Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Celebrity Author Daniella Brodsky Guest Post for "Princess of Park Avenue"

















Daniella Brodsky

Dear readers new and old,
I am thrilled to announce the re-launch of one of my favorite backlist titles:  PRINCESS OF PARK AVENUE, on sale NOW.  For those of you who have become fans later in the game, I am calling this launch series, My ‘Dirty Literary History.’  The name is tongue in cheek and only an attempt to let you know that it’s a bit more lighthearted and comedic than my current work.  But it’s got the same power to teach us something about ourselves that I believe all good art (if I may be so bold) does.  And I’m going to go out on a limb and toot my own horn here once again (I know! You don’t even recognize this Daniella, right?) . . . As I read through to re-edit PRINCESS (because I’m a perfectionist and love to see how much I’ve learned in the last decade, too), I laughed my ass off (figuratively; I still have an ass, so don’t worry).  The story is funny, and the observations about pop culture’s ugly side seem all too relevant today. 

For those of you who’ve been with me since THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO NEW YORK NIGHTLIFE days (or even the days when I wouldn’t go anywhere without my Minnie Mouse), and maybe even attended that fabulous launch party with all the free booze in the middle of a blizzard (maybe even won a ritzy prize to take home), I’d love to hear your thoughts on how this Brooklyn v Park Avenue love story fits into your view of Daniella Brodsky’s body of work.  To me, PRINCESS is about the stunning contradictions in each of us.  But no matter which way I look at it, Lorraine Machuchi was—and still is—one of my favorite characters, and I hope you enjoy spending some time with her in this revamped edition . . . as much as I have.  Any guesses on which real life personage the Pizza Boy may have been inspired by are totally welcome (and will most likely be denied).  As for who would play Lorraine in a film version, my vote goes to Anne Hathaway—she’s from Brooklyn!  If you’d like to make a pick, or just want to say hey, visit the PRINCESS OF PARK AVENUE facebook page.  For info on my other titles, visit my website.

The great thing about the democratization of the book industry is that we all have a voice—which means we have influence over the kinds of books that make it in today’s marketplace.  If you’ve enjoyed any of my books, please tell the world via a review or a “like” at any of my amazon book pages which can be found via my author page; you wouldn’t believe how influential one opinion can be today.  However you make your voice heard, it’s an exciting time!  Keep reading!

XO,
Daniella Brodsky

Friday, February 3, 2012

Book Review & Blog Tour: Princess of Park Avenue by Daniella Brodsky




You can take the girl out of Brooklyn, but can you take Brooklyn out of the girl? Lorraine Machuchi has held on tight to her Brooklyn home, and to Tommy, the neighborhood guy she's been pining over for years. But the very guy she tossed everything away for just told her he'll never wind up with her—a girl who's not going anywhere. That's the kick in the pants she needs to cross the bridge to Manhattan, where she starts coloring hair at a swank salon. There she meets a new and fascinating species: The Park Avenue Princess. Sure, their $400 cashmere sweaters, charity balls for poor girls with small boobs, and 'sexy' yoga are a bit over-the-top for someone like Lorraine, but sometimes even a Brooklyn girl can learn to love her own inner princess.

Have you ever had a book which you couldn't put down? No, seriously...you couldn't put it down for anything, not even traffic lights? Welcome to my experience reading Daniella Brodsky's 'Princess of Park Avenue'. Not only did I relate to Lorraine Machuchi being a Brooklyn girl, and someone who had settled for 3rd-rate treatment from the guy she loves, but I was totally wrapped up in the all the drama, and the faux-friendships that formed between Lorraine and the original 'Park Avenue Princess's'. I was also given the amazing opportunity to interview Ms. Brodsky regarding this underdog novel of a young woman trying to make her mark on New York City, and also find love in the man that has been in her life for so many years. You can purchase Daniella Brodsky's 'Princess of Park Avenue' on-line at such places as: Barnes & Nobel or Amazon.com in both paper or digital formats.

