Daily Dish

Musings, ramblings, and miscellaneous writer neuroses of RITA award-winning comedy and New York Times bestselling author Alesia Holliday.

Wednesday, August 31

And another guest blogger!!

Daily Dish is pleased to tour Julie Kenner from GCC today!


"This book, as crammed with events as any suburban mom's calendar, shows you what would happen if Buffy got married and kept her past a secret. It's a hoot."
-Charlaine Harris, USA Today bestselling author of DEAD TO THE WORLD

Julie Kenner's Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom is delighting readers this summer! A combination of mommy lit and fantasy, the book has been receiving praise since even before its release when Booksense honored it by selecting CARPE DEMON as one of its Top Ten Summer Paperback Picks for 2005. The book was also selected as a Target "Breakout Book" and has held the Number One slot on Barnes & Noble's SF/Fantasy trade overall bestseller list for seven weeks (and counting!).

CARPE DEMON has also been optioned for film, and is currently in development at Warner Brothers, with 1492 Pictures (Chris Columbus, Harry Potter) producing.

Read an Excerpt here!

Blurb: Carpools. Crabgrass. Creatures from the depths of hell. Suburbia has its problems too...
Lots of women put their careers aside once the kids come along. Kate Connor, for instance, hasn't hunted a demon in ages...

That must be why she missed the one wandering through the pet food aisle of the San Diablo Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, he managed to catch her attention an hour later-when he crashed into the Connor house, intent on killing her.

Now Kate has to clean up the mess in her kitchen, dispose of a dead demon, and pull together a dinner party that will get her husband elected to County Attorney-all without arousing her family's suspicion. Worse yet, it seems the dead demon didn't come alone. He was accompanied by a High Demon named Goramesh who, for some unknown reason, intends to kill off the entire population of San Diablo.

It's time for Kate Connor to go back to work.

Review snippets/Praise:

"Advance praise compares Kate to a domesticized Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which seems accurate. Throw in a bit of Teri Hatcher from Desperate Housewives while dropping pop culture references. Whomever you picture as Kate, she's hilarious, and so is this book. Toss this one in your beach bag, and don't forget the sunscreen." - Kat Lively's Book Picks

"I loved CARPE DEMON! It was great fun; wonderfully clever... ninety-nine percent of the wives and moms in the country will identify with this heroine. I mean, like who hasn't had to battle demons between car-pools and play-dates?" -Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author of Falling Awake

"Smart, fast-paced, unique--a blend of sophistication and wit that has you laughing outloud!" -Christine Feehan, New York Times bestselling author of Oceans of Fire

"What would happen if Buffy the Vampire Slayer got married, moved to the suburbs and became a stay-at-home mom? She'd be a lot like Kate Connor, once a demon/vampire/zombie killer and now "a glorified chauffeur for drill-team practice and Gymboree play dates" in San Diablo, Calif., that's what. But in Kenner's sprightly, fast-paced ode to kick-ass housewives, Kate finds herself battling evil once again." -- Publishers Weekly

about Julie:

Julie Kenner's first book hit the stores in February of 2000, and she has since seen over 20 books hit the shelves. A USA Today and Waldenbooks bestselling author, Julie spent several years mainlining venti nonfat lattes in order to work fulltime as an attorney, write books, and be a mommy. In 2004 she finally wised up, decided that sleep was a good thing, and left the practice of law to write full time. She now lives and writes in Georgetown, Texas, with her husband, daughter and a variety of cats. She still doesn't sleep all that much, though. Julie is also the author of The Givenchy Code (www.givenchycode.com), a chicklit thriller released earlier this summer. Read more about Julie at www.juliekenner.com (and if you're interested in slaying a few demons of your own pop over to www.slayyourdemons.com, Julie's guest-blogging site!)

Monday, August 29


Finally!! Still surrounded by boxes in the new house in Virginia, but I have internet access so life is GOOD!!!

