#ChickLitMay #Excerpt Izzy As Is by Tracie Banister

As part of #ChickLitMay , and following on from The Happily Ever After Hop, which will continue over the next few days on all the various Facebook page (to read my post, enter some great giveaways and search out loads of excellent chick lit authors look here  ) where better to go than to Tracie Banister, one of the organisers of the hop, with an extract from ‘Izzy As Is,’ a book I absolutely adored!  (Read review here),

 

izzyasis

Please note that the cover leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: The party is over for bikini model Izzy Alvarez. For six years she’s made a good living by flaunting her God-given assets on runways and in front of cameras, but now as she approaches the big 3-0, the bodacious Latina is shocked to learn she’s aged out of the profession that’s kept her in mojitos, mani/pedis, and designer thongs. What’s a girl with a taste for the finer things in life and no marketable skills to do?

Getting a regular job is too boring to even consider, so Izzy decides to follow in the footsteps of her newly-engaged frenemy and become a trophy wife. Although she’s desperate and too broke to get a chipped nail fixed, Izzy still has standards for her future husband, which means no uggos, no vertically-challenged guys, and no geezers who need to pop a blue pill to perform in the bedroom. Enlisting the aid of her computer whiz nephew and her closest pals, Izzy goes on the prowl for a rich, marriage-minded man, encountering likely candidates in a lot of unlikely places.

The high life she’s dreamed of may be within reach when Izzy meets a charming, successful man who’s not only hotter than a steamy summer night in Miami, but ready to settle down. Now all Izzy has to do is make sure her loud, crazy Cuban family doesn’t scare off el hombre perfecto—oh, yeah, and squelch those pesky, romantic feelings she keeps having for the sweet, cash-strapped guy she’s known forever. Will Izzy’s hunger for money win out, or will her fiery heart demand to be heard?

Excerpt:

As we’re polishing off the last of the appetizers and I’m starting to feel a pleasant buzz from the rum, our conversation is interrupted by a familiar voice. “Izzy! Topaz! Nacho! Oh, my gosh, I haven’t seen you guys in forever.”

I turn to see Silvana Diaz, fellow model, friend (more like rival since we’re Latinas in the same age group and have always been sent up for the same jobs), and . . . I quickly take stock of

the wealthy-looking, pudgy, salt and pepper-haired gentleman whose arm she’s clinging to . . .

new member of the Sugar Daddy Matchmakers service?

“Yeah, it’s been a while. What have you been up to?” Besides hanging out at a plastic surgeon’s office. The once noticable bump on the bridge of her nose is gone, and her lips have doubled in size since the last time we crossed paths.

“Oh, you know, just spending time with my man.” She strokes Middle-Aged Murray’s suit-clad arm and gazes at him adoringly. “He proposed on Valentine’s Day!” Silvana shoves her left hand in my face.

“Woah!” I jerk back in surprise when I see the size of the rock on her ring finger. Has to be at least three carats, and its platinum band is studded with sparkly diamonds, too. “That is quite a ring. You have great taste,” I compliment her fiancé.

“Only the best for my little mango.” He grins up at her. Yeah, that’s right, Silvana is a head taller than her hubby-to-be.

“He calls me that because I’m sweet and exotic,” Silvana explains, and I try not to gag.

“We’re all really happy for you, Sil,” Topaz says kindly. “Have you set a date yet?”

“No, but it will have to be later this year since I’ll be busy through the summer.”

I sit up straight in my chair, suddenly on high alert. “You’re going to be tied up all

summer? Did you get a national campaign or something?” Silvana is only six months younger than me, and she’s not nearly as pretty even with all her new cosmetic enhancements, so she’d better not have booked some big job, or I’m going to start flipping tables Real Housewives-style.

“I’ve retired from modeling. I don’t really have time for it anymore since Harry has to travel to Asia for business every few weeks, and I go with him since we can’t stand to be apart. Plus, it’s not like I need the money anymore.” She holds up her left hand and wiggles her fingers

to remind us once again how well-off her intended is and giggles.

So, Silvana no longer has to work and by the looks of things, Harry (ew, I hope that’s only his name and not an adjective that could be used to describe his back) is providing her with a very nice lifestyle that includes international travel and some very impressive bling. Hmmmm . . .

