Going back to Coming Home

Coming Home has come home to Holly

Picking a Favourite

For writers, books are like children – it’s impossible to have a favourite.

When my kids ask who my favourite child is, I always tell them I love them equally and for different reasons.

I feel the same way about the books I’ve written. I love Unexpecting because it was my first published and because of the secondary characters, Cooper and Emma and Brit. I love Absinthe because of the friendship of the women, and the twist at the end (which was fun to write!) I love Charlotte because I found I love writing action sequences, and I love Dragon for my kids.

 

 

I love Coming Home because…

And there lies the problem. Coming Home is the black sheep of my book family. I love it but…

…it has issues.

The History

Coming Home was published in 2013, by Etopia Press. The first time one of my books had been sold to a publisher, which helped validate my new attempt at a writing career. I loved the story – five sisters who grew up in a tiny little town in Northern Ontario; two of which loved each other but really never got along.

I still love the story. I love the characters and the interactions and the fight scene between… (oops, spoiler!)

I dedicated the book to my sister, because after she left a tumultuous marriage, I felt like I was getting my sister back in my life. Not only getting my sister back, but finding a new friend. Coming Home has a lot of personal meaning for me and I was ecstatic when I sold it to Etopia.

Last year, I starting working on finding my brand and all those fun marketing things that authors now need to deal with. I had covers re-did, changed some things around; I’m an independent author/publisher now, so I can do that! 🙂 I looked at Coming Home.

I couldn’t do a thing with it. I couldn’t change the description on-line, drop the price for a sale, change the cover (which doesn’t really fit with my others). My hands were tied, which wasn’t a nice feeling after doing everything myself for the last 4 years! So I started wondering what I could do. Coming Home never really sold well for Etopia. It’s mainly a romance publisher, and my book isn’t a romance. Plus, there was the edit problem when it first came out…

I’m not about to trash Etopia because they are lovely people. But let’s just say I was never really happy with the final version of the book. 

And now…

Long story short, I got the rights for Coming Home back from the publisher! And I’m about to re-release it into the world, under my Three Birds Press imprint.

New cover – same title

Same story – complete overhaul

I wrote Coming Home at the beginning of my career and I have to admit, I’m a MUCH better writer now! I’m almost finished the revisions – I’ve changed the POV from first person, to third, which is a bit of an undertaking. With critique partners now. Sending it to the editor next week. Cover reveal next week, and pre-order date.

I can’t say how much I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK!

It’s like the first time, all over again. It’s getting excited about a scene or a line of dialogue in the middle of the night, rushing to wake up to begin working on it. I can’t wait for people to read it! I’ll have to do a giveaway. In fact, I’m so happy with my changes that I want to offer a copy (paperback or ebook) to anyone who read the other version, just so they can see how much better it is! (Corinne, are you out there?)

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. This is why my blog has been neglected. This is why I had to push off any thoughts of a book tour for The Best Worst First Date because it’s not ready! This is why my daughter is mad at me because I won’t work on her Dragon book! Coming Home has consumed me. I planned for a week of quick edits, a read-through by one of my crit partners which has now turned into two months and counting of daily re-writes of chapters. Cutting – I’ve cut so much! But it’s so much better for it.

I hope I’ve gotten you excited about it, too. Because you’ll be able to read it soon! 🙂

 

Merry Kerr-ismas!! Happy Holly-days!!

My present to you –

Select books only 99 cents until December 27!

Looking to gift yourself something fun this Christmas? Check out Absinthe, Unexpecting or Charlotte Dodd – or all 3! Only 99p!!!

Merry Christmas to you from me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging A-Z -Diary of My Day

I’m participating in Blogging From A-Z Challenge in April – one blog post on every day in April (except Sundays!) Wish me luck!

April 4 post – D: Diary of My Day

It took me a bit to decided what to post for today.  I finally came up with D is for Day – My Day.  I work from home as a full-time writer.  I write under my own name as well as a pen name (Anna Ellis, erotic romance) so it’s like I have 2 writing careers because I do my best to keep them separate.  Oops, guess I messed up by telling you this!

Before I published, I was a stay-at-home mom to my three kids.  Because I forged my own writing career rather than returning to the workplace, I know a lot of people don’t consider what I do as a job.  But I do, so here’s what I get up to!

(This was last Friday, which isn’t a normal day, but then I’m not sure what a normal day is!)

5:43 – wake up only moments before my alarm goes off.  I prefer to wake up on my own, because, truthfully, I hardly ever hear my alarm.  My hubby does, however, so he’s usually the one to wake me up. I’m a morning person and I prefer to wake up that early so I can check emails and figure out what I’m doing that day before I go running. Hubby and I have been having a war with the duvet for the week and while I thought we both managed to share the blankets last night, when I finally crawled out of bed, I saw folds of goose-filled blanket on the floor on my side of the bed.  I won!

7:30 – kids invade my quiet morning! Sam starts to hover around me on the computer, waiting for his turn to kill the zombies on Minecraft. Breakfast time for me.

8:23 – back in the kitchen after a shower.  I decided to dry my hair this morning, which is always a challenge because there is a lot of it. It’s cold enough today that the ends will freeze if I’m outside with it wet, plus I got it cut earlier in the week, and we’re still in the honeymoon phase. Usually I don’t bother and I end up with Hermione hair that ends up in a messy bun by the middle of the morning.  On a good note; while I am need of a touch-up on my roots, this regrowth means I can clearly see that I yet to develop any gray hairs!  Yay!

