Marika Christian is on tour with her novel Phone Kitten through CLP Blog Tours. Christian hits it out of the ballpark with this hysterical, quirky, and endearing story, told through the eyes of Emily. When Emily, a slightly overweight and shy budding reporter gets fired from her job, she stumbles into the world of phone sex. With her soft, breathy voice, Emily can forget about her weight, forget about guys acting like she is invisible, and make some good money on top of it. But when Emily attracts the attention of a hottie in her history class, her two worlds begin to collide. Should Emily confess her profession, or would that have history hottie running for the hills? To make matters worse, one of Emily’s top phone clients is found murdered- right after he meets Emily and threatens her. Now, Emily could be considered a suspect in his death. To try to clear her name and to crack the case so she can be the reporter on the story, Emily begins to put the puzzle pieces together surrounding the mysterious murder- but is she only making more trouble for herself?
Like I said earlier, Phone Kitten is laugh out loud funny from page one. I was immediately captured by Emily and her innocence, and had to laugh at most of the phone sex scenes. From chatting with Christian in my interview with her, I knew that every call taken by Emily was something that really happened to the author when she was doing research for the book, which only made the situations even funnier to me. Emily made a great sleuth while working on the murder mystery case, and I had fun working along with her to catch the killer. The few problems I found with the book were with the editing. There were a lot of mistakes like missing commas or quotation marks, but I even found words that were missing letters, such as “bo” instead of “body.” And I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t as into Emily’s boyfriend as I think I should have been. Maybe because he was a little mysterious himself on his career? I really can’t pinpoint it, but I felt almost like he was a bad guy throughout the story, and I was just waiting for the real him to be discovered by Emily. Overall though, a very entertaining read, and one that will keep you laughing even after you’ve flipped the last page.
Tips for Writers, Sort Of
By Deborah Coonts,
Author of Lucky Stiff
Let’s get this out right up front — I have an authority issue. Rules and me, we mix about as well as fire and gasoline. So, if someone tells me how to do something, odds are, I’m not going to follow that path. The results are usually either brilliant or disastrous. I am very familiar with the latter, but not so much with the former. But at least I did it my way (yes, I feel a song coming on). After trying many professions (some had no appreciation for independent thinkers, imagine that), I finally landed on writing — primarily because, as you might have suspected, I am eminently unemployable. Curiously enough, I’ve discovered that writing is what I should have done all along.
You see, I’ve always loved stories. But, I wasn’t born a writer fully formed. I know you find that hard to believe, but it’s the truth — although I make stuff up for a living, I never lie. Anyway, when I started writing I was as clueless as a politician with a camera phone and a Twitter account. So, I did what everyone else would do — I just sat in a chair and typed “Chapter One.” Then . . . nothing. I had no idea how to tackle something as intimidating as a novel.
So, I baled and hit the Internet. Curiously enough, I found some “rules” for writing a novel. The first one was “write what you know.” Well, letsee, I was a single parent, frazzled and over-worked tax lawyer, living in a very conservative and snobbish small city in Colorado. Hmmm, didn’t sound like good fodder for a bestseller.
The next rule was “write what you read.” I loved romantic suspense. Maybe I could be Sandra Brown — or at least have her wardrobe? This at least got me scribbling madly. But, alas, I was not Sandra Brown. I wasn’t even a marginal romantic suspense writer. Darn.
Okay, next “rule:” Write what you can imagine. Much better. So, I imagined an overworked young woman who was Head of Customer Relations at a large Vegas Strip hotel with a former hooker as a mother, an absent father, and Vegas’s foremost Female Impersonator as a best friend. This story I could write! And it became Wanna Get Lucky?, my first published novel.
Along the way, I’ve developed my own set of “rules” for writing a novel — truisms all learned the hard way.
RULE ONE: GET DIVORCED, QUIT YOUR JOB, SELL YOUR KIDS
(I warn you, a slightly used teenager will bring nothing on the open market. Ditto the slightly used husband.) Writing is an all-consuming passion, an exacting taskmaster. If you don’t understand that last sentence, pick another form of self-flagellation other than writing — there are many, or so I’m told.
RULE TWO: LEARN THE BASICS
Writing is an art form. Asking someone to teach you how to write is akin to asking Picasso to teach you how to paint. He can teach you the basics of color, composition, media and whatever, but the expression — the part that makes it art — is up to you. The same goes for writing. Learn the basics of sentence structure, active voice versus passive, showing not telling, and the particular narrative nuances of your chosen genre, then quit taking lessons. Find your uniqueness and let it flow.