Rose Lucivero Interview’s Daniella Brodsky: Princess of Park Avenue

     Daniella, I’d like to kick this interview off with thanking you for taking the time to sit for this interview on “Princess of Park Avenue.” I have been a bibliophile since I was a young girl and there have been only a handful of novels which I have devoured, and considered a true treasure. “Princess of Park Avenue” is the first book in many years that I simply could not put down…taking it to work to read on my breaks and even reading it while stopped at traffic lights. (Readers do not attempt this at home.)

  • I’m sure you must get this question a lot, but how much of yourself is actually poured in to the creation of the character Lorraine Machuchi?
DB:  First off, let me pick my jaw up from the ground.  That is the most wonderful compliment!  I’m so glad you devoured the book.  This is always my intention!  Lorraine Machuchi is nothing like me at all.  In many ways—her tough-cookie side, her audaciousness, and confidence are traits I wish I had more of!  But on the completely opposite side, we have her lack of self-confidence and self-awareness when it comes to men—and this contradiction, which I was floored to discover in some of the savviest businesswomen I know, was really what drew me to tell this story in the first place.  And those ladies must not be alone because you wouldn’t believe how many women have reached out to me about their own personal sagas with Mr. Wrong.

DB:  I chose Brooklyn because I knew it well.  My mother’s entire family hails from Brooklyn, and I’ve spent many a summer, weekend, and mid-week sleepover there!  After I graduated from NYU I lived in Bay Ridge (which I refer to as ‘old school Brooklyn’) and was really surprised to find it was a world away from NYC, though I only took one train to commute their every day.  It was refreshing and inspiring, unique and in many ways, steeped in tradition—all of which made it an interesting place to share via fiction.  In fact, I was riding the Q train home from my grandmother’s Brighton Beach apartment when I came up with the initial story sketch for PRINCESS OF PARK AVENUE.  I guess watching the skyline flash by got the creative juices flowing.
  • Why did you pick Brooklyn, NY as the featured borough? Why not The Bronx or Queens? Do you feel that women in Bay Ridge, New York are stereo-typed in to the Italian-princess, gum-chomping, women who tolerate her guy cheating on her and driving a muscle car while they are stuck in the kitchen making gnocchi and homemade sauce?

  • In the novel, Lorraine’s deceased grandmother pops in and pays visits to several characters, including Lorraine. Do you believe in the paranormal? And have you ever had your own paranormal experience? (I myself have had several dealings with paranormal energies, and am part of a paranormal investigative team.)
DB:  Look, I’m one of those people who’s always bawling her eyes out when those who claim to commune with the dead do so on morning radio.  That being said, I also ask my little crew up there for some good luck when I really need it.  They seem to listen!  But what do I really think?  I don’t know—which is a great place for a novelist to be:  we ask the questions.  It’s up to the readers—i.e., each of us—to ponder the answers according to our individual perspectives.  That interactivity is what makes novels so wonderful.

  • What has been your biggest or most memorable fashion faux pas?

    DB:  Oh God.  You’re talking to a girl who mainly wears black tank tops and jeans and has done so for longer than she cares to admit (trends have come and gone but it remains my most flattering look).  Still, I’ve managed to embarrass myself plenty; I don’t know why but the one time that sticks out most was way back in the fifth grade around the time I first started wearing a bra.  I must have only been wearing the darned thing for a couple of months, but for whatever reason, that morning I forgot to put it on.  I was mortified the entire day and refused to take my jacket off—even in gym class.

  • You have worked as a beauty editor as well as an author and I wonder, in the beauty world, is there one specific look that has made you cringe?
DB:  The great thing about most editors is that we always get excited about new looks, new trends, and new products.  Sure, there are days when you open your press releases and think, Great!  Another new pink frosty lipstick.  Puleaze.  But for the most part, the creativity of the beauty world—like the creativity of the literary world—is a collective conscience, and there’s always some new perspective an individual artist takes that seems to throw everything into a new, exciting light.  That said, no more celebrity copycatting, please!  That really makes me cringe.

