Twin Piques by Tracie Banister

It's the official release day of Twin Piques by Tracie Banister! Don't you love the cover? It's one of my favorite covers. It's so eye-catching and gorgeous. Well done to the designer, Lyndsey Lewellen! I'm really excited about this book because I love Tracie's writing style. Her previous book, In Need of Therapy, is fantastic! I haven't read her debut novel, Blame It on the Fame, but it's definitely on my to-read list. Tracie's writing in In Need of Therapy is really sharp, witty, and clever. I started reading Twin Piques a few days ago (I'm reviewing it a week from today, so stay tuned!), and I can already say the same about the writing in her new book. I'm enjoying it so far! Tracie is definitely an author to watch in Chick Lit. She self-publishes her novels, and I'm guessing that's by choice because it's hard to believe an agent and major publisher haven't discovered her and signed her by now. 

Here's the synopsis of Twin Piques: Forensic accountant Sloane Tobin and kooky pet psychic Willa may have the same face, but that’s the only thing these identical twins have in common. 

How she can read the hearts and minds of animals has always been a mystery to Willa, and her rotten luck with men is equally baffling. Although she’s been looking for “The One” for what feels like forever (A teenage marriage to a French mime and dating a guy named Spider seemed like good ideas at the time!), optimistic Willa refuses to give up on love. When she meets Brody, the handsome rose expert hired to save her grandmother’s garden, she’s instantly smitten, but why does he keep sending her mixed signals? Does he return her feelings, or is their attraction all in her fanciful head? 

Unlike her twin, Sloane has zero interest in romance. Her passion is her job, where she uses her gift for numbers to take down slimy embezzlers and asset-hiding spouses. When she’s assigned two high profile cases, Sloane feels confident the promotion she’s been angling for is within her grasp. But will her plan to climb the corporate ladder be thwarted by difficult clients, her co-worker-with-benefits, or – most surprisingly of all – her own sister? And how’s she supposed to stay focused on the drama at work when her childhood friend, Gav, moves in next door and the spark between them becomes impossible to ignore? 

To get what they both want, can Willa and Sloane band together and rely on each other’s strengths? Or will their differences drive them apart once and for all?

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play that she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.) Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Twin Piques is her third Chick Lit release. The pet psychic character in this novel was inspired by Tracie’s rascally rescue dogs. She’d love to know what goes on in their heads!

For more information, please visit Tracie's blog and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Author Interview: Heather Grace Stewart

What is unique about main character Cat from your debut novel, Strangely, Incredibly Good?

Cat has a lot of qualities many people - not just women - can relate to. She’s had to deal with traumatic events, and bullying as a child and teen, and that’s affected her path in adulthood and some of the choices she’s made. What I love about her is that despite her struggles, she still has a great sense of humor, and she’s still willing to take chances.

In terms of personality, is the genie in Strangely, Incredibly Good more like the genie from Aladdin or the genie from I Dream of Jeannie?

Well, he’s yummier than either of those genies. I mean he has a Celtic tattoo, piercing green eyes and bulging calf muscles! But he’s probably more like the one in I Dream of Jeannie, despite that she’s female. He makes mistakes like her, however, he’s not ditsy!

In three sentences or less, tell readers why they should read Strangely, Incredibly Good?

It’s a great escape. It’s based in reality, complete with pop culture references, but explores fantasy and even time-travel. It’s been called a page-turner by early reviewers, who say they cried and laughed out loud.

Who are your favorite authors?

Michael Ende (The Neverending Story), Sue Monk Kidd, Helen Fielding, Nicholas Sparks, Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella, Elisa Lorello, and the poets Sara Teasdale, Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost.

Are you an early bird or a night owl when you’re writing?

Absolutely the early bird. I’ve never written a poem, an essay, or a book past, oh, 8 p.m.  I don’t like to write when I’m tired. I have written ‘useable stuff’ as early as 4 a.m. - I love when it’s absolutely quiet like that - but lately it’s been a 7:30 a.m start for me, right after I kiss our daughter goodbye and send her off on the school bus.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?

