Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Heather Blush Book Review - Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It!

Hi everyone!! Another book review has come back in. Heather Blush is a Calgary-based singer/songwriter. According to her website, "Heather Blush and The Uppercuts are a trio of rogue troubadours who knock the socks off every new audience they meet. Their sound can be described as somewhere between the "Adult Alternative" styles of Sarah Slean and Sarah Harmer, and old "Ella/Louis-style" vocal jazz/blues. Heather’s voice is often compared to Norah Jones and Maria Muldaur. With energetic, audience-engaging shows, she is quickly becoming known for songwriting that covers all bases between witty sarcasm and gutwrenching honesty. With "Captain" Steve Hazlett on drums and recently a rotating cast of stellar upright bass players, this trio packs a punch and leaves a lasting impression."

Heather has a fantastic voice and I highly recommend you checking her and her music out online.

Since Heather is a singer/songwriter, she was the perfect person to review "Tanned, Toned and Totally FakingIt". Here are her thoughts:

“Tanned, Toned, and Totally Faking It” is an enjoyable romp through the enviable life of a pop princess. Mikayla “Mickey” Rivers is your average 20-year-old girl, full of teenage angst, at the difficult balancing point between childhood and adulthood, with one added challenge: she has transformed from college student to superstar overnight. Written in the words of Mikayla herself, the book reads as if you are hearing the story first hand over a soda in a trendy California café. Boyd teases us with the naïve voice of the young starlet, encouraging the reader to alternate empathy with the kind of finger-wagging judgment we all like to dish out for the famous when their all-too-public lives are broadcast into our daily info stream.

At the start of the book, Rivers is navigating the choppy waters of newfound fame: adjusting to a regimented diet and exercise program, resisting pressure to undergo cosmetic surgery, dealing with a demanding and self-centered manager (and former peer). She finds comfort in her friendship with her personal trainer and new best friend, Kurt, as well as her sister back home in Alberta. Things start to heat up when Mikayla meets Jordan, a charming law student at UCLA with a disdain for celebrities. Drawn in by the fact that he doesn’t recognize her as the superstar she is, Rivers begins to weave a web of deception in order to keep her stardom a secret from Jordan.

Filled with star-studded cameo appearances (David Letterman, Taylor Swift, Nick Lachey, Lindsay Lohan…) Boyd’s debut novel accurately portrays the unquenchable appetite of today’s celebrity-obsessed public.

If you’ve ever wanted to slip into Jessica Simpson’s life vicariously, this is the book for you! Recommended usage: slip this rags-to-riches fairytale for grownups into your beach bag between your sunscreen and the latest issue of People, and head for sandy shores!"

Heather Blush, singer/songwriter, Calgary, Alberta
November 1, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Review #2 - Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It!

Bryan Wright is a book reviewer with the blog "Reading 100 All TIME Novels". He previously was on the CBC Eyeopener in Calgary on AM1010 with a weekly program. I want to thank him for reading it, as this book was far out of his normal reading list, but I appreciate his comments immensely! For more information on Bryan Wright, or on his current mission to read the "100 All TIME Novels" from a list compiled by TIME magazine, check out

Here is Bryan's review of my novel:
"Mikayla Rivers is the newest sensation on the music scene; major celebrity, highly regarded, and wealthy. But she’s also twenty years old, recently dropped out of University, unsure of herself or her celebrity status, and she has a broken heart.

And so starts Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It by Calgary author Whitney Boyd. Far from my typical read, it offered me a chance to dip into a new genre, so to speak, and enter the world of ‘chick-lit.’

For the most part the story could be considered quite formulaic, following the boy-meets-girl, or rather the girl-meets-boy storyline, where they fall in love, then out of love, and then back into love. Of course most books from this genre probably follow that same line, so Boyd shouldn’t be faulted for it. What makes or breaks a book of this genre, is the details that make their meeting and falling in love, unique.

When Mikayla first meets Jordan Baker (who shares a name with Nick Carraway’s love interest in The Great Gatsby), she’s reluctant to tell him she’s a celebrity, fearing he would either be turned off by the fact, or intimidated by it. So instead of stumbling through a series of misadventures in their dates, the reader follows the inner monologue of Mikayla, as she struggles with her ‘truth avoidance’ with the boy she loves.

