Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Merideth Cagen and a Giveaway!

Halo lovely bloggy readers! I have a lovely guest today with a self-exploration journey filled with humor and unmasked misconceptions—sounds like the kind of Chick-lit I can really get my teeth into. We ALSO have a GIVEAWAY today. BK Walker Books has authorized me to ALSO give a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate away today! My rules!

So in the spirit of the book: In the comments, leave a life changing moment of broken misconception YOU'VE experienced. If you Tweet or share on facebook, I will double your chances. The contest is open ALL week.

Now, back to Merideth... Welcome to Confessions of a Watery Tart! Take it away!


Author's Bio: Meredith Cagen is a working wife and mother living in New York City. She works as a freelance writer and registered nurse. Her family has awarded her the “Queen of the Multi-taskers” title. In her free time she goes to the gym and out to eat.

Meredith returned to school to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Finding the subject dry, technical and boring, she had a difficult time focusing on her studies. Easily distracted, and prone to daydreaming, she wrote Size Eight in a Size Zero World.

Synopsis: Meet Lindsay Chandler--a 32 year-old New York City working wife and mother with old-fashioned values who thinks she's living a fairy tale life (she's not). She's too busy navigating between her job, husband, home, children, friends and other obligations to acknowledge her loneliness. Then an unexpected friendship with her upstairs neighbor (he is smart, successful,
sophisticated and sexy-- she's not) unleashes her passion and re-ignites her sparkle.

This liaison causes her to realize what she is missing. Yearning for a storybook ending, she decides to make changes in her life, embarking on a quest for self re-invention in this hilarious, witty, heart felt story.

In the tradition of Sex and the City, Size Eight in a Size Zero World, is a modern-day story of a good girl trying to do the right thing and the wrong thing simultaneously, while remaining true to herself, whoever that is.

With the help of a believable cast of characters, Lindsay embarks on a plan to better herself and plight. This novel is a wickedly funny social commentary on the lives of average women in New York City's posh Upper East Side.

What happens when the road to happily ever after takes an unexpected detour?


This book is everything Sex and the City 2 should have been -- smart and witty with a lot of heart! I've already bought a bunch of copies for so many friend who could relate to Lindsay.

This is Meredith Cagen's debut novel and I hope she writes more. A LOT more!

As soon as I read the first page, I knew I would love this book! Size Eight in a Size Zero World: A Novel by Meredith Cagen is written in a voice that resonated with me. The author's smart, witty style moves along at a good pace and it kept me turning the pages. I could relate to the conflicted heroine and I kept hoping she would wake up and smell the coffee.

Lindsay Chandler is thirty-two, a working wife and mother, who lives in New York with her family. In the highfalutin' Manhattan society, she's an oddity, a woman who has a real day job, does not have a nanny and does her own cooking and cleaning. Lindsay's life looks perfect on the outside, but she's miserable on the inside. Her husband Grant, a divorce attorney, treats her like a servant, ignores their two kids and is an overbearing jerk.

One day Lindsay gets into the elevator of her building and meets a man who gives her goose bumps. They strike up a friendship. He appreciates her, asks her for advice and befriends her kids. Lindsay falls hard. She loves the way they interact; he seems to accept her, perceived flaws and all. The more she sees him the more she realizes all that she's missing in her marriage. She questions her life with Grant and decides to reinvent herself and make some changes. It all leads to a satisfying conclusion.

A wonderfully witty social commentary on the New York scene, this is also an endearing story of relationships, love and infidelity. The characters are believable and many women will be able to see themselves in Lindsay. Sometimes I wanted to scream at her and sometimes I wanted to cheer her on, but always she kept me reading. I highly recommend it.

Numbers Don’t Lie

Math was my favorite subject in school. Numbers don’t lie. An answer is right or wrong. 4+4 =8, never 0, never 9. There is no subjectivity: right or wrong, black or white, yes or no, it is a binary response. Math is exact, there is no room for ambiguity or opinion. Interpretation is unnecessary. The beauty lies in its’ simplicity. You can trust numbers.

Time is based and calibrated with numbers. Like math, it is exact. It is either 8:01 AM or it is not. Precision.

Sports are based on numbers. Competitive sports like running, swimming, skiing, cycling, you want to achieve the lowest winning time, which is written in numbers. High numbers are bad, low numbers are good.

Team sports like basketball, baseball, soccer, football, you want the highest winning point totals. High numbers are good and low numbers are bad.

Therefore in sports you can want high numbers or low numbers depending on the game. This forces us to pay attention to the sport and the rules. What happens to the numbers without rules.

Size like math, time and sports is all about numbers. Big is not aways better. You want the size large if you are referring to the size of your bank account and the size of your heart. You want a small size when discussing clothing or small sized amount of the LDL (bad) Cholesterol in your blood.

Men want to have large sized hands and feet. They brag about the size of their package and of being 6 feet tall. But they don’t want to have large sized bodies.

Women want a big breast size, and a small dress size. A 34C bra size is considered average but it is large in society circles and small in the entertainment industry.

My faith in numbers is getting shaky. Numbers are to be trusted, yet additional information is required to understand the numbers correctly in certain size situations.

Models are sized small. During Fashion Week the question was asked, “Is Size 4 Fat?” by the New York Daily News. A Size 4 model (now unemployed) was not permitted to walk the runway, because she was deemed fat. Size 4 is way below the size of the average American woman who wears a Size 14. Were the other models Size 0?