About the author

tracie

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. She is the proud winner of the 2017 Independent Press Award (Romantic Comedy) and a Bronze Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Awards (Chick Lit). Although Tracie swore she’d never write a sequel to any of her books, the character of Izzy Alvarez, who first appeared in In Need of Therapy, would not be denied. Izzy As Is is Tracie’s fifth novel, and she hopes readers enjoy this return trip to Miami.

CONNECT WITH TRACIE:

Author Newsletter – The Banister Buzz

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Goodreads

 

The Happily Ever After Hop #ChickLitMay #ChickLitChatHQ

I’m so so excited for this! The Happily Ever After Hop, as part of Chick Lit May! A tour of chick lit authors for you to discover organised by the brilliant Chick Lit Chat HQ!

CLC Chick Lit May Promo FINAL

Picture it . . . the lovely month of May, where spring is springing up all over the Northern Hemisphere, and there’s going to be a royal wedding, and it’s International Chick Lit Month! What’s a Chick Lit lover to do? Join Chick Lit Chat HQ’s Happily Ever After Hop on Facebook, of course!

From Monday, May 7th through Sunday, May 13th, 49 bestselling and award-winning Chick Lit and Romantic Comedy authors will be whooping it up on Facebook, celebrating all things royal and romantic. And because our readers deserve to be treated like queens, these authors will be giving away books, swag, gift cards, and lots of other fabulous prizes (no toads or poisoned apples here!), plus the week will wrap up with an award of a blingtastic, royal-themed Grand Prize Pack worth more than $150* and not one, not two, not three not four not five, but SIX $25 Amazon gift cards! (The royal-themed Grand Prize Pack giveaway is US only and not open to international entrants. However, all of the individual author giveaways and the $25 Amazon gift card giveaways are open internationally.)

 

CongratsGiftCard

*A Reminder: The royal-themed Grand Prize Pack giveaway is US only not open to international entrants. However, all of the individual author giveaways and the $25 Amazon gift card giveaways are open internationally.

QueenofEverythingMug

So, grab that tiara, hop on your unicorn, and head on over to the Happily Ever After Hop page on Facebook and join the group where you can meet and chat with your fellow readers, as well as some of the most popular authors in your favorite genres. Plus you’ll find links for all the participating authors and you can enter to win the Grand Prize Pack or one of those Amazon gift cards. We look forward to partying with you!

If You feel you want to take a look at some of the Facebook pages of authors taking part individually, you can check them out below but remember their hop piece won’t be up until the day allocated! Now go, have fun!:):):)

Happily Ever After Hop Schedule

Monday, May 7th

Rich Amooi

Tracie Banister

Susan Hatler

Erin Huss

Jennie Marts

Susannah Nix

Melanie Summers

Barbara Valentin

Joslyn Westbrook

Tuesday, May 8th

Jackie Bouchard

Laura Chapman

Renee Conoulty

Jayne Denker

Whitney Dineen

Karin Gillespie

Diane Michaels

Robyn Neeley

 

Wednesday, May 9th

Glynis Astie

Kathryn Biel

Christina Boyd

Rachael Eliker

Jenny Gardiner

A.G. Henley

Holly Kerr

Heidi Renee Mason

 

Thursday, May 10th

Beth Carter

Karen M. Cox

Virginia Gray

Laura Kenyon

Cat Lavoie

Nikki LeClair

Cassandra O’Leary

Meredith Schorr

 

Friday, May 11th

Melissa Baldwin

Lindsay Detwiler

Angie Ellington

Laura Heffernan

Beth Labonte

Monique McDonell

Kate O’Keeffe

Michelle Jo Quinn

 

Saturday, May 12th

Hilary Grossman

Tracy Krimmer

June Moonbridge

Jennifer Peel

Bria Quinlan

Natalina Reis

Sarah Louise Smith

Stacey Wiedower

 

 

#Blogtour #Giveaway Izzy As Is by Tracie Banister

Totally I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for the excellent Izzy As Is by the brilliant Tracie Banister!

thumbnail_TracieBanister-IzzyAsIs-NewRelease

 


izzyasis

Length: 351 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: The party is over for bikini model Izzy Alvarez. For six years she’s made a good living by flaunting her God-given assets on runways and in front of cameras, but now as she approaches the big 3-0, the bodacious Latina is shocked to learn she’s aged out of the profession that’s kept her in mojitos, mani/pedis, and designer thongs. What’s a girl with a taste for the finer things in life and no marketable skills to do?

