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Author’s Introduction

Since Bridge Across the Ocean is a multidimensional story, encompassing themes of bicycling, business espionage, technological innovation and romance, it seemed to me a good idea to obtain as many different reader reactions as possible.

So, in July and August, 2021, we sent Author Review Copies, or ARCs, to about twenty authors, editors, marketers and authorities for their honest responses. This group of very thoughtful, literate individuals were what I call First Readers, because that’s exactly what they were. Their reviews appear here in their entirety, unedited, as well as in greatly abbreviated form (due to Amazon constraints) as Editorial Reviews on the Bridge Amazon page. 

These reviews present many differing viewpoints and opinions about Bridge and are worth reading, especially if you intend to review the book on Amazon, Goodreads or your own blog.  

Jack B. Rochester

“Jack Rochester’s latest novel, Bridge Across the Ocean, is an amalgamation of three of my favorite literary genres: espionage thriller, entrepreneurial adventure, and global travel guide. While the descriptions of locations and the detailed intricacies of the bicycle mechanics are vivid, for me, the real gripping parts of the story were the showcasing of the unscrupulous lengths that “information worms” (intellectual property bounty hunters) will go to steal the latest-and-greatest business idea. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is only a book about cycling. Bridge Across the Ocean is a clever illustration of how entrepreneurs—of any field—can become victims of the persistent global threat of economic espionage. Underpinning the themes of friendship, cultural relations, and the joys of cycling, this book offers a cautious message to the business traveler, no matter where they travel: business espionage is a serious matter. It puts not only you at risk, but also our global economic future.” 

Luke Bencie
author of Among Enemies: Counterintelligence for the Business Traveler, The Clandestine Consultant, and The Clandestine Consultant Resurfaces

“Ex-counterintelligence officer Jed Smith and his partners at the New Hampshire-based Smithworks bicycle company have invented the Spinner, a revolutionary new bicycle drive. In the hopes of securing a groundbreaking deal, they travel to Taiwan to meet with Joyful Bike, a major manufacturer—but unfortunately they attract the attention of Japanese “information worms,” freelance corporate spies intent on stealing industrial secrets. Now the Smithworks team’s time in Taiwan is split between navigating Chinese culture and business protocol, and attempting to outwit their pursuers long enough to close the deal. Meanwhile, Jed falls for Joyful Bike’s attractive director of business development, Lai Jung-Shan, though a relationship between the two seems unlikely to succeed.

“Rochester’s story is part thriller, part love letter to bicycling, and it’s clear he’s writing from a position of intimate knowledge and passion, as convincing atmosphere and minute detail color every page. He also brings that precision and thoroughness to the presentation of Chinese culture, etiquette, manners, and setting, immersing readers in the atmosphere and imagery along the way. While this verisimilitude is one of the story’s strengths, it also slows down the pacing, threatening to overload the reader with information and at times diminishing the focus on the heart of the narrative, which is the characters.

“The information worms subplot, meanwhile, offers a strong hook, though the would-be thieves ultimately prove more of a nuisance than a true threat, with authorial intent breaking through to warn readers of the dangers of IP theft and corporate espionage. Meanwhile, Jed’s emerging connection to Jung-Shan as they navigate the opening stages of a relationship is enjoyable and natural, though there’s a subtle tendency to overly romanticize and exoticize Jeb’s attraction to the Taiwan-born woman, including his thinking of her as “inscrutable,” a term that has often been used by western writers to stereotype Asians. Despite these shortcomings, the overall story is engaging and smoothly told, and will interest cycling enthusiasts and readers fascinated by international business and real-world espionage.”

Takeaway: A thriller with a human element, which will appeal to readers who appreciate bicycling and Chinese culture.

Great for fans of: Evan Osnos’s Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, Dave Eggers’s A Hologram for the King.” 

BookLife Reviews
by Publishers Weekly,

“I loved Bridge Across the Ocean from beginning to end. I’d never read a novel in the cycling genre, nor one set largely in Taiwan. These ingredients combined for a uniquely delicious literary stew.

“Jed Smith and Jung-Shan Lai are richly developed characters. Author Jack Rochester doesn’t scrimp when introducing them, but we keep learning more key facets about each throughout the story. That gave me more and more reasons to care about them.

The descriptions of Taiwan’s culture, particularly the cuisine, are beyond excellent. And this is no travelogue. The author skillfully slips in Taiwan’s fascinating architecture, history, economy, weather, religions, and most of all, its food, while simultaneously advancing the plot. Still, I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t put the book down. I kept putting it down to google a Taiwanese dish that sounded particularly appealing. 

“The exciting opening sequence led me to expect a murder mystery or a thriller involving high-tech espionage and cut-throat business shenanigans. While there’s some mystery and the nefarious Japanese “information worms” provide some thrills, the plot is largely driven by the culture shock experienced by three young American bicycle entrepreneurs who are trying to partner with the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer. Their hopes and dreams are constantly in jeopardy as they grapple with a strange new way of doing business.

“And then there’s the love story. Of course, you know there’s going to be a love story. It’s just not what you were expecting. This very unconventional love builds at an exquisitely slow pace as more layers of the Jed and Jung-Shan characters are peeled away. The outcome of their attraction is increasingly in doubt and overtakes the business venture as the main plot thread. It’s a bit like riding one of those roller coasters that go through a dark tunnel. You can’t see the ups and downs and twists and turns coming but you sure can feel them. 