The story is basically a more modern Notting Hill, told from the celebrity’s point of view. Instead of following the struggles of the commoner, dating the celebrity, we follow the celebrity, worried about the commoner.

The book was written in present tense, which gave it a very voyeuristic appeal. Instead of hearing an account of the events, after the fact, it gives the sense that one is right there, watching, almost participating, like a live sporting event. That, in turn, adds to the intimacy one develops for the main characters.

In the end, it’s the intimacy that makes the book work, as Boyd really allows the reader to get to know Mikayla, and thus really connect with the character. And she’s difficult not to like, making it easy to cheer for her, and be happy when things work out in the end.

While there is no shortage of similar style books, it’s nice to see one from a Canadian author; and a Calgarian to boot. I enjoyed that Mikayla was from Calgary, went to the U of C, and visited local Calgary haunts. Too often I see Canadian authors, especially new authors, almost attempt to hide the fact they are Canadian by setting their novels in nameless American locales. Plus, I always like a book that mentions my beloved Calgary Flames in a favourable light."

- Bryan Wright

Friday, October 21, 2011

Review of "Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It"

So the first of my reviews have come in!! This one is by Radio Personality Steph Hansen on Country 105.
The following is what she has to say about my book:

'Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It' – Whitney Boyd

"Whitney Boyd does a fantastic job of creating the story of Mikayla Rivers, in “Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It”. Mikayla is your typical young Canadian girl. Attended the University of Calgary, likes playing basketball, watching hockey, playing music and hanging out with her sister. n fact, it was Mikayla’s sister, Rachelle, who convinced her to enter a talent contest at the U of C. She won and within six months she’d left her friends, family and cheating ex-boyfriend, Matt, behind to become a Grammy nominated pop star!

In “Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It” the incredibly famous Mikayla Rivers is constantly fighting for a balance between her celebrity life, and her private life. On the outside she’s tanned, toned and made up to perfection. She can’t go anywhere without cameras flashing in her face, or her annoying manager, Cheryl, selling her out just to make a buck. On the inside she’s struggling to be the same old Mikayla she’s always been. It’s even harder now that she’s without Matt. She just can’t get over him, until someone new pops into her life. Someone perfect in every way, except for one little thing. He hates Hollywood, and Mikayla’s too scared she’ll lose him if she tells him who
she really is!

Whitney Boyd does such an incredible job of creating Mikayla Rivers’ character that you actually start to feel everything Mikayla feels. Everything from her desperation of trying to get over Matt, to her excitement when she meets Nick Lachey to the anger and frustration she deals with daily when it comes to her idiot manager. She had me
hooked on the first page and not to sound cliché, but I couldn’t put the book down!! Even though Mikayla’s a famous pop star, you feel like you can relate to her on so many different occasions throughout the book.

What I thought was really cool, were all the celebrity references. Real life celebrities that we all know and love like Terri Clark, Taylor Swift, David Letterman and Jerome Iginla. Speaking of Jerome, the Calgary Flames references were pretty cool too. (Go Flames Go).

So in the end, “Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It” is a lot like a really great chick flick, only in book form. It’s fun and romantic and heartbreaking…and if you like chick flicks at all, you’ll love this book!

Thanks Whitney for creating such a fabulous story!

-Steph Hansen"

Thank you so much, Steph!! You are the greatest!

So there you have it, folks. The first of the book reviews that I will be getting back in the next few weeks. :)

In other book news, we are currently working on the cover design and cover art for the book. It's all coming together and it's going to be fabulous!! Make sure you tell all your friends because, not to sound too prideful, but this book rocks!! (Haha, and yes, I am well aware how arrogant that sounded. lol) January 24, 2012 is the tentative release date but I will keep you posted.

Happy weekend, all!

