Thursday, December 2, 2010

FREE BOOKS!!!

Win this book!!
So, did that subject line get your attention?!  I'm giving away a free signed copy of JACK WITH A TWIST over on my group blog, Girlfriends Book Club.  Check out my blog post and enter to win!

Already have a copy of JACK?  That's okay!  Enter to win a copy and you can give it to a friend for the holidays.  See you over there!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Awesomely awesome

This is just too hilarious.  This is how I feel every time someone approaches me at a cocktail party and asks me to ghost-write their novel.  Thanks to Laura Zigman and Allison Winn Scotch for sharing!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm not a celebrity, but I play one in this cookbook

I was so, so honored when I was asked to contribute to the Snap4Kids Celebrity Cookbook.  The first thing was, well, I'm not really a celebrity.  And the second thing is, well, I don't really cook from recipes.  I generally just cook from feel (which explains why every time I cook, things taste slightly different.  It also explains why I once made a dish my husband dubbed "foot chicken" since he claimed it smelled like feet.  It didn't.  It didn't smell good by any means, but I'm not going to go so far as to say it smelled like feet....)

But, I digress.  Snap4Kids is a fabulous charity whose mission is to help the families of children with special needs.  Which is why they got some real life literary celebrities to help contribute recipes, alongside little old me:  Barbara Delinsky, Wendy Corsi Staub, JT Ellison-- aren't you dying to know what they cook at home?!

So, please check out the cookbook and support this wonderful charity.  And then let me know if any of the recipes turn out smelling like feet.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Come visit me!

I'm over at my new group blog today talking about book covers and opening lines.  Come visit me over there!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Big congrats go out to Michele Cozzens!  You're the winner of an ARC of Friday Mornings at Nine!  Michele, just shoot me an email at brenda[at]brendajanowitz[dot]com to claim your prize!

Didn't win?  That's okay!  There's lots more book giveaways coming up in the next few months.  Check back here for deets!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Any Keanu is fine with me....


So, have you seen this whole "Sad Keanu" thing exploding everywhere?!  There was this shot taken of Keanu having lunch on a park bench, and lots of peeps out there have been photoshopping it like crazy.  He's next to a bunch of bunnies, running with the bulls, you get the picture.

NYMag actually interviewed Keanu and told him about it.  He thought it sounded really funny.  All the more reason to like Keanu.

My favorite is this meme which even has a song attached to it.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

GCC Author Interview and Book Giveaway: Marilyn Brant

Just because the GCC has a fancy new blog, that doesn't mean that we still won't be touring our fabulous authors!  Today I've got the fabulous Marilyn Brant here to chat about her latest.  (How great is this cover?!)


But wait!  There's more!  Marilyn will be giving away a signed copy of an ARC of Friday Mornings at Nine!  Just leave a comment below to enter to win!!  Don't forget to leave me your info so that I can contact you if you win.  Winners will be announced on October 7th.

So, let's all hear from Marilyn!


Q: Tell us about your most recent novel in 30 words or less.
A: Friday Mornings at Nine is a modern fairy tale about three suburban moms who each begin to question whether they’d married the right man or were living the right lives.

Q: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
A: From conversations I overhear, things my friends tell me, funny stuff that happened in my family, incidents I’ve observed out in public, stories I’ve read in books or seen on TV and those endless “what if?” questions writers always ask themselves.

Q: What is the inspiration behind this novel?
A: I’ve talked with a lot of women about their marriages -- and, in some cases, about their affairs. Sometimes these revelations came in the form of random comments thrown out unexpectedly. Other times they were part of well thought out discussions about whether the women in question should or shouldn’t stay married. I met my husband 20 years ago and we’ve been married for almost 18 of those years. I consider us to be happy, but I don’t know anyone who’s been married that long who hasn’t experienced some ups and downs. I think the fortunate couples are the ones who keep choosing to be together and work on their relationships despite all of those years and the inevitable changes. Of course, it takes both people to do that, and it also takes a lot of time and effort. The individuals involved have to want to get to know now these people they married (who may be different creatures than the ones they met a decade or more before), and they need to really pay attention to their own needs and desires, too. Sometimes, in the process of that kind of deep analysis, it turns out there was a profound disconnect somewhere along the line. In some cases, it’s possible to reconnect. In others, not so much. So, essentially, I wanted to write a story about three women who have marital disconnects to some degree that makes them wonder what would have happened if they’d chosen differently. Then I wanted them to finally take the time to examine their lives so they could choose mindfully where to head next.

Q: If they made a movie of this book, who would you cast to portray the characters?