8:48 – after making kids lunches, refereeing Kaitie braiding Sarah’s hair for her (“She pulled it!” “She should brush her hair then!”) , mediating 2 arguments, signing some form, endless questions about what we’re doing tonight, tomorrow and the rest of the year, I have finally got all three kids out the door. We live really close to the school, and the two oldest clearly do not need nor want me to walk them to school, but Sarah still holds my hand as we make the two-minute trek to the schoolyard, which I enjoy.

9:26 – Even thought I live 2 minutes from the school, it takes me a half hour to return home.  This is called socializing, and sometimes it’s the only adult conversation I have during the day. When I’m back home, I have to make a cake for tonight’s gathering.  More on that later.  The cake is from a package, because a wise man once pointed out how Betty Crocker seems to have figured things out, so why bother making it from scratch?

It’s a Pepsi day today because I haven’t had one in a few days.  I try to indulge in tea to get the caffeine my body craves but sometimes I just need to know my stomach is slowly rotting from the sugar and other yummy stuff they put in pop! 🙂

Butt in chair, hands on keyboard time.  This is where I spend the majority of my day.  Because I write under two names, I separate my writing into Anna writing days, and Holly days.  It is very difficult writing Anna and Holly together; one minute I’m deciding how my characters can best have sex in the office and the next trying to figure out how my secret agent (Charlotte Dodd – coming summer 2015) is going to save the world.  I don’t think it’s a good idea to mix those plotlines up! But you never know! I’d be interested in hearing how other writers work who have pen names.  I would prefer to work on an Anna book, and then move onto Holly, but Holly books take a lot longer to write and I need more of Anna, because honestly, my Anna books are the reason I’m a full-time writer.  Sex sells.  So I’ve usually got at least two books on the go at any time.  Right now I’ve got three, but I haven’t had a chance to work on my NA romance in a while.  I miss it.

I’d love to be able to give you average word counts and things like that, but it’s impossible.  I can write a first draft in 4-6 weeks (Holly book); or 2-3 weeks (Anna); that’s an average of writing 5 days a week.  (Yes, I work on weekends and and during vacations and in the car…there’s not a lot of time where I’m not working or thinking about what to write.)  After I finish a first draft, then it’s the revising and editing to do, which takes the majority of time.  My first drafts are a mess!  After that, after everyone has read it who needs to, because I self-publish, I start on the joyous task of formatting.  By then, I’ll have a cover ready (thanks to my graphic artist Donna Chabot!) and have to think about starting to promote the book.  You’re supposed to begin this 4-6 months before the release which I have yet to manage!  For Absinthe, my blog tour began about 2 weeks after I published, which I thought was pretty good!!

I have my writing days, and then maybe once a week I have a promotion day, where I organize giveaways, ads, write blogs, search for reviewers willing to take self-published books, catch up on reading blogs…lots of stuff.  These days can be either very exhilarating or incredibly frustrating.

I’m waiting for my beta readers to send back my latest Anna book for me to finish it up.  Hopefully I only have a few areas to fix up.  I’m also waiting for my critique partners to send back my latest Holly chapters.  This is the first time in a long while I’ve worked in a writing group and I’m loving it!  I really think my writing is benefiting from it, as well as the personal enjoyment I get from getting to know the others. It’s a different process for me, but so far, so good!!

So today, I’ve decided to have a promo day.  I’m focusing on the blogs.  I’m doing this A-Z Challenge on both of my sites, which means 42 posts to write for April!!  Some posts will be longer than others! So today, I’m stockpiling posts so I’m not going crazy in the middle of April.  So far, so good.

I also have to make sure my sites are looking their best; updating, reviewing, making sure I look good!  I’m changing the widgets around; I’m trying out being an affiliate and want to get the widgets set up before April 1.  I am not well versed in technology and have a tendency to become frustrated when the computer is being stupid.  But today things seem to be running smoothly. Or I’m make a huge mess up I haven’t noticed yet.

12:20 – Butt in chair focused on the blogs all morning until I realize I haven’t had lunch and have a dentist appointment at 1 pm. Ugh!  I haven’t been flossing in weeks!  I scarf some food as quick as I can and get out the door.  At least when I let the kids come home for lunch I remember to eat.

3:00 – back home after dentist and a few errands.  Note: my afternoons are usually spend continuing what I didn’t finish in the morning; writing or promo stuff. Today I also had to run to the post office to mail out my books.  I did a Goodreads giveaway for both Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder, and Baby! Baby? Baby!? and it’s time to reward the winners.  It’s the first time I’ve done one, so let’s hope it ends up with some reviews for me and maybe some sales!!!

Now I have to quickly make the house presentable.  Our family hosts a get-together on Friday nights for friends/neighbours. We call it Friday Family Fun Night – evenings where the kids love to come over as much as the parents.  Adults drink wine and chat, kids – most of the time I have no idea what the kids do unless there is a problem, and with about 10 kids running around your basement and backyard, there have been problems!

3:30 – pick-up kids from school. Most days this is easy – they come home, get straight into homework unless there is an activity or playdate – and I get another couple of hours to work.  Again – normal day.  Today, being Friday, I have to get Sam to tutoring and this Friday, have to get Sarah ready to be picked up 6.  She is going on a Brownie sleeping over at some reptile place.

