At breakfast with Humphrey this morning, I raved over the lovely feeling I was left with after reading Cotton Grass Lodge by DeNise Woodbury. I hoped he’d take the bait and want to read and review the book. I could certainly use some alone time in my office. His attempts at organizing my file drawer left something to be desired. Alcohol, probably.
“What is it about?” Humphrey asked, as he spooned up some oatmeal.
I watched him for a moment. It was almost ninety degrees at 8am, with an expected high in the triple digits. I was already dressed in shorts and a tank top. How could he eat oatmeal? British bears, watcha’ gonna’ do? “It’s a romance.”
“You might like it. The characters are lovely, very real, with flaws and all. And it’s set in Alaska—”
“Too cold,” he muttered. Then he adjusted his glasses and peeped over the top of them. “Didn’t we read another book about Alaska?”
“Yes, we did. But there are many books written about—”
“And this book would be different, how?”
“I didn’t say you had to read it.” I smiled softly, biding my time. “The setting is a lodge, the scenery is wonderful, and it has light aircraft, dogs, quirky people…oh, and bears.”
“Bears?” His back stiffened. “What kind of bears?”
“Oh, wild ones. In fact one comes right up onto the steps of the verandah and scares the guests, and the cook runs out and starts banging pans, and the bear falls down the steps and runs away, and—”
“I hardly think that is a laughing matter.” Humphrey carried his bowl to the kitchen. “Where is the kindle?”
A few minutes later, I smiled as I worked on my latest story. Ah, the peace and quiet. Hours later I realized I’d worked right through lunch. I figured I’d better go check on the grumpy old bear.
“Shush,” he said. “Almost done.”
I went down the hall to the loo and then came back and sat on the couch. Humphrey was looking dazed, and the kindle was nestled in his lap. “Did you…what the? What are you wearing? And why do you have a bottle of beer? You don’t drink beer, you drink whisky and sherry and champagne.”
He stroked the blue jacket. “It was cold and I needed something manly, more rugged.”
“So you stole Cathy’s jacket?”
I shook my head. Poor Cathy was stripped of her clothing. “And the beer?”
“The beer goes with the jacket, and the story.” He pushed the recliner back and I almost expected to see sturdy work boots instead of white fluffy toes. “You’re right. It was excellent. A man’s book, rugged and full of adventure, but with a tender ending. Nice love story.”
“I’m glad you liked it.” I looked around. “I’m guessing no Fig Newtons were eaten.” His stare was penetrating but his eyes seemed out of focus. Maybe he had a buzz going.
Humphrey cleared his throat. “I only had one issue. The bear didn’t have a character arc.”
“What? The bear wasn’t a player, he was—”
“He most definitely was. Such regal bearing, and then she let him topple down the stairs and he never reappeared.” Humphrey furrowed his brow and looked off into the distance. “I’d still give it four paws though. But tell her, this Ms. Woodbury, that in future books we would all appreciate a little more bear.”
“I’ll get right on that, Humph. I’ll email her.”
“Tell her I liked it, a lot. I highly recommended it. Interesting characters. Four paws, you can’t get better than that.”
Bio: DeNise Woodbury had the opportunity to live in Alaska in 1993. She later met her husband and now lives in Knik, Alaska with Mr. Wonderful, the cat from hell, and a big garden. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cotton Grass Lodge is available at: www.thewildrosepress.com
and Amazon, and in all formats.: http://tinyurl.como4qsxb5