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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Meredith Schorr, author of A State of Jane!






Author Guest Post


What I hear most often from readers of my books is that the characters and the situations in which they find themselves are relatable. This is because, while the stories are fiction, the inspiration behind them comes from my life. Although I could never completely limit my muses to a number, these are my top five:

1. My Mother – The mother of my main character in both A State of Jane and my first novel Just Friends with Benefits is a strong character who is more than a little overly interested in the status of her daughter’s love life. The inspiration behind these characters is my own mother’s consistent obsession with my relationships. Although I know it is because she loves me, her constant badgering has lent itself to many heated arguments, some that have ended with a dial tone when I hang up on her. I know, I know, very disrespectful but sometimes I cannot help myself. While my mother was flattered to be the inspiration behind Stephanie Cohen’s mother Susan in Just Friends with Benefits, she has told me she doesn’t like being mentioned in so many of my blogs. I have told her that she is my strongest muse and in order for me to stop referring to her, she will need to stop asking about the progress of my relationship. This means she will be featured in my blogs from now until the end of time.

2. Men I've dated, men I've hated and Men I have wanted to date – Most women will agree that we don’t often get closure on a failed relationship. And sometimes our crushes lead nowhere. Other times, we have an awful date at the end of which we’d like to ask the guy, “What were you thinking” but don’t get the chance. And sometimes we wish we could get revenge on those men who scorned us but don’t have the balls to take action. Or maybe that’s just me… In any event, I often use my books as a way to seek figurative closure when I cannot obtain literal closure. Usually by the time I finish the book, I feel cleansed of any open issues with the men who inspired me at the beginning of the process. My characters two love interests in Just Friends with Benefits were inspired by men I either dated or wanted to date. In A State of Jane, I allow Jane to respond to the “flakes” she goes out with in ways I never could have done.

3. Work – When I am not writing, I work as a trademark paralegal in a law firm. The main character in both of my published novels as well as my work-in-progress works in a law firm and the secondary characters are often inspired by the lawyers, paralegals, secretaries etc. with whom I have worked.

4. Friends – I have a lot of friends, some single, some married and some in relationships. As is common among good friends, we exchange our experiences, sometimes laughing about them, sometimes crying and other times just lending a silent ear. Being a good listener with a very good memory is often very helpful when it comes to writing books. At my release party for A State of Jane, a friend told me she noticed while reading that I subjected Jane’s best friend Marissa to one of the friend’s actual awful online dating experiences. Thankfully, my friend wasn’t angry! I also “borrowed” the name of some of Jane’s suitors from guys my friends have dated. Why do you think I included my friends in the Acknowledgements? Duh!

5. NYC/Hoboken – I live and work in New York City and also lived in Hoboken, New Jersey for many years. Although Stephanie from Just Friends with Benefits lived in Washington D.C., I had her visit New York City and Hoboken and spend time in bars and restaurants I have also frequented. A State of Jane takes place in New York City but I have her visit Hoboken because both of these locations are very familiar to me and allow me to easily and realistically place my characters in the scene. Anyone who has visited New York City will agree that it is a muse in and of itself.

And there you have them, my Top 5 Muses! Thanks for allowing me to share them with you :)



About The Author


A born and bred New Yorker, Meredith Schorr discovered her passion for writing when she began to enjoy drafting work-related emails way more than she was probably supposed to, and was famous among her friends for writing witty birthday cards. After dabbling in children’s stories and blogging her personal experiences, Meredith found her calling writing “real chick lit for real chicks." When Meredith is not hard at work on her current work in progress, she spends her days as a trademark paralegal at a law firm in New York City. Meredith is a loyal New York Yankees fan and an avid runner. She also loves to read and is always on the lookout for her new favorite author. A State of Jane is her second novel.


AUTHOR WEBSITE
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GOODREADS
Meredith Schorr ~ A State of Jane ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours



Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $10 Amazon Gift Card

Contest Dates: Jan 2 -21, 2013



Everyone who leaves a comment on Meredith Schorr's A State of Jane Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of A State of Jane before January 21 and sends their receipt to Samantha@ChickLitPlus.com, will get five bonus entries.


Book Review


A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Publication Date: September 5, 2012
Format: Paperback - 266 pages / Kindle - 452 KB
ISBN: 1935961691
ASIN: B009CDVZ64
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction


BUY THE BOOK: A State of Jane
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BARNES & NOBLE
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour.


Book Description:

Jane Frank is ready to fall in love.

It's been a year since her long term relationship ended and far too long since the last time she was kissed. With the LSAT coming up she needs to find a long term boyfriend (or husband) before acing law school and becoming a partner at her father's law firm.

There's just one problem: All the guys in New York are flakes. They seemingly drop off the face of the earth with no warning and no explanation.

Should she join her best friend Marissa in singlehood, making cupcakes and watching True Blood? Or should she follow her co-worker Andrew's advice and turn the game back on those who've scorned her? As Jane attempts to juggle her own responsibilities and put up with the problems of everyone around her, she starts to realize that the dating life isn't as easy as she originally thought.


Book Excerpt:


As I embraced him, I looked at Trish to gauge her reaction to seeing her new live-in boyfriend with his arms around his ex-girlfriend of nine years. She was smiling and although I looked really hard, I saw no jealousy or insecurity behind her beady eyes.

When Bob and I separated, Trish jumped up and down. Clapping her hands excitedly, she came barging at me, squeezing me with full force. Although her mouth was eye-level to my neck, I was able to make out her muddled version of, "I'm so happy to finally meet you!"

Taken aback, and somewhat frightened, if truth be told, I pulled away and straightened the top of my scoop neck sweater. Offering my hand, I forced a smile and said, "Hi. I'm Jane."

Jumping up and down again, Trish squealed, "I know! Bob's told me so much about you. And I've seen all of Arlene's photo albums. Love the ones from the high school prom." Winking at Bob, she said, "He looked so cute in his tux."

I glanced at Bob, hoping he'd roll his eyes and we'd share a silent laugh, but he had his hand on Trish's shoulder and was beaming as brightly as she.

While I counted the number of tiny freckles on her nose, Trish continued, "Looking at the pictures, part of me wished I knew Bob back then. But you were such a great girlfriend to him. Thanks to you, I got him un-jaded. Unlike some of these other NYC guys."

When I heard a cough in the background, I remembered Todd was next to me. "Oh, I'm so sorry," I said. Gesturing towards Todd, I said, "This is Todd. My, uh, my -"

Interrupting my eloquent introduction, Todd nodded at Bob. "Todd. Jane's lucky date. Nice to meet you. Jane baked this potato soufflĂ© for you guys." 

Taking the platter from him, Trish said, “Thanks so much! Bob said you were a really good cook. Me, not so much!” Her eyes dilating in interest, she looked from me to Todd and asked, "How'd you guys meet?"

I started to explain. "Todd's a lawyer and my friend Marissa's sister thought we'd ..."

"At a party," Todd cut in.

"Cute! When was the party?" Trish asked.

Wanting to keep the duration of my relationship with Todd vague, I started to answer, "I don't really remember…"

"Last Saturday," Todd said. "Jane liked my Red Sox hat."

"That's funny since Jane has zero interest in sports," Bob said, laughing.

"Yeah, Bob told me about the time his boss got tickets to a Ranger's game and you fell asleep in the second half." After she said this, Trish covered her mouth with her hand. I wasn't sure if she was regretful for embarrassing me or just trying to contain her laughter. The former would mean she was nice so I hoped for the latter. But I guessed the former.

I shrugged. "Yeah, well. It was a week-night game. Long day of work." 

Patting my back like a child would a pony, Todd said, "Aw, she's a good sport. Watched basketball with me this week and even accompanied me to my firm's bowling tournament. And we've only been dating a week."

