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 16, 2012

Free Gift With Purchase by Jackie Pilossoph (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Jackie Pilossoph, author of Free Gift With Purchase!

Author Guest Post

20 Love Songs I Love

In my new novel, Free Gift With Purchase, the two sisters, Emma and Laura keep secretly changing each other’s ring tones on their phones to reflect how the other is feeling at the time. So, there are a lot of references to great songs that have meaning to the girls, (and to me) like Natalie Umbrulia’s Torn, Diana Ross’s, Touch Me In The Morning, Dean Martin’s You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You, Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon, and more.

Music has always had a big impact on my writing, and lots of times when I’m working on a novel, I can picture what song would go with a certain scene if I was writing it as a movie. Music is inspiring to me. It touches me. I particularly listen to the words of songs, (which makes sense) because really, what’s so different about song writing versus novel writing? (or any other kind of creative writing?)

Songs tell stories, and some of the best songs of all time surely came from writers who had wounded hearts, who were suffering, or who felt broken beyond belief. Other songs stemmed from blissful happiness, or fear, or frustration, or anger. Whatever was going on with these songwriters, or wherever their inspiration came from, just as I do in my novels, so many of them used their own lives to crank out songs that ended up winning Grammys, and that truly touch people’s hearts.

I particularly love, love, love, love songs! No surprise there, right? So, here are 20 love songs I absolutely love, with some lyrics and reasons why I love them so much.

1. I Will The Beatles

 “Who knows how long I’ve loved you, you know I love you still. Will I wait a lonely lifetime? If you want me to I will.” This is such a beautiful, romantic song. Great wedding dance song!

2. It Might Be You (The Theme from Tootsie) Stephen Bishop

“If I found the place, would I recognize the face? Something’s telling me it might be you. All of my life.” Great song and GREAT movie!

3. Fly Me To The Moon Frank Sinatra

“Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars. Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars. In other words, hold my hand. In other words, baby kiss me.” This is such a classic and a wonderful song to dance to with your sweetie.

4. Hey There Delilah Plain White T’s

“Delilah I can promise you that by the time we get through the world will never ever be the same, and you’re to blame.” Can you even imagine if you were Delilah and someone wrote this song about you??

5. She's Always A Woman To Me Billy Joel

“She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes, and she can ruin your faith with her casual lies. And she only reveals what she wants you to see, yes she hides like a child but she’s always a woman to me.”

6. We've Only Just Begun The Carpenters

Okay, I don’t want any crap for liking the Carpenters! Weren’t they all about love and heartbreak?? This song is so pure. It makes me feel like I’m at a wedding. “We’ve only just begun to live. White lace and promises. A kiss for luck and we’re on our way.”

7. Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman Bryan Adams

Oooh! I love this song because it shows a man’s vulnerability. So sexy! “When you can see your unborn children in her eyes… you know you really love a woman.”

8. Fallin' Alicia Keys

“How do you give me so much pleasure and cause me so much pain?” Any woman whose ever been in love can related to this incredibly sexy song!

9. Turn On Your Heartlight Neil Diamond

This was actually the theme from E.T. but I’ve always loved this song by the great Neil Diamond (who looks amazing by the way.) Have you seen him?? “Turn on your heartlight. Let it shine wherever you go. Let it make a happy glow for all the world to see.”

10. How Sweet It Is James Taylor

“I needed the shelter of someone’s arms. There you were. I needed someone to understand my ups and downs. There you were. With sweet love and devotion, deeply touching my emotion. I want to stop and thank you baby. I just want to stop and thank you baby.” Mmm…. Great song.

11. Haven't Met You Yet Michael Buble

Ladies, this song is the ultimate promise that he’s out there. You just haven’t met him yet! “And I promise you kid, I’ll give so much more than I get. I just haven’t met you yet.” And on a sidenote, I’d really like to meet HIM!

12. Killing Me Softly With His Song Roberta Flack

This song tells a beautiful love story of a woman who goes to a show and sees a guy singing, and instantly realizes that he gets her. How romantic! “I prayed that he would finish, but he just kept right on strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words, killing me softly with his song, killing me softly with his song, telling my whole life with his words, killing me softly with his song.”

13. For Once In My Life Stevie Wonder

“For once I can say this is mine you can’t take it. As long as I know I have love I can make it, for once in my life I have someone who needs me.” I just want to get up right now and start dancing! Plus, such inspiring, happy words.

14. What A Wonderful World Louis Armstrong

“I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do. They’re really saying I love you. I hear babies cry. I watch them grow. They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” Beautiful. And that voice of his makes this song even more memorable.

15. All I Want For Christmas Is You Mariah Carey

“I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know. Make my wish come true. Baby all I want for Christmas is you.” Does this song ever get old? Never!

16. How To Save A Life The Fray

“Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness and I could have stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life.” This song will always remind me of the second season of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

17. I'll Be There The Jackson 5

“Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter. Togetherness is all I’m after. Whenever you need me, I’ll be there.” So simple, yet sweet and memorable. And Michael Jackson’s voice will never be forgotten.

18. Me And Mrs. Jones Billy Paul

What an absolutely beautiful story this is about a man and a woman in love but the woman’s married. And I think it’s the 40’s, so it’s not like she can just tell her husband she met someone else and get a divorce. Very romantic. “Me and Mrs. Mrs Jones. We got a thing going on. We both know that its’ wrong but it’s much to strong to let it go now.”

19. Just The Way You Are Bruno Mars

“Hey eyes, her eyes make the stars look like they’re not shining. Her hair, her hair falls perfectly without her trying. She’s so beautiful. And I tell her every day.” I went out and bought this CD and played this song over and over again, at least a hundred times. Couldn’t get enough of it! If “Hook, Line and Sink Him” ever becomes a movie, this would be the ending song.

20. Saving All My Love For You Whitney Houston

“A few stolen moments is all that we share. You’ve got your family and they need you there. Though I try to resist being last on your list, but no other man’s gonna do. So I’m saving all my love for you.” I used to stand in front of my mirror with a hairbrush and belt out this song as loudly as I could when it was on the radio. :)

About The Author

Jackie Pilossoph is also the author of Jackpot! and Hook, Line and Sink Him. She is a freelance corporate and newspaper reporter, and columnist for the Pioneer Press. Pilossoph holds a masters degree in communication from Boston University, and is currently working on her fourth novel.

Jackie Pilossoph's Free Gift With Purchase Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus

Book Review

Free Gift With Purchase by Jackie Pilossoph
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Publication Date: July 26, 2012
Format: Paperback - 270 pages / Kindle - 426 KB
ISBN: 1475217315
ASIN: B008V16N10
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Free Gift With Purchase

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:

Your Free Gift With Purchase doesn't always come from the department store makeup counter!

Emma and Laura are about as different as two sisters can be. Emma's always been the party girl, Laura, the hardworking doctor. But now, the two have something in common. Both are newly single and trying out the dating scene after marriage.

Emma's a widow and a single mother with a guilty secret she can't let go. Laura's husband just dumped her for one of four women he's been sleeping with. A dispute over the house forces Laura to move in with her sister and that's when the fun begins.

Go on some dates with these 42 and 44 year-old adorable sisters who are both looking for love and your jaw will surely drop! Laura's mixed bag includes Dan, a selfish womanizer, Ari, a stalker, and Tim, a compulsive liar. For Emma there's gorgeous, sexy Preston, a self-proclaiming "fun guy," beautiful Alice, who's a lesbian, and a string of Matts who go from bad to worse. Then there's separated, charismatic, wealthy Luke Sullivan. Luke's carrying some baggage, but he makes Emma's heart stop every time he appears.

Free Gift With Purchase is a book about two sisters who have always seen things from an entirely different perspective, but who as women in need of each other learn to consider that instead of judging, looking through each other's eyes might make their lives a lot richer. In other words, when you buy into opening your heart and believing in yourself, you might just end up with a Free Gift With Purchase.

Book Excerpt:

Right then, I ran to the stereo, got out a Bruce Springsteen CD, put it in the player, and put on Born to Run. I started singing and Laura joined in and played air guitar. Not that the lyrics of the song pertained to my situation in any way, shape, or form, but there was something majorly appealing about blaring out my favorite Springsteen song during a moment when I couldn’t have felt better. I could honestly never remember experiencing such self-worth in all my life.