PS- for more on Steph Hansen, you can check her out on Country 105 or follow her blog through

PPS - to order your copy of TANNED, or to read the first few chapters FREE! click here!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hollywood-centric #1 - Jennifer Aniston

The latest news from is that Jennifer Aniston and her boyfriend of about eight months or so have moved in together. His name is Justin Theroux and they met while filming 'Wanderlust', a new movie due out... soon. Not sure when. **Update... a quick google search shows that it is scheduled for release on October 7** Anyway, back to Jen and her boytoy. They are living in a 2-bedroom rental in the Hollywood Hills until they find a permanent place. They look cute together and I'm all for them to get married and live happily ever after. She deserves it. I'm impressed that they are 'downsizing' though. A two-bedroom place seems much smaller and more normal than her last home. Jennifer recently sold her massive mansion in Beverly Hills for $38 million, which is more money than the majority of people alive will make during their entire lives. Wow. If you've seen pictures of it, it kind of looks like a mini-resort and spa. Hopefully she doesn't miss it.

So I figured it was appropriate to begin my Hollywood blog posts with Jennifer Aniston. She's such a huge figure in Hollywood, has been on more covers and headlines than almost anyone, and, whether it's love or hate, her name usually brings strong feelings from people. Some people criticise her for playing the victim card too much after Brad Pitt's cheating butt ended up with Angelina Jolie and a boatload of children. And some people think she is 2-dimentional in her acting skills, always playing the same part. And other people think she's amazing. They love her for her down to earth nature, for how friendly she is with fans and for how much dignity she displayed after the aforementioned 'husband is a cheating man-tramp' thing.

For me, I think she's pretty great. I still watch Friends reruns when there is nothing else on, and Jennifer, in my opinion, really carried Friends. Her latest movie with Adam Sandler, 'Just Go With It', is the funniest movie I've seen in a while. Yeah, yeah, it got poor reviews (most Adam Sandler movies do), but it had me laughing so hard a few times in there that I thought I might actually pee myself.

Jennifer Aniston is awesome. Enough said on that.

For those of you who are curious about her, she was born on February 11, 1969 in Sherman Oaks, California. Her dad, John Aniston, was a soap actor on 'Days of Our Lives' and so she pretty much was born with acting in her blood. Her first acting role was in 1993 in 'Leprechaun', a film that I have never seen, actually. Apparently it has quite a cult following from it, but overall the film kind of tanked. So Jen was back to waiting tables. But then just a short while later, she auditioned for Friends and that was her break. She became 'Rachel Green' and her hair became the envy of every woman in America. And Canada. And the UK. Everyone wanted her hair. And that hasn't really changed either. People still want to look like her. She wins best hair award, hands down. Anyhoo, Friends was extremely successful, ran for 10 seasons, made Jen win an Emmy and by the last few seasons, she, along with the other 5 main actors, were making a million dollars each per episode. Impressive. In 2000 she married Brad Pitt. In 2004 they split up. And broke everyone's hearts at the end of the 'golden couple'. Since then, she's bounced around with a few boyfriends, but nothing too serious until now with Justin Theroux. So congrats to her.

Don't know much about him... except that even a half dead monkey would be a step up from past-boyfriend John Mayer, so whoever Justin is, yay for Jen in upgrading!

Anyway, that's Jennifer in a nutshell. Until next time, happy Hollywooding!

Peace out!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Something Borrowed - Movie Review

Something Borrowed came out a few weeks ago, starring Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin and a new face to me, Colin Egglesfield (who seriously looks like he could be Tom Cruise's love child). The movie is based loosely on the novel by Emily Griffin.

Rachel (Goodwin) has been in love with Dex (Egglesfield) since they went to law school together. However, she has always felt that she wasn't good enough, or attractive enough, for him. So, when her best friend Darcy (Hudson) goes after him, Rachel fades into the background. Now, Darcy and Dex are engaged and getting married in a few months. Rachel is still in love with Dex, but puts on the best friend face and tries to get past it. And that works for a while until, one night after drinking too much, Dex and Rachel end up sleeping together. At first Rachel feels horribly guilty, but the affair continues and Dex admits that he has always loved Rachel.

Rachel's best guy friend, Ethan (John Krasinski aka Jim from the Office), finds out and tells Rachel to stop. She's not that kind of person. Eventually Rachel tells Dex that he has to choose between her and Darcy... he can't keep on having both and never making any decision one way or the other.

