Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review: G*d-Shaped Hole

By Sara Steven

When Beatrice Jordan meets the unpredictable Jacob Grace, the two wild souls become instant allies. Together they discover an escape in each other's creativity and insecurities, while running from secrets they cannot seem to shake – or a fate that could throw them to the ground . . .

This 15th Anniversary reissue of Tiffanie DeBartolo's classic love story introduces a new audience of dreamers to a quintessentially real and raw vision of spirit, and inspires everyone to live ― and love ― as vividly as possible. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Fifteen years ago, I was a twenty-three year old young adult living on my own in an apartment I could barely afford, working a full-time job in property management, a part-time job as a bartender who would also run the Nebraska Big Red Keno machine when customers asked for it. I had a different voice then, a completely different outlook on life than I do now. Reading G*d-Shaped Hole reminded me of that girl I used to be. The one who struggled to make it but reveled in it. The one who, as Jacob would put it, had been “seeking a friend for the end of the world”.

Beatrice didn’t know what to expect when she met Jacob for the first time. The unusual circumstances which brought them together only compounds it, yet she’s drawn to him in a way she can’t explain. He feels the same way, catapulting them into coupledom. Kirkus cites G*d-Shaped as “this generation’s Love Story”, and I can see why. The two main characters, the love they have for one another burns so brightly, it made me yearn for my more youthful days, when expressing my feelings and the severity of those feelings, even when they drove me insane, had been totally acceptable. Sadly, though, like Love Story, there’s also a lot of tragedy involved within this story, only making me cling more to the two doomed lovers.

Tiffanie DeBartolo has done a fantastic job of taking us along on Beatrice’s experiences, of seeing the world through those young woman’s eyes, really digging into who Beatrice is as a character. Sometimes, I feel like the voice of a protagonist doesn’t match up to the persona of who the person is supposed to be. That did not happen here. I felt like there was no mistaking who any of DeBartolo’s characters are. I knew them inside and out, like they were real-life individuals, which made me want to read on and find out what would happen for everyone involved.

G*d-Shaped had originally been released in the spring of 2002, and while I didn’t have the chance to read it then, I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to read it now. I appreciate the reflections it allowed me to have within my own life, and while I’m no longer a young adult with that youthful voice, she’s still inside me, somewhere.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Tiffanie DeBartolo:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Heading to the mall with Jayne Denker

Introduction by Melissa Amster

Jayne Denker and I have many entertainment interests in common: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin, Younger, The Bold Type, and, of course, Hamilton! When I heard she had a novel coming out this summer, I knew we had to feature her at CLC. That novel is Your New Best Friend and it's now available for 99 cents on Kindle! She's here to celebrate her pub day and talk about shopping.


Jayne has worked as an editor and proofreader. After becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started writing romantic comedy novels. Your New Best Friend is her sixth! She lives in a small village in western New York with her husband, son, and a very sweet senior-citizen basement cat. When she's not hard at work on another novel (or, rather, when she should be hard at work on another novel), she can usually be found frittering away stupid amounts of time online. (Another thing we have in common.)

Visit Jayne at her website, Facebook, and Twitter. She may become your new best friend!


Synopsis
Jane Austen’s Emma made a habit of meddling in other people’s lives, but Melanie Abbott has turned it into a cottage industry.

As “modern American royalty” living in Abbott’s Bay, Massachusetts, a town founded by her ancestor, Melanie Abbott feels it’s her right—even her duty—to employ her uncanny knack for knowing exactly what everyone needs to improve their lives. She eagerly shares her wisdom and insight with her friends and neighbors . . . whether they ask for it or not. If only Conn Garvey, her dearest friend, agreed with her.


Connacht Garvey has been keeping an eye on Melanie since they were kids. A bit older, far more level-headed, and infinitely patient, Conn feels it's his duty to pull Melanie back from whatever cliff’s edge she’s about to wander off. Conn thinks Melanie is egotistical, self-centered, irritating, infuriating, relentless, ridiculous . . . and irresistible. Not that Conn’s confessed to that last one. Yet.


