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.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Undiscovered Novelist by Sarah Bridgeton (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Sarah Bridgeton, author of The Undiscovered Novelist!

Author Guest Post

My Writing Desk

My desk is in constant motion. From my gym shoes to the living room couch, it rolls with me as I go about my day. Since I'm a stay-at-home mom, I squeeze writing in between carpools and and chores. The first place where I write is the kitchen table. My laptop is always there in the morning, waiting for me while I gulp down a cup of coffee, fix breakfast, and prepare lunches for the day.

After my family is off to work and school, tennis shoes becomes my desk. At the gym or power walking, I use exercise time to do my contemplative work. Do my characters need to be adjusted? Is the plot on track? What sentences need to be tweaked? When I'm in exercise mode, I always have my headphones on. Music inspires me. The lyrics tell a story, and I think about how they get their point across.

At home, my laptop moves to the office, which is my favorite place to write. It has A real desk, a comfy office chair, and I often get lost in my writing. Later, the computer follows me back to the kitchen table. My daughter is home from school. Homework needs to be done, and I return to cramming writing in between homework help and dinner chores.

After dinner, my desk moves to the living room couch, although I rarely get anything done. The TV is on. But I like to have it near me in case an idea strikes. Before going to bed, I put my laptop back on the kitchen table, where it waits for me. No way does it come into my bedroom! That room is off limits.

About The Author

Sarah Bridgeton never thought she would become a novelist. She has always loved books, but in college she majored in Economics. After college, she held a variety of jobs in the insurance and health care industries. She left the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom when her daughter was born. When her daughter started preschool, she decided to write a novel.

She currently resides in Tampa with her husband, daughter, and two cats. When she’s not reading, writing, or taking care of her family, she likes to exercise.

Sarah Bridgeton's The Undiscovered Novelist Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus

Book Review

The Undiscovered Novelist by Sarah Bridgeton
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services 
Publication Date: May 29, 2012
Format: eBook - 115 pages / Kindle - 237 KB / Nook - 362 KB
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Undiscovered Novelist

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:

Twenty-seven-year-old Jordyn Simmons has almost everything she’s ever wanted—a sexy live-in boyfriend, an adorable son, and a finished novel she plans to publish. The only two things missing from her life are a publisher for her book and a relationship with her estranged mother, Debra. As Jordyn pursues her novelist ambitions, her world collides with Debra’s, and both women are forced to make decisions that will change their lives forever.

Book Excerpt:

On my last day in New York, I sank into Mother’s living room couch and sighed. That chocolate colored sofa was the only place where I thought we could manage a peaceful goodbye. Comfortably broken in and surrounded by cherry-stained bookcases, the couch was my favorite spot to get lost in a good book. When I wasn’t too exhausted from late night feedings or keeping up with my day job, I’d hoist myself up from the soft leather cushions, hand Elijah to Mother, and browse through the bookcases even though I had an eReader and didn’t need Mother’s paper books. She constantly traded books with her friends, and had quite a collection. From bestselling fiction to dry non-fiction, and everything in between, I always found something new to read.

Mother, who sat on the matching loveseat, tossed back her impeccably bobbed hair. “Elijah fell asleep an hour ago. He’s going to miss his young bubbe.”

Referring to herself as a young grandmother wasn’t a stretch. At forty-seven, she looked nothing like a hunched-over elderly woman. Meticulously dressed and groomed, Mother didn’t skimp on maintenance. Ironed clothes were a necessity, and every six weeks she promptly paid a visit to her hairdresser for a color, cut and style.

“Tyler’s in the car, talking to our real estate agent,” I said cautiously. Being in her living room usually didn’t bother me. A scratched and dinged hardwood floor gave the room a casual, lived-in feeling. It was as cozy as I thought every living room should be.

“He’ll only be a minute,” I added, trying to neutralize the uneasiness that lingered between us.

She frowned. “I wish you’d reconsider staying here tonight. You spend more time with his parents. You left me out last Thanksgiving.”

I squirmed inside my high-heeled boots. Thanksgiving had been almost a year ago, right after Elijah was born. Tyler’s parents graciously invited her to their house too, but she refused the invitation. I focused on the maple tree visible from the window. A brilliant corona of yellow leaves, the tree glowed on the warm, fall day.