I want to see Venice. I can’t believe I haven’t seen Italy yet, because I fall in love with it every time it’s featured in a movie. I am sure I’ll take a romantic Gondola ride with hubby and we’ll have an argument and I’ll fall out of the boat, or he’ll fall out, or both of us will fall out - it is never quite like the movies - but I still want to go with him. Or, maybe I’ll have Gene take Cat…

Which punctuation mark best describes your personality? Why?

Ha! I’m pretty sure my friends and family would say I’m an exclamation mark, but I do have my semi colon moments. I’m zen when I’m having a bubble bath, or writing, or just relaxing on a beach - that’s when I can be the pause that is the semi colon. Never a full stop though, after 30 minutes of relaxing, I’ll be on a boogie board, body surfing with my little girl, no matter how cold the water is.

What's your favorite TV show of all time and why?

I loved it then, and I still love it 30 years later: Family Ties. Sure, the laugh track is outdated, the clothes are outdated, but the show revolves around a nuclear family and their ups and downs, and those family issues rarely change with the times. I first watched it because I had a crush on Michael J. Fox, but then I fell in love with the story lines, writing, and the other actors. Michael Gross was fantastic as the often frustrated but always loving Dad. I think I learned a lot about how to build characters by watching that show.

What's your motto in life? 

I say ‘Never say never,’ a lot of the time. I also say ‘Life is short, seize the day,’ my modern variation on Carpe Diem. Then I vary it a lot. I’ll say to a girlfriend, “Life is short, buy the shoes.” :)

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is actually a poem my Mum introduced to me. It’s by Emily Dickinson, called Life. "If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin, Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain."

Tell us about signing with the publisher of Strangely, Incredibly Good, Morning Rain Publishing, and what it’s been like working on your novel with them.

Morning Rain Publishing is a small and new Canadian publisher with a growing and impressive list of publications. They sent me notice that they wanted to publish my novel on December 23rd, 2013: what a fantastic early Christmas present! The women behind this publishing house are talented, funny, smart, and professional. I love working with them.

What are you working on now?

I’ll be reading & signing books at various bookstores and festivals in the coming months, so that will keep me busy, and I’m looking forward to spending some time with our nine-year-old daughter this summer (school is out in less than two weeks!). I’m working on another novel, but I’m only in the beginning stages, which means I have sticky notes all over our house and piles of half-folded laundry on the floor. Please don’t just drop-in for a visit. :)

Thanks, Heather!

Heather Grace Stewart is a Canadian magazine writer, author, and poet. Her first poem was published in her school newsletter when she was five, and she's been hooked on writing ever since. Heather's debut novel, Strangely, Incredibly Good, was released by Morning Rain Publishing on June 5, 2014. Heather's screenplay The Friends I’ve Never Met is her bestselling Kindle book to date, reaching #28 in Action & Adventure in Women's Fiction in November 2013. Her third poetry collection, Carry On Dancing (Winter Goose Publishing, March 2012) charted on print and Kindle bestseller lists in Poetry and Canadian Poetry in Canada, the US, and the UK. Heather is also the author of the Kindle bestselling poetry collections Leap and Where the Butterflies Go, two non-fiction books for youth, and a book of children's poetry,The Groovy Granny. Born in Ottawa, she lives with her husband and daughter near Montreal. In her free time, she loves to take photos, scrapbook, cartoon, inline skate, dance like nobody's watching, and eat Swedish Berries -- usually not at the same time. For more information, visit Heather’s blog and her official website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Author Interview: Ruth Saberton


What is unique about Escape for the Summer?

For me the uniqueness comes from the diverse nature of the girls.  They have nothing much in common except the fact that life has swept them together.  As the novel progresses, their friendship grows, and as readers, I hope that we see a journey for them all.  The beautiful Cornish coastline and landscape is the setting for the novel and also uniquely gorgeous. I really hope that it makes the novel stand out.

Imagine that you’re on a plane to Hawaii. What would you say to the other passengers to convince them to buy Escape for the Summer and read it on the beach?

