Ask Liz & Lisa-How do we book authors?

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Ask Liz & Lisa! Want some blogging advice?  In a twit over a tweet?  Have some mama drama you need to hug out? We're here for you, girlfrin'! Just send us an email and ask us anything!  And because we know y'all love to win things, if we feature your Q, we'll send you a book!  So what are you waiting for? Email  Operators are standing by. No, not really.  But Liz keeps glancing down at her Blackberry.  So please put her out-oh-her misery and send an email already!

We've already received some fab Qs from you guys-so thank you!  Our first is from Shannon and we selected it because it's one of the questions we're most frequently asked when we meet new people.  And because we chose Shannon's Q, she'll be receiving Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen- the first author booked EVEH on Chick Lit is Not Dead.  Your question didn't get chosen?  No worries-this will be a regular feature here so look for it next time!

And leave a comment today and we'll enter you to win a book too! How about another copy of Cindy Jones' My Jane Austen Summer:A Season in Mansfield Park?  We'll choose the winners Wednesday April 13th after 6pm PST.

Dear Liz & Lisa,

I want to know how you come up with all these great authors for the blogs? Ask and they volunteer or how does it work? There are just so many great authors and books and I have no idea how any of it works- just love to read the blog!!!



*blushes* Thanks so much, Shannon!

There are a few ways we book authors for the site.

1. The publicist or author pitches us via email. We receive pitches daily from authors and/or publicists requesting to be interviewed for the site.  We request the books that pique our interest and put them into our (freakishly huge) TBR pile.  After we read them, we discuss each one and request interviews and giveaways from the ones we think you'll love!  We usually agree-although everyone once in a while we'll have a girlfight lively discussion about which ones to feature.  But we really try to bring you books and authors we think you'll love as much as we do.

2. We stalk contact authors via email and Facebook. We're always looking for the next great author for the site so we are constantly searching online and in bookstores to find that gem that we may have missed.  Or maybe it's someone that we'd pretty much do anything (well, almost anything- we draw the line at anything involving a stripper pole!)  to get our hot little hands on her (or his) 5 Do's and a Do-Over. (Judy Blume-we're talking to you!) Facebook is a great way to connect with our favorite authors and we've booked many of them this way!

3. Crystal Patriarche, publicist extraordinaire and the entire BookSparksPR team. We're incredibly lucky to work with Crystal and she books many of our authors- like the fabulous Lauren Weisberger, Jen Lancaster and Emily Giffin, as well as celebrity-turned-authors like Tori Spelling and Jessica Seinfeld.  She's also incredibly creative and helps us brainstorm our new features and huge giveaways as well as provides PR for the site. We would NOT be where we are without her!

That pretty much sums it up.  And we're appreciative that y'all keep coming to the site to read about authors, books, bucket lists, 5 things you didn't know lists, 5 Do's and a Do-over lists and more! Thanks for continuing to support us with your comments and majuh Facebook page love.  YOU make our job fun!

xoxo, L&L

Cavanaugh Lee's 5 Do's and a Do-Over

Fact:  Liz is addicted to her Crackberry Blackberry. Whether she's working, playing or pretending to be paying attention in a meeting, she's always just waiting for that little red asterisk to pop up.  And Lisa's not much better-she loves her iPhone so much that's she's found a way to send emails from it while pumping breast milk.  Now that's talent! So when Save as Draft by Cavanaugh Lee landed on our doorstop last month-we were intrigued to read about Izabell's online adventures.  And we were happy to discover it was a fun and sassy read that we gobbled up in just a few days.

A love triangle evolving over e-mails, texts, and Facebook messages that makes you wonder if the things we leave unsaid—or rather unsent—could change the story of our lives. Izabell is a wactress (waitress/actress) turned lawyer who lives her life online. (Don’t we all these days?)

She's got this problem. . . . There’s this guy. His name’s Peter. He’s her best friend and co-worker, and she just started dating, which is potentially a huge mistake. But, that’s not all. There’s this other guy, Marty. She met him on eHarm, and he ran with the bulls in Spain. She can’t get him off her mind. What a mess.

Sounds fun, right? We have FIVE copies to give away!  Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win!  we'll choose the winners Sunday March 13th after 1pm PST.

And we're thrilled that Cavanaugh is sharing her Do's and a Do-over for the Electronic age.  Because, I think we all have a few friends on Facebook that could benefit from her advice!


5 DO’S

1.  DO make sure you’re actually communicating and not just “communicating.” I mean, really, say what you mean and mean what you say.  Ask yourself these questions as you type any critical email:

a.    Has all this technology made it easier or harder to communicate?

b.     Are we using it to express ourselves more fully, or to edit/fabricate ourselves?

c.     Are we communicating more when we write hundreds of emails a day, or are we actually not saying anything at all?

d.     If we spend hours crafting the perfectly witty email, have we told the truth?

e.     Are we hiding behind an “electronic spine” as our fingers press the keys?

f.      Have we sacrificed a genuine connection in favor of a wireless connection?

