Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Review Tour - Woman of Substance by Annette Bower



Welcome to my stop on Annette Bower's Book Review Tour for Woman of Substance.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question below for Annette to let her know you stopped by.  Annette will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You Can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 

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Woman of Substance
by Annette Bower

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: December 11, 2012

Genre: Contemporary Romance

ISBN:  978-1-619351-10-3
ASIN:  B00AN9TE8W

Book Description: 

"You will never understand what it means to be fat.” With those words, grad student Robbie Smith begins the Fat-Like-Me project. In order to support her thesis, she puts on a fat suit to measure people’s reactions to the new her.

Accused of embezzling funds, Professor Jake Proctor returns home to spend quality time with the only father he has ever known. There, he meets an intriguing overweight woman who reminds him of his late grandmother. She’s witty, charming, and cares deeply for those around her, including his dying grandfather.
When Robbie meets Jake while she’s in disguise, she deceives him for all the right reasons. But how long can she maintain the deception before Jake discovers that she is not who he believes her to be? 

Excerpt:  

Even though the sun streamed into Frank’s window, Jake tucked a blanket around his grandfather’s shoulders. In the corner was the brown corduroy recliner that had been in their family living room for as long as Jake could remember. On the bulletin board was a collage of family photos. Pictures of Jake bent over a birthday cake blowing out various numbers of flames on candles and his grandma always beaming with pride. Jake tearing Christmas wrap off of a parcel. Jake leaning into his grandmother’s shoulder while watching TV on the cabbage-rose upholstered sofa. Jake dressed in his graduation gown holding onto his degree. Jake posed with the elders of the !Kung San people in the Kalahari Desert. Fastened in the corner of the frame, Jake wrapped in a blanket in his mother’s arms. He peered closely at his mother’s photo. He had her brown eyes and dark complexion. She had died before he had taken his first steps and the man, not a father but the sperm donor, either didn’t know or didn’t care. Jake’s grandparents were the only parents he knew.

On the bedside table was a photograph of his grandparents with their arms around each other. He knew they were proud of his education and career, but his grandmother had wanted to see him settled into family life before she died two years ago. He had disappointed her.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links: 


Annette Bower writes about women in family and women in love and women’s quest for love. Her short stories are published in magazines and anthologies in Canada, United States and in the United Kingdom.

Her first sweet contemporary romance Moving On, A Prairie Romance is e-published by XoXo Publishing™. Her second novel which is a blend of sweet romance and women’s fiction, Woman of Substance is e-published by Soul Mate Publishing.

Annette Bower lives and writes stories from a high rise where she can see the immediate hustle and bustle of downtown Regina and experience the changes in the grain fields throughout the Saskatchewan seasons.

Website: www.annettebower.com 

Blog: www.annettebower.com/blog

Twitter: @bowerannette

Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/arezhhm



Author of Moving On A Prairie Romance with Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Moving-On-Prairie-Romance-ebook/dp/B006SHAWES

Christmas Wishes with XoXo Publishers with Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Wishes-ebook/dp/B00A6GGJY4

Books available at:

XoXo Publisher: 

http://www.xoxopublishing.com/Products/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=Annette+Bower&product_id=310

XoXo Publisher:

http://www.xoxopublishing.com/Products/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=Annette+Bower&product_id=251

ARE:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-movingonaprairieromance-667850-149.html

ARE:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-christmaswishes-988698-173.html

BookStrand:

http://www.bookstrand.com/moving-on-a-prairie-romance


________________________________________
My Review 

We're all used to being judged on a daily basis; our bosses judge our performance, our friends judge our behavior and our loved ones judge how we respond to them.  While our society has made strides in judging people based on race and gender, we still have issues based on judging a person's physical appearance.  Are they fit and thin or are they overweight and out of shape.  Annette Bower's contemporary romance, Woman of Substance, touches on this topic, how it affects us, and on our capability to love and be loved based on the size of our bodies.  Set in Saskatchewan with likable characters, a touch of professional jealousy and just the right amount of emotional angst, Ms. Bower reminds us that when it comes to love, size doesn't matter, only your health does.

Grad student, Robin "Robbie" Smith is determined to complete her thesis and obtain her master's degree.  When one of her research subjects tells her she'll never understand what it's like to be overweight, Robbie hatches a plan to confirm her results.  She dresses in a specially made "fat suit" to see if people treat her differently when she's overweight. While not surprised with her first day's results, she finds herself becoming friends with an older man.  She never planned on becoming emotionally involved or on falling in love with his college professor grandson.

Jake Proctor has come home to spend time with his dying grandfather.  When an overweight woman befriends his grandfather, Jake finds himself remembering his grandmother, who also had issues with weight.  While no longer a child, Jake is forced to remember his embarrassment over his grandmother's weight and realizes how much more important "Robin's" friendship for his grandfather means.  Finding himself attracted to her is completely unexpected.

