Review: A Slight Change of Plan by Dee Ernst with Interview

November 18, 2013 Review 0

Review: A Slight Change of Plan by Dee Ernst with Interview

Kate Everett is about to begin her “second act.” She’s been a widow for eight years and thinks it might be time to start looking for someone to share her life with again. She quits her high-pressure job for something that will allow her more leisure time. She gets rid of the huge family home and moves into a fabulous condo that’s smaller and easier to manage. She’s pretty much got the rest of her life figured out. All she has to do is sit back, relax, and let the pieces fall into place.

But her real life never gets the memo. First, her son moves back in with her—along with his girlfriend. Her dream job falls through, leaving her unemployed. Her mother, whom she hadn’t spoken to in years, can no longer live alone and has to move into her basement. And her only daughter is planning the smallest and simplest wedding in the history of all weddings, much to Kate’s dismay.

Kate thinks that she and Jake, her former college love who has reemerged on an online dating site, of all places, can build something real, and that maybe her happy ending is in front of her at last. But the arrival of Edward, her daughter’s future father-in-law, presents Kate with an unexpected choice.

It looks like real happiness may require a slight change of plan.

Title: A Slight Change of Plan
Author: Dee Ernst
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Better Than Your Dreams, Stealing Jason Wilde
Published by Montlake Romance
Source: Author
Published: November 19th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website

Stars: five-stars

Widowed, living alone in a big house, kids all grown up and moved away, 55 year old Kate is planning out the “second act” of her life. Her plans include, selling her house, buying a condo, a starting a new job and finding someone special to share it all with. What could be easier? Of course, life has other ideas.

Ms Ernst has created such a splendid story in A Slight Change of Plan. This book took me back to the days of when I use to read Erma Bombeck. How when you start planning your life and goals you want to achieve then life throws in its unwanted opinion. That is exactly what happens to Kate. Told from Kate’s first person perspective we get to experience her thoughts and emotions with humor and insight as things don’t go quite so according to plans. Kate is an AMAZING character! How she handles life’s curveballs from her son moving back in, to dating, daughter’s weddings is so believable I had to stop and remind myself this is a piece of fiction. Many a times I have had experienced these exact thoughts and feelings. Actually, the entire cast of characters is amazing and so lovable you hate to have this book end. Some of my favorite moments come from Cheryl. I had so many laugh out loud moments from her antics I had tears streaming down my face.

A Slight Change of Plan by Dee Ernst is easily the best book I have read this year. Anybody looking for a great fun relaxing book will want to read this. I’m highly recommending this book and Ms. Ernst to all readers!

A Slight Change of Plan

 

Dee Ernst

What is one thing about you that your readers would find surprising or never guess about you?

I’m a huge fan of RPG video games.  I have an Xbox that no one uses except me.  I’ve played Skyrim twice.  Love the Fable games.  Love the Final Fantasy series.  If I’m working on a book, I have to make sure I don’t start a new game, because it could easily take over my life.  And it’s very funny when I go into GameStop and buy these games. Usually, the VERY young, tattooed and pierced salesperson will say something like, ‘Just so you know, this is rated M’.  When I tell them the game is for me, they look very surprised.  I suppose they think at my age, I should be knitting.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?

I get some really amazing emails from readers.  In the Author’s Note in the back of my first book, Better Off Without Him, I talked about how I’d always wanted to write, but never got around to it until I was much older.  I’ve had a number of readers write me and tell me that after they read that, they tried doing something that THEY had always wanted to do.  Or a reader will tell me about how she was going through an awful divorce, and my book made her laugh.  It’s great to know that you’ve not only entertained someone, but maybe made a bit of difference in their lives.

What is the first book that you remember reading more than once?

Walter Farley, of the Black Stallion books, wrote a picture book called ‘Little Black, a Pony’.  It was in my school library when I was in first grade, and I took it out every other week.  I reread my favorites all the time.  I can recite whole paragraphs of the ‘Little House’ books.  And if there’s a series I love, and the next book is coming out, I have to go back and read through all the previous books before I read the new one.  Yeah, I’m a little crazy that way.

If you weren’t able to write, what would be your dream job?

Does it sound to clichéd to say, ‘What I really want to do is direct?’  I’d love to direct plays.  When I was in the third grade, I directed our class production of The Wizard of Oz, and I think I caught the bug.  Not to sure about movies – the technology alone would make me crazy .  But a stage play would be wonderful.

What was your life like before becoming an author?

I was a bookseller at the local Barnes and Noble, and I loved it.  Retail is hard work – don’t let  anyone tell you different – but what a joy to go in to work and spend most of your day talking to people about books.  I worked there for six years as a bookseller, the Newsstand lead, and the Kids lead.  I wrote on my days off, or after dinner.  It was hard to find a concentrated block of time to sit down and write.  I just quit last winter to write full-time.  I love being able to write whenever I want, but it’s kind of lonely out here.  I really miss the people.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Pantser, for sure.  My agent asked me to write an outline of one of my books to give to another agent, and I had a really hard time breaking it down, and that was for a book already written!  I can’t imagine trying to plot everything out beforehand.  Besides, I find that my characters have a mind of their own, and I always listen to what they have to say.

How do you spend your down time between edits, deadlines, writing and creating new and fascinating books? Do have a favorite pastime or hobby to fill you spare time with?

I can spend a lot of spare time with a new video game.  I love my garden.  And I read – a lot.  I also like little  projects around my house.  When I’m in the right mood, I can completely re-do a closet or re-arrange my kitchen cabinets. Not so much cleaning – I’m  more of an organizer.

What was your favorite scene or chapter to write, which book and why?

I have started writing a YA/fantasy series  called Smoke, Wings and Stone, under the name Marijon Braden.  It’s about two sisters and the world of the gargoyles.  I got to make up the whole gargoyle mythology, which was fun, but I also had to write action scenes, which I had never done before. There’s a scene where one of the main characters,  Carrie, is being driven home by the boy she’s trying to impress, and they find themselves being chased by vampires.  It’s a pretty long scene, and I had to plan the whole thing out in my head. It was a blast to write.  There aren’t a lot of car chases in romantic comedies.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I love Susan Isaacs.  I have all her books.  In hardcover.  I even got her to sign a copy of one of them a a writer’s conference a few years ago.  By reading her books, I learned that a characters POV can be a great way to inject humor into any story.  Characters don’t have to be serious all the time, even though they may be in a serious situation.  And characters don’t have to be tall and thin and young to be sexy.  Smart is sexy too.

Do you want to stay as an Indie writer or do you want the big publisher contract?

A Slight Change of Plan is being published my Montlake, but I made very sure in the contract that I could continue the Indie path if I wanted to.  My YA series, for example, is self-pubbed.  The book I’m working on now will probably be self-pubbed as well, because there’s no romance in it – at all – so I don’t think Montlake will be interested.  Working with the folks at Montlake was a great experience.  They let me have a great deal on input into everything from the cover to the blurb.  And it was great to have someone else worry about the editing!  But there’s something about doing it all yourself that’s very rewarding.  I would never give it up entirely.

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