Wednesday, October 9, 2013

CREATING AN IDEAL LIFE by JANET DeLEE: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED 
CREATING AN IDEAL LIFE
BY JANET DeLEE

ABOUT THE BOOK:
When her career runs aground during the recession, baby boomer Ginny Lawther decides to reboot her life with a leap of faith and systematically sets out to make a long-cherished dream come true.

All her life, Ginny Lawther longed to be a writer, but self-doubt and some wrong turns along the way kept her dream in the background as she pursued other options. When the recession knocked the stuffing out of her chosen career, she wondered if the time had finally come to make her dream a reality. But could she, at a time in life when many were playing it safe, take a leap of faith and finally pursue her dream?

Follow Ginny as she gathers courage for a journey of self-actualization, traveling down an uncertain path toward the fulfillment of her dreams and ultimately creating an ideal life.
  
AN EXCERPT FROM CREATING AN IDEAL LIFE:
The next day was market day at the Piazza del Popolo, so I strolled over after breakfast. Stalls lined up along every possible inch of the piazza. In the first stall was a flower vendor. The beautiful red, pink and white cyclamen captivated me. I took a picture of the flowers and moved on.

I came to a stall with hundreds of scarves. I saw a black and white polka dot one that I liked. The African vendor saw me looking and hurried over, telling me urgently, “They are twelve euros.” When I looked up at him he blurted out, “Ten, they are ten.” Ten euros seemed reasonable, so I dug in my purse, handed him the money, and wound the pretty scarf around my neck. I had on a black jacket on this chilly morning, and I felt jauntier with the new accessory. Italian women in patterned scarves were everywhere, and now I felt like one of them.

I headed up the lane and stopped to look at a wagon displaying huge wheels of cheese and hanging salami. The white coated vendor carved a wedge of cheese with an enormous knife for a tiny Italian woman dressed in a drab print dress and black sweater. She had a large cloth grocery bag filled with produce hanging from her arm as she talked to the vendor. They seemed to know one another, the vendor and his little lady buyer. They were having a lively conversation, and the gist of it, the bits I could understand, was her teasing him about his love life, accusing him of being a local Lothario. He would nod at her accusations, deny nothing, and fire off good natured replies that made her laugh gaily.

I moved on to another booth displaying a fascinating assortment of burlap sacks containing various wild mushrooms and little knobs of truffles. I took a deep breath over the sacks, savoring the rich, earthy scents. The vendor looked at me expectantly—a grizzled, wool-capped fellow. I smiled and pantomimed approval of his displays and moved on, to his disappointment.
TO READ MORE OF THIS EXCERPT, VISIT THE SCRIB.d WEBSITE HERE. 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Janet DeLee is all about making dreams come true and appointed herself "human guinea pig in the quest for self-actualization" Janet's debut novel, Creating an Ideal Life, is the first in a series of novels featuring her terrified-but-determined character, Ginny Lawther, who will continue expanding her life experiences with further leaps into new dreams, new quests, and new adventures. Janet resides in Dallas, Texas and is a fourth-generation landscape professional. When she is not in Italy, she can usually be found gardening, either in her yard or anyone else's who will let her. 
MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it”. In Janet DeLee’s debut novel, CREATING AN IDEAL LIFE, Ginny Lawther embodies Disney’s belief, although often with great trepidation. As the protagonist, Baby Boomer Ginny realizes that circumstances have given her a valid reason to change the direction her life has been going. Due to the recession, Ginny’s lawn and garden business is withering in the Texas heat, so she decides to take a chance, risk stability, and realize her lifetime dream of becoming a writer. 

Ginny sets the wheels in motion to travel to Italy in order to find inspiration for her writing. DeLee shares what I believe is also her own philosophy as she has Ginny using sensible and detailed plans to make this happen. Positive affirmations and keeping a diary are just part of what gives readers an inside look at how Ginny goes about creating her IDEAL LIFE.

At first I felt CREATING AN IDEAL LIFE started a bit slowly but that only lasted the first few pages as the author gives readers some details about Ginny’s background. These, I soon found, turn out to be necessary background for what is to follow. 

The majority of the book not only is a narrative of Ginny’s experiences but also similar to an Italian travel guide. Janet DeLee gives such a personal yet wide-ranging description of Italy, that one can create that all important mental image and feel like they are with Ginny on her adventure. The characters are well fleshed out and so it is quite easy to get caught up in their lives, especially Ginny‘s. DeLee makes the story even more likable and persuasive because of the realistic, individual tour of Italy that readers go on with Ginny. I have never been to Italy but the description had all my senses alive with what I was experiencing on this trip!

