My Kindle has been being kind of weird lately, I’m not sure what’ going on. For the time being I am only going to be looking at review possibilities for paperback books. Sorry about the change!
I recently had to opportunity to interview Haley Hill. Her book, It’s Got To Be Perfect: the memoirs of a modern-day matchmaker, is currently available on promotion for $0.99 and will be free on Valentine’s Day! http://www.amazon.com/Its-Got-Perfect-modern-day-matchmaker-ebook/dp/B00F9BQXTC
How long did it take you to write It’s got to be perfect: the memoirs of a modern day matchmaker. How did you come up with the idea for it?
A- This is my debut novel. Before writing it, I had spent six years working as a matchmaker in London. The day I sold my business, I vowed to document all that I had learned. I wasn’t sure what format that would take but I began writing. I wrote three drafts and then discarded them all. The fourth draft was beginning to take the shape of a half-decent novel so I edited it (about twenty times) and then finally I was happy with it. I think the title ‘It’s Got to Be Perfect’ was a self-fulfilling prophecy!
Q- Tell me a little bit about where you’re from. Do you still live there now?
A- I’m a London girl, born and bred. Aside from four years at University, I haven’t strayed from my home city. I love it. I love the buzz, the people, the buildings, the food. Despite my constant frustration with the weather, I doubt I’ll ever leave…
Q- What advice can you give to other self-published authors?
A- Never give up. It took me three years and many, many rewrites to produce my first novel. And I still have a long way to go. Write from your heart and before you put finger to keypad, make sure you have something meaningful to say.
Q- What is your all-time favorite book?
A- It has to be Bridget Jones’ Diary. It is the funniest book I have ever read. Helen Fielding did such an amazing job of capturing the zeitgeist (and female neurosis) of the time.
Q- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? Why?
A- I love London. It’s vibrant, multicultural and full of fascinating people. However, despite my earlier conviction that I would never leave, I have to admit that I spend many a day gazing out through drizzle-splattered window panes, dreaming of a life in Provence. I imagine wearing white linen and writing a stream of bestsellers from under an old oak tree. When I wasn’t working, I’d most likely swan around village markets or sip Rose wine on a sun-dappled terrace.
Q- If you were to pick a character in a book that is most like you, who would it be?
A- Well, it would have to be Ellie the protagonist from my own novel, It’s Got to Be Perfect.’ Even though she is a fictional character, I think as an author it’s hard to differentiate yourself emotionally from your characters. In fact, I think there is a piece of me in each of my characters.
Q- What are you currently working on now?
A- When I get any free time, between wrangling twin toddlers and a disobedient dog, I’m working on the sequel of ‘It’s Got to Be Perfect.’ Even though, I’ve already devoted an entire novel to the topic, I still feel as though I’ve only just scratched the surface when it comes to exploring modern-day romantic love. And besides, I have tonnes more fodder from my matchmaking days!
Check out Haley’s GoodReads page for more information about her work- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7074684.Haley_Hill and her personal web-site http://matchmakermusings.com/book/
Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
Reviewed by Jessica Morgan
India, Jules, and Annie are at different stages in their lives but when decisions they each make bring them into each other’s lives, they are forever changed.
India is a young wife married to Marcus, a wealthy businessman. She desires to become a mother for reasons she doesn’t want to admit. Her step daughter, Bettina, suspects that she is only in it for the money and uncovers secrets about India she was never meant to find.
Jules is a student at Princeton faced with financially supporting herself and maintaining her scholarship. When her Dad’s battle with addiction reaches a new level, she plans to sell her eggs in order to raise the money for his care.
Annie is a stay at home mom whose family is feeling the weight of their financial struggles. When she decides to carry a child for another family for the renewed sense of purpose and financial gain, she is forced to manage the outcome of her choice.
Then Came You is a story that explores the reality of our circumstances and the complexities of our choices.
This novel is a depiction about how our presumptions, responsibilities, and desires cultivate our lives. The tale of these three women is layered and full of discoveries.
India is the great mystery. Just about the time you think you might dislike her, the motivations behind her actions are revealed calling into question your presumptions about her. Annie is the heart of the story. Throughout the entire book, I battled with my feelings about the risk she took and the impact it had on her own family. At the same time, you can’t help but to have some admiration for Annie. Jules is the character I found myself rooting for and hoping that she found a happy ending.
