Oct 16, 2015

Book Review, Interview & Giveaway: Clutch by Lisa Becker

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Review by Tanya

Caroline is set on path of loving handbags and bags by her aunt Mimi and she achieves her goal of designing handbags for a living. On her way of achieving her goal she attends Harvard Business School where she meets Mike Barnsworth. Some of her first words to Mike are “I’m not gonna sleep with . you”. They achieve an amazing friendship even though they are from very different backgrounds. Mike’s family are extremely well off and want him to continue with the family business in the brokerage firm, however he doesn’t want to and he is determined to open his own bar.
When they both finish at Harvard Mike wants to move to L.A. and persuades Caroline to go with him as she can design handbags anywhere and she has friends there already. Eventually Caroline starts looking for a partner and she comes across many a difficult situation with many different men that will have you shocked or giggling. Mike is always there to talk to throughout it. Mike however likes to play the field and doesn’t like the idea of being tied down.

Aunt Mime Johnson is a side character but a very important influence on Caroline’s life and the paths that she takes. I loved the descriptions of her “Despite the largesse, the only thing truly bigger than her personality (and her bosom) was her handbag." In fact I think there would be times when maybe I am described like that. Even Mike speaks highly of her and loves her.

The bond between Mike and Caroline is amazing and I loved how they know what the other is thinking and feeling and how they're always there when the other one needs them. I was greedy for more descriptions of bags or the design process and I put that down to me being a bag lover (or bag lady)!). I would like to read more books by this author as I found it a light hearted easy read that I needed at the time.

Interview


1) Could you tell a bit about yourself?

I’m fortunate to have had a series of wonderful careers outside of writing including being a wife, mom, PR professional, college professor, volunteer and Girl Scout troop leader. Clutch: a novel is my 4th book. The book actually started out as a screenplay that was optioned by a production company housed at one of the major movie studios summer 2014. Unfortunately, it fell out of development. I was eager to have this fun story with some of my favorite characters told, so I turned it into a short novel earlier this year.

2) Your books title is Clutch. I'm wondering where you got the idea from and could you describe your favourite?


When I was writing the Click Trilogy, (Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click, Right Click) I was obsessed with NCIS reruns and would have the show on in the background as I wrote. There was an episode when one of the characters mentioned that men were like purses – something useless to hang on a woman’s arm. I started thinking about how men are like handbags and the idea grew from there. I’m partial to a satchel-style bag that you carry at the elbow. Mine has to be large enough for all of my stuff, as well as snacks for the kids. Never (ever!) leave home without snacks for the kids.

3) Your book has a very strong friendship theme. I was wondering who your best friends are and where/how you've met them?


I’m lucky to have some long-standing friendships since I was very young with three really special ladies – one that I’ve known since birth and the other two from kindergarten. I also have a large network of friends from college, graduate school, work and my community. I also have the best friend a gal could ask for – my husband Steve. I really never thought I would get married so I still pinch myself that I've got a loving, hilarious, and intelligent best buddy that I love dearly.

4) Auntie Mimi gives Caroline some fantastic advice. I was wondering what your best bit of advice would be to someone. And also the best piece of advice you have received.


I honestly don’t know that I’m in a position to be giving advice to anyone. But I tend to give a lot of it (unsolicited, of course) to my daughters ages 8 and 10. We recently saw the movie Inside Out, which is about a young girl dealing with her emotions. It reconfirmed a mantra I’ve been drilling into their heads since they were little to Choose Grateful and Choose Joy. Regardless of what’s going on around us, we have the opportunity to choose to seek out the best in the situation.

The best advice I ever received was from an unlikely source. I had interviewed Charles Rosen, one of the producers of the original Beverly Hills 90210, for an alumni magazine article while I was in graduate school. And I'll never forget what he told me, “Don't fall in love with your words, because somebody above will probably change them.” Having spent nearly 20 years working in the public relations industry, I found that to absolutely be the case. I’ve worked with some of the biggest consumer companies in the world including McDonald’s, Ford, Sony and Gatorade. And, I’ve spent countless hours writing news releases, bylined articles, marketing proposals, brochures, advertising copy, public service announcements, radio copy, mat columns, fact sheets, photo captions, media alerts, pitch letters, letters to the editor, video news releases, etc.

