Book Review: Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz

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Book Review: Love Literary Style by Karin Gillespie—and a Giveaway!

Love Literary StyleLove Literary Style
Karin Gillespie
Henery Press, November 2016
ISBN 978-1-63511-085-2
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

They say opposites attract, and what could be more opposite than a stuffy literary writer falling in love with a self-published romance writer?

Meet novelist Aaron Mite. He lives in a flea-infested rented alcove, and his girlfriend Emma, a combative bookstore owner, has just dumped him. He meets Laurie Lee at a writers’ colony and mistakenly believes her to be a renowned writer of important fiction. When he discovers she’s a self-published romance author, he’s already fallen in love with her.

Aaron thinks genre fiction is an affront to the fiction-writing craft. He likes to quotes the essayist, Arthur Krystal who claims literary fiction “melts the frozen sea inside of us.” Ironically Aaron doesn’t seem to realize that, despite his lofty literary aspirations, he’s emotionally frozen, due, in part, to a childhood tragedy. The vivacious Laurie, lover of flamingo-patterned attire and all things hot pink, is the one person who might be capable of melting him.

Their relationship is initially made in literary heaven but when Aaron loses his contract with a prestigious press, and Laurie’s novel is optioned by a major film studio, the differences in their literary sensibilities and temperaments drive them apart.

In a clumsy attempt to win Laurie back, Aaron employs the tropes of romance novels. Too late. She’s already taken up with Ross, a prolific author of Nicholas Sparks-like love stories. Initially Laurie is more comfortable with the slick and superficial Ross, but circumstances force her to go deeper with her writing and confront a painful past. Maybe Aaron and Laurie have more in common than they imagined.

Karin Gillespie is an author I’ve come to look forward to and I have yet to find one of her books that I don’t like a whole lot. I’m delighted I can still say that after reading Love Literary Style.

The description of the story is enough to draw in a lot of readers but it’s especially appealing to anyone who’s been involved in the book industry as I have, first as a bookstore owner and later as a book blogger. For decades, there’s been a hot debate going on about the relative worth of so-called literary fiction and its “poorer” cousin, genre fiction, i.e., the kind that’s popular. I fall squarely in the genre camp and, yes, I have on occasion looked at literary fiction with a bit of a snobbish eye but my attitude doesn’t hold a candle to the supercilious outlook sometimes seen on the other side.

And, so, I was all set to be completely entertained and indeed I was despite my usual lack of interest in reading romance. My antipathy was definitely lessened because this is not the sappy or bodice-ripping kind of romance that I really don’t like and there’s a lighthearted ambience to it that made it appealing and kept me turning pages.

Aaron and Laurie are delightful characters, full of quirkiness and vulnerability, and many of the secondary players are just as engaging. I laughed out loud a lot, particularly when Aaron begins to recognize his own book elitism and his failure to be a social butterfly, and I loved Laurie’s singleminded yet reluctant determination to do a little heartbreak mending by having a fling with this stick-in-the-mud. As might be expected, said fling turns into something more and then takes a nosedive.

Once again, Ms. Gillespie has worked her magic with an engaging story and vivid characters and re-confirmed my love of Southern fiction. Love Literary Style just made it to my list of favorite books read in 2016 and now I’m anticipating this most talented author’s next work.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2016.

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Goodreads

Purchase Links:

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READ an excerpt at Karin’s website, HERE.

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About the Author

karin-gillespieKarin Gillespie is the author of the national bestselling Bottom Dollar Girls series, 2016 Georgia Author of the Year, Co-author for Jill Connor Browne’s novel Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big Ass Novel. Her latest novel Love Literary Style was inspired by a New York Times article called “Masters in Chick Lit” that went viral and was shared by literary luminaries like Elizabeth Gilbert and Anne Rice. She’s written for the Washington Post and Writer Magazine and is book columnist and humor columnist for the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Magazine respectively. She received a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2016.

Connect with Karin

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Follow the tour:

Tuesday, November 1st: A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, November 2nd: Bibliotica

Wednesday, November 2nd: Lesa’s Book Critiques

Friday, November 4th: View from the Birdhouse

Monday, November 7th: Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, November 8th: Reading Reality

Tuesday, November 8th: Buried Under Books

Wednesday, November 9th: Wall to Wall Books

Thursday, November 10th: Reading is my Superpower

Thursday, November 10th: Mom in Love with Fiction

Friday, November 11th: Not in Jersey

Sunday, November 13th: Writer Unboxed – author guest post

Monday, November 14th: From the TBR Pile

Tuesday, November 15th: Bewitched Bookworms

Wednesday, November 16th: Buried Under Romance

Thursday, November 17th: Thoughts on This ‘N That

Monday, November 21st: Joyfully Retired

Tuesday, November 22nd: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

Monday, November 28th: Patricia’s Wisdom

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To enter the drawing for a paperback
copy of Love Literary Style, leave a
comment below. The winning name will
be drawn Friday evening, November 11th.
Open to residents of the US and Canada.

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TLC Book Tours Button

Book Review: The World Within by Jane Eagland

the-world-withinThe World Within
A Novel of Emily Bronte
Jane Eagland
Arthur A. Levine Books, April 2015
ISBN 978-0-545-49295-9
Hardcover

Well, this is embarrassing.  As someone who considers herself relatively well read, I know of the Bronte sisters in only a vague, pedestal-classics-women-only-wear-dresses kind of way.  Apparently, I’m not mature enough to put that aside and just read a book.  Unfortunate and unfair when reading for review, I almost allowed my uninformed opinion of the main character to cast a shadow over the entire effort.  Absolutely asinine; I dig so much about this book.

I loved that Emily grew by leaps and bounds in some ways; staying self-limiting to the extreme in others.  The author’s adoration and admiration is clear and contagious.  Ferociously fond, Ms. Eagland is nevertheless fair and forthright.  Emily has faults that she may never notice but the author acknowledges in a skillfully sly, demonstrative way.

Clearly consumed with compassion for her siblings, Emily nevertheless continues to anticipate issues incorrectly.  Almost illustrative of something that Hank Green recently said, “I think that the longer you know someone, the easier it is to think that you know what they think all the time and that leads to really bad communication.  When you’re like, I already know how you feel about this, so I’m not even going to ask.”

Ms. Eagland does not portray Emily as a heroine, nor does she gloss over the young woman’s courageous, self-less acts.  Feisty and fierce, Emily does not always choose the best battle to fight, in spite of being considerate and thoughtful.  Wise and well-informed on the one hand, naïve and somewhat sheltered on the other; I found it interesting and intriguing to witness her acquisition of knowledge.  I loved that she changed her mind quickly, compulsively to adopt and embrace the completely opposite opinion.

Engaging and exhilarating, Emily takes center stage but the spotlight certainly shines on the charismatic cast.  Curious and considerate, interacting with different people has a ripple effect as Emily first defends, then reconsiders her stance on practically every topic from religion to women’s role in society.  As it turns out, any preconceived notions are irrelevant.  The World Within is simply an interesting story about an intriguing young lady.

Reviewed by jv poore, March 2016.