New 4-Star Rave Review for Love Is the Punch Line from Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews!

Posted on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews on March 30, 2020: (

Witty and intense

Jones pens a unique and raw story in Love Is the Punch Line. I haven’t read anything from this author before, and I really enjoyed this story. The characters were raw and very real. Reader, enter the world of comedy clubs and an adventure in romance. The author’s writing style is smart and while balancing romance with the raw lifestyle of comedy and fame (or fall of fame). The author brings Josh and Holly’s story to life. There is a great chemistry between the characters, and a depth that makes them realistic and flawed. Josh and Holly’s connection is not forced. A very well-written story, and I enjoyed it. The author’s technique of intense and believable characters and great plotlines is a gift. I look forward to reading more by this author. This book is a definite recommendation by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. ~Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews


How Not to Get Reviews for Your Book

By Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist. Please sign up for free updates at ‪ 

First-time authors who are looking for book reviews, beware! There are a number of dicey schemes out there that will waste your precious time and money. I pursued several of them after I published my first novel, a quirky midlife romance (Love Is the Punch Line) in 2018. Here’s a couple that weren’t worth the effort:

  • Ebook Contests and Giveaways: I did a number of ebook giveaways on Goodreads, LibraryThing, and various fan sites catering to fans of romance novels. I also sponsored a contest, offering the winner a $25 gift card on Amazon. Even though dozens of people responded to these offers, I got exactly ONE review! And the giveaways were a huge drain on my time, as I had to send my ebook to dozens of people, then follow up with them a few months later.
  • BookCrossing: BookCrossing promises to give authors greater exposure for their books. The author registers their book online, gives a copy of the book to another person (usually, a stranger), and asks that person to review the book, pass it along to someone else, then record their actions on BookCrossing’s site. I gave my book to a woman who promised to do all of these things; however, one year later, the copy I donated has vanished from the face of the earth. Once again, no reviews!


photo credit: JavaJoba Smyrna Library Private Room via photopin (license)

Kathleen Jones’ first novel, Love Is the Punch Line, a midlife romance set in the world of stand-up comedy, is available NOW, in trade paperback and ebook from and the Love Is the Punch Line Media Room at

A Comedian’s 5-Star Review of Love Is the Punch Line!

Posted by Ward Anderson on Goodreads on December 2, 2019 (

This is a truly heartwarming, romantic, and engaging read. And it’s also a pretty good look at the life (and Love-life) of those in the comedy world. Jones manages to understand the industry, and the people involved in it, without resorting to old cliches about comedians or their relationships. Mostly, it’s a very enjoyable read, with fun and engaging characters. There’s a lot of heart and a lot of fun to be had here. Give it a read; you’ll enjoy it.

Glowing Review for Punch Line!

Posted by Carol Perkes on Goodreads, October 20, 2019:

It is unusual for me to read a book in two days but I just wanted to find out what finally happened after all the ups and downs in Holly and Josh’s relationship. I couldn’t see what Holly saw in Josh but wanted their relationship to succeed anyway. Lots of laughs but moments of pity and sadness for the characters too. This book would make a great screenplay, Kathleen. Very original storytelling!


Author Kathleen Jones will be signing copies of her novel Love Is the Punch Line at two locations:

IndigoSpirit: First Canadian Place, 100 King Street West (King and Bay), Toronto

When: Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 12:00 noon to 2:30 p.m.

Indigo: Yorkdale Mall, 3401 Dufferin St., Toronto

When: Saturday, February 8, 2020, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.

Petite Women Are STILL No Longer Welcome at the Eaton Centre’s Department Stores in Toronto!!!

By Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist. Please sign up for free updates at ‪ 

This a revised version of a post originally published on October 1, 2019 at

 As I observed in my earlier post, which was originally published online on October 1, 2018, petite women in Toronto are no longer welcome at the Eaton Centre’s department stores in downtown Toronto. The three department stores in and around Toronto’s Eaton Centre mall—Saks, Nordstrom, and Hudson’s Bay—still offer almost no clothing for petite women. And this situation had not improved at all when I visited these stores again in the fall of 2019.

Every woman, regardless of her shape or size or height, should be able to find chic and flattering clothes that fit. If only the fashion world felt that way.

Most women’s clothing is sized to fit a woman of about 5’5” and won’t fit shorter women properly. Just shortening a garment won’t make it fit; it needs to be entirely re-proportioned so that the neckline, waistline, pockets, and hem all sit at the appropriate place on the body.

The fashion industry offers clothing in petite sizes for women who are 5’4” and under. The average woman’s height in North America is around 5’3”. Clearly, petite women are far from rare, yet they’re offered limited choices, mostly basic styles in shoddy fabrics. And those choices, which were never extensive in the first place, have been shrinking over the last ten years, as department stores closed their petite departments.

