Giveaways Inspirations and Influences

Guest Author & Giveaway: Molly Harper on Inspirations and Influences

“Inspirations and Influences” is a series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their…well, Inspirations and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free reign so they can go wild and write about anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.

We are delighted to have Molly Harper visiting us again today! We had Molly blogging with us a few months back about her hilarious Jane Jameson Chick-lit/UF series and when we heard she had a new book coming out – this one a pure undiluted Chick-lit – we were more than happy to invite her again to talk about wha inspired And One Last Thing….

Ladies and gents, please give it up for Molly Harper!

As with all good things, AND ONE LAST THING… started with a daydream about Hugh Jackman.

I was heavily pregnant with our second child and watching Swordfish. I had horrible indigestion and couldn’t sleep. It was the only non-infommercial entertainment available. Don’t judge me.

If it helps, I was appropriately creeped out by John Travolta’s skeevy soul patch.

At the end of the movie, Hugh’s character drives off into the sunset with his daughter, looking for a home. And I thought, the woman who ends up with Stanley as a neighbor is one lucky fictional lady.

And being pregnant and hormonal and just a little obsessive, I started building this fictional woman’s world. She lives on the water. A mysterious guy who just happens to look like Hugh Jackman lives next door. He’s a renter and he not very open to talking to her… or anyone for that matter. All attempts at neighborliness are rudely rejected.

Until one night, there’s a storm. She gets caught outside in the rain, likely doing something that could get her hurt or, at the very least, humiliated. When the cranky neighbor comes out to help her, she notices that he still has power, while hers has gone out.

“That’s ridiculous!” she grumbles. “You’re a renter, for goodness’ sake!”

“A renter with a generator,” he tells her.

“Oh, sure, bring logic and forethought into it!”

And that was the very first exchange between Lacey and Monroe. Now, I just had to figure out who Lacey was, who Monroe was, why they were living in seclusion, and what it was going to take to get them together.

Easy, right?

Lacey became a homemaker whose life is magazine-perfect until she finds out her husband, Mike, is cheating on her. Because she is responsible for Mike’s company newsletter, she has his mailing list. She uses it to send a mass e-mail to everyone they know, including parents and clergy, to tell them exactly what sort of “administrative support” Mike’s secretary has been providing. When the e-mail goes viral and Lacey becomes front-page news, she retreats to the family vacation cabin in the middle of nowhere.

Monroe became a cranky cop-turned-crime writer who just wants some peace and quiet so he can work. He’s gone through the drama of having recently divorced ladies move in next door before, and makes it clear to Lacey that she can take any well-intended baked goods and shove them. But a badly-timed skinny dipping incident, combined with a screen door to the face and the aforementioned thunderstorm, eventually cement a friendship that becomes something infinitely more fun and satisfying.

The only catch was that I was between books on my “Nice Girls…” series, focusing on vampire librarian Jane Jameson. It would be several months before the third book was due. And as much as I loved Jane and company, I was a little burnt out writing about people who could only go out at night and never ate solid food. I thought it would be refreshing to write about humans for a while.

I emailed my agent, Stephany, to ask her what she thought of the idea. I’d written lots of notes and scenes and thought I would be able to write the book while I was on maternity leave from my position as an editorial assistant for a medical society. She said, “If you think you can write a book and take care of a newborn, go for it.”

One of my favorite memories about the days leading up to Carter’s birth, is lying on the couch, having false labor contractions, and distracting myself by reading passages aloud to my mother while she folded laundry. As my mom says, “Some moms and daughters play cards and board games while waiting for a baby to be born, we do this.”

After we brought Carter home from the hospital, I settled into a routine of putting Carter down for his nap, loading the dishwasher or washing machine and then writing. My husband, David, worried that I was working too hard, sacrificing too much sleep. But I found that I was less stressed, less lonely, than I’d been when I was home with our daughter, because I was having interesting, albeit imaginary, conversations with adults during the day. It was the fastest I’d ever finished a rough draft.

David also worried that people would think he was an inspiration for Mike, the philandering husband. So I reminded him that with his experience as a police officer and general awesomeness, he was actually the inspiration for Monroe. When he found out that Monroe had been forced into retirement because a gunshot wound to the hind end, he exclaimed, “Oh, so it’s better for everybody to think I’ve been shot in the butt?”

So, reading public, I want to make it very clear, my husband’s buttocks are intact.

Then again, his internet access is also intact. I should probably keep him from looking at this blog…

About the author: Molly Harper is a former newspaper reporter and humor columnist. She studied print journalism at Western Kentucky Unversity. She lives in western Kentucky with her husband and children.

Check out Molly’s web site at For a daily dose of snark, friend her on Facebook or follow her blog at

Thanks Molly!

