Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My take on: Call Me Irresistible

Your best friend is getting married. You show up and you’re supportive right? In most cases yes, but in the case of one character in Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips her idea of support was a little different.

Meg Koranda is spoiled rich kid. Meg thinks she knows it all because she has travelled the world – on her parents’ dime. She is more perceptive than others. Meg is so perceptive only she can see that her best friend Lucy Jorik is about to make the biggest mistake of her life. Lucy is about to marry the big man – Ted Beaudine -- in Wynette, Texas. To the outside world, it’s a match made in heaven. The daughter of a former president and the son of the most prominent couple in town.  But to Meg this relationship is so wrong. She has to warn Lucy right? She could end up the most hated person in town?

Of course she expresses her feelings to Lucy, otherwise there would be no point to this book!! Lucy already had doubts she just needed a true friend to point it out. Lucy literally leaves Ted at the altar. Meg is public enemy No. 1!! It’s comical and sad when Meg gets stuck in Wynette. Her family has finally cut her off financially. What’s a person to do? Work for the town gossip, Birdie, as a maid at her inn. It was nice to see Meg taken down a peg. She looked down on the people in town and their money, but still wanted her parents to fund her adventures.  But working for Birdie bordered on torture, and she had Ted to thank for that. He made sure Birdie paid her less and worked her more than anyone else. I have to wonder if there are small towns like this? If you hurt the most beloved person in town, there will be hell to be pay.

Meg seems to be the only one who can match wits with Ted. She doesn’t buy into his mystique. She doesn’t hang on his every word. She doesn’t swoon at the sight of his handsome face – right away. As much as Ted hates Meg, he ends up needing her.  A prominent plumbing executive, Spencer Skipjack, is smitten with Meg and her famous parents. Meg would rather watch grass grow than cozy up to Spencer. But if she doesn’t he might take his money and plans to build a golf course in Wynette elsewhere. Sounds like a great choice doesn’t? Let Ted pimp her out to a sleazy rich dude? Or let the town lose out on potential jobs and revenue? I personally would tell Ted to go scratch, but Meg uses Ted’s desperation to her advantage. She gets to keep her new job at the golf course and live on Ted’s property.

Why stay in a town where people hate you? I personally would run, but Meg wants to prove a point. She wants to prove she can make it without the help of mommy and daddy. Staying in town seems to toughen her resolve. In the past, playing the famous parents card would work. But now she has to learn to fight her own battles.

Ted and Meg want to hate each other, but they end up really seeing each other. A secret relationship is formed. It’s rather steamy, too!! The passion is there between them, but is there love? Ted hides his feelings, something Meg wishes he didn’t. What’s so wrong with giving up control she wonders? Giving up control means he has to let people in.  On the flip side, Meg doesn’t know truly know what she wants. She left college in her senior year to explore the world, but never found what she was looking for. Is Ted the answer? Can she love him? Does he love her or is he just trying to save the town?

I loved this one. I read the first 173 pages in one day and finished the rest another day. I know my GoodReads account says otherwise, but I read four at once sometimes one book takes precedence over another. It's one of those reads where you keep saying, "Just one more chapter, just one more chapter." Before I knew it I was finished with the book. Call Me Irresistible is funny, sexy and romantic.  

Rating: O. M.G. !!!

Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (HarperCollins) as part of a blog tour with TLC Book Tours.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Monday, what's on the cover?

On first glance I missed the image on the cover of Sweetly by Jackson Pearce. My first impression was what a boring cover. But, a longer look revealed otherwise. That's a creepy-looking face framing that house. Kind of like a wicked witch. Perhaps she's trying to entice people to her house? Could be this is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel. I've never read anything by Jackson Pearce, but I follow her on Twitter and her YouTube channel. She has some funny things to say. I figured why not read her writing? Thanks to Faye at Little Brown for providing me with a copy. I'm aiming to finish it this week. Fingers crossed!!

