If you read and were inspired by THE LAST LECTURE or cried your way through P.S. I LOVE YOU, you might like to try Lola Jaye's BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS.

A new fiction voice on the Avon A list, Lola is also published by HarperUK. I was lucky enough to have lunch with her editor in London in March 2008 where she shared an advance copy of the book with me.

As you might imagine, I absolutely could not put down this story of a young girl who loses her father at age five, but who comes to know him through the pages of "THE MANUAL"--a book filled with messages for his daughter to open on birthdays from age twelve to thirty that Lolita Files says "will make you laugh, cry, and cherish the ones you love."

Lola, whose own remarkable story of growing up in foster care was just featured in The Daily Mail in August 2009,

was inspired to write BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS while crying her eyes out watching an episode of Oprah in which a dying mother left a collection of keepsakes behind to the daughter she would never see grow up.

She was immediately awash in all sorts of “what if” scenarios in her own mind. What if there were no computers, DVDs, MP3s, or video cameras? What if a parent had only six months to live and a little girl he loved more than life--what would he leave behind? Jaye's solution was "THE MANUAL"--filled with the very advice Jaye, now thirty-five, wishes she had received as a teen and twenty-something.

If you pick it up, I encourage you to read the novel with Will Smith in mind as Kevin, for that’s how Smith fan Lola wrote every page, imagining Will as Kevin Bates. In a fabulous coincidence, after using him as inspiration, Lola met Smith at the London hotel where her book party was held (he was feting Nelson Mandela), a sign perhaps that he’ll one day be part of a book-to-screen adaptation with Willow (who turns nine on October 31)? We shall see. But I don't doubt that anything Lola imagines won't come true.

Meanwhile, what do you think of our jacket? Do you think Mandi Norwood would say that it has Michelle Style?

And, don't miss Lola Jaye's blog on the Huffington Post for her own take on Michelle Obama's hair styles.

Plus, she's on Facebook and Twitter, and would love to meet you.

Senior Editor Jen


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