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Friday, July 12, 2013

Pretty is as Pretty Does Blog Tour: Guest Post and Giveaway with Debby Mayne

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in  Debby Mayne's Pretty is as Pretty Does Blog Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book.

About Debby:

Debby Mayne has published more than 30 books and novellas, 400 print short stories and articles, more than 1,000 web articles, and a slew of devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor for Long Ridge Writers Group, and a copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. For the past eight years, she has judged the Writers Digest Annual Competition, Short-Short Contest, and Self-Published Book Competition. Three of Debby’s books have been top ten favorites by the Heartsong Presents book club. Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times Magazine, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July 2009.

Her latest book is Pretty Is As Pretty Does.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Debby!

Debby has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.

What You Think You Want...
By Debby Mayne

…Might not be what you should have. That's what I kept trying to tell the characters as I wrote the Class Reunion series. All the folks who returned to Piney Point to see their former classmates seemed to want something. The problem I saw was that there were other things that would have been better for them.

For example, Priscilla wants to make her mother happy, but she isn't willing to do what it will take. My thought is to pick one and stick with it—either go back to college and become a college professor to please your mother, or continue on the path of growing the chain of Cut 'n Curl hair salons and stop trying to convince your mother it's the right thing. She isn't likely to come around, so why continue being frustrated?

Tim wants Priscilla, even though he has other women falling at his feet. She's obviously too busy to nurture a relationship, so why doesn't he move on and get over her? I'm just glad that Priscilla is open and honest with him from the beginning.

Laura wants Pete to stop drinking, but she continues enabling him. With four young'uns, she'd have a difficult time making it without him and his regular paycheck, which fortunately he continues to bring home. Besides, she really loves him. Should she give him an ultimatum? If so, she'd have to be willing to lose him if he chooses the booze over her.

Trudy wants to make Michael regret leaving her,so she is willing to starve herself and pretend to be more successful than she actually is. However, there are two problems: First, she's looking at success all wrong, and second, Michael isn't worth the effort.

Celeste wants to make people pay for how miserable she is. However, after Priscilla finishes making her over, Celeste needs to let go of the misery and enjoy her newfound beauty. Is it possible for the ugly duckling to embrace being a lovely swan?

I think all of us have experienced wanting something we don't need or shouldn't have. I used to think I wanted a bigger house, but when I had one, it didn't make me happy. It actually became an albatross. Is there anything you thought you wanted but later discovered it wasn't right for you?

Thanks so much for joining us today, Debby! 

One lucky winner will win a digital copy of Debby's latest novel, Pretty is as Pretty Does.

Priscilla Slater goes to her 10-year high school reunion as a successful business woman. Even though she got rid of her mousy brown hair, swapped out her discount store wardrobe for designer clothes, and now has perfectly straight teeth, she can't get past feeling like the ugly duckling. Her parents' disapproval for her choice of careers—running a chain of hair salons—deepens her self-doubt. She experiences self-discovery and learns that things aren't always as they seem.

During the reunion, one woman passes out after starving herself for the event. The class beauty queen appears to have more self-confidence than ever until her ex shows up with his new wife. The reunion organizer has taken her responsibilities to a whole new level that makes the Marines look like Boy Scouts, while her husband drinks too much and makes a fool of himself. The man she always dreamed about being with finally gives her some attention, but when she finds out more about him, she realizes he's not worth her time. These realizations boost her self-confidence, but now she has to deal with her best friend Tim's new feelings for her.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One
(Priscilla Slater)

We are thrilled to announce
Piney Point High School’s
10 year reunion
on June 7, 2003, at 7:30 PM
in Piney Point High’s
Newly renovated gymnasium.
Attire: Sunday best
RSVP: Laura Moss 601-555-1515
PS: There will be a pre-party
At Shenanigans in Hattiesburg
Starting at about 5:00 PM.

Wow. Ten years. As I read my high school reunion invitation a second time, I can’t help but smile. Although I own one of the most successful businesses in my hometown of Piney Point, Mississippi, I’ve lost track of most of the people I graduated with.

Knowing the people I went to high school with, this is going to be one crazy event—that is, if everyone attends. I’m not surprised Laura added a pre-party to the invitation. Her husband has never attended any social event before pre-partying his face off—even in high school. Pete Moss graduated with the distinct honor of high school lush, and as far as I know, he continues to hold that honor, which is ironic since I don’t remember ever seeing Laura touching a drop of anything stronger than her mama’s two-day old sweet tea.

Poor Laura.

I pin the invitation to the bulletin board beside the fridge. And for extra measure, I jot the date on my calendar. In pencil, just in case . . . well, in case something comes up.

As I kick off my killer-high heels, I wonder if Maurice will be there. I sigh as I remember the guy who, in my mind, almost became my boyfriend. I used to stand in front of my bedroom mirror, practicing “looks.” I reflect back and realize things weren’t as they seemed, but I still wonder if he’ll see me differently now that I’ve made something of myself. Not that I’m trying to impress anyone.

