September 28, 2012

book review: in need of therapy

Tracie Banister continues to be one of my favorite new authors with her latest offering, In Need of Therapy.

About the Book
Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart?

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger.

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.
In Need of Therapy is a laugh out loud story about a fun and somewhat unconventional leading lady. She is sassy and independent, and I loved her from the get go.

Pilar's profession alone sets her apart from others in the chick lit genre. She is a therapist, and that role offers plenty of humor and good natured eye rolling. By including us in her mental analysis or her patients, It was easy to feel an instant connection with Pilar. It was like she was sharing a juicy secret with  us every time she secretly thought about how ridiculous some of her patients are. I always figured shrinks thought that way.

The supporting cast, from her meddling mother to leech of a little sister, offered additional humor, which kept me entertained. Throw in some juicy (in a good and bad way -- I'm looking at you, Victor) men, and you have a great ensemble to keep the story moving. And it moved fast.

And when you all read the book can we talk about Ford? Swoon. This is the second male lead named Ford that I have read and adored. There must be something to that name.

The book is witty and charming, just like the author's tweets. While we're on that note, follow Tracie on Twitter. She offers excellent commentary on books, Hollywood and more. Now that Dancing With the Stars is in progress, she's become my go-to source for recaps in 140 characters or less.

Banister continues to show her growth as an author. While carrying the humor and charm that was present in Blame it on the Fame, this is a fresh story, from the plot to the writing format. Her books make me proud to call her one of my online writer friends. Keep up the great work, Tracie.

Rating: 5 of 5

About the Author
An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play that she penned (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she, also, starred in and tried to direct the production.) Her dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, Tracie decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Her debut novel, the Hollywood-themed Blame it on the Fame, was released in January 2012. And she's following that up with the fun summer read, In Need of Therapy.

Tracie blogs about books and other fun stuff at http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/

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September 27, 2012

book review: the not so secret emails of coco pinchard

A middle-aged woman's life undergoes significant transformation, and she logs it all with emails, in Robert Bryndza's The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard.

About the Book
Where Bridget Jones left off... Coco Pinchard picks up.

Coco was never a single thirty-something. She married young, had a son, and put her dream to be a writer on hold.

Now her first novel is published. Husband Daniel has greyed nicely into a silver fox, and son Rosencrantz is grown up. It should be time to enjoy life.

That is until the annual family Christmas with her hideous mother-in-law Ethel, and Coco opens her gift from Daniel. It’s not the jewellery she chose, but an iPhone. This marks the start of Daniel’s mid-life crisis and she catches him in bed with a younger woman.

The iPhone becomes a confessional of sorts, through emails to her friends Chris, an ageing trustafarian and Marika a slightly alcoholic schoolteacher.

Then she meets the hunky Adam and she’s back in the world of dating as a single forty-something...

Read the emails which tell the hilarious tale of Coco picking up the pieces. 
Coco's story made for a quick and entertaining one to read. Using emails to tell the story was a fun and modern way for a character to keep a diary of sorts. Using emails kept the story moving through a significant period of time quite quickly in a natural way. I found some of the emails a little too long and literary to be believable, but they were still written well, which more than made up for it.

I found myself laughing out loud several times, because her antics and the words she uses to describe them were hilarious. Her life is so complicated, and becomes more so before the story ends. It was fun to watch it unfold.

It did take me a while to develop a serious connection to Coco. While I always found her story interesting to watch unfold, it took a good chunk of the book for me to like her. That's not a bad thing though, because ultimately I did like her. Ultimately she is a good friend and mother who wants the best for the people she cares about. She understandably goes through some selfish patches, which are unavoidable after dealing with the end of her marriage thanks to Daniel's lies and infidelity.

I especially enjoyed watching her relationship with her son. My favorite exchanges are their messages asking the other to bring their glasses or anything while they are sitting in the same house. I'm guilty of texting my roommates when we are only rooms apart to avoid the inconvenience of having to actually stand up and walk to engage in conversation.

Some of the supporting characters in the story drove me nuts, much in the same way I imagine they drove Coco crazy. Between their overdramatics and plain annoyance, I found myself just as frustrated with them as Coco. This was a nice touch on Bryndza's part to evoke significant emotion -- even if it was irritation.

Bryndza succeeded in creating a highly entertaining read, and I look forward to reading more of his work.

Rating: 4 of 5

About the Author
Robert Bryndza is a British born writer. His books include The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard and Bitch Hollywood.

He currently lives in Slovakia with his Slovak partner Ján. They have been lucky enough to go on many adventures. Their year spent living and working in Los Angeles was the inspiration for Bitch Hollywood which was also a best seller in Slovakia as Mrcha Hollywood.

When he's not writing or learning Slovak, Rob enjoys rollerblading, cooking, going to the movies and planning the next adventure.

He also writes a blog; A British Guy In Slovakia at www.teambryndzabooks.com.

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September 26, 2012

interview with the author of 'true love way'

I am pleased to welcome Nancy Scrofano, author, blogger and more, to Change the Word for an interview as part of her True Love Way blog tour. Thanks for joining us, Nancy.

Change the Word: What kind of planning do you do before writing your books?
Nancy Scrofano: Before writing my debut novel, True Love Way, I wrote down the basic plot followed by a longer synopsis. Then, I worked on character development and wrote an outline for the whole book, chapter-by-chapter and scene-by-scene. I went through the same process before starting to write my second book.

CTW: How did you come up with the idea for True Love Way?
NS: My friendships that originated in elementary school and lasted through college were the initial inspiration for True Love Way. After college, we grew apart. I wanted to write about childhood friendships that turned into adult friendships so I could explore how they transition and change throughout the years. I wanted to see what would happen if something forced two childhood friends to work out whatever problems they had. The main character had to be stuck in the past because the story would essentially be about how she finally moves forward with her life. I wanted to give her a huge obstacle that would be the ultimate test of friendship and forgiveness. From there, the specifics of the story, setting, and characters took shape.

