Review+ INT Giveaway: Cassidy Lane: A Novel by Maria Murnane

Blurb: From the author who brought us the unforgettable Waverly Bryson and the bestselling Perfect on Paper series.

Bestselling author Cassidy Lane walks into her twentieth high school reunion with several novels under her belt, but no date on her arm, and deep down she still feels like the smart girl no one asked to the prom. Then handsome Brandon Forrester confesses his teenage crush, and soon Cassidy finds herself swept up in a modern-day fairytale romance not unlike the tales she spins for a living. While their relationship blossoms, however, the new book she’s writing isn't going as well, and for the first time in her career she considers crafting an ending that doesn't include a proverbial walk into the sunset. Contemplating the simultaneous reversal of her own romantic fortune and that of her protagonist’s is daunting, but maybe it’s time for both her writing and her personal life to take a new path. Or is it?
Filled with Murnane’s trademark wit and optimism, a charming cast of secondary characters, and loads of heart, Cassidy Lane will have you cheering for its heroine down to the very last delightful word.

                                            MY SYNOPSIS

Imagine this: What’s your stance towards high school reunions? Hesitant to attend or eager to show up? The feeling is mixed, for you actually. It’s fun to go see who’s bloated the size of a barnyard, or who became what, and who’s still a bitch. When you are forty, you look out for:

1. Who is recently divorced?
2. Who's had their face done and by whom?
3. Who is close to death, faced by an illness or is aging like a breakup letter received with ire?

Your high school life wasn’t what everyone would wish their high school life would be. You weren’t asked to Prom. You didn’t have the body of a cheerleader. You had crushes on the jocks who didn’t notice you. And even the nerds couldn’t even acknowledge you, because who would like to be a braces-wearing geek anyway? But your best pal wouldn’t let you decide against attending. So you have no option than to face your past, which was much of a blur to everyone else anyway. And hark, you are not only going a successful writer with so many books under your belt, you are going single. There’s a whole look they give to single spinsters at forty in a high school reunion and you would soon find out.

You admit to yourself, you were overreacting a bit. The high school reunion didn’t turn out bad, or great either. The cheerleaders have grown the size of Cindy Crawford’s mole. Jocks that had muscular thighs and legs as long as Lindsay Lohan’s criminal records now have arthritis. Apparently rehabs couldn’t contain the crack junkies. The dorky nerd whose proximity determines the degree of your embarrassment, is still who she is, except she might be a mother of two (equally dorky kids). The school bitch, is still pretty, plastic and divorced. But there’s someone you never noticed, someone whose transformation has taken on a ‘woah’ factor according to everyone. Brandon Forrester.

So what if you get back to New York and everything returns to normal? Your life is as solitary and mundane as ever, being a successful writer and all. Your deadline, as though it isn’t already looming, has been pushed forward. The pressure to produce something that might be your finest to date is daunting. You know reading fan mails are the only perks of your job.  But what if you open your inbox one time, and saw Brandon Forrester, an email from him. With your deadline, you can’t afford to be distracted. It isn’t an option. But what if you reply, and within a twinkling, he does back? Then the messages keep piling, and piling. Can a long distance relationship work, you begin asking yourself. And even if it can, perhaps, can you rewrite your entire high school life and get back the happy ending you missed out on when no one asked you for prom?

Cassidy Lane’s life summed up for your delight!                                        


The story-line of this book is a winner. Reunions, forty year olds, life after high school, spinsterhood. Perfect! I mean, who hasn’t wanted to find out what their high school mates have become after over twenty years. Another reason to be nuts for Murnane’s settings.──

Everyone wants to write full-time these days, a few people have accomplished that. So the appeal this story would hold to all the wannabe full-timers, shouldn’t be debatable. Not only wannabe writers per se, on odd days who wouldn’t wish they had their work right at home. The perks are that perky. The trip to the fridge is short, you have no boss looming around to call on your mistakes, and perhaps no one to monitor if your emails are work-related, no one to tell you when you can leave work and when to actually work at work. To create a character like Cassidy who’s very relatable──on the outside appears very successful, an equation we give to all full-timers, but behind closed doors not really feel like the million-dollar book deal she is, is what would draw in readers to pick this title.──

The in-depth view into Cassidy’s life would also win another star from me. The thing about writing what you know really comes into play for Maria Murnane here. It’s an insightful take on what really goes on behind the pastel chick-lit covers. The struggle to stay focused, the editors who keep pushing forward the deadlines, the writers’ workshops you are invited to speak at with the pressure of what to give away and what-not-to-tell, the fear of losing your fans if you ditch the ‘walk into the sunset’ endings for a more realistic one, the fight to stay inspired always around everyone and everywhere. This book puts down the notion that after signing a book deal with a big, big Traditional Publishing house, all is roses. Perhaps the most annoying feature into that aspect of a full-time writer’s life would be the fact that, whatever happens, whatever masterpiece you create, you are always, always going to be among the D-List of celebrities (when even shits like the Jersey Shore cast are proportioning to incredible levels).──

I had some fav characters that made reading this book fun. Danielle and Patti, the kickass friends, were the stars of this book. Brandon Forrester was also one of the characters I constantly looked forward to reading about. I wish like him (and me of course) all men knew women hated mixed signals and men who keep them thinking on their feet for meaning to their words.──

The humor is subtle. I loved Cassidy’s voice, very insightful, very without-the-fluff (which is basically saying, very forty). And it has been very well established I love Older Women Books.──

The suspense in this book is very unsettling. One feature that got me glued to this book. I wanted to find out what would happen, and perhaps test its predictability. But Maria Murnane never made her plot stand out like a skanky see-through top, it was all fed at a read, no prescience by me could figure the turn of events. But thinking of it, that’s just life. A feature about this book that makes it very realistic.  I wished though, it wasn’t that rigid. I wish it was a bit predictable enough for me not to slash one of its stars into a half.──

So my rating: 4.5 stars!

Buy Cassidy Lane, Maria Murnane’s so-true-to-life latest on Amazon in both kindle and paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Cassidy-Lane-Maria-Murnane/dp/1477849947

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cassidy-lane-maria-murnane/1117243364?ean=9781477849941

Three print copies are up for grabs. This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway. Enter the rafflecopter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

I recommend this book to anyone who loves their women’s fiction very real. Anyone who wants anything that’s not easy to predict at all. Anyone who loves their Women’s fiction with ample romance to keep them glued. Anyone who has always wondered what goes behind closed doors of very successful authors should also pick up this title.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.  


  1. I love Maria Murnane's novels and I can't wait to read this one! If I had to choose changes to flaunt it would be both my job and my husband.

  2. I would change my job and hair styles

  3. After having 3 children I would want to change my body shape to how it was in High School.

  4. the fact that im happy and dont care what they think

  5. That it didn't matter what happened in school, I'm a strong woman, no one could break me :) IM HAPPY!!

  6. Maybe some confidence? :D very shy during high school years :) thanks for this awesome giveaway! :D

  7. I went through a lot during my last year of high school and I would love to go back to a reunion, showing them what a success I've made of my life, extremely happily married to a wonderful man, with so much more self-confidence and the attitude that I no longer care what they think of me!

  8. Thank you for the email saying I have won a copy of the book, I will really enjoy reading this.