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, December 9, 2013

Zoey & The Moment Of Zen by Cat Lavoie (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 Zoey & The Moment Of Zen by Author Cat Lavoie!

Author Guest Post

Writerly Resolutions

I can't believe 2013 is almost over! The last few months have been particularly fun and exciting with the release of my second novel, Zoey & the Moment of Zen. And now I've started thinking about the year ahead. Instead of the usual promises that are usually broken by February—eat healthier, get more exercise and step away from the computer now and again—I'd like to share a few writing-related resolutions with you.

Frank Zappa was definitely right when he said: "So many books, so little time." Even though I'll never be one of those people who can read several books every month—as someone who reads extremely slowly, I'm insanely jealous of those people—I want to make more time for all the books currently on my To Be Read list. (But since that list grows longer every day, I doubt I'll never see the end of it. There are just too many great books out there.)

Before the publication of my debut novel, Breaking the Rules, I used to blog pretty regularly—even if it was just to post cute pictures of Abbie the Cat or talk about my novel's progress (or lack thereof.) I plan on being more involved with my blog in the New Year—even if it means posting random pictures of Abbie. (She loves all the attention.)

I have a confession to make—I hate writing reviews. Absolutely loathe it. Why? Because I am very bad at reviewing books. Over the last few years, I've learned that it takes a special kind of talent to write a concise and constructive review. And even if I truly enjoyed a book, writing a review scares me because I never know what to say beyond "I liked it." But since I've been reading a lot of indie books lately (and reviews are especially important for self-published and indie books) I will face my fear and flex my reviewing muscle in 2014.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that, someone who studied English Literature, must have read a TON of Jane Austen novels. Nope. Not a single one. In fact, I read my first Jane Austen novel a few years after graduating. I don't know why every professor I had skipped over Miss Austen, but they did. So I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do in the Jane department and I think 2014 will be the year to do it! (And I will also watch the TV and movie adaptations with period costumes and lovely British accents—added bonus!)

That's it for my writerly resolutions. I'd like to wish everyone a happy and healthy 2014! Here's to a great year filled with good times and awesome books. Cheers!

About The Author

Cat Lavoie lives in Montreal, Canada with her tempestuous cat, Abbie. Her debut novel, Breaking the Rules, was published in August 2012 by Marching Ink. If Cat isn't reading or writing, she's most likely watching too much TV or daydreaming about her next trip to London.


Book Review

Zoey & The Moment Of Zen by Cat Lavoie
Publisher: Marching Ink
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Format: Paperback - 318 pages / Kindle - 1519 KB / Nook - 774 KB
ISBN: 0985591455
ASIN: B00G3N18M2
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Zoey & The Moment Of Zen

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

When coffee shop owner Zoey Everwood takes her obsession with ex-boyfriend Braden too far, everyone—except Zoey—is convinced a bit of fun in the sun at the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort will help her get over him once and for all.

But Zoey's relaxing vacation turns out to be anything but peaceful when she meets Shane Lawson, a resort guest who bears a striking resemblance to Braden. And things get even more complicated when the resort's owner starts spilling secrets about Zoey’s aunt Nessa, the woman who raised her. Add a snarky Wellness Coordinator and Nate Holmes—Shane's grumpy friend—to the mix, and you've got the recipe for a perfect tropical storm.

When Zoey comes back home with a new husband instead of tacky souvenirs, she must convince everyone she hasn't completely lost her mind. As Zoey and Shane struggle to keep the magic alive outside the resort, Zoey discovers that she isn't the only one having trouble letting go of the past. And when Nate drops a bombshell that changes everything, Zoey must decide if the old saying is true—what happens at the Moment of Zen stays at the Moment of Zen.

Book Excerpt:

I definitely should have checked the restaurant's website before telling my friends Darlene and Dexter that this place is the new hot spot everyone is talking about. Chez Jean-Luc was probably all the rage at the turn of the century with its white lace tablecloths and matching doilies. But Dex and Dar don't seem suspicious of the fact that I asked them to drive to the middle of nowhere to eat here.

I stretch my neck and look at the entrance where the hostess is talking to a chubby blond man who looks nothing like my Braden. He should have been here twenty minutes—and three glasses of wine—ago. Maybe I misunderstand the voicemail or got the address wrong? I shake my head—impossible. I listened to the message twenty times. This is definitely the place.

I'm sure he's just late. In all the years I've known Braden, he's never been on time for anything. I've waited for him outside movie theaters, concert venues, and I've sat in countless restaurants like this one waiting for him to show up and make up a random excuse. That's just the way he is.

"Why do you keep looking at the door?" Dar asks, stabbing a piece of romaine lettuce with her fork. "Are we waiting for somebody?"

Before I can answer, Dex smiles and looks over at Dar. "Maybe Zoey thinks we're too boring and she can't wait to leave."