4:37 – pre-party and end of week Martini for me! Sarah calls it my olive juice! Not warm enough to sit outside 🙁

5ish – friends begin to arrive.  This is usually the end of my writing workday, unless I have something I need to work on after the kids go to bed.  Lately, I’ve been working on my critiquing at night because I haven’t been able to get to it during the day.  I’m a morning person, and because I get up early, I like to go to bed early, so working past 8pm isn’t always a good idea!

8:37 – house is cleared of kids and hubby and I begin to clear kitchen of remains of dinner and wineglasses.  Kids heading to bed, I’m soon to follow after a bit of a wind-down with hubby! Big Brother on the PVR tonight!

So that is a day in the life of me!  Hope I kept you reading!!

 

 

Blog Tour – Interview and 5 star Review for Absinthe!!

Absinthe Doesn’t Make The Heart Grow Fonder by Holly Kerr (Author Interview / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

I was featured on Jersey Girl Book Reviews yesterday.  Check it out!!

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Absinthe Doesn’t Make The Heart Grow Fonder by Author Holly Kerr!

 

Book Review:

You never know what’s going to happen when four BFFs get together to celebrate a fortieth birthday … What should have been a fun night of eating, drinking, and dancing, turns into something more for these lifelong friends when a lot of drinking has a way of bringing secrets, fears, issues, and insecurities to the surface …

Absinthe Doesn’t Make The Heart Grow Fonder is an entertaining tale set in Toronto that follows four best friends: Josie, Lana, Poppy, and Meredith, over the course of an evening spent celebrating Josie’s fortieth birthday. Told in an alternating first person narrative by the four women, the reader follows the four best friends’ tradition of celebrating their birthdays together, but over the years it has become increasingly hard for them to get together, so this year Josie is desperate to keep the tradition alive, only to have tension, drama, buried secrets, and personal issues revealed that will ultimately test their bonds of friendship.

I really enjoyed reading this story, it has a wonderful mixture of humor, drama, tension, and intrigue that only women friends are capable of sharing with one another. You can’t help but get drawn into these four women’s stories as their night out unfolds with flashbacks and conversations that bring unexpected secrets and truths to the surface when drinking is added into the mix. The style of writing is clever, it draws the reader into the circle of friends as they listen to the various topics that are brought up during the night, you can’t help but wonder what will be revealed next! And just when you think that you got all the women’s stories straight, the author throws in an unexpected twist of an ending that will leave you shaking your head and wondering what the hell just happened!

Absinthe Doesn’t Make The Heart Grow Fonder is an exhilarating roller coaster ride of a tale that could only be told when four women best friends get together for a girl’s night out!

Author Interview

Welcome to Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Holly!

Before we get to the interview, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

Thanks for having me on your blog!!

A little about me – I live in chilly Toronto with my hubby and three kids. Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder is my third book; my previous novels areUnexpecting (formerly Baby! Baby? Baby?!) and Coming Home. I love all things related to Star Wars, superheroes and anything Joss Whedon is involved in, which makes me a bit of a geek, but my son thinks it’s cool! I also like to run, play in the dirt and enjoy a nice glass of wine while cooking dinner.

How long have you been a writer?

I’ve been a writer for as long I’ve been able to write, when I first started putting the stories I told myself in my head down on paper. But I’ve been an author since 2012, with my first book, Baby! Baby? Baby?!came out. ( I changed the title ofBaby! to Unexpecting last year)

Do you have a day job, or is being an author your career?

I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with my kids, with the exception of a short part-time stint when I worked in a bookstore. FYI – best ever job for a writer/book lover!! But now that my kids are full time in school and pretty self-sufficient, I’ve been focusing on my writing career.

What inspired you to become a writer? Describe your journey as a writer.

I had a great English teacher in high school who played a big part in inspiring me to write and practice my skills. I should say something about how my family inspires me and they do, but the biggest inspiration comes from other writers. Maybe its envy or my competitive spirit, but when I read something that moves me – makes me laugh or cry or just sticks in my head – I get inspired. I want to do that too! It doesn’t have to be books – I’ve been inspired by television and movies. Joss Whedon is a huge inspiration for me. I love his dialogue and his characters. Every time I watch The Avengers, I’m inspired by him all over again.

A few years ago when idea of self-publishing had become popular, another writer asked if I wanted to leave all my unread work sitting there forever. I had been working with an agent but had broken off because we wanted different things for my book. So my journey as a writer was inspired by this other unnamed writer and began with my monumental, terrifying as poop decision to self-publish my novelBaby!. Even though I decided on a small press to publish my second bookComing Home. I went back to self-publishing for Absinthe because I like the control.

Please give a brief description/storyline about Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder.

Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder takes place during one night. It’s Josie’s 40th birthday and her friends Lana, Meredith and Poppy are taking her out for a night on the town. The friendships have become strained over the years as each of the women have their own worries and concerns but after a few drinks, the four begin to reconnect. Drinking, dancing – it’s like it was back when they were young. And then the secrets start to come out, secrets that have already begun to crack their relationship. And then something bad happens.

What was the inspiration for this story?

I was inspired by my own 40th birthday, and wanting a night out like Josie and her friends have. Without the bad parts though!

How did it feel to have your first book published?

Having my first book published was an amazing feeling. The only time I’ve felt more pride was when my kids were born! I cried the first time I held it. And I had to stop myself from hugging my mailman when he delivered it!