And, I’ve carried Mr. Rosen’s words with me every day as colleagues, bosses and clients have “changed my words” sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. When it came time for me to write something personal, based on my own experiences and initially for my own pleasure, I relished the opportunity to write what I wanted, how I wanted and when I wanted.

5) Do you believe there is such a thing as love at first sight? And if so, why/why not?

I do believe in love and first sight and in my case, love at first talk. My husband and I met online more than 15 years ago when online dating was in its infancy. After a week of emails, we had our first phone call. When I realized that we had attended the same, small sleep away camp as kids and that we shared a similar upbringing with similar values, I knew he was "the one." He says he knew it was love when I opened the door to meet him for our first date. We've been married for more than 12 years and have two amazing daughters. Our meeting inspired me to write a novel, Click: An Online Love Story about a woman's search for love online. Ultimately, it's become a book series and the was optioned for a movie.

6) Where/what is your favourite place to write?

I sit in my home office at a HP desktop computer with a really big screen. My eyes grow tired pretty easily in my old age;) And, I like to write with the television on in the background. When I first started writing, I was obsessed with Law & Order reruns and as mentioned already, I can’t seem to get enough of NCIS right now. I guess there’s a part of me that likes to see justice served.

7) How do you write a book - do you plan/plot or do you write and see where it leads you?

For this book, I mapped out the various relationships/handbag styles and ordered them with the character arc so I knew where Caroline started from and needed to go. From there, I just sat and wrote.

8) Do you base your characters on people you know? 

In my Click series, all of the characters were fictional, but some of their qualities and characteristics were inspired by real people I know, such as Shelley. Her hilarious habit of giving nicknames to her “man du jour” was inspired by a childhood friend of mine who had a nickname for a guy in college that she admired from across the dorm cafeteria. She called him Maverick because he looked like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Much like Shelley, she is a self-confident, gorgeous, lovely gal and it wasn't long before they met and dated for a spell. In clutch all of the characters are just figments of my overactive imagination and not in any way based on anyone I know.

11) How do you treat yourself when a book is finally published?

My friend Tracey and I usually celebrate a book release with a day to the spa. She’s served as an editor and sounding board on three of my four books and I like to treat her to some pampering as a way of saying thanks for all of the support.

12) What are your plans for the future?

In addition to promoting the new book, I’m looking into making connections within the motion picture industry to try and get a movie version made. I’m eager to see if there’s interest from someone else on bringing this fun and quirky story to the big screen. So if you happen to be a well-to-do movie producer looking to make a new romantic comedy, please get in touch!

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Information about Lisa Becker and Clutch

About clutch: a novel

clutch: a novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.

Author Bio

In addition to clutch: a novel, Lisa Becker is the author of the Click Trilogy, a contemporary romance series comprised of Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click. She’s written bylined articles about dating and relationships for “Cupid’s Pulse,” “The Perfect Soulmate,” “GalTime,” “Single Edition,” “Healthy B Daily” and “Chick Lit Central” among others. She lives in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband and two daughters. To learn more, visit www.lisawbecker.com.

Giveaway


76 comments:

  1. I have quite big over the shoulder bags that carry my iPad mini, a book and all my son's bits and pieces for day trips.

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  2. I have a few large ones as I tend to amass a load of junk in my hand bags :)

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  3. I have cross body bags and shoulder bags. And now I'd love to have a clutch))

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  4. I usually carry medium size bags, solid orr print (I have way too many to name, hoarder here) I also have a Coach purse my son bought for me, it's lovely and I carry it some but it's really huge.

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  5. First I wanna say I loved the interview and I'm a huge fan of Lisa. I've read all of her previous novels from the Click series and they are way too fun! Just like watching Sex and the City, and some pretty awesome characters and relationships. I'm sooo looking forward to reading Clutch. I like any sizes of bags, but mostly use large ones..as they have the needed space for my tons of papers for work.

