New Update!

Hello everyone. All of my Reviews, that I have yet to write, will be posted sporadically during the summer. After the end of this summer, I will not be posting on here anymore, as you will see the info on the right side of the blog.
Thanks for your understanding.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Work for Hire By: Margo Karasek *Excerpt, Guest Post & Review*

Book Description

Tekla’s law school career couldn’t be any better. She has top grades. She’s on Law Review. She’s a frontrunner in a mock oral argument with a sweet prize: a judicial clerkship. One problem, though: Tekla has no more money to pay for school. She needs a part-time job. Fast.

Luckily, her roommate has just the solution: help two uber-wealthy prep school teens, the twin son and daughter of a billionaire Wall Street short-seller and a world-renowned model turned fashion photographer, with their schoolwork, and earn $150 an hour. Plus, enjoy an additional perk on the job, in the form of a gorgeous photo assistant who happens to have his eye on Tekla.

Easy money.

Well, not so much. Within days, Tekla’s job begins to unravel. In a world of super-wealth and high fashion, Tekla finds herself surrounded by a peculiar cast of players: two teens whose self-destructive behavior becomes ever more erratic, a father whose ambitions for his son constantly test Tekla’s notions of what is fair and ethical and what is cheating, a mother whose emotional negligence borders on abuse, and a gorgeous man who may or may not be what he appears.

As Tekla struggles to hold onto a job that takes more time and energy than she ever anticipated, her own school life begins to suffer. She makes an enemy of a professor who seems to want nothing more than to bring her down. And he’s succeeding. Soon Tekla’s life is a paradox: without her high paying part-time job, she can’t afford law school; but with it, she’ll surely flunk out of school.

Check Out This Book Excerpt

Whoa! Slow down there. The door won’t run away.” 
            I stopped in the Lamont hallway. 
            “They were that bad, huh?” he chuckled, leaning his elbow against the doorframe and crossing his arms. His dimples winked. His muscles bulged. He looked like a model in a toothpaste ad. “I got you a treat, to make you feel better.” He pushed himself away from the door, disappeared into the house and came back seconds later, a steaming Styrofoam cup in his hands. “It’s not Starbucks. It’s better. And I asked them to add peppermint.” 
            “Thanks.” I reached for the coffee quickly. I needed it. “You’re back in New York?” was all I could think to say.
Hearing my witty banter, I could barely hold back a groan. You’re back in New York. How lame. Apparently, intelligent, flirtatious conversation with Julian was beyond my meager social capabilities. 
            “Yeah.” Julian smiled, flashing his pearly whites again. “Monique has a weekend networking powwow with magazine editors in Los Angeles. Women only. No boys allowed.” 
I nodded. Obviously little girls weren’t permitted either. 
“So my whole weekend’s free. Speaking of which,” Julian purred as he leaned towards me,  “I was hoping I could cash in on my rain check.” I shivered. “That you’d let me redeem myself.” He looked eager at the possibility. “There’s this great exhibit at the Morgan Library I thought you’d be interested in seeing. Irving Penn’s portraiture. It’s the first time the Morgan has exhibited photography. That’s huge because it means photography has really arrived as a recognized art form, even with the conservatives. And his work is more along the lines of what I’m interested in shooting. I’d really like you to see it with me. We’ll make a day of it, on Saturday. I’ll pick you up; we’ll see the show, and then go to an early dinner. What do you say?” 
            What I should have said was, “Thanks, that sounds great, but not this weekend—maybe in two weeks, if you’re still free.” ‘Cause I had to focus on the brief. And then there was the Law Review article, and Xander’s short story. Nope, for the next couple of weeks, I didn’t have a free minute to spare. Sure, going out with Julian would be really nice, but he didn’t prioritize me ahead of his professional responsibilities, so why should I place spending time with him ahead of mine? Nope, I was definitely not going. I took a sip of coffee. I would tell Julian exactly that: thanks, but I couldn’t—schoolwork and all that, you understand. But, somehow, those words never materialized.                      
            “Sure,” I heard myself say instead.

See This Cool Author Guest Post
What do the characters look like?

I love, love, love that question! Because for me, the best part of starting to write a new novel is imagining what the characters in the story look like. I feel almost like a giddy expectant mother envisioning her child’s physical appearance as an adult, except I don’t have to wait years and years to see the outcome. It’s really fun. I always have a picture in my mind for every character, even the one that only appears in one sentence. I have to see the person in my head before I can write about him or her, always. Here are a few of the physical descriptions for the characters in Work for Hire. I have included pictures to help you visualize my vision, but please remember that these images are only approximations. I never use actual photographs when “creating” my characters, but the pictures come pretty close to what was in my head when I wrote the story. So, here it goes . . .


Tekla is the protagonist of Work for Hire and I had to get her appearance down pat before I could pen a single sentence. She’s a pretty girl who is tall and slender, but she’s not necessarily one of those “babes” that usually stops traffic. She could be, if she wanted to—if she put in the effort—but she rarely does. Tekla’s hair is dark and long, but her best feature is her eyes. They are vivid blue and it’s the eyes that usually get her most attention, at least from the opposite sex.


Tekla’s crush was the easiest for me to visualize because every time I thought about him, I just envisioned my husband. Now, just to clarify: Julian is not my husband (my husband is never a jerk, and I’m not just saying so because I know my husband will read this post—reallyJ). But I did think of my husband’s physical traits when I put Julian “together.” Accordingly, Julian is the dark and handsome type who turns heads (don’t you just love those?). He has dark hair and dark, expressive eyes and a lean, runners physique. He’s always well groomed, though he likes to sport the occasional five o’clock shadow. He’s what we’d call a “metrosexual.” Julian is always well put together.


Markus is the guy your mom wished you would date. He’s nice, neat and polite. Really, he is a great catch, except that he’s just missing that something exciting in his appearance. He’s nice looking enough, the way your average boy next door is pleasing to the eye. He’s just not the sort of guy who turns heads. On paper, he has everything going for him, but when you see him in person you just know he’s not the guy to get a girl’s heart beating fast—at least not at first. Markus’s looks grow on you because he is such a nice person. He gets better looking with time.

(Photo Credit: Markus Biehal)

Monique Lamont

Monique Lamont is drop dead beautiful. Period. She was a former model—so envision a Cindy Crawford or a Janice Dickenson—who is now aging. At 40+, Monique is still absolutely stunning—with black hair, almost coal black eyes and a pale face—but she is becoming too fixated with her looks. She is a beauty who is determined to fight off age. Her appearance, accordingly, has gained a bit of a hard edge. Monique is dabbling in plastic surgery in an effort to retain perfection. She is not interested in aging gracefully. She wants her face to stay young looking forever. I’ve included a picture of a mannequin because Monique is slowly but surely heading towards that “plastic” look. Her features are absolutely perfect, but she is slowly destroying all her natural beauty.


Monique’s daughter is struggling in her mother’s perfect shadow. Gemma has a lot of her mother’s physical attributes—like the black, soulful eyes—but she is going through that awkward teen faze. She’s a little bit chunkier than her mother would like, and her facial features are a bit off. Her eyes and mouth are too big for the rest of her face, for example. Gemma is a mix of child and adult. When she fully grows into her adulthood, she will probably be a stunner, like her mother. But Gemma doesn’t see that. She views her physical awkwardness not as a phase but as an imperfection, and her confidence is suffering accordingly.


Unlike his twin sister Gemma, Xander has completely skipped over the awkward teen phase. He jumped from being a cute boy into a very handsome young man. He is fully his mother’s son in that his physical appearance is perfect. He has thick, shaggy hair, dark, expressive eyes and picture-perfect bone-structure (you know, the high cheekbones, narrow nose and wide mouth). But, unlike Monique, he’s basking in the youthful glow. Xander’s physical perfection adds to his sister’s self-esteem issues.

Lisa Williams

Lisa is the ambitious assistant to Mr. Lamont and also the “other woman.” As Mr. Lamont’s mistress, she can’t really compete with Monique’s physical perfection, so instead she focuses on her sex appeal. Everything about Lisa’s looks is “loud.” She has colored her hair a bright red and has done everything to highlight her curvaceous body. Lisa is all boobs and short skirts. Her face, too, screams her ambitions. Lisa has a hard edge to her features, like a girl who has encountered too much hassle in her life. There is no softness in her looks. Lisa is as sharp as a razor.

Lauren and Ann

Tekla’s law school friends are the polar opposites of each other. Ann is the studious girl who never fusses with make-up and would go nowhere without her glasses. Ann likes to dress in dark, loose clothing that covers everything (can we say turtlenecks?) and her hair looks like it has never encountered a hairdresser’s hand. Lauren, by contrast, is obsessed with her appearance . . . and California. Lauren dreams of moving to LA and so, accordingly, she’s reshaping her looks to match her vision of California babe: bleach blonde hair with a permanent tan. Lauren is all about tight clothes in bright colors. She is the total, carefree party girl.          

About The Author
            Margo Karasek decided to be a writer the instant she finished reading her first novel as a kid. She loved the possibilities and freedom in observing and writing about everyday people, whose experiences--through her words--could make a lasting impact. This passion led her to NYU, where she earned a journalism and anthropology degree, with the highest honors. But since she couldn't figure out how writers made a decent living, Margo went on to law school--where she had a blast. Unfortunately, actually practicing law was nowhere near as fun as learning about it in school, so Margo took the ultimate plunge: she quit her cushy law firm job to become a full-time novelist. And, to help make ends meet throughout the process, Margo also began tutoring for some of the wealthiest, best known families in New York as a side-gig. The latter job gave her some powerful ideas for her first novel. Margo currently lives in Queens, New York with her husband and their two children, and is busy working on her next book. 

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