We sang loudly, “Together, Wendy we can live with the sadness…I’ll love you with all themadness in my soul…Oh, someday girl I don’t know when…we’re gonna get to that place we really want to go and we’ll walk in the sun, but till then tramps like us…baby we were born to run…”

And as I blasted out the lyrics, I thought about how great life was all of a sudden. I had so many good things happening, and so much love around me. I wasn’t sure if I’d love Den0507 with “all the madness in my soul,” but I was certain I was going to have a fabulous date with him on Wednesday night. And I truly loved, and had the love of my parents and Laura, and Izzie, an incredibly amazing little girl who loved me unconditionally.

As far as all the madness in my soul, I was beginning to realize that it was reserved for someone. It was reserved for the person who’d wiped my bloody knees, the one who was beyond easy to talk to, whose body was next to mine on a towel at the beach, and whose hairy chest I wanted to reach out and touch that day.

Luke was in my soul now. I had to admit it. Being in his house, crying in his arms, eating pizza with him at his big wood kitchen table, it felt like we belonged with each other. There was something very right about the two of us. Then again, Luke was in a marriage. So, was this wishful thinking? Or was my gut declaring that Luke and I were somehow going to be together? I wasn’t sure, but I did know one thing for certain. It took until now, when I had this amazing news to share, to realize that it wasn’t as exciting if I couldn’t tell my friend Luke about it. Hearing the news that Winchester wanted to buy Solo Chicka’s Salsa was like being given the sweetest, richest, most delicious cake on earth, with a piece missing. The piece was Luke Sullivan.

My Book Review:

Free Gift With Purchase is a tale of the relationship between two sisters in their early forties, and how the sisters strengthen their bond and stick together as they journey into the crazy world of dating looking for love and getting a second chance at happiness.

Forty-two year old Emma is a widow with a young daughter. She is trying to cope with the death of her husband Sam, who died in a car accident, but the last words she said to him haunt her and leave her feeling guilty. She turns to her hobby of making different type of salsa to relieve the stress and guilt that eat at her.

Forty-four year old Laura is a married successful doctor with an adult daughter. When Alan, her husband of more than twenty years cheats on Laura with a younger woman and files for divorce, she moves in with her sister Emma.

Emma and Laura are complete opposites, but when both sisters become single, they bond together as they embark on a journey back into the crazy world of dating in their forties! Come along for the ride as Emma and Laura embrace their relationship and their fabulous forties, as they sift through the variety of men in their search for love and getting a second chance at happiness!

Free Gift With Purchase is a captivating and humorous tale that will tickle your funny bone! Written in a witty fashion, the reader is transported into the lives of Emma and Laura as they learn to deal with being single in their forties and picking their way through the minefield that is the dating world. The author weaves an entertaining tale that is so funny, I couldn't help but get caught up in Emma and Laura's hilarious antics as they date a variety of men that range from good, bad to downright scary! I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I loved the inclusion of the song references throughout the story, it was like taking a stroll down memory lane! This is a realistic story that any woman can relate to, it has a pleasant amount of entertainment mixed with an emotional and inspirational side that will just pull at your heartstrings.

The author has created a fun cast of characters who are realistic, engaging and easy to relate to. I absolutely loved the strong sisterly-best friends bond that Emma and Laura shared, it was endearing and inspirational. The sisters' foray into the dating world was hysterical, I really enjoyed reading about the different dates and relationships that they had with Dan, Ari, Tim, Preston, Luke and the Matt(s). Who couldn't relate to the roller coaster ride through dating hell that these lovely ladies had to deal with in their search for love, while embracing it in their forties?! I also loved the close relationship that they had with their mom Helene, especially when she was going through her own personal issues. The strong womanly bond between the three ladies was simply wonderful.

Free Gift With Purchase is a heartwarming novel that every woman must read. It is a story about the trials, tribulations and celebrations of womanhood and their relationships. This is a story that will teach you to accept, embrace, and celebrate yourself for the wonderful woman that you are.

RATING: 5 STARS ***** 


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Samantha! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host the virtual book tour event. This was such a fun book to read, and I loved Jackie's guest post! :)