Tag Archives: chick lit

Book Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

St. Martin’s Press
Published Feb. 1, 2011
310 Pages

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.

Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?- Goodreads

If I had to describe this book, which I do because this is a review, but in short words it would be this quote:

“That took balls.”

“Please,” I said with a snort, “that took ovaries. Of which I have two.”

Yeah, that is Charley. And she is hilariously blunt, demanding and mentally strong. I liked her…for the first half of the book. She is so gun ho, that she makes some really dumb decision without care of herself and how her actions will affect others. It gets redundant and annoying. She is a grown woman, who has been using her power for years and still makes reckless mistakes as if she is a newbie. It is frustrating.

But Charley and her rushing and blunt nature keeps the book going. You are instantly drawn into this book and kept interested for a majority of it. The author, thankfully, does not go the route you think she will go. You know the cliche love triangle, the I must choose between the modern world and magical world  and things like that. The series is long so it may or may not pop up but it didn’t in this one.

I loved the pace of this novel and I also,surprisingly enough, enjoyed the fact that the author gave Charley some form of emotional discord with her powers, family and her overall job as a PI. It made her more human and I began to take her a bit more seriously.

But in regards to her romance, I can’t say I liked it. It is fairly new and it starts off really weird, not what she does for the relationship to happen but where her emotions come from, I was actually jaw dropping surprised that she wanted a relationship or some form of intimacy. I can completely understand wanting to know more about this person but she took it kind of far. At the end of the novel, the relationship is crazy new, so it doesn’t development much but I think there will be a lot of it in the second book.

I would have liked more supernatural aspects in this book and more mythology and dark things happening.  It was light and I hope the author goes deeper in the next 13 books.


3 Pickles

Impatiently Waiting For: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Balzer + Bray To Be Published Sept. 15, 2015 384 Pages
Balzer + Bray
To Be Published Sept. 15, 2015
384 Pages

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.- Goodreads

Book Review: The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi

W. W. Norton & Company Published Feb. 16, 2015 336 Pages
W. W. Norton & Company
Published Feb. 16, 2015
336 Pages

A group of friends living in the middle of New York City have to deal with beauty standards but in a completely different way. Barb is a strikingly beautiful costume designer but makes herself ugly in hopes of finding true love. Lily, (apparently) is ugly and although she is an amazing artist she cannot find love. 

Between discovering the beauty within themselves and they love they desperately desire, a murder needs to be solved.

Beautiful and amazing title. Even after reading this book, I still cannot get over how power this title is.

But I cannot say that the book was as powerful as the words that caught me. Barb is so not a woman I would like and its not because of her beauty but because she feels that it is okay to call men out on the shallowness but not her own. Yea, she is shallow; her reasons for “becoming ugly” aren’t the same reasons she is doing it now.

I have another issue with this book because the author describes Lily as so ugly surgery wouldn’t even help her.


I am so bothered by the descriptions of women and just love in general that I couldn’t get past it. Do I think the author is bringing something original to the literature world? Yes, I really do.  Do I wish it was written in a way where I didn’t feel some type of way about the characters? Yes, I do.

As much as I wanted to get into this book. I couldn’t.  It breaks my heart.

No Rating.

DNF (Did not finish)


Quick Five© With Kristy Woodson Harvey

Courtesy of Kristy Woodson Harvey
Courtesy of Kristy Woodson Harvey

Name: Kristy Woodson Harvey

Who is Kristy? UNC Graduate, who loves interior design & blogs about it at Design Chic

Books: Dear Carolina

Buy (Preorder): Barnes and Noble, Amazon


Some things just come easy for people. But that doesn’t mean that the passion is lacking. Take author Kristy Woodson Harvey; she sees a blank wall and imagines colors and textures and then she sees a blank page and sees stories, movements and life. Her passion for seeing the world, inside and out, is what makes her a must know author.


You currently blog for Design Chic. Does your love of design influence you to write? If it does, how does it influence you?

My love of design definitely influences my writing. In Dear Carolina, for example, one of the protagonists is an interior designer. Plus, designing and writing a book are a lot alike. In both cases, you take a blank space and turn it into something beautiful!

What is the most important aspect of writing a novel? Where in the process do you put most of your attention?

I think the emotional core, those moments that make the reader really connect with the characters, is what’s most important. I usually write those scenes first because they are the scenes that are very well formed in my mind.

Berkley To Be Published May 5, 2015 320 Pages
To Be Published May 5, 2015
320 Pages

Your new book “Dear Carolina” is labeled chick literature. Do you feel the label is justified or does the label limit you as an author?

Dear Carolina is actually being marketed as Southern Women’s Fiction, but, regardless, I don’t think the labels matter. Quite frankly, I’m so thrilled to be published that they can call it whatever they want! I think the “chick lit” label has caught some flack, but I love reading chick lit!

Within your writing career, what genres do you want to write under i.e. paranormal, young adult etc.?

I love writing women’s fiction and I’m working on a non-fiction project right now. I can see myself writing young adult one day, but, for now, I’m very happy in my genre!

Finally, what do you want readers to get out of reading “Dear Carolina”?

I hope that readers get a moment to reflect on the people that they love and the people that are there for them no matter what. When it’s all said and done, family, no matter who we consider that to be, is the most important thing!


