Guest Review: Julia (The Good Life) by Sarah Krisch

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TITLE: JULIA

AUTHOR: SARAH KRISCH

SERIES: THE GOOD LIFE, BOOK 1

GENRE: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

PUBLICATION DATE: AUGUST 8, 2013

LENGTH: 150 PAGES

SOURCE: EBOOK PROVIDED BY AUTHOR

BUY LINK: AMAZON

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synopsis25

A failed actress, twenty-something Julia McCarthy begins writing a fictionalized blog as a form of self-therapy. Based on her carefree summers at her grandparents’ farm, she never expects her little experiment to garner a viral following, but it does. Boy, does it ever.
Now, with thousands of loyal blog followers, and a syndication deal with the Chicago Herald, Julia is approached by GreenTV to adapt her blog into a TV show. The producers see her as a “Rachel Ray on the Prairie-type”. She sees herself as a fraud.
In Julia’s fictional world, she’s successful. She can pay her bills on time. Heck, she even has a fictional gorgeous husband and charming little boy. Ready to realize her dreams, Julia returns to her grandparents’ farm to shoot the TV pilot.
Brad Taylor is definitely not her type: he’s rugged, sensible, and oh-so smug about learning that Julia’s blog is a farce. As the manager of her grandparent’s farm, Brad doesn’t have time to deal with whimsical women who don’t even know how to cook.
Julia can’t allow her attraction to Brad to distract her, not when her dreams are about to come true. But are these truly her dreams, her good life?
A fun, fast contemporary romance

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excerpt21CHAPTER 1

…and looking out on the two acres of newly planted seedlings, I feel a sense of satisfaction that only working your own land can bring. Although my back is sore and dirt cakes my fingernails, I know that the land gives back so much more than the effort I put into it. Inhaling the fragrant spring air, feeling the sun’s gentle warmth, I am at peace. For tonight, my family will feast on cream of asparagus soup, an early season tossed green salad, and a crusty home-baked bread that melts on your tongue. Pair this with a bottle of local elderberry wine, and you’re living the good life. ­

Julia closed her eyes, her fingers a hair’s width from striking the laptop’s keyboard. She could almost feel the sun on her cheeks, smell the freshly turned soil. It was a comfort she would often recall whenever she needed a reminder of some of the happiest moments of her life. As a child she’d spent her summer months living at her grandparents’ farm in Harmony Grove, Iowa. In retrospect, those quaint, stuck-in-time summer vacations were a great way to grow up, but she couldn’t be happier having moved to Chicago—or living with Nora, her best friend since they’d been paired as college roommates eight years ago.

The click of high heels brought her out of her reverie. Julia looked up to see the overly made-up face of the nail tech as she glanced at the timer and whispered, “Five more minutes.” Julia nodded and looked back at her laptop screen.

She sighed, happy to have finished another weekly column. Not only was it finished, it was actually pretty darned good. Nine months of weekly columns… she never imagined it would last so long, or that she would even have enough to write about to keep it fresh and interesting. When she’d started the column as a simple blog she never thought anyone would read it. But somehow, in the mysterious workings of the internet, her little WordPress blog had garnered a following, a following that soon outgrew the free domain world of WordPress. Her blog, The Good Life, had been syndicated by the Chicago Herald website for six months. Her thousand loyal readers had now become ten times that amount, and growing.

She saved the file to her laptop, careful not to smudge her manicure, and then emailed a copy to her editor at the Herald.

When the timer went off, Gloria, the owner of the salon, approached with a smile and lifted the hairdryer. “How was your day of beauty?”

Julia stood up from the pedicure drying station and glanced down at her toes. “I finally look worthy of the gorgeous Jimmy Choos I bought last week. They only cost me a month’s worth of columns.”

“I don’t know how you get any work done here with all of this racket going on.”

“When I’m working on my column, I’m not really here,” Julia said as she closed her computer and stowed it in her laptop bag. “I’m at the farm.”

“You sure don’t look like a farm girl to me.”

“And thanks to all of your fabulous skills, I never will.” Julia wiggled her fingernails, gleaming with fresh polish. She hadn’t had her hands in freshly turned soil in many years.

“None of your readers suspect that you’re really just a city girl with an active imagination?”

“No, ma’am. That’s one of the reasons I keep coming back to you. Beautician-to-client confidentiality,” Julia said with a wink.

“Your secrets are safe with me, girl,” Gloria said as she walked Julia to the cash register. “Same time next week?”

Julia handed over her well-used Visa. “You know I can’t resist.”

2.

Juggling her laptop bag and purse, she somehow managed to unlock the three deadbolts to her walk-up apartment. As Julia kicked the door closed behind her, Nora came bursting into the entryway. Never short of energy, Nora was even more over-the-top than usual as she squealed with excitement.

“What? What is it?” Julia said, setting her things down on the kitchen counter.

“Didn’t you get my message on your cell?

“No, I was just in to see Gloria. I didn’t even check my messages.” Julia pulled out her cell phone and noticed that she had indeed missed a call. She must’ve been under the hair dryer when it rang. She felt the urge to listen to the message, but thought Nora would kill her if Julia didn’t let her pass on the earth-shattering news.

“So what is it? Did I finally win the lottery?”

“No, even better!” Nora took hold of Julia’s hand and practically dragged her into their small living room.

“What? What is it?” Julia asked.

Nora made Julia sit on the loveseat before she leaned against the desk crammed into the corner of the room. With her eyes shining and a smile wide across her olive-toned skin, she was about to start speaking but couldn’t help herself. Her hands shook in front of her and she let out another squeal. Julia hadn’t seen her this excited since she received her acceptance letter to the Chicago Veterinary School of Medicine.