CTW: What is the biggest lesson you learned while writing this book?
NS: Never give up! The lessons I learned actually came after I wrote the first draft. While I was writing that very first, very rough draft, the goal was to have fun and finish it. I didn’t set my sights on signing with an agent and getting a publishing contract at that phase. I just wanted to see if I could actually complete a full-length novel. But once I accomplished my original goal, then the real work began as I revised and edited, because by that time, I had a new goal, and I really wanted it to be published. There were many times that I thought no one would ever read my book and they certainly wouldn’t like it if they did. It was definitely discouraging sometimes, especially when I was stuck and scenes weren’t turning out on the page the way I saw them in my head. Writing can be a frustrating process, but ultimately rewarding. I learned that if I believe in a story, love it, and think it’s worth telling, then there’s a really good chance other people will think so, too.

CTW: How do you overcome writer's block?
NS: When I'm stuck and looking for inspiration, I listen to music. Music really helps my writing. It helps me clear my head, refocus, and generate new ideas. I'm always on the lookout for new songs and new artists, even if they aren't necessarily "new" but just new to me. Music helps get the creative juices flowing.

CTW: What is the best writing advice you ever received?
NS: “Less telling, more showing.” Several early readers of True Love Way told me that. I’m so thankful for that piece of advice because it made me realize that the descriptive portions of my novel needed improvement. All of the notes from beta readers, especially my publisher’s notes, really helped me write a better book. I knew they had the book’s best interest at heart, so their constructive criticism was very important to me.

CTW: How about the worst?
NS: “Write what you know.” That advice is often given to writers, and I’ve heard it many times, but it’s incredibly limiting and boring. Part of being a writer is exploring new things and constantly learning. Without research and new discoveries, it would be difficult to write a story of any real substance and create characters that are realistic. Besides, does any fiction writer truly know their story and characters when they begin writing? The unfamiliarity of something new is exciting, and the development is gradual throughout the writing process. I think writers should take the challenge and write what they don’t know. I’ll admit that writing True Love Way was very much in my comfort zone, but I think that’s only natural for a debut novel. My second novel is something completely different, and I love that I’m growing as a writer.

CTW: What's your favorite latest read?
NS: I read Sophie Kinsella’s book, I’ve Got Your Number, a few months ago. It was fantastic! I loved it! It’s a hilarious, unique way of putting two people together to fall in love. Main character, Poppy, is endearing, upbeat and funny, yet also down-to-earth, which makes her such a lovable character. What an entertaining read. It’s definitely one of my favorites.

CTW: I loved that one, too. What is up next for you and your writing career?
NS: I’m working on a young adult novel. It’s chick lit for teenagers. The manuscript is complete, so I’m revising it and editing it now. I’m also working on something that will be a surprise… so I can’t say much about it yet!

CTW: Anything else you would like to share?
NS: If you haven’t read True Love Way yet, I hope you’ll get a copy and let me know what you think. I’m extremely proud of it and hope you enjoy it! I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to get in touch.

Read my review of True Love Way here.

About the Author
Nancy Scrofano is the author of True Love Way. She is a freelance writer, and she is the founder and managing editor of The Chick Lit Bee, a book blog that promotes and celebrates women’s fiction. Nancy is at work on her next novel. For more information, please visit http://www.nancyscrofano.com.

Connect with Nancy

View the Book Trailer


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September 25, 2012

book review: true love way

Nancy Scrofano offers a fun and entertaining read about a quirky heroine who is determined to rekindle the sparks with an old flame in True Love Way.

The Scoop on True Love Way:
Marlo Spencer relishes all things retro. Old TV shows, classic movies, and even the collectible lunch boxes to go with them. In fact, she’s quite cozy in her Malibu apartment, surrounded by her treasured knick-knacks and vintage memorabilia. It’s her best friend, Nik, who doesn’t get her fascination with all that “old junk,” as he calls it. He especially doesn’t understand why she’s so keen to get back to their hometown of Napa when her high school sweetheart, Josh, suddenly returns after twelve years in Paris and nary a single phone call, eager to reunite with her. So, when Marlo heads up north to wine country to rekindle her relationship with Josh, Nik tags along, claiming he was already planning to visit his sister, Savannah, Marlo’s gal pal. Once they reach Napa, however, dreams of a blissful reunion are shattered as old secrets and past betrayals are revealed, leaving an unsuspecting Marlo to pick up the pieces. Can she forgive and forget, or will true love find a different path to her heart?
I am a fan of Nancy's work as a blogger and reviewer, so I was especially delighted to find myself a fan of her fiction as well.

Marlo is definitely a unique character, which sets this chick lit novel apart from others. Her love of retro -- an interest shared with the author who created her -- makes for a humorous and playful quirk. She wants to find love and goes after it even after having little success in the past. Though a little silly, she is generally a nice person who I found easy to like and identify with. This made it easy to fall into her story and get caught up in the action.

My theory about guys like Josh was confirmed in this story: Even though they seem like a good idea, they almost never turn out that way. Usually a relationship from the past broke down for a reason. Until you know the reason and find a resolution, there is not much use. Part of Marlo's journey is coming to terms with what happened and realizing that no matter how much she wills it, they can not pick up where they left off and live happily ever after. That's a good lesson ladies -- especially if you're like me and occasionally have a soft spot for exes (only to receive harsh reminders of why they're exes).

See how easy it was for me to identify with Marlo? I'm projecting on her.

While we're talking about having soft spots, I also love a good story where a heroine begins to look at a close friend in a new light, for better or worse. When romance mingles with friendship, I like it no matter what happens. Marlo and Nik's story line was fun to read, and mixed with some additional twists and turns.

Just like her Aunt Madge, I just wanted those two kids to figure things out. It made for a tense couple of hours as I read and wondered what would happen in the end.

Scrofano also writes well and has a solid storytelling voice. For me, I will read any story, no matter how seemingly predictable it might seem -- as long as it has a good voice and strong writing. Plus, the story was just so darn cute.

