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, October 14, 2012

Picture Perfect by Lucie Simone (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Lucie Simone, author of Picture Perfect!

Author Guest Post

Eat Your Heart Out
By Lucie Simone

One of the best compliments Picture Perfect has been receiving is how much readers love the various characters inhabiting its world. And, let me tell you, those characters were no accident. I carefully crafted them so that they would be three-dimensional beings full of dreams, hopes, fears, and flaws. I put a lot of work into studying them, their backgrounds, their environments, their hobbies, their passions, and their peculiarities.

For Lauren Tate, the star of Picture Perfect, I wanted to reveal her vulnerability in a humorous and yet also heartfelt way. Her obsession with food. Lauren is rather a tough cookie, so to speak. She’s had to build a thick skin to get to where she is in her career, but much like a delicious M&M’s candy, once you crack open her hard outer shell, she just melts. In order to cope with many of the difficult and stressful situations she finds herself in, she turns to food for comfort.

I think many people can identify with Lauren’s need to nurture with nutrition, but perhaps not to the extent that she goes to with it. She has the ability to wolf down a giant piece of cake in seconds, devour an entire plate of hors d’oeuvres while her date turns his back, and consume a stack of pancakes so high she can barely see over them. Basically, she has a rubber stomach.

I myself have used food to self-soothe on many an occasion, and it is a habit I’ve been working hard to break. But much like Lauren, in times of stress, sadness, even happiness, the first thing I turn to is something yummy to boost my spirit. Luckily, I’ve never had to endure the hardships Lauren finds herself dealing with in Picture Perfect, such as gossip, a backstabbing assistant, a vicious soon-to-be-ex-husband, a career on the brink of destruction, and last but not least, a murder! It’s easy to understand how such circumstances would drive Lauren to over-indulge on her favorite foods.

Food addiction is a serious issue, and my use of it in Picture Perfect was not simply to add depth to Lauren’s character, but to spotlight a concern that is often misunderstood. With so much attention placed on a woman’s appearance in the media, and especially in showbiz (even if you work behind the camera), I wanted to portray the impact unrealistic body images has on women. Even powerful, successful, beautiful women. Of course, I used her obsession with food in a subtle way so as not to turn Picture Perfect into a novel version of an after-school special. I wanted it to seem realistic and perhaps something that other women, especially readers of Chick Lit, could relate to and understand. Hopefully, I succeeded in that effort and others with similar habits could see a little bit of themselves in Lauren. And just maybe they could learn to love themselves, flaws and all, like they learned to love Lauren.

About The Author

Lucie Simone has a passion for travel, yoga, and writing. She has a degree in Journalism, a Master of Fine Arts in Television Production, and is a certified yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance. Her love of comedy (and living under the delusion that she might one day be an actress) resulted in a stint studying improvisation, which, ironically enough, taught her to be a better writer.

Her short story, A Taste of Italy, won the New York Book Festival competition for best ebook and is a bestseller at Amazon UK. The release of her debut novel, Hollywood Ending, a romantic comedy about life in Hollywood for the not-so-rich-and-famous, marked the launch of her small press, Simon & Fig, which publishes Chick Lit, Lad Lit and Women’s Fiction exclusively.

Lucie lives, loves and writes in the City of Angels, but considers New York City her second home and visits as often as her bank account will allow.

Lucie Simone's Picture Perfect Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway 

Win A $10 Amazon Gift Card

Everyone who leaves a comment on Lucie Simone's Picture Perfect Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Picture Perfect before October 15th and sends their receipt to, will get five bonus entries.

Book Review

Picture Perfect by Lucie Simone
Publisher: Simon & Fig
Publication Date: August 31, 2012
Format: Paperback - 306 pages / Kindle - 456 KB
ISBN: 0985352043
ASIN: B0093H0326
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

BUY THIS BOOK: Picture Perfect

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:

For Lauren Tate, a high-powered TV producer, sex, lies, and scandal make for a great movie-of-the-week, but when she becomes the target of a smear campaign, even the most salacious of Hollywood’s tales can’t compare to her real life drama. With her soon-to-be-ex-husband leading the effort to sully her reputation, and her former assistant threatening to snatch her hard-earned position at Timeless Television out of her hands, Lauren’s perfectly planned life quickly begins to unravel at the seams.

