Category: Weight Loss

Book Review | “The Ten Year Reunion” by T.S. Krupa Third #Contemporary #Romance novel by the author of “Safe & Sound”!

Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was offered to receive T.S. Krupa’s third novel “The Ten Year Reunion” in exchange for an honest review as well as host a special feature to coincide with the book if I elected to do so. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the novel “The Ten Year Reunion” direct from the author T.S. Krupa. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

My interest in reading The Ten Year Reunion:

One my favourite novels of [2014] as a 1st Year Book Blogger was Safe & Sound because it broke through a few literary barriers and told an honest story from a contemporary point of view whilst giving you a hearty Romance and a narrative that owned itself to it’s own living truth inside the world Krupa created. I appreciated the fact the #EqualityInLit inclusion of a happily engaged couple proved that when you seek out diversity and stories of equality, there can be a softness to the inclusion to where everything feels quite natural and organic, rather than purposely included to be ‘different’.

I like honest stories and especially Romances rooted in relationships, as these are my favourite kinds to read and thereby the ones I seek out the most to devour! On the contemporary and modern side of the ledger, since I read Safe & Sound and even a bit before, there is a bit of a gap in my reading life as I mentioned on a post (my first ’10 Bookish and Not Bookish Thoughts’ meme!) as much as I related a bit about this on my review of Robin’s Reward. Most recently, I finished reading my first Clare Chase Romantic Suspense novel which was not only written in a style of Contemporary Fiction I adore finding but kept me on the edge of my seat! Similar to Ms Krupa, Ms Chase writes characters of diversity with such an organic natural inclusion as to inhabit the story as if they were always meant to be a part of it.

The Contemporary story-teller who stands out as far as a serial author (from the past few years) would be Mary McNear who writes compelling and emotionally-driven fiction for readers who are seeking a stimulating read with an uplift ending! I have had the pleasure of reading her Butternut Lake series and cannot wait for her next release! It’s a hard genre for me to curl up inside because too often I find authors are not writing Contemporary Fiction in a style that I am particularly keen on reading. When I find authors like the ones I’ve mentioned and a handful of others I’ve happily blogged about over the past three years – their stories are ones that I will continue to champion and cheer for as they give us such a grounding of contemporary life in our crazy hectic modern world!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

My Connection to the Author: T.S. Krupa

Although we only tweeted a few times and exchanged preliminary emails to have a special showcase of her novel Safe & Sound featured on Jorie Loves A Story, I feel as though I have had the pleasure of getting to know her a bit better in the process! And, by extension her publicist Ms. Caitlin O’Brient Bauer (of Royal Social Media). As you will see as you retreat back to the Author Interview & Live Author Q&A threads of conversation, you will find Ms Krupa to be warm, engaging, and inspiring! I am blessed twice over for our paths to have crossed and I have my Jorie Loves A Story Twitter account to thank for bringing us together! I have been blessed to continue to work with her on her future book releases, as she is an author I love to read compelling and inspiring Contemporary Rom. I came to appreciate both of them as they give book bloggers their time and grace.

In the time since I hosted Ms Krupa last year until now [May 2016], our paths have separated a bit as I wasn’t able to return too frequently to #ChickLitChat (which ended up moving strictly to Facebook) nor interact as much as I had hoped to with her via the twitterverse. I lost touch for quite a long while to be honest, and when her beautiful note arrived into my Inbox about her third release, I felt truly blessed our paths had crossed at the publication of her debut novel. She’s definitely an author I consider a blessing to have known and I look forward to following her literary career.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her début novel. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Notation on Cover Art: Can I just say an evening sky full of clouds and the hint of fog is my kind of night to be caught up inside? I love grey skies in general and overcast days to me are the best slices of happiness we can have unexpectedly grace our lives – as they are such a lovely break from oppressive humidity and volcanic heat patterns — thus, this cover was instantly grabbing my attention! I liked how the typography ‘fades’ out in the clouds and how the pier provides a bit of an infinity impression which always seems to represent to me the various ways in which a path can knit together. There is always hope left when there is a path without end to be found in front of you! And, using purple simply charmed me as it’s quite literally one of my most favourite colours!