RULE THREE: KILL YOUR EDITOR (no, no, not that one! I’m referring to the INTERNAL one!)
Self-editing as you write will kill your story. The goal of the first draft is to get words on the page — as many words as you think might be helpful. Trust me, it is MUCH easier to take words out than it is to add more later. I don’t know why that is, but it is.
And that voice in your head that says you can’t do this, that you can never write a complete novel, much less a good one? Strangle that little SOB right now, BEFORE you begin. You will thank me later. Actually, I prefer donations in lieu of gratitude.
RULE FOUR: NEVER TRUST YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Even if you don’t owe them money, your family and friends will all tell you that your novel is wonderful. Don’t trust them. Find a group of writers — published or not, but make sure they know what they are talking about and their motives are pure — share your pages. You read theirs, they read yours, then you CONSTRUCTIVELY offer and receive unbiased opinions. This can be a goldmine. It can also be a very negative experience, so choose who you listen to wisely.
Put your butt in the chair, power-up the computer and write — everyday. I have written on planes, in casinos, at coffee shops in airports, skanky hotels when I was too tired to remember why I was even there, at family gatherings (a great way to keep out of the fray), in the park, at the gym after being defeated by the Stairmaster . . . in short, my daily word count goal is non-negotiable. I don’t care what your excuse is, you can find the time. I am the Queen of Procrastination, and if I can find a few hours each day to play with words and imaginary friends, so can you. And, some days my imaginary world is much more fun than the real thing. Bet yours is, too.
RULE SIX: ENJOY
Have fun. Play.
© 2011 Deborah Coonts, author of Lucky Stiff
Deborah Coonts, author of Lucky Stiff, says her mother tells her she was born in Texas a very long time ago, though she’s not totally sure — her mother can’t be trusted. But she was definitely raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. She currently resides in Las Vegas, where family and friends tell her she can’t get into too much trouble. Silly people. Coonts has built her own business, practiced law, flown airplanes, written a humor column for a national magazine, and survived a teenager. She is the author of the Lucky O’Tool Las Vegas adventure series.
The first book in the series, Wanna Get Lucky?, has been nominated by the Romance Writers of America for the 2011 RITA awards in the categories of Best First Novel and Best Novel with a Strong Romantic Element. Her second book, Lucky Stiff, was published in February 2011.
Jenna Stevens, a recently divorced sous-chef, moves back to her hometown of Georgetown, Texas to start over. Her adoptive parents greet her with open arms, and Jenna decides on a whim to open her own store. While Jenna always had a knack for cooking, her ex-husband worked diligently to place seeds in her mind that she was no good at her profession, so Jenna decides to open a retail store with cooking supplies, instead of doing any actual cooking. Quickly realizing she is in over her head, she hires Violet, a street smart woman that works well with the customers. The duo form an unlikely friendship, and Jenna thinks everything is finally falling into place in her life. But everything changes at rapid pace when her birth parents suddenly show up at her store, claiming they want a relationship with their daughter. Jenna is thrown by these free spirits- Serenity and Tom- who want so badly to reconnect with Jenna after so many years. But Jenna is weary- she loves her adoptive parents, and the timing doesn’t seem right. Why now, why after so many years did her parents decide to come find her? Can Jenna learn to love her birth parents? Or does fate have a different plan?
I adored Already Home by Susan Mallery. This was a book that from page one got my attention and drew me in. Jenna’s character seemed a little fragile after her nasty divorce, but I could tell she wanted to stay strong and make her parents proud. The love between Jenna and her adoptive mother was very touching to read, especially the loyalty Jenna felt to her once Serenity showed up. There wasn’t a whole lot of romance in this story, and I thought that was fine. It was deeper, made me ask myself a lot of questions and really put myself in Jenna’s shoes. Of course, there is a love interest for both Jenna and Violet, and Violet’s storyline really had me invested and shocked. The ending of the story brought tears to my eyes, but I felt satisfied after I flipped the last page. I think this is definitely one to put on your to-read lists!
When I was a little girl, I got a typewriter for my birthday, and I used to write stories about my dog,Trixie all the time. So the dream of being a writer was always there, but it wasn’t until I moved to New Orleans that got the courage and made the decision to do it.
What gave you the idea to write Phone Kitten?
I’ve always worked in the customer service field, and there are clients and customers you see regularly who become part of your life in a peripheral way, and sometimes for reasons you never know, they disappear. I’ve also always had one of those voices that prompts people to say “Have you ever considered working on a phone sex line?” Well, that seemed like the ultimate customer service job, and in it, you would see an intimate side of a person, yet you never really know them at all. Everything would be a fantasy. But what would happen if that person disappeared. That was a jumping off point for me.
How far did you go for your research for the book?
I decided to try working on a phone sex line. I worked for two different companies, both of which are very successful. One was a call center of sorts. At the other company the calls came straight to my home. All the calls that are in Phone Kitten are calls I actually took. Names were changed to protect the not-so-innocent, but the fantasies were real.
What was one of the most surprising finds when you were doing research?
There are men in this world who will pay you to sit on the phone, in another state and watch TV with them, and it’s usually a girly reality show, like Project Runway. It’s okay if you laugh. Thee caller knows the whole thing is ridiculous. There is always something out there that will surprise you.
Do you have a certain writing routine that you stick to?
I’m a night owl, so I don’t really get started writing till late, and I think I’m a little loosey goosey with writing. I don’t set a goal in regards to word or page counts; I just want to write something. I listen to a play list that I made that reminds me of the story or characters to get me in the mood, I make a pitcher of iced tea, I reread the last thing I wrote, probably make a couple of changes, and then dive right in. Once I’m in, I’m set, I fall in love with the story all over again.
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Starting. I can avoid writing like no other. There are so many interesting things on the Internet.
How do you spend your free time?
I always like taking my dog, Dash for a walk in French Quarter. He’s a happy dog, and we get stopped by tourists who want to take his picture, and he has a few friends at different places he likes to visit. I carry my camera too. I’m not a great photographer, but it’s hard to take a bad picture in New Orleans. I can never have too many snapshots of flowered balconies. I also cross stitch, right now I’m working on a zombie pillow.
Do you think social media and eBooks are a must for authors these days?
Absolutely, and I’m just beginning to navigate the social media thing. Till recently my FaceBook was exactly like everyone else’s, I used it to keep up with friends and high school buddies. Now I’m using it more to keep updated on what is going on in my old home St. Petersburg FL. I am trying to use FaceBook and Twitter more to promote Phone Kitten, I have a blog at www.missquoted.com, and there have been times when something embarrassing will happen to me, or I will see something odd and the first thing I think is “YES! Something to blog about!” I think eBooks are the future, so is social media, writers have to embrace it. I’m working on it.
Are you working on a new project?
I think my girl Emily has a few more stories in her, so right now I’m working on a “sequel” to Phone Kitten. Emily has a new job, new friends, neighbors, and a whole new crime to solve. I’m loving every minute of it.
What is your best advice for aspiring writers?
I think that the BEST advice I ever given to me was from an award- winning mystery writer. She told me that at some point, something in the story you are writing should make you cry. I’ve never forgotten that. It keeps your writing honest. Also invest in a comfortable chair, you’re going to be sitting for awhile.
Where would be your dream vacation?
I did a lot of dream vacationing when I was younger. I worked for an airline and the travel benefits were amazing. So I’ve had the opportunity to see lots of the things that people dream about already. Maybe I’d like to take another trip up the East coast, or go to Little Big Horn (Can you tell my Dad was a history buff?) But really, my favorite destination is my own city. In New Orleans, there’s always a festival or an adventure around the corner.
I could not wait to read Sweet Valley Confidential, the new adult novel from writer and creator Francine Pascal. I was a diehard Sweet Valley fan back in the day, reading all the books and eventually watching the shows when they came out. So I was pretty excited to catch up on my favorite twins and their friends, and see how their lives played out. And I was not prepared for what I read….
The story starts off with Elizabeth Wakefield, the shy studious twin in high school, walking into her New York apartment. Readers are instantly aware that some sort of feud is brewing between Elizabeth and twin sister Jessica, the fashionista and selfish one. The sisters are now 27, Elizabeth living in NY and Jessica still in Sweet Valley. Turns out, Elizabeth actually fled to New York because she found out her lovely twin sister stole her fiancé away from her. Yes, Jessica is in love with Todd. And has been since SVU days. Huh? Not what I expected, and sadly, not where I wanted the twins to be in their lives. How could Jessica do such a thing to Elizabeth? And how could Todd possibly be interested in Jessica? Befuddling. So the story goes on to show how the characters got to that point in their lives- Jessica going through two failed marriages, Todd and Elizabeth living together, preparing to get married, how the Jessica/Todd fling got started, friendships that got ruined because of it, etc. I thought it was fun checking in on the other lives- Lila Fowler, who hasn’t changed a bit, Ken Matthews, Winston Egbert, and Bruce Patman to name a few. I liked seeing who ended up with who, what careers they were holding, and how they had grown from high school and college days. But of course, the main chunk of story goes back to the Jessica/Elizabeth/Todd love triangle. It made me sad that a sister would do something so horrible to her own twin and supposed best friend, but the book makes it pretty clear all is fair in love and war. But I hate to say it, it just wasn’t very believable. Jessica’s two failed marriages makes more sense, but not truly madly deeply falling in love with her sister’s future husband. And there were quite a few very obvious mistakes made, such as wrong names and completely omitting people that had pretty big storylines in the past. And I really didn’t get the twist with Steven’s character. That came from left field.
