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, August 27, 2012

Fatty Patty by Kathleen Irene Paterka (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Kathleen Irene Paterka, author of Fatty Patty!

Author Guest Post

This Is Beautiful

I believe in telling the truth, so let’s get right to it. I was born fat, tipping the scales at over 9 lbs. A chubby baby, a chunky little girl, I eventually exploded into a fat teenager who never had a date, never went to her high school prom, and never thought a boy would ever want to kiss her, let alone marry her. By the time I graduated from high school, I weighed 300 lbs. Granted, I’m 5’11”, and maybe I wore the extra weight better than someone shorter than me. But facts are facts, and FAT is FAT. No one but another overweight person understands the pain of what it is like to live in a society which worships the concept of Thin is Beautiful.

By the time I started college, I was convinced I would always be fat. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. It took a few years, but eventually I got down to the weight I am today: 153 lbs., which is perfect for my height. I feel good at this weight, and I’ve maintained it for nearly 35 years. And though the outside of me looks different than when I was in high school, I still have that fat little girl living inside me. She’s the one who whispers in my ear ‘Who do they think they're kidding?’ when other people pay me compliments, saying how nice I look or how slender I am. My husband (yes, I’m married, and have been for 32 years to the greatest guy in the world) tells me every day that I am the most beautiful woman in the world. Mostly I don’t believe him, but some days I actually do.

It’s been hard to learn to trust my instincts… probably because I spent so many years being judged by the way I looked. But I no longer buy into the advertising myth that Thin is Beautiful. I’ve come to terms with the way I look, and frankly, at this point in my life, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ll never be able to recapture my teenage years and live them over again at a normal weight, but that’s okay. I’ve made my peace with the past, and I’m happy with who I am today. And God bless that fat little girl I was, once upon a time. I’m eternally grateful to her. She helped me become the woman I am today.

So that’s my story, and one reason I wrote Fatty Patty. It is my debut novel, and the first of four from The James Bay Novels series. Patty Perreault, the overweight heroine, has struggled with self-esteem issues all her life. Her childhood nickname was Fatty Patty, and though she’s an adult, Patty still remembers the cruel childhood taunts from the very same school playground where she is now a teacher. The novel deals with Patty’s struggle to confront her self-esteem issues, put down the fork and give her heart a try.

What about you? Do you think Thin is Beautiful? Do you view fashion models on the covers of women’s magazines and wish you could look like them? Are you happy with the way you look on the outside? Are you happy with how you feel on the inside? Do you think it’s important for a person’s inside and outside to match?

If you’re interested in learning more about me and my struggles (as well as Patty’s) to overcome dieting dilemmas, please visit my website at You can also check out my Facebook author page at If you like what you see, please click ‘like’!

About The Author:

Kathleen Irene Paterka fell in love with writing (and food) at a very young age. By the time she graduated high school, she’d completed her first manuscript and she weighed 300 lbs. Though the extra pounds have long since disappeared, Kathleen still carries the emotional scars of being a former fatty. Fatty Patty was born from the cruel teasing she endured on the school playground. Kathleen is the author of numerous novels which embrace universal themes of home, family life and love, including the Women's Fiction series, "The James Bay Novels". Kathleen is the resident staff writer for Castle Farms, a world renowned castle listed on the National Historic Register, and co-author of the non-fiction book For The Love Of A Castle, published in 2012. Having lived and studied abroad, Kathleen's educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Michigan University. She and her husband live in the beautiful north country of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Kathleen loves hearing from readers.

Kathleen Irene Paterka's Fatty Patty Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card

Click on Kathleen Irene Paterka's Fatty Patty Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus and post a comment to enter the contest to win a $25 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Fatty Patty before August 27th and sends their receipt to, will get five (5) bonus entries!

Book Review

Fatty Patty by Kathleen Irene Paterka
Published By: Kathleen Irene Paterka
Release Date: May 5, 2012
Format: Paperback - 380 pages / Kindle - 454 KB / Nook - 1 MB
ISBN: 0985512105
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Fatty Patty

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:

Small towns, long memories. Everyone in the exclusive summer resort of James Bay, Michigan remembers Fatty Patty, the chubby little girl with the round face and wild red curls. All grown up now, Patty Perreault teaches at the same elementary school where the painful playground memories still taunt her. She hasn’t forgotten the cruel nickname—plus she still hasn’t lost those extra pounds. Convinced her weight is the biggest reason why she’s a four time loser in the semi-finals for Teacher of the Year, Patty resolves to make some changes in her body and her life.

Sam Curtis, an overweight accountant she meets at the community pool, swims into Patty’s life with romance on his mind. But as their friendship grows, Patty finds it hard to see beyond his extra pounds. She’s torn as Sam refuses to deal with his own overweight issues. Her heart tells her one thing, but her eyes see another. She’s not interested in an overweight boyfriend. When it comes to winning the Grand Prize in life and love, Patty has some hard lessons to learn. Will she be able to confront her fears about the kind of woman she yearns to be? Will she be able to put down the fork and give her heart a try?

Book Excerpt:

I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs. If chocolate is like a drug, I probably qualify for Chocoholics Anonymous. But first, I’d have to be willing to give it up. Which I’m not. I’m not an addict. Besides, everyone deserves a treat now and then. And I’ve been good for so long—how many days now?— and I’ve only lost four pounds.

Tyler offering me that cookie on the playground earlier this morning started the ball rolling. All day long, I couldn’t let go of the thought of chocolate. And instead of hitting the pool on my way home from school, I detoured to an out-of-the-way party store on the other side of town where I grabbed a six-pack of my favorite candy bars. Why? There’s got to be a reason. But at the time, I didn’t want to think about the why. I didn’t want to think, period.

I just wanted the chocolate.

The first candy bar was gone as soon as I hit the car, before I even fastened my seatbelt. I barely tasted it as it slid down my throat and it only whetted my appetite for more. I ripped into the lush caramel and rich dark chocolate of the second one as I nosed the car out of the parking lot. I gnawed through the third wrapper with my teeth as I pulled into traffic.

And now that Priscilla’s finally off to bed, the other three are waiting.

I creep up the stairs, school bag in hand, and slip through my bedroom door. I throw the lock, then flop on the bed in the darkness. Moonlight filtering through the window is my only witness as I peel the wrapper off the fourth candy bar, settle back in the pillows and savor the lush sweetness filling my mouth. I’ve deprived myself far too long. The second gooey bite is even better than the first. Chocolate bliss. I’ve died and gone to heaven.

Polishing off the fifth candy bar takes a little longer. The craving is gone and I force myself to finish. I’m in no rush to unwrap the sixth candy bar. My stomach feels queasy. Maybe it would be better to stash it somewhere and save it for later. But if I don’t eat it now, that one last candy bar will be staring me in the face tomorrow morning… a big gooey reminder of what I’ve done. I rip off the wrapper and stare at the chocolate. Tomorrow, I promise myself. Starting tomorrow, I’ll put myself on a brand new diet. Starting with breakfast.

My Book Review:

The outward appearance is not what's important ... it's the inner beauty that counts when it comes to achieving self-acceptance and finding love and happiness in your life. This is one woman's journey of self-discovery to overcome her weight issues through self-acceptance, while receiving some hard life lessons along the way.

Patty Perreault is a fifth grade elementary school teacher from James Bay, Michigan, who has dealt with the daily struggles of being overweight since childhood. She now teaches at the very same elementary school, where painful playground memories of being taunted with the cruel nickname Fatty Patty has not been forgotten.

With a new school year starting, Patty is determined to lose weight so that she could finally win the coveted Bay County Teacher of the Year contest that has eluded her for the past four years. Her mantra is: "Brand new school year, brand new body, brand new Patty!" Patty's fraternal twin sister Priscilla is there for her with moral support, but she only adds to Patty's low self-esteem as she was the one born as the thin delicate beauty.

Patty meets Sam Curtis, a beefy overweight accountant, while swimming laps at the community pool. A friendship develops between them, but Sam is interested in more than just a friendship, while Patty can't seem to get past the issue of his weight to let the relationship blossom beyond a friendship. And then there is Nick, Patty's co-worker who she considers the "perfect man."

Will Patty deny herself the chance at a meaningful relationship because of outward appearances? Or will she discover that the only important thing that matters most is the inner beauty of a person?

