“Darling, You’ve Always Had Cheese” by Nancy Thayer

grilledcheese1webI almost feel sad that today is April 30, the last day of National Grilled Cheese Month and my 30-day celebration of cheese and great chick lit writers.

Ever since Montana vegetarian and food blogger, Adrienne Schroeder, kicked off the festivities with an April 1 blog post, we’ve had so much fun celebrating with goofy jokes, puns and cheese trivia. Each post was so unique and many of the comment sections held very interesting conversations about grilled cheese and its many variants from around the world. Pauline Wiles brought us across the pond to share cheesy differences between England and the States and more than one writer related cheese and the making of a grilled cheese sandwich to the writing process.

We’ve swapped recipes from Sally Koslow’s elegant Gorgonzola Dip with Walnuts to Libby Mercer’s Grease Balls & Nana’s Nasty Dip. A few followers of the blog have reported a 1-2 lb. weight gain simply by reading about cheese. Many readers following this blog series reported cheese cravings and interruptions in their writing routine for the making of a grilled cheese sandwich. One follower on Twitter reported she’d had a dream about cheese and wondered if my blog was to blame. Oddly enough, I too, had a dream the night before about a Panini machine that also played music.

I knew we’d have fun. I expected we’d swap recipes and learn new things. But what I did not expect was a mother-daughter conflict to develop on my blog – over cheese.

It all began when Samantha Wilde wrote a very funny post about finding a can of cheese in her mother’s pantry. Seems harmless, right? Wrong. Samantha’s mother is Nancy Thayer, bestselling author of 23 books. So imagine my surprise when about a week later, Samantha contacts me with news that her mother wishes to “respond” to her daughter’s post – might I have room on my blog for her mother to post? I immediately thought, “Oh, my. This could be the most delicious moment of the entire month!” And I thought, I know Samantha’s post was Gouda, but I bet her mom plans to write one that’s Feta. Any way you slice it, the early bird (Samantha) may have gotten the worm, but the second mouse (Nancy) gets the cheese!

Thank you, Nancy and Samantha, for having a little fun at each other’s expense on my book blog. Believe me, I know cheese is serious business and I completely understand and support you both for wanting to set the record straight.

Chick Lit Chit Chat readers, you may want to begin by clicking here to read Samantha Wilde’s April 18th post. Her mother, Nancy Thayer, responds to that April 18th post below.

Samantha, I believe your mom is about to get the last word…

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“Darling, You’ve Always Had Cheese” by Nancy Thayer

Author Samantha Wilde, aka my daughter, recently posted about the can of cheese soup in my pantry. I adore her, yet I feel I must defend my cheesy honor.

True, I’m not a gourmet cook. I simply haven’t had the time as I balanced writing  novels with keeping my family fed. But real cheese is actually a primary food showcase for an overwhelmed writer like me. France’s Camembert or England’s Stinking Bishop, displayed elegantly with crackers and grapes, is a complete and beautiful course. Easy-peasy, or perhaps I should say easy-cheesy.

NancyThayerSummer House trade paperbackIn fact, in my novel Summer Breeze, to be released in paperback in June, the word “cheese” is mentioned fifteen times. (I counted.) Summer Breeze is about three young women struggling to balance love, work, friends, and family. It includes romance, temptation, self-discovery, and cheese.

Island Girls, my hardback due out in June, mentions cheese nine times, all of it eaten on Nantucket.

You see, that can of soup was on the shelf because I did not use it. I only put the can there to see if Sam would notice.  (She did.)  Sam is a vegetarian and very strict about what she will eat.  I do my best to please her.  When I cooked a casserole for the seven people I fed that night, I used Annie’s Organic Macaroni and Cheese and shredded cheddar cheese as well as the tuna and fresh broccoli I steamed myself.