Book Review | “The Ten Year Reunion” by T.S. Krupa Third #Contemporary #Romance novel by the author of “Safe & Sound”!The Ten Year Reunion
by T.S. Krupa
Source: Direct from Author

Ten years ago, Danielle ‘Dani’ Jackson graduated from Coastal State University in Wilmington, North Carolina and left her heartache behind—for what she thought was forever. Now a promising pediatric surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital she has been invited back for her college reunion.

With encouragement from her best friend, Dani begrudgingly returns to face her past–the death of her friend and a broken heart from Jake Dillon, her first love. During her trip she revisits the four years she spent at CSU. By applying to CSU she defied her father and the ‘perfect’ plan he had laid out for her, which included attending an Ivy League school before medical school, but Dani had other plans. She traded in her father’s dream, for an institution with sandy beaches and soccer that made her feel at home. Dani never questioned her decision—she knew she was right. What she didn’t know, was how hard growing up was going to be.

At the reunion weekend she reconnects with her friends Adeline ‘Addie’ Smith and Colleen ‘Callie’ Schumaker. The girls met freshman year due to Addie’s persistence and quickly became inseparable, but after graduation they started to drift apart. The weekend is further complicated when Jake shows up. Together they all realize that life has been hard on everyone and no one’s life has been perfect. The reunion gives them the time to deal with the past and an opportunity for a second chance—for each of them.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, New Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0692685440

Also by this author: Safe & Sound, On the Edge : Cover Reveal, On the Edge

Published by Avalon Haddam Press

on 10th May, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 378

Published by: Avalon Haddam Press

Genre(s): Contemporary Fiction | New Adult | College Reunions

Contemporary Romance | Second-chance Love

Converse via Twitter: #TheTenYearReunion

About T.S. Krupa

T.S. Krupa

T.S. Krupa was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Raised in a Polish household with a blended American culture, she is fluent in Polish. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Franklin Pierce University,where she also played field hockey. She earned her Master’s from Texas Tech University and recently graduated with her Doctor of Education from North Carolina State University. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two dogs.

In 2014, T.S. Krupa published her award-winning debut novel Safe & Sound. In 2015, she released her sophomore novel On the Edge. The Ten Year Reunion was her third novel. Big City Dreams and Big City Dreams have followed. TS Krupa is signed with SBR Media Group.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

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Posted Tuesday, 24 May, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Addictions and Afflictions, ARC | Galley Copy, Author Found me On Twitter, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Boston, College & University Years, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life of Thirty-Somethings, Medical Fiction, Modern Day, New Adult Fiction, Romance Fiction, School Life & Situations, Second Chance Love, Singletons & Commitment, Sports, Time Slip, Vulgarity in Literature, Weight Loss

+Book Review+ Getting Waisted: A Survival Guide to BEING FAT in a Society that LOVES THIN by Monica Parker (a comedic memoir)

Posted Wednesday, 28 May, 2014 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Getting Waisted by Monica Parker

Getting Waisted by Monica Parker

Published By: HCI Books () 1, April 2014
Official Author Websites Getting Waisted Site | Main Site | Twitter
Available Formats: Trade Paper
Page Count: 288

Converse via: #GettingWaisted

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: Whilst attending #LitChat (@LitChat) a literary salon on Twitter where writers and readers come together to promote a healthy exchange of dialogue pertaining to books, we part company feeling better for the meeting. Conversations surround the book each author who visits #LitChat has recently published. On this particular day, #LitChat was not quite the experience I had expected as the tides turnt against its principles. The outcome for me was to seek out a way to contact the author personally to offer my condolences and apology for what she experienced in a forum of what had been up until that moment a joy-filled experience. I also contacted her publicist who found me via Twitter. I thus contacted #LitChat and due to the response from my enquiry I felt that in time I could return but I would remain vigilant and cautious if the same circumstances were to arise again. No one has the right to supersede the joy of people who come together for a literary conversation.

Out of my correspondences with Ms.  Parker & Ms. Chan, I was offered to receive a complimentary ARC copy of “Getting Waisted” direct from Ms. Parker’s literary publicist Darlene Chan (of Darlene Chan PR) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. I likewise opted to Interview Ms. Parker as a follow-up Guest Post Feature.

