The nominees for Best Scandal in a Novel:
Perfect Blend by Sue Margolis
Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
Still Thinking of You- Adele Parks
Poor Little Bitch Girl- Jackie Collins
Pieces of Happily Ever After- Irene Zutell
***I didn’t want to post the scandals for each novel, some come as a surprise and I wouldn’t want to give anything away!***
Please vote for your favorite by commenting below. Everyone who votes is entered to win!
I’m a little late posting this, but some of you still have time! Bestselling author Emily Giffin is teaming up with Irene Zutell for a fabulous giveaway! Buy Irene Zutell’s Pieces of Happily Ever After and send your receipt to Emily Giffin, along with which of Giffin’s first four books you want, and get a signed copy of that book! So that’s 2 books for the price of one! It’s for today, April 28th, only so head over to Amazon.com and get your copy of Pieces of Happily Ever After.
Alice Hirsh is trying to adjust to life in the San Fernando Valley after living in New York. Judgmental and borderline unfriendly, Alice relies on her family- Alex, a wonderful husband and father, working as an entertainment lawyer for the stars, and her precious daughter Gabby. But everything turns when Alex announces he needs a “break”- then Alice finds pictures of her husband cuddling with the hottest man-eating actress in Hollywood, also Alex’s newest client. Suddenly, she is on the verge of getting a divorce, and is having to deal with the demise while the paparazzi is stalking her and five year old Gabby asking all the hard questions.
Alice struggles to get through each day, trying to pick up the broken pieces around her. She finds friends with the most unexpected people- another mother who loves wearing Winnie-the-Pooh sweatshirts but can swear like a sailor and an ex porn star trying to make a better future for herself. Their friendships help support Alice through her mother’s declining health and a possible love interest- with a former paparazzo.
Pieces of Happily Ever After by Irene Zutell is a heartwarming tale of a very real situation and one women’s experience of trying to get her life back on track. I loved the spin with the fairy tale, seeing how Gabby’s love of fairy tales could relate to Alice’s life. The supporting cast really helped shape the novel, with just enough detail on each person’s lives. This is feel good reading material that shows no matter how much you lose, there is more you can gain to get your happily ever after.
Irene Zutell started her career as a newspaper reporter, writing on police and city hall news. After becoming bored with that work, she became a travel writer, touring continents and countries including some of her favorites: Paris, St. Petersburg, Dubrovnik, Prague, Florence, and Rome. After years of writing and traveling, Zutell moved to Los Angeles and started a career as a reporter for People magazine, writing human interest articles and following celebrity lives.
Irene Zutell has three books published: They’re Not Your Friends, I’ll Never Have Sex With You Again!, and Pieces of Happily Ever After. Her writing has also been featured in Us Weekly, The New York Times, The NY Daily News, and Newsday. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
Q: Why did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
A: I couldn’t think of anything else I was competent at!
Q: Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
A: Usually, there’s a bit of real life mixed in with the fiction. I’m from New York, but I find a lot of my inspiration in my new hometown-Los Angeles. There’s so much to write about here. I really is crazy here. For instance, we live on a cul de sac in the valley, and right on the hill above us is a house that was used in porn movies. So, we’d be sitting outside listening to moaning. It was very surreal.
Q: I just started reading Pieces of Happily Ever After. Where did the idea for that story come from?
A: This woman–Vera Moder–who lived a few blocks from us was dumped by her husband for another woman–Julia Roberts. She was all over the tabloids. Her husband, Danny, eventually married Julia . I wanted Vera to do a nonfiction book with me. But when she wouldn’t, I decided to fictionalize it. Imagine going through a break-up and having it very public? And imagine having to read about your partner’s romance in the tabloids? I thouht it was a great jumping off point for a novel about a lot of other stuff–mothers and daughters, aging, love, romance, etc.
Q: Is there a typical day for you?
A: I wish I had a typical day. I wish I could say I get up at 5 a.m. and write until noon. But I don’t. I write when I can. I write when my kids are at school, or at night, or right now as they play outside. I usually don’t move until I have to because I know that at any moment, someone’s going to cry or fight or be hungry.
Q: What is your favorite part about writing?
When it just flows and I’m in that zone where I’m totally lost in the story.
Q: You have been a correspondent for PEOPLE and US Weekly. What did you take away from those experiences?
A: When I first started working for People, I thought it would be a joke–just something easy to do for a whle. Was I wrong. It was the hardest job. Being a reporter for People, I learned to pay attention to detail and to think fast. I learned that you really can never have enough details for a story and you’ve got to constantly be coming up with creative ways to draw a subject out.
Q: What were some of the favorite stories you worked on?
A: Even though I covered mostly the celebrity beat, my favorite stories were always the human interest type–like the girl who awakened from a coma after months and months, or the veternarian who spent weekends on Seattle’s Skid Row taking care of the homeless’ pets.
Q: If you hadn’t been a writer, what do you think would be your career?
