Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Secrets of the Suburbs by Alisa Schindler (Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Secrets of the Suburbs by author Alisa Schindler!

Book Review

Secrets of the Suburbs by Alisa Schindler
Publisher: Rocky Road Press
Publication Date: eBook - September 4, 2016 / Paperback - September 27, 2016
Format: Paperback - 302 pages
               Kindle - 719 KB
               Nook - 295 KB
ISBN: 978-1535298605
BNID: 2940153246666
Genre: Women's Fiction

Buy The Book: 
Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Secrets of the Suburbs is the story of Lindsey, a 42 year-old suburban mom who seems to have it all – doctor husband, two great kids, satisfying part-time work; all the spin classes, shopping and lunches she can fit into her busy schedule.

But when a drunken moment with her friend’s husband opens up a well of desire, excitement and emotion that she didn’t even know existed, it throws her perfectly perfect life into turmoil. Because as Lindsey opens her heart and body to this forbidden passion; her eyes open as well, and she is forced to take a closer look at her life, her marriage and herself.

Already her friends are starting to whisper, her husband is growing suspicious and there is a Secrets of the Shore Facebook page that just may be talking about her.

Will Lindsey stay in her safe, pretty world with her seemingly perfect husband who just might have secrets of his own, or will she break every rule and follow her heart?

Whatever she decides, she'd better figure it out fast because in small town suburbia nothing stays secret for very long.

Sexy and engaging, with characters who seem like friends and issues that make you think about marriage, satisfaction and the lines we draw, Secrets of the Suburbs is the perfect book to curl up with next to your (sweet) snoring husband.

Book Excerpt:

Lindsey vowed not to think about her relationship with Mitchell; the flaws that must hound every marriage; the taking for granted, the assumption of security, the casual dismissals, the diminished sex. They were patterns couples fell into over years which were balanced out by having someone always in your corner, the shared baggage that came with a life time together, companionship, family and love. Any relationship under a microscope could be picked apart. She needed to throw away the microscope, stop focusing on the bad and concentrate on the good. Sexy, good man, she repeated, because it was true and she needed to hear it over and over. She needed a distraction, so she did the worst thing she could do and checked the Secrets of Shore Point Facebook page for any updates.

She found one and read horrified.

Holy Toledo! Or more accurately, Holy Shore Point! What is in the water over here?! Apparently, the marriage on the rocks and the affair are connected, so look for another marriage to be heading to those rocks real soon. This is all way too Peyton Place. “Oh hello, can I borrow a cup of sugar. Forget it, I’ll just take a hunk of your husband.” Man, I can’t take this! I’m running out of nails to bite!!

Oh my GOD. This had to be about her and John. It couldn’t be! It had to be!

Lindsey read through some of the comments. There were almost a hundred. Most were from gossip whores, most of whom she knew, jumping all over the mystery, but a few comments were quite scathing like, “Mind your own business, bitch.” That was from Heidi Burnett. And, “You’re playing with people’s lives. What are you doing?” That one was from her friend Diane.

She felt manic, like she main-lined her coffee and chased it with a shot of Red Bull. She briefly wondered if she was having an anxiety attack, but put that ridiculous notion out of her mind. She needed to run. She needed to run immediately.

She hadn’t been outside yet but knew it was a nice day from the sun pouring through the windows and the crisp breeze she had felt when she waved the kids off to the bus. Exiting through the garage so she could pull in the garbage cans, she tapped her feet waiting for the automatic door to roll up, impatient to get moving and feel the fresh air. She watched the sunny outside slowly leak in as the door rose, and then took a quick startled step back noticing a pair of men’s shoes waiting right outside. Slowly, the door continued its upward momentum revealing pant legs around the ankle, then knees and thighs. Her first instinct was to run back into the house and lock the door. It would be the normal thing to do just in case it was a killer waiting to kill her. Or Jeanie. But somewhere inside she knew.

The door continued rising along with Lindsey’s heart rate, waiting to find out what was the prize behind curtain number one, but she didn’t have to wait any longer because John ducked under and stood before her.

