Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Featured author: Sue Margolis (Tribute, Book Review and Giveaway)


By Melissa Amster

I first discovered the joy of a Sue Margolis novel when my friend gave me “Apocalipstick” to read on my honeymoon. It was clever and funny and I couldn’t put it down. After I finished, I craved more of her novels and polished off “Spin Cycle” and “Neurotica” shortly afterward. Since then, I’ve read almost all her novels. For some reason, I managed to miss “Breakfast at Stephanie’s,” but that will be remedied soon…especially if it is anything like her other novels. There's also a novel called "Sisteria" but I haven't been able to find it in the US.

Sue Margolis seems to have a no-fail formula for her books. There’s the down-to-earth female main character, who usually has some sort of interesting career (like the woman who ran an upscale baby goods store, or the woman whose flower shop got picked for a film). Then there are the eccentric secondary characters, which include best friends, co-workers, parents, siblings, etc. There are also a lot of crazy mix-ups and laugh-out-loud moments that come from her characters’ witty dialogue and scenes that would rival the best sitcoms. Usually there’s a Jewish element. In the past, her main character has been Jewish. Lately, that has transferred to secondary characters. The references are still there, but I hope she comes out with another Jewish main character in the future. That’s what drew me to her initially, as well.



Another thing that grabs me about her novels are her catchy titles. Sometimes they're play on words, but they just stand out. My favorite of all her titles is "Original Cyn."

Finally, there’s the love interest. She makes the relationships between her heroines and their love interests so intriguing. There’s the emotional aspect, which makes me think of my first dates with my husband. It includes lots of fun conversation and dates that don’t seem to end. Then there are her trademark “romantic” scenes which leave me blushing every time and wanting a cigarette, even though I don’t smoke. Yes, they’re that hot! (If you think some of the scenes from “Fly Away Home” by Jennifer Weiner were steamy, then you’re in for a real treat with Sue Margolis’ novels.)

While I love Sue Margolis' novels, I've noticed that she doesn't have much of an online presence. She's not on Facebook or Twitter and I've never seen an interview done with her. I contacted Sharon Propson from Random House to inquire about Ms. Margolis' latest novel, "Perfect Blend" and possibly being able to do a giveaway to promote the book. In response, Sharon sent me an advanced copy of "Perfect Blend" to review and promised SIX more to some lucky readers who may or may not already know the joy of reading her books.



"Perfect Blend" has all the elements that make a Sue Margolis novel what it is. There's Amy, the down-to-earth woman who works at a coffee shop, wants to be a journalist and has a young son thanks to the help of a "frozen pop." The eccentric secondary characters are almost too many to name. Brian is her close, platonic male friend and the owner of the coffee shop where she works. He loves "Seinfeld" and takes after the characters by breaking up with girls over minor flaws. There's also her uptight perfectionist sister who finds ways to criticize her at every turn. The Jewish element comes from Zelma, the other lady who works at the coffee shop. She spouts off Yiddish phrases and encourages everyone to eat more. (Usually a bagel and lox will do the trick!) The funny scenes are all over the place and a lot of the laughs come from the children in the story. (Of course, I busted up the first time I heard the word "moobs," which plays an integral part in the story too.) Finally, there is Amy's romantic interest, complete with the perfect first date and some steaming hot scenes throughout. (The part I could relate to initially was that she and her love interest didn't like coffee but loved hot chocolate. When my husband and I started dating, he asked me out for hot chocolate because we weren't coffee people either. So this definitely made me think of our first date!) Of course, no novel is without its share of complications for the main character, and "Perfect Blend" is no exception. It's what keeps the readers on their toes!

I really enjoyed this novel. It was cute, funny, romantic, sexy and even tugged at some emotional strings. There was one part that was predictable, but even that had a twist. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Margolis' work in the future and hope she'll come out of the woodwork someday so that I can learn more about her (and share that knowledge with all chick lit readers). In the meantime, I plan to check out "Breakfast at Stephanie's." Sue Margolis is a clever writer and it's always a treat to read her novels.

Now for your treat....If you would like a chance to read "Perfect Blend," here's how to win a copy:

**Giveaway is now closed**

Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted.)

For additional entries (each as a separate comment including your e-mail address, as well):
1. Please tell us: What is your favorite "first date" story?
2. Thanks to Amy's friend Brian, there were a lot of "Seinfeld" references in this book. What is your favorite episode of "Seinfeld?"
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Open to residents of US and Canada only. Giveaway closes August 17th at 6 pm EST.

Thanks again to Sharon Propson of Random House for the review copy and for facilitating the giveaway!