If you enjoy reading this book, like I did, I encourage you to checkout Nancy's other writing ventures (listed below). I am sure you will find them just as fun and entertaining to follow as I do.

Rating: 4 of 5

Check back tomorrow for an interview with the super talented Nancy Scrofano.

About the Author
Nancy Scrofano grew up watching classic television shows, classic movies, and listening to oldies, all of which she still adores today. Nancy has a penchant for the fifties, mostly because of her favorite show, I Love Lucy. She has seen every episode countless times and will happily share the trivia she knows with anyone who will listen. Nancy worked as an editor and a journalist for her college newspaper, then went on to develop sociology textbooks for an academic publisher. She has a master’s degree in media psychology, as well as undergraduate degrees in communication, radio and television, and liberal arts. Nancy currently writes book reviews for a prestigious book review magazine. Additionally, she is the founder and managing editor of The Chick Lit Bee, a book blog that promotes and celebrates women’s fiction, and Good Humor Girl, a women's entertainment blog. Nancy lives in southern California where she is at work on her next novel.

Connect with Nancy

View the Book Trailer


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September 24, 2012

book review: the other way

Diane Strong offers an intriguing and fast read with her novella The Other Way.

The Other Way tells the story of Isaac Fisher, an Amish man who felt compelled to leave his community and identity behind after he impregnates a woman during his teenage rumspringa. Unhappy in his new life, and longing for the life -- and love -- he left behind.

This twist alone was intriguing. I have never read a story about someone in precisely this situation. It's always interesting to see someone who has left behind his or her past and has difficulty letting it go. This story goes farther, but that hook alone had me interested and turning the page to read more.

On top of that, from there the story takes twists and turns I did not expect and kept me flipping the pages to reach the end.

The third in Strong's running series, the story stands alone well. It was well-written and filled with suspense. I love the idea of a series with stories that stand on their own, but share an element as simple as running (and apparently suspense).

I enjoyed this story well enough, I would gladly read Strong's other works, which include two other installments in the running series.  

Rating: 4 of 5

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September 19, 2012

interview with the author of 'last minute love'

Change the Word: Today, I am pleased to welcome author Romi Moondi to the blog as part of her Chick Lit Plus blog tour. You can read my reviews of Year of the Chick here and Last Minute Love here. With that, let's get right into it. How was writing your second book a different experience than the first in the series?
Romi Moondi: Before I answer, thank you for letting me do a guest post on your blog; it’s been great following your adventures for the last six months and being amused by your tweets!

Okay to answer your question: writing the second book was a difference experience in every way! It was two and a half years since I’d written the first book, and I’d like to think I learned a lot about writing since then (through reading, reading about writing, and having my work ripped to shreds in critique.), which helped me write faster and also smarter. I still love the first book, but I hope the difference shows with the second!

CTW: You wrote a big chunk of this book in a short time, how did you manage that?
RM: This book is inspired by a screenplay I wrote last year, and even though I had to start from scratch in terms of writing a narrative (and connecting the screenplay events to book one), knowing exactly where I wanted to go really helped. That and the thirty Post-It notes on my closet door, which told me what should happen in each chapter.

CTW: What did you do to avoid distractions?
RM: Distractions and in particular the Internet are evil, evil things. I am usually very weak to distracting temptation, but in this case, I took a week off of work with the goal of writing 10,000 words a day for five days. I knew how angry I’d be with myself if I wasted a week’s vacation, so that looming fear really helped me kick distractions to the curb (and I reached my goal!).

CTW: How do you overcome writer's block?
RM: By not having any time for anything ever (haha…sad but true). Seriously, when working full-time, commuting three hours a day, and still wanting to go to the gym from time to time, all the ideas get pent-up in my brain just screaming to get out. So for me it’s not writers’ block that’s the issue, but finding enough time to fill up those pages.

CTW: What was the biggest lesson you have learned from writing the series?
RM: The biggest thing I’ve learned is: you can’t write to please every reader in the world because…well because that’s impossible, but you also can’t stop trying to become a better writer. These two opposing learnings have really opened my eyes to the work that’s involved in being an author, both from an effort perspective, and from a “keeping a positive attitude” perspective. I know now that if a reader just LOVES every word I type for their own subjective reasons, someone else might despise every word for different but equally subjective reasons. This helps me deal with the bad stuff as much as it helps me calm myself towards the super-fantastic great stuff. Don’t get me wrong it’s amazing to have fans who cheer you on, but if I get too comfortable and start basking in the “glory,” I won’t learn how to become a better writer.

CTW: You are a fellow cat owner. How does your cat help or hinder the writing process?
RM: He is always a hindrance, in the following ways: laying across my keyboard, laying across my notes, nuzzling his little head on my arm so I stop to cuddle him, purring really loudly so I stop to cuddle him, whining for food so I stop to feed him…he’s just awful.

CTW: We seem to be in a power struggle for ownership of Ryan Gosling. Why do you think you are more deserving than I am to have him star in the film adaptation of one of your books while falling madly in love with you?

RM: This is how I’ve always viewed the Ryan Gosling thing: he’s a shareable and renewable resource! For example, I do not approve of his ongoing (why hasn’t it ended yet?!) relationship with Eva Mendes, but I know in my heart that no matter how much she takes and takes and takes (my god she’s selfish), Ryan Gosling’s love/sex/magic appeal regenerates the way money grows on trees in my mind. In other words, he may be my co-star/love interest at some point in my illustrious career (ha), but that in no way limits your chances to get in on that too. So go get ‘em tiger!

CTW: What piece of advice would you give aspiring authors?
RM: Never give up. I’m sure writers have heard this a million times, but I’ve never believed it more than now. The agent/publisher process alone would’ve encouraged me to give up, then the endless work involved in putting out a full-length novel…there were many times I could’ve given up. Then of course once the books were published, it was the challenge of trying to get reviews and sales every day. Well three books and almost four thousand sales later, and after eighteen months of being self-published…I may not be a bestseller but I know I was meant to do this. And the common thread through it all was not giving up!

