Beth Kendrick

Beth Kendrick's 5 Firsts and Lasts

BETH_KENDRICKToday's guest: Beth Kendrick Why we love her: Her books remind us of summer--so fun and entertaining.

Her latest: The Week Before the Wedding (Out tomorrow: May 7th!)

The scoop on it: After enduring a chaotic childhood, Emily McKellips yearns for a drama-free life, complete with a white picket fence. Her dreams are about to come true: She has a stellar career, a gorgeous house, and a fiancé any woman would die for. But as friends and family arrive in picturesque Valentine, Vermont, for her wedding, an uninvited guest shows up.

Ryan is Emily’s first husband from a disastrous starter marriage. They wed on a whim, only to discover that combustible chemistry couldn’t ensure a happily ever after. But Ryan is no longer the headstrong boy she left behind. He’s now a successful film producer who just happens to be scouting a resort in Valentine with his adorable retriever in tow.

As the bridesmaids revolt and the mothers of the bride and groom do battle, Emily is surprised to discover new sides of both her ex and her fiancé. She thought she had life and love all figured out, but the next seven days might change her mind—and her heart.

Our thoughts: Loved! Throw this novel in your bag when you take your next vacay!

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

Fun fact: You can read an excerpt of The Week Before the Wedding here.

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


kendrick_headshot_resized (3)200x2201. Kiss:

First: The actual boy next door. Very sweet and adorable. We were four years old, and we made a solemn vow that someday, we would wed.  This vow lasted right up until we were placed in different kindergarten classes.

Last : My oafish red rescue dog, Friday. He pounced on me while I was trying to do sit-ups this morning and slobbered all over my forehead. (Cue Katy Perry: I kissed a dog and I liked it…)

2. Risk you took:

First: After growing up in New England, I decided to head off to a liberal arts college in Minnesota because--wait for the dazzling brilliance of my 17-year-old brain at work here--I wanted to see the Northern Lights. Yep. That was the rock-solid foundation upon which I based my future. And it’s all worked out beautifully, so I regret nothing!

(Fun fact: I finally did see the aurora borealis two weeks before graduation. Had to wait four years, but it was worth it.)

(Fun fact #2: The steamy opening scene of The Week Before the Wedding is actually set at that college in Minnesota. There are these underground tunnels connecting the dormitories, and even though they’re now sealed up and forbidden to students, the hero and heroine sneak in there and…oops, I’ve said too much already!)

Last: I just started working a on a new book. (It’s kind of a spin-off of The Week Before the Wedding; the heroine’s bridesmaid was so fun and irrepressible that my editor and I decided she needed her own story.) Every time I turn in a book, I vow that it will be my last, that now I will shape up and do something “practical” with my life…and then I open a new Word file and start another chapter one. I don’t have a problem, okay? I CAN STOP ANY TIME I WANT.

3. Book you read:

First:  My childhood favorite was Muncus Agruncus, a Bad Little Mouse, and as the title suggests, it’s about a mouse who wreaks havoc on someone’s clean and orderly home.  He floods the bathtub, trashes the dollhouse, tromps through a birthday cake. He’s a renegade rodent who lives by his own rules and escapes to safety at the end. He does what he wants!  I still have the book, I still read it with my kid, and it’s still awesome.

Last: Right now, I’m in the middle of Data: A Love Story by Amy Webb. It’s the funny, fascinating memoir of a tech-savvy journalist who was fed up with the horrors of online dating and figured out strategies to “game” the system so she could search out—and attract—the most compatible prospects. So interesting from a cultural, psychological, and mathematical perspective.

4. Hell ya! moment:

First: There are a lot of these, but one that stands out was buying my first house and finally getting a dog after years of living in apartments with no-pet policies. I scoured until I found the perfect little terrier named Murphy (it was not unlike online dating, actually). I got to snuggle him on the sofa, I got to train him and take him to the park…and I got to pay his exorbitant surgery bills when it turned out he had a shattered hip from his previous life on the streets. Adulthood rules!

Last: During a recent trip to Disneyland, I went on a rollercoaster that goes upside-down. Normally, I’m loath to commit to anything scarier than the spinning teacups, so this was a big deal. (Full confession: I did it because my preschooler dared me to.) And I loved it!

5. Aha! Moment:

First: I was on a V.C. Andrews kick in middle school (who wasn’t?) and one of the other classroom moms warned my mother that she shouldn’t allow me to read Flowers in the Attic. On the drive home, my mom said, “I’m not into censorship”, and assured me that I was old enough to choose my own reading material. That was a lightbulb moment for me; I realized that language has power, and that my mother trusted me with that power. What I read has an effect on me. What I write might have an effect on somebody else. Use language thoughtfully and responsibly.

