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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Seven Steps to Closure by Donna Joy Usher (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Donna Joy Usher, author of The Seven Steps to Closure!

Author Guest Post
Character Interview

An Interview with Tara Babcock –protagonist of The Seven Steps to Closure.

Hi Tara. Thanks for joining us today and congratulations on the success of your story The Seven Steps to Closure.

Thank you. It’s great to be here.

You have three really good friends in Elaine, Dinah and Natalie. Is there ever any jealousy?

No, there’s not. Surprising isn’t it? But I think we each bring something unique to the friendship. It makes it impossible to be jealous because we all need those unique attributes to feel complete as a group. For instance Elaine is the organizer and she’s always the one that asks the difficult questions that the rest of us are too scared to ask. Dinah is always there for you no matter what, no questions asked. And Nat, well she’s so nurturing and giving, she’s our little mother.

What about you. What do you bring to the circle?

Hmmm …. good question. Sadly I suspect that I’m the clumsy one that provides the comedy relief.

When did you realize your marriage to Jake was over?

Gee – if I had to pinpoint the exact moment that I knew with crystal, clear clarity that my marriage was over, it would have to have been when I came home and found my cousin Tash’s G-string in my lingerie draw. I mean I didn’t know it was hers at the time. I just knew it wasn’t mine.

So you’re not a G-string wearer?

No not at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be the sort of woman who comfortably wears G-strings and stilettos all day long, but unfortunately I’m not. I get chaffing – on my feet I mean.

What’s your idea of a perfect day?

A perfect day for me is one I get to spend with the people that I love. Of course combine the sun and the beach with that and I’m as happy as a pig in mud, or not in mud – I always get confused. Do pigs like mud or not?

I don’t think they mind a bit of mud. Speaking of animals you seem to have had a lot of bad luck with your pets. How is Bad Bunny going?

I’m pleased to say that BB is alive and kicking, and still humping everything he can get his furry paws on. I’ve started killing pot plants instead. It’s much less distressing, and they’re not so difficult to dispose of. 

Why do you think you found it so hard to find closure on your marriage?

Hmmm. Well I think it was a combination of a few things. Firstly I was pretty young and na├»ve when I met Jake, and I traded in my identity to be Mrs Wellington. I think that made it harder for me to move on because not knowing who I was, made it impossible for me to know want I wanted. Secondly I think it was just that I wasn’t ready to give him up. I still loved him, or I loved who I thought he was. I had to get to a point where I was ready to give up the dream of being with him again before I could find closure.

I noticed that you delineated between loving him and who you thought he was. What did you mean by that?

I was still in love with the Jake I fell in love with at the very beginning. That person had never really existed. He was just one facet of Jake’s whole personality and unfortunately the manipulative, selfish part of Jake far outweighed the kind, loving part.

That can’t have been very pleasant.

It was difficult because I think you judge someone by your own standards. It took me a long time to be able to see him for what he really was. And until then I couldn’t help but keep on loving him.

And The Seven Steps to Closure helped you see that?

The Seven Steps to Closure allowed me to rediscover who I was. And once I knew that, it was very easy to see Jake for whom he really is.

So what’s next for you?

Well Matt and I have a lot of travelling planned, and I want to spend more time with my nieces and my godchildren, so I think the next few years are going to be pretty full on.

Thanks so much for joining us, and good luck in the future.

Thanks it was a pleasure.

About The Author

Born in Brisbane, I started my working life as a dentist. After 15 years of drilling and filling I discovered there was more to life, and put pen to paper. Now I drill by day and write by night.

When not doing either of those things I like spending time with my husband and two little dogs, fishing and camping, motorbike riding, traveling, drinking wine on my deck and eating chocolate. Last year I ran my first half marathon and took up paddle boarding.

I have lived in a myriad of places: Melbourne, Perth, England, Rockhampton, Roxby Downs, Sydney, Cairns and am now situated on the New South Wales Central Coast.

Donna Joy Usher ~ The Seven Steps to Closure ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card

Contest Dates: Dec 3 - 24

Everyone who leaves a comment on Donna Joy Usher ~ The Seven Steps to Closure ~ 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 Seven Steps to Closure before December 24th and sends their receipt to, will get five bonus entries.

Book Review

The Seven Steps to Closure by Donna Joy Usher
Publisher: Lush Publications
Publication Date: May 12, 2012
Format: Paperback - 412 pages / Kindle - 514 KB
ISBN: 098732070X
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Seven Steps to Closure

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:

Tara Babcock awakes the morning after her 30th birthday with a hangover that could kill an elephant - and the knowledge she is still no closer to achieving closure on her marriage breakup. Things go from bad to worse when she discovers that, not only is her ex-husband engaged to her cousin - Tash, the woman he left her for - but that Jake is also running for Lord Major of Sydney.

Desperate to leave the destructive relationship behind and with nothing to lose, she decides- with encouragement from her three best friends - to follow the dubious advice from a magazine article, Closure in Seven Easy Steps. The Seven Steps to Closure follows Tara on her sometimes disastrous- always hilarious - path to achieve the seemingly impossible.

A credible and amazingly touching debut novel from Donna Joy Usher, this is a solid, light-hearted and honest read with plenty of laughs.

Book Excerpt:

Matt pulled over a tuk tuk driver and started chatting to him. After a few minutes, he gestured for me to jump in and introduced me.

'This is Fahad. Fahad this is Tara. Tara and I have been married for a couple of years Fahad so I'd appreciate it if you didn't try to hit on her.'

Fahad let out a loud, deep chuckle. He turned around to look at me and I realised he sounded and looked like an Indian version of Fat Albert.

'No worries Mr Matt,' he boomed. 'I look after your wife like she was one of my sisters.' He hit the accelerator pedal and we shot off into the traffic.

'Would you mind telling me what that was all about?' I stage whispered to Matt out of the corner of my mouth.

'Some of these men can be a little frisky with their hands, just making sure.'

'What about the man that drove us around yesterday?

'Well, if you noticed he wasn't very friendly. I could make you my sister next time if you prefer?'

Damn. He had check mated me, and I bet he knew it. I was pretty chuffed at the thought of pretending to be his wife, I certainly didn't want to be downgraded to a sister. But then if I admitted that to him I was pretty much telling him that I fancied him. Let's face it though, I would have to be a deaf, dumb, blind, mute with no sense of smell, and no imagination to not fancy him. But did he know that? Did he realise just how desirable he was? I was guessing the answer to that was no.

All of that flitted through my head at the speed of light and then I found a loophole in his theory. 'Better not make me your sister,' I said quietly, 'then Fahad could still hit on me.'

Matt nodded his head as if considering this seriously, but I could see a smile playing around the corners of his mouth.

'Mr Matt, Mrs Tara,' said Fahad, looking at us in the rear vision mirror, 'where do you want to go first?'

'Well,' said Matt to the mirror, 'we want to go to the Lotus Temple and the Lodi Gardens. Is there somewhere there that is good for lunch?'

'Oh yes,' he continued, in his singsong Fat Albert voice, 'the Garden Restaurant at Lodi. They do very good Indian food there.'

'Sounds good.'

'Yes, very good Sir,' said Fat Fahad. 'We'll go to the Lotus Temple first. It is very beautiful Maam,' he informed me.

I was wishing - just quietly - that he would watch the road a little more, and the rear vision mirror quite a bit less so I didn't respond. I just nodded, hoping he would get the hint and start watching where we were going.

He spent the next 30 minutes practicing his English while driving haphazardly through the streets of Delhi. Finally, he pulled over at the side of the road near some street vendors.

'There,' he said waving his hand, 'the Lotus Temple. I wait here for you.'

Matt handed him a note and told him to get himself a drink. Fat Fahad was happy with that and after helping me out of the tuk tuk, took himself off to the street vendors.

My Book Review:

Have you ever struggled to find closure when a relationship has ended? Have you tried everything to get the ex out of your heart and mind, but to no avail you still want him? Welcome to Tara Babcock's world!

Thirty year old Aussie Tara Babcock has had a terrible year since her six year marriage to Jake ended when he left her for her cousin Tash! And to make things worse, Tara finds out that Jake and Tash are engaged, and the divorce papers haven't been signed yet! Also, Jake has tossed his hat in the political ring and is running for Lord Mayor of Sydney, now Tara has to endure seeing Jake's face on every billboard, newspaper and bus around town! Tara has tried everything to get over Jake: therapists, palm readers, self-help guides ... even a drunken binge on her thirtieth birthday ... but she still fantasizes about Jake!

With the encouragement of her three best friends: Dinah, Natalie and Elaine, Tara is going to follow the dubious advice in an article in Cosmo magazine to find the closure she so desperately needs. Can Tara follow the advice as stated in Closure in Seven Easy Steps to mend her broken heart and get her life back on track?

The Seven Steps to Closure is a sassy humorous story that will definitely tickle your funny bone! Author Donna Joy Usher weaves an entertaining tale written in the first person narrative with Tara Babcock, who takes the reader along on her crazy adventure to find the long overdue closure from her broken marriage. I loved the witty humor that the author weaves into this story, there are so many laugh-out-loud moments interspersed within Tara's journey of self-discovery, that you can't help but really enjoy yourself as you turn the pages.

I absolutely loved the quirky cast of characters in this story. Tara is one hot mess of a woman, but you can't help but feel for her, you just want to hug her one minute then smack her the next. With a wonderful set of best friends in Dinah, Natalie and Elaine, each different in personality and equally fabulous, these wonderful ladies have Tara's best interest in mind and are there to help her move on with her life. I found myself snickering at Tara's Mom's well-meaning intention when she brings Tara shelter pets like Cocky, the foul-mouthed Cockatiel and Princess the psycho cat. The pets' crazy antics are hysterical, I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. The bird's foul-mouthed antics reminded me of my pet parrot I had years ago, he could cuss like a sailor, that sucker provided hours of entertainment. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Matt, Tara's travelling companion, I loved, loved, loved that man!

I loved following Tara's journey of self-discovery through The Seven Steps to Closure. Here's a quick lowdown on the steps to peak your interest: Step 1: Get A New Hairdo. Step 2: Get A New Wardrobe. Step 3: Get A New Hobby. Step 4: Have Meaningless Sex. Step 5: Travel to an Exotic Destination. Step 6: Have Meaningful Sex. Step 7: Obtain Closure. As you follow along with each step Tara takes, there are so many quirky and endearing scenes that just draw you in, you find yourself enjoying the antics and adventures that await Tara and her entourage. I really enjoyed Tara's choice of India as her exotic destination. The author provides a richly detailed description of the country, you feel like you are transported there with Tara and Matt.

The Seven Steps to Closure is a story that is humorous, sassy, romantic and heartwarming. It is a story that is so much more than just a woman trying to find closure from a relationship that has ended, it is also the story of a woman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and learns to love again. This is a delightful story that any fan of Chick Lit will surely enjoy!



  1. Thanks Kathleen for your lovely review. It's so nice to hear when somebody enjoys The Seven Steps to Closure the way I intended them to. Have a great Christmas and New Year.

    1. Hi Donna! This was such a fun book to read. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! :)

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

  3. Merry Christmas, Jersey Girl!

    Great review. I love debut novels...especially ones with sassy heroines and quirky characters. Thanks for sharing.

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Catherine! Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it. If you get the chance to read the book, you'll love it. :)