Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What Our Fools Rush In Heroines Have to Say!

As the First Ladies of Hollywood, we’ve called a truce, ending our decade’s long rivalry! The world’s a big, beautiful, ball of intrigue, debauchery, and scintillating news. Always willing to ask the tough questions, we’ve set aside our difference to bring you the scoop!


We all love celebrities, tittle-tattle about our co-workers, and all the juicy tidbits about people from the past! We want to be in the know and so do you. So, for you, dear readers, there is no one we are afraid to talk to.

Louella here! I find myself walking downtown Houston, where rumor has it that socialite Miriam Dean is planning her wedding and I’ve come to see what all the fuss is about. Hedda is on the East Coast hunting her prey.

 I must admit, though it doesn’t have the tropical balminess of Los Angeles, I love the bustle of this desert city. I can sit at a cafĂ© and watch all kinds of mischief take place. But… hold on now! I can’t believe who I see. (Readers, I’ve just spotted “the least likely” from high school, let’s get caught up!)
Louella: Alexandra Jewitt! My, what a beauty you’ve grown into. I can hardly believe the transformation! Please don’t be offended, but I can hardly believe the beautiful woman sitting with me was such a wallflower in high school! I just have to ask, "Alex, may I see a picture of you from high school?"
(Alex is digging through a lovely floral bag, looking for pictures while I take in her ‘low-key’ attire.)
Young Alex
Alex Now - Wow!!

Louella: I remember Beckett or Beck was part of the in-crowd in high school when the two of you became friends our senior year. And you... weren't. Now that ten years have passed, when you think back on high school, is there anything you would change about yourself so that you could have been part of the in crowd? (How brazen of me!)

Alex: If I had that question ten years ago, I would have said EVERYTHING! Now I have to say I might not have changed much because I was always myself and rarely tried to fit in with anyone by changing who I was.

Louella: Rumor has it you're the proud owner of a flower shop, congratulations! How did your interest in floristry develop? I have to admit, I've never met a florist before.

Alex: Most girls love flowers, right? (She’s right there! Pay attention gentleman readers.) There’s something so amazing about seeing different types of flowers and mixing them into interesting combinations. There is really no end to your imagination when you’re a florist because there are literally thousands of varieties of flowers out there! I’ve always been interested in floristry, but it really developed when I was in college and took a floristry course during the summer. I never looked back.

Louella: Every high school has a guy or girl that seems to rule the school. Rumor has it that a boy named Robbie ruled your school. Any ideas on what happened to him after graduation? (It would be so much fun to catch up with him, while I’m here. He and I used to have so much fun.)

Alex: Robbie’s life didn’t go so well. He lost his scholarship after getting a positive random drug test. Later rumors say Robbie’s football muscle turned to fat and he was arrested after assaulting his son’s football coach during a scrimmage. (Quelle horror! Definitely not going to meet up with him.)

How I love to steal the column from Louella! On my way back to Los Angeles I decided to stop in the Windy City, Chicago, where I grew up, to do a little shopping.

I must also find out what people think about Oprah Winfrey… she’s moving Harpo Studios to LA, can you believe it? I know she frequents RL Restaurant, so I’ve made myself cozy at a little table near the corner booth reserved for her.

Hold on! I’ve just spotted a high school classmate of my (much) older brother. Corrine, I think her name is. (Let’s see what she does when I wave to her!)

Hedda: Great to see you Cory! How are you? You look terrific, and my goodness your gorgeous hair captured my attention. Where do you get your hair done? I think I might need to go there before I head back to Los Angeles.

Cory: You look great too! Thank you for the wonderful compliment on my hair. I have only recently started to get it done professionally and I am treating myself by going to Delle Amiche Salon, here in Chicago. Antonio is my hair dominatrix. (Dominatrix, how interesting…)

 Hedda: I’ve been dying to know since high school, where did the nickname Cory come from? A previous boyfriend? High school best friend? I adore your full name, Corrine.

Corrine (from now on): The nickname Cory came from the kids in my neighborhood. They said Corrine sounded like an old woman. After socking Billy Brandt in the nose for saying that, I gave in and let them call me Cory. (Billy Brandt was quite the bully, well done her!)

Hedda: So, my brother, Paul, mentioned d-i-v-o-r-c-e! How is life after divorce, tell me all about it! Found anyone special? Or a few someone’s?

Corrine: Life after divorce was liberating. My ex, Steve, was a control freak and I never felt that I was in charge of my own life. I didn't date after Steve because I wanted/needed to take care of me.