“Close it,” he ordered and Lindsey pushed the button to reverse the doors’ motion. They stood locked in an eye embrace, waiting tensely for the door to bang to its finish. He moved toward her in a rush and kissed her long and deep. She kissed him back almost as greedily before she remembered they weren’t doing that anymore. His hands were already on her body which was a hundred percent behind her betrayal. “John. Stop,” she whispered, but his mouth was crushed against hers.

“I’ve missed you so much,” he said in between his sensual assault. “So much.”

Somehow Lindsey managed to slow down the force of his need by pushing him back a little and kissing him tenderly and unhurried. It calmed him a bit, but did nothing to extinguish their mutual desire. “John,” she tried again, “Stop.” He heard her that time and listened, but their faces and bodies were so close she could almost taste his mouth and she could definitely feel his hardness against her. It was denying a force of nature to keep them apart, but she did.

“Okay,” he said, but still took one long, sweet, open mouthed kiss full of slow licking and gentle biting before he released her. “Sorry,” he offered slyly, causing her to smile despite herself. She was almost giddy with happiness to have him near her.

It was bad.

My Book Review:

In Secrets of the Suburbs, author Alisa Schindler weaves an intriguing tale set in the suburban town of Shore Point, Long Island, that draws the reader into Lindsey's life, and the challenges that she faces when she finds herself sexually attracted to John, a married man who happens to be one of her friend's husband.

Secrets of the Suburbs is a compelling women's fiction story that easily draws the reader into the drama and emotions that come with the intricate dynamics of relationships and the issue of adultery. You can't help but get drawn into Lindsey's story as she discovers that the perfect life that she has been living may not be so perfect after all, especially when she unexpectedly develops feelings for John, who makes her feel alive and desirable for the first time in a very long time. When you live in a small suburban town and rumors abound, especially on the SOS (Secrets of the Shore) Facebook page, what do you do when you want to have a secret relationship that is scandalous and taboo?

Secrets of the Suburbs is an intriguing, sexy, and dramatic story that will easily keep you engaged and turning the pages, while providing much food for thought about the intricate dynamics of relationships, and what secretive things goes on behind closed doors in every community.

Secrets of the Suburbs is a captivating story about life, choices, decisions, regrets, happiness, family, relationships, love, and discovering what the really important things are in life.

RATING: 5 Stars 

About The Author

Alisa Schindler
is a SAHM of three boys and wife to Mr. Baseball. In between schlepping to the ball fields and burning cupcakes, she chronicles the sweet and bittersweet of life in the suburbs on her blog Her essays have been featured online in the Washington Post, NYT, Scary Mommy, Kveller, Parents, Brain, Child, and Good Housekeeping, among others. Random nights, she can be found hiding in the closet with a pint of ice cream and a good book.

Author Blog
Amazon Author Page

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

October 10- Polished and Bubbly – Review
October 10 – Shannon’s Bookish Life- Review
October 11 – I blog Books – Novel Spotlight
October 11 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Excerpt
October 11 – Deluged With BooksCafé – Review
October 12 – Books, Dreams, Life – Excerpt
October 14 – Chick Lit Goddess – Review
October 18 – Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Novel Spotlight
October 20 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
October 21 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews - Review
October 24 – Nerdy Dirty and Flirty – Review

Falling for Grace by Kate O'Keeffe (Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Falling for Grace by author Kate O'Keeffe!

Book Review

Falling for Grace by Kate O'Keeffe
Book 3: Wellywood Romantic Comedy Series
Publisher: Wild Lime Books
Publication Date: Paperback - August 10, 2016 / eBook - September 13, 2016
Format: Paperback - 236 pages
               Kindle - 2617 KB
               Nook - 350 KB
ISBN: 978-1517612887
BNID: 2940153413440
Genre: Chick Lit / Romantic Comedy

Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble

Buy The Series: Wellywood Romantic Comedy Series
Book 1: Styling Wellywood
Book 2: Miss Perfect Meets Her Match  // The Heart-broker
Book 3: Falling for Grace
Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

If you’re going to fall off a catwalk and into someone’s arms, you could do a lot worse than choosing handsome Sam Montgomery’s, star of the hottest sci fi show on TV. So when twenty-four year old Grace Mortimer does just that, her life is turned upside down.

