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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

All My Restless Life To Live by Dee DeTarsio (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with AToMR Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for All My Restless Life To Live by Author Dee DeTarsio!

Book Review 

All My Restless Life To Live by Dee DeTarsio
Publisher: Just Publishing
Publication Date: May 22, 2013
Format: Paperback - 306 pages / Kindle - 657 KB 
ISBN: 0615776795
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: All My Restless Life To Live

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 AToMR Tours.

Book Description:

Life is a soap opera, especially for Elle Miller, who writes for one. (Ellen dropped the “n” in her name in hopes of finding a better ending for herself.) When her laptop crashes, she borrows her recently deceased dad’s computer and gets way more than she bargained for.

Elle unravels mysterious communications from his computer, while her mom decides to give Internet dating a try. As Elle tries to save her career at I’d Rather Be Loved with a storyline featuring a trip through Atlantis, she takes a trip to the Emmys, and finds herself in the middle of a romance between a real doctor and a hunk who just plays one on TV. Friends, family, and clues from “the other side” all help Elle figure out the difference between living the good life and living a good life.

 Fans of Marian Keyes and Jennifer Weiner will delight in Dee DeTarsio’s sparkling prose and lively dialogue as she takes readers into the heart of women’s lives. Filled with friendship, love, loss, betrayal, and challenges that force her characters to find their place in the universe, Dee’s novels give us that hopefully-ever-after we're searching for.

Book Excerpt:

Excerpt From Chapter 1

Be nice and don’t eat sugar. Once again, my daily mantra was about to be blown. “GiGi!” I hollered from the studio edit bay as I caught a sparkly swirl of scarf whiz by the corner of my eye. The scarf froze. Then backed up. Magenta-macchiato was the color-of-the-week highlighting GiGi’s Marge Simpson updo.

“You rang?” GiGi asked.

“Look, I thought we talked about this. Go back.” I nodded to the editor, Mr. Peevey. He cued up the video as GiGi folded her arms across her chest.

“There,” I pointed. “Stop, GiGi. This show is in enough trouble. I don’t care what our leading actress has told you. Danielle is anywhere from her early thirties to only God and the guy who signed her birth certificate know. While it is lovely lingerie, do you not see that the scene takes place at a nursing home?” I knew it wasn’t really GiGi’s fault, but I was just getting started on my tirade. “She is about to find out that her Nonnina is . . . ” I stopped and looked at GiGi.

“What? Her Nonnina is what?”

“Ah. Good. You’re intrigued. I’ll tell you what she isn’t. She isn’t supposed to wake up from her coma and think her granddaughter is a prostitute.”

I had finally worked my way up from an associate producer, or ‘ass-prod’ as my friend Adam always said, to producer, and I may take things a teeny-tiny bit too seriously. “Could you and the rest of your stylist friends please inform the fashion industry we just want one more inch?”

GiGi laughed. Mr. Peevey winced.

“Very funny.” I shook my head. “One more inch of material.”

I squinted my eye through my pinched fingers, “to raise the waistband as well as the morale and unreal expectations of all of our viewers.” I told the editor to zoom in. “It’s our job to make her look perfect. You know, like no one really is.”

One day, I thought as I tapped my pen and pretended to be a modern-day Scarlett O’Hara, as God is my witness, I will have a matching bra and underwear. I tugged up on the belt loops of my jeans.

“Sorry, Elle.” GiGi shrugged. “Danielle loves those pants and thinks she looks really hot.”

“Well, ‘hot’ is such a strong word.”

The editor’s shoulders straightened. I suspected he was pulling in his own stomach.

“They’re going to have to do a cutaway to Mort’s face or something, which will make no sense, right Mr. Peevey?” The editor just grunted and straightened his bow tie. I sighed.

“Please, GiGi. We all have the same goal. We don’t want this show to be cancelled. Just class her up a bit, and cover it up. You know this. Please make sure Danielle looks elegant. She is a gorgeous woman, but do we really want our audience to laugh at her underwear trying to escape?” It was hard to watch the video without holding your breath. “Cut the sizes out of her clothes if you have to, but she should be a little more haute couture, a little less hot mess.”

“I hear you.” GiGi saluted and walked out.

I left the edit bay and detoured back to my own cubicle, hoping to miss my boss.


No such luck.

“A word, please, dear, with your favorite queer.”

Why does he think that’s funny? “Oh, hey, Liam.” As in Liam Neeson. He had his name legally changed. Jackie Gleason would have been more appropriate. And away we go.

Names are important, though, I thought, trying to be fair. Look at me. I’m not that much better. It hasn’t been that many years since I tried to lop off my Midwestern roots by deleting the last consonant of my name.

I thought “Elle” sounded so much more Californian than the pigtails-with-freckles name of “Ellen.” Growing up I had always hated my plain-Jane name and wished I had gotten the bright idea much sooner, say in the sixth grade. I could still hear the scars being carved. “Ellen, shuck the corn. Ellen, your ground bologna sandwich is ready. Ellen, it’s time for church.” My parents didn’t get it. My dad had never remembered to call me by my new, sophisticated label. I missed my dad and the way he called me Ellen.

“Why don’t I have your dialogue for next week’s shows?” Liam tutted, interrupting my thoughts. He actually went ‘tut tut.’