And now, for the giveaway!


We have ONE COPY of And One Last Thing…. to give away! The contest is open to EVERYONE and will run until Saturday, September 18, 11:59PM (PST). To enter, leave a comment here. We will randomly select the winner and will announce it on Sunday in our weekly Smugglers Stash. ONE entry per person please. Good luck!

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  • Su
    September 13, 2010 at 6:26 am

    That last line made me laugh so hard. A good start to a Monday morning, so thank you! And thank you for the contest, too.

  • Gerd D.
    September 13, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Tee-hee, lovely post. I think I would enjoy reading a book about the process of writing the book just as much as the book itself.
    (Boy I hope I managed to get out of that sentence still making sense).

    Oh and btw., I totally adore that cover; it’s cuuute.

  • Cindy
    September 13, 2010 at 6:44 am

    That was a fun presentation ! I would like to discover that story.

  • Tina
    September 13, 2010 at 6:50 am

    This was a great post and the book sounds interesting. Thanks for the chance to win

  • Sandy(Strlady)
    September 13, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I discovered Molly earlier this year reading her Jameson books. After the first one, I just ran through the rest. Love that they were out in Audio since I love a good book while I craft.
    This one sounds fantastic too! If I don’t win a copy, I will definitely be picking this one up!

  • Leslee
    September 13, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Please don’t enter me, I was lucky enough to review this book before it’s release. I just wanted to tell everyone how fabulous this book was! I laughed the entire time!! I highly recommend everyone who loves a good story to get this book! You can check out my review at

  • J
    September 13, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I’d seen this book, but wasn’t sure it would be as much fun as it looked, this interview changed my mind. 🙂 I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for it if I don’t win. Thanks for the contest.

  • Pearl
    September 13, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Awesome post! I needed something fun today!
    This book has been on my wishlist for a while. Can’t wait to get and read it.

  • Chelsea Kegley
    September 13, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Loved the Nice Girl books! I definitely lood forward to reading this one!!

  • Myra C.
    September 13, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Great post and thanks for the giveaway! I would love to read this book.

  • Ceilidh
    September 13, 2010 at 7:32 am

    True, many good things start with Hugh Jackman. Except X Men Origins: Wolverine, that was pretty bad, even with beefcake Hugh.

  • Amanda Isabel
    September 13, 2010 at 7:49 am

    ahahahaha! That is brilliant! I love this inspiration piece – I watch movies and make stories for the fictional characters all the time! And may I say, Ms. Harper – I like the style of your writing.

    Thanks for this! 😀

  • KMont
    September 13, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Oh me me me me me and, finally, ME! As in, pick me, in case that wasn’t obvious. I really want to read this one. And nothing is really stopping except for three things:

    1. This contest – cuz now I must wait to buy or take a trip to the library until I’ve found out if I’ve won or not. Yes, I can has joking blames on the Smugglers!

    2. Am backed up on books I MUST get read. Now. Some of them unfortunately last week, but still aren’t read. Books are very needy, and I can only pets them so much. Why yes, that violin tune sounds just lovely!

    3. My TBR pile. It’s told me if I bring any more “strays” home they’ll have to be beaten in gang style. I’m going to have to start hiding them. Tensions are mounting at the hizzy!

    Anyway, I really, really enjoyed the Jane Jameson books, and this one sounds just as refreshing. Looking forward to it!

  • Mrs. Hanson
    September 13, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Great interview, ladies! I’m looking forward to reading this book!!

  • Erica F
    September 13, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Excellent! I loved Miz Harper’s Jane Jameson novels and I’ve been looking for this one since it came out, but no bookstore in the city seems to stock it :P. TO THE INTERNET!!!

  • Angie
    September 13, 2010 at 8:38 am

    That is hilarious. Thanks so much for sharing the inspiration for your book.

  • Carolyn Hester
    September 13, 2010 at 8:44 am

    I loved her Jane Jameson series. I can’t wait to read this one too!

  • Emma_I
    September 13, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Great post, and please put my name in to win a copy – it’s hard to not want to read about a hero inspired by Hugh Jackman.

  • Marie
    September 13, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Great post! I love the ‘Nice Girls..’ series and have had my eyeballs on this one and Molly’s future books.

  • Jenni
    September 13, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I absolutely LOVE Molly HArper and would love to win this book 😀

  • Van P.
    September 13, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Read the Nice Girls series and loved it! Looking forward to reading And One last thing. 😀

  • Marco
    September 13, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I waaaaannnnttt to win 🙂

  • TheresaW
    September 13, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I’m not normally a chick lit reader, but this sounds FUN! Also I love Hugh and vow to replace every instance of “Monroe” with his name.