“Nora, you’re starting to scare me. Who called?”

“Darius.”

Julia’s agent only called when he had good news to share; otherwise he preferred to dispense disappointment via email.

“Darius called… and what? Did he sell my book?”

“Even better!”

“Don’t tell me it’s a multi-book offer!” Julia’s heart raced at the possibilities. If she landed a multi-book deal, she might actually be able to pay her bills on time. She might actually start to feel like an adult instead of existing in the muddled land of the almost-grown-up. Darius had been shopping a book-length compendium of her syndicated column for a few months, but had only received nibbles from book publishers. Julia had doubted Darius when he originally contacted her to offer his representation. After all, if the Herald didn’t want the rights to her blog, why would a book publisher?

“Not just a book offer. A book and TV deal! Can you believe it?”

“Wait…” Julia leaned back on the old couch they’d had since their college days. If she’d been standing, she would’ve probably been wobbly on her newly pedicured feet. “Are you sure you heard him right? Book… and TV? What do you mean TV? Like an appearance on Live With Kelly and Michael? Oh, don’t tell me, he got me a spot on Ellen!”

“No, silly. A TV deal, as in a deal for your own TV show. He said something about Randal Publishing and its subsidiary—”

GreenTV? He landed me a show on GreenTV?”

“Actually… yeah.”

Julia felt short of breath. She had to stand, had to walk. If she didn’t move around she would explode. After pacing the small living room two, three, and four times, she realized she was holding her breath.

“You… you aren’t playing the worst ever practical joke, are you?” Julia finally said.

“This is me you’re talking to, your best friend. I wouldn’t do that to you.”

“I know you wouldn’t, it’s just…” Julia said, and then her pacing led her into the kitchen. She looked at the clock on the microwave: 3:17 p.m. She figured it was close enough to happy hour, especially when she had something to be happy about. She grabbed a bottle of elderberry wine, a vintage from a valley farm not more than a mile from her grandparents’ home. She exited the kitchen while carrying the wine bottle and two mismatched glasses, decidedly not of the wine variety. “Want a glass?” she asked, but before Nora could answer, she continued. “It’s just… I can’t wrap my mind around it. How can this be happening to me?”

“Yes, I’ll have a glass,” Nora said. “Here, let me open that. Your hands are shaking.” Nora hurried to the kitchen for the corkscrew. When she returned, she took the bottle from Julia and uncorked it.

Julia held up the glasses as Nora poured. As she poured, Julia saw her gorgeous manicure, and that her hands were indeed shaking terribly.

“This is happening to you because you deserve it. You’re talented, beautiful, and hard-working. No one deserves it more than you.”

Julia couldn’t say anything for fear she would start crying. And if she started crying, then Nora would start crying. Julia could tell that Nora knew what she was thinking; she took a sip of wine and stepped away, casting her gaze out the window over the desk. The view was of the pitted, crumbling brick wall of the building across the narrow alley. That view was reason alone for Julia to justify spending so much of her time at Gloria’s salon.

And to think, all of those mani/pedis helped her to land the deal of a lifetime.

Julia drank half of her wine and felt the tightness in her chest easing. Her breathing was steadying.

“So Darius… what else did he say?”

“Not much. I’m not his client, you are. And I suggest you call him back, especially before that wine starts kicking in.”

“Okay. I’ll call.” Julia took her cell phone from her pocket. “But one thing.”

“Sure, anything.”

“Stay here when I talk to him. I don’t think I’ll remember how to speak if I make this call by myself.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Just make sure you put it on speakerphone.”

As Julia punched in Darius’ number, Nora gasped, “I can’t believe I took a phone message for a future TV star!”

review2

Julia was living in Chicago writing a blog for the Chicago Herald. She was doing well, living a good life, getting weekly manicures and pedicures that looked great in her Jimmy Choos.  Then her agent comes to here with the great news that her little blog will be made into a TV pilot. This is going to be a problem for the city girl with the perfect pedicure. According to the blog she is supposed to be a home town farm girl, writing about herb gardens, apple orchards, fall time canning and good ole country cooking.

This could be a problem, complete with the fictional husband and son that her fake blog personality has. It is time to go visit Grandma and Grandpa at the farm that has inspired the blog and where she spend many a childhood summer growing up. Thank god for her good friend Ethan and his son Jaime have offered to help her out. The only distraction seems to be Brad, the manager of her grandparents farm. The boy who pushed her on a swing as a child. The boy who she followed around. The boy that has grown into a man. The man who is simply gorgeous and could definitely throw a big monkey wrench into the TV pilot.

She is a city girl, right? She should not be attracted to Brad and life in the country, right? Read this cute quick story to find out just how Miss Julia gets herself out of the mess she seems to have found her self in. Find out how she discovers the person that she really is. Find out how she learns what is really important in life. This story is filled with love and family and old family values. There are old friends and new friends and even an evil land developer thrown in for good interest. It was a really sweet love story that was quick and easy to read. Sarah Krisch did a wonderful job and I look forward to the next installment in this trilogy. I would definitely give this story a 4/5 rating. I really enjoyed it.

GuestReviewer

authorbio27Author photo small

Sarah Krisch’s debut novel, Julia, The Good Life Book 1 is set on a rural farm in the cozy community of Harmony Grove. She was inspired to pursue her secret passion for writing by her husband and author Glen Krisch.She likes to write fun, fast-paced stories of romance which explore the deeper aspects of what makes people tick.

Sarah has three rambunctious boys who keep her on her toes, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. They have taught her more than she ever thought possible about Godzilla, frog-catching, and the best way to track escaped pet snakes in her home.

giveaway22♥ Sarah is giving away an eBook of Julia to 5 LUCKY Commenters ♥

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