Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Books, Reviews, Etc:
The Bus Bench
by Wes Bundy
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Terribly naive and unworldly, unwed 17 year old Edna Rollins firmly believes that only married girls have babies. She is devastated, bringing a child into the world as the product of being raped nine months earlier. She rejects him and takes her own life two days after his birth.
The infant is adopted by a childless couple who christen him Gerry and raise him in an idyllic setting in the farmland of central Ohio. Gerry’s childish crush on a TV new woman becomes an overwhelming obsession as he matures. When the network moves her aside for a new face, he is overwhelmed with grief. Her celebrity quickly fades as promotional billboards, placards and posters throughout the city are scrapped except for a solitary and forgotten bus bench which bears her image. Fearful that the bench–which has become his shrine–will be discovered, he maneuvers it to an obscure place, enabling him to meet and communicate with the love of his life.
Learning that she has married a wealthy industrialist and moved to California, he orchestrates a cross country journey to find her. The improbable characters he encounters on his journey ridicule his efforts, serving only to plunge himself deeper into finding her. An unforgettable chain of events ends in a face to face meeting. He finds her terminally ill which he blames on her husband. He formulates a swift and brutal “payback”, then kidnaps her, taking her back home to Ohio and his beloved bus bench.
Some 17 year olds are still a child and bringing a child into the world is a child having a child. In the case of Edna Rollins she had always thought only married women have babies. Nine months later she has a child born out of rape. She doesn’t know what to do. She’s not savvy about the world. Unmarried and no where to turn she acts as though she didn’t have a baby. The trauma was too much for Edna to bear, she kills herself. The baby is put up for adoption and is ultimately adopted. Central Ohio was to be the setting where Gerry was to be raised. A perfect setting for raising children, rolling hills and fertile farmland. He had been adopted by a couple who couldn’t have children. They named him Gerry. Gerry grows up with a childhood crush that has become obsessive in nature, on a woman who works for a TV network.
As in most cases, fresh and new faces appear and the old ones are set aside. This was the case with Gerry’s obsession. The only thing left of her in the city is one lonely bus bench. All advertisements around the city have been taken down and replaced with the new faces. Gerry, in his mind, sees something in the bench that he is afraid someone else will see. Her IMAGE. In his mind this has become a shrine, a place where he can go and meet and be with her. The fear of discovery is so great, he moves the bench to a different place where he can go and have private talks with her. Why shouldn’t he? after all, she is and has been the love of his life, or at least in his mind. He is beyond consoling when she marries and moves to California. He decides to try and find her. He is even more determined to find her after person after person make fun of his attempts to find this love of his life who is married and moved on. He eventually finds her although, it’s not the meeting he was expecting. She has a terminal illness. Gerry blames her husband, which in no way is his fault.
Gerry is seeing things in a world he is creating, where everything is as you want it to be. It reminds you of his birth mother. Naive and not in a real world. He takes matters into his own hands and takes revenge out on the husband. If that isn’t enough, he takes Tammy, now dead back to his shrine for her, the bus bench. Did Gerry kill Tammy and her husband? Why is Tammy dead? Did she die naturally or did Gerry kill her? What about Angela? What happened to her? Did Gerry kill her too? Gerry had been brought up with the best of everything. He was spoiled to the point of no end. Gerry lived in a fantasy world where everything went according to what Gerry wanted. What he wanted, he got, or so he thought.
The ending is rather sad and surprising. What happened to Gerry and his beloved bus bench? He was so obsessed with the childhood crush that he thought was love, that he wasn’t himself. I believe Gerry needed professional help in a big way. Love, or what you may think is love, can make a person do unthinkable things. Was bringing Tammy back to the bus bench going to let her always be there for Gerry? Grab a copy of this book and enter into Gerry’s world of romantic suspense. It will keep you on the edge of your chair and the pages will turn quickly. You can”t wait to find out what happens on the next page. I hope Mr. Bundy brings us more novels. It might be hard to surpass this one.
[ reviewed by Gayle Pace on Books, Reviews, Etc ]
Here’s what other reviewers are saying:
Wes Bundy has a writing style like another author that I really enjoy, so this book was a nice read for me. It was a change from what I’ve been reading lately and made me realize how much I miss reading this type of book. It was hard to put down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. A lot of oh my gosh’s as I read the book. If you like a story that will keep you guessing what will happen next and keep you on the edge of your seat while you read, I recommend The Bus Bench.
– Reviewer Marsha Cooper
“It was Rose’s comment that shocked Edna on a Saturday afternoon as she walked out with two small bags of groceries in her arms. Better be careful with those bags Edna, looks like your baby is due any day. Edna hurried away, feeling light-headed at such a comment. Baby? What baby? I’m not even married for crying out loud. Seventeen year old Edna Rollins murmured to herself, I’m not gonna have a baby.”
Four out of five stars!
– Goodreads Reviewer ireadnovels
Thanks for reading! Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!
Self Publishing Advisor