When Melanie impulsively starts up a new advice-giving business, it’s an instant hit. Conn doesn’t approve, as usual, which is too bad, because Melanie’s convinced he needs her VIP package. (Of advice!) His coffeehouse is showing signs of financial trouble, plus his toxic ex is suddenly sniffing around, acting like she’s having second thoughts about their breakup. Will their friendship be blown to bits because of Melanie’s meddling . . . or will it become something more? (Courtesy of Amazon.)


Tell us about a time you experienced buyer's remorse:
I’ve bought quite a few things that I’ve regretted, I admit. Let’s just say the clothes in the clearance section of the Sundance Catalog are there for a reason, mmmkay? Most recently...probably the fidget spinner I bought my son. He had bought his first one on a class trip to Canada, but it broke, and he was experiencing fidget withdrawal (I swear it’s a thing—I’ve witnessed it!) When I saw a bunch sitting on the counter of a respectable store that shall remain nameless, selling for $4, I bought him one. It lasted a week before it fell to pieces. One. Week. Lesson learned about stress fractures in plastic when it’s up against spinning metal bearings. Science!!

What store that no longer exists would you like to bring back?
I miss the old-fashioned, independently owned, local department stores. My hometown used to have a teeming downtown with three major department stores—two inside one of the oldest malls in the country (since torn down) and one across the street. The freestanding one, which dated back to the turn of the 20th century, was called Sibley’s. It was fabulous. Several floors of clothes, jewelry and accessories, household goods, toys, etc., plus a lunch counter and a bakery. There was a large clock high up on a pillar on the main floor, near the escalators, and people would say “Meet me under the clock at Sibley’s” when they needed to find each other in the heaving mass of people during a weekday lunch hour or on a busy Saturday. At Christmas, it was like something out of a fairy tale—or a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie! The whole store was decorated, the toy department was insane, and there was a long, darkened hallway, with lit-up holiday dioramas on either side, that you’d walk down to see Santa. And after you sat on Santa’s lap, you’d get a gold kazoo shaped like a trombone. Ah, parental migraines.

Would you consider yourself a shopaholic?
Not really. It’s not a recreational activity for me—I don’t go shopping if I don’t have something specific I need to buy. Although that might be more of a reflection on my financial state than my interest in recreational shopping!

What is something you purchase on a regular basis (excluding stuff you need)?
Oh, you know a writer is going to say books, right?! From browsing bookstores to one-clicking on Amazon, I cannot resist a good story. I also have a bad habit of buying blank notebooks and pens—definitely stuff I don’t need, but I neeeed, you know? And I love antiques and decorative household items.

Favorite splurge purchase?
Aside from books, I don’t tend to splurge on much. I don’t have a well-developed designer gene (my wallet thanks me), so designer clothes, shoes, and handbags and such can float right past me and I’d never notice. I do, however, have a weakness for graphic tees, movies (I like to buy digital versions of my comfort-flicks on iTunes so I can watch them dozens of times without having to root around for the DVD), earrings, and beads-with-which-to-make jewelry. I mean, I always swear I’ll find the time to get crafty, but I hardly ever do, so the beads sit in nice compartmented storage boxes, taunting me.

What would be your main character's favorite place to shop?
Unlike me, Melanie loves to shop—for herself, for others, doesn’t matter. She feels it’s her mission in life to help people discover their personal style—clothes, household décor, you name it. She frequents the cute, trendy, unique boutiques in her hometown of Abbott’s Bay, Massachusetts, on the North Shore, both as a way of finding unusual items and stimulating the local economy (very important to her), but she also likes to travel to Boston and New York City for the absolute latest fashions.

Thanks to Jayne for visiting with us today!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Book Review: Amanda Wakes Up

By Jami Deise

In 1987, James L. Brooks released what some call his best romantic comedy ever, the Holly Hunter vehicle Broadcast News. The love triangle featured producer Jane Craig, who’s torn between field reporter Aaron (Albert Brooks) and pretty-boy anchor Tom (William Hurt). Refreshing because Jane ultimately chooses herself and her journalistic ethics over either man, the film is also an inside look at one of the major issues in broadcast journalism at the time—hiring attractive people as anchors over more intelligent, less pretty people. (It was rumored that William Hurt’s character was based on Peter Jennings.) One of the most iconic scenes in the film is when Jane feeds Tom questions through an earpiece, making it seem that he’s conversant on the foreign crisis he’s reporting on.

