A Change in Plans

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to dig up this cute short story I originally wrote for the Chick Lit Bee (now Fictionella) back in 2012 for a Flash Fiction Valentine’s Day contest. Enjoy!

A Change in Plans

I checked my watch. 6:57pm. Plenty of time to change out of my scrubs, touch up my make-up, and dash over to the restaurant to meet Jonathon by 7:30. I signed off on the last patient release form, clicked my pen closed, and stuffed it in my coat pocket.

“Goodnight, Marcus,” I said to the young man just coming in to work the night shift.

“Goodnight, Dr. Jane,” he said with a wide smile.

Everyone called me Dr. Jane since my last name was a mouthful of consonants handed down from generations past.

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” he added with a wink. “Have fun with your new man.”

I instantly blushed. Jonathon and I had started dating in December, and our relationship was very new, but I was excited about our plans for the evening. We were meeting at one of the finest restaurants in Los Angeles with views that stretched from downtown to the beach. A recipe guaranteed for romance.

I headed to the small locker room to primp and change into the sexy red dress I’d bought specifically for the occasion. But just as I put my hand on the door, I heard Marcus call my name.

“Dr. Jane, Dr. Jane!” he yelled, frantic. “Trauma room three!”

I rushed over to see what the problem was and discovered the patient I had just cleared for release was in cardiac arrest. My team and I went to work quickly, but I feared the old guy might not make it. His breath was labored, his blood pressure was through the roof, and his pupils non-responsive. It didn’t look good. But Harley had been my patient for ten years, and I’d seen him through mange, heartworms, and even hip dysplasia. I couldn’t let him down now.


It was nearly eight o’clock by the time I’d gotten Harley stabilized. I could feel my phone vibrating in my pocket while I was working on the large, loveable Labrador, but I didn’t even have five seconds to answer it. Harley was touch and go for nearly an hour and I simply would not give up on him. When his vital signs finally regulated and he regained consciousness, and I could tell by looking into his big brown eyes that he was feeling better, I phoned Jonathon.

He’d left me two messages, but I didn’t bother listening to them. I just dialed, hoping he would understand why I hadn’t arrived at the restaurant. Emergencies came up a lot in an animal hospital, and my patients were my priority. Unfortunately, this had lost me more than one boyfriend over the years.

My call went straight to his voicemail, though, and I feared my tardiness had jeopardized yet another relationship. I left a message explaining my emergency, and asked him to return my call as soon as possible. Defeated, I slipped my phone back in my pocket and headed to the locker room.

I didn’t bother with the red dress. Instead, I changed into the jeans and sweater I’d worn to work. I shoved the dress into my tote bag, tossed my scrubs into the laundry bin, and headed out. I peeked in on Harley, who was now resting comfortably in an oversized and cushiony cage. He was fast asleep, and as I stroked his silky brown fur, feeling the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest, there was no doubt that he would pull through with the usual gentle grace he always managed.

“You have a good night,” I said to Harley. He snored in response and stretched out his paws, one big foot pressing against my hip. I pouted and gently placed his leg back inside the cage. Yeah, he was going to be just fine.

I was less confident, however, about my budding relationship with Jonathon. Was this Valentine’s Day going to be the end of our barely begun love affair? I hoped not, but with no return call yet, all my past experiences with impatient boyfriends flooded my mind.

I stopped by the front desk before leaving and found Marcus with his head buried deep in his medical books. The rest of the staff had gone once Harley was out of danger and resting, and our small hospital was quiet and still. He had a cup of coffee warming one hand and a yellow highlighter in the other, marking important passages in his textbook. Marcus was in his final year studying veterinary medicine and worked nights keeping watch over the animals in recovery and tending to emergencies that arose overnight.

“This was very exciting,” he beamed, tilting his head up to me. “My first heart attack!”

“And you did great,” I said. “Harley and I both thank you for being there. You’ll make a great vet.”

“Thank you,” he smiled. “Oh, and there’s a message for you.”

Hope soared through me.

“It’s from Jonathon. He said not to come to the restaurant. He’s made other plans.”

“Oh,” I sighed, my elation quickly plummeting. “Thanks.”

