Sunday, November 28, 2010

Guest Blogger: Lian Dolan

Please join me in welcoming multi-talented author Lian Dolan as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.

Many may know Lian as a the host of Satellite Sisters, an award-winning talk show that she created with her four real sisters. Lian is now the author of her first novel, HELEN OF PASADENA, which has just been published by Prospect Park Books.

Here’s a brief synopsis of HELEN OF PASADENA: Helen Fairchild, is leading a privileged Pasadena existence: married to a pillar of the community; raising a water polo- playing son destined for the most select high school; volunteering her time on the most fashionable committees. It only bothers Helen a tiny bit the she has never quite fit in with the proper Pasadena crowd or finished that graduate degree in Classics or had that second baby. The rigid rules of society in Pasadena appeal to Helen, the daughter of Oregon "fiber artists", even if she'll never be on the inside.  And then along comes a Rose Parade float, killing her philandering husband and leaving Helen broke, out of her "forever"  house, and scrambling to salvage her once-rarefied existence. Enter Dr. Patrick O'Neill, noted archaeologist, excavator of Troy, and wearer of adorable nubby sweaters. A job as Dr. O'Neill's research assistant is the lifeline Helen needs to re-invent herself professionally, personally, and romantically. Helen's world widens to include a Hollywood star, a local gossip columnist, an old college nemesis, a high-powered Neutron Mom, an unforgiving admissions director, the best Armenian real state agent in the biz, and, of course, the intriguing Patrick O'Neill.  While uncovering secrets about Ancient Troy alongside her archaeologist, Helen discovers something much more: a new sense of self and a new love.

Lian is a mother, wife, sister, friend,  daughter, novelist, writer, and talk show host.  She writes and talks about her adventures in modern motherhood for her website, and her weekly podcast, The Chaos Chronicles. 

Lian has always used her voice to take on all aspects of motherhood, from common-sense parenting to all-consuming school volunteering to overcoming handbag envy.  She is known for her humorous take on the day-to-day issues that face women everywhere. The Chaos Chronicles is currently being developed by Nickelodeon as a half-hour comedy.

Prior to The Chaos Chronicles, Lian spent a decade hosting Satellite Sisters. Satellite Sisters has won 11 Gracie Allen Awards for Excellence in Women’s Media, including Talk Show of the Year in 2006. On air, Lian has interviewed everybody from Bill Clinton to Nora Roberts to Maya Angelou. Lian is the Executive Editor of the Satellite Sisters website.

In addition to her work on air, Lian is a writer. Besides her novel, she is the weekly relationships columnist at . Previously
published books include “Satellite Sisters UnCommon Senses,” published in 2001. Her writing has been featured in many national magazines including regular columns in O, The Oprah Magazine and Working Mother Magazine. 

Lian has also appeared on numerous TV shows including The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning and The Oprah Winfrey Show. She lives in Pasadena, California with her husband and two sons. Her dream is to ride on a Rose Parade float. 

To find our more about Lian and her work, visit her website at, check out the Chaos Chronicles at, and Satellite Sisters at

For a fun and quirky look at HELEN OF PASADENA check out this book trailer. It’ll have you laughing.

Now to get a feel for HELEN OF PASADENA, here's the first few paragraphs:
     Now I knew: I’d get a full church at my funeral. What a relief. It was the kind of thing I lost sleep over at night, being a planner and all. How many times had I sat at funerals, counting the hundreds (or, more depressingly, dozens) of mourners in the pews and thought, Who would show for me? Do people like me more or less than Jane’s mother? Do I know a hundred people who would care? Two hundred? Who should cater? Now I had my answer: full church. Because if this many people could show up for my husband, my late husband, then I’d get almost this many, right?
     One thing I’d never planned on was my husband dropping a bombshell on me and then dropping dead.
     That would have been good to know.
     At least Merritt would have been pleased at the standing-room-only situation in the church. Merritt was a big deal in his world, and to prove that, there were the partners from the firm and the fraternity brothers, town officials, boards of schools and organizations, a Pasadena who’s who. Merritt’s people, many of whom he had known his whole, short life.
     But there were lots of my people, too: the thin, young mothers from Millington School turned out in their best black suits, Prada purses and Tory Burch flats despite the economic downturn; the formerly thin team moms from a decade on the sidelines of every sport from basketball to soccer; the lovely sustaining members of the Symphony Guild, whispering together in the back rows about losing such a big donor in such a tough time; the handsome dads from water polo contemplating if they’ll be next. Half of them longing for a drink; the other half wondering who did the flowers. Their presence meant the world to me.  

Grabbed your attention yet? Another interesting book to add to your Christmas list.


  1. I really enjoyed this book and got a laught out of this book trailer.

  2. What a talented woman!

    I loved the opening of the novel, and would certainly be interested in reading more. Thanks, Mason and Lian.

  3. Great book trailer... Looks like a fun book.

  4. Mason - Thanks for hosting Lian.

    Lian - What an interesting premise for a novel!! Complete re-invention. I like it a lot :-). And the book trailer's intriguing.

  5. Lian, thanks for stopping by and sharing about your book. I love the trailer and the book sounds like fun.

    Rebecca, Talli, Lou and Margot, good morning ladies and thanks for stopping by.

  6. What a fun post. I am excited to read Helen! Thanks!

  7. I'll have to check the trailer out at a later time. It kept stopping on me.

    The book sounds interesting.

  8. Wow, what an accomplished writer and what a start to a book!

    Thanks for your great blog, Mason.



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