Sarah Strohmeyer's 5 Do's and a Do-Over

Because we've been BFF's for sooo long, we love books about friendship. *cue sappy piano ballad* And Kindred Spirits by Sarah Strohmeyer is a novel we absolutely fell for because it's about lifelong friends who come together in the toughest time imaginable. Oh, and they love a good martini! Does it get any better than that? When life gives you lemons, call your best girlfriends and whip up some lemon martinis. Such is the mantra for the Ladies' Society for the Conservation of Martinis, which was established after one fateful PTA meeting, when four young mothers-Lynne, Mary Kay, Beth, and Carol- discovered they had more in common than they ever thought possible. Meeting once a month, the women would share laughs and secrets and toast to their blossoming friendship with a clink of their sacred martini glasses. The Society was their salvation, their refuge, but when life-shattering circumstances force the group to dissolve, their friendship is never quite the same...until two years later, when a tragic event puts the Society back in session.

When Lynne passes away suddenly, she leaves behind one simple request: that her old friends sort through her belongings. Reluctantly, the women reunite to rummage through her closets. There's nothing remarkable; no kinky sex toys, no embarrassing diary. But buried deep within Lynne's lingerie drawer is an envelope addressed to the Society. And inside they find a letter that reveals a shocking secret and a final wish that will send the women on a life-changing journey...proving that nothing is more powerful than the will of a true girlfriend and a good, strong martini.

And if you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win one of five copies of Kindred Spirits. We'll randomly select the winners after 6pm EST on Sunday, August 14th.



1) … make a living making yourself happy! I can’t believe how long it took me to figure out that I didn’t have to take calculus in college and that playing with Barbies would launch my dream career. If you LOVE being outside, then for heaven’s sakes, don’t get an office job, check out the park service! And if you love dressing up Barbies like Joan of Arc or Sylvia Plath…go for it!

2)see Springsteen. Three times – THREE! – a friend with rock and roll connections called me up at the last moment while I was living in New Jersey to say that Bruce was going to make a surprise appearance at the Stone Pony or some other club in Asbury Park. All three times I blew him off. TWICE Bruce jumped on stage and played until dawn while I was getting my 40 winks in preparation for the next work day like a good girl. I’ve totally forgotten about the work; but I’ll always remember how I could have reached out and touched Bruce.

3) …become a great listener. Every successful, interesting person I’ve met is a great listener. They approach each stranger with an eagerness that you can see in their “enthusiastic attention.” They don’t interrupt. They ask follow-up questions. As a result, you, the talker, feel like a million bucks. This is especially flattering to guys – or any love interest. Guys will do anything for a woman who listens.

4) … learn how to perfect one somewhat fancy dinner. Cornish game hens with orange glaze, wild rice and roasted asparagus was mine for the longest time. Came in handy for entertaining guests from out of town, throwing an impromptu dinner party or impressing my future in-laws. A dessert from the local bakery or a quick and easy flourless chocolate tart sealed the deal. Email me at for recipes.

5)go out of your way to be really, really nice to someone who’s really not nice to you. Kill them with kindness, as my mother used to say. There is nothing so sweet, so delicious, as turning on the charm when you’ve been doused with acid. And though it sounds Pollyanna-ish, nine times out of ten, that person will melt and underneath you’ll find someone in deep pain who craves love.


Easy. I should have ignored my mother’s admonitions and slept with my cute college boyfriend.

Man. What was I thinking? The guy was hottttt and nice and sweet and dying to make love to me. Yet, there I was holding onto my virginity like it was my passport to female fulfillment. Eventually, he got frustrated (which my mother said proved her point that he was no good) and went off. We remained friends and are to this day. He’s happily married. I’ve been happily married for 22 years, but….still.