A: I have no idea.
Q: Are you currently working on any future novels?
Sure. I have some things in the works, but right now I’m ghostwriting a book.
Q: What would be your advice to aspiring writers?
Never give up. Listen to the voice in your head instead of what other tell you.
Q: What is or do you think would be your favorite place to travel?
I used to be a travel writer, so I love traveling. Anywhere. I love European cities like Paris, St. Petersburg, Dubrovnik, Prague, Florence, Rome. But I also loved a trip I took a while back throughout Alaska. I went to Tahiti on my honeymoon, which was just incredible. And I love road trips through northern California.
I have seen the “In My Mailbox” feature from quite a few other book sites, so I decided to try it out for myself! Each week, I will list what books I have either bought, got from the library, borrowed from friends, received from authors, etc. Enjoy!
Title: Second Time Around
Author: Beth Kendrick
Received: From Beth Kendrick for Review
Thanks to an unexpected inheritance, four college friends get an opportunity to start over and pursue their dream jobs. But the road not taken has a few speed bumps…
Every summer, a group of former English majors hold a mini-reunion. They laugh, reminisce, and commiserate about their soul-sucking jobs. Maybe they should have listened to everyone who warned them to study something “practical.”
Then an unexpected windfall arrives—one million dollars, to be exact—with the stipulation that they use it to jump-start their new careers. Almost overnight, a professor, a bartender, a copywriter, and an administrative assistant reinvent themselves as a bed-and-breakfast owner, a pastry chef, a novelist, and an event planner. But the changes in their professional roles create unexpected turbulence in their personal lives, and soon the secrets and scandals from their past resurface.
For anyone who has ever wondered
“What if?”, this engaging novel provides a sweet, funny look at friendship, romance, and second chances.
Title: Pieces of Happily Ever After
Author: Irene Zutell
Received: From SheKnows.com for Review
What happens after “happily ever after”? Alice Hirsh is about to find out…
Alice, a former New Yorker who thought she’d never feel at home in the bizarre world of the San Fernando Valley, was adapting, raising her 5-year-old daughter while trying to keep her job and make her new house a home. When her attorney husband lands a trophy client – box-office queen Rose Maris – things begin to look up. Then Alex starts working late – a lot. He crunches his paunch into a six-pack and trades his Gap ensembles for Armani everything.
Soon, Rose and Alex’s affair blazes in the tabloids and Alice is plunged into trash-gossip hell. Her life crumbles around her as she navigates her newly single self through suburban LA –a place rife with porn stars, psycho soccer moms and nutty neighbors.
Is there a chance to wrest Alex from the Sexiest Woman Alive? And if so… would Alice want him back? And what about George–her college sweatheart? Or Johnny, a walking charm-bomb paparazzo? As Alice inventories the rubble of her life, she desperately searches for her bearings and is forced to ask herself what she really wants from life, love and herself.
Title: Bergdorf Blondes
Author: Plum Sykes
Received: Public Library
Synopsis: Plum Sykes’s beguiling debut welcomes readers to the glamorous world of Park Avenue Princesses, the girls who careen through Manhattan in search of the perfect Fake Bake (tan acquired from Portofino Tanning Salon), a ride on a PJ (private jet) with the ATM (rich boyfriend), and the ever-elusive fiancé.
With invitations to high-profile baby showers and benefits, more Marc Jacobs clothes than is decent, and a department store heiress for a best friend, our heroine known only as Moi is living at the peak of New York society. But what is Moi to do when her engagement falls apart? Can she ever find happiness in a city filled with the distractions of Front Row Girls, dermatologists, premieres, and eyebrow waxes? Is it possible to find love in a town where her friends think that the secret to happiness is getting invited to the Van Cleef and Arpels über-private sample sale? And how is she going to deal with the endless phone calls from her mother in England demanding that she get married to the Earl next door?
With enormous wit and an insider’s eye, Sykes captures the nuances of the rich and spoiled in a heartwarming social satire, featuring a loveable “champagne bubble of a girl” who’s just looking for love (and maybe the perfect pair of Chloé jeans).
Title: The Debutante Divorcee
Author: Plum Sykes
Received: Public Library
Synopsis: A major national media event when published in hardcover, this delicious follow-up to Bergdorf Blondes was an immediate New York Times bestseller and confirmed Plum Sykes’ status as a literary superstar.
Sylvie Mortimer has just married and is blissfully happy with The Divine New Husband, Hunter. Sylvie’s new friend, Lauren Blount, is very rich, very young, very thin, very pretty — and very, very divorced. The most reckless and glamorous of Manhattan’s Debutante Divorcée set, Lauren captivates Sylvie, the group’s token newlywed. But while Lauren sets out on a morality-lite, orgasm-heavy “Make Out Challenge,” Sylvie discovers her marriage isn’t exactly an Eternity ad — especially when the city’s most notorious Husband Huntress zeros in on her spouse.