Thursday, September 19, 2013

Let Me Pick Your Brain!

Hello Everyone,

I am currently working on a women's fiction - chick lit novel, and I do not like the working title. I'd like to get your input.

If you have time, please read the brief synopsis below, and place your vote above. Any and all comments appreciated.

Brand Rye’s life has come to a halt. She’s lost everything—even her memory. After spending time in the hospital, Brand returns home to a husband she doesn’t remember, and a life that has disappeared overnight. Her husband, Easton, provides Brand with bits and pieces of her past while she tries to put it all together.

Brand starts to realize that she isn’t the person she thinks she is ... or is she?

Alcohol and loss are what brought Easton and Brand together. Once out of rehab, Easton offers Brand a place to stay for a price. With nothing left to lose but her sarcasm, Brand takes him up on his offer, which begins a whirlwind of adventure and sexual tension.

I thank you in advance for your time.

Denise Baer

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Twerking to the End!

I finally finished my ‘first draft’ of my current WIP, which I started writing in November 2012. For a first draft, I’m pretty damn proud and excited about it. I’ll be marketing it as Women’s fiction – Contemporary Women – “Chick-Lit”. I’ve done my homework on genres and sub-genres, and I feel this is the best label for it.

At the present time, I’ve only been using a working title. Hopefully I’ll fix that soon enough.

The book is about a woman's struggle to find her true self. She loses so much—including her memory. As she learns about who she is, she must come to terms with her mistakes, and rebuild her life.

Alcohol and loss are what originally brought Easton and Brand together. Once out of rehab, Easton offers Brand a place to stay for a price. With nothing left to lose but her sarcasm, Brand takes him up on his offer, which begins a whirlwind of adventure and sexual tension.

Since this novel is very different from my dark, psychological suspense thriller, Net Switch, I feel a renewed sense of accomplishment. I want to write different genres and even attempt other forms of writing. I’ll admit though, I didn’t twerk while I was typing. I waited until I was finished with the last sentence.

If you’re unfamiliar with twerking, please watch this video, but don’t imitate her.

First Drafts and Twerking,

Monday, September 9, 2013

Renewed Friendship!

Within a 5 month time span, I reconnected with three old friends on Facebook who I haven’t seen in 20 to 25 years. All three of these women friends were in my life when I was 19-years old—a time when I was lost and confused—clueless of what or where my future was headed. Clouded times. Somehow (my memory fails me) we lost touch, most likely because we were all trying to figure out our ‘niche in this world’ (I know, so cliché).

During my summer vacation, I had the opportunity to see each of these women. Although time has passed, and we aged, failed and succeeded at things, we just picked up from where we left off. The time lapse didn’t create any awkwardness. A few of us cried when we first saw each other, and then our youthful spunkiness came to life. We listened and talked about what happened since we last saw each other, and where life has brought us to now. Back in the day, all three of these women stifled some of my sadness because of the great times and private moments.

I used to play softball with one of these women. There was a bar on the south side of Chicago that sponsored women softball teams. Every Sunday, during one of the hottest, most humid Chicago summers I can remember, we were out on a baseball field. No one on our team was serious about playing—it was all about the drinking. We stood out in the field with a cigarette in one hand, and a drink at our feet. When the game ended, which we usually lost, we’d head on over to the bar for an afternoon of music and pitchers of lemonade and vodka. Today this woman is a chef, has a beautiful home, a husband, and more to come in cooking and publishing.

I knew the other two women from high school. One of the women I continued to hang out with into community college with … and we forgot about classes when it came to guys. We wound up meeting a bunch of guys in our first year of college—two of them becoming our boyfriends. One evening, spruced up in punk fashion, we headed downtown to a bar called Medusa. Throughout the evening, we mingled with others and danced all night. It was a magical night, and one I’ve never forgotten. Today this woman has a Master’s degree, she’s a wife, and a mother to four children.

Last but not least, the third woman and I did the goofiest things—one being a total blond moment. I told my husband this story a week before she contacted me on Facebook. When we were 19-years old, we were going to a homecoming dance at a college near the Iowa border. My friend and I didn’t feel like taking the bus, so I took her for her driver’s license, she post-dated checks to buy a car, and we took off to this college. We had a blast that weekend. While driving home, we were hung over and distracted from talking. When we finally stopped, three hours later, we found out that we were in Omaha, Nebraska. We got lost in Nebraska coming home from Illinois. Figure that one out. We had a quarter tank of gas left and we had $4.00 to our name. A couple felt bad for us and gave my friend some money. Needless to say, we arrived home 12 hours later. Today this woman and her husband own their own business and she’s the mother of two children.

