Alyssa Goodnight's 5 Loves and a Dud

We love a good love story y'all.  Well, make that a sassy love story. And with Valentine's Day around the corner, we'd thought we give you a little sweet treat to sink your teeth into. No, not those truffles, a really great book! We think you'll adore Alyssa Goodnight and her lovely novel, Austentatious.  It's fun, it's sassy.  And it has a MAGICAL journal.  What more do you freakin' need?!  It drops TODAY so run on over to get your copy.

Here's the scoop on Austentatious: It started innocently enough. While browsing in one of Austin's funky little shops, Nicola James is intrigued by a blank vintage journal she finds hidden among a set of Jane Austen novels. Even though Nic is a straight-laced engineer, she's still a sucker for anything Austen-esque. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to disbelief once she starts writing in the journal—because somehow, it's writing her back. . .

Miss Nicola James will be sensible and indulge in a little romance. Those twelve tiny words hit Nic like a thunderbolt, as if her diary was channeling Austen herself! Itching for a bit of excitement, Nic decides to follow her "Fairy Jane's" advice. The result: a red-hot romance with a sexy Scottish musician who charms his way into Nic's heart in about five seconds flat.

Sean MacInnes is warm, funny, and happens to think Nic is the most desirable woman he's ever met. But a guy like Sean doesn't exactly fit into her Life Plan. With no one but Fairy Jane to guide her, Nic must choose between the life she thought she wanted—and the kind of happy ending she never saw coming...

Sound fab?  Then leave a comment, yo! We have FIVE copies to give away.  We'll choose the winners on Monday February 6th after 6pm PST.  Good luck!



1. SWIMMING.  It's possible my love of swimming can be traced back to my childhood.  But not in the way you would assume.  As a kid I rarely visited the neighborhood pool.  My brother and sister and I used to hole up in our rooms and whisper about the possibility that maybe, just maybe, today was the day our mom would take us to the pool.  It didn't happen often, but when it did, my day was totally made!  I loved the cerulean blue of the pool water lapping in all its tiny waves against the sides.  I loved gulping in deep breaths of air and dipping under the water to peek at another world.  You could disappear underwater, sneak up on people, go exploring, and then float back to the surface to start all over again, and I loved every minute of it.  Every summer it's exactly the same: my first glimpse of the pool, that color, those waves, the mysteries that lie beneath.  I can't wait to dip my head below the surface and just swim.

2. CHIPS & SALSA.  Sheer genius.  Crispy, salty, fried corn tortilla chips and zesty, spicy, fresh-flavored salsa--a match made in heaven!  If the chips weren't so darned high in fat, this would be the perfect snack.  Honestly, I could probably even make a meal out of this delicious combination.  I think the presence of chips and salsa on the table in Mexican restaurants makes a meal more fun, more festive, and way more relaxed.  Once you've shared chips, dribbled salsa, and witnessed each others awkward chip/mouth manuevers, you're friends.

3. DR. PEPPER.  Dr. Pepper feels just a little bit magical.  The can itself is marked with the information that the sofa is an 'Authentic Blend of 23 Flavors.'  23??  I can't even imagine hitting on something delicious after messing around with twenty-three different flavors.  But they did it (way back in 1885), and it's done.  No other soft drink holds the same appeal for me.  I'll drink Coke, and it's fine, refreshing, but it's not special like Dr. Pepper.  I tried giving it up--those 150 empty calories and 40g of carbs (I have a can right in front of me--these stats aren't memorized, although they probably should be), but I couldn't do it.  Dr. Pepper is my writing companion.  Almost every afternoon I sit down with one and escape to another world...

4. JANE AUSTEN.  A love that many of us share.  I read Pride & Prejudice in high school and loved it.  I read it again in college and loved it some more.  But it wasn't until years later that I gobbled down her other five novels (not to mention a good number of spin-offs and retellings) that I came to truly adore her.  I love that her novels elevate everyday life, the focus of which is romance, to literature.  I adore her narrative voice, adding snark and humor and wisdom beyond the stories themselves.  Despite her limited circumstances and experiences, she understood the world so well that modern day retellings remain fresh, and quotes from her novels, journals, and letters are relevant today.  She is inspirational, and given the option to invite anyone in history to dinner, I just might choose her.

5. USA NETWORK.  Much like Greek mythology's Athena, popping fully formed (and armed) from Zeus's brain, the USA Network seems to have done the same (although I'm not sure which brains are responsible).  All of sudden, the USA Network began producing programming that was fun, fresh, and different.  I was totally on board with a pretend psychic detective and his kooky sidekick.  I was intriged by a burned spy and his brand of vigilante justice.  And I admit to having crushes on a certain White Collar criminal and a blind CIA analyst.  I love the USA Network...for creative programming (I regularly watch Psych, Burn Notice, White Collar, Covert Affairs, and In Plain Sight), for embracing the sidekick, for infusing every show with humor, and for loveable characters.  If you're not watching, you're missing out!


Inefficency.  I fight (I think valiantly) against it everyday in my own life, and it irks me to be thrown into situations that positively teem with inefficiency.  I want to step behind the counter at the local movie theater and reorganize their whole strategy.  It shouldn't take 20 minutes to get a popcorn and a soda if the line is only eight or ten people long and everyone in it pretty much wants just wants a popcorn and soda.

Thanks Alyssa!  xoxo, L&L

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