2.  If you like someone, DO email: “I like you” (or something to that effect). If you don’t like someone, DO type: “I’m just not that into you.”  You may only get one shot to “just hit send,” and email is not the place to toy with someone’s emotions.  Along those same lines, DO think twice before asking someone out via email (same goes for asking for someone’s hand in marriage) and DO think twice before breaking up with someone via email.  How about doing it in person instead?  I mean, don’t you want to see their face?  J

3.  DO use the Bcc (“blind carbon copy”) button wisely – it’s a rather devious mechanism. It can get you in trouble as can the “Reply to All” (Oops!).

4.   DO delete anyone who has broken your heart from your Contacts page. Not deleting them can result in emailing “under the influence” which can further result in massive disasterDO avoid it at all costs.  In fact, install “Mail Goggles” which you can find in G-Mail under “Settings” + “Labs.”  Again, delete, delete, delete… and don’t look back.

5.  DO empty your Trash folder every so often. It is masochistic to re-read it.



DON’T “Save as Draft,” unless it’s a nasty-gram to your boss (of course if you’re about to quit your job for a better one – send it – kidding).  See #1 under DO’S for the reason.  All of this electronic technology is both good and bad, depending on how we use it.  Saving as draft means you’re holding back.  Life is too short

Thanks Cavanaugh! xoxo, L&L

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









Blackberry Blues by Liz

So y'all know how much I love Barry Blackberry.  In fact, I just about died when I went into radio silence for 48 hours earlier this year.  And although I know they say absence makes the heart grow fonder, I found myself dreaming of another after my Barry came back to me. For some reason I just couldn't get Droid off my mind.

And it wasn't fair really.  Barry had always been there for me with lightning fast email and an easy to use typepad-I could practically text with my eyes closed! He was solid and dependable, the kind of phone that wouldn't ever let me down.

That's why, at first, I attempted to ignore Droid's cool apps and incredibly fast internet.  And I tried not to look when the person next to me was watching the latest cool YouTube video on him.  I'm fine with Barry.  I don't some trendy phone.  Barry's always been there in good times and bad.  Show some loyalty damnit!

And I swear, I didn't mean to drop Barry in the parking lot that day.  And what was I supposed to do when it was clear I needed a new phone?  I was due for an upgrade, right?  When the lovely Verizon salesperson asked me what phone I wanted, I meant to say Blackberry, I really did.  But for some reason the word DROID came out of my mouth.

And thus began the most frustrating 24 hours of my life.

I was practically drooling by the time when I got Droid home. I couldn't wait to have some alone time with him.  That's when I discovered that my other electronic boyfriend wasn't happy at all with my new purchase.  That's right.  Mac and Droid hated each other immediately.  Mac didn't want to give up his contacts or update his calendar for Droid.  Clearly, he had more loyalty to Barry Blackberry than I had realized. But after three agonizing hours of negotiations, I finally found a way for them to share their information.  But neither of them seemed pleased about it.

The next morning, Droid and I were quarreling again, this time over email.  Droid didn't think it was necessary to put any history in my email replies.  I, on the other hand, felt this was VERY important. And let's just say Lisa was less than thrilled with this new development and I became tired of receiving a What does this mean!  or WTF are you replying to! response to every reply.  And don't even get me started on my inability to form a cohesive sentence on that touchscreen or the creepy way it would say "DROID" when I got a text message. (Seriously! How freakin' narcissistic can you be?)

That's when I knew Droid had to go.

Part of me was sad.  I had barely had time to use my new Yelp app or Facebook to my heart's content.  But I only needed 24 hours to convince me that I had made a huge mistake letting Barry go and I knew one thing for sure. I had to get Barry Blackberry back asap.

I sped to the nearest Verizon store, hoping to find a way to beg for Barry's forgiveness.  To tell him that I'd gladly take his internet speed and poor selection of apps over that fancy schamcy Droid.  That Droid had made me feel all of my thirty-six years. That I'd do just about anything to see that little star letting me know I had email again.

But like the class act he is, Barry took my betrayal like a man.  In fact, he even introduced me to his hunky older brother Storm.  He felt like his push screen would really make me happy.  And as usual, he was right-it did!

So I'm happy to say Barry and I are back together. Even Mac seemed pleased that he had his old buddy around to share information with.  And while I may still get a little butterfly in my stomach everytime I see Droid, I know now that looks can be deceiving.  Barry Blackberry has my heart forever!

Or at least until Verizon gets the iPhone.

Radio Silence by Liz

I love Barry Blackberry.  Or rather I'm obsessed.  I think about him when he's tucked away in my purse while I'm working and cuddle him close to my chest to keep him warm when it's cold and rainy.  He's the first thing I grab in the morning and I never forget to blow him a little kiss before heading off to bed each night. But like many others who take their loved ones for granted, I was careless with Barry's love, refusing to buy him that shiny case he'd had his eye on for months.  You don't need it, I told him. You look fine just the way you are. And each time I dropped him on my tile floor, I would gingerly put him back together and swear this was the last time I'd ever hurt him.  That I'd never again place him next to my three-year old's cup of milk.  That I'd find a appropriate place in my purse to store him where he wouldn't get all sticky.

