About HollyKerr

Holly Kerr is the author of the chick lit/women's fiction novels, Absinthe Doesn't Make the Heart Grow Fonder, Unexpecting, Coming Home and her latest The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd.

Kick-@ss review for Charlotte!!

Love for Charlotte Dodd!

I’m posting the latest review for The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd because it’s a good one!  And because Charlotte’s only 99 cents for a limited time!

Visit ChickLit Cafe for more reviews! Thanks for the love ladies!

Synopsis

Fistfights, car chases, and secret spy organizations? This isn’t a normal night for Charlotte.

Office worker Charlotte steps out of a movie theatre and into a heap of trouble. Her boyfriend is away; she’s been having strange dreams full of exciting adventures, even though that’s the last thing she’s looking for. She’s happy with her uneventful life.

So why isn’t she running away from the two big thugs threatening the cute guy on the street? How did she learn to drive like that? And how did she get on a private jet full of secret agents…and they’re calling her by name! But more importantly, who’s the hottie with the blue eyes and why does he seem so familiar?

Review

This is an enchanting chick lit read filled with fun and intriguing characters. It is a quality story full of elaborate twists and turns. I couldn’t put The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd down. I was hooked right from the beginning and read it almost straight through, but I finally decided I had to turn the light off at two in the morning.

Charlotte Dodd is an interesting and decidedly different character. She lives, what she thinks, is an ordinary life until she finds out otherwise through a series of crazy events. I love the way author, Holly Kerr, wrote the character Charlotte, she is charming and full of surprises. All the characters in this book are well written, interesting and fascinating. They are fully developed and believable.

The plot is remarkable, different and very enjoyable. Holly Kerr has one fantastic imagination and the creative ability to put her thoughts into a awesome book. There are so many things going on in this story, but it all flows together nicely and makes perfect sense. The book is written with skill and talent and a very unique voice.

This is a perfect chick lit read with all the important qualities of an amusing, lighthearted and pleasurable book for women. There is danger, deception, spies and so much more in this fun filled fast-paced read.

I read a lot of chick lit style books, but The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd takes the cake. It’s that good.
I highly recommend it to all women that love an entertaining, amusing story that has it all.

Purchase The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd now.

Top Ten Tuesday – Book Boyfriends

Who’s on your list of book boyfriends?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the folks at The Broke and The Bookish because they like lists!

Today’s post from The Broke and the Bookish was Top Twn Book Boyfriends. The last time I had made a list of book boyfriends was back in 2015. Here’s the original list, in red. And here’s what I think about my choice now!

Top Ten Book Boyfriends

In no particular order:

Colonel BrandonSense and Sensibility  I always thought Marianne was crazy for not scooping him up at the start! I’m still on board for Colonel Brandon. In fact, I will add another Alan Ruckman character to the list. Even though he wasn’t a boyfriend, Severus Snape’s love for Lily Potter was never-ending and truly heart-breaking.

 

Jamie FraserOutlander, Diana Gabaldon  He can do anything.  He would do anything for you! I still agree with this one as well, but need to add someone to the list of ‘Will do anything for my woman list’ – Roarke, from the J.D. Robb In Death series. Yes, he’s a husband now, but the man will do anything for Eve Dallas, including buying her a pair of $6000 boots!!  

Stu RedmanThe Stand, Stephen King  I have had a crush on Gary Sinise ever since he played Stu in the mini-series way back when!  There’s talk to do a movie of the book and I can’t wait to find out who plays Stu! I have no idea whether they’re still doing a movie, but I do still love Stu.

Jake BriganceA Time to Kill, John Grisham  Yes, I was crushing on the character even before I watched the movie!! Eh – not sure I’d include him now.

Rupert Campbell-BlackRivals, Jilly Cooper  Rupert began as quite the shit in Cooper’s Riders, but it’s fun watching how he’s been redeemed by the love of a woman I still love the character of Rupert, but he is really a crappy boyfriend/husband! He cheated on Taggie in Mount – off the list!

Dexter – Something Borrowed, Emily Giffen  Even though he cheated on Darcy, because Darcy really needed to be cheated on! (I know that’s not nice!) Good boyfriend for Rachel, but a bit too boring to make in on the present day list. To replace him, I’d suggest Henry, from Emma Chase’s Royally Matched. Or Leo, from Alice Clayton’s Nuts. Both have a little more excitement to them.

Laurie –  Little Woman  Still so sad Jo never married him! Okay, Laurie can stay

PeetaHunger Games  Team Peeta all the way! Obviously, I was reading Hunger Games at the time I wrote this! 

ChubsDarkest Minds, Alexandra Bracken  Liam is almost too perfect, so I go for Chubs Uh, I can’t remember Chubs so I should maybe take him off the list! 

