Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

Look at those covers! Aren’t they beautiful? Which one if your favorite? Personally, I’m really feeling the sleek magical black Canadian cover, though the American version has a more fun, artsy air to it, and I love that, too! But because I couldn’t decide, I ended up buying both for my collection, because that’s how I roll (and the Hardcover American cover version is on sale for only $2.99 at the time of this posting)!

Have you read Sleight? If not, it’s time to put it in your que, because it’s a must read! Jennifer Sommersby (also known as Eliza Gordon) is one of my favorite authors, and her YA novel Sleight wrapped me up and held me tight the first time I ever read it. I’ve had the privilege of reading it multiple times over the years as Jenn tweaked it for publication; Originally self-published in 2011, Sleight was then picked up and published by Harper Collins and Sky Pony in spring of 2018, and I’m not lying when I say this book gives me all the feels; I’m so excited that its final version is now published for all to enjoy, and I’ve just finished reading it — PHENOMENAL!

Sleight is a Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Book for Kids & Teens (Fall 2018) and an Ontario Library Association Best Bets Honorable Mention Book for Young Adults (2019), while Jenn herself is a British Columbia Arts Council Grant Award Recipient for 2019!

From Goodreads: Delia smiles at the shadow only she sees—

Something slams into her. The lyra whirls like a half-dollar spinning on its edge.

My mother is thrown backward.

And she falls.

Growing up in the Cinzio Traveling Players Company, Genevieve Flannery is accustomed to a life most teenagers could never imagine: daily workouts of extravagant acrobatics; an extended family of clowns; wild animals for pets; and her mother, Delia, whose mind has always been tortured by visions—but whose love Geni never questions. In a world of performers who astonish and amaze on a daily basis, Delia’s ghostly hallucinations never seemed all that strange . . . until the evening Geni and her mother are performing an aerial routine they’ve done hundreds of times, and Delia falls to her death.

That night, a dark curtain in Geni’s life opens. Everything has changed.

Still reeling from the tragedy, the Cinzio Traveling Players are also adjusting to the circus’s new owner: a generous, mysterious man whose connection to the circus—Geni suspects—has a dark and dangerous history. And suddenly Geni is stumbling into a new reality of her own, her life interrupted daily by the terrors only Delia used to be able to see.

As the visions around her grow stronger, Geni isn’t sure who she can trust. Even worse, she’s starting to question whether she can trust her own mind.“



A mastermind storyteller, Sommersby’s recently released YA debut, Sleight, does not disappoint. I was hooked from page one as the mystery, deception, tension, and comic relief unfolded, and I was amazed by how vivid and real the characters were.  Through her pristine use of prose and characterization, Sommersby captures the true nature of humanity as she creates characters that come to life right off the page. It is obvious from the get go that each character in this novel is crafted with love and care, and as you read, they become extremely real. Geni’s spunk and determination, Henry’s charm and humor, and Baby’s protective fatherly nature, all help to create a tale that exudes humanity and realness, endearing them to my heart. I fell in love with them immediately, and having just finished the novel, I can say that I truly feel like I know them. All of the characters are given true attributes of human nature, even Daegen, the worst of the worst, making it hard to draw an exact line between good and evil, though it blatantly exists.  I was enamored by both the characters and the writing as I read, and I adored how Sommersby uses ghostly visions of flashbacks to help Geni, Henry, and the reader begin to fill in the gaps concerning the past in order to determine the correct course of action in the present, helping Geni solve the mystery of what, exactly, she must protect.

Sommersby has a wonderful gift with words, and she does an excellent job explaining all the intricate details of circus life and magic, all while weaving a tale from which I just couldn’t look away. I gobbled up this novel in less than 24 hours, and I’m dying for more. Everything circus in this novel is beautiful, and I could literally see the big top in my minds eye, as well as the vast Elephant enclosure housing Gertrude and Houdini; I loved the relationship that Geni has with her elephants and her extended “family” of the circus, and truth be told, the synopsis for this novel just doesn’t do it justice, and I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel, which comes out in April 2020 under two different titles: Scheme, which is the American title, and The Undoing, which is the Canadian title. Though it’ll be the same story, I’m feeling the cover love for the sequel, too, and I can’t wait to add them both to my collection as well.

Sommersby is an up-and-coming author to watch!! Five stars for this beautiful story!

I purchased my copy of Sleight from Amazon (US) and Chapter’s Indigo (Canada).

Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover for only $2.99

Visit Jenn:


Twitter: @JennSommersby

Facebook: Jennifer Sommersby

Instagram: jennsommersbyauthor


neuroticabanner (1)


From Goodreads: If you find yourself talking to Jayne Dandy, keep the conversation on Star Wars and rubber ducks—best not to mention men, dating, or S-E-X. Because Jayne is fine with the way things are: writer of obituaries and garage sale ads by day, secret scribe of adventures in distant galaxies by night. But her crippling fear of intimacy has made her the butt of jokes since forever, and hiding behind her laptop isn’t going to get her lightsaber lit.

After her therapist recommends that she write erotica as a form of exposure therapy, Jayne joins forces with pen and paper to combat the demons that won’t let her kiss and tell. Unexpectedly downsized at work, she adopts a pseudonym and secretly self-publishes one of her naughty books to make ends meet. When her adorable, long-time friend Luke, co-owner of the popular Portland food truck Luke Piewalker’s, hears she’s been demoted, he insists on hiring her to sling éclairs and turnovers at his side. Her secret must be kept, but sparks ignite between them, sending Jayne and her X-Wing into a tailspin that will either make her face down her neuroses or trigger a meltdown of Death Star proportions.


