Meet Vivienne: A smart,sexy, boss babe heroine

I loved Bridget Jones’s Diary. It was a cheeky nod to the ups and downs of being a modern single woman but throughout the story I kept wanting Bridget to be just a little less bumbling, a little sharper, and a lot less interested in her boss, who did not deserve her attention. I wanted her to represent the best that women can be while also being real, having struggles, and overcoming them.

My frustration with that story was just one of the catalysts for my latest series, The Vivienne Series. I wanted to read more books about modern, career women, but I wanted the woman to represent the new breed of boss babes and girl bosses–sharp women who, while not perfect, generally have their shit together. These are women who know their skills and their value. They work hard and reap the rewards.

The heroine of my seven-book series is that woman. She’s uber-organized, knows what she wants and has no fear about going after it. But if that was the whole story it would be, well, dull at best. She wins, knew she would from page one…yawn.

So just like in real life, it’s those exact traits that make Vivienne’s love life and sometimes her work life, chaos. Knowing all the answers isn’t always easy when others don’t want your help and advice. And to this that our girl, Viv, is an introvert. She’s quiet (because she’s thinking) but that makes her easy to overlook in a world full of center-of-attention extroverts. When  opportunity comes knocking this heroine has to fight her fears and figure out a way to make life in the fast lane work for someone who prefers quiet, steady and predictable.

Book one is titled Fearless Flying. (It’s a nod to Fear of Flying, Erica Jong’s 1973 groundbreaking novel that featured a blatantly sexual woman.) The title also refers to Vivienne’s job, a secretary at a private jet manufacturer. It’s a high pressure job at an exciting company that she handles with grace and ease. I love this industry as a setting because it’s generally male dominated and it puts her in touch with the rich and famous.

I’ll be releasing Fearless Flying this July but you can sign up to get a FREE copy before the official publication date. Follow this link and let me know what email address you would like me to send it to. I’ll also keep you updated on my progress on the series, give you some behind the scenes info, as well as information about what I’ll be working on next.

So, let’s talk about chick lit, women’s fiction, whatever you want to call it. What’s your favorite and why? Share in the comments below.

If You Win the Lottery Should You Buy A Private Jet?

I featured a family with a private jet in my second novel, “Popstars, Friends and Lovers: a dreamer’s tale” and my current Vivienne series is all about the private jet industry. I use them because they represent glitz and glamour and the easy life. Who doesn’t dream of avoiding airport security lines and having as much leg room as you want? But as someone who has spent many years being associated with the industry in one way or another, I can tell you the myth is a little different than the reality.

I took the above pic myself (that’s my coffee and shades). I was flying home from Savannah on a Gulfstream, one of the major brands of private jet. (Make note, you know, in case you win…) Was it nice? Oh hell yes. I was possibly a bit hungover and able to dim the lights and stretch out and sleep. I got this ride home from my husband who works in the industry. It isn’t, however, my jet to use whenever I want.

But I do know what it’s like to have a jet and it’s not exactly like it’s usually portrayed in the movies. It’s a little more complicated than that.

First it involves a crew. Most jets have to have two pilots who will be on your payroll if you own the plane. They have to be trained to fly your specific model which will cost you around 50 grand, per pilot. And just as important is your maintenance crew. The minimum you will need is a maintenance manager who will then find locations to have work done on your plane. Depending on the size of the plane and how much you want to fly it he/she might need a few people helping with maintenance. This is not an area where you might want to skimp and save.

But if you’ve just won over a billion dollars in the lottery you can afford all that, life is good. Enter the FAA (play ominous music). For your safety and that of all others flying there are several NYC phone book size manuals of rules and regulations you will need to follow. Every so often you will need to take your plane in for inspections and scheduled maintenance. It’s a time when you get to pay for the pleasure of owning a jet without getting to actually use it (ouch). Something that often comes as a shock to the nouveau riche because plane brokers tend to gloss over those details.(See, I’ve let you in on a secret.)

