Monday, May 6, 2013

On Tour: Unexpecting by Lori Verni-Fogarsi, an Excerpt, and a Slew of Giveaways!

Shelley and David are a couple of almost-empty-nesters preparing to embark on the next stage of their life. They've just ordered white furniture and are planning the vacation they've waited their entire lives to take.

Their lives are catapulted in a completely different direction when Alexandra, seventeen and pregnant, shows up on their doorstep and announces that she's the daughter they never knew they had! Their life becomes filled with dilemmas as they add not only another child, but also a baby to a household that was just about to become serene.

Shelley feels like she no longer fits in anywhere and to top it off, having two teenaged girls suddenly plunged into being sisters and school mates is not exactly warm and fuzzy. When Alexandra's behavior becomes erratic, the couple is faced with even tougher decisions to make.

Hold on for an emotional yet witty ride as you join this family of characters in a story of love, loyalty, heartbreak, and humor that will stay with you long after you turn the last page! ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts about Unexpecting ~~

Lori's books have caught my eye ever since I saw the cover of her first novel, Momnesia (which you have a chance to win, btw). I just love that cover and everything that is stands for. I have since come to realize that Lori is a warm and caring person with a great sense of humor. So when I had a chance to read her newest book, I just knew I had to sign up for the tour.

Unexpecting is a story about a couple with a blended family. They are nearing the light at the end of the tunnel and will soon be empty-nesters, all four kids will be out of the house. But, oh no, just wait ~ a daughter that David never knew he had shows up at their doorstep, right before her senior year in high school. And she's pregnant! Surprise! Her mother had just passed away and she had nowhere else to go.

The family takes her in as one of their own but she feels she cannot live up to their 'perfectness'. And ..... you guessed it. Trouble ensues! Big troubles!!
'Alex, we don't think we're perfect. No one in the universe is perfect. We're just a family of regular people doing our best. Trying to make good choices, be good people, do the right thing. And that's all we're asking of you, too.'
I really enjoyed the story and could totally relate to Shelley; four kids of my own and trying to be the strong one, the one with the plan. It's not always easy but we just keep on, keepin' on.

There is a lot of drama in this story but then what family with teens and young adults doesn't have a ton of drama in it? What is interesting is how all those different family members react to all that drama. Unexpecting has a 'real' feeling to it - these things do happen in families.

And then you have Lori's sense of humor poking through every once in awhile.
' .... talked to the kids about safe sex. They talked about how hard life is, how much everything costs, how it's better to wait until you're able to manage your own responsibilities. She utilized brevity when talking with the boys while still emphasizing that, "condoms prevent minivans."' (I love that line!)
And talking about one's body after childbirth ~
'mourning the flat stomach she used to have, which had become the disgruntled home of what she not at all fondly referred to as her Chicken Belly Flap Thing.' (been there ~ done that!)
'Momnesia (mahm-nee-zhuh) - noun-
Loss of memory of who you used to be.'
Love these lines! And love the book! I will definitely be watching for Lori's future books to see where she takes us next! Enjoy this little excerpt to get a taste of what is in store for you. And then check out all the giveaways at the bottom of the post. Come back tomorrow when Lori will be telling us a little bit about how she writes her stories, in particular how this one came about.

An excerpt from Unexpecting
The End of Their Marriage? (From Chapter 26) Background: The adult kids chipped in and bought the couple a weekend at a bed & breakfast….

