7 Seconds in Heaven

7 Seconds in Heaven with Stacey Ballis

Out to Lunch by Stacey BallisToday's guest: Stacey Ballis Why we love her: She writes delicious novels!

Her latest: Out to Lunch

The scoop: A touching and hilarious novel from the fabulous Stacey Ballis about best friends, true love, and the joy of food—for fans of Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin...

Jenna has lost her best friend. With Aimee gone so tragically young, Jenna barely knows where to turn. Aimee was the one who always knew what to do—not to mention what to wear. The two built a catering company together and had so much in common—well, except their taste in men. Jenna never understood what the successful, sophisticated Aimee saw in Wayne, with his Star Wars obsession and harebrained business schemes.And gained her best friend’s husband… But Aimee has left a shocking last request: Jenna now has financial custody of the not-so-merry widower. True, Wayne needs someone sensible around to keep him under control, but what was her dear departed friend thinking?The thing is, as she gets to know Wayne better, his latest moneymaking idea actually starts to intrigue her. Her attractive new lawyer boyfriend doesn’t approve of it—but then, Wayne doesn’t approve of her attractive new lawyer boyfriend. Now Jenna has to figure out what direction her life is going to take next. And she can’t help asking herself: What would Aimee do?

Our thoughts: Our favorite of all seven of her novels! Yes, she's written seven!

Giveaway: TWO copies of Out to Lunch!   Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winner on Sunday, December 15 after 12 PM PST.

Where you can read more about Stacey: Her website, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.


STACEY+BALLIS1.  I have two tattoos, and one of them was my mother’s idea and on her dime.   And no, you can’t see them.

2.  I once sprained both of my ankles at the exact same time.  Because I’m gifted like that.

3.  Despite being passionately in favor of gun control, when I was at camp I was a Ninth Bar Sharpshooter with a 22 caliber rifle, and just three targets shy of the Expert level before I realized it made me a member of the NRA, and I stopped shooting.  I’m still kind of good at a carnival tho.

4.  While you will most often find me listening to the 70s and 80s stations in the car, my favorite single piece of music is Dvorak’s Symphony for the New World.  It’s also my dad’s favorite.  We discovered the coincidence when I was in my 20s.

5.  I know all the words to Don McClean’s American Pie.  ALL OF THEM.

6.  I often keep my wallet and cell phone in my bra so I don’t have to carry a purse.

7.  I’m completely addicted to television procedurals of the legal, police, and spy variety.

Thanks, Stacey!


7 Seconds in Heaven with Mark Ellwood

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke spend 7 Seconds in Heaven with Mark EllwoodToday's guest: Mark Ellwood Why we want to spend 7 Seconds in Heaven with him: Any man who not only wants to go shopping is our kind of guy!

His latest: Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World (October 17th)

The scoop: A spirited investigation into the world of bargain hunting and how shoppers and sellers try to one-up each other

When Coca-Cola offered the first retail coupon in the 1880s, customers were thrilled. But today, one in four American shoppers will buy something only if it’s on sale, and almost half of all merchandise carries a promotional price. The relentless pursuit of deals has totally disrupted the relationship between buyers and sellers.

In this playful, well-researched book, journalist Mark Ellwood investigates what happens to markets when everything’s negotiable. From the haggling bazaars of Istanbul to Black Friday at a mall in upstate New York to pinnacles of global luxury such as Hermès and Louis Vuitton, sellers and shoppers are engaged in a constant game of cat and mouse.

Price consultants use the latest findings in neuroeconomics to fool shoppers into thinking they’ve gotten a great deal. Consumers, on the other hand, are more empowered than ever by technology, from coupon apps to strategic Twitter analysis. And some brands resist the trend entirely, opting to set their unsold merch out to sea and shred it rather than slash prices.

Enlightening as it is entertaining, Bargain Fever offers invaluable insights into how shopping works today.

Our thoughts: Fascinating. Informative. Juicy.

Giveaway: Two copies!  Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, October 6th after 12 pm PST.

Where you can read more about Mark: His website and Twitter.


Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke talk to Mark Ellwood about why no one should ever pay full price for anything1. Liz & Lisa: How did you get into being a retail expert/why did you write this book? Not to sound sexist, but dare we point out that you are a man writing about shopping for an audience, we're assuming is made up of mostly women? :)

Mark Ellwood: I've always loved shopping - I'd take retail therapy over analysis any time. I'd rather haggle for a leather couch than sit on one.

