Author Guest Post
There Should Be More To Chick Lit Than Getting The Guy
When I was younger, I devoured every long, steamy romance novel I could get my hands on. A week, tops, and I was done and on to the next. I graduated to epic, historical novels; quickly grew bored with them, and moved on to sterner stuff: Grisham, Patterson, Lee Child. Murder mysteries gave my brain something to do, plus they always seemed to have a little satisfying romance thrown in for my feminine soul.
However, as far as genre went, I yearned for more. The light-hearted novels, Sex in the City, or The Devil Wears Prada didn't quite do it for me. Ditto to erotic, graphic, Danielle Steele books. Also the literary books - you know the ones – plodding along, outlining each detail in savory prose, describing characters, window treatments and countryside so completely entire chapters were devoted to each.
I just could not seem to find something deeply satisfying. Give me a quick, fast, fun read with a great story, but please ditch the borderline erotica and gratuitous profanity in much of women's fiction. To make matters worse, many books were written at eighth-grade level, which I found a bit insulting. In fact, writers are told to write at this level, supposedly a reflection of the average reading level of most book enthusiasts. I respectfully disagree.
After reading thousands of books, I decided to write my own. My first novel in 2009, currently tucked away on one of my computers under "PRACTICE NOVEL," was a tedious exercise, and not very good, so I decided to start with something shorter. I developed a humor column that was published weekly in a local newspaper. It helped me develop a great sense of timing, taught me how to write under pressure, and write concisely. I have to admit, the local notoriety was unexpected and somewhat addicting. After several conversations with my readers as people approached me in grocery stores or various places around town, I realized I had actually made people laugh and ponder at the same time. Freshly encouraged, I wrote another novel.
My book, which was picked up by a publisher and released on Amazon.com in December, is a fast-paced mix of classic Chick Lit, Romance and Suspense with a side serving of irony. As an agent told me at a writers' conference in Baltimore, "Chick Lit is about women dealing with women's issues. Period." I thought that was a great summation of the genre, and my book, The Hunting, definitely falls within the parameters of this definition - minus steamy erotica, minus profanity, minus emphasis on an ill-fated but resurrected love affair. Add major snark, real-life, single mom issues, pressure-driven career stuff, and a hefty dose of inspiration.
Most of the Chick Lit stuff I've read included (metaphorically) beaming, heart-shaped rainbows along the path of angst-ridden relationship that ultimately concluded with hand-in-hand silhouette moving slowly down the beach toward a perfect life together. Not-so-subtle message: Find the perfect guy and your problems will be over! Life is all about the perfect marriage – not even that, the perfect relationship! Moving in together is the ultimate commitment, right? The Unmarriage.
I felt, as an alternative to the somewhat predictable Chick Lit formula, I might write a fast-paced, suspense-filled story tackling difficult issues women face: single parenthood, dealing with bizarre bosses, juggling client relationships, friendship. For instance, does a real friend dare to say the hard stuff, or let you fall and say I told you so? Where is the line between right and wrong? Is there a line? Why? Tough stuff.
In a way, I wrote the book I'd love to read. I wrote the book I would want to talk about with a friend over a cup of coffee at Starbucks. It's Chick Lit on steroids. The sub-plot bursts through the final chapters in a messy ode to classic Chick Lit that goes something like this:
It's okay to prioritize getting the perfect guy – as long as we are becoming the right kind of women along the way.
About The Author
Kerry Peresta's publishing credits include a popular newspaper and e-zine humor column, The Lighter Side, and short stories in the published anthology, That One Left Shoe, and her debut novel, recently released by Pen-L Publishing, The Hunting, contemporary women's fiction. She spent twenty-five years in advertising as an account manager, creative director, and copywriter before deciding to devote more of her time to writing. She is currently working on her second novel, participating in writing conferences, and serving on the leadership team of the Maryland Writers' Association. Kerry was a single mother for many years to four great kids, all grown and successfully carving out their own unique paths. She and her husband live in the Baltimore metro area. Her novel, The Hunting, is available in Kindle version and hard copy on Amazon.com, Pen-Lpublishing.com and her website. Visit Kerry at www.kerryperesta.com.
The Hunting by Kerry Peresta
Publisher: Pen-L Publishing
Publication Date: November 24, 2013
Format: Paperback - 258 pages / Kindle - 1206 KB
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: The Hunting
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.
When Isabelle (Izzy) discovered online dating, it immediately became her favorite stress reliever and best friend. Often, she'd steal into the night after her kids were asleep to meet someone new. One fateful evening, the hunt for the perfect guy took a sinister turn when the mystery man she met turned out to be her worst nightmare! Reluctantly pulled into a web of lies, Izzy is forced to confront her demons.
Snarky, suspense-filled, and real, The Hunting is an exquisite entwining of the crippling emotional fallout of divorce with the quest for a healthy, fulfilling relationship. This inspirational story rivets!
My Book Review:
In author Kerry Peresta's debut women's fiction novel, The Hunting, the reader follows the daily life challenges that newspaper retail advertising sales rep Isabelle "Izzy" Lewis faces as a single mother of three teenage children.
After three failed marriages, Izzy becomes addicted to hunting online dating sites, searching for a man who will be interested in a serious and committed relationship. As Izzy pursues an obsessive online search for a suitable man, she encounters daily trials and tribulations of balancing life as a single mom with a high-pressure job of meeting retail advertising sales quotas at a popular newspaper while dealing with office drama and a sleazy new boss. Izzy's life takes a life-changing turn when her online dating habits gets her into serious trouble when she attracts a mysterious man who turns into an online stalker and her worse nightmare. The daily challenges and online dating drama forces Izzy to face the frenetic circumstances in her life.
Author Kerry Peresta weaves an intriguing tale set in Chatbrook Springs, Georgia, that follows the first person narrative of Izzy Lewis, as her quest to find a fulfilling relationship is interwoven with the challenges of being a single mother and career woman. You can't help but get drawn into Izzy's story as she gives a realistic depiction of her life and daily challenges. Told in the present time and interwoven with flashbacks to her past failed marriages, the reader gets to know this sassy capable single mother, and is able to easily relate to her life circumstances. The story has a great mixture of humor, drama and suspense that keeps the reader engaged and guessing what will become of Izzy's life and family, as they follow her quest to find love and happiness. Izzy's journey is filled with grit, emotions, and realistic trials and tribulations, you can't help but cheer her on as she discovers what matters most in life.
The Hunting is a fast-paced entertaining and uplifting story that you won't be able to put down.
RATING: 4 STARS ****
Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway
Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card
Everyone who leaves a comment on The Hunting tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of The Hunting before January 6 and sends their receipt to Samantha@ChickLitPlus.com, will get five bonus entries.
Virtual Book Tour Schedule
December 17 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
December 18 – Fiction Dreams – Excerpt
December 19 – Book Reviews and More by Kathy – Excerpt
December 23 – A Blue Million Books – Guest Post & Excerpt
December 27 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
December 30 – Book Suburbia – Excerpt
December 31 – Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Excerpt
January 2 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
January 3 – Books in the Burbs – Review & Excerpt
January 3- Authors and Readers Book Corner – Review
January 6 – Me, Bookshelf & I – Excerpt