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!

Review: Songbird by Piper Huguley, Deborah Fletcher Mello and Iris Bolling

Songbird

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Sparrow’s Song
Piper Huguley
In the hot summer of ‘68, recent graduate Sparrow Jones takes a job running the summer program at her family’s church hoping to save enough money to attend music school. Despite her mother’s objections, music is Sparrow’s ministry. Yet, as she throws herself into her work, she finds a different calling in little Carole and her stern father. Widower Master Sargent John Charles drops his little girl off at the church everyday, trusting them to take care his daughter while he works and maybe help her to regain her speech. When the feisty program director begins questioning his parenting skills, it takes all of his military disciplines to keep his temper and manners in check. Yet, the thought of her and the care she shows for his child makes the heart he thought he’d buried beat again. With the summer coming to an end, will Sparrow be able to fly away to her dreams of a music career or has her heart become entangled with a helpless little girl and her military father?

Lark St. Clair
Deborah Mello
Devastated by the death of her mother, Lark St. Clair must mend more than a broken heart. At odds with her own child, Lark is determined to honor the matriarch’s memory by repairing the rift between herself and her daughter, Dove. Revisiting history, the two embark on an emotional journey as Lark shares the story of finding herself through her music and discovering the love of her life with choir director, Martin Warren when love seemed elusive to her.

Dove’ Dream
Iris Bolling
Life should be a song worth singing. That’s what Dove Warren’s grandmother always instilled in her. With a voice to make grown men fall to their knees and the beauty to match, Dove has had her fill with singing. Until her grandmother shares a dream giving Dove the motivation to used her gift of music to spread the love.
Anthony Perry, a strong, caring man who lost his brothers to violence, vowed to give his mother at least one child who turned his back on the street life. As District Attorney of the City of Richmond, it never occurred to him that an angel falling into his arms could fill the empty recesses of his life.
Will Dove lose the man whose very presence fills her heart with song or will she have the chance to bring a dream of three generations to fruition?

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Anthologies are sometimes tricky to read because there are instances when the stories don’t connect with another and there is not a consistent theme. Another potential issue with anthologies is that the authors have such different writing styles that it is distracting. And, one last potential issue with reading an anthology is that one of the authors just isn’t as talented as the other contributors. Luckily, with Songbird none of the issues stated above were present!

Songbird is an excellent generational anthology told from three women’s point of view in hopes of understanding each other just a little bit better. I could take the time to break down each story, but just know they all are excellent. Over the course of the books, there is great advice on how to mend broken family bonds, on the importance of passing down stories from one generation to the next, and how love with the right person can turn deter your plans but enhance your life in unimaginable ways.

Piper, Deborah, and Iris are excellent storytellers on their own, and this collaboration is a perfect blend of their talents. Songbird is definitely worth a few hours of your time!

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Review: Truth Is…by Michelle Mitchell

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On the very day she loses her job, Ansley Wright meets Davis Montclair, a man she finds irresistible. She falls easily for his handsome looks, smooth words, and silken touch.
Distracted by her feelings for Davis, Ansley ignores the warning bells going off in her head.
Davis is charming, seductive, and tantalizing; a well-dressed Adonis used to getting his way, but behind those alluring eyes is a man weighed down by the burden of a troubled past.
Although he genuinely cares for Ansley, Davis finds that old habits die-hard and himself on a familiar path. Just as Ansley and Davis settle into their blossoming relationship, sins from his past return like an old mistress out for revenge, igniting the flames of tragedy, which threaten to engulf them both.

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She rose to her feet. “I hoped that you wanted to apologize and have a clear conscious, but that’s something a mature man would do and not a little boy still living street dreams.” Ansley eyed Davis for a moment before saying, “I wish you well.”

Where to start??? Oh my goodness, men like Davis are the reason why the television show Snapped was created. Sure, someone could argue that this a work of fiction, but there are plenty of Davis’ in the real word. Mitchell has done an excellent job of portraying just how naive some women can be when they see the warning signs but choose the ignore them in her main female character, Ansley. There is a life lesson that we all know but was reminded of while reading this book: Don’t be so desperate to have someone in your life that just because someone looks good and/or says all of the right things that we overlook the fact that they are not any good for you.

He released her hand. “And what Ansley? Things happen Ansley. No one is perfect, but you’re my well-constructed, God-sent, image of perfection. You’re the one I compared others too. You’re the perfect person for me and I’m not letting another moment pass without us working this out. Now are you ready to stop running?”

Love, that is what this book boils down to. Learning to love yourself enough to know that you will need to leave some people in your past no  matter how much it might hurt or your level of embarrassment. Learning that sister-friend love is essential and that you can trust your girlfriends with your innermost thoughts and feelings and that they will help you make it to the other side. And, then there is romantic love. We must believe that there is someone out there in this world that will love and accept us flaws and all. All three of these types of love are found in Truth Is…and that is what makes it a very entertaining book to read.

Michelle Mitchell is a fairly new author and it is my prediction that she will have a bright future in the literary world!

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