The scenes between Robbie, Jake and his grandfather Frank are well written and really drew me into the story.  As Jake and Frank get to know "Robin", the young overweight woman, they find themselves going down memory lane and remembering the best times they had as a family and how much they miss Frank's wife and Jake's grandmother.  While "Robin" knows it's not honest to include them in her research, she doesn't want to risk hurting Frank's feelings by telling him the truth, or ruining her growing friendship with Jake.

Ms. Bower did a great job with both Jake and Robbie's emotional growth.  As Jake is forced to look back on his life, due to the short amount of time he has left with his grandfather, he realizes how much time he's spent away from family, how he let his fear of peer pressure dictate how he related to his grandmother, and how much he wants a family of his own.  Meanwhile, Robbie realizes how difficult it is to live in a society where being obese is considered to be the result of a woman who either can't control her appetites, is too lazy to exercise, or just doesn't care.  She also sees how it impacts a woman's choices when it comes to love.

Will Robbie be able to tell Jake and Frank about her unintentional deception?  Will Jake realize he's just as in love with Robbie as he is with Robin?  You'll have to read Woman of Substance to find out.  I enjoyed it and I think you will too.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 Crowns




FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.  


Don't forget to leave a comment or question below for Annette to let her know you stopped by.  Annette will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You Can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.







43 comments:

  1. Did you always want to write?

    jibriel.o(at)web(dot)de

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning Jibriel,
      In many ways I have always wanted to write but wanting to and doing it are different.
      Life and the need to fulfill the roles in family and work take time and energy.
      I wrote when I had the time or when I really needed to write. I took courses when I could but it was after my sons needed their space that I took mine. Life experiences deepen the writing.
      Thank you for stopping by Queen of All She Reads and reading and commenting on the review.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Dear Queen of All She Reads,
      Thank you for hosting Woman of Substance today and thank you for commenting on Jake and Robbie's emotional growth. I enjoy writing about characters in community and family.
      As a writer I strive to show the growth in characters and it is rewarding to have a reviewer confirm that I did achieve this important aspect of story telling.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  3. Love the excerpt!Congratulations to the great review!

    galaschick78(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Gala,
      Thank you for enjoying the excerpt. It is difficult to decide which part might appeal to readers. We don't want readers to purchase something that may not be what they read but we do want to entice and excite the reader to join our characters on the journey.
      Thank you for stopping by at Queen of All She Reads.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  4. I love the premise. And the cover is beautiful--very tranquil. I also love that it's a Fall scene on the cover. That's my favorite time of year, but it also seems to fit with the story line of aging, remembering, nearer to death. I wonder if that feeling was intentional?
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Catherine Lee,
      Thank you for loving the premise I think it is something that all women go through at different times of their life. Yes, my cover, it is a story in itself and reflects the story. The cover designer, Rae Monet, asked questions about the story and brought it to the cover. I am so pleased.
      Thank you for stopping by Queen of All She Reads and commenting.
      Yours truly,
      Annette Bower

      Delete
  5. Nice excerpt, is there something you dislike about being a writer?

    lennascloudATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  6. In the excerpt, I was caught by Jake's character almost immediately. He seems torn by regret and conformity as much as he is by the lure of travel and different perspectives. I can feel the truth in the scene with his grandfather. But it wasn't just Jake who is intriguing, I'm awfully curious about Robbie. What made you want to write about a woman doing research in a fat suit?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ryshia,
      I am intrigued by disguise and the social masks we put on in different situations.
      As women we always want to try and look our best and usually we worry about the way our body appears in clothes. I've been curious about the new shape garments and the way the manufactures have been manipulating the sizes on different styles.
      I did research during my women's studies class on the way different body shapes, hair color, skin color are judged. I wanted to find the woman who could explore the other side. That is what Robbie attempts.
      Thank you for asking and thank you for dropping in on Queen of All She Reads.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  7. Hello Lena,
    Thank you for stopping by Queen of All She Reads.
    What do I dislike about being a writer? Hmmm, when I look around my home office and it is in shambles because I've been busy writing and haven't paid enough attention to details, then I am ambivalent about the amount of time I have to give to the practice and the craft. But when I stop and tidy up then it is my reward to head back into my stories.
    I love the first blush of the creativity but it is hard to get the first feedback and perhaps being shown the holes in the plot, the flatness of characters, then it is back to the story.
    Thank you for asking.
    Yours truly,
    Annette

    ReplyDelete
  8. Do you have a favorite character in your book?

    shadowrunner1987(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great review and excerpt, thank you.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ingeborg,
      Thank you for stopping by Queen of All She Reads and sharing her review and reading the excerpt.
      Queen of All She Reads has reviewed many books, so she provides readers with a great service to help them find authors they are familiar too and new authors. I hope you have a chance to look around.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  10. Hello Ami,
    It is like answering the question which is your favorite child?
    All the characters are important in their own way. They each bring their special personality to the story. So no I can't say I have a favorite. I do like how each of them allow the reader in over the length of the story.
    Thank you for stopping by Queen of All She Reads and commenting.
    Yours truly,
    Annette

