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, October 13, 2012

Sugarfiend by Caroline Burau (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Caroline Burau, author of Sugarfiend!

Author Guest Post

I am Caroline Burau, author of the novel Sugarfiend and memoir Answering 911: Life in the Hot Seat

My writing process is a lot like my life in general: There is no reliable schedule, and productivity is feast or famine. I don't recommend this method to any writer, yet I still manage to get stuff done.

The best advice I've heard about writing is simple: "A writer writes." My crazy schedule as a 911 dispatcher makes it impossible to keep a regular writing routine, but I've learned that the only way to guarantee productivity is to never stop producing for very long. In other words, I don't give my self a lot of breaks from writing. "I don't feel like it," used to be an excuse to take months and months off at a time, and it just made writing so very difficult to get used to when I started back up.

Blogging is great for staying in the habit of writing. It is quick, easy, and it keeps me thinking in terms of what I will write next. Plus, if you get a bit of a following, you have friends and fans cheering you on, which is a great motivator.

What keeps motivating me to write is that I'm super opinionated and have a huge ego, which keeps making me think people will want to read what I have to say! But seriously. There is a little of that, and there is also the fact that writing is so satisfying.

Right after I finished the first draft of Sugarfiend, I had a hard time looking at it. But once I'd set it down and could be more objective, I began editing it, and found I was really proud of it, and that it made me laugh. Then, to have others write me or talk to me about what they liked or how they related to Estelle is a gift greater than any paycheck or any kind of fame some writers dream about. It's just really awesome to have a message, then to realize somebody got that message, and enjoyed it.

About The Author

Caroline Burau is a blogger, two-time author, and a 911 dispatcher. Her first book, Answering 911: Life in the Hot Seat was a Reader's Digest Editor's Choice and a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.

When she's not writing or obsessing about writing, she's spending her royalties on yoga classes, strappy sport tops, and used books. She lives with her husband, two geriatric cats, and an excitable yellow lab in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Caroline Burau's Sugarfiend Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $10 Amazon Gift Card

Contest Dates: Sept 24 - Oct 15

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

Book Review

Sugarfiend by Caroline Burau
Publisher: DragonStone Creative Group
Publication Date: February 11, 2012
Format: Paperback - 286 pages / Kindle - 383 KB / Nook - 209 KB
ISBN: 0615595200
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Sugarfiend

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:

If her life is a box of chocolates, acid-tongued, sugar-obsessed Estelle Brown should learn how to pick them better. Her boyfriend’s left her for a bulimic hand model, her roommate’s skipped town, and her boss is in love with her. Fed up and In the middle of her latest of a lifetime of doomed diet attempts – cutting sugar cold turkey – Estelle decides to quit quitting for good, pack her bags, and lose herself on a 7-day Caribbean cruise. But even on a floating monument to binge eating, the diet industry follows her. Across from every buffet is a studio full of treadmills. Next to every plate of fried calamari is a large diet Coke. As a ship full of wary passengers ducks for cover, Hurricane Estelle wages her own personal war against moderation. But the consequences land her in the belly of the beast: broke, alone, and forced to take a job as –of all things-- a detox consultant for the ship. Is Skinny the answer to Happy? Is Sweet n Low the new black? Is that Denise Austin chick … for real? No, no and yes, oddly. But for a Sugarfiend, it’s not the destination that matters, it’s all the cupcakes you get to eat along the way.

Book Excerpt:

After the Bill Baker Incident, I tried to find someplace where I could avoid personally insulting anymore of my fellow shipmates. I fled to the Starlight Lounge, where I hoped a sea of easy chairs and ash trays would keep me at a safer distance from, well, anyone. Not only can you smoke and drink in the Starlight, but there is almost always some kind of live music you can lose yourself in. Almost never good, but always live. And while you nurse your various regrets, you can fantasize about the supersexy keyboard player whose name is probably Diablo or Enrique or something equally Latino.

Bill Baker. What a name that is. Probably Bill Baker from Baton Rouge or something else equally ludicrous. Still, an innocent. A casualty of my unraveling. Poor guy had no warning about the dump truck full of crazy I drag around, waiting to unload. How could R. & R. leave me alone for a whole day? Alone in my head? Alone and relapsing all over everybody. I’m clearly not suited for human company. Who will be my next victim?

A young waitress with a Swedish accent approached me, and I recalled the rather unfortunate promise I made myself earlier about drinking. Immediately, I found a loophole. I had vowed to have only four drinks after dinner. I’d made no such promises about before. And the day was oh, so deliciously young.

“I’ll have one of those sugary coffee drinks with Bailey’s in ‘em,” I said, handing her my key/credit/magic card. “How many calories do you s’pose are in one of those bad boys?”

“Uh?” the waitress smiled uncomfortably. Her black knee-length pencil skirt and white blouse looked to be about a size five or maybe a seven. She knew what the hell I was talking about. Unless she didn’t. Unless she was one of those freaks like Bea, all self-controlled and smug, with no food obsessions to speak of, one of those “eat to live” people. Skinny. Bitch.

No. Calm yourself. She’s just a waitress with a favorable metabolism. She’s just your garden variety Pretty Girl With Not Unattractive Thighs. She’s done nothing intentionally wrong.

“Well, I don’t care, is my point!” I threw my legs onto the lounge chair across from me. “Keep ‘em coming.”

And so she did. As fast as her perfect little calves would carry her, my little Swedish Dolly kept me supplied with coffee drinks all afternoon. By the time R. & R. found me hours later, it was time for dinner, and I was the most alert drunk in all of the western Caribbean.

My Book Review:

Estelle Brown has an addictive personality ... her latest addiction is anything and everything sugary. Fed up with everything in her life, Estelle embarks on a 7-day Caribbean cruise that is anything but sugar free! The trial and tribulations that Estelle encounters on her journey will ultimately teach her life lessons about self-acceptance, love and happiness.

Sugarfiend is a wickedly humorous story with a lot of laugh-out-moments that will tickle your funny bone. Written in witty style, author Caroline Burau weaves a quirky tale told in the first person narrative by the sassy and sarcastic protagonist Estelle Brown. Estelle engages the reader to follow along on her journey that is full of trials and tribulations, it's not easy to kick a sugar addiction when chocolate, cupcakes, and everything sugary stares you in the face! It is a story about a woman with an addictive personality, self-esteem issues, and a penchant for self-depreciation, who could easily have self-destructed if it wasn't for her realistic and comical attempt to find happiness and self-acceptance.

Estelle Brown is a sassy, sarcastic, straight-forward lady whose comical side shines through as she battles with her Type A personality and addictive behaviors. She's a normal person that the reader can relate to, come on ... tell me you don't have a weakness for sweets ... or any addictions for that matter! I think she has a strong sense of character as she was able to admit that only she is to blame for her addictions, I think that is admirable. Even though she has battled with various addictions: men, alcohol, and food, her strength lies in her humor, it is her saving grace and makes her real in my eyes. There are times when I wanted to slap her and tell her to deal with her issues, but overall I couldn't help but feel for Estelle and stand in her corner cheering for her.

Rich in detail and vivid descriptions of an entertaining 7-day cruise; with a realistic and engaging supporting cast of characters; and some really witty and humorous dialogue and interactions; combined with a storyline that masterfully deals with a difficult issue, makes Sugarfiend an entertaining and compelling read.

Sugarfiend is a story that takes a realistic look at a person who is a work in progress. Told in a humorous style, author Caroline Burau engages the reader to take a look at the imperfect and humanistic side of life, while providing some thought provoking life lessons.



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