#Interview & #Giveaway ~ Author, Sandra Block

Meet this amazing author, Sandra Block! She is giving away a copy of each of her books, which I will post my reviews for this weekend, when most of us are snowed in!!! So, join in the fun, and comment below!!!

Sandra BlockQ: When did you realize you were a novelist?

 I was a poet first. I remember writing on little scraps of paper around seven years old, describing the jet trail from a plane as “chalk across the sky.” My mom asked with some surprise, “you’re writing poetry?” I realized then, “oh, that’s what this is.” I guess I always knew I’d be some kind of writer. 

 

Q:  I see that you are a practicing Neurologist! Where do you find the time to do both jobs? How do you manage both careers?

It isn’t always easy, but it is doable. I usually write first thing in the morning, before anyone in the family is up. For years, I didn’t write because I was too tired after a full day of work, not to mention kids. Changing my routine to writing first thing in the morning made all the difference. 

Q:  Does your medical career help with your stories?

My medical career definitely colors my writing. Both Zoe books were based off memories of my neurology residency, a formative time for me. At this point, I subspecialize in sleep disorders and epilepsy, so I don’t really see some of the cool cases that pop up in my novels. But, I know enough psychiatry to fake it at least! 

Little Black LiesQ:  As you geared up for your Book Releases, what was the most exciting part(s) for you? 

For Little Black Lies, I was having a medical procedure done on my pub day  (everything turned out fine 🙂 ) so I was pretty much sedated. Not an ideal pub day. For The Girl Without a Name, my pub day was quite special – like a hundred birthdays. One of my fondest memories is an unlikely twitter exchange with Salmon Rushdie. It turns out his newest book came out the same day. In response to his simple tweet of “pub day,” I joked how I was sorry that his book would likely be overshadowed by my book, but “take heart, your day will come.” With utter grace, he retweeted: “Happy to stand in your shadow. Have a great pub day.” to his 1M (seriously, one million!) followers. I still smile thinking about that. 

Q:  How long did it take you to write each book? Releasing two books in one year is huge accomplishment!  

The Girl without a NameThank you! It took me about one year for each. I was writing The Girl Without a Name before I even sold Little Black Lies. When negotiation came around and they were willing to do a two-book deal, I just happened to have one all ready! It definitely taught me the lesson that no matter what happens: keep writing. 

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style?

I would say Gillian Flynn and Meg Abbot for their colloquial, yet poetic style. 

Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  Set this up for us

 I write whenever and wherever is my honest answer. As I mentioned above, I definitely put in a good forty-five minutes in the morning. But then I just grab time. I write on my iPad and take it everywhere. I might write while waiting for my daughter at school or my son at a swimming lesson for example. Even if it’s just half a page, it’s something. 

Q: May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Books?

I split my reading time between mystery/suspense and literary fiction. For literary, I would say Ann Tyler, Sue Miller, and Richard Ford. Oh, plus Louise Erdrich and Jennifer Egan. (I could go on and on.) For mystery/suspense, I love Henning Menkel, Charles Todd, Gillian Flynn, and Kate Atkinson. Plus Sara Gran. (I could go on and on.) 

Q:  What is your favorite part of being an author?

I would say the writing community. I belong to a group of women writers (shout out the Tall Poppies!) Some days writing is drudgery, some days it’s a joyful. The publishing side is also full of highs and lows. But writing friends are always there for you. That’s been a wonderfully unexpected side benefit. 

Q:  Lastly, Book or eBook??

Both, baby! Read, read, read, I don’t care how you it!

#BookReview: “Jay Walking” by Tracy Krimmer

Jay WalkingSummary:

Chelsea Wyatt, a single mom trying to build a life for her and her son, is sick of the body she sees in the mirror. A daily diet of Cookie Crisp cereal is not doing wonders for her mood or her figure, and it’s time for a change. Setting out to get fit, she commits herself to a daily walking plan, forcing herself to give up her all-sugar and carb diet, a difficult task at her donut obsessed job.

But her plan goes sideways when a stumble on the ice puts her in the arms of Jay, an attractive young man out on a run. They grab coffee together, and Chelsea finds herself thinking about him long after their short meeting. The thought of dating again hadn’t crossed her mind in years, and she doesn’t even know if Jay is available, or if he would be interested in her despite her unfit body.

Just when she has a handle on her new routine, her past catches up with her, throwing her blossoming relationship with Jay and the rest of her life into chaos. Can Chelsea hold onto the people she loves most, or will a wrong turn set her up for failure?

This is book 2 of the Pastime Pursuits series, and can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Review:

I recently read/reviewed Tracy Krimmer’s novel, “Caching In”. So, I was very excited to be able to move on quickly to the next story in her “Pastime Pursuits” Series. I am sure you will feel the same way.

