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Monday, November 18, 2013

It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy by Quanie Miller (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy by Author Quanie Miller!








Author Guest Post

Pursuing Your Dreams


A few months ago I discovered a novel competition for “Fresh, fun, and strikingly unconventional love stories.” My novel, It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy, immediately came to mind. The main character, Jasmine (Jazzy for short), lives in Silicon Valley with her very eccentric mother and sister. They are sassy, southern women who are quirky and loveable. They also can’t keep themselves out of trouble.

I hadn't read the novel in about two years, and thinking about entering the competition, I dusted off my old flash drive and pulled the novel up. Before long I found myself laughing, and then laughing some more. Jazzy always seems to find herself in these uproarious situations, the whole while telling some poor chap just where he can stick it. She ends up in a restaurant shoot (but is more worried about her seafood platter) and even disguises herself to spy on a suspected cheating boyfriend and ends up getting chased by a rottweiler.

After I read the book it hit me: why on earth didn’t I just put the novel out myself? I chewed on this for a while. I actually tried to go the agent route with the novel a couple of years ago and didn’t have any luck, so of course, the doubt seeped in: what if people hated it? What if the novel tanked? What if I got letters from angry church ladies asking why these characters have such potty mouths? What if, what if, what if?

I agonized over the decision and finally asked myself what’s the worst that could happen? And not only that, what’s the alternative? Just let the novel sit there and gather dust? Or, what if something amazing happens? Like putting the novel out there and it actually finds an audience who loves it?

I decided to take Nike’s advice and just do it. I hired an editor, started looking at cover designers, the whole while wondering if I was doing the right thing. And just when I was thinking that maybe I shouldn’t go through with it I got my notes back from the editor: I absolutely LOVED your book! It's by far the funniest book I've read. Your characters are vibrant, your descriptions are well crafted, and I couldn't stop reading. Well done! If you don't already have an agent or publisher (I know you said you're going the indie route in an earlier email), I really feel that your book is good enough that you should query some places. Just a suggestion based on your talent.

Her encouragement was invaluable, but something dawned on me; just as it’s important to have encouragement from others in the things we want to pursue in life, it’s equally important that we believe in ourselves.

There’s a framed poster on the wall at my job. I pass it every day as I’m heading home. It says this: No one can determine the heights to which you can soar. And even you won’t know until you spread your wings.

It’s so true that everyday I want to give it an Amen. I’m so glad I didn’t allow fear to keep me from publishing my novel because the feedback from readers has been so overwhelmingly positive. So to anyone who wants to pursue a dream my advice is this: screw the fear, screw the nerves. Kick that doubt in the throat and go out there and make it happen!




About The Author




Quanie Miller grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana. She fell in love with reading at an early age and spent most of her time at the Iberia Parish Library discovering new authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike (she was often found walking back home from the library with a stack of books that went up to her chin). She holds degrees from Louisiana State University and San Jose State University. She has been the recipient of the James Phelan Literary Award, the Louis King Thore Scholarship, the BEA Student Scriptwriting Award, and the Vicki Hudson Emerging Writing Prize. She loves writing humorous stories about strong willed, sassy women who can’t keep themselves out of trouble. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and is currently, as always, working on another novel.


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Book Review



It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy by Quanie Miller
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Format: eBook - 280 pages / Kindle - 418 KB / Nook - 296 KB
ASIN: B00FVAFA4A
Genre: Chick Lit / Romantic Comedy


BUY THE BOOK: It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy 


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:

Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.

The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.

But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is; restaurant shootouts, a neurotic boss, a mother who spies on the neighbors, and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. Who has time to fall in love? So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.


Book Excerpt:


My best friend, Serai, invited me to her aunt’s seventy-fifth birthday party because she thought it was a secret ambush by her family that would end with her marrying some guy that they had found on Craigslist. “You have to come, Jazzy,” she begged me. “I think I saw a wedding gown in my mother’s trunk. They’re getting desperate.”

“You’ll find somebody. Besides, you can’t marry just anybody.”

“I don’t think they care anymore. It’s been too long since Chuck and I broke up and they’re starting to wonder about us.”

“Us?”

“Yes. You don’t have a man either.”

“That’s by choice!”

