Guest Post: A Book I Love by Sammy

Buy Link: The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher: Loose Id

I LOVE mysteries…no love isn’t the right word…I INHALE mysteries…yes that’s better! The mystery genre has always been one of my favorites since I was a young girl. What young kid could not fall in love with Carolyn Keen, Agatha Christie, or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? Certainly, not me. So it would follow then that my favorite book is a mystery novel…but the world of m/m fiction is a far cry from the likes of Nancy Drew and so I think I should explain first how I came to fall in love with a little book called The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks by Josh Lanyon.

Let me begin by sharing a bit of a letter I sent to Josh Lanyon because it will help explain why the book is a favorite book of mine. Here is an excerpt of a letter I wrote last August:

Dear Josh,

I feel it important to tell you I’ve never written a fan letter before. Even as a teen I never felt moved enough by anything or anyone to do so.

When my dear friend David passed away some 14 months ago, his former lover Tom and myself helped his mother take care of his estate—which included cleaning out his condo. David had a habit that honestly used to drive me crazy—every time he read a book he would make a note inside the front cover—first giving the novel a star rating and then a short sentence about how it affected him.

Tom and I must have gone through a hundred piles of books scattered all about his home before I spied one of yours—The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks. It had earned a 5 star rating—a rarity from my friend David—and had this note: “Read this author again—he gets it!! plus writes a damn good story.”

I am not sure what he felt you got—perhaps how love can be both splendid and require work—I can only guess…

Thank you Josh! Thank you for writing seriously good fiction that can both transport the reader beyond their own limited existence and still manage to sometimes speak directly to that existence simultaneously—that really is a gift.

And what a gift it was…The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks was m/m—my FIRST m/m novel.  Mr. Lanyon’s book opened up a whole new world for me—one that has given me a source of some of the most amazing literature I have ever read.

“Perry’s sense of loneliness and loss returned in force, crashing over him like a wave, dragging him out to sea on an emotional riptide.”

From the opening pages of this book, the author pulls us into the story, grabs our heart, and attaches it to his creations…his characters, until you are just so sure that you have know these men all your life. Perry, a young struggling artist, has taken up residence in a Victorian-era boardinghouse, complete with a cast of eccentric and mysterious residents that would rival any cast the likes of which Agatha Christie had ever put on paper. When Perry’s vacation is cut short, he returns to his apartment only to find a dead body in his bathtub—a body wearing yellow socks. Thus begins an adventure that would include ghost hunting, secret passages, hidden loot squirreled away by the mob and, of all things, love.

From one intense moment to another, we watch as Perry falls deeper and deeper in love with the Nick, an ex Navy seal who is trying his best to turn his life around. A life that will not include some frail young man with the eyes of a fawn and a laugh that send shivers down Nick’s spine…such lovely shivers. That’s right a life that will not, should not, cannot, oh dear, who are we kidding? Up until the last lines of this novel we sit on the edge of our seats wondering just what will happen to these two men. During the course of this novel, a novel so well crafted that the love shared by these two men never overshadow but instead augment the thrill of the mystery itself—all the time we read we feel more and more like we have known these people all our lives. We have walked these halls, we have felt Perry’s pain, have lived on the cusp of a new and fragile love. This is the power of a great novel…a power that grabs you by the throat and grips your heart and takes you on the best ride you have ever had without ever leaving your living room.

I love this book, not only because my friend David loved it, and not only because it is a mystery. No, I love this book because it dares to say that despite all that life can manage to throw at you, there is love waiting there as well. That no matter how hard you fall, someone will catch you, someone will care for you, someone is watching out for you. In closing, I think I should repeat a part of that fan letter…and so I will. Thank you Mr. Lanyon, for not only excellent story telling but for the gift of a hopeful happy ever after…something so many of us need…something so many of us look for in our favorite books.

Sammy is a part time kindergarten teacher and a full time playwright. When not writing or directing children’s plays, she can be found curled up in her living room, Kindle in hand, with a dreamy faraway smile on her face.

A Book I Love is a recurring feature on Joyfully Jay where readers can share with everyone a book that they love.  If you are interested in writing an A Book I Love post, contact me.  Anyone can submit something; you don’t need to be an experienced writer.  We’d love to have you! 

Comments

  1. Josh Lanyon says:

    >Thank you, Sammy. I'm glad you did write me — glad we've had the chance to get to know each other through David and this story.

  2. >Sammy, I really enjoyed reading what you wrote.

    When you discovered this book in your friend's condo after he died, I imagined (I know this is a far stretch here) he left that note inside the cover for you. “Read this author again—he gets it!!"

    Then you talk about how intense this book is and I started thinking, "Hmmm. Not sure I want to read this one."

    Then there was there were these two sentences that explained why you loved it, and why I'm now going to read it:

    "I love this book because it dares to say that despite all that life can manage to throw at you, there is love waiting there as well. That no matter how hard you fall, someone will catch you, someone will care for you, someone is watching out for you."

    So I thank you, Sammy, for opening your heart in this post. And I wish I could have met your friend David. I sorta feel I got the chance to get a little glimpse of him through you.

  3. >Thank you to Sammy for sharing such a wonderful story with us. It is so nice that you now have an extra connection with your friend.

    And a big thanks to Josh Lanyon for stopping by the blog! Wow, I feel like we have visiting royalty!

  4. >I will only say this dear man…you gave joy to a person I loved who otherwise was tormented and dwelling in darkness–and for that I will be forever grateful.

  5. >I so wish you could have too Matty—he would have loved you–and Bradley. Your blog would have given him such joy—as it does me and so many others!

  6. >Sammy, that was very moving, and feel honoured you shared that with us. Josh Lanyon is a favourite for myself too, and David was right.

  7. >Ah DK–thank you–my David–he was a lovely man–taken way too young–but a lovely man!! And yes…Josh Lanyon–just a remarkable author!

  8. >One of my favorite stories too. And how nice that you found a reminder of David from a moment when he was happy. That's a gift the best writers have, to take us out of ourselves and Josh certainly does that.

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