I love real cheese! Mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan. . .  over the years I’ve used Pecorino Romano so often I’ve wanted to name a character after it.  Can’t you just see him?  Count Pecorino Romano, with a villa in Tuscany?  I’ve made Brie en croute for parties.  For normal life?  Of course, grilled cheese sandwiches.  I raised my children on them, along with cheesy casseroles.

NancyThayerSamanthaWIldePhotoTruly, I’ve given my daughter real cheese, often, all her life.  And as proof, I hereby present Samantha Wilde’s beautiful, calcium-rich smile.

 

 

 

 

Chick Lit Chit Chat readers – want to know more?  Nancy’s website is NancyThayer.com and she’s on Facebook as Nancy Thayer, author. “Like” her on her Nancy Thayer Author page on Facebook for more giveaways.

You can find Samantha and Nancy on Twitter at: @whatshehas

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, Nancy is giving away one copy of Heat Wave, set on Nantucket. Thank you, Nancy!

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“Cheese Across the Pond” by Pauline Wiles

grilledcheese1webEarlier today, Pauline Wiles joined me on Chick Lit Chit Chat to discuss her terrific new book, Saving Saffron Sweeting, as part of her CLP Blog Tour. I am so grateful to Pauline for also providing this supplement in celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month and all the fun we’ve been having with chick lit writers this month on the blog.

Be sure to read Pauline’s post from earlier today. You can find that post by clicking here.

Thanks for also “gettin’ cheesy” with us, Pauline!

pauline wilesPHOTO“Cheese Across the Pond” by Pauline Wiles

8 things you might not know about cheese in Great Britain:

  1. There are over 700 different named cheeses produced in Britain, including the unlikely-sounding Stinking Bishop and Pantysgawn.
  2. Cheddar is a real and charming village in Somerset, England, with population just over 5,000. Cheese has been made there since at least the 12th Century. Originally, it was stored in the now-famous Cheddar Gorge caves to ripen.
  3. The village was also home to Britain’s oldest human skeleton, Cheddar Man, until he was dug up in 1903. He’s estimated to be 9,000 years old.
  4. Cheddar is the most popular cheese in the United Kingdom, accounting for 51% of cheesy consumption. In the United States, cheddar is number two, behind mozzarella.
  5. In contrast to the United States, cheese is not used like a salad item in a British sandwich. If you order a cheese sandwich, be aware you might find that’s the sole filling.
  6. If you get yourself to Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire (pronounced Gloss-tuh-shuh) on the last Monday in May, you can witness the hazardous but highly entertaining sport of cheese rolling. (http://www.cheese-rolling.co.uk) Allegedly, the cheese reaches speeds of up to 70mph.
  7. Don’t look for Grilled Cheese on the menu at an English cafe: the closest equivalent is called Cheese on Toast. Welsh Rarebit, which incorporates ale, mustard or Worcestershire sauce, is even better. Fear not, no rabbits are involved.
  8. At the end of World War II, Britons were rationed to just 2oz of cheese per person per week. That’s about two small matchboxes… or just four hearty bites!

saving saffron sweetingCOVERRead all about Pauline Wiles and her book, Saving Saffron Sweeting, by clicking here which will bring you to her post from earlier today.

Saving Saffron Sweeting by Pauline Wiles #BookReview

Today, I welcome Pauline Wiles and her début novel, Saving Saffron Sweeting. Pauline’s wonderful book was released a mere 10 days ago (April 19, 2013) with much celebration. Readers enjoyed a virtual chocolate tasting, a tabletop covered in beautiful decor, party favors and books. Check out the festivities by visiting Pauline’s blog (www.paulinewiles.com) or by clicking here. And while you’re on her blog, check out the many articles Pauline has written for design magazines. It will help you understand her expertise as a writer fleshing out a main character who also works in the design industry.

Since the release of Saving Saffron Sweeting, Pauline has been quite busy. She’s packed her bags and her books and has hit the road on a whirlwind tour through the blogosphere with CLP Blog Tours. Today is my special day on Pauline’s tour and I am so happy to be a part of this writer’s book launch. I have come to know Pauline over the past few months as we often visit each other’s blogs. She is every bit as wonderful as the book she has written. Connect with Pauline. She’d love to hear from you!