CTW: What is next for your writing career?
RM: My laptop has essentially died, but I’m saving up my money for a Macbook Pro, which I’ll hopefully acquire by late fall. Once I have that and my screenwriting software up and running again, I will adapt Year of the Chick book one into a screenplay. So many readers have told me they could see it as a movie, so why not? No movie studio may ever give it a second look, but never give up, remember? So I’m definitely going to try, since I learned a lot about screenplays in 2011 when I wrote one. Then in 2013…the master plan is to move to Paris for a while and write book three! (I’ll keep you all posted on how that goes via Facebook).

CTW: Is there anything else you would like to share?
RM: I think I’ve already said A TON here (oops! Hope it wasn’t boring!), but I’d like to end by saying I am SO happy opportunities exist to self-publish. I’m happy because in the past year I’ve found my audience, and as it keeps growing it astounds me and amazes me. I support whatever path an author chooses to take, whether it’s agented/traditional or self-published, but me? I am thrilled with the route I chose.

Thanks again for letting me post here Laura!

About the Author
I am Canadian, and here are some strange personal facts:

- I wore denim-top-to-bottom in high school (there is a direct inverse relationship between how much denim I wore and how few tongues were launched down my throat at school dances...or anywhere in high school at all).
- A homeless lady in New York once told me "You're just a bitch on vacation with no money!"
- I always hated those insufferable couples who would cuddle and make out on the subway... until I became half of one. But now I'm back to being none of one so I hate them again.

The thing I love most in the world is writing. When I first started publishing on Amazon it was my "crazy" humour side ("The Book of Awful," and "NOT Love Poems For Real Life"). Since then, everything has focused on my "Year of the Chick" series, because it's the most important thing to me in the world right now. I guess that would tend to happen, when your writing is inspired by real life, including all the satisfaction and risks that come from that.

My Year of the Chick series can be described as "edgy rom-com," which helps me account for the blunt conversations and mortifying family moments in the book ;-). Book 3 in the Year of the Chick series will be written and released in 2013; until then I have some adventures to go on!


Connect with Romi

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RomiMoondi
Twitter: http:///www.twitter.com/romimoondi
Blog: http://romimoondi.wordpress.com


Buy the Book
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Minute-Love-Year-Chick-ebook/dp/B0089IG9BY/ref=la_B005W65KWK_1_3_title_0_main?ie=UTF8&qid=1347224655&sr=1-3 
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/last-minute-love-romi-moondi/1111816576?ean=2940033288311
(Also available for Kobo and iTunes!)
Additional note: Year of the Chick", which is book one in the series, is available for free at all e-tailers!


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September 18, 2012

book review: last minute love

Romi Moondi's hilarious story-telling is back with Last Minute Love, the sequel to her equally entertaining Year of the Chick.

When we last saw Romi Narinda, she had just met the man she's been chatting up for a whirlwind day in New York City. Though she thinks she may have found Mr. Right, she still has to deal with those pesky parents who have big plans for her.

Here's the scoop on the book:
What's a girl to do when she meets the Internet man of her dreams, he's better than she expected, but he lives an ocean away? And let's not forget her parents,who are trying to lock her up in arranged-marriage doom...

In this fast-paced story of culture clash and romantic pursuits, there's a big fat Indian wedding, the struggle to keep a long-distance flame alive, and an unexpected mystery man who could set a new course in motion.

All the while, our heroine abandons what was once an all-consuming man-search, which helps her remember the person she used to be and the person she hopes to become; the history-loving nerd, the hopeless romantic and the emerging author with dreams of ditching the corporate rat race.

This is the book of living in the moment, making the grand gesture and putting it all on the line. This is when Romi Narindra comes alive...
 
Moondi has a strong and funny story-telling voice, which makes the story a fast-paced read. Even when faced with bad moments, Romi the character's quirky personality will have you laughing again within a few moments.

This time around, Romi spends less of her time looking for a man, like she did in Book One, and more looking to complete other parts of her life -- like her lackluster career in corporate Hell and following her ambitions to become the person she wants.


In the sequel, she continues to navigate the challenges that come with her constantly clashing world where she takes a more active role in the outcome, which is fun and empowering to watch unfold.

Aside from Romi Narinda, the other characters in this story add a decent amount of humor and drama. 

If you are a fan of chick lit who enjoys watching a 20-something get her life together, Last Minute Love is a solid read.

Romi will be on the blog, tomorrow, for an interview, so be sure to check back.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

About the Author
I am Canadian, and here are some strange personal facts:

- I wore denim-top-to-bottom in high school (there is a direct inverse relationship between how much denim I wore and how few tongues were launched down my throat at school dances...or anywhere in high school at all).
- A homeless lady in New York once told me "You're just a bitch on vacation with no money!"
- I always hated those insufferable couples who would cuddle and make out on the subway... until I became half of one. But now I'm back to being none of one so I hate them again.

The thing I love most in the world is writing. When I first started publishing on Amazon it was my "crazy" humour side ("The Book of Awful," and "NOT Love Poems For Real Life"). Since then, everything has focused on my "Year of the Chick" series, because it's the most important thing to me in the world right now. I guess that would tend to happen, when your writing is inspired by real life, including all the satisfaction and risks that come from that.

My "Year of the Chick" series can be described as "edgy rom-com," which helps me account for the blunt conversations and mortifying family moments in the book ;-).
Book 3 in the "Year of the Chick" series will be written and released in 2013; until then I have some adventures to go on!


Connect with Romi

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RomiMoondi
Twitter: http:///www.twitter.com/romimoondi
Blog: http://romimoondi.wordpress.com


Buy the Book
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Minute-Love-Year-Chick-ebook/dp/B0089IG9BY/ref=la_B005W65KWK_1_3_title_0_main?ie=UTF8&qid=1347224655&sr=1-3 
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/last-minute-love-romi-moondi/1111816576?ean=2940033288311
(Also available for Kobo and iTunes!)
Additional note: Year of the Chick", which is book one in the series, is available for free at all e-tailers!


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September 11, 2012

interview with the author of 'finding lucas'

Blogger's Note: I'm pleased to welcome Samantha Stroh Bailey to the blog today as part of her Chick Lit Plus Tour. Read my review here.

Change the Word: What was your inspiration for FINDING LUCAS?
Samantha Stroh Bailey: Well, there I was, lying in bed next to my awesome husband one night, and I started thinking about Jack, my “friend with benefits” from high school and early university. He wasn’t the one who got away like Lucas is for Jamie, but it had been ten years since I had seen or spoken to him. I wondered where he was, if he was happy, and suddenly, the plot just came to me. I raced out of bed and immediately started writing.

CTW: I have to know: How did you come up with the character Derek, Jamie's jerky boyfriend?
SSB: That is an awesome question! I took all of the characteristics I have despised in men I’ve known and my friends have known and molded them into the jerk he is. I had a lot of inspiration to draw from!

CTW: If you were casting the screen adaptation of FINDING LUCAS, who would you cast as Jamie, Derek and Lucas?
SSB: Jamie would have to be played by the sweet and unassuming Ginnifer Goodwin. There is something so real and refreshing about her. I imagine Bradley Cooper, gorgeous with the potential to be a right bastard as Derek, and Lucas would have two actors playing him. The young Lucas is Zac Efron, with his gorgeous, sweet face and the hint of a bad boy about him, and the adult Lucas, Ian Somerhelder. Those eyes!

CTW: What planning went into the book before writing?
SSB: I always come up with the plot and opening line first. Then, I think of my characters—their names, backgrounds, personalities. I make brief notes on any piece of paper I can find, usually old receipts and bits of construction left over from my kids’ art projects. I’m not a very organized writer because I get ideas all day and jot them down whenever I can. But, I find that what works for me is to just write and get the story out as much as I can. I’m a professional editor so it is very hard for me not to edit as I go, but I stop myself until I feel I have some of the story fleshed out.

CTW: What was the best lesson you learned while writing this book?
SSB: To go after my dreams and cut parts that make me wince or cringe. I also try to remember that I can’t obsess over every mistake.

CTW: How do you get through tough-to-write passages?
SSB: I talk to myself while I write (which often gets me very strange looks at my local coffee shop where I do a lot of my writing) so when I’m struggling, I close my eyes and imagine my characters. If one is touching the arm of another character, I touch my own arm to imagine how it feels. And I read! I’m so inspired by other authors, and they have helped me get through some tough writing moments.

CTW: What is your favorite writing snack?
SSB: I don’t eat a lot when I’m writing because I’m the messiest eater and everything gets all over my computer! But, I drink boatloads of coffee. I’ve switched to decaf in the afternoon because my twitching would scare my kids.

CTW: What advice would you give to new writers?
SSB: Don’t stop writing. This has got to be one of the hardest professions there is because we lay it all out there when we write. So, all of our insecurities and fears smack us in the face all of the time, but if this is something you want to do, don’t let anything stand in your way. However you publish, the moment you see your book is something you will treasure forever. And the best advice I can give is to connect with other authors. It’s scary at first, but the writing community is so warm, welcoming and supportive.

CTW: What's next for your writing career?
SSB: I have two novels that I’d like to publish in the next year. My second novel is for adults (not adult as in Fifty Shades of Grey, but not for kids) and my third is YA. I’m working on the second right now, but between my two kids and my freelance business, it’s a bit of a juggle.

CTW: Is there anything else you would like us to know?
SSB: I just want to say thank you. I have met some incredible people on this journey, and I am grateful to everyone who has bought and read my book, supported me and helped me. I love to hear from my readers and other writers.

About the Author
Samantha Stroh Bailey has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen. In fact, she even sent her first manuscript, Freddy the Flame, to publishers when she was ten years old. Sadly, it was rejected, but a lifelong passion to write was born.
After 15 years of teaching ESL to adults, including at the University of Toronto, she decided to live her dreams of being a fulltime writer and editor. Now the owner of Perfect Pen Communications, she not only gets to write novels, but also writes and edits for magazines, websites, businesses, students and other writers.
Her work has appeared in Now Magazine, The Village Post, Oxford University Press, Abilities Magazine, on Mommyish.com and many other publications. Samantha also has a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics. 
She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Finding Lucas is her first novel.
Connect with Samantha
Twitter: @perfectpen
Buy the Book
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Lucas-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A/ref=la_B007YAN1SC_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346787522&sr=1-1

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September 10, 2012

book review: finding lucas

Samantha Stroh Bailey's Finding Lucas offers a dose of humor and emotion for anyone who has ever wondered what could have been.

Jamie Ross has been with Derek for five years. Until recently, she has seen him as everything she wanted. She wakes up and realizes that not only is he not what she thought, but he has also done a number on her confidence.

Determined to find the Jamie she used to be, she decides to take a trip down memory lane and find her old boyfriend Lucas, the man who used to make her feel like she could do or be anything. At the same time, she becomes close to her boss, who is also going through relationship pains. Finding Lucas is the story of using the past to move on from the present to have a future.

Jamie was a likeable and well-conceived protagonist. For anyone who has ever been in a relationship that changed you -- and not necessarily for the better -- she is someone to identify with. Watching her develop a backbone was enjoyable. Bailey's writing captured the struggles she went through along the way, and it was easy to want to see her succeed.

While some protagonists do not see their own flaws, which is frustrating, Jamie sees too many of her own. Watching her learn to see herself differently offers a good example for anyone going through an existential crisis of his or her own.

The other characters offered fun and sometimes hair-pulling plot twists. Right from the get-go, I found myself wanting to smack Jamie's boyfriend Derek then wanting to hug her boss, Andrew. Drawing that kind of reader response is always a plus.

For those who often wonder about the road not taken, Finding Lucas is a charming and entertaining story that follows one woman in her pursuit. It even gave me a few ideas about looking up a couple of past boyfriends, but I quickly nipped that urge in the butt. That's a road I don't need to take, myself.