  • I think that most women who read “Princess of Park Avenue” have had their own “Tommy” in their life at some point of their life. But do you think that the length of time that Lorraine suffered with the Tommy scenario was realistic?
DB:  In fiction, we often have to dramatize events to get the point across in a way that makes for absorbing fiction.  Being Lorraine grew up on the same block as the undeserving object of her affection, she’s had it bad for a long time, longer than I would hope most people would take to move on, but the reality is whether we met him in middle school, high-school, university or after—from real women’s stories, there are those of us who can never forget, those of us who can’t move onto new, meaningful relationships even when it’s been so long we know that the “Tommy” in our heads doesn’t have anything to do with who the real Tommy is anymore, even when we’ve tried to move on and put our current relationships in jeopardy by pursuing “Tommy”.  And don’t most of these women know they’re making enormous mistakes?  This is the messy, fascinating, often painful stuff of love.  And that’s why we’re drawn to read about it over and over again.


  • Being a single girl in New York…I’ve had more than my share of unsavory guys I went on dates with. This brings me to the character “Matt”. Was Matt based on anyone specifically that you know? Do you think that Matt would have been so understanding and patient while trying to get Lorraine to give him a chance? And where can a single girl meet a real-life Matt?



  • When writing this story of a young woman, trying to make her mark on New York City, marching to her own beat…were you concerned with the character sounding too much like Candace Bushnell’s “Carrie Bradshaw”?


DB:  I’m trying to think back here… I don’t think I’d ever seen Sex and the City at the time I wrote this.  If I had, it wasn’t nearly as popular or prevalent as it later became.  And even if it were, this character’s personality was nothing like Carrie’s.  Lorraine would have looked down her nose at someone as trendy and fabulous as Carrie.  If I look back at it now, I guess the one commonality is the shared obsession with their perceived Mr. Wrongs.  The only thing this tells me is that it’s a common problem!  The other thing about the SATC/Daniella Brodsky parallel is that when the television show first came out, people kept telling me about it, and saying it was about me, since I was a freelance writer in Manhattan going to all the spots they visited in that show, and often running into the same professional problems.  When I first saw it, I thought someone must have been tapping my phone because her life was so much like mine (except for the Manolos!!!).  I couldn’t be further from that life now!

  • Have you personally ever had a nightmarish horror story happen to you with your hairdresser? (High-lights turn purple? A razor shag go awry?) How would you suggest fixing a hairDON’T?
DB:  Where should we start:  the fourth grade feathered look?  The student trial highlights from hell?  The bob that everyone seemed to have in 1994 that took my lifetime long locks to a look that my boyfriend’s father described as “a kindergartener’s” in a matter of moments?  Haven’t chopped my hair since.  How do you fix a bad hairstyle?  It really depends what’s happened.  But stylists are so smart today, they really can do anything—color correction, extensions, straightening, curling, repairing, you name it.  This is one of the reasons I wanted to set the story in Park Avenue’s beauty world.  These stylists are expected to do the impossible every day.  And more often than not, they do it.

  • In “Princess of Park Avenue” Lorraine’s on-again/off-again boyfriend Tommy has a major turn of character and seems to want to claim her mind, body, and soul. Do you feel that this turn about with this character is possible in real life or even realistic enough for a character?
DB:  When people face situations that they never could have imagined, this is when we are forced to change or get lost in the rubble.  This happens to everyone during the course of a lifetime.  And in the case of someone like Tommy, and Lorraine, too—people who’ve put off making changes for as long as humanly possible—when reality and change do hit, the results are often most dramatic.  The question of how people react to challenging circumstances is one that continually fascinates me; my most recent novel, Vivian Rising, explores this topic at great length.  It’s amazing the psychological, biological, and societal research that has gone into exploring what makes some of us capable of coping and adapting better than others.