Do you write books for a specific genre?

I set out to write women’s fiction but my writing style – easy, informal – is more chick lit. I write for women, although men have read and enjoyed it!

What genres are your favorite(s)? What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why?

I will read anything that interests me, from YA to NA romance, thrillers to historical fiction to fantasy. I can’t say what genre is my favourite because I love so many of them. Some of my favourite books are Pride and Prejudice, the Harry Potter series, Rivals by Jilly Cooper, V by A. C. Crispin. They’re all over the place – I guess I like variety!

Do you have a special spot/area where you like to do your writing?

My computer is set up in the living room, right by the window so I can distract myself by watching people walk by and checking out my garden. It’s so sunny in the afternoon but it gets a little cold in the winter!

How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books?

I really have no clue! Something will strike my imagination and it takes off running!Absinthe came about when a girlfriend mentioned going out for her birthday and the story just started coming together. I know the idea is something I have to explore when the characters start creating themselves!

When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes?

I’m not sure if I have a strict work schedule, but it does revolve around my kids. I work best when they aren’t around to distract me! I’m a morning person, so I like to get up early and get started before they are awake. I also need some time to plan out what I’d be working on during the day; what scene to start with, what will happen to the characters. I don’t like to plan out every aspects of my books because my characters tend to do what they want but I like to have a basic idea about what’s going to happen and when.

What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most?

I love creating characters. It’s my favourite aspect of storytelling. And I like writing dialogue. What I struggle with is showing what’s going on in my character’s heads. I know what’s going on, and I forget not everyone knows the characters as well as I do!!

What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I like to spend time with my family. I love to read, and watch movies; I like to garden and I’m training for my first marathon so I like to run.

What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received?

Best piece of writing advice? I think everything in Stephen King’s On Writing! But what I keep repeating to myself is Show Don’t Tell.

What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer?

The most gratifying thing I get from writing is when someone talks to me about one of my books I’ve written. And not just a cursory ‘I liked it.’ The best feeling when someone talks to me about one of the characters, or a scene in the book and they’re excited about it. To be able to provoke an emotion in someone – whether I make them laugh, or have them love to hate a character – there’s nothing like it. I wish I could talk to more of my readers about what they thought about my stories.

How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans?

I love it when readers contact me via my website

Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination?

Some of the places the girls visited in the book are based on real places in Toronto; drinking absinthe with friends also really happened! And the boys from the bar are based on two of my former co-workers!


What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become a writer?

Reading Judy Blume when I was younger gave me something to aspire to. My friends and I read all of her books and we’d talk about them. It’s not like I wanted to write YA or Middle Grade books, but I wanted to impact someone like Judy Blume did for me. As an adult, I’m inspired by Joss Whedon, who writes for television and movies.

What is your definition of success as a writer?

If I manage to touch one reader with the words I’ve written, that’s a success for me! For years I wrote without anyone ever reading my stories and for me to have people read my books – that’s pretty good for me!

Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit of it with us?

I’m currently working on two books. The first one is a chick-lit/thriller about a former secret agent called back to duty, but with no memory of her past life. It’s called The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd. The second one is a New Adult romance, which is a new genre for me. It’s about a girl grieving about a lost love and torn between her past and her future. I’m still working on the title for that one.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog!!

Thank you Holly for visiting Jersey Girl Book Reviews, and for sharing some things about yourself and your writing career!

Blog Tour – 5 star review for Absinthe!

Absinthe Doesn't Make the Heart Grow FonderToday’s stop for my Absinthe Blog Tour is another good one!  Check out Christy Herself for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from Amazon!!!

This story follows four women – Josie, Poppy, Lana and Meredith, friends for years – over the course of an evening while celebrating Josie’s 40th birthday.   Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character.

I have to say, the book was not what I thought it would be.  I was expecting, and to a degree, did get a book that tells of females bonding on an evening out.  I expected secrets to come out – but this isn’t an average group of women.  Poppy is married to Kent, who has a bit of celebrity attached to him because of his success as a financier.  Josie is married to a former CFL player (the story is set in Canada).  Do not read the book expecting to hear secrets as you might expect to come out from a group of friends that you have.

The story starts with Josie, Lana and Meredith waiting for Poppy.  Poppy’s marriage is not happy, and a recent scandal involving her husband has not helped matters any.  She refuses to talk about it most of the evening.  Further, Lana was married to Poppy’s twin brother, Ted, for several years – then decided abruptly that it wasn’t working, while disappearing for a year to travel.  Lana still refuses to say anything more than “it wasn’t working” though she still clearly loves Ted.  Josie is wondering if her husband is cheating on her because all of a sudden he is fanatical about going to the gym.  And there’s that new young, thin assistant he just hired.  And Meredith has joined them after a bad day at work – she is a masseuse and had a client who wanted a “happy ending” – and also has to deal with Lana who isn’t too happy with Meredith – because Meredith slept with Ted AFTER Lana divorced him.

The writing in this story is really good; the only problem I had was keeping up with the chapter switches.  You have to remind yourself as you start each chapter which character is now telling the story.  Further, if you are going to stop reading, don’t do it in the middle of a chapter; make sure you finish it so you will have a fresh perspective when you get back to it.

