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Friday, June 21, 2013

Meeting Miss Mollie by Di Jones (Author Guest Post / 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 Meeting Miss Molly by author Di Jones!








Author Guest Post


A Book About Me 
By: Mollie



I must admit when Di told me she was writing a book about me, I was quite pleased. Too often dogs get overlooked when it comes to art and entertainment, and that’s a shame, because our stories are much more interesting than human ones are. Yours are filled with lies, deceit, travel to exotic and far away places, and beautiful people. Beautiful people are interesting to look at, but far less interesting to get to know. Most of the really stunning ones are a bit boring and so obsessed with how they look that it’s really not worth taking the time over them.

Marlena’s a prime example of this. Marlena’s a model and she’s the antagonist of my story. She’s Christian’s girlfriend, and quite frankly, she’s the one thing Christian’s totally stupid about. But I get ahead of myself, don’t I? You don’t even know who Christian is, so let me start from the beginning.

Christian’s my human, and a nicer human you couldn’t hope to find. Christian is kind and generous, fun to be with, and he has a soft yet firm voice, gentle hands and the sort of booming laugh that makes you want to jump all over him in delight. The only downside about Christian is that he’s away from home a lot. I’ve heard people call Christian a successful businessman as if that’s a fantastic thing to be, but from my perspective I’d rather he wasn’t, because I can’t bear it when he packs a suitcase. My ears go flat to my head and I sulk, but although he knows I’m sad, he goes away anyway. He’s usually only away for a couple of days to a week, but the house isn’t the same without him.

 Christian’s housekeeper Cynthia used to look after me while Christian was away. She’s a nice older woman, very good at cooking a joint of roast lamb, but what’s the point of that if you won’t share it? I have to put up with all these cooking smells but the only time I get a chance to have a bit is when Christian’s home (as I said he’s generous) or if Christian’s away I only get some if Cynthia drops a bit on the floor. And that’s not often.

I shouldn’t complain about Cynthia, although the other issue about her is that she’s not very good at walking me. When I say ‘not very good’ what I mean is that she doesn’t walk me at all. It would do her good to get some exercise because she’s what you call portly, but she’s more interested in cooking and cleaning and when she thinks no one’s looking, she’s quite partial to sitting on the couch reading a magazine and having a sherry. She only does this when Christian is out though. She doesn’t seem to realize that I could tell him about her drinking at any time, but of course I wouldn’t dream of doing so. Boxers are quite discrete dogs really, but I do sometimes wonder why I protect Cynthia like this. I heard her tell Christian I was sick in the dining room last time he was away. I was only sick because I brought in a very old, smelly bone that I’d dug up from the garden and which hadn’t cured properly yet. It would have been nicer if Cynthia had kept this secret between us, but that’s the way it is with humans.

I said Cynthia used to look after me, and that was before Christian met Marlena, his girlfriend. As I said earlier, Marlena’s a model and she is quite beautiful. When Christian first brought her home I was quite excited, because I thought it would be fun to have another girl in the house. Cynthia doesn’t count as a girl because of her portly frame and well, her age. But Marlena’s in her prime and I anticipated she’d be my new best friend. Not to replace Christian of course, but someone I’d feel close to when Christian was away.

It didn’t quite turn out like that and over time I realized the problem. Marlena is jealous of me. It became clear quite early on in our friendship, when Marlena took me with her on a shoot, because of course she couldn’t leave me at home on my own, and as it happened Cynthia was having a week off to visit her sister who was having a hip operation.

Marlena was the center of attention in the shoot, wearing the most beautiful gowns you’ve ever seen. That is, until the photographer noticed me and asked if I couldn’t be in the picture. Marlena reluctantly agreed, but she was less than gracious when everyone made a huge fuss of me. Not surprising, as I rocked in a shiny black leather collar, with huge silver studs all over it. Marlena sulked even more when the pictures came out in a magazine. She left the magazine open on our coffee table so that everyone who came round would notice it. The problem was that everyone noticed I was in the article, but didn’t really say much about her. Christian was very proud of me and ordered more copies of the magazine and Marlena huffed and puffed about that for days.

After that Marlena didn’t want to look after me any more and her and Christian fought about it badly. They broke up soon after and I know I should be sorry as Christian’s a bit miserable, but honestly it’s for the best. Marlena’s a-

I won’t actually say the word, but it begins with a ‘b’ and is used to describe a female dog.

That brings us to our story, Meeting Miss Mollie, which Di decided to name after me. I don’t want to tell you too much (in fact some things in this article are already what you humans call a ‘spoiler’) but the thrust of the story is about Christian finding someone to look after me.