Just from looking at the cover of After the Party by Lisa Jewell, I can tell this is a couple in crisis. They're not even looking at each other. They're drifting apart. Do they love each other? Did they once love each other? I'm only about two chapters in, so it's hard to tell all the details. But the prologue starts with a cliffhanger, so I have to read the rest to find out what happens!! This is a sequel to Ralph's Party, which I did not read. I'm not sure I needed to. You kinda get the gist of some things in the beginning. A review and Q&A with Lisa Jewell will be posted on Sept. 16. Happy reading everyone!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dear Hurricane Irene....

I know you are nothing to take light of. But I have a message for you......

I unfortunately have to work tonight. I actually have to leave pretty soon, especially if I want to get across one of the bridges in NYC before they close. Fortunately, the newspaper I work for is shelling out money for hotel rooms. Wherever you are be safe!!

And just a little side note: ABC interviewed some people at my local supermarket. How are people in my neighborhood preparing for Hurricane Irene? Buying candles? No. Buying water? No? How about batteries, milk, toilet paper or eggs? No, no, no, and no. They are buying....wait for it....CRAB LEGS!! Nothing says being prepared for a hurricane like a steaming pile of CRAB LEGS!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's Monday, what's on the cover?

It's Monday, what's on the cover of the book I'm reading? It's back to family drama with Call Me When You Land by Michael Schiavone. The cover looks so dark, it's easy to see this won't be happy story. A motorcycle with a mother and son as the backdrop. This motorcycle is the cause more problems for this family. The motorcycle represents freedom for this particular teenage boy. Freedom his mother doesn't him to have. Will they resolve their problems or will the motorcycle drive them apart? I'm about five chapters in, and so far so good. A review and guest post from Michael Schiavone will be posted on September 9. Stay tuned!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

My take on: You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl

I was in the middle of reading Celia Rivenbark's book You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl, and she took me back to a certain cutesy commercial.....

Yes that commercial!!! The Swiffer Wet Jet. I laughed when it first came out, but Celia Rivenbark made me think of how overloaded television is with commercials like these. Have you seen the new one where the woman dressed as a piece of dirt falls in love with the Swiffer Wet Jet? Cutesy commercials are just one of the many elements in this collection of hilarious essays. Social media, movie theater etiquette, teenage angst, annoying mall people, a horny couple on the Food Network, politics, Oprah, and of course "Duh" husband (her better half) are just of few of things in the book.

The first essay, "Taking the Class out of Yoga," made me laugh. Rather than take part in yoga, she would want to sit on the sidelines and perhaps have some pizza. How did Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love, fame stay so thin after gorging on pizza during her tour of self-discovery? Yoga perhaps? I guess she made yoga cool, but Celia Rivenbark made it funny for me. I would rather be eating a slice of pizza, too.

How about those annoying mall people? "Is your skin clean Ma'am? Would you like to try this fragrance? I want to show you something amazing!!" We've all had those experiences. They never seem to take no for an answer. How about buying something without having to give out your phone number or e-mail?

As a southerner, Rivenbark finds it hard to contain herself on Twitter. 140 characters just isn't enough, especially when some celebrities, like Kathy Ireland, come across so perfect on Twitter. I know the feeling. Everyone else is writing something so insightful, but all I can come up with is what I had for lunch. Make sure to check out the essay on Twitter, that one had me rolling.

The best essay out of them all had to be, "Politically Correct: A Palin/ La Toya Ticket." Doesn't that seem like the dream ticket?!?! They both talk too much. I think they would get more attention than Michele Bachmann in 2012. This book is silly and sassy. I had to think who is similar to Celia Rivenbark? The first person that came to mind is Larry David, over the top, sometimes politically incorrect but always funny.

Rating: Superb

Notes: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (St Martin's Press) at the request of the author's publicist (Wunderkind PR) in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A beautiful picture !!!

For the most part, I write book reviews, my life related to books, and other book-related nonsense. In this blogging world there are endless opportunities. Books are the major perk for me. Sometimes there are other perks involved, and this is one of those days.