I think it's all down to my childhood.  I grew up (very happily) as an only child, with a mother for whom shopping was a sport. Going to the shops was my family's answer to walk in the park: only far more fun, a lot less grubby and with a bigger chance of grabbing a great deal on a pair of jeans.

As I was dragged, solo, from store to store by my mom, I realized early on that I had a choice: hate shopping and in the process much of my childhood, or embrace it and start having fun. I opted for the latter.

What's more, my mom is from Scotland, a nation famous in Europe for its love of a bargain. I still tease her that when she puts two 5 pound notes in her wallet, she's secretly hoping they might breed, Giant Panda-style. Nothing makes her happier than a surprise price adjustment on a Sunday afternoon. I inherited that, too.

2. L& L: Tell us more about this concept of "buyagra" (we think we might have it!)

ME: Picture it. You're sitting in a restaurant, and you order a slice of chocolate cake. Delicious, sure, but no big deal. Imagine being in that same cafe and the delighted surprise you feel when the owner remembers it's your birthday; a free slab of molten lava cake appears, candle flickering merrily.

In the former case, your brain is happy. In the latter, it's ecstatic, and is surging with a special chemical called dopamine. This is a much misunderstood hormone, often assumed to be Dr Feelgood Juice. It isn't. It's better to think of dopamine as Bonus Juice; it essentially spritzes in your brain every time the situation's better than you expected.

The commonest time that happens? The sight of a 50% OFF sign, when the cute dress you were planning to buy is a better deal than you could have hoped. Some of us are more powerless under buyagra's thrall than others - one in four people, in fact. They are the shopaholics who have a harmless genetic variant that basically turbocharges buyagra's impact on their brains. It's biological for those women, who camp out overnight for Black Friday bargains.

3. L&L: What's the #1 mistake we make as shoppers?

ME: No one should ever, ever, ever pay full price for anything. Did I say *ever*? Whether it's Googling for a coupon code before checking out online, or simply asking a store clerk sweetly "Are there any discounts I should know about today?" the rule is simple. If it's not at least 10% off, my wallet stays shut and so should yours.

My latest obsession is PoachIt, a button that installs in your browser and you hit any time you're hovering on a product page - completely free, it will retrieve any coupon code or discount that exists anywhere online right now for that item.

4. L&L: What's the #1 shopping secret everyone should know?

ME: Until about 1980, prices were set using what was known as the cost-plus model - companies took what it cost to make, say, a wine glass and used a simple equation to work out the retail price. Say it cost a buck to make each glass, then final price would be 2.5 times that - $2.50.

Then everything changed when a wily German invented the idea of market-based pricing - basically, "What can we get away with charging for that?" Suddenly, it didn't matter that the glass cost a buck to make - it mattered how much it looked like it was worth. Let's make it $10, because it's got a designer label on it. How else did a classic Chanel flap-over bag cost $2,850 in 2008 then just two years later be marked $4,100 (a rise of 44%)?

That price inflation, which happens in every industry now, is the reason shelling when something isn't on sale is so redundant. The ability to discount is built-in to every price.

5. L&L: What's your feeling on buying clothes on eBay or from a second-hand store?

ME: Resellers are a wonderful resource: eco-friendly (less wastage on fast fashion that's worn twice and thrown into a landfill) and bargain-priced (that Vuitton bag on consignment will be less than half its cost brand new). The only challenge is that the boom in consigning has also birthed a boon for fakes, and the industry's infested with knockoffs.

Online, giveaways that something might be more Luis Vuttion than LV are blurbs that keep reiterating "100% authentic" - it's the shopping equivalent of a guy on a first date who's overemphatic about how he has no feelings for his ex (If it were true, you wouldn't need to keep on saying it). To be safe, buy from a reputable reseller with a reputation and guarantees - one of my favorites is Fashionphile.com. It's an Aladdin's Cave of cut-price designer purses.

6: L&L: Complete this sentence:When I'm not writing, producing or presenting, I'm _________.

ME: I'm shopping. Honestly. My favorite place for a bargain is the basement of the Strand bookstore on Broadway in downtown Manhattan, where review copies are illicitly offloaded at half price. The moment I come across my own book on those shelves will be a meta discount moment. And yes, I'll probably buy a couple of copies.

7. L&L: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

ME: I speak fluent Italian, despite looking as British as Harry Potter. I spent chunks of my childhood in Tuscany, and I picked up the local lingo so I could play with the other kids on the beach. It's served me well, as I love Italy so much (the shopping's amazing, of course).

