“Zoey & The Moment Of Zen” by Cat Lavoie
When coffee shop owner Zoey Everwood takes her obsession with ex-boyfriend Braden too far, everyone—except Zoey—is convinced a bit of fun in the sun at the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort will help her get over him once and for all.
But Zoey’s relaxing vacation turns out to be anything but peaceful when she meets Shane Lawson, a resort guest who bears a striking resemblance to Braden. And things get even more complicated when the resort’s owner starts spilling secrets about Zoey’s aunt Nessa, the woman who raised her. Add a snarky Wellness Coordinator and Nate Holmes—Shane’s grumpy friend—to the mix, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect tropical storm.
When Zoey comes back home with a new husband instead of tacky souvenirs, she must convince everyone she hasn’t completely lost her mind. As Zoey and Shane struggle to keep the magic alive outside the resort, Zoey discovers that she isn’t the only one having trouble letting go of the past. And when Nate drops a bombshell that changes everything, Zoey must decide if the old saying is true—what happens at the Moment of Zen stays at the Moment of Zen.
I hadn’t planned on reviewing anymore books this year, but when the opportunity came to read Cat’s second book, “Zoey & The Moment Of Zen”, I jumped at the chance. Since I read her first book, Breaking the Rules, I’ve been a huge fan.
After reading the first chapter of “Zoey & The Moment Of Zen” on a Saturday morning, I was hooked. In some ways, I felt that I could relate to Zeoy. She seemed like a wonderful girl, she just had a hard time letting go. I loved the how she just went with the flow and left to go to the resort, because I really think she wanted to go.
The wellness instructor had me rolling my eyes the whole time, but I liked that about his character. It showed how serious he was about being zen, especially when he took their phones away. Shane seemed like a nice guy, but he seemed a little mysterious. As for Nate, I really didn’t know what to think of him in the beginning. He seemed like a jerk, but he ended up being a nice guy.
From the beginning to the end, there were a lot of ups and downs in this book, yet the most surprising thing was at the end and who she ends up with, (no, I’m not giving you any spoilers). I would’ve liked to have seen more of them together, so that I know Zoey was really happy, just because I liked her so much.
Cat Lavoie has done it again! If you’re looking for a book to make you laugh and cry, this quick and fun read (which I finished on Sunday night), is the book for you!
I give “Zoey & The Moment Of Zen” 5 stars!
“Who’s a hungry little girl?” I ask, scooping kitty food into Mocha’s bowl. She looks up at me and I know what she must be thinking—less talking, more scooping, Crazy Cat Lady.
“What do you think Bongo Joe is going to play tonight, Mocha?” I ask, looking at my watch. “He should be starting soon.”
When Braden and I moved into this apartment, we got a few surprises. Most of them involved leaky faucets and shoddy wiring—plugging in the toaster and the coffeemaker at the same time is still a fire hazard—but the biggest surprise was Bongo Joe, our next-door neighbor. Without fail, he starts banging on his drums at ten o’clock every night and doesn’t stop for the next two hours. But after a few months it just became another background noise, like the traffic outside or the slamming doors.
After a quick shower, I settle into bed and reach for my phone. I’ve already dialed half of Dar’s number before I remember what happened earlier. Right. She’s probably not going to want to talk. Maybe I’ll try to send her a text message. Dar practically has her phone glued to her hand so she usually answers with lightning speed. Her record is five seconds.
I’m really sorry for tonight. Forgive me? Zo x
I wait for the familiar ping of Dar’s answer but five seconds turns into five minutes and staring at my phone doesn’t make it answer faster. Maybe if I try again.
Zoey Everwood is a huge idiot who doesn’t deserve her awesome best friend. Agree or disagree?
There’s no debating what the right answer is. Still, I’m hoping Dar will crack a smile and text back. But when the phone remains silent, I know something is seriously wrong. This isn’t just a little spat. What if I went too far this time? I knew bringing Dex and Dar on my doomed stalking adventure was a huge mistake—yet I still did it.
I can count on one hand the number of times Dar and I haven’t spoken before going to sleep. Dar is like the sister I never had. And now it looks like I don’t have her anymore. Just like I don’t have all the other people I love. I look around my room and see the happy faces of the ones who’ve left me. Mom, Dad. Braden. And now Dar. I stare at the alarm clock on my bedside table. 10:30. For the first time in years, Bongo Joe is late. Even he can’t stand me anymore. I slip out of bed, almost tripping over Mocha, and head over to the computer.
Unlike Mom and Dad, Dar and Braden are still alive. And I’m going to win them back.
“Don’t look at me that way,” I tell Mocha’s accusing kitty eyes. “Dar made me promise to stay away from Braden’s voicemail.” I turn and face the computer, my fingers sliding over the keys. “She didn’t say anything about email.”
What Dar doesn’t know is that Braden’s email password is his old pet name for me, so it’s not crazy to hope that I’m still on his mind. Each and every day, his fingers spell out something that can’t help but remind him of me. The day he changes the password, I’ll be forced to admit he might have moved on.
I sit down with the laptop resting on my knees and type ZoeyCakes into the login screen, praying I don’t get an error message. After a few agonizing seconds, Braden’s inbox appears before my eyes. Five unread messages. I feel a pang of guilt and hear Dar’s disapproving voice ring in my ears.
I ignore it and click on the first message.
“OMG. I loved your first book! I can’t wait to read your second.”
The above phrase was one of the loveliest things anyone had ever said to me—but it was also the stuff panic attacks are made of. Because when those words were spoken to me, my second novel was nowhere near being done—and I wasn’t even sure it would ever see the light of day.
Writing my debut novel, Breaking the Rules, and my sophomore novel, Zoey & the Moment of Zen, were two completely different experiences. The biggest difference for me was confidence—or lack thereof.
The only people who knew I was writing a novel a few years ago were a few friends and family members—and my small list of Twitter and blog followers. Definitely nota lot of people. I’d get asked about my writing project now and again and blogged about my—sometimes painfully slow—progress. If I’m being honest, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I loved to write, I loved this story and its characters, and I was going to finish this novel. And I (finally) did. The next few years were spent finding a home for Breaking the Rules and getting it ready for publication. It was both exciting and terrifying. What if everyone hated it? But, thankfully, I connected with readers who enjoyed Roxy and Ollie’s story and I started thinking that maybe, just maybe, I might know what I’m doing when I sit down in front of a computer. Kinda. Sorta.
The reaction to Breaking the Rules gave me a definite confidence boost but I was still nervous about tackling Book #2—because people were expecting it now. There was no hiding the fact that I was writing a novel. And with that came a whole new set of worries—will this new book disappoint those who enjoyed my debut?
For the longest time, I thought Breaking the Rules was the only story I’d ever be able to tell. After devoting so much of my free time to Roxy and Ollie, it was hard to just walk away from them. And Breaking the Rules had taken so much out of me that I didn’t feel like I could string two sentences together—let alone interesting ones about new characters on new adventures.
But I was finally able to quiet my inner editor, deal with my self-doubt, and Zoey & the Moment of Zen was released in October 2013. I’m proud of this new book and—when people ask me about my next novel—I can answer with a newfound confidence. Yes, there will definitely be more books.
**About author, Cat Lavoie:
Cat Lavoie lives in Montreal, Canada with her tempestuous cat, Abbie. Her debut novel, Breaking the Rules, was published in August 2012 by Marching Ink. If Cat isn’t reading or writing, she’s most likely watching too much TV or daydreaming about her next trip to London.
To find out more about Cat and her books, please visitwww.CatLavoie.com
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