Easy Canvas Prints contacted me with the opportunity to review one of their products (free of charge) -- putting a picture on canvas. To be honest, I've always wanted to have a photo like that. I knew just the photo I wanted.....

Please ignore my hand there!! One of these days I'm going to invest in a digital camera. For now my Flip camera will have to do. This is one my favorite photos. Three generations of my family all at once. That's me on the left, my grandmother and my mom. It's a little on the small side, so the opportunity to blow it up on a canvas wasn't too hard to resist. Here is the finished product.....

See how much makeup I've got on? That's a rare sight. My mother and stepfather renewing their vows called for it. I love both pictures. My mother loves the canvas so much, she's ordering one for my grandmother!! When I get my own place, this would be the perfect picture to put up. Easy Canvas Prints isn't just for your favorites photos. Want to make a slogan? You can do that too!! And it's very easy to do. Take it from me, and I'm not the most tech-savvy person. Scan the picture or create your slogan, upload it on the site's software and that's it. Be sure to check out Easy Canvas Prints, who knows what you can come up with!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Help: Movie vs. the book

Over the years, I have seen some great movie adaptations and some really, really, really bad ones. The good: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Like Water for Chocolate, Jurassic Park (although the third one sucked beyond belief), and Lolita to name a few. The bad: White Oleander and sadly My Sister's Keeper. I love Jodi Picoult books, and I had high hopes when I heard that My Sister's Keeper was being made into a movie. The day before it came out I read a newspaper review, and was instantly disappointed. Those of you who read it know about the ending. When Hollywood got a hold of it they decided the ending needed to be changed. That turned me off and scores of fans off the movie. I never saw it, but I know the movie can't be good if a HUGE PLOT POINT is changed. And I do mean HUGE PLOT POINT. Taking it out changed the spirit of the book.

What does all of this have to do with the movie adaption of Kathryn Stockett's book The Help? I loved, loved, loved the book. When I heard it would be made into a movie, I was super-excited. Then I heard Viola Davis and Sissy Spacek were going to be in it, I had high hopes. Such great actresses, they can't screw it up right? After seeing the movie today, I think they got it right. Sure there were some things left out, tweaked, but overall it was a good movie. It would have been better if the couple behind me wasn't talking throughout the movie. Had they been my age I would have said something, but I must respect my elders!! Instead I rolled my eyes several times.

On to the movie, Emma Stone did a good job as Skeeter. I've never seen any of her movies, but I think she will be around for a long time. Jessica Chastain (Celia) and Allison Janney (Charlotte) have their moments, too. Sissy Spacek (Miss Hilly's mom) was hilarious in the few scenes she had. But I feel this movie belonged to Viola Davis (Aibileen), Octavia Spencer (Minny), and Bryce Dallas Howard (Miss Hilly).

I saw Bryce Dallas Howard in the last Spiderman and thought she was an Ok actress. After seeing her in The Help, I was amazed that it was the same person. I read some reviews saying she was miscast, I respectfully DISAGREE!! I left that movie hating her character just as much as I did in the book. To me that's the mark of a good actress. She played the role of the Queen Bee, ice cold racist of 1960s Jackson, Mississippi rather well. And, fear not pie plot point is still in the movie. It would have been a huge mistake if it wasn't. If you read the book, you know what I'm talking about.

Octavia Spencer played Minny with a lot of humor, boldness and strength. There were moments when you laugh out loud at her character, and other times you can feel her vulnerability.

I saved the best for last -- Viola Davis!! Her last scene with Bryce Dallas Howard just might get her an Oscar. Aibileen's character had just rough life. Her son died, but to her employer Miss Leefolt (Ahna O'Reilly) it was just another day. Sometimes you want to cry right along with her character.

I'm not sure I could choose which was better. The movie or the book? The book has a lot more rich details to it. But seeing the words brought to life on the screen was great. I would give the book a slight edge (so much that I want to re-read it).

