John Grisham, Harper Lee and Bette Lee Crosby
Q: What do John Grisham, Harper Lee and Bette Lee Crosby have in common?
A: Three Bestsellers, three kids who will steal your heart, three Southern towns
Several reviewers have compared my novel Spare Change to John Grisham’s “The Client” as well as Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” This thought intrigued me and I began to look at a number of comparison factors.
Let’s start with the fact that all three have a young protagonist who steals the reader’s heart right off the bat. I can almost picture Grisham’s eleven-year-old Mark Sway mixing it up with eleven-year-old Ethan Allen Doyle. Both are survivors, tough on the outside and a bit frightened on the inside. Both are in search of an adult they can trust, and neither of them gives their trust easily.
And then there’s Harper Lee’s Scout; a tomboy who’s looking for trouble, even if she has to scare it up herself. Can you imagine what a trio they would make?
Once this thought settled in my head, I wondered how readers felt when they were rating the books and this is what I found on Amazon:
To Kill a Mockingbird………… 4.7 Stars
Spare Change…………………….. 4.4 Stars
The Client.…………………………. 4.2 Stars
I can see why reviewers have often compared Spare Change to these classic favorites, but I think you should judge for yourself.
Paris in July Deux! – #fanfun
TRAVELING BEYOND THE CITY
There is so much to do and see in Paris, you are hard-pressed to find enough time for everything. But we saved a few days for beyond the city excursions. One was a tour of Normandy. We visited all of the WW2 sites I’ve so often read about, climbed in and out of the bunkers and felt the sting of the wind coming off of the Channel. The French believe the spirits of the men who died at Omaha Beach still linger there and it’s quite possibly true. Standing on that particular beach has the reverent feel of being in church. The same is true of the American Cemetery in Normandy. Most heartbreaking of all was the small white cross with the inscription, “Here lies an honored comrade known only to God.”
I have been working on a novel set during WW2 and this trip to Normandy was a great inspiration. It will definitely have me moving that story up to the front burner.
Perhaps our most enjoyable day was the one spent with our charming hosts. They drove in, picked us up at the apartment and together we visited the home and gardens of artist Claude Monet. In college I was an art major and my favorite era was the impressionists, so seeing this was a thrill. When you stand beside the pond of water lilies that inspired Monet’s painting you can understand the love that went into each brush stroke.
As if all this wonder weren’t enough, we did an overnight stop in Dublin, Ireland on our trip home. How many people want to guess what we did there?
Now here’s my laugh of the day. I always imagined pubs were for eating and drinking, I’m thinking maybe shepherd’s pie or Irish Stew but it seems in Ireland the pubs are just for drinking. No food. Not even pretzels. Just drinking. I think that might be why the Irish are so well known for their blarney.
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Paris in July! – #fanfun
A JOURNEY TO REMEMBER
Sometimes we get lucky and have a chance to do something we’ve been dreaming about. For me, it happened this summer. Three years ago Dick and I were in Paris for four days and ever since I have been itching to go back. This year we finally did it.
Following the advice of fellow author Patricia Sands, we planned a home exchange with a charming couple from France. In March they spent a few weeks enjoying our pool and the Florida sunshine and in exchange, they gave us the use of a lovely Paris apartment on a street that leads to the Eiffel Tower.
Paris is indeed everything it is rumored to be. We visited the museums, shopped in the open-air markets, dined in charming little bistros, rode the metro, even attended a concert at the Eiffel Tower plaza and yes, strolled the Champs Elysées. Most evenings we stopped for a glass of wine or had dinner in an outdoor restaurant. It’s the thing to do. Once the weather turns warm, all of Paris takes to the streets.
It is a city that never sleeps… at least not in the summertime. In Paris the sky waits until about 10:30 to grow dusky and regardless of the hour there is always a musician or singer serenading you on the metro. The fromagerie (cheese shop) and Boulangerie (bakery) are open until 8PM so there’s never a need to hurry.
You may have heard that the Parisians are cool and standoffish. Not true. They are as charming and gracious as could possibly be expected. They go out of their way to give directions, or explain something. We often rode the metro during rush hour and several times a young man stood up and offered me his seat. Try finding that on a New York subway!
Check back next week for more about my trip to Paris! AND a GIVEAWAY!
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