Friday, 18 April 2014

Dangled Carat - by Hilary Grossman + Q&A

Original Cover
My own copy

The blurb:

Hilary had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship—why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose. But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved. Unfortunately, Marc still wasn’t ready—and their friends’ meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year’s Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point. In this relatable, lighthearted, and playful memoir, Hilary reminisces about her life before Marc—from the insecure and awkward teenage years she spent in a back brace and dealing with the loss of her father, to her early relationships and, finally, to the day she met Marc and realized that she really wanted to see him again. Through their first date—even though Hilary was technically seeing someone else at the time—and the ease of their early time together until Marc first decided that they were moving too quickly, up until that fateful New Year’s Eve, Hilary shares the details of their relationship and how Marc’s inability to commit led her to find an inner strength and confidence she didn’t know she possessed. For anyone who has ever dated a commitment-phobe, who has found their patience wearing thin with the one they love, or who has sat around wondering if he is ever going to pop the question while trying to remain the very picture of patience and grace, Hilary's humorous and honest story will hit home.

My Opinion:

*Book provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

It’s been a while since I read a memior, but I was so happy and excited when Hilary asked me to review her book, her personal story.

It takes a lot of courage to share your own story and big parts of your life with the whole world. I admire Hilary so much for sharing her story and writing a book about it.

This is such a lovely and wonderful story. I loved getting to know Hilary and her whole personality. I thought that she found a great way to get the reader into the story and dercribe her own emotions and feelings.
At moments I was really feeling with her and wanting to help her!

It was so great tob e taken on a journey of Hilary and Mark’s relationship, how it developed and with what both of them had to fight. Hilary was really patient and always believed in the good things.
I must admit I got annyoed with Mark from time to time and just wanted him to see the light and express his feelings.

Another thing I loved was all their family members and friends included in the story and how they all interacted with each other.

The scenes and dates between Hilary and Mark were really cute and described in such a believable and passiante way.

They story was always connected to their past as well and what childhood they had.

A true story, written with so much heart. Wonderful :)


Image and video hosting by TinyPic The lovely Hilary Grossman not only sent me a copy of her book, she also agreed to answer some of my questions, thank you hun, xxx.

Hi! I am Hilary! I dated a guy so commitment-phobic that I was able to write a book about our relationship! I am also the CFO of a beverage alcohol importer and live on Long Island.

here are some random facts about me....
* I am a klutz... I walk into walls and fall off my shoes (flats too - not only the skyscraper heels)
* I have an unhealthy addiction to denim... Oh, and add shoes to my addiction list while you are at it please...
* I am the worst singer imaginable. When I was a waitress, I would get tipped extra not to sing happy birthday!
* I am a righty, but I can also write with my left hand. When I was little, I also taught myself how to write with my foot. 
* I used to be a very shy and quiet girl....But, wow, did that ever change
* I love to laugh, and find humor in the every day

* My life long dream was to write a book. Now my dream is a reality. I hope you like it!


      1. Did you always dream of being a writer?
I did, but it wasn’t something I actually thought I would     accomplish!  I always toyed with the idea of writing a book,     and about 18 years ago, when the Soprano’s were the rage,       started writing a Mafia book - quite different than Dangled         Carat :) I wrote 80 pages and then just stopped, never to    return to it.  Then about four years ago, I got tired of      dreaming, so I started my blog, Feeling Beachie, as a form of          practice to see if I would have the wherewithal to actually stick to writing...

      2. Dangled Carat is a memoir and describes your own story. What made you share it with your readers?

While many of the things that happened to me (two faux engagement parties, for example) were very unique being involved in a relationship with a commitment-phobe is a very common situation.  I felt that my story was something that so many women could relate to.

But more than that, I wanted to share my story in the hopes that I could help someone else who was in the same situation.  It is a very difficult position to be in. Everyone in your life has an opinion and “advice”.  You always seem to be second guessing yourself and your actions.  My desire to help has been accomplished! I recently received an email from a self described commitment-phobic male reader who shared that after reading the book he realized some of the ways that he has sabotaged his relationships in the past.  He completely related to Marc.  He also told me how he learned that he has to go at his own pace regardless of what the other person seems to want - it will either work or not. He also learned that he has to communicate his feelings and just relax - enjoy the moment and let nature take it’s course - rather than worry about what tomorrow will bring.  This new attitude has kept him in a relationship that he would have already ended in the past!