A: I'd love to see this onscreen! (And I’d try to find a way to get Johnny Depp in there somewhere…LOL.) For the main characters, though, I imagine someone like Kate Winslet for Bridget, Calista Flockhart for Jennifer and Kim Cattrall for Tamara. Definitely a cast I'd enjoy seeing together!

Q: When did you first begin writing?
A: I wrote songs and poems and little stories in elementary school, but sixth grade was when the notion of writing professionally first occurred to me. Aside from being on the newspaper and yearbook staff in high school, though, I didn’t take writing seriously until I was about 30. Then, I spent the next several years writing completed manuscripts and submitting them to agents and editors before my fifth one, which was According to Jane, finally sold.


Q: What do you think readers might be surprised to know about you?
A: This has absolutely nothing to do with writing (which is, perhaps, why it’ll be surprising), but I was a member of a touring dance group in college and spent six weeks dancing through Europe the summer I was 19. We performed at festivals in France, Spain, Switzerland and Italy, and I met some absolutely fascinating people. That experience solidified my love of travel, my chocolate addiction and my lifelong adoration of the jitterbug. It also greatly aided in my appreciation of European men...


Q: What is your advice for those who looking to get their novel published?
A: Don’t follow trends just because you think it’ll be an easier sell. And write the books that fit your voice. If what you love writing happens to be a hot-selling genre, great. If your writing voice happens to be perfect for the genre you want to write in and love to read, that’s awesome, too. But -- if not -- write long and hard enough to find what DOES fit you and your style best. Because then, even if it takes longer to make that first sale than you expect, you’re writing the kinds of stories you most enjoy, and that passion has a way of working itself into the projects you’re creating.


Marilyn Brant has been a classroom teacher, a library staff member, a freelance writer and a national book reviewer. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and son, surrounded by towers of books that often threaten to topple over and crush her. A proud member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, Marilyn's debut novel featuring "Jane" won the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart® Award. When not working on her next book, she enjoys traveling, listening to music and finding new desserts to taste test. Readers can visit her website at www.marilynbrant.com.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Is this even possible?!

I didn't think it was possible, but this video made me love Joseph Gordon-Levitt even more.  After seeing him in (500) Days of Summer, I was pretty much smitten, but now after seeing him play guitar and sing (yes, he plays guitar! and sings!!!), I'm pretty much completely in love.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Where have I seen you before?

As I'm sure you can tell by now, I'm super excited about my new group blog, Girlfriends Book Club.


Last week, Roberta Isleib did a post about what she's been reading and I really enjoyed it, but something really bugged me.  I could have sworn that I'd seen the cover art for Maddie Dawson's The Stuff That Never Happened.  Gorgeous cover, right?!




It was seriously driving me crazy.  So, instead of writing, I googled my morning away, trying to remember which book had the same cover art.  Luckily, the smarties over at She reads and reads figured it out for me!  Drum roll, please:


It was Jill A. Davis's second novel, Ask Again Later.


What threw me off is was a visit to my bookshelf.  When I bought the book, the cover looked like this:


And I do think that the back-of-the-head cover is much, much better.  Very evocative and really draws a reader in.

But it brings up an interesting question.  Most book covers use stock photos-- to do a whole photo shoot for a book would simply be way too expensive (although in an interview about Girls in Trucks, Katie Crouch said that for her book, they did just that), so it would stand to reason that some books have the same covers.  Okay, a lot of books have similar covers.

As a former trademark attorney, I just have to ask:  does this create consumer confusion?  Am I drawn to The Stuff that Never Happened simply because it reminds me of Ask Again Later, a book I really enjoyed?  Probably not, because I think that The Stuff that Never Happened has got a pretty great premise, and that's what's drawing me in, but if you were the authors of the books, how would you feel about this?  As an author, I think it would bother me a lot.

And as Karin Gillespie pointed out to me, The Stuff that Never Happened was written by Maddie Dawson, who is really Sandi Kahn Shelton and the copycat cover thing has happened to her before!

Scandal!!

What say you??

Friday, August 20, 2010

Be my guest!!!

I'm guest blogging today over at my new blog-home-away-from-home, Girlfriends Book Club. I hope you'll check it out-- and tell me all about what you're reading this summer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Could I be any more excited for this movie?!

So, I just saw this movie preview and I am completely obsessed. This movie looks funny and clever, and stars Emma Stone from Superbad! Still not convinced this movie will rock? Well, it's also got Dan from Gossip Girl, Courtney Cox's son from Cougartown and one of the vampires from Twilight. As the resident villain: Amanda Bynes. And as parents: Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci. We've even got good usage of Lady Gaga's Pokerface in this preview. Can we really go wrong here?!