Neville LongbottomHarry Potter  It was almost Ron but Neville needs some love.  Plus, he grew up so nicely. I agree, but I’m going to add Remus Lupin to the list. Him and Tonks – sigh! 

I’m adding Augustus Waters, from The Fault of Our Stars.

Also, Rhysand, from The Court of Thorns and Roses series.

What about you?  Who are your favourite book boyfriends? 

Is that 10? How about you? Who’s on your list?

 

Three weeks until The Best Worst First Date Ever is LIVE!

TThe Best Worst First Date Ever

Have you pre-ordered your copy yet?

The adventures of Charlotte Dodd continue with The Best Worst First Date Ever.

Tenley Scott is a single mother and owner of Soup du Jour. She’s full of nervous excitement for her date with Colin, the handsome Brit who’s been hanging around the café.

She’s expecting casual conversation over drinks. Maybe dinner. Possibly a second date.
Not crazed ex-girlfriends, armed thugs, car crashes and a kidnapping. Worst date ever.

And then Tenley finds out about NIAA, the Canadian secret spy organization. Hello, Charlotte Dodd.

In a move out of a sci-fi movie, Charlotte’s missing memories are implanted into Tenley’s mind, giving Tenley top secret information about the Agency, dangerous spy missions and Charlotte’s love, Hamilton Short. Now it’s a race to keep Tenley out of the hands of those who want the information and to find a way to get Charlotte out of her head.

It’s been a while since Tenley’s been on a date, but this date turns out worse – and better- than she ever expected!

Pre-order now!!

Amazon iTunes  B & N  Kobo

Here’s an excerpt to help you decide!

#throwbackthursday – How I refused to give up on Charlotte Dodd

It’s Throwback Thursday!!

The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd released January 2016; the prequel, The Missing Files of Charlotte Dodd came out last November.

Like the pretty new covers? Thanks Sue Traynor!

 

 

 

 

 

And now it’s time for the sequel – The Best Worst First Date Ever!

Pre-sale begins tomorrow!! Until then, here’s a guest post from back in 2016, from my blog tour for The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd!

How I refused to give up on the character of Charlotte Dodd.

One of the spots on my blog tour with CLP Blog Tours was Connect with Click Lit Club. Here’s the guest post featured on the site.

I really think I’d like to be a superhero.

holly kerr1Or maybe a secret agent. Nothing too dangerous of course. I am a forty-something mother and I like to think my kids still need me around! But have you ever wondered … wanted … fantasized a bit about having a little more excitement in your life? A little danger? Have you thought about what it would be like to jump out of a plane onto the roof of a building, sneak in, have to fight your way through the bad guys with such awesome moves that you manage this with your hair still in place and not a bruise on your body to rescue your man or someone equally deserving?

I have to admit, I have had such daydreams.

The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd

Original cover

And that’s why I wrote The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd.

I’m not a violent person in any means. I’m an average, baseball mom of three. I’m an author. And one of the more enjoyable aspects of being a writer is that you get to imagine your characters (yourself!) in all sorts of situations.

Creating Charlotte Dodd

I first came up with the idea for The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd years ago. I had finished writing my first novel (then titled Baby! Baby? Baby?!, now Unexpecting), a chick lit novel about a woman who wants to have a baby, and was debating what my next book would be. At this time, I had been quite taken with the Jennifer Garner show Alias. Watching the show – along with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, another of my favourites – really strengthened my little secret agent/super hero fantasy. I loved the idea of a strong, confident, independent woman being able to take control of any situation.

There were a few moments in those two television shows that inspired The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd. Sydney Bristow sucking the air from a submerged car tire keep from drowning. A car doing a 360 turn during a car chase. And Buffy’s signature fight move – rolling back onto the shoulders and flipping to her feet. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to do things like that?

And that’s when I came up with the character of Charlotte Dodd. She was part Sydney Bristow, part Buffy with a little Jason Bourne thrown in.

She would be an agent with a super-secret government organization. She was recruited at a very young age and from a family of spies. Her grandfather was the co-creator of the National Intelligence and Information Agency, a super secret government organization that catapulted Canada to the forefront of worldwide espionage. (I know, I know – Canada? Fiction, remember?!)

I came up with other characters – Charlotte’s brothers and their roles in the NIIA, fellow agents Benjy and Payton. I came up with a bit of a love triangle with Ham and Luke. I devised the fight scene where she first meets Benjy, who reminded Charlotte of Neil Patrick Harris. You can tell how long ago I first came up with the story because the early reversions mention Neil Patrick Harris’ childhood character, Doogie Howser!
And that’s where the story stalled. But never forgotten, never far from my thoughts. I had all these characters – I had Charlotte – and they needed something to do.

