by Deb Seminary
If you need a gift idea for a friend, especially a female friend, I am recommending Love by George. Written by a former North Dakotan and Inspired Woman writer, the book is a page-turner and very entertaining.
One of my favorite things about Love by George, besides the ‘you-know-how-it’s-going-to-end’ plot, is the cast of characters. The author, Robert Taylor, introduces the reader to each person in an interesting, relatable way, and I loved them all for their quirky habits, personalities and hobbies.
As he broadcasts the main characters’ thoughts throughout the book, especially the times she is waiting in line at the coffee shop, it made me almost laugh out loud.
Hope’s mind spun. She arose the next day still meditating on fashion. The contemplations worked itself into an Unmatchables Report that required no thought – ideas going forward, not the lowlights of Friday’s class. After completing it Monday morning, she deposited it in George’s inbox on his desk. A wave of triumph swelled within her. Near perfection, she thought. And ahead of schedule. With the lights off and no one around, she picked up the white candle next to his computer. “And what’s your scent, Mr. Compatibility?” she said aloud, holding it to her nose. Shutting her eyes, she inhaled. “Hotel bed sheets?”
A gasp from behind startled her. Madeline stood in the doorway, a hand covering her mouth. Behind her, Ted and George craned their necks.
Hotel bed sheets? repeated Hope’s inner voice, sounding like it had just swallowed helium. Did you really just say that out loud? Quick, say something else. Save yourself. “Clean ones!” her voice crackled.
More craning. Another gasp.
Hope’s eyes swelled. Just kill me! Crimson-cheeked, she fled, parting the trio in a fantastic clicking of heels down the hallway to her office. Closing her door, she stood with her back against it, clutching the knob with one hand. Dear God no! she thought, glancing down. George’s candle was in her other hand.
When asked about this particular passage, Taylor said, “This candle sniffing piece is an adaptation of the “Candlepower” article published in Inspired Woman Magazine (IW). This was one of readers’ favorite articles and Love by George readers continue to chuckle over it. The story line is based upon an incident that happened to me one day during my day job at the office. Embarrassingly, I am the guilty party – the one who picked up a candle, sniffed and christened it aloud (before thinking about what I was saying), announcing the first smell that came to mind: hotel bed sheets. After noting the alarm on my audience’s face (the female candle owner), I tried saving my dignity by adding “clean ones.” My dignity never quite recovered.”
He went on to talk about his writing career: “My professional writing career began more than a decade ago, writing for IW Magazine. It led to a weekly column (in my new home town) called “If Guys Could Talk” in Colorado’s Sky-Hi Daily News. I learned quickly that my column’s readership (like my IW readership) was 90 percent female. One such reader urged me to write Love by George. I quit my newspaper column to write it – on nights and weekends. Five years later, I finally finished and found a publisher, Black Rose Writing. One new wrinkle in the novel writing process for me – I used a focus group of 8 female readers (mostly from North Dakota) who critiqued my beta draft. Their feedback greatly influenced the final draft that I submitted to the publisher. Using that focus group was my smartest move.
“By the way, the leading man, George, was influenced by a native North Dakotan.”
Love by George is a funny, witty love story that any female would devour in a weekend. Buy a few for stocking stuffers and gift exchanges, and don’t forget one for yourself.
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