    Their weekend in Boone began fantastically but lost its momentum rather quickly. Or, it might be more accurate to say that it came to a screeching halt. Two screeching halts… followed by a flaming wreck.
    After saying goodbye to the kids—who, miraculously, had organized their schedules on their own so that someone was always available for Patrick—the couple hit the road nice and early, stopping only for gas and fresh coffee on the way up. It was a sparkling summer day, one of those that reminds you of where the phrase “Carolina Blue Skies” comes from, and as the car rose into the mountains, the lush, green foliage became thicker and thicker, the air offering a crispness that made you feel fresh, inside and out.
    The bed and breakfast was nice enough, with clean sheets on the full-sized bed in their tiny room, and a charming claw-footed tub in the bathroom they shared with three other guest rooms. Relieved that the kids hadn’t spent as much as they’d anticipated, they enjoyed the accommodations for what they were: a really nice gift arranged by their children.
    Having arrived just before lunchtime, they chose to have it delivered to their room, where they ate the little tea sandwiches and chocolate-dipped strawberries on their bed while looking out the window at the view of the rolling hills. They chatted about what they were going to do the rest of the weekend, looking through the brochures that included options such as climbing Grandfather Mountain, driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, visiting a local winery, and other tourist attractions. After narrowing down the choices, they took a nap, and then headed out in the early evening to walk the downtown area in Boone, which was about three blocks long and mainly consisted of bars filled with college kids.
    A few drinks and a nice dinner at a steakhouse later, they strolled back to their room holding hands. Shelley had planned ahead by ordering a bottle of wine and leaving it to chill in an ice bucket while they were out. David was looking considerably more relaxed than of late, and she felt the pleasant hum of having enjoyed a relaxing evening beside her best friend.
    They chatted about their plans for the next day, about how they were going to head to Blowing Rock, the next town over, where they could visit the Bob Timberlake Art Gallery, a wine shop, do some antique browsing, and the like. Stepping into the bathroom, Shelley locked the other three doors but only closed their door partway so they could still chat while she slipped into something more comfortable.
    David was talking about the historic town square as she slid her nightie over her head. A chocolate brown silk with elegant cream lace trim, she knew it was his favorite, sure to get a “rise” out of him any time she wore it. This was a no-holds-barred attempt to cheer him up and she’d done her best to think of every detail.
    Quickly unlocking the other three doors, then making a run for it into their room, she giggled as she charged toward David, fully expecting him to be smiling just as she’d heard in his voice moments earlier. Which is why she was so taken aback when his face dropped into a sad expression the minute he saw her.
    “What’s the matter?”
    “Do I have something on me?” she asked nervously. “Like a stain or something?” She walked over to the small mirror on the back of their room door but didn’t see anything wrong. Her hair was fine, pinned up with a few tendrils coming down in a kind of sexy way. She looked fresh and clean—no toothpaste on her lingerie—she even noted that her nipples were hard, creating quite a fetching image if she might say so herself.
    “No. Nothing. You look great.”
    Walking back over to where he was sitting on the bed she said, “So what’s wrong?”
    He just shook his head and looked sadder than she’d ever seen him.
    “Babe, talk to me. What happened? We were just chatting and now you look so sad!”
    “I just can’t do this. I can’t do this anymore.” He continued to shake his head.
    “Can’t do what? What’s wrong?”
    “I want a divorce.”


