Monday, January 27, 2014


This book will be released on Monday, February 3rd.

Cover Art by:  Madame UB Designs

Book Blurb: Lily has had it with Aunt Lizzie. She wants her inheritance. She wants to be free. Aunt Lizzie wants Lily to find a husband, though she thinks it’s impossible. To her Lily could kiss freedom goodbye since it might be about the only person who’d allow that.

Aunt Lizzie’s thinking marriage; Lily’s thinking marriage-if-anyone-would-ever-want-me. Aunt Lizzie’s thinking cooking, cleaning and looking after a family; Lily wants a career that isn’t home-running. Aunt Lizzie’s not bent on making Lily have her way. So what would Lily do? She’d plot to gain her inheritance. She’d plot to gain her freedom. Her dad’s will says nothing about Mr. Right, neither does it mention an aspiring actress eager to break into Hollywood.

Join Lily in her quest for freedom as she poses as a couple with Clare behind a camouflage of flashy cars and cupcakes in order to get that inheritance. Follow this hilarious recipe of a low self-esteem girl, a sassy self-employed actress, an Aunt whose quotes would get you raising brows and two grannies who are willing to help low self-esteem girl. But watch out, one has a pistol which she stashes in her underwear.

Message From The Author:  I’ve had lots of inspiration for writing. But the one that moved me into publishing my very first novel, I Don’t Know How She Will Do It has to go to Allison Pearson. Words can’t describe how much I loved I Don’t Know How She Does Itboth the book and the movie. Something about Kate’s struggle and how lovable she was portrayed made me nuts to pen something down. Days and days the title I Don’t Know How She Does It resounded constantly in my sleep, in my wake, every moment in my life (mainly because it was one hell of a funky title). I was practically haunted to put down my baby I Don’t Know How She Will Do It. Though they are both different stories, they both portray that sense of feminism that makes women all around the world proud. And that’s why I penned I Don’t Know How She Will Do It, a short story that would make women rejoice for their womanhood and cheering them for giving men a run for their money. There are points I might make you reach for your Kleenex, but forgive me for you will laugh at so many moments they would make up for all my sins. 



About the Author:  First of all, KobbyTettehGyampoh, simply Kobby, hates referring to himself in third-person.

I just turned eighteen. I am Ghanaian and have always loved Chick-lit. My Chick-lit role models would be Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Janet Evanovich and Sarah Strohmeyer.

I was introduced to the genre when I was thirteen. Sarah Strohmeyer made the introduction with her Bubbles Series. Since I read Bubbles, I quit writing Harlequin-styled romances and have always considered myself-since then, a humor writer.

My biggest dream is to be an EIC to a lifestyle magazine someday like Kate White-for my obsession for Cosmo’s language since she was running as editor. But for now, I am good with studying English to break into Advertising someday.

I am currently working on my next title which is sort of a series like Cupcakes R US, but it’s based on the lives of editors, columnists and freelancers in a Cosmo-lookalike magazine. Which would be available in more formats than Kindle. Epub, PDF, Docx, Doc, Mobi, PowerPoint. And oh, Paperback. 

If I am not writing something funny, I spend most of my time reviewing something funny on my blog, ChickLit Pad.  

Find Kobby Online: 

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014


20 Questions with Indira Aguilar from Heartbreak Cake

I’m Cindy Arora, and I’m happy to be here on Books by Banister. Today, I’m sharing a fun 20 Questions with pastry chef Indira Aguilar, who is the main character of my debut novel Heartbreak Cake. With Valentine’s Day less than a month away, Indira also wants to share her favorite easy-to-make jarred strawberry shortcake dessert that’s always a crowd favorite.

Now, discover 20 things you never knew about Indira Aguilar.

