Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Write By Your Side" by D.J. Van Oss




This was my first introduction to the works of D.J. Van Oss and the folks in the quaint town of Golden Grove, Iowa.  Even though most of the story centered around  six or seven characters, Van Oss excelled in giving the readers a good description of how life is in small town America.

We meet Ellie Chambers and Sam Price, a former couple who started out as writing partners and separated about 4 years prior and have not really been on speaking terms since that time.  As you can imagine with both of them living in the same small town, they frequently saw each other in passing, and usually only communicated in one syllable conversations, particularly Ellie.  When a snafu with their previous publishing contract throws them together again to write another book, each blames the other for the past problems that were cast aside, but not dealt with, after they separated.  The gloves come off and the game is on!!

As they begin this latest venture, both too stubborn to let the other one get the easier path in writing the book, they finally realize that once again, they do make a good writing team, and decide to take the upper hand together against the former publisher.  During the process, both question their previous thoughts as to why their break-up occurred.  At first, each blames the other.  As the story progresses, the tide turns with each becoming the other's staunch supporter.

Their friends wonder how this relationship is going to fare once the book is completed.  Ellie and Sam each have their own thoughts about this too.  Will love win out for them this time?  Will they be able to be happy together?  Pick up a copy of this delightful, quick read and find out for yourself!!  You will not be disappointed.


This reader participated in the book launch for "Write By Your Side" and was provided a free copy of the book by the author in exchange for a review.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

My Reading Stack - September 6, 2017


Back again this week, late as usual!!  This week's reading stack has some new exciting books to share.

"The Boy Who Loved Too Much" by Jennifer Latson is the "true story of pathological friendliness."  Twelve-year-old Eli has a genetic disorder that takes away all of his social inhibitions and makes him "unconditionally loving toward everyone he meets."  Is it wrong to be friendly toward everyone you meet?

"Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore" by Matthew Sullivan is still in the stack.  It is a first novel that takes place in and around a bookstore.  There is murder, mystery, hidden messages in books, long-buried memories unearthed, etc. and I am only a little over a hundred pages into it.  I can only imagine what the rest of the book holds for me.

"Refuge" by Dina Nayeri cover two decades of a relationship between a daughter and her father.  The daughter escaped to live in America while the father stayed behind in Iran.  They only get to visit four times over two decades.  Soon the daughter starts receiving troubling e-mail messages from the father's e-mail address.  She is torn as to how to respond.  Does she leave her Western life behind to seek out what these messages might mean?

"Woman at 1,000 Degrees" by Hallgrimur Helgason introduces us to Herra Bj√∂rnsson, an 80 year-old female who "lives here alone in a garage, together with a laptop computer and a hand grenade" in Reykjavik, Iceland.  She shares her life experiences which have taken her "from Iceland to Nazi Germany, from the United States to Argentina, and back to a post-crash, high-tech, modern Iceland."  She has decided "to control her own fate" much to her family's dismay, and sets "a date for her cremation -- at a toasty 1,000 degrees."  This book will be released January 9, 2018.

"The Library at the Edge of the World" by Felicity Hayes-McCoy takes us to Ireland's West Coast where Hanna Casey drives her mobile library van between the villages of her youth.  Can she forget the ghosts of her past and start her life again?

"The Hidden Letters of Velta B." by Gina Ochsner is a little bit of historical fiction and a little bit of magical realism, secrets, love, and memories all crammed into one book. 

I continue to use my favorite Klimt tea cup for my daily chai.


What is in your reading stack this week?