May 22, 2007

Book Review - Late Night Talking

The following is a book review for MotherTalk's Blog Tour.

When I received an invitation to review Leslie Schnur’s new book Late Night Talking, I was very intrigued. As a lot of my friends and readers know, the subject of judging others was a hot topic here on my blog not that long ago. So when I heard that the main character in this book (Jeannie Sterling) was a judgmental behavior cop, I knew I was going to enjoy this read.

The difference between Jeannie and “real life” behavior critics, however, is that you can’t help but love her. She’s coming from a good place in her heart and even learns the hard way that judgmental behavior comes with a price.

Jeannie is a late night talk show host and her program, “Sterling Behavior” deals with pet peeves such as people who leave pee on the toilet seat, litter, cut into the front of a long line, don’t clean up their dog’s poop, and other irritating behaviors.

Quick to chastise such anti-etiquette criminals, Jeannie soon finds that her own behavior (of judging others) has an affect on her relationship with others.

How far will Jeannie go with her policing antics? Will she make the changes she needs to salvage friendships, love and family ties? Or will she decide to give her life a complete overhaul to honor who she is?

Read Late Night Talking to find out.

Check out the the author's bio here and scroll down to see "Milo" the dog, who was the inspiration behind "Mouse" in the book.

Mouse, a Beagle/Basset Hound mix is the exact opposite of Jeannie - mischievous and just plain rotten. He not only eats Jeannie's panties, he buries them in her plants, then digs them up again. Plus, he has a poop fetish and loves to roll around in it. But, he's even more lovable than the main character! And everything that the fictional Mouse does, the real-life Milo has actually done himself.

You'll also discover that Schnur wrote the book based on her own "obsession with rude behavior." Click here to read a hilarious list of her pet peeves.

You can click around her site for in-depth information on the book, excerpts, and questions and answers with the author.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. When it arrived (hardcover edition at that), the cover design alone had me hooked. It’s so beautiful that I want to leave it on my coffee table even though I’m finished with it.

It is a PERFECT chick lit book to take to the beach or pool this summer. In fact, my only regret is that I read it before my pool opened up because it would've been so fun to read it pool-side.

The book has a lighthearted, airy, fun feel to it that goes perfectly with summer. If the thought of being on a beach, sun beaming down on you, pina colada in hand, waves crashing in front of you, with a light breeze blowing your hair, appeals to you, then I promise you'll love this book. It's the literary equivalent to all of that and more.

If you read it, I'd love to hear your comments! Enjoy! :)

May 7, 2007

Pretty Little Mistakes

Note: I am not being paid for this book review, other than having received a free review copy. I am also not profitting from the sale of any copies.

I found out about this book while flipping through my Redbook magazine a few weeks ago. I went to buy it online and found it wouldn't be available until May 1 (this was back in April). So, being a writer, I decided to contact the publisher (Harper Collins) for a review copy, figuring I'd write a review of the book here and try to pitch it to a few magazines as well.

Just a few days after contacting them, a "pretty little package" came by UPS. It was the book. And it really is indeed pretty! I am in LOVE with this book!!

I think the author's bio is very compelling and will inspire other writers out there, so I will be writing a separate post on her in the next few days.

You might be a crack whore, a volcanologist, a thief, married-to-the-mob, or any other number of crazy idenities. The one thing you won't be when reading Heather McElhatton's Pretty Little Mistakes is bored.

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books you read as a kid? Well, for the first time ever, there's now such a book for adults.

Do you go home with the kind German stranger you just met in a bar? Do you invest in a stock that might get you arrested for insider trading? Or do you kiss a man that you love, but are repulsed by because of his deformed face?

So many pretty little choices. 150 possible endings to be exact. But, the one decision I keep finding myself facing is, "Do I finally put this book down and go to sleep, or do I keep reading?" (I usually keep reading)

Be forewarned: it is not for those who are easily offended. Throughout most of the book you will be a total whore. A sense of humor is definitely needed to enjoy the book. If you're an uptight prude, you'll want to pass.

Fortunately for me, I am not a prude, so I was able to get a good laugh....over and over again.

The book is perfect for when you need to kill a little bit of time, such as a doctor's waiting room. You might go from college to being dead within ten minutes, so you can read it in easily digested little chunks.

Just like a computer game where you can save and do a "re-do" if you die, this book allows you to see what your fate would have been had you taken one or several different paths.

I found the best method for reading it is to bookmark each page where you have to make a choice. As you end your journey, go back to the last bookmark and take the other road and see where it leads you. Keep doing that again and again until you get back to where you started. Then, start on another new path all over again.

No matter what decision you make, and no matter how awful your fate is (I've died in several ways so far- choking on a peach pit, mistaking sharks for dolphins, and being run over by an ice cleaning machine at an ice rink), you will LYAO!

Want proof? Take a look at this little excerpt for a taste of McElhatton's type of humor:

The dry cleaners is run by a small albino called the Tomato Man. He's no more than four feet tall and he sits on a small padded stool as he runs the register. He's called the Tomato Man because of his chubby cheeks and the fact that his fingers are alway bright red from the pistachio nuts he eats. You ask for your laundry and he frowns at the ticket. "I got your order in the back - one of those dresses had a stain so bad they sent it out for special treatment." The he sighs and looks down at his legs. "You mind stepping back there to get it?"

So just what does the Tomato Man have planned for you back there? You'll have to read to find out. :)