What if you woke up from a coma, asked to see the man you had been dating for three months, and found he didn’t exist? And then, after you were finally convinced, you learned that he had done it? It’s the twist on “Dream On,” an imaginative Angie Hockman romance — and there are more twists to come.
Cass Walker learns that she was in a car accident on her way home from taking the bar exam in Columbus. She has been in the hospital for six days. Her mother and her best friend Brie are at her bedside, and she asks where Devin is. They never heard of him. She tells them the details of her life, even draws pictures, but while she is in rehab for her injuries, she goes through her history online and finds no trace of him. She eventually admits that he isn’t real.
Wanting to celebrate the first day she survived as a summer associate at a prestigious Cleveland law firm, Cass stops on her way home to buy flowers. The handsome and funny owner makes her a bouquet and invites her out. She thinks about it when her brother Devin enters.
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After Cass wakes up from her passed out (not in a coma this time, at least) and after she tells Devin that he’s her imaginary boyfriend but she really isn’t a stalker, they meet to compare their stories and begin to think that maybe it’s kismet.
Near the end of the book, Cass asks, “Is it chemical, the feeling of attraction we feel for another person? Is it emotional? A combination of pheromones and the brain recognizing an inner compatibility with another person on a subconscious level? Although the focus is on romance, the nature of fate and connection is candidly explored.
Cass maneuvers around another summer associate at the law firm, who is her main competitor for a permanent job. Oh, and Devin’s brother, Perry, owner of the flower shop? He may be the man of her dreams.
Hockman provides an ingenious, non-artificial solution to the puzzle of Cass and Devin never having met. There’s father-son conflict as well as brotherly friction and an enviable relationship with his friend Brie.
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Hockman’s 2021 novel, “Shipped,” is about a cruise line marketing executive vying for a promotion with a colleague she’s never met. Like Cass, Angie Hockman is an alumnus of Case Western Reserve University School of Law. “The Hustler” won a 2019 Golden Heart Romantic Suspense Award from the Romance Writers of America.
“Dream On” (352 pages, softcover) costs $16.99 from Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.
‘Legends and Traditions of Southern Ohio’
What do a headless ghost and Roy Rogers have in common? They are both part of “Southern Ohio Legends & Lore,” a mishmash of history and hearsay by James A. Willis of Galena.
There are a few gruesome murders, a UFO sighting, haunted graveyards and some benign eccentrics like John Symmes, who was sure “the earth is hollow and habitable inside”.
Whole books have been written about some of the other entries, like George Remus, the “Smuggler King”, whose domestic life was even juicier than his criminal record, and the USS Shenandoah, a Navy airship that snuck up. crashed in Noble County in 1925, killing 14 men.
“Southern Ohio Legends & Lore (143 pages, softcover) costs $21.99 from History Press. James A. Willis is also the author of “Central Ohio Legends & Lore.”
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Akron-Summit County Public Library (60 S. High St.): Judy Orr James signs “Akron Family Recipes: History and Traditions from Sauerkraut Balls to Sweet Potato Pie,” featured July 24 on Book Talk, Sunday 2-3 p.m. Register at akronlibrary.org.
Shaw CCG (750 White Pond Drive): Irv Korman talks about his eight books, including “I Was Jerry Lewis’ Bodyguard for 10 Minutes and Other Celebrity Encounters” and his kids’ party-themed books like “The Legend of Hanukkah Harry” and “A Citytown Christmas Enigma,” 6:15 p.m. Tuesday. Registration required at shawjcc.org.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Berea Branch, 7 Berea Commons): Deanna Adams, author of “Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Venues,” gives an interactive presentation from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday. Sign up at cuyahogalibrary.org.
Tuscarawas County Arts Center (461 Robinson Drive NE, New Philadelphia): Nancy Christie talks about achieving writing goals and signs her books, including “Rut-Busting Book for Authors” and “Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories,” 7 p.m. Wednesday .
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Hudson Library and Historical Society: Kate White, whose “Such a Perfect Wife,” eighth in the Bradley Weggins series, was nominated for an International Thriller Writers Award, talks about “The Second Husband” in a Zoom event at 7 p.m. Thursday. Register at hudsonlibrary.org.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (North Royalton Branch, 5071 Wallings Road): Laura DeMarco presents her wonderful “Lost Cleveland” photoshoot in recognition of the library’s centennial, 7-8 p.m. Thursday. Sign up at cuyahogalibrary.org.
Loganberry Books (13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights): The latest Author Alley events, starting Saturday noon, feature nonfiction books, including memoirs and self-help books, as well as art books , graphic novels and children’s books.
Pekar Park (corner of Coventry Blvd. and Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland): Pekar Park Comic Book Festival features authors Ron Hill (“One Bird Two Birds Red Bird BluesBird”), 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Derf ( “Kent State”), 2:30 at 3:30 p.m., Brad Ricca and Courtney Sieh (“Ten Days in a Mad-House”, a graphic novel based on 19ethe exhibits of the same name by journalist Nellie Bly of the last century), and Jake Kelly (“Death, Destruction, Vice, and Sleaze” comic book series), from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Bookstore of the learned owl (204 N. Main St., Hudson): Jan Litterst signs “Free That Butterfly: Transform Your Relationship with Energy, Money, and Life,” Saturday 1-3 p.m.