Tag: tweet to win

Review and Giveaway: All Roads Lead West by Paul Matarelli (closed)

A few months ago I was contacted by author, Paul Matarelli, about reading, reviewing, and giving away a copy of his new novel, All Roads Lead West. With summer almost upon me and no new books in my stack on the bedside table, I decided to give his book a go, and now you can as well! All you have to do is comment on this post and link to the giveaway on either twitter or your facebook page to enter to win an electronic copy!

All Roads Lead West is a recently published book, December 30th 2012, by new author, Paul Matarelli. He is a current New York native, living in Brooklyn, where his main character, Jamie Hayden also resides. Warning, this book is for adults only, full of drugs, sex, and other adult adventures.

All Roads Lead West by Paul Matarelli

His Summary:

How do you know when you’re supposed to stop what you’re doing and change course? I did everything they tell you to do: I went to college, got my degree, and landed a great job. I get wined and dined in the best restaurants New York City has to offer, I do the minimum amount of work that’s required, I take long lunches, I meet celebrities, and I negotiate multi-million dollar television ad deals hung over. If I continue on this path, I will become a wealthy corporate executive…and miserable. What they don’t prepare you for – in all of the canned speeches you hear about your future – is truth about what you’re getting yourself into. The truth is you will be dealing with disgruntled bosses, office politics, vindictive colleagues, and the crippling reality that you are going to spend the best years of your life chained to a desk doing work that will ultimately leave this world worse off than when you arrived. I’m Jamie Hayden, and that’s allabout to change.

My Summary:

When I first read Matarelli’s summary of the book I was intrigued. After all, so many people get caught up in the “rat race” of life. So many are swallowed up by the glitz and glamour of city life, the possibility of hitting it big, and I was curious to find out how his main character, Jamie Hayden, was able to step back from this life and ultimately decide to leave it. I agreed to read his book, and was looking forward to cracking it open when my summer officially started.

I was very excited when I received the notification from Barnes and Noble: “You have received a gift from Paul Matarelli”. I very easily opened up the book on my Nook and got to it. The intro definitely set the tone for the rest of the book, with a pot clouded mind, attempting to seduce a married woman, and on going trains of thoughts that I quickly discovered is typical of Jamie.

As I rounded out the intro I was wondering what this book was really going to be about, I got no sense of future change from this sex driven character, but the last line intrigued me: “I’m Jamie Hayden and I will be your guide through this story; or as I like to call it, my path to enlightenment”. This very direct statement to the reader was a shift from the sense of viewing Jamie’s life secondhand, through his mind. The shift in writing style and statement were enough to hook me, and keep me reading. I was intrigued by this possible “enlightenment”.

The remainder of the novel follows the 27 year old account manager working in the world of television, living in New York City, struggling to decide if New York is where he needs to be. Jamie narrates his tale of trying to find himself, while spending time experimenting with drugs, bar hopping, and sleeping with a range of women. While amidst this intense partying it’s difficult to convince himself to leave it all, after all it seems like any man’s wet dream.

After the intro I expected to read about more of Jamie’s “adventures”, I fully expected more experimentation with drugs and sexcapades, but I was looking forward to the moment that would snap him out of this somewhat unrealistic haze, and into real life. Thinking the other half of the book would be about him finding himself, his true passion, and actually heading west to pursue it, I read on.

After reading 3/4 of the book I realized this was not going to delve into Jamie’s journey west, but instead focus on the final month he spends in New York before leaving. In between the pot, cocaine, and acid use mixed with sleeping around, it did hit on three major events that pushed Jamie to realize it was time for him to leave his corporate 9-5 and try to find his true passion. With A Catcher in the Rye-esk undertone, Jamie spends his last weeks partying, free from responsibility to anyone or anything other than himself, until his eventual departure.

Going into the novel I had to adjust to Matarelli’s writing style. Essentially the book is Jamie’s ongoing train of thought, and often breaks away from what is happening and into thought tangents about past memories, opinions of people, and other unrelated asides. At times it got on my nerves, I wanted to stick to what was going on without getting caught up in the ADD mind of this eccentric character. However, by doing this Matarelli is giving you a true sense of the character. You are literally entering the mind of a drug and sex driven 27 year old man, which I must admit was a hard adjustment to make as a much more settled down woman.