Let’s take a closer look at the three culprits: in the Eaton Centre:


Saks continues to ignore the petite woman. No petite-sized clothing is available from their U.S. website; even worse, when I sent an email to Saks asking about their plans (if any) to carry petite-sized clothing, I did not receive a response.

Consequently, I haven’t updated my entry on Saks (below) from last year. There’s  nothing to update:

In early 2016, Saks Fifth Avenue, an American department store known for its high-end fashion offerings, opened its first store in Canada. The local media gushed about the luxurious store’s first location in Toronto’s Eaton Centre mall, noting its extensive line of exclusive designer clothing. About fifteen years ago, I used to shop at Saks when I visited the U.S. Their store in Denver’s Cherry Creek Mall had an impressive petite department—I’m 5’2.5”—with a wide range of beautiful clothing. I remember buying a petite-sized Ellen Tracy denim jacket there; it had gorgeous ivory top stitching and a blouson shape. I decided to visit the Toronto Saks store to see what all of the fuss was about. I wasn’t impressed.

The Toronto store doesn’t offer a single item—not one single item—in petite sizes. The store’s website doesn’t, either. When I emailed the store to ask about their petite sized offerings, a representative told me that (1) Saks does offer petites in some of their stores, (2) I wouldn’t be able to find petite sizes on their website (no kidding!), and (3) if I wanted to find petite clothing, I would need to contact individual stores in the U.S. Apparently, Saks abandoned its petite department in 2006 for reasons that remain unclear to this very day. When their petite-sized customers complained, the store brought back its petite department, but it seems to have disappeared again. In the meantime, they’ve expanded their plus-sized clothing department and now offer pieces by such high end labels as Eileen Fisher and Lafayette 148. Come to think of it, Lafayette 148 also makes glorious clothing in petite sizes, but you can’t buy it at Saks, or (apparently) anywhere else in Toronto, even though there are probably a lot of petite-sized Toronto women who could afford it.

Toronto’s fashion media might be in love with Saks, but I refuse to shop there, not even if I suddenly become rich, not even when their clothing goes on sale, not ever. Because I, the customer, shouldn’t have to do the work of contacting individual stores to find something, anything in my size. Obviously, the people running Saks don’t value people with bodies my size, so why on earth should I give them my hard-earned money?

The upshot: Saks obviously doesn’t want petite women to buy their clothing; they don’t even know that we exist! Don’t bother with them.

What you can do: Nothing. The people who run Saks are living on another planet.


Nordstrom prides itself on the “size inclusivity” of its women’s clothing. That may (or may not) be true for Nordstrom’s U.S. stores (which I admit I haven’t visited for several years), but that’s not at all true for its Canadian stores, not by a long shot.

In October 2018, Brandon Gross, the manager for Nordstrom’s Eaton Centre location in Toronto, told me that his store planned to add petite-sized clothing by the fall of 2019. But when I re-visited that location in October 2019, I discovered that it only carried two brands—Eileen Fisher and Halogen—in petites.

When I contacted Mr. Gross to ask about Nordstrom’s plans to expand its petite offerings, he put me in touch with Whitney Buczkowski, the Divisional Retail Merchandiser, Women’s Apparel, for Nordstrom Canada. Ms. Buczkowski acknowledged the Canadian stores’ limited offerings in petites, and she told me that she does share customer feedback with the store’s merchant teams in Seattle to expand its extended size (including petite) offerings.

The upshot: Nordstrom has not, to date, lived up to its reputation as a “size inclusive” shopping destination for petite women. Of course, petite women can still order clothing online from Nordstrom’s U.S. website, but they shouldn’t have to do this! They—like taller women—need to be able to try on clothing in the store, and they shouldn’t have to bear the extra cost of having clothing shipped from the U.S. In other words, why should women be financially penalized for being short?

 What you can do: Email Whitney Buczkowski (, and tell her that you want Nordstrom’s Canadian locations to expand its offerings in petite sizes. Also, let her know which petite-sized brands you would like to see in Nordstrom’s Canadian locations (refer to Nordstrom’s website at

Hudson’s Bay

Last fall, my visit to the Hudson’s Bay location in the Eaton Centre was a dispiriting experience.

Believe it or not, this year’s visit, in October 2019, was even worse.

Last year, the store offered a few stray pieces in petite sizes. Now, it has nothing—and I mean NOTHING—in petites.

The Bay’s online petite offerings have also gotten worse. Once upon a time (just a year or two ago), you could buy Lauren Ralph Lauren clothing in petite sizes from the Bay, not only online but also in many of its stores. Not anymore. The Bay has removed all RLR petites from its website and stores, but continues to offer RLR clothing in Misses and Plus sizes! And (of course), the store does not offer any other designer petite brands (save for a few pieces from Eileen Fisher).