That is, IF you can put it down!  As a reader, I couldn’t help but be drawn into this story, wondering as I read why DID Lana leave Ted?  What exactly is going on with Poppy’s husband?  And surely Josie’s husband isn’t cheating on her.  It is all woven together very well, and by the time you finish the book, you can’t believe that everything that happened and everything that came out all did so in the course of a girl’s night out for a birthday celebration.

And the book kind of has one of those endings where you go…WTF.  Did that just happen?  And not a bad WTF.  Not to me.  It was a definite twist that you probably won’t see coming.

5 out of 5 stars!

Today’s Stop in the Blog Tour for Absinthe…

I’m moving along with my blog tour for Absinthe!  Today I’m featured on Living Life with Joy; check out the excerpt and the Q & A!  I had the most fun doing this!!!

Don’t forget to enter to win the $50 Amazon Gift Card as well!!!

Blog Tour Interview | Holly Kerr

Today I’m excited to share an excerpt from Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder and a fun interview with the author, Holly Kerr. Thank you to CLP blog tours for letting me participate in the fun!

Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder by Holly Kerr

Publication Date: February 17, 2015

absinthe doesn't make the heart grow fonderBook Blurb

What would you do for your friends?

What could be more fun than celebrating your fortieth with your three BFF’s?

Josie sets off with Lana, Poppy and Meredith for an evening celebrating her birthday with the best intentions. Dinner, dancing and a little drinking.

A little more drinking, in a few questionable locations. It’s good to catch up with the girls. But then…

Josie realizes her husband isn’t cheating on her, but Poppy won’t talk about the fact that her husband is. Lana won’t talk about her ex, Ted and Meredith is trying to hide something.

The secrets start to come out.

And then something bad happens.

Secrets can really ruin a friendship.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon Global

Interview with Holly Kerr

Hi Holly, a huge, warm welcome to Living Life With Joy! Thank you so much for participating in this interview.

1. Would you like to start by introducing yourself?

Hi, Arielle!
Thanks  for having me on Living Life with Joy!  I’m Holly Kerr and I’m a writer.  I’ve just released my third novel, Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder.  I live in Toronto where it’s very cold these days, with my three kids and my hubby.

2. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest novel and the inspiration behind it?

Absinthe is a chick-lit book with a dark side about four longtime friends out for an evening of celebrating.  As the night goes on, secrets begin to emerge that will affect their lives forever.  Then something bad happens.

I was inspired to write the book because I recently celebrated my 40th birthday, just like Josie in the book, but I didn’t get an evening out with my girlfriends.  So I came up with the idea of a group of women trying to revisit their youth and all the trouble they could get into!

3. What’s your favorite quality about your heroine?

There are four main characters but I would have to say Josie is the heroine.  She’s spunky and sassy; she’s a hockey mom desperate to reclaim the person she used to be, the woman her husband fell in love with. Josie’s family is her priority but her friends are her family too, and she would do anything for them.

4. How long did it take you to write Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder?What is your writing process like?

Writing the first draft of a novel doesn’t take that long for me.  I’m lucky to be a full-time writer, so when I’m working on a project I can plough through a first draft pretty quickly.  But it’s the   revisions and editing and cutting and read-throughs that take forever!  And then there’s always the part where I’m about half-way through and convince myself what I’m writing is garbage, so I need to take a little break and work on something else until the mood passes!  I’ll just say I was working on Absinthe for most of 2014

5. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?

Of course!  I’m working on two books at the moment.  I have a chick-lit/thriller about a secret agent called back to work, but with no memory of her past life, called The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd.  This is being critiqued now, and I have hopes it might be released by the summer.  I’m also on the second draft of a New Adult romance, which is a new genre for me, and something I’m very excited about.  It’s about a girl caught between a past love and her future.

6. If you were given an offer to turn Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder into a movie, who would you want to see playing the roles of the lead characters?

I love this question!!  I love casting my books.  For Absinthe, I would have:

Jennifer Garner as Josie Best; Sara Ramirez as Lana Hawke ; Kim Raver as Poppy Carter ; Gisele Bunchen as Meredith ; Christian Bale as Kent Carter ; Chris Pratt as Duncan Best

7. What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?

Last year, before my second book was published, I actually went back to work part-time in a bookstore.  If I wasn’t writing, that’s where I would be.  I’d want my own bookstore.

8. If you could marry a fictional character who would it be?

This one is tough!  I asked my kids and they suggested Han Solo and Iron Man – both good suggestions for me!  But I would have to say Jamie from the Outlander series.  He’s so dedicated and loyal and sexy and capable (which usually isn’t a turn-on but from him it is!!)  He’d need a little more of a sense of humour though, because I like to laugh!

9. What authors inspire you and what genres do you enjoy reading?

Colleen Hoover is inspiring me these days, and Stephen King.  Not that I want to write horror, but I’m constantly amazed by the depths of his imagination.  Also Joss Whedon, the writer/director who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Avengers.  I love him and everything thing he does.  Every time I watch one of his shows, my creativity is renewed because of the characters he creates and how he writes dialogue.

10. What kind of environment do you write in?

It needs to be bright – preferably sunny – and free of distractions like my kids!  But I need music; loud music if no one is home.  And it can’t be too comfortable!

11. Is there one book that stands out in your mind that you wish you’d written?

I don’t have a book that stands out in my mind, but I want Colleen Hoover’s career!  She began in self-publishing and then her career just took off.  I love everything I’ve ever read by her.  I want to be Colleen Hoover.  She’s the reason I want to write a NA romance; so if it’s horrible we can blame her!! J

12. If you could be plopped down into any book, which one would it be?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  I think it’s my favourite of the series.  It’s got everything – it’s got magic!  If I could take the place of any fictional character I’d want to be Hermione Granger!

