Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Dear Reader, Love Allyson Rice


Dear Reader…

No. Dear Friend… If you’re anything like me, and you love a fun novel that will have you laughing throughout the book, and have you teary-eyed in the poignant moments, then you’ve found the right novel.  My main goal when writing The Key to Circus-Mom Highway was to create a fast, fun read that would be wildly entertaining. 

It’s a story about family, forgiveness, and the absurdity of the world we live in. My protagonists–a trio of siblings who don’t really want to be traveling together–encounter one absurd person and situation after another, as they search for answers about the now-deceased woman who abandoned them as infants. Some serious themes are woven into the story, but it’s intended to be an entertaining read that ends on a positive, hopeful note. Basically, I wrote a book that you and I both would enjoy reading!

A few of the themes I explore are 1) how our first impressions of people aren’t always the most accurate, and how those impressions–especially negative ones–can change as we get to know that person better; 2) how, even with people who initially seem very different from us, we can find common ground as human beings; 3) how we put up defensive walls to protect ourselves after we’ve been hurt, and how those walls often keep out the people who love us and who might be trying to help us; 4) how we don’t have to be ruled by our past experiences and the things that have hurt us–we can decide at any moment to start anew and be a phoenix rising from the ashes; 5) how things in our lives can change in a heartbeat–our relationships, our external circumstances, etc.–and we can choose to allow our habitual reactions to change as well; and 6) when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with others and change our perceptions and take down our defensive walls, we actually feel less alone in the world because we can feel the love and support that surrounds us. 

And did I mention I wanted to shine a spotlight on how weird and humorous the world around us is? That’s worth mentioning again.

My dear new friend, if you’re still not sold–because you’ve never read anything I’ve written before and you have millions of great books to choose from out there–I’d love to help you decide by sharing a few lines from some great advance editorial reviews I’ve gotten:

“In this rollicking family dramedy, debut author Rice sends three lovable siblings on a zany yet touching road trip… Rice’s sharp observations of society’s absurdity verge on the satirical and even on occasion veer toward delightfully crude. To offset the humor, solemn moments add depth to the siblings’ inner journeys… Fans of family drama, road trips, and non-stop laughs will love this cross-country adventure.”–BookLife/Publisher’s Weekly

A “feverish, entertaining novel.”–Foreword Clarion

“This breezy, charming tale incisively shows a family's bittersweet facets.” –Kirkus Reviews

"[A]n engrossing story... Allyson Rice creates a rollicking good read that is filled with humor, wry life observations, and odd family interrelationships as these shared experiences evolve. She is especially astute at presenting contrasts in perspective and perception within these encounters... The result is a fictional portrait of sibling drama and life events which excels in the unexpected.”–Midwest Book Review

There are more, but hopefully, that’s enough to make you pick up a copy of the book. If you do, I hope you enjoy it! And if you choose it as one of your Book Club selections, I’d be happy to make a Zoom appearance (because that’s what friends do for other friends). 😊 

In any event, you can always drop me a line through my website. I’d love to hear from you.


Allyson Rice

Allyson Rice is a writer, an award-winning mixed media artist, and a producer with Atomic Focus Entertainment, currently splitting her time between Los Angeles, CA, and Rehoboth Beach, DE. She’s a graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. After spending many years as an actress on stage and on television, she left acting and spent the next decade running yoga/meditation retreats, women’s retreats, and creativity retreats around the country. After that, she pivoted to focus once again on her own creative work. In addition to her writing and art, she’s also a photographer (her work was most recently chosen for an exhibition at the Soho Photo Gallery in NYC).

Some random bits of Allyson trivia: 1) She’s been skydiving, paragliding, bungee jumping, ziplining through a rainforest, and scuba diving with stingrays; 2) she has an extensive PEZ dispenser collection; 3) she played Connor Walsh on As the World Turns for seven years; 4) she’s been in the Oval Office at the White House after hours; 5) she’s related to the Hatfields of the infamous Hatfield/McCoy feud; and 6) her comedic rap music video “Fine, I’ll Write My Own Damn Song” won numerous awards in the film festival circuit and can now be seen on YouTube

Also available from Allyson Rice is her line of women’s coloring books (The Color of Joy, Dancing with Life, and Wonderland), and The Creative Prosperity PlayDeck, an inspirational card deck about unlocking and utilizing your creative energy in the world. She’s currently at work on her second novel and her fourth women’s coloring book. But she is most proud of being mom to musical artist @_zanetaylor.





My e-commerce site:

In an attempt to secure an unexpected inheritance—and hopefully find a few answers—two estranged sisters and their newly discovered brother embark on a comically surreal trip through the Deep South to retrace the life of the mother who abandoned them as infants.

On a Tuesday afternoon, sisters Jesse Chasen and Jennifer McMahon receive a phone call notifying them that their birth mother has died, leaving behind a significant inheritance. But in order to obtain it, they must follow a detailed road trip she designed for them to get to know her—and that includes finding a brother they never knew existed.

For the next week, this ill-assorted trio treks across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to meet their mother’s old friends, from circus performers to a juke joint owner, each of whom delivers a shocking vignette into the life of a young mother traumatized by loss and abuse. Along the way, these three siblings—Jesse, whose fiery exterior disguises a wounded, drifting musician stuck in a rut; Jennifer, whose carefully curated family life is threatened by her husband’s infidelity; and Jack, whose enigmatic Jackie, Oh! persona in the New Orleans drag queen scene helps him escape the nightmares of Afghanistan that haunt him at night—must confront their own demons (and at least one alligator). But in chasing the truth about their real mother, they may all just find their second chance.

This uproarious debut novel is a reminder that sometimes, the family you’d never have chosen may turn out to be exactly what you need.

“This breezy, charming tale incisively shows a family’s bittersweet facets.” –Kirkus Reviews

A “feverish, entertaining novel” –Foreward Clarion Reviews

“In this rollicking family dramedy, debut author Rice sends three lovable siblings on a zany yet touching road trip… Rice’s sharp observations of society’s absurdity verge on the satirical… Fans of family drama, road trips, and non-stop laughs will love this cross-country adventure.” –BookLife

Release Date: Paperback: November 27, 2022; Kindle: January 3, 2023

Publisher: The Total Human Press

Soft Cover: 978-0982185544; 270 pages








1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting today's PUYB Book Tour Stop! :)