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A Brand New Me

A Brand New MeBeware of making New Year’s
  Resolutions — if destiny calls, you
  might find yourself working for a
  wacky astrologer and television
  celebrity like Zara Delta and dating
  men you
ve never even met...

A CREATURE OF HABIT, 27-year-old Eleanor (Leni) Olive Lomond is, admittedly, stuck in a rut so rooted to her comfort zone, she's practically asleep! Desperate to get a life, she makes her New Year's Resolution for 2009; vowing to get a new job, a new man and an entire new existence. Now, things are beginning to heat up...

Leni's year begins with a free shot: the true state of the Scottish nation is revealed when a Scottish bagpipe player's kilt is lifted… and it can only go downhill from here! But fate — in the guise of her friend Trish, who works in television — takes a hand in her career and within weeks Leni is whisked from a dead-end job in a tatty industrial unit in Slough to high-flying PA in a smart Georgian townhouse in Notting Hill. Cool or what?

Leni's future is now in the stars — or one star in particular: astrologer, spiritual guru, author and television celebrity Zara Delta. Not the ideal job for someone with a pre-disposition toward the uneventful and who is safe, dependable and fears confrontation.

Zara is deliciously OTT. She loves alternative therapies, has her energies balanced, sees an indispensable Reiki practitioner [We are lucky to have one here at MotorBar! Great stuffEd] and employs a receptionist with the unlikely name of Millie de Prix.

Leni's brief is to help Zara research a book on relationships by dating twelve men = one for each star sign. Cue a tall, dark and handsome millionaire who is perfect for our heroine… Not. Leni — who claims she bears more than a glimmer of a resemblance to Cameron Diaz on a dark, foggy night! — doesn't know what she's letting herself in for.

As she trawls through a motley assortment of candidates for the research, Leni fantasises over Zara's attractive son Conn and dismisses her eccentric boss as 'the founder member of 'Wackos R Us'. Leni's Taurean friend Stu, hairstylist to the rich and famous and a raving hypochondriac, denounces her task as 'borderline prostitution' as Leni begins her compelling and funny social exploration into the mores of men.

Leni dates losers and users, but will she find true love? How about 28-year-old panel salesman Harry from Milton Keynes, a Leo with a morbid fascination for simulated violence? Or Daniel, an Aries who is unlikely to forge a career as an assertiveness coach?

Then again, there's Capricorn Craig, a patronising relationship therapist with an ulterior motive; Aquarius lawyer Colin, who laughs like a demented food mixer; Pisces Dave Canning, a nurse who leaves Leni vowing to avoid all future dealings with the NHS; fantasist Scorpio Matt, a wannabe rock star; or Sagittarius night club promoter Gavin, who could be a trip too far. Leni has a secret plan to see Gemini Jon again; but who will help her to get over married Bear Grylls look-alike Libran Ben? How can she risk her own agenda when Zara knows all and sees all? Or does she?

Will Leni find true love in the stars or will she be disillusioned with the whole kit and caboodle and plump for sexy Conn with his eau-de-hubba-hubba? Can she control her fate, her feelings and make 2009 the year that changes her life?

Shari Low's dialogue is witty and reflects real life situations. When nurse Dave says: "…if I stay here I'll want to do things to you that involve naked stuff", poor Leni panics that her underwear doesn't match and she hasn't shaved her legs!

Mistress of funny, off-the-cuff remarks, Shari Low has pulled off a successful trick with A Brand New Me, taking a light-hearted dig at the psychic, astrological and alternative world while coming up with her naughtiest book yet. Shari has done her homework to produce the perfect holiday read that is ideal for anyone who makes resolutions on January 1 — only to break them by January 2!

A Brand New Me by Shari Low is available now from all good booksellers. RRP: £6.99.

"Great fun from start to finish" — Jenny Colgan, author of Operation Sunshine

"Mistress of funny, off-the-cuff remarks, Shari Low has pulled off a successful trick with A Brand New Me, taking a light-hearted dig at the psychic, astrological and alternative world while coming up with her naughtiest book yet" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"Hilariously addictive" — Closer

"Wickedly funny" — OK!

"I'm off now to continue publicising the book [A Brand New Me] in a professional and dignified manner… Just hope I can find a sandwich board that fits!" — Shari Low