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Friday, July 31, 2015

Neverending Beginnings by Mary Chris Escobar (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 Neverending Beginnings by Author Mary Chris Escobar!

Author Guest Post

How much of your book is based on your real life? It’s a question that I would bet good money (or a nice craft beer) that every fiction author has been asked at least once. I’d probably even go out on a limb and say it’s the question we are asked most frequently.

I’m sure everyone’s answer to this is a little different. The quick answer involves quoting the legalize in the front of our books: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously … yada, yada, yada (and not over the best part in this case.)

For me, there is a longer answer that is much more complex. Yes, the story is completely fictitious. I am not giving an account of events that actually happened in my life or the life of anyone else that I know. However, I think for readers to really connect with a story, there has to be an element of realism that requires me to write about things I genuinely know and understand. I think this is especially important in a story like Neverending Beginnings, in which readers are asked to suspend reality and accept the fact that the main character is stuck in an infinitely looping time warp. I imagine a reader saying, Okay, I’ll give you this one-- but everything else better seem really real to me. 

To that end, there are pieces of my life that do end up in my books and I thought it would be fun to share a few of those from Neverending Beginnings with you:

● All the the restaurants in the book are real, as are the food and drinks my characters order. (You can actually get your own serving of that banana pudding Ben won’t share.)
● On a similar note, two of the restaurants I reference, The Belvidere and Mulligans, have closed since the book was originally published. I could have chosen to update this before releasing the print version, but I think it’s a fun way to remember old favorites.
● My husband’s middle name is Ben. Just Ben, not Benjamin. This inspired two things in the novel: obviously a character name and also the fact that Kate’s name is just Kate, not Katherine (which Ben likes to tease her about).
This is the zucchini lasagna that Kate makes. It’s in regular rotation at my house.
● Some of the memories of her mother that Kate shares with Ben are actual memories I have from childhood with my mother (who is, thankfully, still living). This made those scenes pretty emotional to write.
● While I’m talking about the heavier stuff, I wrote Neverending Beginnings after the death of a close friend from childhood. I have no doubt that my own grief experience crept into writing about Kate’s.
● And finally, on a much lighter note, Kate’s apartment, complete with the old safe that is her closet, really exists. I lived in it when I first moved to Richmond and there are pictures of it here.

So for me the answer to the oft-asked question is: yes, quite a bit of my life ends up in my fiction, but only in tiny little pieces and when needed to enhance the story. Sort of the same way tiny grains of salt make food more flavorful.

About The Author

Award-winning author Mary Chris Escobar writes women’s fiction. She was destined to write romance from a young age (as a child, her stuffed animals always got their happily-ever-afters). She lives in Richmond, Virginia in a renovated parking garage with her husband. Find her on her website, on Twitter or just about anywhere good coffee or craft beer is served.

Book Review

never ending beginnings

Neverending Beginnings by Mary Chris Escobar
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: December 29, 2012
Format: Paperback - 274 pages
               Kindle - 1048 KB
ISBN: 978-1511902205
BNID: 2940044218307
Genre: Chick Lit / Romantic Comedy / Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble

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:

This contemporary romance is Groundhog Day meets My Best Friend’s Wedding. Readers who like women’s fiction by Meg Cabot, Emily Giffin and Allison Winn Scotch will enjoy this romantic comedy. Kate is alarmed to find out that her best friend Amy is getting married after dating for only six months. Her alarm turns to shock when she learns that the groom-to-be is Kate's old college ex. As the big day approaches, Kate's inability to hide her feelings is threatening to ruin her friendship with Amy. Kate’s last minute, vodka-fueled wedding toast has her wishing she could turn back the clock and make things right. Imagine her surprise when she wakes up the next day and finds out she can. Forced to relive one of the most painful weeks of her life, Kate slowly works to repair the damage she has done. In the process, she learns a lot about herself and the cynically charming best man, Ben. 

Book Excerpt:

The screen on my phone lit up. I had silenced it before I went to bed. It was a text message from Ben. Did you get the squash yet? I smiled and clicked on the message to reply, then changed my mind and called instead.

“Hello,” he answered. There was a little gravel in his voice. It was nice.

“Just wanted you to know that there is a whole basket full of squash and salsa and spaghetti sauce in the trunk of my car.”

“You didn’t mention the salsa and spaghetti sauce the other night. I mean that’s a total game changer, I wouldn’t have even given you a hard time for blowing me off over that.” I could hear him smiling, which made tingles run the length of my spine.

“So what are you up to?” I asked.

“I was actually cutting out tiny people to glue onto this model I’m working on.”

“Like stick people?”

“No, tiny photographs of actual people.”

“Really. Where do you find something like that? Is it like clip art?”

He laughed. “Sort of. There are actually whole websites where you can download them for architectural purposes.”

“What are they wearing?”