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

My first date story is with my now husband. We went to a coffee shop on M Street in Georgetown and talked forever. When he set up an elaborate proposal several years later with a scavenger hunt through meaningful places throughout DC, the coffee shop had closed down so he just chose a starbucks a block away and I thought "why am I HERE?" :)

My favorite Seinfeld episode is the one where Elaine can't dance. Cracks me up every time!

Monica
yourintuitivehealth@gmail.com

Jonita said...

Thanks for introducing me to yet another author, ladies! And thanks for all of your hard work- I would love to win this one!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

Hmmm...my favourite first date story would have to be with my husband! I met him as a result of a set-up by a friend, so we were with a bunch of people, but I only had eyes for him! Our first kiss, a couple of dates later, was awkward because the brim of his hat hit my head, but it makes for a great memory now, eight years later!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

Will I get kicked out of I admit that "Seinfeld" was not one of my favourite shows? LOL, hope not!! I have seen it a couple of times, though, so I guess my favourite episode is the Soup Nazi one, or the one with the ugly baby when George's girlfriend sees him naked after he gets out of the water, LOL.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I am a follower already!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I have posted this contest on my sidebar at http://book-chic.blogspot.com.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Kathryn said...

My current partner and I never really had a first date (we actually didn't even really "date") but the first time we hung out was the best, and one of the many reasons I'm still with him. When we met up, he gave me a big hug. We spent the rest of the evening at his place talking. We started out acting like two shy teenagers but ended up sitting next to each other and playing with each other's fingers. He gave me the ring his grandmother had given him so I would have something to remind me of him all the time. We took me home at the end of the night, and although I'm sure he wanted to kiss me, he simply gave me a warm hug.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kathryn said...

I'm not a big fan of Seinfeld, so the number of episodes I've watched is limited. I'd have to say my favourite one is where they have the bet on who can be the "master of their domain." Part of what makes this even funnier is that there was a Muppet Babies skit based on this episode when the Muppets Tonight show aired. So funny!

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kathryn said...

Follower of this blog and a follower on google.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kathryn said...

Posted on facebook.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Sarah said...

Thank you for the chance to read this book!

foxchick0323@live.com

Sarah said...

My first date with my husband was to the movie " The Grudge " How romantic...lol!

foxchick0323@live.com

Sarah said...

I am a loyal follower!

foxchick0323@live.com

Sarah said...

To tell the truth I have never watched Seinfeld....but I love his wifes cookbook:) Does that count?

foxchick0323@live.com

Colleen Turner said...

Wow, this sounds so good! I would love to win a copy.
Thanks,
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

My favorite first date story happened to one of my coworkers. She was nervous about going out with someone she met through an online dating service so had a friend of hers go along and sit at the bar in case she needed someone to help her escape! She was having such a good time it turns out that she forgot about the friend at the bar, so when her friend called her cellphone to see what was going on she told her friend, in front of her date, she liked the guy and her friend could go home. They are married now so it is a cute story!
Thanks,
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a GFC follower!
candc320@gmail.com

karenk said...

love the covers of these fabulous novels...please count me in...thanks :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

re: the seinfeld show...my favourite episode is 'the pez' one...remember it?

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm a follower :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Heather said...

I am a follower.
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I posted to facebook.
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I love Seinfeld! There are so many good ones, but I love the parking garage!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

KV said...

I've heard of this author before but not sure if I've read any of her books.

KV said...

Oops, here's my email re my comment that I have heard of this author but not read her books.

mommyk18@hotmail.com

KV said...

I like the soup nazi episode of Seinfeld.

mommyk18@hotmail.com

KV said...

First date story - With my husband - He took me to a coffee shop and told me how he got his name and that the same "rules" would apply if he had a son one day. He had to find a woman whose father had the same name as his mother's father. This would be the son's middle name. Asked me my father's name - it was the same as his mother's father's name. Confused yet? And that was that! Today our son is named after his father and conveniently the other men in the family so everyone is happy. If we have a girl? That's all MY decision! :)

mommyk18@hotmail.com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Now I'm wondering if my book club would like her books, since we read books with Jewish themes... Hmm.

No need to enter me, though. Book club's almost as backed up with books as I currently am...

That means I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

ChristyJan said...

This sounds like a wonderful book ~ I'd love to win a copy.

hawkes(at)citlink.net

ChristyJan said...

I can't really remember my first date . . . I do remember at the age of 14 going to the movies with my friends. When we were outside afterwards waiting for our rides home, I noticed a truck drive past with a cute boy in the passenger seat. I told my friends "I'm going to marry that boy" and then we all giggled. That boy and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary this past June.

hawkes(at)citlink.net

ChristyJan said...

One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes was the "shrinkage" one.

hawkes(at)citlink.net

ChristyJan said...

I'm a follower

hawkes(at)citlink.net

AmandaSue said...

