Mary Carter's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Todays' guest: Mary Carter Why we love her: Although she's written several novels, this is the first we've read. We always love discovering an author we adore and can't wait to read more from.

Her latest: The Things I Do For You

The scoop on it: After years of supporting her husband Brad's generally ill-fated career ventures, Bailey Jordan has a job and a life she loves, working as a high profile real estate agent in Manhattan. Things are wonderful, and she's ready to start a family. Everything changes when Brad is involved in a car crash and dies for thirteen minutes. Previously an agnostic, Brad comes back to life on a mission. Unbeknownst to his wife, he buys a lighthouse on the Hudson River and plans to turn it into a bed and breakfast. Bailey reluctantly joins him, but she's overwhelmed by business stresses, eclectic guests, and strange rumours. And as Brad's behaviour grows increasingly erratic, she must find a way to get him to come back down to earth if their marriage is to survive...

Our thoughts: We're always suckers for a good love story. This was sweet, heartfelt and hit home.

Giveaway:5 copies! Just leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll randomly select the winners after 3PM PST on Sunday, August 12.

Fun fact: Mary has started, The Writers’ Den, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where she will be teaching the exact writing course that helped her write and publish her first novel. Aspiring writers in the New York City area can go to to this website for more information.

Where you can read more about Mary: Her website.


1. Don’t put more effort into a boy than he is putting into you I wasted a lot of time chasing boys, concentrating all of my energy on whichever one I had a crush on, putting a higher value on them than I did myself. It not only doesn’t work, the guy you think is so wonderful often disappoints. If he likes you, you can bet he’ll return your calls, be interested in your dreams and goals, and treat you like you treat him. Be happy and confident, let boys be the icing on the cake.

2. You are not fat I would give anything for the body I had back in high school. Problem was, I didn’t appreciate it then either. I thought I was fat. I hated my thighs. I would go on fad diets, and stay up nights before vacations exercising. Taking care of your body is one thing, obsessing over it is another. Crazy thing is? It usually has nothing to do with what you really look like. If you can get it out of your head, you’ll be much happier.

3. Doing a little bit every day adds up to a lot more than cramming it in all at once I used to wait until the last minute to do most things: practice piano, write that essay or report that was due the next day, even exercise. Now, as an author with deadlines, I realize the time I spend every day working on my projects gets me a lot further at the end of the year than procrastinating until it’s do or die. Take writing for example: One page a day equals the first draft of a novel at the end of a year. A little bit really does add up to a lot.

4. Don’t quit the saxophone or piano I played both growing up, then just drifted away from them after high school. I’d give anything now to be able to whip out my saxophone while waiting for the subway and serenade the commuters. Or have a few gigs a week in little clubs in the village. Or tinkle the ivories on the side. If you have a talent like that, don’t let it slip away! May seem like drudgery now, but some day it will be way cool.

5. Cherish your family My mom and I fought a lot when I was a teenager. Our temperaments were too similar. I remember one screaming match before school where I yelled: “You’re acting like my mother!” There was a pause, then she said quietly, “I am your mother.” It made us both crack up. These days my mother is my best friend and has been the one person who has always had my back. At times, we tend to treat those we love the most the worst.  Once in awhile step back and realize they really are on your side, even when they’re driving you crazy.

Thanks, Mary!


Liz & Lisa