Friday, September 28, 2012

Blog Tour: Picture Perfect by Lucie Simone: Review/Guest Post and Q&A

Follow the tour HERE

Author Bio:
Lucie Simone has a passion for travel, yoga, and writing. She has a degree in Journalism, a Master of Fine Arts in Television Production, and is a certified yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance. Her love of comedy (and living under the delusion that she might one day be an actress) resulted in a stint studying improvisation, which, ironically enough, taught her to be a better writer.

Her short story, A Taste of Italy, won the New York Book Festival competition for best ebook and is a bestseller at Amazon UK. The release of her debut novel, Hollywood Ending, a romantic comedy about life in Hollywood for the not-so-rich-and-famous, marked the launch of her small press, Simon & Fig, which publishes Chick Lit, Lad Lit and Women’s Fiction exclusively.

Lucie lives, loves and writes in the City of Angels, but considers New York City her second home and visits as often as her bank account will allow.   

Connect with Lucie!

About the book:  For Lauren Tate, a high-powered TV producer, sex, lies, and scandal make for a great movie-of-the-week, but when she becomes the target of a smear campaign, even the most salacious of Hollywood’s tales can’t compare to her real life drama. With her soon-to-be-ex-husband leading the effort to sully her reputation, and her former assistant threatening to snatch her hard-earned position at Timeless Television out of her hands, Lauren’s perfectly planned life quickly begins to unravel at the seams.

Clawing her way back to the top of the TV food chain is no easy task, especially in an industry where backstabbing is a sport and gossip is a full time business. But Lauren learns just how cut-throat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart is missing in action. Can she salvage her career, her reputation, and her love life? Or will Hollywood be the death of her?

Picture Perfect was an emotional roller coaster of love, drama, scandal and Hollywood.  I absolutely love the way Simone writes.  She has a way of pulling you into the life's of the characters that causes you to become invested in their stories.  I quite literally read this book in one sitting and was up well into the night to see how it would conclude.  Picture Perfect has the elements that I love in a great novel; humor, drama, a bit of mystery, great dialogue and characters I care about.  I highly recommend it and rate it 4.5 stars.


Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. Most often, I’m inspired by my real life experiences. My travels, my friends, my family, and the lessons I’ve learned from them. But sometimes I get story ideas from my dreams, too. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, my head spinning with ideas and write down as much as I can remember as quickly as I can.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?
A. There’s a lot to love about being an author, but probably the most rewarding thing is hearing others say how much they enjoyed my work. I’m so glad that I can bring some pleasure into a reader’s day, and I’m so honored that they chose to brighten their shelves (or their eReaders!) with my books.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?
A. Writing the book! Haha! But seriously, writing is a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of time spent sitting alone with your thoughts, trying to turn blank pages into a whole world of wonders. Not an easy job, but a fun one.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?
A. That’s an interesting question because this assumes there’s a world in which I would not be an author. If you’re a writer, you have to write. It doesn’t matter if no one ever reads one word of your prose, you just have to write. Sure, I have a day job, too. And I could easily tell you what I’d rather do for work instead of that: yoga teacher (I am, actually), aesthetician (love going to the spa!), makeup artist (free samples!), interior designer (I’m addicted to HGTV).

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Learning to Love – it would be a story about overcoming adversity, discovering my true path, and finally finding a good relationship with a Happily Ever After ending (hopefully!).

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. My favorite book of all time is Anna Maxted’s Getting Over It. Truly brilliant and absolutely hysterical. A must read for any Chick Lit fan.

Q.  Which part of your book(s) was the easiest to write?
A. The relationships between friends. I have some wonderful friends and their support and love is often revealed in the friendships my characters have. I don’t have to do any research there. I’m drawing upon experience.

Q.  Which part of your book(s) was the hardest to write?
A. There isn’t really any particular aspect of writing my books that is hard to write. More often, it’s simply making the time to write that’s so challenging. With a demanding day job, I have to really carve out time to not only write but to decompress from my stressful workday. If my brain is taxed, there’s no way I can write anything worthwhile. So, I have to have a good work-life balance in order to write well.

Q.  Which character from any book are you most like?
A. The character of Trina from Hollywood Ending. She’s a lot like I was a few years ago, trying to find her dream job in Hollywood while also figuring out how to make love last. We share a lot of traits, and certainly not all of them are good. But she’s definitely got my sense of humor and can laugh at herself and her mistakes.