All I will say is this – it was a lucky day for everyone concerned when he did.




About The Author


Di Jones

I was born in Liverpool, England to parents who had a strong sense of adventure and moved many times. I’ve lived in Canada, the United States, England and New Zealand. I’ve worked in a variety of jobs ranging from envelope stuffer to bakery assistant, librarian to trade development executive, but none of my jobs were as much fun as the one that allowed me to write and get paid for it. That was a few years ago, and each year it’s become more and more apparent what I want to do is write full time, a dream that first occurred to me at seventeen.

I write chick lit – light hearted and humorous stories for and about women who value their families, their friendships, their careers, their independence, who have a sense of adventure, and who live and love with passion.

Like my characters, I love my family and friends, beautiful shoes, anything sparkly, the ‘occasional’ drink, parties, and a good belly laugh. I’m addicted to shopping, chocolate, bubble bath and anything else that smells nice, and the sort of tv programmes you’d never publicly admit to watching.

I live in a lovingly renovated home overlooking Auckland’s beautiful Waitemata Harbour, with my trusted friends Bronson Boxer and Dolce Dane. They keep me fit and exercised, scare the burglars away, sit loyally by my side throughout my late night writing sessions, and hang on my every word when I read final drafts aloud. They truly are my biggest fans, and I theirs!

I love my life, but not so much that there’s not room to live a load of other lives, through the hearts and minds of my characters, all of whom I adore, and some of whom I’m fortunate enough to call friend.


AUTHOR WEBSITE
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Meeting Miss Molly by Di Jones ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours




Book Review



Meeting Miss Molly by Di Jones
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: February 2, 2013
Format: eBook - 201 pages / Kindle - 386 KB 
ASIN: B00BA8T03O
Genre: Chick Lit / Romantic Comedy


BUY THE BOOK: Meeting Miss Mollie


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:

She’s the Agony Aunt who has it all. Except for one small problem – her life is a disaster.

Annabelle is a hard nosed writer with a good marriage, a nice flat, a thriving career at Adorn magazine and a busy social life. She has only one ambition – to be the best known Agony Aunt in the UK.

When her world is turned upside down by her husband’s infidelity she strikes out on her own and goes flatting with a jet setting businessman. But things in her new house aren’t quite what they seem and her problems mount.

Through her ups and downs, Annabelle forges a relationship with the strangest of friends and discovers the best things in life are those she always avoided.

Meeting Miss Mollie is a story about lies, loss, loyalty, love and laughter, and will appeal to anyone who loves chicklit or romantic comedy. You’ll laugh as you read this book, and perhaps even shed a tear.

This is the second novel by author Di Jones, whose first novel Transplanting Holly Oakwood has been in the Top Ten in romantic comedy. If you enjoy Jill Mansell or Sophie Kinsella, Di is a new author you must read.


Book Excerpt:
ONE

Annabelle

Annabelle Smithson was the best when it came to giving relationship advice.

She pushed the stack of letters into a neat pile and picked up the top one, tracing her finger over the solid bond paper. She put on her glasses, unfolded the letter and a warm light feeling spread through her chest. 

Dear Annabelle,

I’m a regular reader of your column and I hope you can help me. I’m at my wits end about my relationship. I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years and despite the fact we’ve been engaged for two years, a wedding isn’t in sight. Every time I try to broach the subject and get my man to commit to a firm date we end up fighting and break up. A week or two later we’ve worked it out but then I’m back to square one again, no closer to a wedding date. This has happened several times now, and I have a feeling we’ll never get married. What should I do? 

Yours Sincerely, M.

Annabelle read the letter again, slowly this time, then removed her glasses, rubbed her eyes and viewed the countryside flashing by through the train window. The fields were golden and green, the rapeseed swaying in the light spring breeze, and the sky was azure blue with white fluffy clouds standing out in stark relief. It was ironic that beauty and harmony were all around, while the cities were polluted and crowded with people living miserable and unhappy lives. Not that she should care too much. After all, if it wasn’t for the unhappiness, intrigue and dishonesty in people’s lives, she wouldn’t be in a job.

She was lucky. Everything was beauty and harmony in her own life. Reading the letters for her problem page week in, week out was depressing, and if she wasn’t grounded it would pull her down badly. She didn’t take anything for granted and every day she reminded herself how fortunate she was. She had a great job, a lovely flat, a fun circle of friends, and the best husband in the world.

“What’s wrong, Annabelle?” Her friend June put down the Hello magazine she was reading and offered her a Pringle. “You’re completely and utterly fed up, aren’t you?”

