Taking lessons from a male escort might not be normal for a thirty-something, serious, straight laced writing professor, but that is just what Andi Cutrone signs herself up for after meeting Devin, a true male escort that has worked with many of Andi’s colleagues. Andi offers Devin a proposition: he teaches her how to be a better lover, she teaches him how to be a better writer. Through their lessons together, Andi and Devin become closer, learn about themselves and each other, and dive into deeper emotional levels that will surprise them both.
I received Faking It by Elisa Lorello from a friend, and wasn’t quite sure what to expect from it. The synopsis really drew me in though––a professor, usually so professorial and in control taking lessons from a male escort? Spicy! Of course, I expected to map out how it would go––lessons would be taught, sexual tension would occur, and Andi and Devin would fall madly in love. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will say that it was not all cut and dry like I expected it, which made me happy and on my toes while reading. Through the lessons that Andi goes through, I felt that I learned a lot from Devin the instructor as well, and think female readers will be able to connect on some level with what Andi is going through. Devin’s character came off the pages as a hot, sexy piece of man meat, but who is also troubled underneath it all and works through his own set of problems after working with Andi. Overall, I thought this book was deeper than the typical chick-lit read, and filled with well-written characters, a juicy plot, and great writing. I would recommend!
As a producer on a reality dating show, Abby Edwards knows that true love is a myth. Her career and her friends are all she needs. Right?
When her screenwriter ex makes a hit movie based on their relationship, Abby’s faults are projected on screens across the country. Suddenly the fact that her job depends on orchestrating hot tub hook-ups doesn’t seem so impressive.
Her friends rally to help. Zoë thinks she needs to meet a guy. Stephanie suggests an attitude adjustment. Nancy wants her to get in touch with her inner Goddess. Abby knows they mean well, but she prefers to focus on her work. Unfortunately, she’s already embarrassed herself in front of her new boss, Will Harper, who she would find totally crush-worthy if he weren’t so irritating.
Abby’s about to be reminded that life doesn’t follow a script—and good things happen when you least expect it…
Please visit CLP Blog Tours for the full tour calendar. **Anyone who purchases their copy of Unscripted between November 29-January 30 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five entries in a drawing to win a $10 Amazon gift card!!**
Kay will be on tour in February/March with her women’s fiction novel Chasing China. Books will be available as a print copy or eBook- worldwide. Use the sign up form below if you would like to be included. Kay will also be available for guest posts and interviews. I will contact everyone chosen to participate. Thank you!
After an episode of prejudice rocks her usually secure world, Mia hops a plane back to the country of her birth to search for details about her birth parents, and confront the feelings of abandonment she has kept buried throughout her life. What begins as a simple tour of the Chinese orphanage where she spent her first few years quickly becomes complicated as Mia fights to untangle the web of lies that is her finding details. As she follows the red thread back through her motherland, she is enamored by the history and culture of her heritage—strengthening her resolve to find the truth, even as Chinese officials struggle to keep it buried. With her unwavering spirit of determination, Mia battles the forces stacked against her and faces mystery, danger, a dash of romance, and finally a conclusion that will change her life.
**Kay’s blog tour is now full. Thank you to everyone who signed up!**
I had always liked the idea of writing a full length novel but I completely lacked the courage to do it. When my Uncle Alan passed away suddenly, it was the catalyst I needed to get started. It was a sharp reminder that life can be short and I decided not to waste anymore time.
How long did it take you to write the book?
Nearly four years. Of course I thought I’d finished after a year and half which shows how little I knew!
What was the hardest part in the writing process for you?
I think one of the hardest parts of the writing process for me was learning how to take negative feedback in a constructive way and not let letting it send me into the depths of depression! At first I found it very hard to move on from a critique but actually I found that my book improved after I worked through feedback. Now, I find that negative criticism is often the most valuable because it helps me improve as a writer.
What were some of your favorite scenes to write?
