Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Sophia Rose Reviews - Deck the Malls With Purple Peacocks by Amy Gettinger

I hope you're still in the Christmas spirit because Sophia Rose has a Merry tale to share with us.
Take it away Sophia Rose

#2 The Alice Chronicles
Chick Lit
Publisher:  Raucous Eucalyptus Press
Published:  11.18.17
Pages: 256
ASIN: B0778999M9
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Format: eARC
Source:  Lola’s Blog Tours
Sellers: Amazon

GoodReads Blurb:

It’s Christmas in Orange County, California, and the mall is full of purple peacock decorations, large and small. Department store employee Aracely Martinez has a goofy Cuban friend, Quito (who’s awfully cute in his mall Santa suit), distracting her from her night-shift restocking job. But Aracely has a long-held secret, which her supervisor at the store, Jacob Thinnes, is about to tell to the wrong folks, knowing it will throw her life into complete upheaval. To keep him quiet, she must do everything he wants.
Which is too much.
Enter Aracely’s oldest friends: Alice Chalmers, Georgette Jones and Julie Bowers. The group’s “Venus Warrior” bond from the 2003 production of The Venus Monologues at Garden Beach Community College is still very strong, and these women are ready, willing, and able to kick some butt to help Aracely out of her difficult bind. Join Aracely’s Three Wise Women plus the ever-present Cuban trickster, Quito, in one adventure after another as they work against the odds to give Aracely the life of her dreams for a fabulous, nearly impossible Christmas gift. 

Read an excerpt:

She sat on a bench in the middle of the crowded mall while Alice went to buy some drinks. Right across from the bench, there was a line a mile long of children waiting for a turn on Santa’s lap. The Santa setup was an extra-wide chair right in front of a little wooden house labeled NORTH POLE. Next to that sat a big, wooden sleigh, painted magenta, with a giant bag of wrapped “presents” in it. But instead of being pulled by eight reindeer, this year, the beast in front of the sleigh was a huge purple peacock, complete with sparkly magenta and purple feather plumes topping a giant tail fan.
Something about this did not quite mesh with the picture of Santa that Aracely had from her past few years in this country, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.
Then she heard it—the thing that changed her day completely. Cameras were flashing and children were whining, yet through all that, Aracely heard a voice she recognized.
“Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!" a young, skinny Santa with quite dark eyes, a baritone voice and a familiar Spanish accent said to a little girl on his lap. "What do snowmen eat for breakfast? Huh? Do you know? Hah. They eat Frosted Flakes. Funny, huh?”
With mixed feelings, Aracely got up and made her way through about a million shoppers, cutting through the line of mothers and strollers, heading for the velvet rope Santa sat behind. Was that him? The guy who’d quit working when she had, maybe in solidarity with her? The guy whose handsome face, crappy grammar and air of wannabe-Paco Rabanne she’d missed all month? The guy who had probably let slip the biggest secret of her life to the absolute worst person who had used the information to try to destroy her? She stopped in her trajectory towards Quito and froze at the thought. What was she thinking? Thank God she hadn’t gotten all the way to his lap.
His lap?
Why was she thinking about his lap? She, an adult, was considering sitting on a lap? Imagine, hard-working, adult Aracely Martinez sitting on anyone’s lap, even at Christmas. Even if he did call her Miss Awesome Socks and have a nice, smooth, sexy voice. Ack! Sexy? No way. No way. No … but his eyes were so mischievous.
Santa saw her and waved. She smiled, waved back, and then ran, well, slowly swam through a vast sea of screaming children, skinny teenagers, and over-spent mothers, back to the bench and Alice’s seated form.
“Let’s go, Alice.” Aracely tugged on Alice’s coat sleeve.
Alice handed Aracely a hot tea in a Starbucks cup. “Sit down, Miss Pneumonia. You need a drink before we head home. Well, I do.”
Aracely dropped onto the bench. “Please. I want to go home now. I don’t feel well.”
Alice Chalmers turned and examined Aracely’s face. “Uh-oh. Bright eyes, pink cheeks. You look feverish. Let me gather my stuff.”
They started off weaving their way through the shoppers down the mall toward the car, but suddenly a nearly-Paco Rabanne breeze and a lot of noise churned up behind them, and Santa himself clunked up in his too-big boots to park himself in front of them. Alice stopped in her tracks as she recognized Quito Barzaga under Santa’s fat tummy, which was askew and sagging over his belt. The long, fuzzy, red coat sleeves enveloped Quito’s hands completely.
Alice smothered a laugh.
“Señorita Awesome Socks!” he said to Aracely. Mumbling through his white beard, he tried to straighten his fur-trimmed cap. “And Ms. Chalmers! How are you?”
“Good.” Alice bit her lip, but gave up and laughed out loud.
Aracely narrowed her eyes at the baggy Santa. “How can you be Santa? You’re too young and too small.”
Quito looked wounded. “I’m not small! I have muscles.” He held up his arms to flex them, dropping the too-long Santa pant legs, which bagged in red mountains around his ankles.
The crowd of shoppers gathering around them laughed hysterically.
“Aracely. I gotta get back to work. Can I see you later?” he begged, grabbing his pants up again.
“You told everyone my secret,” she hissed, deathly aware of being the center of attention in a huge shopping mall and of having a conversation that could get her noticed by authorities and deported.
He puffed up taller. “I did not.”
“Like hell.” Aracely stalked away.
Alice quickly wrote something on a slip of paper and handed it to Quito. “Quito. Nice to see you. This is my address. Come over soon, Quito. Today, if you have time. This girl has pneumonia, and she’s lost both her jobs. She needs a friend.” Then she turned and sprinted after Aracely.
Quito called to their retreating forms, “‘Pneumollia’? Is that bad? Cancer? Hey, Aracely, come back! You know I’m your number one Stan