Clawing her way back to the top of the TV food chain is no easy task, especially in an industry where backstabbing is a sport and gossip is a fulltime business. But Lauren learns just how cutthroat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart is missing in action. Can she salvage her career, her reputation, and her love life? Or will Hollywood be the death of her?

Book Excerpt:

                                                     Chapter 1

My heart hammers in my chest as I am rattled awake from a shallow sleep. My nerves jangling, I peel open one eye. Except for a sliver of grey light slicing through the damask curtains, my bedroom is in complete darkness. I roll over and lift my head, searching for the glowing LCD numbers on my alarm clock. Six-o-three in the morning. Can that be right? Who the hell would be banging on my door at six in the morning?

Bang bang bang!

It is not the sound of a normal knock. It is urgent and loud and terrifyingly arresting. But I live in a safe building with around the clock security. Who the hell could have gotten up to the twenty-third floor without being announced? If Alan were here, he’d be the one to find out. But he isn’t here. He hasn’t been here for six months.

Bang bang bang!

“For fuck’s sake,” I grumble, tossing back my down comforter and throwing my legs over the side of the bed. My feet hit the cool hardwood floor, and I scurry to the closet in search of my fuzzy robe. It may be Los Angeles, but at six a.m. in the middle of February, it’s cold enough to send goose bumps marching up and down my body. I finally get the robe tied tightly around myself and shuffle into the hallway. I flip on the light, but it is blindingly bright, and I shut it off again.

Bang bang bang!

“Jesus! I’m coming,” I say, but not loud enough for anyone on the other side of my front door to hear.

I make my way to the door and peer through the peephole to find a woman wearing a broad-brimmed brown hat and a tan and brown uniform. Judging by the gold star on her chest, I’m guessing she isn’t from UPS. I unlock the door and open it a crack.

“Yes,” I say as indignantly as possible. The woman shines a flashlight in my eyes, and I put my hand up to block the light. “Is that really necessary?”

She turns off the light. “Laurent Tate?” she asks with the kind of flat authoritative tone that tells me she knows damn well who I am.

“Yes,” I reply.

“Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.” She hands me a manila envelope. “You’ve been served.”


“Divorce proceedings. Good day, ma’am.”

My Book Review:

Picture Perfect is a sassy little Chick Lit story full of romance, drama, scandal, humor and even a murder that will keep you entertained!

Thirty-six year old Executive TV Producer Lauren Tate's life is having a streak of bad luck ... her six year marriage is on the skids, and husband Alan has filed for divorce. She found out that Alan is in cahoots with her ex-assistant Jennifer, they're trying to sabotage her career at Timeless Television cable network. And if that isn't enough, the sexy and younger new Hollywood actor Jack Ford is interested in her! Just when things can't get any more complicated in Tinsel Town, add scandal and murder to the mix, and watch the drama level go up another notch! Things aren't always Picture Perfect ...

Picture Perfect is an entertaining story written and told in the first person narrative by protagonist Lauren Tate. This bold, brass and sassy lady takes the reader along on a roller coaster ride through Tinsel Town as she unfolds the drama in her life. It's a no-holds barred, behind the scenes look into the inner workings of a Hollywood cable network industry where drama and scandal reigns.

Rich in detail and great descriptions of the Hollywood and New York City settings, the author transports the reader to these two larger than life cities full of exuberance and famous landmarks. I really loved the attention to detail and descriptions of the settings, you can close your eyes and imagine the sights and sounds of these two cities.

With a cast of characters who are realistic and exude power, sex appeal and attitude, the story comes alive with their gritty personality and humorous dialogue and interactions. You can't help but get drawn into their drama ... you'll either love em or hate em ... but they sure are a dramatic bunch that is so typical of the Hollywood elite. I really enjoyed following Lauren's story, I loved her strength, independence and sassy nature. I also loved her best friend Justine, another strong woman with a wicked sense of humor. Underneath all their armor, both ladies has a soft side that simmers below the surface. I really enjoyed the development of Lauren and Jack's relationship and the drama and scandal that evolves from it. Add in a great supporting cast of characters: Alan, Jennifer, Sally, Rebecca and Giles, who add their own variety of personalities into the mix, and you have a story that has enough twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages.

Picture Perfect is a fast-paced juicy little story that has enough Hollywood glitter added to the mixture of intrigue, drama, scandal, hot romance and a murder mystery that makes it so much more than your typical Chick Lit novel.



  1. I loved this book! Thanks for being in the tour :)

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