So once you’ve got the plane, the crew and maintenance complete you can just pick up the phone and tell someone that you want to fly to Bora Bora right now…or not. Flight plans must be filed, the fuel truck scheduled and crew called in before you can load your flip-flop wearing self onto the plane. There are technical questions galore, how long is the runway in Bora Bora? Do you need to schedule a landing time to work with local commercial traffic? If anything goes wrong with your plane, is there anyone anywhere near Bora Bora who can fix it so you can get home?

It’s all the details that it takes to get that plane in that plane in the air and keep it there that, to me, adds to the excitement. I love having an insiders view that I can’t wait to share more of with you in the Vivienne Series, due out later this year. It’s the story of a smart, quiet, sweet young woman who lands herself at the top of the male-dominated private jet industry. It’s every woman’s struggle to find a balance between career and the rest of her life and I can’t wait to bring it to you. It will be an eight novella series that I will release all at once so you can binge read to your heart’s desire. Stay tuned for excerpts and more behind the scene info. Until then, good luck in the lottery. You’ll just have to wait and see if I get a private jet when I win. If you do, all I’m asking for is a ride.



10 Reasons You Want to Live Like Viv

Who is Viv? And why would you want to live like her? 

Because Vivienne Ramsey is the heroine of the Vivienne Series (coming this winter). She’s the unlikely introvert who works her way to the top of the very glamourous, male-dominated private plane industry. This sweet, quiet, girly-girl flies past the competition, dodging the diversion of love along the way. 

Seriously, everyone wants to live like Viv because….

You can follow my progress on the series on Facebook and Pintrest or watch for #LiveLikeViv on Twitter. Click here to join the email list you will also get advanced notice of the publication date and an incredible gift on publication day. 

Why Savannah?

I’ve spent the past week in Savannah, GA (at least in my head I have). I’m already six chapters into my new series and keeping pace at a chapter a day. My goal is to finish in November or December for a January release date. I’ll keep you posted.

One of Savannah’s beautiful historic squares.

But why Savannah? Why do writers choose one specific setting over another? For me setting is another factor that shapes and adds depth to whatever original idea I had for a story. 

For example, my first two novels are set around St. Louis, Missouri. I grew up there so it was an easy first choice but the setting was still a conscious choice that I used to influence the story and characters. Being from there I knew specific traits and idiosyncrasies of the locals that I could incorporate into the storyline to add depth and help shape my characters. St. Louis is a predominantly Catholic area (more so when I lived there). The bulk of the population in the suburb I grew up in was either of German, French or Irish descent. I used the German family qualities I knew to shape my main character Ben. He is close to his German grandparents and acknowledges his roots by occasionally being involved in German festivals and attending their German-Catholic church. 

I also wanted the very middle-America feel of St. Louis. People from that area don’t have a strong accent. They are somewhere between Chicago’s northern dialect and Memphis’s deep Southern twang. The “middle of nowhere” feeling we all joked about when living there worked perfectly with my story. I wanted to create an amazing love story in the most ordinary of places and circumstances. 

So now I’m in Savannah with my new character Vivienne. I’ve never lived in Savannah, but I fell in love with it on a trip and did my research before using it in this new series. Savannah gives me a perfect combination of contrasting moods. It’s the laid-back, friendly, Old South mixed with a rising hipster art vibe. It’s cotillians meet college bars. It’s a town that loves its  history while welcoming new, different, and unique ideas. 

Let’s #LiveLikeViv in the world of private Jets

It’s also a hub for the private jet industry and the career path for the heroine of this series, Vivienne Ramsey. I’m using my insider knowledge of this amazingly small, mostly male, posh international business to create Vivienne’s rise to the top. And just like Savannah, she’s all about contrasts and contradictions. She’s the quiet, introverted, girly girl who surprises everyone when she bursts through the glass ceiling of the good-old-boys-club in private jet sales. 

I might physically be in Memphis today, but my head will be in Savannah with Vivienne. I can’t wait for you to join me there. If you would like me to send you a reminder when the series is released (and a special discount) add your email address to my mailing list today. Together we can #LiveLikeViv and hop a jet to Savannah.