Fans of chick lit will find this a pleasing read, as did I. The story was cute, easy to read and fun to think about. Bailey is a solid writer, and I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.

Check back tomorrow for an interview with the author, Samantha Stroh Bailey.

Rating: 4 of 5

About the Author
Samantha Stroh Bailey has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen. In fact, she even sent her first manuscript, Freddy the Flame, to publishers when she was ten years old. Sadly, it was rejected, but a lifelong passion to write was born.

After 15 years of teaching ESL to adults, including at the University of Toronto, she decided to live her dreams of being a fulltime writer and editor. Now the owner of Perfect Pen Communications, she not only gets to write novels, but also writes and edits for magazines, websites, businesses, students and other writers.
Her work has appeared in Now Magazine, The Village Post, Oxford University Press, Abilities Magazine, on Mommyish.com and many other publications. Samantha also has a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics. 

She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Finding Lucas is her first novel.

Connect with Samantha
Twitter: @perfectpen

Buy the Book
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Lucas-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A/ref=la_B007YAN1SC_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346787522&sr=1-1

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roxy in the middle

Blogger's note: I am pleased to welcome Cat Lavoie, author of Breaking the Rules, to Change the Word as part of her Chick Lit Plus blog tour. Read my review of Breaking the Rules here. Read an excerpt of the novel here.

Thank you so much for having me, Laura!

Today I wanted to talk about the family dynamics in my debut novel.

In Breaking the Rules, the main character, Roxy, ends up sharing her small NYC apartment with her sisters after they land on her doorstep. Someone once asked me if Roxy's relationship with Izzie and Steffi mirrors the relationship I have with my own sisters.

No, it doesn't. Despite all the begging and pleading I did when I was a child, I don't have any sisters. And even though I have a cool older brother, I've always longed for that sisterly bond. So when I started to create a world for Roxy, I knew she'd be surrounded by sisters. At first, I thought that they would be the best of friends. Sisters always get along, right? They gossip and exchange clothes and do each other's hair while talking about cute boys. Yes, everyone—I thought having sisters was like one giant slumber party. Then I started playing the what if? game. What if they aren't that close at all? What if they all live their separate lives and the idea of doing anything slumber party-related makes them want to gag? And then—finally—what if they end up living under the same roof again as adults with issues?

From the very beginning, it was clear to me that Roxy was meant to be the middle sister since—as per the dynamics of many families—the oldest child is the leader and the youngest is an attention seeker. Roxy is neither of these things. But where does the middle child fit in? I wanted Roxy to be stuck between two boisterous personalities. She's the peacemaker in the family—the one who's able to be the voice of reason when tempers flare up. It also means that she's a bit of a pushover and—in the span of a few hours—Izzie and Steffi take over Roxy's apartment and become involved in every aspect of her life from her job to her relationship with the men in her life. Roxy does whatever she can to help her sisters, which often involves rushing to the kitchen to prepare food.

In addition to being the middle child in the Rule family, I wanted Roxy to be a sort of middle child in her own life. She's stuck in a job she hates with a boss she can't stand up to. She's engaged to be married to a man who doesn't seem to listen to her—and she can't speak up loud enough for him to hear. Becoming unstuck becomes her mission.

Even though I was the one who was deciding her fate, I was cheering Roxy on as her story progressed. And I couldn't help thinking that Roxy was the kind of sister I wished for as a kid—if only because of the endless stream of cookies that seem to come out of her kitchen.
Read my review of Breaking the Rules here. Read an excerpt of the novel here.

About the Author
Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.

An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either.

Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).

Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.

Connect with Cat
Cat blogs about the writing life and posts adorable pictures of Abbie over at the Catenabi Chronicles. Come say hello at: www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.
www.CatLavoie.com
http://www.facebook.com/
http://www.goodreads.com/
https://twitter.com/Catenabi

Buy the Book
Barnes & Noble – Nook
Amazon – Kindle
Kobo
Amazon – Print

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September 9, 2012

book review: breaking the rules

Complicated hardly covers it when describing Roxy Rule's life in Cat Lavoie's debut novel, Breaking the Rules. (Read an excerpt here.)

Between clashing with her fiance over table linens and guests lists and working as an assistant for one of the most obnoxious bosses ever, Roxy's world is already chaotic when she sneaks a passionate kiss with her lifelong best friend, Ollie, as he departs for London. After the act stirs up some previously undetected emotions, she tries to settle them while dealing with everything else on her plate, which now includes having her two sisters move into her apartment. And one of them is pregnant and the father is a big surprise no one expected.

Will Roxy follow the rules and take the easiest path for her life or take a chance on the unknown?

Roxy is a complicated, but wonderful character. She is torn between doing what is right -- or at least what she thinks is right -- and doing what makes her happy. She cares about her family and friends, willing to sacrifice her own happiness if it means keeping the peace. Connecting with Roxy was easy. It only took me a few pages to feel completely wrapped up in her story. At heart, she is a good and funny person, which makes it easy to root for her while she goes through the ups and downs of a chaotic life.

Her voice is strong, and she makes a great protagonist to carry the story.

The rest of the cast brings good, bad and everything in between. The one constant among all of them: They are deliciously and realistically flawed. Their mistakes and successes -- and how they impacted Roxy -- kept the story moving, and I found myself laughing and wanting to shout at their antics.

Though the love story and her professional woes offered a major chunk of the plot elements, my favorite was watching Roxy's relationship with her sisters. If Roxy's life is complicated, their relationship is even more. Watching it develop and roller coaster was entertaining and enjoyable.

The greatest strength of the story is its pacing. The book starts off at quick jaunt and races to the end. With the story constantly moving and evolving, I could not put the book down, because I wanted to get to the end and see the resolution.

There were a few unexpected twists and turns in the story, which left me feeling a little knotted at the time. I questioned people's motives and worried their actions might derail Roxy's life, or worse -- keep it on the same track. One particular, and crucial, plot element completely caught me off guard, and it took me a while to recover from the shock. That's good storytelling there.

