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Monday, July 8, 2013

Pretty Is As Pretty Does by Debby Mayne (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Pretty Is As Pretty Does by author Debby Mayne!

Author Guest Post

Meet the Piney Point High School Graduates

Although Piney Point, Mississippi, is a fictional town near the real city of Hattiesburg, you may feel that you have been to this small town populated by characters with big personalities. I mix real places with fictional ones to add depth to the stories and the lives of Priscilla, Laura, Tim, Trudy, and Celeste.

Voted "Most Likely to Succeed" back in high school, Priscilla has to battle living up to the expectations of her classmates and her mother. She is smart, but her desire isn't to pursue a career in anything academic. She has always enjoyed fashion and beauty, much to her mother's dismay. And her mother likes to constantly remind her of her disappointment.

Laura is one of those girls who does all the hard work and wants everyone to notice. She complains that no one else does anything (most of us know this girl, right?), so she continues to volunteer. Back in high school, she managed to work things out, but now, as an adult, she has an alcoholic husband who acts like a teenager and four young'uns who need her more than her classmates do. What she was once able to accomplish now turns into a huge mess, and it really gets her goat to have to ask other people for help.

Sweet country boy Tim, who was raised by his mama and granny after his daddy abandoned them when he was little, knows how to take advantage of good situations when they arise. Fortunately, his daddy's brother took some responsibility by sending Tim to college and setting him up in a career…complete with company car. Although Tim isn't someone who always dreamed of being a beauty supply salesman, he's not about to look a gift horse in the mouth. His biggest reward is meeting Priscilla, the only girl who has ever made his heart go pitty-pat. The only problem is that she doesn't feel the same. What's a guy to do?

Wallflower Celeste doesn't have any expectations when she agrees to help with the reunion committee. Laura has made it perfectly clear that calling her was a last resort. However, for the first time in her life, Celeste feels that she's part of something, so she grabs the opportunity and runs with it. She has never felt anything but disdain for people who actually fit in and won awards, but her heart melts a little when Priscilla manages to make Celeste look more beautiful than she ever dreamed she could.

Most people who attend reunions have a goal, even when they don't realize it. They may want to show off their success or appearance so others will look at them with respect. They might be curious about how others turned out. Or they may simply want to get in touch with people they haven't seen in a long time. Have you been to a class reunion? If so, what was your goal?

About The Author

Debby Mayne has published more than 30 books and novellas, 400 print short stories and articles, more than 1,000 web articles, and a slew of devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor for Long Ridge Writers Group, and a copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. For the past eight years, she has judged the Writers Digest Annual Competition, Short-Short Contest, and Self-Published Book Competition. Three of Debby’s books have been top ten favorites by the Heartsong Presents book club. Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times Magazine, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July 2009. Her latest book is Pretty Is As Pretty Does.

Pretty Is As Pretty Does by Debby Mayne ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours

Book Review

Pretty Is As Pretty Does by Debby Mayne
Book 1: Class Reunion series
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Format: Paperback - 304 pages / Kindle - 792 KB / Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 1426770707
Genre: Christian Fiction / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Pretty Is As Pretty Does

BUY THE SERIES: Class Reunion
Prequel: Before the Class Reunion 

Book 1: Pretty is as Pretty Does
Book 2: Bless Her Heart (Publication Date: August 6, 2013)
Book 3: Tickled Pink (Publication Date: October 15, 2013)

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 Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours.

Book Description:

Priscilla Slater goes to her 10-year high school reunion as a successful business woman. Even though she got rid of her mousy brown hair, swapped out her discount store wardrobe for designer clothes, and now has perfectly straight teeth, she can’t get past feeling like the ugly duckling. Her parents’ disapproval for her choice of careers—running a chain of hair salons—deepens her self-doubt. She experiences self-discovery and learns that things aren’t always as they seem.

During the reunion, one woman passes out after starving herself for the event. The class beauty queen appears to have more self-confidence than ever until her ex shows up with his new wife. The reunion organizer has taken her responsibilities to a whole new level that makes the Marines look like Boy Scouts, while her husband drinks too much and makes a fool of himself. The man she always dreamed about being with finally gives her some attention, but when she finds out more about him, she realizes he’s not worth her time. These realizations boost her self-confidence, but now she has to deal with her best friend Tim’s new feelings for her.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One 
(Priscilla Slater) 

We are thrilled to announce Piney Point High School’s 10 year reunion on June 7, 2003, at 7:30 PM 
in Piney Point High’s Newly renovated gymnasium. 
Attire: Sunday best 
RSVP: Laura Moss 601-555-1515 
PS: There will be a pre-party At Shenanigans in Hattiesburg Starting at about 5:00 PM.

Wow. Ten years. As I read my high school reunion invitation a second time, I can’t help but smile. Although I own one of the most successful businesses in my hometown of Piney Point, Mississippi, I’ve lost track of most of the people I graduated with.

Knowing the people I went to high school with, this is going to be one crazy event—that is, if everyone attends. I’m not surprised Laura added a pre-party to the invitation. Her husband has never attended any social event before pre-partying his face off—even in high school. Pete Moss graduated with the distinct honor of high school lush, and as far as I know, he continues to hold that honor, which is ironic since I don’t remember ever seeing Laura touching a drop of anything stronger than her mama’s two-day old sweet tea. 

Poor Laura.

I pin the invitation to the bulletin board beside the fridge. And for extra measure, I jot the date on my calendar. In pencil, just in case . . . well, in case something comes up.

As I kick off my killer-high heels, I wonder if Maurice will be there. I sigh as I remember the guy who, in my mind, almost became my boyfriend. I used to stand in front of my bedroom mirror, practicing “looks.” I reflect back and realize things weren’t as they seemed, but I still wonder if he’ll see me differently now that I’ve made something of myself. Not that I’m trying to impress anyone.

And I sure haven’t impressed my parents. Quite the opposite. Still, I’ve taken a small-town beauty shop and turned it into a fabulous business—one of the most successful in Piney Point. And I’m not ready to stop there. I already have three shops—the original, which used to be called Dolly’s Cut ‘n Curl, one in Hattiesburg that formerly held the title Goldy’s Locks, and the salon where my current office is located in Jackson. In honor of the first, they are all called Prissy’s Cut ’n Curl, although I’m seriously considering changing the name to something a little trendier since I’m planning to expand. I mean, really, can you imagine anyone in New York City telling her friends she gets her hair done at the Cut ‘n Curl? Besides, I hate being called Prissy.

I’ll never forget Mother’s reaction when she found out I’d dropped out of my first semester of college and enrolled at the Pretty and Proud School of Cosmetology. You’d have thought I announced I wanted to pledge Phi Mu or something. No offense to anyone in Phi Mu. It’s just that Mother was a Chi Omega, and that makes me a legacy, which carries even more clout than being Miss Piney Point, something I never was. Mother would have had a fit if I’d even suggested entering a beauty contest. So when I met some of the Chi Omegas at Ole Miss, I was surprised by how many of them were beauty queens—something Mother never mentioned.

My parents are academics and they’re proud of it. Mother is a professor of English, and Dad is the head of the history department at the Piney Point Community College, but you’d think they were tenured professors at an Ivy League school the way they carry on.

I missed lunch today and my stomach’s grumbling. But when the noise turns to hissing, I relent and pull a Lean Cuisine from the freezer. I know how to cook, but it seems rather pointless to do that for one. I also know that one Lean Cuisine isn’t enough, so while it heats in the microwave, I grab a bag of salad and dump the contents into a bowl. Then I chop a tomato, grab a few olives, and pour a tablespoon of ranch dressing on top. I step back and study the salad before I squirt another tablespoon or two. The salad’s full of fiber and the Lean Cuisine is low-fat, so I figure that balances out the extra calories.

Just as I’m about to sit down and enjoy dinner, the phone rings. It has to be Mother, I think. She’s the only one who ever calls my house phone. I hesitate, but my daughterly duties overcome me. What if she needs something? I’d never be able to live with the guilt if I didn’t answer an important call from the woman who gave birth to me after twenty hours of labor—or so she tells folks when they ask why I’m an only child.

“Did you get your invitation yet?” she asks without letting me finish my hello. “Are you planning on going?” 

Leave it to Mother to know about the reunion before me. “Yes . . . well, probably.”

“There’s really no point, Priscilla. After all, it’s all about showing off all your accomplishments, and it’s not like you’ve made all that much of your life.”

I bite my tongue, as I always have. I want to let Mother know how I really feel, but talking back has never gotten me anywhere with her, so I somehow manage to keep my yap shut. She takes that as encouragement to keep going.

“That silly-frilly little job of yours will get old one of these days, and then what will you do?”

My Book Review:

Who hasn't had angst over attending their high school class reunion?

In Pretty Is As Pretty Does, author Debby Maynes weaves a realistic tale that follows five high school classmates' angst and anticipation of attending their ten year class reunion. Written in the first person narrative with alternating perspectives, the reader follows Priscilla Slater, Tim Puckett, Laura Moss, Trudy Baynard and Celeste Boudreaux as they prepare to attend their ten year high school reunion in Piney Point, Mississippi.

Priscilla was voted "Most Likely To Succeed" in high school, but she battles self-confidence issues even though she has lived up to the expectation and has succeeded in her life.

Tim has been in love with Priscilla since high school, but she hasn't felt the same way about him.

Laura is the class reunion's organizer, she has always been the one to volunteer and control everything, but one thing she can't control is her marriage to the class drunk.

Trudy was the prom queen and beauty pageant winner "Miss Piney Point", whose life is falling apart after her divorce from her husband Michael.

Celeste was the ugly duckling and wall flower in high school. She has always had disdain for people who fit in and had won awards. But now she gets a chance to fit in and feel like she's part of something when she helps Laura with the reunion committee.

Small town drama and personal issues abound when these classmates get together for their ten year reunion. Every person has their own goal for attending the class reunion: show off their success and appearance; curiosity of how their classmates' lives turned out; and reconnect with their classmates. After all the years have past, the angst builds of what they will discover at the class reunion: old classmates aren't the same as they were in high school.

This entertaining story will take you back to your own angst, expectations and memories of your high school class reunion. As the reader glimpses into each of the characters' lives, you will be able to relate to their struggles, successes, failures, mixed with laughter, tears, romance and heartbreak. Author Debby Mayne hits the nail on the head with her accurate depiction of the dynamics of a high school class reunion. The author easily draws the reader into the characters' lives, the events leading up to the class reunion, and the class reunion itself.

Pretty Is As Pretty Does is the first book in the Class Reunion series. The reader will get a chance to catch up with these classmates in the next two books in the series: Bless Her Heart and Tickled Pink, when they attend their fifteen and twenty year class reunions!


Class Reunion Series - Trailer

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

Monday, July 1 – Book Featured at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Monday, July 1 – Book Review at All Grown Up
Tuesday, July 2 – Book Review at The Mary Book Reader
Tuesday, July 2 – Book Featured at Jody’s Book Reviews
Wednesday, July 3 – Book Review at Splashes of Joy
Friday, July 5 – Book Review at A Peek at My Bookshelf
Monday, July 8 – Book Review & Character Guest Post at Reader Girls
Monday, July 8 – Book Review & Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Tuesday, July 9 – Book Review at Kaisy Daisy Book Reviews
Wednesday, July 10 – Book Featured at Authors & Readers Book Corner
Thursday, July 11 – Guest Blogging at Books a la Mode
Thursday, July 11 – Book Review at Popcorn Reads
Friday, July 12 – Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at Darlene’s Book Nook
Sunday, July 14 – Book Review at Thoughts in Progress
Monday, July 15 – Book Review at Melissa’s Midnight Musings
Monday, July 15 – Book Review at Steph the Bookworm
Monday, July 15 – Book Review at My Life One Story at a Time
Tuesday, July 16 – Book Feature & Giveaway at Celtic Lady’s Reviews
Tuesday, July 16 – Book Review at Queen of All She Reads
Wednesday, July 17 – Book Review at Community Bookstop
Thursday, July 18 – Interview & Book Giveaway at Janna Shay’s Fair Play
Thursday, July 18 – Book Review at My Devotional Thoughts
Friday, July 19 – Book Review at By the Book
Friday, July 19 – Book Review & Giveaway at Mary’s Cup of Tea
Monday, July 22 – Book Review at Fictional Candy
Monday, July 22 – Book Review at Moonlight Lace & Mayhem
Monday, July 22 – Book Review at Sweet Southern Home
Monday, July 22 – Book Review at The Book Fairy Reviews
Tuesday, July 23 - Book Review at My Cozy Corner
Tuesday, July 23 – Book Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Wednesday, July 24 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Wednesday, July 24 – Book Review & Giveaway at The Self-Taught Cook
Thursday, July 25 – Book Review at Dr. Pepper Diva
Thursday, July 25 – Book Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Friday, July 26 – Book Review at Melina’s Book Blog

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