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  6. I have a shoulder bag but it is falling apart and need something else.

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  7. I have 1 shoulder bag for work and 1 small clutch for other times.

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  8. I have a Michael Korrs shoulder bag xx

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  9. I love tote bags or shoulder bag :)

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  10. I have a large shoulder bag for day to day although it has seen better days and two clutch bags for when something more formal is required.

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  11. I have mostly sling bags but I love totes especially the book bags.

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  12. Mine is basic black. Three storage areas with a short handle.

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  13. I have a leather handbag, cloth handbag and a tote bag.

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  14. mostly shoulder bags and cross body

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  15. Mostly shoulder bags medium sized x

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  16. My handbags are all large. I carry a book, umbrella, water as well, as the usual items.

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  17. All my bags are quite small so I'd like a large one.

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  18. I don't have many bags. During the week I have my workingbag. I always take that one because it is filled with so many things. For outside work I have a few in different sizes. I do like my bags BIG thou :-) must be because of everything I put in there.

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  19. i usually have cross body bags (kipling) and a few shoulder bags

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  20. I have some handbags, and a couple totes and a few small purses :)

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  21. Errr ... all kinds, really, because I am a bit of a bag-a-holic. Most of my bags are messenger bags though as they are easy and practical to carry with the hands staying free (so I can carry home those full bags from the bookshop, hahaha).

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  22. I have lots of bags, mostly of them are large to fit many books-I'm a teacher :)

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  23. I have a small black shoulder bag by Fossil, and a bunch of totes.

    --Trix

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  24. I have a cross body bag that is about 11 inches by 9 inches. It's a zip top.

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  25. I have all sorts of bags for all sorts of occasions!

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  26. i have a few, cross shoulder, hobo style , clutch..

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  27. I have a variety of handbags, but tend to go for cross body messenger bags for daily use. I've tried using smaller dainty bags, but you can't stuff as much junk into them :0

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  28. clutch a must have a get up and go

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  29. I currently carry a grey Satchel bag.

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  30. Right now, I have a huge black Bill Blass bag that I've had for about 20 years! I could use a new purse, lol.

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  31. I love big, huge bags! But I love every size and colour!

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  32. Lately I carry backpacks and a big black leather bag!

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  33. I have a classic black bowler bag which I bought with my first wage packet at my new job :) Idont really have any smaller bag for going out I think this is lovely x

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  34. I have one crossbody bag and one black medium bag!

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  35. I usually carry something smallish because I don't like to carry a huge bag. I have a nice deep red one that I like to carry in the Fall.

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  36. I have a very small handbag, not nearly big enough to carry all the books I love to carry.

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  37. The bag I'm using now is brown leather with gold trim and has hearts, peace signs, and Hello Kitty imprints on it. So much fun!!

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  38. I have a few Vera Bradley bags, but my favorite is a leather satchel that my husband had made for me.

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  39. Mostly shoulder bags but I do have some for different acations.

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  40. I'm old school and have a small D&B schatel

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  41. I love medium size bags.

    Megan @ reading away the days

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  42. My handbags are on the larger side, due to me carrying my knitting/crocheting and medications.

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  43. I always have back packs :3 -@MaroBenipayo via twitter

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  44. I have all kinds of bags, mostly the ones across the shoulder and backpacks.

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  45. A have a small white across the shoulder bag.

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  46. I have a lovely Radley across body bag that I love! :)

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  47. Right now, I'm carrying a silver sequin Kate Spade that's wonderfully disco ball like.

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  48. I am more of a large-handbag kind of girl. I carry my entire life in a bag, one might say. However, I am missing a smaller, more elegant one for special occasions.

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  49. I have a larger handbag that I carry EVERYTHING in!

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  50. I have a large purple bag, but not large enough

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  51. I have some totes and shoulder bags. Great giveaway! Lubka

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  52. I prefer a cross boy bag with plenty of room inside for all of my stuff.

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  53. I have a work bag, mummy bag & going out bag

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  54. Impressive post and i read this book and its tell me how to start a interview and explain your self thanks for share it correct my sentence grammar .

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