1. Milk or dark chocolate? 
Milk. I will always ask for more heavy cream.

2. Justin Bieber or Justin Timberlake? 
Is there even a debate about this? JT, hands down. Have you seen him in a suit? 

3. Horse-drawn carriage or long walk on the beach? 
Love sand in my toes. 

4. Frozen yogurt or ice cream? 
Peanut butter chocolate ice cream makes my night. 

5. Love at first sight or a slow-burn? 
Five years ago, I would’ve said love at first sight. But I don’t believe in it anymore, so now I’m a fan of the getting-to-know-you slow-burn. 

6. Pasta or rice? 
There’s nothing better than a creamy cheese pasta with rosemary. 

7. France or Italy? 
France. They bred the croissant, you know.

8. Pilates or yoga? 
Pilates. It’s yoga with edge.

9. Cake or pie? 
I can’t choose between the two. I just can’t! What would the world be without either? 

10. What’s one of your favorite habits? 
I love my morning coffee ritual. I could never give it up. 

11. eBook or paperback? 
Paperback. I’m old school. 

12. Cookbooks or food blogs? 
I have my favorite cookbooks, but I do get a lot of inspiration from food bloggers and food writers. 

13. Backyard wedding or luxurious hotel wedding? Charming backyard weddings are the best. And really, the star of any wedding—next to the bride naturally—is the wedding cake.

14. Sweet or savory? 
I work with sweets all day, so I actually love savory, salty and spicy. Spicy buffalo wings are a household must-have.

15. Morning or night? 
I’m an early bird, always have been. Love how quiet it is in the early morning. 

16. Cupcake or cake pop? 
Cupcake because you can do more with them. 

17. Cat or dog? 
Have you met my 20 pound cat Norma (named after Sally Field in the movie Norma Rae)? You should. She’s flufftastic. 

18. Favorite smell? 
Cookies baking in the oven.

19. Heels or flats? 
I’d love to wear heels more, but I live in clogs and flats. They just make more sense in the kitchen. 

20. Lipstick or lip gloss? 
Tinted lip gloss in mocha. Never leave home without it.

Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar
  • 1 boxed yellow cake mix, baked according to package directions (If you have time or energy, make your yellow cake mix from scratch. Indira’s favorite recipe is from
  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • 1 (8 ounce) whipped topping
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries mixed with 1/4 cup sugar

Crumble the yellow cake mix into large chunks. Press a small amount of the crumbled cake mix into the bottom of four small canning jars. In a small bowl, mix together the frosting and whipped topping. Spoon a small amount on top of the cake layer. Spoon a few strawberries on top of the frosting layer, then add another layer of cake, frosting, and strawberries. Top each jar with a lid and ring. Store in the fridge up to 12 hours before serving. Recipe from

Author Bio
Cindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley TribuneThe Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in SaveurTasting TableOrange Coast Magazine and Fodor’s. She’s also a mother, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a Chick Lit author. Heartbreak Cake is her debut novel. 
Heartbreak Cake by Cindy Arora

Business is sweet for pastry chef Indira Aguilar. Her indie bakery, Cake Pan, is fast becoming the talk of the wedding circuit for its unique take on cakes and homespun creations for the modern bride, garnering national recognition and drawing in celebrity clients. But while her professional life is blossoming, her personal life is crumbling. 

Indira may have a talent for blending buttercream into bliss, but when it comes to relationships, she’s got a lot to learn. Considering that the love of her life, Josh Oliver, is not only married, but also runs the award-winning pastry department of her fiercest competition, Crystal Cove Resort, Indira puts much more at stake than just her heart when she ends her affair with him. 

Rumors begin to fly as the small seaside community of Long Beach learns of her secret relationship, and Indira must defend not only her actions, but her wedding business and her reputation while trying to maneuver the choppy heartbreak waters of starting over, finding new love, and facing her past. With the support of friends and family, a fondness for butter, and a determined spirit, Indira may just bake her way back to happiness and possibly into the heart of Crystal Cove’s dishy new chef, Noah. But one thing is certain. Where there’s heartbreak, there must be cake.

