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A Little Ray Of Sunshine [Kindle Edition]

Lani Diane Rich
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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How to Start a Fire
Anna, Kate and Georgiana have been bosom buddies since their salad days at University of California at Santa Cruz: This novel follows the three adventurous women into middle age. Read about the author, Lisa Lutz

Book Description

"There are worse things than going home again.

None come to mind at the moment."

Emmy James is not the kind of girl who believes in angels, or fate. So when a lost soul named Jess gets stranded at the convenience store where EJ works the night shift, and claims to be an angel delivered by Fate to fix EJ’s life, EJ calls her a cab and sends her on her way.

Ah, if only it were that easy to shake an angel off your leg...

Jess’s determination to fix EJ’s life culminates in a kidnapping and a cross-country trek at the end of which lies Fletcher, Oregon, and the scorched earth of EJ’s past. There’s Lilly, her narcissistic child-star mother; Danny, the stand-in father who raised her when her mother couldn’t; and Luke, the love of her life, the man who knew her best and loved her anyway. Now it’s up to EJ to heal the damage she left in her wake when she disappeared out of their lives six years ago, and even with an angel on her shoulder, that’s gonna be a tall order...


“Lani Diane Rich writes stories that are both funny and true, sharply observant and deeply satisfying... A heartwarming story of a woman and her Airstream trailer, trying to find her way back to love, one duck joke at a time.”
– Jennifer Crusie, NYT Best-selling author

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rich takes a turn toward the serious in a romance primarily focused on a mother-daughter relationship. For six years, Emmy James has lived out of her Airstream, working odd jobs until she gets the urge to move on. Then she meets Jess, a young woman who declares herself Emmy's angel, sent to help her with her problems. At the same time, Digs, who would be her brother-in-law if Emmy hadn't left his brother Luke, shows up, bearing disturbing news: his father, Danny, and Emmy's mother, Lilly, are getting married. Lilly is vain, cruel, narcissistic and destructive-all the things Danny is not. Emmy is determined to stay away, but her angel knows best, and soon the Airsteam is headed home. While the story of Emmy's lost love is engaging, the heart of the story has to do with the transformation Emmy sees-but doesn't trust-in her mother. The process is painful and sometimes funny, and though the characters skate right to the edge of believability, the romance is very real. A thoughtful, well told story with an unusual twist.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lani Diane Rich lives with her husband and children. Author website:

Product Details

  • File Size: 590 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: StoryWonk; 4 edition (July 20, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,392 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect! March 27, 2008
Ever since I had my first baby I've been reading nothing but fun, easy, chick-lit. Unfortunately, even though it's all my tired brain can handle, it always seems to leave me only half-satisfied. I expected that same lukewarm satisfaction from this book. Imagine my shock when my expectations were shattered. Chick-lit? Yes. Easy read? Yes. Trite? Heck No! I laughed out loud and cried too! I liked this book so much that the day after I finished it, I started it all over again. I am truly impressed, and will pass this book around to my friends and relatives. This, in my world, is the best compliment I can give a book. Enjoy!
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep your kleenex handy... February 2, 2012
By Claire
Going by the the reviews here, you would think this book was a comedy but I found it to be moving and sad despite the happy ending. And I was surprised to find myself crying more than laughing... The characters are well defined and likeable and feel real; and their emotional journeys are most satisfying. Mainly this book is well written: it grabs you from the very beginning and is loaded with deep emotions which the reader feels right along with each of the characters. I'm so glad I picked this up! Usually I don't care for stories that make me cry but this one was just plain excellent.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fast read, not a lot to it. September 9, 2012
EJ is a social misfit. Her mother is an aging television star who never wanted children and EJ has spent the last 6 years of her adult life on the run, moving from place to place to avoid making attachments. That's until she meets an angel.

Jess drops into EJ's life when Jess's car stalls at the gas station where EJ works. Jess is used to inconveniences like this happening: it's a sign that the universe wants her to help someone. In this case, she's pretty sure the someone is EJ. But EJ doesn't want her help, or anything to do with her - until suddenly she finds her past is catching up to her.

EJ's mother is getting married for the eighth time, but she's insisted that EJ has to be there. Jess agrees, and so the unlikely pair join forces before they've even met.

The relationship between EJ and her mother is a little hard to swallow and doesn't bear looking to hard at. It is obvious from the start that the main crux of the novel is the failed relationship with her soon-to-be step brother and so it comes as no surprise that a brief sighting of Luke carries more weight than a day spent with her mother.

I wouldn't recommend this book for readers who have grown up in dysfunctional families - the neat wrap-up is somewhat hard to swallow. I found the resolution to the assorted traumas of the main characters to be almost belittling in the ease with which everyone was "fixed". Likewise, the romance potential boiled down to a single simple question and never progressed beyond that. There was no possibility of resolving the problem, he simply made the choice to ignore it. That didn't seem all that romantic to me.

