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Thursday, May 12, 2022
Corner Booth Kick-Off Package
About the Book
Book: Corner Booth
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Release date: March 17, 2015
A daring move forges the love of a lifetime
A rushed lunch and a bold move introduce Carlie to a stranger—one who hardly acknowledges her existence as he sits across from her, sharing his booth to save her a wait in a long line. What began as a random encounter becomes a weekly date in which Carlie chatters about her life to a silent lunchmate. Much about him interests her–his slightly Euro fashion sense, his commitment to the work he does as he eats his lunch week after week, and his evident attention to the running monologue she shares between bites of meals that he inevitably pays for. Dean gets to know the woman across from him–looks forward to their lunches each week, learns valuable lessons about himself—but when the cafe is threatened, and then when she doesn’t show up one day, he suspects their unusual friendship means more to him than he imagined.
Settle into the booth with Carlie and Dean and learn just how eloquent silence really is.
USA Today Bestselling author of Aggie and Past Forwardseries, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
More from Chautona
You know, originally, I had Dean as a guy who was too wrapped up in his own little world to care about anyone else—the stereotypical academic. I pictured him buried deep in original Biblical manuscripts, annoyed that anyone would dare to invade his study time.
But you know what? That’s the easy character.
When I went back to edit the book, I had this thought. What if Dean weren’t reclusive at all? What if he were kind of a know-it-all who couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself. Maybe a child prodigy who was used to people thinking him rather brilliant and looking for his insights.
Yeah… I could get into that.
There was just one small problem. I’d written the entire book without him talking much at all on those Wednesdays. Now what?
After much deliberation, even more prayer, and a bit of fudging, I came up with the solution. What if he just challenged himself for “one lunch?” Just one hour or so of not talking to prove to himself (and his peers) that he could do it.
How could he possibly know he’d set things up for months of wordless lunches—on his part? And what would a person learn in a situation like that?
I’ve never admitted this before, but I tested it a bit. At situations where I could, I forced myself to listen to people’s stories, their questions, their opinions. The hard part was not spending my listening time formulating my response (how rude anyway!). I really had to focus on exactly what they said, how their voice altered based on their emotions, and what others around us had to say to encourage (or not—too often not, I’ll admit).
I learned a lot with the experiment, and I’ll be honest. I still catch myself listening with an ear to how I’ll respond instead of really listening. No, I don’t expect to find some café romance for myself. My guy is amazing, and he’s probably the only person on the planet who could put up with me, so… I think I’ll keep him. But I do expect to keep learning how to really hear people. You know… kind of like Jesus did. Imagine that.
I have come to expect this author to write unique stories, fascinating characters and faith mixed together to accomplish a story that moves me. Was I disappointed in this one? Oh my no. In fact I submerged myself from the beginning. Who is bold enough to go sit at a strangers table so they don’t have to stand in a long line? Well that my dear is one of the main characters who is named Carlie. I applaud her for her take charge getting to go to the front of the line work around. Who knew that the man named Dean would even allow her to dine with him? Isn’t life funny when you take chances.
Now I’ve set up the story a bit with two complete strangers meeting in a unique way so let’s dig into what happens. As they start to meet every Wednesday for lunch something starts to change very subtly. Carlie is a chatter box and at times annoyed me. On the other hand Dean said absolutely nothing and I couldn’t figure out why. How are these two people going to become friends if they never communicate? I wanted to sit down with them and help them along. Then something hit me. When was the last time I listened and I mean really listened to someone?
Dean does a remarkable favor for Carlie by listening to her go on about her day and her problems. It becomes a habit for them to eat at their special booth every Wednesday. Carlie found someone who listens to her and helps her start to understand who she really is. She reminds me of a wall flower desperately wanting someone to ask her to dance. Carlie needs encouragement and a big boost of self confidence. Dean wanted to be a kind man who gave his full attention to a someone that desired to be accepted. He is known for rambling on and never really making sense at times. God has given him a chance to not speak but listen without giving an opinion. Sometimes we don’t need to speak to communicate. Our actions or facial expressions speak for us.
This story is a great lesson for all of us. It teaches us to listen with open ears and a compassionate heart and ask God to show us how we can help someone who needs to talk without us giving judgment. I loved how Carlie and Dean reach a point where the time has come for conversation between the two. The doors open for them to explore where their friendship will lead them. I love how the author doesn’t rush this process and allows the characters to share their feelings in a way that penetrates their hearts with compassion and acceptance.
Next time we get together with someone perhaps we should listen more and talk less. God wants us to guide others in wisdom and through the Word of God. Carlie and Dean could be any of us longing to find a willing person to listen and help us when we feel discouraged. Be kind to others, lend an ear and open your heart to those who need compassion and guide then to Christ.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.