5 Things Liz & Lisa didn't know about... Wendy Holden

We love Spring. The blooming flowers, the adorable sundresses and...all the fabulous book releases! Today we're learning more about bestselling UK author Wendy Holden, whose sassy US release Beautiful People is available now.  We think you'll love her five cool is it that she met Princess Diana? And almost became an ambassador?

Wendy Holden (U.K.)  was a journalist on The Sunday Times, Tatler and The Mail on Sunday before becoming a full time author. She has now published nine novels, all top 10 bestsellers in the UK, and is married with two young children. Her novels include Farm Fatale (in US Stores from Sourcebooks Landmark in July 2010), Bad Heir Day (also coming to US stores from Sourcebooks Landmark in September 2010), Simply Divine, Gossip Hound, the Wives of Bath, The School for Husbands, Azur Like it, and Filthy Rich.

Beautiful People is a fabulous adventure revolving around a struggling actress, a desperate former film star and a down-to-earth nanny, Holden's witty novel jets to London, Hollywood and Italy at a frenzied pace. A perfect addition to your beach bag this summer!

And we're thrilled to have FIVE copies of BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE to give away! You know the drill-just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win!

CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS: 5 Things Liz and Lisa didn’t know about Wendy Holden

1. Beautiful People was inspired by some of my own experience. My first book Simply Divine was optioned for a movie and out of the blue I had this hot-shot Hollywood producer and his wife coming to visit me in London. They wanted to meet at a terrifyingly smart restaurant which I had never been to, and asked me to book it. As it was the kind of place where the wrong table could ruin your life, I rang up and threw myself on their mercy. The film hit the buffers soon afterwards.

2. I almost became a diplomat. My very first job was editing a magazine for foreign ambassadors in London. They had amazing lives – palatial houses; hot and cold running servants; wardrobes you could ride in, let alone walk in; huge black shiny limos; endless parties with eye-watering strong drinks…

I seriously considered going into the Foreign Office after that, but then I landed a job in glossy magazines. They had amazing lives as well, palatial houses; hot and cold running servants; wardrobes you could ride in, let alone walk in; huge black shiny limos; endless parties with eye-wateringly strong drinks…

3. I cry at everything. I’m ludicrously easily moved and can barely read to my children because of it. Alice in Wonderland I can manage, but the more mawkish bits of Peter Pan have me in floods. As for poetry, forget it. At the same time I have a borderline evil sense of humour and laugh at wildly inappropriate things.

4. I’ve met Princess Diana. I was at a garden party at Buckingham Palace; she came up to talk to some people next to me and assumed I was part of the group. She also once came to a Christmas party when I worked at the Sunday Times in London. Otherwise my only royal encounter was being almost run over by Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, when he was out with his horses and carriage in Windsor Park. He came thundering towards me like something from a horror film; I only just got out of the way.

5. I hate tomato ketchup. My children adore it, and even eat it in sandwiches, which makes me want to retch. My favourite food is baked scallops with garlic and herb butter, fat chips and a rocket salad on the side. Washed down with a glass of champagne, naturellement.

To learn more about Wendy, head on over to!

xo, Liz & Lisa

25 Things Liz & Lisa want to know about Carole Matthews

CaroleMatthews_-_smiley_headshotYou heard it here first - Chick Lit is Not Dead is going global. We are like a character in a Chick Lit novel, going overseas in search of fabulous fun and high fashion! And what could be more fun - and fabulous - than international bestselling author Carole Matthews!  We all know that the Brits practically invented Chick Lit, and Carole's talent for writing relatable characters and engaging stories has made her books hugely popular. And let's face it, a cute British accent is always a plus!

And as always with our favorite Chick Lit authors, we discovered a lot of interesting similarities. Liz was ecstatic to learn that like her, Carole is a cashless wonder, never having so much as a five-dollar bill in her wallet-always awkward at the valet!  And Carole and Lisa both share majuh love for the ultimate Chick Flick-Bridget Jone's Diary.

Carole's impressive list of titles includes: THAT LOVING FEELING (2009 UK Release), THE CHOCOLATE LOVER'S CLUB (2009), WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD (2008), MORE TO LIFE THAN THIS (2006), WITH OR WITHOUT YOU (2005) (BTW--One of Lisa's all-time favorite books!), A MINOR INDISCRETION (2003), LET'S MEET ON PLATFORM 8 (2004), THE SWEETEST TABOO (2004), THE SCENT OF SCANDAL (2004), BARE NECESSITY (2003), FOR BETTER OR WORSE(2002), GIRLS NIGHT IN (2004) AND GIRLS NIGHT OUT (2006).

Whew!  How she has time to write so many awesome books and also trek through the Himalayas, we'll never know!


So without further delay...

Chick Lit is Not Dead presents... The 25 things readers want to know about  Carole Matthews

1.  Inside my purse, you'll discover: My I-Touch – a marvellous device that I’d be loathe to be without; an ancient Nokia mobile phone which is on its last legs but that has become something of a challenge to me to see how long I can keep it going; a battered paperback – currently Harlan Coben’s Hold Tight; a fabulous Lulu Guinness make-up bag with little essentials like lipstick, breath freshener, emergency anti-histamine tablets (I’m allergic to any shape or form of domestic animal); a pink notebook for random jottings and a glittery pink pen with which to do them!  And money – not much of it – my partner, Lovely Kev, says that I’m like The Queen who, reputedly, never carries money.

2.  My secret talent is: I’m pretty nifty on the dance floor.  I have medals in both Latin American and Ballroom.

3.  If stranded on an island, the five things I could not live without are: A large library of books and a torch.  A kettle, milk ,tea bags and a cup – as I’m British, I’m counting that as one thing.  Nail polish, haven’t seen the real colour of my toenails since I was fifteen and a cookbook titled ‘How to Make Nutritious Meals from Sand, Palm Leaves and Sea Water’.

4.  On my nightstand you'll find: A very pretty silver lamp with beads and tassels.  Lavender and honey handcream from the beautiful Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall.  Books – Kate Morton’s - The Forgotten Garden, Tami Hoag – Night Sins, and Khaled Hosseini - A Thousand Splendid Suns.  And a glass of water.

5.  When I grew up, I wanted to be: A ballerina, an air-traffic controller, a travel guide, a teacher, a physiotherapist.  It changed with the wind.  Writer never featured once though.

6.  My worst job: I haven’t had a terrible job, I’ve always enjoyed everything I’ve done.  Odd jobs including being an ice-cream saleswoman in a van that goes round the streets – do they do that in the USA?  I’ve also been a secretary, a beauty therapist, a journalist, a television and radio presenter.

7.  My comfort food: chocolate – without doubt.  Since writing my novels The Chocolate Lovers’ Club and The Chocolate Lovers’ Diet, I have become even more of a chocoholic.  I love Lindt 70% dark chocolate and eat it every day.  Actually, maybe I need to reassess my dessert island list as I don’t think I could live without it.

8.  The location where I write: I have a lovely house that overlooks a park in a new city, Milton Keynes, which is about 45 minutes away from London.  The house is three stories high and my office is on the top floor and I can see all the trees and a little stream that flows through the park.  I can see the most amazing sunsets from here too.  To be at my most productive, I need a brickwall rather than a view.

9.  Three songs on my IPOD's most played list: Paloma Faith – New York, Alesha Dixon – Breathe Slow, Beggin’ – Madcon.

10. If I was on the cover of US Weekly, my headline would read: Impossibly Slim and Beautiful British Chick-Lit Author Breaks All Previous Publishing Records on Day of Wedding to George Clooney!

11. The three books that make me think of my childhood: As an only child, I was always an avid reader – my favourites include Black Beauty, Little Women, Great Expectations.

12. My favorite Chick Flick: Without doubt – Bridget Jones’ Diary.  This is how all chick-lit films should be done.  A close second is The Holiday.

13. My favorite Chick Lit book: Marian Keyes – Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married.  I’m always so pleased when anyone compares my writing to Marian’s as I think she is truly the queen of chick lit.

14. My "must see" TV: Oh, dear.  Long list here.  I see it as keeping up with contemporary culture, not being a couch potato.  24, The Wire, Desperate Housewives, Dexter, The Tudors, X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing (which I think is Dancing with The Stars in the USA).

15. My Starbucks order: Is it strange to go into a shop that specializes in coffee and order tea?  Not a big coffee fan, though I can occasionally be persuaded to a good cappuccino.  I do, however, like their Rocky Road and their Fruit, Nut and Honey bars.  Their tea is surprisingly good too.

16. My favorite curse word: Oh flipping heck!

17. My celebrity man crush: Another long list – George Clooney, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, Hugh Jackman, Keifer Sutherland, Johnny Depp – all the usual suspects.

18. My celebrity girl crush: I want to be Cheryl Cole from Girls Aloud.  She’s tiny, talented and tenacious.

19. My writer crush: Harlan Coben – the man is an excellent writer, a charming speaker and an all-round good guy.

20. My last meal before execution: Fresh French bread, a selection of wonderful cheeses and a home-made soup – no particular preference of flavour – with some good red wine or a nice champagne.  Then I’d have to follow it with a plate of home made chocolates and a cup of tea.

21. Three words to summarize my book: Warm, funny, bittersweet.

22. It took me 6 months and a lot of pain to write my book – due to tendonitis in my shoulder.

23. My book's original title: Oh, we went through horrors trying to get the title right for this book – it started out as Love, Lies and Everything and then there were about 15 incarnations, I think.  We ended up with That Loving Feeling after much soul-searching.

24. Right now, I'm working on: The Only Way is Up – my next book is about a couple who find themselves caught up in the credit crunch and lose everything.  The story is their quest to rebuild their lives.

25. Chick Lit is alive & kicking because: It deals with the issues that contemporary women have to handle.  Women love to read that combined with a little escapism and a happy ending.  It makes me mad when I hear people saying that chick-lit is dead – our readers still love it – it’s the publishers who get bored with certain genres and then want to move onto the next ‘big thing’.

To learn about the talented and lovely Carole Matthews, head on over to or check her out on Facebook!

xoxo, Liz & Lisa