Q. What inspired the plot for you novel?
Initially, Free Gift With Purchase was just about Emma, and it was based on what I saw out there as I went into the singles scene again at age 41. There were so many stories I wanted to tell because I thought readers would be thoroughly entertained and that they could relate, in some way. I then did a major re-write, where I added Laura, Emma's older sister because I thought it added such a nice dimension to the story. Laura is loosely based on my older sister, and I thought women would really appreciate and understand and relate to how much a sister or a best friend offers in life, and how women are constantly looking out for one another. So, I'd say bad dates plus my sister were the inspiration!
Q. For this book, did you come up with the characters, plot, or the title of the novel first?
First came the characters. Many of the men in Free Gift are based on men I either crossed paths with or heard about. The plot sort of came from experience, and the title came last. This book was originally titled, "I've Got Baggage." It was then changed to "Accidents Happen," but I thought that sounded like a kids book. it was then titled, "It's Complicated," but then the movie with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin came out with the same name, so I was forced to change it again! One day, I was doing a strength class and the instructor said to the class as we were doing push ups, "Now lift your right leg up, That's your free gift with purchase." And as I'm pretty much dying, I thought to myself, 'What a great book title!'
Q. Back in May when I interviewed you, you said you didn't really have a writing ritual; does it seems as if you still don't have a writing ritual?
Correct. I still don't have a writing ritual. Launching a book is so much work (fun, fun, fun, though) so it leaves little time to write. That said, I need a writing ritual because I'm working on THE BEST book right now and I feel so cheated that I don't have time to just go all out and keep writing it till I finish! I have to find the time to keep going because it's so darn good!!
Q. If "Free Gift With Purchase" were a movie, who would like to play Emma and Laura?
That's an interesting question. There are a couple of well known actors who are taking a look at Free Gift right now, so I don't want to jinx anything. I'll just say my description of Emma is, she's tall and she's a beautiful girl, but she isn't just a pretty face. Emma's got guts. She's tough and although broken at the beginning of the story, she finds the courage to pull herself together and grasp the life she wants. As for Laura, she's pretty too, but petite. Her demeanor is very gently and kind. She's soft spoken and delicate, yet professionally tough as nails.
Q. Do you find that you relate to Emma or Laura more?
I'm so Emma!
Q. Out of the three novels you've written, which one is your absolute favorite?
This one for sure. Maybe because it's LOOSELY based on my experiences, I am sentimental, but that's only part of it. I think Free Gift With Purchase delves into deeper, more real life situations and it's just a different book than the other two, which are more goofy, silly and cute. I think readers will find Free Gift to be extremely inspirational and they will finish the book having the utmost respect and love for our heroine and the way she dealt with the cards she was dealt. Free Gift is filled with so many heartfelt situations, I think it will take readers to a happy, hopeful place. It's motivating.
Q. What book are you currently reading? Last time you were reading "Fifty Shades of Gray", did you enjoy that novel?
I just finished "In Need of Therapy" by Tracie Banister, and am getting ready to post my review, so look out for it. I have to say, this was a really, really fun, cute read. I was tickled by it. It was refreshing and it made me feel young. As far as "Fifty Shades of Gray," I wrote a review on that book, too. You'll have to read it. Did I enjoy "Fifty Shades of Gray?" NOT AT ALL. Don't get me started! That said, I am a big E.L. James fan, because she seems wonderful, based on the interviews I've seen, and I am happy for any author who makes it big because I know how much work goes into the profession. So, it's not personal.
Q. What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I love when I get past the beginning and I'm midway through the novel and it starts writing itself. That's when I start laughing and crying while I'm typing, and I seriously feel like I'm in a movie watching what's going on, wide-eyed. At this point, I can't type fast enough because I'm so involved in what's going on. Plus, I can't sleep and my life gets consumed and I become obsessed with finishing it because what's going to happen at the end is so clear at this point. I usually start crying really hard when I finish a book.
Q. What is your favorite genre to read?
I'm a huge fan of historical Holocaust fiction, but I like a lot of different genres, including chick lit, contemporary women's fiction, contemporary romance, women's fiction, general fiction, and autobiographies of famous actors and politicians. I love to mix it up.
Q. What are you currently working on?
As I said before, I'm working on THE BEST book and I'm so excited!! I'm not going to tell you the plot, but I will say, people's mouths are going to be hanging open at parts of this book!
Author: Jackie Pilossoph
Genre: Women's Fiction
Release Date: August 7, 2012
File Size/Pages: 429 KB/271 pgs
Source: CLP Blog Tour
My Rating: 5/5
Summary: Your free gift with purchase doesn't always come from a department store makeup counter. Emma and Laura are about as different as two sisters can be. Emma?s always been the party girl, Laura, the hardworking doctor. But now, the two have something in common. Both are newly single and trying out the dating scene after marriage. Emma's a widow and a single mother with a guilty secret she can't let go. Laura's husband just dumped her for one of four women he's been sleeping with. A dispute over the house forces Laura to move in with her sister and that's when the fun begins. Go on some dates with these 42 and 44 year-old adorable sisters who are both looking for love and your jaw will surely drop! Laura's mixed bag includes Dan, a selfish womanizer, Ari, a stalker, and Tim, a compulsive liar. For Emma there's sexy, adorable Preston, a self-proclaiming, fun guy, beautiful Alice, who's a lesbian, and a string of Matts who go from bad to worse. Then there's separated, charismatic, wealthy Luke Sullivan. Luke's carrying some baggage, but he makes Emma's heart stop every time he appears. Free Gift With Purchase is a book about two sisters who have always seen things from an entirely different perspective, but who as women in need of each other learn to consider that instead of judging, looking through each other's eyes might make their lives a lot richer. In other words, when you buy into opening your heart and believing in yourself, you might just end up with a Free Gift With Purchase.
Review: Let's start with the front cover; I absolutely love it! I love that it's pink and feminine, and although my idea of makeup is only applying lip gloss, I really love it! As for the plot of this novel, I love it even more!! The main character, Emma, is a 42-year-old widow; she has been harboring the guilt of the death of her ex-husband for awhile now, but trying to put on a brave face her six-year-old little girl, Isabelle. When Emma's older sister, Laura, has to move in with Emma and Isabelle after being cheated on by her husband, their beliefs begin to clash. Shortly after Laura moves in, their mother, Helene, moves in after she finds out her husband has been cheating on her also. Throughout all of their problems, Emma, Laura, and even Helene begin exploring the dating scene. Emma and Laura both meet a slew of different characters that are bound to change their opinions about men, women, and love! There were so many aspects of this novel that I loved/appreciated; for example, I really liked the difference between Emma and Laura's characters…it reminds me of how close I am with my younger sister, so I really enjoyed their relationship. The next thing, I found it quite entertaining that almost all the characters in this novel had some sort of baggage. It just goes to show you that no matter how old or successful you are, you never really know when things may go awry in your life. Last, but certainly not least, I appreciated the surprise factor of this novel; I literally had no idea how the story would end for Emma or Laura, but I knew I wanted them to find that happiness they'd been searching for. Overall, this was a great read, and I'd highly recommend it to women of any age; it teaches us to chase our dreams, follow our hearts, and to never give up on love!
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