Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

Fitness Junkie

 

synopsis

 

When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin–the delicious lovechild of a brioche and a muffin–her best friend and business partner, Beau, gives her an ultimatum: Lose thirty pounds or lose your job. Sure, Janey has gained some weight since her divorce, and no, her beautifully cut trousers don’t fit like they used to, so Janey throws herself headlong into the world of the fitness revolution, signing up for a shockingly expensive workout pass, baring it all for Free the Nipple yoga, sweating through boot camp classes run by Sri Lankan militants and spinning to the screams of a Lycra-clad instructor with rage issues. At a juice shop she meets Jacob, a cute young guy who takes her dumpster-diving outside Whole Foods on their first date. At a shaman’s tea ceremony she meets Hugh, a silver fox who holds her hand through an ayahuasca hallucination And at a secret exercise studio Janey meets Sara Strong, the wildly popular workout guru whose special dance routine has starlets and wealthy women flocking to her for results that seem too good to be true. As Janey eschews delicious carbs, pays thousands of dollars to charlatans, and is harassed by her very own fitness bracelet, she can’t help but wonder: Did she really need to lose weight in the first place?

A hilarious send-up of the health and wellness industry, Fitness Junkie is a glorious romp through the absurd landscape of our weight-obsessed culture.

 

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“But to be divorced, over forty, without kids – that made Janey something different altogether.”

Any woman of a certain age that has been through something and then went on a journey to “find” herself will be able to relate to this book. There are parts that are lighthearted and completely over the top in a funny way and others that hit on the serious measures some women will go to for their happiness. All of those things make this an almost perfect chick lit book. My only issue is that the ending seemed rushed and I wanted more details about the progression of the characters. Overall, I predict this book will be a HUGE hit and a perfect companion for the beach this summer!!!

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Buy Fitness Junkie Here!

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

 

 

In the bestselling tradition of Sloan Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, a collection of humorous essays on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits, and black as cool.

My name is “J” and I’m awkward—and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?

Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy. But when Issa Rae, the creator of the Shorty Award–winning hit series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” is that introvert—whether she’s navigating love, work, friendships, or “rapping”—it sure is entertaining. Now, in this debut collection of essays written in her witty and self-deprecating voice, Rae covers everything from cybersexing in the early days of the Internet to deflecting unsolicited comments on weight gain, from navigating the perils of eating out alone and public displays of affection to learning to accept yourself—natural hair and all.

A reflection on her own unique experiences as a cyber pioneer yet universally appealing, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a book no one—awkward or cool, black, white, or other—will want to miss.

“Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy.”

I remember sitting in an airport a few months ago while waiting to board a flight to Houston and I decided to start this book and I am so happy that I did. In the past I watched a few episodes of Issa’s show on YouTube so I was quite interested in learning more about her as a woman. I will say without a doubt that she is one of the few humans living on this planet that is completely honest with her self-esteem issues and it is all done with humor.

“Food is my destination, my journey, my reward, my friend – if only my metabolism matched that of the skinny, crackhead-bodied girls of my high school. How lucky they were!”

See, what she just did here??? We all love food, but we are brainwashed by the media that we shouldn’t admit it. Issa has no problem admitting just how much she loved to eat but she infused some humor in there as well. This is pretty much the tone of the book.

While most of the book has humorous undertones, there are sections that are quite serious. As a black woman, here is my favorite passage from the book:

“I love being black; that’s not a problem. The problem is that I don’t want to always talk about it because honestly, talking about being “black” is extremely tiring. I don’t know how Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do it. I know why Cornel West and Tavis Smiley do it. They love the attention and the groupies. But the rest of these people who talk, think and breathe race every single day – how? Just how? Aren’t they exhausted?”

I swear it is like Issa knows some of my innermost thoughts! And, with her not being afraid to share her perspective on things such as food, lotion, hair, and black leaders it allows some of us to know we aren’t alone in what goes through our brain. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is nothing short of brilliant. It will make you laugh out loud, it will make you think, and it will help make you feel more comfortable sharing your innermost thoughts because you now know you are not alone!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl in exchange for an honest review.


Amazon: http://amzn.to/1MOJafN

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY: Downward Dog by Edward Vilga

downward dog

 

synopsis

A study in love, loss, and sexual misadventures in New York City, DOWNWARD DOG tells the tale of a handsome Bad Boy who becomes a yoga instructor while trying to redeem his womanizing ways and win the forgiveness of the only woman he’s ever really loved.

 

Down on his luck thanks to a failed nightlife venture which fell apart because of his womanizing, our hero’s stuck with massive debt and broken dreams.