Add Heartbreak Cake to your Goodreads shelf! Follow along with the Heartbreak Cake Blog Tour via Fictionella! Visit publisher Simon & Fig for more information about the book, and connect with Cindy at!

Buy Heartbreak Cake

Friday, January 17, 2014


1) Can you give us a brief overview of Chase?

Chase is a coming of age story about a young woman named Amalia Hastings. It’s the first novel in a series of books I am writing.

Amalia is from another area of New York and moves into Manhattan to attend graduate school at NYU. When we first meet her she is 22, in a relationships with her long term boyfriend, Nicholas, and best friends with Cassandra who she’s known since childhood. Even though she has a great apartment (which she takes out extra loans to pay for), a great best friend, and is enrolled in one of the best schools in the country, she still isn’t happy. Her roommates drive her nuts, school is much more difficult than she ever anticipated, and as the months pass she finds herself feeling confused and lonely. Her eye begins to wander over to a fellow classmate name Michael, who quickly becomes one of her closest friends. Despite his romantic entanglements with his college girlfriend, his eye begins to wander to Amalia as well.

Throughout the book, she makes decisions that affect her young adult life, both personal and professional. It also affects her attitude towards the people in her life, and Manhattan itself.

2) What's your favorite quality about your heroine/hero?

My favorite quality about her is that she learns how to speak her mind. All too often people keep their emotions inside. Amalia learns throughout the book that not standing up for herself is getting her nowhere in life.

3) What made you want to write Chase?

I wanted to write a story that took place in NYC that was different from any of the other books I have read. I wanted to write something that was more realistic.

4) How long did it take you to write Chase? What is your writing process like?

It took me about 3 years! But that was because I stopped and started a lot of times. I moved twice and got engaged during the process of writing my book. I actually finished it not too long before my wedding day. After that I waited 3 months for it to be edited (the editor had two books ahead of mine) then went through another couple of months having the book formatted. It is not an easy process- the entire thing took about a year from when I finished the last sentence. My process is probably a little more unorthodox then others. I write whenever I have the time. I get a lot of ideas throughout the day. I’ll hear a song that I haven’t heard in years and think, “I have to write a chapter where Amalia does X!” solely based on how that song made me feel in that moment.

5) If Hollywood comes calling and asks you to sign over the movie rights for Chase, who would you like to see play Amalia and Michael on-screen?

I’d much rather it be turned into a television show! I’d probably chose Sasha Pieterse as Amalia. She’s fantastic on Pretty Little Liars, the best actress on that show in my opinion. For Michael I’d choose James Lafferty who was previously on One Tree Hill. He’s a few years older, about 28, but I think he’d fit the bill well for Michael. Also, my pick for Olivia would be Alexandra Chando.

6) How do you think of titles? 

They're usually inspired by music or they come to me as I am writing the story.

7) Tell us about your cover art design. How did you come up with the concept? Did you execute it yourself or have a professional do it?

I held a contest on a web-site called “99Designs.” It’s a great site! You get to have lots of artists compete for your project, and you choose the best one.

8) The fiction market is so competitive now. How did you find an audience for your work? What do you think are the most effective ways an author can promote herself?

Take to blogging and be active on Twitter I would say are the best ways I know of. Follow a lot of Women’s Fiction’s blogs (or whatever genre you write) and try to get involved with them. Promoting is something I’m definitely still working on. I was working with a publicist who got me a lot of opportunities but eventually it becomes too expensive to keep that up!

9) What are your thoughts on love scenes in books? Do you prefer to read/write sweet/romantic encounters between your hero and heroine or spicy ones?

Sweet and romantic but either way it’s the hardest part of the book to write!

10) What are you working on now?

I am currently working on a short story, called “Deliver Me” that I am entering in a competition, and I am also working on the second installment in the Chase series. 

11) Who are the authors who inspire you?

