Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Ways that Helen of Pasadena is Just Like You

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About 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.

13 Ways that Helen of Pasadena is Just Like You

1. Helen worries about everything, from her weight to whether her teen son will be soon be sniffing glue.
2. Helen is intimidated by here mother-in-law. And, if you met Mitsy Fairchild, you’d be intimidated, too, by this powerful Pasadena matriarch, ready on a minute’s notice for a game of doubles or a charity ball.
3. Helen wonders what happened to her own pursuits while she was busy being a wife, mother and community volunteer. Sometimes she thinks, “Where did I go?”
4. Helen gets by with a little help from her friends, one a disgraced Rose Queen and the other a certified helicopter parent/life coach. One 45 minute walk a week and they can figure most of life out together.
5. Helen has a love/hate relationship with the scale. Mostly hate.
6. Helen can multi-task like a pro, but never gives herself the credit she deserves at being a leader.
7. Helen prefers yoga pants to pencil skirts, clogs to Choos, and chocolate to sex. Okay, maybe not that last one.
8. Helen panics at the idea of learning to date again mid-life, especially when the object of her desire is her boss. Thank God for alcohol.
9. Helen loves her 13-year-old son even though he is driving her crazy.
10. Helen sometimes sits in the car, listens to the radio and cries.
11. Helen deserves a little romance in her life, because we all do.
12. Helen learns that life doesn’t come with a To Do List. Sometimes, you have to make it up as you go along.
13. At the end of the day, Helen enjoys a good book.

About Lian Dolan

Lian Dolan 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, an award-winning talk show that she created with her four real 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. Her first novel, “Helen of Pasadena” will be published in November, 2010 by Prospect Park Books. She is also 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 appeared 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 read more about Lian Dolan, please visit

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