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Death by Roses Paperback – February 3, 2015
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A superbly crafted and original story, Death by Roses is a riveting read and a truly remarkable debut novel for author Vivian R. Probst. Death by Roses is solid entertainment from first page to last -- and very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library General Fiction/Romantic Comedy collections.(John Taylor Midwest Book Review)
A catchy premise and entertaining characters... When smalltown housewife and busybody Mae Rose dies ignominiously on the toilet, killed by a lifetime of rage against her husband and just about everyone else, she’s set up to learn a heavenly lesson in forgiveness and being careful what you wish for. Mary Lee is a famous horror-movie writer, terrible mother, and outrageously difficult cancer patient with a burning desire to finally win an Oscar before she kicks the bucket. Nearly dead, she is revived when Mae Rose’s spirit joins hers in Mary Lee’s body, leading to hilarious situations and an unlikely―yet oddly believable―connection between their family members. As their families, friends, frenemies, and others circle like curious vultures, the two women cobble together one life between them, irrevocably changing both their destinies. Humorous and flowing... this should elicit giggles all the way through. Agent: Neil Gudovitz, Waterside Productions. (Feb.)(Publisher's Weekly)
Funny and sweet, this book is a charming and captivating love story for the ages.
Death by Roses is an endearing, delightful, and possibly life-changing romance.
Argument after argument, Mae Rose and Art have been married for what feels like forever. Even when Art tries to do good by his wife, things go wrong. After one final fight, Mae Rose stomps off to the bathroom―where she dies sitting on the toilet.
Fast forward to the afterlife: after meddling one too many times, Mae Rose is banished (yes, banished) back to earth to coexist with another soul in the same body―Mary Lee, a famous screenwriter and director trying for an Oscar before her death. Using Mae Rose’s life story, she wins her Oscar, leading to Art and his family discovering that this new wonderful movie is about their very private life.
Vivian R. Probst writes with a sense of humor, such as when Mae Rose is waiting in a skimpy drape at a doctor’s appointment: “It amused her that even the most famous people in the world did this, including the president of the United States, the Dalai Lama, George Clooney―they all wore this attire at one time or another. She burst out laughing.” Or, during Mae Rose’s funeral, when Art “imagined Mae Rose’s VW with tin cans tied to the back bumper. Instead of ‘Just Married,’ the sign read ‘What Happened?’”
The novel includes numerous, entertaining subplots, which add rich layers to the book. Art Jr. falling in love, for example, and Mary Lee’s hospice nurse and doctor’s odd love story, and even Art and Mae Rose’s son John as he marries and learns he is to be a father, all add honesty and compassion to the writing.
Timeless and enthralling, even educational, Death by Roses is top shelf.(Foreword Reviews)
About the Author
Ruth Theobald-Probst (pen name Vivian) is an author and entrepreneur, whose first novel, Death by Roses, explores her fascination with the comedic side of worldly and otherworldly events. Ruth has been writing fiction for the past 14 years, during which time she also has built a successful national consulting practice. Her company provides training to major investment firms that work in the affordable-housing industry.
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Interesting idea and concept. You can recognize the writing style is still a bit tentative, but the story is good and well told. If you do not recognize things you should change in your own life and relationships after reading this, you either missed the point or are a perfect person already.
Most recent customer reviews
The story of Mae Rose's death is heartbreaking.Read more