A lot’s happened in journalism in the past thirty years. Broadcasting has become narrowcasting, as viewers follow only the news sources that reflect their particular world views. Teenagers make up stories about politicians and watch them go viral; politicians cry “fake news” whenever news breaks that makes them look bad. Journalists receive death threats. With the stakes so high, is it still possible to set a romantic comedy in this world?

CNN co-host Alisyn Camerota certainly thinks so. Her debut novel, Amanda Wakes Up, is Broadcast News for the reality-TV presidential era. And while her heroine, Amanda Gallo, is more Bridget Jones than Jane Craig, the political environment she’s thrust into is very serious.

After stringer Amanda reports on a hostage situation in her bikini, her profile explodes and she’s hired by Benji Diggs, the millionaire who owns FAIR News. (DC insiders may wonder if Camerota deliberately uses the same name as one of the most anti-immigrant groups there is, the Federation for American Immigration Reform.) FAIR runs a morning show, Wake Up America, and Benji promises Amanda that he wants to air both sides of the issues. But Amanda, raised by a liberal mother who’s supporting the country’s first female presidential candidate, Virginia Wynn, seems to be the only one who cares about the other side. Former actor Victor Fluke is running on a pro-business, anti-immigrant platform (“They’re American’ts!”) and Wake Up America is the only show where he can speak unchallenged. With a co-anchor, Rob, who seems more interested in his looks and his celebrity friends, and producers fresh out of college, Amanda is out of her league and can’t challenge bad statistics about gun control and abortion. As Fluke and Wake Up America become more and more prominent, Amanda’s liberal friends and her boyfriend Charlie accuse her of helping Fluke’s campaign, and Amanda begins to see them as close-minded when it comes to Fluke’s supporters. Depending on which questions she asks that morning, she’s attacked by conservatives or liberals as being against or for Fluke. At the same time, there’s whispers of scandals around Fluke’s past, and Amanda would love to report on them…if only Benji would let her.

Although Camerota swears she did not have a crystal ball, Wynn and Fluke do seem to be modeled on Clinton and Trump, and some of the events in the book (violence at Fluke rallies, for instance) are eerily prescient. Although the presidential campaign provides a timeline for the book, it does not dominate it. Rather, Camerota artfully demonstrates the hollowness behind news coverage; executives (Les Moonves, anyone?) who were more interested in their ratings than examining the damage that was being done to the country. Amanda herself, who was hired because she looked good in a bikini, may actually be the Tom in this case rather than the Jane. She’s too uninformed to hold her own in a debate with Fluke, blaming producers for not giving her enough information when Fluke badmouths Planned Parenthood. (Reporters who cover abortion issues are well-versed in the research provided by the Guttmacher Institute; Amanda seems to have never heard of them.) She naively believes that Fluke supporters are good people because they are nice to her, never wondering what their attitudes might be if she weren’t the reporter making Fluke look good. Amanda tries earnestly to live out the promise Benji made when he hired her, to see and report on both sides, never realizing that in some cases, there is really only one.

Camerota seems torn between whether she’s writing chick lit or a satire. That may be the result of decisions made at the editor or publisher level, though. While there were several plot points that had me cheering on Amanda, ultimately the book’s ending feels forced. It’s a reminder that while truth may be stranger than fiction, fiction is often happier. (And, as Amanda tells her mother, so are conservatives.) Still, the book works until the last few pages. And even if Camerota set out to write a satire, unfortunately events transpired to make Amanda Wakes Up too close to reality to be called an exaggeration. In fact, with a Twitter-happy President under investigation for colluding with Russia, real life has become the satire.

Thanks to Viking for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 21, 2017

What's in the mail...plus a giveaway

Melissa A:
I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella from St. Martin's Press
The Address by Fiona Davis from Goldberg McDuffie
The Captain's Daughter by Meg Mitchell Moore from BookSparks
Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak from Penguin Random House
The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay by Kelly Harms (paperback) from St. Martin's Press
Wish You Were Here by Renée Carlino from Atria
Look Behind You by Iris and Roy Johansen from St. Martin's Press
The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder from Macmillan Audio (won from Goodreads)
Eden by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg from BookSparks
A Work of Art by Micayla Lally from BookSparks
American Family by Catherine Marshall-Smith from BookSparks
The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor from BookSparks



Sara:
Holly Freakin' Hughes by/from Kelsey Kingsley (e-book)
Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley from Simon and Schuster





What could be in YOUR mail:

I've Got Sand in All the Wrong Places and I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

Since Melissa A just celebrated her birthday, she wants to share these summer treats with a lucky reader!