All Empty Promises.

Then, last Sunday, Barry had enough.  He'd taken it like a man when I splashed some fresh-squeezed lemonade on him at the carnival and didn't miss a beat when  my daughter spilled sugar from her pixie stick all up in his parts.  But when I dropped him on that damn tile again, that was it.  After putting him back together, his (lcd) light just wouldn't shine again.  Barry was gone.

*Cue panicked run to Verizon store and angry tantrum when clerk informed me that I would have to wait TWO DAYS to get a new phone*

Hanging my head in my hands, I thought, How the f*ck am I going to survive two days without a phone? My sales job requires me to be in the car all day, and Barry Blackberry had always been my window into the world.  Now I was going to have to *gasp* listen to music, or God forbid, my own thoughts!

But what struck me the most in my two days of radio silence was how much I'd changed since getting Barry.  How distracted I had become in my daily life, how little I paid attention to others while I was replying to a text that I thought just couldn't wait. Now I wondered why it had been so urgent.  How often I chose to Facebook on my phone between appointments rather than preparing.  That I was so addicted to my phone that I kept reaching for it even though it wasn't there.  All in all, I felt pretty lame and promised to try to make some changes when my new Barry Blackberry arrived on my doorstep.

And since re-entering the land of the communicative, I have to admit that old habits die hard.  But I'm trying.  I even bought him a shiny pink case, although he feels it strips away his masculinity. I told him he'll get over it-it's better than having your battery case ripped opened every day, right?

The best part of my two days of silence? My productivity. I even had time to make a list about it!

During my Radio silence...

  • Actually listened to myself think. Think I may have solved that whole cold fusion thing.
  • Went to the car wash and *watched* my car get washed.
  • Endured more crunching and smacking sounds than any one person ever should.
  • Gave that guy at Starbucks the wrong idea when I stared at his Blackberry. (I may have drooled a little bit .)
  • Decided that I was too good and started judging everyone else talking on their cell phone to make myself feel better.
  • Eavesdropped on some really interesting conversations.
  • NEVER knew what time it was.

xoxo, Liz

Are you a Facebook Voyeur? By Liz

facebook I ran into an old friend the other day at Starbucks. (Where else?)  I hadn't seen him in forever and was dying to know if he had stuck it out with his latest girlfriend or went back to serial dating. (Three words: Majuh. Commitment. Phobe.) But before I could get my scoop, he started asking about my very recent trip to Hawaii and my daughters's first day of school.


Um, is this guy stalking me or something?  I mean, I was rockin' my new do'... but although it was short and sassy, it wasn't exactly stalker-worthy!

I was perplexed. But then, as he began to pellet me with questions about resorts, booze cruises and luaus, it came to me.

He was a Facebook voyeur! A social network Peeping Tom!

Now, let me just say for the record, that some of my favorite people are FB voyeurs.  They spend just as much time perusing status updates and profiles as you and I, they just don't feel the need to participate. Like me, you might even forget they are even ON Facebook until they reveal themselves the next time you see them by asking you about the caffeine or your Bachelorette addiction.  That's when you know you've got a Lookey Loo on you hands.

Fascinated by these Facebook rebels, I rang up some of my friends who fall in this category.  I just had to know why they won't even list what year they were born or give some of my sassy statuses a thumbs up. (It's just ONE click! Help a sista out here!)  I needed to see why all their wall posts go unanswered and all their fan page invitations are declined. Um, especially THIS ONE!

So now I'm ready to break it down for you.  To tell you why your second cousin never poked you back or why you'll never see pictures of their kids until you finally suck it up and attend that family reunion next summer.


Always on the run, the multi-tasker prefers to get their "booking" done via iPhone or Blackberry.  She really does want to know what you are making for dinner or how your son's soccer practice went, but actually commenting on it is a whole other story.  Basically this is the social network version of It's not you, it's me".


The High-Brower finally buckled under all the peer pressure and joined FB but wants you to know she's still too good for it.  That's why you'll never hear about her tropical vacation or find out whether she's planning on watching the new Melrose Place.  And the fact that she's traded Hemingway for Yoville?   She's planning on keeping it her dirty little secret.


Unlike attention whores like myself, she's content with keeping her networks, political views and Farmville scores a secret. But I find myself  wondering which five cities she's lived in and what her Saved By The Bell quiz results were. (Lisa Turtle, in case you were wondering...) And btw, this is also the same person who has 25 friends because she only wants to "friend" people she's actually "friends" with. Um, I didn't even know that was an option. What a concept!


Why are you on Facebook if you are trying to HIDE? I can understand an occasional block of a crazy ex-boyfriend or that over-zealous PTA mom, but to lurk around in cyberspace while no one can see you is creepy.  And was high school so bad you won't even put your graduating year?  Come on! Even I got over my huge hair and penchant for spandex pants. Show yourself already!

Xoxo, Liz