If you're still not convinced, check out the trailer.



Still not convinced that this movie will rock?! Then I cannot help you. Clearly your heart is made of stone.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Girlfriends do it together

So, first there was the amazing GCC: Girlfriends Cyber Circuit. And that pretty much rocked. Author interviews, book giveaways, you name it.

Well, now we've all banded together and created a new blog: Girlfriends Book Club. It's a space where former and new members of the GCC can come together and talk about writing, books, and publishing. So, this will pretty much rock EVEN MORE than the original GCC. (I know, how is that even possible?!)

Needless to say, I'm super excited about this new venture of ours and I hope that you will be, too! I will still be blogging here (I mean, where else can we discuss LOST and the Real Housewives on Bravo?!), but I hope you'll check out my new blog home as well!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I think this just shows my amazing powers of forgiveness

Okay, so I'm still totally pissed off about the Lost finale, but this is just so, so cool.

I know that my husband will totally want Faraday's journal, and I totally want one of those Driveshaft CDs. I still remember when they had a party scene on Alias and Sydney Bristow opened the door and "You All Everybody" was playing in the background. So awesome.

One question-- where's Charlie's Driveshaft ring? I kind of want that, too.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My new obsession

Well, you all know that I'm completely obsessed with NYMag.com. But, now I have a new obsession! FunnyorDie.com. Yes, it's been around for a while, but this week, these two videos really cracked me up.

Enjoy!



Thursday, August 5, 2010

Everyone, check your Bar Mitzvah videos!!

So, Gawker's got this AMAZING post about Paul Rudd-- seems before he was a big star, he was (wait for it....) a Bar Mitzvah DJ! One of those guys you hire to amp up the party, arrange the games and just generally keep the party moving. In the video clips, he's just as adorable as he is now, and is it just me, or does this look like one rocking Bat Mitzvah he's working?

I think that everyone should go home and check their Bar and Bat Mitzvah videos-- who knows who your entertainment could have been?

Is it weird that this only makes me love Paul Rudd even more?!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Awesomely awesome

You all know that I love me some Real Housewives on Bravo. Well, if you've been following the Housewives of New Jersey, you know that one of them is in some big financial trouble. I'm assuming that's why she's done this commercial, but really, who cares why she did it? Just watch and enjoy....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hanging out on the Village Green

Hey Long Islanders! If you're out on Long Island, well, first of all, you probably get that song reference I made in the title line. But more importantly, I'll be reading at the Gazebo again this summer! (Yes, on the Village Green in Oceanside!)

I'll be reading as part of the Summer Gazebo Reading Series again this Monday, July 26th at 7pm. Joining me will be the always fabulous Ellen Meister and Saralee Rosenberg, so it should be a great night. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer beach reads

I was asked by Long Island Woman magazine to write a review of the summer beach read I'm reading right now. Since I read about a book a week, I picked the book that has been my favorite of the summer so far.

Click here to see which book I picked!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Things I'm obsessed with this week

So, there are a bunch of things I'm totally obsessed with this week. Instead of just sending email upon email to my husband with the subject heading "How cool is this?!" I figured I'd share with all of you. Because you can only send so many emails to your husband. (And Shawn told me that she's reading my blog again.) So, here goes:

The Old Spice dude
This guy is so hilarious. And totally charismatic. I hope he becomes a huge star. I love his ads. And this viral campaign is just so, so clever.

Ferris Club
Love Ferris Bueller, love Fight Club, so this clip pretty much has it all.

Hawaii 5-0
Could I be any more excited about this?! Jin speaks perfect English!!

NY Mag
Obviously I waste waaaay too much time on this website, but I can't help it! It's awesome!! Damn you, NYMag.com! Stop being so awesome and entertaining!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Get patched in!

So, if you missed me over at the Syosset Library, don't fret! The wonderful Mary Ellen Walsh wrote a fabulous piece about my visit for the Syosset Patch. Check it out here.

And then I hope you'll join me in July, when I'll be reading as part of the Summer Gazebo Reading Series again. I'll be out on the Green on Monday, July 26th, and I hope to be having a better hair day than I was at the Syosset Library (though it's doubtful).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tonight's the night!

If you are on Long Island, I'd love it if you came to hear me speak tonight!! I'll be at the Syosset Public Library at 7pm. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Come to Long Island!

Come see me speak at the Syosset Public Library next Wednesday, June 16th at 7pm! You get to see me, hear me read from one of my novels, AND support public libraries, to boot! What could be better?!