I was once lucky enough to spend an entire summer in Honolulu, and I spent a great deal of time laying on the beach reading.  My book, Escape for the Summer, is brimming full of sunshine and has a real holiday vibe – perfect for your dream getaway! Take it from me, what you really need for Waikiki is a big fat book  you can lose yourself in so that you don’t have to worry about anything else except for soaking up the rays (and eyeing up all the gorgeous surfers). Escape for the Summer has more twists and turns than the Grand Prix and characters that you can really root for, too. Just add a cocktail and a dollop of Hawaiian Tropic sun tan oil and you’re away!

Do you have a favorite book that you have written? If so, which one and why?

That’s a hard question!  It’s a bit like asking a parent which child they love the most!  I am fond of all my books and for different reasons.  They were all written at different stages in my life and reflect emotions and situations I was in at the time. Katy Cater Wants a Hero was my breakthrough book and my first with Orion, while Amber Scott is Starting Over was written during my divorce – although totally a work of fiction(!). I think Escape for the Summer is my favourite in terms of allowing me to play with multiple narratives and plot lines, which have taught me so much about the writer’s craft.  I know this is an answer worthy of a politician, but I love them all.

Who are your favorite authors?

Jilly Cooper, Sophie Kinsella, Chaucer, Miranda Dickinson, Fiona Walker, Dan Brown, Shakespeare – I have varied tastes!

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?

I am desperate to visit Egypt and see the pyramids for myself.  It is something that I have always longed to do.  My psychic granny claimed to have an Egyptian spirit guide so maybe he is with me now?  The heroine of my next book is an Egyptologist, and I am really enjoying doing all the research for writing about her. I spent hours in the British Museum looking at the mummies.

Which five words describe you best?

Easily distracted, sensitive, ambitious, emotional, and imaginative. (Is 6 cheating?)

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Linking back to an earlier question – it has to be Hawaiian! And the more ham and pineapple the better!

If you could take five things to a deserted island, what would you take?

Hmm…my boyfriend because I love being with him, a stack of paper to write on, a pen that has an endless supply of ink, sun cream because I am a red head, and my asthma inhaler. 

What is your most memorable vacation and why?

A few years ago, my ex and I went to Mexico, and it truly was the holiday from hell.  I learned that you can be in paradise, but if it’s with the wrong person, then it is worse than the deepest pit of Hades.  We got snowed in at Gatwick before we left, I had a terrible asthma attack, and he was a million times meaner to me than Tom in Escape for the Summer ever is to Andi. I filed for divorce almost as soon as the plane’s wheels touched down back in the UK.  That is one horrible holiday I will never forget and for all the wrong reasons, but it’s all fantastic novel fodder!

What's the funniest movie you've ever seen?

As a teenager I watched Young Einstein over and over again. My friend Pete and I thought it was the most hilarious thing ever.  I’m not sure how well that movie would age.  I do love Austin Powers, too.  The last film I watched which had me snorting with mirth was The Hangover 2.  My boyfriend laughed so hard he couldn’t breathe.

What is your favorite quote?

I do love Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing, and my upcoming Kindle Single is based on the play.  Writing a story based on a Shakespeare play was an exercise that I gave my A Level students, and I had to try it, too.  When Beatrice says, “I would rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear that he loves me,” I always smile, especially as I know she doesn’t mean it!

What are you working on now?

At the moment, I have several projects on the go.  I am finishing Dead Romantic, which is due to be released in the autumn, I’m writing my Kindle Single Much Ado About Weddings, and planning my Christmas novella, which will feature Andi, Gemma, and Angel. In the meantime, I still teach full time in a school in the Caribbean, so I also have lots of end of year reports to write!

Thanks, Ruth!