Today, I have the privilege to tour Robin Epstein and Renée Kaplan, and their terrific book: SHAKING HER ASSETS. Here's the scoop:

New York women just got a heroine to call their own.
Shaking Her Assets
by Robin Epstein and Renée Kaplan

"SHAKING HER ASSETS is funny, smart and
hugely entertaining."
--Jill A. Davis, author of GIRLS' POKER NIGHT

Chick lit meets the graphic novel in SHAKING HER ASSETS (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; May 3, 2005; $13.00), a clever and quirky debut novel featuring the adventures of a modern-day Manhattan heroine.

Meet Rachel Chambers, New York City copywriter, collector of vintage compacts, and self-proclaimed eBay-addict. For the second time in less than a month, Rachel finds herself standing on the street, holding a collection of her personal effects, trying to catch a cab at rush hour. Only this time, instead of juggling a box of coffee mugs and pilfered office supplies, her big paper shopping bag overflows with the remnants of her now defunct two-year relationship.

With no job, no boyfriend, and no back-up plan, Rachel has no choice but to reinvent herself. Instead of getting a conventional new job, she starts her own company—sort of. Rachel and her best friend Ben conjure up a business idea as a complete joke, and it unexpectedly starts to take off. But it's a risky stealth effort, with lots of improvising, a dose of guerrilla marketing, and copious amounts of total bluffing.

Meanwhile, Rachel’s been temping, and when the art director at her temp job gets wind of her romantic and entrepreneurial misadventures, he turns her into a comic book superhero, illustrating her hilarious escapades. Suddenly Rachel is taking New York by storm, remorselessly tossing aside losers and nay-sayers in her never-ending quest for success—and before long, Rachel's man-eating comic alter-ego has got her believing that she just might be able to pull this off in real life…but maybe without the cone-shaped bra.

Hailed by Alison Pace, author of IF ANDY WARHOL HAD A GIRLFRIEND, as "A funny, heartwarming page-turner for the entrepreneur in us all," SHAKING HER ASSETS gives New York women a superhero to call their own.

SHAKING HER ASSETS is the first novel by Robin Epstein and Renée Kaplan. Robin Epstein received her MFA from Columbia University. She has worked on sitcoms starring Joan Cusack ("What About Joan," ABC), Al Franken ("Lateline," NBC) and sold an original pilot to the Oxygen network. She is a contributor to NPR’s This American Life and is currently scripting a video game for Atari called Tycoon City: New York.

Renée Kaplan was a writer and editor for the New York Observer, before transitioning into television journalism, first as a producer for the "Charlie Rose Show" on PBS, and most recently for "60 Minutes II." Today she is a freelance television producer and writer.

Friday, August 19

Channeling Sacajawea . . .

Yes, I'm now experiencing that part of any of our many, many moves (Navy Guy being in the, you know, Navy and all, this happens a lot) wherein I am reduced to comparing myself to Sacajawea in order to survive.

As in: Well, Sacajawea didn't even have a car, let alone this wonderful car that -- oh, right. This wonderful car that EXPLODED A TIRE WHEN I WAS BARRELING DOWN THE FREEWAY (following all posted speed limits, I assure you, if you're listening, Trooper Stolarik).

Or the part where the hairy-butted studmuffins of love apparently believed I wanted them to DO ME RIGHT ON THE FREEWAY.

Or today, when I NEARLY WENT TO JAIL.

As I've mentioned to a few friends (who admitted to laughing at me), I will even laugh at this once it's all over and I find some Vicodin. or Valium. or Vodka. gotta love those V words. sigh. [Did I MENTION the part where I was in the ER with Princess at midnight when BLOOD was GUSHING out of what was supposed to be a small insect bite??? BLOOD and GUSHING. Two words you NEVER, EVER want to use in the same sentence when talking about your children. Or - on a lighter note - the part where I FELL HEADFIRST down a flight of stairs in the restaurant?]

Today we were stuck on the bridge for an HOUR with the car turned off because the TUNNEL that goes under Chesapeake Bay was shut down by an accident. Did I mention both kids had to pee?? in the middle of stopped traffic? of COURSE they did.