Welcome Pauline!

saving saffron sweetingCOVERFrom the Jacket: Grace Palmer’s British friends all think she’s living the American Dream. But her design business is floundering and when she discovers her husband is cheating with her best client, she panics and flees home to England.

The tranquil village of Saffron Sweeting appears to be a good place for Grace to lick her wounds, but the community is battling its own changes. Reluctantly, Grace finds herself helping her new neighbours as they struggle to adjust and save their businesses. However, not everyone has the same opinion on what’s good for the village. The charismatic new man in her life may have one speculative eye on Grace, but the other is firmly on profit. How will she navigate the tricky path between her home and her happiness?

With gentle humour and generous helpings of British tea and cake, Saving Saffron Sweeting explores one woman’s need to define herself through her career and community, before she can figure out who should be by her side.

Book Excerpt:

“I’m not sleeping with her. It was just one time. One stupid bloody time. I’m so sorry.”

“I don’t believe you. You knew about that god-damn purple wall.”

I was looking around wildly, seeking my escape route. I didn’t want to be in the same room with him.

“All right, so I happened to see her bedroom! That doesn’t mean anything.”

“No, it means everything.” I was sobbing now. “It means I’ll never trust you again.”

I wish I’d had the panache to storm out of our apartment in an expensive cloud of Chanel perfume. I wish I’d owned a Louis Vuitton bag to grab on my way to check into a luxury hotel, where I’d instigate a passionate revenge fling with a nineteen-year-old bellboy. Unfortunately, I clambered off the sofa with pins and needles in my legs and tripped over my blankie instead. Then I trailed soggy tissues across the floor and locked myself in the bathroom, where my only company was a dog-eared copy of National Geographic.
 
I had followed my British husband – and his job – from London to California, but my own attempt at the American dream had flopped. I’d been working crazily, had failed to see my marriage falling apart, and felt like a total fool.

I certainly couldn’t afford to kick James out and stay in our apartment on my own. My so called business was barely breathing. I had no idea how many months or years of scraping by might be ahead of me, if I attempted to build a list of design clients who weren’t going to thank me by stealing my husband. Did I have the energy to move out, find a job, and rebuild my life in the fast moving world of Silicon Valley? What the heck was I doing in this country, anyway? All I wanted was to crawl under the bed covers and hide, preferably with a packet of imported Cadbury’s biscuits.

In the small, mocking hours of the next morning, I found myself unearthing a suitcase from the closet. With safety, seclusion and comfort food as my primary motives, I booked a flight home to England.

Book Review: Oh, my. Definitely one of my favorite books as I read my way through 52 books in 52 weeks. This book was so stinking charming, I was completely swept away by it. No wonder the book has climbed to the quarter finals in the romance category of the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. (More information: amazon.com/abna) I loved every single moment. The characters were charming, their lives were charming, the town of Saffron Sweeting was charming. It was so charming, I wanted to climb into the pages as I read and live among the characters. I wanted to walk into Grace Palmer’s English cottage, “put the kettle on” and sit with her and tell her everything will be okay.

The richness of the book reminded me a lot of Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes and the books by Peter Mayle set in Provence. If you love books set in a quirky little town with villagers that stake their claims on the story and a main character that struggles with internal conflict while falling in love with the beautiful but flawed surroundings of a town she haphazardly found her way to, then this is the book for you.

Grace Palmer certainly received a punch in the stomach (not literally) in the opening pages when she learns of her husband’s affair. But she picks herself up, dusts herself off, and returns to her home country of England only to find herself in the turmoil of changing times in the town of Saffron Sweeting.