It's also delicious as most Italians assume anyone blonder than Sophia Loren won't understand a word they're saying, as their language isn't exactly spoken worldwide. I've eavesdropped on the most outrageous conversations in Venice or Rome, whether hotel clerks wondering out loud whether to upgrade my room (I waited til they finished, and then replied sweetly I'd love una camera con la veduta) to waiters complaining about other diners (never me, so far at least)

Thanks, Mark!

7 Seconds in Heaven with Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin KwanToday's guest: Kevin Kwan Why we want to spend 7 Seconds in Heaven with him: OMG. Read the book. You'll understand!

His debut: Crazy Rich Asians

The scoop: Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

Our thoughts: Hilarious. Fascinating. Fun. Original. We could go on and on and on.

Giveaway: One SIGNED copy! Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winner after 12pm on Sunday, September 1.

Fun fact: Crazy Rich Asians has already been optioned to be a movie!


Kevin Kwan1. I love being on airplanes when there's lots of turbulence.  Like, the bumpier the better. I get a strange thrill out of it.

2. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a marine biologist.  I had a fish tank and began to obsessively cultivate a vast array of species.  I started with the basic stuff like goldfish and guppies, but quickly graduated to more exotic fish like African Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika.  At the height of my craze, I had a saltwater tank with a lionfish, a leopard grouper, a Picasso triggerfish, a sting ray, a queen angelfish and an octopus. Then I hit puberty and promptly lost interest in all of it.

3. Call me old fashioned, but one of my pet peeves is men who don't get up from the table whenever a woman arrives or departs, or let the ladies exit the elevator first.

4. One of these days I am going to take up hang gliding.  I know it sounds cheesy, but I want to hang glide over the Grand Canyon at sunset.

5. People rarely see me eating fruits, but that's because most of the fruits I like are tropical fruits not available in the Northern Hemisphere.  Like rambutans, chikus, durians, and my favorite of all, mangosteens.

6. In my next life, I’d like to attend Oxford University. (Although I would want it to be 1912, and I'd have a hard time choosing between Balliol, Christ Church, or Magdalen colleges.)

7. I'd like to live in Naples for a year.  The sheer beautiful chaos of the city, the ancient buildings in various states of crumbling, the insanity of the drivers, it all absolutely fascinates me.  And of course, they have the best pizza on earth.

Thanks, Kevin!

7 Seconds in Heaven with Danny Wallace

Today's guest: Danny Wallace Why we want to spend 7 seconds with him: Charlotte Street is a smartly written romantic comedy. Danny Wallace clearly knows how to write books women love!

His latest: Charlotte Street (Out today!)

The scoop on it: Jason Priestley (no, not that Jason Priestley) is in a rut. He gave up his teaching job to write snarky reviews of cheap restaurants for the free newspaper you take but don't read. He lives above a video-game store, between a Polish newsstand and that place that everyone thinks is a brothel but isn't. His most recent Facebook status is "Jason Priestley is . . . eating soup." Jason's beginning to think he needs a change.

So he uncharacteristically moves to help a girl on the street who's struggling with an armload of packages, and she smiles an incredible smile at him before her cab pulls away. What for a fleeting moment felt like a beginning is cruelly cut short—until Jason realizes that he's been left holding a disposable camera. And suddenly, with prodding and an almost certainly disastrous offer of assistance from his socially inept best friend Dev, a coincidence-based, half-joking idea—What if he could track this girl down based on the photos in her camera?—morphs into a full-fledged quest to find the woman of Jason's dreams.

Our thoughts: He had us at Jason Priestly!

Giveaway: FIVE copies. Just leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, October 28th after 3pm PST.

Fun fact: It involves Jim Carrey. (See below!)

Where you can read more about Danny: His website.


1. I once founded my own independent state in a one-bedroom apartment in East London and became King Danny I, leader of tens of thousands of citizens of the Kingdom of Lovely.

2. When I was thirteen, a KGB agent broke into the Berlin flat I was living in to find me with a baseball bat. (True!)

3. I am a direct descendant along the paternal line of William Wallace, King of Scotland, aka Braveheart.

4. My book Yes Man was turned into the film of the same name, starring Jim Carrey.

5. I (at first anonymously) founded a good deeds 'cult' called Join Me, encouraging random acts of kindness towards complete strangers each and every Friday.

6. A picture of me and a chimpanzee I innocently uploaded to the internet was stolen and used without me knowing on advertising billboards in a major marketing campaign for Egyptian hotels across the North African region.