One last final question Daniella, and then I’ll let you get back to the wonderful weather of Australia.

  • It seems like you almost left “Princess of Park Avenue” open for a follow-up novel on Lorraine and her crazy group of friends. Do you think that there is room for more Brooklyn meets New York City shenanigans?
DB:  I love these characters, and I love to picture the way their lives unfold after all this drama.  I can’t see why I shouldn’t catch up with them at some point…

Once again, I’d like to thank you for taking the time and joining me for an interview. As it happens, I just realized that “Princess of Park Avenue” is actually the second of your books which I’ve read. I look forward to reading many more of your novels, and I am sure that success and accolades will be bestowed on you for many years to come.


Interview by:
Rose Lucivero


DB:  It’s funny you ask where you can meet a real-life Matt.  I was once approached to update a book called “How to Meet a Mensch in Manhattan.”  At the time, I said I hadn’t a clue how this was done, or I would have found one for myself, and declined the offer.  Still, my Girl’s Guides turned me into somewhat of a reluctant single girl in the city guru, though my dating life may have said otherwise!  Although Matt was not based on any one man I knew, I’m sure in many ways he was a composite of lots of them.  The fact is, in fiction, our real life experiences are only the jumping-off point for the story.  The real magic happens when those characters come into their own and propel the story forward in a way that’s unique to only that particular character.  Would Matt be so patient in the real world?  That’s another great thing about fiction:  it allows us to ask these questions and consider the relevant issues in a way that goes beyond the page—and touches our lives in a personal way, often staying with us always; this is precisely what my current novel, The Book Code, is about.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I knit.....it's what I do.

     For YEARS I have wanted to learn how to knit. I love the idea of knitting. The clickity-clack of needles, the nifty scarves you can make. But alas no one I know who knits was willing to teach me how to. Aunt Ida used to be a crocheter...so she wasn't the person to turn to either.
     Thankfully my dear friend Phil (who is way too talented in too many ways) informed me that he knits on a loom. ALAS my desire to knit flared up with a vengeance! The possibility of making scarves and blankets were within my fingers reach. I raced to Michael's craft store and selected my (rectangle) loom, as the round one looked wacky and picked out a beautiful yarn in melding blues and greens.
     Then my crafting lust got ahead of me and I picked a beautiful amethyst purple yarn called Dew Drop which had sequins attached. Because you know...I could make a friend a gift. I could make MANY friends MANY GIFTS! My cousin Tom even requested a scarf for himself So you can imagine how busy I will be knitting my little hands off.

     The funny thing is I haven't even knitted myself anything yet. Everything I am making will be given to other people. Which is fine...because I love to give those I LOVE stuff I make, because it comes from the heart.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

