Kate Rockland's 5 Loves and a Dud

Weight.  We're a country obsessed with it.  We have magazine cover devoted to it.  Some of us (Liz!) talk about it constantly. So when we saw that Kate Rockland's next novel was titled 150 Pounds, well, we knew we had to get our hands on it ASAP! We're thrilled that Kate's returning to the site today(we crowned her as our VERY FIRST Lit IT Girl last year!) to share her 5 Loves a Dud.  We think you'll find them as hilarious and insightful as her novels, even if now we're a bit scared to visit New Jersey. (um, total California girls over here!) Regardless, we think you'll love her latest, 150 Pounds.  It's fabulous and fun-it's a must read for all you weight obsessers (don't deny-we know you do it too!).

Here's the scoopage on 150 Pounds: In the fast paced life of blogging, two women stand out: Alexis Allbright, of Skinny Chick, and Shoshana Weiner, who writes Fat and Fabulous. Both have over five million loyal readers. Both are hungry for success. But the similarities stop there.

With over 100 pounds on the scale separating them, weight isn't their only difference. Alexis is a loner who is so bitchy the only person who can stand her company is her gay best friend Billy. She gives neurotic New Yorkers a run for their money with her strict daily workout routine, and weighing of food. Shoshana is Alexis’s opposite. Living in Jersey with rowdy roommates, she is someone who “collects friends,” as her mother puts it; and treasures a life of expanding circles...and waistlines.

When both appear as panelists on a popular talk show, their lives intersect in ways neither could have imagined. In turns comedic, heartwarming—and familiar to any woman who's ever stepped on a scale—Alexis and Shoshana realize they have far more in common than either could have possibly imagined, and more importantly, something to offer.

Sound fun? Then leave a comment and you'll be entered on of FIVE copies.  We'll choose the winner after 6pm PST on Sunday January 22nd.  Good Luck!


1. Other People’s Weddings I know everyone likes to complain about having to book hotel rooms, buy silver bridesmaid shoes, or stop eating their lobster to stand up when a couple gets announced as husband and wife for the first time. Me? I frickin’ love weddings. From the moment I get the invitation in the mail and affix it to my fridge, to stumbling back to my room buzzed off the free champagne, I have had a ball at every wedding I’ve ever been lucky enough to be invited to. I love noting which traditions the bride and groom included or discarded, love embarrassing speeches by fathers when they tear up, love the surprise of which appetizers and entrees a couple chose when they’re placed before me, and I especially love the moment the bride enters the room, chapel, church, synagogue, or beach to walk down the aisle and everyone sucks in their breath at how beautiful she looks. As you can imagine, I started planning my own wedding the minute I met my husband. My friend Marissa used to joke she was afraid to open my bedroom closet, lest six wedding dresses fall out.

2. Coffee Some people have a morning exercise routine. I have a morning coffee routine. From the minute I wake up, I start looking forward to my medium hazelnut, extra cream, and two sugars. I go to a local café four blocks from my apartment. I know the owner, and we usually chat for a few minutes each day. This gives me hope, that should I ever die and my husband doesn’t notice, this store owner will call the police and not let my cat eat my face off. I don’t mind standing in line, as I usually do a heaping dose of people-watching. I like imagining what profession everyone is in, where they’re running off to. I try and spy on people working on their laptops, to see what they’re typing. I like the sacks of beans that decorate the store, and the funny names of the beans like “Obama blend.” That first sip is heaven.

3. Cranky Northern New Jerseyans and New Yorkers  I lived in Colorado once and didn’t trust anyone I met. They were too earnest, too helpful, too laid-back. After two years I hastily packed my bags and moved home to the East Coast. I’m from Northern New Jersey, right across the river from Manhattan. People here tell it like it is. If you’re acting like an asshole, people will tell you. If you leave your car double-parked too long on the street, someone will smash in your window. That’s just the way it is. I don’t trust friendly people, and when I travel, I miss loud Jersey women who can make you laugh in five minutes. I like it that if someone falls on the sidewalk in Manhattan, no one helps them up. I mean really, get better walking shoes. I keep thinking my husband and I have to move to the suburbs, but I’m terrified of someone breaking into our house. My family thinks I’m crazy; aren’t I scared to live in a city? I’m not. I like that there’s always someone standing outside their building smoking, or walking down the street in front of me. No one’s ever bothered me in the city. I don’t trust the rest of the country. I feel like there’s never been a serial killer from New Jersey.

4. The Smell of My Son After a Bath Because one of my son’s favorite pastimes is smushing avocado into his ears, digging in the dirt with his fingers, or sticking banana up his nose, by the end of the day the kid needs a bath. I don’t so much enjoy the act of giving him a bath, as it’s physically draining to lift him in and out of the tub, fill it with fancy California Baby soap, stick in all his colorful bath toys, undress him, and lay out his bath towel. However, the end result is divine; the day gets washed away, and all the minor stresses I’ve had melt when I kneel down and make sure he has no toe lint between his toes from his socks. I love how his hair gets a tiny curl to it after a bath, and how his skin shines like pearls, the avocado gets removed from his ears, and his skin smells simply divine. I like that even though I don’t always get it right when it comes to mommyhood, I can give my son this small gift of a bath every night, and send him off to sleep clean and happy.

5. Reading a Murder Mystery Some of my favorite mystery writers, P.D. James, Elizabeth George, and Ngaio Marsh my mom got me into from high school on. I love nothing more then settling down into bed and scaring the bejezus out of myself. I know it’s a genre I could never write, and that fascinates me. To be a mystery writer one has to know not only how to solve puzzles, but how to come up with the original puzzle in the first place, one that hasn’t been penned already by another author. Figuring out plot extends to other pop culture loves I have, like watching The Closer or seeing a really good film with a winding plot. I like characters that might not be who they seem. When I was younger, there were times I needed to know who the murderer was so badly I’d cut class and sit on the toilet in the ladies’ room, hastily speed-reading through the pages. My husband teases me because I sometimes will scan the last page of a mystery novel to make sure I’m on the right track as to who the killer is, and then I’m bummed out when I’m right. I’m getting better at resisting this urge.


Couples Buying Homes on HGTV’s “House Hunters” I’m addicted to HGTV’s show “House Hunters.” Mainly, because I can’t afford to buy a house. It’s also why I read fashion magazines, and consider whether the $1200 Marc Jacobs sweater would look good with my skin tone: It’s a fantasy. However, the couples who agree to be filmed as they buy their dream home really piss me off. They seem to have no concept what “small” is, to start. I have been living in a 650 square foot-apartment with two other people and a shy cat for six years. We have closets narrower then my body if I stand with my back to them, which are so jam packed there is one in the living room that no longer opens. Nothing makes me angrier then when I watch a couple stroll into a four-bedroom house in Texas and state that the walk-in closet off the master bedroom is “too small.” Girl, that closet is the size of my entire apartment. How much space do Americans think they need? Someday I’ll move into a house and it’s going to feel like a castle, no matter what size it is. And I won’t complain about the size of my walk-in closet. At least the door will open.

Thanks Kate! xoxo, L&L

To read more about Kate, head on over to her website or find her on Facebook or Twitter.