Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Fat Girl Begone!" by D. E. Haggerty

Fat Girl Begone!
by D. E. Haggerty

Fat Girl Begone! by D. E. Haggerty

Fat Girl Begone! by D. E. Haggerty is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well. And don't forget to get your copy for only $0.99!

I’m a total mess. My boyfriend dumped me – get this – because I diet too much. Not because I’m fat, mind you. Of course, this spurs me into the diet-fitness-revenge-plan of the century, which leads me to the gym and a scorching hot personal trainer. I even manage to make some cool new friends, including a millionaire if you can believe it.
Things are looking up! Naturally, that’s the moment my ex decides he wants me back, the personal trainer asks me out, and my millionaire male buddy decides to throw his hat in the ring. But that’s not enough drama. No, not for me. Because I’ve also lost my job and decided to start my own business.
Just call me Ms. Drama.
Warning: Bad language, bumpy roads, and embarrassing moments ahead. But there’s also more than a bit of romance and even, if we’re lucky, love. Fingers crossed.
Note: Not endorsed by or affiliated with any brand of tequila.

“You should totally jump that, chica.”
It’s Monday, and I’ve just survived another Zumba class. I only hit Tara once. Okay, twice, but who’s counting? I’m still trying to catch my breath and stop my heart from jumping out of my ribcage. None of which stops me from panting after my personal trainer. Before I get a chance to respond to her comment or tear my eyes away from Gabe’s epic ass, the rest of the gang joins Tara and me.
“What are you bitches yapping about?” Oh great, Charise didn’t just say that at maximum volume or anything.
“Everly taking her personal trainer for a ride.”
Oh my god. Please tell me no one else heard Tara announce that I’m lusting after Gabe. I hear giggles and murmurs of agreement from the other exercisers exiting the group exercise room. Of course, everyone heard. Charise, Tara, Naomi, and Jessie have one volume – embarrassingly loud.
I ignore them and head to the locker rooms with my head down. Of course, I can’t help but sneak another glance at Gabe. He’s doing squats for God’s sake! I defy any woman – or man for that matter – to not look. I keep my eyes glued to those glutes as I walk in the opposite direction. My foot hits something and before I know it I’m going down.
I end up sprawled on the floor of the gym. I look down at my outfit and sigh in relief. Good. No rolls of fat are showing. Thankfully, I had put a long sweatshirt on over the loose tank I was wearing during class. A hand appears in front of my face.
“Let me help you up, babe.”
I look up to see yet another example of male perfection. Does this gym have a portal to Mount Olympus for the Greek Gods to come and go as they please? Because damn. This is one fine specimen of manhood in front of me.
His voice startles me out of my perusal of his perfection. I reach out and he grabs my hand to pull me up. Only he doesn’t stop there. He pulls me flush to his body and then leans down to whisper in my ear. “It’s okay, babe. Happens all the time when girls look at me.” And crash. There goes my adulation of the man. I knew there was a reason no one believes in the Greek Gods anymore. Vanity is not attractive. 
I pull on my hand until he releases me. “Thanks.”
“You okay, sweetheart?” As if I couldn’t be embarrassed enough, now Gabe’s here.
“I’m fine. Just wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking.” Out of the corner of my eye, I see the former Greek God puff out his chest as if I had paid him a compliment. I can’t help it. My eyes narrow at him, and I attempt to engage my eye lasers. Just like the two gazillion other times I’ve tried to use those lasers, they malfunction.
Gabe ignores the entire episode. “You here to do your exercise class?”
“Nope.” I shake my head. “I just put on some workout clothes and then ducked my head under the faucet to get my face and hair wet.”
My personal trainer laughs and grabs my shoulder to give it a squeeze. Why is he squeezing my shoulder? “You’re funny, sweetheart.” I wasn’t going for funny but whatever.
Someone shouts ‘Gabe’ from the other side of the gym. I look over to see the blond bimbo he was training staring daggers at me. Gabe squeezes my shoulder again. “Sorry, sweetheart, I need to get back to work. I’ll see you Wednesday, right?” I nod, and he winks before walking off.
“Looks like I’m not needed here.” I forgot Mr. Vanity was still standing here. I don’t bother responding to his obvious pout. I shake my head and walk to the locker rooms.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"I really enjoyed reading this story. I loved all the characters and found myself laughing and smiling a lot when I was reading. I'm hoping this group of friends will continue and Blaze gets her own story." ~ T from Florida
"This is the best book I have read in a looong time. I loved it! [...]If you enjoy romantic comedy, I highly recommend this book." ~ Jo-Anne B.
"Fat Girl Begone is a really fun and relatable story. If you've ever had issues with your weight you will know exactly where Everly is coming from! [...] From start to finish this is a book I think a lot of women will see themselves in - there are pieces of Everly that every woman will be able to relate to. Ms. Haggerty did a great job of handling what can be a delicate and tricky subject. Fat Girl Begone is in equal measures uplifting and entertaining." ~ Shannon VM
"An Uplifting and Fun read with laughs." ~ Linda M.
"Every time I finish a novel from DE Haggerty, I'm excited to see what she is going to give us next. After I finished the last one, I wasn't sure what direction she'd go in and I was pleasantly surprised with what she delivered. Different from the last few I've read, this story didn't have the mystery/suspense aspect but it still gave me everything I have come to love from her; plenty of laughs, endearing characters, and an engaging storyline." ~ Erin G.

