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A Couple of Firsts: My First Book Event & My First Sighting of SEMI-CHARMED LIFE in Stores!

By Nora Zelevansky / June 28th, 2012

The above left is a picture taken by my sister-in-law K. at my first ever book event this past week (along with a pic of the beautiful Georgetown Cupcakes — fitting because my hubby Drewser is from DC — on hand next to stacks of MY BOOKS)!  And that’s just the beginning of what’s been up, as I’ve gotten closer and closer to the book actually launching on July 3rd!

As you guys know, I’ve never done this whole novel thing before: So far, I know that it takes quite a while and that it’s a lot of hard work.  Now, I am just so grateful and excited to reap the benefits of all that effort (on my part and on the part of my agent and editor etc.)!

First of all, the SEMI-CHARMED LIFE reading, signing & shopping fest (at boutique 143 Ludlow owned by Sophomore designer Chrissie Miller, who I’ve known since my curfew was 11:30pm) was incredibly fun, at least for me.  It was organized in part by Gilt City, who not only created the below beautiful online invitation (which is blurry because I am a technologically challenged, which is code for “a dinosaur”), but also were incredible on the day of the event:

Anyway, I wore this Aryn K. dress that fits like a glove with a new Rag & Bone belt I got for not so much at their recent sample sale (which has changed my wardrobe, but that is really not the point of this post).  The people who attended the book event were beyond lovely, the reading seemed to go smoothly and the signing was probably my favorite part because I got to meet all these interesting and interested people.  And then about 70 of them walked away with my book, taking it out into the world for the first time for the public to actually read.  And that made everything feel amazingly real.

The wine at the party, donated by Suncé out of Sonoma County’s bucolic Russian River area, was not only really good, but they actually surprised me by putting the cover of the book ON the actual bottle labels.  I mean, how amazing is that?  It’s the little things.  And the big thing too (at least when it comes to presents).  I mean you, Drewser!  Aveda, Liz Earle and Stila donated beauty products for the gift bags and that included Stila’s soon to be discontinued (sad!) “Purple Tang” eyeliner that is featured in SEMI-CHARMED LIFE as a prop for marking the main character Beatrice’s way home.

ANYWAY, that was my only preview event.  The book comes out on July 3rd and since that’s a holiday weekend/week (when people will hopefully grab the book as a beach read!), the readings start on July 9th.  I’m traveling all over the country, so definitely do check the “Events” tab on my website for all the info!  Also, join my Facebook Author Page for updates of all kinds on readings, reviews and general book happenings!

So, here I am waiting for the book to show up on July 3rd, when I was surprised to discover my book ALREADY ON SHELVES!!!!!!! at Book Court in Cobble Hill, when I stopped in.  I actually surprised myself, as I literally almost starting crying right there in the store.  (I held it together because I didn’t want to scare the nice staff there.)  I snapped some photos (including the above) and then wandered home impervious to the heat, listening to music on my iPod and feeling … I don’t know … proud of myself.  And that’s a weirdly rare feeling, no?  Too rare, if you ask me.

Anyway, I will stop blathering on now!  More to come, when there’s … well, more to come!

xo – N.

It’s Been A While: Shameless Self-Promotion

By Nora Zelevansky / April 23rd, 2012

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If this post is incoherent, it's because I've finally succumbed to exhaustion.  Someone send me to one of those resorts/rehab facilities for celebrities, where I can go drink cucumber water and let other people take care of all my crap!

Who knew that setting the stage for a book release was so much work?  I guess it isn't unless you make it that way.  There's just an endless amount of things you can do to try to promote a novel and, though I'm sure some amount of it doesn't work, you want to exhaust every possible opportunity.  At least I do.  Still, I'm not complaining because I'm beyond excited (and not suave enough to hide it), but … I am tiiiiiiired.

Anyway, all that sleepiness certainly disappeared for a hot second, when Vicki, my editor at St. Martin's Press, sent me the above book cover, which is close to the finished version.  Yay!  I'm especially grateful for the effusive blurb from writer Molly Jong.  It's just so comforting to get positive feedback at this juncture. 

I've taken to Googling myself and the title, Semi-Charmed Life, kind of consistently (yeah, whatever, I admit it) to see if there are any new developments online.  That's how I discovered that I'd been added to Goodreads and, just this week, that the book seems to be available for pre-order at Target.com.  LOVE me some, Targé!  That was very exciting for me.

Meanwhile, I've been a busy bee, trying to pay my rent by writing the usual journalism stuff.  Here are some potentially fun reads from the bunch (maybe?):

For Style.com, a round-up of new spring spa treatments.

My Dame Magazine story on giving up cilantro for a year to become a millionaire and also a story on why smart women like "bad" TV.

A Huffington Post story on how I can't tell the difference between Park Slope and Portland.

My Huffington Post interview with Project Runway All Stars winner, Mondo!

A short interview for C Magazine with famous oncologist Dr. Agus about his new book, The End of Illness.

An interview with the goat farmer and creator of Laloo Ice Cream.

That's all for now!  Excuse me while I go pass out.

xo – N.

BROOKLYN (& BEYOND): Shameless Self-Promotion & a New Type of Sushi Roll

By Nora Zelevansky / December 17th, 2011

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This is very exciting for me.  This isn't just some regular old shamless self-promotion.  This is my book … on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles!  And the cover above!  SEMI-CHARMED LIFE actually doesn't come out until this summer when I'll be doing all sorts of readings and such (July!), but it's available for pre-order as of last week.

