Love In Mid Air

Kim Wright's 5 Things I'd Tell the Teen Me

Today's guest: Kim Wright Why we love her: She's so diverse! Today we're highlighting her latest, a historical mystery. But she also the author of one of our favorite women's fiction novels, Love in Mid Air.

Her latest: City of Darkness

The scoop: City of Darkness takes place in 1888 London, where Jack the Ripper roams the streets with impunity and Scotland Yard seems helpless to stop him.   The science of forensics is in its infancy but a few detectives – Trevor Welles among them – recognize that they are dealing with a different sort of killer, a “modern criminal” who chooses his victims at random.  If Jack is to be caught, he won’t be caught with Scotland Yard’s normal methods of deduction for there is no logic to this madness.   The question is no longer “Why was the victim killed?” but rather “How was the victim killed?”  For the first time in the history of detection, science is trumping deductive reasoning. When a twist of fate puts Trevor in charge of the case, he hastily assembles Scotland Yard’s first forensics team:  Davy Mabrey, the first bobby on the scene of the grisliest of the murders, whose working class common sense proves an invaluable asset, Rayley Abrams, a cautious intellectual whose future at the Yard is marginalized due to his Jewish heritage,  Tom Bainbridge, a medical student with aristocratic connections and a secret drinking problem, and Emma Kelly, sister of the Ripper’s last victim who has a troubled past and a gift for linguistics. The team finds an unlikely ally in the form of Queen Victoria herself, who takes an unusual level of interest in the Ripper case and secretly funds the unit.   But will they stop Jack in time to spare Leanna Bainbridge, the young heiress with whom Trevor has fallen madly and improbably in love?

Fun Fact: City of Darkness is the first in a series of three. City of Light and City of Silence are up next.

Giveaway: 5 copies! (It's a medly-3 e-books and 2 paperbacks!) Just leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll randomly select the winners after 6pm PST on Sunday, April 15.


1.     You’re not fat.   Not even close. 2.    Stop sniveling!  Next year at this time you’re not even going to be able to remember that trifling boy’s last name. 3.    Your English teacher is right to make you read all those classics, even if you’re not sure right now exactly why Ahab is chasing that whale or for whom the bell tolls.   Someday you’ll be a writer and you’ll be glad you have that basis.  In fact, all the hard teachers you’re resenting now. …they’re the ones you’ll end up really learning something from and the ones that you’ll remember. 4.    Adulthood is not some place you move to and never leave.   Even when you’re fifty-six, you’ll still be trying new things and learning and changing.  So relax.   This isn’t your one chance to get it right.  Life is going to give you a hundred more times at bat. 5.    You know how much you need your girlfriends?   How everything is okay just as long as you have your posse around you, how anything is endurable as long as you guys can just hang out and be silly and laugh?   Thirty years from now it’s still going to feel exactly the same way.

In light of item four, I’ve just come through a major reinvention – moving from having been published by a Big Six house, to self-publishing and moving  from literary fiction to mysteries.   My new book, City of Darkness is in some ways a radical departure from my first book, Love in Mid Air, and in some ways it’s the chance to circle completely back and return to my roots.  Because I’ve always loved mysteries and always had sort of a sick fascination with Jack the Ripper.   Plus my dad was an antique dealer and I traveled through Europe with him in the summer, so this mystery series is sort of a hybrid of three things I loved as a girl;   crime fiction, history, and travel.

City of Darkness takes place in 1888 London, where Jack the Ripper is pretty much roaming the streets killing prostitutes at will, and Scotland Yard seems helpless to stop him.   The science of forensics is in its infancy but a few detectives recognize that they are dealing with a different sort of killer, a “modern criminal” who chooses his victims at random.   They form the basis of Scotland Yard’s first forensics unit, and in future installments in the series, they’ll travel to high-profile crime scenes in Paris, St. Petersburg, Buenos Aires, and New York.   Can you say “Road Trip”?   That’s one of the things that most excites me about the series – that I can use it as an excuse to revisit some of my favorite cities and go to places like Russia and Argentina, where I’ve never traveled.

