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Monday, November 4, 2013

Crumbs Aren't Enough by Raquel Whiting Gilmer (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

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 Crumbs Aren't Enough by author Raquel Whiting Gilmer!

Author Guest Post

3 Quick Tips to Go from Crumbs to the Full Meal – Improving Your Self-Esteem to Improve Your Dating Experience!

Since I released my novel, Crumbs Aren’t Enough, I’ve been asked by a number of women, “How did you go from accepting crumbs to demanding the full meal?” My answer is always the same and it’s pretty simple. I had to first feel better about myself. And once I improved my self-esteem, I could seek out what’s best for me in a relationship and demand it. 

So how did I improve my self-esteem? Well, I first had to understand where my self-esteem went off the rails. See I don’t think any of us starts off with low self-esteem, this is a condition that we develop and a lot of it comes from outside forces. 

When I look at pictures of myself as a young child, I see a little girl who was fearless and felt great about herself. She thought she was awesome and she was. But, then she heard “you’re fat,” “you need to lose weight,” “you’re ugly.” These put downs slowly but surely chipped away at my self-esteem and that little girl no longer thought she was awesome. 

Like Charlie, the main character in Crumbs Aren’t Enough, I felt like I wasn’t good enough and I didn’t deserve the best from the men I dated. Through therapy, I re-learned that I am awesome and learned strategies to help me see myself in a positive light so I could seek out the best for myself. 

What types of strategies? Well, there are probably too many to share in this brief post but here are three which I think were critical. 

1. Say Nice Things About Yourself 

I had to combat those negative voices with positive talk from myself – basically, I had to learn to say nice things about myself to myself. I don’t know about you, but I am my toughest critic. I had to learn to give myself a break and stop saying negative things about me to me. I had to learn to say kind and positive things to myself. I realized that even though there were areas in which I could improve, that didn’t make me a bad person. I was a great person and I had to tell myself that every day. For example, the biggest challenge area that affected my self-esteem was definitely body image. So instead of speaking negatively about my body, I forced myself to say five nice things about my body. This was really hard at first. But, by forcing myself to do it daily, I started to see myself in a more positive light. I continue this practice today. 

2. Write Down Your Strengths 

I bet if I asked you to tell me five of your weaknesses, you would rattle them off to me with no problem, but if I asked for five of your strengths you would probably have to think about them. It is absolutely crucial to know your strengths and write them down. I know when I first heard this I felt like writing my strengths would make me seem arrogant, but it doesn’t. If you can’t articulate your strengths, how will anyone else see them? 

3. Set Achievable Goals 

If you are anything like me, your goals are always grandiose. I never wanted to lose five pounds in a month, I always wanted to lose 20 pounds or so a month, which was unrealistic. Then I would fail and feel bad about myself, which impacted my self-esteem. Through therapy, I learned to set more modest goals that were achievable, and learned to establish realistic time frames. When I hit these modest goals, I celebrated each success and gained confidence and trust in myself. This process can work for you too. 

After you start to work on these strategies, you have to practice, practice, practice. Like Jamie explained to Charlie in Crumbs Aren’t Enough, practice makes perfect. When you first learn a new song on the piano, you have to practice before you are any good. When you learn a new dance routine, you have to practice it before you have confidence that you will do it well. It’s the same notion when you are rebuilding your self-esteem. It’s not going to happen overnight because – guess what – it didn’t break down overnight. So you have to force yourself to implement these strategies daily. 

Once my self-esteem improved, I started to question whether I was getting the best out of my relationships. I didn’t just accept what was given to me. Slowly but surely, by building up my self-esteem, the light bulb went on and I realized I was much happier unattached and on my own instead of settling for another bad relationship. My dating experiences improved as my self-esteem improved, too. 

More on that later . . .

About The Author

Hi, my name is Raquel Whiting Gilmer and I am a wife, daughter, aspiring mother (I don't have any kids yet but I want them.), sister, friend, small group leader, lawyer, entrepreneur, confidant, advisor, blogger, twitter attempter, soon to be published author, and accepter of crumbs. Well, a recovering crumbs accepter. What's a crumb accepter? Is it as bad as it sounds? It's bad, but it's preventable and curable. defines a crumb as a small fragment, scrap, or portion.

And it defines accepter as one who accepts. So a crumbs accepter is one who accepts small scraps. No bueno, right? How did I get like this? Well, I think my low self-esteem was the root cause of it. And I've learned that when your self-esteem is bad then you will accept anything including crumbs in all areas of your life. BTW, my biggest crumbs area was definitely my relationships with men.

Things are different now and I have committed myself to Live Crumbs Free.

Live crumbs free? Yes, I am committed to not accepting crumbs in any area of my life. But to get to this point, I had to do some work. I first had to work on my self-esteem. And after lots of therapy I got to a place where not only did I have high self-esteem but I started a website,, and a girls' program, Perfectly Me Girls to encourage other women and girls to embrace and love who they are and not judge themselves by the world's standards. Our motto is I'm not perfect, I'm just Perfectly Me.

Once my self-esteem was on the rise, I could start to look at the crumbs in my life. And I knew I had to deal with my personal crumbs and I'm happy to report that after many failed relationships and mounds of crumbs, I met the love of my life and married him. Yay!!! I have the full meal and then some now and it has changed my life. I want everyone to have that full meal and I know how bad the crumbs are so I've written my first novel about a woman struggling with relationships who finally figures out that Crumbs Aren't Enough. I hope you will read my blog at, check out my novel, and follow me on twitter, @perfectlyraquel, as I dole out advice and wisdom (my limited wisdom) on keeping your self-esteem high and getting rid of the crumbs.

Crumbs Aren't Enough by Raquel Whiting Gilmer ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours

Crumbs Aren't Enough - Book Trailer

Book Review

Crumbs Aren't Enough by Raquel Whiting Gilmer
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Format: Paperback - 316 pages / Kindle - 462 KB / Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 1626522391
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction 

BUY THE BOOK: Crumbs Aren't Enough

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:

With $80,000 in student debt, an alter ego named Crazy Charlie, and more than her fair share of hang-ups, Charlie Bennett is on a mission: a mission to feel better about herself.

By all accounts this shouldn’t be too difficult. After all, Charlie has graduated from the best universities, has good friends to keep her sane, and an impressive resume to boot. But her poor choices in men (and therapists) have left Charlie feeling fat, fretful, and fed up. She knows something has to change–she’s just not sure what.

When the elevator doors open and Jack Hudson appears with his perfect smile and perfect teeth, Charlie thinks she’s found her answer. A Taye Diggs lookalike who sees through Charlie’s imperfections, Jack could be The One–and not just because he can make strawberry shortcake from scratch. But as their relationship develops without any sign of a commitment, Charlie is left grabbing for crumbs yet again.

Book Excerpt:

“So I saw you coming back to the office with Jack. Any new developments?”

I wanted to scream, “Of course not! If I had any new developments I would have come to your office to talk about them!” But I didn’t scream, I just shared my worries.

“No updates. I can’t believe it’s the middle of September and he still just sees me as a work friend. I’m sitting here worried that he only thinks about me in the context of the office.”

“Um, that’s a tough one. I don’t think you should ask him out. I don’t think you will get anywhere doing that,” Ryan said sarcastically.

“I feel the same way. You could tell him to ask me out,” I said, laughing. I knew it was probably a stupid idea but I was feeling so desperate and I knew Ryan would do anything to help me find love.

“Girl, I love you, but I am not going to tell that man to ask you out. That would be more ridiculous than even I am comfortable with.”

I knew he was right, but I wanted him to be more helpful. I was racking my brain. What could I do for him to see me in a different light? How could I get him to view me as more than a friend? And then it hit me.

“Wait, what if I have a dinner party?” As I said it, I started to imagine the interactions between me and Jack. My friends could tell him awesome stories about me. I was fully in my own world when I heard Ryan say, “A dinner party . . . I like it.”

My Book Review:

Crumbs Aren't Enough is a poignant account of one woman's personal journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. Author Raquel Whiting Gilmer weaves an inspiring tale set in Washington D.C., and written in the first person narrative that follows the journey of attorney Charlie Bennett, as she battles low self-esteem issues in regard to her weight and relationship with men.

Charlie is an intelligent and sophisticated young woman who has always dealt with low self-esteem in her personal life. Growing up as a chubby kid, Charlie was on the receiving end of cruelty by others, and had spent years not liking herself. She didn't think she was valuable or good enough to deserve the best. She was just happy enough when a man would show her any attention, and she would accept any crumbs that he was willing to give her. And if she liked a man, she would become obsessed with the potential of a relationship, that she would spend all her time trying to change herself to make him stay. What she wanted most of all was an unconditional, passionate, and inspired love with someone who loved her with equal amount of passion and desire that she gave, she wanted to settle down with someone in a serious relationship. When the pursuit to finding love was unsuccessful, Charlie sought answers in therapy sessions, where she wanted to know what her was wrong with her, what her value as a woman/person was, and how to develop a better self-esteem in her relationships with men. Charlie's journey will teach her that there was never anything wrong with herself, and that in order to receive love from another person, you have to learn to accept and love yourself first. Most of all, Charlie's journey would teach her to value herself, and to never settle or accept crumbs from anyone!

Crumbs Aren't Enough is a smart and inspiring story that every woman should read. Author Raquel Whiting Gilmer weaves a wonderful story through the sassy voice of Charlie, whose vibrant energy is prevalent as she tells the reader about her personal journey to seek balance and self-acceptance in her life. Her ability to laugh at herself as her story unfolds in a conversational style endears the reader to her as if they are best of friends. You can't help but cheer for Charlie as her journey is filled with trials and tribulations, life lessons, and laugh-out-loud moments. Charlie is a woman that any one of us can relate to, she provides a lot of inspirational lessons on self-esteem, self-discovery, and self-acceptance that we can embrace and learn from. The author's thoughtful message that no one should ever settle or accept crumbs in their personal life and professional career comes across loud and clear, and and provides the reader with food for thought to ponder about the state of their own personal life.

Crumbs Aren't Enough is an inspirational and witty story about finding and embracing self-love and self-acceptance in your life. This is a story that will resonate with you for a very long time. Kudos to Author Raquel Whiting Gilmer on a wonderful debut novel.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $200 Amazon Gift Card

Pump Up Your Book and Raquel Whiting Gilmer are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $200 Amazon Gift Card!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour.

This promotion will run from September 2 – November 29. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on November 30, 2013.

Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

Monday, September 2 – Book featured at Between the Pages
Tuesday, September 3 – Book featured at Jody’s Book Reviews
Wednesday, September 4 – Interviewed at Review From Here
Monday, September 9 – Guest blogging at Literal Exposure
Wednesday, September 11 – Book featured at Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem
Thursday, September 12 – 1st chapter reveal at Books and Needlepoint
Friday, September 13 – Book featured at Bibliotica
Monday, September 16 – Book reviewed at Bibliotica
Monday, September 16 – Book featured at My Reading Table
Tuesday, September 17 – Book reviewed at My Reading Table
Wednesday, September 18 – Book featured at Confessions of a Reader
Thursday, September 19 – Book featured at Icefairy’s Treasure Chest
Monday, September 23 – Interviewed at Book Reviews by Dee
Wednesday, September 25 – Interviewed at Broowaha
Monday, September 30 – Book featured at The Road to Here
Tuesday, October 8 – 1st chapter reveal at The Road to Here
Wednesday, October 9 – Guest blogging at Straight From the Authors Mouth
Friday, October 11 – Book featured at Book Marketing Buzz
Tuesday, October 15 – Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
Thursday, October 17 – Book reviewed at Good Girl Gone Redneck
Friday, October 18 – Guest Blogging at Beyond the Books
Monday, October 21 – 1st chapter reveal at Read 2 Review
Wednesday, October 23 – Interviewed at As the Pages Turn
Friday, October 25 – Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Monday, October 28 – Book featured at Between the Covers
Tuesday, October 29 – Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book
Thursday, October 31 – Guest blogging at The Writer’s Life
Monday, November 4 – Book reviewed at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Friday, November 8 – Interviewed at Straight From the Authors Mouth
Monday, November 11 – Guest blogging at She Writes
Tuesday, November 12 – Book reviewed at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Thursday, November 14 – Guest blogging at Newsvine
Friday, November 15 – Book featured at Plug Your Book
Monday, November 18 – Guest blogging at Allvoices
Wednesday, November 20 – Guest blogging at Redroom
Thursday, November 21 – Book featured at The Book Rack
Friday, November 22 – Interviewed at Between the Covers
Monday, November 25 – Book featured at The Dark Phantom
Tuesday, November 26 – Interviewed at Blogher
Wednesday, November 27 – 1st chapter reveal at Read My First Chapter
Thursday, November 28 – Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish
Friday, November 29 – Interviewed at Examiner

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