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Category: Sleeping with Ward Cleaver

Welcome My Good Friend, Guest Author Malena Lott

Malena Lott and I stumbled upon each other at a writing conference a few years back on an escalator. Well, I guess we’d chatted briefly at a cocktail party, then ended up leaving at around the same time, and by the time we were on the escalator I knew we’d get to be good friends. She’s got that sweet southern charm peppered with a bit of mischief and is a lot of fun to hang with. I was so honored when she asked me to read her book for a cover quote and really enjoyed it thoroughly. I was happy when Malena joined the Girlfriends’ Cyber Circuit, and I’m happy to tour her wonderful novel. Welcome, Malena!

JG:  Tell me a little about your book.

ML:  Dating da Vinci is the story of a young widow, 36-year-old Ramona Elise (Mona Lisa), during her Renaissance (awakening), with the help of a handsome immigrant named Leonardo da Vinci. She desperately wants to find la vita allegro, joyful living, and da Vinci’s passion is contagious. The story follows her journey of body, mind and spirit to creating a wholly new life and letting go of the pain of the past.

 JG:  What got you writing in the genre in which you write?

ML:  I’ve always loved stories about relationships, period. Human drama and the range of emotions that go with it just fascinate me. I’ve read and enjoyed so many great authors over the years, including all of John Irving’s novels, who really taught me so much about how far you can take a character, but then I also really think laughter adds so much to life.

JG:  Favorite thing about being a writer?

ML:  Getting paid for something I love to do is a great joy. I also don’t mind marketing the book since my other hat is as a marketing and branding consultant. I love the whole process of writing – the ideas, building characters, dialogue and weaving the story together.

 JG:  Least favorite thing about being a writer?

ML:  You naturally worry about the business side of things – and some things you just can’t control. The publisher is responsible for so much of whether or not your book will be a success – the sales, distribution, marketing, packaging, co-op (or in most cases no co-op) and so on. And then it’s up to the readers to buy the book, so that part of it is tough. Even NYT best-selling authors tell me they are still nervous about all that stuff, so I don’t think it entirely ever goes away, no matter your success.

 JG:  What is the most interesting thing that’s happened to you since becoming a published author? 

ML:  It’s always a nice compliment when people get surprised/excited look on their face when they hear that you are an author. The publicity is always an interesting ride – who will pick up the story, who will want to do radio/TV/print/web interviews and so on. And this year I had a digital billboard up for two weeks promoting the book on a busy highway in Oklahoma City so that was something new for me.

 JG:  What’s your favorite type of pie?

ML:  Hot apple pie with ice cream is a nice choice, but I sure do miss my grandmother’s peach cobbler, too.

Malena Lott writes humorous and heartfelt mainstream women’s fiction novels. With national speaking experience, she is a brand and marketing consultant and facilitates personal and professional development workshops for women. Dating da Vinci is Malena Lott’s second novel. Lott is a married mother of three and resides in Oklahoma. Lott invites you to her web site where she has posted cooking videos, contests and an excerpt of the first chapter:

Welcome Guest Author Jessica Brody


I’ve gotten a little backlogged with GCC guests so I have a few to put up in the next week or so. Today please welcome Jessica Brody, whose novel The Fidelity Files debuted last June. I love what USA Today said about it:

“Sisters unite! This is a total revenge fantasy for anyone really tired of men with overactive zippers.”

Welcome, Jessica!

JG:  Tell me a little about your book.

JB:  The Fidelity Files is the story of a beautiful, L.A. woman who works as an undercover “fidelity inspector,” hired by suspicious wives and girlfriends to test the faithfulness of the men in their lives. Except no one in her life knows what she does. Her friends and family all think she works for an investment bank. 

Of course things get even more complicated when she meets the sexy and sophisticated Jamie Richards, the only man she’s ever fully been able to trust.

But is a fidelity inspector really capable of having a normal relationship?

JG:  What got you writing in the genre in which you write?

JB:  It’s pretty simple, really. I write the kind of books I would want to read. I don’t see the sense in writing in a genre you don’t enjoy. I’ve always loved chick lit and women’s commercial fiction. Emily Giffin, Sophie Kinsella, Helen Fielding are some of my favorites. In fact, it was Bridget Jones’s Diary that inspired me to write novels in the first place. So it seemed only natural that I would write in the same genre.

JG:  Favorite thing about being a writer?