Well I like a bit of romance, and I was always rooting for Josie and Callum to get together, so it was fun writing scenes between their characters. I also enjoyed writing the scenes with Tom in England, even though they were emotional. It was cathartic in a way and my intention was always to write a chick-lit story with a poignant twist; I wanted Josie’s character to have layers. I hope I managed that!
Starting Josie’s blog was a huge learning curve for me. I was completely new to the blog world but I wanted to test the market and see if there was an audience for a character like Josie. Besides I felt she had a lot more to say than just what was in the book so the blog was a good outlet for her! I’m so glad I did it, even though I was petrified at first.
Are you currently working on another novel?
Yes I am and I hope to release it in the Spring of 2012! It’s called “Holding Me Up – A Life Without Jasmine” and it’s about Trisha Miller, a bereaved mother, trying to find a way to move on from the grief of losing her daughter. It’s starts off in a dark place but I pull her out to somewhere good in the end!
You also do voiceover work. How did you become involved in this?
Back in England my plan, since I was a child, was to become an actress. I studied Drama at Manchester University and then trained as an actress at the Webber Douglas Academy in London. However everything was put on hold when I started having kids and moved to Belgium! A few years ago I made the decision to move forward with a voice-over career because I thought it would be flexible enough to fit around my family life. I am proud to say that I’ve recently become a volunteer reader to the Dallas Reading Resource center which provides a huge variety of audio material for those people who can’t read. It’s a fantastic facility, they reach out to so many people, and it feels good to be using my training for such a good cause.
If you could be on any reality show, which one would you choose?
That is so easy! I am a HUGE fan of American Idol and The X Factor so I would have to be on one of those. Although I’d prefer to be a judge if possible because it must be absolutely nerve-wracking to be a contestant!
Where would be your dream vacation?
I would be alone in an old stone cottage, half-way up a hill somewhere with a view of the sea, there would be a log fire, a steaming coffee pot, a tray set with jam and scones and a bookshelf crammed with books. The only sounds would be the crackling fire, waves crashing back and forth and rain lashing against the windows. I would be wearing cozy jeans, a pair of fleece slippers and a huge, but stylish, baggy jumper and I wouldn’t wash my hair for days! Ooh when can I go?
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
My advice to anyone wanting to start writing is the same advice I tell myself all the time (and it’s also the title of a FAB book by Susan Jeffers which I always recommend because you can apply it to all aspects of life): “Feel the fear – and do it anyway!” Just get started and don’t delete ANYTHING at first. Let the story come out; there’ll be plenty of time to edit your work later.
By Deborah Coonts,
Author of Lucky Stiff
The words “Las Vegas” conjure thoughts of wild exploits, sexual highjinks, hangovers, and the scantily clad. Not too far from the truth, actually. I’ve lived here over twelve years, give or take, and this city gets under your skin. You just do stuff here you wouldn’t even think about anywhere else. And I’ve done my share.
Take male stripping. Who knew it was a contact sport? I’m not talking Chippendales or Thunder Down Under — great shows, but a bit tame, all things considered. True male stripping involves young men parading around in nothing but muscles with tiny sacks over their bananas. I think they smile too, but frankly, I don’t remember. I must not have been looking at their smiles, but I’m not admitting to anything. Anyway, the strippers paw the patrons, rubbing up against them in very provocative ways. I remember sitting across from a girlfriend of mine as one guy straddled her and ground his member into her lush chest. All I could see were his clenching butt muscles until my friend leaned around him, raised her glass, and gave me a shit-eating grin. It ruined me — I was done. Laughing does not make the strippers happy. Trust me on that one. Who knew that handsome young men in their near-all-together could be so sensitive?
Another fun evening out here in Vegas involves men and dancing, but of a different sort. You know how sometimes you just wanna dance? No fondling, no come-ons, no tired pick-up lines . . . just dance? The best place to do it in Vegas is Krave. They bill themselves as the Number One Gay Nightclub in the Country, and I would agree. Not that I have a great deal of experience, mind you, but boy is this place fun! The guys are great. They love to dance. And they are totally not interested in picking up women. A relief. Of course, if you’re in Vegas to score a bit of action, this might not be the place for you . . . unless you are gay.