I emailed Richard Montgomery, Vice-President and General Manager, to ask him about the lack of petite clothing at the Bay’s Eaton Centre store. Mr. Montgomery forwarded my email to the store’s Senior Vice-President for Ladies’ Wear; he promised to pass on her comments. To date, I have not heard back from him.

The upshot: Petite women who are unwilling to settle for unsophisticated, poorly made, and (mostly) synthetic clothing should look elsewhere.

What you can do: Email Richard Montgomery, Vice-President and General Manager ( and ask him about the lack of petite clothing at the Bay’s Eaton Centre store and about the absence of quality petite clothing on the store’s website.

Petite women, it’s all about self-respect. Don’t shop at the Eaton Centre’s department stores (Saks, Nordstrom, and Hudson’s Bay) until they start to offer a decent selection of quality petite-sized clothing, and don’t shop at any other store that refuses to carry clothing in your size range.

 If you want to purchase good quality clothing that actually fits you, try Neiman Marcus (online), Talbots, or my personal favourite, Brooks Brothers, which carries some of the fashion-forward items from its Zak Posen line in petite sizes. A lot of the clothing from Brooks’ regular-sized Red Fleece line fits petites well, too. Custom-made clothing (from a dressmaker or tailor) is another option.

Please share your experiences. Did you contact Saks, Nordstrom, and Hudson’s Bay? If so, how did they respond?

Visit Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist, online at or on Twitter at and sign up for free updates at ‪  Kathleen’s first novel, Love Is the Punch Line, a midlife romance set in the world of stand-up comedy, is available NOW, in trade paperback and ebook from ( and Indigo Books and Music ( Visit the Love Is the Punch Line Media Room at


5-Star Review from the UK!


A romance that keeps it real

Review posted on on 16 September 2018 by Jack Dawkins, Esq,

Format: Paperback


Love is the Punch Line, Kathleen Jones’ debut novel, is not your average romance.

Straying from the tried and tested formula of two young, beautiful, perfect people overcoming a series of challenges and rivals on the path to true love, Kathleen gives us a relationship that feels a lot closer to the real world. The story revolves around Josh, an aging comedian on a steep downward career curve, peddling weak material at obscure comedy clubs – a world away from his past as a successful sitcom star. Josh is self-obsessed, depressed, and consumed with doubt over both his comedy and his unattractive appearance. When he meets Holly, a Canadian business woman, there are early hints that she could be his salvation – but both of them are damaged from previous failed relationships and prone to overreact to every little setback that comes their way. At times it’s hard to like either character, but that adds to the sense that this book reflects real life, where few people can remain consistently likeable in their most difficult moments.

A string of mishaps and misunderstandings conspires to keep the couple apart as the novel progresses, and we are kept guessing as to their eventual fate until the finals chapters. The book is an enjoyable ride, but touches on serious themes such as depression, suicide, and body image. Recommended if you want a romance that goes beyond the norm.


The Birth of a Writer Took 50 Years

By Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist. Please sign up for free updates at ‪ 

Above: Kathleen Jones (front row, fourth from right) in Mrs. Eleanor Campbell’s grade 2 class at Central Public School in Windsor, Ontario, in 1967-68.

1967 was a landmark year, a year I’ll always remember. It was Canada’s 100thbirthday . . . and my birth date as a writer.

That fall, I was a 7-year-old entering the second grade at Central Public School in Windsor, Ontario. Up to that point, I had never thought of becoming a writer; in fact, I had never even written anything, even though I was already an enthusiastic reader. I wasn’t even much of a student and didn’t put much effort into my schoolwork.

All that changed when I entered the classroom of veteran teacher Mrs. Eleanor Campbell. An excellent teacher—and a strict disciplinarian—she motivated me to work hard, and my grades dramatically improved. And she made me aware of a talent that I didn’t know I had.

That fall, Mrs. Campbell gave our class a number of creative writing assignments. Even though I wasn’t the hardest-working student at that point, I put a great deal of effort into my writing. I soon discovered that I really enjoyed making up stories and characters, and I didn’t view these assignments as “work” at all. To my surprise, Mrs. Campbell loved my stories and often asked me to read them out loud to the class. She even told my parents that I would become “a famous Canadian author” someday.

Gradually, I began to think of myself as a writer, and throughout my school years, from grade 2 until I graduated from university, I continued to receive encouragement from teachers and professors for my creative writing. Alas, when it came time to earn a living, I had to put my dream of becoming a published writer on hold . . . but I never gave it up entirely. I started writing again at 46, and sold my first novel to a publisher at 57—my 50-year-old dream finally came true.

Mrs. Campbell passed away years ago, but I’ll always be grateful for her for recognizing my talent and inspiring my dream.

Visit Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist, online at on Twitter at sign up for free updates at ‪ Kathleen’s first novel, Love Is the Punch Line, a midlife romance set in the world of stand-up comedy, is available NOW, in trade paperback and ebook from ( Indigo Books and Music ( the Love Is the Punch Line Media Room at






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