I am undecided about the movie. In a way, it was really fun.... alot of funny lines, Kate Hudson is an amazing actress, even when she is protrayed as the spoiled-rich-party-girl-villian, and I was kept guessing the entire movie as to what the ending would be. It was a tossup between if Rachel or Darcy got the guy.

However, the premise of it was a little uncomfortable for me. I do not condone cheating/affairs. Ever. Period. It is never cool. Get divorced, break up, whatever, THEN go after the new boy/girl. It's not OK when you are in a relationship. Especially when the person having the affair with your man is your BFF. As likeable as Rachel was, I couldn't get passed that she was a lying cheater. Same with Dex. And, yes, Darcy ended up being a cheater too, but still... she cheated after the others did. The characters all together were very disconcerting... a mixup between liking and disliking them. Even Darcy, the supposed villian, was more likeable than Rachel and Dex most of the time.

I'll give it a 7/10... although, truthfully, the rating may only be this high because I haven't seen a chick flick in a loooooong time, thanks to my wonderful husband who likes tough comic-book, he-man movies. LOL

Did anyone else see it? What did you think?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Host - Book Review

I enjoyed the Twilight books... honestly have not watched a single Twilight movie, but quite enjoyed the books. And, The Host, also by Stephanie Meyer, had a similar level of enjoyablility to it.
The Host deals with an alien invasion on earth, but not your typical green-skinned, area 51 aliens. These ones, known as "Souls", take over a human body, attaching themselves to the brain stem. The entire planet has been taken over by these Souls, with the exception of a few surviving humans who have formed a sort of resistance.

The novel begins with us learning about Wanderer (aka Wanda), a Soul who is finding that her human body is putting up a bit of a fight. Melanie Stryder was one of the few remaining humans left when she was captured and Wanderer placed in her brain. Now, Melanie is fighting back, occasionally gaining control of her body, persuading Wanderer to do the right thing.

Together, Melanie and Wanderer end up fleeing to the human resistance outpost in the mountains, where, among suspicion and jealousy, they eventually make a home.

In true Twilight fashion, there is love and forbidden love (Melanie's one true love Jared is in the mountains, but he is upset at the possibility that Melanie might be lost forever. Also, Wanderer falls in love with a human, Ian, and is faced with the problem that if she ever relinquishes Melanie's body, she will not be able to be with Ian ever again.)

The humans learn how they can finally defeat the Souls, and little by little, a plan comes together, and the Soul's history is revealed.

Overall, The Host is an excellent book. It is science-fiction-y without being overly nerdy, although, in that same vein, I doubt it would appeal to those who actually care about the intricities of science. There is also romance, betrayal and friendship, enough to make it an enjoyable book for almost everyone.

Plus it made my he-man rock father cry. lol

I definitely recommend it. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

We went to see Pirates of the Caribbean IV last night. First of all, the theater was not packed. Which was weird. Most of the seats in the front of the theater were empty. Some of the seats up top were empty. It was a strange feeling for the first weekend of a movie, especially a much-anticipated movie like Pirates. It made sense though, after watching it. Pirates IV was not nearly as good as the first. Although it was better than II and III, which isn't saying much.

It started out with Jack Sparrow meeting up with a long lost friend, Angelica, played by Penelope Cruz. Don't get me wrong... I love Spanish people. I took four years of school to get a Bachelors Degree in Spanish. But... I found Penelope annoying. She's been acting in English films for years... what is it now, 15 years? She's lived in America for a long time. And yet, she still has a thick accent. This sounds rude, but one of the biggest things I learned while taking Spanish classes is that you need the accent. Get the native accent, as a show of common courtesy. And Penelope didn't, which made her lines sound like she was reading the script. It made it a bit choppy.

Anyway, the rest of the movie was your typical Pirates mold. Jack Sparrow undergoes a quest, probably for the wrong reasons. Captain Barbosa appoears and is going to be the doublecrossing villian, but ends up doing things that are for the common good of everyone. Fighting ensues between the British and the pirates (and for good measure, the Spanish are thrown into the mix). Supernatural occurances happen... like zombies who for some reason are content with not eating brains. There is a battle with mermaids (which was the coolest part of the whole movie, actually. Very awesome fight scene), and then a mermaid is captured and a priest falls in love with her (thereby filling the void of young love that Will and Elizabeth made by not being in this movie). And then Jack Sparrow does sort of the right thing in the end before turning back into a pirate.

