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.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Driving Me To You by Julie Farrell (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Driving Me To You by Author Julie Farrell!

Author Guest Post

Top Ten Facts About Julie Farrell

1. I started writing romance eight years ago, when I worked as a receptionist in a very quiet building. I took years to hone my craft, and decided to finally self-publish in 2013. It’s very empowering and liberating to have my books on sale, rather than having them festering on my computer!

2. There was a time, only a few years ago, when all I wanted was to get through the day without the fear of having a panic attack. I overcame panic attacks by confronting my fears, practising yoga regularly, and joining my local Toastmasters public speaking club! The phrase ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ is etched in my brain forever!

3. I love a good cuppa! Assam is my favourite tea. Throw in a bar of chocolate and a snuggly armchair, and I’m in paradise!

4. When I was in my early twenties, I wanted to be a rock star! I’ve always loved music and I enjoy playing the guitar and writing my own songs. Why did I stop playing gigs? Partly because of panic attacks getting in the way (which I’ve now kicked to the kerb!) and mainly because I don’t like late nights! ;o) You can see me singing one of my songs here: 

5. I dabble with stand-up comedy. As part of my self-development drive in 2012, I decided to go for the scariest thing I could think of – doing a stand-up comedy course! This culminated in a showcase in front of 120 people, at a London comedy club. It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done, but I survived, and learnt a valuable lesson – ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!’ I still like to do the odd comedy gig here and there, and it gets easier every time.

6. Sam, the female protagonist in Driving Me to You, is the character most like me out of all my characters. When I was in my late-twenties, I travelled in India, where I contracted dysentery, and came home a changed woman. The mindfulness app that Sam invents is based on my own experiences of mindfulness meditation, and, like her, I also love the band Television!

7. I sponsor a child in India through World Vision, which makes me feel connected with others less fortunate than myself, and reminds me of how lucky I am to have all I have here in the UK.

8. My mum is an amateur astronomer, meaning I’ve always been fascinated with science. I read New Scientist magazine every week, which inspires me when it comes to writing about the latest technology (eg: the app in Driving Me to You).

9. My favourite film is Alien! A bit strange for a romance writer, I know! But I love how powerful and cool Ripley is. She really inspired me as a teenager. As did Sarah Conner from Terminator!

10. If I could magically be transported into any time in history, anywhere in the world, I would choose right here and right now! It’s perfect!

~ J

About The Author

Julie Farrell is a chick lit / contemporary romance author from England. She’s published two novels on Amazon – Driving Me to You and Ruby in the Dust – with a third on the way.

When not reading or writing, she loves yoga, meditation, and playing her guitar. Bob Dylan has had a huge influence on her – he’s really someone who can make magic with words!

I spent my twenties losing myself in light-hearted romantic fiction novels, which sparked my imagination with a desire to write my own stories. I'm happiest when I'm creating plots, characters, and dialogue - it's like watching my very own Richard Curtis film inside my head, and I get to control the action and outcome!

My books are uplifting and empowering, character-driven contemporary romances. Lose yourself in a Julie Farrell romance, and find yourself transformed forever! Inside, you’ll discover everyday characters reconnecting with the joys of life, the joys of themselves, and of each other.


Book Review

Driving Me To You by Julie Farrell
Publisher: D Z Publishing
Publication Date: October 3, 2013
Format: Paperback - 374 pages / Kindle - 1703 KB 
ISBN: 0992629322
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

BUY THE BOOK: Driving Me To You

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:

When Sam meets her sister’s sexy mechanic, Verlaine, she instantly falls for those gorgeous brown eyes and rugged charms, and a secret romance begins. Unfortunately, there’s unfinished business between Sam and her monstrous childhood nemesis. No, not her sister Gemma, but her late-father’s beloved Bentley.

Gemma is struggling to save the family vintage-car business, and it doesn’t help that little sis has just swanned back home, with no intention of helping. Gemma knows the only solution is to involve Sam’s old flame, the charismatic venture capitalist, Marcus Priestley. But Marcus is compelled to win Sam back, and he certainly won’t let the hired help muscle-in.

Verlaine is Gemma’s sexy mechanic, who’s trying to blag it as a chauffeur. But he’s so bad at tying his necktie, he looks like a stripper at a hen night. Working with Gemma’s vintage cars is his dream job, but things get complicated when he falls for the boss’s sister and sets himself up as rival to Marcus. Then the road trip adventure from London to Brighton beach begins!

Who will Sam choose in the love triangle? The penniless new love or the wealthy ex? And how will she tame the Bentley, to become the strong and powerful woman that she’s always known she could be?

This charming comedy covers modern issues for modern women, such as dating, relationships, careers, friendship, and, of course, love.

Book Excerpt:

Sam shook herself back to the present, with the sense that someone was watching her. She turned her head and discovered that there was a man outside the café window, staring in. A fluffy feeling flurried in her chest. The man wasn’t conventionally handsome, but he was quirky, and quirky – by definition – didn’t tend to crop up every day.

Sam saw that he was dressed in a suit and shirt, and he seemed to be on his way to work. But somehow these clothes didn’t seem right on him; he looked agitated and uncomfortable. He pouted in concentration, frowning like a peeved punk rocker. Ah, right, he wasn’t staring at Sam: he was using the window as a mirror, while attempting to do up his tie. His attempts were futile, though – his top button was undone and his technique was abysmal.

Every byte of processing power in Sam’s mind focused on finding an excuse to go out there. Just to have a conversation. It’s better to regret something you’ve done than something you haven’t.

“Would you like another cup of tea, my love?”

Sam dragged her eyes away from the man and frowned at the waitress. “Maybe in a minute. I’ll come to the counter.”

She darted her eyes to the window, willing the waitress to go away. Frustration twisted inside her, as the waitress opened her mouth to speak. Please bugger off, I’m trying to make eye contact with the hunk outside!

The waitress didn’t get the hint. “I’ll just clear these things away.”

“There’s really no need!”

The waitress creaked into life and gathered up the empty cup, then the milk jug, then the teapot, and finally the little bowl of sugar-cubes – which Sam hadn’t even used.

“Let me know if you want anything else, my love.”

“I will. Thank you.”

The waitress trundled off, and Sam swivelled back to the window. Excitement twinkled through her like sunlight on the sea – the tie-tying escapade continued outside.

The man finished, and studied his handiwork. He looked pleased with it, but Sam wouldn’t be satisfied with a knot like that – it was as crumpled as Gemma’s knickers when she got them in a twist.

Sam decided to seize the moment and go and help the man, so she started to stand up. But, to her dismay, he stepped away from the window and sauntered into the crowd. No! She lowered herself onto the chair, feeling her internal organs congeal with disappointment. Like a rubbernecker at a traffic accident, she watched the man stroll around the corner, and disappear from sight. Too late.

Sam held her breath. The silence rang in her ears. Time ticked on as usual, but Sam’s existence had snagged itself on a rusty nail of regret. Maybe it wasn’t too late to run after him? She considered pushing back her chair and sprinting down the road. But then, delight! The café door was pushed open from the outside. Sam glanced over her shoulder, and, yes! He innocently ambled in, unaware that Sam was monitoring his every footstep.

He halted at the counter and spoke in a faint American accent. “Hi, could I get a coffee to go, please?”

My Book Review:

Driving Me To You is an enjoyable romantic tale about family, friendship and love. Set in London, the readers follow the trials and tribulations of sisters Samantha and Gemma as they struggle to save their family's classic car business.

After the death of their father, younger sister Sam spent the last five months travelling in India, while Gemma tried to deal with the family's financial mess. Returning home to London, Sam briefly meets Verlaine, an American guy in a cafe, unbeknownst to her that Gemma will hire him as a chauffeur/mechanic for their family business. When Sam and Verlaine meet for the second time, they become friends and keep their budding relationship a secret. But when Gemma gets Marcus Priestley, a venture capitalist and Sam's ex-boyfriend, to invest in the family business, Sam and Verlaine's relationship becomes complicated and a rivalry ensues when Marcus becomes determined to win back Sam's heart. And if that isn't enough, strained family relations between Gemma and Sam, and underhanded dealings within the family business will provide enough intrigue and suspense that will easily keep the reader turning the pages.

Author Julie Farrell weaves an entertaining tale that is packed with humor, family drama, quirky friendships, adventure, suspenseful twists and turns, and a lighthearted romance. I really enjoyed the narration of the story from the various characters' points of view, it made the characters come to life, and in my opinion it made the story that much more entertaining and enjoyable. It is easy to get drawn into this multi-layered story: from Sam and Gemma working on their strained family relationship; to the love triangle between Sam, Verlaine and Marcus; to Verlaine's quirky group of friends; to the intrigue involving the family business; Driving Me To You is a fun contemporary romance novel that has a great mixture of humor, romance and suspense, what more could a reader ask for?


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card

Anyone who leaves a comment on the Driving Me To You tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Driving Me To You before January 6 and sends their receipt to will get 5 bonus entries!

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

December 30 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews - Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
December 30 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Guest Post
December 31 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
January 2 – Book Suburbia – Excerpt
January 2 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Review 
January 6 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Review
January 6 – Literary Chanteuse – Excerpt


  1. Thank you so much for having me on Jersey Girl Book Reviews - I really appreciate this lovely review! :)

    1. Hi Julie! I really enjoyed reading Driving Me To You. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. :)

  2. Thanks for being in the tour and Happy New Year!

  3. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. Happy New Year!