Hedda: Your best friends with Ellen... I can't remember her last name... I saw her with her husband Bob last time I was in town. They sure won the marriage lottery. Do you ever envy her? (I sure did, Bob was hot!)

Corrine: I have NEVER envied Ellie's marriage to Bob! It has been fraught with so much upheaval, it boggles the mind that they’ve stayed together so long. (Wow, scoop here to be sniffed out!)

Hedda: Okay, tell me about everyone we know. Anyone we know up to bad deeds in dark corners?

Corrine: Ha! I work in my family's insurance company so all the employees do their darndest to keep their secrets from me. Although I can tell you that my dad told me that my mom was looking into a naked yoga retreat for their 45th wedding anniversary trip. Yuck, TMI! And the worst part is that I can't get the image out of my head. (Me either!)

Hedda Still Here!

I just love the East Coast, not that I would leave Los Angeles to live here, but it is quite magnificent. So old… so many bricks, and people walking about. (I get wanting fresh air, but that’s what convertibles are for, darlings!)

I have been invited by my sorority sister (Alpha Kappa Alpha, of course), Jessica to visit. I can’t wait to find out how she came to own the ACME Office Amusements. No doubt left to her by a family member.

After introducing myself to the receptionist, I watch Jessica berate a lovely woman. I have to get to the bottom of this story!

Hedda: Amy, what exactly drew you to ACME Office Amusements? Have you always wanted to be a toy designer? What's your favorite toy?

 Amy: I love toys and I love design. (I do too! Though I’m sure Louella will give me grief.) I did go looking for a job in the field, but ACME, honestly, wasn’t my first choice. We make some “different” things and the staff is... interesting. But, you know, with the job market being what it is, I was just glad to find work. (Living hand to mouth, do you think? Perhaps that’s why everyone walks on the East Coast!) I have made one or two really good friends. My favorite toy isn’t anything we make. It’s this sweet little teddy bear my friend Tom gave me last Valentine’s Day. Just for fun, of course. We’re just friends.

Hedda: Don’t hold back, tell me what is it like working for Jessica Smites? What does it take to make her happy? I've heard she can be a real tyrant!

Amy: No. Who told you that? Jessica is the best boss ever. She is a joy to work for. I ADORE Jessica. Is she going to read this? (Now, that is an interesting question. Trouble in ACME paradise?)

Hedda: I met your work-mate Melanie. She seems very... sweet. Who is your favorite co-worker?

Amy: Aw, Mel’s super-sweet. But, I guess I’d have to say Tom’s my favorite co-worker. I love Tom! In a strictly platonic sort of a way, of course. (Hmmm…)

Hedda: (I can’t help but ask, and you know you want me to…) What's the chatter around the office cooler? Any juicy office gossip you want to share? Office romances?

Amy: I heard something about Chuck and a prostitute, but—you know, I should probably not repeat that. Can you just forget I said anything?

Hedda: Certainly. Of course. (I’ll store that little piece of juicy gossip for another time!) When you look into the future, do you see yourself at ACME, or moving on to Mattel? Or Hasboro? (Just throwing her off course, Readers.)

Amy: You know, I’m not really sure, but lately I’ve been thinking I might freshen up my resume, just in case. I’m not sure how much more ACME I can take, if you know what I mean.
“Wow! I can hardly believe it. Quelle difference!”

Finally back to me, Louella!

Finally, I’ve wrangled the column back from Hedda. (She can be quite trying, I’m working so hard to get along with her.)

She’s not the only one who knows people on the East Coast. I love New York City, and it’s never better than in the Spring! I’ve come to see the new collections during fashion week. I’ve managed to pull aside up and coming designer Maddison Leary.


Louella: I love your outfit, by the way (I notice she is wearing a Vivienne Westwood ensemble - very colorful, very now!). I’m sure you get asked this all the time, but I’m dying to know which designers influence you the most?

Maddison: Well, I'm not really a fashion designer yet, but I work for one of the biggest fashion houses in New York. I am working hard and hopefully I will climb the ladder to designer someday. (She’s not a designer yet? She’s so chic, so creative. Someone needs to snap her up!)
I don't know if I can choose just one designer, I have such an eclectic style I would happily wear outfits from every collection.

I do love Diane von Furstenberg for creating the wrap dress. It's such a versatile garment that has stood the test of time. It's slinky and sexy and can be dressed up or down and it's comfortable and looks good on everyone. It's very forgiving and Diane was a princess for goodness sake, that makes me love her all the more.
Having said that I think my all time favorite is Betsey Johnson. I have such a soft spot for her and she is the nicest lady. She is edgy and wild and radical in fashion and in life. She is not only outside of the box, she uses the box to make a dress. Love her.