Where all this leads Ginny and what may follow will keep readers turning pages, and like me, looking for a sequel to see what will happen to Ginny next. Kudos to Janet DeLee on her debut novel and I imagine it made one of her lifetime dreams come true as well.
 GIVEAWAY
I AM THRILLED TO BE ABLE TO HAVE
ONE COPY OF CREATING AN IDEAL LIFE
TO GIVE AWAY TO A LUCKY FOLLOWER
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:


+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT CREATING AN IDEAL LIFE THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK, AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO ASK AUTHOR JANET DeLEE IF YOU COULD  


+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY 
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT 
6 PM, EST, OCTOBER 21
   GOOD LUCK!
 

63 comments:

debbie said...

I have always wanted to go to Italy. It sounds like the author describes it so well. I would like to read this book.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a email subscriber.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a gfc follower
debbie
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

holdenj said...

I think the setting sounds fabulous! And the idea of a second career in life is always tempting. Thanks
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holdenj said...

GFC follower.
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holdenj said...

Email subscriber.
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holdenj said...

RSS subscriber.
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Tea norman said...

+1 I want to win and read this book because the excerpt you gave is so descriptive. I can see the lady with the cloth bag filled with mushrooms. I can hear the customer and the grocer in the marketplace laughing and talking with one another. It all seems so real. Seems like the perfect armchair travel book.

1dozenstars@gmail.com

Tea norman said...

+1 I tweeted about the giveaway.

http://twitter.com/topazshell

Tea norman said...

+1 What tourist site did she enjoy the most?

Tea norman said...

+1 follow by Twitter.

Tea norman said...

+1 by email

Tea norman said...

+1 by facebook

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+1 by G+

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+1 networked blogs

Tea norman said...

by Googlefollow

traveler said...

This book would be wonderful and fascinating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I would ask Janet about her travels, research and favorite destination. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

I am entranced with this book. Perfect. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I am a follower. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I would like to know how the author created this series. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Margie said...

The descriptions of the Italian lifestyle sound fascinating. I like the idea of pursuing your dreams.
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Margie said...

Question to author--
What book are you currently reading?
What is your favorite genre?
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Carol N Wong said...

I was amused about her graden business withering in Texas heat. When we bought our house, I had grand ideas of what I would grow. If it wasn't beaten down by the sun it was eaten. I gave up on all outside gardening so I can understand why the main character decided that it was time for a major career change!

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I tweeted:

http://t.co/peQCEmyrxD

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Janet DeLee said...

Let's see, several folks had questions, so let me see if I can answer them all:

1. My favorite tourist site in Italy isn't a site, but just walking around and discovering the density of things to discover that are never covered in guidebooks.

2. I spent 5 weeks in Italy doing research for the book. I took a leap of faith, just like Ginny. Life has a way of rising to these occasions.

3. What am I reading now? Etruscan Places by D.H. Lawrence, which just came back into print a couple of years ago.

What would I say to my readers? I'm guessing many folks have a dormant dream that they hesitate to pursue. My answer is a resounding GO FOR I!

Janet DeLee

Carol N Wong said...

I would recommend her favorite place to visit in Italy and say why.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com.

Carol N Wong said...

I follow with an e-mail subscription.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...


I follow with Facebook.

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Carol N Wong said...


I follow with Networked Blogs.

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Carol N Wong said...

I follow with a RSS feed on my Yahoo page.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I follow with Twitter.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I follow with Google Friends Connect.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com


Carol N Wong said...

+5 October Facebook Bonus #1

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Bingo said...

How exciting that Author Janet DeLee answered some of your questions. I hope to have lunch with her soon and find out more about this amazing lady who took this "leap of faith" and find out what I can do to follow her lead. Thanks, Janet!

Mary Brandis said...

I'm curious to see how and if Ginny makes her dream come through. It sounds like a feel good novel.

Mary Brandis said...

Mary Brandis ‏@houdinibuddy 20s

I would like to win "Creating An Ideal Life" by Janet Delee through Bookin' with Bingo.

twitter @houdinibuddy

Mary Brandis said...




BloggerMary Brandis posted a status
"I would love to win the book "Creating An Ideal Life" through a giveaway by Bookin' with Bingo."

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Mary Brandis said...

I would ask Janet DeLee what made her want to write novels. Did writing come naturally to her as a child or an adult?

Mary Brandis said...

Follow by Facebook

Mary Brandis said...

Follow by e-mail account.

Mary Brandis said...

I am a booklovin suscriber.

holdenj said...

You'll have to report in about your lunch, Bingo!
+5 Swag.
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holdenj said...

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