7. I haven't been able to have a bath without thinking of Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana since the early 1990s, after hearing him speak about perfect bath temperatures.

Thanks, Danny!


Liz & Lisa

7 Seconds in Heaven with Tom Ryan

Our guest today: Tom Ryan Why we want to spend 7 Seconds in Heaven with him: He's adventurous and he loves dogs!  What's not to love?

His latest: Following Atticus

The Scoop: After a close friend died of cancer, middle-aged, overweight, acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan decided to pay tribute to her in a most unorthodox manner. Ryan and his friend, miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch, would attempt to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire's four thousand- foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. It was an adventure of a lifetime, leading them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. At the heart of the amazing journey was the extraordinary relationship they shared, one that blurred the line between man and dog.

Our thoughts: This book has A LOT of heart.  We think you'll fall in love with Tom and Atticus!

Giveaway: FIVE copies!  Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win. We'll choose the winners on Sunday, October 21st after 6pm PST.

Fun fact: He has the CUTEST pics of Atticus on his Facebook page.

Where to read more about Tom: His website, Facebook and Twitter.


L&L: You conquered a lot of your fears in FOLLOWING ATTICUS. Tell us about that.

For so many years I was a chicken.  I was afraid of a lot of things and it got to the point where I thought about what a waste it all was.  Life is short and fear is mostly just a liar that robs of us what we want to be and has very little to do with what’s real. So I decided to face up to my fears as I used to face up to dirty cops and politicians and challenge them.  Now I dance with those fears.  Do that enough and they go away.

L&L: Atticus is adorable! Are you guys still climbing together?

I can’t speak for Atticus, but in my imagination he’d rather be considered rugged, but since we’re answering questions for Chick Lit is Not Dead. . . . today he’s adorable. (Do you hear that Atticus? [He’s sitting next to me as I write this.])

To answer your question, I’m still following Atticus, that rugged and adorable dog, up mountains each week.  He’s now ten and a half so we don’t go at it with the same intensity and we mostly seek out mountains we can have to ourselves.  In the beginning, it was all about accomplishment and fundraising for the fight against children’s cancer and for animals in need.  Now it’s simply about doing what we most love to do and doing it with someone we love.  And since Atticus and I both love the same woman and she’s somewhat new to hiking, we’re introducing her to our favorite hikes and all of us are seeing them anew.  For instance, on one of our most recent hikes, a five mile loop that wouldn’t have taken more than three hours in the past, we started out later in the afternoon, took our time, sunbathed on the summit ledges, then on another set of ledges watched the sunset and the rise of the full moon over neighboring mountains.  We stayed there for quite some time, just the three of us, ate a candlelight dinner, and danced to the music piped from my iPhone under the full moon, and returned to the car nine hours later.

L&L: We have a few good men, but most of our readers are women. Tell us why women would love your memoir.

Well, to start off with there’s that adorable dog on the front cover of our book….

Seriously though, our editor at William Morrow, Cassie Jones, bought the rights to our book because she understood our story was not about hiking or dogs.  It’s layered with many themes.  There are, of course, parts of our story about a unique little dog and hiking in these mountains we call home, but as one blogger noted, “Saying Following Atticus is about hiking is like saying Moby Dick is about whaling.”

There are many themes dealt with: the relationships between fathers and sons; friendship; challenges that lead to growth; facing up to fears; links throughout the book to great literature from the past; nature; and more than anything it’s about the transformation that takes place when getting from where we are to where we are supposed to be.  You’ve read our story so you know how it ends, but without giving anything away to those who haven’t, running through the heart of Following Atticus is the thread of love.

L&L: When you're not climbing mountains or writing, what do you like to do?

Coming from the hectic and controversial life of a newspaperman back in Newburyport, I now like to keep things as simple as possible. There’s our quiet and peaceful existence in the mountains where music is playing (usually old jazz or classical) throughout the house, good food is simmering on the stove, candles burning, long walks and equally long naps, and growing with those I most love in the world.  I’ve also been busy changing myself.

In April I made the leap from a 51-year old man who lived on Burger King, McDonald’s, KFC, and Coca Cola to a man who finally decided my love of animals meant I was in denial about what they went through to make it to my plate so I changed.  My switch to a plant-based diet helped me lose twenty-five pounds in nine weeks. The next step was a sixty-seven day juice fast inspired by Joe Cross’s “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” Now off the juice fast, I’m back to the vegan diet and I’m discovering a love of cooking healthy, natural, and delicious foods.  And let me tell you, it’s a heck of a lot easier climbing mountains weighing eighty pounds less.

