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.

Friday, April 19, 2013

When Girlfriends Make Choices by Savannah Page (Author Interview / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes back Savannah Page, author of When Girlfriends Make Choices!

Author Interview

Welcome back to Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Savannah!

How long have you been a writer?

I started self-publishing in December 2011 with the release of my expat travelogue, Bumped to Berlin (which was re-released as a 2nd edition in February 2013).

Do you have a "day job," or is being an author your career?

I consider being an author my career, but I also work part-time blogging for a fabulous wedding florist. I don’t know what could be more fun in addition to writing chick lit, than writing about bouquets and weddings! (Which is probably why writing my most recent novel, When Girlfriends Chase Dreams, was a thrill to write! It’s all about planning a crazy wedding.)

What inspired you to become a writer? Describe your journey as a writer.

I’ve always loved telling stories, whether vocally or through writing or reading. To make someone laugh or feel like they can relate to something that I’ve read or written, and to have them plunge further into the story or ask for more is so much fun. Inspired by their reactions, I was encouraged even at a young age to keep on writing and entertaining.

Please give a brief description/storyline about When Girlfriends Make Choices.

This is a provocative story about struggling between right and wrong—ultimately about what you will or won’t do for true love. Lara Kearns has yet to find “the One”, and as the scary 3-0 approaches she wonders if all hope is lost. But then sparks start to fly with her suave co-worker, Paul. Only trouble is, Lara discovers that the man she’s in love with loves her…but he also loves his wife. Lara is forced to take a journey dealing with her forbidden love, and discovering along the way what is really important in life. It’s about what happens…when girlfriends make chocies.

What was the inspiration for this story?

I’ve wanted to write a novel that takes a different approach to “a love story.” I love reading chick lit and contemporary women’s fiction/romance novels that tell the story from a different perspective or that traipse on muddy issues, like what happens when the leading lady falls in love with a married man. I simply wanted to try and write that provocative story and take on the challenge of writing a character who can both have such a story, and be likable (and readable). I’ve been told that When Girlfriends Make Choices is a great read and I sure hope readers enjoy it. It was a challenge, but it is definitely my favorite piece I’ve done so far.

How did it feel to have your first book published?

I was extremely anxious! My first thought was, “Is anyone going to find it?” Then immediately my next thought was, “And when they do, what will they think?!” When the dear heart and brilliant wedding designer and florist, Preston Bailey, told me that he adored my personal narrative, Bumped to Berlin, the first book I published, I was on cloud nine for a long time! That was a major confidence booster! It was tough to put myself out there as a writer, but another story entirely putting out my personal narrative.

Do you write books for a specific genre?

I mostly write chick lit or contemporary women’s fiction, but my first book, Bumped to Berlin, is a travel / personal narrative. I plan on writing plenty more chick lit, as well as another travelogue-style book in the future about my whirlwind European backpacking tour I had back in college. I’ve got so many fun anecdotes to share about that adventure!

What genres are your favorite(s)? What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why?

I enjoy a wide variety of genres, but chick lit is my favorite. I love reading a book that I can relate to and/or makes me feel like I’m with good friends. I also read a heavy amount of travel narratives because armchair travel is just about as fun as jetting off somewhere.

Do you have a special "spot/area" where you like to do your writing?

I usually stick to writing in my home office. I have flowers and plants all around, a big window, a dry erase board, and a nice long desk that really helps when I’m madly plotting and need to put Post-Its all over the place.

How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books?

I carry around a little notebook and pen when I’m out because a lot of my ideas come when I’m riding the subway or taking a walk. A ton of ideas start to rush forward when I’m in the shower, too, when my mind is free to wander (because sudsing up a loofah or rinsing out shampoo is only so entertaining). I usually get an idea for a character or a collection of personality traits that I want to write, then things just start to flow from there.

When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes?

I’m a pretty schedule-y type of person. I love my day planner and organizing each day’s events. Since my other day job is one that requires I work from home, and since I’m my own boss, I have to be very disciplined in scheduling my working hours. Every weekday it’s up and off to work, even if only one room down the hall.

I wrote my recent novel, When Girlfriends Chase Dreams, in about three weeks, and while that was a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project with a four week timeline, I would not have been able to complete the book in that time frame if it weren’t for my stringent scheduling.

What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most?

Since being a writer has always been my dream career I pretty much love all aspects of storytelling. Capturing someone’s attention, entertaining them, the flood of new ideas when I’m at the plotting stage, the moment the book’s cover is finished…they’re all so much fun! Really detailed edits or having to make a major overhaul I didn’t anticipate can be a little bit of a drag, but when I think about the finished product that can be sent out there to entertain it makes it all worth it.

What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing?

Reading, traveling, Pilates, and watching re-runs of Frasier, The Office, and Golden Girls, are some of my favorite things to do. I do love to get out and explore my home city of Berlin. There’s so much history and art and culture in every little corner here—I can never run out of intriguing things to do or see. Berlin is a capital with a lot of great and affordable cafés and restaurants that are high on charm, so going out for a meal or a coffee is always a treat.

What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received?

I once heard a fellow indie author say that while we may not be able to control the number of sales, we can control the number of words written. I always remind myself of this and get to straight away to work—prolificacy! And then, of course, pretty much everything Stephen King says about the writing career and craft is priceless information. Things like read at least twice as much as you write; set the manuscript down for 6-8 weeks before picking it up to edit so you have a fresh mind; write creatively and with concision; put yourself out there over and over again and never give up.

What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer?

Obviously it’s super gratifying hearing from readers that they love a character or really enjoyed a book, or (and this is the best!) that they are eager for my next novel. But when you first start out self-publishing you don’t really have any readers and you still need that feeling of gratification. I do, at least. I need to feel like what I’m doing is worth something and is enjoyable, and therefore gratifying. So taking those ideas from my notebook and from the shower, turning them into a story, polishing the book to where I’m proud to release it, and actually being able to say, “One book published, many more to go!” makes being a writer a very gratifying job.

How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans?

Facebook and email have proven to be the best means. Sometimes Twitter, but usually readers and I connect via email and Facebook comments, as well as through my Blog.

Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination?

In regards to my chick lit, there are some events or characteristics that are based off of real events and people, but they’re so abstractly written that there’s nothing in there that’s really true. It’s funny because some people will say, “This character is definitely you/this person”, or “That has to be something you’d do. Right?” The truth is that of course some of me and my experiences and ideas will come through my work: it’s my work. But in the end it’s all fiction and, well, there’s no way I can be the leading lady from all of my books when they’re all so very different. :)

What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become a writer?

I always bring her up, but Emily Giffin was a huge influence for me to tackle my chick lit writing career. There are so many books out there that I want to read that re-reads are rare, but with her I just can’t get enough.

Growing up and dreaming of becoming an author, Roald Dahl played an important part in encouraging my creative side, as did Shel Silverstein’s poetry. John Grisham’s fantastic books as a product of his litigious career and career change to author; the “I just can’t get enough!” feeling that Sophie Kinsella insights with her novels; and geniuses like Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Austen, the Brontës, and the Shelleys are all important influences.

What is your definition of success as a writer?

To be able to continue writing and sharing my stories.

Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit of it with us?

When Girlfriends Make Choices is the third book in the When Girlfriends ... collection, and the fourth one, When Girlfriends Chase Dreams, just came out a few weeks ago. That novel follows Claire Linley as she embarks on planning the wedding of her dreams. Oh, it was so much fun to write!

Currently I’m working on the fifth book, Emily Saunders’s story. Since Emily’s a globe-trekking girl, her story is sending me all over the map. She’s a photographer who can’t sit still in one place too long, always wanting to explore and volunteer wherever the world needs help. Needless to say sticking to one meaningful and lasting relationship is not her forte. It’s a lot of fun to writing Emily’s story and I can’t wait to release that in summer 2013!

Savannah, thank you for once again visiting Jersey Girl Book Reviews! I look forward to you returning on your virtual book tour for When Girlfriends Chase Dreams!

