It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting accustomed to a new computer (after seven years) and helping friends of mine either publish or get the word out about their books. First, I have to agree with all my blogging buddies who find WordPress’ new block editor a pain in the butt. I’ve lost hours of time trying the figure it out. Ugh.

On to more pleasant topics, back in September (golly it seems so long ago doesn’t it?) my friend Mary published her fourth book! Wow. Considering that Mary holds down a job, is married and has children still around the house and is still able to not only write novels but also help other authors promote their work is truly mind-blowing for me.

Mary’s novels generally involve young women who’ve had to overcome either eating disorders, obsessions with a life that could’ve been, or the old and familiar bugaboo to us all … choosing and then sticking with the wrong partner. Her newest I Doesn’t Have to Be That Way addresses the reasons behind toxic relationships both in the workplace and in our personal life.  It is an honest portrayal that I’m sure was difficult to write but bravo to Mary for sticking it out.

Here was my five star review:

It Doesn’t have to be that Way is about Molly and Fred, two people with little in common except that both are stuck in a rut. Molly fell into her office job directly out of college and, although the work environment has gotten toxic, needs a kick in the pants to move on. The same could be said for her personal life. In flashbacks, we find out that her pattern has always been to rush into, and then find excuses to remain in, unhealthy relationships with men. Fred, who’s in his seventies, still mourns the fate of his brother who may or may not have killed someone in a PTSD-fueled rage. His failed marriage has left him only comfortable with virtual relationships (via his shortwave radio) or with women young enough to have been the daughter he never had (Molly.) As both begin to change direction they realize their futures might be tragically intertwined. 

Mary’s very happy pooch agrees with me!

I interviewed Mary after the publication of her first novel when we were both still with Booktrope. It’s hard to believe that was back in 2014.  Over the years I’ve come to adore this lady. She is classy, generous and just a really great chum.

Tomorrow: a new book from Duke Miller who, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know quite well.