Stacey Ballis

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!


Stacey Ballis's 5 Things I'd Tell The Teen Me

Our guest today: Stacey Ballis Why we love her: Her books are warm and witty-just like her!

Her latest: Off The Menu

The scoop on it: As the executive culinary assistant to celebrity Chicago chef Patrick Conlon, Alana Ostermann works behind the scenes—and that’s just the way she likes it. But with developing recipes for Patrick’s cookbooks, training his sous chefs, picking out the perfect birthday gifts for his ex-mother-in-law, and dealing with the fallout from his romantic escapades, she barely has a personal life, much less time to spend with her combo platter of a mutt, Dumpling.

Then a fluke online connection brings her RJ, a transplant from Tennessee, who adds some Southern spice to her life. Suddenly Alana’s priorities shift, and Patrick—and Dumpling—find themselves facing a rival for her time and affection. With RJ in the mix, and some serious decisions to make about her personal and professional future, Alana must discover the perfect balance of work and play, money and meaning, to bring it all to the table—one delicious dish at a time…

Our thoughts: We think it's a yummy treat that's perfect for the holiday!

Giveaway: FIVE copies!  Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win!  We'll choose the winners on Sunday July 8th after Noon PST.

Fun Fact: Stacey lived in Kenya for three months and taught at a local secondary school.  So cool, right?

Read more about Stacey: her website, Facebook or Twitter


1. The buzz cut is not a good idea and if you do it you will spend all if high school in "growing out" phase.

2. Don't be afraid to like the people you like publicly, even if they aren't the coolest.  Especially if they aren't the coolest.  Doesn't matter if it is a crush on the odd duckling in the back of the room who always has the best insight during English class, or being friends with the kid who wears the piano key scarf every day but has a quiet wickedly dry sense of humor.  If you are drawn to someone who falls outside your usual sphere, trust your gut.  They will be the ones who most enrich your life, and stay with you for the long haul.  If your other friends give you crap, just remember that the most interesting and successful people in the world were rarely in the popular crowd in high school.  This lesson brought to you by me, and I learned it from John Hughes.  Never served me wrong.

3. People are who they are.  Don't jump into a romantic relationship with someone who has great potential and try to change them into what you want and need in a partner.  Be okay alone, and the right one will find you.  There will always be friends to fill the gap, hobbies to fill time.  You are the most important person you will ever be in a relationship with, and the more you love you and like being with you, the more you will attract people who are the right people.

4. Listen more than you speak.  Be the person who really hears the people they talk to, not the person who just waits for their turn to talk.  And make eye contact.

5. Tie dye.  Just, no.

Thanks Stacey!  xoxo, L&L

What’s on Stacey Ballis’s Bucket List?

Can you believe it's almost Christmas?  Time has just flown by this year.  And one thing we've noticed?  So many fabulous books this year about food. (Maybe we're all looking for a little comfort?) Some of our fave books this year have made us hungry-books by Melissa SenateJenny Nelson and Jennifer Ross.  And now we have another book about food that we adore: Good Enough To Eat by Stacey Ballis.  And we're ecstatic that she's sharing her bucket list with us too! Former lawyer Melanie Hoffman lost half her body weight and opened a gourmet take-out cafe specializing in health and delicious food.  then her husband left her for a woman twice her size. When she's blinded by a financial crisis, Melanie reaches out to a quirky roomate with tons of baggage and becomes involved in a budding romance with a local documentary film maker. 

Soon Melanie realizes that her weight loss was just the beginning of an amazing journey that will transform her life from the inside out.  With relatable characters and genuine warmth, we think you'll find Good Enough To Eat as delicious as we did-it would make a wonderful Christmas gift for that hard-to-buy-for girl on your list!

And we have FIVE copies to give away to you!  Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win!  We'll choose the winners after Friday at 6pm PST.

And we have a feeling Stacey's bucket list will have you running out to get your own copy of Good Enough to Eat.  Read on to see why we heart her!


I’m really very lucky, especially since the things that has topped this list for the past decade were to find and fall in love with the man I am supposed to spend the rest of my life with, but last year he finally showed up, so I got to bump these up to the top!

 1.  Make my agent a very wealthy man.  It’s rude to wish for such things for oneself, you know, but if I am making him rich, I am also doing okay work-wise.

2.  Publish a cookbook.    Not a purely recipe book, but a really lovely book of stories and anecdotes and entertaining tricks and tips with plenty of gorgeous photos and recipes.  There are 40 pages of recipes in the back of my new book Good Enough to Eat, but that has only whetted my appetite for a real cookbook project.

3.  Get to my top five travel destinations.  I have long wanted to see Prague, Barcelona, Casablanca, Venice, and Berlin.  Lucky for me, they are all on my boyfriend’s list too, so hopefully we will  make time to go there together.

4.   Start playing music again.  I played trumpet, mostly jazz, for about fifteen years, but put the horn down during grad school and never picked it back up.  Not sure if I want to start back with the trumpet or try a whole new instrument, but it would be great to get back into music. 

5.  Own my building.  I have lived in my apartment for 17 years.  The building is a wonderful 1906 Victorian Greystone with three units.  My landlord and I have an agreement, when he is ready to let go of the building, he will sell it to me.  I am very patient, and don’t care when it happens, I just can’t wait for the day it is mine….especially since once I own it, then I can do some of the home improvement projects not possible as a renter. 

Thanks Stacey!  xo, L&L

To read more about Stacey's five novels, head on over to her website or her blog.  Or you can find her on Facebook and Twitter too!

Also, there’s still time to leave a comment here  to be entered in Liz & Lisa’s Favorite Holiday Things giveaway for your chance to win a Blackberry Curve, A Sony eReader and so much more! And don’t forget to “like” our Facebook page too!  It ends this Friday so don't wait!