Sam is gorgeous, funny, and too sexy for words. But he’s got a girlfriend, America’s newest sweetheart, the very beautiful TV star Vanessa Hudson. With his Hollywood lifestyle he’s got to be a no-fly zone, that’s for sure. So why does he insist on being Grace’s knight in shining armor? And why can’t she stop her legs turning to jelly every time he’s around?

Just as her new career is about to take off, a disastrous TV appearance sends her spinning—right back into Sam’s arms again, the one place she shouldn’t be.

Escape to beautiful New Zealand in this sexy, feel-good romantic comedy.

My Book Review:

In Falling for Grace, the third book in the Wellywood Romantic Comedy Series, author Kate O'Keeffe weaves an entertaining romantic comedy that follows the quirky trials and tribulations of twenty-four year old model Grace Mortimer.

Set in Wellington, New Zealand, Falling for Grace is an entertaining tale that easily draws the reader into Grace's life, and the quirky challenges that she faces when she finds herself falling (literally) for handsome actor Sam Montgomery. Grace tries to resist Sam's charms, especially since he has a beautiful TV actress girlfriend named Vanessa Hudson, but when Sam insists on being her knight in shining armor, what's a girl to do?

Falling for Grace is a delightful story that had a great mixture of humor, romance, drama, and unexpected twists and turns that easily kept me engaged and turning the pages. You can't help but really like Grace, she's quirky and fun, and you can't help but cheer her on as she learns how to embrace and overcome the hilarious challenges, trials and tribulations she faces while learning how to come into her own, plus finding an unexpected romance with handsome Sam Montgomery along the way. This story is so much fun that it will leave you wanting more.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I really enjoyed the rich description of the New Zealand setting. The author easily transports the reader to New Zealand's capital city of Wellington, a picturesque harbor front city that will make you wish you could visit down under.

Falling for Grace is a lighthearted and fun chick lit / romantic comedy tale that will keep you in stitches.


About The Author

I've loved rom coms, romance, and chick lit since I first encountered Bridget Jones as a young, impressionable writer. It really was a match made in chick lit heaven.

I've been a teacher and a sales executive, but am now content as a mother and writer, madly scribbling all the ideas I've accumulated during my time on this planet we call home.

I live and love in beautiful New Zealand--where my novels are all set--with my wonderful family and my two very scruffy, naughty dogs.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

October 17 – Polished& Bubbly – Review
October 17- Chick Lit Plus – Review
October 18 – Up Close and Literal – Spotlight
October 18 – Books Dream Life – Review
October 19 – Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Spotlight
October 19 – Shannon’sBookish Life – Review
October 20 – LivingLife With Joy – Spotlight
October 20 – Spunky n Sassy – Spotlight
October 21 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review
October 21 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review
October 21 – Book Lover in Florida – Review

Thursday, October 20, 2016

On Top Of The World by David Lamb (Book Release Day Blitz)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book release day blitz event for On Top Of The World by author David Lamb!

About The Book

On Top Of The World: Until the Bell Chimes by David Lamb
Publisher: Woolly Mammoth Books
Publication Date: Paperback - October 11, 2016 / eBook - October 20, 2016
Format: Paperback - 214 pages
               Kindle - 1498 KB
               Nook - 3 MB
ISBN: 978-0986445309
BNID: 2940156941490
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Buy The Book:

Book Description:

2016 BEST FICTION-Pacific Book Awards. FROM THE FUNNY AND NATURALLY BRILLIANT DAVID LAMB, award-winning playwright of the New York Times celebrated play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, comes a modern spin on Dickens' classic tale that perfectly combines humor and romance in a story re-imagined for our digital, consumerist age. 

This version of Scrooge and Belle is familiar, yet unlike any you've come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music's biggest superstar, with one hundred million albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites. Belle, is a legal shark who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners. They never imagined being music's most powerful couple, but that's exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit. Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she's created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje's ego explodes and he starts acting a fool. Now, it's been three years since they ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they'll be given a second chance. Will Scrooje listen to the ghostly-advice of Marley, his best friend since the fourth grade, who at the time of his untimely drowning at his Brazilian poolside birthday bash was as big a star as Scrooje? Will Scrooje finally do right by his number one artist, Cratchit, a genius comedian, who Scrooje invariably rip offs every chance he gets? And with twenty-five million viewers tuned in will Scrooje finally shed his ego, jeopardize his image and declare his love for Belle, the one he betrayed and let slip away? Second chances don't often come around. Will Belle even give him a chance? 