In “Caching In”, we are introduced to Chelsea Wyatt. She is not the most likable character, as she was dating a man in another relationship…and, she was the other woman. But, I LOVED HER! She was very real. In “Caching In”, we find out that Chelsea is pregnant.  Although, “Jay Walking” could definitely be a standalone novel.

This story is all about Chelsea. She is raising her son James on her own. When the story begins, Chelsea decides that she is not happy with her body, and she is going to walk off the pounds.

While out for a walk, she literally falls in to the arms of Jay. Hence the wonderfully appropriate name for this novel. (I love Tracy’s covers and titles)

Jay is a doctor and has a ton of awesome qualities, so it was hard for Chelsea not to fall for him. But, is there even the possibility of a relationship there?

Tracy Krimmer can certainly deliver great chick lit stories. I highly recommend her books.

(Tracy also inspires you to want to get up an exercise…great “side effect” LOL)

4 Stars.

#MADETHEBACKCOVERS: My quotes on the Back Cover of Colette Kebell’s books!!

This is a huge perk of being a Book Reviewer!!

To get noticed in a sea of reviewers is amazing.  I actually have some of my quotes on the back cover of Colette Kebell’s books!! I DID IT!!

Colette Kebell has used some quotes from the reviews I wrote of her two books, and I have to say that I had a huge sense of pride when I saw them in person…

Needless to say, I think many readers would enjoy GiGi’s stories!!

You can read my quote for “Blue and Green should never be seen! (or so Mother says) right here:

Blue and GreenFullSizeRender

And, check out “The Retail Therapist” here:

The Retail TherapistIMG_9527

#SPOTLIGHT: “Promises to Keep” by Patricia Sands

Promises to KeepSUMMARY:

The painful memories from her life back in Toronto will never be distant enough, but Katherine Price finds peace under the autumn sky in the South of France…and a deepening, dizzying love with Philippe. Together, they savor the delicacies and splendor of life, toasting to a future filled with happiness and hope—a life far away from the heartache they both knew so well.

But during a trip to the medieval village of Entrevaux, a strange note turns into a dangerous car chase. Philippe reveals he has a troubling secret—and the couple’s new life together threatens to crumble before it can begin. Now that Katherine has everything she’s ever wanted, is she about to lose it all?

Promises to Keep is the heartfelt second addition to award-winning author Patricia Sands’s Love in Provence trilogy—and a stirring reminder that it’s never too late to be joyfully surprised by love, life, or even yourself.

Want to know more about this author, be sure to check back all week, as we get to know her better. 

#BookReview: Speak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace by Becky Monson

Speak now or forever hold your peaceBecky Monson delivers a delightful chick lit novel.  “Speak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace” was definitely fun to read, and I am sure I would enjoy her other books.  (going to add them to my Good Reads to-read shelf right after I post this review)

I was in love with the main character, Bridgette Reynolds!  I would have been friends with her.  I love a book where you feel that much for a character.  It takes a great writer for you to make that connection.

This story began at a runners pace, and took you right into the sheer madness of Bridgette’s love life.  I was laughing out loud within the first few pages.  And, this pace lasted throughout the entire book.  I would have been happier if the ending was a bit longer, I wanted to revel in it a bit.

The array of characters in this story are marvelous…Bridgette’s best friends, Ashley and Justin are a wonderful addition to the drama that unfolds in Bridgette’s life.  To quote Becky Monson. “I do love that even if she hates my choices, Ashley has my back. That is a true best friend right there”.  This book is about friendship just as much as it is about Bridgette’s love life…or lack thereof.

Bridgette’s love interests, Adam and Ian are the ideal relationships to give this story a great back bone.  I bet a lot of us have “the one that got away” story…

Even Adam’s mother, Carla is hysterical. She really is awesome!!  If you have ever broken up with someone and felt the loss of losing their family, as well…this book will really hit home for you.

I need to add:  Bridgette’s grandmother’s (Gram’s) and her Bridge Club needs their own book.  Her Grams was so hysterical, and perfect.  She reminded me of my grandmother, only instead of watching “Young and the Restless” together, we watched “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune”.  My grandmother was also in her 80’s and just as funny, and spry!  Everything that involved Grams always made me smile.

This book was very reminiscent of Helen Fielding’s, “Bridget Jones’s Diary”…so much, that I can see this as a movie.  I would really like to know what these characters look like. 🙂  I imagine Ryan Gosling playing Ian….ok, yes, that did make this book even better!!!

5 Stars

You can grab the book here:

http://www.amazon.com/Speak-Now-Forever-Hold-Peace-ebook/dp/B00VWJ72OK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442065421&sr=1-1&keywords=speak+now+or+forever+hold+your+peace