Ruth Saberton always knew she wanted to be a writer. From an early age she was busy filling note books with stories, and rather than hero worshipping Wham and Duran Duran (which ages her!), Ruth's heroes were Jilly Cooper and Jackie Collins. Several attempts at bodice rippers later, Ruth turned her attention to romance and now focuses on writing romantic comedies. Her debut novel, Katy Carter Wants a Hero, was championed by Richard and Judy and nominated for the RNA's Romantic Comedy of the Year Award, as well as being described by Heat Magazine as, “the heir apparent to Bridget Jones.” Ruth writes under her own name, but also has several pen names which include Jessica Fox, Georgie Carter, Holly Cavendish, and Lucy Hepburn. Ruth is published by Orion, Pan Macmillan, Harper Collins and Notting Hill Press. Although she loves the UK, Ruth now lives in the Caribbean where she continues to write. Ruth loves to talk to her readers. Interact with her on her website, on Twitter @ruthsaberton, or via Facebook.

Author Interview: Whitney Dineen

What was your inspiration for writing She Sins at Midnight?

I hate to say it, but there was no real inspiration for She Sins. When I write, I just sit down at the computer and wait to see what wants to be written. A lot of the book comes from my own life, like the town of Bentley is very much like the town I lived in during high school, but Lila et al are a story of their own making, and I love them!

Describe your novel’s heroine, Lila.

Lila Montgomery is loyal, insecure, gorgeous and quirky. She is the best friend we all long to have.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? When and why did you decide to write a book?

I never really dreamed of being an author. Empress of the free-world? Yes, because I thought I might actually be able to do that.  Writing always intimidated me until one day I just started doing it. I am now totally convinced there is no better job in the world.  

Who are your favorite authors?

My favorite authors… SO many. My tops would include Jen Lancaster, who aside from being my same age and from the same part of the country has a smart-ass sense of humor very like my own. I love Marian Keyes for again, a fabulous sense of humor and sense of character. I’m also a huge fan of Jennifer Weiner, Allison Winn Scotch, and Emily Giffin. I would also like to invite David Sedaris to be my gay husband. I adore him!

What was the last book you read that you loved?

The last book that I read that I liked would be an easier question to answer. But loved? I’m going to have to go with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Her imagination is simply beyond what a mere mortal has. Her grasp of history and romance and character…unbelievable! Thrilled that the series is being turned into a television show.

If you could be a character in any novel you've ever read, who would you be and why?

If I could be any literary character, I would pick Jane Eyre. Jane is the classic strong heroine that doesn’t let diversity smother her. It makes her stronger and more interesting. Plus, I’m a big sucker for gothic romance.

If you could have lunch with a fictional character, who would you choose and what would you talk about?

I know I should wrack my brain and come up with some highbrow fictional character to dine with, but  the truth is that I’d love to break bread with Madeline in her house in Paris all covered in vines. I see Brioche, some good cheese, a great bottle of wine (that I don’t have to share because she’s underage) and something smothered in chocolate for dessert. Also, we would talk in the manner in which the books are written. “Then dined on wine and cheese and bread, stuffing themselves ‘til they went to bed.”

What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?

Before I had children (now 3 and 5) and actually had spare time, I loved to read anything I could get my hands on, knit, embroider, throw dinner parties and plot to take over the world. However, now that I have no spare time to speak of, I still love to read and wait for it… watch The Real Housewives of New York. Those broads are just so trashy it boggles the mind.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is from Voltaire. “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” My life has been an adventure in Faith. My youngest daughter is named Faith.

Do you stick to a writing schedule or write only when you’re inspired?

I only write when I am inspired. I seem to be full of inspiration at 4 in the a.m. I would change that if I could.

What are you working on now?

I am finishing up editing my second chick lit novel, The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan. Lila and I needed someone to lunch with, so I created Mimi. What a trip she is!

Thanks, Whitney!

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. When she wasn’t modeling, she was in the kitchen, baking delights to share with friends. Soon, her friends began asking her to send baskets of her wonderful candies and cookies to business associates, agents and production studios. Word spread like wildfire, and the rest, as they say, is history. Whitney’s sensational creations are still in great demand by her loyal celebrity clientele ( 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. In addition to her love of chick lit, Whitney has also written a series of adventure books for girls. The first of which, Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory, will be out the summer of 2014. Whitney and her husband, Jimmy, have recently relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to raise their children, chickens, and organic vegetables. For more information, please visit

Author Interview: Elisa Lorello

Tell us about your novel, She Has Your Eyes.

