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Shameless Self-Promotion: My Latest Articles

By Nora Zelevansky / January 17th, 2013

Well, folks, it’s been a while since I shared a slew of articles, so I guess I’ll just get down to it.  New Year.  Same me (and you!).  Yay!

But, seriously, it’s either this or ramble on for hours about The Bachelor and, honestly, it’s too early in the season for that.  Sean is the “Most Sincere Bachelor Ever.”  He’s falling for a trick who he thinks has a good heart.  She’s not there for the right reasons!  Whatever will he do?  (I mean, besides keep her until there are five girls left and then finally see her true colors.)  Why don’t the Bachelors and Bachelorettes ever believe the other contestants when they try to forewarn, when they themselves have seen, during their respective past seasons, that the other contestants have unique incite and are probably telling the truth?  But I digress.

Anywaaaaay … back to the articles.  Because we’re highbrow.  And we like to read.

1. In January’s Town & Country, I wrote a personal essay about the trials and tribulations of developing a big chest for their LOOKING GLASS section called: TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT.  (The story may or may not still be available on newsstands, as the February issue has likely already dropped.)  You may also want to check out the magazine’s new website, as it just launched in earnest and it looks fantastic.

BTW the personal essay includes snippets about growing up on the Upper West Side, which is partially what inspired parts of my still new novel, SEMI-CHARMED LIFE.  Not to be pushy (ahem, ahem), but if you haven’t yet grabbed a copy, now is the time!

2. In this month’s ELLE (that’s the February issue), I offer a sneak peek into Once Upon a Time actress Ginnifer Goodwin’s lifestyle and Hollywood Hills home.  (Hint: She loves tea!)  It’s both a profile and a design piece, so check it out.  It’s currently on newsstands.

3. For this past Sunday’s Los Angeles Times “Image” section, I wrote a story called Beckley Joins The Cool Kids about new shop Beckley opening on LA’s Third Street.  (The area is a local favorite, cool strip of independent boutiques and restaurants near West Hollywood and also where I used to live.)  The store’s owner Melissa Akkaway also launched her own clothing line last year, Beckley By Melissa, and those pieces are worth ogling online too.  I believe there’s a sale happening as we speak?  Also, look out for spring’s Beetle-Print Party Dress.  It’s on my “MUST HAVE” list.

4. Lastly, it hasn’t come out yet, but this Sunday’s “Image” section will likely include another story by me about a new cool, artsy store opening, helmed by a fabulous and interesting chick.  I can’t say more, but keep your eyes peeled!

xo – N.

The Best Part of a Book Tour (& 2 Upcoming Readings!)

By Nora Zelevansky / August 9th, 2012

My Signing at Powell’s in Portland; Photo Compliments of Anna Lobell

Unless you’re a serious bigwig, publishers don’t organize and send you on lavish book tours these days.  They do help you organize, but ultimately you take yourself.  That’s why I chose to visit places—to read from Semi-Charmed Life—where I had friends and/or family who I got to see (an extra plus!).

I started in NYC (where I live), traveled to LA (where I used to live), headed to SF (where Hotel Palomar had ever so kindly offered to host an event), then to Portland (where I just love it—that alone, plus getting to see friends, was enough of a motivating factor) and onto Pittsburgh and the Hamptons from there.

Powell’s Bookstores, a Portland institution, were an Oregon draw too.  I had visited the original Powell’s years ago when my husband Andrew “Drewser” and I took the most unbelievable winter road trip up into Oregon from LA (through Northern Cali wine country too!) and then back down the coast.  I am a lover of bookstores and this one made an impact.  Also, the city is so proud of Powell’s and that’s rare in this online shopping filled world.

Anyway,  the trip from city to city gave me new found appreciation for real performers.  Though the feeling subsided a bit as I gained more experience, I still got nervous and nauseous before every reading or event, I’d be comfortable while reading (and trying to turn on the energy!), I’d have a rush afterward and then, finally, I’d crash.  Then, it was onto the next city.  That tuckers a person out!

Two parts of that basic repetitive cycle stood out for me as my favorite.  I LOVE the interaction with readers, so the Q & A and/or discussion portions are great.  There’s something so rewarding about having people ask you fantastic questions about a project that you pondered mostly alone for the longest time.  (That’s why I hope to make myself available to Book Clubs for author discussions via phone, Skype or iChat.)  The signing is an extension of that experience and, in some ways, that’s even better because you get to have one-on-one conversations with readers about your experience.  And every so often you even meet a young person, who wants to be a writer and says she is inspired to try in part by your book.  What could be better than that?  That slays me.