Annabelle was tempted by the offer of the potato chips, but shook her head. She patted her soft waistline, which had been expanding of late. “Yes. It’s this reader, M. She keeps writing to me, but there’s nothing particularly unusual or interesting about her problem.”

“What is her problem?” asked June, crunching a mouthful of Pringles, making Annabelle’s mouth water.

“Her boyfriend won’t commit to her and she wants to get married. Honestly, June, if I had a tenner for every woman who wrote to me about commitment, or more accurately the lack of it, I’d be able to retire to the south of France.”

June nodded understandingly, and Annabelle thought, not for the first time, how lucky she was to have a friend like her. Several years younger than she was, June was slim and statuesque, with gleaming black hair, clear ebony skin and liquid brown eyes. She was a fashion plate who spent every last pound of her salary on high street clobber – and she wore it with panache, as if every piece had cost a fortune.

Theirs was an unlikely friendship; the trend conscious black secretary from the East End, and the middle class white writer from Basingstoke. But they’d hit it off from the first moment they’d met, and their friendship had remained solid over the eight years they’d worked in the same company.

“I think you should answer her, especially if she keeps writing to you. She sounds desperate. I know you say there’s nothing unusual about her problem, but isn’t that the point?”

“I don’t follow what you mean.” Deep furrows formed between Annabelle’s finely arched brows.

“You can help loads of women by answering this one letter, and isn’t that what you want? You keep telling me mass appeal is critical.”

Annabelle nodded. June was right.

“If you need any more convincing, remember how your advice helped me,” said June, twisting her wedding ring. Annabelle had lived through a succession of June’s disastrous boyfriends until she’d met Eric two years ago and settled into domestic bliss. She was now mother to ten-month-old Alice, and in motherhood had found peace and contentment, which helped to calm her previous wild ways.

Annabelle smiled at her broadly and, giving in to her weak will, reached for the Pringles. “You’re right, and more importantly, if I don’t get this woman off my back, I’ll probably keep hearing from her.”

“Good point,” said June, taking the tube of chips back and popping a couple into her mouth.

With a sigh Annabelle unzipped her new Mac Airbook from its small black case and powered it up, eager to write her reply to M. June was right; this problem would be of interest to a lot of women, and the sensible thing to do was feature with this letter. She’d be able to use the problem to showcase her mental agility, not to mention her cutting sense of humour. After all, it was important for an agony aunt to entertain her readers and offer sound advice. Ask Annabelle was her life, but while she loved the column more than anything else, she’d be lying if she didn’t say she never stopped thinking about the day she’d be syndicated. Even better, perhaps she’d get a slot on TV. It happened all the time these days, like it did with Stella Smith, who’d begun her career with a small column in the Liverpool Echo and was now featuring on This Morning.

Annabelle put the Airbook on her lap and her fingers moved quickly over the keys. She bit her lower lip in concentration and a frown settled on her Botoxed brow.

Dear M, 

Have you ever read the book ‘He’s just not that into you?’ It should be every girl’s bible and from what you’ve told me about your situation, it should definitely be yours. The bottom line is that engagement is easy for your man. Marriage is a real commitment and it’s obviously one he’s not ready for. You have two options; stay with him and stay engaged, perhaps forever, or leave him and find out if he does want you. If he does he’ll make a date. If he doesn’t, eventually you’ll meet someone else who will. 

Annabelle

Fifteen minutes later she put the Airbook back into its case and sighed with satisfaction. “Any Pringles left?” she asked June hopefully.

“Sorry, not a one. I’m addicted to them,” June said apologetically, shaking the empty tube.

“Doesn’t matter, we’ll be back shortly and I can have supper with James,” said Annabelle.

“Great idea to leave the conference early.”

“The closing speeches are always totally self-congratulatory and not at all interesting or amusing,” said Annabelle. “I’m dying to see James and it’ll be a great surprise for him.”

“You sure no one will notice we’ve left?” asked June for the third time since boarding the train.

“No, everyone will get completely smashed at the dinner and be so hung over in the morning they won’t know who stayed and who didn’t. Anyway, I don’t give a toss. I want to get home.”

“Me too,” said June. “I’m struggling being away from Alice. It’s the first time.” She laughed. “The good thing about being away is Eric appreciates me after spending two days solid with the baby.”

“Same with James. Not with a baby of course,” she added. Children weren’t part of their plans. “He’ll appreciate me even more after being by himself. Cooking isn’t exactly his forte. He’ll have been living on Marks and Spencer microwave meals.”