Then I did an illegal U-turn to find a restaurant for dinner and both of them spent the entire dinner telling everyone in the restaurant that MOMMY BROKE THE LAW and was going to jail. Including, of course, the VIRGINIA STATE HIGHWAY PATROL OFFICER IN UNIFORM who came in to eat. Princess started sobbing and hurled herself on my lap and said to the poor befuddled man: DON'T TAKE MY MOMMY TO JAIL.

Whereupon everyone in the entire restaurant probably thought i was a crack dealer. If you see me on CNN, you'll know why.

But REMEMBER: Sacajawea had NO running water, laptop computer, or cell phone on HER trip. Life is good. Life is DAMN GOOD.

alesia, twitching in a hotel room somewhere in Virginia Beach

Wednesday, August 17

The PERILS of Alesia

LEST anyone ever think I don't live a chick lit sort of life, I'll tell you sometime about FALLING DOWN THE STAIRS head first at the restaurant MONDAY, being in the E.R. with Princess last night at midnight because BLOOD was GUSHING out of her BODY, and EXPLODING a TIRE at 72 MPH on the freeway today, whereafter a nice State Highway Trooper changed my tire, led me (lights flashing) to the nearest tire store, owned by A VERY NICE MAN who could have charged me $500 since I was stranded, but only charged $58 for a very good tire (everything included).

Could I MAKE THIS STUFF UP??? I have PICTURES of the tire store, the very WONDERFUL TROOPER STOLARIK and the exploded tire. Stay tuned for photos! The journey just gets BETTER AND BETTER.

Tomorrow, I'm sure a GIANT METEORITE WILL FALL ON THE HONDA just after I load the suitcases. If it does, the children and I will give up and get on a freaking airplane. [Science Boy just kindly explained to me that I have a better chance of being struck by lightning than having a giant meteorite fall on the car. NOTE TO SELF: Check area weather for thunderstorms. . . ]


Alesia, who got to use the word "lest"

Monday, August 15

I'm raising a Princess

The 5 1/2 y.o. is turning out to be quite the Princess, not that this is a surprise, since she has always been half royalty and half bulldozer. However, when travelling, this quality manifests itself in interesting ways.

Navy Guy took the kids for the loooooong drive up to Ohio (long story; we had an actual reason for it) and stopped at a hotel. Princess has travelled with me before and is used to hotels, so once they got settled in the room, this conversation ensued:

Princess: I'm ready for my room service.
Navy Guy, aka Daddy: There is no room service here, sweetie. This is a holiday inn express (or wherever he was).
Princess: Daddy, that is just WRONG. You need to talk to Mommy about hotels.

Daddy was not amused. I thought it was hilarious.

This is also the girl who had the following conversation with her Uncle on Sunday, when he took her to a children's fishing derby (again, don't ask - they live in the COUNTRY).

Princess: I have a fish on the hook!
Uncle: Reel it in!
Princess (taking one look at the fish on the line, dropping the pole, and backing away): I'm pretty much an indoor girl.

And, finally, yesterday, when we drove the TWENTY-FIVE miles to the only mall in the vicinity:

Princess: Where are the TALL BUILDINGS?
Me: There are no tall buildings, this is the country.
Princess: That is just WRONG.

Yes, I'm raising royalty. We keep tiaras around the house. My darling son, on the other hand, is happy wherever he is, as long as his GameBoy is with him. Also, he lost a tooth this weekend and was very happy that the Tooth Fairy could make it all the way out here in the boonies to find him.

Alesia, the Queen Mother

Friday, August 12

Public Service Announcements

Okay, so I am halfway from Florida to Ohio and I would like to ask all of you wonderful people to spread the word to any place where drivers on I 95 and I 77 might read:


2. Just because you see a blonde driving alone, it does not mean that hanging out the window and leering at her and yelling trash talk is going to result in her saying DO ME RIGHT HERE ON THE FREEWAY, YOU BIG HAIRY-BUTTED STUDMUFFIN OF LOVE.