The New York Times bestselling mother-daughter team returns with a new collection in the series that Oprah Magazine calls the "Perfect Summer Must-Read," of funny and relatable true stories in the everyday lives of modern women. Lisa and Francesca give their multigenerational take on a variety of topics, from the terrors of Tinder to the indignities of the gym, and from fleece as formalwear to playing the lotto as financial planning, sounding like two girlfriends you've known your whole life. As with all mothers and daughters, Lisa and Francesca sometimes joke, sometimes fight, but always love their way through life's best and worst moments. You'll laugh along with them, and when you finish, you will want to share the fun with your mother, daughter, or best friend.

So join Lisa and Francesca as they travel from the beach to the city to the suburbs and all the places in between, exasperating, supporting, and enjoying each other along the way.
(Courtesy of Fantastic Fiction.)


The bestselling and “perennially hilarious” mother-daughter team is back with a new collection of stories from their real lives, guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Join Lisa and Francesca as they regret drunk-shopping online, try smell-dating, and explore the freedom of a hiatus from men - a Guyatus. They offer a fresh and funny take on the triumphs and facepalm moments of modern life, showing that when it comes to navigating the crazy world we live in, you’re always your own best lifeguard. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Giveaway ends July 26th at midnight EST.

Book Review: Crimes Against a Book Club

By Melissa Amster

Best friends Annie and Sarah need cash—fast. Sarah, a beautiful, successful lawyer, wants nothing more than to have a baby. But balancing IVF treatments with a grueling eighty-hour workweek is no walk in the park. Meanwhile, Annie, a Harvard-grad chemist recently transplanted to Southern California, is cutting coupons to afford her young autistic son’s expensive therapy.

Desperate, the two friends come up with a brilliant plan: they’ll combine Sarah’s looks and Annie’s brains to sell a “luxury” antiaging face cream to the wealthy, fading beauties in Annie’s La Jolla book club. The scheme seems innocent enough, until Annie decides to add a special—and oh-so-illegal—ingredient that could bring their whole operation crashing to the ground.

Hilarious, intelligent, and warm, Crimes Against a Book Club is a delightful look at the lengths women will go to fend for their families and for one another.
(Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Crimes Against a Book Club is one of those books I was recommending before I even finished, as I was that confident it was a winner the whole way through. And I was right!

The premise is creative and the dialogue and characters are humorous throughout. I love how the characters played off of each other. Everyone and everything was easy to visualize without needing an overwhelming amount of detail.

It's basically Odd Mom Out meets Breaking Bad. It also reminded me of some books I read. The "criminal" aspect reminded me of The Assistants by Camille Perri and the parts where you feel bad for women you're not supposed to like reminded me of The J.A.P. Chronicles by Isabel Rose. Even with all these comparisons, the story is fun, fresh, and celebrates friendship.

There was nothing I didn't like about this book and it's going on my 2017 favorites list. Definitely pick it up for a dose of fun and entertainment. I'm impressed that it is a debut and look forward to more from Kathy Cooperman!

Dream movie cast:
Sarah: Christina Hendricks (I had her cast in this role from the moment I started the book.)
Annie: Linda Cardellini
Valerie: Mira Sorvino
Kim: Catherine Bell
Chloe: Joanna Cassidy (perhaps the Odd Mom Out connection made me think of her, but she'd be so perfect in this role!)
Natalie: Rachael Harris
Priscilla: Kristin Chenoweth
Dawn: Heather Graham

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Spending time (and money) with Camilla Isley

Today, we welcome Camilla Isley to CLC. Since our theme for July is shopping, she's here to answer some fun questions on the topic. Her latest novel, I Have Never, is part of the First Comes Love series. (First Comes Love is a series of interconnected romantic novels. However, each book in the series can be read as a standalone novel.) 

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband in an adventure abroad. She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Visit Camilla online:


Twenty-nine-year-old Blair Walker is a girl with a plan, or more a girl with a list. A list of dos and don’ts to live the perfect life, land a dream career, and marry Mr. Right.

