Friday, December 28, 2012

Blog Tour: Sparkle by Cara Alwill Leyba- Review/Excerpt/Q&A

Follow the tour HERE

As women, we have become professional self-critics. We've become so convinced by society that we need to attain a level of perfection that just isn't real. Whether it's trying to get skinnier, look younger, get that promotion, please our parents, get fuller lips or rid ourselves of cellulite -- we're on a never ending mission to change and it always makes us feel like crap.

Instead, why not focus on all the fabulous qualities we already possess? There is so much to celebrate when we look at all of our accomplishments. In this straight-up girlfriend's guide, lifestylist and wellness coach Cara Alwill Leyba encourages women to discover what makes them sparkle so that they can design the lives they desire and deserve. So raise your glass and toast yourself. You're about to start shimmering, shining, and dazzling every day. Because isn't everything better when it sparkles?

Taken from Chapter 2: Uncork Your Best Self
Cara Alwill Leyba
Chasing our passions and figuring out what makes us sparkle is crucial, but we can’t get there if we aren’t confident. And as women, we have mastered the art of being professionally critical of ourselves. From crash diets and plastic surgery to wrinkle creams and colonics, we’ve done it all and then some. We’ve read books on why men like bitches, and strived to be more of a bitch. We’ve read articles on why we should stop eating bread to lose weight, and we’ve stopped eating bread (and, God, wasn’t that hard?) We’re constantly being told that we should look younger, be skinnier, have fuller lips, act a certain way to obtain the job we think we should have, and we’ve bought into it all. And frankly, I am over it.
It’s time to start celebrating ourselves! We’ve come a long way, baby. Women are now mothers, wives, girlfriends, professionals, executives, students, politicians, doctors, teachers – the list goes on. We’re beautiful, we’re strong, and we are empowered, and we have carved a pretty unique niche into this world. We’ve proved that we can do it all. Raise the children, run the household, and run the boardroom – sometimes all in the same day. In short, we’re pretty damn amazing.
So let’s stop obsessing over our flaws and start toasting to the deliciously authentic creatures we are. Let’s get our attitudes in check and start appreciating all the fabulous things we are blessed with. Let’s rock our best ass-ets and forget the rest. Sound good? Good. But first, we’ll need to change our mindset.

Author Bio:
Cara Alwill Leyba is a best selling author, and certified life and wellness coach from New York City who empowers women to live their most effervescent lives and celebrate themselves. She encourages women to indulge in the things that make them happy, and swears that every woman can live a "champagne life," no matter how busy she is or how tight her budget.

Her blog, The Champagne Diet, boasts a following of thousands of loyal readers and has been featured in Glamour, Shape, Cafe Mom, Daily Mail UK, MSN Australia, AOL UK Lifestyle, and a host of other publications worldwide. Cara's writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, xJane, Mind Body Green, MTV News, and many other sites. 
Cara regularly appears on the “Ask Dr. Fritz” radio show on WWRL New York, where she helps host Dr. Fritz answer questions from callers about love, career, family, relationships and more. She also hosts her own lifestyle and wellness show, "Uncork Your Best Self" on Blog Talk Radio.

Cara's first book, SPARKLE, became an immediate #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Happiness and Self-Esteem categories upon hours of its release. She celebrated the release of her book with a book signing in New York City this past fall.

When she’s not popping bubbly, blogging, or working with her coaching clients, Cara spends her days leading a digital advertising team at MTV Networks. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and dog-child. For more on Cara visit

Connect with Cara!
Cara's website:
Cara's blog:
Want to learn how to sparkle? Join Cara's "Sparkling Start" workshop next month and kick off 2013 in glittering, shimmering style! 

Everybody needs a good friend to tell us the truth, it often is helpful when the delivery of the truth is funny and inspiring...that is what Cara does in Sparkle. Not only does she tell the truth about so much she gives intelligent and wonderful advice along the way.  Cara exposes herself in order to help others and that to me is such a great gift.  Read this book before the New Year and have a sparkly 2013!  5 stars!!!!

How to Create a Support System as a Writer

When I made the decision to part ways with my literary agent, pull my book from submission, and self-publish, I felt two things: total excitement, and total fear. On one hand, I was thrilled to release my book on my terms, and not wait for an editor to come along and deem me worthy of having a published book, but on the other hand I was petrified that it was now all up to me.

Self-publishing is not for everyone. It takes an incredible amount of discipline and drive. There’s nobody holding you accountable for turning in chapters. There’s no PR budget backing you up. And there’s certainly no cheerleaders egging you on to get through those days where you just want to hide under the covers and call the whole thing off. This is why it’s crucial to build a team as a writer to help keep you on track and motivated.

Depending on your connections and your budget, hiring a writing or publishing coach can be a fantastic option. Someone who checks in with you once a week, via phone or email, to help answer questions and hold you to your goals is great. There are lots of affordable people out there who are wonderful, and many are independent writers themselves, so they understand what it’s like to be investing in your project on a budget. In fact, my company, Passionista Publishing, offers two bootcamp programs to help writers gear up to get their books started (or finished), and ultimately self-publish.

But what if you truly can’t afford to hire someone? Get your friends on board! Chances are, your closest friends know just how important it is for you to get your book out there, so they’ll be willing to check in with you weekly, or even monthly, to hold you to your deadlines. If your friends can’t do it, ask your parents or siblings. And if that doesn’t work, try to find local writers on Facebook or Twitter and form a writing circle.

No matter how you approach it, having a team on board to help you achieve your goals as a writer is key to being successful!



  1. Congratulations on the new release. Sounds like a great ad much needed book.

  2. I agree with that excerpt. It IS time to start celebrating ourselves!


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