There are aspects of these three characters most women could relate to based on your own experiences or because of a woman you know. You will laugh, cringe and explore your own ideals of motherhood.
I was recently able to interview Hilary Grossman, author of the book Dangled Carat- One girl’s attempt to convert the ultimate commitment-phobic man into a doting husband with a lot of help from his family and friends.
Here’s a synopsis-
Hilary had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship—why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose. But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved. Unfortunately, Marc still wasn’t ready—and their friends’ meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year’s Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point. In this relatable, lighthearted, and playful memoir, Hilary reminisces about her life before Marc—from the insecure and awkward teenage years she spent in a back brace and dealing with the loss of her father, to her early relationships and, finally, to the day she met Marc and realized that she really wanted to see him again. Through their first date—even though Hilary was technically seeing someone else at the time—and the ease of their early time together until Marc first decided that they were moving too quickly, up until that fateful New Year’s Eve, Hilary shares the details of their relationship and how Marc’s inability to commit led her to find an inner strength and confidence she didn’t know she possessed. For anyone who has ever dated a commitment-phobe, who has found their patience wearing thin with the one they love, or who has sat around wondering if he is ever going to pop the question while trying to remain the very picture of patience and grace, Hilary’s humorous and honest story will hit home.
How long did it take you to write Dangled Carat? How did you come up with the idea for it?
It took me about eight months (weekends only) to write the first draft of Dangled Carat. After I finished I knew it needed work so I looked for a professional editor to help me. I was fortunate to be able to work with Christina Baker Kline, New York Times and USA today bestselling author of Orphan Train. Christina had my manuscript for a few months, and then it took me about three more months to incorporate her changes and suggestions. Unfortunately in the midst of the process my home and life was slammed by Hurricane Sandy. In all, from start to finish, it took about two years to complete. Dangled Carat is a memoir about my attempt to convert a commitment phobic man into a doting husband with a lot of help from his family and friends. While many of the things that happened to me (two faux engagement parties, for example) were very unique being involved in a relationship with a commitment-phobic man is a very common situation. I felt that my story was something so many women could relate to which is what prompted me to write this book.
Is this your debut novel as an author? If not, what other books have you written?
This is the first book I have written, and it is totally a dream come true!
Who is your biggest inspiration in your life?
My mother, she is an amazing lady. She has gone through a lot of things in her life and she has always been a pillar of strength while keeping a sense of humor. My dad passed away when I was fourteen years old. It was a very difficult time for both of us, but she was selfless in helping me cope. She also worked tirelessly to make sure that I didn’t miss out on anything because my dad was no longer alive.
What is your all-time favorite book?
This is a hard one! I have so manyJ! But I have to just pick one I have to go with Bitter Is The New Black by Jen Lancaster. Not only did I love this book, and find it hysterically funny, this book changed my life. Before reading it I didn’t know what a blog was or what a memoir was. Yes, I am bowing my head in shame.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose? Why?
It sounds corny but right where I am… I am very fortunate, I live in an amazing town on Long Island and my home is on the beach. For a beach bum like me it doesn’t get any better…
Tell me about your website, feeling beachie.
I actually started the blog four years ago with Dangled Carat in mind. I wanted to “practice” writing. Feeling Beachie is a very eclectic blog – it has a little bit of everything going on. I write a lot of humorous daily life type stories. I also host a weekly Wordless Wednesday blog hop as well as a weekly “Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun Blog Hop”. The Friday hop is blast. I always have a co-host and together we come up with 4 fill in the blank statements for all participates to answer on their own blogs. It is amazing to see how similar we all are. Finally, I have frequent guest posts by my cat, Lucy. She is the feline version of me and always has a lot to say
I saw that you live in New York. I am a native New Yorker myself. Are you a native or a newcomer?
I am a native New Yorker. I was born in Brooklyn and moved to Long Island when I was two years old. I still live on the island, about 15 minutes from where I grew up.
Which character of your novel are you most like?
Since this is a memoir, I am exactly like me…. But the interesting thing is when you write a memoir you have to relive a lot of experiences in your life. To accurately portray the story you have to really look inside yourself to understand your feelings and motivations which led you to do the things you did and make the choices you made. In this process I learned a lot about myself as well as shared feelings that I never expressed anyone before.
Learn more about Hilary at her website http://www.feelingbeachie.com . You can also follow her on Twitter @feelinbeachie
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