There's a reason why the fabulous Jen Lancaster has a bazillon-million Facebook fans. She. Rocks! And we're as giddy as little schoolgirls at a Justin Bieber concert about the fact that she's sharing her Do's and a Do-Over today here at CLIND! Jen's bestselling memoirs are freakin' hilarious. Now, with If You Were Here, she makes her fiction debut and we couldn't be happier about it. In fact, when we discovered that If You Were Herehad more John Hughes's references than a VH1 special-we were SOLD. Because nothing makes us happier than waxing nostalgic over the movies we grew up with. And we gotta love anyone that, like us, drooled over Jake and that damn Porsche in the movie Sixteen Candles. Too bad our "Jake Complex" led us to make some very unfortunate dating choices growing up! But hey, we don't know about you, but there's still a spot for him and his Porsche on our short list. *wink wink*
And we loved If You Were Here-it's a fun read that will have you LOLing in every chapter! A perfect pick-me-up after a long week!
If You Were Here follows Amish-zombie-teen- romance author Mia and her husband Mac (and their pets) through the alternately frustrating, exciting, terrifying-but always funny-process of buying and renovating their first home in the Chicago suburbs that John Hughes's movies made famous. Along their harrowing renovation journey, Mia and Mac get caught up in various wars with the homeowners' association, meet some less-than-friendly neighbors, and are joined by a hilarious cast of supporting characters, including a celebutard ex- landlady. As they struggle to adapt to their new surroundings- with Mac taking on the renovations himself- Mia and Mac will discover if their marriage is strong enough to survive months of DIY renovations.
Sounds fun, right? We have FIVE copies to give away! Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win. Doesn't get much easier than that, people. We'll choose the winners on Friday May 6th after 6pm PST. Good Luck!
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...JEN LANCASTER'S 5 DO'S AND A DO-OVER
1. Be prepared. No one will fight harder for what you want than you. Doing your homework gives you the confidence to fight. Take job hunting, for example. When people are asked to come interview, most applicants read the employer’s website and can parrot back the company’s mission statement if asked. But if you want this job, dig deeper. Work harder than your competition. Research the organization in-depth. Read trade journals. Gain some perspective on how this employer has the competitive advantage, or what they might need to improve it. Become well-versed in how legislation/lobbyists are changing the corporate landscape. Take inventory of your personal strengths and practice explaining how these skills dovetail into the organization’s very specific needs. Yes, it’s a lot of extra effort. But if you’re properly prepared, the employer will snap you up if for no reason other than to keep their competitors from hiring you.
2. Be charming. The above only works if you can do it all with a genuine smile on your face. Life is a lot like one of my favorite reality shows - Survivor. Yeah, it’s important to excel at challenges and carry your own weight around camp, but ultimately positive social interactions win the game. Boston Rob always goes far because he’s smart and he’s strong, but being funny and cute has been of equal importance. (Maybe he hasn’t won the million yet, but his charm is what keeps CBS asking him back.)
3. Embrace failure. Despite your best efforts to be both prepared and charming, bad things still happen. Learn that failure doesn’t define you; recovering from failure does. When I was laid off from my executive job, I thought my life was over. Yet during my jobless tenure, I discovered that I didn’t actually like working a boring corporate desk job. If I hadn’t failed at being an executive, I’d never have had the opportunity to pursue a more creative line of work. To pass the long, empty days home alone, I wrote scathing blog posts about being unemployed, only to discover that the act of writing fueled me. Documenting the story of my failure turned into writing Bitter Is the New Black and the rest is history.
4. More Ferris, Less Cameron. Ferris Bueller said it best – sometimes you need to take the day off. Life does move pretty fast sometimes, and if you don’t, say, steal your dad’s vintage Ferrari to cruise around the city on occasion, you might miss it. Goof off once in a while. Spend a long, leisurely afternoon with Real Housewives on the TiVo and some Ben & Jerry’s. You might be surprised at how productive you’ll be if you allow yourself a minute to recharge your batteries.
5. Charlie Sheen is not #winning. Ever. Despite Sheen’s deplorable behavior, there are still women out there – clever, confident, capable women – who honestly believe they can change him. And yet his string of unhappy ex-wives and girlfriends begs to differ. Sure, it’s always exhilarating to date the Charlies of the world, but ultimately the stress of loving a bad boy is going to break your heart and make you wrinkle prematurely. A nice guy will give you a happily ever after whereas a bad boy will make a few unhappy months feel like an eternity. Choose wisely – there’s only so much Botox can fix.
Do not do it yourself. You know how your hairdresser makes a simple bang-trim look effortless? Like, so easy that anyone could do it? Including yourself? And so you tried? And had to wear a hat for a month? You see, your stylist is a trained professional and she cuts bangs all day, every day, for fifty-plus weeks a year. You cannot replicate this. Do not try. A while ago, my husband and I took this lesson to heart, only instead of cutting our own hair, we wanted to rehab a house after watching HGTV. We rationalized, “Hey! That’s not so hard! We could rehab a house! And I could write a memoir about it!” And then I remembered the last time I cut my own bangs and those were the longest eight weeks of my life, so we didn’t buy the fixer-upper. Instead, I let my character Mia give home renovations a whirl in my novel If You Were Here. And when the first toilet came crashing through the ceiling in her office, I bet Mia wished she’d heeded my advice. Leave it to the professionals. You’ll thank me later.
Thanks Jen! xoxo, Liz & Lisa