I hope to see you there!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Get lost

So, did you see it?! Did you watch it? Were you like me, waiting for years in anticipation, all culminating in last night's series finale of LOST?! Did you watch all forty-seven hours of LOST-related programming?

Well, I did. And now I feel just like John Locke. For years, I believed. I truly thought that the show creators and writers would wrap the show up and answer all of the questions I've been wondering about for years. (Years!!)

But, instead, the show creators and writers were like the Man in Black: laughing at me, mocking me for my faith. They didn't answer so many of the questions that have been out there for years (Why can't women maintain pregnancies on the island? What was the point of Walt and Michael? And what the heck was with the temple at the beginning of season six?! Feel free to leave your own unanswered questions in the comment section!), and now I just feel like I was a fool to have obsessed about the show for so long.

The only thing that can really make me feel any better right now is a photo of Sawyer with his shirt off, so for old times sake, let's see that one more time:



Yup, I feel better already.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Guest blog: Jenny Gardiner

I'm so excited today because we've got a guest blogger, Jenny Gardiner. She's a fellow GCCer, but that's not why I'm totally excited-- Jenny is pioneering a new front on the publishing scene. Her latest novel, SLIM TO NONE, will only be released on Amazon Kindle! That's right, you heard correctly: it will not be published on paper! Only digital, baby!



Pretty cool, huh?! It definitely begs the question: is this where publishing is going? I don't know the answer, but let's hear from Jenny! So, without further ado, I give you Jenny Gardiner!

Shortly after I received my Kindle e-reader for my birthday a few months ago, I was reading in bed at midnight, not loving the book I had downloaded, but wanting to continue to read something. So with the magic of my electronic reader, in two minutes' time, I found another book on Amazon, downloaded the thing, and had begun reading it. How cool is that?

Dramatic changes have been underway in the publishing industry in recent years—changes that--combined with a faltering economy--have left traditional publishing in a bit of a tailspin. While the cumbersome infrastructure of the publishing industry is perhaps not quite nimble enough to as easily embrace and adapt to these changes, authors are on their own figuring out how they can achieve their end goal--to reach readers hungry for their work.

I've been fortunate to be teamed up with a literary agent—the wonderful Holly Root—whose agency (The Waxman Agency) is an innovator and has undertaken a bold new program of offering up high-quality books to the reading public via a digital imprint called Diversion Books.

I jumped at the chance to be part of this program because in many ways I am a convert to e-reading and I believe that society is on the cusp of a major shift in how people read books. I've always felt badly that there is a tremendous amount of paper waste with books—that books that don't sell get sent back to the publishers and ultimately destroyed. And as one who has on many occasions found at least three books lurking in the bowels of her purse (which gets heavy!), I love having all of my reading neatly compiled into one small, lightweight and very portable device. And strangely I find I can focus more readily when reading in a public place with an e-reader. Go figure.

I think that as competition increases with the introduction of new e-readers, and prices come down in the near future, soon electronic readers like the Kindle, the Nook, the Sony Reader and the iPad (of which 1 million units were sold in 28 days) will become as commonplace as cell phones (with smart phones already an e-reading option for many).

Are e-books the perfect solution? Not at all. I hate the idea that e-books contribute to marginalizing wonderful independent book stores, and hope that somehow some of the talk—of e-book downloads being available at stores, perhaps, will help to mitigate that. And I hate to sit back and watch layoffs and consolidation in the publishing industry, as really good people, fabulous editors, publicists and artists are squeezed out as the business changes. The music industry experienced these same sea changes and frankly nothing about it is easy. But as the mainstream industry goes more and more toward sure-bet books to the exclusion of the vast mid-list, which is really like the middle class of the writing world, more authors will by necessity seek alternatives to continue to pursue their passion and to reach their readers.

I decided to publish digitally with Diversion Books rather than cold turkey on my own because, alas, I am such a Luddite. Well, not fully. But I am technologically stunted and I don't have the time in my life right now to figure out how to do this on my own, and I am happy to be able to work with such wonderful professionals to collaborate on an end-result we can all be proud of. It's early enough that I can't tell you how the outcome will be, but so far so good and I really just hope I can get the word out to enough e-readers about the book—I do find that those who are early adapters with e-readers are enthusiastic to buy books, which is a good thing for everyone in a market in which so few books are being purchased. And I hope that my readers will be able to access this book.

Of course tangible paper books aren't going to go away, but the convenience of downloading books and carrying literally hundreds of them in such compact form is awfully hard to beat. And I'm thrilled to be at the forefront of such exciting innovations and to be able to offer up a book that I absolutely love and think that you will too.