Also, I learned via a Google Alert yesterday that it's up on Good Reads too!  I have no clue at all how that happens, which is the case for me with most of what goes on in publishing, but I'm totally pysched.  This might seem silly, all these small details, but each public announcement or step makes the whole thing seem a little more real.

Anywaaaay, what else is happening?

Well, during my first month back in NYC (Park Slope to be exact), I've discovered a new ingenius sushi roll invention: The Tempura Sweet Potato Roll.  Yup.  It's become a regular thing for me.  Well, as regular as something can be after 28 days.  Or, actually, more like 21.  Time flies when you're  … unpacking boxes.  Whatever.  The roll is amazing.  What else can I say?

Also, I went without TV for four weeks and then wrote a story about it called "In Defense of The Boob Tube" for Huffington Post's new HuffPost TV section.  If you love TV like I do (and you all know I do), then I think you'll be nodding along with this one.

Some other highlights over the last few weeks?  An interview with my favorite pair of designer sisters from ELKIN on elle.com and a write-up of new antioxidant-rich line of beauty products, Radical Skincare, for Vital Juice.

Otherwise, I've mostly been on the road and all that implies (a.k.a. slightly broken out skin and a few extra fast food pounds).  Oh, and also the freedom of the open road.  That too.

Happy happy holidays to you all!  May the New Year bring you happiness, health, money and YES! a new season of THE BACHELOR.  It's baaaaaaaaack.

xo – N.

PALM SPRINGS/VA/MT/VT: THE BEST ARTISANAL RESORT PRODUCTS AND THE BEST WAY TO SAY ADIEU TO A YEAR WELL DONE

By Nora Zelevansky / December 18th, 2009

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I know.  I know.  I keep apologizing and then being bad again, but I'm off on yet another jaunt and will not be LINTing Christmas week.  Actually, that's sort of not true.  I'll be LINTing in the sense that I'll be scouting new finds to share (though I still owe some Pittsburgh and NYC stuff), but I won't be posting regularly until January 2, 2010.

Anyway, I thought I'd leave you with a link to my latest little story in Travel & Leisure (see above) about resorts that farm or crush and create their own beauty and food products.  Short and sweet, just like me and my attention span.  And my patience.  And my fuse.  And my family.  And the time it takes me to devour french fries.  And the time it takes me to read a trashy detective novel.  And the time that will pass between now and my next post in 2010.

So, happy holidays of all kinds, folks.  Good tidings to all and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  (I know I already have my sequined number picked out).  Well, I mean one only has so many sequin dresses from which to choose, right?

Love ya.  Mean it.

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): CRUMPLED TWENTY (SALE!)

By Nora Zelevansky / May 5th, 2009

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The Best Link Today:

Beauty sales are an elusive thing.  Generally, products don't go out of style seasonally (like so many baby doll dresses), so a product sale is must-attend.  This time, you don't have to leave your desk, as Haute Look is having a two-day online Kiehl's bonanza.

Cause, yeah, it's about time you stopped putting on disguises and begging for samples.  For real.

xo – N.

LA (AND WAY BEYOND): CRUMPLED TWENTY

By Nora Zelevansky / March 5th, 2009

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(From Yahoo! Flickr Images)

The Best Link Today:

Ken Starr is like shoulder pads.  Once every decade, he shows up–all ugly and misshapen and full of false righteousness and vibrato–on a mission to destroy something beautiful and progressive in this world.  The issue is always sex-related (not necessarily true with the pads).  And the timing is always when we've won the kingdom back from the ravagers, bigots and self-interested liars. Not to mince words.

Anyway, I'm not even going to venture to understand from where the deep sexual repression that drives this awful person stems, but I will mention that it's always the most fervent anti-gay or "family values" guys who end up caught (literally) with their pants down in a men's bathroom with a call boy (of some immigrant descent, whose rights to live here they, of course, fervently fought against).

Why else would you care so much how other people live their lives without hurting you?  Why else would you be arrogant enough to believe that you should get to dictate how other people create families?

Now, the topic is Prop 8 and gay marriage rights.  It's continually amazing to me that–though historically bigotry against specific groups has been fought and eventually defeated (at least legally)–that, each time a new group of people fights persecution, Starr-types still try to argue that their prejudice is legitimate.  Guess what, guys: this is the same issue again.  This is the same as civil rights. The same as the women's movement.  You can't be anti-gay marriage and not be a homophobe and, inevitably you're going to LOSE.  AGAIN.

Anyway, here's a link to a website, where you can sign a pro-gay marriage petition and also (okay maybe this is a little bad, but . . .) you can also find lists of Prop 8 supporters, who are putting their hard-earned (ahem, tax-evaded) money towards stifling other people's civil rights.  The idea is just not to put more money is these people's pockets.

When Andrew and I got our marriage license last year, it was right after gay marriage was legalized and there were almost all gay couples getting hitched at the Beverly Hills Courthouse.  The only other straight couple looked to be in their seventies, so they were cuter than us too.  Anyway, it was such an amazing and touching piece of history to witness.

I'm really grateful for that experience.

And, just like shoulder pads, I know Ken Starr and his band of merry lynchers will quickly fade back into the abyss too.  Or at least I hope so.

xo – N.

P.S. We live in a country that's supposed to foster different belief systems, even if those other beliefs sometimes make you want to go ballistic.  But, even if you believe that gay marriage is a sin, I think it's important to remember that one set of religious beliefs is not meant to guide the way our country runs.  What you believe is fine (so don't have a gay marriage), but, as soon as you start stealing rights from others, your own rights are in jeopardy.