“I told them that even if I were gay, you wouldn’t be my type, but that only made Aunt Cleotha clutch her pearls.”

“Fine, I’ll go. But if the guy from Craigslist is cute, I have first dibs.”

When I arrived at Aunt Cleotha’s house and rang the doorbell, I heard music and laughter inside. Serai’s nephew, Jordan, answered the door with one of those Super Soaker type water guns and squirted me right in the eye. His mother, Kimmy, scooped him up and squeezed his cheeks. “Jordan, baby! Don’t do that!” She looked at me apologetically and handed me a napkin from her bosom. “I’m sorry, Jazzy. He hasn’t had a nap yet.” As if that explained it. The truth is that the little fucker was just bad.

Kimmy took the water Uzi from Jordan, who kicked and screamed and said, “Put me dow-own!” He wiggled free and ran around the room kicking people in the shins while Kimmy chased him. I wiped my face with the napkin (it smelled like Victoria’s Secret Amber Romance Body Splash and tangerines) and walked around saying hello to the people in Serai’s family whom I knew; Uncle Raymond, Aunt Delores, and her cousin, Byron, who, no matter how hard I tried to dissuade him, seemed to have the hots for me. I had tried numerous times to pawn him off on my sister, but he insisted that Annie was not his type.

I’d said, “Wait a minute; you mean to tell me that a smart, sexy, confident, and beautiful woman is not your type?”

“No,” he’d said, “I prefer someone like you.”

“Define someone like me.”

“No bells and whistles. With those pretty, independent women, you always have to worry about them sneaking behind your back because they have so many options. But with someone like you, I wouldn’t have to worry about that.”

“So just a regular, run of the mill woman.”

“Exactly.”

“Someone who doesn’t have many options when it comes to dating so she spends her nights baying at the moon.”

“Exactly.” He looked so nice wearing that punch bowl. In fact, the best I’ve ever seen him look. So when he saw me that day, he took off in the other direction. I guess having spiked Hawaiian Punch in his eye really cured him of his crush.


My Book Review:

Welcome to Jazzy's world where drama and craziness are the norm ... it ain't easy being Jazzy!

It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy is a hilarious chick lit / romantic comedy that will keep you in stitches. Set in San Jose, California, author Quanie Miller weaves an entertaining tale written in the first person narrative that follows sassy Louisiana-bred Jasmine "Jazzy" Peacock as she tries to move forward in her life, only to have to deal with crazy family situations, and a drama laden love triangle that involves her ex-boyfriend Curtis, rival cousin Mercedes, and Mercedes' ex-boyfriend Reggie.

The story is full of laugh-out-loud outrageous situations dealing with family, friendships and romance. With a quirky cast of characters: sassy and rebellious Jazzy, sister Annie, best friend Serai, nosy neighbors, and a host of crazy family members, the reader can't help but get drawn into this fun story. Jazzy uses her southern charm, quick wit and humor to take the reader along for the ride as she tries to find a balance in her life, only to have it interwoven with drama and humorous hijinks that border on the edge of craziness! Jazzy keeps it real, but dang she is one heck of a hot mess!

It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy is a thoroughly entertaining story that is the perfect escape from reality, the reader will discover that it really ain't easy being Jazzy!


RATING: 4 STARS ****





Virtual Book Tour Schedule



Tour Schedule:

November 11 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Review
November 12- Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Q&A
November 13 – Cafebiblioart – Guest Post & Excerpt 
November 14 – Chick Lit Goddess – Excerpt 
November 15 – A Bundle of Contradictions – Review
November 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
November 19 – The Sub Club Books – Review & Excerpt 
November 20 – Book Suburbia – Excerpt
November 20 – Nana Prah’s Blog – Excerpt
November 21 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post 
November 21 – Amie’s Reviews – Review & Q&A
November 22 – Forget the Housework I’m Reading – Review
November 25 – Change the Word – Guest Post & Excerpt



4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. This was a fun story to read, a lot of laughs! :)

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  2. The more reviews I read of Quanie Miller's "It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy," the more I anticipate finally getting to it as it sits in my Kindle. This sounds like one of those books that I can just curl up to and read non-stop while giggling to myself. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Hi Gina! Thank you for stopping by my blog. This was a very entertaining story that will keep you giggling! :)

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