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.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pass The Hot Stuff by Dana Page (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Dana Page, author of Pass The Hot Stuff!

Author Guest Post

The Audrey Hepburn Journal

I’ve mentioned in interviews that it took me a while to get the courage to write. Oh, I wrote; but I didn’t allow myself to think of publishing. Because I didn’t trust myself to go ahead with it, I actually did myself a favor. I stumbled blindly into the Audrey Hepburn zone.

Several years ago I was given a journal with the actress dressed as “Holly Golightly” on the cover. Breakfast at Tiffany's has always been a favorite movie of mine, and I adore Audrey. There’s something magical about her; she managed to be both pixie and regal princess at the same time. Now, I think of her as my own personal pixie muse.

Every time I tried to write with the intent of publishing, I would tense up. Any time I approached the keyboard, my heart would race. Sound dramatic and somewhat ridiculous? Welcome to my world. I can be emotional and dramatic, which can lead to great passion or great ridiculousness. My problem was that I respected some writers so much that I couldn’t imagine joining their company.

Writing in this journal gave me permission to collect my thoughts, literally and figuratively. I didn’t rush myself. Sprinkled with Audrey’s pixie dust, I spent several years collecting inspiration in this journal and practicing my craft. It is now torn, tattered and full of some of the funniest lunacy you’ll ever find.

Writers need inspiration. Everyone finds it in different places. I’ve heard that Anne Tyler rarely leaves her house, supposedly stating that she has all of the inspiration she needs from her own imagination. On the other side of the coin, bars at storied hotels seem to go hand in hand with some writers and artists. I read that Truman Capote used to sit at the bar of the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans just to talk to tourists and collect inspiration. It inspired him, and probably his 1958 novella Breakfast at Tiffany's. I’ve taken a page from Mr. Capote, pun intended, and gathered inspiration through life and it has all ended up in that journal.

I can’t take people I personally know and turn them into a character; it hinders my creativity to do that. I get completely blocked. I garner inspiration through a conversation I might have with someone, watching a couple interact in a bar, the outfit someone chose to wear or just a simple mannerism. Any and all of it can turn into a plot for me. Many things inspire me; I can write a story in my head just listening to music. That’s my excuse for loving to hang at jazz and blues bars in New Orleans and Memphis. But nothing, absolutely nothing gets my imagination flowing quite like insanity...insanity of the good kind, the funny kind.

Whenever I go out with friends, sit in an airport, whatever...I can always find the weird, the insane, the different or hilarious. Family and friends now have a code for anything strange happening around me; they simply look at me and say, “Audrey Hepburn?” I spend a good deal of time observing. That’s part of my writing process. It may not look like I’m working, but I am. I’m watching, looking for inspiration. When I return home, I get together with Audrey. Not at Tiffany’s, but usually at my kitchen table and take notes. If you read it, you would say that none of this shows up verbatim in anything I’ve written. No, it doesn’t but it was probably the catalyst for my imagination to go off on a flight of fancy.

When travelling, my family used to play a game in airports. We would spot interesting looking people and decide where they were flying and make up some funny story to go along with it. In essence, I do a bit of that in my journal. However, some of it just writes itself.

Exhibit A: When I was working as a reporter, I covered local politics at a town that shall remain nameless. The mayor phoned me about an upcoming election and decided to interject, apropos to nothing, that he was in his car and had a trunk full of vodka. He was also having a he drove. It was 10 AM. Mr. Mayor, meet my friend Ms. Hepburn.

Exhibit B: I have a friend whose first and only date with a guy was going to a park, where he grilled pork chops and played the banjo for her. No, this wasn’t in Mayberry; it was in a large city. Passersby were gawking at the banjo serenade, and he was stunned that she wouldn’t go out with him again. Mr. Banjo Player, meet Audrey.

Exhibit C: I was the recipient of being hit on by a married man at the Memphis Peabody lobby bar. I was there with a friend, minding my own business. Married boy’s opening line? “My wife isn’t very good looking; she has a huge nose.” I was struck dumb by this, but my friend wasn’t. She responded, “Your wife is probably at another bar right now saying the same thing about you.” He was undeterred. Mr. Philanderer, meet Holly Golightly.

And, finally, I personally watched a town council member lie on the floor during a meeting in protest of the meeting going long. These people won’t end up in my books, but I spin stories off of quirkiness. I’m grateful to them for their...uniqueness.

The moral to my story? If you’re a writer, find your inner Audrey- whatever it is that inspires you. Watch, look, listen. Inspiration is all around, even if it’s just for a laugh. If you’re not a writer, I still highly recommend drinks at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans or the Peabody in never know who you’re going to meet there.

Thank you, Audrey Hepburn.

The tattered journal 
Ah, the stories Audrey could tell!

About The Author

Dana Page was raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Born just down the road from Memphis in Helena, Arkansas, she considers the Mississippi River Delta her own personal inspiration. Having earned a degree in journalism from Texas A&M University, she has utilized her writing skills in varied areas - small-town politics, human interest stories and writing an entertainment column, to name a few. To support her writing habit, she has worked an odd job or two. Don't ask her about delivering singing telegrams; some things are best forgotten.

Pass The Hot Stuff is Dana’s debut novel.

Dana Page ~ Pass The Hot Stuff ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $10 Amazon Gift Card 

Contest Dates: Dec 3 - 17, 2012

Everyone who leaves a comment on Dana Page's Pass The Hot Stuff Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card - and there will be two winners chosen! Anyone who purchases their copy of Pass The Hot Stuff before December 17th and sends their receipt to, will get five bonus entries.

Book Review 

Pass The Hot Stuff  by Dana Page
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Publication Date: August 22, 2012
Format: Paperback - 356 pages / Kindle - 431 KB
ISBN: 1477625348
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

BUY THE BOOK: Pass The Hot Stuff

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:

The safe guy or the sexy guy?

The answer is always ... Pass The Hot Stuff

Blythe Townsend is a belle who is in desperate need of having her chimes rung. But the man she is dating would have to get his head out of his briefs - his legal briefs - long enough to notice.

She is a frustrated romantic obsessed with Turner Classic Movies. She lives in the French Quarter with her dog, Lady Marmalade, and is determined not to go sour on love even though she has dated every nutcase along the Mississippi Delta. Now, she is trying her best to make it work with her deadly dull boyfriend. 

Blythe accepts him - boring business dinners and all. There's always steak, but never any sizzle. There's only so much a libido can take; and when she repeatedly spots a man around town she christens Tall, Dark and Eye Candy, she starts to feel what she's been missing.

So, what's stopping her from tasting something a little ... sweeter? She refuses to be hurt again, and this sexy New Orleans guy has all of the trappings to do just that. Blythe will have to find her inner big-shouldered broad to deal with the craziness in her life; and she has a group of hilarious, mouthy women helping her sort through the crazy.

Their story is a sultry dance to Delta blues and soulful jazz that drifts the reader into the romance of New Orleans. So, sit down at the kitchen table and pour yourself a drink - we're gonna pass the hot stuff.

Book Excerpt:

She found her seat, naturally it was in the middle, and she stopped to try to put her carry-on bag in the overhead compartment. She stumbled back a little, hitting the man across the aisle in the head with her butt. “Oh, I’m so sorry.” 

“No problem,” he said. “I can think of worse ways of getting knocked out.” Blythe looked startled, and he laughed. “Here, let me help you.”

“Thank you,” she said, and looked at him for the first time. He looked familiar. He was very good looking and had the darkest, bedroom eyes she had ever seen. She felt even more flustered now. “Sorry again…for hitting you.”

He smiled in response. “It was a pleasure,” he teased.

Blythe’s face turned red; she couldn’t remember the last time she had blushed. He started to say something else to her but had to get out of the way of the crowd rushing towards their seats like it was general admission.

Blythe buckled her seatbelt, closed her eyes and tried to go to sleep before takeoff. She was exhausted. Just as she was beginning to doze, the flight attendant, trying to shove a ridiculously large bag into the overhead compartment, startled her awake from her half sleep. She looked over to see what the racket was and noticed the same guy looking at her again. She gave him a slight, little smile of acknowledgement and shut her eyes once more. She wondered if he was staring with approval or disapproval. Was her mascara smeared? That would have been disapproval. Was her blouse unbuttoned? From a man, approval. He was probably just stunned from having been hit by her big butt, she thought.

When he wasn’t looking, she craned her head around the people separating them to get a better look at him. He had very dark hair, the darkest brown, almost black and an olive complexion with strong features. He opened his eyes and looked over at her. Oh, did he see me?

She tried to sleep again but couldn’t. How did she know him? She couldn’t place him, and that’s not a face she would easily forget. She glanced at him again.

He stood up and was trying to step into the aisle just in time to have the food cart come rattling through. He was going to say something to her, but it was either get back in his seat or end up road kill from a food cart.

At that point, he threw courtesy to the wind as he tried to lean around the people between them and strike up a conversation. But a flight attendant saw this opportunity to drape herself over the seat and introduce herself to him. Blythe laughed. She couldn’t hear his muffled responses, but she could hear the singsong, twittering cadence of the flight attendant. “What’s your name?” “What do you do?” “Why are you going to Memphis?” Tee hee, tee hee.

After the flight attendant left, he attempted one more time to stand and approach her, but the pilot asked them all to remain seated. Blythe smiled to herself. She had enjoyed this weird little flirtation. It gave her a rush through the middle of her stomach. She hadn’t felt particularly attractive lately. In fact, she couldn’t imagine a guy as attractive as that one even looking at her. It was times like this that made her realize just how insecure she had become.

My Book Review:

Sometimes playing it safe isn't enough, every now and then you need to add a little hot stuff to spice up your life!

Blythe Townsend is in a safe relationship with her dull lawyer boyfriend, Robert. While she accepts the way he is, she is frustrated that there isn't enough sizzle in their relationship. When Blythe keeps seeing the same sexy man, Blake, everywhere she turns, she is surprised to find out that he is the co-worker of her boyfriend, and she begins to think that maybe there is more to life than just playing it safe, maybe sometimes you need to have a little bit of hot stuff too!

Pass The Hot Stuff is a sassy and humorous romance story that will keep you thoroughly entertained. Set in "The Big Easy" city of New Orleans, author Dana Page weaves a fun tale of one woman's attempt to try to figure out what she wants in her life and relationship. Filled with humor and quirkiness, the story is told in the third person narrative, that easily draws the reader into Blythe's crazy world. Blythe's journey to figure out what she wants has so many twists and turns, it keeps the reader in anticipation as they turn the pages.

With a quirky cast of characters who will keep you in stitches with their crazy antics; hilarious dialogues and interactions; a richly detailed description of New Orleans; and a storyline that features a love triangle and spicy romance; who could ask for anything more from this enjoyable debut novel? I loved the author's description of New Orleans, she transports the reader to this fabulous city and provides so many tantalizing sights, sounds and smells that it makes you want to visit this enchanting place right now!

Blythe surrounds herself with a strong set of women like her mom Katie, best friend Trisha, and grandmother Sweetie, who offer her hilarious advice, and teach her that there is more to life, and not to settle or compromise when it comes to her happiness. Then there is the men: dull boyfriend Robert, hottie Blake, and new friend Jonah, who keep the romantic drama full of twists and turns. And of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention Blythe's cute dog Lady Marmalade! The characters are so entertaining, they make this story one heck of a fun read!

Pass The Hot Stuff is so much more than your typical romance story. It is a feel good story that teaches the reader that there is so much more to life than what meets the eye, so add a little spice to your life, step out of your comfort zone, and never ever compromise on your happiness!

Kudos to author Dana Page on a wonderful debut novel!



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

  2. Thank you for hosting me on your site today! I'm happy to be here and really enjoyed reading your review of my book. For your readers: "Pass the Hot Stuff" in paperback is 25% off only at with code BRULKDHU. Today is the last day for the sale.

    1. Hi Dana! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event. Pass The Hot Stuff was such a fun read, I really enjoyed it! :)