“Sorry,” he said, offering me a sympathetic pout.

I shrugged in response and headed out the door.

But when I stepped into the parking lot, I found Jonathon leaning against my car and my English Bulldog, Ralph, at his feet.

“What’s this?” I asked genuinely surprised.

“Didn’t you get my messages?”

“Oh.” I’d completely forgotten about them!

“I see,” he said with a knowing nod, his sandy hair falling over his blue eyes. “Well, I figured when you didn’t show up to dinner, you were saving somebody’s life. So, I thought a change in plans might be good. I picked up Ralph from doggie daycare and we’re going for a walk and a gelato. Care to join?”

I smiled as Jonathon took my hand and led Ralph and me down the street.

“So, did you have a good day?” he asked.

“Yep. A really good day. But no gelato for Ralph. He’s on a diet.”

“Got it.” He squeezed my hand. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”







Review: Clutch by Lisa Becker

clutch cover final

Clutch: A Novel

Clutch is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit story that chronicles the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer, who goes through a series of unsuccessful romantic relationships she compares to various styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to stand up for the handbag style that embodies what she ultimately wants – the “Clutch” or someone to hold onto.

My Thoughts:
First, let me say that I love purses. So much so, that I actually had a problem. At one point, I had over 75 purses. From tiny, sparkly evening bags to giant canvas totes. And of course, more than a few clutches! Thanks to a couple of purges, I’ve gotten it down to about 25. But my love of all things purse is still going on strong. So, when Lisa Becker told me about her new novel, I was immediately interested. I really enjoyed her debut, Click: An Online Love Story, so I had no doubt I would dig her new book. It’s such a clever idea, too. And, somewhat sadly, I could far too easily relate to the heroine’s romantic trials. Maybe because we both live in Los Angeles?  And, like Caroline, I have a really good male friend who gets to hear all about my dating disasters while offering a little insight into the mind of the modern man. Clutch is a light, quick read that will likely make you cringe at Caroline’s dating woes and hopefully laugh along the way. My only gripe is that I wanted more. I would have liked to see more of Caroline and her best friend Mike’s lives outside of their relationship dramas. Their careers, of course, play a role in the story, but I wanted to get more of a sense of the worlds that Caroline and Mike inhabited. Set mainly in Los Angeles, I was expecting a little more exposure to the sights and sounds of the City of Angels, which is a pretty interesting locale if you ask me. I also wanted a chance to see Caroline and Mike interacting more with other characters. It seemed like aside from their dates, they didn’t really have any other significant people in their lives. But, upon reflection, I think that may have been intentional, and you’ll just have to read the book to find out why! All in all, an entertaining, fast-paced journey of romance, friendship, and of course, the love purses.

Lisa Becker:
In addition to her new book, clutch: a novel, Lisa Becker is the author of the Click Trilogy, a contemporary romance series comprised of Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click. She’s written bylined articles about dating and relationships for “Cupid’s Pulse,” “The Perfect Soulmate,” “GalTime,” “Single Edition,” “Healthy B Daily” and “Chick Lit Central” among others. She lives in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband and two daughters. To learn more, visit www.lisawbecker.com.

Fierce and Likable?

That is the question. Can women be both fierce and likable? Or, in order to be taken seriously in business, do you have to be a bitch? Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg claims there is a “likability penalty” that women face in business. The higher you want to rise in the company, the less likable you have to be. I happen to think this is crap. You don’t have to be a bitch to climb the corporate ladder. You just have to be savvy. In Lena Dunham’s newsletter, Lenny, Jennifer Lawrence states in her piece, “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?” that she’s tired of “trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable!”

Therein lies the problem. You shouldn’t try to be something you’re not. If you’re naturally adorable, just be adorable. But when it comes time to negotiate your salary, adorable or not, you should be arguing your worth. That means you need to know your worth and communicate it effectively. It means sticking to your guns and even walking away from opportunities. But you don’t have to be a bitch. And you certainly don’t have to be a “boss bitch.”