My Interest in Getting Waisted:

I was originally interested in visiting with Ms. Parker via #LitChat, because the book caught my eye and attention when I saw she was an upcoming guest author during the weekly twitterverse chat. Specifically, because I have faced my own struggles with weight gain & weight loss, like most women who enter their twenties and then thirties, our bodies change and life can become more stressful than when we were younger. I have always maintained my happy spirit and found joy in the everyday irregardless of where I was in my weight loss, as part of what helps you lose the extra bits you no longer wish to keep is to keep your attitude positive. I was endeared to listen to her talk and share her own story as I liked how she was being honest and frank about her own experiences.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Monica ParkerAuthor Biography:

Monica Parker (Los Angeles and Toronto) is an actor, writer and producer in theater, television and film; most notably she co-wrote All Dogs Go to Heaven. She was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, until the age of 13 when she immigrated with her parents to Toronto, Canada. Monica is currently starring in her insightful and funny one-woman show, Sex, Pies & a Few White Lies, which premiered in 2010. Monica has just completed two features already under option, and has a recurring role on Syfy’s “Defiance.” Monica lives with her longtime husband and saint, Gilles.

Synopsis of the Memoir:

Monica Parker bridges the divide between serial dieter’s guide and memoir, taking readers on a hilariously funny yet bumpy ride from chubby baby to chunky adult.

In Getting Waisted, Monica begins every chapter with a diet she committed to and reveals how much weight, money, and self-esteem she lost, and then how much weight she gained when she fell off the wagon. She shares her fears and frustrations – when Mr. Right appears out of thin air, will she run back to the catalogue of Mr. Wrongs out of fear? She reveals society’s prejudices against overweight people: “No one tells a short person to get taller, or a tall person to get shorter, but fat people hear about their bodies all the time.” From living large in a sub-zero world to jumping into the dating pool without causing a tidal wave of angst, Monica learns that when you stop buying what the “diet devils” are selling and start liking yourself, life is far more rewarding. Readers will laugh and cry as Monica realizes that while she thought it was her body that was in the way, it was actually what she kept in her head that needed adjusting.

Ultimately, Getting Waisted is an inspirational look at life through society’s warped fun-house mirror perspective, but Monica’s reflections tell the real tale: everyone is always under construction and we are all flawed, chipped and dented, but that doesn’t mean we’re not interested, vital and sexy.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Parker has written a no holds barred autobiographical memoir with poignant truths at every turn of her disclosure of how from her conception and birth to the present day she has learnt that the best way to feel empowered is through self-acceptance and radiance of joy. Her life is anything but typical as her half-siblings were kept distant due to World War II, whilst her parents were at odds with each other for most of her growing years. She lived in more countries than I have travelled to thus far, and her ability to transition and adapt to each new school, living environment, and work life is a nod to her strength of character. Yet, her life had darkness shading around the fringes of joy, as she did not get a nice entrance into the dating scene as most her age had enjoyed. In fact, whilst she was sharing the pain of what she lost in that moment of domestic violence, I felt the most emotional by far of what I had read up until that point.

Parker puts her heart in the ink and breathes a lifeblood into her words. She’s a straight-forward writer who tells you how she’s lived as much as how far she’s come from what she has survived. She’s a woman who has lived a heart-centered life, always striving to seek a foundation of love, joy, and happiness which were elusive to her as a child and young adult. Food became the filler for her emotional aches and anguished heart, but it was not only serving a replacement of what was absent, but as an extension of hiding from facing hard truths which I think for anyone in her position would not have been something to face alone.

Bullied for her weight and appearance since she was in grade school, I understood how she felt on that level, as although I was bullied for other reasons, anyone who has gone through the teasing of their peers can sympathise with another who walked the same path. Bullies always think they are the smarter ones and the ones who deserve to reign superior to others simply because the people they are bullying are different. A bit more creative and the out-of-the-box thinkers who challenge the bullies to realise they do not know everything they presume. And, perhaps that is the problem. Bullies are the ones who feel inferior because they cannot accept that someone whose perception has a creative bent might understand what they cannot conceptualise. However the case may be, I personally attempt to highlight books in all walks of literature which knit together dialogue on the bullies and the bullied. To help encourage the trend to end and to let all children grow up without the heartache Parker and I knew ourselves.

