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Friday, February 15, 2013

Bring Me Back by Karen Booth (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Karen Booth, author of Bring Me Back!

Author Guest Post

We women fill many roles—daughter, sister, mother, wife, friend, partner, gossip buddy, sex goddess. I could go on and on, but you get my point. We juggle a lot.

In my book, Bring Me Back, Claire Abby is a music journalist who is plunged into a dream scenario when she lands a career-defining interview with Christopher Penman, the British rock star she was obsessed with in high school. As soon as I began to write the book, I knew that I wanted readers to feel as close to Claire as I did. This needed to feel real. That meant I needed to show all sides of Claire—mother, daughter, sister, career woman, aspiring sex goddess (hey, if you’re trying to keep up with a rock star, you’d better bring your A-game).

Just as I juggle my own roles--mother, wife, daughter, sister, and writer (I’ve got this sex goddess thing sewn up)—I juggled Claire’s. Love isn’t her only concern—she’s a single mom with a daughter a year away from college. She has a meddlesome dad who still hasn’t dealt with the loss of Claire’s mother. These are some of the reasons Bring Me Back doesn’t fit the classic definition of romance. The central arc may be a love story, but the story lines of Claire as mother, daughter, and career woman are integral. Why bother? The reason is simple. These roles make Claire a whole person. They help us see ourselves in her shoes.

That made things tricky at times. There were instances in which Claire’s role as mom interfered with her ability to be with Christopher. There were times when career and family squabbles got in the way. Christopher’s fame is yet another obstacle, one which is largely foreign to Claire. But like any strong woman, she deals with stuff as it happens, changing hats and gears when necessary—mom, girlfriend, daughter, writer. Sex goddess? Of course, sex goddess. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

About The Author

Karen Booth is a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on 80's music, Judy Blume, and the films of John Hughes. An early preoccupation with Rock ‘n’ Roll led her to spend her twenties working her way from intern to executive in the music industry. Much of her writing revolves around the world of backstage passes and band dynamics. When she's not creating fictional musicians, she's listening to everything from Otis Redding to Duran Duran to Tokyo Police Club with her kids, honing her Southern cooking skills (she makes some mean collards), or sweet-talking her astoundingly supportive husband into whipping up a batch of cocktails.

Karen Booth ~ Bring Me Back ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours

Book Review

Bring Me Back by Karen Booth
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Publication Date: January 20, 2013
Format: eBook - 284 pages / Kindle - 1136 KB / Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 9781622371013
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Bring Me Back

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description: 

Music critic Claire Abby is a single mom dreading her daughter's departure for college and worried that turning forty will leave her career running on fumes. She's floored when she lands a Rolling Stone cover story on 80's British rock legend Christopher Penman. She spent her teenage years fantasizing he was her boyfriend.

In person, Christopher is everything Claire feared he'd be--charming, witty and unwilling to address the rumors he's dodged for a decade. Still, she contains her adolescent fantasies and manages to earn his trust, unearthing the truth and the devastating secret behind it. His blockbuster story is her first priority when she returns home, a nearly impossible task when Christopher starts calling and flirting. She knows she should maintain a professional distance. She knows she should focus on the story. She knows it would be best to simply walk away. But how can she say "no" to the man she could never forget?

Book Excerpt:

In this excerpt from Bring Me Back, we see Claire as career woman, even when she’s feeling like a seventeen year-old girl on the inside. This is the morning after the big interview and Christopher has offered to have his driver take Claire to the airport. He, of course, opts to come along for the ride. As it so happens, their conversation ends up on the topic of multi-faceted women. 

Once in the car, he made my lightheaded by removing his sunglasses. “You should call me,” he said. “If you have any follow up questions. Hand me your phone. I’ll give you my number.”

I reminded myself to stay cool. “That’d be great.” I couldn’t hand him my phone fast enough. “Now I won’t have to bother your publicist if something comes up when I’m writing the story.”

“The label handles that, but the publicity department hates me. I prefer to deal with most things myself.” He finished with my phone and then pulled out his own. “I’m going to take your number. So we’re even.” He winked at me while I impolitely stared. “Call me if you need anything. You know all of my deep dark secrets. We may as well be friends.” He returned my phone. “Here. I put it under Chris P.”

I looked down as though the item in my hand was a mystery. “Wow.”

“Wow?” He crinkled his forehead. “Don’t say wow. I like talking to you. You’re different from most women I meet.” He scanned my face, resting his eyes on mine more than once. “I find you, uh, refreshing.” He looked satisfied with his word choice, but I could’ve suggested a few alternates.


“It’s a compliment. I enjoy your company. Most women I meet are rather one dimensional.”

“Maybe you’re hanging out with the wrong women.”

“You know I’ve been hanging out with the wrong women. I believe we touched on that last night.”

I considered the topic—I didn’t want to cross a line, but this was a chance to ask something I’d always wondered about men like him. I looked at him while searching for the right words. “Why do men like you only end up with women who are beautiful, but lacking in other qualities like intelligence or sanity?”

He smiled wide at me, letting me squirm in my seat. “We’re having a normal conversation as friends, right?”

“Right.” Except that nothing about this conversation is normal.

“Honestly, those are the only women I meet. Most women wouldn’t have the confidence to approach me in that way. They assume I wouldn’t be interested. They might ask for an autograph or take a picture. When I was younger, they’d scream and cry. It’s hard to ask someone out after that. Not that I didn’t like being screamed at, because I did.” He continued, “I suppose it’s because of what I do.”


“Please don’t say that. What are you thinking?”

“I’d never thought of it like that. Even though it’d be more fun to call you a jerk, you have a tiny speck of a valid point.”

“A speck. That’s all I get?”

“Sorry.” I squinted and pinched my thumb and index finger together. “And it’s a teeny tiny speck. I don’t exactly feel sorry for you.”

My Book Review:

Back in 1986, seventeen year old Claire Abby had a teenage crush on Christopher Penmen, lead guitarist of the British rock band Banks Forest. Twenty-two years later, she is now a thirty-nine years old music critic / journalist and single mother of a college bound daughter. Claire is given the chance of a lifetime when she lands a Rolling Stone cover story interview assignment with the legendary British rock star of her teenage dreams. When they meet there is a mutual attraction between them, but Chris is notorious for dodging questions in regard to his past and makes her work to get the coveted story. As their friendship develops into a long-distance relationship, Claire is torn between resuming her normal ordinary life or engaging in Chris' high-profile rock star life. Can Claire and Chris' long-distance relationship survive the challenges and obstacles that come with dating someone famous?

Bring Me Back is a captivating story that takes the reader on a dramatic and emotional roller coaster ride as two very different people explore the possibilities of being in a romantic relationship. Author Karen Booth weaves an entertaining tale that took me back to my teenage years of the 1980's, I definitely could relate with the universal teenage crush and fantasies over favorite famous rock stars. I really enjoyed the depth of the mature romantic storyline between a middle-aged woman and an aging rock star, there was a nice mixture of romance, chemistry, heat, drama and real life reality. This is so much more than just your typical romance story, it is one that has many layers and delves into the dynamics of relationships: Claire's relationship with her father, daughter, and ex-husband; Chris' past history and secrets; and Claire and Chris' long-distance romantic relationship. I was drawn into Claire and Chris' ordinary person/celebrity relationship, the many challenges that affects its chances to survive, and how they could make it work.

With a well-developed cast of characters who are realistic, have flaws and issues, and who are easy to relate to; engaging dialogue and sassy interactions; and an evocative storyline full of steamy romance and dramatic twists and turns, Bring Me Back is a captivating story of the nuance and dynamics of love, friendships, relationships and celebrity.

Bring Me Back is a story that will make you laugh, cry, blush and sigh ... it is a story that will leave you wanting more.



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

  2. Thanks so much Kathleen, for the chance to guest on the blog and for the lovely (and highly quotable!) review.

    1. Hi Karen! I loved Bring Me Back! Thank you for your kind comment on my book review, and for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. :)