As the owner and editor of a small press specializing in Chick Lit, I work with a lot of women. And I can tell you that if the relationship with any one of them became unpleasant, it would soon be over. I highly value them and their work, but if I didn’t enjoy our working relationship, I would end it. Since I own the business, I’m in a special place to make these decisions. But the author has the same choice. There are lots of small presses out there. She doesn’t have to work with me. She can even self-publish and be her own boss. But its working with these wonderful writers that makes my job as an editor and publisher that much more enjoyable.

When I was about ten years old, my granny, a strong matriarch, told me to never settle. I’ve always admired my granny for her strength. I’ve always looked up to her as the type of woman who didn’t take shit from anyone, male or female. She was no pushover, I assure you, despite having grown up in an age where women were clearly second-class citizens. However, my granny was also one of the most likable women you could ever meet. Her house was always filled with company, a pot of coffee constantly brewing for the many guests who would stop by during the day. And at Christmas last year, I went to visit her. She was recovering from an illness and very weak, but each day that I spent with her, she had at least one or more guests drop by to wish her well. From caregivers who used to help her to old neighbors to family members I hadn’t seen in 20 years or more. This doesn’t happen to women (or men) who are unlikable. And Granny greeted each one with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. My dad and aunts and uncles call her “mom-bear” because she was always looking after them like a protective momma bear watching after her cubs. And if that meant she had to get grizzly now and then, she would. But her overall demeanor was always sweet as apple pie.

I feel I’m lucky to have had her as a role model for she taught me to be strong and to be assertive and to be bold. But she also taught me to be hospitable, warm, and loving. I believe I put these traits to use in both running my small press and in climbing the career ladder at my day job, where, coincidentally, I earn more than any man on the payroll. Now, I call that fierce!  :-)


This is Forty

Back in February, I launched a new get fit program after having gained a whopping 30 pounds in two years. It crept up on me rather slowly, but steadily, and finally I decided I had to stop it in its tracks. So, my doctor sent me to a nutritionist who helped me better understand the types of foods I should be eating and which ones to avoid. But most importantly, she advised me not to hurry, that lasting change takes time. It’s been seven months, and I’ve lost 20 pounds so far with 10 more to go just to get back to my original weight, which was still a little too high. When I consider this, I want to kick myself for not seeing a nutritionist sooner. For allowing my weight to climb higher and higher and doing nothing but complaining about it. And if I hadn’t spoken up at my doctor’s office last January, who knows where I’d be now. Losing 20 pounds is pretty significant, but I still feel like I have a long way to go to get to where I really want to be. And I struggle with eating right and working out on a daily basis. It would be so great to just eat whatever the hell I want. Sometimes I fantasize about stuffing my face with fistfuls of Cheetos, or baking a dozen cupcakes and devouring half of them before they’re even frosted.

Food has always been my drug of choice. Eating when I was sad, when I was happy, when I was bored, and when I was angry. Food always provided joy and comfort, if only for as long as it took for me to consume it. On this journey, I’ve really had to evaluate why I want to eat. Usually, my cravings have nothing to do with hunger and everything to do with my mood. So, I’ve tried to find other ways to fulfill my emotional needs, and not surprisingly, one of them was through exercise. Now, I am not new to exercise. I’ve been active my entire life and have even gone through several yoga teacher training certification programs. But a few things happened upon entering my forties that created a “perfect storm” of weight gain. I suffered a four significant losses, one right after the other, each of them devastatingly sad. And to busy my mind while trying to satisfy my emotional needs, I took up baking. And much like one of my favorite authors, Marian Keyes, I found baking to be utterly therapeutic. The problem was, I didn’t just bake. I also ate. And the more I baked, the more I ate. Add to this a new, demanding day job with a long commute, and I had a recipe for bigger pants pretty soon. But what really did me in was a particular mindset I had adopted: this is forty.

Even though I had always been physically fit (whatever my pant size), I started to believe that once I hit forty, I was supposed to slow down. I wasn’t supposed to work out hard or care what I ate. My weight gain was just a fact of life, right? Well, sure. If you stop exercising and start eating more cupcakes a day than vegetables, then, yes. Those fat cells will just start growing and growing. So, now, whenever I don’t feel like going to spin class, or I want to skip a session on my yoga mat, I ask myself, “Is this forty?” And most of the time, my answer is a resounding, “No!” Of course, sometimes I give in and park my butt in front of the TV for six hours straight while slowly consuming a giant bowl of popcorn. But generally I find it within myself to stop bellyaching and JUST DO IT!