Last: My kickboxing instructor recently told the class, “You’ve gotta learn how to take a hit”, and I think this applies to writing and to most areas of life, really.  Getting punched in the face now and then is inevitable.  You can’t duck every jab. The important thing is to figure out how to absorb the blow and pick yourself up, over and over.

Thanks, Beth!



Beth Kendrick's 5 BEST EVERS

nearlyweds future typeOur guest today: Beth Kendrick Why we love her: Her books are exactly what you need to get into your 2013 groove!

Her latest project: Her book, Nearlyweds, has been into a TV movie airing on the Hallmark Channel January 12th at 9pm EST/8 CST!

The scoop: They've had the white dresses and the fancy receptions. But now that the honeymoon's over, Stella, Casey, and Erin have each had to face some hard truths about the men they've married and the lives they've chosen. So when the news breaks that the pastor who presided over their weddings failed to file a few critical pieces of paper, none of these newlyweds are rushing down to the courthouse to legalize their vows. Instead, the brides share their hopes, disappointments, and secrets while grappling with that pivotal question: Should they stay or should they go?

Our thoughts: We loved the book and will be glued to the TV on January 12th!

Giveaway:  THREE signed copies of Nearlyweds.

Fun fact: Watch the TV movie trailer for Nearlyweds here.

Where to read more about Beth: Her website, Facebook and Twitter.


Beth with Naomi Judd, who stars in Nearlyweds!

1. BEST SONG: This is a tough call, but let me just say this: The best song to blast in your office and dance to when nobody’s watching is “Freedom 90” by George Michael. Always and forever.

2. BEST MOVIE: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This film is perfection from beginning to end. It’s hilarious, it’s brilliant, it’s poignant. I still covet Sloane Peterson’s fringed white leather jacket. And it has a great message: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” (See also: Best Advice Ever)

3. BEST BOOK: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. If you’re a dog lover, you’ll understand. Pass the Kleenex.

4. BEST MOMENT:  I cannot lie--going to Vancouver to hang out on the “Nearlyweds” film set was pretty damn awesome. My college roommate/BFF came with me, and we got to sit in canvas director’s chairs and watch real people speaking lines and acting out scenes that I had dreamed up in my twisted little mind. Bonus: hot, shirtless men kept walking up to chat with us. (We picked a great day to visit the set!) The screenwriter, cast, and production team did an incredible job, and the movie is really charming and funny. Naomi Judd plays the diabolical mother-in-law and she owned that role!  Mind = blown.

5. BEST ADVICEDo not back up--severe tire damage.  I have found this to be true in both the literal and metaphorical sense.

Thanks Beth!  xoxo, L&L

Beth Kendrick's 5 Things I'd Tell The Teen Me

Our guest today: Beth Kendrick Why we love her: Her fiction is fun and frothy!

Her latest book: The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service

The dealio on it: Lara Madigan has a gift. She can help you find your soulmate—your canine soulmate, that is. As a dog trainer with a soft spot for strays, she’s found perfect homes for sulky Shih Tzus,  broken-down Border collies, and diabolical Dalmatians. But while she’ll always make room for one more rescue mutt, she’s not sure she’s ready to commit to another human being. Especially after her live-in boyfriend drops the bomb: He’s not a dog person.

Horrified and temporarily homeless, Lara and her furry pack move in with her mother, a wealthy fashionista who forbids even a single drop of drool. As word gets around the exclusive gated community, Lara is overwhelmed with demands for her services. A model wants personal training for her overweight “flabrador”; an aging socialite preps her pedigreed puppy for dog show domination... If Lara can survive the breakup, the outrageous requests of her high-maintenance clientele, and her dogs’ systematically destruction of her mother’s McMansion, she might finally find the rescue dog who rescues her in return-- leading her straight to the guy who could be her perfect match.

Our thoughts: We're complete suckers for books that include dogs.  Count us IN!

Fun fact: Liz met Beth a few years ago for coffee when she was visiting the Los Angeles area, and discovered she was just as delightful as her writing.

Giveaway: TWO copies!  Leave a comment and we'll choose a winner this Monday, May 7th, after 6pm PST.


1. If he’s into you, you’ll know it; if he’s not, you’ll be confused. Boys are really not that hard to figure out.  And there are too many great ones out there to waste your time with emotionally unavailable libertines. You deserve to be with someone who adores you and whom you adore. UPDATE: I just talked to a male friend who informed me that the rule for teenage boys is: “If you like her, ignore her.”

So…maybe we’re all just destined to be confused forever?

2. Never wrestle with a pig--you both get dirty and the pig enjoys it. Some people are just not worth the time, energy and drama.  Don’t engage; walk away.

3. “Have more than thou showest / Speak less than thou knowest.” -Shakespeare You don’t need a lot of visible designer labels to validate your existence.  Joy and confidence come from within.  Discretion—both social and financial—is a powerful asset.