25 Christmas Facts 2011

  1. The percentage of pet owners who have their dog or cat pose and photographed with Santa Claus stands at 27%
  2. 364 is the amount of  presents would you receive if you were to get every present in “The 12 Days of Christmas”
  3. Father Christmas has 2 addresses: Edinburgh, and the North Pole. Letters addressed as 'Toyland' or 'Snowland' go to Edinburgh, but those addressed to The North Pole have been sent there because there really is such a place.
  4. After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.
  5. Christmas trees are edible. Many parts of pines, spruces, and firs can be eaten. The needles are a good source of vitamin C. Pine nuts, or pine cones, are also a good source of nutrition.
  6. "Wassail" comes from the Old Norse "ves heill"--to be of good health. This evolved into the tradition of visiting neighbors on Christmas Eve and drinking to their health.
  7. Greeks do not use Christmas trees or give presents at Christmas. A priest may throw a little cross into the village water to drive the kallikantzari (gremlin-like spirits) away. To keep them from hiding in dark, dusty corners, he goes from house to house sprinkling holy water.
  8. In Syria, Christmas gifts are distributed by one of the Wise Men's camels. The gift-giving camel is said to have been the smallest one in the Wise Men's caravan.
  9. Long before it was used as a "kiss encourager" during the Christmas season, mistletoe had long been considered to have magic powers by Celtic and Teutonic peoples. It was said to have the ability to heal wounds and increase fertility. Celts hung mistletoe in their homes in order to bring themselves good luck and ward off evil spirits.
  10. The "Twelve Days of Christmas" was originally written to help Catholic children, in England, remember different articles of faith during the persecution by Protestant Monarchs. The "true love" represented God, and the gifts all different ideas:
    The "Partridge in a pear tree" was Christ.
    2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
    3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity-- the Theological Virtues
    4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
    5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which relays the history of man's fall from grace.
    6 Geese A-laying = the six days of Creation
    7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
    8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
    9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
    10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
    11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
    12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed
  11. Theodore Roosevelt, a staunch conservationist, banned Christmas trees in his home, even when he lived in the White House. His children, however, smuggled them into their bedrooms.
  12. Gift giving, Christmas drinks, Christmas Cards and many other Christmas traditions are not modern gifts of capitalism (though capitalism sure does love it) – they actually come to us via the Ancient Romans who exchanged all of those things on New Year’s Day (Strenae, named after Strenia the goddess of New Year’s gifts). This was initially shunned by the Church (“(Do not) make vetulas, [little figures of the Old Woman], little deer or iotticos or set tables [for the house-elf, compare Puck] at night or exchange New Year gifts or supply superfluous drinks [another Yule custom].” -St Eligius, 7th century) but old habits die hard and it eventually transferred to Christmas.
  13. That one small word causes anger amongst many people; many Christians consider it to be disrespectful to replace Christ’s name with an ‘x’ – even going so far as to that that it is a ploy by anti-Christians to de-Christianify Christmas. However, Xmas is almost as old as the feast it refers to – the ‘x’ is actually the Greek letter chi which is the first letter of Christ’s name in Greek (Χριστός). Xmas is every bit as religious as Christmas.
  14. Germany made the first artificial Christmas trees. They were made of goose feathers and dyed green.
  15. More diamonds are sold around Christmas than any other time of the year.
  16. "It's a Wonderful Life" appears on TV more often than any other holiday movie.
  17. The first church the Dutch built in New York City was named in St Nicholas' honour -St Nicholas Church.
  18. America's official national Christmas tree is located in King's Canyon National Park in California. The tree, a giant sequoia called the "General Grant Tree," is over 300 feet (90 meters) high. It was made the official Christmas tree in 1925.
  19. Before settling on the name of Tiny Tim for his character in "A Christmas Carol," three other alliterative names were considered by Charles Dickens. They were Little Larry, Puny Pete, and Small Sam.
  20. Contrary to common belief, poinsettia plants are non-toxic.
  21. The American Puritans wanted to make the festival of Thanksgiving Day the prime festival instead of Christmas.
  22. Listen to the song "Twelve Days of Christmas" and count the number of gifts in the song. You will realize that gifts were exchanged 364 times. Thus the gifts are exchanged everyday of the year.
  23. Warning: Christmas shopping may be hazardous to your health. If you are an avid Christmas shopper statistics have concluded that you will be elbowed at least three times while shopping. Ouch!
  24. The annual Christmas pudding was more than just a tasty treat. Small items were placed in them which had the power to predict what the New Year would bring. Coins were associated with a gain in wealth, a ring was a sign of an imminent marriage and a button signified extended bachelorhood. This idea actually goes back to the middle ages where the cake being served on the Twelfth Night would come complete with a hidden bean. Whoever found this bean was declared “king” for that one night.
  25. Jingle Bells" was first written for Thanksgiving and then became one of the most popular Christmas songs.







