Monday, August 7, 2017

Little Gray Dress

Happy Monday All!! 

Today we're kicking of my birthday week with something I find to be pretty amazing, A NEW RELEASE BOOK TOUR BLOG!! Needless to say I'm pretty excited to be a part of this and super grateful to Aimee Brown and Crooked Cat Publishing for this opportunity. So poke around at will, I've got plenty of goodies packed into this post! We're talking a review, an Author Q&A, and even an excerpt from the book! All rounded out by a giveaway! Can you tell I'm excited? 

Let's start off with the details shall we? #BookBlub time!

Title: Little Gray Dress
Author: Aimee Brown

Release Date: August 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Chick Lit
add Little Gray Dress to your to be read list

Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak.

From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress.
When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack!

Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another when she least expects it?

Wasn't that tease too much to handle? Get yourself a copy!!
AmazonUSeBook – $2.99 | print – $9.99
AmazonUKeBook – £1.99| print – £6.99
Barnes & Nobleprint – $9.99

Side note, I am in love with the name of this author! We're both Amy's- spelled with "i's"!! (Though I don't use the ee at the end of my name.)
Aimee Brown – author bio:
Aimee Brown is a writer and an avid reader. Little Gray Dress is her first published novel. My second novel is in the works now. She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She spends much of her time writing, doing homework, raising three teenagers, binge watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to utter profanities like she’s competing for a medal.
Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and far too many pets.
She would love to hear your thoughts on Little Gray Dress! If you’d like to chat with her she’s very active on social media. You can find her at any of the networks below. Stop by and say hello!

An introduction is never enough, and I had a few questions I wanted to ask! Aimee was kind enough to respond to them. 

      We've all heard of the LBD, that sexy dress giving you all the confidence in the world, or at least a free drink at the bar. Why did you opt for Gray? How did it become Emi's favorite color? Did your own Little Gray Dress give you inspiration? 

I think the part of the book that represents me the most is the fact that Gray is Emi’s favorite color. I love the color gray and if it’s an option in any clothing I like, it’s what I choose. My closet looks like I spend every single day mourning a loved one, it’s all black and grays! LOL.
I didn’t want to be ‘just another book about a little black dress’ so I opted for another color, my favorite color, Gray!
Actually, I don’t think I’ve worn a dress since my wedding day in 1997. I’m just not really a ‘dress’ kind of girl. Jeans and t-shirts fill my closet. I love the idea of the girly girls wearing dresses and heels though so it would figure that I would write my characters with that trait.

In an era of body positivity Emi seems pretty harsh on herself appearance wise; do you feel that you're representing a more realistic image of women post break up? 

I feel like Emi is true to life. As a woman myself who is not a perfect size 2, I can say that in that same ‘body positive’ world you’re speaking of, it’s still hard to be the ‘nonperfect’ girl. Despite everyone screaming for body positive thoughts, judgment is still around every corner.
Every woman, no matter how positive they try to be on the outside, has some kind of body issues. Whether it be her weight, hair, stretch marks or ingrown toenails. There is just no way around it. Emi represents that woman, the woman who loves herself but wishes that maybe it was a little easier to lose that extra 30 pounds.

      Romance novels have either had a cult following or taboo feel to them, think of the dimestore, throbbing members of older generations, how do you feel you've enhanced the genre? Do you believe that Romance is making a comeback? 

I actually don’t think romance has ever gone out. If you look at the Bestseller lists there is ALWAYS a romance novel on there. Whether women want to admit it or not, they love romance. Some like the dirty kind, some the sweet kind and some the funny kind (like Little Gray Dress).
We all dream of that ‘happily ever after’ feeling. Even if we’re married. It’s fun to read a book that you can close with a smile, feeling like you’ve just made a new group of friends and went on a tiny vacation right from your favorite chair.
Little Gray Dress is a fun read, you’ll laugh out loud and not regret skipping a meal or two while you finish it. I think those are the kinds of books that really make you feel good. The ones you absolutely can not put down. I think that is what Little Gray Dress adds to the world, fun and a bit of laughter.

What about the Romance and ChickLit genres made you decide to write LGD as a Romance? Were these genres long held favorites of yours?

For me, romantic comedy/chick lit is just what comes out when I try to write. I love it as much as I loved the 90’s rom/com movies. From the first Sophie Kinsella book, I knew it was the genre for me.
I saw Sleepless in Seattle in the theaters when it was released when I was a teen… it (and so many movies after) have held a piece of my heart. I just can’t get enough of the quirky heroines and happy endings.
I have no doubt that most every book I write will be in this genre. It’s just me.

     Where will we be seeing your career take you next? Any upcoming projects? 

Absolutely! I’ve got all kinds of tricks up my sleeve.
Right now I’m working on another romantic comedy, whose main character, Riley is not the smoothest with men. She’s hilarious and completely real as she navigates through set-ups, accidental run-ins, and some real oddballs. There may even be a character I love from Little Gray Dress. 😉
 (Personally I hope we get more Lily! 😊😃)

Ready for that excerpt? Here you go!!