My second favorite part of the readings is the dinner and drinks afterward.  Ha!  That’s probably not considered ‘part of the book experience” per se.  But to be in a slightly random city and to spend time with a group of friends who I rarely get to see and to go to some awesome local restaurant (which I don’t have to pick because I’m clueless about the AREA!) and to eat delicious food and sip stiff drinks—I mean, that is not an everyday occurrence.  (I also lucked out because two of my amazing friends came with me to SF and Portland, just to be supportive and fun!)

Next up, I have a reading on Monday, August 20th at 5pm at Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston, SC.  After that, I have a reading in Rehoboth, DE at Browse About Books on Monday, August 27th at 7pm.  I don’t know a lot of people in either area, so—as usual—I’m just hoping (and worrying!) that a decent amount of people will show up.

I’m looking forward to the readings, of course, and I know I’ll see a couple familiar and hopefully some brand new faces at both!  And, in both of those delicious cities with specialties from fried grits to blue crabs, afterward I’ll likely stuff my face.

xo – N.

 

The Bestselling Paperback! (Well, One Week)

By Nora Zelevansky / August 9th, 2012

I don’t know in what romantic ways I imagined I might spend my time as a new author.  Maybe wistfully staring out at sea … from my Brooklyn apartment window.

In reality, I waste hours (between trips to bookstores to stare without purpose at copies of my novel on “New Paperbacks” tables) checking various websites to gauge how Semi-Charmed Life is fairing out in the world.  Occasionally, I’m rewarded with a new positive rating or review or a low Amazon Rank (which I recently wrote about authors obsessively checking for The Huffington Post), but most of the time I’m just staring at numbers, having no real sense of what they mean.

So, last week, when I awoke to find an email in my inbox with a link to the above from my friend L.T. (the blogger behind Hollywood Housewife and also the wonderfully generous person who threw me an amazing LA book party), I was thrilled.  Basically, Book Soup, which is one of LA’s treasured bookstores (yeah, people read there too—A LOT), posted their weekly top sellers on their site and my book topped the list!  Finally, a metric I could understand!

Of course, I was beyond excited.  So excited, in fact, that I stopped checking Amazon … for at least a few extra hours.

xo – N.

SEMI-CHARMED LIFE (AND BEYOND): The Best (and, Okay, Only) First Review

By Nora Zelevansky / May 9th, 2012

 

  Semi Charmed Life_final-1

Here ye!  Here ye!  (Or whatever.)  Yesterday I opened what I thought was a run-of-the-mill Google Alert and found the first review of my book, SEMI-CHARMED LIFE (coming to a store near you or on the World Wide Web on July 3rd, 2012, but available for pre-order now) in Publisher's Weekly!

Throughout my years as a freelance writer, I've certainly heard the (sometimes not so censored, forgiving or sane) complaints of Internet audiences.  As many of us have experienced in different capacities even when simply reading the "Comments" section of an online article, constructive criticism notwithstanding, people are in a word, brutal.

But this is the first time that I have merited a formal review.  (I totally got snubbed when I played Morgan le Fay in that 5th grade production of King Arthur, but that's another story.)

Anyway, when I read this very first book review I was essentially vibrating with anticipation and I cannot tell you how happy and high I was that it was not downright mean.  Who knows what I imagined, but all I can tell you is that I am very appreciative of this response to the book, which feels fair and direct.  Not at all below the belt.

So, I guess, danka.  A million times, Danka.  And now I must say adieu.  Or as Morgan le Fay would say, "I bid thee goodnight!"  And then she'd cackle.  You know she would.

Okay.  I have officially lost it.

xo – N.

PS Did I mention that THE BACHELORETTE is starting?????  I mean, SIGN.ME.UP.

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.

Good News & Bad News & Shameless Self-Promotion

By Nora Zelevansky / January 10th, 2012

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Okay, so the bad news is that I'm a day late with The Bachelor recap.  Sadly, I was out last night and never got to watch the show.  Booo hisss.  But I'll watch later tonight and then write about it.  Promise.  Crossies don't count.

The GOOD news is that I have a bunch of stories to share, including my first Newsweek/Daily Beast story about "Janupause" or the abstinence from drinking for the month of January.

What else?  I spent much of the last week of December writing stories for elle.com about Kate Somerville's new Dermal Quench Liquid Lift, Dionne Phillips' at home eyelash extension kit, touchscreen gloves (for using your iPod in the cold weather), a new line from Burt's Bees, NYE romance tips from author Harlan Cohen and, mostly recently, a DIY (at home!) gel manicure kit.

I also interviewed a YA novelist and all around cool guy Paul Griffin about his new book, Stay With Me.  He's a dog trainer too, so there's a pit bull integrated into the story line.

That's sorta all for now.  I promise to watch The Bachelor and report back, although the inside scoop from another loyal watcher is that this episode was snoozeville.  Only time will tell!  Anyway, boring Bachelor is still better than most things.  Sad, sad statement.

Oh!  And, based on the advice of the social media person at St. Martin's, I created my own Facebook Author page for my book SEMI-CHARMED LIFE that's coming out in July.  If you "LIKE" it, you can get updates on readings and stuff like that.  Also, if you LIKE it, I will LIKE you.  And what could be better than that?

xo – N.

ITALY VIA LA (AND BEYOND): 2 NEW CREAMS FROM AN 800-YEAR-OLD APOTHECARY

By Nora Zelevansky / September 1st, 2011

Santa-maria-novella

You think you're ancient?  Santa Maria Novella is just OVER 800.  But look how pretty you can look, even when you're old???  Well, maybe only if you're made by monks.

Anyhoo — I'm on vacay, but took a moment out of my busy beach lolling schedule to write up the launch of these two new toning body creams from the Florentine company for elle.com.

They smell insane and look oh so good on your sink.  Sign me up.  I'll have 800.  One for each glorious year.

xo – N.

 

SUMMER TRAVEL & SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION [Ritz Spa Treatments, Elie Saab Perfume, Elkin’s Launch, Bachelorette Gossip & More]

By Nora Zelevansky / August 11th, 2011

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Not that I have been nearly as attentive to you chickadees as I should be, but I'm about to be even worse.

Wait — there's worse than one or two posts a week?  Why, yes.  There is.

I'm about to take a hiatus from all things work and writing and instead loll by, well, wherever they'll let me.  (And by "they" I mean the authorities.)

Still, in the meantime, I did want to leave you with some light reading that spans many different genres.  A little bit for everyone, perhaps?  Here goes:

Okay, first, I am OBSESSED with this brand new line by two sisters out of Downtown LA (see above Lake dress).  Their newest collection — the first full one — launched August 1.  I wrote about them for C Magazine and then about their official launch for Daily Candy.  Read up and shop!  How much do you want this lace dress?

Of course, my SELF.com blog "Fit Like Us" (which will be continuing over the next few weeks, despite my hiatus) covers all things fitness and health throughout the week.

For all you brides-to-be, I have a feature in the new Martha Stewart Weddings about wedding music and the country's best bands, DJs and D.I.Y. playlists.

Elie Saab has a new fragrance launching, which you can read about here in my story for elle.com.

The Ritz-Carlton Downtown just launched an insane, entirely new Spa menu, really their first major endeavor — very red carpet etc.  Read about it here at Style.com.

Also, I didn't write this article, but for all you fellow Bachelorette whores, here's some gossip on how Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ben F. "The Wine Guy" started dating.  Um. Yeah.

And … I have nothing to do with this show either, but I am OBSESSED with the new MTV show Awkward and I feel like I need to spread the word, so it doesn't get canceled like Huge.  The opening line to this last episode, "It was homecoming week and like an uncomfortably misguided tampon, it was impossible to ignore."

GENIUS!

Lastly, if you haven't yet, you MUST try the chocolate Zico coconut water.  It's INSANE.  Lactards, it will change your life.

And, with that, I guess I'm out.  Talk to you later, dudes.  Happy end of summer!

xo – N.

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION [BIKINI RADIO, Salon.com & Fitness Mag]

By Nora Zelevansky / July 18th, 2011

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I am just the fitness lady these days.  Someone should tell that to my muscles.  Maybe then they'd get all six-packy and stuff.

1. ANYWAY, I have a feature with some personal essay in this month's FITNESS Magazine called "Hey Beautiful!" all about self-deprecation and why it's important not to make fun of yourself or put yourself down TOO often.  For example, I just did it above.  So I guess I won't do it here.  Now I feel amaaaazing.

No, but seriously, studies show that projecting negative things about yourself or not accepting compliments gracefully can make others uncomfortable and make them doubt your ability, not to mention put a damper on your own self-esteem.  Check it out, if you have a moment!

2. I did a radio segment on KABC's fitness/nutrition show "Bikini Lifestyles" and you can listen to it here.  My section comes in at about minute 13:30 or 13:40, if you're interested!

3. My story on Salon.com about the tug-of-war between being living "green" and living sleekly went up last week too!  The title is a bit salacious, as it wasn't necessarily about being liberal or conservative, but you know … Check it out, if you have the chance.

Remember: You're beautiful.  But you look better when you read my stories.

Love ya.  Mean it.

xo – N.

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION [RANCH SPAS]

By Nora Zelevansky / July 8th, 2011

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How much do you wish that was you, lying on a massage table with hot rocks lining your spine?  Sigh.  You'd have to be in Costa Rica for that to be the case, sadly, at least in this exact room.

Instead, you get to read this story I wrote about Ranch Spas from California to Wyoming and beyond for Sherman's Travel.  Which is, of course, almost as wonderful and relaxing.  Almost.

xo – N.