♥ 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.
My thoughts: I enjoyed this fun novella, with it's clever characters and fun setting. Milton Coleridge doesn't realize how long Tamarisk will keep him when he stops to spend a week at Joshua Tree National Park and comes across a delightful bookstore. I loved the wit and play on words that transpires when he meets Ced, the delightful owner. I have a niece who was named after the same character as Ced, though I didn't catch on to the fact that they share a name, since the character doesn't go by the common nickname. As a small business owner myself, I loved reading about this delightful bookshop and look forward to reading more books in this series!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
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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.
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 26
Texas Book-aholic, April 26
Lots of Helpers, April 27
Mary Hake, April 27
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 28
By the Book, April 29
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 29
The Avid Reader, April 30
Vicky Sluiter, May 1
For Him and My Family, May 2
Miriam Jacob, May 2
Inklings and notions, May 3
Blogging With Carol, May 4
deb’s Book Review, May 4
She Lives To Read, May 5
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 6
Simple Harvest Reads, May 6 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 8
Pause for Tales, May 8
Locks, Hooks and Books, May 9
To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.