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, August 25, 2012

Ripple The Twine by Jenn Flynn-Shon (Author Guest / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Jenn Flynn-Shon, author of Ripple The Twine!

Author Guest Post

How Boston Sports Love Helped Me Write My First Novel
By Jenn Flynn-Shon

Much like Sara Quinn, the main character in my Chick-Lit novel Ripple The Twine, I’m a tomboy and I was raised to follow the Boston sports teams. As a little kid I’d hang out with my grandfather while he (took a nap) watched the Red Sox games in the summers. By Junior High I’d gained an interest in football and watched The Patriots most ever Sunday afternoon in the fall and winter. It was also right around this time that I remember hearing my dad used to play hockey back in high school and that my mom and aunt were big fans of the Boston Bruins as teenagers.

Knowing nothing about hockey at the time, I decided to check it out. And what I discovered was - WOW - what a fast paced sport! Baseball was so slow; I could understand why my grandpa used to fall asleep. Even football was slow with setting up of plays and so many commercials. Not to mention, this was back in the really, really slim years of Boston sports fandom when there wasn’t very much to cheer about even when there was some action on the screen. This was also about the time I broke away from my diary and started writing fiction.

When I got to high school my love for hockey started to really take shape. I went to Bruins games with family and friends and even attended most of our high school team’s games as well. I hung out on weekends and watched the Red Sox in the summer. I never missed a single home football game during my four years of high school. Sundays and Monday nights I loved watching the Patriots. Watching athletes was fun and part of the Boston cultural experience, who knew I was banking all the cheers and boos for research for a book!

Over the past twenty years I’ve found myself studying the ins and outs of how a sport is played, not just if the team wins or loses. Plus, the community spirit of being able to come together by the thousands and cheer for a single purpose is truly unmatched in anything else. Sports, much like movies or books, allow me an opportunity to forget, even for just a few hours, about all the priorities and responsibilities that exist in my life outside of fandom.

I decided to take the advice of almost every single published Author on the planet when I started working on the first inklings of Ripple The Twine Ripple - ‘write what you know’. I’m a tomboy so it was a no brainer that Sara would be a tomboy too. I wanted her to really have a deep appreciation for one of the teams in Boston and I chose hockey because of the time of year I set the book – late spring*.

Little did I realize there would be so much I never knew about the sport. I started watching games with renewed vigor and my aunt and I spent quite a few evenings at The Garden attending Bruins games together. I researched on as many different hockey sites as possible and I read countless articles on players, new rules, lockouts and team expansions. I made Sara a freelance Sportswriter.

I finished the first round of major edits in fall 2010. And wouldn’t you know it, the Bruins decided to have a banner season in 2010-2011 – they won a Stanley Cup for the first time in my lifetime! There was no better season to have done research about post season play and every time I had Sara discussing hockey or going to a game I infused my own energy for the game into her experiences.

For a Boston girl it would be difficult to grow up without at least a little love for one (or more) of the Boston teams. For Sara that team had to be the Bruins and for me it didn’t hurt that I could do one of my favorite activities – go to games – as part of the research for making Ripple The Twine as believable as possible.

* To clarify late spring as related to the four major professional sports: I’ve never been a big basketball fan so I didn’t consider that Sara would be a Celtics fan, the Pats aren’t playing at that time of year and baseball season is just getting started while hockey’s is coming into post-season / playoffs.

About The Author:

Jen Flynn-Shon is an Author, born and raised in the Boston, Massachusetts area but currently living and working in Phoenix, Arizona. She quite happily lives, child-free, with her husband in the Valley of the Sun. She is an avid recycler, upcycler, and refuser of superfluous things. Love of sports is a cultural experience, an almost mandated way of life for most Bostonians, and Jenn is no exception to that rule. Jenn loves to travel, read, spend time with family and friends, and blog. "Ripple The Twine" is her first fiction novel.

