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.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Baby! Baby? Baby!? by Holly Kerr (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Holly Kerr, author of Baby! Baby? Baby!?: A Young Woman's View of Impending Motherhood!

Author Guest Post

Thanks for hosting me on my blog tour, Jersey Girl and for the chance to guest post for you!

For me, creating characters is one of the most enjoyable parts of writing. Some artists work magic with paint and a brush, creating visual images so compelling they live on in your memory forever. I'm no artist, but I like to think I can create characters who hold your attention and force you to care about them for the length of the book. The trick is, however, to create characters so intriguing they live on in your thoughts long after you've finished reading.

I often become attached to the characters in the books I'm reading but in recent times, two who particularly stuck out in my mind were Katniss and Peeta from the Hunger Games. I loved the story but Suzanne Collins drew the lovestruck Peeta and the warrior-child Katniss so vividly that I remember waking up in the middle of the night worrying about what would happen to the pair.

Jilly Cooper has perfected the art of crafting an iconic character you can't help but fall in love with. One of the author's Facebook postings offered a Christmas present for her readers - a signed message from the hero of her many books, Rupert Campbell-Black. Like the rest of her fans, I had become smitten with the scandalous Lothario in Cooper's book Riders and eagerly followed his escapades on his road to redemption through later books, so for a moment I was tempted to go for the signed message. But then I reminded myself that he's NOT REAL so how could he sign something! Edward Cullen and Christian Grey are other well-known characters who are able to provoke such fanaticism that their real-life counterparts should seriously consider unlisted telephone numbers!

I don't think my characters have quite reached the level of Katniss, Peeta and Rupert, but I keep trying. I try to complete extensive character studies for each of my major characters. The characters need to be real to me, so that I can capture their voice. I need to know what the relationship with their parents was like, when they lost their virginity and what their favourite thing to do on their birthday. I need to know what’s in their heads and in their hearts and even if all the back story and secrets don’t come out in the book, at least I know them. For me, that’s the only way to create a three dimensional character.

I love all my characters but they're my babies so I might be biased. But I was pleasantly surprised when I was invited to speak at a book club meeting, to find so many readers express such a strong reaction to one of my characters, Brit. Brit is a minor character, a long-time friend of my heroine Casey, and even with their shared history, she doesn't come across as a very nice person. I never meant her to be hated, though!

Brit was based in part on an acquaintance of mine, but I used broad brush strokes to create a completely over the top character who came through loud and clear as the bitch of the book. And it was so much fun to write her! I understood Brit; I got her and her antics and dialogue flowed so well it was all I could do to keep up her before she continued her scathing remarks about someone else.

It's every writer's dream to write a book that provokes a positive reaction from the reader. Whether it makes you laugh or cry; keeps you reading all hours of the day or reread the book so much the cover falls off, they want you to care and remember it. I'm no exception. But I'm hoping I'll someday come up with a character so well-loved and cherished fans will leap at the chance to win a signed napkin from them!

Who's a favorite character for you?

Thanks for the opportunity and Happy Reading!


About The Author

I live in Toronto with my husband, 3 amazing kids, and cat Sebastian, who has a supporting role in every book I write. Since Baby! Baby? Baby!? has been published, I’ve focused on writing more and have started two blogs; one about my views on books, writing and other stuff, and one on my observations of Bethany, a small town in Ontario. I’ve been busy working on a new chick lit novel and hope to see it published by the spring. I also volunteer at my children’s school by helping put out their newspaper and encouraging kids to write has become one of my favorite pastimes! I also love hanging out at the cottage with family and friends in the summer, all things Star Wars related and opening the pages of a brand new book.

Holly Kerr ~ Baby! Baby? Baby!? ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Chick Lit PLus Blog Tours

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card

Contest Dates: Jan 14 - Feb 4

Everyone who leaves a comment on Holly Kerr's Baby! Baby? Baby!? Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Baby! Baby? Baby!? before February 4th and sends their receipt to, will get five bonus entries.

Book Review

Baby! Baby? Baby!? by Holly Kerr
Publisher: iUniverse
Publication Date: August 31, 2012
Format: eBook - 326 pages / Kindle - 524 KB / Nook - 431 KB
ISBN: 1475944594
Genre: Chick Lit

BUY THE BOOK: Baby! Baby? Baby!?

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 Tours.

Book Description:

Thirty-five-year old kindergarten teacher Casey Samms has always dreamed about having her own baby. With her copy of A Young Woman’s Guide to the Joy of Impending Motherhood on her bedside table, Casey has been steadily wading through the pool of eligible bachelors for years—with absolutely no luck. Now as she bids farewell to a cheating boyfriend and to dating in general, Casey just needs to figure out how to get pregnant without having a man in her life.

Casey immediately discounts her male friends as potential fathers and decides to pursue having a baby the artificial way, even though her sister and friends do their best to try to talk her out of it. But Casey is determined to see her dream come to fruition and begins looking at every male as a potential donor. Just when she is beginning to give the word desperate an entirely new meaning, an old ex-boyfriend, David Mason, saunters back into her life. All Casey has to do now is try to convince him that he is the one who can help her become a mother.

As Casey prepares to realize her lifelong dream, she is about to get the surprise of her life—a surprise that changes everything.