And I sure haven’t impressed my parents. Quite the opposite. Still, I’ve taken a small-town beauty shop and turned it into a fabulous business—one of the most successful in Piney Point. And I’m not ready to stop there. I already have three shops—the original, which used to be called Dolly’s Cut ‘n Curl, one in Hattiesburg that formerly held the title Goldy’s Locks, and the salon where my current office is located in Jackson. In honor of the first, they are all called Prissy’s Cut ’n Curl, although I’m seriously considering changing the name to something a little trendier since I’m planning to expand. I mean, really, can you imagine anyone in New York City telling her friends she gets her hair done at the Cut ‘n Curl? Besides, I hate being called Prissy.

I’ll never forget Mother’s reaction when she found out I’d dropped out of my first semester of college and enrolled at the Pretty and Proud School of Cosmetology. You’d have thought I announced I wanted to pledge Phi Mu or something. No offense to anyone in Phi Mu. It’s just that Mother was a Chi Omega, and that makes me a legacy, which carries even more clout than being Miss Piney Point, something I never was. Mother would have had a fit if I’d even suggested entering a beauty contest. So when I met some of the Chi Omegas at Ole Miss, I was surprised by how many of them were beauty queens—something Mother never mentioned.

My parents are academics and they’re proud of it. Mother is a professor of English, and Dad is the head of the history department at the Piney Point Community College, but you’d think they were tenured professors at an Ivy League school the way they carry on.

I missed lunch today and my stomach’s grumbling. But when the noise turns to hissing, I relent and pull a Lean Cuisine from the freezer. I know how to cook, but it seems rather pointless to do that for one. I also know that one Lean Cuisine isn’t enough, so while it heats in the microwave, I grab a bag of salad and dump the contents into a bowl. Then I chop a tomato, grab a few olives, and pour a tablespoon of ranch dressing on top. I step back and study the salad before I squirt another tablespoon or two. The salad’s full of fiber and the Lean Cuisine is low-fat, so I figure that balances out the extra calories.

Just as I’m about to sit down and enjoy dinner, the phone rings. It has to be Mother, I think. She’s the only one who ever calls my house phone. I hesitate, but my daughterly duties overcome me. What if she needs something? I’d never be able to live with the guilt if I didn’t answer an important call from the woman who gave birth to me after twenty hours of labor—or so she tells folks when they ask why I’m an only child.

“Did you get your invitation yet?” she asks without letting me finish my hello. “Are you planning on going?”

Leave it to Mother to know about the reunion before me. “Yes . . . well, probably.”

“There’s really no point, Priscilla. After all, it’s all about showing off all your accomplishments, and it’s not like you’ve made all that much of your life.”

I bite my tongue, as I always have. I want to let Mother know how I really feel, but talking back has never gotten me anywhere with her, so I somehow manage to keep my yap shut. She takes that as encouragement to keep going.

“That silly-frilly little job of yours will get old one of these days, and then what will you do?”

To enter the giveaway, please complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open worldwide and will close at 12:00 AM on July 19, 2013.
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Tour Participants

Monday, July 1 – Book Featured at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Tuesday, July 2 – Book Review at The Mary Book Reader
Wednesday, July 3 – Book Review at Splashes of Joy
Friday, July 5 – Book Review at A Peek at My Bookshelf
Monday, July 8 – Book Review & Character Guest Post at Reader Girls
Monday, July 8 – Book Review & Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Tuesday, July 9 – Book Review at Kaisy Daisy Book Reviews
Wednesday, July 10 – Book Featured at Authors & Readers Book Corner
Thursday, July 11 – Book Review at Popcorn Reads
Friday, July 12 – Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at Darlene’s Book Nook
Saturday, July 13 – Guest Blogging at Books a la Mode
Sunday, July 14 – Book Review at Thoughts in Progress
Monday, July 15 – Book Review at Melissa’s Midnight Musings
Monday, July 15 – Book Review at Steph the Bookworm
Monday, July 15 – Book Review at My Life One Story at a Time
Tuesday, July 16 – Book Feature & Giveaway at Celtic Lady’s Reviews
Tuesday, July 16 – Book Review at Queen of All She Reads
Wednesday, July 17 – Book Review at Community Bookstop
Thursday, July 18 – Interview & Book Giveaway at Janna Shay’s Fair Play
Thursday, July 18 – Book Review at My Devotional Thoughts
Friday, July 19 – Book Review at By the Book
Friday, July 19 – Book Review & Giveaway at Mary’s Cup of Tea
Monday, July 22 – Book Review at Fictional Candy
Monday, July 22 – Book Review at Moonlight Lace & Mayhem
Monday, July 22 – Book Review at Sweet Southern Home
Tuesday, July 23 -  Book Review at My Cozy Corner
Tuesday, July 23 – Book Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Wednesday, July 24 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Wednesday, July 24 – Book Review & Giveaway at The Self-Taught Cook
Thursday, July 25 – Book Review at Dr. Pepper Diva
Thursday, July 25 – Book Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Friday, July 26 – Book Review at Melina’s Book Blog


  1. This sounds interesting Darlene, thanks for sharing the excerpt and I enjoyed reading the guest post.

  2. The only thing I can think that I wanted, and now I want to just throw in the ocean, is the printer I bought because it had FAX. It's been nothing but trouble & I have NEVER sent a FAX.

  3. Interesting post. One time I really wanted to be with a guy who had a girlfriend, but when finally we were together. Well, he was not whom I wanted to be with. :) We are really complicated people, we want things that are not meant to be for us.


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