Fatty Patty is a refreshing and emotional story of one woman's journey to overcome her issues with her weight while learning that self-acceptance and inner beauty is what matters the most. Written in the first person narrative by our protagonist, Patty Perreault, she takes the reader along on her emotional journey as she deals with the issues of her relationship with food, her weight and love, these are universal issues which anyone can easily relate to.The author weaves a thoughtful tale about a touchy subject in a society in which we live in worships the concept that "thin is beautiful," instead of seeing the negative effects that it has on people, especially young girls and women. This story has a lot of depth and emotion, it portrays a brutal and honest insight into a woman's battle with accepting who she really is, no matter if she is thin or overweight. It's a heartwarming story that provides much food for thought.

The author has created a cast of characters who are realistic, believable and easy to relate to. I was intrigued by Patty, she is a woman who has her flaws and issues just like the rest of us. I found her to be quirky, brutally honest, and even a touch superficial and mean at times which I did not like, but haven't we all had moments that we're not proud of in our lives? I really enjoyed the supporting cast of characters: Patty's fraternal twin Priscilla, who I absolutely loved because of her kindness, love and moral support that she gave to Patty; Sam, Patty's love interest, for being a down-to-earth nice guy who is comfortable in his own skin; and Nick, Patty's fellow fifth grade teacher/co-worker, who is "the perfect guy," but is he really the perfect one for Patty? The romantic love triangle between Patty, Sam and Nick was definitely an entertaining part of the story. As a whole, the character's individuality, dialogue and interactions made this story a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Fatty Patty is a wonderful story of transformation, self-acceptance and finding love and happiness. It is a story that anyone can relate to. This is the debut novel for author Kathleen Irene Paterka. The author does a wonderful job of capturing the true essence of the perception of what is considered "beautiful" in our society today, and addressing the effect that the issue of weight continues to plague so many people.



  1. Hi Kathleen,

    From one Kathleen to another, I am so glad that you enjoyed Patty's story. It was a difficult one to write, for Patty definitely had a mind of her own! Priscilla, Sam and I did our best to calm her down, but Patty just continued going off on her wild tangents.

    Facing our inner demons isn't easy... especially when you have to face yourself in the mirror every day and you don't especially like what you see. Patty is such an emotional creature, and the bathroom mirror never lies. But neither does the mirror we keep inside ourselves. Maybe it's time to stop listening to all the chatter society crams inside our heads, and instead, begin listening to that small still voice inside our hearts, the one that tells us that we ARE okay, that we ARE worth it.

    Although Patty’s journey is her own and not mine, I believe the story speaks to eternal truths that all of us face as individuals, men and women alike. Each of us has things we keep buried inside us; secrets we’re afraid to expose, to drag out into the light of day. Some of us will never let those secrets go, preferring to keep our hands in the cookie jar and our hearts clamped shut. But painful as it might be, there’s also bliss to be found in finally admitting the truth. It’s a wonderful feeling to finally be able to live your life free of the fear that you’ll be eaten alive.

    "Thin is beautiful?? I say, step out into the world, no matter what your size, and celebrate being YOU!


    1. Hi Kathleen! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event. I appreciate you sharing more of your thoughts with us. :)

  2. What a way to end the tour :) Thanks for taking part!

    1. Thanks Samantha! Thank you for the opportunity to red, review and host the virtual book tour event. :)

  3. I loved this author guest post! I have struggled with weight my whole life, too, and it is such a complex issue. So much contributes to weight gain (genes, socio-economic status, home environment, marketing, peer pressure, family, etc.) that it just isn't easy to simply say, "lose weight," "eat less," "exercise more." There is no one size fits all solution, and while I applaud both those who have put in the work to lose weight and those who have embraced their curves, I think the true issue at stake is whether or not one is healthy. Not whether or not one is fat or thin. I'm a plus size. I eat fairly well (though I do have a chocolate chip cookie problem), I exercise regularly (I'm a yoga teacher) and my doctor says my check ups are good. But I still struggle. I work on self-acceptance and self-improvement. It's an unending journey. And liked said, it's complex.

    1. Hi Lucie! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your comments with us! I'm glad you enjoyed Kathleen's author guest post and that it resonated with you. :)