Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

RoomiesRoomies by Sara Zarr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Elizabeth Logan lives with her Mum in New Jersey. It’s the start of the summer holidays and she is looking forward to going away to college at Berkley in San Francisco in the autumn. When she gets an e-mail from college informing her of her allocated room mate, she immediately contacts her.

Lauren Cole lives with her large family in a suburb of San Francisco and looks forward to her own space when she goes away to college. Lauren juggles two jobs plus she helps at home with her younger siblings.

The girls start e-mailing over the next few weeks and find that it’s useful to have a friend who they can talk to who doesn’t know anything about their past lives. As the weeks and days until the start of the college term get nearer the girls begin to worry about the changes that are about to happen.

Each girl finds themselves on a journey of beginnings and endings. They both get new boyfriends and their relationships with friends and family start to change. It’s not just the girls, they find their peers and families have similar fears.

This would make and ideal read for anyone about to leave home and go away to college or any family members who have a teenager who they will be sending a student off to college or university.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by sainsburysebooks.co.uk

For international readers this book is also available on Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Guest Author Susan Jean Ricci (Oct 17th)

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a very inspirational writer, Susan Jean Ricci.

Susan Jean Ricci

1)   Where is your hometown?

I live in a little town by the sea in New Jersey, called Brick.

2)   When did you start writing?

I started a neighbourhood newspaper called “The Hill Weekly” when I was eleven, using an old Underwood typewriter and carbon paper.  The newspaper was a gossip rag and sold for a dime a copy! Wow! I’m really impressed.

3)   Have you always wanted to write novels?

Oh, yes!  I’ve been writing in some form or another for many years and writing a full novel has been my aspiration for I can’t tell you how long!  I began by writing commentaries and rants for our county newspaper, and I’ve been published in several magazines when my children were young.  Once they were all grown, had families, and I retired from my day job, it was full steam ahead for me in the novel-writing world.

4)   Can you introduce us to your book “Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems”

Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems is the tale of Cindy Layton, a middle-aged woman who joins an Internet dating service after two failed marriages, and how she conquers leaving her baggage out of a new relationship.  I also delve into getting beyond what I call Midlife Adolescence, a phenomenon that truly exists, believe it or not.

Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems

Find this book here on Amazon

5)   This book reached the semi-finals of the 2013 Kindle Book reviews, tell us about these awards.

Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems was one of forty romance novels chosen by several online Indie writing organizations, like the DBT (Digital Books Today) and the WLC  (Women’s Literary Café).  Even though the book didn’t make it to the finals in my category, I was very honoured to be in the company of such esteemed, talented writers.  Here’s some good news though:  Dinosaurs is also listed among the top 50 best indie books via Indie Author News, Readers Choice, for August and September, which is beyond thrilling since all the books spring from a mixed bag of genres.

6)   I believe you’ve just published the sequel to “Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems” it’s called “The Sugar Ticket” how does it follow on from the first book?

The Sugar Ticket is the sequel to Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems, and is a continuation of Cindy Layton’s shenanigans with her new boyfriend, along with facing the ultimate challenges of remaining in love forever.  Sugar is still being edited, due to life’s intrusions beyond my control, but it’s going to the formatter next week.  I’m sure everyone can relate to issues of life interfering – you know the old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans for next week.”

7)   You’ve written books in several other genres including Non-fiction, Contemporary Drama and Children’s Stories, that’s a lot of different writing styles to master what have you learnt from your experiences?

Wow, great question!  I like to write about any topic I’m passionate about, no matter what the genre.  I never thought I’d enjoy, or even attempt, to write from a first person POV, until I began penning Dinosaurs – I think that was my biggest challenge so far, but it taught me a great deal about the use of grammar and present/past tense in a story’s creation.  Both my Contemporary drama and my children’s book are works in progress at this moment, and they’re written in 3rd person – I do like that aspect of telling a sharing a tale, also.  And truthfully, penning a children’s book scares me a LOT.  Kids are so much more advanced these days, God bless

8)   Do you have a different marketing plan for each genre?

I have a wonderful mentor, Annie Acorn (I believe you know her), Yes Annie was recently a guest on our Romancing September Tour.

who’s taught me a great deal about the marketing process.  What I did was create Dinosaurs, Sugar, and Twilight and Cherry Stems (my nonfiction short story), into a series, so all of my books will show up together when a reader does a search on anything I’ve written, or me.  There will be at least one more book in the Cindy’s Crusades series, perhaps two.  Slick Trespass will have to be a stand alone, but I have no problem paying a few bucks to sites like Ereader News today or BookBub, etc., for promotional purposes once in a while.  Promo sites like those get a writer noticed for sure.

Twilight and Chickadees

Get a copy of this book here on Amazon

9)   I believe you’ve had some experience with being published in the newspaper and magazines. What advice can you give writers who would like to get their own articles noticed and published by editors in this sector?

Although I’m an Indie author, I continue reading the Writer’s Digest faithfully –

This magazine always has great websites to search, where writers can pitch their articles.  Google works well, too, but pitching your article to the proper market is key.  As for the newspaper, I submit to only one editor, who’s come to be familiar with me over the years.  The newspaper doesn’t pay me for my articles, but I like having my writing published there anyway, it’s phenomenal experience!

10)   Having just published “The Sugar Ticket” what are you working on next? Do you have an expected publishing date for fans?

*grins*  Hopefully, The Sugar Ticket’s launch will occur prior to this interview, and then I’ll be focusing on Slick Trespass.  Slick Trespass is about how a married couple copes with a debilitating physical trauma and drug addiction.  This story is quite different from anything I’ve ever attempted, and I look forward to publishing it late winter/early spring, 2014.

The Sugar Ticket

Thank you, Rosie, for having me as a guest on your lovely site and allowing me to share my journeys in the writing world.

Website:  http://www.susanjeanricci.com/

FB author page:  https://www.facebook.com/DinosaursCherryStems?bookmark_t=page

Twitter:  @susanjeanricci

Thanks for being our guest today, good luck with the writing.