To find out more about the talented Sarah Strohmeyer, visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks, Sarah!

xoxo, L&L


Writing Wednesday: Chick Lit Is Not Dead! By Liz & Lisa

Chick Lit is not dead. It's not-we swear! And although we know that y'all are dying to discover the next big author, you'd probably be shocked to discover that we're STILL being told by agents that Chick lit, or Upmarket women's fiction, or whatever the hell they want us to call it these days, just doesn't sell.

And to be perfectly honest, we're tired of our gal Chick Lit feeling like she has to hide in the corner like some dirty slut. So we're calling bullsh*t.  Chick Lit is NOT Dead!

Looking back, Chick Lit's popularity was ultimately the death of her. Because when the market became over-saturated with a bunch of copycats with predictable plots and cardboard characters, she was catapulted down to the D-list faster than than you could say Snooki. She was accused of lacking substance, of being insulting to women's intelligence and being *gasp* cliche'.

Poor Chick Lit became such an outcast in the publishing world that she couldn't even be called by her own name anymore. Apparently, if she stood any chance of transforming from unbound manuscript to sleek, published novel, she had to be disguised as Women's Fiction. And even then, the odds of her becoming Homecoming Queen again were pretty damn slim.

Aspiring novelists querying agents needed to beware! Titles that conjured images of stilettos were shunned; the mention of designer purses was literary suicide; and if the protagonist was *gulp* a quirky, single girl with dreams of meeting Mr. Right, the manuscript was sent off to die a very slow death in some slush (or should we say "slut") pile.

Chick Lit had been pronounced dead, gone well before her time due to overexposure. And her writers and readers put on their black designer dresses and went into mourning.

Her headline in the gossip columns would have read, From It Girl to Out Girl. One Too Many Knock-offs Sealed Her Fate!

But like any former A-lister, we knew she'd make a come back. (If Hugh Grant could do it, so could she!) She just had to wait for her moment and seize it.

And the time is now! Here's why we say Chick Lit has not only made a comeback, but she's going to be on the scene for a while.

She's our fantasy! Thinking about the crashing stock market and the record high unemployment rates hurts our heads. So instead of watching the nightly news, we'd rather pop open the book with a stick figure drinking a martini on the cover and give our brains the night off. If you can't take a real vacation, at least give your brain one! Let your biggest worry be over whether Jane Q Single Gal gets to marry Joe Q Bachelor; whether frenemies can become friend-ly; if it's a bad idea to get a manny.  Let her wrap your ending up in a nice red bow and don't feel guilty about it for one second!

She's a cheap date! Even though hard economic times have caused most of us to slash our budgets (Tarjay is so the new Nordys), Chick Lit is still making it into our shopping carts. She's like that friend who talks you out of your buyer's remorse.  She reminds you that it's OK to spend money on things that make you feel better. In fact, she thinks it's the American way! And even though a lot of us can't justify buying that Louis Vuitton purse or getting that $200 haircut anymore, Chick Lit still gives a frugal girl some bang for her buck. If you get her in paperback, she's only about $12. 95! This seems like an awesome price considering how often she makes us laugh, cry or even SOL (snort out loud!).  And BTW, Chick Lit is always up on the latest trends. And if she says cheap is the new chic, we believe her!

She's Secure in her Stilettos Chick Lit is proud of who she is. She makes no apologies for drinking Cosmos or wearing designer skinny jeans. She's never going to make the argument that she should win the Pulitzer or that she's invented cold fusion.   And she definitely doesn't think a book should require a thesaurus while reading! She loves a good rom-com too and couldn't be happier that her cousin, Chick Flick is back on the red carpet again.

So to the literary snobs of the world, it's time to face the truth. That Chick Lit is back and better than ever. And she's back now for the very reason she exploded onto the literary scene in the first place. No good woman can resist well-written books with high fashion and happy endings.

So say it loud and proud, *channels Ty Pennington and yells into megaphone* CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD!

What do you think?  Do you still want your happy ending? Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a $20 iTunes gift card!  Let's let people know that we want some brain candy!

xoxo, Liz & Lisa