Mike The Molly and Me

The cover of Mike The Molly and Me .

From The Greenville Local,
Bleezarde Publishing, Nov. 22, 2007:

Hilltowns’ Writers’ Corner


“Mike, The Molly and Me”
By Deborah Tompkins


Review by Jeanne Renner



Greenville – Deb Tompkins newest book, “Mike, The Molly and Me”, published in paperback by The Wild Rose Press, is a delightful short novel about a man, a molly – that’s a female mule named Liz, and a woman, Chris. As usual, Deb pays attention to the old saying: Write what you know. In this case, it’s people, equines and mountains.

Mike and Chris are unique, creative, complex individuals who meet each other in a rather extraordinary way. They each come with a different set of talents, backgrounds, hopes for their lives, apprehensions, vulnerabilities, internal conflicts and obstacles to overcome. The kind of life stuff most of us can relate to in one way or another in this skillfully crafted page turner.

Liz is most definitely not the clichéd stubborn cuss mule of Grade B Westerns. She’s intelligent, well endowed with personality and equally well trained and useful in the important work she does. She even has a sense of humor and sometimes sees human critters as downright dumb.

Since mules are a cross between a horse and a donkey, which we tend to call burros, I’d say the mountains are probably out West.

(author's aside; Ms Renner was unaware people breed mules intentionally all over the world and that there is a difference between donkeys and burros.)
Deb doesn’t tell us exactly. We can make them whichever ones we’d like. There is an apple tree around though, so that eliminates anyplace that’s hot all the time.

Deb’s highly visual, colorful descriptions of the magnificent scenery as viewed by her characters sucks us right out of our lives and onto her canvas. She oh, so carefully and deftly unfolds the mosaic of this surprising but authentic love story while keeping the action going. The two main characters have a great deal to learn about themselves, life and each other. Deb permits them to do this through their observations, interaction, introspection and experiences from their past and in the present with this new relationship they have with each other.

Liz comes in real handy. She’s their confidant, and we truly believe that she almost seems to understand. Mike and Chris let us in on how they’re perceiving their predicaments; their ambivalence and confusion, when they use Liz as their sounding board. And, who among us does not talk out loud to our pets as well as to ourselves about what’s troubling us?

Deb adroitly and smoothly transitions back and forth between situation, action and reaction; the main characters’ and a few other folks’ dialogue, thoughts, feelings, suspicions and developing insights. Deb’s timing is excellent. Just when you think if you read a few more pages you might start becoming bored, all of a sudden a new situation reveals itself and you’re completely wrapped up in how it’s going to work out.

Deb uses almost magical restraint in writing the love scenes. She waits until the characters have come to understand themselves and each other well enough to know that they really trust and love each other. Love making, whether by innuendo, foreplay or the real thing, never once heads for lust, smut or lurid details. The book is CLEAN. But the lovemaking is real; the way we are meant to make love – with total giving and receiving; joining together, leaving ego and distrust behind while creating beauty and joy. The way each of us hopes we were conceived. You might even want to give this book to kids in their mid to late teens. They may gain some insight into what sex is supposed to be about.

I enthusiastically recommend “Mike, The Molly And Me” for yourself and it would make a great stocking stuffer. It’s available at the Lyme Gazelle, and by order at Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles, other book stores, thewildrosepress.com and directly from Deb as well as from her website: www.debhorsedesigns.com. When you’ve finished reading your own copy, you might want to feature it in your guest room. Your guests just may sit up all night reading it, so prepare to serve a late breakfast.