#BookReview: Better in the Morning by Fern Ronay

better in the morningIn Better in the Morning by Fern Ronay, we follow Veronica Buccino, a lawyer with a plan. One – stop being a lawyer. Her work leaves much to be desired for, and her boss and co-worker seem to be set on making her life miserable. Two – marry boyfriend John DelMonico. While Veronica is highly educated and enjoys being a working woman, she also loves the idea of being a wife and a mother. So when John unexpectedly tells her he is moving to London for his job, and she can come along if she wants to, Veronica is devastated. John’s proposal wasn’t the one she was expecting, and with him seemingly uninterested if Veronica will fly to another country with him, their break up is inevitable. Enter the twist of the story – Veronica can see and talk to her dead grandparents in her dreams, and they help her move on from the break up, start something new in a news reporting class, and provide a comfort to her, so when she wakes up, things just seem – better in the morning.

I had a lot of fun reading this book from Fern Ronay. The beginning threw me a little with Veronica’s grandparents and how she was able to speak with them, but once I figured it out (which was quite quickly!) I grew to love that plot point. Veronica was easily likeable and a fun heroine to follow. The supporting cast I thought was pretty interesting – there is a lot of very memorable characters in a supporting role, from the grandparents, her work crew, her best friend Jada, and her new love interest Syd. This was very hard to put down, and I appreciated the very real moments that made their way into the story. The ending was the only part I didn’t love, because I actually would have loved to see these characters in another story so the ending seemed very abrupt for them. But otherwise, a very heart-warming and entertaining read.

4.5 stars

Reviewed for Readers Favorite

Online Writer Workshop! Join Now!

LETS WRITEOnline Writing Workshop – Beginner/Fiction

I am so excited to announce that I will be offering online writer workshops starting this summer! This is about four years in the making, and I am so thrilled to be doing this. The first course I will be doing is focused on beginners and fiction writing – how to start writing a novel, tips and tricks during the writing process, character development, etc, but at the end we will also discuss what happens after you are finished with your manuscript and post-publishing advice. Workshops will consist of weekly Google Hangout sessions with me and fellow course takers, plus email assistance and course assignments, and post-publishing assistance. Course will be limited to 10 participants. Please keep reading for full details, dates and to sign up!

Course Details – Fiction Writing Workshop

Start Date: Monday, July 10. First live Google Hangout with Samantha will be scheduled for 7p CST. Each Google Hangout will be for one hour.

End Date: Final Google Hangout will be Monday, July 31 at 7p PST. Participants are expected to attend at least three of the four Google Hangout sessions, but that is not a requirement.

July 10 schedule: Introductions & expectations. Manuscript prep – plotting, word count goals, how to find your genre and writing style.

Assignment: Three main plot points, two character interviews.

July 17 schedule: Questions on week 1 assignment, character development, writers block, setting and scenery, dialogue.

Assignment: Write 500-1,000 words for your story. Samantha will provide feedback.

July 24 schedule: Assignment questions. Manuscript completion discussion: when and how to find an editor, how to find a proofreader, should you use a beta reader. Understanding feedback.

Assignment: For those comfortable, beta read and provide feedback to a fellow course participant. If you do not feel comfortable, write another 500-1000 words for Samantha to review!

July 31 schedule: Post-publishing discussion: finding an agent or publisher versus self-publishing. Understanding how to publish an eBook and a print book. How to create a marketing plan. How to utilize social media.

Assignment: Keep writing!

In addition to the Google Hangout every week, included with the workshop is a one-on-one Google Hangout with Samantha. These must be scheduled in advance and will run for thirty minutes. Samantha will also provide weekly course emails, outlining class discussions, questions, and advice. Discounts on future pop-up workshops will be provided, and discounts on editing and marketing services with Chick Lit Plus will be offered to course participants.

Cost: $50

This is a non-refundable fee so please be serious about this journey and ready to write when you sign up! Dates and times are subject to change.

Sign up will close July 3 and welcome email will be sent that week to all participants!

Untitled design (2)About Samantha

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the the book blog Chick Lit Plus, focusing on book reviews and author features. She currently has five published novels – Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket, A Questionable Friendship, Up To I Do and Defining Her, and one holiday novella, The Christmas Surprise, with her sixth novel due out in fall of 2017. Samantha created CLP Blog Tours in 2012 and has run over 500 online blog tours for authors, in addition to other book marketing services and also editing and proofreading services. You can also find Samantha on Youtube and Instagram as a beauty influencer, with a combined following of over 40,000 followers.

#BookReview: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

the garden of small beginningsAbout the Book

Lilian Girvan has been a single mother for three years—ever since her husband died in a car accident. One mental breakdown and some random suicidal thoughts later, she’s just starting to get the hang of this widow thing. She can now get her two girls to school, show up to work, and watch TV like a pro. The only problem is she’s becoming overwhelmed with being underwhelmed.

At least her textbook illustrating job has some perks—like actually being called upon to draw whale genitalia. Oh, and there’s that vegetable-gardening class her boss signed her up for. Apparently, being the chosen illustrator for a series of boutique vegetable guides means getting your hands dirty, literally. Wallowing around in compost on a Saturday morning can’t be much worse than wallowing around in pajamas and self-pity.

After recruiting her kids and insanely supportive sister to join her, Lilian shows up at the Los Angeles botanical garden feeling out of her element. But what she’ll soon discover—with the help of a patient instructor and a quirky group of gardeners—is that into every life a little sun must shine, whether you want it to or not…

Review:

I had a good time when I started reading this book. Lilian was an immediately likeable character, a widow still trying to come to terms with her husband’s sudden death and raising their daughters on her own. I liked the gardening bits in the book and that they didn’t overwhelm the story, just made a nice addition to it. About halfway through the book started to feel very long. I was still being entertained and Lilian had some funny moments throughout the book, but I had to start speed reading after still reading this four days in, compared to finishing a book in my normal two days. I enjoyed The Garden of Small Beginnings, but I wish it either would have been shorter or more fast-paced to better keep my interest.

3.5 stars