And when Atticus and I first moved to the mountains I knew I wanted to write for a living and eventually buy a small farm and start taking in abused and neglected animals.  We’ve yet to buy that little farmhouse, but in May we took our first step in that direction by adopting a fifteen year old miniature schnauzer named Will.  He’s mostly blind, all deaf, very arthritic, and had been abandoned in a kill shelter by the only family he knew after fifteen years.  At first Will was a handful – an angry, depressed handful who was in a lot of pain and he spent those first weeks trying to bite me.  But a funny thing happened over time.  We took him in just to give him a place to die with dignity, but now he’s thriving and getting healthier. He’s no longer angry or depressed.  He’s a joy to be with and his life just keeps getting better. He’s a daily reminder that it’s never too late to love or to be loved.

L&L: What's been your fave book of 2012 so far? What are you reading now?

Louise Penny is a favorite of mine and her latest, “The Beautiful Mystery”, is as charming as all of her books are.  Reading Louise is like falling into an old friend.  My nightstand has a pile of the latest from some of my other favorite authors: Katherine Howe, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, John Irving, Lisa Gardner, William Martin, and Christopher Moore. And recently I’ve built up a small library of more than thirty vegan cookbooks.

L&L: We have a lot of aspiring authors that come to the site. What advice would you give them about getting published?

Stop seeking advice and follow your heart.  Step away from writing workshops, stop reading magazines about how to write or get published, and simply write what is inside of you. The only advice I can give is to just be you.  That’s the gift you can give the world.

L&L: What's up next for you?

I’m busy writing my next book (a continuation of our journey), enjoying life with Atticus (and now Will), and the love of my life.  (And yes, I’m keeping her name private for now since that’s what second books are for.)

Thanks Tom! xoxo, L&L

7 Seconds in Heaven with...Devan Sipher

Today's guest: Devan Sipher Why we love him: His debut novel is romantic, funny and poignant.

His debut: The Wedding Beat

The scoop: Gavin Greene isn't only a hopeless romantic, he's a professional one: He writes the wedding column for a prize-winning newspaper, covering A-list parties from coast to coast.  But there's a thin line between being a hotshot reporter on assignment...and being a single guy alone on a Saturday night. Everything changes on New Year's when Gavin meets Melinda, a travel writer with an adventurous spirit.  A moonlit walk across a Manhattan rooftop seems to seal the deal, but she slips away. Gavin crisscrosses New York City to find her again. And he learns there's something worse than losing the woman of his dreams—having to write an article about her wedding.

Our thoughts: A romcom written by a man! (*swoon*)

Fun fact: Devan's been writing the Vows column at the New York Times for five years. According to his website, rumor has it that in the movie 27 Dresses, the actor James Marsden portrayed him — but with better hair.

Giveaway: 5 copies. Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win. We'll randomly select the winners this Monday, April 30 after 6pm.


1.    I always walk on the sunny side of the street.  I’m not a cockeyed optimist.  I just crave sunshine.  It’s very hard for me to stay inside and write on a sunny day (not that it’s all that easy for me to write on cloudy ones).  Maybe it’s from being born in southern California.  Or it could be a Vitamin D deficiency. 2.    I’m addicted to cereal and ice cream.  But not together.  It took a lot of bowls of cereal and cartons of ice cream for me to write a book.  Of course, lots of ice cream doesn’t go well with sitting sedentary at one’s desk for hours, so frozen yogurt is also high on the list.  I recently discovered Yogurtland, which has a dozen or so flavors of nonfat frozen yogurt that you can serve yourself in any amount and any combination.  I think of it as Disneyland for frozen yogurt. 3.    I love to travel.  I’ve never traveled anywhere I didn’t want to stay.  But it’s not just what I see and do.  It’s who I am.  I like the person I become when I travel.  More spontaneous.  More open to trying new things.  So even when home in New York, I often pretend I’m visiting from out of town, stopping at any café, park (or ice cream stand) that sparks my interest. 4.     I have prepubescent taste in music.  Fortunately, there’s a steady supply of prepubescents, so there’s always new music to download onto my iPod.  But I draw the line at Justin Bieber. 5.     I like learning new things.  I learned Spanish for a recent trip to Spain.  Not well enough to actually converse with anyone, but I could read menus pretty well.  A year ago, while writing my book, I decided to learn how to make pizza from scratch (it wasn’t difficult, but it sounds impressive to people who don’t know that.)  I made pizza every day the entire winter.  I made pizza for lunch.  Pizza for dinner.  Pizza for friends.  Haven’t made it once since. 6.    If I had one wish, I’d wish for three more.   7.    Put me near mountains or water, and I’m a happy guy.  (I mentioned I’m from southern California, right?)  Living in Manhattan, I frequently go running along the Hudson River, simply to remind myself that I live on an island.  When I’m in LA, I go running along the coast between Venice and Santa Monica.  Then I take my shoes off and walk back in the surf.  I’d like my last moment on this planet to be sitting on a beach looking out at the waves.  And while I’m putting in requests, I’d like that last moment to be with someone by my side.