At times I was also a little perturbed by how easily women fell for Jamie’s seduction. I felt the women were portrayed as somewhat one sided, and a bit shallow. But again, this is the interpretation and view of Jamie, and my interpretation is probably driven by my more “settled down” self, already married for three years at age 26. Overall the book was an entertaining read, a good book to take to the beach as a nice, quick, and naughty read. Matarelli has piqued my interest with this novel, and I plan to continue to keep up with his writing career. I am very interested to see what Matarelli writes next, perhaps he will pick up where he left off and give me the enlightened and changed Jamie I so desire.

To enter this giveaway all you have to do is comment on the post and link back to the giveaway through Twitter or Facebook, please include a link to your tweet or facebook page in your comment. The winner will be randomly selected using the plugin And the Winner Is… one week from today (7/22/13). Check out a trailer for the book here and an excerpt on Amazon here!

Thanks for visiting my blog, help me spread the word by sharing with others, tweeting, linking, liking, subscribing, and commenting, I can’t do it without you! Thanks for stopping by!

[subscribe2]

May Giveaway: Modern Art Desserts Cookbook (closed)

Free_Modern Art Desserts (2)

Image courtesy of Ten Speed Press, © 2013 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust.

As an artist, with a serious sweet tooth, I was beyond thrilled when I was asked to introduce Leah Rosenberg’s modern art inspired desserts to my readers. I was even more excited when I realized her work was featured in a cookbook, by co-chef at Blue Bottle Coffee, Caitlin Freeman.

My love for modern art, baking, and all things sweet makes me giddy thinking of the opportunities this cookbook presents. As I flip through Amazon’s sneak peak of the book my interest increases as I see snapshots of Lichtenstein, Khalo, and Matisse inspired desserts (click here to see the cookbook on Amazon). As I moved through the thumbnails of desserts I began reading the introduction, written by author Caitlin Freeman. With most books I quickly scan the introduction, eager to get to the meat of the book, the start of the story, so I was surprised to find myself enthralled in the introduction to this book, a cookbook no less.

Reading Caitlin’s journey as photography student turned pastry chef was interesting, motivating, and inspiring. Perhaps I found a deeper connection to Caitlin’s story as a wannabe not-so-starving, starving artist, however, I believe anyone who picks up this book will find her small business success story as interesting and inspiring as I did.

Although the recipes do sound complex, and may take longer than your average cake to make, I believe it could be a source of inspiration to any level of baker. I love nothing more than seeing how each sweet reflects the work of art that inspired it. I love seeing the hand of the bakers, as well as the modern artists, in these tasty treats. I just might have to make a trip to San Francisco to enjoy them myself.

I am so excited to offer this cookbook as one of my May giveaway items. Inside you will find Caitlin’s success story, along with recipes and how tos to recreate the modern art inspired desserts; which are created everyday at Blue Bottle Coffee, inside the SFMOMA. Whether you actually plan on attempting these creations, or you simply want an interesting and beautiful coffee table book, this book offers entertainment to anyone who decides to peak inside. As a daughter of an artist, this would be the perfect gift for my mom, or sweet tooth sufferer sister. Give it as a gift, or enjoy it for yourself!

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment below and tweet about the giveaway! Please include your twitter name when you comment. The winner will be randomly selected from the comments using the plugin, And the Winner Is… Before the winner is notified their twitter account will be checked for the giveaway tweet. This giveaway will close Thursday, May 30th at midnight.

To read the original post about Leah Rosenberg’s edible art click here. To see the youtube video about Leah Rosenberg click here.

Also coming this month and next month in giveaways is a free copy of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables turned children’s book by Holman Wang and Jack Wang, a free classic canvas print from http://www.photobox.co.uk/, and a free digital copy of All Roads Lead West by Paul Matarelli. Thanks for reading today’s post and participating in this giveaway! Check back and subscribe for a chance to participate in these amazing, upcoming giveaways!