When Blair loses her job and gets dumped by her boyfriend all in one day, she starts to wonder if she’s had it all wrong. And what better way to find out than experience everything the list forbade?

With hilarious consequences, Blair will discover some items are trickier to tick off than she’d thought…


A laugh out loud romantic comedy perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Sophie Kinsella, and Mhairi McFarlane. 

Tell us about a time you experienced buyer's remorse:
A pair of boots. There’s an episode in Friends where Monica buys a pair of gorgeous—for that era―very expensive boots and then can’t wear them because they’re too uncomfortable and make her feet blister. The same happened to me. In the shop, for the five minutes I had the boots on, they seemed like the most sensible purchase. After wearing them for an entire evening, I knew I had just thrown out of the window a good chunk of my shopping budget for that year.

Would you consider yourself a shopaholic?
I have cycles. Dry seasons of shopping followed by splurging weeks, then I’m good for some months. Of course the aftermath of my birthday and Christmas always end up in a little shopping spree. The only unseasonal item are books, I buy them all year round…

Do you like to shop alone or with family/friends?
Alone. This way I have all the time in the world to spend in the shops I want to visit, try on whatever ridiculous amount of items, choose what I like, change my mind, not buy anything, and repeat in another shop. The only woman blessed with enough patience to go through this process with me is my mom, so sometimes she comes along.

What is the oldest item of clothing still in your possession? What year is it from?
Moving houses helps with keeping the hording in check, so I’d have to say a twin pair of strapless beach dresses 2008 circa, in white and green.
But if I go to my parents’ house in my old room the 90s are still raging in some drawers.

Favorite splurge purchase?
Weddings are always the best excuse to splurge, and I can’t resist the temptation to buy a new gorgeous dress to attend a ceremony and subsequent party. So my favorite purchase for this year has been a long aquamarine gown all flow-y and with a coral flowers print.

What would be your main character's favorite place to shop?
Blair lives in New York, so I’d say SOHO. A good mix for different budgets and both unique and chain shops.

Thanks to Camilla for chatting with us and to HCL Author Services for including us in Camilla's tour.

Check out the full tour:

July 13th
Rachel Brimble Romance - Author Q&A
A Beautiful Book Blog - Book Review
Writing Pearls - Book Review
With Love For Books - Book Review
For the Love of Chick Lit - Book Review

July 14th
Kristin's Novel Cafe - Book Excerpt
JenaBooks - Book Review
He Said Books or Me - Author Guest Post
Judging More than Just the Cover - Author Q&A

July 15th
I Heart Fictional People - Book Review
Chrissi Reads - Book Review
Books and Photographs - Book Review
Rebecca Book Review - Book Excerpt
Monique McDonell-Author - Book Excerpt

July 16th
One Book At A Time - Spotlight Post
CosyCuteKnits - Book Review
The Writing Garnet - Book Review

July 17th
The Belgian Reviewer - Book Excerpt
Girl vs Books - Book Review
kraftireader - Book Review

July 18th
Reading Is My SuperPower - Book Review
THE CHLOE DOUGLAS BLOG - Book Review

July 19th
Simona's Corner of Dreams - Author Guest Post
Bookish - Book Review

July 20th
TheBlossomTwins - Book Review
Grass Monster - Book Review
Chick Lit Central - Author Q&A
Living Life with Joy - Author Guest Post

July 21st
ItaPixie's Book Corner - Book Review
Rae Reads - Book Review
Novelgossip - Book Review
Whispering Stories - Book Review
Ali - The Dragon Slayer - Book Review
A Daydreamer's Thoughts - Book Review
Steamy Book Momma - Book Excerpt

July 22nd
BookLoverWorm - Book Review
Pretty Little Book Reviews - Book Review
Book Lover in Florida - Book Excerpt


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Go-To-Gay: Shop 'til you drop!

We're so glad to have our Go-To-Gay, Keith Stewart, back this month. He took some time off from CLC in May, but definitely made up for it with a fabulous post that needs no introduction.

Stay tuned for August, when Keith and our Chick Lit Cheerleader, Jen Tucker, pair up on a post.

I CAME. I SAW. I SHOPPED.