     

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dear Santa...I want shoes for Christmas

 Dear Santa.....
There isn't much that I want or need out of life these days. My health is pretty good, and I have a roof over my head. Thankfully I work, and have steady income. I live with my mom and aunt whom I adore, and take care of. My pets are happy too. Honestly, this is all I could ask for out of life. Good friends, good health, and a family who I am blessed to have. I strive to be a good person, helping people in need, and taking care of my family. I don't require much...other than sleep...and a date with Colin Farrell. But is that so much to ask for???
     However, there is one vice which I have. And one weakness that I can't resist, and that is SHOES. So please Santa....please if you're going to bring me anything this year...let it be luxurious, frivolous shoes which I really can't afford to buy for myself. Shoes that will look killer on my tootsies, and that will make men wish I was on their arm as I strut around in them.

or or or
and then there's always..................................................................................................................................
 and and  Manolo Blahnik Godichefac and Manolo Blahnik Luggina but lets not forget about Manolo Blahnik Prejudica or Christian Louboutin Splash Fur

Santa...if you gift me with these shoes, I will love and cherish them for the rest of my days. They may not be practical for my lifestyle...but I will put htem to good use. Thank you Santa.....I know you won't let me down.

Oh, and a date with Colin Farrell would be a nice gift too.....because I would wear a pair of the shoes you give me for Christmas on my date!

My love,

Rosie

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I am a self-professed beauty product-a-holic!!!

HI. MY NAME IS ROSE. AND I'M A BEAUTY PRODUCT-A-HOLIC. *Sighs* There....I've said it. Out loud, via text message to my bestie Michelle, and to the internet universe. How many of us are there out there who buy in to the marketing of these beauty products and think that everything they try and sell us is new and improved? I'm not the girl who will spend hundreds of dollars on botox (ewww...can we say botulism?), or skin peels, or anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, skin firming product. Nope...I'm the girl with a draw full of nail polish....and alot of nail polish in the same shade yet different catchy names. YEAH...I'm 'that girl.' Thanks OPI *cough cough*.
   A friend of mine and I recently had a girl's night, which consisted of visiting a beauty store and dinner because she needed to look at the new OPI nail polish color line for the MUPPET'S. Until she mentioned it, I was oblivious to there being such a color line. (Yeah, I thought my polish buying was under control.) And then I saw it...a bevvy of nail polishes with names like: 'Warm & Fozzie', 'Rainbow Connection', and 'Gettin Miss Piggy With It!' And I knew. I knew what was coming....I wanted them. I 'needed' them. I had to have them! So I indulged, and added to my nail polish collection. But it didn't stop there....oh no. I had to buy other items as well...stuff for gifts, stuff for myself.....stuff just because I'm a girl. So take a gander at some of the items this self-professed beauty product-a-holic purchased.

'Fresh Frog of Bel Air'.....in fact I think I'm going to do this color for Christmas!

'Gone Gonzo' may be the color to go see the new Muppet movie when it comes out later this month.

'Animal-istic' because you know.....Tommy Lee & I share a love for Animal.

Big Bang Lip Gloss by Lipstick Queen in the color 'Creation'. This I just had to have because of my love for the TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory. (But I have to say...I do love how it makes my lips look and feel!)
 Halloween anti-bac packs for the little carrier you tie on to your purse. Never mind it's November...and Christmas will be here before we know it. But because of the witty names like 'Batty' and 'Vampire Blood'....this brown-eyed girl just needed to own them...because that's how I roll.

 And of course...because I am a complete nerd, and a total makeup junky when I found out that Tarte had a whole color line and look book dedicated to one of my favorite shows, and TVs sexiest vampires, TRUEBLOOD...this makeup pallet just happened to end up in my makeup collection.

And everyone needs their skin to be supple and soft, especially in the winter time. So per my friend Lisa's high recommendation, I turned to Philosophy and have the green tea body scrub to keep rough skin at bay.

There you have it...my beauty splurges and spoils of a wild beauty shopping spree. Because this beauty product shop-a-holic can never have too many products to play with.