Mixing heart, soul, bling and romance in a fresh, original satire about race, class and celebrity worship Lamb establishes himself as one of the most talented and amazing writers today. And leaves no doubt that the Pacific Book Awards chose wisely when they selected On Top Of The World as the year's Best Fiction. 


Highly Entertaining! Incredibly Fun! - The Romantic Times 

Perfectly combines Humor and Romance in a satire about race, class and celebrity worship that readers will love. -- Hollywood Book Review 

Winner Pacific Book Award 2016 BEST FICTION

About The Author

David Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. In middle school Lamb's hero was David Lampel whose velvet voice could be heard reporting the news over David's grandmother's radio. Whenever he heard him on the radio, David would substitute Lamb for Lampel and pretend he was delivering the news. Sure that he was destined to be a famous reporter David was happy to go to a high school with a journalism program. Like most kids, by the time he finished high school he had a whole new career in mind. After high school he went to Hunter College and majored in Economics because he wanted to be cool like that college kid who came to speak at his last year of high school. He was an Economics major, he was dressed sharp and above-all the girls thought he was the man! So like any unreasonable high school boy fueled by overactive hormones David figured if he majored in Economics they'd think he was cool. After finishing college David went on to law school at NYU, but all the time writing was still his heart. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens. Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life's challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World (Until The Bell Chimes). 

Coffee, Tea or Me by Rich Amooi (Book Blast / Contest Giveaway)

In association with I Am A Reader, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book blast event for Coffee, Tea or Me by author Rich Amooi!

About The Book

Coffee, Tea or Me by Rich Amooi
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: eBook - September 21, 2016 / Paperback - September 25, 2016
Format: Paperback - 216 pages
               Kindle - 1329 KB
ISBN: 978-1539039303
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Buy The Book:
Amazon - US
Amazon - UK

Book Description:

Susie opens a tea shop next to Jack’s coffee shop and the war begins.

Jack Robbins has a booming coffee business, an eighty-year old customer who can’t keep his clothes on, and a rescue Chihuahua named Chimichanga that likes to kiss on the mouth. Life is good until the new business next door takes a bite out of his sales.

Susie McKenna has the new tea shop everyone is talking about, an over-protective brother, and a stubborn, good-looking neighbor who is trying to steal her customers.

Things really start to percolate when Jack and Susie both volunteer to help plan the downtown festival. They have to work together and soon Jack won't be able to get by without his daily fix of Susie. But can a coffee lover and a tea devotee put their competition aside to get their happily ever after?

Praise for Coffee, Tea or Me:

"Fun, fun, and more fun!"
"Sweet, heartwarming and good for the soul!"
"Always funny, always entertaining." "A sweet romantic comedy."

About The Author

Author Rich Amooi is a former Silicon Valley radio personality and wedding DJ who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

Contest Giveaway

amazon or paypal

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/10/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast Event

Love in an Elevator: A Romantic Comedy Anthology (Book Blast / Contest Giveaway)

In association with I Am A Reader, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book blast event for Love in an Elevator: A Romantic Comedy Anthology!

About The Anthology

Love in an Elevator: A Romantic Comedy Anthology 
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: July 20, 2016
Format: eBook - 359 pages
               Kindle - 2243 KB
               Nook - 760 KB
BNID: 2940157152192
Genre: Romantic Comedy Anthology

Buy The Anthology:

Grab a copy of Love in an Elevator for just 99 cents this week only! 


Book Description:

Laugh, swoon, and escape with this romantic comedy anthology! 

Will an elevator ride change her life? In HOLD THE LIFT by Aven Ellis, Sierra Crawford ends up meeting sexy British hockey player Jude Parker after their elevator sticks. Sierra finds herself getting to know Jude—and she likes what she sees. But he wouldn’t be interested in a food-obsessed assistant editor right? Sierra knows she’s quirky—her fondness of Magic 8 Balls is proof of that—so there’s no way he could look her way. Or can he? 

