my stories with my wonderful and faithful readers.  I am celebrating the joy of calling myself an indie author.  And, more importantly, I’m celebrating the future and what’s yet to come.  I’m currently working on two books (one with an author I truly admire) and I’m sooo excited for the second half of this year to begin!

So, as I will drive down my street and observe the multitude of red white and blue flags flying in the wind, as I will share a drink with my family and friends and cheer on the sidelines of my town’s parade, as we will all enjoy a fun  afternoon around a great BBQ, I will smile, content in knowing that I have a lot to be grateful for.   

Happy Fourth everybody!


Sweet Vacation


Whoever thought of vacations should really get a medal.  I’m being serious.  The person should win the Nobel Peace Prize because I think it’s the greatest invention on earth, next to scrumptious bread (drizzled in oil and garlic) and a corkscrew (to open up bottles of wine, of course!)

I mean, who doesn’t love time off away from the worries of everyday life?  Who doesn’t love not being tied down to a clock, where every minute is accounted.  While I’m on vacation, I don’t have to worry about sleeping through my alarm clock (I can sleep until noon) or making sure I get to the train station on time, praying I’ll get a seat on my ride into work (no schedules here and I get my own beach lounger).  I don’t have to worry about bills or deadlines or laundry or cooking or making a run to the grocery store (that can certainly wait until I return which might never happen!)

Vacation is the happiest place I know.  It’s the magical place where I don’t have to worry about anything other than what to drink (strawberry daiquiri, please), what to eat (forget the diet!) and what to wear (bathing suit, sunglasses and flip flops).  Vacation is my fairytale, where anything and anything can happen.  It’s like having a glass slipper fit or finding gold at the end of the rainbow except in my fairytale, it’s open bar, karaoke nights and sunbathing by the beach!

Vacation gives me time to decompress and focus on the important things in life, such as spending time with my loved ones and enjoying the little joys in life, like swimming in the ocean, feeling the warm sun on my face and enjoying cold fruity drinks with the best of friends. 

And just like all fairytales, I know there must be an ending to a vacation.  I know I must eventually get back to reality (sigh) and that my carriage will inevitably turn into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight (can I get another three wishes or am I confusing this with another fairytale?)   But that’s OK, because like any good fairy godmother will tell you, it all works out at the end and I know that in another year, I get to do this all over again (yay!) 

So for now, I’ll enjoy my vacation, silently thank whoever it was that invented the concept (maybe even raise a glass to him or her) and smile, knowing that when I go back to my life, I’ll be refreshed and ready to take on the world . . .  Of course, the feeling will last only a week until I’m frazzled and stressed again and I’ll feel like I’ve never left and I’ll soon long for the next vacation looming over the horizon. 

But I’ll be patient until then because, after all, dont all good things come to those who wait?

In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy your summer vacations!  Have a drink for me!


Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!


It’s hot . . . really hot.  So hot that I long for the feel of the cold breeze churning out from my living room air-conditioner.  So hot that I long for cold showers, frozen drinks and lazy days of pool lounging. So hot that I am willing to break my diet for a delicious taste of chocolate ice cream on a waffle cone. And despite news of shark attacks and killer bacterial viruses, I still have the strong urge to load up my car with large towels, umbrellas, brightly colored buckets and head straight for the beach.  And we all know what goes hand-in-hand with the sun, sand and white foamed waves.  Sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen would be a good guess.  Volleyball, frisbee games and sand castles would be another.  But I’m a writer and an avid reader, so, of course, my first guess would be hot summer book reads!

Summer gives me a reason to lay out on my beach chair, breath in the ocean air and crack open a book (either virtually or actual pages).  Summer lets me spend quality time with my favorite authors. They take me to another place, introduce me to new characters with whom I can fall in love, allow me to share a laugh and shed a tear.