As you move forward in her memoir you start to see how the butterfly emerges and takes a grace note of confidence as her wings start to catch under her and guide her forward. I enjoyed reading about her trials, her tribulations, and her muddled path towards sorting out life and how she wanted to elect to face what would come along. She takes a crisp look at everything in her past, and paints a strong visual image of a woman who was in the process of knowing who she was all along. She doesn’t apologise for her frankness (nor should she), and she has this quirky sense of humour stitched into the fabric of her memories. Her own rhythm is set to humour, and she never fails within the chapters to get you a tickling of your funny-bone whilst at the same time endearing your heartstrings. She finds a balance between what she had to overcome and what she enjoyed experiencing as she lived.

I greatly appreciated the chapters where Gilles starts to come forward, as I denoted that he was a catalyst of change for her all the way around. Gilles was able to see her in a way that others had not previously, and it was through their growing admiration and love to be with each other that warmed my heart! She was finding true happiness in such a beautiful way that it was a joy to read their journey towards their union. I especially thought it was wicked that she kept in bits and bobbles of their differences. Between her Scottish roots and his French, as there were moments of great folly to be read.

Getting Waisted is an honest memoir from a woman who is fearlessly confident and has such a warm spirit that you can read her essence straight off the page! I appreciated spending time with her, and getting to see how the avenues fused together for her to welcome in motherhood and the next chapters she would pursue. Start to finish, I would have to lament that the first half is more dramatic and the second half is where the cocoon is shed and she is free to fly. I am so very thankful to have had the honour of reading her story, because her story is everywoman’s story on the level that we each have to resolve our own body image in a way that celebrates our individual self-confidence.

A notation on why there is not a Fly in the Ointment attached here:

Being that Ms. Parker is a stand-up comic and a full-fledged comedienne, I already knew that on some level she might have a more colourful way of reflecting on certain parts of her life as much as how she elected to present the stories or antidotes of her past. Therefore, I did mark off there are instances of ‘vulgarity in literature’ inside this book, but I did not go as far to say that that would prevent me from reading her memoir, as foresaid, I understood the writer a bit before I picked up the book on the level that most comics have strong inflictions in how they communicate their humour as much as their personal stories.

Personally, this is one I have the hardest time sorting out which comic to watch as I tend to be aligned with the comics of the past (think Dean Martin’s Roasts era OR Lucille Ball) where the flavourings were clean and the language was not as strong as it was whilst I grew up in the 1980s. At least it was not a contribution to the skits, the roasts, or the set-ups in the routines. I have many fond memories of “I Love Lucy” right alongside “The Carol Burnett Show”, as Dean Martin followed suit lateron. I did want to share one of the reader’s observations of her book, as I grew up on his comedy in motion pictures being a child bourne on the cusp of one decade in exchange for another (1970s/1980s):

My dear friend Monica Parker, the hilarious humourist, Mother hen to me, Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’ Hara, John Candy – all of us when we started out in Toronto, has written a book about truly finding yourself, being content with who you are and developing an enduring sense of self-esteem.

by Dan Aykroyd {quoted from the Press Kit}

I grew up knowing of Gilda Radner, but along with Mr. Aykroyd, I was always fond of Catherine O’ Hara & John Candy. I am not in the habit of publishing outside reviews and opinions when I compose my own thoughts on the books I read on Jorie Loves A Story, but in this one instance (and there could be others in the future) I felt it was kismet to discover that part of my own living past is inter-connected a bit with Ms. Parker’s. The actors and comics mentioned are not merely names on a page, but honest to goodness people I grew up watching on camera! They had the ability to make me laugh as much as they emoted out such a strong carriage of emotion to make me cry. Their depth of range never left me, and I to this day celebrate what they left behind as legacies in motion picture. I also know their work in film is only one-half of what they gave of their art, but for me, it is the portal in which I knew them.

I am going to conclude this review with a tweet that is a full summary of the heart message of Getting Waisted:

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopsis, Quote by Dan Aykroyd and Book Cover were provided by Darlene Chan PR and were used by permission. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Wednesday, 28 May, 2014 by jorielov in Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Diet Weight & Body Image, Diets & Dieting, Indie Author, Journal, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Vignettes of Real Life, Vulgarity in Literature, Weight Loss, Women's Health