Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Yes, I know I'm early in the Father's Day wishes, but today I've got a first person essay in the New York Post about my dad!

It's called Mr. Wedding Planner, and it's all about how my dad helped me to plan the happiest day of my life. Okay, so, it's actually about how he just really planned the whole darn thing himself. You know what, just hop over there and read it!

And big, BIG thanks to the fabulous photogs at Visions Fine Photography for not only taking such beautiful pictures of my big day, but also for granting the New York Post permission to use your gorgeous images along with the piece!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meet me in New Jersey!

Okay, so yes, I admit, it doesn't have quite the same ring as asking you to meet me in St. Louis, but I'm thrilled nonetheless to announce that I'll be appearing at the Books NJ 2009 book festival. It's a fabulous new event being hosted in New Jersey that celebrates writers and writing.

The deets are as follows:

Books NJ 2009

Sunday, June 14th
1pm - 5pm

Paramus Public Library
116 East Century Road
Paramus, NJ 07652

I'll be speaking on a fiction panel at 3:30pm, so I hope you'll be able to come by and say hi!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Still completely lost....

So, at the start of the season, I professed my confusion over the thousand and one mysteries posed on LOST which were never answered. A few of you wrote to tell me that those questions had, in fact, been answered, but I remained dubious. And, um, still totally confused.

Now, the fine folks over at Entertainment Weekly have posted this article, which posits the remaining mysteries that NEED to be answered on the final season of LOST. There are a bunch of mysteries that I mentioned back in February (Walt! What's going on with Walt? Why was he taken? What was the deal with his powers?! The list goes on....), and a few I'd forgotten (polar bears, anyone?).

I guess what's annoying me about the show is that they seem to be abandoning the old mysteries in favor of new ones. In an interview with E!, the show's creators seemed to indicate that some mysteries would never be solved and others were solved in online games (the numbers, specifically). Wha?! Some mysteries will never be solved?!? You mean I just devoted YEARS out of my life, waiting for some payoff that may never come?!? AAARRRRGGGG!

And more annoying still is the idea that the numbers were explained somewhere on the internet. Now, I'd read about what the numbers mean on various chatrooms, too, but shouldn't the show address it IN THE ACTUAL SHOW?! Not only am I expected to watch every week, but now the show is also giving me homework???

So, for those of you who were just as frustrated as I was after watching this year's Sopranos-esque season finale, I give you, once again, Josh Holloway without his shirt on:

You can thank me later.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Are you ready to kick off your Sunday shoes?

Yes! It's official: Chase Crawford will be playing the lead role in the remake of Footloose! Clearly, the only thing to do now is to listen to the Footloose soundtrack over and over again while you BBQ all weekend with family and friends. (Because, really, nothing's more patriotic than Kevin Bacon....)

And the other thing left to do is ponder who will be playing opposite the lovely Chase. The Daily News reports Amanda Bynes, while Perez Hilton says that Miley Cyrus might be in the running.

My vote is for the adorable and talented Amanda Bynes. How much do we love her?! (Amanda, if you're reading this, don't you think you should be in a movie about a girl who goes to her ex-boyfriend's wedding? It's got non-stop comedy written all over it! Call me....)

Who else do you think should be cast in the Footloose remake?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

It comes really early this year, but it's finally here: Happy Memorial Day weekend!

For me, Memorial Day weekend is always the official start of summer. Time to fire up the BBQ, hit the beach, and try to find time off to relax. Maybe even win some free books?

So, everyone kick back and enjoy the three day weekend! I'll be back next week with my thoughts and ramblings over the Lost season finale (yes, it took me this long to put them into words....).

And just so that you start your long weekend with a smile, here's some AMAZING NEWS, and also, a preview of NBC's new show, Community. Love Joel McHale!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Author interview and book giveaway: Ellen Meister

I'm really excited today, because we have the fabulous Ellen Meister here to chat. Like me, Ellen's a blogger, a member of the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit, and is the author of two novels. You may recognize her name, since we spoke together at an Author's Tea not too long ago. If you had to miss that, don't fret: we've got a few more events planned together for the summer!

Ellen's going to be giving away a signed copy of her latest novel, THE SMART ONE.

I loved this book! (And so did my mom, which is saying a lot!) I picked it up and literally couldn't put it down! A totally wonderful read from start to finish. But, I'll leave it to Ellen to tell you all about it.

So, without further ado, I give you the wonderful Ellen Meister!

Tell us about your most recent novel in 25 words or less.

Here goes: THE SMART ONE is about three adult sisters who find a body stuffed inside an industrial drum and begin a bold, heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious journey that will either bring them together ... or tear them apart for good.

That's 39 words, Brenda. Feel free to deduct points. :)

What are you working on right now?

I have a book in production I'm very excited about. We don't have an official title yet, but here's the summary as it appeared in the trades:

Pitched as "Jodi Picoult meets THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE," the new novel tells the story of a suburban mom expecting her second child who discovers that she might be able to slip through a portal to the life she would have had if she never got married. When a routine sonogram reveals unexpected problems, her grief lures her to escape to the life that might have been-in which she discovers that she's stayed with her neurotic ex-boyfriend, and that her mother, who committed suicide several years before, is very much alive.

What are you reading right now?

I'm reading and loving SUMMER ISLAND by Kristin Hannah. It came out in 2001, which shows you how behind I am in my reading!

How do you fight writer's block?

To tell you the truth, I don't really believe in writer's block. Or maybe I just don't indulge in the idea. Point is, we can't sit in a chair and expect a bolt of lightning to deliver ideas. Like anything worth doing, it's hard work. So when I'm stuck on an idea, I make notes. I just open a blank document and start asking myself questions about what could possibly happen next in the story. I explore every answer that occurs to me and what repercussions it might have for the characters and the story overall. Eventually, the answers begin to emerge.

What is your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?

My favorite part of writing is when I hit that zone where I know what's going to happen in the scene and my characters just take over. That's not to say it flows before me like a scene from a movie--I struggle with language and pacing no matter what I'm working on--but surely there are times when it's so vivid I can hardly type fast enough to get it all out.

My least favorite part is when my editor or agent suggests a change that requires unraveling the whole book. It can be overwhelming.

How do you usually begin your stories-with a character or with a plot?

I have to say character, though usually it's more like the relationship between two characters that first strikes me. For instance, in THE SMART ONE, I got the bug to explore the relationship between three sisters and how their childhood labels impact their adult lives. From there I had to build a plot that would drive their relationship and individual arcs.

Thanks so much for the interview, Brenda! I had a blast answering these questions.

Thank YOU, Ellen, for stopping by! And now, on to the fun part: the free book! You know how it works-- just leave a comment below and you're entered to win a copy of THE SMART ONE! Want extra entries? That can be arranged.... Blog about it for another entry. Become of follower of this blog for another entry, too. Or you can leave a comment on another one of my blog posts for yet another entry!

The winner will be announced on June 3rd.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Legal eagle

I'm often asked in author interviews and emails from readers about whether or not I miss practicing law. Sadly, the answer is always a big resounding: Hell, NO!

(And then I always wonder if the person asking me the question is in law school, making me feel needlessly guilty that I've dashed some young girl's dream or something....)

The other thing that I'm asked about a lot is what type of law I practiced. The answer is that I did intellectual property law, but saying that just opens up a whole lot more questions, such as-- what on earth is intellectual property law? Well, NY Mag just reported a new case which is exactly the sort of thing I did when I was practicing law: Gucci is suing Guess for trademark infringement, over Guess's use of the "G."

So, there you have it. Except I never represented any clients as glamorous as Gucci. Or even Guess, for that matter. The closest to fashion I actually ever got was a case having to do with Levi's jeans.

And I didn't even get free jeans. Is it any wonder that I left the practice of law?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Big congrats go out to Mitzy and Donnas-- these lucky ladies have won signed copies of Jessica Brody's THE FIDELITY FILES!

Not a winner this time around? That's okay! Next week, we'll be giving away a copy of Ellen Meister's THE SMART ONE. So, don't forget to check back here for a chance to win more books!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Viva la France!

In the wake of my discovery about my international superstardom, I've got more exciting news to report! SCOT ON THE ROCKS is now available in French!

I've got this totally new fabulous French cover, and it looks like they've taken SCOT's subtitle to use as its title. (But my French is really rusty, so please feel free to correct me!)

But can we discuss how cute this cover is?! Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my American covers. Red Dress Ink's art department truly outdid themselves with both of my book covers, but there's just something about this French cover, isn't there? It's really sassy and sexy, and I just love everything about this version of Brooke. (It's supposed to be Brooke, right?!) From the adorable ponytail to her flirty dress, she just looks too cute for words. And that necklace! Where can I get that necklace?

