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.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Author Guest Post: Randi M. Sherman, Author of Paula Takes A Risk

In association with Chick Lit Plus, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Randi M. Sherman, author of Paula Takes A Risk!

I was asked about the inspiration for the book Paula Takes A Risk. To be perfectly honest, the story was born out of my own desire for challenge and change. I grew up thinking that if I followed the rules, then I would have a good life. So I followed the rules, and I have a good life, a wonderful life. But did I follow my dreams? I didn't. Do I regret not taking risks and shaking things up? Absolutely!

I wondered: If I didn't do the right thing and I made bed decisions and mistakes, what could have happened? So, I created Paula, an average young woman with big dreams and made her take risks that would change what she thought about herself and her life.

Let's be honest, we all hope for a dream life. However, most of us are afraid or overwhelmed to make changes necessary to have it. This is the reality for the lead character in Paula Takes A Risk.

Paula's life is a disaster. She loses her job and boyfriend on the same day, and has no future prospects or plans. Life just isn't working out for her. Having only done what was expected of her, not making any waves, reading celebrity magazines, and believing the dream life is for everyone else but her - she now finds herself lost without a clue about what to do.

Life drastically changes for Paula, when she is unwittingly drawn into an adventure by her neighbor Larry, who is broke and deep in debt. She naively goes along with his plans and poses as a successful business woman to carry out an elaborate money making scheme. Too desperate, too afraid and too involved to step away, she lives a lie as she takes on a persona of the person she always wanted to be. Paula blossoms as she navigates her way through complex business and social situations until the whole plan starts to unravel. The scheme and lies are uncovered and what happens next will delight the reader.

Is the book autobiographical? Well, yes and no. All the characters in Paula Takes A Risk are either pieces of me or a compilation of people I know. I will admit that, yes, fear and naivete have gotten me into some hot water and yes, I've dated a lot of losers. But then, like Paula, I took a risk, stepped outside of what was comfortable and although scary at times, I started living the life I knew I was meant to have - sans the millions of dollars and perfectly toned body.

Recognizing that your dreams have values and are worth pursuing, no matter the risk, is the message in Paula Takes A Risk.

Dreaming is an affordable luxury - you don't have to buy a ticket or have special shoes.

About The Author:

Randi Sherman, a native Californian, lives in San Francisco. With her tremendous grasp of the obvious, Randi has always had the ability to find humor in the mundane and share the laughter. She dares to examine and discuss everyday foibles, which obliges people to stop taking themselves too seriously.

Developing characters and writing have been a part of Randi's life since she was a teenager, umm-mmum-mumm years ago. She spent time performing stand-up comedy at Los Angeles club amateur nights and studied Improvisation in the Bay Area. Realizing that she preferred having an income, living indoors and eating regularly, she reluctantly put her dreams on hold and entered the corporate world, yet never left behind her sense of humor and creative storytelling ability, skills which were not always appreciated during budget and strategy meetings.

Now, after living indoors for a while and eating, albeit too much, her book, Paula Takes A Risk is here. Randi's unique wit, writing style and candor will surely make the reader sit up, stand up, roll over or assume an interested leaning position and take notice.

Randi would never claim to have a genius IQ, the body of a super model or always have the right thing to wear. However, she can spell the words, "smart" and "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." Randi maintains a trim, well-toned body that is cleverly concealed beneath twenty pounds of soft protective layering and she has the appetite of a bird. (By "bird" I mean vulture.) Her entire wardrobe consists of black, black and varying degrees of black, except for those items that are covered with lint because she put them through the wash with a tissue.

Things that Randi cannot live without: people to laugh with, her car horn, a gym membership where there are chubby women who break into a sweat while putting on a jog bra, wine, waist capes, and her partner, Carol.

Randi does not like mean-spirited people, liver, left-overs, communal dressing rooms, tight underwear, and people who point.

Randi is five-foot-seven.

Randi M. Sherman's Paula Takes A Risk Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus

BUY THE BOOK: Paula Takes A Risk

Book Description: Paula Takes A Risk

After thirty-four years of just letting life happen to her, Paula Tenenbaum's mundane existence was suddenly interrupted. It was bad enough to be fired from her job because she was "average," but on that same day, her boyfriend also dumped her being "un-dynamic." Somehow, someway, Paula needed to make a change. But before she could figure out what her first step should be, her scheming neighbor Larry tapped into her silent desperation and dreams and challenged everything that she believed about ehrself. At first Paula was skeptical and scared, but quickly, she realized that she nothing to lose, as she donned the persona of the successful, and vibrant individual that she had always dreamed of being, navigating thru business, colorful personalities and the people that she had idolized from afar. Written with sharp humor, and huge personality, Paula Takes A Risk is the hilarious story about the metamorphosis of Paula Tenenbaum, who naively enters into an adventure that changes her life. This is a story certain to strike a chord in anyone who secretly desires change, but is afraid to make it.

Book Excerpt: Paula Takes A Risk

Paula was jolted awake by the sound of the telephone ringing. It took her a minute to realize where she was. She looked around, saw the empty bottles and realized that she must have passed out from drinking so much and spent the night on the living room couch. During the night, her violet jersey dress had worked its way upward and twisted itself around her neck. Paula noted a strange tingling sensation in her legs. She couldn’t move them. Had she done some neurological damage to herself due to her massive consumption of alcohol? Had she pinched a nerve? She panicked. Oh my God! I’m paralyzed now! She managed to calm down a little when she realized that the tingling was caused because the control-top of her pantyhose twisted over the smooth Spanx material and cut off the circulation to her lower body. She dragged herself to a sitting position, then tugged and struggled out of the tangled layers of spandex and elastic. By this time, the answering machine had clicked on. She could hear that it was her mother leaving a message with about twenty questions about the past night’s events.

“So, how did it go? How did he propose? Call me back as soon as you get this message. I’m so excited for you. We can plan to go shopping for wedding dresses. White is fine, but you need to remember that you are thirty-four years old and ...”

Paula fell back on the couch and pulled a cushion over her head. The reality of the past twenty-four hours hit her like a freight train. Paula felt a heavy gray cloud of depression approaching. And why not? She was unemployed. She had no money in the bank. The man she thought she was going to marry had unceremoniously dumped her. She was hung-over. And now she would have to explain it all to her mother. She closed her eyes and wished it would all go away.

Video - Paula Takes A Risk