Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Stacey Ballis' novels are good enough to read (and devour in one sitting)!

Photo from Stacey's Twitter profile
 By Melissa Amster

In the summer of 2007, I had been living in a new home far away from my family and friends, after moving from Chicago to the east coast that spring. I felt totally alone sometimes, even though I had my husband and son around. Then a friend loaned me her copy of “The Spinster Sisters” by Stacey Ballis and suddenly I had some new best friends in Jodi and Jill…and in the author! Soon I was getting my hands on every book Stacey Ballis had written, but there were only a few others. However, she saved my sanity that first summer in a new state and I will always be thankful to her for that!

Since Stacey Ballis is Jewish and lives in Chicago, all of her novels take place in Chicago and feature Jewish women who have dating issues or who are grappling with their weight. Or both, in Sidney Stein’s case. “Inappropriate Men” was the third book I read by Stacey Ballis and I devoured it like the men in the story devoured Sidney’s delicious culinary treats. I loved Sidney’s confidence and moxie. I felt like I could totally relate to her throughout the story, whether I had been in her shoes or not. “Room for Improvement” and “Sleeping Over” were also cute stories featuring women who weren’t afraid to show their flaws. She also wrote essays for "Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl, I Learned from Judy Blume" and "Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys."

When I started Chick Lit Central in 2010, I knew I had to have Stacey Ballis there for an interview. She had just published “Good Enough to Eat,” which I devoured in practically one day (Yom Kippur, ironically enough) and since the timing of her appearance was close to Rosh Hashanah, I knew I had to ask her some questions involving the holiday and food. At the time, she also had a contest where a lucky reader could win a lunch date with both herself and Jen Lancaster (a.k.a. "Stennifer"). I entered that one right away. However, I didn’t win.
Thankfully, she’s having another contest exactly like that to feature her upcoming novel, “Off the Menu.” I really hope I win this time, as I would love to meet her! (Meeting Jen Lancaster would be an added bonus, but I would need to read more of her books first.) Otherwise, I’ll just have to find a way to meet up with her next time I’m in Chicago (or she’s in DC), as I admire her work and think she has a great personality to go along with it!

If you haven’t read Stacey Ballis’ books, I suggest you add them to your bookshelf right away. You won’t be disappointed! In the meantime, visit her at her website and blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.


Charlotte's Web of Books said...

I love both Stacey Ballis & Jen Lancaster! Thanks for the link to the contest. What hoot it would be to have lunch with both of them!

Lisa said...

Always happy to find great new authors! I am off to read down my current stash so I can justify more ;)
Hugs, Lisa