This novel is absolutely amazing, giving readers an in-depth look at the indie publishing world through the eyes of Jayne, a young woman who struggles with intimacy.  Jayne, better known to her readers as Jaina Jacen, is an intriguing character who innocently enough begins a maelstrom when her erotica books take off in the ebook world–a feat Jayne never imagined, nor wanted.  Published under a pseudonym and only in hopes of making ends meet, Jayne’s world is turned upside down when the demand for more, including public appearances and signings, become a reality she cannot ignore.  But these books were never supposed to hit it big, and no one is supposed to know her true identity, especially not her family nor Luke, the friend who is really interested in so much more.  This conundrum adds much humor to the novel as it takes off, and Gordon’s writing style kept me captivated from the very beginning.  Jayne is such a sweet, shy character, and watching her try to dodge all romance, while in the throes of writing and publishing erotica behind closed doors, makes for a great read, perhaps more so because it’s 100% clean.

Though I am indeed a prude and dislike heavy sex in my novels, I have to admit that Gordon MADE me WANT to read Jayne’s fictional books just to know what all the hubbub was about throughout this enticing story.  Gordon really does an amazing job keeping readers on edge, snickering, and in love with all the characters as this humorous story unfolds, making it a must read. Especially as Luke is such a great guy.  And perhaps my favorite part is that it’s completely clean. While Jayne does write erotica, Gorgon keeps this NA novel PG, which is exactly where it needs to be to get the point across.

If you’re looking for a hilarious, clean, introspective read, then look no further that Neurotica.  Five stars.

5 stars
I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Paperback | Kindle | Nook


Top Ten Movie Scores for Jayne (aka. Jaina Jacen) While Writing:

One way Jayne Dandy deals with the complexities of Life and Related Topics is through her love of writing. (What a *novel* idea!) Though she starts out penning stories in the sci-fi/fantasy realm, her therapist encourages her to try a little erotica to help her work through her intimacy issues. Think of it as exposure therapy, as in, write us a story about naked bits and the people attached to them! But when circumstances of the unemployed type dictate that Jayne find a new way to pay the rent, she decides that sending her naughty stories out into the Big Bad World to earn their keep just might work.

Like many writers, Jayne relies on auditory inspiration—music! What would her playlist look like? Well, if Jayne is anything like me (and I dare say she might be, at least atiny bit), she listens to movie scores. Because lyrics, while awesome, make a writer stop and sing and possibly dance. (I’ve been known to dance while writing. Which means no writing gets done. Just a lot of embarrassment, especially if the windows are open and the neighbors can see in.Although last time I put an open guitar case on the lawn and made $4.85. Groove on, baby!)

The following is a list of five fantastic movie scores with romantic overtones that Jayne—or, I mean, Jaina Jacen—might have listened to while breathing life into her erotic novels:

Pride and Prejudice, Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Leap Year, Randy Edelman

Winter’s Tale, Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-Williams

Romeo and Juliet, Abel Korzeniowski

Twilight Saga: New Moon, Alexandre Desplat

And what about when she’s writing her sci-fi stuff? This list could go on and on. Here are Jayne’s ten favorites:

Man of Steel, Hans Zimmer

Guardians of the Galaxy, Tyler Bates

Godzilla, Alexandre Desplat

Inception, Hans Zimmer

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Jesper Kyd and Lorne Balfe(Never underestimate the awesomeness of video game scores!)

Divergent, Junkie XL

Captain America: Winter Soldier, Henry Jackman

Thor: The Dark World, Brian Tyler

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore

The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, James Newton Howard

I LOVE movie scores because they are already a story all their own. Often I purchase movie scores without seeing the films they belong to as then the music molds to whatever I have going on in my own head, in my own fantasy worlds—I dare say Miss Jayne thinks along those same lines. There’s nothing like a heart-slamming chase scene or face-melting love scene done in music to really get those creative juices flowing. And when writing her erotica, Jayne Dandy needs all the creative juices she can get.

Happy reading!


Eliza Gordon

About the Author:

A purveyor of fictions, Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone.


Website |  Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Here!

18715353From Goodreads: Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.

Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.


If you’re looking for a feel good comedy full of snarky inner monologue and laugh out loud situations, then look no further than Eliza Gordon’s amazing debut novel, Must Love Otters.  This comedic women’s fiction/humor novel will leave you in stiches as Hollie Porter’s life spins hilariously out of control, gluing you to the pages as Hollie stumbles from one amusing mishap to the next.  Though the initial circumstances are almost tragic—breaking up with her boyfriend of two years and having to go on a romantic getaway solo—Hollie’s thought process and revelations about life make it a hysterical look at life and its many lemons.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and its entertaining look at life, I found that the story really took off for me once Hollie left home to go on holiday in Revelation Cove, British Columbia.  Here we begin to see a different side of Hollie, away from the job she hates, the ogre lady on the first floor, and the boyfriend from hell.  Finally, Hollie can let loose, but in the process she goes from one hilarious calamity to the next; from accidentally streaking to ending up oarless in the middle of the ocean, Hollie’s outlook on life is about to drastically change thanks to the lovely Concierge Ryan.

Gordon has a gift with words, gluing readers to the pages as this story unfolds, offering readers multiple laugh-out-loud moments as Hollie attempts to make sense of her life.  From a catastrophic nacho incident to an evil, territorial goat, the events that unfold will keep you snickering late into the night with this unputdownable read. Four and a half stars.

 4.5 stars

 Eliza Gordon is the pen name for the wife-husband duo, Jennifer Sommersby, author of Sleight, and her husband, Gary.

I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

et cetera
%d bloggers like this: