Friday, March 16, 2012

Bookshelf Friday - Just Between You and Me

I had just finished Jenny B. Jones' Save the Date and completely fallen in love with her. Seriously, if you haven't yet read that book (and I know most of you have), you need to pick it up.

Anyway. I need to read books. Lots of books. It's one of the best things a writer can do--and as I am crazy-in-love with reading it is research I happily submit to doing. I'm currently reading books I might be able to use as comparables when submitting to agents and editors. Basically, I need to say - "Look at this amazing person's book. Yep, mine is just as amazing in oh so many ways, but not so many ways that it's like printing the same book over again. Just enough ways that other readers may find me interesting too!"

So it was with great joy that I found Jenny's Just Between You and Me. I was already a happy follower of hers after finishing Save the Date, and now could log reading one of her books as marketing research? It almost felt like cheating!

Now, I must say, it did take a bit for me to get into JBY&M. I blame that on the style Jenny chose for writing it: first person, present tense. As a reader, that is the hardest format for me to follow. However, that said, the story still clearly held Jenny's voice and once I got my mind to replace all those present tense verbs with past tense ones, I started to slide into the book.

In this book Jenny does an amazing job of balancing her humor with healing. As usual, her characters ride a bit on the side of dry humor - and as I've said before, it's a trait I enjoy. I loved the interaction of Maggie and her niece Riley. The kid is hilarious. And Maggie keeps right up with her.

Above all though, this is a story of finally facing your past, letting go of your fears, and learning to trust God. And in true Jenny fashion, she delivers it all in a mixture of laughter and, this time, (at least for me) a few tears.

Here's a blurb:

The only thing scarier than living on the edge is stepping off it.

Maggie Montgomery lives a life of adventure. Her job as a cinematographer takes her from one exotic locale to the next. When Maggie's not working, she loves to rappel off cliffs or go skydiving. Nothing frightens her.

Nothing, that is, except Ivy, Texas, where a family emergency pulls her back home to a town full of bad memories, painful secrets, and people Maggie left far behind . . . for a reason.

Forced to stay longer than she intended, Maggie finds her family a complete mess, including the niece her sister has abandoned. Ten-year-old Riley is struggling in school and out of control at home. The only person who can really handle the pint-sized troublemaker is Conner, the local vet and Ivy's most eligible bachelor. But Conner and Maggie keep butting heads--he's suspicious of her and, well, she doesn't rely on anyone but herself.

As Maggie humorously fumbles her way from one mishap to another, she realizes she's going to need to ask for help from the one person who scares her the most.

To save one little girl--and herself--can Maggie let go of her fears and just trust God?

Happy reading and have a fantastic weekend!


  1. I loved this book! I remember reading it, closing it and saying out loud, "I want to write a book like that." Something in me so connected with Maggie, the main character, even though technically my life really has nothing in common with her fictional life. I just loved it! Loved Save the Date too. (I was actually going to abbreviate Save the Date, then realized how that looked...hehehe)

  2. Cool. Wow...hard to follow and VERY hard to write. First person, present tense, that is. Amazing.

    Thanks for the head's up! :)

  3. One of my all-time favorite books! :)

  4. Melissa - you just made me snort! That's actually why Hubby and I have never used our monogram. Doug and Susan Tuttle. When you arrange our initials into the "proper" monogram for married people, that's what you get. Needless to say, we chose something else to send out on our wedding thank-you's:)

    Sherri - I truly don't know how she did it. But I like her enough to stick with it. Before I've always put them down. I can do first person, but mix it with present tense and you lose me!

    Sarah - I can see why! It was fantastic. Jenny makes her characters come alive.

  5. Love the blurb, especially the first line! First person present tense always jolts me in the beginning, but if the author draws me in, I can usually get past that. Thanks for sharing JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ME, Susan. Sounds great!