So, as I get settled in on this very hot day with a good book, here is my short-list of beach reads.  Some are new, some are old but all still worth a read or re-read:

Plain Fame Series by Sarah Price

How Do You Know? by Meredith Schorr

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Summer Secrets by Jane Green

Finding Audrey by Sophia Kinsella

Something Borrowed, Something Blue by Emily Griffin

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Austenland by Shannon Hale

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophia Kinsella

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

One Day by David Nicholls

The OMG Test by Pippa Franks

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister

How to Fall in Love by Cecilia Ahern

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley

No One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday by Traci Bloom

From Nottinghill to New York Actually by Ali McNamara

Jane by April Lindner

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t add my books to the list.  I think they are pretty funny  (The Shopping Swap comes to mind) and light (but then again I’m biased!) 

Any of these books would be enjoyable for a day at the beach! 

Enjoy the heat!


What’s on Page 45 – International Chick Lit Week – Blogger Girl

I love this idea! What a great concept. Makes me want to scan my own books and see what’s happening on page 45.


Welcome to the Fifth Annual International Chick Lit Month. This month, we celebrate all things chick lit. Today, I join my fellow chick lit authors to share What’s on Page 45 of one of our novels. I’ve chosen my novel Blogger Girl. For one, it was hailed “chick lit at its finest” by many readers and bloggers (Thank you, by the way) and for another, I recently completed the sequel and am now working on a prequel. But before a sequel or a prequel were even a blip on my radar, Blogger Girl was how it all got started.


Blogger Girl tells the story of late twenty-something Kimberly Long, a disenchanted legal secretary at a New York City law firm who happens to run one of the most successful chick lit blogs on the internet—Pastel is the New Black.

Kim has a major crush on an attorney…

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It’s May and it’s official: I’ve finally given up.  I’ve thrown in the towel.  I am waving the white flag of surrender (Well, if I had any clean whites to wave instead of the dirty ones at the bottom of my laundry bin, that is). 

You see, I have an embarrassing confession to make.  I can’t do it anymore and, at this point, I’m no longer afraid to admit it.  In fact, I’m ready to shout it out, like Julie Andrews, on every mountain top.  Let me explain.  I’m a mom and it’s the near end of the school year and I’m just too tired to care.

I can still remember myself at the start of September. I can picture her in my mind. She was confident, enthusiastic, idealistic, filled with fresh ideas of how to make the school year special for her children.  She was ready to take on the world.  She was going to be the best mom that she could be.  She had it all planned out too, this perfect version of a mom.  She was going to patiently help with nightly homework.  She was going to be a crafting whiz with school projects, armed with a supply of gun glue ribbons and scissors.  She was going to participate in every school function, including holiday concerts, bake sales and class trips.  It would be so easy too because she would be organized.  She even bought a new planner (pretty purple one with pink flowers), mapping out every single task on it and noting it on her phone calendar so it would ping gentle reminders to her.  She went shopping, determined to be the best dressed at pick up, so chic and put together that all of the other mothers would be green with envy.

I laugh at her now.  If only I could go back to September, I would shake her, shouting: “What do you think you’re doing!  Are you mad?”  Because you see, no one tells you (and I keep forgetting) is that it’s hard work to be the perfect mom.  It tires you out.  It beats the optimism right out of you. 

So now I’m in May, longing for June and I’m but the shell of that person I was in September. In fact, I do not even recognize her. I am not enthusiastic.  I am not idealistic. I am not ready to take on the world.  Instead, I am barely dragging my feet, limping along.  In fact, I am begging for a break. All I want is to lay on my back, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. But until then, I’m going to try to muddle through nightly homework doing my best not to shout, resigning myself to the fact that I will never learn how to use a glue gun correctly.  I will try not to be late to school functions as I lug around my planner, a mess of papers jammed into it, now with pencil crossings and red ink circles littering each page.  I will ignore the ping of my phone annoyingly reminding me how I am utterly failing at all of this and, finally, I will wear my mismatched t-shirt, sweatpants and Ugg shoes (even if it’s 70 degrees) with little or no pride left at school pick up.

