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.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Job Proposal by Wendy Chen (Virtual Book Release Day Event)

In association with Diversion Books, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book release day event for The Job Proposal by Author Wendy Chen!

Author Guest Post

Fact or Fiction?

When people find out I'm a fiction writer they sometimes wonder if something they say or did will wind up in a book. What can I say, writers are always looking for material! I often don't have to look far for inspiration since real life can be humorous enough. In my first book, Liar’s Guide to True Love, the heroine accidentally wears two different black shoes. I actually did that once and had gone the entire day before I realized. (In my defense, I was pregnant and couldn't see my feet. And I apparently have too many pairs of black ballet flats.)

My friends and family do indeed influence aspects of the characters I write, and I wonder if they will recognize themselves in The Job Proposal. I have a lot of smart, caring girlfriends who manage to balance a career, friends, and family, just like Kate and her friends do. Outgoing, college-age Elizabeth is a mash up of a few friends who continue to inspire me with their joie de vivre and probably don’t even know it. Smaller details like how Kate is such an avid runner, was inspired by a friend who ran her first NYC marathon.

And well, I will let my husband keep thinking he inspires all my heroes.

About The Author

Wendy Chen was born and raised in New York City and now lives in northern Virginia with her husband and kids. She is the author of Liar’s Guide to True Love. When she isn’t working on her next novel, she can be found editing contemporary romances with Entangled Publishing. She has worked at The Washington Post, Random House, and iVillage.


The Job Proposal by Wendy Chen
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication Date: June 17, 2014 
Format: Paperback - 193 pages
             Kindle - 1890 KB
ISBN: 978-1626813106
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Contemporary Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Job Proposal

Book Description: 

All's fair in love and work.

Kate is enjoying being engaged—that it's a hoax is beside the point. To succeed at her ultra-conservative finance job she needs to reform her flighty, party-girl reputation, and a good old fashioned marriage of convenience is exactly what she needs to put her one step closer to the promotion of her dreams. But when Adam, Kate's best friend from high school, arrives for a visit, her perfect arrangement suddenly isn't so perfect anymore.

The nerdy boy she remembers from her teen years has grown into a gorgeous and successful man, and he's vying for her affection. Soon all the things Kate thinks she wants will change, and everything she doesn't know she needs, she may not be able to live without.

But will she be able to let down the walls she’s built to guard her heart and trade her fierce independence for love?

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One

Kate stayed perfectly still in her bed until she heard the telltale sound of the front door closing tightly behind her latest overnight guest before emerging from under her covers.

There was little better in life than being able to belt out your favorite song in the middle of a hot shower—especially after a particularly satisfying evening. She especially loved singing “Seasons of Love” from RENT because it reminded her of her high school glee club days in Michigan, when she only dreamt about living in New York City.

Big city life on the East Coast had always held appeal. But High School Kate, whose only friend was a fellow math team nerd, could never have imagined the casual dating lifestyle would suit her so well. She shuddered at the prospect of ever having to endure the kind of romantic angst she’d seen her friends go through. She remembered precisely when it happened, when she had that epiphanal moment that set her on a course toward romantic freedom. During their junior year at Columbia, one of her friends had sat on the couch, which had seen too many beer stains and who knows what else, bawling into a hand towel because they’d run out of tissues. “He didn’t caaaaalllll,” she’d wailed. “We had s-s-s-s-uch a g-g-g—ood tiiiiime.” She’d gone on to worse after that, even after she’d calmed down. “I feel so cheap,” she’d said. And just like that, Kate swore that no man would ever have that kind of power over her.

There was freedom in being able to enjoy the company of men on their own terms, Kate found. There was no pressure to impress, but all the reason to flirt and just have fun. The key, Kate found, was not to lower expectations, per se, but to keep her expectations to where they mattered most—in the bedroom. And indeed, she had high expectations in that realm. Last night’s companion fulfilled them nicely, and now she could get on with her day without checking her phone every five minutes to see if he’d texted.

“You’ve got quite a voice there.” Kate jolted her eyes open and stood up straighter, trying not to show too much surprise and annoyance at the intrusion. If she had wanted company, she certainly would not have feigned sleep during the entire time he was leaving a note on her bedside table. It was kind of sweet that he would write a note to say good-bye, and it was certainly more than she expected. Of course, if she’d thought the note mattered, she might have read it. “What song is that?” he asked.

Oh my God. She knew he was young, but she didn’t know he lived under a rock. “An old Broadway show tune.” She turned off the shower. “Hand me that towel, will you?” He obliged and turned his gaze away from her. Kate smiled. It was cute that he was embarrassed. There was a time in her life when she would have been embarrassed, too. “Don’t feel like you need to stick around,” she said, not unkindly. “You don’t need to worry about my morning after.”

“I got us breakfast!” he said excitedly. “I left you a note so you wouldn’t think I’d just left.” Kate followed him out to her little dining table, still wearing only a towel. “I got muffins, some oatmeal—I wasn’t sure what you’d want. Cappuccino and mocha and just straight-up coffee, too.”

“This is so unexpected.” He gave her a shy smile that made her think if she were a different kind of girl, she’d be grinning back at him, thinking this attraction was going somewhere. She picked at a muffin and sipped at the cap so his feelings didn’t get hurt.

“You’re sweet,” she said and meant it. He was sweet last night at the bar, too, catching her eye while he played guitar and sang cover songs. On his break, he sent over a drink and a cheesy poem written on a napkin—songwriter he clearly was not. A few years ago, she might have skipped the sex and anxiously awaited a phone call, to be asked to dinner, for flowers to be delivered at the office if the date went well. But she knew his type: the charmer who liked the thrill of the chase.

It always began with the usual optimistic anticipation—Will he call? He seemed interested, didn’t he? And the heady excitement that came with new attraction and romance. Then, right around the ninety-day mark, things would start to go awry, with that awkward “are we exclusive” conversation. (The more awkward the conversation, the louder the warning bells!) The next stage was around six months, when future vacations or holidays would need to be planned. Lots of guys made exits around then. Kate quickly learned it was a lot more fun to take a rule from their playbook and always keep the relationship fresh and new rather than deal with the inevitable discovery that it wasn’t true love.

“I’ve got to get in to work today, though, so I don’t want to keep you …”

“Work? It’s Sunday.”

“I’m working on a big deal—”

“OK, OK, I’ll just have breakfast while you get dressed. I’ll walk you to work.” The poor kid. Maybe he really was a good guy. That meant he was going to get his heart broken badly one day if he hadn’t already. She covered his hand with hers.

“Listen, Jake. The thing is, my fiancé will be getting home soon.” She was surprised at how easily the words rolled off her tongue. The end justified the means.

Jake bolted up from his chair as if someone had appeared with a shotgun aimed right at him. “Your fiancé? You have a fiancé?”

She swallowed the guilt she felt at seeing Jake’s stricken face. It was really better this way, better than trying to explain that he would come to regret getting mixed up with her. She was bound to disappoint him somewhere down the line, and it was better to send him off now, with the fresh memory of a great night together. And now he’d have a good story for his buddies—how he’d slept with an almost-married woman.

“Hey, hey, don’t freak out! It’s not like that,” Kate said, feigning defensiveness. “We have an open relationship. We just don’t rub it in each other’s face, that’s all. Common courtesy.”

Jake looked at her like she was some kind of crazy. But at least that was better than looking like he wanted to date her. This wasn’t supposed to be this awkward. She’d pegged him as the “that was great, I’ll see you around” mumbling type who headed for the door as quickly as he could. The first time that happened, she’d sat in her bed alone for hours, not quite knowing what to do. Then she’d come to realize that life was much simpler when you maintained control over your emotions and knew what to expect—and Jake would come to realize that, too.

No strings, no drama, no broken hearts.

After Jake left, Kate texted her girls.

This engagement thing really comes in handy.

Text copyright © 2014 by Wendy Chen

Permission to reproduce text granted by Diversion Books.

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