Louella: What's it like working for Angela Pritchard? I've heard she is very driven (er' demanding)!
Maddison: Well I can't say too much because I would like to keep my job, ha-ha. No seriously, she is brilliant. Her designs are fresh and original and bold. When it comes to fashion and business she certainly is at the top of her game. She is very business motivated at all costs. (Politically correct answer. Does anyone else think all isn’t happy at the House of Pritchard?)

Louella: Then tell me, where do you see your career in ten years? With Angela? Another design house? (I’ve got to dig, don’t I?)
Maddison: I hope to be designing my own range of clothes. I want to create collections that not only see you through the four seasons but also through a range of emotions. I want the rock chick attire for all the mums who get to go out once a month to see a concert, I want the floaty romantic dresses with bold prints but pastel colors for the girl who is going on her first date, the pant suit to challenge the men in the office, maybe it will be pinstriped pink fabric. I don't know I have so many ideas I'm surprised I ever get to sleep. I would also like to find love. (My ears just perked up. Love? Let’s see if we can find out more.)

Louella: What's the chatter around the office cooler? Any juicy office gossip you want to share? Office romances?
Maddison: I think the only single and available man in the office is Tom Pritchard. (Interesting.) I say available but I don't think he is interested in relationships, he is very professional. He is also a great designer but prefers to stand in Angela's shadow. She wants the fame more than him so I suspect he lets her take it. If you want the good gossip you need to talk to the interns, those guys are wild. (Interesting insights into Tom and Angela Pritchards sibling rivalry – or lack of!)

Louella: (Not giving up) I've seen Angela's brother, Tom, from a distance, and in the papers of course. What's the scoop on him?
Maddison: Well he is a very private person. None of us have had a lot to do with him. Every time I have had a chance to work with him, it's been a real pleasure. He is very kind and is always willing to help. He is very approachable. Oh and cute, did I mention that? I would love to get to work with him more. He always makes me smile. (Now we’re getting somewhere!)

Remember readers, stay tuned to this website for more news and gossip from around the country and around the globe!  - Hedda and Louella

Read more about these intriguing ladies in our FREE
April Fools' Day Anthology - Fools Rush In
Found on
(Reviews greatly appreciated.)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Blog Hop - My Work In Progress

I would like to thank Marie Lavender, author and blogger extraordinaire, for tagging me in her blog hop: What's Your Next Big Thing?

I read her book Upon Your Honor and absolutely loved it. (To read my review, follow this link:

She is currently working Upon Your Love,  part of the Heiresses in Love Series, a Victorian romance series with some suspense. "Spurred from the first book, Upon Your Return, it all started with a woman who gets into a bit of trouble on the docks in La Rochelle, France. Hmm…my heroines in that series always seem to encounter trouble of one kind or another. The scene for the first book just came to me, and I didn’t question why Fara’s story had to be told. And I guess I’m still telling it, though each book is centered on a new set of characters. The ideas for the sequels came to me shortly after I received a contract for the first book. Suddenly, I knew the story wasn’t over, that other characters needed their say." - Marie Lavender

Marie's Questions for Me!

1. What is your working title of your book (or story)?

The title of my work in progress is Marian’s Misguided, The Accidental Roadie. This is Book Three in The Accidental Series.

2. Where did the idea come from for these books?

Way back in 2008 I wrote Charlotte’s Restrained, The Accidental Stalker. The book is based upon what happens when Charlotte gets to meet her celeb crush. I’m a vagabond at heart and could spend my life travelling. I am also blessed with many wonderful friends. So, rather than write about damsels in distress, I write books where the reader travels to real places, with a group of five vivacious, can-do women.
One of them is Irishwoman, Marian Conolly. She’s sarcastic, witty, up for anything – but she is also ready for the next chapter in her life to begin. She’s a successful lawyer, but now… she wants to have more in her personal life. I promise a great read filled with laughter.

3. What genre do your books fall under?

Tough one – technically I would called them Contemporary Romance, but I endeavor to explore some of lifes harder moments also. So, there is laughter, romance, travel… but expect a twist.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’ve created a Pinterest Board for Charlotte’s Restrained, this is the link: I cast actress Sarah Parish as Marian. This series has a huge cast of characters, a new male character, Declan has already be fleshed out. I would cast British Actor, James Murray for him. It’s early days, so I haven’t figured out all the who’s and why’s, but another handsome hunk will arrive on the scene. Who knows who will be the one?  (Coincidentally, Sarah Parish and James Murray are married in real life.)


5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

She’s bold, brash, and brazen, and taking to the open road to find out which path to take.

6. Will your book(s) be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am a self-published author. I’m not sure that defines me as an Indie Author. I’m still trying to understand the difference.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’ve only been working on it a month, but I expect to be done by December. Nine months to a year seems to be my normal time frame.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The whole series has been compared to Sex in the City or Nottinghill, by reviewers. I know they aren’t books, but the TV series and movie get awfully close.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The first book in the series, Charlotte’s Restrained, The Accidental Stalker, was inspired by an interview on Inside the Actors Studio, Clint Eastwood was the guest. My husband and I were amazed by how diverse his skills and interests are and we got to talking about how great it would be to have dinner with him… but how does one go about making contact, becoming friends with, a celebrity?

Kathleen’s Undressed, The Accidental Enigma, was inspired by the character, Kathleen, herself (when I wrote Charlotte Restrained). When I re-read the first book I realized that Kathleen went fairly undeveloped, which lead me to wonder why. From that I created this contained enigma who is complex, but still fits into the quirky world of high styling, living life large, group of women.

Marian’s role in both books is to lighten the mood, but she’s also very clear that she is look for love… if not someone to lust after. Her book is exactly that – the unifying of lust and love and her bold move to find it.
Thank you to Lois W. Stern who tagged Marie Lavender. If I am lucky she will add me to her AUTHORS’ HALL OF FAME (the first ten authors who complete the above instructions, post their interview questions/answers on their blog, and add her information to their AUTHORS’ HALL OF FAME linking her name and image to E-mail her @
My turn to nominate! Ladies, all you need to do is follow my lead. Answer the questions I did, add Lois and my links, then nominate five people you know!
S.E. Babin has a passion for writing books with a paranormal twist. Whether it’s romance or mystery, she loves taking the norm and turning it into the extraordinary. Her love of reading turned into a curious exploration to see whether or not she could write her own novel. Beginning with random, terrible poetry and a slightly popular reimagining of Beowulf’s Grendel in her high school English class, Sheryl spent way too much time in the library, killing any chance of her becoming a cheerleader or anything even remotely cool.
Laurie Baxter has degrees in both puppetry and screenwriting because let’s face it, majoring in English would have been no more useful and way less fun. She loves chocolate, ice cream, chocolate ice cream, dogs, New York City, old movies, modern architecture, all kinds of theater, and music from before she was born. Her eighth grade English teacher told her to become a writer, so she did.
Engy Albasel Neville is a working mom, a brand consultant professional with 15 years experience managing brand initiatives for fortune 500 companies, a certified yoga teacher and an aspiring amateur chef.
Her favorite hobbies include traveling, gardening, cooking and writing with the latter more of a calling than hobby. She’s also a self proclaimed bookworm.
Engy lives with her husband, two active toddlers and super hyper dog on Long Island, New York.
Amy Gettinger lives in Orange County, California with her husband and her two piteous poodles under the shade of a very old eucalyptus windrow full of crows and wild parrots. When she’s not writing novels, she’s creating Reader’s Theater plays and coaching a local senior group to perform them, complete with feather boas and tiaras.

While attending the University of Illinois in Chicago, Whitney Dineen was discovered by a local modeling agent and began an unexpected career as a plus-size Ford model. She modeled in New York City before moving to Los Angeles with her husband. During “The Hollywood Years,” Whitney was bitten by the writing bug and started creating characters that are inspired by strong women with a great sense of humor. She is the author of the best-selling romantic comedy, She Sins at Midnight. Her second book, The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan, is due out in May, 2015.  In addition to writing romantic comedies, Whitney has also created a series of adventure books for girls. The first of which, Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory, will be released in the autumn of 2015. Whitney and her husband live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where they raise their children, chickens and organic vegetables.
Connie Stephany is a self-published author, whose first book, Second Chances, was published in December of 2014. 
She has been reading romance novels her entire life, and decided to try her hand at writing one!  Although it took several years between writing her first book and publishing, her second book will be (hopefully) much faster to market and is plotting it out now.
Connie lives in Zimmerman, Minnesota with her husband of 15 years, 3 children who are 14, 13 and 8 and a dog named Millie.
Connie’s dream is to become a famous author one day, where she can write books people cannot wait to read.

Suzie Jay is a mum of six who lives in Australia with her delicious husband and band of little misfits. She is a former school teacher who escaped to torture the world by sharing what’s inside her head. This is her first published work and it will be followed closely by her debut novel: Walk on the wild Side. The reinvention of Violet Monte which will be out in May of 2015.