Many of you may know me as a novelist who was able to successfully market my way into a publishing contract with my first novel, SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER, which was the winner of Dorchester Publishing's American Title III contest a few years ago. Back then I sort of stumbled into the frontier of capitalizing on what would soon become the most comprehensive way to market and publicize books—via networking on the internet.

Since that time, the industry has shifted in none-too-subtle ways as the internet has become an integral part of the publishing picture. So much so that e-publishing, which used to be considered an unconventional means of publication, is clearly being viewed now as the wave of the future. The future is already upon us, and I hope that you will join me in this brave new "frontier" and check out my debut e-novel, SLIM TO NONE, in which Abby Jennings, Manhattan's premier food critic, is outed on Page Six of the New York Post, and to her chagrin she realizes she's too recognizably fat to now remain incognito in her job. Her editor gives her six months to shape up or ship out, and so this ultimate foodie--a woman who is paid to eat for a living--must vastly curtail her eating in order to continue being able to make a living.

SLIM TO NONE is a story near and dear to my heart. Like probably every female out there with a heartbeat and a stomach pooch, I have been on the dieting treadmill since I was oh, born. Well, wait, I guess after I started walking. It was then that I knew I needed to stop cramming down the Froot Loops my mother kept insisting was the only thing I would eat, and instead turn to steel-cut oats direct from Ireland for the best proper nutrition.

Alas, Froot Loops won the day, over and over again. In what seems like an omnipresent dietary smackdown between Brussels sprouts and Fluffernutter sandwiches, the latter prevails every time. And with that has been the roller coaster of dieting and hating to diet and then never having pants that fit and a closet full of awesome clothes collecting dust that I really ought to just purge and give to someone thinner and more deserving, but instead I hold out mournful hope that I again will jam my fat ass into a size 6 pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans (yes, friends, it has been that long).

With that albatross secured snugly around my neck, I decided to tackle the ups and downs of this way of life in a novel—and decided upon a foodie for whom food had to become the enemy. I loved the idea of taking someone who has to eat for a living then not be able to eat in order to continue to be able to eat for a living. Such a quandary! And then of course I wanted to pile her up with all sorts of issues that she has to overcome.

I hope you'll join Abbie on her journey of self-discovery and while you're at it enjoy many of the yummy recipes you'll find within the pages of SLIM TO NONE.


With a strong yet delightfully vulnerable voice, food critic Abbie Jennings embarks on a soulful journey where her love for banana cream pie and disdain for ill-fitting Spanx clash in hilarious and heartbreaking ways. As her body balloons and her personal life crumbles, Abbie must face the pain and secret fears she’s held inside for far too long. I cheered for her the entire way.
--Beth Hoffman, bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Satisfying as a Thanksgiving dinner at Mom's. ... Jenny Gardiner's heroine gives us a sarcastic but provocative look at our love-hate relationship with food. You'll eat this up in one sitting
--Ad Hudler, bestselling author of Househusband and Man of the House

"Jenny Gardiner has done it again - this fun, fast-paced book is a great summer read."
--Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Opposite of Me


Thanks so much for stopping by, Jenny! And for those of you who are interested in checking out SLIM TO NONE, click here to read the first chapter!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

GCC Author Interview: April Henry

I'm so excited today because we've got fellow GCCer April Henry here to chat! She's got a new book out-- HAND OF FATE-- with her co-author, Lis Wiehl, and it sounds super exciting.


Here's what it's about:


When the host of a popular radio talk show is murdered, the suspects almost outnumber his millions of listeners. Outspoken radio talk show host Jim Fate dies he opens a package and releases poisonous gas while his polarizing show, "The Hand of Fate," is on air. In the ensuing panic, police evacuate downtown Portland. Soon the triple threat of FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, crime reporter Cassidy Shaw and Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce begin piecing together the madness, motive, and the mystery that lie behind Fate’s murder. While Lis has worked with Bill O’Reilly for years (often serving as the voice of reason or his liberal foil, depending on your point of view), the character is NO WAY based on O’Reilly.

This is the second in the Triple Threat mystery series, which has been optioned for TV. The first, Hand of Fate, one was on the New York Times bestseller list for four weeks! And in April 2011, readers can look for Heart of Ice, which traces the path of a destruction left by a sociopath - and based on a real-life case Lis prosecuted.


