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Category: Chick Lit

K is for Kick-ass...welcome to the Chick Lit A to Z scavenger hunt!

K is for KICKASS…I love a good kickass heroine, and I think you find them a lot in chick lit novels, which is likely why I was drawn to chick lit so many years ago.

Over the years the genre has evolved considerably: no longer is it the exclusive domain of the lonely-young-woman-in-the-city-with-shite-boyfriend-and-crap-job-and-expensive-shoe-habit-and-trusty-gay-male-best-friend-who-helps-her-get-her-act-together. Instead chick lit offers protagonists of all ages and stripes, and sure, they’re flawed–though often they’re funny and strong and determined and maybe a little misguided–but that’s why we love them, right? 

I’m one of millions who fell in love with the chick lit voice with books like Bridget Jones’s Diary. And while Bridget was indeed extremely imperfect, she was also hilarious and honest and charmingly self-deprecating and totally kick-ass because she didn’t let those flaws get in her way when she wanted what it was she wanted (and who wouldn’t, if the prize was Mark Darcy?). 

I read a lot of British chick lit books in the early days of the genre, and that funny, smart aleck-y, strong, kick-ass voice totally spoke to me, and it’s what drew me into writing my first novel, Sleeping with Ward Cleaver, a coming-of-middle-aged novel about a woman who married Mr. Right only to wake up years later to realize he’d become Mr. Always Right. My heroine in that novel, Claire, had to totally kick some ass (including her own, sort of) as she reconciled herself with where things had gone completely wrong in her world, but she does it, and does so with aplomb. 

Nowadays whatever genre I’m writing in, I migrate to that same type of protagonist in my novels, because I love a little bit damaged women who are not afraid to take names and kick some ass. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Oh, and before you move onto the next site in the scavenger hunt, don’t forget to sign up here for my newsletter and you get a great prize: a digital copy of Something in the Heir, book 1 of my It’s Reigning Men series!  

GRAND PRIZE – Want to win a Kindle Paperwhite + a $100 Amazon gift card? Visit each of the 26 stops on the #ChickLitMay A to Z Scavenger Hunt and collect the alphabet word at each stop (A, B, C, D, etc.), then submit the A-Z list of words via e-mail to traciebanister@gmail.com with the subject line “A to Z Scavenger Hunt Entry.” Entries will be accepted until Sunday, May 22nd at midnight E.D.T. A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 23rd. Good luck!

The next stop on the Scavenger Hunt (the letter L) is here.

If you’d like to start back at the beginning of the Scavenger Hunt (the letter A), go here

Oh and I’ve got a book coming out May 24! It’s It’s Getting Hot in Heir, book 7 in my It’s Reigning Men series! I hope you’ll check it out as it’s available for pre-order:

iBooks                  Kindle                     Nook                       Kobo                Google Play

  

Sometimes falling in love can be a royal pain…

Gabriella Puccini, Contessa of Castiglione Girasole, is tired of having to sacrifice everything for the men in her life. So when she finally realizes that her fiancé would rather be married to his career than to her, she decides to go back to where it all began to figure out why she keeps settling for the wrong men, only to encounter her childhood crush, who couldn’t be more wrong for her…

Edouardo Squires-Thornton has been decidedly down on his luck. Unceremoniously sidestepped for the family inheritance upon his beloved father’s death, Edouardo has spent months adrift, feeling lost and confused, barely mustering the energy to do much but watch bad reality TV in his boxers. But when he’s tricked into an unexpected meeting with childhood sweetheart Gabriella, will Edouardo decide it’s time to pull on his big boy pants and figure out his life?

 

Merci Beaucoup-Grazie Mille-Danke Schoen-Muchas Gracias

search You guys totally rock! There are so many ways to say thank you, but it’s not easy to truly express how appreciative writers are that we have readers who can’t wait for our next book to release, and who happily immerse themselves in the worlds we create as if they truly exist. I know that happens because it does to me as a reader too, and there are many times I’ve reached out to fellow writers just to thank them for giving me a great place to escape to for a little while. As a writer I know how much it means for a reader to let me know that my book has touched them somehow. And when bad things happen in the world and times get particularly uncertain, even scary, what an amazing thing it is to be able to retreat to your favorite stories, to a place of comfort and good cheer. So I’m particularly thankful, as a reader, for the many writers whose words have entertained and informed me over the years, but even more so as a writer, for all of those readers who have enjoyed my books and better still reached out to let me know. It keeps me focused on writing more books, so I hope you’ll keep those emails and social network comments and great reviews coming, and I thank you for joining my crazy world for a little while!

And if you’re looking for a new author to try out, you can get a free book of mine here when you sign up for my monthly newsletter http://eepurl.com/baaewn and you’ll be first to hear about steals and deals…and I’ve got a fabulous freebie I’m going to be announcing in January, so you’ll know first!

And I’ve got all sorts of new books out!


Upcoming books

Book 5 of the It’s Reigning Men series, Shame of Thrones, which comes out December 16, is available for pre-order from iBooks, Kindle, and Kobo.