  • Susan Laura
    September 13, 2010 at 10:48 am

    This book is on my TBR list. Would love to win it!

  • LSUReader
    September 13, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Great post. Thanks for visiting and especially for clearing up that whole David rear-end thing! Y’all are too cute.

  • Katy
    September 13, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to read this book.

  • Chris B
    September 13, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Another great giveaway. Please enter me.

  • Linda Henderson
    September 13, 2010 at 11:44 am

    This sounds like a really fun read. I would love to read the whole story. Thanks for the giveaway and the information on the author.

  • Miss Marjie
    September 13, 2010 at 11:58 am

    What a marvelous way to start writing a book. That’s hilarious. And the book sounds delightful.

  • Teresa W.
    September 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Enjoyed the post, sounds fun!

  • dawn
    September 13, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I absolutely love Molly’s Jane books; they make me LOL! Can’t wait to get my hands on “And One Last Thing”!! Thanks for the giveaway Smugglers!


  • Audra Holtwick
    September 13, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    You can’t go wrong with anything that starts with a daydream about Hugh Jackman. This sounds like a great story- I would love to have it!!!
    audie(at)wickerness(dot)com 😛

  • Moridin
    September 13, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I’d like to win this book.

  • John
    September 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I’ve heard so many good things about Molly Harper! I love a good rom com, and I love that her covers are always cartoon ones. Usually they seem to work out rather well. 🙂 And a hilarious post! Hopefully as hilarious as her books.

  • Bookworm134
    September 13, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks a bunch! This sounds great…

  • Maureen
    September 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    It ssounds like a fun story. Please enter me.

  • cories
    September 13, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you for such a fun blog entry. “If you think you can write a book and take care of a newborn, go for it.” is the funniest line although “Oh, so it’s better for everybody to think I’ve been shot in the butt?” is hilarious, too.

  • Ruth T.
    September 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Molly Harper is on my to buy list, I don’t care what she writes, I will read it. Can’t wait for the werewolf books in 2011.

  • Neis
    September 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I love your books!!! Thanks for the chance to get your latest book!!!

  • ritu
    September 13, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    The interview was fun! Made my morning. OK, I am so looking forward to this book.

  • Destiny P
    September 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Ahh love it!! And would be thrilled to be entered in the giveaway! 🙂

  • Julie M.
    September 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I love the Nice Girls books and am looking forward to this! Thanks for offering a giveaway!

  • Doreen R
    September 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I think you should through in the guy! I’ll take him. 😳

  • Jasmine A S
    September 13, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    This sounds so funny, and I hope I win. 😀 I love your sense of humour, Molly!

  • Victoria Zumbrum
    September 13, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  • Llehn
    September 13, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    love the cover!

  • JenM
    September 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Fun interview. I enjoyed the Jane Jameson books so I’m sure I’d like this. Please enter me.

  • Robin K
    September 13, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Thank you for the contest. I would love to be entered.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  • Molly Harper
    September 13, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Doreen, just to be clear, we are talking about throwing in Hugh Jackman, not my husband, right? Cause he’s very much taken. 😉

  • Molly Harper
    September 13, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    You’re welcome, LSU Reader. Trust me, it’s intact and it’s spectacular. (heehee.)

  • Iyana
    September 13, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    i really want to get this book after reading about this book i knew that i would want to read the book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

  • Ava North
    September 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    thanks courtesy of my TBR list.

  • Anne S.
    September 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    looks fantastic 🙂

  • alicia kerner
    September 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Hi Molly! Love your Jane series! And would love to read this book! Hugh Jackman is hot!!!!!!!! 🙂 And having neighbors fall for each other is a fantasy of mine. Lol I married with 2 kids. But a girl can dream can’t she? Lol Thanks for all your hard work. And keep it up please. Font know what id do without ur humor. Thanks, alicia

  • Chelsea B.
    September 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    He. Aweomse post.

  • Jocelyn
    September 13, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I loved this book…and your post Molly! A free copy would be a welcome addition to my collection. 🙂

  • Marg
    September 13, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    It’s been a while since I read a good chick-lit novel, so I might give this one a go!

    Thanks for the worldwide giveaway!

  • Allison
    September 13, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I just started the Jane series and have been laughing my head off! I would love to dig into this book. It sounds so much fun. Thanks for the interview and insight. I’ll be sure to remember your husband was never shot in the behind. 🙂

  • Bella F.
    September 13, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Hahaha! Molly, u make me laugh every time, whether on fb, interview, or through one of ur characters like Dick 😆 cant wait to read this one :mrgreen:

  • brit
    September 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Oh thank you for listing my imaginary boyfriend Hugh as an inspiration, I now feel justified in inserting his image in book roles.