Getting a regular job is too boring to even consider, so Izzy decides to follow in the footsteps of her newly-engaged frenemy and become a trophy wife. Although she’s desperate and too broke to get a chipped nail fixed, Izzy still has standards for her future husband, which means no uggos, no vertically-challenged guys, and no geezers who need to pop a blue pill to perform in the bedroom. Enlisting the aid of her computer whiz nephew and her closest pals, Izzy goes on the prowl for a rich, marriage-minded man, encountering likely candidates in a lot of unlikely places.

The high life she’s dreamed of may be within reach when Izzy meets a charming, successful man who’s not only hotter than a steamy summer night in Miami, but ready to settle down. Now all Izzy has to do is make sure her loud, crazy Cuban family doesn’t scare off el hombre perfecto—oh, yeah, and squelch those pesky, romantic feelings she keeps having for the sweet, cash-strapped guy she’s known forever. Will Izzy’s hunger for money win out, or will her fiery heart demand to be heard?

Review: I recently gushed about Mixing It Up (review here ) but even before that I loved In Need of Therapy (read review here), which was the first book about one of the Alveraz sisters. This is the second (please God let there be more to come!), and I love it even more! As you can see this is all about Izzy, a model who, on opening, is being told by a nervous agent named Marty that she is outside of the age bracket that is preferred for her type of modelling career. Cue ott reacions that made me settle down and enjoy straight away. I was thrilled then to become re acquainted with her family, who are as loud and bright as ever, with the scowling Ana, the lovely Pilar and their mother, who more than contributed to Izzy’s knowledge of how to get her own way, as well as their lovely father, who has quite a job keeping things under control. All the characters in this book jumped off the age, they were bright, fresh and hilarious, with the banter non stop and brilliant.

Characters make a book for me and her friends were also the perfect mix of crazy and sensible, and then there were those int he side lines too, including more than one or two Izzy was willing to flirt with, again with banter that made me grin and nod along, especially when Izzy sadly realised that it wasn’t quite the time to be flirting. In terms of the story, this had it all, there were blind dates that really didn’t work out and love interests you wanted, and others you didn’t, with my type of comedy going bam, bam, bam all over the place, (I loved that there was actually a nice little lump pf mom lit thrown in as Izzy babysat and ended up being minded herself!) mixed with pacing perfection! The romance was excellent, although to be honest, me being the prude that I am, I could have probably lived without the sex scenes, but they didn’t take away from the book. As for Izzy? Well she was chick lit perfection, never being afraid to say what she thought, being cheeky and selfish but ultimately, such a good person too.

I hearted this book so much. Very highly recommended. Thanks so much to the author for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

RELEASE WEEK BLITZ GIVEAWAY: Purchase a copy of Izzy As Is during release week (January 24th-30th, 2018) and you could win a fantastic prize pack inspired by the book’s sassy Latina heroine (nail polish, jewelry, and mojitos are some of her favorite things) and the beachy setting in Miami. People who purchased Izzy during the pre-order period are also eligible for the giveaway!

IzzyReleaseWeekGiveaway

This prize pack includes:

Deco Miami Custom Trio Set of Nail Lacquer with

Champagne Mami, Feeling Fuego, and Señorita Betsey Johnson Peacock Feather Earrings

Gift Republic Mojito Cocktail Scented Candle Coconut Scented Gift Set from The Body Shop

(inc. Shower Gel, Body Scrub, Body Butter, Soap, and Bath Lily)

Bella Pilar Gem-Topped Gold Pen

She Spiral Notepad Set by Kate Spade New York (Quotes on Notepads: 1 – She believed she could, so she did. 2 – “How many shades of red lipstick do you need,” they asked. “That question,” she replied, “is complex and intriguing.” 3 – She adores pretty things and witty words.)

To enter this giveaway, e-mail Tracie Banister at traciebanister@gmail.com with your proof of purchase. Entries will be accepted until midnight on January 30th, 2018 when a winner will be selected via random drawing. This is an international giveaway, so anyone who buys Izzy As Is within the allotted time frame is eligible to win. Good luck!