I shake my head. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dar and I have been best friends since we were kids and I've known Dex since college. I was maid of honor at their wedding last year and Braden was the best man. We're practically family.

I look up when a familiar voice makes its way to me and I feel the usual racing in my chest. Braden is talking to the hostess. He's smiling and––even though I can't see her face from where I'm sitting––I bet she's being charmed by the adorable dimples that frame his boyish grin and the way he runs his hand through his mop of unruly chestnut hair. And those piercing green eyes. It's a lethal combination.

"Of course we're not waiting for anybody," I tell Dar, quickly peeling my eyes away from the door. "I'm just looking for the waitress so she can give us more wine."

I look down at my seafood linguine and try to watch Braden from the corner of my eye. Dex and Dar haven't noticed him yet but then again, they wouldn't notice if a tornado ripped through this restaurant and catapulted us across town. They're too busy holding hands and looking deep into each other's eyes and being annoyingly in love.

The hostess guides Braden through the maze of tables and he sits down at a booth next to the window. After staring into the darkness of the parking lot for a minute, he takes his Blackberry out of his pocket and starts typing. He's probably texting his friend Mike. It always used to drive me crazy when he texted during dinner. The one and only time we went to couple's therapy, our counselor said that Braden's fear of commitment made him unable to be in the moment without looking for a way to escape. Braden was too busy texting Mike about the Mets game he was missing to make a comment. I was just happy he showed up for the session so I didn't ask him to stop and that–– also according to our therapist–– was the other half of the problem.

"Earth to Zoey," Dex says, waving his hand in front of my face. "You've barely said a word since we got here. Anything the matter?"

"Yeah, what's up?" Dar asks. "I've been meaning to ask you—have you tried talking to your aunt about expanding the shop again?"

I shake my head. "You know Nessa. She fears change like the plague. It took her ages to agree to let me change the design on our napkins. She'll never agree to expand the business even if it's a golden opportunity."

"Try again. She might surprise you," Dex says, turning around to get the waitress' attention. "Hey, wait. Isn't that...?"


My Book Review:

It's been over a year since Zoey Everwood's ex-boyfriend Braden broke up with her, but she can't seem to let him go ... in fact she has a stalker like obsession with him! When her obsession goes way overboard, Zoey's family and friends convince her to go away to the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort in Mexico, in the hope that she can put Braden and her obsession with him behind her, and move forward with her life. But for Zoey, getting in touch with her inner zen isn't the only thing she finds at the resort, she comes home with Shane Lawson, a Braden look-alike as her new husband!

Zoey & The Moment Of Zen is a thoroughly entertaining chick lit story that will keep the reader laughing-out-loud! In her second novel, author Cat Lavoie weaves a fun tale that follows Zoey Everwood's journey filled with zany antics, hilarious trials and tribulations, and well-meaning lapses in judgement. It's so easy to get drawn into Zoey's story: the humor, drama, and poignancy wraps itself around the reader and holds them captive until the surprising conclusion.

Zoey is a sassy, flawed, and realistic character who is likable and easy to relate to. You can't help but feel for Zoey as she struggles with her obsession with her ex-boyfriend and the realities of romance and marriage, and hope it all works out well for her in the end. With a engaging cast of secondary characters; witty dialogue and humorous interactions; a richly detailed description of the settings; and a storyline full of drama filled romantic twist and turns; Zoey & The Moment Of Zen is an enjoyable and perfect chick lit story to escape into on a long cold winter's day!


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

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Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

November 18 – Karen E Martin – Excerpt 
November 19 – Everything Books and Authors – Excerpt 
November 19 – Literary Chanteuse – Excerpt
November 20 – eBook Addict – Q&A
November 21 – Books Etc – Review
November 22 – Change the Word – Q&A
November 22 – Chick Lit Goddess – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
November 25 – Books Etc – Guest Post
November 26 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt 
November 27 – The East Village – Review
November 27 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Guest Post
November 29 – Annabel & Alice – Review
November 29 – Just Heard, Just Read, Just Seen – Review
November 29 – Just Heard, Just Read, Just Seen – Q&A
November 29- Just Heard, Just Read, Just Seen - Guest Post
December 2 – Karma For Life Chick – Excerpt
December 3 – eBook Addict – Review
December 4 – Romantic Escapes – Review
December 4 – Romantic Escapes- Q&A
December 4 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
December 5 – Lucie Simone – Review & Excerpt
December 6 – Book Mama Blog – Review
December 6 – Lucie Simone – Guest Post & Q&A
December 9 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt


  1. Love the resolutions Cat and so happy you loved the book Kathleen!

    1. I loved Cat's resolutions and reading Zoe, it was a fun story! Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.

  2. Thank you so much for having me, Kathleen! Thanks for the review!! :)

  3. Hi Cat! Zoe was such a fun read, it kept me entertained. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event.