About the Book:
Book: Spines & Leaves
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: FICTION / CHRISTIAN / WOMENS FICTION / ROMANCE
Release date: July 8, 2021
♥ Books are the strings that tie hearts together. ♥
With a month to get from Orange County, California to Delaware for his next corporate challenge, Milton Coleridge decides to spend a week at Joshua Tree National Park.
He never expected to find a floundering bookstore in need of his particular business skills. Will his methods of saving companies from bankruptcy or takeover work on such a small scale? And can he convince two people to risk their hearts?
Step into the Spines & Leaves, Tamarisk, California’s oldest (and only ever) bookstore. Come in out of the harsh, desert sun and wind and peruse all the store has to offer. It might just be more than you think.
One man, one store, thousands of books. What’ll it take to keep this bookstore from becoming a book ghost town… and what’ll it take for Milton to tie two heartstrings together?
Spine & Leaves is the introductory novella to the Bookstrings series.
I first read Spines & Leaves about a year ago (see the review I wrote then here), soon after it was written, but when I read it again last week, I enjoyed it every bit as much. I loved reading a story set in one of my mom’s favorite places. I have never been there, but I have seen her pictures of Joshua Tree National Monument from when she lived in California in the 1960s. I also loved the story of how Milton helped revitalize a struggling bookstore, and his parrotlet was pure fun! The one thing I didn’t enjoy so much was the kiss that the love story in the book cantered around. I did like watching the interactions between Milton, Marcus and Ced, and how they learned to know and appreciate each other.
I received a review copy of this book from the author, and these are my honest thoughts about it. Links may be affiliate links, which will benefit Esther’s website if purchases are made through them.
About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling author of Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
More from Chautona:
The more I think about it, the more I realize that the Bookstrings series is a process rather than an idea. Each time I saw an indie bookstore close, each time I went in one with no one else in there for the hour or two I browsed, and each time I heard book lovers lament the lack of a store in their town… Yeah. Those experiences slowly grew into a wish—one where I knew how to rescue those stores from extinction. So maybe that’s a bit melodramatic, but that’s how it felt.
Somewhere in the midst of all that, Milton appeared—a business genius who, along with his faithful parrotlet, Atticus (not Finch), travels the country saving corporations from takeover or bankruptcy.
Milton went through several iterations. Older, balding, mustache, and always wearing a golfer’s cap. Then I had him as a young hipster dude who got sick of the rat race on Wall Street and took off on his own, using what he’d learned. That just felt too cliché.
Instead, I have a forty-ish guy who wears chinos and oxford shirts with topsiders, shorter than most men, and with a nonchalant air about him. And charm. The quiet guy with serious business skills just oozes quiet charm.
After deciding on Milton, I had to choose where to put the stores. I’ve been watching out for towns for years—using trips different places as research times. Would I create places that felt like real towns or use actual small towns? Though drawn to real towns, I had an idea for where to end the series, and, doing that meant a fictional town. Would it be weird to have four or five books set in small towns across America followed by a final fictional one?
The solution came to me as I learned that the Mosaic authors were doing a summer collection in 2021. If I started with a novella and ended the series with both in a fictional town, at least that fictional bit wouldn’t be out of the blue!
So, the Bookstrings series has two novellas and five full-length novels. (I couldn’t resist a Christmas “noella” in the charming town of Noel, Missouri—the “Christmas City.”) We’ll be off to other small towns around the country—one in Red Wing, Minnesota, another in Berne, Indiana, and one somewhere between Kingsport, Tennessee and Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina. If I can find a place in New England, that’d be great, too. Or maybe down in Mississippi… I’d love to visit my sister down there.
The Bookstrings series books all have one very important thing in common (aside from Milton and Atticus, of course). They all illustrate that books truly are the strings that tie hearts together.
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Beatrice LaRocca says
Thank you for sharing your wonderful review of Spines & Leaves, I love the premise of this story and I am looking forward to reading this book myself
Thank you for sharing your excellent review! Spines & Leaves sounds like one not to miss.