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Guest post: The Dr Pepper Prophecies vs Emma by Jennifer Gilby Roberts + Giveaway

The Dr Pepper Prophecies vs Emma

The Dr Pepper Prophecies is a modern version of Jane Austen’s Emma, but then Bridget Jones’ Diary is an updated Pride & Prejudice.  So how faithful is it to the original?

The basic story of Emma is of a young woman who has set herself up as a matchmaker.  I kept to that, although in TDPP Mel’s efforts extend to the rest of her victims friends’ lives.  Mel’s chief project is Beth, who is the Harriet Smith character.  In Emma, Emma Woodhouse uses their difference in social status to influence Harriet.  In TDPP, Mel uses Beth’s natural reserve, good manners and her status as “replacement” flatmate.  Rather than having a Mr. Elton character, Mel sets Beth up on a series of blind dates – each more horrible than the last.

Will Knightley takes the role of Mr. Knightley here (yes, I did a Helen Fielding and just nicked the name).  As in Emma, Mel has known him all her life.  While Emma and Mr. K are related by marriage, Mel and Will grew up living next door to each other.  Like Mr. K, Will often has to (attempt to) restrain his over-enthusiastic friend.  The crucial thing I left out was the age difference.  Mr. Knightley is 16 years older than Emma, which would have been common at the time, but would be less acceptable to a modern audience.  Also, I didn’t want Will playing too parental a role in Mel’s life.

The subplots in TDPP, however, deviate from Emma.  Mel has a somewhat fraught relationship with her parents and sister, who always manage to make her feel second rate.  While Emma shows no interest in dating at the start of the book, Mel has had a string of lousy boyfriends.  In fact, the book starts out with her being dumped by the most recent just as he becomes her boss.

And Emma never had to try to improve her career at the same time as hindering helping her friends.  In fact, the key thing Mel and Emma have in common is that they are underemployed.  Emma is a wealthy and well-born young woman, in a time when they just didn’t work.  She has charitable and hostess duties in the neighbourhood, but nothing like enough to use up her energy.  Mel, on the other hand, has an extremely dull job inputting insurance claims.

While Emma is brimming with confidence – natural given her position – Mel lacks it in some areas of her life.  This is partly due to her family – particularly her father – who have never valued her efforts to get a good education and career.  Mel also suffers from spectacularly bad luck at times, especially in formal situations.  There’s a reason the tag line of the book is ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’  That brings the high comedy to TDPP that is missing in Emma.

What Mel and Emma definitely have in common, however, is their blindness when it comes to love.  Although they are both convinced they know best when it comes to others, they both go a ridiculously long time before they realise that their own Mr. Right is right under their noses.  It’s a good job he’s the patient type…

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To celebrate The Dr Pepper Prophecies’ one-year anniversary since publication, Jennifer Gilby Roberts is giving away one paperback and five ebook copies!  Enter on Rafflecopter.

Find out about her other great celebration offers, giveaways and extras on her blog.

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25-year-old Mel Parker has a few tiny problems:

  • Her job is terrible
  • She’s been dumped yet again
  • Her ex is now her boss
  • Her parents think she’s a loser compared to her perfect younger sister
  • All her efforts to improve her life seem doomed to failure
  • Her best friend, Will, is in grave danger of being stolen away by his evil girlfriend
  • There just isn’t enough chocolate in the world to make up for the above.

So what do you do when you’ve pretty much given up on your own life? Help others, of course!

After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

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Buy for Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk and other Amazon sites.  The paperback is also available from Barnes & Noble.

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The Great Chick Lit Ebook Giveaway

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EVERYONE loves giveaways, right? Yes, I know you do. And today’s post is about giveaways of some fantastic and fun chick lits. So who do we have to thank for these awesome prizes? Lovely Jennifer Gilby Roberts who has organized this massive giveaway! 

So, who wants to win some books?  There will be 5 lucky winners and bundle of 10 ebooks from some of the new and exciting names in chick lit.