  • Tiah
    September 13, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Awesome post. Glad you hear about your hubby’s butt. lol

  • Monna
    September 13, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Loved that last line! I’d seen Harper’s books around but I just never picked any of them up. After reading this post I’m definitely going out to pick them up, and if I don’t win a copy here, I’m grabbing up a copy of this as well!

  • Jenn
    September 13, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Thank heavens I do not know David. The ladies on the social networking site that DO know him are right. Would never have been able to look at him straight again. 🙄 As to Hugh Jackman? What woman has NOT had a fantasy/dream about him? He’s an awesome married man who actually is proud of that fact. Rare indeed! Great story about the couch, false labor, Moms and laundry. Just another day in the life. 😀

  • Courtney
    September 13, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Haha..that was an entertaining back-story. 😀

  • Simone F
    September 13, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Yeah! I loved the Jane Jameson series so I can’t wait to read your next book. And my aunt and her daughter were both in labor (false or real, either way it REALLY hurt) for a about a week.

  • bev
    September 13, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    nobody has a right to judge a very pregnant woman. lol

  • Stephanie
    September 13, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    What a hilarious post! It’s always interesting to get a little insight into an author’s mind when they’re writing. And who doesn’t love Hugh Jackman? Mmmmmmmmmmm….
    Love the first conversation between Lacey and Monroe, this book looks like a lot of fun!

  • Leeswammes (Judith)
    September 13, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    That sounds like a really nice book! I’d like to enter, please.

    How you can do work while looking after a newborn is beyond me. I was happy if I got dressed before the end of the day! 🙂

    jh303015 at gmail dot com

  • Stella (Ex Libris)
    September 14, 2010 at 1:25 am

    I haven’t read any novel by Molly Harper yet, but I keep reading praising reviews and this cover looks so cute, I would love to win!

    Thank you! 🙂

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Dovile
    September 14, 2010 at 3:28 am

    I’d love to read this, please count me in.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  • debp
    September 14, 2010 at 5:08 am

    That was so funny. I often wondered how friends and family of an uuthor would feel about the characters. I thought they might always wonder if they were based on them. I would love to read this book.

  • Stacie
    September 14, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Please count me in.

  • Sylvia
    September 14, 2010 at 6:31 am

    I can’t wait to read And One Last Thing! Thanks for this contest:)

  • Jade
    September 14, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I love her mean of inspiration, it was brilliant fun to read! I didn’t Jackman was considered one that could create an even more awesome book (so he’s not just a pretty face :P). Thank you so much for this and I’d really hope to own this book 🙂

  • Anita Yancey
    September 14, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Sounds good. I would love to read this book. Please enter me. Thanks!

  • Jenny E.
    September 14, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Some girls get all the luck…my next-door neighbor looks like Steve Buscemi. 🙄

  • Coley
    September 14, 2010 at 10:57 am

    You had me at Hugh Jackman. Count me in!

  • Rose
    September 14, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I love your books!!!!!!

  • Bridget Locke
    September 14, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I love Molly’s Nice Girls series, so put me down. 🙂

  • Lisa B.
    September 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Please enter me in the giveaway! Thank you!

  • Lexi
    September 14, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    What a wonderful way to describe the book. It made me want to read it, and it is outside my usual generes. Also, must say hi to a fellow Kentuckian.

  • Molly Harper
    September 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Hey Lexi!

  • jessica
    September 14, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I would love to win this, I love Molly Harper’s other series.

  • Clare
    September 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    This sounds pretty good! I like knowing how writers come up with their ideas as well. 🙂

  • Maggie
    September 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Please enter me. I am glad for intact buttocks. (heh.) Thanks!

  • Mariska
    September 16, 2010 at 12:47 am

    oh, please enter me in. Molly is a new for me author 🙂

  • Hannah
    September 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Hilarious article! I’ve not heard much about the book but it sounds really good, I’ve bookmarked it on Amazon. 🙂

  • SaraC
    September 16, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Sounds like a good book!

  • Eva SB
    September 17, 2010 at 12:49 am

    I love the slo-mo action scene in Swordfish!!
    And have you heard Hugh Jackman sing? Just imagine your imaginary neighbour singing in the shower like that!![@]gmail[.]com

  • Sue
    September 17, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

  • Misha Mathew
    September 17, 2010 at 9:28 am

    this sounds like a great read! I would love to enter thanks


  • Justpeachy36
    September 17, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

  • Mieneke
    September 18, 2010 at 1:48 am

    This book sounds so much fun. And I love the anecdote about reading to mom during the final wait for baby. All I managed to do was read lol

    And Ms Harper has a series about a librarian. How did I not know this? I have to read those too 😀

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