AUTHOR BIO:

tracie

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. She is the proud winner of the 2017 Independent Press Award (Romantic Comedy) and a Bronze Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Awards (Chick Lit). Although Tracie swore she’d never write a sequel to any of her books, the character of Izzy Alvarez, who first appeared in In Need of Therapy, would not be denied. Izzy As Is is Tracie’s fifth novel, and she hopes readers enjoy this return trip to Miami.

CONNECT WITH TRACIE:

Author Newsletter – The Banister Buzz

Blog http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/

Twitter @traciebanister

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tracie.banister

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/traciebanister/

Goodreads

Mixing it up by Tracie Banister

mixing

Length: 470 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.

Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sauté pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more.

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

The Review: Okay so I’m not going to bore you again with how rubbish I am at cooking, and how much food and baking and cooking stories and blogs make me so so happy. As a result when I saw this I was beyond thrilled, and, knowing Tracie Banister’s impeccible style and sophistication in terms of chick lit made me hit pre order straight away. It is beyond regretful that it’s taken me this long to get to the review, especially as I had read Ms. Banister’s ‘In Need Of Therapy’ (read review here) and loved it. No more that here, I often find reading blogs and blogging tears you away from the books you started the blog for, sparkling treats that pull you out of reading ruts, and this is one of those books.
We are set up with a bang into the world of tv cooking and this, put with that great cover, placed me firmly there, at Cuisine tv with Cecily Sinclair, whose identity is her cookery show Serving Romance. Of course in tv land nothing stays the same for long enough and, when a shake up takes place in the studios, Cecily’s show gains a guest host. I was excited that I heard Dante was difficult to work with, and settled into a read that beyond flew by.

The dialogue in this book (I won’t say between who!), when snippy, was so funny, and when loaded, was electric. The romance was of the fluttery yet hot type, the comedy sparkling, and the characters perfection. I actually learned from the food talk, and came away from the book feeling like I do when I get to watch QI, satisfied and that little bit more knowledgeable.  All in all this is definitely a book that fans of sophisticated, sparkly, bright, intelligent romance will love, as I did.

Rating: 5/5

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister

inneedoftherapy

Note: Cover image leads to a universal amazon buy link.

What they say: Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart?

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can’t stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger.

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she’s left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.

The review:I had heard a lot of good things about this book, but was very nervous about reading it, because I know Ms Banister from social media, quite a big thing when you’re a blogger. She introduced me to and is one of the organisers of an amazing chick lit author and blogger group I’m a member of, and frankly I was terrified in case this wasn’t my cup of tea (a silly phrase for me to use in this case because I’m an anomaly, an irish person who doesn’t actually like tea!) Anyhoo, I needn’t have worried because I really enjoyed this and have in fact held off on reviewing because I wanted people to add it to their Summer reads list.

We begin with a report on a patient, a girl who suffers from abandonment issues,and so looks to romantic partners for the love that she missed when growing up. These reports were repeated with a variety of patients throughout the book, and it was a satisfying little quirk that I hadn’t seen done before. The patients were a nice mix, some of who crossed over into her personal life and I enjoyed all of  her sessions.

In fact, all of the characters were chick lit perfection, Pilar, a Latina tower of strength, well educated and able to steer others in the right direction, yet feeling inadequate with herself and her family’s problems, Izzy, whose devil-may-care attitude and unconventional dress sense and choices in males flummoxed Pilar. Then there was the overly dramatic, extremely well-to-do mother whose english would lapse into Spanish when she just couldn’t take any drama presented to her, and her ex, Victor, a man on a mission to get her back, no matter what. I loved the banter between the family, with their wealth providing the perfect setting for dinner party battles. I also loved that the book wasn’t solely romance and am always a sucker for work issues that add to the pile on a lead’s plate and these were done brilliantly, with Pilar trying to figure out how to grow her business, which was floundering. This, coupled with  the other main character, Ford, that provided a sounding board and a shoulder, was done very nicely. A special mention for the epilogue that tied things up perfectly. All in all a brilliantly witty, over the top, fun yet intelligent romantic comedy which ticked all the boxes for me. Definitely recommended for Summer and roll on a forthcoming sequel centred around her sister, Izzy. Can’t wait. (Phew).

Rating: 4.5/5