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.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Cat Lavoie, author of Breaking the Rules!

Author Guest Post

How I Got Into Writing

I grew up with my nose stuck in a book. I was the kind of kid who begged the teacher to stay inside during recess so I could go to the back of the classroom and sit in front of the little bookshelf and read. No running around the playground for me. Looking back, I don't think I read as much as devoured these books—taking them off the shelf, reading a few pages and putting it back before reaching for another. I couldn't get enough.

Library Day was my favorite day of the week when I was in elementary school. Our teacher paraded us to the other end of the school and we were let loose to (quietly) explore the rows of books and exchange our old books and pick new ones for the week. Needless to say that I was like a kid in a candy store. Since it usually only took me a few days to go through all my books, Library Day could not come soon enough.

One of my most vivid childhood memories is from the day I forgot to bring back my old books from home. I was ten years old. I had put them in a bag next to the front door and—hearing the rumble of the school bus making its way down our street—had grabbed my school bag and left the books behind. "No books for you," my teacher said. "You're just going to have to wait until next Library Day. You can read as much as you want while we're here but you can't check new books out." Disaster. I sat in the corner as my classmates walked around arms loaded with colorful books. My expedition to the candy store had turned into a nightmare—I was the only kid who had forgotten to bring her money.

Growing up in a small French-Canadian town, I was one of the few students who attended the English elementary school. Books—and especially books in English—were not widely available. The ones we did have, I wanted to read—and now I was being denied. There was no Amazon, no e-readers. The small city library was across town, which was—in my head—half a world away. So what did I do? I cried. Hot tears trailed down my cheeks as I sat in that corner and finally—a few minutes before we were supposed to go back to class—my teacher said I could pick two books to read until the next Library Day. I remember how relieved I felt. I wouldn't be leaving empty-handed. My eyes couldn't move fast enough as I scanned the shelves and decided on the two novels that would be going home with me that night.

That memory—which always brings a smile to my face—is what comes to mind when I ask myself why I grew up to be a writer. Many years have passed but—deep down—I'm still that shy, quiet kid in awe in front of a stack of books. Not much has changed. As a child, books were my world. And now my world revolves around writing books of my own.

About The Author

Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil.

An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either.

Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve). Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.

Cat Lavoie's Breaking the Rules Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card

Click on Cat Lavoie's Breaking the Rules 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 Breaking the Rules before September 10th and sends their receipt to, will get five (5) bonus entries!

Book Review

Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie
Published By: Marching Inc. LLC
Publication Date: August 8, 2012
Format: Paperback - 368 pages / Kindle - 785 KB / Nook - 303 KB
ISBN: 0985591498
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Breaking the Rules

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

When twenty-seven year old Roxy Rule’s best friend and roommate accepts a glamorous new job overseas, she expects their relationship to continue as it’s always been—carefree and easy—until they share a heart-stopping kiss moments before his departure. Overcome with mixed emotions, she fights the urge to over analyze the situation and resumes back to her normal life in New York City, working for an intolerable boss at a dead end job, creeping further and further away from her own dreams of becoming a professional chef.

While things become more complicated between her and Ollie, Roxy is sure that nothing can come between two lifelong best friends—not even mild jealousy over a thriving career or a silly little kiss that meant nothing. In fact, it was such a meaningless and forgettable kiss that she convinces herself that it’s not even worth mentioning to her fiancé, although it is all she can think about.

Roxy’s already topsy-turvy life only gets more complicated when her sisters Steffi and Izzie suddenly become her roommates. Steffi is six months into a pregnancy she refuses to discuss and Izzie is in the throes of a premature midlife crisis. Roxy tries to take control of her career, her love life and her sisters – but can she really handle it all? And can the Rule family keep it together – or break under the pressure?

Book Excerpt:

"Go on," I urge, relieved that we might finally be getting somewhere with the wedding plans.

"I just booked us two open tickets to St. Thomas. Private resort. Villa overlooking the water. We can go swimming with the dolphins and take scuba-diving lessons and spend all day on the beach. I've got great brochures to show you."

So I guess we're way beyond discussing the wedding planner now. Ethan knows I've been dreaming of going to Paris since I was a kid. We haven't discussed—or argued—about it yet, but I always assumed Paris would be an option for our honeymoon.

"Sweetie. I was hoping we could discuss the honeymoon. You know I've always wanted to..."

"Actually, I was thinking we could have the whole thing there. The wedding and the honeymoon."

"What about my mom?" I stammer. "My mom hates to fly. She won't even get on a plane to visit Steffi in San Francisco. And we’ll never be able to get the entire Covington clan to St. Thomas. Don’t you have something like fifty cousins?"

"How about we do it just you and me? On the beach. Alone."