      3. What does your family think about you being a writer and especially about sharing your own story in Dangled Carat?

They really are getting a kick out of it... My mom has been my best salesperson.  She lives in senior community in Florida and she has been telling all her neighbors about the book.  She often strolls down to the pool and spots someone reading the book.   She loves when someone introduces her as “the author’s mom.”  Most of the people closest to me in my life made it into the book and everyone has been so supportive along the way. I really have a great cast of characters in my life!

      4. You live by the sea. How does that feel?

I am very fortunate, I have lived my entire life within 15 miles of the sea. But now I live on the beach, which is a total dream come true. It is amazing to wake up every morning and gaze at the ocean. I love the fragrant scent the sea provides. And it is just so freeing to be able to just walk on the sand every single day if you chose.  Although, the frigid NY weather this winter made me choose to stay inside :)

But for all the beauty comes a cost... Almost two years ago, Hurricane Sandy slammed the barrier island that is my home.  The ocean made it’s way into my den, destroying much of my home.  Our community was wrecked, and we were without power for almost a month as we had to clean up and cart out all of our destroyed possessions...

      5. What are you working on right now?

I have just started a work of fiction... But unfortunately I haven’t gotten to far :( It is about a mother and daughter who have a rocky relationship, but that may all change when the mom gets engaged and enlists her daughter’s help in planning the wedding.

      6. The cover for Dangle Carat is gorgeous and catchy. How was it developed?

Thank you so much!  I knew that I wanted a solitaire engagement ring to be the focal point of the cover. I also knew I wanted the background to be turquoise (like a Tiffany box).  Glendon Haddix of Streetlight Graphics took those desires and worked his magic and created the cover of my dreams...

       7. Where and when do you write your stories?

As a CFO of a beverage alcohol importer, I have a very high pressure / long hour day job.  So the only time I can devote to writing is on the weekends. I don’t want to look at a computer when I get home at night. I wrote Dangled Carat entirely on the weekends.  During the eight months or so I wrote my first draft, all I did all weekend long was sit at my dining room table and write.
      8. What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

I am a beach bum, so in the summer, you will find me on the beach, Kindle in hand.  I also love to cook.  I used to crochet as well, but I gave it up because there isn’t enough hours in the day. And if you want to really see me smile, bring me to a shoe store!

      9. Who is your favourite author and why?

Jen Lancaster.  Before I read her first memoir, Bitter is the New Black, I didn’t know what a memoir or a blog was.  Within weeks of finishing the book, I decided to start my blog! So, in a round about way, if not for Jen there would be no Dangled Carat...

      10. If you were shipwrecked on a desert island what 3 books would you want with you?

It’s All Relative by Wade Rouse - this book cracks me up and if I am shipwrecked, I will need a good laugh!

Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock - this is one of those books where nothing is as it seems and you can read over and over and keep picking up something new. 

A notebook - so I can write and doodle...

      11. How would you describe your style of writing?

Sort of conversational.  I try to write the way I would tell a story if I was hanging out with the reader drinking a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

      12. You also write short stories. How is that different from writing a novel?

This is a hard question!  I never thought about it.  I hate running, but I guess it would be like taking a jog through the neighborhood or training for a marathon...   Writing my short stories for my blog is a fun little exercise.  I get my thoughts and feelings out, and I feel great afterwards. Writing a book, while fun, is a very long process that you really have to commit to.  It also haunts you, part of your mind is always with your work in progress...

      13. Is there research about locations and places involved when you write a story?

Since Dangled Carat was a memoir, all the places mentioned in the book were places I was at.  When I read I never care much about the locations.  I am more interested in the drama of the story. That is why I didn’t elaborate too much on locations.

      14. Coffee or tea?

Coffee!  I mainline half a pot every morning.  But I am a coffee snob - I grind fresh beans for every cup!

     15. Paperback or e-reader?

E-reader - I love the flexibility that you can get a new book any time you want and have your entire library with you where ever you go..

     16. Mountains or the sea?

Sea!  I am a total beach bum!

      17. Summer or winter?

Summer - I hate the cold!

      18. Sweet or salty?

Neither. I am a spice lover!

Hilary on Twitter: @feelingbeachie


  1. Thank you so much for your review and welcoming me to your blog! I am so excited that Dangled Carat got to visit Switzerland. One day I hope to as well!

    1. You're very welcome :) Oh, let me know when you come :) xx

  2. at the rate I am going…. The next book will be there before me! Have a great holiday! XOXO