I have a love-hate relationship with shopping. I still abide by the tried and true maxims, “Shopping is cheaper than therapy,” and “Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life,” but as I aged over the years, I also fattened up and lazied out, dulling my shopping habits a bit. I no longer allow myself to buy expensive designer brands of clothes because, obviously, I am not going to be wearing this massive size two months from now when Weight Watchers finally kicks in on my body (also, why in Hell do they make size 40-waist pants in SLIM FIT?! If you wear that size, nothing is going to fit you slimly. YOU AREN’T FOOLING ANY ONE, RALPH LAUREN).

I have never been a bargain shopper. You will never find me at a Black Friday sale. I did that one time only, and as I stood my ground in the electronics section of Wal-Mart in Douglas, Georgia, protecting my place in line against an angry mob of heathens who had waited until 4:00 AM to come out for a deal instead of 3:30 AM like us sane folk (as if you can hope for a 40-inch, off-brand, LED television for $99 after 3:30 AM), I swore to God above if she just got me through this anarchy with all my fingers and toes intact, I would never attempt to shop on Thanksgiving weekend. I kept my word. In fact, I don’t think I even have been back inside the Wal-Mart in Douglas, Georgia since that fateful day.



The only time I really lost control while shopping was my first experience in a DSW Shoe Warehouse. My husband was attending a conference in San Francisco, and I tagged along for fun. We soon discovered that San Fran is a SHOPPING MECCA for men, for obvious reasons. Our guard was already down by the multiple floors of men’s clothes in the downtown Macy’s, Saks, and other department stores, but when we happened into the DSW Shoe Warehouse, WE LOST OUR FREAKING MINDS. Men’s shoes as far as the eye could see called our name. Designer shoes. On Clearance. Even a percentage off the clearance price. All sense and sensibility went out the window then and there. Andy and I ended up having to buy an extra bag to pack our fourteen pairs of shoes (seven each) in so we could get them home to Florida.



I occasionally still get excited at the thought of shopping. In fact, just last week I had two big shopping-related events. First, I went to Houston to visit my best friend, and I am not sure how many of you know this, but Dillard’s Department Stores sends all of the leftover clothes that have already been placed on sale and put on clearance in your local store to Houston to a humongous facility I like to call the Dillard’s Dump. The store is crammed with clothes at rock-bottom prices. We are talking prices so cheap, I will allow myself to purchase expensive brands even at my current pre-Weight-Watchers-kicking-in size. In fact, I bought $563.50 worth of clothes for a mere $72.00. I’m telling you, it’s worth a trip to Houston just to shop there.



The second shopping event of last week truly explains where I am in my life. Amazon Prime Day had me on edge the entire time I was in Houston. I didn’t really need anything in particular, but the news outlets kept touting it, calling it Christmas in July, which eventually led me to begin thinking of it as a loophole in my deal with God not to shop on Black Friday. As Prime day went on, I saw nothing that struck my fancy, until around 9:00 PM. Then it finally happened. I saw it. The item I’d secretly coveted for a while. The Squatty Potty. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?! It is something every middle-aged person should own. I was so excited about finding it for half-price, I not only bought myself one, but also one for my parents and one for my sister. Overall, the items I purchased on Prime Day were as follows:
• 3 Squatty Potties (50% off)
• 1 CPAP Replacement Mask (33% off)
• 1 My Pillow (40% off)
• 2 Orthopedic shoe insoles (25%)



As I said, I think that clearly tells everyone where currently I am in life.
Shopping can be therapeutic or it can be gut-wrenching (and gut-wrenching is another reason you need a Squatty Potty in your life). Either way, I hope when you do decide to go, you find the best deals out there. In fact, if you want to share some places you’ve found something cool for a great price, help your Go-To-Gay out and list it in the comments below. And always remember, when in doubt, go shop.


Keith Stewart is the author of Bernadette Peters Hates Me – True Tales of a Delusional Man. A native of Appalachia, he splits his time between his hometown of Hyden and nearby Lexington, Kentucky. His blog is www.astrongmanscupoftea.com. You can find him on Twitter at @Shiglyogly and Facebook at @AMSCOT (A Strong Man’s Cup of Tea). He is a regular contributor to HumorOutcasts.com and the GoodMenProject.com. He lives with his husband, Andy, and their two dogs, Duke and Dudley.