"The premise is unique, and the story is engaging, entertaining and well written. I recommend for a fun light read." - Jamie B.
Published: March 19th, 2019
She’s America’s hottest new celebrity. But her identity remains a secret.
Lily Machara is a wisecracking auto mechanic. She’s never cared for glitz or drama. But when Ryder Flynn, a rising star in the world of commercial art, adopts Lily as his muse after a random sighting, Lily discovers herself painted into his hot new pieces … and becomes America’s newest — anonymous — celebrity.
The only problem: The woman Ryder imagines isn’t the true Lily.
Or is it?
Now, as Lily and Ryder give in to mutual curiosity and a budding romance, Lily’s life — secrets and all — fall victim to a pop culture with one question on its mind: Who is the woman in Ryder Flynn’s art?
In the spirit of Cyrano de Bergerac and Pretty Woman, MONA LISAS AND LITTLE WHITE LIES is a delightful new romantic comedy from John Herrick, bestselling author of Beautiful Mess.
Four Awkward Date Moments
My new novel, Mona Lisas and Little White Lies, is a romantic comedy. Although readers tell me that emotional love stories are one of my strengths, fiction doesn’t always imitate reality. I’ll admit, I can be one of the worst dates you’ve ever had! Thankfully, I’ve also enjoyed wonderful date moments. But where’s the fun in that on a blog? So, at the risk of embarrassing myself, here are four of my stupid moments. Feel free to forward, retweet, or otherwise share my humiliation.
1. The Accident. January in St. Louis often means snow and ice. And ice is slick. I was about 22 years old, and somehow, I’d gotten a date with someone who was almost 30. She had a raspy voice that I loved. It sounded like a razor. And the fact that she was an older woman—well, for a guy who’s 22, I felt like I’d won a conquest. The night of the date, I pulled my car into the driveway and prepared to walk to her front door and knock. But she had a very strong independent streak. As soon as I put the car in park, I looked up and saw her scurrying out the front door and toward my car. No, no, no, I wanted to be the gentleman. Okay, at least I could open the car door for her—if I hurried. So I got up and hurried around the back of my car so I could reach the passenger door before she got there—and I slipped on the ice. Landed on my butt. So embarrassing. “Are you okay?!” she asked. “Sure,” I said, “and tell you what, if you want, I’ll do that for you again when I take you home.”
2. The Friend’s Divorce. Someone had set me up on a blind date with someone she worked with. We decided to catch a movie and met at the theater. As it turned out, there were no romantic movies playing, so we decided to go for the “par excellence” choice, which happened to by Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River. The film was excellent, but neither of us knew it was about abuse. So that was awkward, and it threw me off balance. So I felt weird enough, but all wasn’t lost. We went somewhere afterward for a bite to eat and talked. Already off-kilter because of the film, my heart was heavy for a friend of mine who was going through a divorce. So when my date asked me if I had any plans to travel in the near future, I told her yes—to comfort my friend who was going through a divorce. Yes, it’s loyal, but for crying out loud, don’t depress the lady on your first date! By the end of the date, I walked her to her car as we said good-bye. She opened her car door, and I kid you not, she used it as a barrier between us! She opened the door, then stood behind it before I could get to her side, probably in the hopes the depressing guy wouldn’t attempt to kiss her goodnight!
3. No Place Like Steak ‘N Shake. Another movie story. A first date during my 20s. The movie was finished, my date and I looked at our watches. “Would you like to go somewhere for ice cream?” she asked. This was my part of town, not hers, and I didn’t know of a single place that sold ice cream that had the ambience of a date. The only place I could think of suggesting that was open was Steak ‘N Shake. I can’t believe I suggested that. She probably thought, “Are you kidding? How old are you, 16?!” By the time I realized how stupid the idea was, it was too awkward to try to explain. So I let it rest. Were she not a kindhearted person, she might have gone to work on Monday and said, “Can you believe he took me to Steak ‘N Shake?”
4. So You Don’t Want to be Kissed. We met for a light dinner after work at California Pizza Kitchen at the mall. After dinner, we walked together to my car, so I could drive my date to the parking lot on the other side of the mall. I was a sucker for this person’s eyes. Adorable. And I was allowed to kiss those eyes in my car. Went well. We drove to the other car, and as my date reached for the handle to get out, I said, “Wait. Just a second.” And I attempted a kiss. A real one, not on the eyes. My date freaked out. Wasn’t ready for a kiss! My date felt awkward and embarrassed—and it was all my fault! To make things worse, my car automatically locked all the doors whenever I put it into Drive, but didn’t unlock when I put it into Park. And stunned as I was, I’d forgotten about that little detail. So when my date pulled the handle to get out of the car, THE DOOR WOULDN’T OPEN. As if I’d turned my car into a trap! I unlocked the door. I’ve kicked myself many times for that. I was crazy for that particular individual—but I messed up any chance by moving too fast too soon. Everyone makes mistakes, but I still wish I had done things differently there.
In Mona Lisas and Little White Lies, my characters Lily and Ryder each find themselves in an embarrassing situation, too. I hope you’ll check out the book! And who knows? Maybe one day, you’ll find one of these experiences in a book—a nonautobiographical once, of course. ;-)
About the author:
John Herrick is best known as a chronicler of the human heart. His complex characters and earnest tone prompted Publishers Weekly to write, "Herrick will make waves." When he is not writing, he loves long drives on the interstate. He is a sucker for 1990s music. Herrick lives in St. Louis.
In addition to novels such as BEAUTIFUL MESS and FROM THE DEAD, he authored the nonfiction bestseller, 8 REASONS YOUR LIFE MATTERS.