Like a bowl full of popcorn, it is not meant for serious consideration. As a fast nibble to tide me over between deeper books, I didn't mind it. But I won't be looking for another of her books, in the end, A Little Ray of Sunshine just didn't me offer enough.
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36 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first Lani Rich book I read was "Wish You Were Here" which was a romantic mystery. I gave it 4.5 stars. I wanted more. I bought this book thinking it would be another romance novel, but it was not. I wish genres were clearly labeled on the outside of books. I'm having trouble defining the genre for this book, but the best I've come up with is "single women reconciliation fiction" (taken from the publication data page).

Lilly was a child star on TV. She accidentally got pregnant and had Emmy. Lilly was married and divorced many times and was never there for Emmy who was raised by neighbors, others and a boarding school. Emmy and Luke loved each other and were engaged but something happened that caused Emmy to leave town. She has been gone six years without any contact with anyone in her home town of Fletcher. She lives in an RV/trailer, moving from town to town and working minimum wage jobs.

The story begins with Luke's brother Digs showing up at Emmy's trailer telling her that his father Danny is getting married to Lilly. Danny hired a private investigator to find Emmy because Lilly refused to get married unless Emmy would be there. At the same time, Jess appears, whose car has broken down. Jess claims her car broke down because the universe wants her to help Emmy. Jess claims to be an angel. Jess and Emmy go to Fletcher together where Emmy confronts and works through her conflicts with her mother.

I want entertainment. I did not enjoy this because it depressed me. This is a sad story with several teary moments. Emmy breaks up with the love of her life because she has illogical fears.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read March 10, 2008
This book is an absolutely wonderful page turner. It touches every emotion humanly possible..and in the end- you love yourself and the book for taking the journey!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and poignant read December 24, 2008
Former child star Lilly Lorraine spent most of her life ignoring and mocking her only daughter Emmy James, a young woman who has grown up to doubt her ability to love and be loved by someone else. As EJ leaves her small Oregon town with a big, burdensome secret on her back, she begins to heal with the help of an angel, Jess, who magically drops into her life at a gas station. Jess convinces EJ it's time to return home and deal with news brought to her by a childhood friend -- and begin to understand, and possibly forgive, her estranged mother.

A fun and poignant read, I really enjoyed this book -- it was full of plenty of twists to keep me moving quickly through the plot. There were huge unanswered questions looming over most of the novel, and I'm happy to say Rich effectively resolved the loose ends by the conclusion. Full of humorous scenes and colorful imagery, it was hard to put this one down. I loved watching EJ reconcile with the people who used to love her most in the entire world -- and still do.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Light, Enjoyable Read
This book is in turns funny and sad, and I read it all in one sitting. The universe is working through this book. A light, enjoyable read.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional, character-driven story
The alienated daughter of a has-been child star is "tricked" into going home and facing her past.

I loved this book. Loved it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by clahain
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Richard L Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars What are great book!
What are great book. I love how it is about a family and it was also funny.
Published 4 months ago by Gail Guernsey
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read - have tissues at the ready though.
I wasn't sure what to expect, as this the first book written by Lani Diane Rich that I've read.
I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 5 months ago by mozgal
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising.
This book was pretty well written. A good mix of emotions with the the cast of characters. I was surprised at the end. Enjoy.
Published 5 months ago by Sharon Lathrop
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute Story!
Actually "cute" doesn't do the book justice. This book has many elements, not the least of which is humor. Thus the cute part. Read more
Published 5 months ago by PamO
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth The Read
Another reviewer said to keep your Kleenexes handy and that has some truth to it, but don't worry, you won't need them until near the end. The rest of the book is sheer fun. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tom O. Powell
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Comedy
Lani Rich tells a tale that is indeed a dark comedy. In the beginning it was strictly comedy. Rich commands quite a number of witty expressions to delight any reader. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Longfellow
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise
If your genre is mystery/suspense, as mine is, sometimes you just plain need a little ray of sunshine. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Donna H. Murray
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More About the Author

I'm Lani, and I'm a writer, a teacher, and a mom. I live in Syracuse, NY with my husband and two daughters. My favorite color is yellow, and I have a thing for polka dots that borders on the ridiculous.

I wrote my first book, "Time Off For Good Behavior" during NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month, fifty thousand words in the thirty days of November - and was the first previously-unpublished author to publish a NaNoWriMo manuscript. It's a very specific niche, but it's all mine. "Time Off" won the Rita Award for Best First Book, and I went on to publish another seven solo novels and one collaboration. So, apparently, it wasn't a fluke. I find that comforting.

At the moment, I'm writing magical romance novels as Lucy March. I'm still Lani on the inside; it's a publishing thing. If you'd like to learn more about what I'm doing now, visit,, or And thank you!

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