“A divorce! What are you talking about?” Appalled, she knew she had to have heard wrong.
    “I just can’t do this anymore.”
    “Do what anymore? Are you telling me you’ve been secretly unhappy in our marriage?”
    “I can’t take all the stress. It’s too much.” He continued to shake his head.
    “And you think the stress is going to go away by divorcing me? The stress has been coming from the kids, David, not from me!”
    “I’m really tired. I’m going to sleep.” He went to his side of the bed, took off his shirt and jeans, and got under the covers.
    “Going to sleep!” She could hear the hysteria in her voice. “You can’t just say something like that and then turn over and go to sleep!”
    “Yes I can.”
    “No, you can’t!” She walked over and perched on the edge of the bed next to him, noting that he didn’t scootch over like he normally would.
    Trying to calm her shaking voice and sound soothing she said, “Babe, I know you’re under a lot of stress. We both are. But surely you don’t actually want to get divorced?”
    “It’s all I ever think about.”
    “All you ever think about?” She was utterly stupefied. “David, we don’t even fight! I thought we were happy. Just a few minutes ago we were out to dinner and holding hands!”
    “I know.”
    “You can’t possibly mean this. Are you having a nervous breakdown or something?”
    He sighed heavily, as if she were an annoying toddler who kept asking Why.
    “I just want to go to sleep, Shelley. Good night.”
    “David, our marriage has been like a dream come true for both of us. We have the best relationship I could imagine! Surely you don’t think you’re going to hit me with something like this and then just roll over and go to sleep?”
    He sighed again and pulled the blanket further up to his neck.
    “Are you having an affair?”
    “Well then what is it? I don’t understand!”
    “We can talk about it tomorrow. I just want to go to sleep now. Leave me alone.”
    All at once her adrenaline surged so that she felt tingly in her arms and legs. Her throat thickened and tears streamed out of her like a faucet had been turned on. She simply couldn’t fathom any of this. Not that he wanted a divorce. Not that he would spring this on her and then go to sleep. None of it.
    “You’re hurting me so much David,” she sobbed. “How can you be like this?”
    He just ignored her.
    Hating the pathetic whine in her voice and the snot bubbling from her nose, she kept at it for a while, thinking that this was not the man she’d been married to for more than ten years and that there must be some logical explanation for this. What that could possibly be, she had no idea, but this… situation, was completely beyond the sphere of reality.
    David shot up into a sitting position and roared at the top of his lungs, “Shelley! Just leave me the fuck alone so I can go to sleep!”
    “Do you hear yourself? Why are you talking to me like this? What the hell is going on here?” she ranted.
    There was a knock at the door and a stern masculine voice, “Is everything okay in there?” It was Thad, the owner of the bed and breakfast.
    Shelley went to the door and cracked it open. “Yes, we’re fine. I’m sorry, we’ll be sure to quiet down.”
    She could see the pity in his eyes as he said, “Are you okay, ma’am? Just want to make sure everyone is safe and sound?”
    Greeat. Now we have the hosts thinking my husband must beat me or something.
    “We’re fine. I’m sorry for the outburst. Just a little lover’s quarrel is all.”
    “Okay then. Good night.”
    “Thank you,” she said, closing the door gently.
    “See? Look what you did,” David said. “Now you’ve disturbed everyone.”
    “I’ve disturbed everyone!” she whispered angrily. “You're the one screaming your head off and acting like an alien!”
    “Are you happy now? You’ve kept me up and made a scene. I’m going to sleep.”
    Frustrated beyond measure, confused like she’d never been before, her heart breaking and her mind racing, she knew there was no point in trying to continue with this tonight. “Fine David. If you’re able to go to sleep, have at it.”
    He didn’t say anything. Just hunkered down in the bed and was snoring within minutes.
    Shelley spent the night pacing the room like a caged animal, alternately screaming into a pillow, reminding herself to breathe, and having dry heaves in the bathroom. The thought of getting into the bed with David was unimaginable. Plus, she wasn’t the least bit tired, and there was simply nowhere else to go in the tiny little room. She thought she was going to go insane.
    Finally, her throat raw and her stomach sore from heaving, she lay on the very edge of the small bed as far away from David as possible. The last thing she remembered was noticing that the sun was coming up and that it would probably be beautiful if her life wasn’t coming to an end.

About the author

Lori Verni-Fogarsi has been an author, speaker, and small business consultant since 1995. She has been featured in major media including Lifetime Women’s Network, the My Carolina Today Show, and Boston Globe Forums Live.

Her public speaking has occurred at many prestigious venues including North Carolina State University, Nassau Community College, and many more.

She has received two awards for her novel, Momnesia, and her nonfiction, Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies and Adult Dogs, continues to be one of the most highly recommended in its genre since 2005.

Lori is a happy married mom of two, step mom of two more, and has two cats, both rotten. Originally a native New Yorker, she now divides her time between Raleigh, NC, and Lake Gaston, VA.

She is very excited about the release of Unexpecting, and looks forward to her book tour, interviews, launch parties, and other festivities!

Connect with Lori

Giveaway #1

**Everyone who leaves a comment on Lori’s tour page (click here) will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Unexpecting before May 13 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**

Giveaway #2

This giveaway is for a paperback or Kindle copy of Lori's book, Momnesia. This giveaway is International but the paperback copy has to be mailed to a US address. Thank you Lori, for offering a copy of your fabulous book to one of my lucky followers!

Giveaway #3

Lori is also holding a giant giveaway for a
$100 Amazon gift card or a Kindle Fire .... Winner's Choice!!

Head on over to her website.
Or enter the Rafflecopter below.

And be sure to check the sidebar for my other giveaways!


  1. Such a good book, I couldn't put it down!

  2. Thanks so much for featuring me on your blog during the tour, and I'm really glad you enjoyed the book! Your kind words and selective quotes really make me feel great! Hope your visitors enjoy it and that they'll enjoy my books too, if they decide to read them! Good luck, everyone, with the giveaways, too!


Thanks SO much for leaving me a comment! Every single one means a whole lot to me!

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