Book Excerpt:

                                            Chapter One

A woman’s prime period of fertility occurs between the years of twenty-two and twenty-eight, with each year decreasing the chance of a happy and healthy conception. After the age of thirty-seven, a woman should not attempt to conceive. 

A Young Woman’s Guide to the Joy of Impending Motherhood 
Dr. Francine Pascal Reid (1941)

Bullshit, I know.

But for some reason that passage has stuck with me for years. You know what it’s like to have one of those repetitive songs stuck in your head? A couple of summers ago, it was that “Umbrella” song—not that it was a bad song; in fact it was a pretty good song for a while, but at the end of August when I was still silently singing “ella, ella,” it got a little tiring. If you think having a song stuck in your head is bad, imagine silently repeating to yourself again and again, “After the age of thirty-seven, a woman should not attempt to conceive.”

Most of me will agree I’m being silly in taking the words of a long-dead doctor to heart, but an itty-bitty part of me is still listening and using my fingers to count the months on the calendar until I hit the De-Fertility Zone. Silly, I know, but I can’t seem to help it.

Yes, I am fully aware that in this day and age there are countless women over thirty-seven who conceive and successfully deliver happy and healthy babies. I know that. You can’t pick up an issue of People magazine without knowing that. But for me, thirty-seven has been something of a deadline, and it’s looming ever closer these days. Here I am already at thirty-five, pushing headlong into thirty-six, which will inevitably lead to thirty-seven, the age when Dr. Francine Pascal Reid tells me I shouldn’t attempt to conceive. So how am I supposed to have a baby?

Going to a wedding yesterday certainly didn’t help.

Yesterday marked the seventeenth wedding I’ve been to in the last five years, and the ninth in which I’ve played the role of a bridesmaid. I remember reading something long ago, some old wives’ tale about three times a bridesmaid, never a bride. I guess I’m screwed three times over then.

To make things worse, it turned out that the entire bridal party—other than me, that is—were all pregnant. Of course, being basically a nice person, I was sincerely happy for them, but can you imagine how my own desire to have a baby might make me a tad resentful? The anticipation I had felt toward being part of the wedding dimmed a little as I was forced to listen to all the little baby comments and pregnancy stories, not to mention names and dates and crib styles. I had had just about enough when Darcy’s aunt Fran popped her head into the room where the five of us had just finished getting into our dresses (horrible green with, yes, a big butt bow). Once she’d cooed over us all, Aunt Fran announced that she thought it was just hilarious how Darcy had picked an entire bridal party of pregnant girls, assuming I was as pregnant as the others.

My Book Review:

Thirty-five year old Kindergarten teacher Casey Samms' biological clock is ticking ... for years she has dreamed about having a baby ... but the problem is finding the right man to be the father. She is romantically challenged, but that little problem isn't going to stop her, she is determined to do whatever it takes to have a baby of her own!

Baby! Baby? Baby!? is a humorous story about one woman's journey of desperately getting what she's yearned for a long time ... a baby. In her debut novel, author Holly Kerr weaves a fun tale written in the first person narrative, told by sassy Casey Samms, who is a tad bit quirky, confused, desperate and obsessed ... awww hell who am I kidding, she's a hot mess! Casey takes the reader along for the ride as she embarks on a journey to make her dream of having a baby come true, albeit with a few mishaps, twists and turns, and unexpected surprises along the way.

Romantically challenged, forever the bridesmaid, and faithfully following the chapters in the 1941 book, A Young Woman's Guide to the Joy of Impending Motherhood by Dr. Francine Pascal Reid, what's a girl to do when she's in her mid-thirties and doesn't have the right man in her life to be the baby daddy? Why of course to do whatever it takes!

There is so many laugh-out-loud moments throughout the story, I couldn't help but feel for Casey and cheer her on even when she pulls some crazy antics. This sassy lady reminded me of myself when I was in my late thirties and found my biological clock ticking ... sigh ... There was so much that I could relate to in this story: from desire, anxiety, obsession, sorrow and acceptance. I suffered a miscarriage in my first marriage and desperately tried to get pregnant in my current marriage, but alas we weren't blessed to have children, unless you count my three four legged babies. I think at some point in a woman's life from her mid/late twenties to early forties, the biological clock ticking and the desire to have babies is a natural part of our makeup, and any woman can relate to and sympathize with how Casey felt in the story. Like the old saying goes ... life works in mysterious ways!

I really enjoyed the author's style of allowing Casey's sassy voice tell a humorous and endearing story. It felt like I was sitting in a chair next to Casey as her story unfolded. I loved how each chapter began with a quote from the 1941 book, A Young Woman's Guide to the Joy of Impending Motherhood by Dr. Francine Pascal Reid. The antiquated quotes made me chuckle, I'm thinking Casey needed a revised edition of the book with more modern suggestions on pregnancy and motherhood to follow. lol

With a quirky cast of characters; engaging dialogue and zany interactions; and a lighthearted storyline that has a mixture of humor and real-to-life issues; Baby! Baby? Baby!? is a fun story of life, love, friendship, and following one's dreams that will captivate you and leave you with a smile.



  1. Replies
    1. Hi Samantha! Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event for this entertaining book. :)