4. Leap and the net will appear. I know you think this whole writing thing will never pan out, and you’d be better off with a more “practical” career, but honey, here’s the thing: You’re not practical. And you never will be. Yes, you’ll have to work really hard and yes, you’ll have to do your research and pay your dues, but at the end of the day, you need to take a leap of faith and do what you love. (Oh, and your future co-workers will be canine, so you might want to start stockpiling lint brushes and Swiffers now.)

5. Travel whenever you get the chance. Globetrotting is so much easier now than it will be in 15 years, when you’ll have book deadlines, a mortgage, and a small child. Oh, and P.S.: Air travel is going to turn into a hassle and a half in the next millennium. Get out there and see the world while the getting’s good!

Thanks Beth! xoxo, L&L

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

Beth Kendrick's 5 Do's and a Do-Over

Seriously you guys, we are drooling over all these books about food!  We don't know if it's because we've both been practically starving ourselves for Liz's vow renewal in Vegas later this month or if we just have a major food book fettish, but some of our faves in the last year have been delectably delicious to read! And The Bake-Off by Beth Kendrick is no exception. We fell in love with her last year when she sent us Second Time Around and couldn't wait to get our hand on her latest.  It's yummy fun that we highly recommend you indulge in! (It's fat free too!)  Run, don't walk to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy today for your next weekend getaway.

And the best part?  Beth has written a ton of books so if you are just discovering her, you'll have lots to choose from to read next!

Suburban soccer mom Amy has always wanted to stand out from the crowd. Former child prodigy Linnie just wants to fit in. The two sisters have been estranged for years, but thanks to a series of personal crises and their wily grandmother, they've teamed up to enter a national bake-off in the hopes of winning some serious cash. Armed with the top-secret recipe for Grammy's apple pie, they should be unstoppable. Sure, neither one of them has ever baked anything more complicated than brownie mix, but it's just pie-how hard could it be?

Want a copy?  Then leave a comment and you'll be entered to win.  We'll choose the winners randomly on Monday May 16th after Noon PST.

And we think you'll love her Do's and a Do-over.  And having had the pleasure of meeting her, we can attest that despite what she claims in her Do-over, she is a VERY cool girl.



1. Try making a cake from scratch. Break out the eggs, butter, flour, and channel your inner confectionista. I could barely boil water when I started writing The Bake-Off, and by the time I handed in the manuscript, I was making apple pies that could rival Martha Stewart’s. If I can do it, anyone can—trust and believe! Plus, you can tell yourself it’s “more healthful” than store-bought pastry or cake from a mix because there are no artificial flavors, colors, or unpronounceable ingredients, and therefore, you should feel no guilt about helping yourself to a second piece. Bon appétit! (Cookbook suggestions for beginners: Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible, Cindy Mushet’s The Art and Soul of Baking.)

2. Host theme parties. Suggestions to get you started: “fashion victims”, “hideous holiday sweaters”, “famous couples from cinema”. This takes the pressure off guests feeling like they have to look red-carpet ready, plus the themes encourage mingling. And it’s a great excuse to force your significant other to don a trenchcoat and re-enact the Lloyd Dobler boom box scene from “Say Anything”.

3. Find something to nurture. A garden, a dog, a child, a friend in need, an elderly relative…anything that clicks with your personality. Caring for and tending to another living being benefits you both in so many ways.

4. Spend a day being a tourist in your hometown. Put on some comfortable shoes and hit the museums, landmark restaurants, and tourist traps. (And don’t forget the souvenirs. You can always host a “tacky shot glass party” later.)

5. Cultivate weird holiday traditions. When my husband and I first got engaged, we would spend Christmas and Easter dashing around to 4 or 5 different family celebrations. By the end of the day, we’d be frazzled and hungry, so we’d hit a fast-food drive-through on our way home. Our holiday schedule has changed over the years, but we still like to cap off the festivities with French fries. (And nothing says Mother’s Day like a chocolate milkshake!) Holidays are all about rituals, so go ahead and create your own—even if they make no sense to anyone outside your family.

Do Over: When I was a sophomore in college, I got my bellybutton pierced. (This was during the height of the late 1990’s piercing and tattoo craze.) For reasons that remain unclear, I thought poking a little hole through my flesh would somehow transform me into a cool girl. My roommate had hers pierced, and she was the last word in cool, so I figured I’d follow her lead. Except, my roommate was also the kind of girl who could get away with wearing black leather pants and furry leopard-print jackets to her 8:30 a.m. geology seminar, and I…was not. I was the kind of girl who spent her Friday nights doing statistics homework in the library. But somehow, I got it into my head that a little steel ring would imbue me with irresistible magnetism and mystery. I had to take out the ring when I was in grad school, because I was working in a neuropsychology lab doing MRI studies, and you can’t wear any metal near the MRI machine. (Again, not a problem an actual cool girl would have.) The hole in my skin never closed up. But I’ve come to love it, because it reminds me to be true to myself. Leather pants and leopard print is just not who I am. I wasn’t a cool girl in college, I’m still not cool today, and you know what? I’m cool with that.