And now I here the owners of Krave are opening a bar in downtown Vegas, near Freemont Street, where all the servers are drag queens. Who could resist? I plan on being first in line!
Of course, if you’re into beer and butt-whacking, the Hofbräveuhaus is for you. Yup, you can sing along to what I call oompah bands — I’m sure that’s not the technical term, but you get my drift (a bunch of guys with beer bellies in Lederhosen) and you can order a flagon of beer and get paddled by a pretty girl with a wooden paddle and a major-league swing. Why anybody would want to do this is beyond me, but they do — to the delight of the restaurant patrons. And the whole thing can be memorialized for posterity by a roving photographer. This is not something I’ve experienced personally — I’m not one to pay for physical punishment and pain — but I’ve seen it done.
So, while we’re on the subject of crazy-ass stuff I’ve seen but not participated in, let me tell you about the best party in town. Most folks think New Years is Vegas-Gone-Wild, but I beg to differ. Halloween is the night you want to be here to get your naughty on. There’s this party — The Fetish and Fantasy Ball — and the costumes are . . . creative. Often they involve spray paint and pasties. Or maybe just Saran Wrap. Or a couple of triangles of fur and string. But is it one heck of a party! The people-watching is the best part.
Did you know it is possible to eat a five star meal, served by tux-clad waiters . . . while suspended 180 feet above the ground. The views of the Strip are amazing — as long as you’re not acrophobic. It’s the only meal in town to require a seat belt — and it’s a ton of fun. Champagne toasts, filet mignon, unobstructed views, both panoramic and straight down, where else could you have this experience? It’s Vegas all the way.
Now, there’s one other thing I’m working my courage up to do. There’s this bar called the Double-Down — billed as “The Happiest Place on Earth”. They sell something called Ass Juice — it comes with Puke Insurance. I understand it’s a place you want to go when you’re craving the down and dirty, punk-rock Vegas thing. Sounds too good to pass up. Anybody game?
© 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’Toole Las Vegas adventure series.
Her first book, Wanna Get Lucky?, was released in 2010.
Heather will be on tour in February/March with her novel Write from the Heart. Please note this will be an eBook tour only. Use the sign up form below if you would like to be included. Heather will also be available for guest posts and interviews. I will contact everyone chosen to participate. Thank you!
Journals are a woman’s best friend…
When Samantha Sounder quits her office manager job the day after yet another boyfriend breaks up with her, the emotional havoc of these two events launches the beginning of her new life.
Samantha dives into therapy with Ragnar Axel, a traditional therapist who explores her failed relationships and sends her on a wild goose chase through her old journals to rediscover herself.
Despite the unsettling reactions of her best friend, Amanda, and Ragnar, Samantha decides to walk away from the corporate world and follow her dream as a novelist. She sets out to craft her first novel, Winter’s Truth. Hesitantly, she accepts the unexpected guidance from Craig, an unlikely man she meets at the coffee shop.
Along her journey, Samantha picks up a new journal and titles it her “Positive Journal,” declaring to only write positive thoughts in it. Samantha’s life transforms from one of despair and loss to hope and faith as she navigates through new territory and explores the possibility of finding love over lattes.
**Heather’s tour is now full. Thank you to everyone who signed up!**
This is a review for CLP Blog Tours. Chosen is the story of Chloe Pinter, a young social worker at a Portland adoption agency, who gives readers an inside look at a dark (and scary) side of domestic adoption. Chloe works to bring in birth mothers to the agency, connect them with loving families who would love to love a child, and make sure the adoption process goes smoothly. But when it comes to birth parents Penny and Jason, the situation is anything but smooth. Penny and Jason are a young couple that comes from the wrong side of the tracks, hopelessly poor, uneducated…and desperate. Francie and John McAdoo are waiting anxiously for Penny to give birth, and finally bring home the baby that Francie has waited so many years for. But Francie’s own world begins to fall apart as soon as she brings home the baby and finds her husband has a penchant for Singapore “prostitutes.” And finally there is the Nova’s, who have been through fertility treatments and failed adoptions, and are finally pregnant on their own. But when their baby is kidnapped, their entire world is turned upside. Chloe and all these characters are carefully intertwined and their daily lives, difficult decisions, and surprising outcomes will leave readers thinking and talking about this book much after they have finished reading.