Sounds exciting, doesn't it?! But don't just take my word for it! Here's what Publisher's Weekly had to say about it:

"Exciting... readers will identify with these very real women as they try to uncover Fate's killer, and each battles a personal demon—Allison her fear of miscarriage, Nic her fear of her daughter's criminal father, and Cassidy her prescription drug addiction.”


I'm sold! So, without further ado, let's get to our questions!


When did you first begin writing?


I started writing when I was nine or ten - and Roald Dahl helped me get a story I wrote when I was 12 published. It was about a six-foot tall frog named Herman who loved peanut butter. I’ve since lost the story, but I still have the postcard Dahl sent me. I was convinced we were friends.

What are you working on right now?


The next book in the Triple Threat series, Heart of Ice, has gone through almost all the edits. It’s super scary and based on a real-life case Lis prosecuted. I’m editing The Girl in the Mini Cooper, a YA I wrote that is also based on a real life case about a pizza delivery girl who disappeared.

What are you reading right now?


Before I Fall, a young adult book about a girl who keeps reliving the last day of her life, trying to get it right. It’s a real page turner.

How do you fight writer’s block?

I will work on a different scene that falls later in the book. Sometimes I work on an entirely different book. Or I will just force myself to write crap, because you can edit crap, but you can’t edit nothing. Now that I make my living as a writer, I depend on making my deadline to eat, so that is a big motivator!

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

It’s usually a plot that first inspires me - then I figure out who would be the most affected by that plot.



Thanks so much for stopping by, April! And I hope you'll all check out her latest release, HAND OF FATE.




Thursday, April 8, 2010

All about Ellen....

We here at Brenda's Blog just love Ellen Meister. We also love entering contests. And we love free stuff. So, what could be better than this: Ellen's giving away a free $25 gift card just for signing up for her mailing list!

Ellen has an exciting new book coming out next year and she wants you to know all about it. It's sure to be her breakout novel, so if you loved her last two books, or just want to discover a new author, you should check this out.

Sign up for her mailing list now and you will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $25 amazon.com gift card.

Just click here, fill out the form, and remember to click through when you get the confirmation email. That's it. Ellen only sends out a few updates a year, so you won't be bombarded. Besides, I think you'll want to hear about her breakthrough novel, THE OTHER LIFE (Putnam/2011), which is already getting great early buzz:

"Gripping! A truly fascinating story of love, loss, and a magical place in between."
Beth Harbison, New York Times bestselling author of HOPE IN A JAR

"Intriguing, stimulating, original, unpredictable, frightening, utterly engaging--THE OTHER LIFE reminded me why I love to read. Ellen Meister is a writer with a limitless future."
–Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of THE SECOND OPINION and THE LAST SURGEON


"In her riveting breakthrough novel, THE OTHER LIFE, gifted storyteller Ellen Meister doesn’t just peek in on a young mother who straddles between love and doubt, she blows it open with a story of one who straddles two parallel universes, each with its own perilous decisions. It is a brave and honest exploration of the precarious limits of motherhood that will make readers wonder if Meister followed them with a probe and felt their racing hearts and hopes. If you have ever second guessed the biggest decisions of your life (and who hasn’t), THE OTHER LIFE is a captivating homage to the question, does love conquer all?"
–Saralee Rosenberg, author of DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD and FATE AND MS. FORTUNE


"Ellen Meister makes a big leap toward the literary in THE OTHER LIFE, a book where “What if” becomes the most powerful question in the world. This is the thinking woman’s beach read, a love story to the modern family, written with a deep and lovely understanding of mothers and daughters and the sacrifices they’ll make for each other."
–Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING


"THE OTHER LIFE is a provocative and unique tale of the road not taken. Ellen Meister puts a magical, masterful spin on one of my favorite questions: "What if?" What if you took both roads? You won't want to miss this one!"

–Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON


"I loved this emotional powerhouse of a novel that asks a daring “what if…” and manages to be as charming and funny as it is thoughtful and moving. Brava, Ellen Meister!”
–Melissa Senate, author of SEE JANE DATE and THE SECRET OF JOY


The funniest thing about all of these fabulous blurbs is that I am reading THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING as we speak! Seriously. You can even check out my goodreads page!

Anyhoo, I hope you all enter to win the contest. I'm heading over there now!

Friday, April 2, 2010

So lost....

Last week there were two completely hilarious videos about Lost. The only problem is: I can't decide which one is funnier.

On the one hand, the montage of Sawyer saying "Son of a bitch" over and over again is just so classic. It starts out really funny, then gets to where you just sort of smile at each moment, then it just isn't funny anymore, but then wait: because it gets totally hilarious again.