 

His only safe haven is the yoga world, and when his well-connected best buddy launches his yoga career among NYC’s elite, our working class hero becomes a guru to society’s top 1%, a wolf let loose amongst a flock of comely sheep.

trailer

DOWNWARD DOG Book Trailer from Patrick Brady on Vimeo.

meettheauthor

edward vilga

 

Edward has had seven books published (many of which involve his yoga practice) and written and directed two feature films.

 

His novel DOWNWARD DOG –– the adventures of a bad boy yoga instructor –– will be published in June 2013 by Diversion Books.

 

Edward Vilga’s last yoga book and DVD, YOGA IN BED, hit #1 on Amazon.com for all of wellness after he appeared on REGIS & KELLY and CBS’ EARLY SHOW and after his book was featured in PEOPLE Magazine. In addition, YOGA IN BED has been positively reviewed in over 40 publications and translated into more than a dozen languages.

 

You can follow Edward on his website at http://www.edwardvilga.com, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/EdwardVilga and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EdwardVilgaIndustries.

 

Downward Dog is on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17931140-downward-dog Don’t forget to add it to your to-read shelf!

authorinterview1.     Tell us about your book. How did you come up with the title?

First, DOWNWARD DOG is just so much the quintessential yoga pose everyone knows.  Secondly, when the story and character came to me, I loved the idea of him truly being a true “Dog” (re: his bad boy ways) and also having his fair share of “downward” challenges that make the story exciting.

2.     What was the inspiration for Downward Dog?

Although I’ve always been a writer first and foremost, I’ve long been passionate about yoga as a spiritual path.   I can still remember the conversation with a friend where I was discussing some of the adventures and complexities of my life as a male yoga teacher.  There and then I realized how rich the narrative possibilities were because of all the contrasting worlds they involve along with the character’s quirky and contradictory journey.

3. If Downward Dog were made into a movie, who would you have as your dream cast?

Not “if” … but “when!”  The book has already been optioned by my producer Sarah Finn, casting director of over 50 films including the Best Picture Oscar Winner CRASH, Oliver Stones last three movies, the IRON MAN SERIES, and THE AVENGERS.

Recently, another Best Picture Oscar-winning producer asked her to create a cast list and so I have that … but it’s top-secret!  We can’t have Movie Star A offended that Movie Star B might get involved –– at least not yet.  Of course, I have some favorites, but basically it’s your extremely handsome 28–32 leading man list of Hollywood Bad Boys (the ones who everyone secretly hopes are redeemable.)

4.     Set the mood for us…when you’re writing, you have to…

Since I wrote the novel, my life has changed dramatically (different coast; different schedule; different everything) but I wrote 90 percent of this novel after 10pm, when I would ritualistically shut off all the lights in my NYC loft, pour myself a glass of wine or a strong scotch, then play the first aria from the Goldberg Variations before concentrating for one hour increments while listening to a soothing blanket of sound.

5.     What has been the most surprising and upsetting part of your literary journey?

With all the changes in the book publishing world, I’ve seen editors deeply attracted to my work but simultaneously being constrained by an extremely risk-averse environment.  It’s frustrating to see a rejection letter that raves about the quality of the writing but ultimately caves in to marketing uncertainties.

6.     When you’re not writing, what authors do you enjoy reading? What are you currently reading?

I read passionately and promiscuously, without any rhyme or reason.  Off the top of my head, I’m living for Neil Gaiman’s new book.  I’m reading A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES now.  I loved Simon Doonan’s latest and can’t wait for his next.  And since I’m a guru-ish figure (of sorts), I read and/or skim tons of self-improvement books.

7.     If you had to write your life story, what would the title be? How does that title portray your story?

I actually know the title but can’t reveal it yet –– I think my autobiographical period is a good 20 years away –– but it shares the contradictions and the excitement of my human experience.

8.     What are three things readers might be surprised to learn about you?

1) I was an altar boy.  2) I’m in love with my chocolate lab.  3) I still do some yoga, but I’m obsessed with jumping rope –– although I hope whenever someone sees me doing it in the street, I look like a boxer in training and not a 14 year-old school girl.  [Come to think of it, maybe none of those were surprising but … ]

9.     What can your fans look forward to next?

In no particular order, 1) more fiction, 2) the movie of DOWNWARD DOG, 3) a play I’m writing now for Off-Broadway.

10. Thank you again for allowing me to interview you on Tiffany Talks Books. Are there any last words for those who are reading this interview?


Well, first, THANK YOU for having me!

thegiveaway

Leave a blog post comment for your chance to win an eBook copy of Downward Dog. The giveaway is open internationally and will end on July 31st at 10pm EST. Good luck!