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, April 14, 2014

Love Illusion by Chineka Williams (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 Love Illusion by Author Chineka Williams!

Author Guest Post

My process in writing Love Illusion was very structured. I am naturally a planner and an organized person so the process was not too stressful for me.

After writing my character and plot notes the first thing that I did was print off calendars and pencil in my outline and writing schedule. I used the index card app on my iPad to come up with my outline. Some areas were sparse so I would go back and fill them in with more details later.

Sometimes I would write at home and sometimes I would write at a locally owned coffee and tea shop that had a cozy and welcoming feel. In order to write I need a serene and uncluttered space.

I would write anywhere from 2000 to 3000 words on a good day . On days where writing didn’t seem to come as easy I would add more details to my outline.

When the first draft was written I went back two separate times filling in details on the first time and looking at grammar and punctuation errors on the second time. I made notes on how character development could be improved and I added in the smallest details. By the time that the third draft came along I had edited all that I could and felt comfortable passing it on to an editor and proofreader. She then simplified some of my sentences and further found minor errors that could be fixed.

Writing Love Illusion was a learning experience and I will definitely be using the lessons learned as I write my second book. I made note of everything that I learned so that I can access them anytime.

Overall I enjoyed everything that came with the process of writing Love Illusion. I am a person that needs some form of creative medium to be happy whether that may be writing, photography, or playing my clarinet. Writing will always be the number one way that I find satisfaction in being creative.

About The Author

Chineka Williams found a love of reading and writing early on as a child. She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. Books and Stilettos is the blog that she maintains for all things women's fiction and writing updates. Outside of reading, her hobbies include baking, playing the clarinet, photography, and DIY. She can always be seen with a cup of tea close by. Love Illusion is her debut novel.


Book Review

Love Illusion by Chineka Williams
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: February 18, 2014
Format: e-Book - 149 pages / Kindle - 307 KB / Nook - 691 KB
BNID: 2940148289982
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Love Illusion 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Lucy is a confident PR professional, who is fearful of her troubled ex-boyfriend Charles. He is in denial about their breakup. With issues of alcoholism and abandonment, he spirals out of control.

Meanwhile, Lucy’s best friend Jade has found love and is about to get married. She is a loyal friend who is there for Lucy every step of the way.

Feeling trapped, Lucy is determined to fight back against Charles, but it won’t be without complication. After great debate, she optimistically accepts a new job offer miles away. Lucy soon embarks on an uncertain journey all connected to love.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1: Lucy

Lucy shoved the purple sixteen hundred thread count sheets off of her as the sunlight beamed through her bedroom window. She lifted a hand to her face to redirect the stream of sunlight. Her Friday was just getting started and already she was feeling sluggish.

She had a few sleepless nights in between getting moved into her new house and her breakup with Charles. The last few days had been rough. She didn't even want to think about all of the boxes that she still had to unpack and was still getting adjusted to being in her own place. She was so proud of her accomplishment of being a homeowner at the age of twenty eight. She was excited about all of the interior decorating plans that she had and already clipped a few ideas from a magazine.

Working in the public relations field she put in long hours during the week, but it was worth it for doing what she loved and being able to go on the Summer vacations that were so relaxing to her. She took one big vacation a year that usually consisted of a cruise or some lavish getaway.

Her ability to speak Spanish fluently allowed her more flexibility to choose the clients that she worked with. Her sparkling brown eyes, long red hair, and flawless olive skin were sure to turn the eyes of any guy.

She had the fashion sense of some of the best designers in the business She loved flipping through fashion magazines to gain new ideas and put her own spin on it.

She loved taking the outfits that she found on Pinterest and recreating them by finding items at her favorite online stores. She could stay on the site for hours pinning to her board entitled Fashionista Finds. Her closest friends went to her whenever they needed fashion advice.

It was 7:15 am, and with her work day starting at 8:00 am she was pressed for time this morning. Lucy quickly showered and prepared for the day by listening to her daily devotional on audio book, while applying mascara and her favorite lip gloss shade, Plum Luster. She took a curling iron and curled her straight hair around it to create soft tendrils. It was an effortless hairstyle that didn’t take long to create.

She made her daily morning smoothie by turning the high quality and professional blender on full speed, blending up a citrus blend of strawberries, peach, and orange juice to keep her energetic and full until lunch. With the smoothie in her hand she exited her house and was ready to take on the day.

Her outfit was one straight out of a fashion magazine. Lucy was ready to take on the days challenges at work by being dressed in a chiffon Banana Republic blouse, Express black pencil skirt, Nine West pumps, and her signature pearls . She never forgot to spritz on some perfume. Today she was wearing Lola by Marc Jacobs.

She had just arrived at her office. She took a detour to the break room and poured herself a cup of hot tea with a wedge of lemon and a few squeezes of honey. She loved what the flavor of the sweet and sour combination brought to her tea. She plopped the cup of tea down on her desk, creating a splash. On the corner of her desk she was greeted by a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers. They were cheerful and upbeat with their bright yellow hue.

She wasn’t used to getting flowers at the job and her intuition kicked in. It was on high alert. With her heart pounding like two beating snare drums, she sensed that the flowers were from her ex-boyfriend, Charles. He had been sending her things to the office trying to get her attention for the last two weeks. Obviously he was having a hard time letting her go.

Lucy quickly took a picture of the arrangement with her cell phone and slipped it back into her purse. She walked around the flowers, observing their fragile petals and inhaling their fragrance.

She took the card out of the plastic stem and flipped it over. When she looked at the card, which had a red rose border, her suspicions were right. The card read “Some sunflowers for my sunshine. Love Charles.” Lucy traced the handwriting on the card. The note looked to be rushed and the handwriting was angry. She put the card in a zip loc bag and sealed it.

She would put it in a box that she had at home that had evidence of what Charles had been sending the last few weeks. She was worried that Charles was getting too out of control. This had to be stopped.

Their breakup had been on her part because she didn't feel that Charles could be the man that she needed him to be. He wasn’t as mature as she had wanted him to be and then there were his anger issues. He had demonstrated to her several times while they were dating that he was controlling.

One time he had snatched her arm back when she walked ahead of him in the grocery store. The imprint of his hand had been on her forearm for days before the bruise had healed.

Charles would get mad when they were with friends and she would voice her opinion. He would also check the browsing history on her computer when he occasionally used it. He liked to feel in charge, and most of all important. He had serious self-esteem issues, which were evident in his actions.

There came a point when Lucy couldn’t take the mental and physical abuse any longer. She knew that she was worth more than being treated like a rag doll and she made the decision to end the relationship.

Lucy would call her best friend Jade as soon as she got a chance to get her advice on the situation. She always gave sound advice and was always willing to lend a listening ear. She wouldn’t worry Jade too much though, since she was in the process of planning her wedding. They had been friends since high school and had been through a lot together, including growing pains. Jade was always there and was the one person who never let Lucy down.

For now Lucy would focus on planning and advertising the event for her next big celebrity client, author Angela Dobson. Lucy had read a few of her books and enjoyed them. She was well known in the literary world for her books on bold topics and independent women. Angela wanted an upscale tea party for about twenty of her biggest fans as a way to say thank you for their support. She had ran a contest on twitter and personally selected twenty people to attend the tea party.

Since people were flying from all over this event had to be special and unlike any other tea party. It would include appetizers that were sophisticated and a twelve piece jazz band. It would be sure to keep those invited entertained throughout the event. Angela had a list of things that were required to be at the tea party.

A spreadsheet with all of the above details as well as a list of contacts lay beside Lucy’s MacBook Pro. The desk that it lay on was organized with pink metal containers for her pens and highlighters. It was time to start sending out emails to some of her most trusted contacts in order for this event to be a success. Lucy tapped away at her keyboard, carefully choosing the correct words to describe the upscale tea party. For an hour she emailed everyone from wholesale florists, vendors for table linens, and fine china companies.

After a brief staff meeting going over what the agency had on their calendar for next week it was time to go. The boss kept talking about how the clients had certain expectations and how they needed be treated a certain way. He knew how some of them could be overly demanding, but he urged the employees to not take it too personally.

It felt like the workday would never end. Today it seemed to drag on. She was ready for the weekend to start so that she could relax and finally get some things done around the house. She was planning to paint an accent wall in her living room the perfect teal color, Mariner by Sherwin Williams. Film from her Nikon F Classic 35mm film camera would also have to be processed. She would go to a lab with a dark room to process them.

Lucy had always loved photography, but she really got into it when she took a few photography classes in college. She loved the different assignments that she had the opportunity to take pictures of like the holiday toy drive and the annual picnic. She then began to understand photography terms like shutter speed, aperture, and f-stop. Everything about dark rooms and processing film on classic cameras she learned by watching youtube videos and taking notes on them.

She loved the feeling of looking through the lens and creating something out of pixels and light.

Before these things she would have to attend an important event this evening that she attended every year. She looked forward to being in the company of celebrated media professionals while enjoying a night out. The annual Media Professionals Gala was tonight.

My Book Review:

In her debut novel, Love Illusion, author Chineka Williams weaves an enjoyable story about friendship, love illusions, and journeys of self-discoveries.

Set in Chicago, Illinois and written in an alternating third person narrative, the reader follows the intertwining life journeys of Lucy, Jade and Charles.

Lucy is a Public Relations executive who handles public relations events for celebrity clients. She has recently broken off her relationship with Charles due to his abusive and controlling behavior and anger issues. She is a new homeowner and has a passion for fashion and photography.

Jade is a tenth grade English teacher who is two weeks away from marrying her fiance Reggie. Jade and Lucy have been best friends since high school, they have been through a lot together and have each other's back.

Charles is a Cardiologist at the University of Illinois Hospital, but since Lucy broke off their relationship, his life has been on a downward spiral. His job is in jeopardy and he has been suspended pending a hearing with the hospital review board, but all of his focus has been on getting Lucy back into his life. Besides his anger issues, he is an alcoholic, who had an unhappy childhood as a foster child with abandonment issues.

While Jade embarks on a happy new journey towards marriage, Lucy is dealing with Charles' unwanted attention that becomes alarmingly obsessive. A dangerous turn of events leads Lucy to accept a new PR position in Seattle to restart her life away from Charles, while Charles' journey of self-discovery will shatter his love illusion for Lucy and force him to face reality.

I really enjoyed reading Love Illusion. The author has a rich descriptive style that easily draws the reader into Lucy, Jade, and Charles' lives. While the story spans a brief few months, the reader follows their individual yet intertwined journeys which leads each of them to live new lifestyles. I loved the progression of Jade's journey from her wedding planning, to their wedding and honeymoon in Belize, to the search for their first house. I really felt for Lucy and what she had to go through with Charles, he has some serious problems that made me feel nervous for her safety. The intriguing twists and turns in regard to Lucy and Charles kept me in suspense. I loved how Lucy made a decision to stand up for herself and restart her life in Seattle, but I have to say that Charles' outcome completely surprised me. I really enjoyed reading about the wonderful friendship between Lucy and Jade, I couldn't help but smile as it reminded me of the same kind of relationship that I have with my best friend. Love Illusion is a wonderful story that can be read in one sitting.

With an intriguing cast of realistic characters who the reader can connect with and relate to; an engaging plotline, dialogue, and interactions; and a richly detailed description of Chicago, Belize and Seattle and their famous landmarks; Love Illusion is an enjoyable women's fiction novel that the readers will be sure to enjoy.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

April 14 – Chick Lit Club Connect – Guest Post
April 14 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
April 14 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Q&A
April 15 – Ai Love Books – Review & Q&A
April 16 – Change the Word – Q&A & Excerpt
April 16 – Everything Books and Authors – Excerpt
April 17 – Jess’s Book Blog – Review
April 18 – Christy’s Written Word Love – Review 
April 21 – Books Reviews and More by Kathy – Q&A
April 22 – Book Suburbia – Excerpt
April 23 – Sweets Books – Q&A & Excerpt
April 24 – The Book Bag – Review & Guest Post


  1. Thanks for helping kick off the tour!

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

  2. Congrats on the release of Love Illusion!

  3. Hi Elise-Maria! Thank you for stopping by and leaving your kind comment for Chineka! :)