Books By Lian Dolan

“A charmingly funny and effortless read…” Library Journal starred review

Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Elizabeth The First Wife (May 2013)


Elizabeth the First Wife by Lian DolanRomance, Comedy, Shakespeare! Elizabeth Lancaster is perfectly happy. Why shouldn’t she be? She teaches Shakespeare at a respectable community college. She’s got an impressive family that includes a Nobel Laureate father, an opinionated mother, one sister who’s curing cancer, and another go-getter who’s married to a Congressman. Plus she inherited a stunning Early California hacienda from her grandmother. Well, it will be stunning if she ever finds the capital to re-do just about everything.

So why does everyone keep telling her she needs a more prestigious job, upgraded countertops, and, most of all, a better man than her famous ex-husband, movie star FX Fahey?  Elizabeth silences her family and surprises herself when she joins her ex to work at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Over the course of the summer, she discovers that men can change, politics can be sexy, dogs rule and William Shakespeare has a thing or two to teach her about modern relationships.


A Starred Review from Library Journal:

Dolan’s sophomore effort (after Helen of Pasadena) is a charmingly funny and effortless read. Elizabeth Lancaster is happy with her life as an English professor at a community college in Pasadena, CA. Though her overachieving family includes a Nobel laureate father, a sister who’s pursuing a cure for cancer, and another sister who is helping her congressman husband move on to bigger and better things, Elizabeth likes where she’s landed. At least she thought she did. Then FX Fahey, a hunky Hollywood movie star and her ex-husband, arrives on her doorstep and throws her for a loop. It took Elizabeth years to get over FX, but his offer of a job helping to stage A Midsummer Night’s Dream may just suck her back in. Joining FX in Ashland, OR, is only the first hurdle. Once on site, Elizabeth discovers that things aren’t going to be as easy as FX predicted. When complications spark a visit from the entire Lancaster clan to town, not to mention the man with whom Elizabeth has been skyping all summer, our heroine is torn between fight and flight. VERDICT This novel owes its success to the wonderfully developed cast of characters, especially Elizabeth, a fully grounded adult who deals gracefully with life (no chick-lit slapstick clutziness here). Fans of Katie Fforde and Jill Mansell will find much to like here.—Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI
Click Here to order from

More praise for Elizabeth the First Wife

“A Shakespeare-influenced delight… a charming, juicy read.”
— Flavorpill
“Brings humor and warmth to a contemporary story about a woman coping with family, career, and romance.”
— Tampa Bay Times
Recommended Reading List, May 2013
— Los Angeles Magazine
“A joyous and delightful tale.”
— Shelf Awareness
“The whipsmart Elizabeth the First Wife tackles reinvention, love, and finding yourself—all with a delicious soupçon of Shakespeare.”
— Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You
“Lian Dolan has created the perfect blend of vulnerability, complication, and wit in this outstanding second novel. With timeless storylines that play out on the stage and in the real world, this is a purely enchanting read.”
—Robin Kall, host, Reading with Robin
Top 20 Summer Reading Picks /Go Providence

 “With the references to Shakespeare, it will have book clubs talking for hours.”

— Mari Partyka, Manic Mommies Book
Official Selection June 2013
A Nominee for Best Fiction 2010 by the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association
Los Angeles Times Bestseller for over a year


Helen Of Pasadena (November 2010)


Helen of Pasadena

  • Over a Year on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List
  • Nominated for Best Fiction by the Southern California Independent Booksellers
  • A Book Club Favorite all over the Country

Meet Helen of Pasadena. She needs a life make-over stat! A freak accident kills her philandering husband, 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 Benefit Chair, an unforgiving admissions director, the best real estate 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.

To schedule an interview or appearance with Lian Dolan about Helen of Pasadena, please contact 
To inquire about Film or TV rights, please contact Katie Cates at Resolution Literary Los Angeles
For other Publishing Inquiries about Fiction or Non fiction, please contact Yfat Reiss Gendell at Foundry Literary