Feeling busted, I reluctantly met Bob's glance. His eyebrows raised, he nodded, "Yup. A great sport indeed."

"I'm gonna get another beer. Anyone want anything?” Todd asked.

In unison, all three of us replied, "No, thanks."

After Todd was out of ear shot, Trish said happily, "He seems nice! There are too many people here tonight for us to really talk, but you guys should come over for dinner sometime. Bob speaks so highly of you. I would truly like us to be friends."

I examined Trish's face again for some sign that she secretly hated my attendance at her party. Some indication that late at night when Bob was asleep, she stuck needles in a Jane-inspired voodoo doll wishing that my existence would be removed from Bob's memory and that all pictures of me would magically disappear from Mrs. Krauss's photo albums. But what stood before me was a truly nice person who was neither fat nor ugly and seemingly not fatally flawed in any way. Trish was sincere. She was not threatened by me. She was not jealous. She was not insecure. She was in love, she was happy, and she wanted me to be happy too. And she actually wanted to be friends.

My whole charade was failing miserably. It was obvious Todd and I were not on our way to cohabitated bliss like Bob and Trish, and worse, pretending to be right behind her in the line to romantic happiness was pointless and would only serve to make me look even more pathetic than I already did. I had to change directions and fast.

I leaned in toward Bob and Trish and motioned with my finger for them to close the space between us. When they moved in, I confided, "If you must know, I don't think Todd is the one."

Bob laughed. "Oh really?"

Trish frowned. "That's too bad."

"Nah! As you know, I had the same boyfriend for nine years. My first and only boyfriend, if you know what I mean." I gave Trish a knowing look but she stared back at me blankly. "Bob was a good lover and all, but I've got serious oats to sow before I settle down." I did a 360 of the room as if making sure no one could overhear my next words. "All the guys I'm dating now? Using them," I whispered. "For sex."


My Book Review:

A year to the date after she broke up with her long-time boyfriend Bob, twenty-six year old Jane Frank is ready to start dating again. Jane is on a mission, she wants to be settled in a committed relationship by the time she starts law school the following year, because she'll be too busy studying to meet anyone. From online dating to the local New York bars and everything in between, Jane finds out that finding Mr. Right isn't exactly as easy as she had thought it would be. So if you can't beat em, join em ... Jane decides to date like a man ... love em and leave em! But this way of finding the right guy isn't working out either ... so come along for the ride as Jane weaves her way through the variety of New York's eligible bachelors in search of Mr. Right.

Every now and then I crave a story that will tickle my funny bone from cover to cover, and in A State of Jane, author Meredith Schorr has created a fun, laugh-out-loud, hilarious story that left me completely satisfied. Written in the first person narrative, Jane Frank takes the reader along for the ride on her journey into the crazy dating scene and the trial and tribulations that she encounters in her search for Mr. Right.

Author Meredith Schorr weaves a realistic tale of the frustrations of being single and looking for love. Jane is a hot mess but she is real with flaws and ideals, and the variety of guys she dates will leave you laughing and shaking your head in amusement. We can all relate to what it is like to be in the dating scene, and the variety of people we meet and have to weed out in order to find that special someone. Jane's adventure is thoroughly entertaining, as I followed along on her search there were times where I was cheering her on, but there were also times when I simply wanted to smack her upside the head and say "what were you thinking?"! Throughout her search, Jane lives and learns until she finally comes full circle and listens to her heart.

With a quirky cast of characters; witty dialogue and interactions; richly detailed description of the sights and sounds of NY and Hoboken, NJ; and a storyline that is written in a humorous and sassy style, A State of Jane is a witty true-to-life story that will not disappoint you, it is Chick Lit at it's very best!


RATING: 5 STARS *****




4 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for reading my book and writing such a fantastic review! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :) You made my day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Meredith! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event. I loved A State of Jane! I look forward to reading more of your books. :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Hi Samantha! Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. That was a great book, I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

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