A Year to Remember by Shelly Bell ~ A Review & More

♥♥♥♥♥ You Gotta Read This Book! ♥♥♥♥♥               

When her younger brother marries on her twenty-ninth birthday, food addict Sara Friedman drunkenly vows to three hundred wedding guests to find and marry her soul mate within the year.  After her humiliating toast becomes a YouTube sensation, she permits a national morning show to chronicle her search. With the help of best friend, Missy, she plunges head first into the shallow end of the dating pool. Her journey leads her to question the true meaning of soul mates, as she decides between fulfilling her vow to marry before her thirtieth birthday and following her heart’s desire. But before she can make the biggest decision of her life, Sara must begin to take her first steps toward recovery from her addiction to food.

~*~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~*~

This is a really long post, so  I’ll keep my review short and sweet. READ THIS BOOK.  But seriously, A Year to Remember is laugh out loud funny, and I was sad to see it end. The kind of book that you want to thumb back through even though you just read the last page. The kind of book with characters you wish you could be friends with. Even better, the ending is *good*, and Sara ends up with the right man for her.  You can’t always say that about chicklit. And y’all know I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Okay, I demand it on a regular basis. There’s no one more deserving of a happy ending than Sara. She’s funny, a good friend, and an all around decent person. That’s not to say that she’s perfect, but isn’t it our imperfections that make us funny, I mean, human. And for Sara, the year is about more than just finding the perfect man. It’s a year of hard self discoveries. As painful as that may be, I wish us all to have A Year to Remember!

~*~*~*~*~ An Excerpt From A Year To Remember ~*~*~*~*~

“Today, I turned twenty-nine and I wonder if I’ll ever meet my own beshert. Did we already meet and fail to recognize we belonged together? Did I lose my chance already?”

I stopped and pondered my own profound musings for a moment, before remembering I still held the microphone. Oh dear, what was I saying? I decided I better wrap it up, since the room started spinning.

“I’m jealous of my brother.” Crap, did that really just come out of my mouth?

“I mean, I’m not jealous just because my younger brother got married before me and I’m twenty-nine with no possible prospects in sight,” I stammered.

The audience giggled, and I wondered if they believed me, because I sure didn’t.

“I’m happy for my brother, because if he can find his beshert, it gives me hope that someday, I will, too.”

Before I could stop myself, the words I would live to regret flew out of my mouth. “Even without a significant man in my life at the moment, I promise you by the time I turn thirty, I will be married.”

Oh my God, did I really just say that? “With that, I’ll end by saying Mazel Tov, Seth and Emily. L’chayim!” I held up my empty glass of champagne.

Everyone clapped as I returned to my table. I hoped the videographer could edit my speech out of the wedding video, or ’I’d never live it down. My brother would play it at every holiday just to torture me.

Missy gave me a sympathetic smile. “That was a great speech until you blew it by admitting you were jealous and swore to marry by your thirtieth birthday.”

I groaned and put my head in my hands, terrified to think the night just started.

~*~*~*~*~ Let’s Hear From Shelly ~*~*~*~*~

Where did the story idea come from/how did it come about? 

I was working on another book when the idea for A Year to Remember downloaded in my head as my family and I drove to the movie theater. That’s literally what happened; The scenes, main character names, and even the title, came to me all at once like a downloaded movie. I skipped the film I was supposed to see and wrote the outline in the lobby. Three months later, I had a completed manuscript.

When I was turning thirty, I decided I needed to do anything and everything to find a husband. I used to say my dates were so bad, I should write a book about them. Eight years later I did.

One thing you want the reader to walk away with after reading this book.  

I’m hoping they’ll walk away with the knowledge that weight can be a symptom of food addiction and it’s not always about lack of willpower.

Why did you choose your genre? 

I love reading Chick Lit, especially books by Jennifer Weiner and Jane Green (I apologize to them if they feel that classifying them as Chick Lit authors demeans them. That’s not my intention.) To me, it’s the most personal way for readers to identify with the protagonist. I wanted my readers to know what goes on in a food addict’s mind.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing? 

Finding the time is difficult for me. I’m a full-time attorney and I have two elementary aged children, so I’m often writing at the table while my kids do their homework. I gave up television in order to write.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?   

Join a writer’s organization like Romance Writers of America. There is such a wealth of information to be found from peers. It’s not only about the writing these days. Authors are expected to know about the publishing industry and how to market themselves. Savvy Authors is another great resource to learn about the industry and it offers excellent workshops. Most importantly, don’t give up!

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?  

There are some days when the words don’t flow. On those days, I don’t write. I’ll edit or research. I take a step back and wait for it. Usually, it’s when I’m not thinking about it that I’ll get an idea. The inspiration can come from anywhere, but often times it’s through lyrics in a song on the radio.

 What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers? 

Beta readers are a great tool to utilize while you’re writing. That way, you can have other people tell you what’s working and not working. It’s different from a critique partner or writing group because beta readers aren’t writers; they’re readers. Social media is another tool that’s important. It connects you to potential readers, but more importantly, it connects you to others in the industry. I find writers to be very supportive, and I love making contact with them through Twitter and Facebook. Once you have a finished manuscript, a website or blog is an absolute must.

~*~*~*~*~ Author Bio ~*~*~*~*~

Shelly Bell started reading at three years old. In elementary school, the librarian gave her books to test out for the school library. As a teenager, she spent her allowance each week on romance novels, enjoying both young adult and adult romance.

Married to Jason in 2003, they have two children and reside in the metro-Detroit area, where she reads on her Kindle each night when her family falls asleep.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America and writes both women’s fiction and paranormal romance.

~*~*~*~*~ Connect with Shelly ~*~*~*~*~

www.ShellyBellBooks.com

Twitter Facebook

Pinterest             LinkedIn

Google Plus       Goodreads

~*~*~*~*~ Buy the Book ~*~*~*~*~

 ~*~ For e-book ~*~

Soul Mate Publishing

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 ~*~ For paperback ~*~

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

~*~*~*~*~ Shelly On Tour ~*~*~*~*~

 http://www.clpblogtours.com/2012/04/year-to-remember-by-shelly-bell.html

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