Sophia Rose's Review:

Pairing a weighty and complicated subject with some holiday time mayhem made for a colorful and quirky dose of chick lit by a new to me author.

Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks is the second of the Alice Chronicles, but I had no trouble jumping in at this point to the series.  I could tell that Alice and her friends had been involved in a crazy scheme a time or two in the past, but this was a standalone story.

The story starts out by introducing Arelys.  She is a hardworking and dream-filled Mexican gal who has a huge dangerous secret about her legal status in the country.  Everything goes bad for her when her slimy shift supervisor discovers her illegal status and uses it to blackmail her for his silence.  She's at the end of her rope trying to meet his demands when a former college teacher of hers, Alice and some of Alice's friends learn of her plight and come to her rescue in crazy, over the top plots and capers.

The author didn't shy away from approaching the touchy and very complicated issue of illegal immigration and the difficulties for some to gain citizenship or the darker side of how people exploit the illegals in the country.  It was definitely educational for me.  But, it wasn't a completely downer book because the holiday shopping season in all its garish splendor through the eyes of a Mexican and a Cuban cracked me up.  And, even better, the author took a threesome of middle aged female college professors who are outrageous and determined to help Arelys even if it means taking on the slimeballs who took advantage of her.  It was zany, over the top, and very busy without more than surface level development.  It got to where my head was spinning after a while.  I just barely kept hold of the plot thread even while it had me laughing at the heavy dose of humor infused into the story and my enjoyment of Alice and her friends' adventures.

All in all, it was moderately engaging and a fun romp that chick lit fans who want a warm holiday comedy should give a try.

My thanks to the author and Lola's Blog Tours for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Author Bio:
Amy Gettinger has 2 grown sons, 2 tyrannical mini-poodles, and a long-suffering husband. She’s pretty good at teaching ESL to adults, and writes jazz chants and poems focusing on pertinent grammar points. Currently, she is writing and producing Reader’s Theater plays in a local assisted living with nonagenarians as the readers. She loves to decorate with sunflowers and watch British TV shows and swim like a mermaid.  She also loves the sound of children in the pool next door and the cacophony of crows, parrots, owls, and hummingbirds in and around her garden. She loves playing board games and eating chocolate. Let’s not forget the chocolate. She writes and laughs at Facebook in the shade of some very noisy hundred-year-old eucalyptus trees in Orange County, CA. She has written 2 novels, and has published both Roll with the Punches and Alice in Monologue Land on Amazon for Kindle, as well as a collection of short stories set in the world of Alice in Monologue Land called Kiss My Sweet Skull.

Sophia’s Bio:
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
Sophia’s Social Media Links:


  1. Not really my kind of book but I'm glad you had a good time with it.

    1. Yeah, not generally mine either, but it caught my eye and I was in the mood for something different. Glad I grabbed it because I ended up having a good time.

  2. Awe it sounds really good Sophia Rose right up my alley. Thanks for sharing your take on it

    1. Sure thing! It's not my usual read, but it turned out to be one I was glad I got the chance to read. :)

  3. Replies
    1. Yep, cracked me up, too. Had to read it after I saw that. :)