Title: Friends Who Move Couches
Author: CJ Zahner
Genre: Humorous Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Have you ever struggled with friendship? This is a story of love, laughter, family, friends—and surviving rejection.
Nikki Grey suffers from epilepsy, but she worries more about friendship skirmishes than her health.
Married to a workaholic and the mother of three rebellious children, she forgets her problems one afternoon, smokes marijuana, and has a grand mal seizure. She loses her driver’s license and becomes imprisoned in her home, staring out the window at the neighborhood women who have ostracized her.
Her true friends encourage her to concentrate on herself, but Nikki is her own nemesis. She embarks on a plan to win neighborhood friends back and instead becomes the butt of their jokes. Her ache for their friendship escalates.
Not until her two-timing husband asks her a question that catapults her frivolous suburban life into a tailspin, is she forced to stop relying on others and stand on her own.
Friends Who Move Couches is a story for all women.
Nikki Grey is your typical suburban wife and mother with one exception: she has epilepsy. While spending the afternoon with a group of her best friends drinking wine and smoking weed, Nikki has a grand mal seizure. In one fell swoop, she's confined to her home and can feel the walls closing in. Her workaholic husband, she discovers, is leading a secret life and she's at a crossroads. Luckily, she has her dyed in the wool true girlfriends and they will stick by her, no matter what happens. Obsessing over past friendships overwhelms Nikki but when she tries too hard to win their friendship, they only laugh at her. It's only when she delves into deep introspection that she realizes what's important in life. Will she be able to stand on her own or will she lose everyone close to her?
Friends Who Move Couches is an incredible story about life, love, friendships, and quieting your inner critic. When life crashes around your head, who you can count on, and who you can't become the only barometer necessary. Every single woman I know will be able to relate to the women portrayed in this book. CJ Zahner delves into women friendships with startling clarity and humor. Think Sex and the City meets Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. The antics Nikki and her friends get into, even if they're just chatting while sipping a cocktail made me laugh out loud. The drama is certainly there and very accurate in its scope. The plot moves at an even pace and I found myself reading late into the night because I just had to be with Nikki just a little bit longer (hello 3 am). Emotional, gripping, humorous, and insightful, I recommend this book to women around the world. You'll see yourself and your group of close girlfriends hidden in this story. Highly recommend.
Favorite Quote or Character:
"Friends can't live your life for you, Naggy. We can love and support you, but we can't save you from yourself. If you want to spend the rest of your life with a man who cheats on you because of the rattling of little balls on the roof scares you at night, well then, you're not the person I thought you were."
My Rating: 5 stars
Buy it Now:
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0874BNHG7
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0874BNHG7
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0874BNHG7
Cyndie “CJ” Zahner grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, the second child of hard-working parents, Pasquale and Donna Mae Filutze. Her brother Mike, eleven years her senior, married when she was nine years old. Often alone, Cyndie created characters and wrote stories to wile the time away. During high school, an English teacher, Mrs. Patricia Root, introduced her to a world of reading and writing that would remain with her for life. Under Mrs. Root’s advisement, she became the school’s newspaper editor and, in her senior year, enrolled as an English major at Gannon College, now Gannon University.
Yet, in the summer before college, she worked at a local retail store as a sales clerk alongside four women with English degrees. Worried, she changed her major from English to Accounting but never lost her love for reading and want of writing. While working in the business world, she wrote grants and contributed occasional financial and women’s articles to local magazines and newspapers.
She fell in love and married her soul mate, Jeffrey Zahner, with whom she had four children. She is the proud mother of three adult children, Jessie, Zak, and Jillian Zahner, and one little angel in heaven, Jackie Zahner. Her daughter, Jessie, is now married to Dr. Jason Grieshober and lives and works in the professional sports and television industries in Los Angeles, California. Her son Zak is an attorney in Philadelphia, and her daughter, Jillian, is a special education teacher in Raleigh, North Carolina. Cyndie and her husband visit them as often as time permits.
In 2015, she began looking at life differently when her brother and his wife were diagnosed with dementia and early-onset Alzheimer’s. It was then that Cyndie’s husband pulled her aside and said, “Quit your job. You’re a writer.” After twenty years of service and the combating of repeated health issues caused by stress, Cyndie picked up her purse one day at work and quietly walked away. She never returned. She began her career as a novelist.
Since then, she completed her first book, The Suicide Gene, and a second book, Dream Wide Awake, and is in the final stages of completing her third and fourth books, Within the Setting Sun and The Dream Snatchers.
On most days now, she runs, reads, writes, smiles much, and dreams up her next novel in her lovely little hometown of Erie. On Saturday mornings, you’ll find her running with friends at Presque Isle State Park. When she’s not there, she’s usually visiting her children or hiking in one of America’s great National Parks with Jeff.
She thanks God every day for her husband, children, family, good friends, and—–for bringing her home.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N