Overall, I thought the book was okay. It was a little disappointing as a Sweet Valley fan to have Pascal choose to make Jessica betray Elizabeth in such a way, and have them fighting throughout the story. And many of the supporting cast characters were changed in such ways that it seemed they weren’t anything like their high school characters. Along with all the errors made, it was tough to be really happy with the book. But it was a bit fun to catch up with old characters, hilarious when Elizabeth talks about orgasms, and I actually gasped when Alice Wakefield dropped the F-bomb. I wish the characters lives would have gone a different direction, but I guess that’s why I’m not the creator. Even with a lot of things that I didn’t like about the book, I will say that I got into the story for what it was, and questioned how it would end. I laughed and wanted to cry for the twins and their now dysfunctional family, and I read with enthusiasm throughout. If you were a diehard Sweet Valley like I was years ago, I would still recommend the book just so you can see how it turns out. But don’t be surprised to find your own mistakes along the way, and wonder why the editors didn’t catch what was missed.
In My Mailbox: Week of June 26, 2011
Title: Take Me Home From the Oscars
Received: From Jessica @ Sky Horse Pub
Synopsis: Christine Schwab has lived a life of Hollywood and New York glamour most people can only dream about. For 20 years she appeared as a fashion and beauty reporter on the nations leading television shows including, Live with Regis & Kelly, Oprah!, The Today Show, Entertainment Tonight and NBC Nightly News. She dined with celebrities, met US Presidents, attended numerous Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes, published two books and was featured in and wrote for many of the most popular magazines while living a thrilling personal and public life married to a powerful Hollywood executive. But for most of those years, she was hiding a devastating illness that threatened to take over her entire life.
In Take Me Home From the Oscars, Schwab tells for the first time her story of living an amazing life in television while suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Schwab recounts with incredible honesty how on the same day she produced and appeared in a major makeover segment for Live with Regis & Kelly in New York and then raced to Chicago to appear on Oprah!, all while balancing medications to ward off the relentless pain that plagued her on-camera and off. She shares an enchanted evening at the Oscars and the unpredictable arthritis pain that cut it heartbreakingly short. She re-lives being driven to deceive herself and others in a career that demands timeless beauty and youth.
Schwab kept her career alive through determination, deception and hope. In Take Me Home From The Oscars, she takes us behind the scenes in Hollywood and New York, and behind her public persona to the 19-year journey through drug trials and treatment at the UCLA Medical Center. Readers will root for her at every step, and cheer when she ultimately finds remission and her new life’s work as a spokesperson for the National Arthritis Foundation. This is a book of hope for anyone dealing with adversity in their life.
Author: Polly Courtney
Received: From Charlotte @ Avon Books
Synopsis: But it takes a woman to run it
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em…
Alexa Harris loves a challenge. So when she’s asked to head up Senate Media’s lads’ mag, Banter, she doesn’t need much persuasion.
But life on the all-male editorial team proves harder than Alexa had imagined – and not just because of her ambitious targets. As Alexa battles with a testosterone-fuelled office, she decides to play the boys at their own game.
As success hits, she’s forced to look at who she has become. Has she forfeited her principles in return for praise from the lads? And what price will there be to pay?
An addictive page turner with a hard-hitting meaning.
Author: Shobhan Bantwal
Received: From Kensington Press
Synopsis: What makes a marriage-love or compatibility? Passion or pragmatism? Shobhan Bantwal’s compelling new novel explores the fascinating subject of arranged marriage, as a young Indian-American woman navigates the gulf between desire and tradition…
To Soorya Giri, arranged marriages have always seemed absurd. But while her career as an environmental lawyer has flourished, Soorya is still a virgin, living with her parents in suburban New Jersey. She wants to be married. And she is finally ready to do the unthinkable…
Soorya’s first bridal viewings are as awkward as she anticipated. But then she’s introduced to Roger Vadepalli. Self-possessed, intelligent, and charming, Roger is clearly interested in marriage and seems eager to clinch the deal. Attracted to him in spite of her mistrust, Soorya is also drawn into a flirtation with Lou, a widowed colleague who is far from her family’s idea of an acceptable husband.