Of course there are people who would disagree with me. Working at a newspaper, I had the chance to read dozens of stories that came across the wire. Some good, some bad. The criticism about the book followed the movie. What can a white woman (Kathryn Stockett) tell us about racism in the 1960s? Is Stockett pandering to the black community? Why would Viola Davis demean herself by playing a maid? Kathryn Stockett has been sued and will most likely be sued again over the book. Some of the reviews I've seen completely ignore that the book came first. Instead Hollywood came up with another way to make itself look good by making a movie to show how wrong racism is.

Perhaps because I'm only 28, I don't get all of the negativity. I read the book as entertainment and saw the movie as entertainment. To me that's what The Help is, entertainment. I personally think people read too much into things. I never read the book or saw the movie to teach me about racism. Sure there are historical elements in both, but overall nobody should be looking at them as teaching tools because it's just entertainment!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My take on: Coming up For Air

Sometimes it takes a life-changing moment to wake you up. It makes you examine your life. What you did wrong, and what you did right. Ellie Calvin in Coming up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry is re-examining her life. The death of her mother Lilly is a time of great sadness, but also a time of reflection.

Ellie discovers her mother's diary. A journal where she buried the deepest parts of herself. Every New Year's Eve Lilly wrote in her journal. To the outside world, Lilly was this picture of perfection and organization, and wanted to ensure her daughter married into the right family. On the inside, Lilly was living with a broken heart. In her early 20s, she found her passion in fighting for civil rights and she found love with "Him." You don't learn who this mystery man is until the end. It certainly wasn't who I suspected. But ultimately, Lilly had her heart broken by "Him." She settled for second-best with Ellie's father, all things Ellie didn't know about her mother. Did Ellie ever really know her mother? How could she keep this part of herself hidden? Ellie would have had a better understanding of her mother had she know all of this. Instead she saw her mother as this cold perfectionist, who cared more about appearances.

Ellie found love with her college boyfriend Hutch, but her mother forces her to doubt that relationship. History seems to repeat itself. Ellie and Hutch drift apart. I found more fault with Ellie in this instance. Ellie sabotages their relationship, but doesn't realize it until it's too late. Ellie also settles with her husband Rusty. Their daughter seems to be the only good part of their marriage. Rusty is the bad part. He is emotionally abusive. If it isn't his way, he yells, pouts, acts like a child and then apologizes. When Ellie expresses her unhappiness he dismisses it. If it doesn't revolve around him, it's not important.

Ellie goes in search of the truth about her mother, which reunites her with Hutch. Their interactions are such a breeze. He listens to what Ellie has to say. There is genuine affection there, despite Hutch's unwillingness to open his heart to Ellie again. Their journey to learn more about Lilly awakens Ellie. She becomes stronger. She can stand up to Rusty. She express what she wants, instead of always acquiescing to Rusty. She matters too. It makes you wonder why Ellie ever let her mother interfere? To me, Hutch represented what Lilly lost. If Lilly couldn't have her cake and eat it too, why should Ellie? I was thoroughly wrapped up in the story. A fast-paced family drama that you should put on your shelves!!

Rating: O.M.G. !!!

Notes: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (St Martin's Press) at the request of the author's publicist (Wunderkind PR) in exchange for an honest review.

It's Monday, what's on the cover?

Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel

I've had this one for a couple of months. I feel bad because I should have gotten to it sooner. Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson is about a woman who forgets who she is every 24hrs. I'm about 50 pages in, but it is on the creepy side. Look at the cover, you can see a hint of a face. Is she scared? Or just wondering who she is? Can she trust her husband? Stay tuned!!

Call Me Irresistible: A Novel

I love the color of Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I saw it once in at Borders, and thought what a beautiful cover. I didn't have the money to buy it at the time, but things have a way of working themselves out. I'm reading the book as part of a tour with TLC Book Tours. A review will be posted on August 30. The woman on the cover is trying to entice someone. She's saying, "Catch me if you can!"

The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America

I know nothing about bees, reading The Beekeeper's Lament by Hannah Nordhaus seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn more. Who knew that bees have a huge impact on agriculture? Without them the industry could collapse. Personally, I see them as nothing more than a nuisance. The vast amount of sunflowers on the cover demonstrates the mass impact bees have. I'm getting an education.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In my Mailbox

It's been awhile since I've done one of these, but I've had a really good week and a half. In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. So what did I get? Lets start with.....

For review:
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce: A couple of weeks had passed, and I thought if I was getting the book it would be an ARC. Imagine my surprise when I got a finished copy. Thanks to Faye at Little Brown for sending me a copy.

Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips: This one is part of a tour with TLC Book Tours. A review will posted on August 30.
Little Did I Know by Mitchell Maxwell: I'm taking part on a chapter hunt with this one in October. Stay tuned!
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan: A modern retelling of The Scarlett Letter. Sounds intriguing.
The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate: That cover is cool. It's about a family battling addiction. I watch so much Intervention, so I can't wait to read it.
Maman's Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan: A memoir with food recipes!!!
Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts: I know the title is suggestive, but it's a mystery novel.
Lucky Stiff by Deborah Coonts: The continuing saga!!

All the Borders are closing. *SNIFF* *SNIFF!! I've been making several trips to my local Borders. It's really hard to resist bargains where books are concerned.

Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin: After seeing bits and pieces of the movie, I want to read the book.
Running the Books by Avi Steinberg: A memoir written by a prison librarian, I'm intrigued.
So Much for That by Lionel Shriver: I was shocked by the ending of We Need to Talk About Kevin, so I'm wondering if this one has a shocking ending too.
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen: This one has been stalking me every time I come into a book store or pass the book section in Walmart. I finally gave in and bought it.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Every time I come to Borders there is one lonely copy of this book on the shelf. When I went again, there it was saying, "Buy me, buy me!!"

Monday, August 8, 2011

My take on: Being Frank

Being Frank: The Inspiring Story of Frank D'AngeloA couple of months ago, I had never heard of Frank D'Angelo or D'Angelo Brands Inc. I live in the U.S., but while reading this book I get the impression that D'Angelo is a big deal in Canada. After reading his book Being Frank, I have a lot respect for his business acumen. Not many people have the entrepreneurial spirit while still in grade school.

When rejected for a job as a paperboy, D'Angelo took matters into his own hands. He bought the papers himself, sold them door-to-door, and even took on employees. But at age 11, food not money was used as payment. He eventually "branched" out to selling TV Guides, too.

As a teenager, he chased dreams of music stardom. While that was a memorable time, he made the tough decision to give it all up and concentrate on growing the family business. He worked for his father until the company was sold. D'Angelo had ideas bigger than his father was willing to embrace. At 26, D'Angelo mortgaged his home for $150,000 and bought lots and lots of apple juice with. Yes, apple juice. To have the foresight at 26 to see there was untapped market is inspiring. He worked hard, making mistakes along the way, including using a refurbished school bus to ship his product.

D'Angelo always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Making connections that would help build his business down the road. Producing his own product and co-packing Arizona beverages proved to be a cash cow. I'm thinking this is too good to be true, there have to be some down times too. Sponsoring an IndyCar had its ups and downs, as D'Angelo's products weren't properly used at the start. Brewing beer was a step in the right direction, but that eventually failed. D'Angelo Brands filed for bankruptcy in 2007, but the company has since bounced back.

From a business aspect this is a good book because D'Angelo took whatever obstacles that came across in stride. When he needed a break from the serious stuff he turned to his love of music and hockey.

"...netminding is almost a metaphor for being a CEO. If the CEO busts his ass and works hard, I think that inspires the whole staff to go that extra mile. If the CEO is a lamebrain who's out golfing all day, his subordinates will see right through such a poor work ethic, and they'll simply stop caring."

I don't think D'Angelo ever stopped caring about his business. He seems like the type of person who will work long, long hours without regard for his personal life. And that is what I feel is missing from this book -- the personal element. I got the impression that this was a memoir. But it reads more like how-to guide on growing your business. There is some personal stuff at the beginning and the end of the book, but I feel it's glossed over. You learn his parents were immigrants from Sicily, who eventually moved to Halifax before settling in Toronto. They definitely inspired a strong work ethic in their son. I was left wondering if D'Angelo had time for a personal life while doing all that hustling and bustling. He did, including two marriages and three children, but that too is glossed over. He had some legal issues as well, but unless you live in Toronto you have no idea what D'Angelo is talking about because that too is glossed over. For me some more personal elements would have made this book better. But perhaps that's his personality, "All business all the time."

Rating: Give it a try

Notes: I received a copy of the book from the author's publicist (NKPR INC) in exchange for an honest review.

It's Monday, what's on the cover?

You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl: Observations on Life from the Shallow End of the Pool

Vacation time is pretty much done for the year, so it's time to get back to business on my blog. If you're new to my blog, every Monday (save for vacation) I discuss the covers of books I'm reading. I've started reading You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl by Celia Rivenbark. Doesn't the woman on that cover look like she's having fun. Nice and relaxed, not having a care in the world. She looks like a woman who embraces her curves, which is kind of what I thought the book was about. I'm only a few chapters in, and this author seems like a female Larry David. She says what people are thinking, but don't say aloud because it would be embarrassing. So far so good.

Coming Up for Air

Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry is about a woman stuck in a lifeless marriage. Of course her world gets turned upside down because of this. I don't know why, but I always gravitate towards books with some kind of emotional strife. But looking at the cover, I wouldn't think anyone in it had a problem. It's light and airy, but I'm sure Ms. Henry will surprise me.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My take on: Only Mine

There is a man shortage in Fool's Gold, California. What's the best way to combat that? A rather no-it-all producer has an idea. Can you guess?? How about a few hints? They can be found on just about EVERY network. They're cheap to produce. And they're supposed to be UNSCRIPTED!! OK I give in, the solution is a reality show. Send couples to Fool's Gold, send them on dates, have the audience vote them off one by one, and the last couple standing is the winner. Sound great? Not to everybody in Only Mine by Susan Mallery.

Stoic and dependable Finn Andersson doesn't want his twin brothers, Sasha and Stephen, to participate. He would rather they return to Alaska and finish their last semester of college. Ever since the death of their parents, Finn has given up his life and time to care for them. His plan is for them to graduate college and join the family business. That's his plan, but the twins want a life of their own. Something Finn cannot understand. From a practical standpoint, I get it. Go back to college and finish. It's one lousy semester. Four years (I assume. You never know some people are super seniors!!) of hard work halted when you're so close to the finish line. But from the standpoint of 21-year-olds, I get wanting a life of your own. But wouldn't it make more sense to have a backup plan before jumping into the fire?

Enter, Dakota, one of the Hendrix triplets, to help Finn keep an eye on his brothers. Dakota would rather be continuing her career as a psychologist and working with the local community, rather than working as a go-between for the shows producers and the town mayor. Of course that job isn't easy. The sexual tension between Dakota and Finn is almost instant. But should she give in? Well of course she does!!! The love scenes between are rather hot and heavy, if you can't handle it skip the pages!!!

Sasha and Stephen are wrapped up in their own world. Sasha has big dreams. He has "dreams" of making it big in Hollywood. Yeah, right that's going to happen. He has no plan for making it big, but Sasha is certain it's going to happen. To that I say, "Naive idiot!!" I watch a lot of reality TV, and the shenanigans Sasha pulls behind the scenes ring true. Stephen is the more level-headed of the two. He wants to finish college and have a career, but not on Finn's terms. He wants a career as an engineer, not become a pilot like Finn. Stephen's bond with Aurelia, the woman he is paired with on the show, seems genuine. They offer each other friendly advice, despite it not making good television. But since she's older, Aurelia is afraid to like Stephen. Years of having a domineering mother have made Aurelia afraid of trying new things. Stephen does give her some confidence, but not enough to believe she deserves love.

Finn and Dakota are also unsure of what they want. A lot of things go unsaid. Dakota, despite being reproductively challenged, wants to have a family. Finn doesn't want to be at the starting gate again. Is there a future? The budding relationship gets tested early. You will definitely pulling for this couple. This is a funny and sweet romance. I will definitely be reading the rest of the books in this series, and you should too!!

Rating: Superb

Notes: I received a copy from the author's publicist (Little Bird Publicity) in exchange for an honest review.  Check out Susan Mallery's web site for details on how to win a Fool's Gold Christmas ebook and Man Shortage T-Shirt!!!

Q&A with Susan Mallery

Here a few questions I had for Susan Mallery, author of Only Mine

1. Did some combination of the Bachelor/Bachelorette inspire the book? Are you a fan of shows like that?   I’m not sure I would describe myself as a “fan” of the Bachelorette, but I find myself compelled to watch on occasion. It’s that proverbial train wreck from which you can’t look away. Dating competitions seem somehow wrong to me. Kind of icky. You have Hollywood producers who choose 20 guys for you, and the rules are that you’re supposed to fall in love with one of them? And get engaged? What are the chances? You with a different man every night – or a group of men – kissing them, embracing them… different guys, mind you… and that gives you enough information to commit your life to one of them? Really???
The reality show in ONLY MINE, “True Love or Fool’s Gold,” is a dating competition with a twist. The producers choose a number of couples, and each couple dates only each other. (Neither Dakota nor Finn, the heroine and hero of ONLY MINE, are on the show. They’re behind the scenes, and their romance is the man plot of the story.) Things don’t go as planned for the couples on the show. I think readers who do or don’t like reality TV will enjoy following along with the secondary relationships of hero Finn Andersson’s younger brothers. There are some surprises in store for the handsome Andersson twins.

2. The book is told from several points, is it difficult writing from the female and male perspective?  
I don’t find it difficult to write from the male perspective. In some ways, it’s easier because men tend to cut to the chase more quickly than women. They think in straight lines, whereas we women take a circuitous route. One of the things I love best about writing is the freedom to slip into my characters’ heads and to look at the same event from different perspectives. I think it makes me more empathetic in real life, too.

3. Tell us about the origin of Fool's Gold and the next Fool's Gold adventure we can expect. We're going to hear from Dakota's sisters, right?   Yes! Montana and Nevada’s stories will come out over the next two months. ONLY YOURS is a beauty & the beast story, with Dr. Simon Bradley playing both roles. He is the most physically stunning man that Montana Hendrix has ever met… on one side of his face. The other side of his face is scarred. But the scars run deeper than that. It will take the love of a happy woman and a tiny dog to teach the good doctor to open his heart.
What can I say about ONLY HIS? Every time I think of this story, two words come to mind… but I can’t tell you what those two words are without revealing a big secret. I will tell you that the two words made my editor kind of nervous at the synopsis stage. When she finished reading the book, she called me, laughing so hard she was crying, and said I had pulled it off.
Next year, three wealthy cowboy brothers will return to Fool’s Gold to reclaim the ranch where they grew up.

4. In three words how would you describe ONLY MINE?

Oooh, good question! I’d say “funny, sexy, poignant.” I asked my fans at the same question, and here are a few of my favorite from readers who have loved ONLY MINE:

“Nothing but romance” – Wanda
“Heart, Soul, Love” – Carol
“Sexy Alaskan pilot” – Christine
“FAN-TAS-TIC!” - Amber

P.S.: Check out Susan Mallery's web site for details on how to win a Fool's Gold Christmas ebook and Man Shortage T-Shirt!!!