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.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista by Aven Ellis (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 Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista by Author Aven Ellis!

Author Guest Post

The Fashions in Fashionista

Obviously from the title of my newest release, Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista, you can tell that fashion is going to be a part of the storyline. The heroine, Avery Andrews, loves everything about it—the way a beautiful outfit is put together, how good it feels to wear the perfect outfit, and the thrill of shopping for something new for a wardrobe.

But I also use fashion as a tool to give the reader an insight into the characters themselves.

In Avery’s case, she is young, a recent university graduate, and living on her own for the first time in Chicago. Her clothing needed to reflect her evolution from a student to an urban working woman. In the opening scene in the book, we learn she lives in the upscale, trendy neighborhood of Lincoln Park. Avery was headed off to her job in airline marketing, so I dressed her in a MARC by Marc Jacobs dress. Now, MARC by Marc Jacobs is a diffusion line—meaning it is a secondary line created by a high-end designer/house that retails at a lower price. So while Avery might covet a Marc Jacob dress, it’s more likely that she would purchase a MARC by Marc Jacobs dress (and still be stretching to afford it.) Yet Avery is still 21, and the story takes place during the summer in Chicago, so I made sure to mention her wardrobe was packed with tank tops and flip-flops (staples in every young woman’s closet) that she would wear on weekends or when she was off work. Avery is also very feminine and girly, and loves to dress up to go out for a night on the town, so I made sure her character was often seen in dresses and skirts. You can actually see the visual inspiration for Avery’s wardrobe here: 

Fashion is also used in contrast for the hero of the story, Deke Ryan. Deke is a bit older than Avery and has been in the working world for a while. While Avery considers fashion essential to her life, Deke could care less about it. So in this situation, fashion is used to show how the two characters are different in that sense. Deke is a videographer for a travel channel, and is used to blending into the background (which he prefers) and his job requires clothing that allows him to work comfortably. While Avery is trying to figure out a way to get that Burberry scarf that will be her signature piece for her winter wardrobe, Deke is rummaging through vintage T-shirts at resale shops. Deke is known for his ancient T-shirts, which are broken in, comfortable, and reflect something he likes, for example, his Guns N’ Roses T-shirt. His clothing is understated, like he is. Here is the visual inspiration for Deke’s wardrobe: 

But the question is, can a girl in a ZAC by Zac Posen dress end up with a guy in a beat-up Chicago Bears T-shirt? You’ll just have to read the book to find out...

About The Author

Aven Ellis has been writing fiction since she was sixteen. She studied communications at a large Midwestern university, and after graduation, Aven worked as a reporter for a community newspaper, followed by a stint at a public relations agency.

But writing about city council meetings and restaurant franchises was not as much fun as writing for young women trying to figure out their careers and potential boyfriends. So Aven got herself a job in television that allowed her to write at night. Connectivity is Aven’s debut novel; Waiting For Prince Harry and Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista (New Adult romantic comedy) will be published this year.

Aven lives in Dallas with her family. When she is not writing, Aven enjoys shopping, cooking, connecting with friends on social media, and watching any show that features Gordon Ramsay.


Book Review

Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista by Aven Ellis
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication Date: September 10, 2014
Format: eBook - 223 pages
              Kindle - 3800 KB
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Chick Lit 

BUY THE BOOK: Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista

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:

Recent college graduate Avery Andrews is ready to begin a new life in the big city. She’s landed an apartment in Chicago’s famed Lincoln Park neighborhood–and has her eye on the cute commodity trader just a floor above.

If Premier Airlines knew about her fear of flying, they never would have hired her to be their marketing assistant—but it’s not like Avery wants a lifelong career. Right now she simply wants a job to pay her bills . . . and fund a few little shopping excursions, too.

Her new lifestyle comes with a price tag, as Avery is not only faced with paying a ridiculous rent but finds she’s perceived as one of the vacant, husband-hunting fashionistas who live in the area. Avery resents this stereotype. So she doesn’t want a lifelong career, and she loves fashions she can’t afford, but that doesn’t mean she is empty-headed and spoiled, does it?

When an opportunity to participate in a documentary at work arises, Avery finds a two-fold solution to her problems. She’ll earn extra money for it, and the documentary will show her as a serious career woman, enabling her to shed that husband-hunting fashionista label for good.

When the camera is on, Avery attempts to be a motivated professional woman. But when she is challenged by Deacon Ryan, the videographer assigned to cover her story, Avery finds herself wanting things she was never supposed to want—like a lasting career—and Deacon. And Avery might just gain more from the experience than a perfect career image and extra cash to put in her Tory Burch wallet . . .

Book Excerpt:

Sullivan reaches for my hair again. I jerk my head to the side, moving it out of Sullivan’s reach, because I think I might scream if he touches my hair one more time.

Okay. Now Deke will come over here with Zach. I’ll greet him, introduce him to my friends, and then Bree and I can go sit with them at another table.

Wait a second. Deke and Zach are walking over to the dartboard. I quickly realize Deke has no intention of coming over here.

He turns around and looks at me, his eyes burning into mine for a second. Deke takes a sip of his beer, puts it back on the table, and picks up some darts. He immediately turns his attention to the dartboard, as if I’m not even here.

Oooh! That’s it. I’ve had it.

“Excuse me,” I say, nudging Sullivan. “I need to get out, please.”

“But I just got here,” Sullivan snaps, sounding annoyed. “I haven’t even had a drink yet.”

I don’t say another word. I let my eyes tell Sullivan I intend to get out of this booth, even if it means climbing over him or crawling underneath the table.

Sullivan sighs heavily and slides out. I turn to Bree briefly before leaving.

“I see someone I need to talk to,” I say simply. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

I slide out of the booth and make my way across the bar. I go up to Deke, who is propped against the edge of a barstool. His strong arms are folded across his chest, a bottle of beer in one hand as he watches Zach throw darts.

I stop dead in my tracks as I approach him. I take in what he’s wearing—a beautiful azure T-shirt that shows off his athletic upper body and jeans. His hair is perfectly tousled, his face lightly shaded with blondish-brown stubble. And he’s so damn hot and mysterious that I’m suddenly unable to breathe.

Deke turns and I find myself mad all over again, because now he’s the one playing a game.

I march up to him and before I can stop myself, I blurt out what is going through my head.

“Why didn’t you come rescue me?” I yell at him, exasperated.

Deke studies me for a moment. He takes a swig of his beer, casually puts the bottle on the table next to him, and leans toward me, lowering his head so it’s next to my ear.

“I wasn’t aware that you needed to be rescued from the man of your dreams, Fashionista,” he murmurs over the music.

Every inch of me comes alive as his words vibrate against my ear. I get goose bumps. My skin in tingling in this delicious way I’ve never experienced before.

He stands back up and studies me. I’m about to respond when he gently puts his thumb on my cheek, wiping away a streak of lip-gloss that Sullivan has left behind.

Oh.My.God. I feel a million sparks the second Deke touches me. I shiver and suck in a breath of air, unnerved by the experience of his skin against mine.

“So do you need to be rescued?” he asks.

My Book Review:

Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista is a lighthearted and entertaining story that follows the journey of Avery Andrews as she transitions from a college graduate to a working woman, and how life unexpectedly changes her outlook and plans for her life.

Author Aven Ellis weaves such a fun and flirty story that easily draws the reader into Avery's life as her journey of self-discovery takes her from a carefree and diehard fashionista with no long term career plans ... well other than finding a wealthy husband ... to a young woman who matures and unexpectedly finds herself wanting a serious career, when she is featured in a travel documentary of the behind-the-scenes look at her job as a marketing assistant at Premier Airlines. Avery's unexpected change in life plans is spurred on by sexy videographer Deke Ryan, who challenges Avery to strive to find her passion and be more than what she had originally planned.

I loved the mixture of fashion, romance, humor, and drama that was intertwined within the storyline, it kept me engaged and turning the pages. I really enjoyed the banter and chemistry between Avery and Deke, it was so much fun following how their relationship developed, they really seem to bring out the best in each other. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I loved how the author transports the reader to Chicago's trendy neighborhood of Lincoln Park, she definitely knows how to bring out the reader's inner fashionista with her rich descriptions.

Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista is a delightful romantic novel that will make you laugh, and leave a smile on your face.


Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

September 15 – Reading in Black and White – Review & Excerpt
September 16 – Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Guest Post 
September 17 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
September 18 – Two Children and a Migraine – Review & Guest Post
September 19 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
September 22 – Fiction Zeal – Review & Excerpt
September 22 – Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Review

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