Like I said with my last sentence, this book will get you talking. I can’t tell you how many times I have talked about the book, characters, scenarios, etc. since finishing. The writing is eloquent, the characters and situations gripping, and the plot had me absolutely hooked from the first page. It opened me up to a whole new world of adoption, and to be honest- kind of scared me. I learned a lot from Hoffman, who has worked for adoption agencies herself, and closed this book feeling more educated. I enjoyed getting into so many characters thought processes, and I loved the Anonymous sections. My only issues were that I felt the adoption agency where Chloe worked wasn’t very professional- and that included Chloe herself. So many mistakes were made that led to pivotal moments, and I would hope an agency I chose wouldn’t behave that way! Also, the ending was a little unsettling. If you like happy and tidy endings, this won’t be for you. Chloe’s decisions baffled me a little, but overall, I could understand where she was coming from and still really enjoyed her as a heroine. I’m glad I have been introduced to Hoffman, as Chosen is a solid debut and I look forward for more to come!
Facebook: Chandra Hoffman, Author
In My Mailbox: Week of November 27
Author: Daniella Brodsky
Received: Via CLP Blog Tours
Synopsis: Anyone can see Lorraine Machuchi is no ordinary Brooklyn girl. Anyone except for Lorraine, that is. She’s been too busy obsessing over Tommy Lupo to notice. Living day to day on his confusing midnight phone calls and big-haired memories of their relationship in the early nineties, she’s given up any opportunity of leaving Brooklyn. And though she never saw the home she loves as a failure, there’re a lot of folks she’s pissed off by staying put—her mother, her dead grandmother’s ghost, not to mention the old Italian ladies who shake their heads at her in the pork store. And what’s worse, the very guy she tossed everything away for just told her he’ll never wind up with her—a girl who’s not going anywhere.
…Okay, so you might disapprove of her motive—changing for a guy. But then you probably haven’t seen Tommy with three shirt buttons undone. Besides, when Lorraine crosses the bridge to Manhattan she begins to realize she’s got a lot to offer. She starts coloring hair at a swank salon where they actually appreciate a little talent, even if you have to bend some rules to use it. She gets a fabulous Park Avenue sublet, even if it does involve chasing around a dog/horse named Pooh-Pooh. She meets a guy who’s actually…perfect, even if she might be too hung up on Mr. Wrong to notice. She’s asked to become the newest member of the Princesses, an elite group of Park Avenue’s most powerful socialites, even if the reasoning behind it might be a little fishy. Sure, their $400 cashmere sweaters, charity balls for poor girls with small boobs, and ‘sexy’ yoga are a bit over-the-top, but a Brooklyn girl can learn a lot by discovering her own inner princess…
Author: Elizabeth Marx
Received: Via CLP Blog Tours
Synopsis: Libby pleads her case at the cleats of celebrity baseball player, Banford Aidan Palowski, the man who discarded her at college graduation, begging him to live up to his biological duty. Libby’s worked her backside bare for everything she’s attained, while Band-Aid has been indulged since he slid through the birth canal and landed in a pile of Gold Coast money. But helping her might jeopardize the only thing the jock worships: his baseball career.
If baseball imitates life, Aidan admits his appears to be silver-plated peanuts, until, an unexpected confrontation with the most spectacular prize that’s ever poured from a caramel corn box blindsides him. Libby reveals his son desperately needs him and it pricks open the wound he’s carried since he abandoned her.
All Libby wants is a little anonymous DNA, but Band-Aid has a magical umpire in his head who knows Libby’s a fateball right to the heart. When a six-year-old sage, and a hippy priestess step onto the field there’s more to settle between Libby and Aidan then heartache, redemption, and forgiveness.