Overall? Decent movie. Better than the last two. Had it's funny moments. Has some sort of sweet moments. But the 3D effects were brutal (way too many swords and cannons being thrust at your head in the audience). Would I watch it again? Probably on DVD when it comes out. Not in theaters.

But... Johnny Depp was amazing as always as Captain Jack Sparrow. And he truly made the movie. Yay Johnny Depp... gorgeous and talented, which is quite an unusual combination in Hollywood.

But, don't take my word for the goodness of the movie... go see it yourself. I didn't like Harry Potter either (the movies, that is, loved the books), so my opinion may not be the same as the rest of the world's. :)

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tanned, Toned, and Totally Faking It - Update!

Last thing everyone heard was that my commercial women's fiction novel (the long and 'proper' way of saying chick lit) was accepted for publication! Yup, I am still uber excited about it. And yes, I just said uber. :)

Anyway, I figured it is time to update everyone on the status of the book.

I sent my editor, Karen, the soft copy of my manuscript. She read it over the last month and made a bunch of edits (a bit on punctuation, some suggestions for clarity etc). She sent it back to me and I made the changes and added about 10,000 words. Now I've sent it back to Karen, (ya'll following?) and she said that she will have the next wave of edits completed within the month.

SO... end of May and I will have the manuscript back to make more changes to. :) It's getting better each time and I am so excited for everyone to have the chance to read it.

Still no publication date set as of now (but, WiDo, if you are reading this, I would have NO problem whatsoever with you hurrying up and choosing one!!! Haha...). I will keep everyone posted and assoonas I find out, you will find out! Karen says that it should be out sometime this year.

Fingers crossed that "sometime this year" does not mean December 31st.

Let me know if you have any questions... and I will do my best to answer them for you!!!!!!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It

For those of you who don't know, I have written a book, entitled 'Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It' and IT IS GETTING PUBLISHED!!!!!! I know! I'm so excited!!

It is chick lit. That's the best definition of it, I suppose. A cute, girly book with humour, romance, breakups and all that comes with it. I've included a little synopsis below. Hope you enjoy it!

Mikayla Rivers is your average young woman in her early twenties. Kind of. Despite her cheating, rotten ex-boyfriend Matt, the slightly demeaning photo-shoots with a lot of silicon and hair dye, and her somewhat psychotic manager, Mikayla has it made. She is a world famous, Grammy nominated pop star, after all. Plus she met Nick Lachey. It’s the life every girl has dreamed of, right?

Not really. Even though she has the life that most people just imagine, Mikayla is struggling. Hollywood told her to change almost everything she was. She used to be a cute, copper-haired college kid in Canada. Then, six months ago, everything got turned upside down when a travelling music executive made her an offer she couldn’t turn down. Now, tanned and with extensions, hair dye and botox, Mikayla doesn’t really know who she is anymore. She is homesick. And she still hates herself because Matt decided to cheat. Micky is searching and lonely and doesn’t quite know where to turn.

Meet Jordan. He is a sweet, studious law student at UCLA, with a face like Orlando Bloom. He is the first person Mikayla has met in LA that seems like a genuine person, a little shy and not concerned whatsoever with popularity. Soon she falls for him despite her vows to never love again after being so badly burned before.

The only problem? Mikayla hasn’t exactly told Jordan who she is and she's pretty sure he won't be impressed when he finds out. Plus, her ex-boyfriend just showed up in town. Make that two major problems.

Anyway, I hope you guys like it! :) It should be coming out sometime this summer, but I will keep everyone posted.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Great Man

I met him on August 8, 2007.
President D. Michael Stewart, Mission President of the Utah Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission.
He was a great man. When I found out that he had passed away, I was at work and I sat in my chair and cried. He taught me so many things...

- It is not sacrifice if you have ten shirts and have to give up one. It is sacrifice when you have one shirt and give it up. Sacrifice entails giving up all you have if need be.
- You can do great things.
- Kindness is more important thn anything else.
- Have faith be your motto, not fear.
- Open Your Mouth. Don't be ashamed of the gospel of Christ.

President Stewart, you rock.