Which all goes back to the list above, the things I’d like to have been able to tell my teenaged self.   There was a ticking clock in my head throughout my youth and I think I honestly believed that if I didn’t get certain things done by the time I was 25 I never would, that I would fade into some sort of dull adult who no longer had the curiosity and energy to explore the larger world.   Boy was I wrong.   I feel much freer now than I ever did at seventeen.

Thanks, Kim! xoxo,

Liz & Lisa

To find out more about the fabulous Kim Wright, visit her website.


Kim Wright's 5 Do's and a Do-Over

So what do you do when one of your all-time favorite books comes out in paperback?  Um, duh!  You beg the author to share her 5 Do's and a Do-Over! It was love at first sight when we read Love in Mid Air last year.  In fact, Liz named it as one her fave books of 2010.  Kim writes masterfully about the complexities of marriage and friendships and what could happen when you meet a hunky stranger on a commuter flight. And we weren't the only ones who loved it.  People Magazine said, "Astute and engrossing, this debut is a treat!"

Here's the scoop on Love in Mid Air:  A chance encounter with a stranger on an airplane sends Elyse Bearden into an emotional tailspin. Suddenly Elyse is willing to risk everything: her safe but stale marriage, her seemingly perfect life in an affluent Southern suburb, and her position in the community. She finds herself cutting through all the instincts that say "no" and instead lets "yes" happen. As Elyse embarks on a risky affair, her longtime friend Kelly and the other women in their book club begin to question their own decisions about love, sex, marriage, and freedom. There are consequences for Elyse, her family, and her circle of close friends, all of whom have an investment in her life continuing as normal. But is normal what she really wants after all? In the end it will take an extraordinary leap of faith for Elyse to find—and follow—her own path to happiness.

Sounds fab, right?  We have FIVE copies to give away!  Just leave a comment here and you'll be entered to win a copy.  We'll choose the winners on Sunday, August 7th after 6pm PST.

And we think you'll love her 5 Do's too...we definitely agree with number three!


5 DO'S

1. Do dance.  I took up ballroom dance three years ago and it quickly zoomed from hobby to obsession.  Now I dance six days a week – tango, waltz, quickstep, and rumba - and it’s the primary joy of my life.  Next to writing, that is.

2. Do try lots of things.  Life may not be long, but it’s wide, and we can sample many experiences in the course of a single day.  I think it’s especially important to try new things as you get older, whether it’s learning to speak Italian, make the perfect crepe, get certified in scuba, or even just drive to work via a different route.

3. Do cut your hair whenever you feel like you need a change.  It’ll grow back.

4. Do go straight to Trader Joe’s and get the truffle cheese ($7), Epicuro red table wine ($6), and Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds with Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar ($5).   Eighteen dollars and eighteen million calories, but I promise you’ll be a happy camper.    In fact, if you want to rip open the almonds and start eating them on the way home, I won’t tell.

5. Do read books you don’t expect to like.  Give them a chance.   If you’re a romance girl, check a mystery out of the library.  If you’re into self-help, read a thriller.  Or go back and tackle one of those classics you missed in school, like Moby Dick or David Copperfield.  Reading a book is a chance to be, for an hour or two at a time, completely outside of daily reality.   It’s the most accessible form of magic, so don’t be afraid to use reading as an escape chute that heads straight into some part of yourself you’ve forgotten, or even leads someplace that you’ve never been at all.


I don’t regret many things in my life but one that’s definitely in the what-the-hell-was-I-thinking category was my decision to follow some sorry-butt boyfriend to another city.  He had a good job offer there, but I ended up waiting tables at a medieval-themed fondue restaurant located off an interstate exit.  I had to wear a lace-up bodice and short frilly skirt and greet people by saying “Hi, I’m Kim and I’ll be your serving wench.”  Why do women put their lives on hold to follow men all over the place – especially men who aren’t worth the sacrifice?  Thirty years later I still can’t bear the sight of those awful little fondue forks.