About The Author

Savannah Page is the author of the continuing When Girlfriends ... collection and her travelogue and first book, Bumped to Berlin. When she isn’t writing, Savannah enjoys a good book with a latte and jazz tunes, Pilates, and exploring her home of Berlin as an American expat.

When Girlfriends Make Choices by Savannah Page ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours

Book Review

When Girlfriends Make Choices by Savannah Page
Publisher: Pearls and Pages
Publication Date: January 17, 2013
Format: Paperback - 393 pages / Kindle - 460 KB
ISBN: 1481985485
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: When Girlfriends Make Choices

BUY THE COLLECTION: When Girlfriends ...
Book 1: When Girlfriends Break Hearts
Book 2: When Girlfriends Step Up
Book 3: When Girlfriends Make Choices 
Book 4: When Girlfriends Chase Dreams
Book 5: When Girlfriends Take Chances ... Release Date: Summer 2013

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:

A novel about forbidden love, the choices you make, and discovering what's important in life.

Lara Kearns has it all. She has her MBA, a successful career in advertising in Seattle, and she's even living with her best friend and single mom, Robin. Reliable, dedicated, and eager, Lara is the resident go-to-girl, and she wouldn't have it any other way.

Lara's that girl who has everything going for her...everything, that is, except for true love. With the big 3-0 on its way and no man in sight, Lara wonders if she'll always be married to her career, or her cat, and never find the One.

But then, when she least expects it, a handsome and suave executive at her firm, Paul Mackenzie, makes a pass at her. Hesitant at first about striking up an office romance, Lara eventually finds herself falling for her charming colleague. And the best part? Paul is falling in love with Lara, too!

What happens, though, when the man of your dreams loves you...and his wife?

Battling with what the head and the heart want, Lara finds herself in a precarious situation. Life is spiraling out of control, but with the support of her therapist and friends, Lara must make a choice. Is she really prepared to chase after all costs?

This is a provocative story about struggling between right and wrong. About what you will or won't do for true love. About what happens when girlfriends make choices.

Book Excerpt:

“What are you drinking?” came a voice from behind. I stopped picking at the corner of my cocktail napkin and turned on my barstool.

“Excuse me?” My mind was transfixed on the Spokane company the firm was working on landing, Hoppeller, Inc. I’d done what I thought was a smashing job during my branding team’s main pitch that afternoon in the hotel’s stuffy conference room, but now that I was seated at the hotel’s bar, spending time pondering the day’s events, I wasn’t so sure.

“What’s your poison?” It was Paul Mackenzie, the handsome executive. He’d done a fine job with his team that morning. If we were going to lose the Spokane deal, it wouldn’t be because of his performance.

“Oh, white wine spritzer,” I said. “Lame, I know.”

He took an uninvited, although not unwelcome, seat next to me and asked the bartender for a martini, extra dry.

“You sound so down. Someone die?” he asked. He gave me a wink. His blue eyes were beautiful.

“Oh, I’m thinking about the pitch today. I really hope we—mean I didn’t screw it up. I want Hoppeller.”

“We all do. It’s a big account. Haven’t had one like this since late last year, I think.” Paul took a draw of his martini as soon as it arrived. “I don’t think you sucked it up. I think you did a fantastic job. But you always do, Lara.”

“Ha! You’re being nice.” I took a sip of my own drink. “We rarely ever work together. What do you mean I ‘always do’?”

“Well, from what I’ve seen, you always do fine work. I tell you, if half the people on my team were as committed as you, Cooperton would be far more profitable. You’re a pit bull.”

“Now there’s a compliment every woman loves to hear.” I said with a small grin.

“I thought a big career woman like yourself would find that to be complimenting.”

I sensed a hint of flirtation in his voice, and I liked it. Yes, I wasn’t one to go against my anti-workplace-relationship stance, but I was also dry on the relationship front. I hadn’t had a single date in months. I hadn’t had a boyfriend in what seemed like forever. Zero serious prospects in years. So what was a little shameless flirting going to do, even if he was a co-worker? Besides, he was the flattering and complimenting party here. He approached me. I was just minding my own business, mulling over the day’s suddenly dismal events. I was slowly putting on my drunk girl goggles. A girl can always blame them.

“If pit bull is a little rough, how about firecracker?” he said.

I raised my eyebrows bewilderingly. Was he serious? Was he trying to amend the feminist faux pas situation or take this flirting thing to a new level?

“Firecracker?” I asked, slightly dubious. “Firecracker?”

He smiled slyly and I felt tiny butterflies flutter in my stomach.

He leaned into the bar on his elbows, then over to his right, closer to me. “Yeah, firecracker,” he said coyly. “Lara, you were a firecracker back there. You’ve done the firm proud.”

“Well,” I said, shifting somewhat uncomfortably in my seat. “I wouldn’t go that far. But I’ll take this ‘firecracker’ thing as a compliment.”

“As you should.”

I gave him a half-smile, thinking how precarious the situation was getting. Then rational Lara—good old, reliable, and rational Lara—popped up in my mind.

You’re at a bar. You’re drinking. You’re on a work-related trip. Talking—no—flirting, with a co-worker. It’s time to set down the wine glass and go to bed. It’s back to the office tomorrow. Business is business.

“I think I’m going to turn in for the night,” I said wisely, giving in to my sensible side. “Have a good one, Paul.”

He gave me another wink and bid me good night, before telling me, “Sweet dreams, firecracker.”

My Book Review:

What do girlfriends do when one of them strays off the path and engages in forbidden love?

Twenty-nine year old Seattle advertising executive Lara Kearns' life is on the right track except she hasn't found true love yet. When co-worker Paul MacKenzie starts flirting with Lara, she thinks she has found "The One" and falls in love with him, only to discover that Paul is married! Faced with the reality that their love relationship is really an affair, Lara has to choose which path to take: stay in the affair with Paul or walk away heartbroken. It's not always easy to make a decision when the choices are difficult, especially when it includes an affair of the heart!

When Girlfriends Make Choices is a emotional story about love, loss, heartbreak, choices and difficult life lessons. In the third book of the When Girfriends ... collection, author Savannah Page introduces the reader to Lara Kearns' story of forbidden love and difficult choices. Written in the first person narrative, Lara shares with the readers her emotional and difficult tale of falling in love with the wrong man. When her life spirals out of control as her head and heart battle over what's the right thing to do, she has the support and tough love of her close group of girlfriends to help her through the tough time and get her life back on the right path.

This provocative tale is written in a witty style that makes the reader sit up and ponder the choices that they and their girlfriends have made in their lives. It's a realistic story that deals with a difficult and taboo situation, infidelity, that unfortunately does occur between men and women. I applaud author Savannah Page for weaving a tale from the "other woman's" viewpoint, Lara's angst and emotions over her forbidden love for Paul is palpable, and her struggle between making right and wrong life choices is one that anyone can relate to in some time in their life, even if it isn't in regard to an affair of the heart. And just like the first two books in  the collection, Lara's close knit group of five girlfriends rally around her with support and tough love to help her make the right choice in her life.

When Girlfriends Make Choices is an enjoyable and realistic story of love, friendship, emotions and life choices that is a must read for all women!

When Girlfriends Make Choices is the third book in the When Girlfriends ... collection.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card

Contest Dates: April 1-22

Everyone who leaves a comment on When Girlfriends Make Choices by Savannah Page ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of When Girlfriends Make Choices before April 22 and sends their receipt to, will get five bonus entries.

Tour Participants

April 1- Chick Lit Plus – Review
April 3- Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
April 5 - Books Etc - Review
April 5- For the Love of Film and Novels – Review & Excerpt
April 8- Life Love & Music– Review
April 10 – Free eBooks Daily – Guest Post 
April 11- Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt 
April 17 – Karma for Life Chick – Review
April 18 – Dr. Pepper Diva – Guest Post
April 18 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Q&A, Guest Post & Excerpt
April 19 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Q&A & Excerpt
April 22- eBook Addict – Review


  1. Really looking forward to the next one!

    1. Me too! I love that this collection deals with diverse issues by each girlfriend. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.