In choosing between two very different men, Soorya must reconcile her burgeoning independence and her conservative background. And she must decide what matters most to her-not just in a husband, but in a family, a culture, and a life…
Author: Nicolle Wallace
Received: From Kensington Press
Synopsis: Eighteen Acres, a description used by political insiders when referring to the White House complex, follows the first female President of the United States, Charlotte Kramer, and her staff as they take on dangerous threats from abroad and within her very own cabinet.
Charlotte Kramer, the 45th US President, Melanie Kingston, the White House chief of staff, and Dale Smith, a White House correspondent for one of the networks are all working tirelessly on Charlotte’s campaign for re-election. At the very moment when they should have been securing success, though, Kramer’s White House implodes under rumors of her husband’s infidelity and grave errors of judgment on the part of her closest national security advisor. In an upheaval that threatens not only the presidency, but the safety of the American people, Charlotte must fight to regain her footing and protect the the country she has given her life to serving.
Eighteen Acres combines political and family drama into one un-put-downable novel. It is a smart, juicy and fast-paced read that we’re sure fans of commercial women’s fiction will fall in total love with.
Marika is on tour June 27- July 10 with her novel Phone Kitten
Marika Christian’s PHONE KITTEN introduces an absolutely unique, first-time-ever kind of female sleuth—a totally lovable, intelligent, downright hilarious down-home girl who happens to earn her living as a phone sex worker.
Shy, slightly overweight Emily would die if she had to talk dirty face-to-face—especially to her hot cop boy friend. She sure didn’t set out to do phone sex—she wanted to be a writer. But when her BFF framed her for plagiarism, she got in a tiny financial hole and saw this ad for “phone actresses”… Hey, it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. No pantyhose or pantsuits, no regular hours, you’re your own boss, and lots of people to talk to. Guys, that is. But here’s the odd thing—lots of them want to talk about more than Emily’s imagined attributes; they start to think of her as the best friend they’ll never have to meet. Next thing you know, one of her customers gets killed and Emily knows a lot more about it than she should. But she can’t tell the nearest cop, who’s also her own true love, because then he’ll find out about her secret life. What’s a phone kitten to do? Solve the murder herself, of course—because wouldn’t it be a great story for the newspaper that wrongly fired her? It’s her ticket back to her real life—if it doesn’t get her killed.
PHONE KITTEN is your ticket to hours of giggles—so long as you’re not looking for raunch. Because this is so not it. Somehow, first-time author Christian manages to handle a potentially smokin’ subject with such sly wit, authentic detail, and clever writing that you’ll wonder why this subject was ever considered taboo.
Visit CLP Blog Tours to see all the reviews!
Debut Authors & Titles- Summer 2011
Synopsis: Dani Wilder is a rising star on the Hollywood culinary scene, and she thinks she has finally found the perfect locale for the launch of her first restaurant. The prime spot sits on Sunset Boulevard, highlighted with rich wood beams, a vaulted ceiling, private booths and a stunning loft so high that the fall could kill someone. In fact, it did.
As this mild-mannered chef prepares to open L.A.’s “it” restaurant, she stumbles upon the sordid, dark secrets of her otherwise perfect boyfriend’s past. Impossibly handsome and pediatrician to celebrity kids, Jack has it all – including a former fiancée he never mentioned, or got over. Accused of pushing a woman to her death in the space on Sunset, Rebecca Sterling shares more than history with the restaurant, she was engaged to Jack and now she’s back in town.
Yes, Rebecca returns to do what she does best: spin a web of lies and get her way. And her deceptive methods work as usual with Jack. It’s certainly awkward for Dani, but is it dangerous? Dani suspects Rebecca got away with murder, lied to Jack, and is sabotaging the restaurant. Dani’s love, life, and livelihood are entangled in Rebecca’s scheme, and at what cost? After all, the only thing Rebecca loves more than making an entrance is making an exit.
Available: May 26
Author: Amanda Egan
Synopsis: Ever felt like you don’t belong?