Lavoie's debut novel is a strong story worth the hours spent reading. It will be fun to see what she comes up with for her next story.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

About the Author
Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.

An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either.

Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).

Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.

Connect with Cat
Cat blogs about the writing life and posts adorable pictures of Abbie over at the Catenabi Chronicles. Come say hello at: www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.
www.CatLavoie.com
http://www.facebook.com/CatLavoieAuthor?ref=stream
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6440914.Cat_Lavoie
https://twitter.com/Catenabi
  Buy the Book
Barnes & Noble – Nook
Amazon – Kindle
Kobo
Amazon – Print



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excerpt: breaking the rules

Blogger's Note: Enjoy this excerpt of Cat Lavoie's Breaking the Rules. Check back at 10 a.m. for my review.

When Emma finally stumbles into the kitchen—arms loaded with two huge paper bags—I'm placing the mini-quiches on a wire rack to cool and trying to apply a final coat of mascara while looking at myself in the toaster.

"Where's Dean?" I ask, taking one of the bags and kissing her on the cheek. Dean is Emma's boyfriend. Ever since he lost his job a few months back he's been living on Emma's couch and only getting up to go to the bathroom and to raid the fridge. She'd been so happy when he agreed to come to Ollie's party.

Emma sighs. "We sort of had a fight. He decided to stay home."

"What did you fight about?"

"I refused to let him out of the house wearing sweat pants. That's all he wears these days. Sweat pants and a Mets T-shirt. I'm sick of it. I had to do something."

"What did you do?” I smile at her. Emma's the sweetest person in the world but I've witnessed some pretty awesome tantrums when she's mad.

"I took all of his old sweat pants and T-shirts, stuffed them in a bag and threw them down the garbage chute. Can you believe he actually got up and sifted through the whole building's garbage and found the bag? He was mad as hell but at least he got up."

I can't help but laugh at the thought of Dean up to his elbows in trash. Looks like I'm not the only one with boy trouble.

When I tell Emma about Ethan's elopement plans, her face drops and she starts shaking her head. "No way. You know I'm living vicariously through you, right? Dean and I have been together for ten years and, at this point, I'm probably going to have to wait another ten years for him to propose. Unless he finds an engagement ring in the trash or something. You can't elope. You just can't. We've been best friends since college and I know you have two sisters but I have hope that I'm still in the running to be your maid of honor. So, no. No elopement."

Before I can reassure Emma that I still haven't picked my maid of honor, the apartment buzzer goes off.

"Hello?" I say into the intercom.

"It's us. Let us up." It's Adam and Tali, my two other close friends. I put them in charge of getting the environmentally friendly recyclable paper products for the party. Ollie would shed a tear for the planet if I used the regular ones.

"Did you get the paper cups and plates I wanted?" I ask.

Silence.

"Yeah, we bought some. From the 99 Cents Store," Adam says.

I roll my eyes. "Guys! I asked you to buy from that earth-friendly place. You know how Ollie feels about non-recyclable things. We'll never hear the end of it."

Emma mumbles in agreement behind me. She's had the recycling lecture before.

"It's Tali's fault. I wanted to go but she's wearing the most hideous heels and her feet hurt and she said Ollie would never know the difference. Owww."

I hear a muffled sound which can't be anything but Tali hitting Adam for calling her shoes hideous or blaming her for their failure to buy the right cups. Probably both.

"Aw, Rox, it's starting to rain now. Can't we just use regular dishes? I'm betting that's even better for the environment."

"Sure, that's a great idea. So I'm guessing you'll wash and Tali will dry?"

"Good one, Rox," I hear Tali say. Her voice is loud and scratchy, but that's only because her face is always two inches from the speaker whenever she talks into the intercom.

Adam's sigh reeks of defeat. "We'll be back."

About the Author
Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.

An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either.

Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve).
Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.

Connect with Cat
Cat blogs about the writing life and posts adorable pictures of Abbie over at the Catenabi Chronicles. Come say hello at: www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.
www.CatLavoie.com
http://www.facebook.com/CatLavoieAuthor?ref=stream
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6440914.Cat_Lavoie
https://twitter.com/Catenabi
 
Buy the Book
Barnes & Noble – Nook
Amazon – Kindle
Kobo
Amazon – Print

Receive Change the Word's latest updates in your Inbox. Subscribe by entering your information under "Follow by email" in the sidebar. Follow me on Twitter @lmchap or "Like" Change the Word on Facebook.

September 7, 2012

interview with the author of 'free gift with purchase'

Today, Change the Word welcomes Jackie Pilossoph, author of Free Gift With Purchase for an interview as part of her Chick Lit Plus blog tour.

Change the Word: What was the inspiration for Free Gift With Purchase?
Jackie Pilossoph: I started writing this book about five years ago, when I threw myself back into the dating scene at 41 (just after divorce.) I could not believe some of the guys I went out with, and some of the things that happened to my single friends as well. They were seriously unbelievable! They were also hilarious. I knew that women would not only be entertained by the stories, but would really be able to relate to bad dates, and how tough it is (at any age) to find the right guy.

The other inspiration for Free Gift With Purchase was my sister, Sue. We are just like Laura and Emma, and I think there are so many women who have sisters who are opposite them, but who love each other and have to learn to deal with their differences without judging or getting angry.

CTW: What is the best free gift with purchase you have received?
JP: TWO: my son and my daughter!

CTW: How did you come up with all of the people Emma and Laura date?
JP: All of the guys who Emma and Laura date stem from real guys who my friends and I dated. However, I embellished big time! I took what was real and I made it much more dramatic and funny. That said, I'm not sure the book would have been as good had the guys not stemmed from actual guys I know (and know of.)

