Book 184: STILETTO 911 Review

There are numerous self-help books on everything from dieting to becoming a better person, parent, or friend, etc. There are even books written about becoming more successful in what you may want to achieve, but I wager none of them are as a delightful as Stiletto 911: The Makeover Manifesto of a Career Woman by Vivian Valtas Schmidt and Sue Publicover.


No, this makeover has nothing to do with cosmetics. This is the ultimate DIY makeover, a makeover of self. The authors provide great hints and cues for starting anew to achieve the goals you have set. These goals are provided in neat little footnote boxes accompanied by a shadowed stiletto shoe at the end of each chapter. The focal point of each chapter is the life and makeover of Morgan Demarest. Morgan is a 23-year-old that has been spoiled by life. She left her parents and moved in with her artist lover, Pavlo. Her parents provided for her every need and now Pavlo is doing the same thing by supplementing her income with his credit cards. Morgan is a woman that gets her fulfillment from retail therapy. She has a job but she still isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life. Needless to say she is not so pleasantly surprised when she returns “home” one day to endure a rant from Pavlo because she is focusing more on her shopping finds than him. This becomes the turning point in Morgan’s life, especially when her BFF is too busy with a new paramour to allow her to spend the night. She decides to turn to her father, only to find out that he has sold his apartment and moved out more than two months ago. 




As Morgan views and reviews her life and attempts to decide where to go, she ponders the question of what is she passionate about, what drives her. In this modern day pseudo-fairy tale, there is a fairy godmother, Divinity, to assist Morgan in her quest. Others that provide input and guidance include a mentor in the form of Elizabeth Tanner-Freitag, a small business owner, and a new love interest, Sam Baxter. 


The story doesn’t exactly end with a happy ever after but a hopeful ever after, which is much better. The “footnotes” provide a spotlight on each chapter’s message and provide the reader with questions to aid in a personal makeover quest. As I previously mentioned, I loved the idea of the chapter footnotes and highlights, such as don’t dwell on the past but always learn from it or happiness doesn’t come from others but from within . . . trite perhaps but very apropos. The authors have done an excellent job in providing guidelines for change and becoming a self-mentor in order to succeed. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book but I can say that I actually enjoyed reading it and appreciated the helpful hints throughout. Look for Stiletto 911: The Makeover Manifesto for a Career Woman on its release date of 09/18/2011. Until then you can check out www.stiletto911.com for tons of helpful thoughts and suggestions in starting work on the ultimate DIY makeover . . . you!


Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Book 169: LIFE FROM SCRATCH Review

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, unless you’re Rachel Goldman then you might make lemon custard or use the lemon to roast a chicken. Rachel Goldman is the main character in Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford. Rachel has just gone through a divorce and must decide what she wants to do with her life. 


Rachel is a 34-four-year old woman that was married for 12 years and has been divorced for less than a year. She has taken sabbatical from her job as a graphic artist working for the New York Public Library. She didn’t hate her job but she just isn’t quite sure what she wants to do, so she decides to learn how to cook and document it on a blog. Rachel thinks of her blog as a food or cooking blog but after she’s nominated for and wins a Bloscar  (an award for various blogs in assorted genres), she realizes that her blog is basically an online diary and the best therapy available. Her other “therapist” and confidante is her best friend Arianna.


Post-divorce Rachel discovers that she enjoys being an aunt since she never had children. She also learns that she has been a lousy friend by ignoring what has been happening (or not happening) in Arianna’s life. It was somewhat amusing to see Rachel fall in lust with Gael, the Spaniard with the gorgeous smile. At first glance they seem to be made for one another with their similar interests, but Gael isn’t the man Rachel thinks he is or exactly what she wants. What she discovers she wants is her ex-husband…pre-law practice. Ultimately Rachel discovers that life goes on after a divorce, it may take awhile to grieve over the relationship but that’s fine. Rachel seems to epitomize the average woman that has gone through a non-acrimonious divorce. You may not be able to go back and change the past but you can start from scratch using the lessons learned from past experiences and mistakes. Life From Scratch is a sometimes humorous but realistic look at life after divorce. A quick and good read for anyone…married or single!


Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”