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Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems

(Cindy's Crusades #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Twice divorced, cynical Cindy Layton feels like a relic with prehistoric baggage, and doubts she can muster the courage to establish a new relationship, even if it's on her own terms.

Her journey out of the Stone Age hits freaky, hilarious turbulence when she joins an Internet dating service. The scammers and weirdoes she meets in cyberspace make Cindy want to crawl back in
Kindle Edition, 202 pages
Published December 16th 2013 by Jumping Jersey Jenkins Books (first published September 14th 2012)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  84 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Anna Burke
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Susan Ricci is a wonderful writer. Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems is a poignant story of starting over in midlife after a nasty divorce. Cindy Layton is a well-developed character with wit, charm, and plenty of baggage. Deftly-written as a flawed woman capable of learning from her mistakes and growing as a person, you'll find yourself rooting for her.

The gauntlet she runs as she steps back into the dating realm evokes a range of emotions. You'll cringe a time or two at the parade of sad, sometimes fun
Casi McLean
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
And enchanting story that hits close to home

Susan Jean Ricci’s Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems (Cindy's Crusades Book 1) is a delightful tale, portraying the trials and tribulations a fifty-year-old divorcee confronts upon reentering single status. Her humor enchants the reader with each play-by-play chapter, as Cindy, the heroine, dips her toes into a tumultuous sea of online dating.

Having been in that exact position myself, I found her hilarious fictional descriptions oddly comforting, as they hit ve
Kathy - Books & Munches
Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems is a very quick and short read, written in first person and told by a middle-aged woman struggling to find love after her second divorce.

I have to say, I was expecting something entirely different from this novel as it's under the "humor" section on NetGalley and.. well.. Some parts might have been funny, but overall I didn't really get the humorous vibe I was going for? So, yup, a bit disappointing on that part.

I also didn't feel as if Cindy's actually a middle-aged wom
Mrs. D.
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
How many frogs must a woman kiss before she meets her prince?

If you really want to know, you should read Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems, a humorous, contemporary romance written by Susan Ricci. This is a great novel about two middle-aged people who join an online dating service and eventually fall in love. The story is written with honesty and understanding, covering every aspect of the dating journey of a broken and betrayed woman who has just completed a bitter divorce. After she stops crying and
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Overall Feedback: Have you ever started a story and had the thought in the back of your mind that you were supposed to be doing something else? That nagging feeling that there was something that was suposed to be done but you just can not take your eyes off those pages because you might miss something. If you have not then you will with this story. Susan's tale is of love lost, baggage gained and the thrill of applying what past relationships have taught us.

Point of View: A tale through the eye
Susan Griscom
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, memoirs
“Is that supposed to be some sort of threat, Glen? I’m damn good at my job and you know it.”
He scratches his ass quite thoroughly. “Nope, not a threat, just practical advice.”

It was lines like this that made this book so enjoyable for me.

Here’s one more just for fun: I email Larry to go shit in his hat.

This book was very amusing, to say the least. I don’t think I’ve laughed out loud from a book in a long time. It’s an easy to read book, meaning it kept my interest and I couldn’t wait to get b
Melanie Adkins
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Finding out your husband is being unfaithful is hard enough, but when you hear about it from a friend... that sucks. Then to add the cherry on top, he texts you that he wants a divorce. Cindy's week was NOT going well. Now she'd have to adjust to a whole new dating world. Cindy wasn't sure she even wanted to get involved with it all after Glenn. With encouragement from her friends, Cindy begins to explore the world as a single woman. It's not all it's cracked up to be.

A fun and romantic look a
Margaret Radisich
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; Cindy finds herself divorced through no fault of her own and even though hesitant, she signs up with an Internet dating site to see what is out there. Hoping against hope, that one of these men would be Mr. Right, she jumps in; her dates turn out not so great and sometimes create a humorous and/or awkward situation. She is ready to give up; after all, she is in her early 50's and maybe there is no one that will meet her criteria, but she clicks on a name before sh ...more
Stacy Jones
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! Laugh out loud funny! Susan Ricci created this wonderful story with Cindy's Crusades and the first is by far my favorite of the series. I read passages from this book out loud to my daughter while I was reading it, because she would walk by my office and ask me what I was giggling about, then I handed my iPad to her and let her read it when I was done and listened to her giggle.

