Jane Porter's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Today's guest: Jane Porter Why we love her: Her novels, Flirting with Forty and She's Gone Country are two of our faves!

Her latest: The Good Woman (Out today: September 4th.)

The scoop on it: Is it possible to leave it all behind? The firstborn of a large Irish-American family, Meg Brennan Roberts is a successful publicist, faithful wife, and doting mother who prides herself on always making the right decisions. But years of being “the good woman” have taken a toll and though her winery career thrives, Meg feels burned out and empty, and more disconnected than ever from her increasingly distant husband. Lonely and disheartened, she attends the London Wine Fair with her boss, ruggedly handsome vintner, Chad Hallahan. It’s here, alone together in an exotic city, far from “real” life, that Chad confesses his long-standing desire for Meg.

Overwhelmed, flattered, and desperately confused, Meg returns home, only to suddenly question every choice she’s ever made, especially that of her marriage. For Meg, something’s got to give, and for once in her life she flees her responsibilities—but with consequences as reckless and irreversible as they are liberating. Now she must decide whether being the person everyone needs is worth losing the woman she was meant to be.

Read chapter one and two here.

Our thoughts: Engaging and heartfelt, we hated to reach the final page. But there's good news: This is the first book of three!

Giveaway: FIVE copies! Leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll pick the winners after 3pm PST on Monday, September 10th.

Fun fact: Jane also writes romance novels.

Where you can read more about Jane: Twitter, Facebook, her blog and her website.


(NOTE: Photo of Jane as a teen also included! She looks exactly the same!)

1. You are not fat and you do not have a big butt.  In fact, your thighs and butt are the smallest now they will ever be so stop obsessing about your body and enjoy the fact that it doesn’t jiggle and ache.   And while we’re discussing your body, lets talk about something that’s a little nit picky but its been bothering me for awhile:  Please, please stop using flesh colored Clearasil.  It doesn’t look natural and its not invisible and it its obvious you’re trying to cover up a pimple.   You’re not hiding anything, you’re just making the zit look worse.

2. Jane, Jane, Jane...you’re a swimmer, not a cheer leader, a book worm, not a model.  The football players don’t dig you and you’re never going to be popular.  But that’s okay.  It’s okay to not be popular.  In fact, being unpopular will prove to be very good for you.  It will a) give you stories for the future, and b) help you push yourself harder, dream bigger, and take greater risks because you’ve got something to prove, and you can, because you’re not constantly worrying about what the popular crowd thinks.

3. Those guys that seemed so hot in high school?   A little secret, teen Jane: they’re not so hot later.   Sure, they look great now to your 16 year old eyes because they hit puberty earlier than others, and have been shaving since they were thirteen, but those skinny, short, nerdy guys you don’t even notice right now?  They change.  They become the real heartbreakers.  They’re the hunks of the future, as well as the brainy, cool mavericks who transform the world as we know it.

4. To have the life you want to have, to get to where you want to go, you’re going to have to fight hard.  You’re going to have to work hard.  Really hard.  There will be a lot of obstacles in the way, and a lot of naysayers telling you that you’re wrong, and you can’t succeed, but they don’t know you, Jane.   I do, though, and I’m going to tell you something that’s really important: gird yourself.  Be prepared to take some hard hits on the way.  The hits won’t feel good, but they won’t destroy you.  Some hits will hurt more than others, and you might fall down and cry, but you’re tough.  You’re strong.  Get up.  Shake yourself off.   And keep going.  As long as you’re resilient and tenacious you really can do anything.  You can be anyone you want to be.  It’s your life.  It’s your dream.  Fight for it.  Always.

5. Lastly, Jane, you don’t have to please everyone.  In fact, you don’t have to please anyone as long as you’re happy with you.  (Hard to believe when you’re a pleaser, but it’s true).   But how to be happy with yourself?  Stop apologizing for being yourself.   There’s nothing wrong with you.  Sure, you’re geeky and emotional and socially awkward, but that’s part of your charm.   It’s who you are, and your real friends accept the real you.  So stop looking outward for truth, and those answers you think everyone has.  (They don’t...at least, they don’t have the answers you want for you.)  It’s time you realized you have the answers already.  They’re there in your head, and your heart, and lucky you, it’s a good heart.   And it’s a heart that needs to be protected.  So protect yourself, and your heart, and be the person you want to be because that’s the only way you’ll ever be happy.  Loving yourself will allow you to love everyone else and you’ll have the happy ever after you’ve always wanted.

Thanks, Jane! xoxo,

Liz & Lisa

Author photo credit: Kira Stewart Photography