13. What are the things you can’t live without in your kitchen?

This might sound like I’m a dangerous person, but I can’t live without my knives.  I love to cook and sharp things are important to my cooking abilities.  Also I love my wine rack, which needs to be stocked regularly!  I also need music of some sort.

14. What are the things you can’t live without in your wardrobe?

I’m a jeans and T-shirt type of girl – pretty boring.  But I love pretty shoes, and comfy warm sweaters.  Also my running pants.

15. What would we find if we looked in your handbag right now?

A big mess!  And it’s my big bag, so it’s a really big mess!  I’ve got a bunch of receipts, a tennis ball, a squash ball, 2 lego figurines, about 3 lipsticks, pens, loose change…I actually went to look!  I’ve also got a half-eaten bag of M &Ms from the movie I went to last week, my daughter’s wallet, clip-on sunglass case but no glasses and 2 little containers of dental floss.  ???  I have kids; it’s a communal bag!

16. Where is your favorite place in the world? 

On the beach at my cottage.  Listening to the waves, before there’s anyone around – perfect!

17. Do you have any pet peeves?

Rude and inconsiderate people that won’t move out of my way when I’m running.  And people that spit – those loud, gross horks!  Ugh!  Hate that!

18. A few of your favorites…

Favorite scent? Apples; I love apple scented candles and my favourite perfume is DKNY Delicious.  Apple crisp is my favourite desert!

Favorite color? Red or purple.  I like bright colours; I don’t wear a lot of black or neutrals

Favorite food? Mushroom risotto

Favorite word? I’m not sure I have a favorite word; I use the word ‘crap’ a lot, which isn’t good!  And awesome.  Let’s say awesome is my favourite word!

Favorite song? Calling You, by Blue October

Favorite book? Tough one!  Today I’ll say Rivals by Jilly Cooper.  I have a few favourites!

Favorite/dream vacation spot? Somewhere by the ocean.  I love the water and I recently discovered I love scuba diving so it would have to be warm so I could do that!  But it would have to be a kid-friendly place so I could bring my family.  If it was just me on vacation, I’d pick New York City.  Walking around the city by myself is a dream for me!

Favorite time period in history? That’s tough.  I read a lot of historical fiction and my favourite is the Tudor period so I would have to say around the 1400-1500 in England

Favorite article of clothing? My Birks and this bright orange hoodie I love.  And these little ankle booties I never get a chance to wear but I love.  I’m pretty casual!

Favorite drink of choice? I can’t pick!  Tea or Pepsi for non-alcoholic; dirty martini or wine for alcoholic.

Favorite celebrity crush? These days it’s a toss-up between Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Pratt.  Depending on my mood!

19. Either or…

Dogs or cats? Dogs.  More social and I can walk them

Red wine or white? I love a nice pinot but I drink more white

Coffee or tea? Tea.  Can’t stand the taste of coffee although I love the smell

Summer or Winter? Summer.  I love water, and it’s too cold in the winter

Sleep in or get up early? I’m an early bird

Apple or PC? PC but I love my iPhone and iPad, so can I say both?

Thank you so much for participating in this interview, I’m delighted to have you on my blog and truly appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions!

Thank you!  This was a lot of fun!!

Connect with the Author – Holly Kerr

Blog | Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

 

holly kerr

Author Bio:

Holly Kerr writes contemporary women’s fiction/chick-lit/romance and doesn’t particularly enjoy talking about herself in third person.

Her books include Coming Home, Unexpecting and Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three kids.  She doesn’t consider herself a typical chick-lit writer since loves everything about Star Wars, Harry Potter, Joss Whedon and has a thing for superheroes; however a story about falling for a superhero might be interesting for her to write. When she’s not writing, she likes to play in the dirt in her garden and enjoy a glass of wine while cooking, although she’s trying to cut back while she’s training for a marathon.

If you require more information about Holly and her books feel free to visit her website or follow her Blog. At times she discusses the craft of writing but usually she muses about her life and what’s she reading, writing or watching. Holly hopes you enjoy her books and she welcomes a chance to interact with her readers, but not in any creepy way. A simple comment “Hey, I really like/don’t like…” would be a lovely way to begin a conversation.

Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder – Book Excerpt

“Enough kissing – let’s dance!” Poppy cried. She picked up her glass and headed to the dance floor. Depeche Mode had replaced Kenny Loggins.

We followed her.

I hadn’t danced in years.  I danced, but only alone in my kitchen when the spirit moved me, or with the boys when they were younger, or at the few dentist conventions I had attended with Duncan.  But it had been a long, long time since I’d been on a crowded dance floor, drink in hand, with my girls by my side.

And so I danced. I danced like I wasn’t forty, and a mother of three. I forgot about trying to conceal my muffin top and wondering if my ass really looked good in my jeans. I danced like the Facebook statuses say you should – like no one was watching.

I wasn’t sure how long we stayed on the dance floor. Meredith and Lana both left and returned with fresh drinks for us, but Poppy stayed by my side, with a huge smile on her face, looking beautiful again, without the worry furrow between her brows. She looked young and carefree, like the worries of the world weren’t pressing down on her narrow shoulders. She danced like no one was watching, even though everyone was. For once she didn’t care.

And I didn’t either. I was having a great time.

I suspected the drinks had something to do with it.

“Ellie would have loved this,” Poppy said suddenly.

“She would have,” I said, feeling the surge of bittersweet memories that always came when the four of us were together. Because for two and a half glorious years, there were five of us. “She would have liked more men,” I decided with a laugh.

Meredith joined my laughter. “She definitely knew what team she was on and stuck with it!”

“I miss her,” Poppy said sadly.

“We all do,” Lana said firmly. “But the last thing she would have wanted was for us to be moping over her in the middle of a dance floor. She’d want us to have fun, and pick up all sorts of boys. Right?”

“Or girls,” I said, raising my glass.

Absinthe Doesn't Make the Heart Grow button

 

Tell me what you think of me – Reviews!!!

happy catI am one happy cat this morning!!!

I got reviews! And I’m putting them here for everyone to see because I can!!

It might be sad how happy and excited getting a review makes me. I know authors aren’t supposed to read them, but come on!!  Who can resist??

Here’s what I got today for Absinthe!!!

from Two Children and a Migraine

This was such a great fun read.  Although I have to admit I have been missing out on some girls night out lately, I am thankful that I have not ran into the drama that these ladies went through.  Without a doubt this is a great reminder of what can happen when some cocktails are included.  Sometimes it may be good, but more often then not that is not the case!  Those it is a great reminder that secrets will always come out so it is really better not to keep them.

and from Chick Lit Plus

Well. All righty then. This book was…wow. Where to start? This is all positive thinking, by the way! This story was juicy, unpredictable and the ending literally caught me with my mouth hanging open. Though it started just a little slow for me and I wondered if I could get a hang of the narration since all four friends get their chance at the POV, I quickly caught on to each women and was hooked. I really don’t want to say much and give anything away, because I truly was blindsided by the ending. It was, for lack of better words, awesome! Please, go get your copy!

4.5 stars

Plus I got one for Coming Home!

This one is a tough one to write up. I enjoyed the plot and the characters. However, there was a feeling of “fractured” characters. In one moment they are normal and reasonable and the next moment they are off the wall, unbelievable caricatures.
Brenna, one of five sisters, comes home after being gone for 14 years. Her return is instigated by her husband’s betrayal. With nowhere to go, she goes home, even though she has never felt like she has belonged at home and even though she is not sure how her sisters will receive her. Things seem to go fine for the first hours she is home but then, little by little, things go wrong and she finds herself kicked out of one sister’s house and into the house of the sister she has never gotten along with.
Emotions, memories, hurt feelings, all come into play with each of the sisters and their interactions.
Like I said before, the plot was a good one. I did enjoy that. I found myself laughing at some of the sisterly interactions (I am one of four sisters myself so some of these things struck a note with me). However, I would be remiss if I did not also let prospective readers know that there are four very explicit sex scenes. No, I’m not a prude. I just think a reader should know going into a book that this might be a component. I know these particular scenes would keep me from recommending the book to quite a few people to whom I normally recommend books. If you are into reading explicit, raunchy sex scenes, then you won’t mind. But if you’re not into that, I would stay away. Sometimes less is more.
Someone mentioned numerous grammatical errors and typos. I actually didn’t find that many. There are some and I’m sure one more read through by the right person would have found them. They are there and I did notice them but they were not as distracting in this work as in others.

So here’s my plea: reviews are SO important for indie authors. It’s difficult enough to get your book noticed in the sea of amazing authors, and when you finally do, having (positive) reviews on Amazon and Goodreads is so important in helping a reader decide to take a chance on your book. So I’m asking nicely – if you have read one of my books, please please please take the time to write a review for me.  And those who have, and do, THANK YOU.

I even found this if you’re unsure how to go about it

 Customer Review Creation Guidelines

To create a Customer Review, you must have used your account to purchase any item or service on Amazon (free digital content doesn’t qualify toward this requirement).

Tips on creating a great review

  • Include the “why”: The best reviews include not only whether you liked or disliked a product, but also why. Feel free to make comparisons with related products or services you’ve experienced.
  • Be specific: Your review should be relevant to the product or service you’re reviewing and focus on specific features or your experience. For video and image reviews, we recommend that you write a brief introduction.
  • Not too short, not too long: Written reviews should be at least 20 words and are limited to 5,000 words. The ideal length is 75 to 500 words. Video reviews have a 10-minute limit, but we recommend 2 to 5 minutes to keep your audience engaged.
  • Be sincere: We welcome your honest opinion about the product or service. We do not remove reviews because they are critical. We believe all helpful information can inform our customers’ buying decisions.

Thanks to all!!!

Holly xo

 

Blog Tour for Absinthe!

CLP tourI’m on a blog tour for the next month for Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder!

 

CPL Blog Tours has organized a blog tour for me!  This means I’ll be popping up on blogs everywhere as wonderful bloggers share excerpts of my new book, post reviews and generally tell their readers how great the book is and how they definitely should be reading it!  (I can only hope!!)

So follow along!  You’ll discover lots of cool sites and by visiting the blogs, you can enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card.  Who couldn’t use more books!!!

And don’t forget to visit my Author Page!  Check out my books and hey, maybe buy one!! 🙂

Here’s a copy of my tour page with CLP tours!!!

Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder by Holly Kerr

What would you do for your friends?

What could be more fun than celebrating your fortieth with your three BFF’s?