Twenty minutes later Annabelle and June climbed off the train and after a short cab ride Annabelle was rounding the corner from home. She took her lippy out of her bag and applied it carefully before checking her reflection in the tiny silver compact mirror she always carried with her. Her skin was creamy white against the ruby gloss, and her rich brown tangle of curls accentuated her plump heart shaped face.

The cab stopped, she paid the driver and pulled out her key from her bag. It was seven, and all the lights were on in the flat, a sign James was home.

She let herself in quietly and crept down the hallway, determined to surprise James. Music was playing quietly in the living room but she knew he wasn’t there. She could hear the hiss of the power shower coming from the bathroom and the scent of his shower gel wafted through the flat; spicy and aromatic. He always took long showers, so she’d fix a drink for them while she waited for him to get out. He wasn’t expecting her back until lunchtime tomorrow, so it’d be a lovely surprise for him to find her home.

A woman called out above the music from the living room. “It’s going to fit. It’ll be absolutely perfect.”

Annabelle didn’t recognise the voice. It wasn’t Susie, James’s sister. “What will be perfect?” she called out.

No answer. She walked into the living room, wondering who James had over.

An ethereal blonde stood in the living room, holding a tape measure against the deep padded cushions of her expensive Laura Ashley couch.

“Who are you, and what are you doing?” Annabelle asked amiably, wondering if James intended to surprise her with new covers for the sofa.

The woman spun around, dropping the tape. It clattered on the oak floor.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” said Annabelle, bending to pick up the tape. She passed it to the woman, who took it from her outstretched hand.

The blonde blinked rapidly and licked her lips. “You’re Annabelle, aren’t you?” she asked in a whisper.

“Yes, of course I am,” Annabelle replied. “Who are you?”

The woman was young, and Annabelle guessed she was no older than twenty-three. She was astonishingly pretty, with alabaster skin, cornflower blue eyes and rosebud lips. She was fat. Not overweight fat, but pregnant.

“I’m Libby. I…um…work with James,” she stammered, watching the door nervously.

Annabelle had never heard of Libby, and was about to ask how long she’d worked with James, but before she could interrogate the girl further, she heard footsteps in the hall.

Thank God, James was out of the shower and could throw some light on who this strange young woman was, and why she was measuring Annabelle’s Laura Ashley couch.

Annabelle smiled at the young woman reassuringly, heartened by the sound of James’s footsteps outside the room.

The next moment her husband strolled in to the living room, wearing nothing but an expansive smile.


My Book Review:

In Meeting Miss Mollie, author Di Jones weaves an entertaining tale set in London, written in the third person narrative with alternating multiple character perspectives, that follows the trials and tribulations of Annabelle Smithson's life.

Annabelle is an advice columnist whose life is turned upside down when she discovers that her husband James has cheated on her. She leaves her cheating husband behind and rents a room in a flat with Christian, a handsome businessman, who needed someone to watch his dog Miss Mollie while he travels.

In this fast paced humorous story, Annabelle's journey of self-discovery takes a winding path of madcap twists and turns and zany interactions with a handsome flatmate and his jealous girlfriend, a cheating husband who doesn't know what he wants, and the wisdom from a very smart dog.

Meeting Miss Mollie is a fun romantic comedy that will keep you in stitches. While I did enjoy following Annabelle's journey of growth and change, Miss Mollie simply stole my heart with her unique perception and wisdom on the craziness that was going on around her. As a dog lover, Miss Mollie was the true star of this story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her in this enjoyable light read that is perfect for the summer!


RATING: 4 STARS ****



Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card

Contest Dates: June 3 - 24, 2013



Everyone who leaves a comment on Meeting Miss Mollie by Di Jones ~ 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 Meeting Miss Mollie before June 24 and sends their receipt to Samantha@ChickLitPlus.com, will get five bonus entries.



Virtual Book Tour Schedule



Tour Schedule:

June 3 – Donna Joy Usher – Q&A & Excerpt
June 4 – Donna Joy Usher – Guest Post
June 7 – Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews – Q&A & Excerpt
June 10 – Change the Word – Review
June 11- Change the Word – Q&A
June 12- Karma For Life Chick – Review
June 13 – Books Etc – Review
June 14 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
June 16 – Lavender & Camomile Press – Q&A
June 18 – I Heart Books – Review
June 18- I Heart Books - Guest Post
June 19 – Chick Lit Goddess – Review
June 20 – The Self-Taught Cook – Review
June 21- Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
June 24 – Chick Lit Plus – Review



4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.

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  2. I like the sound of Meeting Miss Mollie, thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Georgina! Thank you for stopping by! It was an enjoyable story. :)

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