Author: Jennifer Coburn
Received: From Jennifer Coburn
Synopsis: If It s Not One Thing, It s Your Mother. “You are so lucky to have a mother like Anjoli.” — That s what all my friends say. But really, my friends weren t there when I was eight and my theatre-savvy, drama queen of a mother said she didn t want to take me to the Central Park Zoo because the animals didn t put on a good show. My mother is like a vapor: when she enters a room, she occupies every bit of space. Don t get me wrong — I adore my mom…from a distance. It s just, well, what can you say about a woman who takes her teacup Chihuahua to every new age healer in Manhattan, who has a living-beauty will so her eyebrows will still look great if she s in a coma, and who tells my cousin Kimmy that the sperm bank has too many rules and suggests a new lipstick and a train ride to Princeton instead?
To top it off, she calls me ten times a day to say, “Darling, I m in crisis!” What, like I m not? In addition to mothering my mother, I m also trying to keep my marriage hot with a two-year-old under foot — babysitting the artists in residence at my Berkshires artists colony, which seems to be the Bermuda Triangle of creativity but a breeding ground for seriously insane — resisting an attraction to a man so sexy he could give your eyeballs an orgasm — and trying to rid my 100-year-old home of mischievous ghosts. Yeah, sort of got my hands full. The way I see it, I ve got two choices: go completely mad, or start living my own life on my own terms, starting with my mother. I m just not sure which option is crazier…
Author: Marilyn Brant
Received: From Kensington Publishing/Unsolicited
Synopsis: On her thirtieth birthday, Gwendolyn Reese receives an unexpected present from her widowed Aunt Bea: a grand tour of Europe in the company of Bea’s Sudoku and Mah-jongg Club. The prospect isn’t entirely appealing. But when the gift she is expecting — an engagement ring from her boyfriend — doesn’t materialize, Gwen decides to go. At first, Gwen approaches the trip as if it’s the math homework she assigns her students, diligently checking monuments off her must-see list. But amid the bougainvillea and stunning vistas of southern Italy, something changes. Gwen begins to live in the moment: skipping down stone staircases in Capri, running her fingers over a glacier in view of the Matterhorn, racing through the Louvre, and taste-testing pastries at a Marseilles cafe. Revelling in every new experience — especially her attraction to a charismatic British physics professor — Gwen discovers that the ancient wonders around her are nothing compared to the renaissance unfolding within…
Every writer will have a different way of plotting their novels. Some craft the characters, the scenes, the turning point, the climax, and the resolution before beginning to write. Others just start writing. Many fall somewhere in between. With my first book, Destined to Fail, I had a lot planned out before I started writing. I knew who I wanted the main characters to be, the conflicts that would arise, and how the story would end. That was for draft one. Draft two was changed slightly and draft three was completely different than what I had originally penned out.
Meet Josie Jenkins, a Brit living in Texas, fan of indulgent body-scrubs and the odd glass of wine. She’s currently Customer Service Manager at Harpers & Green Co, home of high-end shirts and also, rather unhelpfully, Bob Green: her ex-boyfriend (who also happens to be married). She is thousands of miles away from home and her job appears to be in jeopardy – safe to say, Josie’s going through a wobbly patch. So when the rather handsome Callum Doherty, (just picture blue eyes and Irish good looks) begins flirting with Josie, she is thrilled…until she realizes she’s not the only girl at work with her eye on the office heart-throb. How can she compete against her pert-bottomed rival from the accounts department? Josie’s love-life takes another complicated and unexpected turn when out of the blue Josie receives a mysterious Facebook friend request from her high-school sweetheart, Tom Barker. Tom is keeping something from her, drawing her in and causing her to question if it’s time to reconnect the past with the present. It’s time for some soul searching. Will Josie take the emotional trip back to the UK or try her luck with the handsome Mr. Doherty? Is there heartbreak ahead in Josie’s future?
Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the reviews, interviews, and guest posts! **Everyone who leaves a comment on Ella’s tour page will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! If you purchase your copy of High-Heels and Slippers from November 26-December 19 and send your receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, you will get five bonus entries!**