Heather McElhatton

Heather McElhatton's 5 BEST EVERS

Today's guest: Heather McElhatton Why we love her: We first fell for her when we read her novel, Pretty Little Mistakes and have been fans ever since

Her latest: Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Married

The scoop on it: Sometimes tying the knot just means getting strangled

Not too long ago, Jennifer Johnson was stuck in a cubicle, lovelorn and addicted to Cinnabon frosting. Now she's married to her Prince Charming—the handsome, wealthy son of a midwestern department-store magnate. But the grass on this too-manicured other side is not as green as she'd thought.

After a honeymoon from hell at a gated Christian resort in the Virgin Islands—bought and paid for by the in-laws and complete with alcohol-free drinks, curfews, and Satan-free yoga—Jennifer is beginning to have her doubts about the whole "happily-ever-after" thing. Soon she finds herself organizing Valentine's Day abstinence dances with her mother-in-law's church committee and dining with the ladies of the country club, who have their own theories about how to hold on to their men.

Is this really all there is to married life?

Our thoughts: A LOL story to which we can all relate!

Giveaway: FIVE copies! Just leave a comment to be entered to win. Winners will be selected after 3pm PST on Sunday, November 18th.

Fun fact: Her first novel, Pretty Little Mistakes is an adult choose-your-own-adventure!

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


1. BEST SONG: "Don't Rain on My Parade" by Barbara Streisand. Fabulous song from the movie, “Hello Dolly.” I listen to it anytime I'm mad at someone or I’m just down.

2. BEST MOVIE: "Auntie Mame." It's a 1950's movie starring Rosalind Russell and it's about a wildly wonderful woman who 's strong, smart, inventive and excels at living life on her own terms and inb her own very original way, her motto: "Life is a banquet and some poor suckers are starving to death!"

3. BEST BOOK: My father’s thesaurus. A red leather-bound edition of March’s Thesaurus, published in 1925. The soft pages are filled with handwritten notes, poem fragments and even a partial grocery list. I love this book because inside resides all books. All books that were ever or ever will be written. All you have to do is string the pearls and the pearly-words are all lined up like soldiers waiting to be called to duty. The book is filled with lovely memories, besides my fathers notes and my own are artifacts of old. Pressed in between the cotton paper pages are faded flower petals, paper bookmarks, old notecards, ripped theater stubs and there’s a large moth in there that  I killed one night when it persisted in fluttering on the page I was trying to read. I killed him by flomping the heavy  book shut. (NOTE: I didn’t want to kill the moth. At all. I turned off the lights, opened the window, and asked it to leave several times, shooing it away with my hands but in the end my deadline won the battle, I had to get my pages finished and I needed the thesaurus to do this. I always use it when I’m writing, I lug it around with me everywhere. So the moth had to go. I felt very sorry afterwards and decided I would leave him there pressed between the pages, as a memorial bookmark. Later I wrote, “I did not want to kill this moth....” in the margins beside is decimated corpse. Interestingly, his brief life ended in between “Protocol” and “Proverb.”)

4. BEST PIECE OF ADVICE: My father told me “Always carry a knife, always have plenty of cash on hand and always wear sturdy shoes that you can run in.”  I’ve followed this advice all my adult life, to the letter. Another favorite piece of advice came from my mother, who said: “Honey, it takes two people to write a book. One to write it and one to shoot him when it’s done.”   Unfortunately, I have not followed this advice very often, opting instead to struggle with ending my novels in my own time, rather than allow a shadowy doppleganger to explode my head and shoot me with a book-ending-bullet. I will admit though, at times it might’ve been helpful. Lastly, my friend Lilly Cardenas supplied me with a real gem last year. She told me:  “You want it? You got it. Go get it.”

5. BEST LIFE MOMENT: The moment I received that first phone call from Harpercollins and I was told that they wanted to publish my book....that was an amazing moment. I was at Ikea shopping for a Wok, which I’d found and was carrying around with me as I wandered, completely lost, through an endless menagerie of room displays....complete living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens...all decorated to resemble actual rooms in real houses, the sets detailed and complete with open magazines on the coffee tables, shoes lined up in closets, an apple and gleaming paring knife resting on a wooden slicing board in the kitchen.  I was just wondering if a person could hide and live in Ikea undetected, using the various room displays to eat, sleep and read in.... when my phone rang and a lovely voice on the other end said, “Heather McElhatton? This is Alison Callahan at Harpercollins. I have to tell you I’m in love with your book and I want to publish it, but first I need to know if you’re willing to write more of them.”

What? I stood there speechless, holding my Wok as the world whipped around me. I couldn’t hear the woman on the other end of the phone anymore...I was having a mini-seizure/heart attack/muscle cramp/orgasm-spasm and could no longer hear, think or speak. Then someone bumped into me and I snapped out of my daze. I hurried into a nearby office set with a large executive desk, a rolling wingback chair, several green bankers lamps and a wrap-around wall of bookcases, filled with empty books. (Irony!) I commandeered the room as if I was actually in my office at home and  quickly pushed an end table next in front of the executive office’s door, so no one could come in.  I sat down at the desk and said, “Alison? Could you repeat what you just said? I couldn’t quite hear you...”

Thanks, Heather! xoxo, Liz & Lisa