These days, it isn’t really the pounds I’ve lost that I am celebrating, but the attitude that I’ve gained. The understanding that being forty doesn’t mean giving up or settling down. It means taking it on the chin and then kicking forty in the ass! I don’t let my age define me anymore. Rather, I am defining who I am every day with every choice I make. Today, I’m going to yoga. I’m going to eat mangos and drink hibiscus tea. And I’m forty! Well, forty-plus. :)

Review: Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany

Best Kept Secret
Best Kept Secret
A timely and captivating novel about a mother whose life spirals out of control when she descends into alcoholism, and her battle to get sober and regain custody of her beloved son.

Cadence didn’t sit down one night and decide that downing two bottles of wine was a brilliant idea.

Her drinking snuck up on her—as a way to sleep, to help her relax after a long day, to relieve some of the stress of the painful divorce that’s left her struggling to make ends meet with her five-year old son, Charlie.

It wasn’t always like this. Just a few years ago, Cadence seemed to have it all—a successful husband, an adorable son, and a promising career as a freelance journalist. But with the demise of her marriage, her carefully constructed life begins to spiral out of control. Suddenly she is all alone trying to juggle the demands of work and motherhood.

Logically, Cadence knows that she is drinking too much, and every day begins with renewed promises to herself that she will stop. But within a few hours, driven by something she doesn’t understand, she is reaching for the bottle—even when it means not playing with her son because she is too tired, or dropping him off at preschool late, again. And even when one calamitous night it means leaving him alone to pick up more wine at the grocery store. It’s only when her ex-husband shows up at her door to take Charlie away that Cadence realizes her best kept secret has been discovered….

Heartbreaking, haunting, and ultimately life-affirming, Best Kept Secret is more than just the story of Cadence—it’s a story of how the secrets we hold closest are the ones that can most tear us apart.

My Thoughts:
This book was incredibly compelling. Not because it was packed full of suspense & intrigue, but because it was thoroughly and completely absorbing. I quickly became intensely invested in main character Cadence’s story thanks to Hatvany’s remarkable storytelling and her ability to evoke empathy. I’ve read other books about mothers battling addiction, including Jennifer Weiner’s recent ALL FALL DOWN, but somehow this novel allowed me to truly understand the physical and emotional struggle Cadence was experiencing. My own mother suffered alcoholism for years, and I know firsthand how hard recovery can be, but only from the outside looking in, which often resulted in frustration. BEST KEPT SECRET provided insight into the inner turmoil associated with alcoholism and the inability to just stop drinking no matter how desperately you want to quit. It also dealt with the judgement and scrutiny that mothers, in particular, are met with when they can’t live up to the impossible standards and expectations society places upon women. And while I was sympathetic to Cadence’s situation, there were still moments where I thought, “here we go, again,” when Cadence exhibited behavior similar to my mother’s. In this way, Hatvany is faithful to the reality of being an addict, offering further testimony to the dangerous nature of the disease. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been affected by alcoholism or addiction, whether it’s a friend, family member, or yourself battling the affliction. And if you are lucky enough to know nothing of this struggle, BEST KEPT SECRET delivers a powerful, heartbreaking story of failure and recovery sure to touch even the hardest of hearts.

About the Author:
Amy Hatvany was born in Seattle, WA in 1972, the youngest of three children. She graduated from Western Washington University in 1994 with a degree in Sociology only to discover most sociologists are unemployed. Soon followed a variety of jobs – some of which she loved, like decorating wedding cakes; others which she merely tolerated, like receptionist. In 1998, Amy finally decided to sell her car, quit her job, and take a chance on writing books.

The literary gods took kindly to her aspirations and THE KIND OF LOVE THAT SAVES YOU was published in 2000 by Bantam Doubleday. THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS was picked up by NAL in 2002. (Both titles published under “Yurk.”)