The people Grace meets in the town of Saffron Sweeting are all so wonderful as characters in a book. Each play a different role in Grace’s life and each bring different elements to the storyline. What is so captivating about the story of this town is the mingling of two cultures. An American bio-tech firm is relocating American workers to Saffron Sweeting and the villagers who have always called Saffron Sweeting home are trying to adapt. Because Grace Palmer is the only person in town with insights into both cultures, she is quickly placed in the heart of the small town and must play the role of assistant, consultant and guide.

I finished reading this book while on a weekend trip to Boston. I told everyone I saw on this trip about the book, even the passengers sitting on the plane beside me, imploring them to pick up a copy and start reading. It was that enjoyable, from cover to cover.

Highly recommended. Run, don’t walk. Or better yet, click. A link to Amazon is provided below so go get yourself a copy and cancel your plans for whatever it was you were planning to do over the next few days. You’ll want to snuggle up with this book, a cup of tea, a cozy blanket and a comfortable chair. Don’t worry, the world will wait for your return.

Pauline, I wish you the very best with the launch of this beautiful book. Thank you so very much for stopping by my book blog today. It’s such a privilege to help you celebrate the launch of your first novel. I just know it’s going to be a huge success. Congratulations!

pauline wilesPHOTOAbout the Author: British by birth, Pauline moved to California eight years ago and, apart from a yearning for afternoon tea and historic homes, has never looked back. Her work has been published by House of Fifty, Open Exchange and Alfie Dog Fiction. Saving Saffron Sweeting is her first novel. (Source: www.paulinewiles.com)

Connect with Pauline Wiles at the following locations:

Goodreads
Website
Twitter @PaulineWiles
Facebook

OMG. You simply must buy this book.

Amazon book purchase: http://amzn.to/12hYZTQ

Follow Pauline on her journey through the blogoshere via CLP Blog Tours:

Everyone who leaves a comment on Pauline’s tour page will be entered to win gourmet home-baked cookies! Anyone who purchases their copy of Saving Saffron Sweeting before May 6 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.

  • April 22- Chick Lit Plus – Review
  •  April 23- Curling Up with a Good Book –  Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt
  •  April 24 – The 21st Century Housewife – Review & Q&A
  •  April 26 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
  •  April 29- Julie Valerie’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
  •  April 30 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
  •  May 1 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
  •  May 2 – Book Reviews by Dee – Excerpt
  •  May 3 – Casa de Berry – Review, Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt
  •  May 6 – Karma For Life- Review
  •  May 6 – Lavender & Camomile Press – Review & Excerpt

“Grease Balls & Nana’s Nasty Dip” by Libby Mercer

grilledcheese1webChick Lit Chit Chat welcomes chick lit author Libby Mercer and two fantastic recipes from her grandmother in tribute to our month-long celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month. Libby is giving away a copy of the recently released The Karmic Connection. Welcome, Libby!

LibbyMercerprofilepicforgoodreads

 

Grease Balls and Nana’s Nasty Dip
by Libby Mercer

When Julie asked me to get cheesy on her blog in honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, I jumped at the chance. I’m a huge fan of cheese. If I wasn’t, perhaps my thighs wouldn’t be so huge (tee he he). But seriously, I do love the savory stuff.

I remember back when I was in college, my roommate and I were having one of those deep conversations about a silly subject (as we did back then). We were trying to imagine a world with no cheese. The Greek omelettes we loved would be no fun. Pizza would be pointless. Nachos would be uninspired. And as for the grilled cheese sandwiches we regularly munched on from the neighborhood diner? Without cheese, they’d be nothing more than fried bread. We shuddered at the idea of a cheese-free existence. Here’s hoping neither of us ever develops a lactose intolerance!

My grandmother was an amazing cook. And I’m not just saying that – she got a master’s degree in Home Economics from Columbia University and later ran the Texaco cafeteria. She came up with many delectable recipes, two of which I can’t fail to mention in this cheesy blog post. Their actual names are somewhere (probably my mom has the original recipe cards) but our family has always referred to them as Grease Balls and Nana’s Nasty Dip.