    ReplyDelete
  11. Is there a book or author that you admire?

    anzumerlin(at)mail(dot)ru

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anzu,
      I admire so many authors but one that has stayed with me for a long time is the book titled: inside out girl by tish cohen.
      I enjoyed this book for all of the growth in the characters. It is truly amazing.
      Thank you for stopping by at Queen of All She Reads and commenting.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  12. Very sweet and tender excerpt. Excellent review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello MomJane,
      Thank you for the compliment about the excerpt and the review.
      I appreciate the time you have taken to read Queen of All She Reads review.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  13. As a person raised by her grandparents, I truly understand how valuable that relationship with them is. I cherish everyday that I have with them and the love that they bestowed upon me. I absolutely would not be the person I am without their guidance, love & support. I jump at the chance to read a book with grandparents featured as prominent characters, and it sounds like yours would be right up my alley!

    Congratulations on your release <3

    Alyssa
    hesperialovesbooks(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Alyssa,
      Thank you for sharing your love and experience with your grandparents. I truly admire grandparents when they take on the responsibility of raising children again. I also think that they love differently because they have seen so much more in life.
      I hope that in Woman of Substance and Jake's relationship with Frank will remind you of your experiences.
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting on Queen of All She Reads.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  14. I love the romantic cover, where is the story set?

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Shannon R.
      The story takes place mostly in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada with a trip to the small town of Lumsden, Saskatchewan.
      In Regina there is a park similar to Central Park in New York. Frank sits on a bench by the lake and feeds the geese. The trees in fall are similar to the cover.
      I was so happy to see the cover that Rae Monet designed for Woman of Substance.
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting on Queen of All She Reads.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  15. I love that you rec'd so many crowns. I must read this book. It sounds great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous,
      Thank you for wanting to read Woman of Substance. I hope you do follow along with Robbie and Jake on their journeys.
      I was pleased as well to receive 4 crowns from Queen of All She Reads.
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.
      Both the host and the author appreciate readers comments.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  16. Very nice review about the characters.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Bn100,
      I agree that Queen of All She Reads gave careful consideration on reviewing Robbie, Jake and Frank.
      Thank you for noticing her comments.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  17. That's quite a deception to maintain. Very interested to see the outcome.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Mary Preston,
      It is quite the deception to maintain but it is interesting how when we have so many other things occupying our minds what we choose to see and not see are sometimes our subconscious self defense. This is what is happening to Jake. But he does notice many similarities he just doesn't let it register at the time.
      Thank you for stopping by at Queen of All She Reads.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  18. Sounds really good!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello Natasha,
    Thank you for stopping by and reading Queen of All She Reads review of Woman of Substance.
    Good luck in the draw. It will take place at the end of the tour after March 1, 2013
    Yours truly,
    Annette

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jobs at your Home, Internet Online Jobs like data entry, copy pasting, Form Filling, Facebook Sharing Jobs, Clicking Jobs, Web Surfing, Google Jobs and Much More Earning Systems Online
    www.jobzcorner.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Saeed Zia,
      Doesn't look as if you are part of the VBRT of Woman of Substance.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  21. I love how much everyone is adoring this novel! It just makes me want to read it even more!

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Chelsea B.
      Thank you for stopping by Queen of All She Reads. I do hope you have the chance to read Woman of Substance. It took awhile for a publisher to believe as much in Robbie's story as I did.
      BTW I love your email name.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  22. Wow, another glowing review. I approached this with a kind of hesitancy at first, but with so much positive chatter going on I guess I've gotta give it a try :)

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Andra Lyn,
      I recall your first post, you felt the story wasn't for you. I'm pleased that the reviewers have provided information for you to think about trying Woman of Substance.
      If you do have the opportunity, I'd like to hear how you felt about it.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  23. thanks for the chance to win!

    hense1kk@cmich.edu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous,
      You are welcome for the chance to win. Thanks for going through all of the spam protection with the squiggles and numbers to enter.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  24. It was an interesting idea for a story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Teena in Toronto,
      Thank you for sharing with those who leave comments and readers that you found the idea interesting. I thank Soul Mate Publishing for taking a chance and helping me edit it so that readers would be interested enough to join Robbie and Jake on their journey.
      Yours truly,
      Annette

      Delete
  25. Good Morning Everyone,
    The draw is now closed. I have all names to be placed in the random draw. The winner will be placed on the Goddess Fish Promo.com http://www.goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.ca/ and on my blog. www.annettebower.com/blog

    Thank you for participating.
    Yours truly,
    Annette

    ReplyDelete