In DOWN, THEN UP by Beth Labonte, Lauren Oswald never expected to see her college love, Jamie, again. Not after the way things ended. She certainly doesn’t expect to see him ten years later at a bachelorette party in Vegas, waiting inside a hotel elevator. Slightly older. Different haircut. No wedding ring. Same eyes. As the pair embark on a late night errand, Lauren is flooded with memories of how Jamie became the one that got away—and she realizes that this one night could be their last chance to make things right. 

In GOING UP? by Whitney Dineen, Fiona Kitchen had a dream when she moved to New York and it wasn’t taking a job as an elevator operator in a posh, West Side, apartment building. She also didn’t expect to meet a hot handyman, a Columbian drug lord and a notorious mob boss and then fall for one of them in a big way. Life in the Big Apple isn’t quite turning out the way she planned, but who said that was a bad thing? 

In Becky Monson’s TAKING A CHANCE, Liza Parker has a fear of heights, crowds and small spaces. So what’s a girl like her doing on a crowded elevator going to the top of the Empire State Building? Freaking out, that’s what she’s doing. Enter Jay Sanders, a tourist who thinks he might be able to help Liza face her fears, but she has to be willing to spend the day with a complete stranger. Maybe taking a chance on Jay is just what Liza needs. 

In HAPPY TO BE STUCK WITH YOU by Rich Amooi, Becca has had an office crush on Daniel—Mr. Delicious—for over a year. Getting stuck in an elevator with him was the last thing she expected. If only she can control her claustrophobia. To make matters worse, they're also stuck with an eighty-year-old man who has a weak bladder, and a penchant for playing cupid. But life is unpredictable. Sometimes, getting stuck is the best thing that can happen. 

Computer genius Maisy Potter crosses an ocean to take her dream vacation at an English country estate … where the winsome Mark Prebys works below stairs. With him, Maisy discovers a carefree happiness she's never known. But will the troubles dogging her from back home, a secret or two whispered behind the parlour curtains, and misunderstandings to beat the band extinguish the magic they think they've found in each other? And if not, what happens when Maisy's enchanting holiday ends? Find out in UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS … AND THE LIFT IN BETWEEN by Geralyn Corcillo. 

In THE ONLY WAY IS UP by Lindy Dale, Meet Bailey Burns: hottest thing on the literary circuit. And the most reluctant. After fainting in a lift and regaining consciousness to find herself kissing a stranger, Bailey thinks her week can’t get much worse. But it can. Much worse. Bailey is about to be proposed to by a crazed fan wearing a vampire costume. She’s about to discover she’s in relationship with the guy she kissed. Not only that, but said guy happens to be her new PR manager. Oh dear! 

In OUT OF ORDER, by Dee Ernst, Grace has sworn off good-looking men. As soon as she starts dating one of them, she transforms from a mature, confident woman to a needy teen-aged girl. So when she meets Seth, the best-looking man she’s ever seen, she makes the right choice — forget all about him. But a neurotic golden retriever and a broken elevator keep bringing them together. Is the world working against her… or maybe the gods are finally smiling?

Praise for the Book:

", easy, and highly entertaining reads, perfect for when you have a night in and need a little hit of frivolity and a happily ever after." -Author Jennifer Collin

"Touching, funny, and--true to the elevator theme--an uplifting and wonderful ride." -Author Jo Perry

Contest Giveaway

amazon or paypal

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/2/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast Event

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Riches & Rags by Camille Nagasaki (Author Interview / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Riches & Rags by author Camille Nagasaki!

Author Interview

Welcome to Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Camille!

Before we get to the interview, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself. 

Sure, I am a Canadian author/actress/entrepreneur and a stay-at-home mama of two kids ages 4 and 7. I fit my writing into the evenings when my children are sleeping. Riches & Rags is my debut novel and I’m just thrilled to finally be at this stage of the publishing process.

How long have you been a writer? 

I’ve always had a tremendous fascination with the written word. I became an avid reader at a young age and I’ve written creatively and for business for many years. I wrote three children’s stories that I have yet to publish. I’ve been working on Riches & Rags for about three years.

Do you have a day job, or is being an author your career? 

I left the corporate world when I went on maternity leave 8 years ago, and thanks to my husband, I’ve been able to pursue my passions. My days just zip by with my kids and fitting work in when I can.