Charlotte Dodd – Vampire Hunter?

Over the years, Charlotte has stayed with me but the story has gone through a lot of changes. I wrote at least five versions of Charlotte, trunking each one. Charlotte lost her memory, got it back. One memorable version had Charlotte as part vampire, which made her an excellent vampire hunter!

And then last year, after my third book was published – Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder – I pulled Charlotte out again. I had found critique partners and I needed to give them something to critique! This time, Charlotte was still a spy but had no memory of her time as a secret agent. I took few parts of my original story and started again.

I think this is the best revision of Charlotte I could have come up with. She’s a character that I fell in love with, one who wouldn’t leave me alone. It’s been over ten years since I first came up with the idea of Charlotte and so finally publishing the story was a very happy moment. It was great to finally finish what I started so long ago, and let my daydreams of the life of a secret agent run wild!

But Charlotte wasn’t enough for me. I’m ready for my next mission. I’m working on a sequel!

For the full post, check out Connect with Chick Lit Club

 

WWW Wednesday – What I’ve been Reading – Summer recap

WWW Wednesday – What I’m Reading

I haven’t posted in a long time!

But that will be changing because I have a new book coming out that I will want to share with you!!

Check back on Friday for more info and details on how to pre-order. Plus – want to be a beta reader for me??!! 

First, let me get back into the swing of things with a WWW Wednesday – it’s a long one!

. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of what I read this summer.

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions about what you’re reading in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:

  1. WHAT I’M READING

  2. WHAT I FINISHED READING

  3. WHAT WILL I READ NEXT

What I’m Reading…

What I Finished Reading…

Women’s Fiction:

The Great:

 What would you do to keep your son safe? The zoo is taken over by armed gunmen and a mother must keep her son alive.

Amazing read!!  Gripping, suspenseful and terrifying for mothers.

 

The Glad I Got it Before the Hype Began:

 Great. engrossing read and by the end, I was having problems putting it down.

 

 

 

Wanted a little more:

 Interesting read, but the writing didn’t grab me. Good twist at the end though.

 

 

 

Wanted a lot more, but not in a good way:

I love books about the Russian czar and his family. A secret love affair between Grand Duchess Tatiana and a military officer, that resonated in present day? Got me. But no – great story, but the writing…

Maybe I’m just being too picky, but when I was reading this, I could hear my writing partners in my head – show, don’t tell!  And Gill Paul told the story, not showing me anything. Maybe it’s because I know better (not to sound arrogant or anything) but it was a disappointment for me. This should have been a much better book than it was.

Disappointing 🙁

 Another disappointment. Halfway through the book, I had my breakup letter to Phillippa Gregory ready to send. The first third of the book, the Lady Jane Grey bit, was positively painful to get through. I’ve read about the girl who was queen for 9 days and she’s never been portrayed like this! Self-righteous, arrogant and completely unlikable, Gregory’s depiction of Jane almost made me stop reading. Again, I love reading about the Tudor’s and while Gregory isn’t the most accurate of historical fiction writers, she can spin a good yarn. But this? I hope this is the last one she writes on the scandalous family because she’s just phoning it in. At least the last third of the book, about the youngest Grey sister kept my attention with her heartbreaking story.

But better

 Easy, breezy beach read about twin sisters and the uber summer destination towns of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Heartbreaking story about the survivors of the St. Louis, the ship that left Hamburg full of Jewish families trying to get away from Hitler’s Germany, only to be turned away by Cuba, US and Canada.

 

 

Yes I bought this because of the title:

 Laugh out loud funny in parts, great, believable characters but the ending collapses into a pile of sodden tissues.

 

 

YA:

Is this the end of the series?

I was intrigued by this YA series when it was first released, but now…bored now. The characters are tired and repetitive, and have lost the place they had in my heart. Whether there’s another book or not, I think I’m finished with Victoria Aveyard’s series. 🙁

 

 

Is this the beginning of a series?

 To be honest, I got this one because of the author, even though it’s a vastly different book than what she writes. Cora Carmack is a NA author, with college-aged girls finding themselves and lots of spicy bits – Roar is YA fantasy. A little different. But good. I’ll keep going with it.

 

 

 

 

Awesome!

 I was so jealous when my daughter got the DC origin stories for the 9-12 age set but now I can have them too!  I’ve never read Leigh Bardugo but I’m going to give her a try after this. Can’t wait until Sarah J. Maas comes out with her story on Catwoman!!

 

 

CHICK-LIt:

Cute and sweet. I was able to get an advanced copy of Kate Okeeffe’s second foray into the Cozy Cottage Cafe series and enjoyed it immensely!