Lauren Weisberger’s earlier work. Emily Giffin is probably my favorite author. I am also really inspired by television writers like Kevin Williamson, Mark Schwahn, and Joss Whedon. 

12) What genres do you like to read? Do you stick to one or are you eclectic in your reading tastes?  

Right now I am reading The Lying Game Series. I am almost done with the third book. It’s fantastic. It’s a bit of chick-lit mixed with mystery. It really hold my interest. My favorite genre to read is definitely Women’s Fiction.

13) If you could be plopped down in the middle of any book, which one would it be?

Twilight, so I could slap Rosalie.

14) If you could invite any five people (living or dead) over for a dinner party, who would they be and why?

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Garner, because they are my favorite actresses. Benedict Cumberbatch because I find him wildly entertaining. Joss Whedon, so I could ask his advice on creating such strong characters. And Herman Hesse.

Fast and Flirty

Favorite scent?  Peonies
Favorite color?  Lavender
Favorite food?  Eggplant Parm
Favorite word?  Persnickety
Favorite article of clothing?  Dresses
Dream vacation spot? 
Favorite time period in history?  Medieval
Favorite girl's night out drink?  7 & 7
Favorite date night activity?  Staying in and watching a movie
Favorite song?  Kill by Jimmy Eat World
Celebrity hottie on your laminated list?  Isabella Rossellini

Author Bio: Jill Knapp-Zitron, a native New Yorker, is the author of the Chase series (New Adult/ Women's Fiction) and a former adjunct professor of Psychology at her alma mater Kean University.

A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Knapp-Zitron reports on entertainment, relationships and the differences between city and suburban lifestyles. She received a Masters in Psychology from the New School For Social Research in Manhattan. She also runs Chick Lit Books.

Book Blurb:  The question that 23-year old Amalia Hastings wants the answer to is: What happens to men when they move to Manhattan

Life in the big city gives Amalia a ride she is not expecting. As she tries to find her way on the little island that never sleeps, she discovers she has a harder time navigating through life 
then she does the streets of Greenwich Village and finds herself truly lost in the complex world of men, graduate school, money, family, and friendship. 

She thought she had everything she wanted – a new apartment in
Manhattan, a first-rate education at NYU, a group of trusted friends and Nicholas, a boyfriend who she once believed was her soul-mate. But somehow, it isn’t enough. 

Stumbling through her relationships, Amalia encounters Michael. An attractive classmate who quickly moves from being one of her close friends, to an inconsistent friend-with-benefits. After all, the only thing consistent about
New York is its beauty. 

After getting terribly lost searching for love in all the wrong places, Amalia finds herself torn between the possibility of a relationship, and an adventure she's been planning all along. 

She eventually realizes that solely chasing love closes her off to all of the other good things life has to offer. Now she must decide – what is worth the chase?

Connect With Jill Knapp-Zitron



Purchase Chase

Monday, January 13, 2014


Greetings fellow Books by Banister fans. I’m Laura Chapman, and it’s a pleasure to be here on Tracie’s blog. I adored Blame it on the Fame and In Need of Therapy, which makes this a big honor for me. Today, I’m particularly excited, because I get to share an interview with Lexi Burke, the main character of my debut novel, Hard Hats and Doormats.

For this conversation, I’m meeting Lexi at one of her favorite Mexican restaurants in The Woodlands, Texas. Even though it’s lunch, we’ve ordered a round of margaritas while we munch on chips and salsa and mull over our main course options.

Laura Chapman: Thanks for meeting me for this interview.
Lexi Burke: No problem. It gets me out of the office for a bit, and if we talk about my job at all, I suppose I can pretend this is a work function, which means I won’t have to feel guilty.

LC: Is that a problem for you? Feeling guilty about not being at work?
LB: All the time. I’ve been with my company since I graduated college a couple of years. Even though I do my best I sometimes feel like I can’t handle the day to day. I put in a lot of extra hours to make up for my lack of previous experience.