What inspired you to become a writer? Describe your journey as a writer. 

Since becoming a mom, reading to and storytelling with my children rekindled my love of books. After writing those few children’s stories, I was inspired to try my hand at writing adult fiction—though the idea was daunting. When the premise for Riches & Rags came to me, it was too intriguing to pass up. I began studying everything I could on writing for a whole year and diligently took notes. I read everything from forming plots to character development to grammar and composition. Though I took post-secondary English, I didn’t want to make any rookie mistakes. After reading all these books, it was super difficult to actually start the writing process. That initial step was the hardest but I hammered out the first three chapters in one sitting and never looked back.

Please give a brief description/storyline about Riches & Rags.

Lane Carson lives a seemingly perfect life. She has round the clock nannies for her children and every luxury a girl could want. And yet she feels neglected by her workaholic husband and she’s become somewhat jaded, spoiled and emotionally detached. Her husband one day confesses that he has lost the family fortune. Lane believes her life is essentially over because of the loss of money and she finds herself catapulted into a lifestyle she never wanted—and growing in ways she could never have imagined.

What was the inspiration for this story? 

The premise was: What would happen if a somewhat naïve trophy-wife received the devastating news that her husband has lost the family fortune. If he was managing all the day-to-day finances how would she even know if he was telling the truth—or not.

How did it feel to have your first book published? 

It’s exhilarating and nerve-wracking at the same time. Creativity is subjective and that’s always difficult because you can’t appeal to everybody.

Do you write books for a specific genre? 

Riches & Rags is a comedic drama that would definitely fall under the contemporary women’s fiction/ chick-lit genre. I plan on writing non-fiction books too but my fiction books will most-likely fall into the chick lit category.

What genres are your favorite(s)? What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why? 

I like chick lit because of the humor and for the entertainment value, but that being said, I enjoy depth to a story, not just fluff. I love family sagas like The Thorn Birds, works by Rosamunde Pilcher and Lucy Maud Montgomery. My favorite chick lit has been the first three books of the Shopaholic series, because, well, I couldn’t stop laughing. I also think that, though books are compartmentalized into genres, every good story has a bit of everything—humor, romance, mystery, tragedy etc.

Do you have a special spot/area where you like to do your writing? 

The first 2/3 of my book was typed up on my desktop, which was fine, but towards the end, I began writing in bed on my little laptop notebook. I was worried writing in bed would just make me sleepy but I found I was able to become better immersed into the story because I wasn’t having to consciously sit upright and type. This worked well, too, because I wrote at night. It might have been a different thing altogether if I insisted on staying in bed all day…then again, that doesn’t sound so bad.

How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books? 

The premise came to my while I was just letting my mind wander. Some of my best ideas come to me when I’m doing something routine and letting my mind drift. To be creatively inspired, it’s crucial to disconnect from our devices to daydream. There was a study about how today’s teens don’t daydream anymore. I find that really sad.

When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes?

I need to be pretty diligent about getting on my computer, as I only work about 20 hours a week, so I have to make every minute count. I wrote just about every day for 7 months for the first draft (800-word daily minimum). The scenes would play out in my mind during the day so when I finally sat down to write, I couldn’t type fast enough.

What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most? 

I love dialogue and when a scene moves seamlessly from beginning to end. Some of the logistics are trying; having to explain what the person is doing, where they turn to or walk to—all of that filler I would happily do away with.

What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing? 

Hanging with my family. We have a new puppy—a Pomeranian, so we all love playing with him. 14) What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received? My late mama encouraged me to write every day.

What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer? 

When readers tell me how they loved the book, how they couldn’t put it down, and most importantly how much it made them laugh. I just want to make people laugh!

How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans?

Email and social media.

Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination? 

Much is taken from my own experiences including all the acting scenes. Ridiculous things are always happening to me. I don’t know if everyone feels this way or if I just have a knack for finding the absurd. Later I laugh at these outlandish experiences and now I’m sharing them in my novel. Also, if I tried to write about parenting without ever having experienced it firsthand, it would have seemed flat and wouldn’t have had the sweetness and the dynamic Lane has with her kids. I also wouldn’t have been able to draw from the surprising, infuriating and heartwarming moments I experience as a parent. A lot of humor in the book comes from Lane’s reaction to her kids.