“I’m sorry your feelings were hurt,” I said, determined to avoid another fight. “But we spent Chanukah with you. We’re here now. That’s what matters.”

She looked at me intensely, her blue eyes concentrated. “What matters is the mistake you’re about to make. I can’t sit back and keep quiet.”

“You have your opinion and I have mine.” I immediately regretted my defensive tone. I was twenty-five-years old and didn’t need her permission to move to Florida.

My Book Review:

The Undiscovered Novelist has two interwoven storylines: it is about a young woman's journey as an undiscovered novelist to get her first novel published; and the dynamic of the estranged mother-daughter relationship that the young woman has with her mother.

Jordyn Simmons is a twenty-seven year old paralegal who dreams of becoming a bestselling novelist. Two years ago Jordyn, her attorney boyfriend Tyler, and their little boy Elijah, relocated from New York to Tampa, Florida, to open a new law office for the law firm they both worked for. The night before they moved, Jordyn and her mother Debra, who have always had a rocky relationship, get into a heated fight about Jordyn and Tyler's unmarried status and her decision to move to Florida with Tyler. Debra has never liked Tyler because he isn't Jewish, and she thought that they had rushed into a relationship. The heated fight turns their complicated mother-daughter relationship into a two year estrangement via the silent treatment, and where both vacillate over who should take the first step at reconciling their relationship. After two years of living in Florida taking care of her family and working full-time as a paralegal, Jordyn completes her manuscript and the journey to become a published novelist begins. Will Jordyn's first novel be published, or will she remain an undiscovered novelist with a dream of making the bestseller list? Will Jordyn and Debra take the first step to reconcile their mother-daughter relationship, or will they continue to silently mourn the loss of their relationship?

The Undiscovered Novelist is a lighthearted and intriguing novella about a young woman's journey to become a published novelist, while also looking at the dynamic of the estranged mother-daughter relationship that she has with her mother. The story's setting alternates between Tampa, Florida and New York, and is cleverly written in an alternating fashion between the first person narrative by Jordyn, and the third person perspective of Debra. The author introduces the reader to Jordyn and Debra, their individual stories and their perspectives on their relationship. I found the alternating choices in narration to be intriguing, but I must admit that it did take me a little bit of time to switch gears as the chapters changed from first to third person narrative, but with that being said, I did enjoy following along on Jordyn and Debra's journey.

Rich in detail and descriptions, the author provides a fascinating look into the reality of how tough it is for a writer to break into the publishing industry. Obviously providing an insider's look into becoming a published novelist based on her own experience, I really loved how the author shares that rough road with her readers, it makes you appreciate even more the books that they create for our enjoyment. I also loved reading about the realistic dynamic of the mother-daughter relationship, I sure could relate to the ups and downs of this relationship! I think the author does a wonderful job of weaving both plots together into an engaging journey that culminates in a satisfying conclusion.

The author has created a cast of characters who are realistic, complex and engaging individuals that the readers can easily relate to. I really could relate to both Jordyn and Debra, I found their mother-daughter relationship to be realistic, who hasn't had the ups and downs that come along with being in that type of relationship? I could also relate to their individual struggles and how they dealt with them. The supporting cast of characters: Tyler (Jordyn's boyfriend), Naomi (Jordyn's fraternal twin sister), Maxine Cohen (agent), Cameron Miller (freelance publicist), David Marcinletti (President / CEO of Kingston & Knox Publishing Company), and Kate Young (editor at Kingston & Knox), all had an engaging personality that added to the storyline, I loved how their interactions and dialogue with Jordyn and Debra made this story an even more entertaining and enjoyable read.

The Undiscovered Novelist is an enjoyable novella that is geared for the true book lover. If you want an engaging storyline that weaves the realistic journey of becoming a published novelist with the dynamics of a mother-daughter relationship, than this enchanting little story is the one for you!



  1. Thanks so much for being in the tour!

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

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Sarah! Loved the book, thank you for sharing the insider's view of what a writer goes through to break into the publishing world. :)