Up for grabs are:

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* After Wimbledon by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

* Thirty-Two Going on Spinster by Becky Monson

* Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman

* Zoey and the Moment of Zen by Cat Lavoie

* Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley

* Saving Saffron Sweeting by Pauline Wiles

* The Shopping Swap by Erin Brady

* The Great British Date Off by Sheila Brady

* Super Natalie by Caitlin McKenna

* Hard Hats and Doormats by Laura Chapman

For more information on these books and this great giveaway, go to Jennifer Gilby Roberts’ blog.

Or simply enter the Rafflecopter here. Best of luck guys!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book review: Flights of Nancy by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Image*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

Let’s get something straight, Jennifer Gilby Roberts is a great chick lit author and creates uberfun chick lit stories. Few months ago I read another short story by her, ‘Wedding Hells’ and absolutely enjoyed it. I found it hilarious and think it’s definitely one of the best short stories I have ever read.

Naturally, I had high expectations for ‘Flights of Nancy’. I was immediately drawn by the cover, it’s very chic and girly, and I’m such a huge sucker for pretty covers.

The story is cute though pretty unrealistic, but I didn’t mind that really. Nancy dreams of becoming a chef and having her own restaurant. When she was younger she was predicted (by a fortune teller) she’s gonna meet Mr. Right on her very 24th birthday. So, the big day is here and somewhat strange (but cute) guy comes into her life with a very weird (but oh so cool) offer. He offers her a stay in a 5* hotel in Greece, and there’s no catch – he just needs some company. Could he be her Mr. Right? Why is it then she doesn’t feel the spark?

Ok, as I said, being offered a trip to Greece by a stranger and accepting does sound silly and unrealistic. But, I’m not gonna over analyze it because it’s obvious that this is humor and main intention is to entertain and make you laugh.

Nancy is sweet and though it’s a short read I could actually feel her energy. I do find it hard to connect with characters from short stories/novellas because I almost always feel I didn’t have the space and time to get to know them well. Of course, if there were more pages I could see more sides of her personalty, but still I saw the big picture and what I saw I definitely liked. Nancy is pretty upbeat and such a sweet girl. Bit naive too, but then again she’s only 24 and has her whole life ahead of her. I cheered for her and wanted her to have her HEA and make her dream come true (become a chef).

I did expect few more laughs, because like I said ‘Wedding Hells’ was hilarious, but still it’s fun and enjoyable. Easy and short, it will definitely cheer you up after a long and exhausting day.

My rating:3/5

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Buy ‘Flights of Nancy’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Find Jennifer Gilby Roberts on her blog, facebook and twitter

Guest post: Mel and Jennifer Gilby Roberts, complete opposites..sort of.

Today we have the pleasure to welcome lovely Jennifer Gilby Roberts to This Chick Reads. She’s the author of ‘The Dr Pepper Prophecies’,  ‘Wedding Hells’ (a novella which we loved and is currently FREE TO DOWNLOAD, read our review here ) and ‘Flights of Nancy’. Today she’s here to talk about Mel, the leading character in ‘The Dr Pepper Prophecies’ and how (un)like they are. The stage is all yours Jennifer:)

People tend to think that you are the character you write as.  I think it’s the same phenomenon where fans think that actors are the people they portray.  I hope that’s not the case, since the last character I played (I do amateur dramatics) was a sexually aggressive witch.  And before that I was a mentally ill woman living on the streets and feeling up sailors.  But anyway…

Mel Parker, the lead character in my first novel The Dr Pepper Prophecies, is not me.  We certainly have things in common – I don’t think I could write her if we didn’t – but we are absolutely not the same person.

We share a sense of humour, certainly.  Like Mel, I tend to be snarky (I just discovered this word and I love it) inside my head, but not out loud.  I certainly relate to her struggles to work out what she wants in life and how to get there.  To be honest, I still haven’t resolved this issue.  Instead I’ve neatly sidestepped it by becoming a stay-at-home mum.  My job now is to keep my toddler alive.  I realise that, if you don’t have one of your own, this may not sound like a full-time job.  Believe me, it is.  She firmly believes herself to be indestructible and has an internal radar that directs her straight towards trouble.

Fortunately, I don’t share Mel’s terminally bad luck.  That’s just in because it’s funny.  Plus it’s easy to write, because I just think of a scenario and then ask myself what could go wrong.  Pretty much all her trials come out of my slightly warped imagination.  Except the fermented hair spray – that actually happened.  Though luckily not on the way to a job interview.

I’m not as hard on men as she can be, although when I wrote the first draft I probably was.  Though unlike Mel, who’s had a string of lousy boyfriends, I just knew nothing about them (I was only 20 at the time).  I still don’t, since my husband cheerfully ignores everything I thought I knew about relationships.  Especially the ‘attraction fades after the first couple of years’ rule.  I swear that man will still be groping me on his death bed.

Where was I?  Oh yes, how unalike we are.  Well, I did work in an insurance office processing claims (and found it every bit as riveting as Mel does), although only as a temp.  I am addicted to chocolate, though my days of still maintaining a good figure seem to be over.  I’ve never tried matchmaking though.  Mostly because my romantic instincts are non-existent.  Unless someone comes up to me and goes ‘I fancy you’, I won’t know.  I’d be utterly useless as cupid.

So, in summary, we’re totally different people.  Except…

About Jennifer Gilby Roberts

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Jennifer Gilby Roberts has a degree in physics and a postgraduate certificate in computing, so a career writing fiction was inevitable really. She was born and grew up in Surrey/Greater London, but now lives in Richmond, North Yorkshire with her husband, small daughter, two middle-aged cats and a lot of dust bunnies.

Taking care of her daughter is now her main job, but previously she worked many thrilling jobs in administration.  In these she learned the real truth of business: that every successful executive would be lost without their PA.

She can also be found getting red-faced at zumba class, reading historical porn (as her husband calls it – Regency romance to the rest of us) and humming nursery rhymes while going round Tesco.  Her current obsessions include toffee crisp bars, Costa fruit coolers and the TV show Torchwood.

JGR writes chick lit novels and short stories featuring sweet (occasionally sexy) romance, dry humour and things going tits-up.  They will especially appeal to fans of Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes and Jane Costello.

Her first novel The Dr Pepper Prophecies is a laugh out loud romantic comedy, best described as Jane Austen’s Emma with Bridget Jones in the lead. 

After Wimbledon, her second novel – about making big changes, falling in love and tennis – is due out late 2013.

She would like to thank everyone who’s reviewed her work.

Find Jennifer Gilby Roberts on her blog, facebook and twitter

Buy ‘The Dr Pepper Prophecies’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Download ‘Wedding Hells’ (currently FREE) on  amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Buy ‘Flights of Nancy’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Book review: Wedding Hells (The Dr Pepper Prophecies 0.5) by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

ImageHOLY COW!

This was such a hilarious read! It’s the prequel to The Dr Pepper Prophecies, which I haven’t read YET but hopefully will soon. I’m not gonna write a long review, because I was never good at writing reviews about novellas…don’t ask..it could be because I’m afraid my review would be longer than the book itself. OR maybe I’m just too lazy sometimes…yeah it could be that.
Well anyway, I decided to review this one mostly because I think that despite the fact that I had a long and depressing day reading some scientific stuff for work earlier and I don’t feel very eloquent right now, this book DOES deserve all of my efforts. A chick lit lover’s gotta do, what a chick lit lover’s gotta do, right? And that would be – share with the world the joy of discovering a great new chick lit author and book.

So, of course I enjoyed this novella. If I should describe it by using only one word, I would probably say HILARIOUS! The MC, Mel is really something. She’s everything a chick lit heroine should be, funny, smart…and dumped sarcastic. She’s the black sheep in the family, so it was easy to connect with her. Not that I am the black sheep in the family, *coughs* but still I felt her so close to my heart.

This really was an easy and enjoyable read. And I’m so so thankful to the author for making me laugh so hard. I absolutely love her writing style and the humor so I’m definitely checking her other book soon.
Ok, it’s been a loooong and exhausting day for me, so I’m gonna end my review here. All I can say is that you really need to check this one out. Like really REALLY check it out.

My rating: 4/5

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