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, May 15, 2015

French Fry by Glynis Astie (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Author Glynis Astie, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book release week tour event for French Fry!

Author Guest Post

My Perfect Day

When life gets tough–when it feels like my task list is out of control and I can’t get anything right–I like to take a step back and go to my happy place. That’s right! I have a happy place. It’s a total fantasy that would have to cross multiple time zones and allow for at least one miracle, but isn’t it more fun to imagine your perfect day than to dwell on your current woes? I think so. Are you ready? Let’s get started! 

My perfect day begins with sipping a rich and creamy salted caramel mocha and munching on a croissant from my favorite French bakery–which is nearly 4,000 miles away–while taking in a beautiful sunrise from the back porch of my gorgeous beach house. The croissants would, of course, have no calories and the sunrise would take place at eight in the morning. (I did mention the word “fantasy,” right?) After a full sit-down breakfast with my two sons–which my husband makes AND cleans up–the boys and I would pack up our beach gear and head down to our private spot to enjoy the sunny day. 

We would splash around in the surf, giggling to our hearts’ content. The water would be warm despite the early hour and our toes would be completely safe from the nips of curious crab claws. (My oldest has an extreme dislike of crabs–other than the ones he smashes with a mallet and gobbles down.) Once my husband joins us, I excuse myself to the comfort of my beach chair, where my Kindle awaits. I spend the next couple of hours devouring my latest book obsession, occasionally taking breaks to photograph my boys as they dig their hole to the center of the earth. 

We then have a glorious picnic lunch on the beach, enjoying our sandwiches, Pringles (our go-to beach snack) and fruit (because Mommy said so) free of the unwanted condiment of sand. We jump in the ocean right after finishing lunch and body surf without sustaining any injuries. Once we dry off, we build sand castles which do not crumble–making it a tear free experience–and head back to the house for a quick shower. 


The afternoon is spent playing mini golf and hitting the arcade. My boys (including my husband) score the games of their lives, win enough tickets in the arcade to “buy” the biggest prize they want and we celebrate our mastery of all games by having huge ice cream sundaes. Both boys fall asleep in the car on the ride back to the house, allowing my husband and me a short window of time to have a conversation that doesn’t involve Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or the dreaded Sponge Bob Square Pants. 

The last part of my perfect day would be dinner with my parents. This is the portion of my fantasy which would take a miracle, since both of my parents have passed away. I would watch them snuggle their grandchildren and listen in wonder as the boys regaled them with their latest adventures. (My boys have truly astounding imaginations. I have no idea where that came from.) I would thank my lucky stars that my sons were fortunate enough to experience the love I felt from my parents every day of my childhood. Right before they had to leave, I would show them the books I have written and try not to cry when I tell them how it was both comforting and painful to bring them to life on each page. 

After hugging my parents for as long as possible, I would kiss them goodbye and put my sleepy boys to bed. My husband and I would curl up on the couch, enjoying a glass of wine as we marveled over our amazing day. We would fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, knowing that the next day would be just as perfect. 


There you have it! A day filled with fun activities, beautiful scenery and cherished loved ones. (Let’s not forget the scrumptious food!) While I know I will never be able to live this day, it sure is fun to imagine how awesome it would be. 

What’s your idea of a perfect day? Please share!

About The Author

Glynis Astie never expected in her wildest dreams to be a writer. After thirteen years in the Human Resources Industry, she decided to stay at home with her two amazing sons. Ever in search of a project, she was inspired to write the story of how she met and married her wonderfully romantic French husband, Sebastien, in six short months. The end result became her first novel, French Twist. As this was just the beginning of their epic love story, Glynis continued to chronicle their adventures in the sequel, French Toast and the final installment in the series, French Fry

When Glynis is not writing, she is trying to keep the peace amongst the three men and two cats in her life, finding missing body parts (Lego pieces are small!), supervising a myriad of homework assignments and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity.


Book Review

French Fry by Glynis Astie
Book 3: The French Twist Series
Publisher: Tikinou Publishing
Publication Date: May 13, 2015
Format: Paperback - 322 pages
             Kindle - 978 KB
ISBN: 978-0692424780
Genre: Chick Lit / Romance

Buy The Book: French Fry

Buy The Series: French Twist Series
Book 1: French Twist
Book 2: French Toast
Book 3: French Fry

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Book Description:

Sydney Durand had finally achieved the perfect life she had always wanted. After a whirlwind romance with a charming Frenchman, she endured the three weddings it required to satisfy the members of the newly formed Bennett-Durand clan. All she had left to do was stroll into the sunset with Louis to enjoy their long-awaited happily ever after.

But everything changed when the stick turned blue. Suddenly, Sydney finds herself facing the daunting task of becoming a mother before she has even returned home from her honeymoon. Keeping a tenacious hold on her hard-won happiness, Sydney is determined not to give up without a fight – no matter what or who is thrown in her path…and that includes an overbearing mother-in-law, a know-it-all father and her own anxiety about having a baby.

Will she finally be able to tame her neuroses for the sake of her unborn child? Or will her hormone-induced panic cause a meltdown of epic proportions? One thing is clear: Sydney and Louis’ nerves are going to fry…

Book Excerpt:

French Fry Excerpt: Sydney’s Dilemma

The scream was so deafening I feared my eardrums would burst. The guttural moan which followed was just as alarming and caused me to feel intense sympathy for the injured party. Rather shocking, and most unfortunate for me, was the fact that the source of the scream was my own raw and aching throat. I closed my eyes and leaned my head against the cool wall of the hotel bathroom, secretly wondering if anyone had called security. It wouldn’t be the first time. But we can return to my long list of indiscretions later.

Right about now I would be thankful to be dealing with something as simple as a ruptured ear drum. Granted, it had been one of the most excruciating experiences I had ever been through; I would still gladly have dealt with the pain instead of the daunting task ahead of me. (And this is saying a lot considering I nearly passed out twice from the pain during the four-hour wait I endured in the emergency room.)

I took a deep breath and willed my hands to stop shaking. How in the world was I going to explain this to Louis?

I closed the toilet lid and sat down with a heavy thud. As I buried my head in my hands, I accidentally knocked the offending article onto the marble floor. I peered up and watched it skid across the length of the room, coming to a stop right next to my fluffy hotel slippers. A hysterical giggle escaped my lips before I could stifle it. Louis had been trying (to no avail) to teach me to skip stones all week and I managed to skip the pregnancy test across the room with an unintentional nudge of my elbow. At least I had remembered to put the cap back on and, therefore, hadn’t splattered a trail of urine around the room. This simply would have added insult to injury.

Take a deep breath, Sydney. Everything is going to be fine. When Louis comes back from his Jet Ski run, you’re going to sit him down and tell him. Just like that. With no preamble.

I got up and started to pace the room. How did this happen? I mean, I know how it happened, but HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Everything had been going so well! Louis and I had finally gotten back to a good place…and now…I have to scare the crap out of my husband on the last day of our honeymoon.

It’s not as though Louis were easily spooked. He had lived a life filled with considerably more adventure in his twenty-four years than I had in my, ahem, twenty-eight years. (Yes, I robbed the cradle.) But we had known each other for barely a year. We needed more time to be the two of us, rather than the three of us.

I went into the bedroom, crawled onto the bed and promptly curled myself into a fetal position, my long brown hair forming a protective curtain around my face. Maybe the test was wrong. There is such a thing as a false positive, right? Though I hadn’t had my period in seven weeks, this could easily be the result of the pre-wedding stress rather than an actual pregnancy. We had pulled off two weddings in the last five weeks. The first of which encompassed a trip to France to meet Louis’ very LARGE family as well as every single resident of his home town. (Population: four hundred.)

Something tells me I need to back up a little. (You know, so you might have a chance of understanding what I’m babbling on about.) OK, maybe more than a little. Here’s the breakdown: just over fourteen months ago, I locked eyes with the incredible Louis Durand for the first time. He had come to the Bay Area for a short-term assignment in the San Jose office of his Paris-based software company and I was lucky enough to meet him in a bar, of all places. We spent the evening flirting and buying each other drinks. Six weeks later we were engaged!

I don’t blame you for being surprised. I shocked the hell out of myself by proposing to HIM. Prior to meeting Louis, every decision in my life had been carefully considered and painstakingly analyzed. The concept of “flying by the seat of my pants” was something I would never have considered. But then he came into my life and something clicked. I knew my waiting was over. I knew I had found the one.

I’m not going to say life with Louis has been easy. It has been tumultuous and more than a little scary, but it has been worth it. So what if he was laid off from his job while I was planning my, I mean our, dream wedding? So what if we had to get married in a civil ceremony to avoid his deportation? And did it really matter that our actual wedding ceremony took place in the most hideously decorated town hall in existence? (Picture any room in the Brady’s household – on steroids – and you’ll have a small inkling.)

In the end, we had three, count ‘em, THREE weddings. The aforementioned civil ceremony in my home town of Haverstraw, New York, the French wedding in Louis’ home town of Le Caylar, France, and our originally planned wedding in Monterey, California. We had somehow managed to get through his lengthy job search, the endless series of hoops to jump through for his mother’s dream wedding in France and the countless mishaps associated with my dream wedding in California. Only yesterday, as we sat watching the sun set over the beautiful island of Oahu, Louis and I had been discussing how much we were looking forward to settling into a quiet married life.

My Book Review:

Inspired by her real life whirlwind six month romance and marriage to her French husband, Sebastien, author Glynis Astie weaves an entertaining romantic comedy series called The French Twist Series!

In French Twist, the first book in the series, the reader is introduced to Sydney Bennett, a single twenty-eight New Yorker who has moved to San Francisco. Sydney hasn't been lucky in the romance area, but when she meets handsome Louis Durand, who is in town on business, Sydney is swept off her feet and finds herself in a whirlwind love affair that leads to marriage in six short months!

In French Toast, the second book in the series, Sydney's story continues after her civil ceremony to Louis. She makes plans for a fairytale wedding in California that she has dreamed of having since she was a child, only to have her mother-in-law planning a rival wedding in the France! Suddenly their whirlwind love affair and impulsive wedding is anything but romantic when drama, mishaps, and real life trials and tribulations stand in their way to happily ever after!

In French Fry, the third and final book in the series, Sydney and Louis just had their third wedding (Syd's dream wedding) in Monterrey, California, and on the last day of their honeymoon in Oahu, Hawaii, Sydney takes a pregnancy test and it is positive! After a whirlwind fourteen months together, Sydney and Louis unexpectedly go from a newly married couple to expectant parents. Join in Sydney and Louis' latest adventures as they deal with the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and adding a bouncing baby to their new family! And if being newly married and pregnant isn't enough, Sydney has to deal with pregnancy hormones; her crazy French Mother-in-Law Simone, who comes for an unexpected visit; the quirky antics of co-worker nemeses Lyndsey and Paul; and being the matron of honor for best friend Zoe, who turns into a Bridezilla during the wedding preparations! So come along for the ride as Sydney and Louis' journey culminates with a sigh worthy epilogue that catches the reader up with the couple two years after the birth of their little french fry!

The French Twist Series is a thoroughly entertaining set of romantic comedies. The reader can't help but get drawn into Sydney and Louis' whirlwind love affair, and follow their martial adventures as they deal with the crazy antics, drama, and mishaps that ensue when real life catches up with them. I loved that the author uses the inspiration from her own real life whirlwind romance and marriage to her French husband to create a series that has a wonderful mix of humor, romance, wit, and sarcasm.

The French Twist Series is a lighthearted and delightful series that chronicles Sydney and Louis' adventures in love and marriage. It will keep you in stitches and make you a believer that fairytale romances really do exist!


Contest Giveaway

Giveaway begins on 5/13/15 at 12:01 AM and ends on 5/20/15 at 11:59 PM.

3 prizes will be awarded:

1. $25 amazon gift card & ebook set of the French Twist series
2. 2 e-book sets of the French Twist series.

The giveaway is open for US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for having me to visit, Kathleen! It is always a pleasure stopping by your awesome blog. :)

    1. Hi Glynis! Thank you for the opportunity to host your book release event for French Fry. I really enjoyed reading this fun series! :)