Monday, October 22, 2012

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister (Review, Guest Post)

In Need of TherapyLending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart? 

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger. 

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.

"The next step is for you to start viewing women as something other than sex objects.’ Mitch looked confused. “What else are they?” Somewhere on the planet, Gloria Steinem let loose a primal scream."

Tracie Banister

Image of Tracie BanisterAn avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play that she penned (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she, also, starred in and tried to direct the production.) 

Her dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, Tracie decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Her debut novel, the Hollywood-themed BLAME IT ON THE FAME, was released in January, 2012. And she's following that up with the fun summer read, IN NEED OF THERAPY.
Tracie blogs about books and other fun stuff at

“Well, I wasn’t going to mention this, but I saw Victor at Mynt the other night. He was in the VIP room, drinking Cristal out of Leighton Meester’s La Perla bra.” “She wasn’t in it at the time, was she?” ‘No, he won the bra from her in a game of strip limbo.”

Guest Post

Where the Magic Happens

Simon, the loudest member of the Cocker Chorus
I'm always amazed when I read about other authors writing their books when they're on the train, or in the library, or standing in line at Starbucks.  I wish I could be that flexible, but I'm a creature of habit and can only write when I'm in a controlled environment.  Everything I've ever written (fan fiction, short stories, novels, even blog posts) has been created while I was sitting at my desk in my office, tapping away on the keyboard of my desktop computer (That's right.  I like to kick it old-school.  No laptops for me!)  I love the comfort and solitude of my office.  The d├ęcor is simple - a build-it-yourself desk from Office Depot, a chair that doesn't kill my back, moss green walls (The color green is said to have a calming effect, and it also improves reading ability.) that are adorned with framed posters of Broadway shows (All art inspires and motivates me, so having these posters in my creative space reminds me not only of wonderful theater-going  experiences, but what can be accomplished when you follow your dreams.)   
One of the nice things about working in the same space day after day is that I always have my favorite creativity-inspiring tchotchkes within arm's reach – a Shakespeare paperweight that my brother picked up for me in Stratford-on-Avon when he was studying abroad and hanging from The Bard’s neck is a silver pendant given to me by one of my dearest friends.  The inscription on the pendant says, “Never give up.”  I touch the top of Shakespeare’s head and the pendant every morning before I begin work on my computer.
My nice (quiet) office

I am easily distracted and have a difficult time focusing unless it's quiet, which it usually is in my office.  I say 'usually,' because I am sometimes treated to a serenade by the Cocker Chorus aka my three rescue dogs who feel it is their duty to report any movement in the neighborhood to me. J  Despite their occasional disturbances of the peace, my dogs are very good company when I'm writing.  They're wonderful listeners, so I can bounce story ideas off of them.  And when I feel stuck or frustrated with what I'm working on, giving one of my pooches a belly rub for a few minutes is very therapeutic!

If reading is your therapy, I invite you to pick up a copy of my fun, romantic, Miami-set novel, In Need of Therapy.  It's now available in e-book and paperback.  Thanks so much for having me on your site, Donna!

My Review

           Tracy wrote an entertaining story around a psychologist with a host of characters ranging from normal to bizarre. The protagonist, Dr. Pilar Alverez, has very full days balancing an ex-boyfriend/Casanova, a surfer dude/actor who fancies himself in love with her, a young teenage girl who is certain she wants breasts, and a drop dead gorgeous man who opens up a psychiatry office across the hall.

 "‘I’ll have a chocolate Banana martini.’ Sarah was a self-admitted chocoholic who had to have it in some form or another at every meal (yes, even breakfast.) I”d actually seen the woman melt Hershey’s Kisses in with her scrambled eggs."

          And, that is only at work. The story line was fast-paced and entertaining. Even with a large supporting cast – the large Cuban family, the patients, and boyfriends – the story was easy to follow. The book has more than its share of laugh-out-loud moments, which made for an enjoyable read.

"My diagnosis: Mitch Buchanan did not suffer from sexual compulsion or addiction; he was a man whore. I knew the breed well, having encountered many of its kind in the course of my dating career. As a rule, they were physically attractive, extremely self-assured, and had very little emotional depth."

          From a technical side, I found very few grammatical errors, the characters were extremely believable and lovable, and the story-line was interesting. The book had a good, but simple, fast moving plot that they author brought closure to. There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the book, and I think anyone loving a good romance with a little humor mixed in will love this book.

"Mama's lips quivered with barely restrained emotion, and I wrapped a supportive arm around her shoulders. ‘She hung up on me!” I dropped my arm and gave her an incredulous look. ‘ That's it! You called me over here and scared me half to death because Issy hung up on you?” ladies and gentlemen, my mother, the drama queen."

“There are no strings attached…” “So, now you’re trying to talk me out of taking this relationship to the next level?” ‘Hell no….then we have to be on the same page…” “Okay,” I agreed, “what page are  you on?”  ‘I’m on the page where the male protagonist takes the heroine by the shoulders, stares deeply into her…” 

If you found my review helpful, please consider clicking on the link below and voting yes for my review on Amazon. Thanks!

In Need of Therapy can be found at Amazon

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1 comment:

  1. Awesome review, congratulations to Tracie! I've only just met Sara and Pilar but I can't wait to get stuck into the story now. Fabulous! XX


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