"Oh." My head spins and I sit down on a kitchen chair. I have no idea what to say. A part of me thinks that Ethan's plan sounds romantic, while the other part wants to scream and throw something.

"I have to go, darling," Ethan says before I have a chance to say anything. "We'll talk about it later. We still have time to figure out the details. Love you."

"Me too," I finally say to the dial tone.

The important thing is that we get married—everything else is just details, right? I'm not like my friend Emma who's been planning her wedding day since she was five years old and who constantly flips through huge stacks of dog-eared bridal magazines with notes in the margins.

No, when I was seven and told my mom that Barbie and Ken were thinking of getting married, it caused quite the commotion in our house. Mom walked around the living room asking me if Ken was really committed to Barbie and would Barbie be able to stand on her own two feet if Ken left her. She thought they should wait until they were both mature enough to understand the emotional and financial impact of their decision before they got married. And then Dad started arguing about how you can't interrupt the course of true love and declared that those two crazy kids should throw caution to the wind and get married if their love was pure and true. I guess that's what you get when your mother is a feminist social worker and your father is a professor of Victorian literature. I'm sure that, twenty years later, I still couldn't get them to agree on what I should do.

Should I consider Ethan's proposal of a destination wedding? It might be romantic. Just the two of us with our feet in the sand while we sip a margarita and watch the sunset. But how am I going to break the news to my mother? How is she going to react when I tell her that she won't be at my wedding, but Pablo the Cabana Boy will?

And why is Ethan bringing this up? He knows that Ollie's party is the most important thing for me right now. The wedding can wait; we have plenty of time to discuss it. Tonight needs to be perfect.

My Book Review:

When twenty-seven year old New Yorker Roxy Rule's best friend and roommate Ollie Frost tells her that he received a promotion at the architectural firm he works for, and is moving to London to oversee a construction of a building, her world turns upside down. Roxy and Ollie have known each other since birth and through the years they've become inseparable. Now faced with him leaving her behind, Roxy feels like her life is falling apart: she hates her job as an assistant to the ever-needy public relations owner Greta Kilborn; and trying to make wedding plans with her overbearing and stiff fiance Ethan Covington causes disagreements between them. And if that isn't enough to throw her for a loop, Ollie kisses her when he leaves for the airport and she kisses him back! Feeling mixed emotions about "the kiss" and trying not to over analyze and doubt everything in her life, Roxy gets another surprise when her two sisters Steffi and Izzie show up on her doorstep! Can Roxy's life get anymore complicated? Will Roxy and Ollie remain friends, or will the long-distance and "the kiss" change their friendship? Will Roxy break the rules and stand up for what she wants in her life, or will she continue to go along with everyone else's plans?

Breaking the Rules is an entertaining lighthearted story about a young woman who's juggling many of life's balls in the air while trying to figure out what she wants out of her life. Written in a witty and fun way, the story is told in the first person narrative by the quirky main character Roxy Rule, the reader follows along as Roxy tries to figure out what to do with her topsy-turvy life. You can't help but feel for Roxy and the uncertainty that she feels, everyone can relate to that at some time in their life. With family, career, friendship and romance issues, I enjoyed following Ruby's journey to discover what matters most in her life. The author does a wonderful job of weaving a fun tale that provides drama, romance, humor, twists and turns that captivates the reader and engages them to wonder what will happen next.

The cast of characters are realistic, quirky and down right entertaining! I loved the dynamic of Roxy and Ollie's friendship, you could just feel how well they fit together and how much they really care for each other, even if they didn't realize the depth of it until after "the kiss" happened. I really loved Roxy and Ollie's personalities: she's sassy and lovable but still a bit insecure; while he's a dream man and best friend rolled into one! I was not a fan of Roxy's needy boss Greta, her controlling fiance Ethan, or Ollie's bitchy girlfriend Rachel; their snooty, uptight, overbearing personalities drove me nuts. I loved Roxy's quirky friends Emma, Adam and Tali and her crazy sisters Steffi and Izzie. The dialogues and interactions between the characters kept me in stitches, they were so much fun to get to know, and they made the story that much more of an enjoyable and fun read!

Breaking the Rules is a wonderful story about the dynamics of family, friendships, relationships and going after your life's dreams. It is a story that has a mixture of comedy, romance and drama that will keep you engaged and laughing, while providing a twist that keeps you guessing! Kudos to author Cat Lavoie on a wonderful debut novel!



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Samantha! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host Cat's virtual book tour event. :)

  2. Thank you so much for having me, Kathleen!! :)

    1. Hi Cat! Loved the book, congrats on a wonderful debut novel. Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event. :)

  3. Hi Christine! Thank you for stopping by and posting that nice comment! I stopped over at your site and followed you, always glad to follow a fellow book lover. :)

  4. Great review Kathleen! I too loved library day as a kiddo! ;)