On the other hand, the ode to Richard Alpert has some really classic lines. Clearly, I need to integrate "you wear the hell out of a button down" into my regular parlance.

And the bonus of each video is that they BOTH feature Lost hotties!!! So, as you watch, you get to stare at some of the best man-candy Lost has to offer.

I guess you could say it's a win-win.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Big congrats go out to Linda Kish! You've won a copy of PURE PRINCESS, BARTERED BRIDE by Caitlin Crews! Just shoot me an email at brenda[at]brendajanowitz[dot]com to claim your prize!



Not a winner this time around? That's okay! I give lots of books away all the time, so check back in a few days for my next big giveaway!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Girlfriends rocking out....

The fabulous Sheila Curran (who you may remember as a member of the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit) is celebrating the paperback release of her novel EVERYONE SHE LOVED. But more importantly, she's also celebrating the fact that she's successfully fought cancer and won. Now that's something to celebrate!


Check out her blog entry about her amazing journey here, and then by all means, run out and get your copy of EVERYONE SHE LOVED!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hey girl!

I'm being interviewed today on Girlhabits, a blog devoted to "finding your inner star." Well, who wouldn't want to do that?! The interview is all about chasing your dreams and changing careers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

GCC Author Interview: Jenny Gardiner

I'm so excited today, because we've got the lovely Jenny Gardiner here to chat! She's here to tell us all about her latest release, WINGING IT, and it sounds like a total delight. Jenny's clearly got a way with titles, because this one is a winner, just like her first book, SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER.


Take it away, Jenny!


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


Winging It: Think David Sedaris meets Marley & Me, with a deadly beak.


When did you first begin writing?
I've always been a writer--ever since I knew I sucked at math (around 2nd grade) so needed a Plan B. I studied journalism and worked in radio/tv/print, then worked in PR, so writing has been my trade. But I didn't start to view myself as a writer until I started writing again a few years back after being a stay-at-home mom for a good long while. And I realized I finally had in me the seasoning to actually write something more substantial than reportage on someone else's life. The first time I resumed writing at all, I was bumming out that due to a severe drought (with water usage cut by 50%), we'd have no Christmas parties that year (who could invite 100 people to your house to drink lots of liquids, but then not let them use your bathroom? Impossible!). So I wrote a funny piece about this, sold it to a regional publication, and was duly deluded into thinking getting published was a snap.


Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I am constantly inspired from everything around me. I hear stories that seem so outlandish and then I think of ways I can rework them with a plot and some goals and motivation and conflict and make a book out of them. Sometimes just a sentence intrigues me enough to write a book (which was the case with my first book, Sleeping with Ward Cleaver--I'd jokingly said that about some guy, that he'd be like sleeping with Ward Cleaver, and the phrase stuck with me and sounded like such a fun book title).


What tips would you offer to aspiring writers?

I think besides honing your writing skills and educating yourself about the industry, I think the most essential thing for any writer is to believe in yourself. You need to be able to believe in yourself when you think not another soul on the planet does. Because otherwise you will struggle to persevere in this business--it's a tough business with a lot of downs and sometimes not as many ups. But if you know you're a damned good writer, then tell yourself that all the time. And if you need to be reminded of it, go back and read something you've written, and surprise yourself with how good a writer you are. And remember to write because you love to write, not because of external forces that are making it an unenjoyable practice.


Do a quick character study on yourself: don’t forget to add in the fun stuff, like favorite foods and things you love/hate!


Hmmm...I think I'm actually a study in contrasts. I am organized in an amazingly disorganized way. I am friendly, outgoing, helpful, fun. I am the one who spearheads the party, who organizes the get-together, the one who stays in touch or gets in touch again after 20 years. I can hold a grudge probably too long, but will equally hold someone upon a pedestal who has been particularly kind or thoughtful. I'm super sarcastic, yet bizarrely pollyanna at times. I'm really tough and determined, but sometimes plagued with self-doubt. I have a gift for retaining extremely useless information and would be fabulous on Jeopardy, except that I'd always forget to begin my answer with an interrogative. I remember useless nonsense but then forget really important things.

I wish I could be a vegetarian, but I don't care for many vegetables. I wish I had more self-discipline, but hey, don't we all? I am crazy about milk chocolate with almonds, and adore banana cream pie. I love to cook, love good wine, traveling is what I would do if I had time and money, and I'd also continue to study Italian if I had the time to do so.


