Mystery Mondays: Carol Balawyder on Subplots

Today I am fortunate to be featured on Kristina Stanley’s blog as part of her Mystery Mondays series. Make sure you check out the other writers who’ve been guest in this series and also to browse through Kristina’s blog where you can pick up some valuable tips from her Write Better Fiction series.

Creative Story Editors

Welcome once again to Mystery Mondays.

I first connected with Carol Balawyder when she graciously agreed to have me guest blog on her seriesHOW I GOT PUBLISHED.  DESCENT had been published less than a month previously, and I was nervous about guest blogging. Carol’s generous nature made it easy for me, and now I feel very lucky to have her guest blogging on my series.

Carol writes the The Getting To Mr. Right series.

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.14.27 AMTHE PURPOSE OF SUBPLOTS by Carol Balawyder

Thank you so much Kristina for inviting me as a guest on your Mystery Monday series. It’s a true honor for me to be in the midst of so many flourishing writers.

In my writing, whether it is women’s contemporary fiction or crime genre they both have in common a subplot which deals with the complexity of domestic relationships – specifically, relationships between an adult and…

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Review: “Missi’s Dating Adventures” by Carol Balawyder

Thank you, Christopher, for this lovely review.
For those of you unfamiliar with Christopher’s web site, do have a look. You won’t be disappointed.


Missi's dating

Not a Bridget Jones kind of dating farce as I had expected this is a more serious and heart-felt return of a vulnerable and divorced woman into the tough reality of dating.
There is no pretence as Missi meets a series of very unlikely candidates to make her happy. Missi writes with honesty how these encounters occur, without simply ridiculing them as some chick-lit might do it. Unsuitable these men, however, remain, which provides some mild amusement on the way.
Before she can find happiness she has to learn some tough lessons and maybe learn to be on her own. The chapters end with great statements about what Missi has learned and how she has grown from the experience.
Honest, thoughtful and refreshing this is a coming of age story as much as it is a reflection on modern life and expectations from relationships.
Highly recommended reading.

Have a look and…

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Chick Lit: It’s A Wrap

I thought I’d end International Chick Lit Month with this postcard from PostSecret along with a few chick lit quotes. Enjoy!


Reading Romance Shamelessly


The only thing I have to say that I don’t like about chick lit as a genre is the name. I’m 44 years old, I’m not The only thing I have to say that I don’t like about chick lit as a genre is the name. I’m 44 years old, I’m not now nor have I ever been a ‘chick’. I hope it changes to ‘contemporary fiction’ or something equally suitable. I’d like something that says I write commercial, comedy fiction for all nor have I ever been a ‘chick’. I hope it changes to ‘contemporary fiction’ or something equally suitable. I’d like something that says I write commercial, comedy fiction for all genders. Heather Hill :  CHICK LIT – AN OPEN LETTER TO REAL BOOK LOVERS


But as much as I love to prove chick lit’s critics wrong, maybe it’s not worth it. Moreover, it’s probably not necessary. Chick lit authors are making millions, having their books made into Oscar-nominated films and receiving fan letters by the sackload.

Diane Shipley

The genre’s thrived for 12 years and counting and dominates bookshops all over the world. Chick lit doesn’t need me or anyone else to defend it – its success speaks for itself. Diane Shipley: In Defence of Chick Lit

I think plenty of chick lit’s well-written and smart. And I do aim high. I think all authors do. Jennifer Weiner: # 1 New York Times Bestselling Author  

We never know where life’s circumstances will lead us. This could be your story one day, if it’s not already. Missi’s Dating Adventures.


Buy at Amazon


 Photo source

 Some take offense at the label chick lit. I know. I know. I do too. At times. Depending who and how it’s being said.  The tone can be demeaning and dismissive.

Chick lit has been described as trashy, fluffy, frivolous, lacking substance,  mind-numbing all about shoes and hair styles and martinis … ohh…martinis!

Sure not every chick lit novel is great but you can say that of any genre, can’t you?

And not all chick lit is trashy. Far from it.

Take Anna Quindlan’s latest novel  Still Life With Bread Crumbs which is posted as chick lit.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs is a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.

Doesn’t sound like shoes and hair styles to me.



And let’s not forget that Quindlan earned a Pulitzer Prize for her journalistic commentaries.





Or take Marian Keyes.

Her novels often deal with such subjects as domestic violence, drug addiction and bereavement. Yet her books are labeled chick-lit. Nothing frivolous about that.



“Chick Lit uses humor to reflect life back to us. It’s a very comforting genre, and it’s the first time our generation has had a voice. It’s a very important genre for all of those reasons.”

Erin Enders gives 7 reasons why we shouldn’t write off chick lit. The article is worth reading. She ends it by saying this:

If you read women writers, you read chick lit or women’s fiction. And because women matter, we should be reading books about them and books by them, regardless of the ridiculous label.

 So, go ahead and leave a review on a chick lit book as part of your participation in chick lit appreciation month.


81k5oOpEzVL._AA1500_  Buy at Amazon


 I’m over at Huffinton Post blogger Shirley Maya Tan’s The Art of Fearless Living with an article on being single at midlife.


It has taken me a long time to appreciate being single. Ever since my divorce almost 14 years ago, I have been trying to find that elusive Mr. Right. Not really to replace my Ex (though I longed to make him jealous…as if). But I compared every man I dated to him…as if he were the prototype of Prince Charming.

Many times, especially when something went wrong in the house – blocked up sink, finding a mouse running along my kitchen counter – I was the damsel in distress hoping to be saved.

I wanted a man in my life to share the housekeeping, maintenance and expenses.

Of course there was the intimacy. But that was far from being my top reason. I needed a man to make me feel more alive! I wanted to fall in love again (and still do). I wanted to belong to someone. To fit in a world made up of couples.

Continue reading 


Thanks to all of you who participated in my weekend promotion of Missi’s Dating Adventure (Second edition).

An update is available for those who bought the first edition of the book by: Log on to your Amazon account. Click on Manage my devices. Select Settings and then automatic book update. You’ll then be kept updated on all your Amazon book orders. 🙂




Free: Second Edition of Missi’s Dating Adventures

I’m offering Missi’s Dating Adventures FREE from April 3-5.

It’s a second edition and I’ve made some fun changes to it.

Writing the second edition was a lot like renovating a house. Walls (chapters) were torn down, and new extensions built. Included in this revised version are the lessons which Missi learned from each dating experience. Surviving disappointments in her love life made her stronger, and the bad dates, the many encounters with Mr. Wrong, gave her more confidence and a better appreciation of who she is and how discerning she is becoming through her dating adventures.

Even if you’ve read the first edition do pick it up and if you’re so inclined, do write a review on Amazon, Goodreads or any other social media. 

I will be extremely grateful (Unless of course you trash it! 🙂 )

The book’s available on Kindle but with the free Kindle app you can download it on any reader.

Just make sure you order from your country’s Amazon store! 

Click on the cover to view.



The Sunday Show – Defining Moments with Carol Balawyder

For those who are not yet familiar with Sally’s blog I encourage you to go there. You will find a wealth of information and posts which reflect Sally’s generous spirit.
Thank you so very much Sally for including me as a guest on your Sunday Show.

Happy Holidays To All

I wish you all a very joyful holiday and may your new year be filled with wonderful surprises!

 Christmas star tree made from a myriad of tiny blue stars on a black background


As a Thank You for blogging along with me, I’ve reduced my Kindle eBooks to 99 cents until January 1.

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