Amy spends most of her time today with her second and final husband, Stephan. (Seriously, if this one doesn’t work out, she’s done.) She stays busy with her two children, Scarlett and Miles, and her “bonus child,” Anna. Their blended family also includes two four-legged hairy children, commonly known as Black Lab mutts, Kenda and Dolcé. When Amy’s not with friends or family, she is most likely reading, cooking or zoning out on certain reality television shows. Top Chef is a current favorite. She eagerly awaits auditions for the cast of “Top Author.” (“Quick Edit” instead of “Quick Fire” Challenge? C’mon, producers! That’s gripping television!)

Review: Center of Gravity

Center of Gravity

Center of Gravity
The truth could cost her everything.

Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is grand.

Or is it?

When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.

If only Ava could believe her own excuses.

Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town —Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game? Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.

My Thoughts

Having read Laura McNeill’s work under her pen name, Lauren Clark, and even having worked with her on the anthology, Merry & Bright, I fully expected Center of Gravity to be a good book and was excited to read it. However, the Southern charm of Lauren Clark morphs into a much darker version in McNeill’s Domestic Suspense debut. A version that is incredibly compelling while also totally getting under my skin. It did take me a few chapters to settle into the story after reading the pulse-pounding prologue and then being dropped into what felt like a fairly staid domestic life. This is generally why I dislike prologues. However, McNeill provides a few clues during the beginning scenes that hint at the drama yet to unfold. The story quickly develops into a page-turner with one very despicable bad guy manipulating the courts, spreading lies, and even threatening lives. The story is told from several different viewpoints, including that of eight-year-old Jack, whom you just want to rescue so badly from his sociopath father. And once the crazy train left the station, I had trouble putting the book down.  This is one of those books where the villain is so awful, yet so realistic that it ties your stomach up in knots. Seriously, I was biting my nails for 75% of the book, both wanting to get the bad guy and rescue the innocents. Pick up this book for an intense and fast-paced, suspenseful narrative that will most surely have you questioning how well you think you know your spouse. Luckily, I’m single, so no harm done. 😉

About the Author
laura mcneillLaura adores hot coffee, good manners, the color pink, and novels that keep her reading past midnight. She believes in the beauty of words, paying it forward, and that nerds rule the world. Laura is a fan of balmy summer nights, fireflies, and pristine mountain lakes. She lives in Mobile, Alabama with her two sons. You can find Laura Tweeting @Lauramcneillbks and blogging at lauramcneill.com. After July 14th, Laura’s suspense novel, Center of Gravity, can be found wherever fine books are sold.

Find the book at:
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Chick Lit and Cocktails!

Nothing goes together quite as perfectly as Chick Lit and cocktails! So, to celebrate the launch of Isabelle Andover’s fabulous debut, Cocktails at Le Carmen, we are throwing a virtual cocktail party! Thanks for coming!

I’ve always loved hosting cocktails parties, whether in my home or at a restaurant, bar, or hotel. And I’ve learned a few key things to pulling them off without a hitch:

  1. Send paper invitations one month before the event – yes, paper! It’s easy for folks to forget about an email invitation, but a pretty paper invitation will get tacked up to the fridge, constantly reminding them of the future festivities.
  2. Send email invitations three weeks before the event – use an email invitation service like Evite to make a pretty invitation that reminds your guests of the event and also gives them the opportunity to RSVP.
  3. Once you know how many guests to expect, it’s time to plan the menu for your cocktail party. This is one of my favorite parts. And if you’re holding it at a restaurant, bar, or hotel, it’s also one of the easiest – just pick from the venue’s offerings! But if you’re like me and like to host at home, this is where you get to show off your culinary talents (or your vast knowledge of the best bakeries and caterers in the city). My advice is to choose a minimum of three savory appetizers such as stuffed mushroom caps, baby quiches, and assorted cheeses. Then, add in at least two bite-sized desserts like mini cheesecakes or get fancy and make (or buy from a local bakery!) mini fruit tarts that are not only delicious but beautiful.
  4. About a week before the event, it’s time to pick out your party dress. I believe every girl should have at least three cocktail dresses in her closet at all times, but a party is always a good excuse to buy a new one. But if you’re on a budget, head over to a thrift store in the ritziest neighborhood and do some treasure hunting. You never know what you might find. Rich people donate their clothes all the time to make room for new ones. You could score a vintage Valentino or hip Halston for a steal!
  5. What girl doesn’t love a reason to buy new shoes? But before you slap down your credit card for a brand new pair of four-inch stilettos, know your venue. Will you be dancing? Standing around mingling? Sitting on big plush couches? Consider this before buying and your feet will thank you at the end of the night!
  6. Cocktails! This is the whole point, right? Again, if you’re hosting at a bar or restaurant, this is easy-peasy. But if you’re doing it yourself, it can still be easy. My favorite cocktail is champagne. I know it isn’t technically a cocktail, but no one will complain about being offered a glass of champagne. Or if you have some ambition, pick up a cocktail recipe book and try your hand at creating some fun libations. Maybe invest in a martini mix set or haul out the blender and whip up some daiquiris. Whatever you do, make sure you have fun doing it.
  7. The morning of: take a yoga class, go for a hike, ride your bike, or sit down with a good book (Cocktails at Le Carmen, perhaps!) and relax. You’ll want to feel rested and refreshed before the harried countdown in the kitchen while you’re plating up appetizers and crushing ice for the frozen drinks.
  8. Recruit a co-host. We all have that one super close girlfriend who always offers to come early and help you set up. Take her up on that offer and put her to work! You’ll return the favor when she hosts.
  9. Don’t panic. So, it’s 7:30 and your party started at 7:00. No worries. People (at least in Los Angeles) are always fashionably late. Like two hours late. I don’t even turn on the oven to warm my appetizers until an hour after the official party time. People will start arriving while you’re setting out the hors d’oeuvres. It will be fine.
  10. Play the host! A good host will introduce her guests to one another, facilitate conversation, and get the party rolling, putting her guests at ease. I’ve hosted cocktails parties where I only knew one guest (it was a party I hosted for a friend) and I still managed to spark small talk into fun dialogue just by asking simple questions like, “How do you know Julie?” “Did you grow up in LA?” “What’s the weirdest piece of advice you’ve ever been given?” That last one can really get the conversation flowing. So, you get the idea. Don’t let anyone be a wallflower at your party. Get everyone talking, dancing, and having fun.

What’s your top tip for hosting a cocktail party? Any horror stories? Parties gone bad? Have the cops ever shut your fiesta down? Tell me about it in the comments!

Cocktails at Le Carmen

Cocktails_at_Le_Carmen_V3When job cuts at Chloe Saddler’s London communications firm result in an unexpected transfer to Paris, she finds herself leaving behind her friends, family, and boyfriend Scott to start a new life in the City of Light. Getting to grips with La Vie Parisienne and keeping a long-distance relationship afloat is not made any easier by the culture shock. Committing the odd French faux pas and inadvertently indulging in a few too many flirtations with her very sexy (and very taken) boss, Jean-Luc, is just the start of it. Factor in her bridezilla of a sister’s wedding (the hottest event of the year in the Saddler family’s social calendar), an unexpected session of hot, naked yoga, a slightly psychotic stalker, and one incredible kiss at an infamous Montmartre nightspot, and Chloe can say au revoir to her old, safe London life and bonjour to the romance, splendour, and glamour of Paris.

A delightful debut that harks back to the early days of Chick Lit when heroines were flawed, funny, and forever battling for love and happiness. With quirky characters and classic comedic charm, Cocktails at Le Carmen is pure fun from page one.

author pic 2Isabelle Andover

Originally from England, Isabelle Andover moved to France after graduating from Durham University with a degree in Modern Languages. She lives in Paris with her tabby cat Oscar, who occasionally blogs about apartment-style living in the City of Light, and who also inspired a prize-winning short story when he was a kitten.

Following several years as a media analyst, Isabelle now works at a Paris-based media company specialized in the international beauty market. In addition to fully embracing the culture of her adopted country by way of consuming plenty of French wine and cheese, Isabelle can also be found indulging in the typically British pursuits of shopping at Marks and Spencer on the Champs Elysées and drinking copious cups of Earl Grey. You can learn more about Isabelle by visiting her website.