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Monday, August 4, 2014

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda by Tara Lee Reed (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 Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda by Author Tara Lee Reed!

Author Guest Post

Dating Books and Cookbooks

I think it’s probably a safe bet that I’ve read more dating advice books than you. You have to if you’re writing a book inspired by dating advice books and culture like my novel, Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda where you assume the role of Elle, making hundreds of decisions about your love life en route to 60 Happily Sometimes Afters.

Have I read all of the books? No. There are honestly too many to count. But I’ve read enough to know that if you try one that doesn’t work for you, there is always another.

Let’s say you want to improve your heart health with a nice swordfish, but even on the rare occasion you do manage to catch one, the recipe leaves you discreetly spitting it out in a napkin. So you go to Fish School (see what I did there?) and dive into a sea of experts who not only want to teach how you to reel in a tall, dark and handsome piece of…bass, but also tell you how to then grill (get to know him), or maybe season (change him) to taste.

And when your (taste)buds object to a particular dish, they’ll tell you to throw it back, because they know you’re a better cook than that. And while you’re disappointed (you put a lot of effort into getting ready for dinner), you still like fish, it’s just that one wasn’t a party in your mouth. Undeterred, you put on something “a-lure-ing” and cast a new (pick up) line, waiting to see who takes the bait. When you have your catch of the day, you approach him with a new recipe. Cleanse pallet and repeat.

Finding The Dish for you could take a while. Especially with so many different ways to prepare a fish. You could steam(y), poach (from another woman - not cool), or even bake (him cookies). And then, when you do finally find a tasty fish you’re happy with, other ones just start jumping into your boat. Isn’t that always the way?

Maybe you want to spice things up and add another to the mix instead of putting all your roe in one basket - I dig that. Or perhaps you want to keep it simple and master one dish at a time. You could be a fish and chips girl who will never understand how some people can eat raw tuna. Odds are, you’ll burn (and get burned) a lot in search of a dish you can call your own. Sometimes it starts out great, but overcooking dries it out. Your friends and family might not like it, or they’ll insist that next time you try their recipe – or worse, go see their fishmonger(’s son).

There will come times when you’re ready to give up on fish altogether; maybe go to restaurants and pay for it when you’re really in the mood. But odds are, you’ll find your signature dish, probably as a result of you subconsciously pulling a little bit from each recipe, and everything you’ve learned along the way, throwing lists and measurements out the window, just seeing what happens. And it will be delicious.

And when you gush to friends about it, one of them will undoubtedly ask you to share your recipe. And you’ll tell her how you did it, likely only for her to later tell you she’s not sure what she did wrong - it just didn’t come out right for her.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda . You’ll also find character-curated Pinterest boards and an Unofficial “Official” Soundtrack at

About The Author

Tara Lee Reed is the accidental writer from Toronto, Canada, not that chick from Sharknado. When her career in public relations was forced into hiatus by a jerky plot twist, she wrote the first in a series of interactive novels. When she received offers of single and multi-book deals from top houses, she turned them down to publish independently. Because she’s crazy. She was voted Most Sarcastic Female at her high school prom, which she went to alone. (Not that she thinks about it.) She can fit her whole fist in her mouth (which makes the prom thing surprising), and she can sing with her mouth closed, but she can’t do both at the same time.

Her tweets on The Bachelor have been aired in a live broadcast and picked up by national media. She once appeared on the cover of a romance novel with her longtime partner, who has done 79 more – with other women. She thinks that’s qualification enough to write this book.


Book Review

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda by Tara Lee Reed
Book 1: Once Upon A Theme
Publisher: Doorflower Co.
Publication Date: April 13, 2014
Format: Paperback - 529 pages
             Kindle - 2519 KB
ISBN: 978-0993781216
Genre: Chick Lit / Romantic Comedy

BUY THE BOOK: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

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:

“The End” is Only the Beginning.

Elle Masters is over dating. It used to be fun: the drama, the angst, the exhilarating beginnings, the bittersweet middles, the blowout endings. Then the tears, hangovers, rebounds, and another addition to the shoebox of memories in her closet. Now Elle can’t remember the last time a guy made his way into her box.

When her friends Rachel and Valerie insist she snap out of her post-breakup funk with a girls’ night out/rebound hunt at a San Francisco bar, Elle isn’t expecting tall, dark, and hummuna-hummuna, Nick Wright. This is no rebound guy. He’s definitely, maybe, The One.

In Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda, the interactive romantic comedy where you direct the plot, you play Elle as she and her pals put the “antics” in “romantics.” Get ready to question everything you thought you knew about love, over-analyzing and second-guessing your way through hundreds of modern dating dilemmas and passionate predicaments. Will you accept a last minute date? Freak out if Nick wants space? Be the first to use the ‘L’ word? Live in sin? Or hold out for a ring? Wait, do you even want a ring?