In terms of preparation, they’re both super easy. For Grease Balls, you take a tube of sausage from the grocery store, a box of Bisquick and a bag of shredded cheddar cheese. Then you mash it all up together, form it into balls and bake in the oven. For Nana’s Nasty Dip, you brown a pound of sausage and a pound of ground round. Then you put them in a saucepan and add a block of Velveeta cheese as well as a can of chillis. Mix together and serve with Fritos.

Just by reading this you can feel your arteries hardening, right? These are two of the most decadently sinful and unhealthy things I’ve ever eaten, but they are oh so delicious. And as long as you don’t make a habit of it, it’s fine to indulge once in a while. I should point out that my grandmother lived to be 101. Everything in moderation – that was her philosophy. Also, she always said you should incorporate as many colors of the rainbow in your meals as possible. Read: lots of fruits and vegetables.

LibbyMercerTheKarmicConnectionArtwork (1)Shifting gears now, my new novel, The Karmic Connection, takes place at a wellness center where everything is free range, hormone-free, sustainable and organic. They have an amazing vegetable garden out back too. I didn’t think to give them any goats, but in the spirit of this cheesy post and of the all-natural, home grown philosophy of the wellness center where my book is set, I thought I’d share these instructions I found on how to make your own cheese. I found this super easy goat cheese recipe on a website called Serious Eats

And it’s a whole lot healthier than Grease Balls and Nana’s Nasty Dip. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
A saucepan full of goat’s milk
¼ c freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ clove freshly grated garlic
A few pinches of salt

Herbs – optional but recommended: rosemary, chives, parsley, herbs de Provence, fennel fronds, dill and other non-herbs like dried apricots

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with goat’s milk. Heat gradually until it reaches 180F. Watch closely. Should take less than 15 minutes.
  2. When it hits 180 degrees, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let stand until milk starts to curdle, about 20 seconds. Slight clumping will occur, but not major cottage cheese-like curdles. If nothing is curdling, you can add a few extra drops of lemon juice to aid in the process.
  3. Line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth. Place over a large bowl to catch drops
  4. Ladle milk into the colander. Pull up and tie the four corners of the cheesecloth together and hand on the handle of a wooden spoon.
  5. Allow whey to slowly drip and drain until a soft, ricotta-like consistency is reached inside the cloth – about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and fold in salt, garlic and any herbs or flavors you would like. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, but after a few days, the consistency isn’t as spreadable.

Thank you, Libby Mercer, for giving away a copy of your recently released ebook, The Karmic Connection!

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Gettin’ Cheesy with Sally Koslow

grilledcheese1webApril may be National Grilled Cheese Month but it’s also Chick Lit Author Month on Chick Lit Chit Chat. Today we welcome Sally Koslow, author of four novels: Little Pink Slips; The Late, Lamented Molly Marx; With Friends Like These and The Widow Waltz. She has also written a non-fiction report, Slouching Toward Adulthood.

Sally is offering one lucky blog reader the choice of one of the following three books: Little Pink Slips; The Late, Lamented Molly Marx and With Friends Like These. You can register for this awesome giveaway below.

Readers in the New York area are invited to join Sally at a reading and book signing for The Widow Waltz on June 18, 7 pm, Barnes & Noble, 150 E. 86th, Manhattan.

Before we get cheesy with Sally’s blog post, she’s brought along this tasty recipe for Gorgonzola Dip with Walnuts.

Gorgonzola Dip with Walnuts

¼ pound Gorgonzola cheese
¼ pound cream cheese
¼ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon Cognac

Combine the cheeses and heavy cream in the container of a food processor and process well. Scrape the mixture into a bowl. Fold in the walnuts and Cognac. Chill. Serve with crudités.

Welcome to Chick Lit Chit Chat, Sally!

Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese,” said a wise woman, Billie Burke, a.k.a. Glinda, the good witch of the North. But cheese does matter, as do stories that take a tour of woman’s heart. These are the kinds of books I’ve tried to write. There are four of them and they’ve been translated into a dozen languages.

