I graduated with honors from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor's Degree in English and worked there for 13 years before becoming a full-time novelist.
I think of myself as an Adventurer Poet. I live near a fabulous network of mountain trails. Part of me is happiest when I'm hiking or scrambling up rocks and through laurel thickets in search of waterfalls. The other part is happiest when I'm at my computer spinning tales or at my piano composing or playing music -- I'm a classically-trained pianist and compose my own songs and instrumental pieces.
My creative life and my adventuring life are equally important. It's about balance. I can't imagine one without the other.
My husband and I have four sweet, spoiled-rotten cats. While I'm working on my writing projects, it's rare that there isn't at least one cat either on my lap or on my computer, often a cat on each.
Aspiring to everything Aphra - a successful web-designer with so many more possibilities, at last meets the author that has changed her life. Isaac is a prolific author, who's Vietnam experiences had an important role in forming his perceptions. Somehow, they see the unlikely characters within one another .. but fan and star rarely find true middle ground to meet.
Yet, in their conversations, they find many points to share. Even their vehicles, paralleling themselves, somehow show a strange, tenuous connection between the two of them. There is no denying the age difference, and no escaping the disapproval of certain other people. Coping, and discussing the issues allows them to share a problem, and instead of driving a wedge between them, serves to give them another point to share.
Even so, a melancholy air hangs over this work, almost as if we, too, cannot quite see how this relationship can work. Surely, the two are so vastly different? For Aphra, with her almost life-long study of Isaac's work, and her fan-like knowledge of his background, this cannot be a healthy future. We expect doom. Grindstaff's literary style even contributes; both to the slow pace and the disquieting sense that they cannot truly have found one another.
Thomma Grindstaff's work is more slowly paced and introspective than much in the way of today's romances, yet the many layers of depth here have appeal. The story is plausible, and the characters' interaction and growth is both plausible and pleasurable. Grindstaff's work offers a certain insightful, even visceral understanding of the human heart.
Thomma Lyn Grindstaff is a wonderful writer. She knows how to craft a story well, make you laugh, make you cry, make you hate, make you fall in love, and make you to keep reading to the end. Her writing is seamless.
Aphra Porter is an independent young woman with dreams and crushes that come true when she meets and falls in love with a famous author, Isaac Lightfoot, twenty years her senior. Her idol since childhood. Her mentor.
I fell in love with Isaac right along with Aphra. And she's a biker chic--woo hoo! On the side. A web designer in real life. The fact that Aphra and Isaac are both in love with their Harley's gives the story more meaning. A common ground outside of their passion for each other.
The ex-wife factor in this story is well played--well written. Norma is someone you're supposed to hate the mention of. Her character is showy and bitchy. Just what an ex should be, right? The son, his wife, and Isaac's own Momma treat Aphra's and Isaac's love for each other as nonexistent and they do everything in their power to destroy it.
Chapter 20 is where things turn. Get out the tissues. You'll need them until the end.
Some of my favorite lines:
"Silence drug itself out between them like a stone monolith pulled across grinding sand by bone-tired workers."
"Writing, as she'd commented to Isaac earlier, was the ultimate freedom. Worlds to create, bonds to form, lives to mold, How delightful it would be to recreate Isaac and herself in a universe of their mutual making, a universe of pure mind made up of the Ideal Forms which reflected as spectral shadows on the walls of the cave of their everyday lives--a realm where their love, unfettered and unhindered, might be given its fullest expression. With no Norma.Read more ›
I phenomenal book by an incredibly talented writer. You can see the characters as they climb out of the pages and onto their Harleys. The depth of emotion you'll feel at the end will both surprise and comfort the reader, and make them want more.