With 60 good, bad and inexplicable endings, you’ll always have another second chance at love with Mr. Wright.

Book Excerpt:


From section 325...

You wake to the sound of a… Is that a chicken?

“Buk, buk, bukka!”

It won’t stop, forcing you to stagger from your bed toward the noise. You wind up at the couch where you tossed your purse earlier. You reach inside for your phone, which is lit up with Valerie’s name. Rachel’s been programming ringtones again. You answer with a grunt.

“If you’re picking up the phone during sex, he’s not doing it right,” Rachel says.

Wha? Val?”

“I’m here, too,” she says, and you realize you’re on speaker. “Are we having a four way?”

“I’m alone.”

“And still asleep at noon,” says Rachel. “Telling.”

“Not much to tell.”

“Really?” asks Val cheerfully. “What time did you get home last night?”

“Home? Around 10:30? Ish.”

“Funny, your lights weren’t on.”

“Maybe a little later.” You yawn.

“I’ll say,” says Rachel. “Unless you weren’t the bright red spot in the foggy-windowed Camaro out front when we pulled in at three a.m.”

Of course.

“So a lot later. What do you want from me?”

“Details!” they say at once.

“Did your upper half stay above his lower half?” Val asks eagerly. Anyone who thinks your dainty friend is a prude is sorely mistaken.


“All right. Sheesh.” After a beat she says, “Did his?”

“Well- That’s a trick question.”

“How many bases?” ask Rachel.

“Not answering.”

Maybe two. Or three. What’s the difference between second and third base again?

“I warned you about wearing a fire engine red tube top and eff-me pumps on your first date,” says Val.

When your phone moos, Rachel exclaims, “Oh, you’ve got a text!”

It’s a message from Nick. “He’s inviting me over for a movie later.”

“Ooh, sticky situation,” teases Valerie. “You’re clearly warm for each other’s forms. What if his parents aren’t home to chaperone?”

“If you go, you’ll have to yay or nay a roll in the hay,” says Rachel.

“Dirty Dr. Seuss. I’d pay to read that.”

“I’d pay you to read it to me.” They laugh.

“Stop weirding me out. What do I do?” you ask.

“Like what we think matters,” snorts Val.

“Just listen to your vagina,” says Rachel, in a singsong voice. “It’ll tell you what to do.”

You hang up and think back to last night in Nick’s car. With Nick. And his mouth. And his manly man hands. And the sunrise. Instead of waiting around and wondering if he’s going to call, you could be with him again in just a few hours - with a couch between you instead of a gearshift. And no audience.

If you think coming attractions are safer in a theater, turn to section 49.

If you’re willing to risk giving into your attraction, turn to section 59.

My Book Review:

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda is an entertaining interactive romantic comedy that engages the reader to step into the shoes of Elle Masters as she journeys down the path of romance in search of elusive true love. The author sets up every chapter with romantic situations that you as Elle gets herself into only to have to choose between two intriguing steps to see how the situation ends. Hmmm ... which option would you choose? How will it work out for Elle? Will she find romance and true love?

Author Tara Lee Reed weaves an intriguing interactive romantic comedy that easily draws the reader into the variety of romantic situations that she sets up. It feels like the reader is given a romantic challenge with a variety of dating dilemmas and predicaments to figure out just how well they know the tricky thing called love. Being an inquisitive person, I found myself not able to settle for picking just one of the options at the end of each chapter, oh no not me, I had to go back and find out how the situation would end if I had picked the other option. Well done Ms. Reed, not only is this a brilliant way to get your readers to become completely invested in undertaking the romantic challenge, but to also get them to wonder and question "what if I had chosen the other option?," and then get them to go back and select the other ending!

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda is a fun romantic comedy with a new twist, give this one a chance, you won't be disappointed!


Contest Giveaway

Win A $35 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

July 14 – Relatively Yours – Guest Post
July 15 – Karma For Life Chick – Excerpt
July 16 – Reading in Black and White – Review& Excerpt
July 17 – eBook Addict – Review
July 18 – Chick Lit Club Connect – Guest Post
July 21 – Jiha’s File – Excerpt
July 22 – Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Excerpt
July 23 – Book Reviews and More by Dee – Guest Post & Excerpt
July 24 – Booknosh – Review July 24 – Booknosh – Guest Post
July 25 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
July 29 – Jess’s Book Blog – Review, Q&A & Excerpt 
July 30 – Tea Party Princess – Review & Excerpt
August 1 – Chick Lit Plus – Review 
August 4 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
August 6 – Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Review
August 7 – Two Children and a Migraine – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
August 7 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Guest Post
August 8 – The Book Geek Wears Pajamas – Review & Excerpt
August 11 – Karen’s Korner – Review


  1. Thanks so much for being a part of the tour!

    1. H Tara! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. I really enjoyed the interactive twist while reading a romantic comedy. :)