Introduction by Melissa Amster
Samantha Stroh Bailey first came to Chick Lit Central in 2012 to introduce us to her debut, self-published novel, Finding Lucas. She instantly charmed me with her laid-back personality and sense of humor. We had so much in common and were soon talking about everything and anything, whether it was Judaism, motherhood, books (of course), or life in general. It took me a while to read her book because I was afraid I’d have a bias and didn’t want to post a review at Chick Lit Central for that reason. However, I kept hearing how great it was from other readers and knew I had to check it out. Even if I didn’t know Samantha when I was reading it, I would still have ranked it up there with my other favorite chick lit novels. Finding Lucas is truly a labor of love and it shows. It’s so funny and clever and Jamie feels so real that you forget she is a fictional character. Apparently, Samantha forgot she was fictional too when she invited her on a friend date.
In regards to making non-fictional friends, Samantha loves to connect with her readers, and is grateful for every tweet, email, message and post. You can find her at her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
When Samantha Met Jamie…
Happy International Chick Lit Month! And a huge thank you to Chick Lit Central for asking me and Jamie from Finding Lucas to participate. When I created Jamie, I wanted to create someone who was quite different from me in both looks and personality, and in many ways, I accomplished that. Yet, what Jamie and I share is an irreverent and sarcastic sense of humor, great love for our families and friends and the desire to be accepted as we are.
Jamie and I are spending the day together, and I’m a bit anxious. Will she be everything I imagined? She’s flown in from Chicago, and when I pull up to the airport terminal, I hit the curb with my car. Jamie is looking around nervously, as if she’s never traveled before and is expecting someone to snatch her bag. When she turns around for a moment, a stab of envy hits me in the stomach. God, she has a great ass. Curvy and round, it puts my small, next-to-nothing butt to shame. And her hair! I’ve always wanted long, straight, blond hair and hers is completely natural. But she seems uncomfortable as she pulls her shirt down to cover her bottom and scrunches her hair in her fingers as if to give it more volume.
My heart skips as I get out of the car and walk towards her.
“Hi!” I yell effusively and reach to hug her. She stiffens like a board and I step back. Okay, no hugging for this one. “Did you have a good flight?”
“Yeah, but my seatmate farted the whole time. I think everyone thought it was me. So, um, where are we going?”
“I thought I’d drop off the car and we could grab a drink.”
She smiles, and I think she’s beautiful. And I know instantly that she has no clue how pretty she is. When she gets into the car, she laughs. “I didn’t think anyone had a car as messy as my sister. She pulls a used Kleenex out from under her and her mouth drops open when she sees my backseat— crushed Cheerios, toys, bottles of water, fruit pits and stickers adorning every available surface.
I grin. “Sorry. I’ve got two kids.”
“Rachel, my sister, has no excuse. Luckily she’s so gorgeous that she gets away with everything.”
I can’t detect even a hint of jealousy. Her whole face lights up with pride when she mentions Rachel. “You’re very pretty, you know.”
“Ha! Yeah, the model scouts are banging down my door.”
“Someone did a real number on your confidence, huh?”
She blushes. “Derek, my ex, wasn’t exactly the kind of guy who made me feel good about myself.”
“Get over it,” I say without thinking.
She bursts out laughing. “I’m trying. Actually, I’m kind of looking for my ex.”
“Is he missing?” I ask.
Jamie giggles and shakes her head. “No. I haven’t seen him in about ten years, and he was the one who got away. So, I’m trying to track him down.”
“I love that! How’s it going?”
“Nothing so far. But I know I’ll find Lucas.”
I admire her determination. I turn on the radio and the addictive, fast-paced beat of the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Higher Ground” fills the car.
“Nice!” Jamie says. “I love old school music.”
We both bob our heads and bodies to the music, laughing at how our moves mimic each other. Jamie looks relaxed, but I can see her grinding her teeth every now and then. I wince in sympathy. That can’t feel good.
Once we drop off my car and walk to the closest bar, there’s a comfortable companionship that’s started. Usually, I’d squeeze her arm or lean in more. I’m an affectionate person. But even though she’s talking and laughing, she keeps herself at a slight distance. I like her. She’s real.
We both order the deluxe cheeseburger and fries instead of salad, and a vodka cranberry for each of us. Clearly, we both love to eat and imbibe a fruity cocktail.
Jamie and I spend the next few hours getting to know each other. I realize that she’s incredibly bright, very funny and too hard on herself. But I guess being with a complete dick for five years will do that to you.
And when she leans in to give me a hug as I drop her off at the airport, I know that I’ve found someone I really want in my life. She’s one of those people who doesn’t judge and she accepted me for all of my flaws. And I accepted hers. I hope she finds Lucas or whatever it is she’s looking for.
If you’d like to know whether Jamie actually does find Lucas, the novel is available at:
You could also be the winner of an e-book, as I have TWO for some lucky readers anywhere in the world!
Thanks to Samantha for taking us on her friend date with Jamie.
Enter to win Finding Lucas! (Use the Rafflecopter link.)
Open worldwide. Giveaway ends May 11th at midnight EST.