Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cat Lavoie's Blog Tour

Cat Lavoie was born in the small town of Jonquière in Québec, Canada. At the age of nineteen, she packed up her things (mostly books) and moved to the big city of Montreal where she currently lives with her tempestuous cat Abbie—who is both adorable and quite possibly evil. An incurable Anglophile since her university days where she studied English Literature, she can often be found daydreaming about her next trip to London. Since she’s an expert at the art of procrastination, Cat is easily distracted by cooking and home improvement shows—even though she’s not particularly good at either. Cat grew up watching soap operas and legal dramas and—had she not decided to be a claims analyst by day and write chick lit by night—she would have probably become a designer suit-wearing lawyer. Or a character on All My Children (which is what she really wanted to be when she was twelve). Cat is not sure whether she’s a geek or a nerd—and is afraid she might be both. Breaking the Rules is her first novel.

Q. What inspired your novel, "Breaking the Rules"?

It was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend about male-female friendships. I started wondering what would happen to a lifelong platonic relationship when that fine line between friendship and love is crossed.

Q. Would you say that you and Roxy are similar or different?  Do you like to cook and bake as well?

Roxy and I are similar in some ways. I definitely share Roxy's enthusiasm for cooking but, sadly, not her talent. I love to bake—and I love buying cookbooks—but my 'creations' never end up looking like the beautiful pictures in those books. And I'm pretty sure they don't taste anything like them either!

Q. The novel had lots of shocking events, did you know how it was going to end before it ended?

No. "Breaking the Rules" didn't always have the same ending—it was supposed to be something very different. But, as I was writing the first chapters, the story took me in another direction and I knew I had to change it.

Q. What is your writing process like?

I outline. A lot. I feel better when I know where I'm going and I spend a lot of time planning each scene before I go ahead and write it. It slows me down sometimes but the idea of working without a plan makes me very nervous.

Q. Do you believe in Writer's Block?  If so, how do you deal with it?

I believe in it because I've experienced it many times. When I feel like I can't write a word, I allow myself to take a break. It's the guilt over not writing that drives me crazy when I have writer's block. So if I tell myself that it's okay to not write for a while, pretty soon I'm back at the computer with a head full of ideas.

Q. What are you currently reading?

"Where We Belong" by Emily Giffin. I'm really enjoying it so far.

Q. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

All of it! I can't really decide on a favorite but one part that I wasn't expecting to love was editing. When I was writing the first draft of "Breaking the Rules," I was kind of nervous about the all the rewrites I knew I had to do—but I ended up really enjoying the process.

Q. At what age did you decide that writing was something you wanted to do?

I've always loved reading and I think I've always known I wanted to write books of my own. But I was in my early teens when I actually sat down and started working on a story. Even though that novel never made it past the outlining stage—which is a good thing because it was truly awful—I was hooked on writing.

Q. Was it a difficult task being signed by Marching Ink?  Do you plan on publishing more books through Marching Ink?

Marching Ink came into my life when I was least expecting it. After querying "Breaking the Rules" for close to two years with no success, I decided to self-publish. I crossed paths with Samantha March (founder of Marching Ink) when I was looking for a freelance editor to help me whip my novel into shape. After working with her for a while, she offered to publish "Breaking the Rules" with her company. My experience with Samantha and Marching Ink has been wonderful so I wouldn't hesitate to work with her again on future novels.

Q. What is your ultimate goal as an author?

I think my ultimate goal is to be able to write full-time and make a living doing what I love most. And seeing someone reading my book on the bus or subway—that would be really cool.

Q. What are you currently working on?

I'm working on the first draft of my second novel called "Zoey & the Moment of Zen." It's the story of a woman who gets sent to an island resort by her friends and family in order to get over an ex-boyfriend.

Q. What is your advice to aspiring authors?

I think the most important thing is to write a book that you love and would want to read. And never give up on your dream.

