REVIEW and EXCERPT
Books, Blogs, & Reality
by Ryan Ringbloom
Life can suck…
When reality becomes overwhelming, seeking comfort in fictional fantasies keeps hope alive. And while this escape may be a little delusional, it’s also therapeutic.
Sharing secrets is daunting, but virtual friends don’t often judge and they are always ready to share a glass of wine … or three … while typing out life’s latest endeavors.
Brooke believes obstacles only add to romance, not detract. Rachael longs for a more intense relationship, or so she thinks. Lizzie misses the excitement in her life, but sometimes new situations find you when you’re not even looking. And Jess believes a tiger can change his stripes. It can’t.
Bound by a shared passion for blogging about happily ever afters, these four young women use keyboard therapy to work through their expectations, anxieties, and inadequacies, all with the hopes of achieving the perfection found in romance novels.
Completely blinded by what they think life should be, they navigate their unique paths in search of what they envision is right. But when reality taunts them with persistent curve balls, will they be strong enough to choose wisely? Or will their happy endings escape them?
It’s not uncommon for people to have two sets of friends. The “real” friends; these are the ones who live nearby, the ones you see or talk with occasionally (less and less as time goes on). Then there are the “virtual” friends; these are the ones you talk to (well, type to) every day. The latter group comes from all over. You’ve never actually met any of them and yet you trust them with some of the deepest, most intimate thoughts and details of your life. You share way too much information and in return, they over-share way too much back.
On Brooke Bloomfield’s twenty-third birthday, she went to lunch with her real life best friend, Lauren. The two girls had a very nice time. They gossiped in between chews, catching up, because even though they lived only ten minutes away from each other, they still hadn’t seen each other in quite some time. When the bill came, Lauren grabbed it, insisting she treat Brooke on her special day. They hugged goodbye at their cars and promised to meet for lunch or a drink soon.
Later that same night, Brooke let loose and celebrated her birthday in a much more exciting way, at a computer-generated party with her three online BF’s, Rachael-XXOO, Lizzie1214, and JessRomance93. In a relatively short time, all three of these girls had come to know more about Brooke than anyone else.
Similar tastes in books kept connecting them through book tours and blitzes. Comments on posts and reviews turned into discussions over emails. Tweets bounced back and forth between the four of them endlessly, until one day they discovered a social website designed for readers, where they could all chat privately amongst themselves. Within no time, their virtual discussions went from benign topics such as books they all loved, hated and/or felt somewhere in between, to a hell of a lot more serious things.
It’s funny the things a person will share with people they don’t actually have to face. Like a diary into which they feed their emotions and it types back.
Praise for the Book
"Oh, I loved this, I really did! I do indeed have two sets of friends and never the twain shall meet. So this was just spot on, and add in the books and blogging?? Just fab! [...] A much lighter, refreshing book to my usual reads, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It still has pain and romance, anguish and elation, shock and surprise, I laughed with them, felt for them and cheered for them. It has a lot of real life that could be happening to any given group of friends, across the globe, right now." ~ Debbie
"I found myself smiling , laughing, crying along with the girls. I felt as if I was a part of their group. I was impressed by the writing style of the author. I like the way each chapter is from one of the girls point of view. Very interesting way to tell a story." ~ Ruthie
"This would make for a fun and very interesting movie. It was fun reading their reactions to each other situations. The author did a great job with these characters. I really enjoyed this book, sometimes I will go back and re-read books and this is one I would definitely re-read. Love how much they all cared about each other." ~ Katheryn, Sweet N Sassy Book A Holics
"Ryan did a fabulous job with Books, Blogs, and Reality. I would recommend this book to anyone that has a small tight net group of internet friends, bloggers, romance lovers ... so yeah I recommend this book to everyone. lol. It’s a fast, fun, fulfilling read that I couldn’t put down. I for sure wanted more, and couldn’t have loved the characters more. Each lady in BB&R are all relatable in their own aspects. I connected most with Lizzie and loved her dearly. I would love to see more from all of these ladies and how they have continued their friendships, and personal relationships." ~ Christina Gobin
" ... it was a great inside look at bloggers' lives and the friendship that develops between people online. It also reiterates the reality that daily life is very different than what you read in a novel. I loved, loved this book!!! It was the very first book I have read by Ryan Ringbloom, but it will definitely not be my last. It made me cherish the friendships that I have developed with several ladies I have met online. I truly cherish these women and look forward to chatting with them every day. Thank, Ryan, for a wonderful read!" ~ christie72
By Lynda Dickson
Four women who have never met bond online over books, blogging, and men. Brooke begins a forbidden relationship with her new boss, Rachael wants to experiment with bondage like in the books she's been reading, Lizzie rekindles a relationship with an old boyfriend, and Jess thinks she can change the bad boy like they do in the books she loves to read. These four women start off just talking about books, but quickly turn to other topics, especially men. As these conversations become more intimate, the girls reveal more to each other than they do to anyone in their "real" lives.
Books, Blogs, & Reality is told in a mixture of online chats, narrative, and book reviews, and ends with a blog post by each woman on the lessons learned. Basically, they all discover that real life is not like it is in a novel. This is a compulsively readable book. It is very insightful and contains some wonderful lines. This is a book for the modern times, for the modern woman who spends a lot of time online. I'm sure my fellow book bloggers will see themselves in at least one of these women.
A light, humorous, and emotionally satisfying read.
About the Author
Ryan Ringbloom is a YA/NA author who lives for anything Romance. The passion, love, angst, awkwardness … she loves all of it. When Ryan needs a break from reality she sneaks off to read a romantic story or write one of her own. Drinking coffee, reading Tweets and hugs from her six year old are the best part of her day.