Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Pregnancy Test Cover Reveal & Giveaway!


I'm super excited to share the cover for my latest book, The Pregnancy Test

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes . . . fertility treatments? 

Marin and James have spent their newlywed year hoping to make a baby. But with her thirty-fifth birthday looming and twelve negative pregnancy tests, Marin & James gear up for their greatest and most emotional challenge yet--Mission: Get Pregnant.

But the battle isn't easy. Between IUI and TCM treatments, Marin's counseling practice expands but her belly doesn't. Will Marin and James get a positive pregnancy test or will they be left behind while everyone around them gets knocked up? 

This is book three in The Marin Test Series. All of your favorite characters are back with some new ones that you'll love!






And, I've got a great giveaway for you too! 2 signed paperback copies plus a fashion engagement-style ring! Click here to enter!





Friday, December 16, 2016

Yes! Yes! Yes!

My TBR pile is huge! And it grows bigger and bigger. So I was so excited to finally read Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes. If you don't know who Shonda Rhimes is then you don't watch TV on Thursday nights. Or maybe at all. She's the creator of the long-standing Grey's Anatomy, Grey's spinoff--Private Practice, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. She is Thursday Night Primetime.

I'm not gonna lie, I was pissed after she killed off one of the dreamiest characters of all time. But it didn't stop me from watching the show because . . . she's a boss. A genius boss. I'll never forget the last episode of season ten on Grey's when we find out who Maggie Pierce really is. I screamed. I cried. My heart filled with appreciation. Thank you, writers of this show! Thank you!!

It was in that moment that I realized just how impactful fiction can be. Sometimes I forget and think what I do as a writer doesn't matter. But if it didn't, novels, TV dramas, and science fiction movies wouldn't make millions of dollars.

Anyway, back to Year of Yes. In this fun narrative, Shonda realizes that she "never says yes to anything." So she vows to agree to everything that scares her and steps waaaaaay out of her comfort zone. Shonda shows a side of her that you wouldn't expect from a super successful woman in entertainment. It turns out that we have a lot more in common besides being writers. We even have similar ideas. Back in 1998 when I was 13 years old, I wrote my first legit short story called Raining in Hollywood, about three best friends from Iowa who graduate high school and immediately drive across the country to realize their dreams of stardom in Los Angeles. When I saw Crossroads later in 2003 I was like WHAT? Britney Spears took my idea and Shonda Rhimes wrote it! But obviously, that would be impossible. We must've all been hanging out in the same part of the collective consciousness around the same time. It happens. Needless to say, I LOVED the movie.

One of my favorite parts of the book is when she talks about how she deflect a compliment about her success by saying, "I'm just so lucky." And then makes the distinction that by saying she's lucky it implies that she didn't earn it. She says, "I'm not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don't call me lucky. Call me a badass." That you are, Shonda!

Truth be told, I never really noticed how diverse her casts are. And if I did, I didn't think that much about it. The casts of characters in my books are diverse too and I was just thinking what I would say if someone asked me about it. I wouldn't know what to say. Then that night I read about Shonda being asked this exact question. Her answer was that diversity isn't special or rare. It's normal. She said she's normalizing television. "The goal is that everyone should get to turn on the TV and see someone who looks like them and loves like them. And just as important, everyone should turn on the TV and see someone who doesn't look like them and love like them. Because perhaps they will learn from them." And I like that answer.

I just loved this book. It was inspiring and somehow, I adore Shonda even more. So here's to all the writers and the badasses who are smart and talented and take advantage of opportunities, and work really, really hard. You go!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holly Jolly . . . Chick Lit Hop!!


Make the holiday season even merrier by discovering new reads from some of today's best chick lit and romantic comedy authors during the Holly Jolly Chick Lit Hop on Facebook.

Here's how it works: every day from Monday, December 5 through Friday, December 16, readers are invited to hop around to more than 60 authors' Facebook pages (with about five stops each day) to receive gifts and enter to win prizes.

Here is the schedule, which includes the list of authors posting each day and links to their Facebook pages in case you'd like to give them a "like" and follow along:

MONDAY, DECEMBER 5

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11

MONDAY, DECEMBER 12

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16

We will also give away several Amazon gift cards as bonus prizes on the event page. Every day that you participate and leave a comment on the main post for the day, you will be entered into the drawing to receive the prizes. Be sure to check back every day to maximize your chances!

Happy Holidays to all and to all some fabulous reading!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Songs That Inspired The Commitment Test

Pretty much every story I've written since I was a kid had, what I would call, a soundtrack. You know, the songs that would play in the background if the book ever got made into a movie  . . .  and I was in charge of everything. 

A while ago, I posted a blog with The Man Test soundtrack, so I thought it'd be fun to share what I was listening to when I wrote The Commitment Test.

Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) by Beyonce- This is a pretty obvious pick for a book that's about a woman trying to get her boyfriend to propose marriage. Plus it's a classic.

Marry You by Bruno Mars- This originally inspired a wedding scene that actually got cut out of the book. It was called Love and Las Vegas Again . . .

Distance by Emily King

Let's Stay Together by Al Green- There's a scene where a special guy and a special girl are dancing together in their hotel room. It's the kind of romantic scene I fantasize about for myself.

All About Your Heart by Mindy Gledhill- This song could almost be the theme for all the Marin books. I discovered it when I was writing The Commitment Test and I fell in love with it. If this was a movie All About Your Heart would be the theme song.

If I Can't Have You by Yvonne Elliman

I Choose You by Sara Bareilles- Did you all know that Sara Bareilles is my favorite singer?? Next to Michael Jackson of course.