What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become a writer?

I would say, Sophie Kinsella. Until I read Shopaholic Ties the Knot, I had never read anything that funny, ever. I lost it laughing and I thought, “this is entertainment.” If I’m going to sit down to read a book, I want to be entertained. I don’t want to read anything mundane with too much description, backstory or explanation. I want the action and dialogue, very much like a screenplay.

What is your definition of success as a writer? 

Making the reader laugh and feel. Everything else is just numbers.

Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit of it with us?

Not just yet, I’m promoting Riches & Rags for now. Next, I will record the audio book for Riches & Rags, write a non-fiction book for teens and a sequel to Riches & Rags.

Thank you Camille for visiting Jersey Girl Book Reviews, and sharing with us a bit about yourself and your writing career. 

About The Author

Camille Nagasaki
is a Toronto-born Canadian author, film/TV actress, and entrepreneur.

Having always had a tremendous fascination with the written word, Camille became an avid reader at a young age and has written creatively and for business for many years.

After leaving the corporate world to be home with her kids, Camille earned a professional designation in her field, launched a new business, and began a three-year labor of love writing Riches & Rags.

Camille lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children. Riches & Rags is her first novel.​

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Book Review

Riches & Rags by Camille Nagasaki
Publisher: Camelot Books
Publication Date: Paperback - September 30, 2016 / eBook - October 10, 2016
Format: Paperback - 354 pages
               Kindle - 1390 KB
ISBN: 978-0995008007
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Lane Carson is used to getting her own way—apart from throwing hissy fits and pulling outrageous stunts to attract her workaholic husband’s attention, Lane lives a seemingly perfect life. But things are seldom as they seem…

Lane is blindsided and her charmed and pampered existence uprooted, when her shattered husband, Micky Capello, breaks the devastating news: he’s lost the family fortune and is leaving on a quest to “find himself.” The most daunting part is they’re losing the nannies—and the children Lane barely knows will live with her.

Without the leisure to wallow in misery and self-pity, Lane is catapulted into an adventure of a lifetime that’s filled with outlandish and often emotionally charged escapades of trial and error, all with her über supportive—albeit dysfunctional—family in tow.

This comedic drama is bursting with outlandish hilarity and warmth, and is sure to keep you roaring with laughter, while tugging at your heart with its endearing, candid reflection. A must read!

Book Excerpt:

Excerpt from Chapter 8

We drop off the groceries and survive the chaos of packing for the beach, then make our way down to Kits Pool—the longest saltwater pool on the continent, boasting extraordinarily beautiful views of English Bay. I’m not certain, but I think I can actually pinpoint our very house across the channel in West Van, which leaves me feeling melancholy and agitated, until I hear Billy’s sing-song voice calling me. I turn around with a grin as Billy strides over, wearing aviators and a Gucci swimsuit. I notice a couple of brown paper bags poking out of his beach tote, which can only mean one thing—pastries! Margo is a few feet away splashing around in the pool. I lower Rory’s feet into the glistening water. She starts kicking wildly, mesmerized by the sensation and the splashing.

“Here, pass me the baba so you can take a little dip,” Billy says.

I hand over Rory and plunge under the cool water, opening my eyes to the exquisite turquoise underworld. Peace. I feel a lightness I haven’t felt since the East Wing. And the silence is incredibly precious. Underwater, I feel at home—safe, hopeful, and serene. I come up for a big gulp of sea air and plunge back under. I flip onto my back, still submerged a couple of feet, and watch the water ripple above me. This is one of my favorite things to do underwater. I smile at the thought of knowing I live less than a block away from this pool now and can experience this whenever desired. If I find a babysitter first that is. Speaking of which, time to find Billy.

Billy is lounging on a towel with the girls, and he and Margo are filling their faces with croissants. Margo hops up as I approach, flashes me a huge grin, and splashes back into the shallow water to play. I flop down onto the towel beside Rory.

“Fear not, dear cousin, there’s some for you too,” Billy says, handing me a bag.

“Perfect, thanks,” I say, pulling a chocolate croissant from the bag and biting into the buttery flakes.

“So, tell me. How was your first night at Casa George?”