Koslowlittlepinkslips

The first is LITTLE PINK SLIPS, which was inspired by real events in my life (I used to be editor-in-chief of McCall’s Magazine) and is about the fall, rise and sweet revenge of a woman who witnesses corporate shenanigans at their most flagrant. It’s filled with gossipy revelations about celebrity obsession and insider details of the media business in all its malfeasant glory.

 

Koslowlatelamented

 

 

My second novel is THE LATE, LAMENTED MOLLY MARX, which Target chose as a book pick and became a bestseller in Germany. This book explores the bonds of motherhood, marriage and friendship, and is narrated by an endearing woman who Publisher’s Weekly called “a delightful gem of a heroine.” BookPage called it “wonderful…filled with remarkable clarity about how to embrace life while you can” and Real Simple wrote, “Will keep you hooked to the end.”

KoslowwithfriendsMORE Magazine called my third novel, WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE, a “witty reflection on sisterhood.” It traces the friendship of four women through more than a decade and is for anyone who has had—or even been—a less than perfect pal while it also reminds readers that close friends can never be replaced.

 

 

 

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My next novel, THE WIDOW WALTZ, will be released in June and can be pre-ordered now on Amazon. (There are links on my website: www.sallykoslow.com.)

This book is told through the alternating viewpoints of three female protagonists—a mother and two daughters– as they find the grit to survive devastating losses and reinvent their lives. For the oldest woman, this includes possibly finding new love in the land of Spanx.

KoslowPhoto

 

Who is Sally Koslow?

Sally Koslow is the author of four novels (see above) as well as Slouching Toward Adulthood, a non-fiction report from the parenting trenches with advice on how to let go so your kids can grow up. She teaches at The Writing Institute of Sarah Lawrence College and works as an independent writing coach. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of McCall’s Magazine and Lifetime Magazine and she continues to contribute to major magazines, including MORE, Real Simple and O, the Oprah Magazine. Sally invites you to follow her @sallykoslow, to visit her Facebook Author Page as well as her website: www.sallykoslow.com and to join her at Goodreads.com.

Chick Lit Chit Chat readers – register to win your choice of one of the following three books by Sally Koslow: Little Pink Slips; The Late, Lamented Molly Marx and With Friends Like These.

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“It’s Easy Being Cheesy” by Janis Thomas

grilledcheese1webChick Lit Chit Chat readers, you wanna talk cheese? Let’s talk cheese.

An Englishman, an American and a Mexican are in a bar when a gorgeous woman walks in and tells them they can date her for one night if they can use the words ‘liver’ and ‘cheese’ in a creative sentence.

The Englishman said: I love liver and cheese!
The woman replied: Not good enough.
The American said: I hate liver and cheese!
The woman replied: Not creative enough.
The Mexican said: Liver alone, cheese mine!

Ha!

While that joke may be funny, what is not funny is how quickly April is coming to a close. Soon our celebration of Chick Lit Authors during National Grilled Cheese Month will come to an end. But let’s not think about that right now. Let’s keep the happy and continue the cheesy with our next chick lit author, the beautiful Janis Thomas, author of Something New and the soon-to-be released Sweet Nothings (releasing July 2, 2013).

Welcome to Chick Lit Chit Chat, Janis!

JanisThomasshoot 2

 

 

It’s Easy Being Cheesy
by Janis Thomas

Remember when you and your spouse were first dating, those endless nights you spent talking and sharing and revealing things about yourself? It was a world of discovery, and you felt as though you were meant to be with this person forever. My husband and I passed many of those nights early in our relationship. To be honest, I recall very little of what he said—it was a long time ago, mind you. But one thing he said sticks with me to this day:

“When I retire, I want to learn to make cheese…”

Yes, at that moment I knew I wanted to spend my life with this man.