LC: What do you do?
LB: I’m a human resources manager for Gulf America. That’s a major chemical based here in Texas. I can actually see my office from here.

Lexi directs my attention to a sleek steel and glass window poking out from behind the trees.

LC: It looks like a nice place to work.
LB: It is sometimes. To be honest, I’m hardly ever in the office. I spend a good chunk of my time out in the field making site visits.

LC: That sounds interesting. Tell me more about your job.
LB: Like I said, I do HR for GA. My territory takes me along and off the coast of Texas and Louisiana. I help with hiring, training, benefits enrollment and assisting with investigations when employees… behave badly. It sounds way more interesting than it is. Trust me. Riding helicopters and airplanes all over the place might sound exciting, but I spend most of my time in crappy conference rooms, airport terminals and clean but questionable motel rooms.

LC: Yikes.
LB: Tell me about it. Speaking of which. Hold on a second. I have to take this.

Lexi picks up her smart phone, which she’s had within grabbing distance the whole time we’ve been together. She makes a few murmurs of agreements, rolls her eyes a couple of times, and promises to call the person back when she’s finished with her meeting.

LB: Sorry. That was my boss. Dale is… a little demanding. Usually I’d ignore the call, but when it comes to him, it’s easier to find out what he wants and deal. It can get a little annoying, but right now we have a promotion up for grabs at work, and I’m determined it’s going to be mine.

LC: Nice. What would you say is your greatest achievement?
LB: You mean besides getting out of bed every morning and showing up where I have to be on time? Actually, it’s probably graduating from college on time and having a job lined up before I had my diploma. I’m lucky I didn’t have to spend any real time unemployed or wondering if I was going to default on my student loans. I’d also say moving away from Iowa and coming to live in a new city was huge for me. I still haven’t seen much of Houston, but it’s definitely a big change from Des Moines.

LC: What’s your life motto?
LB: “Ian Somerhalder will be mine.” No, I’m kidding. I’ve been playing catch-up on some of my favorite TV shows. Let’s see… probably something like, “Who says nice girls have to finish last.”  I don’t know. I’m not very creative. My friend Kara could probably come up with something better. She’s paid to be good with words.

Lexi’s phone buzz again, and she make a quick apology before checking the screen. This time, her face lights up. And so does my interest.

LC: Who’s that?
LB: Jason Beaumont.

LC: And who is he?
LB: Some guy I work with out in the field.

LC: Mmm hmm… Some guy from work?
LB: Yes, that’s all. He’s just a nice man who sends me funny messages. He’s a buddy. Nothing else.

LC: Right. Whatever you say, Ms. Burke. But while we’re on the subject of men, what qualities do you look for in the opposite sex?
LB: I definitely like someone who is successful – not in terms of money or anything like that. But I like knowing a guy is driven and goal-oriented. That he’ll work hard to get what he wants. And after living here in Texas for a couple of years, I’m seeing the charm in southern gentlemen. I need someone who can make me laugh and who will laugh at himself. Someone who treats me well and supports me no matter what. And it wouldn’t hurt if he had nice shoulders.

LC: Is there anyone special in your life that fits that mold?
LB: Not really. Oh look. There’s our waitress. Let’s get our drinks topped off and order something to eat. I recommend the fish tacos. They’re delish.

You can follow along with more of Lexi’s adventures on Twitter @thelexiburke.

About the Author

Laura Chapman mixes her love of romance and humor as a women’s fiction blogger and author. Born and raised in Nebraska – in a city, not on a farm – she is a devoted fan of football, British period drama, writing in bars and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Hard Hats and Doormats is her debut novel.

Connect with Laura Chapman

About the Book

Lexi Burke has always been a stickler for following rules and procedures. As a human resources manager for a leading Gulf Coast chemical company, it’s her job to make sure everyone else falls in line, too.

But after losing out on a big promotion–-because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol.

While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders.

Buy the Book