As crazy fun as it was back then when we were together, it’s been a beautiful experience reconnecting. I feel like they are supposed to be in my life now. These three very different women blossomed into three incredible women, and I hope our reconnection will foster a new fun-filled friendship.

Friendships and Hugs,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hello to All my Followers and Potential Followers,

I’m back home, and getting into the routine of things. While I was away, I thought about new postings on my blog, and I’ve decided to add reviews about anything I’ve dealt with, such as books, writing, life, publishing, etc. Reviews are helpful in making decisions, so I thought posting them here would help.

This post is dedicated to a book review. Over the summer break, I was only able to read one book, Reinventing Claire by Darian Wilk. I’ll admit that I don’t read a lot of chick lit or free eBooks, which is why I had this book downloaded, but I decided to read it since I’m currently writing a women’s fiction/chick lit book and I liked the cover.


Reinventing Claire is about a woman who thinks her marriage is forever until her husband, Charlie, decides forever is too long. He leaves her in a cold fashion and remarries her friend as she struggles to figure out what went wrong and how to live life without Charlie. She turns to her sisters, Holly and Samantha, to help her cope with the turn of events, and then she meets up with a man, Mac, who makes her realize that love does exist after divorce. Now she has a choice to make. Does she go back to Charlie, who pursues her and wants her back, or stay with the man she recently fell in love with, and who treats her well?


I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. Before my writing days, I would have given this book a 2, but because I know how much time is put into writing a novel, it gets that extra star.

This book starts off strong. Claire breaks her shoe, loses her job and then her husband asks for a divorce at a restaurant, leaving her crying at the table. In the beginning, the character Claire is funny, but then things start to get repetitious. She is always turning to her sisters for support, which is great, but it seems they are there after she calls, as if they don’t have lives of their own. Claire is annoyingly needy. I thought she was a pushover and unintelligent. Maybe it’s because I like my characters to have some dignity, which doesn’t describe Claire. Another repetition that drove me crazy was that everyone was ‘smirking’. I think that word was on every page.

As I continued to read, I was waiting for Claire to reinvent herself. Instead, she continuously cried to her sisters about Charlie even when a wonderful man, Mac, enters her life. She doesn’t give Mac the respect he deserves, and he allows her to hurt him time and again, which is surprising since he is divorced, too. You would think Mac would be on-guard instead of letting Claire walk all over him while she tries to figure out whether she wants him or Charlie. That’s just a slap in the face.

Darian Wilk has her main character, Claire, rely too much on her sisters instead of bringing the book to a new level and making it about ‘Reinventing Claire’. I wanted to read about Claire’s life without Charlie, such as her job, which is mentioned but not discussed; feelings about children (whether she wants them or not. She was married for a long time to Charlie and they didn’t have children); dealing with Mac’s son’s mother; and her new home. Darian Wilk left out the reinventing part. Majority of the book is about Claire and her sisters, Claire thinking about Charlie, and her confusion about which man she wants. By the end of the book, Claire still doesn’t feel like her new home is home; there isn’t anything mentioned about children even though her new love has a son, and it takes her close to the end of the book to realize she doesn’t want Charlie. If she was reinventing herself, the book would be more about her new life, feelings about home, job, children and some definite anger toward Charlie and how he treated her. How did she get a job working from home? Does she want children, or can she have them? Where is the anger toward the way Charlie treated her in the marriage, when he left her, and his divorce demands? Very little growth is shown.

Along with characters I didn’t like or relate to, I found the dialogue annoying. When writing dialogue, you don’t always have to write, ‘he said’ or ‘she said’, especially when there are only two characters in the scene. Darian Wilk continuously wrote ‘she said/he said’, which were like speed bumps to me. Give the reader some credit. It’s all right to guide the reader at first as to who is talking, but when all dialogue tells you who is speaking, it becomes monotonous.

If you’re looking for a predictable, light romantic chick lit book, then you might enjoy Reinventing Claire by Darian Wilk. In two clicks, you can buy it on Amazon.

Chick Lit and Reinvention,