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 23, 2013

The Art Of Being Rebekkah by Karoline Barrett (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Art Of Being Rebekkah by Author Karoline Barrett!

Author Guest Post

What's In A Name?

Thank you for inviting me to post, Kathleen. A former Jersey girl myself, with family still in the Garden State, I love all things Jersey. And your website is gorgeous!

One of my favorite things about writing, whether it’s a short story or novel, is lovingly bestowing my characters with names. Not only is it a way of using names I love, but will never have a chance to use, I really do believe names have the ability to make or break your story. Some names can be very integral to your plot, who your character is, and how they develop.

So, what’s in a name? Who cares? Are readers going to care what your characters are named if you have a good story going? Well, yes. Consider this:

Standing in front of Elmer, Harriet slowly let her robe fall to the floor. “I’ve been waiting for this moment all night, Elm.” 

Elmer stood and followed Harriet into the bedroom, closing the door behind him.

With apologies to all the Harriets and Elmers out there, who I’m sure are very lovely people, does this scene make you want to know what’s going on behind that door? If you’re like me, not at all! We can only hope they hopped into their separate beds and went right to sleep. Because face it, Harriet and Elmer sound like…well, Harriet and Elmer. * Now, we try writing the scene above again, but this time with different names:

Standing in front of Dax, Madison dropped her robe. “I’ve been waiting for this moment all night, Dax.”

Dax stood and followed Madison into the bedroom, closing the door behind him.

Now, I’m picturing a couple in their twenties, not in their last years of A.A.R.P. membership, and what goes on behind the closed bedroom door suddenly becomes a lot more interesting. Just because the names are different.

I’m lucky because I’ve never had a problem with characters’ names coming to me. In fact, they seem to come with names already, once I have an idea what my character looks like and who she or he, is. Here are some of my favorite female names: Hannah, Olivia, Jane, Norah, Grace, Molly, Sophie, Madison, Pamela, Elisabeth. And for men: Dax (I’ve used that more than once!), Brian, Kevin, Jake, Anthony, Dominick, Jonathan. It’s harder for me to come up with males names for some reason.

In The Art of Being Rebekkah, I chose the name Rebekkah for my main female character because that’s a biblical name, and while my book is not a preachy religious book at all, religion plays a huge part in who Rebekkah is, and ends up causing her some difficulty. I chose Avram for her husband because that name just sounds like someone who is older and controlling (at least to me), which he is. The other major character, the man Rebekkah eventually falls in love with, is Dominick Rossi. He’s an Italian police detective, and I absolutely love the name Dominick-so Italian and sexy-although he’s Nick for most of the book, but that’s okay, too!

I really don’t think The Art of Being Rebekkah would have the same appeal if my characters were Ethel, Homer, and Wilbur…

About The Author

Karoline Barrett was born in upstate New York and has lived in South America, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. At the moment, she lives in a small Connecticut town with her husband. When she’s not writing, she loves reading, spending time by the water, traveling, and doing anything that has nothing to do with math.

She’s currently working on her second novel, a cozy mystery set in upstate N.Y.


Book Review

The Art Of Being Rebekkah by Karoline Barrett
Publisher: E-Lit Books
Publication Date: October 30, 2013
Format: Paperback - 364 pages / Kindle - 828 KB / Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 9780989401
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Art Of Being Rebekkah

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 Rebekkah Gelles suspects her husband, Avram of not only lying to her, but also contriving not to have the children she so desperately wants and embezzling money from his business, she wants out of their marriage.

Her life gets complicated when she falls in love with detective Nick Rossi. Convinced Nick’s wrong for her—he’s not Jewish for one thing—she walks away after they share a night of passion. Nick warns her even though he loves her, he won’t beg. Their budding relationship seems to have ended.

When Rebekkah finds herself staring at a positive pregnancy test, she wavers between joy and sadness. Motherhood wasn’t supposed to happen this way.

Book Excerpt:

He turned his head, and looked right at her. Even from a distance she could see the surprised look on his face. She took off as soon as the light turned green. She glanced in the rearview mirror in time to see his Camaro slide in behind the Volvo. Was he following her home? Her heart was still racing, but she concentrated on her driving, terrified of having an accident, hurting herself or the baby.

She pulled into a parking spot near her parents’ house, relieved, yet disappointed that she no longer saw him. She was almost to the brownstone’s front steps when something made her look toward the street.

Nick’s car was double-parked right in front of her. His passenger window slid down.


The intimate way he said her name made her long to go to him. He looked even more handsome than she remembered. She pictured an invisible string connecting him to her and the baby.

“You were crying back there, weren’t you?”

“I’m fine, Nick,” Rebekkah managed to reply.

“I hope so.” He didn’t drive away.

She couldn’t just turn away from him. She waited. She should tell him about his baby. He was a good man. He would be a wonderful father.

“Come closer,” he asked.

She went to the curb.

“I miss you.”

His image blurred through her tears. “I miss you, too.”

My Book Review:

The Art Of Being Rebekkah is an enjoyable story about a woman's journey of self-discovery and getting a second chance at love.

Rebekkah Gelles' marriage to Avram is anything but picture perfect. Avram is a successful businessman who is very controlling and manipulative, he thwarts Rebekkah's desire to have a baby and sabotages her dream of becoming a professional artist. When Rebekkah discovers Avram's deceptive dark side: his criminal involvement in embezzling from his business partner and stealing her artwork, Rebekkah wants out of the marriage and demands a divorce.

Rebekkah meets Brooklyn Detective Nick Rossi, who is investigating Avram's embezzlement case. A mutual attraction develops between Rebekkah and Nick, and she finds herself falling for the handsome policeman. But there is a serious issue in their relationship that causes Rebekkah concern, their different heritages: she is a conservative Jew, while Nick is an Italian Catholic. As Rebekkah struggles with the dilemma of her new found love and their different heritages, she discovers that she is pregnant with Nick's baby, and if that isn't enough of a life changer, her adopted mother reveals Rebekkah's true birth heritage. Rebekkah embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will lead her to make decisions about her life, identity, faith, vocation, and love.

The Art Of Being Rebekkah was a wonderful story that follows Rebekkah Gelles' emotional journey of self-discovery and finding second love. You can't help but get drawn into Rebekkah's story, her journey is filled with questions, struggles, trials and tribulations, as she navigates the life-changing events that occur during her search to find her true identity. Rebekkah's journey will lead her to discover her true self, make life choices, find love, and discover the passion of her vocation as a professional artist.

Growing up in an Irish Catholic family, I loved that the author introduced the reader to the Jewish culture, it was interesting to learn about their faith and traditions.

This story has a little bit of everything that easily draws the reader into the storyline: Jewish / Catholic cultures, adoption, pregnancy, embezzlement, and getting a second chance at love. The storyline has a great mixture of intrigue, drama, romance, and surprising twists and turns. The characters are realistic and well-developed: Avram is a man that anyone would love to hate, while Rebekkah and Nick's relationship gave me a warm fuzzy feeling that made me smile.

The Art Of Being Rebekkah is a heartwarming and realistic portrayal of a woman's emotional journey of discovering the art of being her true self.


Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

December 9 – Humeira Kazmi – Q&A
December 10 – Kathleen M. Rodgers – Q&A
December 11- Mary Metcalfe – Q&A & Excerpt
December 12- Chick Lit Plus – Review
December 15 – Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Q&A & Excerpt
December 16 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Review 
December 17 – Alice Soon – Review & Q&A
December 18 – Tina Moss – Excerpt
December 20 – Fiction Dreams – Guest Post & Excerpt
December 23 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt


  1. Kathleen, thanks for having me on! And thank you for the great review. Great way to end my tour! Happy holidays!

    1. Hi Karoline! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. I enjoyed reading The Art Of Being Rebekkah. Happy Holidays! :)

  2. thanks for closing out the tour!

  3. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.