“I’m working on it, Liam. You’ll have it by this afternoon. But, one of the editors just had me take a look at Danielle’s footage.” I pinched my mouth and my nose leaned to the left.

“Ah, yes. Danielle. If she doesn’t stop drinking and kick her Fritos habit we just might have to kill her off.”

My jaw dropped.

Liam laughed. “Just kidding, of course, but threats are very effective. Let her know.”

“I had a talk with GiGi from wardrobe. She’s working on it.”

Liam had already lost interest. “I want your script.”

He smacked the rolled up Us Weekly magazine he was holding against his left hand as he strolled off toward the bathroom. I smiled the smile of lying cheeks and clomped around the corner to my cubicle. I hummed under my breath as I sat down at my computer in the mistaken belief that humming helps. It’s hard to feel scared/uncomfortable/about to throw up when you are humming. Hmm hmm hmm. Sure, I may annoy my coworkers from time to time, but maybe they should try humming, too.

My fingers hovered over the keyboard. “Where were we?” Danielle was in love with Mort’s evil twin, who everyone thinks is really gay and using her for her money. Only that’s in real life. Add that romance to the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction pile. I couldn’t believe Liam wanted to work that into the script somehow. Thank goodness he agreed to hold off going down that storyline’s path, at least until Mort’s brother, Cort, no kidding, dumped Danielle and she got over it.

I rubbed my eyes. Danielle’s character, Nadine Maria Nardo Spenser Ackerman Spenser Huffman Rosetti Spenser Nguyen, had just discovered her current husband, Ben Nguyen, was a drug dealer who was framing her. I made a note to see if we could shoot some video at the downtown medical marijuana facility. The crew would love that. Her former husband times three, Spence Spenser, played by Mort, was trying to help nail Ben, and while he was at it, his former wife. I started jotting yellow sticky notes for the upcoming episodes of I’d Rather Be Loved, or IRBL as our fan websites referred to it.

My stomach churned. I only had a couple of bad ideas and as usual, didn’t know how I was going to pull it off. You were only as good as your last good idea. I lived in fear that whatever spark of imagination I had was extinguished. So while I sat there worrying about a finite supply of creativity, convinced I had been gypped of my fair share of dopamine, I made room for angst about what I would do when I was fired. Maybe my dad had been right and this job was meaningless. He wanted me to be a journalist, with what he called a “real” career. I wanted to want to be a teacher, but if you knew me a little better you too would be pinching your lips together and bending your nose sideways. It was bad enough not knowing what I would do if I lost this job, but add that to the weight of worrying if the show itself got cancelled. There would be about twenty people, just like me, wondering what they were going to do. Insert irregular heartbeat here.

My Book Review:

All My Restless Life To Live is a story about one woman's journey of accepting her father's death and moving forward with her life.

Elle Miller is a producer on the soap opera, "I'd Rather Be Loved," who after a year is still struggling with the death of her father. While writing a weekly script for the show, Elle's laptop crashes and she asks her mother if she could use her father's laptop. Elle's mother refuses to allow her to use the laptop because she wants to keep it as a shrine / memorial to her husband, so Elle "borrows" it by switching the laptops. When strange things begin to happen, Elle soon discovers that her father is communicating with her through the laptop!

Author Dee DeTarsio weaves an entertaining tale set in San Diego, that follows Elle Miller's trials and tribulations as she learns to deal with her father's death, issues at work, and her complicated love life. I really enjoyed this fun chick lit story with a paranormal twist, it had a great balance of drama, humor, romance, and vulnerability that made it so easy to get drawn into Elle's world. The story seamlessly interweaves between Elle's attempt to juggle with different aspects in her life: from her job on the soap opera, to her struggle to find love and closure with her father's passing.

As a girl who grew up on soap operas (General Hospital, All My Children, and One Life To Live), I loved that the author provided the reader with a fascinating history of the origin of soap operas (episodic storytelling), and the crazy behind the scenes look into the soap opera world.

With a sassy heroine, a nightmare of a boss, a saucy best friend, a meddling mother, two love interests, and a touching communication from beyond the grave, author Dee DeTarsio's wicked sense of humor comes shining through in this whimsical story that was simply fun to read.

All My Restless Life To Live is a thoroughly entertaining and quirky chick lit story that will make you laugh and leave a smile on your face


About The Author

Dee DeTarsio is an award-winning author of six books, The Scent of Jade, ’Til Somebody Loves You, The Kitchen Shrink, RosHaole Wood and All My Restless Life to Live. A graduate of the Ohio State University, DeTarsio lives in San Diego with her family. (She only goes back to visit Ohio for two days in early October because she is equally scared of tornadoes and getting trapped in a snowstorm.) To learn more, find her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or at She is not coordinated enough yet to Vine.

2013 Winner San Diego Book Awards
2013 Finalist Next Generation Indie Book Awards


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win (2) Signed Print Copies Of 
All My Restless Life To Live
(US Giveaway)

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Win (2) e-Book Copies Of
All My Restless Life To Live
(via Amazon)
(International Giveaway)

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  1. Dear Kathleen,
    Thank you so much for reading and reviewing All My Restless Life to Live! I'm so glad you had fun with it (and I hope your readers do, too!) Thanks again and take care!! Dee

    1. Hi Dee! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. All My Restless Life To Live was a fun read! :)