Author Guest Post
ON THE TOPIC OF FAILURE
The novel, Crushed, addresses the topic of failure, not something most ‘chicklit’, or in the case of Crushed – ‘henlit’, novels take on. But the main character, Grace, continues to fail in more and more ways as she proceeds through her journey. She failed at her marriage. She failed as a daughter, as a mother and, in her mind, as a sister. She goes on to fail in business, as well.
In speaking engagements I’ve talked about the concept of failure a lot because it’s not something we usually discuss in open forums, especially in conjunction with a book that is designed to be a fun ride and empowering to women. Many of those in attendance have remarked afterwards how much they appreciated the frankness and how the topic resonated with their personal lives in one way or another.
Grace, the main character, addresses each one of these failures as best she can and she is smart enough to learn from her mistakes and not repeat them.
One particular thread throughout the book is Grace’s relationship with her sister, Nicole, who died fifteen years ago. But Grace is still trying to prove something to her. There is pivotal, and emotional to some readers, when Grace finally let’s go. There were signs that Grace was vulnerable beforehand. And in the end the reader realizes how much stronger Grace is after even if it is not crystal clear until close to the final chapter of the story.
About The Author
Layne Gray is an author, entrepreneur and experienced marketing strategist. Layne’s background is in technology marketing and she has worked for large companies, including as Director of UNIX Product Line Marketing at Oracle Corporation and Director of UNIX Application Marketing at Altos Computer Systems. She was the founder of LKE Productions, a global technology conference production company that ramped to over $20M in annual revenue.
Layne is a seasoned charitable fundraiser who has helped raise millions of dollars for local and national charities through events she has chaired and campaigns she has spearheaded. Bay Area beneficiaries have included the San Francisco Ballet, Junior League of San Francisco, San Francisco Zoological Society. National organizations include buildOn, UN Foundation Girl Up and Mocha Moms.
Born and raised in Oregon, Layne received a B.A. in Marketing and Statistics from the University of Oregon. She has taken the WSET Level 3 Certification and teaches wine classes around the country. Layne is an Emeritus Board member of the San Francisco Zoological Society and a sustaining member of the Junior League of San Francisco and the San Ballet Auxiliary. She lives in San Francisco and enjoys cycling, snow skiing and walking her dogs at Crissy Field.
Crushed by Layne Gray
Publisher: Pugtastic Productions
Publication Date: Paperback - October 15, 2015 / eBook - October 20, 2015
Format: Paperback - 288 pages
Kindle - 832 KB
ISBN: 978-0996719629ASIN: B013YX7KUC
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction
Buy The Book:
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.
After a decade of dialing it in on her marriage – subsisting mostly on school fundraisers and designer trunk shows – Grace, on a whim, surprises her husband at the airport, picking him up in nothing more than scant lingerie and a fur coat. But that backfires spectacularly. Hoping to help, Grace’s best friend tells her of a secret retreat for discarded wives—Finedale, where Grace just may be able to get back her confidence, build her self-esteem, learn a rewarding career, or even rediscover that hot sex needn't be a thing of the past.
Before long, Grace is orchestrating a new, fabulous life. Everything seems to be going brilliantly. But as cracks begin to appear the possibility of another, darker, truth behind Finedale catapults Grace into a role she never anticipated.
My Book Review:
In her debut novel, Crushed, author Layne Gray weaves a delightful chick lit / women's fiction story that follows one woman's journey of self-discovery and transformation after discovering her husband's infidelity.
On a whim, Grace decides to surprise her husband Peter at the airport wearing only sexy lingerie and a fur coat. But the surprise is on Grace, when she discovers that Peter has been cheating. With her world turned upside down, Grace's best friend suggests that she check herself into Finedale, a secret all-inclusive spa retreat for discarded wives for a bit of pampering while she gets her bearings. While at Finedale, Grace embarks on a personal journey of self-discovery, experiences, and transformation.
Set in the picturesque Bay Area setting of San Francisco, Crushed is a fast paced and entertaining tale that has a nice mixture of drama, humor, romance, and poignancy, that will easily keep the reader engaged as they follow Grace's journey.
You can't help but feel a connection with Grace as her journey takes her down a new path filled with intriguing twists and turns as she rediscovers who she is after the unexpected breakup of her marriage. Through new experiences (some that are pretty hilarious), new friendships, and finding self-confidence in herself, Grace gets through the hardship of marriage, the crushed feeling of betrayal, and the divorce with strength, a positive transformation, and a new start in life. As I followed Grace's journey, I experienced the full gamut of emotions, and I couldn't help but smile and cheer her on as she learned to restart her life.
With a quirky cast of characters, witty dialogue and humorous interactions, a rich description of the Bay Area setting of San Francisco, and a realistic storyline that women can relate to, Crushed is a wonderful story of strength and renewal.
RATING: 5 STARS
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