Josie sets off with Lana, Poppy and Meredith for an evening celebrating her birthday with the best intentions. Dinner, dancing and a little drinking.

A little more drinking, in a few questionable locations. It’s good to catch up with the girls. But then…

Josie realizes her husband isn’t cheating on her, but Poppy won’t talk about the fact that her husband is. Lana won’t talk about her ex, Ted and Meredith is trying to hide something.

The secrets start to come out.

And then something bad happens.

Secrets can really ruin a friendship.

February 23 – SamanthaMarch –  Excerpt

February 25 – Beppe DM Books Blog – Excerpt

February 27 – Writer’s Corner – Review

March 4 – Authors to Watch – Excerpt

March 5 – Two Children and a Migraine – Review

March 6 – Chick Lit Plus – Review

March 10 – Living Life With Joy – Q&A & Excerpt

March 12 – Christy Herself – Review & Excerpt

March 13 – Ogitchida’s Kwe’s Book Blog – Excerpt

March 16 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Q&A & Excerpt

March 18 – Chick Lit Plus – Review

March 19 – Book Referees – Excerpt

March 20 – Reeca’s Pieces – Review

March 23 – Polished & Bubbly – Review

Author Bio:

Holly Kerr writes contemporary women’s fiction/chick-lit/romance and doesn’t particularly enjoy talking about herself in third person.

Her books include Coming Home, Unexpecting and Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three kids.  She doesn’t consider herself a typical chick-lit writer since loves everything about Star Wars, Harry Potter, Joss Whedon and has a thing for superheroes; however a story about falling for a superhero might be interesting for her to write. When she’s not writing, she likes to play in the dirt in her garden and enjoy a glass of wine while cooking, although she’s trying to cut back while she’s training for a marathon.

If you require more information about Holly and her books feel free to visit her website or follow her Blog. At times she discusses the craft of writing but usually she muses about her life and what’s she reading, writing or watching. Holly hopes you enjoy her books and she welcomes a chance to interact with her readers, but not in any creepy way. A simple comment “Hey, I really like/don’t like…” would be a lovely way to begin a conversation.

Amazon Author page: http://amzn.to/1BpwpVA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HollyKerrAuthor

Twiter: https://twitter.com/hollykerrauthor

 

Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder – available now!!

Secrets have a way of coming out

Especially when alcohol is involved.

Absinthe Doesn't Make the Heart Grow Fonder

 

 

Follow four friends as they celebrate a 40th birthday

Dinner, Drinking, Dancing…a perfect girls’ night out.

And then something bad happens.

Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder

available through Amazon now! Paperback coming soon to other retailers!

Amazon – print and ebook

Amazon.ca (ebook only – print coming soon)

Amazon.co.uk (ebook only – print coming soon)

#weekendcoffeeshare

tea#weekendcoffeeshare

The #weekendcoffeeshare is the brainchild of PartTimeMonster. We sit down every weekend and share our week in a more informal, personal way than maybe the rest of our blog posts are written. Feel free to join in.

If we were meeting for tea this morning, I’d wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day (wrote this yesterday but didn’t post!) and tell you about how my eight year old is over the moon about Valentine’s Day.  I’m not sure if it had something to do about the dance at the school yesterday or about the baseball-themed card she received from a boy in her class.  She spent a considerable amount of time analysing the message.  And so it begins…

I would ask you if you had plans for Valentine’s Day.  This year my hubby and I are going to a ‘gala’ dinner and dance with friends.  I’m looking forward to it because it’s an opportunity to dress up.  I work from home so jeans and T-shirts is the norm for me. My daughter thinks I’m dressed up when my shirt has buttons so a dress, heels and makeup is a big thing for me!

If we were sitting down for tea, I’d ask if you were planning on going to see the Fifty Shades movie.  It seems that’s all anyone is talking out about on social media.  I’d mention that while I might not have much respect for the books (mainly for the bad writing and editing rather than any theme or how they portray women or how creepy Christian Gray is) I really do empathize for EL James.  A negative review of a book is bad enough – I can’t imagine how it would feel to have your hard work ripped to shreds by thousands of people, especially those who haven’t even read the books or even planning on seeing the movie.

If we were meeting for tea, I would have to talk about my new book because it’s all I’ve been thinking about for weeks!  Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder is available in print now, and ebook on Tuesday. I’d tell you how excited and proud I am; and also how terrifying it is waiting for that first book to be purchased!  I’d tell you how my family was Absinthe Doesn't Make the Heart Grow Fonderlaughing how I was stalking our post man yesterday, just because I thought I spied a large box in his truck that I suspected might be the order of books I was waiting for!  It wasn’t.  I was disappointed.  Now I have to wait until Tuesday because Monday is a holiday here!  I’d also tell you that I’m excited about another book I have coming out.  I also write erotic romance under a pen name (Anna Ellis, in case you’re curious!) and I’m compiling the series I wrote into one collection and releasing it as a print book.  I’ve been doing a lot of formatting this last week and I’m very glad it’s finally over!!

If we were meeting for tea, I’d be all talked out for now and sit back and ask about your week.  What was exciting about it, what was your favourite thing about it, what challenged you.  I’d ask about your family, because that’s important and I’d remind you to take some time for yourself, because that’s something everyone seems to forget with their busy lives.  I’d wish you a happy week and tell you how much I’m looking forward to next weekendcoffeehsare.