The Return of Jonah Gray

"...poignant and humorous."
-- Publishers Weekly

"A must read on any reader’s list."
-- Amber Barth, The Gilded Pen

"Heather Cochran provides a terrific tale that grips readers."
-- Harriet Klausner

About The Return of Jonah Gray

The short form: Sasha Gardner knows your type. She can guess what shoes you wear and what books you read. Sasha Gardner's not a spy. She's not a private detective. She's an auditor at the Internal Revenue Service.

So what if she's still single? Every job has its downsides, she tells herself, when another potential date dashes for the door upon seeing her business card. Sasha's best friend suggests she lie about her job. Sasha's mother tries to fix her up with anyone who breathes.

But Sasha refuses to compromise. Auditing may interfere with her social life, but it's orderly. It makes sense. And she's very, very good at it. That is, until she starts to get phone calls from irate strangers complaining about her work. The calls lead her to Jonah Gray, the subject of a random audit whose numbers reveal a life Sasha had once wanted for herself.

For the first time in years, Sasha Gardner finds herself stepping out from behind her desk to look for the man beyond the numbers. But will Jonah Gray live up to his return?

ISBN: 0778323609
$13.95 U.S.

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Reviews

Sasha Gardner works for the IRS as senior auditor, and it isn’t winning her any points with the gentlemen.  Despite being vastly intelligent, moderately attractive, and friendly, Sasha can’t seem to find a man who would be willing to talk with her let alone spend a lifetime with her.  After a disastrous night at the local bar where she met yet another man with an aversion to auditors, Sasha has been having a problem focusing on her work.  Useless information, it seems, is more interesting.  While this normally wouldn’t have been a problem as Sasha is a fan of useless information---and who isn‘t?---it’s starting to affect her work.
    Unfortunately for Sasha, reflections over her love life aren’t the only things affecting her.  She’s getting strange phone calls from irate gardeners in the defense of a man named Jonah Gray; a man she’s been assigned to audit.  Everyone seems to be rallying for this Jonah Gray, and after some research she is as well.  Lives become tangled and complex as the story continues.  Sasha, almost taking on the part of a stalker, learns more of Jonah Gray as she comes to grips with her father’s illness, her half-brother‘s appearance, and her recent romantic relationship. 
    Cochran has done a superb job of depicting Sasha, the girl on the sidelines, as her lackluster and collected life unravels around her.  Cochran’s supporting characters are well developed and compliment a brilliant storyline that, though littered with sadness, is a fun and engaging tale.    A must read on any reader’s list.

 
Amber Barth - TheGildedPen.com

Mean Season

"... Cochran makes this story sing."
-- People

"Heather Cochran has created a page-turner that had me from the first word. The characters are unpredictable, funny and touching."
-- Pamela Ribon, author of Why Girls Are Weird.

"A sweet, funny debut...a poignant, gently comic story about growing up and moving on."
-- Publishers Weekly

"A winner." -- Harriet Klausner

About Mean Season

She's got Hollywood's next leading man under her roof.
And she can't wait for him to leave.


Prepping for his new movie in the tiny town of Pinecob, West Virginia, up-and-coming actor Joshua Reed lands himself another drunk-driving conviction, this time involving a stolen limo, a dark country road and a cow. Rather than let him rot in jail for the summer, twenty-five-year-old Leanne Gitlin, his fan club president, agrees to vouch for him so he can serve out his sentence under house arrest. In her home.

But playing the gracious guest isn’t in Joshua Reed’s repertoire. And while everyone in town is thinking up excuses to drop by the Gitlin house, Leanne quickly finds herself counting the days until her famous visitor leaves.

Leanne, the youngest of five, watched her family fall apart and dutifully stayed put to help her mother pick up the pieces. Stuck in Pinecob all these years, she was itching for something new, but Joshua Reed’s media circus isn’t quite what she had in mind.

In a debut novel as endearing as it is wise, Heather Cochran has whipped up one season the town of Pinecob won’t soon forget.

ISBN: 0-373-25069-X
$12.95 U.S.

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Reviews

From People, September 27, 2004
When bad-boy actor Joshua Reed is nabbed for drunk driving, his punishment is 90 days of house arrest–in the West Virginia home of the 25-year old president of his fan club, Leanne Gitlin. Starting with this whimsical premise, Mean Season deftly swings between the comedic living situation and some serious undercurrents: "the strange run-ins that can alter everything in the blink of an eye, or the shift of a single season." Joshua and Leanna fight and flirt, but she is also forced to deal with the death of her father, the disappearance of one brother, and the disabling football accident of another. Meanwhile she reheats her schoolgirl crush on Max, a handsome Winn-Dixie employee Joshua's pals threaten to steal away from her by sending him to L.A. for a screen test.

Unlike most plucky-heroine stories, this first novel has considerable emotional heft that works seamlessly with the comic relief. The pathos never gets too unwieldy or the humor too frivolous. Whether describing a passionate first kiss or a fatal tragedy, Cochran makes this story sing. 3-1/2 stars out of 4.
Copyright © Time, Inc. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly, July 19, 2004
The old adage "be careful what you wish for" gets new life in Cochran's sweet, funny debut. Life in tiny Pinecob, W.Va., takes a turn for the wacky when Hollywood heartthrob Joshua Reed, nailed with another DUI, is forced to spend 90 days of house arrest in the home of a local fan. Leanne Gitlin, 25, has loved Joshua since she was 15 and led his fan club for eight years; such relative proximity to glamour makes her stand out in town (where she now works in the county clerk's office) and distracts from the fact that she's never strayed from home and is deeply committed to being the family caretaker, especially for her handicapped brother, Beau Ray. Joshua, with a court-mandated ankle sensor, takes up residence in the room of Leanne's beloved older brother, Vince, who abandoned Pinecob for greener pastures. For the Gitlins, this means TV cameras, drunken fans undressing on their lawn and an overdose of Joshua's bad attitude. In the midst of all this, wise, strong-willed Leanne slowly faces big life choices and long-hidden feelings for old friend Max, who's nursing some new big dreams of his own. The plot's a bit far-fetched, but that's just part of the fun in this poignant, gently comic story about growing up and moving on.
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