Of course, when he went on to say he also wanted to own a goat, I had to rethink my decision. Not that I don’t like goats. Goats are very nice. And I hear they make great lawnmowers. But I’m not so sure what the neighbors will think, and I’m pretty confident there’s a city ordinance banning farm animals from residential backyards.

Anyway, I happen to enjoy cheese, all kinds, from mild to stinky, although I draw the line at the really foul-smelling stuff that makes your eyes water and brings to mind foot fungus. I take my cheese in any form: cut into cubes or sliced or smeared on crackers or baguettes. I like cheese melted under the broiler or in the pan. In fact, I spent the whole of my first pregnancy eating grilled cheese sandwiches made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Can you say yum? (Can you say an extra fifteen pounds on top of the baby weight?)

sn.comp.inddIn my upcoming novel, Sweet Nothings, my main character, Ruby, compares people with desserts. I think you can compare people with cheese, too. I am like Brie. Consistent, dependable, and high in fat. After a strenuous workout, my husband is Vieux Boulogne (said to be the smelliest cheese in the world.) Hugh Jackman would definitely be Gouda, if you get my drift. My friend Linda is non-dairy tofu cheese, but I love her anyway. My friend Penny is Chevre, and best when served with wine. (In my debut novel Something New, Ellen compares all men with cheeseballs. I’m not going to get into the whole cheeseball thing at this time because that’s another subject entirely, but I will say that I do love cheeseballs if they’re put together well!)

I am also rather fond of cheesy things, in that non-edible kind of way. I’m the type of person who cries at the end of Freaky Friday every time I catch it on Starz (back when Lindsay Lohan looked and behaved normally). I cry at the commercial in which the daughter is taking the car out for the first time and the dad is looking at her in the driver’s seat and imagining her as she was when she was a child. I love cheesy chick lit novels that are full of gushy romance, mostly because they take me away from the stresses of my everyday life. I’m a sucker for the girl getting the guy and a happily ever after.

When I tell people I’m a published author with Penguin, they look impressed, most of the time anyway. But then they ask me what I write, and I respond ‘humorous women’s fiction’ or ‘chick lit for the soccer mom set.’ Their enthusiasm wanes, almost as though it’s only impressive if I’m writing the modern equivalent of War and Peace or psychological dramas or courtroom thrillers. And it’s not that I don’t think there’s a place for War and Peace or any other literary genre. I do, of course.

But I have always loved the idea of providing escapist entertainment with the things I write. I want to give readers the cheese. Because with all of the things going on in the world around us, I think we all need a little mindless fun, a little light-hearted retreat from reality. And if I can do that, if I can take just one person away from their troubles, for just a moment, and make them smile, then I’ve done my job. I am happy and proud to be an author (and reader) of Cheesy Lit. (Ooo, I think I’ve just named a new genre!)

So be it Emental Grand Cru or Emily Giffin, Somerset Brie or Sophie Kinsella, I’m in. (Jermi Tortes or Janis Thomas???) Bring on the cheese in any form and I’m happy.

Thanks for visiting Chick Lit Chit Chat, Janis! Cheesy Lit? Sounds like a yummy new genre. Count me in! Chick Lit Chit Chat readers – Janis would love to connect with you. You can leave her a comment here on the blog, or visit her at these great sites:

Click here to link with Janis’s “The Big Cheese” blogpost on her blog.

Janis’s Website
Janis on Goodreads
Janis on Amazon
Twitter: @Janis_Thomas

Chick Lit Chit Chat readers – I’ve got some great news for you! Janis is giving away BOTH of her books to one lucky blog reader. You’ll receive Something New in May, and Sweet Nothings when it hits the shelves for the first time in July. Woo-hoo! Thanks, Janis!

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“Dream Cheese” by Renée Carlino

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Today we welcome Renée Carlino, author of Sweet Thing, released April 16, 2013. Thanks for stopping by, Renée, and thank you for offering one lucky blog reader a copy of your new book! In a moment, you can read Renée’s terrific “Dream … Continue reading