It was great! Just a wonderful romance and the sort of story that you don't feel embarrassed talkin
InD'tale Magazine

A witty and at times sarcastic look at love and divorce through the eyes of Cindy, a middle aged woman, that is both honest and entertaining!

Read full review in the 2013 Dec/Jan Holiday issue of InD’tale Magazine.
Christy King
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was laughing, I was crying! This book has it all. From my favorite chapters of dates gone wrong, to insightful observations of love late in life, I was totally taken in by this storyline.

There is an immense amount of wise advice contained within these pages, but it's disguised with comedy and tears so that you don't even realize you've absorbed it.

Recommend to others? Yes, yes, yes.
Aaron Lazar
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems is the first book I’ve ever read in the “women’s life” genre. Normally I’m engrossed in mysteries and thrillers, but I must say, to my absolute surprise, this engaging work of fiction captivated me. Beautifully written by Susan Jean Ricci, the story rings true, full of the human experience and laced with an underlying delicious sense of humor.

Ms. Ricci exposes the poignant inner thoughts of Cindy Layton, a woman hurting after breaking up with a dreadful husband. Trying
Book Him Danno
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 stars out of 5Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems is a laugh out loud funny easy to read story.

This is a must read book!!

Susan Jean Ricci is able to create a laugh out loud story with fund dialogue, a protagonist that will have readers loving and a hate to love or is it love to hate characters.

Cindy shows the world what it is like to date online and the humor you need when the crazy happens.

Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems is the perfect read for anyone going though a divorce not to mention if you just
Phoenix Rainez
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A heartwarmimg down to earth romance

This book totally deserves 5 gold stars. A modern day romance that highlights the pitfalls of life after divorce and online dating. A light hearted enjoyable read which made me laugh and smile a lot.
I'm so glad it has a happy ending and looking forward to following Jay and Cindy's future together in the next book, which I've already downloaded.

After reading through the acknowledgements, I realise how much time and effort Susan Ricci put into this excellent st
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Great story but little humor

I read this book because it was promoted as humor, but I didn’t find much of it funny. In addition, I don’t generally like romance stories, so I should not have liked this book, but I did. Susan Ricci is a talented writer who created a warm, touching story of midlife romance. My one quibble was that near the end, it read more like an advice book than a novel. Aside from that, it was excellent.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley for r
Tracie R
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgally
Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems is a great start to this series. A quirky, humorous contemporary romance with fabulous characters and a wonderfully refreshing storyline. I look forward to exploring more by this author and this series
R.J. Palmer
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I kind of had to push myself to read "Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems" at first because I was absolutely sure that it wasn't going to be my cup of tea. Then I started reading and had to drag myself away to go take care of my day to day life. Score one, Susan, my dear. It's a lighthearted, fairly easy read and I was so very happy that I didn't have to slog through a bunch of heavy love scenes. I like to have a little left to the imagination in that department.

"Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems" is not so muc
Rachel Eliason
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I just realized that I rated the book but didn't put a text review. I am not sure why, I reviewed it on Amazon. Here is what I said:

I really didn't need to read Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems for this review (though I did) because I had the good fortune to be one of Susan Ricci's beta-readers and got a chance to read it while it was still a work in progress.

Cindy Layton is twice divorced, in her fifties and has grown children. After her marriage to Glen, an egotistical divorce lawyer, she wonders if
James Jr.
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading a delightful book that is genuine, sweet, funny, tender... and real.
Sometimes we read something and can tell that the author really didn't "own" the material. They researched and did their best, but they really haven't lived it. If Susan didn't live every single moment of this storyline, than we must consider her a master, because I could find no flaws. It kept my attention throughout, driving me to turn those pages with a perfect narration that never once caused me to t
Jessica Elliott
Feb 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Okay, I'd actually give this three and a half stars, but this doesn't do halves so I'm stuck at three.

As far as the actual story goes, I thought the idea was great. I found the characters interesting and the story had appeal, especially since I'm not much of a romance reader to begin with. I got sucked in by the title. :) I appreciated that intimate scenes were discreet and that the story truly revolved around the formation of a realistic relationship. The descriptions of the main character's fl
Ginger Myrick
Dec 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems is a fast & furious, fun little read about life after divorce in the new frontier of internet dating. The narrative conveys the full energy and enthusiasm possessed by Ms. Ricci herself and is told in the conversational tone of a weekend gabfest with your best girlfriend over wine and cheese. It is laid out in a blatantly honest fashion that pulls no punches, even relating the self-deprecating thoughts of the main character when she gets herself into hilarious, but avoid ...more
Nancy Silk
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"A Fun, Enticing Story Of The Third Time Around"

This is a very humorous story of Cindy Layton. She's been twice divorced, the last one leaving her to buy another home (more like a cottage) and having to face her ex-husband, an attorney, also her boss. Needless to say, she'll not work there long! She feels like a relic and doubts she can ever establish a new relationship, even on her terms. This is an hilarious journey taking her to blind dates, as well as internet dating sites. Nothing offers he
Margaret Radisich
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; Cindy finds herself divorced through no fault of her own and even though hesitant, she signs up with an Internet dating site to see what is out there. Hoping against hope, that one of these men would be Mr. Right, she jumps in; her dates turn out not so great and sometimes create a humorous and/or awkward situation. She is ready to give up; after all, she is in her early 50's and maybe there is no one that will meet her criteria, but she clicks on a name before sh ...more
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems is a laugh out loud romantic novel. It is also a realistic look at the horror of dating at an older age. This author has captured all the joy and sorrow women of today face after a divorce, and moving on to a new life.
I love the fact that not everyone was rich, beautiful, and everything turned out perfect.
I recommend Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems to women of all ages looking for a fun, but realistic romantic novel.
Dennis Higgins
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Reading Susan Ricci's wonderful novel, Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems, It felt like I was finally privy to at least a glimpse of the secrets of how women think. I was able to get into the main character, Cindy and truly feel for her, at times wanting to rescue her from hoards of unsavory men. What a ride this novel took me on. The writing was great and flowed effortlessly across each page. Wonderful book!
Bethany Aan
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading this delightful read-it-in-one-sitting book. 'Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems' is a cute, heart-warming story of middle age, internet dating, and the hope of finding real love when you've resigned to never being in love again. I think anyone who's ever participated in an online dating site can appreciate the early tales of woe, and anyone who's ever fallen in love can appreciate the rest. :) I highly recommend this book, for pretty much anyone. :)

Well done, Susan! :)
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this light hearted look at the trials and tribulations that face women after a divorce, in their fifties. Funny and poignant moments are wrapped up with self discovery in this elegantly told tale of finding new love and the rocky road you have to travel down to get there. This is my first read by this author but it won't be the last. ...more
Angela Mortimer
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
We all know how difficult it is to find a suitable book for that long flight, or to read around the pool on holiday, well this is it. I smiled most of the way through. No matter the noise I was never distracted. It was so real, the main character very human as are the others and funny. Thoroughly recommend if you feel like a good book that makes you feel good.
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favs, chick-lit
OMG this book is hilarious! Absolutely loved it! This is one of those that really resonates with me because I can see this kind of relationship happening.
Literary  Chanteuse
Oct 06, 2013 marked it as chick-lit
For a star rating and complete review please visit InD'tale Magazine online, Dec/Jan 2013 issue. ...more
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A USA Today, Award-Winning, Women's Pens Author and Humorist, Author Susan Jean Ricci is best known for her Cindy's Crusades Series, starring the hilarious duo Cindy and Jay DeMatteo. These cherished characters are first introduced in the novel Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems, and return to entertain you in the sequel The Sugar Ticket. Their mischief making continues in these shorts: Two Miracles for C ...more

Other books in the series

Cindy's Crusades (6 books)
  • The Sugar Ticket (Cindy's Crusades, #2)
  • Twilight and Chickadees (Cindy's Crusades, #21)
  • Two Miracles for Christmas (Cindy's Crusades, #50)
  • A Valentine's Day to Remember (Cindy's Crusades, #51)
  • The Blind Seer (Cindy's Crusades, #52)

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