The Getaway

“He asked you to go away with him? Already?” Lily almost drops her fork into her lasagna when I say it. Like it’s such a shock that a man could ask me to go away with him. Even though it has never actually happened.

“Yeah. I guess his parents own a house in Malibu, California.”

“Out of state?”

“Yes, Malibu… Like where Barbie lives.” I wink at her.

“What did you say?”

“I said yes, duh.”

“I hope you’re planning on having sex with him, because guys don’t take girls to fancy Malibu beach houses for a long weekend and not expect to get laid. Not to mention that you’ve been dating six months and you still haven’t given it up.” She scrunches her face in confusion.

“I wanted to be sure!” I glance around the restaurant to see who now knows what a prude I am since she’s talking so loud about it. No one appears to be listening in, but who knows?

“Sure of what?”

“That he wasn’t just one of those guys who would screw me and then move onto the next.” I shrug my shoulders. “Apparently, he’s not.”

“I’ve told you the whole time, Ems, he’s a good guy. You should stop holding him at arm’s length like you’re scared of him. This is a big step in your relationship.”

“I know it is, and I’m so freaking nervous. I have no idea what this is going to be like.”

“Don’t even pack clothes, you won’t need them.” She takes a bite of her lasagna before nearly choking on it when she looks up at my horrified face. “I’m kidding! If I know Jack, and I think I do, it’ll be all romance and rainbows and he’ll set the tone for your entire relationship.”

“A good tone?”

“A rich, romantic tone, but yes, probably good too. Maybe we should go shopping?”

“For what?”

“Uh, hello, have you not been listening? For lingerie ya weirdo. You do want to make him want you on your first time, right?”


“Then you need good lingerie. Have any?”

I think about my underwear drawer for a minute. “I have a pair of bra and panties that match.”

“You’re so sad.”

“I know, seriously, you have to help me.”

“I know. Don’t worry, I will.” She grabs her phone and starts tapping away, planning goodness knows what, in order to get me ready to consummate my relationship.

When we walk into the shop I’m almost a little scared. This is no Victoria’s Secret. Lily’s friend Merri used this shop when she was shopping for her wedding night. They make private appointments and do fittings to suit your body type.

“I don’t know about this…” The room is filled with racks of swanky lingerie, expensive underwear, and floor-to-ceiling mirrors. “I feel like I’m in a secret sex shop.”

“Ladies!” A middle-aged woman in a dress far too tight and far too short comes walking in from the back part of the shop, carrying an armload of what looks like hot pink lace string bikinis.

“Are you Esther?” Lily asks.

“I am!” Esther has a sing-song type voice. “You must be Lily! I’m thrilled to meet you!” When she speaks, every single sentence ends with either a question mark or an exclamation mark. Lingerie obviously excites her.

“And you must be Emi!” She looks at me with a huge smile on her face. “Lily told me a bit about you, and based on what she said I pulled out a few items for you to try on. They’re waiting in here…” She leads me to a giant dressing room with three-way mirrors and a plush velvet couch. “Try them on and come out for our opinions.”

“I have to model?”

“Well…” She glances over at Lily. “You don’t have to come out, but we’re here to help you make the best decision for this special occasion. You’re in a safe place and there is no one here with us.”

“No cameras?”

She bursts out a laugh then quickly stifles it away. “No! No. No cameras; that would make the news, dear. No, go, try and model.”

Personally, I found my own little gray dress while reading this book. Very similar to the Emi's! I never thought of gray being this sexy, powerful, beautiful color until now. 

Alright, so now you've come to the nitty gritty, my review of The Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown. To begin, I've broken my cardinal rule to never read romances; and thankfully nothing in this book "quivered". I found LGD to be refreshing, I read it in a few hours and laughed almost every other page; the situations Emi found herself in were extremely familar and comical. I loved the friendship between Emi and Lily. The genuine support, advice, and candor between the two honestly felt real. Emi and Jack's relationship seems like a Cinderella tale at first, until the pumpkin arrives in the form of "May" and midnight breaks the glass slipper. I appreciated the back and forth version of the narrative, you are never able to get mired down in something for two long, and Aimee does a great job of not letting you wonder or wander for too long. I did find the pacing to be a bit quick at times, and the stand in love interest didn't feel like it really went anywhere beyond a few great kisses; though I kind of liked that because, again, we avoided any quivering.

In the end I found this to be a great and easy read that's fun, different, and great if you're looking for something to engross you for a couple of hours or as a beach read. It is also a fantastic introduction to the Romance Genre or a great one to read if you aren't a fan of the genre; I'm also calling it chick-lit that won't annoy you. There is real substance here, the relationships are real, the love in this book is palpable, and you find yourself rooting for true love all the way. You won't be disappointed.

And, as promised, a give away!!!!!!!!
Aimee Brown has the cutest Giveaway for the tour - pictured here & opened worldwide.
Included is a 'create' coffee cup, some dark & handsome K-cup pods, a cute Life is Short, Eat Cake wall art, some tiny macaroons, a Little Gray Dress bookmark & postcard!

Enter here:

Be sure and stay connected to the author via Social Media!! 

Until Next Time!