I'd love to be entered for a chance to read this book, thanks!

unforgetable_dreamer_always(at)hotmail.com

Laura Rachel Fox said...

My first date story: When my husband & I met we were in college. We fell so head-over-heals in love that we spent every waking moment together (and every unwaking moment as well). We spent most of our time around campus & in each others' dorm rooms.

About a month and a half after we met, he surprised me with a "real" first date. He took me to see the re-release of "The Little Mermaid," one of my favorite animated movies.

We still laugh about our "kiddie" first date.

lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

My favorite "Seinfeld" episode is the shrinkage episode. "I don't know how you guys walk around with those things."


lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

I'm a follower.

Thanks for sharing another great book by another great author.

lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Laura Rachel Fox said...

Posted a link on facebook.

lostlibrarygirl@sbcglobal.net

Stephanie G said...

I would love to win a copy!

daniels_mommy04(at)yahoo(dot)com

Stephanie G said...

And I already follow you.
daniels_mommy04(at)yahoo(dot)com

Audrey said...

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
twigerina@hotmail.com

edmontonjb said...

Please count me in! This looks like a great read.

dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

edmontonjb said...

I love Seinfeld and so many of the episodes were hilarious. One of my favorites is the 'Mulva" episode.

dftrew(at)gmail(dot)com

Bonnie said...

My favorite first date story is I went to a lawn concert to see Arlo Guthrie and Peter, Paul and Mary (I'm dating myself!) and even though we sat on an army blanket, my date (he ending up becoming my husband) got sand fleas and couldn't stop itching all the way home in the car!
My favorite Seinfeld episode is definitely the soup nazi!
I am a follower!
intrepid9923@yahoo.com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

Shared it on Facebook!

Lisa said...

I would love a chance to win a free copy of this book!

My favorite first date story belongs to my husband and I. Seventeen years ago he won a free tickets to a movie by winning a limbo contest and he asked me to join him...the rest as they say is history!

lisa6373@gmail.com

StereoQueenBee said...

My favorite first date story are always mine. I have a Blog "Datezilla"... My favorite Seinfeld episode? So hard to choose, but I love the bottle road trip that Newman and Kramer take.

I posted this on Twitter and I follow your blog.

piabernardino@bermillion.com said...

Imagine having a wonderful time with someone who was funny, smart and good looking. It was obvious that we were compatible and I was having a wonderful time getting to know this person (not to mention, he is now my husband). As we were about to meet our other friends and since I thought that it was the best date ever since we spent a lot of time talking, I looked at him and asked, "Aren't we going to be late" he gave me disappointed look and said, "Yeah, this is not a date." Oh well, by the way, he proposed on April Fool's Day -but that's a different story.
2. I guess mine would be about the Ugly Baby
3. I'm already a follower both in twitter and facebook.
4. Posted it on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks:)

Tiffany said...

Yay! A new author (for me) thanks!
Schlarmette(at)gmail(dot)com

Tiffany said...

The episode with "shrinkage" after George goes swimming... Halarious
schlarmette(at)gmail(dot)com

Tiffany said...

Follower
schlarmette(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

My first date story takes place at a concert that was memorable since my husband asked me at the last minute and it was summer so I thought, why not? The Seinfeld episode is the one in which George is a marine biologist. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Tiffany said...

I'm not sure I have a specific first date story. There are so many great ones because everyone has one. They are funny because it can be awkward but romantic ot touching later on in a relationship. My first date with an x, we climbed a mountian. I am not outdoorsy but you'll do something once for the chance to spend time with a guy you like. We made it up and 1/4 of the way back down when he started having stomache issues. The bathrooms were at the bottom so we (he) started running, eventually leaving me on my own. He arrived 20 mins before I did and I sat at a picnic table for another 20. We also made a couple stops on the way home. Our relationship ended a few months later when he found another girl, one who didn't witness his most embarrasing moment.
Schlarmette(at)gmail(dot)com

Tiffany said...

Posting on facebook
schlarmette(at)gmail(dot)com

Meg said...

Oooh, would love a chance to win. Thanks!

writing.meg [at] gmail.com

Meg said...

My favorite "first date" story didn't really go beyond a first date, but it involved me driving into D.C. to meet up with a guy I first met at a book festival (yay books!); having a glorious, 5-hour-long dinner at a trendy restaurant downtown; and walking back to his townhouse and my car, where he suddenly kissed me in the middle of a busy street. It had just stopped raining, the city lights were sparkling, and it just felt... magical. I never wanted to come out of that kiss.

Too bad I quickly discovered he was something of a world-class dirtbag.

But, you know. Still. I have my memories. ;)

writing.meg [at] gmail.com

Meg said...

And last but not least, I'm a follower. :)

writing.meg [at] gmail.com