Title:  Breaking the Rules
Author:  Cat Lavoie
Genre:  Chick Lit
Publisher:  Marching Ink LLC
Release Date:  August 4, 2012
File Size/Pages:  368 pgs
Source:  CLP Blog Tour

My Rating5/5

Summary:  When twenty-seven year old Roxy Rule’s best friend and roommate accepts a glamorous new job overseas, she expects their relationship to continue as it’s always been—carefree and easy—until they share a heart-stopping kiss. While Ollie escapes to jolly ole England to live out his dream and save the planet with green architecture, Roxy is stuck in New York City working for a boss who makes her want to stab herself with a letter opener. She can’t bear to think about her own big-city dream of being a chef anymore. Over the years, her passion for food has only resulted in extra pounds and a staggering credit card balance for fancy kitchen equipment that she barely has time to use. Still, Roxy’s sure that nothing can come between two lifelong best friends—not even mild jealousy over a thriving career or a silly little kiss that meant nothing. In fact, it was such a meaningless and forgettable kiss that it’s not worth mentioning to her fiancé, not that he would even listen—all they do these days is argue about their upcoming wedding. Roxy is faced with an unexpected family reunion when her younger sister Steffi arrives on her doorstep, six months into a pregnancy she refuses to discuss. When older sister Izzie—in the throes of a premature midlife crisis—joins them, she’s determined to crack the case of Steffi’s impending motherhood. With the Rule sisters living under the same roof again, Roxy’s quiet little apartment in the city is about to be anything but peaceful. Roxy soon discovers that her seemingly idyllic relationship with Ollie started getting complicated way before he left for London. She must come to terms with her feelings for him, learn to stand up for herself and go after what she really wants. Breaking the Rules is the story of what happens when you have to redefine the rules of love, friendship and family in order to find yourself.

Review:  I knew I was going to love this book as soon as I laid eyes on the cover; I mean, seriously it's pink AND it has the most delicious/eye catching cupcake on it.  What's not to love?  In the beginning of the novel, Roxy Rule receives an email from her best friend/roommate, Oliver, saying that he got a promotion and that he'll be moving to London in just two weeks.  Roxy does what any good friend would do and throw a surprise party for Ollie, despite the fact she's disappointed that he'll be leaving.  Ethan, Roxy's fiance, shows up downstairs, refusing to go in the apartment for the party and leaves her in tears on the doorstep.  The day Ollie leaves for London, he leaves Roxy with a kiss that's bound to change their friendship FOREVER.  In the midst of it all, Roxy tries to keep herself busy to not deal with the fact that her best friend/roommate is gone, but it's not hard when her baby sister shows up on her doorstep, pregnant, and her older sister, who seems to be on the verge of a breakdown.  During their stay with Roxy, the sisters go from wanting to pull each other's hair out to wanting to help each other out.  There were so many elements that I just absolutely loved about this novel, aside from the cover.  I enjoyed the difference in the characters:  the girl who goes with the flow (Roxy), the oh so yummy, but totally off-limits best friend (Ollie), the bossy sister (Izzie), and even the overbearing fiance (Ethan).  The main thing I loved, and appreciated about this novel, is its realism; Roxy's situations are very realistic and very believable, and I'm sure a lot of girls can relate to having that off-limits best friend or even in the situation she and her sisters are in…it was a great book overall.  You definitely will regret passing this novel up!!

Connect with Cat

Have a Nook? Click here to purchase Cat's book from Barnes & Noble.

Have a Kindle? Click here to purchase Cat's book from Amazon & here for the print version on Amazon.

Here's the book on Kobo too! Click here to download it!!


Samantha said...

Love your review! :)

Cat Lavoie said...

Thank you so much for having me on your blog and for the lovely review! :)

StephTheBookworm said...

Great interview and review! This is on my TBR! I also love the cupcake. :) Haha

Josie Ann said...

Steph, you will definitely enjoy this book!!