The One That Got Away by Katy Perry- So it's not a spoiler, but Marin's ex resurfaces in this book, causing all kinds of trouble. And I know for many, there's always that one who got away that you wonder, what if . . .

Real Love by Mary J. Blige- This is an anthem, that mostly reminds me of riding my Huffy around the cul-de-sac as a second grader, but it's what we all want. Real Love.

Marry Me by Jason Derulo- Okay, what romantic woman doesn't swoon over this song.



You can check out this soundtrack here on Spotify. I'd love to hear your thoughts, please leave me a comment  below. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

You're President. I'm President.

Today is not your typical day if you're an American. The 2016 presidential election is finally over and we will have a new president come January 2017. For many people in the country this is an exciting win and for many others, it's a devastating loss. 

Regardless of your political stance and opinions, this was a surprise win. When I woke up this morning I could already feel the heaviness in the air. A collective energy that permeates the country, maybe the world. 

There's a message I wanted to share with all of you whether you're pleased with the outcome or not. Yes, the president has power along with the rest of the government, but there are more of us than there are of them. We have so much more power than we realize. 

Let's not sit back and let a handful of people dictate our future. We have to stand up, sometimes with a stand-alone spirit and claim the power we have. Because I think you are president and I am president. We're all president. Every day we cast our vote by how we consume, the conversations we engage in, the way we conduct ourselves at home and in society. Those small acts accumulate and impact the world in a huge way, even if you don't realize it. 

Whatever you are passionate about and whatever changes you want to see, you have to take charge. After all, you are the author and the protagonist of your story. Let's all become leaders where we are right now, reveal our greatest potential, and truly help others do the same. That is how we make America great, that is how we make the world great. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

News about Book Three!

Hello Lovers!
It's been awhile since I last updated you on what's going on behind the scenes. There have been a lot of twists and turns this year that have tried to pull me away from writing. But I have not been defeated and now I have a few projects in the works, including, most importantly, the third book in The Marin Test Series

In this next part of Marin's saga, she's taking the next step in her life by adding a little one to her new family. After trying for over a year, Marin is weeks away from turning 35 and is still reproductively challenged. With changes at work and with her friends, the struggle to get pregnant could be Marin's most emotional journey. 

Of course, my goal with The Marin Test Series is to make relatable complicated topics lighter and even add a few laughs. It's been so great to live in Marin's world again. 

If you haven't read the first two in the series, click here to catch up before The Pregnancy Test is out!







Me and my writing buddy at work.

Monday, August 1, 2016

It's Hot Out! Let's Binge on Netflix.


Holy crap it's been hot out! I'm so glad we had our AC fixed a few weeks ago because we're in a heatwave. The kinda scorching temps and humidity that keep you indoors with a cold glass of iced tea . . .or reisling, whatever. 

Can you think of a better time to catch up on Netflix? 
Snow?  
Okay, but that's not until later . . . 

So for now I want to share seven of my favorite shows and movies to help you keep cool this summer. 

First the shows . . . 

1) Grace and Frankie 

I love this show so much, I started watching it AGAIN! This is a hilarious comedy about two older women starting again when their husbands leave them after having a 20-year affair with each other. 

These two are such a fun and energetic odd couple. Plus, I'm totally in love with their La Jolla beach house. This show actually makes me look forward to my 70's. 


2) Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce
  
This is a must-see for those of you who love strong and sexy female characters. Based on the book by Vicki Lovine, Lisa Edelstein plays Abby, a how-to author who falls from grace when she admits to her audience that it would be easier if her soon-to-be ex-hubby . . . 
were dead. This show is smart, sexy, and funny. Season one is on Netflix now. 



3) Lipstick Jungle

This show aired years ago, but it's still one of my go-to's. Why? First, it's based on the book by Candace Bushnell who also wrote the book that inspired my absolute favorite show, Sex and the City. If you love chick-lit, then you'll love Lipstick Jungle. Follow three powerful women as they navigate their high-powered careers, relationships, affairs, and kids. All in the Big Apple. The entire series is available to stream now. 



4) Fuller House

Okay, so I know most of you have seen this, but come on, it's so adorable and nostalgic. Watch it again! I've seen the whole season twice already. I couldn't stand Stephanie Tanner when I was growing up (I know, How Rude!) but she's easily become my favorite character on the show. Not to mention, John Stamos appearances. Talk about hot, hot, hottie, hot!




5) Something's Gotta Give

So now we're on to the movies. This is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I watch it ever year when the weather starts warming up. This is one of the funniest most heartwarming romantic comedies out there. Nancy Meyers is a fantastic writer and Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton nail it in this film. Really, I love all of Nancy Meyer's films like The Holiday and The Intern. She has the best set designers. Beautiful interiors calm my nerves. (Thank you, Pinterest!)


6) For A Good Time, Call . . .

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! That's what I did throughout this entire movie. Two rival roommates start a phone sex line and it gets them into some hilarious shenanigans. What I love most about this movie, besides the numerous LOL moments, is that it's really a story about friendship. I wish I wrote this movie. It's seriously sexy and funny. 



7) I Give It A Year


Last but not least is a RomCom that's so good even my husband enjoyed it. And though I've made him sit through many chick-flix, this is probably the only one he's ever really liked. It's the story of a newlywed couple's relationship that peters out and each has a new love interest. The only problem is, their still married! This movie is funny and sweet and I'm positive you'll love it. 

So there you have it, seven shows and movies to keep you entertained out of the sun and in the AC. Post a comment below and let me know what movies or shows are on your binge list this summer. 

XXO- Amanda 


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