Because, you see, at the end of the day, the only thing that truly matters about being a mom is what your kids think of you.  And the fact that my children’s faces light up every time they see me is all the proof I need to know I’m not doing such a bad job.  They think I am the best mom in the world! But they don’t really have a choice, do they?

Maybe there’s hope for me after all.  Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there.  I tip my hat to you (that is, if I can find it underneath the pile of clothes accumulating on the floor of my bedroom)


The Perpetual Paycheck-Guest Blog by Lori Rassas

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I’m so excited to announce the release of my friend’s book, The Perpetual Paycheck by Lori Rassas.  She’s my guest blogger today and I hope you enjoy her post.

In my new book The Perpetual Paycheck: 5 Secrets to Getting a Job, Keeping a Job, and Earning Income for Life in the Loyalty-Free Workplace,  I spend a lot of time talking about building meaningful relationships with the people in your network, just as you spend time building meaningful relationships with people in your personal life.

Think about it. We appreciate it when our spouse gives us a gift for our birthday, or when a friend sends a get well card when we’ve been home sick for a few days. But doesn’t the gesture mean just a bit more when it comes when we least expect it? Suppose your boyfriend sends you flowers today “just because,” or your friend drops off a freshly baked pie, because they thought you might enjoy it. These little acts not only build and solidify existing relationships, but make it more likely that we’ll remember the gift-giver in the future—not only on pre-determined occasions, but also “just because.”

In The Perpetual Paycheck, I present this information within the context of my advice that the best time to network is when you are not actively looking for, or desperately looking for, a new job.  Instead, anytime you come across information or an opportunity that might be valuable to someone in your network, you should send it along….just because.  I call these small gifts T.O.Y.s (short for thinking of yous), and it is these small gestures that will open the doors to unprecedented opportunities.

Remember when you send someone in your network a thinking of you at a time when you’re not looking for a favor, chances are they’ll remember your kindness down the road, when you actually do need their help. You can think of it as a “favor bank”—and while I am certainly not suggesting that you keep a ledger, in the loyalty-free workplace it’s always better to have more favors owed to you than the other way around.

So if you hear about a job opportunity that would be a perfect fit for a friend you lost touch with over the past few years, pass it along.  Or, if you read about a company’s search for summer interns, why not send a quick note to your former supervisor, just in case her son is still looking for summer work? 

There are jobs in the modern workplace but the competition for them is fierce, and effective networking is the best way to stay one step ahead of the competition.  And, networking in today’s workplace is much more than looking for a job or collecting business cards. It’s about building relationships with the people behind those business cards and LinkedIn profiles.  It’s about being generous when you do not need assistance, so that others will return the favor (and send you T.O.Y.s when you need them most.


Lori Rassas is an employment attorney and workplace consultant who recently published her second book, The Perpetual Paycheck: 5 Secrets to Getting a Job, Keeping a Job, and Earning Income for Life in the Loyalty-Free Workplace. You can connect with Lori on LinkedIn, visit her website at, connect with her consulting practice on Facebook at, or follow her on Twitter @lorirassas.

Check out her book on:

If I Could Invite My Characters Out . . . By Erin Brady

I’ve had so much fun reading all of my favorite writers take turns completing the sentence that I wanted to join in on the action!  So here goes:

If I could invite my characters out for a night on the town, I’d probably find myself climbing up a fire escape somewhere in Manhattan or trying to get backstage access at a concert by pretending to be reporters.  If Sadie agreed to go out with me, she’d stop at nothing to meet the man at the center of her celebrity obsession and she’d somehow convince me to help her.  I’m sure we’d get into lots of trouble, but I also know that it would probably be a night I won’t soon forget!

Check out Sadie and her antics in my latest book, “The Twelve-Step Plan” available on Amazon: