Book Review – Point, Click Love: A Novel

Point, Click, Love by Molly Shapiro is the story of four friends, Maxine, Kate, Claudia and Annie, who are all dealing with issues related to the internet in one way or another. Maxine is not the happily married woman she portrays to the world and, in fact, hasn’t had sex with her husband in years. She forgets her own troubles by burying herself in gossip magazines about celebrities. Katie is a divorcee who swore off men until she realized that she couldn’t swear off sex. She decides to find casual encounters online. Claudia’s lazy husband spends more time on Facebook than he does with his family or looking for a job and 38 year old single Annie is no longer interested in finding a soul mate but she does want a baby and has decided to pick her sperm donor from an online catalog.

I’m giving this book 4.5 stars not necessarily because I LOVED it, but because I really couldn’t put it down from page 1. I found myself tearing through the pages at every opportunity to see what happened.

The book is basically 4 separate stories that only come together because the individual women are friends. Although I enjoyed all four storylines, I was surprised to find myself most interested in Maxine and Claudia since I have never been married. Annie’s story was a bit far-fetched but I enjoyed it as well. My least favorite was Katie. The way things wrapped up for all four was somewhat predictable and while I was satisfied with how things turned out with Maxine, Katie and Annie, I was disappointed with Claudia. Finally, while each story was definitely unique, the personalities of the characters were all pretty similar and I wish there had been more distinction made.  They were all likeable and sympathetic characters but there were no character traits, aside from appearance, that really made them stand apart from each other. For instance, we were told that Claudia was a bit aggressive sometimes but you never really saw it.

Although the book had the potential to dig deep into how our society has become so dependent on technology and using the anonymity of the computer to avoid relating to each other on a more personal basis, it really didn’t.  So, if you’re looking for depth, keep searching.  If you’re looking for a fast read to get you through a long commute by train or plane, though – this is a perfect pick!   

4.5 Stars

Buy here: http://tinyurl.com/bvjm5vq

 

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Calgon anyone?

I really shouldn’t be writing a blog right now because I’m feeling incredibly stressed out and overwhelmed. Unfortunately, one of the (many) things that is causing me stress is the fact that I haven’t posted a blog in a while and so here I am.

Besides my mother, I doubt anyone has been stalking my website awaiting a fresh post, but I feel it is part of my job as a writer to maintain a current blog. And for the most part, I enjoy blogging! What I don’t enjoy is when my day job as a trademark paralegal gets so busy that it becomes necessary to work overtime to keep on top of it and that’s where I am right now.

Please do not get me wrong, I feel incredibly blessed to have a solid career and a stable job as a paralegal. I live in a very expensive city and while I work hard, I also play hard and my paycheck needs to stretch beyond my rent and monthly expenses to allow me to a maintain my lifestyle. I certainly do not make enough money writing to quit. (I also enjoy my day job, although not nearly as much as I enjoy writing.) But right now, when my second novel is in the last stages of pre-publication and there is so much preparation involved, is not the time for my work responsibilities to soar. Right now, all I can focus on are the following steps that either need or should be taken before Planet of the Flakes is published, for instance, meeting my editing deadline (of Friday); working with a designer on my cover (the cover artist I initially wanted is not taking on new assignments); writing my acknowledgments (first draft completed, thank God for small favors); reaching out to other authors/bloggers to read the manuscript and provide pre-publication reviews and blurbs; updating some of the contents on my website. I tip my hat to all of you self-published authors who opt to do this all on your own as I looked at the outline of tasks created for the publication of Planet of the Flakes and know that there is so much more involved that, thank goodness, falls into the hands of someone else.

On top of pre-publication stress, I agreed to judge a writing contest for the Chick Lit chapter of Romance Writers of America of which I am a member and, of course, I conveniently received all four entries last night and have only until early August to read and critique them. I really enjoyed judging the entries last year and the year before which is why I volunteered again, but the timing isn’t great. And to make matters worse, I am being trained on a new database for the next two days at work which means I won’t have time to actually do any of the work that is in my to-do pile until Thursday at the earliest and by Thursday, I am sure new work will be added to the pile.

The next few weekends are already completely booked between a friend’s upcoming wedding festivities, my oldest sister coming into town with my youngest niece and my boyfriend’s cousin’s wedding in Michigan. All of these things are fun and I’m not complaining but OMG, my head is spinning and all I want to do is crawl under my covers and cry.

I confess that there are things I could probably do to make more time in my day. For instance, I could go to sleep later and work on my writing stuff late into the night, however, I get up early every morning to either go running or to the gym and that would not be possible with five hours of sleep. Some might say I should sacrifice the gym, but those who know me the best are aware that I am a much more productive person (not to mention nicer) when my exercise routine is not jeopardized. I suppose I could decline all social invitations after work to write, but it’s not as if I go out every night of the week anyway and giving up all time with my friends would put my sanity and cheery disposition in danger. Finally, it probably wouldn’t kill me to miss The Bachelorette but I am just too afraid to take that risk 🙂

Interesting, when I started writing this blog, I was feeling quite sorry for myself and out of control. In reading back my last paragraph however, I realize that I do have some control. No, I cannot control how demanding my clients or the attorneys for whom I work will be on a given day and I cannot snap my fingers and accomplish all of the things I need to do, but how I spend what free time I have is a result of choices that I make and if I really needed to get something done, I could make the time to do it.

This doesn’t mean I am through complaining but for now, I am leaving my pity party and finishing my work so I can go home and watch The Bachelorette.

Cheers 🙂

 

Blurb for Planet of the Flakes

Further to my last post, things are moving along for the publication of Planet of the Flakes. I am still working with my editor who is in the process of reviewing my revisions, but has already let me know that she really likes the new scenes I added to the book to flesh out the secondary characters and develop my main character’s relationships with her friends and family. Additionally, I am scheduled to have a phone call with my Book Manager this afternoon. The Book Manager will be assisting me with the promotion and marketing of the book and I am very excited to hear her ideas. I didn’t have any assistance with marketing for my first book and am delighted to have someone on my team this time around. All that remains is the assignment of my cover artist. I have been brainstorming ideas for cover art and am looking forward to that stage of the process.

Finally, my editor sent me the blurb for the book and I wanted to share it with all of you!

Here it is!

“Jane Frank is ready to fall in love. It’s been a year since her long term relationship ended and far too long since the last time she was kissed. With the LSAT coming up she needs to find a long term boyfriend (or husband) before acing law school and becoming a partner at her father’s law firm. There’s just one problem: all the guys in New York are flakes. They seemingly drop off the face of the earth with no warning and no explanation. Should she join her best friend Marissa in singlehood, making cupcakes and watching True Blood? Or should she follow her co-worker Andrew’s advice and turn the game back on those who scorned her? As Jane attempts to juggle her own responsibilities and put up with the problems of everyone around her, she starts to realize that the dating life isn’t as easy as she originally thought.”

Hopefully, the blurb has tweaked your interest. If you have ever dated in NYC (or any large city for that matter) and been on the giving or receiving end of the disappearing act, you will probably relate to this book. And even if you have been happily married for 20+ years, I guarantee it will make you laugh and possibly make you cry!