Twitter: @kristywharvey

Website: http://www.kristywoodsonharvey.com


NetGalley Review: The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

Text Publishing Company  Published Sept. 24, 2014 411 Pages
Text Publishing Company
Published Sept. 24, 2014
411 Pages

If you remember back in the day, I had the extreme honor to interview Graeme Simsion. If you didn’t catch it, read it here. Also read the review for The Rosie Project here.

Don and Rosie are married now and have moved to NYC. No longer are the pre-planned days of sex and food and Don is as antsy as ever. 

To make matters more complicated Rosie is pregnant. Not knowing how to cope with this information, Don tries any and everything to prepare for fatherhood.

But in the process he is in danger of losing his professional career and most importantly Rosie. 

I loved the first book. I thought it was the most adorable thing I have ever read. So when I hear that there would be a second book, I jumped on it as fast as I can.

This book was exactly to be expected. Don freaking out. But it was an overkill.

What I liked about this book was Don and Rosie. They both stayed true to their characters (from the first book) but with slight changes. I liked the fact that the book had a great pace without too many highs and too many lows.

What I didn’t like about the book was the fact that everything was done to the 10th power when it came to Don. It was as if the lesson he learned from the first book as in regard to his feelings for Rosie stopped existing once he found out she was pregnant. I felt that it was too much too technically that it took the flair away from the book.

Boring? No. Did it stall? Yes. I liked the fact that the author was able to draw emotions from a man who tries to stay as logical as possible.

Overall, I don’t think this was a bad book two but I would have been okay with just one book.

2.5 Pickles.

NetGalley Review: The Broken Heart Diet by Tom Formaro

Tramonto Press Published June 1, 2014 296 Pages
Tramonto Press
Published June 1, 2014
296 Pages

San Francisco chef Dante Palermo just lost the love of his life (she dumped him), lost 25 pounds and is having to deal with a not so silent partner for his new restaurant. 

As his career reaches new heights his personal life keeps taking a downfall and with the help of his friends and the spirit of his grandmother maybe Dante will be able to cure his broken heart.

I am up in the air with this book. On one hand it is such a cute read but then on the other hand it is extremely predictable and it lacked flavor.

Dante was very emotional throughout the entire book. I believe he was more emotional regarding his love life than his food which wasn’t as predominate in this book as I thought. To be fair I was comparing it to “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel.  I just felt that since Dante was a chef and his cooking was a big focus in this book more recipes would be spoken of in the book. I am not saying to write a recipe for me to cook but I wish the cooking had more focus than Dante crying.

What I did like about the book was the reality of it. Granted it did have the spirit of Dante’s grandmother speaking to him in some scenes but the heartfelt was real, the pain and the depression was real as well. This made the book very easy to relate to.

However, the emotional aspect of the book made it relate-able but how Dante handle his restaurant didn’t. The man was an emotional wreck and cared more about his personal life than his restaurant. His friends took care of it. This part bothered me. I understand that when you are dealing with a heartbreak that is the most important thing but I was expecting different with this book and yes, I would have been expecting different if the main character was a female.

I also didn’t like the predictability in this book. I knew the ending right at the middle of the book. Overall, I did enjoy this read but I wanted more out of it. 3 Pickles.

Quick Five© with Cindi Madsen

    Courtesy of  Cindi Madsen
Courtesy of Cindi Madsen

Name: Cindi Madsen

Who is Cindi Madsen? A mother, lover of shoes and most importantly all things romance.

Website: http://cindimadsen.com

Twitter: cindimadsen

Books: Accidentally in Love Series (1-4), Cipher Series ( 1& 2),  Demons of the Sun, Cinderella Screwed Me Over, All Broken Pieces, Ready to Wed

Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Itunes

Chick Lit has always been a popular genre but as of late, it is growing even more steam. Readers meet author Cindi Madsen who is not so much a new author but an author that everyone should be familiar with. In this interview she describes what is romantic about romance and how she wants you to feel.


Have you always been a writer? If so what keeps you writing? If not what did you do before and why did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always had stories in my head and been a big reader, but I didn’t think about writing one down until about ten years ago. Once I did that I was hooked. New ideas come to me all the time, and I get excited about the characters or story, so I write notes, and when I can, I work on that next book.

How are you able to handle a household while also trying to

   Entangled Publishing  Published Oct. 22, 2013            400 Pages
Entangled Publishing
Published Oct. 22, 2013
400 Pages

stay active and creative when it comes to your writing?

I’m not sure I do handle it–it gets pretty messy around here! Lol. I’ve learned I can’t be supermom and super writer, so I let a few things go, like having to have an immaculate house, for more time writing, or even time off to hang out with my kids. It’s all about balance all around, which is something I’ve had to work on so I’m sane enough to write and create stories, as well as I don’t feel like I’m neglecting my family.

Why did you choose to write about romance? What makes romance romantic to you?

I love writing about people falling in love. There’s all the chemistry and sparks, and letting someone in. We’re all flawed, and the beautiful thing is, the right people love us anyway. Little gestures are romantic to me. That my husband knows what I need when I need it, or that he does little things that show he cares.

What makes your books stand out from the rest?

I strive to make books that make people laugh and swoon. Humor is important, and I also hope to make strong heroines people will connect with. And heroes who make them swoon of course.

Finally,  what kind of feeling do you want your readers to have after they read your books?

I want them to close the book and have a smile on their face. For the book to have been a nice escape that made them happy.

*Interested in a Quick Five© email wordpress174@gmail.com for more information.