Thanks Kim! xoxo, L&L

To read more about the lovely and talented Kim Wright, head on over to her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Lit IT Girl: Debut Author Kim Wright

We think finding a new author to love is the best thing, well, EVEH.  And when we crush on a book, we crush hard.  We think about it when it's not around, we talk about it incessantly to all of our friends and we try to spend as much time with it as possible. So when our publicist suggested we read Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright, we were ecstatic to discover how beautifully written her debut was.  We were in love!  In fact, Liz's husband begged her to stop talking about it on their trip to Cabo. (We think maybe he was just jealous that she wrote Kim a love note after she finished it?)  Liz also chose it as a  hot summer beach read over at!

In Love in Mid Air, Elyse Bearden’s marriage is already in trouble when she meets a handsome stranger on her flight home from Arizona. Her husband, a doting father to their young daughter but an inattentive husband, has been communicating with her via post-it note for far too long and seems content with having sex in the kiss-less "X" position once a week.

So it’s not surprising when she starts a torrid affair with the man she meets in row 29-somehow trying to recapture the excitement she feels is sorely missing from her marriage and her life in general. Love in Mid Air is honest and captivating-one of the best books we've read this year. Want to know more?  Check out the book trailer!

And we're lucky enough to have FIVE copies of Love in Mid Air to give to our fantastic readers!  Just leave a comment and we'll pick a winner by random drawing on Thursday night.

And we're so excited that Kim agreed to be a Lit IT Girl!  Because we discovered that, not only is she a genius author, she loves Grey Goose and trashy TV just like us!  And her journey to publishing should give every aspiring author hope.


How many agents did you query before you found “the one”?

I lost count.  Although several of my friends had published books, I had this nutty idea I was going to make it on my own and not ask anybody for favors.  You know, “If the book is good it will make it on its own merits”  - that sort of insanity.  After thirty something agents turned me down, I called my friend Alison Smith, who had written a highly successful memoir called Name All the Animals, and was like “Um, gee, um, would you introduce me to your agent?”  And he’s turned out to be the perfect fit.  It’s funny because he was on my radar screen all the time.  It’s like traveling the world in search of the perfect man and marrying the boy next door.

What was your rock bottom moment during the process?

During that long hunt for representation I got a lot of rejection, but one of them stands out.  I’d walked to the mailbox and the envelope was thin so I figured it wasn’t good news.  But the agent hadn’t just said no, she’d gone on for a whole page scolding me for writing a book that she thought glorified affairs and divorce.  It started out with “This shameful story….”  I literally sat down in the middle of my driveway.  For a minute I thought I was going to pass out.  My therapist still has a copy of that rejection letter in my file!

How long did it take to write your book?

I never know how to answer this because I wrote a very long, very bad first draft of the book and then put it down for two years.  When I picked it back up I did a brutal revision, slicing out big sections and pretty much building it back up from scratch.  That took a couple of years and then there was the aforementioned hunt for an agent and then, once my agent sold it, the publisher held it for two more years before it was released.  So if you count the fallow periods it took ten years;  I think I actually worked on it for five.

What did you do to celebrate your book deal?

Went to New York and met everyone from the publicity team to the foreign rights team to the receptionist down in the lobby.   Then after being this complete networking fool, I went off on my own and just sat there and let it sink in.   I remember sitting at the bar of the St. Moritz thinking “I have a book.  I actually have a book.”

Knowing what you know now about publishing your first novel, what would you have done differently?

Honestly, nothing.  I made bunches of mistakes but looking back it all seems like a necessary part of the journey.  I might have swallowed my silly country pride and asked my friends for help sooner.

Who is your writer crush?

Tom Perotta!  His “Little Children” was a huge influence on “Love in Mid Air.”  I recently friended him on Facebook and am trying to decide how to stalk him without it being too obvious.

What’s your biggest distraction or vice while writing?

Sudoku.  It’s like crack cocaine for me.

GNO drink of choice?

Grey Goose vodka, very cold and straight up.  It was what I was drinking when I was sitting in the St. Moritz thinking “Holy Mother of God, my book is actually going to be published.”

Favorite trashy TV show?

I love reality TV.  Dancing With the Stars, Top Chef, Project Runway, The Biggest Loser. My latest guilty pleasure is this show called Chopped on the Food Channel.  They give chefs these mystery baskets with strange ingredients like gooseberries, chocolate, bell peppers, and calamari and they have to make an appetizer using them all.  Great stuff.