Curves seem to push the size number, thus super sizing it. Jessica Simpson proudly announces that she wears a “Size 4.” The media refers to her as a “Fat Size 4.” They question the number. The number 4 is the same, but the point of view differs. Jessica may be a super size 4, where the model was only an average size 4. Does the adverb qualify and redefine the size?

Frankly, I think any Size 4 is too small, but I am a Size 8.

Can we have a fat 110 lbs and a thin 110 lbs. Isn’t it the same number, but additional information as to frame size may qualify the point of view. Size again, maybe size numbers aren’t measured uniformly and dispassionately. The numbers in sizes aren’t telling the truth, because subjectivity is introduced.
Personally I find the idea of Size Zero perplexing. Why would women want to be a Size Zero?

Instead, these ladies who don’t lunch or munch, should continue to shop in the Girls Department where the sizes are 7 – 14. At the very least they can claim to have a size instead of being a 0. Realistically and metaphorically, who wants to be a 0?

Do men want a Size Zero woman to love? Zero fat? Zero curves? Zero shapeliness? People play games in the war between the sexes. How do they keep score? Is scoring having sex or is being the first one to admit love for the other person keeping score? Confusion, because in sports love means zero.

Title: Size Eight in a Size Zero World
Author: Meredith Cagen
Genre: Women Contemporary Fiction/ ChickLit/NYC ChickLit
ISBN: 978 1440169748
Copyright: 2009
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Size-Eight-Zero-World/dp/1440169748/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283630067&sr=1-1



Boonie S said...

I got a bit lost in the numbers thing. Would you mind drawing a diagram for me.
Interesting post. Thanks.

All the best, Boonie

Old Kitty said...

A size eight sounds incredibly tiny!! I'm trying to work out what it means in british terms! I'm a size 12 and now feel quite big!

But back to the book!! thanks for the intro to a new author and novel - sounds incredibly sassy and fun! And I adored Sex & the City so this speaks to me!

Take care

Lisa said...

The book sounds great! Congratulations on your first novel, Meredith.

Perspective is a funny thing. I remember fondly size 8. The year was 1997. I'm working my butt off (literally) to get back to that size.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

This sounds like a lot of fun! And interesting thinking about all the numbers and sizes that way. I think a size 0 needs to make sure she cleans her plate after meals. :)

Hart Johnson said...

I look like a concentration camp survivor at a size 8 (like my ribs show--each of them). I'm 5'11", so that is part of it-- but part of it is bone structure--shoulders are broad, hips are wide... I'm an Amazon Queen *nodes* BUT it is all about expectations, and on a shorter person, I can see the feeling.

Jenny--I think UK sizes are about one down from us--a 12 there would be a 10 here, I THINK.

(Elizabeth, I'm with you)

Jan Morrison said...

a friend of mine found out a few years ago that she was a size zero when she went to the g@#$p.
She was furious. Thought it was nuts.
I have an award for you, sunshine!
Jan Morrison

Justine Dell said...

Haha...I got a litte lost with the numbers, too. Good thing I'm not an accountant.

This book sounds really good! Thanks for sharing this.


LTM said...

Love it! Fun interview, and this sounds like just my kind of book--I'll be looking for it~ Good luck to Meredith! :o)

(Now run over to my blog, THJ, I got you something special...)

ViolaNut said...

Well, pattern sizes, like dressmaking stuff, they're different again - I wear between a 0 and 6 US depending on brand and cut, but the pattern for my Ren Faire dress is a size 12. Take that as you will... (Oh, I'm 5'6" and about 120) That's the most intelligent comment I can come up with before lunch, which I'm going to go eat now, Elizabeth, so there! ;-)

Jennie Bailey said...

You had me with the title, but pulled me in further with the review...and the picture with the pup! I can't wait to read this - it sounds delightful!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I loved the title and the book sounds like a fun read – will add it to my want-to-read list.

I think we are too focused on the size number of our clothing. We never seem happy with our own number, no matter what it is. In reality, it’s our overall health that’s important.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Too many numbers!
And I think a size zero is too skinny. How can a woman have a nice butt if she's a toothpick?

Helen Ginger said...

Instead of becoming a society that looks inside the woman to see the beauty, we have gone the other way and look only at her outside. That's a sad statement on our culture, I think.

Anonymous said...

My daughter-in-law is a size 0!!! I am a size 18. The lowest that I ever got was a size 5. I was that size for two whole days. I could use a good fairy tale!


Hart Johnson said...

Thank you so much everyone for stopping in today! fabulous talk about size.

Alex--I will cling to that! Skinny makes a nice butt impossible!

Meredith said...

Thanks for all the comments!!! I wish I was a Size 8 now, too much pasta and biscuits. Maltesers, I dream of maltesers.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome premise for a book! I'm definitely adding this one to my wishlist! [Helloooooo birthday and Christmas!]

As for my life changing event... I had wrongly assumed that marriage was supposed to be something that just happens. No work, no frustrations. People could act as they wanted/needed and the other just would accept them or not. If they didn't things should be done. After all, if you couldn't accept some of these things you didn't love them, right? Oh, so very wrong. It was this notion, this myth, that put me on the undeniable path that I should get a divorce. A separate vacation, me going to Paris by myself instead of the romantic getaway it was supposed to be/hubby going to DC, led me to understand the misconception and to work toward understanding that being upset and dissatisfied with household division of labor did not mean I didn't love my husband. Four years later we're still together and have found within us the space for understanding and, even if only occasionally, a tolerance for the areas where each of us likes to be a bit lazy.