3. If you are getting gas at a gas station and there is a long line of people waiting to get gas, do not leave your car parked at the gas pump and go inside the mini-mart to go to the bathroom, get food, get drinks, and chat with HALF OF THE PEOPLE IN THE FREE WORLD.

4. Reading the t-shirt slogans of random women out loud will not result in said women saying DO ME RIGHT HERE ON THE SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF THE GAS STATION, YOU BIG HAIRY-BUTTED STUDMUFFIN OF LOVE.

5. It is just SICK AND WRONG to have a TV in a hotel that does not have the Sci-Fi channel on FIREFLY, STARGATE, AND STARGATE ATLANTIS night.

Alesia, a teensy bit cranky

Thursday, August 11

On the Road!!

Wish me luck! I've spackled, painted and packed until my eyes are crossed (WHY DO I HAVE FOURTEEN BOTTLES OF HAIR CONDITIONER? I am SO not kidding. Hey - clean out YOUR bathroom cupboards and see what YOU find!)

Now it's finally time to hit the road because I MISS MY CHILDREN SO MUCH I CAN'T STAND IT! So I'm bailing on poor Navy Guy and forcing him (okay, he volunteered; he's just that kind of guy) to handle the pack out on his own. Plus, the fact that I get FREAKED OUT BEYOND ALL BELIEF when I have to stand around and watch total strangers pack up everything I own, may have something to do with him urging me to go ahead and leave . . .

So, bright and early tomorrow I'm heading out for the 820 mile drive to Ohio. If I happen to have your phone number on my cell phone, be afraid. Be very afraid. Because guess what I do during a loooooooong car drive? Mwah ha ha ha.


Alesia, soon to be a Virginian

Wednesday, August 10


Go HERE to see!

Tuesday, August 9

They say tragedy brings out the best in people . . .

But I have to disagree. I think tragedy brings out the ESSENCE of people. I am so overwhelmed by the response from so many of you who don't even know Marianne. When I count my blessings, being part of a warm, supportive community like the writer's and reader's community is high on the list.
Alesia, 5 days from Moving Truck

Monday, August 8

Have a character named after you in one of my books!

I'm naming a character in an upcoming book after the top bidder in Marianne's fire fund auction! See details here!

Update on Marianne's auction

Go see us here to find out details and find the auction page. Also, stay tuned - two more sets of items will be auctioned over the next few days! Also, we've recruited more volunteers! So if you want to donate a critique to Marianne, stay tuned for details on contact info!

Friday, August 5

Now touring Karin Gillespie!!

In the midst of the craziness, it's fun to have a fabulous author and founding genius of the Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit on tour!

Karin Gillespie's new book, A DOLLAR SHORT, is:

“As tart and delectable as lemon meringue pie… a pure delight!”
--Jennifer Weiner, author of Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, and Little Earthquakes

“Never a dull moment…. this fast-paced screamer of a romance begs a giggle, if not a guffaw. —Booklist

It isn’t every day a movie star steals your husband. Former beauty queen Chiffon Butrell faces that dilemma when her husband Lonnie wins a trip to Hollywood. Lonnie meets mega movie star, Janie Lynn Lauren—known as Jay-Li to her elite circle- and leaves Chiffon behind in Cayboo Creek, S.C., with three kids and no money.

Chiffon’s manages to lose her temper and her job in quick succession—only to discover that Lonnie’s paycheck from the Nutra-Sweet plant has been forwarded to a California address. With three kids to feed, Chiffon comes up more than a dollar short.

Her good friends, the Bottom Dollar Girls, try their best to pitch in. But there are too few hands to lend, what with Elizabeth and her husband Timothy expecting their first baby any day, and the rest of the Bottom Dollar Girls knee-deep in their secret—and possibly scandalous--plan to raise money for the Cayboo Creek Senior Center.