To read more about Beth, check out her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks Beth!  xoxo, L&L

What’s on Beth Kendrick’s Bucket List?

With the kids heading back to school and leaves beginning to fall off the trees, there's no denying it any longer-Summer is OVUH!  And while we love Fall (Liz is SO ready to bust out her new black jeggings!), we're lamenting the end of  "beach read season".  Which is sort of strange since we didn't make to the beach as much as we would have liked and when we did, had zero time to read! But rest assured, we still read plenty of light and fun books we LOVED this summer.  One of them? Second Time Around by the lovely Beth Kendrick- her seventh novel. When a group of old college friends inherit a million dollar windfall, it gives them the second chance to live out the dreams they left behind to pursue more practical things after graduation.  Almost overnight, a professor, a bartender, a copywriter and an administrative assistant reinvent themselves as a novelist, an event planner, a pastry chef, and a bed-and-breakfast owner.  Fun and entertaining, Second Time Around is a perfect escape after a long week. We loved it!

So it's no surprise that we loved Beth's bucket list too!  We're happy to discover that we're not the only ones who secretly dream of being a surf goddess or are fixated by The September issue.  But don't take our word for it-check out Beth's list for yourself!

AND...we have FIVE copies of Second Time Around to give away! Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win! We'll pick the winners on Thursday night.


1. Learn to Surf I took one lesson five years ago and I want more!

2. Acquire matching bedroom furniture When my husband and I first bought our house, this was at the top of our to-do list. But somehow, between re-plumbing the bathrooms, installing new windows and battling the freakishly resilient weeds in the backyard, we lost sight of our goal.

We just celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary and our bedroom is still a hodge-podge of battered antiques, IKEA castoffs, and random piles of books (mine) and half-empty water glasses (his). I’m not even going to get into the curtain situation. (Of course, it goes without saying that my toddler’s bedroom is straight out of a Pottery Barn Kids photo shoot. So wrong.)

3.  Watch the Chicago Cubs win the World Series Actually, I would like to be the Cubs’ starting pitcher for the final game in the series, but I would settle for watching from the bleacher seats. Go Cubbies!

4. Visit Cinque Terre When I was a headstrong lass of 20, I spent a semester in Florence, Italy. While there, I had the opportunity to take a day trip to Cinque Terre, which is a cluster of seaside towns that is supposed to be breathtaking and picturesque and basically a Merchant Ivory film all rolled up with sunshine and gelato.

I wouldn’t know.

I turned down the chance to see it so that I could hole up in my bedroom and work on my grad school applications.

(Bangs head against desk.)

My reasoning was that I’d go see it next time I was in Italy. You know, because it’s always so easy to traipse off to Europe whenever the mood strikes you.

(More head banging. Ow.)

Also on my must-see list: Ayers Rock in Australia, the Northern Lights in Alaska, and the legendary underground jail cell at Disneyland. (Rumor has it that when you get your mug shot snapped, you stand on a pair of painted Donald Duck feet. I’m dying to see it. Yes, I’m eleven years old.)

5. Go shopping with Grace Coddington (the creative director of American Vogue) I just watched the documentary The September Issue, which follows Anna Wintour and her editorial staff as they prepare Vogue’s most important issue of the year, and I have a total girl-crush on Ms. Coddington. She seems funny, spirited, and brilliant--the kind of person who makes high fashion playful and accessible instead of intimidating and exclusionary.

Plus, I need a fashion intervention. Badly. The great thing about being a writer is that I work at home, in ratty old yoga pants if I so desire. The not-so-great thing is, my leaving-the-house wardrobe has been whittled down to a scant 4 or 5 outfits consisting of boring black shirts, dark denim, and flip flops. While the idea of jazzing things up with bright belts and statement necklaces and bad-ass boots appeals, I find excursions to malls to be overwhelming and stressful. (It does not help that I have the aforementioned toddler singing “Help Me, Rhonda” at ear-shattering decibels while I browse the racks.)

The time has come to call in a professional. I want Ms. Coddington to take me under her wing and school me on mixing textures and tell me whether someone with my body type should be caught dead in skinny jeans. If Vogue ever decides to do a feature on author makeovers, I’m first in line. Call me, Grace!

Thanks so much Beth! xo, L&L

To learn more about the fabulous Beth Kendrick, head on over to her website and be sure to check out her Facebook page.