And I’ve got a release date for Book 6, Throne for a Loop! It’s going to be released March 8 and is available for pre-order from iBooks, Kindle, and Kobo.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and safe holiday, with plenty of time to relax and read ;-)

  

  

Anywhere But Here by Jenny Gardiner Slim To None by Jenny Gardiner


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La Bella Vita

We were blogging on a group blog recently about locations: writing locations, settings in books, etc. As luck would have it I’d just returned from an amazing month away on a working vacation in Italy and Morocco. 

Below is my post about working vacations. Keep scrolling for some fun pictures of my work venues for that month, and even further down, squeee!!!, you get a first peek at my latest book cover for book 4 in my IT’S REIGNING MEN series, LOVE IS IN THE HEIR, available for pre-order and set to release in late September.

Oh! And book three, BAD TO THE THRONE, releases on June 29. It is my favorite so far in this series, complete with a Harry-esque bad boy prince who I think you’ll fall for…

 And lastly, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter–which will be going out next week. There’ll be a little special something in there for your efforts ;-) .

I recently returned from a lovely working vacation in Italy and Morocco. And the hard part of a working vacation is the work part.

I departed for our trip with a deadline pending for the third book in my It’s Reigning Men series. I had a lot of fun writing this book–the hero in it is a rakish Prince Harry-esque black sheep, and I just loved his attitude. So I didn’t want to rush to end the book, plus I was scrambling to get ready to leave, so I left the final third of the book dangling…

Which meant I had a few days during my trip in which I had to just hunker down, abandon the idea of being a tourist, and focus on writing. Of course this was a bit of a bummer, because I would have far rather wandered the streets of ancient Italian cities and settled in for a leisurely lunch of pappardelle al sugo di anatra (fat strips of homemade pasta with amazingly delicious duck confit cooked in a red sauce) and a glass of Chianti. Which would have led to the need for a nap which would have meant no writing.

So instead, I savored my “rooms” with a view, and hunkered down to finish my novel with some of the most spectacular scenery going.

We writers are so blessed that we can do our work pretty much anywhere. And over the years I have, by default, done that: in pick-up line at the kids’ schools, on the sidelines at soccer practices, with ear plugs in while the kids watched the television that is mere feet from my “desk” which is in the kitchen and basically means hardly a quiet zone.

So my designated work stations while away this time were pretty much unbeatable: at our B&B with a spectacular view of the Duomo di Siena, which is a breathtaking work of architecture; while sitting on the ponte di Santa Trinita in Florence, with a view of the famed Ponte Vecchio in front of me and the world’s most amazing gelato just steps away (Gelateria Santa Trinita—if you’re in Florence, go there and try the sesamo nero, which sounds weird, black sesame seed gelato, but is incredible).

I wrote at an outdoor bar in the delightfully colorful Piazza Santo Spirito (full of great people-watching, which sort of causes problems when trying to focus on writing!), in the Oltrarno, the section of Florence across the Arno River that is more residential and relatively less touristy.

Not for the first time I enjoyed writing in the Giardino di Boboli, the spectacular gardens that are part of the imposing Palazzo Pitti (hoarding headquarters for the Medici family), with a splendid view of all of Florence.

I regretted missing a fascinating tour of the city of Matera in the Basilicata region of Italy, down by the boot heel. My husband got to take that tour while I hunkered down on the deadline-iest of deadline days: I absolutely had to get my book to my editor on that day or it would screw up my publication date, which would make me an enemy of Amazon ;-) . Far be it from me to get on the bad side of Amazon…

Anyhow, the “Sassi” in Matera are a United Nations World Heritage site—originally a prehistoric troglodyte settlement, considered to be among the first human settlements in what is now Italy. The Sassi are caves dug into the rocks, from which an ancient town sprung, one cave atop the other, until a warren of many thousands of caves piled atop and next to one another existed. Until the mid-20th century these caves were inhabited by the poorest of the poor, who were ultimately relocated to housing with plumbing and other modern comforts. Since then the area has been rebuilt to house apartments, hotels, restaurants and shops. It’s an amazing place, extraordinarily beautiful at night when lit up, too.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have had such an phenomenal opportunity to travel and experience the world and various cultures and incorporate it into my writing (and am grateful that my husband has afforded me these opportunities because trust me, writing isn’t paying these bills). On this trip also, we visited Morocco, and immersed ourselves in an entirely different culture there (and, um, learned the hard way that the closest place to the Sahara desert in which to find a tampon would be a rugged 10-hour drive through the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech…)

Along the way I also worked on my book while waiting for a grocery store to open in Siena as I needed to buy laundry detergent and was in a hurry to get it done before we traveled to Florence.

I love to incorporate things I experience while traveling into my books, and have used quite a bit of my extensive Italian travels in my current series, the It’s Reigning Men series, especially with the third book of the series, Bad to the Throne, which is available for pre-order now here and will be released June 29.

I hope you can enjoy a little bit of my journeys as you read my books! And please, do enjoy the view!


Gallery

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