My Review
Everly is a beautiful woman, but she is severely lacking in self-confidence. When her boyfriend Josh dumps her because of her obsession with dieting, Everly drunkenly signs up for six months with a personal trainer. While she deals with the competing interests of her personal trainer Gabe (who she dubs Mr. Yummy or her "personal torturer"), cute gym geek Carter (aka Mr. Millionaire), and her ex-boyfriend Josh, she must also handle a group of raucous new friends, her betrayal by a colleague, and the loss of her dream job. Will Everly ever find happiness and true love? And maybe even learn to love herself?
Each chapter starts with Everly's amusing positive thought for the day, e.g., "This journey may be hell but my new girl crew is AWESOME." The author's quirky sense of humor shines through everywhere in this delightful romantic comedy which is, in fact, a cleverly-disguised weight-loss manual. The book realistically portrays the trials and tribulations of dieting, without belaboring the point. At its heart, Fat Girl Begone! is an exploration of female friendship and the perils of dating. A true gem!
Warnings: coarse language, sexual references, tequila (lots of).

Some of My Favorite Lines
"Pizza, beer, and tequila shots are not as pleasant coming up as going down. A fact I seem to forget on a regular basis."
"Why is it that hot men look even hotter when they smirk? It’s cruel and unusual punishment if you ask me."
"The last thing I need to do is start crying in my office. Snot, tears, and runny mascara is not a good look on me."
"She says ‘big girls’ without any shame at all. I didn’t even know that was possible."
"Can I give myself a concussion from thinking in circles?"
"Floor-length mirrors are like the devil incarnate and should be avoided at all cost. You can gain ten pounds just by walking past one."
"Is it wrong of me to be excited my workout is cut short for an injury? Talk about being a glutton for punishment."
"It’s not only about the number on the scale. It’s about how you look, how you feel."
"Wow. Seriously. Best. Friend. Ever."

Guest Post by the Author
What's the Moral of the Story?
One of the questions bloggers love to pose to authors is: What should a reader get out of your book? In other words, what’s the moral of the story? I’m going to be honest with you. Every time this question has come up in the past, I just invented some cockamamie response. I have two college degrees and several post-graduate courses under my belt, I can concoct an answer to pretty much anything. And that’s what I did. Because I didn’t write stories with underlying moral premises. Until now.
Fat Girl Begone! is different. For the first time with my writing, there’s a moral to my story. Not only that, but I actually set out to write this book with a moral lesson in mind. Before I get into that, let me give you a bit of background about my dieting history. I’ve been a yo-yo dieter since I can remember. My mom was always pushing some weird diet on me even as a child. I was a perfectly normal child weight-wise, but because my mother thought I should be thinner, I developed a warped view of how I looked. 
Fast forward several decades and I’m living in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language, don’t have a connection with the culture, and work at home. Life as an expat quickly turned into a lot of eating and drinking with other expats. And when I say "a lot"’, I really mean way too much – even if it is difficult (and getting more difficult) to find somewhere that serves alcohol. After nearly three years of living the high life, I was at my heaviest weight ever. That’s never a good thing, but considering how heavy I’ve been in the past, this was a really, really bad place for me to be.
When I returned to the Netherlands, my mind was preoccupied with dieting and fitness. Naturally, this got me to thinking about my past triumphs and failures with weight loss. I also started pondering how the number of the scale can rule my life if I let it (which I totally do). While I was pondering and pondering (and getting bruised up from hitting myself with the tennis racket from playing too much tennis), I was also thinking about writing another romantic comedy.
The two thoughts converged in my head. Why don’t I write a romance about a woman who gets dumped because she’s fat? Everyone knows a romantic comedy should always start with a woman getting dumped. Even better – what if she’s not really fat but just chubby and lacking in self-confidence? Bingo! Yes, I actually shout "bingo" when I get a good idea.  
From there, the ideas just spiraled. Through my heroine, Everly, I could challenge a bunch of misconceptions about dieting and weight loss. Is the number on the scale the end-all be-all? Can you be chubby but also sexy? Can you lose weight with just exercise? I’m by no means an expert on any of these topics, although one of above-mentioned certificate programs did crown me a weight loss consultant (there were finals and everything, although no actual coronation for the crown). But I am an expert in what works for me and how I feel about my body at certain weights and fitness levels. Those experiences are what I used to develop Everly.
So, what’s the moral of Everly’s story in Fat Girl Begone!? It really boils down to the following: your weight is not who you are and should not rule your life. Luckily – or should I say, hopefully? – this lesson comes with a lot of laughs, some antics, and more than a bit of romance.

About the Author
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed.
College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage, every once in a while, to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear.
After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law.
But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. So, I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic and followed the husband to Istanbul, where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go.
But ten years was too many to stay away from "home". I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Fat Girl Begone! is my eleventh book.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.