My sister in law firmly believes that this cover is so European that it wouldn't have done well here in the States, but I don't know.

In my writing classes, I always encourage students to think about the "red dress" theory. (The theory is this: Is the book you are writing/
Are the scenes you are writing the “red dress?” Everyone at a party wears a black dress. The woman in the red dress is the one who stands out. Lots of ideas are black dresses—good, dependable, nice—but only a few are the red dress: total knockouts.)

Well, this cover LITERALLY HAS A RED DRESS RIGHT ON ITS COVER!!! So, that's gotta be good, right?!

So, what do you think? Are the international covers better? Too sexy? Are you already online looking for that necklace??

Monday, May 11, 2009


Well, in the wake of devastating disappointment, I now have my new television obsession all lined up for next year. One word: GLEE! It's brought to you by Ryan Murphy, the guy behind Nip/Tuck, but this looks a little more like his previous effort, Popular.

The way Fox is promoting this new musical comedy is nothing short of genius. First, they've got trailers running throughout their prime time schedule. Next, they've put an extended trailer, which you can see below, on the web. (And I promise you, if you watch it, you will be hooked. Immediately.) And then, finally, they're doing a sneak peek of the first episode of the show on May 19th at 9pm.

But that's only the start of it. Fox isn't actually airing the show until the fall, which means that all of this viral marketing will do its job over the spring and summer. By the time fall hits, the buzz will be exploding for the show. (Well, that's the plan, at least....)

Kind of brilliant, right? It's like the book giveaways I love to do. The best way for an author to get a fan for life is to have that reader actually read one of their books. And Fox obviously has so much faith in Glee that they're willing to bet that once you check out one episode, you'll be hungry for more.

So, check out this extended trailer. But, I'm warning you, you may end up just as hooked as me!

So, what do you all think? Brilliant marketing plan? Or do you think people will be burnt out before the show even starts?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Over before it even started!

Let's all take a moment of silence here. The proposed Gossip Girl spin-off is now officially OVER. That's right, it's over before it even began! Before they even aired the flashback episode featuring Brittany Snow as the young Lily (this Monday! Woo hoo!!!!), the show is dead in the water. Even Perez Hilton is reporting it, and as you all know, I take anything Perez says as gospel.

Let's all bow our heads for a moment....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Free books! Get your free books here!!! Book giveaway roundup....

I'm taking a page from Jessica Brody's handbook and naming today Free Book Thursday!!!

First things first, as we speak, I'm giving away not one, but TWO signed copies of the fabulous Jessica Brody's debut novel, THE FIDELITY FILES. All you have to do to enter is to click here, leave a comment, and voila! You're entered. The contest is open until May 15th.

Next, the wonderful Mindy Klasky is giving away a signed copy of MY second novel, JACK WITH A TWIST! So, how can you resist?! Hop on over to her blog and leave a comment. The contest is open until May 8th (that's tomorrow!), so hurry!

Holy free books, Batman! Aren't Thursdays fun?!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I'm big in Malaysia!

So, yes, I knew it was bound to happen one of these days, and now, it has: I'm finally an international superstar.

Yes, from now on, I will start carrying a tiny dog in my pocketbook and travel around with an entourage at all times. I shall only drink Cristal and I will bathe in La Mer cream, just like J. Lo. I will go to the supermarket in diamonds-- wait, no, that's not right-- I'll hire people to go to the supermarket for me, and I'll create a list of ridiculous demands, like bowls of green M&Ms only. Hell, I'll get a bowl of M&Ms with my face on them! I will no longer be known as Brenda Janowitz. No, from here on out I will be B. Jano. (Again, um, just like J. Lo. Gosh, I really need to get some other international superstar role models....)

And all this is because I am finally an international superstar. Well, okay, maybe not an international superstar, but an internationally published author, to be sure!

JACK WITH A TWIST is being translated into Malay! Here's a pic of the beautiful new cover and my fabulous new name!

So, forget those people who ask whether or not it plays in Peoria-- my stuff plays in Kuala Lumpur, people! Now I clearly must start dressing like Catherine Zeta Jones when she was in that heist movie with Sean Connery (they were in Kuala Lumpur, right?)

Next time you're in Malaysia, pick up a copy of JACK! Or, MAHKAMAH CINTA, as it's known over there. And tell them that you're a part of B. Jano's entourage. Or, um, B. Janot, as the case may be. Okay, they probably won't know who I am, so just tell them that I'm the girl with the silly little dog in her handbag. No, the other one. No, not that one, the other one.

You know what, if you get to Malaysia, just tell J. Lo that I said hi.

Monday, May 4, 2009

They're giving it away like candy....

.... over on Mindy Klasky's blog!

The lovely Mindy Klasky is hosting me today for an interview and book giveaway. We'll be giving away a copy of JACK WITH A TWIST, so head on over and enter to win!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Author interview and book giveaway: Jessica Brody

I'm so, so thrilled today, because the fabulous Jessica Brody has come by to chat! You may know Jessica from her bestselling debut novel, THE FIDELITY FILES, or you may know her as the brain child of the wonderful website FREE BOOK FRIDAY, where she (yes, you guessed it!) gives away free books every Friday. Either way, you know that we are going to have a blast today.

Since Jessica loves to give away books just as much as I do, she's giving away not one, but TWO COPIES of THE FIDELITY FILES! Details on how to enter are at the bottom of this post.

So, without further ado, I give you Jessica:

Tell us about your most recent novel in 25 words or less.

The Fidelity Files is the story of a woman who works undercover as a “fidelity inspector,” hired by suspicious wives and girlfriends to test the faithfulness of the men in their lives.

Sorry, that was 32 words. But I swear it was 50 when I started.

How do you fight writer’s block?

I never use the term “writer’s block”…well, except right there. I’m a firm believer in the law of attraction. What you resist persists. What you focus on only gets bigger. If I went around saying, “Crap, I have writer’s block,” then yes, I would have writer’s block. If I refuse to even acknowledge the concept, then it doesn’t exist. And guess what? I’ve never had it. Of course, I get stuck from time to time as any writer does. To deal with it, I usually just mediate and tell myself, “the solution already exists; I just have to remember what it is.” By the time I wake up the next morning, the problem is always solved.

If your book were to become a movie, who would you cast?

Well, we’re really hoping for a TV show! The Fidelity Files was actually just optioned by the executive producer of the movie, CRASH and she’s working on developing it as a TV show. Fingers crossed! There are some amazing actors that she has in mind (I can’t reveal them just yet!) but my dream casting would probably be someone like Megan Fox (on the sexier side) or Rachel McAdams (on the sweeter side). And I’ve always pictured Patrick Dempsey playing Jamie, the love interest. Damn, he’s hot!

What are you working on right now?

The short answer: Lots! The (slightly) longer answer: I just finished the first book in a new YA series that I’m really excited about! It’s the fourth book I’ve ever written (well, technically the fifth if you count that one I refuse to talk about stashed away in my proverbial desk drawer). And now I’m starting on book 5—another YA. It’s the second book in a two book deal I signed with FSG. After that…who knows! I have tons of ideas!

What is your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?

My boyfriend could answer this question for me. In a heartbeat. Actually, let me ask him. Hold on…

Yep, just as I suspected. “Favorite part: Act 1. Least favorite part: Act 2. “

Very good, honey!

For those of you who haven’t read as many screenwriting books as I have, Act 1 is the first quarter of the book. The set-up. When everything is fresh. The character is new and fun and novel. You get to lay the groundwork for the story, build suspense, layer in complex plot points that will be resolved later. And then comes the dreaded Act 2. The heart of the story. The “promise of the premise.” Also known as “my nemesis.” The character is now totally grating my nerves, everything I set up in Act 1 absolutely sucks, I have no idea why I’m even a writer to begin with, I have the vocabulary of a five year old, all the “complex plot points” I thought I was setting up now actually have to be dealt with (yikes!) and I become nearly impossible to live with (my boyfriend will second that.) And yet, somehow, incredibly, magically (as if little elves snuck in my house in the middle of the night and fixed everything that was wrong with my story), I finally arrive at act 3, the conclusion and then I’m like, “That wasn’t so bad. I don’t know why I was so freaked out!”

And then I start all over again with the next book!

Big thanks to Jessica for stopping by today! Want to win a free signed copy of Jessica's book before it hits the screen? Just leave a comment below and you're entered! Want extra entries? That can be arranged.... Blog about it for another entry. Become of follower of this blog for another entry, too. Or you can leave a comment on another one of my blog posts for yet another entry!

The winner will be announced on May 15th.