She Has Your Eyes is the continuation of the novels Faking It and Ordinary World. (SPOILER ALERT if you’ve not read the previous two!) Andi and David are finally together and very happy. And then a teenage girl shows up at their door with some startling news.

It’s got some humor, but it’s also rather emotional. Andi’s mother plays a large, powerful role in this book. You’ll also see some other familiar names/faces from the previous two books.

What was your inspiration for writing this novel?

Readers loved the first two books so much, and many asked if I’d write another. I’d had no plans to do so, but as I was finishing up my fourth novel, Adulation, a teenage girl named Wylie entered the backyard of my mind, and the rest is history.

Describe your novel’s heroine, Andi.

Andi Vanzant (a native Long Islander, now in her mid-forties) is intelligent, witty, and an excellent teacher. She’s attractive, but never saw herself as such, and yo-yoed with her weight for most of her life. She also grew up with some mixed messages from her parents about love and sex, and thus became rather insecure. A lot of readers find her self-absorbed (and she is to a degree), but I think it really comes from her attempt at self-preservation. She’s had to learn how to love the people closest to her, especially herself (and accept their love in return), and thus has made mistakes in terms of how to do so. 

Will there be any more books in this series?

I know my readers want more (and I’m touched and grateful that they love these characters so much!), but I can’t answer definitively right now.

Tell us about your experience working with Amazon Publishing.

My experience with Amazon Publishing (I’m officially with their imprint Lake Union now) has been fantastic. They value and encourage my input on editing, cover design, and marketing. I feel like one of the team as opposed to a commodity. Plus, I’m honored to be affiliated with their other top-notch authors.

As the author of Kindle bestsellers, do you have any marketing advice for authors?

You’ll sell more books by not selling them. Use social media to connect with readers and fellow authors, and those groups that share similar interests as yours. The only time I get promotion-heavy is during a launch. As people get to know you, they’ll want to get to know your books.

Also, the number-one method of selling books is word-of-mouth. Remember the old shampoo commercial? “You tell two friends. And they’ll tell two friends. And so on, and so on, and so on…” How to get people talking? For starters, write a good story, and write it well.  

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

It’s not that I always wanted to be a writer; I always was a writer. It’s been the one constant in my life from the moment I learned how to put letters and words together (that, and being a twin). I didn’t believe I could have a lucrative career as a writer, however, and for a long time I didn’t believe I was good at writing fiction. I’m glad I was wrong both times. Faking It changed my perspective on both.

Who are your favorite authors?

Many of my fellow A-Pub authors are my faves (Craig Lancaster, Rob Kroese, and Karen McQuestion, to name a few), plus my Why I Love Singlehood co-author, Sarah Girrell. Screenwriter(s) Aaron Sorkin and the late Nora Ephron have also been incredibly influential.

What was the last book you read that you loved?

I loved Craig Lancaster’s novels 600 Hours of Edward and Edward Adrift.

What are you working on now?

I never discuss my works in progress! All I’ll say is that I’ve just finished the first round of revision and am passing the manuscript on to beta readers next week. So far I’m pleased with how it’s coming along.

Thank you, Elisa!

Elisa Lorello was born and raised on Long Island, the youngest of seven children. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and eventually launched a career teaching rhetoric and composition. Elisa spent six years in North Carolina, where she split her time between teaching writing to university students and publishing her own work. She has since returned home to the Northeast. Elisa is the author of Kindle bestselling novels Faking It and Ordinary WorldWhy I Love Singlehood (co-authored with Sarah Girrell), and AdulationFaking It, translated in German as Vorgetäuscht, also spent three consecutive weeks at #1 on the German Kindle Bestseller List. When not writing, Elisa is an unapologetic Duran Duran fan, Pop-Tart enthusiast, walker, and coffee shop patron, and she can sing two-part harmony.

Add She Has Your Eyes to your Goodreads shelf! Follow the She Has Your Eyes Tour via Fictionella! Connect with Elisa Lorello at!