JB:  The flexible schedule. Essentially I can work whenever and wherever I want. Three in the morning, nine at night. I love not having a boss or a time clock telling me what I have to do and when.

JG:  Least favorite thing about being a writer?

JB:  The flexible schedule. It makes it very easy to procrastinate!

JG:  What is the most interesting thing that’s happened to you since becoming a published author? 

 JB:  Seeing your work translated into other languages is pretty bizarre. I saw a sneak peak at the German translation for my book and I was like, “Holy cow, I have no idea what I wrote!” That’s pretty surreal.

 JG: What’s your favorite type of pie?

JB:  Haha…this question made me laugh. I’m not a big pie person, but I will have to say there’s this berry farm on the central coast of California called the Linn’s and they specialize in growing the Ollalieberry (which is a cross between a Youngberry and a Loganberry). I’d never heard of it before but it’s divine. And their Ollalieberry pie is to die for!

Jessica Brody  graduated from Smith College with degrees in economics and French. A full-time writer and producer, she lives in Los Angeles where she is currently working on her next novel.


Welcome New York Times Bestselling Author Allison Winn Scotch

I’m thrilled to have Allison Winn Scotch join me today. Her latest novel, Time of my Life (in which she explores what might happen if you could live your life all over again, and change the course of history) has met with enormous success and hit the New York Times bestsellers list. It was also chosen as a Today Show must-read for the fall season, received a glowing review from People Magazine, and has been optioned for a film by the Weinstein Company. Allison and I have been on a number of online writing groups over the year, and I know her as a very gracious person willing  to share with other up-and-coming writers and someone who has worked very hard for her success. I can’t wait to read her novel, which is sitting atop my to-be-read pile.

JG: Tell me a little about your book.

AWS:  Time of My Life is the story about a woman who, on the surface, seems to have it all.  But when you peel back her layers, you discover that she is deeply unhappy and has lingering “what ifs” about her past.  Rather than face her current problems, she wakes up one day seven year in her past – at her old job, with her old boyfriend – and has the opportunity to rewrite her future.

JG:  What got you writing in the genre in which you write.

AWS:  I write commercial fiction, and I write it because I read it.  I’m not going to pretend that I pore over highly literary works: I like books to suck me in, entertain me, and spit me out when they’re done.  Look, I’m a working mom with two young kids…I simply don’t have the mental energy to read a book that’s going to take a month to finish because I have to reread every other sentence to fully understand the hidden meanings.  I like sharp, intelligent, thought-provoking commercial fiction…that I can finish in less than a week. So I hope that my book meets all of those criteria! It’s definitely one that if I hadn’t written I’d pick up.

JG:  Favorite thing about being a writer?

AWS:  The freedom of it.  I love being able to schedule my day as I so choose; to hang out with my kids and then retreat to my office and get some work done; to totally blow off days if I’m not in the mood but to also hunker down and write for hours on end when I’m inspired.  I also love that I can create something from nothing but what is purely in my imagination.  It is so, so cool to get that finished book from my publisher and think, “Wow, this is 100% all me.”

JG:  Least favorite thing about being a writer?

ASW:  The freedom of it. When I’m not writing–which I’m not at the present moment because I’m rooting around for my next book idea–I have no one to blame by myself. And I put a lot of pressure on myself to jump-start my work, but if it’s not happening, it’s not happening…so…I’m waiting to be inspired by my next big idea. And that can sort of suck. 

JG:  What is the most interesting thing that’s happened to you since becoming a published author? 

ASW:  OMG, that people somehow think I’m famous.  Seriously.  I run into old friends or acquaintances who say, “You’re famous now!”  Which is hilarious.  Because a) I’m not and b) really, I’m not.  And if I were, I’m incredibly grateful that there is no US Weekly for writers.  Because I walk around all day in my sweats, looking like total crap, and if a paparazzi were to follow me, I’d definitely be listed in that “Stars without make-up” section!

JG:  What’s your favorite type of pie?

AWS:  Strawberry-rubarb.  I love the combination of sweet and tart.  Which, yes, is also a metaphor for my personality.


Allison Winn Scotch is the author of a novel, The Department of Lost and Found. She is a frequent contributor to numerous magazines including American Baby, American Way, Bride’s, Cooking Light, Family Circle, Fitness, Glamour, InStyle Weddings, Lifetime Television, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, Parents, Prevention, Redbook, Self, Shape, Stuff, USA Weekend, Woman’s Day, Women’s Health, and,, and She lives in New York with her husband and their son and daughter.