Thursday, December 20, 2012

Interview With Cara Leyba + Excerpt

Welcome to my stop on Cara Leyba's virtual book tour. I'm interviewing Cara today, and featuring an excerpt from Cara's book. I hope you'll help me and making her feel welcome!

Hi Cara, and welcome to Storm Goddess Book Reviews & More. Glad to have you with us today.

Tell me about yourself, and your writing.
I am a writer, and certified life and wellness coach from New York City. I am passionate about helping women discover what makes them sparkle and live their most effervescent lives. My writing is very conversational. I like my readers to feel like they’re sitting down and chatting with their best girlfriend over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine!

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve published one book so far, but have so many others in the works. My current genre is self-help, but I hate preachy self-help books. I like to think of Sparkle as the “anti-self-help” because instead of suggesting women change, I encourage them to find what is already within themselves and bring it out so that they can shine.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
Non-fiction comes naturally to me. I’ve considered writing women’s fiction, but I haven’t taken the plunge yet. I really admire fiction writers; it’s a lot of work!

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
A little bit of both. I generally have an idea of what I want to write when I sit down to my laptop, but sometimes creativity will strike and I’ll go off on a tangent and write something totally different than what I had originally planned.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
Well, there’s a lot of procrastination. I usually clean my entire apartment first, do all my dishes, a few loads of laundry. Once I even painted my whole office! But once I’m actually sitting down and getting in the groove, I can usually bang out my writing goals for the day. When I was writing Sparkle I aimed for 2,000 words a day.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
I absolutely love books that make me laugh. Jen Lancaster is one of my favorite authors. I also really love thought-provoking books. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra is awesome, as is The Secret. Those books are magic.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I’d love to be interviewed by Kathie Lee and Hoda on The Today Show! I really think they’d love Sparkle. I picture myself drinking champagne with them and discussing the book. It’s all about manifestation, right?

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
Hmmm. I think I’d like to be able to fly.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
A Unicorn. Pink, of course.

Tell us a little about your latest release.
Sparkle is one of my proudest accomplishments. Birthing a book is no easy feat. I put so much work into it, I even surprised myself. I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder in my life. I wrote the book for women everywhere – real women – who at the end of the day just want to feel good. I was so sick of all these books that were meant to help us, but always made us wind up feeling like garbage. Sparkle is the total opposite. It’s meant to leave you feeling refreshed, revitalized, and empowered.

 What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
I don’t think so. I’m way too much of a control freak.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
Marilyn Monroe. We’d sip champagne all day and I’d make her tell me her secrets.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
Is dining out considered a hobby? I love nothing more than trying out new restaurants with my hubby! Getting all dolled up, ordering fancy cocktails, and trying new menus makes me so happy.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
Sparkle, of course!

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I’d love to be able to sing.

Favorite color?
Pink for things, black for clothes.

Weather: Hot or cold?

Favorite place to read?
My couch!

Favorite meal
Oh, so many! I’ll go with anything Italian. A giant plate of pasta topped with cheese? Yes, please.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
Sparkling lemon water

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
I’d love to spend time in Europe. I’d start in London, then Paris, then head to the South of France, then the Amalfi Coast.


As women, we have become professional self-critics. We've become so convinced by society that we need to attain a level of perfection that just isn't real. Whether it's trying to get skinnier, look younger, get that promotion, please our parents, get fuller lips or rid ourselves of cellulite -- we're on a never ending mission to change and it always makes us feel like crap.

Instead, why not focus on all the fabulous qualities we already possess? There is so much to celebrate when we look at all of our accomplishments. In this straight-up girlfriend's guide, lifestylist and wellness coach Cara Alwill Leyba encourages women to discover what makes them sparkle so that they can design the lives they desire and deserve. So raise your glass and toast yourself. You're about to start shimmering, shining, and dazzling every day. Because isn't everything better when it sparkles?

Taken from Chapter 2: Uncork Your Best Self
Cara Alwill Leyba
Chasing our passions and figuring out what makes us sparkle is crucial, but we can’t get there if we aren’t confident. And as women, we have mastered the art of being professionally critical of ourselves. From crash diets and plastic surgery to wrinkle creams and colonics, we’ve done it all and then some. We’ve read books on why men like bitches, and strived to be more of a bitch. We’ve read articles on why we should stop eating bread to lose weight, and we’ve stopped eating bread (and, God, wasn’t that hard?) We’re constantly being told that we should look younger, be skinnier, have fuller lips, act a certain way to obtain the job we think we should have, and we’ve bought into it all. And frankly, I am over it.
It’s time to start celebrating ourselves! We’ve come a long way, baby. Women are now mothers, wives, girlfriends, professionals, executives, students, politicians, doctors, teachers – the list goes on. We’re beautiful, we’re strong, and we are empowered, and we have carved a pretty unique niche into this world. We’ve proved that we can do it all. Raise the children, run the household, and run the boardroom – sometimes all in the same day. In short, we’re pretty damn amazing.
So let’s stop obsessing over our flaws and start toasting to the deliciously authentic creatures we are. Let’s get our attitudes in check and start appreciating all the fabulous things we are blessed with. Let’s rock our best ass-ets and forget the rest. Sound good? Good. But first, we’ll need to change our mindset.

Author Bio:

Cara Alwill Leyba is a best selling author, and certified life and wellness coach from New York City who empowers women to live their most effervescent lives and celebrate themselves. She encourages women to indulge in the things that make them happy, and swears that every woman can live a "champagne life," no matter how busy she is or how tight her budget.

Her blog, The Champagne Diet, boasts a following of thousands of loyal readers and has been featured in Glamour, Shape, Cafe Mom, Daily Mail UK, MSN Australia, AOL UK Lifestyle, and a host of other publications worldwide. Cara's writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, xJane, Mind Body Green, MTV News, and many other sites.
Cara regularly appears on the “Ask Dr. Fritz” radio show on WWRL New York, where she helps host Dr. Fritz answer questions from callers about love, career, family, relationships and more. She also hosts her own lifestyle and wellness show, "Uncork Your Best Self" on Blog Talk Radio.

Cara's first book, SPARKLE, became an immediate #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Happiness and Self-Esteem categories upon hours of its release. She celebrated the release of her book with a book signing in New York City this past fall.

When she’s not popping bubbly, blogging, or working with her coaching clients, Cara spends her days leading a digital advertising team at MTV Networks. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and dog-child. For more on Cara visit

Connect with Cara!

Cara's website:
Cara's blog:
Want to learn how to sparkle? Join Cara's "Sparkling Start" workshop next month and kick off 2013 in glittering, shimmering style! 

  Buy the Book!



  1. Thanks for featuring Cara and Sparkle!

  2. Fun interview! Sparkle sounds like a great book and something we all should read:)