CTW: We recently discussed the merits of re-writing -- did you have to do much with this book?
JP: So much, you have no idea! This book was originally called I've Got Baggage, and it was a sequel to my fourth novel, (to be published in 2013) I've Got Issues. I had at least five professionals, including three reputable agents read versions of this and give me feedback. By the time an author is on her third book, it better be pretty darn good! Even little things, like name changes were addressed. Laura and Emma's names were originally Sharon and Lisa, and my agent for Jackpot!, Kathy called and says to me, "I hope I'm not hurting your feelings, but I really don't' like the names. Names are really, really important!" So, Kathy and I spent the morning texting back and forth different name possibilities to rename Sharon and Lisa, and we came up with "Emma and Laura" by noon!

CTW: What advice do you have for the re-writing process?
JP: The best advice I can give is to show people your work. Show your friends, show your family, and show people who read your genre. Beg them to be honest with you. Also, try to get your work to professionals, even if they aren't representing you. They are the biggest help because they know what will sell and what won't. Another piece of advice: when you are re-writing, go back the next day and correct all the typo's of the chapter you re-wrote the day before. trust me, there will be a lot!

CTW: I also loved your book Jackpot! What are three items on your to purchase list if you won a jackpot prize?
JP: 1. Set aside the exact amount of money for two four-year educations at reputable universities for my kids! 2. A second home in South Florida-to visit my parents whenever we'd like. 3. I would probably pay for a really extravagant vacation for my entire family to be together for two weeks.-includes all my brothers and sisters and their children and my parents and kids.

CTW: What sort of planning or plotting do you do in advance of writing your stories?
JP: I really don't know what other authors do, but I spend at least six months thinking about the entire story before I put a word down on the computer. So, I know how the novel will begin, the basic sketch of what will happen during the book, and how it ends. I don't know exact details, but I know some, and as I write, these usually change a hundred times, but I know the basics. And then I start telling the story to people to see if it interests them. Funny story: My kids and I were recently on a plane coming home from Florida, and we were bored, so I turn to my 10-year-old son and say, "Hey, can I tell you a story?" I told him my idea for my new novel. It took about 10 minutes. This really really helps to hear out loud what your novel is. So, when I was done asking a 10 year-old boy if he'd like my romantic comedy novel, he says, "Actually, Mom, that sounds pretty good!"

CTW: What is the best piece of advice you have received about writing?
JP: "Don't ever give up. EVER. Promise me? Promise me right now that no matter what, you will never, ever, stop writing and just say forget it." The person then proceeded to give me an article he cut out from the NY Times Sunday paper with a best-seller insert. He crossed out the No. 1 book and wrote in "Jackpot! by Jackie Pilossoph." It was the best, most motivating thing anyone has ever given me. By the way, the guy is a self-made multi-millionaire who is under the age of 40.

CTW: What's next for you and your writing career?
JP: Ooohh!!! Just wait! My fourth book, I've Got Issues is juicy!! Very dramatic and covers really serious topics. Although, still hilariously funny. I am in the process of signing with a really reputable agency in New York, so I might end up with a big publisher for that book! Fingers crossed!

CTW: Anything else you would like to share?
JP: Can I make a last pitch for Free Gift With Purchase? This book is very different than my first two books, but not in a good or bad way, just different. It deals with much more real life types of issues and it's more serious, but still super funny as well. Free Gift With Purchase will make you think about and appreciate your best friends and your sisters. It will also entertain you with the dating stories and some of the really hilarious scenes. Lastly, it will make you feel great. You will fall in love with a couple of the characters, you will be inspired by a couple of them, and you will hopefully feel refreshed and energized when you are finished reading it.

About the Author
Jackie Pilossoph is also the author of Jackpot! (read my review of it here) and Hook, Line and Sink Him. She is a freelance corporate and newspaper reporter, and columnist for the Pioneer Press. Pilossoph holds a masters degree in communication from Boston University, and is currently working on her fourth novel.

Contact Jackie
Website and blog: www.jackiepilossoph.net
Facebook: www.facebook/jackiepilossoph
Twitter: @pilossophsbooks

Buy the Books
Amazon

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September 6, 2012

book review: free gift with purchase

Two sisters give finding love a second chance in Jackie Pilossoph's Free Gift With Purchase.

Emma was widowed and left to raise her daughter alone, while her older sister, Laura, recently split from her husband of more than 20 years after he left her for one of the women he was sleeping with. Both sisters are completely different. Emma is more fun-loving while Laura is responsible. Both rely on each other as they enter the dating world for a second time, now in their 40s.

While each copes with issues from their past, each enjoys relationships with varying types: womanizers, stalkers, liars and a string of Matts. Some of serious, some care-free, but all of them help each woman come out of her shell to make the change necessary to develop their lives.

Emma and Laura's relationship is strong, which adds to the strength of the story. Their connection to each other is deep. More than sisters, they are best friends who will comfortably lay down the truth for the other when she needs it, which is often. Watching each sister emerge into her own was entertaining and enjoyable to watch.

Aside from their relationship, the sisters are also close to their mother, who adds a nice blend of humorous and emotional moments to the book.


My favorite part of the story was following the many dates and hook-ups these women had. From bad to great and everywhere in between, Emma and Laura work their way through some real characters. These relationships had me laughing out loud and cringing at the same time. So much fun to read.

Having previously read Jackpot!, I can say with certainty that Pilossoph has quickly become one of my new favorite authors to follow. Her stories have depth while keeping a certain light-heartedness about them. Both books were fast-paced, fun and easy to navigate and an all-around pleasure to read.

Check back tomorrow to learn more about the author.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

About the Author
Jackie Pilossoph is also the author of Jackpot! (read my review of it here) and Hook, Line and Sink Him. She is a freelance corporate and newspaper reporter, and columnist for the Pioneer Press. Pilossoph holds a masters degree in communication from Boston University, and is currently working on her fourth novel.

Contact Jackie
Website and blog: www.jackiepilossoph.net
Facebook: www.facebook/jackiepilossoph
Twitter: @pilossophsbooks

Buy the Books
Amazon

Receive Change the Word's latest updates in your Inbox. Subscribe by entering your information under "Follow by email" in the sidebar. Follow me on Twitter @lmchap or "Like" Change the Word on Facebook.