Q. Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind your book cover(s)?
A. I think cover design is SO important! I usually take inspiration from the story itself. The cover should represent not only the subject matter, but the mood and tone of the book. For a couple of my books (A Taste of Italy and The Waterdance), the covers were designed using my personal photos of the places where the stories are set. For Hollywood Ending, what could be better than blending the title in with the actual Hollywood sign? For Picture Perfect, I wanted to go abstract with it, and more than anything, I wanted it to be pretty. And pink. I think the cover really captures the tone of the book well, and reflects the idea of trying to project an image of perfection.  I work with a wonderful graphic artist who practically reads my mind when it comes to interpreting my visions. Together, we make a great team! 
Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. Well, I live in Los Angeles where we don’t really have 4 distinct seasons like in other parts of the country. But I’d have to say my favorite is Spring. In LA, it’s the time when everything is bright and colorful and it isn’t too hot to enjoy being outside.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book(s).
A. I do virtual book tours, so I have the benefit of editing out anything dumb I might do or say. (Thankfully!) But I can tell you the most FUN thing has been meeting so many wonderful book bloggers. You guys are the best!

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. Right now, I’m developing a Women’s Fiction novel entitled Roses in Bloom about two sisters who are faced with life altering situations and who have to learn to support each other as they overcome their fears in order to find their greatest joys.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. A simple THANK YOU for being a part of the wonderful world of reading. There is nothing better than connecting with other readers who are passionate about books.


I Love LA!
By Lucie Simone

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for over eighteen years, and it isn’t always easy here. It’s expensive, crowded and often seems like it was erected simply to crush the dreams of Hollywood hopefuls. But despite all its faults, I still love living here.

Five reasons why I love living in Los Angeles:

1.       Star sightings: You can dine beside a megawatt movie star eating dim sum for ten bucks on Sunset Strip. Or hike the trails of Griffith Park behind an action hero. Or take spin class with a TV detective. Yep, it all happens here. LA is crawling with celebrities of all sorts. And you’re bound to run into a couple now and then. And, yeah, even after years and years living in LA, it’s still fun to spot your favorite pop star as she crashes her SUV into your parked Prius.

2.       Sunshine: I didn’t always live in Los Angeles. I grew up in Indiana and went to high school and college in Georgia. To say that I worshipped the sun is an understatement. Not that I spent all my summer vacations lying by the pool, mind you. To this day, I am still as pale as the inside of a marshmallow. But being exposed to 300 plus days of sun just makes life a little, well, brighter!

3.       Rain: So, because we have so darn many sunny days, the times it does rain are really magical. Seriously, you’ll find us Angelenos wistfully gazing out the window on rainy days, marveling at the little droplets streaking across the glass. And it’s one of my favorite reasons to curl up in a cozy chair with a good book, the sound of rain and wind in the background. It is really a special time of the year. And apparently, it only happens here when my brother and sister-in-law come to visit. Honestly, they believe Los Angeles’ reputation for sunshine is a myth perpetuated by weather casters.

4.       Food: Being the cosmopolitan city that Los Angeles is, it serves as home to many, many different cultures. And one thing those cultures often bring with them is food! Before moving to Los Angeles, I had never had Thai food, Indian food, Japanese food, Greek food, Ethiopian food, Korean food, Vietnamese food, and so on. The only other culture’s dishes I was exposed to were Mexican, Italian and Chinese. Really. This may simply be because my parents didn’t wander too far in the neighborhood, but when I arrived in LA, my palette was completely overjoyed to discover the diversity of not only the people who live in Los Angeles, but their culinary delights as well.

5.        Showbiz: I can’t deny that one of my favorite things is seeing the Hollywood sign every morning on my way in to work. It reminds me that I live in the wonderful land of make-believe every day. Having long been enamored with the film industry, I always wanted to live in Los Angeles just so I could visit the movie studios and glimpse the magic that goes on behind the silver screen. And thus far I have visited every studio in town at least once – except for Warner Bros. Studios. I haven’t yet finagled a walk-on pass to that bastion of movie-making as of yet. But, it will happen. It’s in my neighborhood, after all. 


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