 

 

ROmance:

I keep coming back to this series, so that must say something!

 

 

 

Old faithfuls for me:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I’ll Read Next…

Just got a box from Indigo dropped off at the door so I’ll have to see what’s inside!

Pretty New Charlotte Covers!

New Covers!

I decided to become an independent author because I like having control over every aspect of my books. My mother says I’m a bit of a control freak, and maybe she’s a little right. I’ve gone the agent route and I’ve done the publisher thing and this is what works for me. Thanks to Three Birds Press, I can publish when I want, decide on the price and have the last say in covers and marketing – three things that traditional authors often have no control over.

But having great power comes great responsibility.

And it isn’t always fun!

Like deciding to change the cover on one of my most beloved books.

No, it’s not the first time I I’ve made a big switch. Both Unexpecting and Coming Home got a new look because I changed publishers. And Absinthe needed a fresh look because as must as I loved the shot of absinthe, it really didn’t highlight the story’s fun side.

And yes, those who have read it an attest that despite the doozy of an ending, Absinthe is a fun read.

 

 

How to update Charlotte’s Look?

I found myself with the same problem for The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd and the prequel. I refer to my series as action chick lit. A fun and feisty heroine trying to sort her life out during an action-packed 24 hours, full of car chases, fight scenes, and secret missions.

The original covers are dark with a blonde girl holding a gun. Well, Charlotte is blonde, but the story is light and fun and there really isn’t that much gun play.

It’s chit-lit – those pastel covers showing fav shoes and purses, about women trying to figure out their lives.

Because Charlotte really belongs in that genre, I thought it was time for a change.

 

 

 

 

 

Ta-Da!  What do you Think?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing a cover is scary! How do I know what’s supposed to work? How do I know it’s going to sell better than the original?

And that’s the bottom line – is the new cover going to attract more people, more people that will buy it?

I really have no idea. But I’m the boss here, so my decision is the final one.

Thanks to Sue Traynor for creating such pretty covers and Donna Chaput for helping me put them together!

Hope it works.  What do you think?

What I’m Writing? What is Chick Lit Anyway?

Taking the Guesswork out of Genres-

Chick Lit, to be exact

I call myself an author of Chick Lit books but there may be some out there who don’t exactly understand what that is.

What is Chick Lit?

When I publish my books, there are several categories I can choose to put them in before I hit the magic button to publish.

  • Chick Lit
  • Women’s Fiction
  • Romantic Comedy
  • Contemporary Women

What’s the difference, you ask?

I think my novels are best classified as Chick Lit, so we’ll start with that. Chick Lit is often defined as books about “stilettos and sexy careers”; women who meet a man who they are destined to fall in love with, no matter how messed up their lives are.

That may be the case, but Chick Lit has so much more to offer.

The characters come in every shape and size and are usually flawed in some way. But no one wants to read about the perfect heroine who has everything going for her, do they? Chick Lit stories tell the tale of personal growth of a woman; there’s no need for a happy ending (HEA) but by the end page, their lives are better than they were at the beginning.

Romance isn’t mandatory, but when it’s included, sex often follows.  But unlike romance novels, the love story isn’t the central focus. And the heat factor can be anywhere from chaste kisses to serious sexy time.

Chick Lit are stories that appeal to women – mainly because they all have one thing in common; the protagonists are women. And it’s good that they have that one thing in common, because chick lit reads range from light and fluffy romance to laugh out loud comedy and gritty tales of heartbreak.

Look at my books, which all fall under the genre of chick lit.

I’ve actually been hesitant to call my books Chick Lit because of the negative stereotypes that have plagued the genre. The origin of the genre was undoubtedly Bridget Jones’ Diary, but after the massive success of the book, the market quickly became over-saturated with authors trying to push their own version of a messed up woman with as many issues as shoes onto a public who was becoming increasingly tired of the British singleton.

Thankfully, these days chick lit novels are more varied and better written.

Yes, better written!

Of course, there are badly written books in every genre, including the Holy Grail of the written word, literary fiction! Chick Lit, with its proclivity for fast-paced, informal and fun pages that often tells rather than shows, has always been quick to find criticisms, often from a public who has never even read a chick lit book!

What it boils down to, is Chick Lit books are about women. They are fresh and fun and always contemporary – the hottest careers, latest fashions (and yes, shoes) and the men often mirror the latest A actors. They have a rap for being frivolous, and irreverent, but should leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling for the characters.

The genre may not be for everyone, but you should definitely try it out before you criticize.

My plan was to compare the genres but this post got away from me. Stay tuned for the next posts on Women’s fiction and rom-com.

And keep reading. Keep reading anything!

(But remember my books are good!)