When a slick of Wesson Oil at the Winn Dixie gets the better of Chiffon’s ankle, there’s just one thing to be done—call on estranged older sister Chenille, who hails from Bible Grove, S.C. A prissy, fussy spinster prone to dressing her dog Walter in matching plaid “mother-son” outfits, Chenille is everything Chiffon detests.

Chiffon's little house is soon overrun with buzzing paparazzi, and the tabloids are having a field day with the starlet's affair with a down-home country boy. Jay-Li declares war when she appears on national television to assassinate Chiffon’s character and to declare her intentions for Lonnie by wearing a t-shirt that says, “Chiffon, Be Gone!” Things get ugly in a hurry in the battle of wills between the mother of three and the world’s greatest movie star.

Through all their trials, the Grace girls find solace in the centerpiece of the series, the Bottom Dollar Emporium. Whether it's the straightforward advice of eighty-five year old Attalee, or the helpful ministrations of Elizabeth, the women of the Bottom Dollar stick together.

Not to be missed, A DOLLAR SHORT (Simon and Schuster, August 2005) sparkles with energy and wit, as well as the compelling story of emotional loss and the strength to endure. It is a hilarious saga of loss, sisterhood, and the will to survive in small town Cayboo Creek, South Carolina.


Before coming a novelist, Karin Gillespie was a special education teacher at an inner-city school and an editor of a regional parenting magazine. She’s also a bi-monthly columnist for the Augusta Chronicle.

Her first novel Bet Your Bottom Dollar is in the process of being optioned by James Woods for film.

She travels the Southeast with three other Southern authors, and they call themselves the Dixie Divas.

For the release of A Dollar Short: The Bottom Dollar Girls Go Hollywood, Karin will be embarking on the “Take Back the Tiara Tour” which will feature a red carpet, dime-store tiaras, and an essay contest for women.

Here’s an excerpt, my web site, tour schedule (I’ll be visiting 35 cities!) and Q and A with author and praise for the novel.

A Dollar Short has been chosen as a featured alternative for Doubleday and Literary Guild book clubs.

Wednesday, August 3

The book list

From Barbara Ferrer: The lovely Literary Chicks have asked me to help out the cause by keeping track of which books people are donating to Marianne so we have as little overlap as possible. So if you would... trot yourselves over to my blog, to this specific link http://www.livejournal.com/users/fashionista_35/67485.html and list what books you’re sending.And if you would forward the link to anyone you know also would like to donate books, we’d all appreciate it.

Burning down the house!!

Marianne is still having problems with her phone and can't access her phone numbers, and has intermittent access to e-mail. She was renting a cottage and did not have renter's insurance, so now all of her things are gone. She is truly devastated, but sends her warmest thanks to all of you who so graciously offered to help during this terrible time.

The good news is that she has a new apartment ready to move into soon. Anything at all that you can think of that will help a single girl starting over would be welcome.

The addy to mail to is:
Marianne Mancusi
PO BOX 8003
boston, MASS 02114

See us at the Literary Chicks, for more details. Thank you all so much for your warm hearts.

Huge hugs,

Tuesday, August 2

A writer's tragedy, please help!

My dear friend, Marianne Mancusi, returned home from our conference in Reno to find that her home had been struck by lightning and burned to the ground.

She lost everything.

I'm starting a book drive for her, since a writer's library is so very important. Please set aside a book or two (or five) and stay tuned for a mailing addy. Thank you so much for your generosity and compassion.

Monday, August 1

Home again, home again, jetlagged as heck

Wow, doing laundry is quite the letdown from the past week of glittery, glam parties, receptions, and breakfasts, lunches, and dinners!!! Just got a note from my publicist about another good review of Nice Girls so I'm a happy camper.

TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY THE MOVERS COME !!!! I feel an attack of rubber-room-itis coming on . . .

The rest of the conference pics are downloaded but I can't figure out how to get them back up. Darling Navy Guy is on his way home from HIS travels, so I'll get techno help soon!
Alesia, back to the boxes