Book Review & Blog Tour: A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene M. Woodbury

This darkly funny novel describes Wendy Sinclair’s spin-crazy life in Las Vegas after she impulsively decides to not return to Houston following a bizarre girls’ weekend in 2005.  The confused, unhappy 45-year-old newlywed soon rents a ramshackle apartment in a building filled with misfits; wallows in a blur of spas, malls and buffets, and, ultimately, becomes a designer of cocktail waitress uniforms and an Ann-Margret impersonator in a casino show with Elvis.
         She also hangs with some pretty colorful characters.  Paula’s her bold, brassy glamazon BFF who’s looser than a Casino Royale slot.  Maxine’s her saucy former-Tropicana-showgirl boss.  Paige and Serena are two twenty-something blackjack dealers she shops, gambles, and clubs up a storm with.  Major crushes on a hunky pilot and sexy former rock star are also part of the mix. The phone fights with Roger, Wendy’s workaholic husband waiting impatiently in Houston, are louder and more raucous than a hot craps table at Caesar’s!   Does she go back to him, or does her midlife crisis become a midlife makeover?
     A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene M. Woodbury is a novel which is 222 pages of Las Vegas drama, razzmatazz, girlie delights, and the roller coaster of self discovery and wild times that thousands of people travel to the actual city for. Having had the opportunity of doing the 'girl's weekend' with my bestest friend Michelle and our friend Tracy, and my Aunt Ida on two occasions over ten years ago I totally related to the allure that Las vegas wielded over the main character Wendy Sinclair. To this day my girls and I reminisce over who hugged a palm tree, and dancing our butts off in Studio 54, located at MGM hotel. (And yes readers...of my personal Sin City adventures, that's all I'm willing to share with you, because as we know what happens in Vegas...stays in Vegas.) Reading this novel which revolved about main character Wendy Sinclair and her reluctance to return to her mundane, traditional life beng micro managed by her husband's bosses wives made me long to return to this adult play land and get swept away in gambling and pampering.

     But Ms. Woodbury does not only focus on all the fun and debauchery which can take place in Las Vegas. Instead she tackles the tender and sensitive subject of discovering who you are, what you want, and how not to lose yourself when you are in a marriage (or relationship.) The characters Wendy and Richard appear to have been happily in a relationship for (7) seven years and decide to take the plunge and get married. Two successful careers, an extravagant honeymoon in England, they seem to be the golden couple that all us real-life people want to be with their partners. However, the book quickly uncovers for the reader that every one's idea of what a marriage is differs, even when you have been in a long-term relationship and believe that you 'really know' your partner.  Reading about Wendy living as 'single's' life in Vegas, but being married and true to her spouse made me want to both cheer for her resolve not to hurt her husband, but when you read what he puts her through it sets your teeth on edge. This is a character that if she was a real person I'd grab her by the shoulders and scream 'wake-up and stand up for yourself!'

     To be fair, although I truly enjoyed reading this book, A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis, was a tad difficult for me to get through at times. A self-proclaimed single girl, I often wonder if I am cut out for a long term relationship, and the institution of marriage. I worry about being tied down, and losing myself to someone who puts 'demands' and expects certain things from me...and this book truly made me relate to our protagonist Wendy Sinclair. I enjoyed reading about her escapades in Vegas, at the posh spas, and night clubs. But several times through the novel, Ms. Woodbury seems to get tied up in giving the reader so much detail and description of what our character is doing....that you lose sight and can't focus on the story itself. What Ms. Woodbury does succeed in is making the reader able to see the novel's story from different angles, and truly question each characters motives, scruples, and attitude.

     An enjoyable read, for any woman of any age, I strongly recommend reading A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis, by Irene M. Woodbury which is available in e-book format both from http://www.amazon.com/, and also www. A great gift to give your favorite reader for the upcoming holiday season! This is book review #8 for the Chick Lit Plus 2011 Challenge. Remember it's never to late to start to read. Authorsden.com