Jenn Flynn-Shon's Ripple The Twine Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus

Book Review

Ripple The Twine by Jenn Flynn-Shon
Published By: Writesy Press
Release Date: April 1, 2012
Format: Paperback - 324 pages
ISBN: 0615622887
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Ripple The Twine

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:

A Tomboy-meets-Townie love story and tale about how friendship can save your life. Sara Quinn is a Sportswriter from Boston and over the past year she has started to earn major respect in the local market. In the process, however, she abandoned her personal relationships and put her emotions in the box. Regardless of her self-imposed timeout, a friend introduces her to Ben. With blue eyes, black hair and a brogue, he's her ultimate triple threat. But they connect just as Sara learns that her friends are facing heavy emotional crises. She starts offering advice, becoming a rock for everyone else, and in the process Sara unearths her own long dormant insecurities. But a bag of peanut butter cups and a hockey game won't fix her issues. She's got to move past her emotional past without hiding behind her career for once. She needs her friend's support as much as they need hers and the four will quickly discover that, when they stick together, their offense is virtually unstoppable.

Book Excerpt:

                                             Chapter Seven

Quick Whistle: The official will whistle the play "dead" with the puck still visible. This often draws an unfavorable reaction from hometown crowds especially when the whistle negates a perceived scoring chance for the home team.

“I have no idea what the hell I’m doing going to this silly dinner tonight. Please talk me out of this.” Sara said. She stood in front of her full length mirror and fiddled with the neck of her shirt.

“Are you freaking kidding me? Look babe, you so need a date. Really, all you do is sit in your house and write or come to The Rose. You have got to get out and meet someone.”

Once it started to sink in that her mother was setting her up on a blind date, Sara’s one time nerves of steel faded into rusted flecks of iron on the breeze. Sara had decided Perth would be the one to give her an excuse for how to get out of the fix up. Sara had informed Perth that Paul was a lawyer, homeowner, allegedly gorgeous, apparently never married and that he had no children. Suddenly, her best friend was a highly uncooperative participant in Sara’s plan.

“Thanks… friend. Or should I just call you Mother?”

“I don’t care if it’s a set up by your mother, this guy sounds unreal. You can try that pity crap but the only one feeling bad is you. I know the way you critique yourself but you look amazing and regardless, you deserve a fling at least.”

“Perth, you know I’m wicked conservative. I can’t just jump into bed with someone I just met. I mean, my mother never even mentioned his last name. How can I possibly have a fling with someone when I don’t even know his last name?”

“Because sweetie, that’s just it. I am talking about a fling, last names are for guys you plan to marry, and then it’s only for the invitations.”

“Please don’t be flip, I’m not kidding.”

“Yeah well neither am I. Go and meet him, have a couple glasses of wine, flirt the way you do at The Rose and then bring the boy home. I’m not talking a lifelong commitment here. I beg you, just get some before you go loopy and take the rest of us down with you.”

“I’ll think about it.”

Sara wasn’t surprised that her friend could have so easily changed her mind in such short order; it had been far too long since she had some good naked fun with anyone. And she was stressed about work.

“Truth? Don’t listen to your mother. Listen to the person who really knows you. Me. Have fun and, you know, show him that move you do with your hips every Thursday on the dance floor.”

Sara fumbled with her mascara wand as she sharply inhaled then laughed into the receiver. She had never been as comfortable talking about sex as Perth; even after all those years Sara still got embarrassed by her friend’s many comments.

“Hey watch it, you almost made me ruin my outfit.”


“OK, um, my boot cut Levis.”

“The ones that show off your butt or the black ones?”

“The butt ones.”

“Yup, nice.”

“Brown boots.”

“Which ones?”

“Those ones with the back zipper, I think I got them with Robyn but they’re really cute and have a little leather flower on the outer ankle.” Sara paused and watched as her face in the mirror flashed back a look of contemplation. “But I highly doubt he’ll be looking at them all that closely so I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Oh, and my garnet top.”

“That low dipping, sleeveless, cowl neck one you got when we went out last month?”


Sara was instantly pensive with her response. The tone in Perth’s voice suddenly made Sara question if her friend thought the outfit made her look too desperate.

“Yeah, that’s hot. It’ll look even better on your floor tomorrow morning after you wake up to find he snuck out before the sun came up.”

“Perth! Come on, I don’t want to look slutty, just…good.” Sara heard Perth laugh. “Great. I need to change.”

“Okay, I’m sorry. Don’t change, it looks fantastic on you and think of how easy it will be for him to take it off.” Her friend giggled and Sara rolled her eyes, Perth was pathological. She should have been used to her best friend’s frankness but Sara still turned tomato red.

“Ugh. Alright, I’m running late and you know my mother will be all frantic. I don’t know if this guy can even carry on a conversation. Guess we’ll see.”

“Sweetie the only thing he has to know how to say is ‘how can I please you?’”

My Book Review:

A love story about a Tomboy and a Townie ... and the powerful bond of friendship that can change one girl's life.

Sara Quinn is a thirty-something single tomboy, who grew up loving her Boston sports teams (especially the Boston Bruins) so much that she became a Boston sportswriter. Dedicated to her career and reaping the benefits of success, she has decided to take a break from the dating/relationship scene. Sara has a tough exterior that shields her from the dramas of love, only to mask the pain from a devastating past breakup. Always the one to lend advice to her friends, Sara and her three best friends lean on each other for support during difficult times. When a cute "Townie" named Ben is introduced to Sara, sparks fly but self-doubt rears its ugly head, but with the support of Ben and her friends, Sara will have to learn to deal with her emotional past and insecurities in order to find love and happiness.

Ripple The Twine is such a fun read, it has a mixture of romance and sports, what more could you ask for?  Written in the third person narrative, this quirky little story easily draws the reader into Sara's journey of self-discovery, as she tries to deal with her insecurities in order to find a balance that will allow love, friendship and happiness in her life.

As a hopeless romantic and sports nut, I loved this debut novel from author Jenn Flynn-Shon, it fulfilled all that I could ask for in a story. Only thing that made me go "ewww" was that Sara's from Boston and therefore a Boston sports fan ... this NY Yankees, Philadelphia Flyers, and Dallas Cowboys fan had to set aside my dislike for all the Boston sports teams ... lol ... but seriously I loved the sports lingo and the rich details and descriptions.

The cast of characters are realistic and unique individuals whose personalities and issues are easy for the reader to relate to. I loved the individuality of each of the four friends: Sara, Perth, Robyn and Edward; but I also loved the strong friendship bond that they shared. I really enjoyed Sara's character, she is a strong, independent woman who has a soft side hidden underneath the tough exterior she puts out, and I couldn't help but feel for her, and hope that her journey of self-discovery would lead her to find happiness and love. I would be remiss if I didn't talk about Ben ... I loved, loved, loved his Boston "Townie" accent and lingo, it reminded me so much of Ben Afflect's character in the 2010 movie, The Town. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life with their individual stories, their strong bond of friendship, as well as their dialogues and interactions, it made the story that much more of an entertaining and compelling read.

Ripple The Twine is a lighthearted chick lit story that is about real life issues that has romance, friendship and a sports twist added to the mix. This is a fun and easy read that will surely keep you entertained. Kudos to author Jenn Flynn-Shon on your wonderful debut novel!



  1. I knew I was taking a chance sending this off to Jersey that perhaps you could be a Yanks fan...but I never would've expected the Flyers...bummer ;-) heehee

    Thanks so much for featuring me and for such a great review Kathleen, I can't tell you how much I appreciate this!

    1. Hi Jenn! I loved the story, even though it did feature the dreaded Boston sports scene that I dislike, but there's nothing better than a little Yankees-Red Sox and Flyers-Bruins rivalry. lol ;p

      Born and raised in South Jersey, it is Philly Sports country but I hate the frigging Eagles, like the Phillies and love the Flyers ... I can't stand the Devils and my heart belongs to my Yankees! Just call me a sports rebel, everyone thinks I am! lol ;p

      Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event for Ripple The Twine. I look forward to reading more of your books! :)

  2. Thanks for being in the tour Kathleen!

    1. Hi Samantha! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host Jenn's virtual book tour event, I really enjoyed reading the book! :)