Ha! Wait till he hears.

“Well, interesting you should ask. Turns out we had a house fire, and yours truly, along with your beloved nieces, were lucky to have escaped alive!”

Billy’s eyes widen and he sucks in his breath. I fill him in on all the details, ending with George’s ten-thousand-dollar fine.

“TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS?!” Billy has stopped mid chew and is gaping at me with those enormous, green eyes.

“That’s right!” I confirm, lounging back on my towel and taking another bite of my heavenly chocolate croissant. I glance over at Margo to see her playing with two little boys and their water toys. Rory has fallen asleep. I reach out to touch her delicate, golden tresses. My lips curl into a slow smile as I think about George’s reaction to the fine.

“I can’t believe this. I can’t believe you! You’re a downright, first-class bitch, Lane.” Billy shakes his head, smiling.

“The fireman was astounded at George’s lack of responsibility to have such a decrepit fire escape for a wo­man and her two young children. It was a major offense according to the city,” I say, eyes large for maximum drama. “The City of Vancouver Standards of Maintenance bylaw constitutes a maximum fine of ten thousand dollars for an unsafe fire escape. And George was struck with the maximum.” I pause for effect. “And,” I continue, “serves him right for calling me a pyromaniac—I mean, please.” I throw my head back and laugh just thinking of George’s angry, red face and crotchety yelling in protest to the fine.

“Oh! So that’s why you did that; to get back at him for calling you a pyro?” Billy raises an eyebrow.

“No. I wouldn’t risk taking my kids out on that deathtrap fire escape for anything. So he has to pay a little fine and have it fixed. Well, it should have been fixed a long time ago, and THAT is not my fault.” I shrug my shoulder and take another greedy bite. Yum!

“Unbelievable.” Billy is still shaking his head. “Since when have you gone all Mother Hen on me?”

“I haven’t gone all ‘Mother Hen’; I just don’t want to endanger my kids. Do you realize I could sue him? I mean, we almost died!”

“Lane, you’re wild. You’re the one who begged him to live there; he never asked you to. And you started the fire!”

I raise my hand in protest and wag my finger back and forth. “It was a broken-down fireplace. I could sue for that too!”

Billy rolls his eyes and crumples his paper bag from his croissant and chucks it at me. We both dissolve into peals of giggles when it misses me by about three feet and hits a nearby sunbather on the bum. Billy always was hopeless at sports.

My Book Review:

In her debut novel, Riches & Rags,  author Camille Nagasaki weaves an entertaining tale that follows Lane Carson's personal journey of self-discovery, when she is blindsided and suddenly finds her privileged life turned upside down after her workaholic husband Micky Capello has lost their family fortune, and is leaving them on a quest to "find himself."

Set in Vancouver and told in the first person narrative, Riches & Rags is an entertaining tale that easily draws the reader into Lane's life, and the challenges that she is suddenly faced with while picking up the pieces of her family's life.

Riches & Rags is a wonderful story that had a great mixture of humor and drama that will easily keep you engaged and turning the pages. You can't help but feel for Lane as she learns how to embrace and overcome the hilarious challenges, trials and tribulations of starting over, while also discovering that she is a strong and independent woman, no matter what type of lifestyle she may lead.

I really enjoyed following Lane on her journey, she is so witty and her antics were so frigging hilarious that I caught myself snickering as she found herself caught up in some pretty crazy trials and tribulations that she and her family had to overcome. This story is so much fun that it will leave you wanting more. I look forward to reading the sequel!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I enjoyed the richly vivid description of Vancouver. The author easily transports the reader to this picturesque city that it made me wish that I could take a trip there.

Riches & Rags is a captivating story about life, choices, decisions, regrets, happiness, family, love, and discovering what the really important things are in life.


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Tour Schedule:

October 17 – Up Close & Literal – Review
October 18 – Books Dreams Life – Review & Excerpt
October 19 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Q&A & Excerpt
October 19 – Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Excerpt
October 19 – Spunky N Sassy – Excerpt
October 20- Chick Lit Goddess – Review & Q&A
October 20 – Novel Escapes – Q&A
October 20 – Turning Another Page – Review
October 21 – Book Lover in Florida – Review & Excerpt