Thanks so much for swinging by, Jenny! Don't forget to rush out and pick up a copy of Jenny's latest, WINGING IT.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Book giveaway: Pure Princess, Bartered Bride by Caitlin Crews

Caitlin Crews is back!! First, you heard her talk all about her secret identity, and now she's back to give away a copy of her latest release which debuted on the USA Today bestseller list, PURE PRINCESS, BARTERED BRIDE.



To enter to win a signed copy, just leave a comment below! Winners will be announced on March 31st!

Monday, March 15, 2010

My secret identity

If the title of this blog post makes you think of Jerry O'Connell, you're not alone.

But today we're talking about a different secret identity! Last week on my blog I introduced you to the talented Megan Crane. She's the one with the secret identity. Okay, well, it's not really quite so secret since we're talking about it here and most of her readers know about it, but.... Well, just go with me here!

Megan writes under her own name, but she also writes under a pseudonym! How cool is that?! Well, I thought it was super cool, so I asked Megan to blog about it!

So, without further ado, let's hear from Megan:


I've always wanted a secret identity.

Who wouldn't? I remember watching Alias and thinking it would be pretty cool to be Sydney Bristow--especially with that yummy Michael Vaughn trailing along with her on her adventures--because taking on all those new identities looked like a blast.


Also, I'm a Gemini, so I guess I was always destined to have an alter-ego.


When I decided to see if I could write a romance novel, I had no idea that anything would come of it. I just knew that romances were my most favorite books in the world. I hoard them. I read my favorites over and over, and can spend whole afternoons in book stores with good romance sections, browsing for new authors to love, cherish, and follow slavishly. Though I'd written for years and sold a few books, I didn't think I could write a romance novel.


They're so *hard,* you see.


Think about it: when you pick up a romance novel and read the back cover, you know at once who the heroine is and who her hero is. Which means you also know that those two will end up together in the end, happily ever after. That's what a romance novel offers: a happy ending, no matter what. So your job as a writer is to tell a story that everyone already knows the ending to, in such a way as to keep the reader entertained, hopefully making them worry and fret and forget to breathe because *how* can it possibly all work out... and then making that happily ever after ending ring true. Pulling that off is the art of the romance novel.


You'll have to tell me if I succeeded!


But when the book was finished and Harlequin actually bought it--the culmination of a life long dream!--it seemed like the perfect opportunity to create a new identity for these books. After all, a Harlequin Presents, so richly layered and emotionally intense and starkly passionate, is a very different sort of book than the others I write. I thought it made sense to make sure up front that no one thought they were getting one form of my writing when they'd be getting the other--and so Caitlin Crews was born.






So far, I quite like her. She hit the USA Today bestseller list with her debut book, has two more set to come out this year (Majesty, Mistress...Missing Heir will be out in May in the UK and October in North America; Katrakis's Last Mistress will be out in September in the UK), and really should be working on her latest one *as we speak.* In comparison, my usual identity feels like a little bit of a slacker.


You can't really ask for more from a not-so-secret identity!


No, you can't! Thanks so much for stopping by, Megan! But wait, there's more! Megan has generously offered to give away a copy of one of her romance novels! Er, one of Caitlin's, I should say. But, anyway, you get the point: a free signed book!! Check back in a few days for deets!!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

More winners!!!

Big congrats go out to Booksnyc! She's won a signed copy of Megan Crane's EVERYONE ELSE'S GIRL! Just shoot me an email (brenda[at]brendajanowitz[dot]com) with your contact info, and we'll get a signed copy of the book out to you!



Didn't win? That's okay! Megan's alter ego, Caitlin Crews, will be giving away a copy of her latest release in a few days. Check back for deets!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

So handsome

This Jimmy Kimmel video is just too hilarious to accurately describe in words. It's long-- almost 10 minutes-- but I promise you it is beyond hysterical. Be careful watching it at work because you Will. Laugh. Out. Loud!



Monday, March 8, 2010

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Big congrats go out to Kaye-- you've won a copy of Hank Phillippi Ryan's DRIVE TIME! Just shoot me an email (brenda[at]brendajanowitz[dot]com) with your contact info, and we'll get a signed copy of the book out to you!



Not a winner this time around? That's okay! There are still a few days left to enter to win Megan Crane's EVERYONE ELSE'S GIRL! Enter to win today!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Better than Disney!!

Okay, I know that the subject line is totally sacrilegious, BUT- New York Mag is reporting that there are talks to create a LOST theme park!!!

And, anyhoo, it's not that bad to say that it would be better than Disney, because Disney actually owns the rights to LOST.

So, basically, Disney + LOST = greatest thing ever. Only, how will they accurately depict Sawyer's hotness once they convert him into animatronics?! Only time will tell.....