Thanks, Devan!



If you want to find out more about Devan Sipher, visit his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

7 Seconds in Heaven With...Robert Rave

We knew when one of our favorite authors and people, Beth Harbison, called Robert Rave's second novel, Waxed, "Charming and hilarious...the perfect summer read and a ton of fun," that we had to check it out. And not surprisingly, Beth was right. Robert's writing is sassy, funny and overall brilliant. And the cover of his book is beyond!  Waxed is the story of three relationship-challenged sisters who work at New York's hottest waxing salon. There's big sis, Carolina, who owns the salon and is caught in a love triangle. Then there's middle sis, Anna, who reluctantly joins the workforce after her divorce. And there's Sofia, a newlywed who doesn't know if she wants the domestic life or the night life. We loved this story about how some women will do anything to look the part. (Um, I think we can all relate ladies! Need we discuss our last Brazilian bikini wax or the endless hours spent getting weaved, plucked and otherwise prodded?) But what we really boned out on was that a story like this was written by a man!

And five of you will be the lucky winners of a copy of Waxed. Just leave a comment and your name will be entered. We'll randomly select the winners this Thursday!

After reading and loving Waxed, we knew Robert Rave would be perfect for our 7 Seconds in Heaven feature. He's a talented writer, funny and, well, easy on the eyes! And we were so right about him! In fact, he had us at Money Can't Buy You Class!

So without further adieu, we'll let you spend 7 Seconds in Heaven with Robert Rave!

1. Quickest way to make me smile? Mention the words “satchels of gold” or start singing "Money Can't Buy You Class" and we’ll be fast friends.  I admit it.  I’m addicted to the The Real Houswives of New York and all of its craziness. Don’t get me wrong, I like high-brow cinema, literature and music too, but sometimes there’s nothing better than a little junk food television.

2. I was raised as a Midwestern “meat and potatoes” guy.  However, within the last couple years I’ve become vegetarian and now I’m pretty much vegan.  I’m not hardcore, but I’m pretty good.  My parents are beside themselves about this.  They think I’ve lost my mind and are completely baffled as to how I could give up a nice steak or cheeseburger.  Theyhave told me repeatedly that it’s time I move out of California and back to the Midwest or at the very least to New York City where I lived for nine years.

3. I have a crazy sweet tooth.  Cakes, cookies, and desserts are my thing.  However, now those sweet-treats are (mostly) vegan.  I make frequent trips to Babycakes bakery for their cupcakes and chocolate-chip cookie sandwiches.  They are seriously incredible—you would never know that they are vegan.  When I feel really inspired, I make their chocolate chip cookies at home.  However, I end up giving most of them away because if left at my house, I will eat every last one.

4. Because of my love of baked goods, you’ll also find me religiously attending Barry’s Bootcamp to work off every last crumb.  It’s probably one of the best workouts that I’ve ever done.  I’ve completely changed my body because of it.  I also have the most random ideas for novels while I’m working out there so I feel like I’m multi-tasking.

5. I have two French Bulldogs that act as my Xanax. I gave them old men names because it totally suits their personalities.  My older dog was named after one of the characters from The Golden Girls.  Completely and utterly embarrassing, I know.

6. I really want to be a Dad. Wow. It’s like I suddenly went from a light-hearted Q&A to filling out a match.com questionnaire. But it is true. It’s one of those things that has really been playing on my mind a lot lately.  I think I would be okay if it didn’t happen for me, but I still like to imagine the possibility.

7. Next up for me is a non-fiction book from St. Martin’s in the fall of 2011. The title keeps changing so become a fan on Facebook or follow me on Twitter to learn more about it.  Right now, I’m writing the outline for a series of books that I’m so beyond excited about I can’t even tell you. I don’t want to say anymore—but I love it.

To find out more about Robert Rave, visit his website and follow him on Facebook. And don't forget to buy Waxed here!

Thanks so much, Robert!