When Libby Marchant and husband Ned made the monumental decision to sacrifice luxuries and holidays to see their only son Max through private education, they hadn’t expected to meet so many unsavoury and dislikeable personalities along the way.
Happily, the cruel jibes of the pompous ‘Meemies’ are made more tolerable by the lasting and loyal friendship they strike up with the affluent Fenella & Josh.
Follow Libby’s journey as she discovers the chasm between the Haves and the Have-Nots in her mad new world of school committees, designer handbags, bitching and botox.
With Fenella by her side, Libby is able to maintain her sanity. But what happens when the credit crunch bites, you’re desperate for another baby and your Asian neighbour is trying to match-make you with her infatuated son?
Available: June 2011
Author: Stephanie Stiles
Synopsis: One thing sets her apart from other modern-day superheroes: mom genes. Annie Fingardt Forster used to be a lawyer who wore dry-clean only and shaved both legs. But things have changed. Now a stay-at-home mom, she wears cargo pants and ponytails and harbours a nearly pathological hatred towards hipster parents. With a three-year-old and a baby on the way, Annie knows what to expect … at least, she thought she did. Faced with her husband’s job loss, pre-school politics, and a playground throwdown with her arch nemesis, Annie realises that even with her husband and friends by her side, what she really needs is to learn to suck it up – and take it like a mom.
Available: July 5, 2011
Laurel is on tour June 20-July 4 with her novel Starring in the Movie of My Life
Thirty-five-year-old Samantha acts without thinking. Her heart is huge while her sense of purpose is small; she’s willing to fight for those she loves, but she’s never learned to fight for herself. Eighteen-year-old Melody is cold and calculating, and she’s driven by the desire to better herself. As these compelling yet deeply flawed women battle for the affections of twenty-five-year-old Nathan, he becomes increasingly confused and torn between them. Nathan is Melody’s English teacher, and after he saves her from being raped, she becomes attached. Melody longs for the affection she’s never felt, so she involves people in her self-invented drama, making sure she is at once the star and the director. Meanwhile, Samantha is newly married to Nathan. But Samantha has hang-ups about motherhood and lingering feelings for her ex. To make sense of the world, Sam relates her life to the themes of her favorite movies, while she independently makes a documentary to jump-start her non-existent film career. Stylistically influenced by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner, Starring in the Movie of my Life is told alternately from both Samantha’s and Melody’s points-of-view and relates two complete yet combined stories about love, acceptance, and redemption. It speaks to our universal desire to be saved by the ones we love, and the monumental effort required tosave ourselves. Laurel Osterkamp’s first novel, Following My Toes, published by PMI Books, won the 2008 National Indie Book Award for Excellence (Chick Lit category). She drew on her experiences as a high school film studies and creative writing teacher as she wrote Starring in the Movie of my Life. Currently she lives in Minneapolis with her husband, son, and daughter, and is working on her third novel.
Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the reviews!
Cassandra O’Sullivan Sachar is on tour with CLP Blog Tours June 13-27 with her novel Little Miss Teacher. This story follows Candace Turner and her first year as an English teacher. Candace lands a high school teaching gig straight out of college, and struggles to deal with her career and life in the real real world. Her lesson plans don’t always go as smoothly as she hopes, both in the classroom and in her personal life. Some of her students are wild, her professional outfits are all wrong, she overdoses on NyQuil and passes out on the job, and a tragedy strikes her classroom. She also can’t get her crush to crush on her, her fling with another teacher turns out to be a disaster, and she can’t seem to fit in with the other instructors.
I found Little Miss Teacher to be humorous yet very real. Cassandra O’Sullivan Sachar is an English teacher herself, and it felt like I was almost reading through her diary. I had flashbacks of my high school days, and I remember when I had a first year teacher who sometimes looked like she just wanted to give up on us. I remember feeling sympathetic for her when she couldn’t tame us. A behind the scenes look on what a teacher really goes through during the first year was extremely interesting. There were funny parts, such as the NyQuil incident, but there were serious moments too that puts life into perspective, like the death of a student and a health scare with Candace’s best friend and roommate. I would have liked to see a little more on Candace’s friend or crush or family member, something to give the story a little oomph. About halfway through, I started to wonder what exactly the point of the story was, and thought maybe a little more drama would have helped speed it along and capture my attention. But once I finished and looked back on the whole story, I enjoyed learning something new about a profession and the struggles and embarrassing moment’s teachers have. I liked how the lessons plans for the classroom could be related to the lesson plans in life, and I would recommend this book. Thank you to Cassandra and the other great bloggers who participated in this tour!