“Um ... are you trying to chat up my tiny model people? Because I think I might have to protest on their behalf. I mean they’ve never even met you. . Now if you’re asking me ... ”

I hadn’t, of course, meant that at all, but I laughed. And tried desperately to fight back the onslaught of images and feelings the mere hint of intimacy with Ben seemed to produce. Perhaps calling him while I was lying in bed had been unwise.

“I, um ... just wanted to make sure they were, you know, not going to embarrass themselves by being out of date ... fashionably speaking. That’s all,” I tried to recover.

“Oh, I see. They certainly appreciate the concern.” He was still smiling.

“So, other than an update on the squash situation, and propositioning your tiny model people, any word from Jack?”



“I can call you tomorrow if I hear, though.”

“Yeah, that would be great.”

“So, are you having a good visit with your dad?” he asked.

I hesitated. “Yeah.”

“You don’t sound so sure there.”

I tried to remember if he knew about my mom. I don’t think it had come up this round, but there was the dessert ... except that was last round. The combination of tired and tingly all over was making details hard at the present moment, so I just asked, “Did I tell you my mom passed away last year?”

“No. Wow. So I guess it is sort of weird being back there, huh?”


“Have you been back a lot?”

“No. Not much at all, actually.”

“How ... I mean was it sudden ... if you don’t mind me asking?”

“No. Not sudden. Cancer. And actually thanks for asking, most people are scared to.”

He was quiet, probably not sure what to say. As usual with him, I kept talking. “So my dad is starting to go through things. Wants my help tomorrow. I’m really dreading it.”

“I guess so,” he said sympathetically.

“He’s right. It’s time, and intellectually I know that. It just sucks ... you know, emotionally.”


We were quiet again, but it wasn’t awkward. Never awkward.

“I didn’t mean to unload all that on you ... I barely know you ...”

“No, no ... thanks for telling me. Now we won’t have that awkward moment later when I ask about your family.”

“Right, awkward, sort of like how I just asked what your little people were wearing.”

“I’d file that more under adorable, actually. And for the record, seriously, if you ever want to ask what I’m wearing, that would be nice, too.”

“Duly noted.” I smiled.

“So I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything tomorrow. Otherwise, Tuesday night?”

“Sounds good.”

“Good night,” he said.

“Good night.”

I hung up relaxed and sleepy. As I drifted off, I thought for the tiniest of split seconds, that possibly a phone relationship with Ben might not be the worst thing in the world.

My Book Review:

If you are looking for an entertaining romantic comedy that has a humorous Groundhog Day meets My Best Friend’s Wedding theme, then Neverending Beginnings is the book for you!

Author Mary Chris Escobar weaves a fun tale that transports the reader into Kate Crenshaw's madcap reliving of the same week over and over again after waking up the day after flubbing her drunken toast at her best friend Amy's wedding to Kate's ex-college boyfriend Jack. Kate gets many chances at repairing the damage that she has done, and along the way finds an unexpected romance with the charming best man Ben!

Neverending Beginnings is a thoroughly entertaining romantic comedy that will simply keep the reader in stitches. With a great mixture of humor and sweet romance, the reader follows Kate as she relives the week from hell over and over again with many chances to make things right after causing drama and trouble because of her inability to hide her true feelings about everything (can you say "diarrhea mouth"?!) lol And if trying to repair a rocky relationship with her best friend isn't enough, Kate gets an unexpected chance at romance with Ben, the best man, if only she would give in and take a chance! I really enjoyed following Kate as she tried to figure out how to fix her mistakes in order to end the rewinding cycle of the exhausting time warp that she finds herself in, and I couldn't help but cheer at her developing romance with Ben. Author Mary Chris Escobar cleverly weaves an enjoyable tale that leaves you wanting more!

If you are looking for a delightfully lighthearted romantic comedy to wile away a lazy summer day, then take a chance and read Neverending Beginnings, it will leave a smile on your face!


Contest Giveaway

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Virtual Book Tour 

Tour Schedule:
July 6 - Sweet N Sassy Bookaholics – Review
July 7 - Living Life With Joy – Guest Post. Q&A & Excerpt
July 8 - Coffeeholic Bookworm – Review
July 9 - Mallory Heart Reviews – Review & Excerpt
July 9 - Julie Valerie’s Book Blog - Review & Q&A
July 10 - Sinfully Good Reads – Excerpt
July 13 - Hey Said Renee - Review & Guest Post
July 14 - CDyess Writes – Excerpt
July 17 - Samantha March – Excerpt
July 20 - Polished & Bubbly – Review
July 23 - ChickLit Goddess – Review
July 24 - Chick Lit Plus – Review
July 28 - Writing Pearls - Review & Excerpt
July 31 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
August 3 - Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt


  1. Great review! I love how much of her real life ends up in the book!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words! This was such a fun book to read! :)

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Rita, thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it. :)

  3. I love a good comedy and I have been looking for light hearted and funny reads a lot more lately. I am not a huge fan of the cover but there is more to a book than the outside :)

    Check out my recent post: