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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Carpool Confidential by Jessica Benson

Sometimes when you start reading a book your sensibilities can instantly click with the author's. And the moment I dove into Carpool Confidential, by Jessica Benson that's exactly what happened to me. This hysterical new novel which is hot off the presses, tells the tale of Cassie Martin, a former writer turned stay at home mom living in a tony section of Brooklyn Heights overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Cassie's life seems picture perfect, that is until her investment banker hubby throws her world into a tailspin when he decides to chuck his career for Barry Manilow. No, it's not what you think. He realizes his calling is to produce a retrospective on the man who writes the songs, and his wife is left holding the bag and figuring out how she's going to explain to her kids, her parents and her friends that her husband has skipped town so he can "Try to Get the Feeling Again." As a Barry Manilow fan (yes, I am proud to admit it) and a lover of chick-lit - Carpool Confidential is the perfect companion for anyone craving a book that'll keep you engaged and entertained the moment you crack it open. Plus - when the publicist for the book sent it to me, she cleverly packaged it with the essential Barry Manilow two CD collection - in my book, that move was truly a stroke of genius - so if you're in the mood for a fun read, pick up Carpool Confidential - this one's a total winner.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


This week, Role Mommy got the chance to be a part of the first-ever blogger teleconference with New York Times best selling author Nicholas Sparks. Yes - the author whose books pretty much have you hanging on his every word, longing for a couple to get together only to find yourself sobbing uncontrollably when the relationship takes a tragic turn of events. Ahh - the perfect ingredients for a great read. And with The Choice, which debuted at #1 on the USA Today best seller list, Sparks has done it again.

In an interview today with a select group of bloggers, we asked Nick who he based his latest book on and he shared that the main character, Travis is loosely based on his brother - who led a carefree life as a bachelor while Nick was married and raising kids. While Nick and his own brother were a year apart, their experiences, which spanned over a decade, couldn't have been more different and that was the catalyst for his latest novel. Travis is a free wheeling bachelor who meets his match in Gabby, an independent and strong willed neighbor who eventually falls for him and the two get married. The book then takes us to another part of their lives - much like The Notebook (which is by far one of my favorite tear jerker novels of all time). As the couple confront one of the most difficult choices in their lives, Sparks once again has crafted a page turner, with readers riveted by his every word.

Most of Sparks' books have been motivated by real life events. Tragically, Sparks has experienced tremendous loss - losing his mother, father and sister while he was writing his books. As a result, he has woven many of these real life experiences into his novels but then, as the story unfolds, he says his books seem to take on a life of their own. Sparks says his fundamental goal as an author is to craft a modern day Greek tragedy and while many of us would like to see his characters in his books live happily ever after, it's the oftentimes tragic and real circumstances that they face which keeps his readers coming back for more year after year.

While on his latest book tour for The Choice, Sparks, who unfortunately was battling a bout of food poisoining while preparing for what he says was a 5-6 hour book signing (hopefully one day, our book signings will rival these marathon sessions), says he's been doing a lot of reading to keep him occupied while he's on the road. Some of his recent reads include everything from best-sellers to historical non-fiction to a book about homework - Sparks, a father of five, runs a private school and is a track coach so don't expect him to be surfing the 'net checking his Amazon rankings or vegging out on the couch watching Dancing with the Stars or Grey's Anatomy.

So what is Nicholas Sparks reading these days? Click on the links below to get a glimpse into the books he's been reading on the road:

For more about Nicholas Sparks, visit his website at Or, to purchase The Choice, Click Here.