What celeb would you love to have a Twitter war with?

Elisabeth Hasselbeck makes me nauseous.  So she might not be that fun to war with, because I’d be livid the whole time.  Love in Mid Air recently came out in Australia and I heard Germaine Greer is mad at me about some things I said about feminism in an interview and that’s sort of cool.  I think in the long run, I’d like to have a Twitter war with someone I respect.

Thanks so much Kim! xoxo, L&L

To learn more about Lit IT Girl Kim Wright, head on over to her website or find her on Facebook.

Mommy Monday: My Mommy MUST List by Liz

It's been a while since my last Mommy Monday. Lately I've been hanging out over at, bitching about things like Chuck E Cheese and summer camp.  I'll be blogging there couple times a month so don't forget to head on over if you've had one of those days and need an instant mommy blog fix. Today I'm talking about one of my favorite subjects.  Myself!  Or rather, my MOMMY MUST LIST.  You know, those things that I just can't live without.  And maybe a few things that, well, I could live without but just don't want to!  And the Mommy MUST list will be a regular feature here, so don't be shy-let me know what your Mommy MUSTS are.

What are the things that make your day easier? What are your guilty pleasures?  What do you absolutely HAVE to have or you *might* just kill someone?  Tell us here or email me and maybe I'll include it in on the next Mommy MUST list!

But for the first Mommy MUST list, I just started with the basics.  Things that are as essential to me as food and water. Things that I would do just about anything for.  Things that I might cut a bitch for if I had to.

Liz's Mommy MUST list: The essentials!

Starbucks Green Iced Tea-  You don't want to get between me and the nearest Starbucks in the morning.  After patting myself on the back for kicking my daily five shot iced Americano habit, I realized I traded it for another addiction.  And just because I don't get a headache and crackwhore shakes when I don't have my green tea doesn't mean that I'm not just as obsessed with getting my daily fix.  Damn you Starbucks and your refreshing beverages!

Mac Macbook- He helps me blog, email, shop, keep in touch with friends and crop my vacation pictures. He tweets, keeps my calendar and lets me know when I've eaten too many Weight Watcher's points.  And even though he's been a bit slow lately and I'm thinking of upgrading him to a younger, sleeker model, he still gets the job done and never talks back. If he could cook and do laundry, I'd leave my husband for him.

My iTouch-He drowns out Spongebob, Johnny Test and my kids fighting over those lamesass Mighty Beanz. (WTF with those things anyway?)  I'd never would have written one chapter of The D Word without him blaring my favorite playlist as a soundtrack for each chapter.  He can even facebook or tweet for me in a pinch! And most importantly, he plays my music without any commentary about how lame Barry Manilow and Nickelback are.

A weekend getaway- We all need a break sometimes,right? So when I get the chance to get out of town sans kids, I head the most adult place I can find: Las Vegas! Between the pool, the spa and the free drinks, you'll be saying, "Kids? What kids?"  as you play Blackjack next to D list celebrities at The Hard Rock Casino or as you dance on the table at the Playboy Club. My new favorite hotel?  The Aria.

A Good Book- If you don't have the time or money for a quick getaway, why not escape into a good book?  I highly recommend The Divorce Party by the lovely and talented Laura Dave.  Want to peak into someone else's life?  Then check out Julie Metz's fascinating memoir, Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal.  And on that note, tomorrow we'll be introducing new Lit IT Girl Kim Wright and her fabulous debut, Love in Mid Air!  Make sure to stop by and leave a comment for your chance to win a copy.

Happy hour with the girls- It's muy importante to take  the time to have a glass of wine and detox with your girlfriends every so often. Staying connected with your besties is the best gift you can give yourself!  My favorite place to relax and talk some shit with my favorite girls?  The Rooftop Bar in Laguna Beach.  Their view is amazing and the sunsets there are like no other.

So there you have it!  What's on YOUR Mommy Must list?  Leave a comment and I'll enter you in a random drawing to win one of TWO copies of Christine Lemmon's Sand In My Eyes.

xoxo, Liz