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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Green Ticket by Samantha March (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Samantha March, author of The Green Ticket!

Author Guest Post

A Day in My Writing Life

...Is not typical. Every day is a different schedule with different tasks to complete. When I enter writing life (different than planning life, researching life, editing life, publishing life, and marketing life) I give myself daily goals for my writing. If I know that on Tuesday I have doctor’s appointments and a lunch date, I might give myself the goal of writing 1,000 words or finishing a certain scene. If I have nothing on the calendar, I might give myself the goal of writing 5,000 words. Regardless, I always have a writing goal when I am in my writing life. I fear that if I did not have these goals, the book would never get done. I am such a stickler for lists, and if I cannot cross off my writing goal at the end of the day, I am one unhappy camper. So this is something that really works for me, and if you are a fan of lists, I suggest it for you too! 

I do typically complete my writing goal in the morning. My nights are too unpredictable. Sometimes the fiancĂ© wants a spur-of-the-moment date night, or a girlfriend wants to get a manicure. I tend to get up at least one hour before I am scheduled to start working for my day job to knock the writing out, and if I cannot finish it by the time I have to log in, I work on it during my breaks or once I am off – I generally have another 45 minutes until my fiancĂ© gets home. I only write at my desk in my office, because that offers the least distractions (such as the TV!) for me. It might not seem like I get the most amount of time to concentrate on my writing, but I do wear a lot of hats, and need to find the time to wear each one every day. Sometimes an hour or two is all I can give, but I have found if you work hard, don’t get distracted, and have clear goals set out, that novel will be written in no time! 

About The Author

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and her debut novel Destined to Fail. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers. 

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card

Contest Dates: Dec 17 - Jan 7

Everyone who leaves a comment Samantha March's The Green Ticket ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of The Green Ticket before January 7th and sends their receipt to, will get five bonus entries.

Book Review

The Green Ticket by Samantha March
Publisher: Marching Ink
Publication Date: November 14, 2012 Paperback / December 3, 2012 eBook
Format: Paperback - 326 pages / Kindle - 471 KB / Nook - 642 KB
ISBN: 0985591447
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction / Young Adult Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Green Ticket

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:

College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty – manager to a successful salon and spa. Thrilled to finally have a real adult job, Alex enthusiastically jumps into the world of schedules, conference calls, and getting a massage when interviewing prospective employees. What she doesn’t expect are the very grown-up issues that comes with a demanding boss. Kevin Dohlman quickly becomes Alex’s worse nightmare – covering up his affairs, dealing with his enormous ego, and trying to protect her female staff from him becomes a full-time job in its own right. Alex has also befriended Kevin’s wife and co-owner, Dani, and is trying to keep Kevin’s secrets hidden from her. The situation only worsens when Kevin starts paying Alex off to make sure she keeps her insider knowledge to herself.

While struggling to keep her wits and stay happy with her new grown-up job, Alex is juggling college courses, a new love interest, and keeping up with her close group of girlfriends. When her roommate and best friend Lila gets offered an opportunity to move to Los Angeles and sign with an agent, Alex realizes her life truly is changing, and everyone around her – including herself - is growing up. Knowing she is faced with some hard decisions ahead, Alex struggles with keeping her job at Blissful. But does she really want to throw away what she dreamed of as a career – or will the secret-keeping for Kevin become too much to handle?

The Green Ticket is a story about morals versus money, and how one young woman navigates the shaky line between the two.

Book Excerpt:

                                                    Chapter 1

Bustling salon and spa seeking a full time manager to oversee daily operations. Job duties will include but will not be limited to: hiring and scheduling staff, assisting with appointment management, scheduling training opportunities, dealing with cash flow, marketing and advertising of the business, and ensuring salon and spa is run with class and enthusiasm. No experience in salon and spa business is required, but a business degree is preferred. Serious, enthusiastic, and hard-working individuals please email resume and cover letter to Hours will vary, pay is negotiable and based on experience.

I cracked my knuckles against my palm, tiny pops of the bad habit music to my ears. A manager at a salon and spa? This job listing was practically screaming my name. I didn’t have any experience with managing a salon - or anywhere for that matter - but I loved getting my hair done. And mani/pedis. And my bushy eyebrows needed a good hot wax job at least once every thirty days.

I bookmarked the job listing, making a note to myself on my daily to-do list sitting next to my laptop. Polish resume, I scrawled, right after 60 minutes Pilates/yoga workout 60 and finish cleaning bathroom.

Lila burst through the door at that moment, her long blonde hair flying behind her. “We must work out tonight. Please come and motivate me. I’m getting my pictures taken in two weeks and I really need to drop some weight. And tone up. Look firm. Look good. The TV adds ten pounds you know. Did you get your assignment done yet for Bater’s class? I need to work on that ,too.” Even though Lila Medlin had been my best friend for years, the speed at which she does everything could still amaze me. I watched her beautiful virgin hair (she’s a natural blonde the bitch) barely make it past the doorframe before getting slammed.

“You’re in luck. I was going to do some Pilates and yoga tonight anyways. Just do it with me. That will help firm and tighten you. Even though you know I don’t think you need it.”

“When I fit into your size two jeans, I’ll finally start listening.” Lila walked into the kitchen, opening cabinets then the refrigerator. “We have no food! Want to order a pizza or something? Ooh, maybe some wings? I’m craving hot sauce.”

I walked into the kitchen behind her, peering into the depths of our pathetic excuse for a dorm fridge. “We have food. Here’s a bag of lettuce, some carrot sticks back here, and croutons in the cabinet. I snagged some packets of ranch from the lounge yesterday. Voila–– let’s make a salad!”

Lila pulled a face, reacting like I asked her to go on Survivor and eats cockroaches. “Uh, yeah, salad sounds great if I was trying to starve myself, Alex. I’m craving real food, not rabbit food.”

I held my hands up in surrender. “You’re the one talking about toning and firming up. I’m just saying a salad will give you better odds then buffalo wings.”

Lila had a dream to be an entertainment reporter, and was itching for the chance to get out of Dodge - or rather, Iowa. Lila and I had been best friends since we came to Kaufman College in Des Moines three years ago, and had been living together for two. We wanted to move out on our own and get a house, but neither of us had the financials to support that yet. Lila was saving every penny to put towards photography sessions, voice lessons, and even acting classes. Her big goal was to head out to Los Angeles and somehow land an audition for Buzzworthy, the hottest celebrity news show. I supported her goal of being a reporter, even though I had no idea how to help her achieve it.

My goals weren’t as specific as Lila’s. Mainly, I wanted to be able to stand on my own two feet and stop relying on my sister for everything. Alicia was my big sister, married to Craig Bowersworth and living with their five kids in Seattle. Craig’s job as a political campaign manager led them to many places, but Alicia fell in love with Seattle the minute she laid eyes on the rainy landscape, so they settled down there. Alicia was a stay at home mom, but with Craig’s income, they don’t need the extra money. Alicia helped me stay financially afloat by sending me money each month. I held down stray jobs here and there, but still hadn’t quite figured out what I want to do when I grow up. I was studying Business Leadership and Entrepreneurship at college, and was still waiting to see where the wind would blow me.

“Fine, fine, a salad it is. Can you whip one up for me quick? I need to put my face on before Joel comes over.”

“What time is he stopping by?”

“He said around five. He has some study group thing tonight so he wanted to drop by and see me before that.” Joel Lohrbach had been Lila’s boyfriend for just over year, starting when we were sophomores in college. Lila fell hard and fast for Joel, and the attraction still baffled me. Joel was short and geeky, with spiked black hair and big glasses that did not make a fashion statement, and always has his nose in a book. Lila was tall, blonde and gorgeous, with ambitions to live in sunny LA and schmooze with celebrities. Joel was not agreeable to Lila’s future plans. I had no idea what would happen if Lila actually made it in the entertainment biz. I wouldn’t mind seeing them breakup. I thought Joel was a dick to Lila more than a sweetheart. But she loved him. 

“Okay, get your makeup on and we’ll eat some salad and change for the gym. And you can help me look at this job I’m thinking about applying for. Tell me if you get good vibes or not.” Lila always says she gets “vibes” about certain things, such as if the elective I want to sign up for will be a brain buster or if the new Chinese restaurant in town has bugs in their food. And she’s usually pretty spot on.

“No problem. Are you thinking about leaving Tastie’s again?” Lila’s voice was muffled as she shouted out from the bathroom.

I put a healthy portion of lettuce in two plastic cereal bowls, quickly diced up the carrots and sprinkled those in, and shook the worn bag of croutons over the top. After smothering the salads with ranch dressing, officially taking them from a healthy snack to a questionable one with the rich, calorie-laden topping, I was satisfied. Finding two clean forks in our utensil drawer was somewhat of a challenge, since neither of us were big on washing dishes, and I took a seat at our two-person table shoved in the back corner of our minuscule kitchen. 

“Did you hear me? Are you thinking about leaving Tastie’s?” Lila came back into the kitchen, her face glowing and her blue eyes popping, even though she looked like she had no makeup on. I had yet to master the natural look like she could–– wearing two tons of concealer, highlighter, blush, shadow, liner, and mascara, and looking like she had just woken up. Mine always ends up looking like clown makeup when I try.

I dug into my salad, loading up my fork with lettuce and a crouton. “Yeah, just thinking about it, though. I’m getting tired of all my Friday and Saturday nights getting spent with sleazy guys. But the money is really helping me build up my savings account. I can’t live off Alicia forever.”

“I know, but look how good you’re doing saving money. You won’t be a waitress forever.”

“I wish I knew what I did want to be. How hard is it to figure out a career, especially as a junior in college? Shouldn’t I have this down already so I can stop taking all these electives?”

“Some people need more time. You’ll figure it out. If you don’t by the time I hit the high road out of this state, just come to LA with me. You could probably find a job out there in a heartbeat.”

“As what?”

“A model! An actress! I could get all the exclusive scoops on which designer you’re wearing and who you’re making a sex tape with next, and we could rule the world out there.”

“Lila, I won’t be making sex tapes with anyone in the foreseeable future. And the unforeseeable future, you perv.” I dug out the last crouton from the bottom of the bowl, crunching it between my teeth. “Besides, that lifestyle just isn’t for me. I don’t like being the center of attention. I would rather be behind the scenes.”

My Book Review:

Do you remember when you were in college and were unsure of what your future goals would be? Welcome to twenty year old Alex Abrams' world! Alex is in her junior year at Kaufman College in Des Moines, Iowa, studying Business Leadership and Entrepreneurship, but she's not sure what direction she wants to go in after she graduates from college. Alex works part time as a waitress at Tastie's sports bar and restaurant with her best friend and roommate Lila Medlin, but has also been looking for another job, when she sees an ad in the classifieds for a manager's position at Blissful Salon and Spa. She applies for the position and lands it, she knows this is her dream job, but she quickly finds out that everything isn't always "blissful" at the salon and spa. The Green Ticket is Alex's coming of age story where she learns the difference between being a carefree college girl and the ups and downs of the adult business world.

The Green Ticket is a delightful coming of age story that will have the reader walking down the memory lane of their own college days. Written in a fun and easy style, author Samantha March weaves a lighthearted tale in the first person narrative told by Alex Abrams, who takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery mixed in with some good old college fun and finding love along the way. With four fabulous best girlfriends who make Alex's college experience memorable; a blossoming love interest with a genuine guy named Henry Landon; and intriguing drama and issues galore at the salon; Alex finds out who she truly is and what it's like to be an adult!

I loved the author's character development of Alex, she engages the reader to follow along on Alex's journey as she navigates the complicated path of self-discovery from being a fun-loving college girl into an adult business woman. The author does a wonderful job of drawing the reader into Alex's college life with her four best girlfriends: Lila Medlin, Carmen Morales, Emma Burton, and Hannah Lovington. The relationship that these five close friends shared brought back memories of my own college friendships, so many good times mixed in with the craziness of studying for a degree, that's what the college experience is all about and the author nailed it to a tee! I especially enjoyed getting to know each of the girls, their different personalities and individual stories added to the entertainment value of the story. I really enjoyed the blossoming love interest between Alex and Henry, it was refreshing to read about a light romance without explicit sex scenes. I think what intrigued me the most about the story is the salon and spa's drama involving owners Kevin and Dani Dohlman. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive ... trust me, the behind the scenes issues at the salon kept me turning the pages. I really loved how Alex worked her way through the variety of dilemmas that came her way at the salon. Alex's story is one that college girls should definitely read, there really is some good examples of what it's like to transition into an adult.

The Green Ticket is an enjoyable coming of age story that has enough fun, romance and drama that will keep the readers entertained. It is a story that is lighthearted and a breath of fresh air, kudos to author Samantha March on a wonderful second novel.



  1. Thank you so much for having me and for the lovely review! Happy Holidays!

    1. Hi Samantha! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event for The Green Ticket. This was such a fun book to read, you definitely captured the essence of the college experience in this wonderful coming of age story. Can't wait to read your next book. :)