“I have a few minor quibbles. The New Hampshire descriptions pale in comparison with the Taiwan setting. But most of the books takes place on that island. And while the exciting opening hooks you, it’s also a bit of a red herring. 

“In the end, Bridge Across the Ocean reveals important truths about the impact of cultural differences on business, love and life. You won’t be disappointed. I’m giving it two thumbs up.” 

Bob Calverley
author of Purple Sunshine and Sunshine Blues

“Carrying on a proud tradition, Bridge Across The Ocean (Brilliant Light Publishing, 2021), is a lively international crime thriller with all essential ingredients: shadowy characters, mystery, danger, a quirky pack of tech bros, beguiling Asian beauties, hot cars, even hotter “green tech,” mouth-watering police surveillance systems, hapless thieves, corrupt authorities, to-die-for first class travel amenities, and the eventual relief of self-actualization. The latter could be a nod to the famous final scene of Mad Men, the hit TV  series. Of course there’s a murder. 

“Novelist Jack B. Rochester wryly gives us a flawed hero in Jedediah Smith, an MIT brainiac, wounded war veteran, and low-grade narcissist  who vows never to let anything get in the way of his happiness. All he wants is the the freedom to ride his beloved state-of-the-art bicycles into a kind of self-absorbed Fifth Dimension. We later find him with a growing awareness of the tics present in the American male’s prototypical ego—for instance, the need to land the girl he loves but doesn’t understand as a fully realized person. 

“At times, Jed’s tech bros come off as bumbling but well-meaning idiots; as characters, they are thinly drawn. But they keep things moving at crucial moments in the dramatic quest to nail the bad guys trying to steal their intellectual property. They are entertaining in a way resembling the Harold & Kumar of the 2000s film series. Laboriously building high-end custom bikes that sell for $20,00 a pop makes perfect sense them—until it doesn’t. This process won’t scale! Jed’s mob sports MIT engineering degrees and MBAs from MIT’s Sloan business school. But as they travel to Taiwan to meet prospective business partners, they equate their ability to use chopsticks as sufficient for understanding Chinese culture. Cringe factor!

“The action is fast-paced without lapsing into cliche. This thrilling morality tale comes to a halt as a deep meditation on cross-cultural appreciation and the nature of unconditional love. In the end, the reader wants to follow this crew anywhere.” 

Mary C. Driscoll
author of Cash Management: Corporate Strategies for Profit

“We need stories like Bridge Across the Ocean to remind us that cycling is an act of vulnerability and an act of joy. Some readers will decide to one day bike through Taiwan. Others will daydream about breakthroughs in bike tech. Everyone will carry Luke’s story in their mind. I did all three because after all, as Joyful Bike’s CEO says, ‘The bicycle is my destiny.’”


Sara Dykman
author of Bicycling with Butterflies

“In Bridge Across the Ocean Jack Rochester transports the reader from the iconic White Mountains of New Hampshire to the cultural landmarks of Taiwan while rolling bicycles, digital espionage pirates, romance and business partnerships into a thrilling, insightful tale. He incorporates cutting edge technology developed by highly educated MIT graduates who own Smithworks Custom Bike Company with the deep business experience of Joyful Bikes, the largest bike manufacturer in the world. The clash of cultures, mixed with attacks by information worms, creates a rollercoaster of a ride as the dialog of the characters strain for clarity amongst the Yin and the Yang. This is a page turner that climbs and descends, and requires attention to details, strategy and imagination. Readers will feast on the ageless wisdom revealed in the book, such as ‘Business done quickly is business done badly.’”

Dan Egan
Hall of Fame Skier and author of Thirty Years in a White Haze and All-Terrain Skiing I and II

Bridge Across the Ocean is a delicious multi-layered East meets West romance, overshadowed by international espionage. You know how good Pad Thai has tons of smells, tastes, and textures, even colors? It’s complex while remaining simple, bursting with flavor yet requires few spices? That’s what this book is like: deeply complex, encompassing grief, anger fear, greed, and a handful of other emotions, but no one being overwhelming. Maybe like good Pho? Bridge is an unexpected treat which leaves one fully satisfied and content. Rochester is uniquely gifted in that he immerses his readers in his settings and a story that becomes an unforgettable sensory experience.” 

Dory Fiamingo
artist and author of Requiem for a Caged Bird

“When I first began to read Bridge Across the Ocean by Jack B. Rochester, I had no preset expectations. A story about some 30-something guys in the bike business with an element of overseas travel.  It was so much more . . ..

There is something about diving into a book with so many unknowns and becoming literally sucked into the story page after page until you cannot put it down. I kept saying to myself “one more chapter,” and then it was three more chapters before I absolutely had to stop and get some sleep!

The story of Jed and his friends/business partners evolves from a simple story to mystery, tragedy and danger, business intrigue and romance, in seemingly a heartbeat. There is even a thread of humor throughout, and it all works.

Jack tells the story through his characters’ voices. They conveyed their emotions; they explained the why’s and how’s of the intrigue and business transaction elements, enabling me to enjoy the read and feel educated without distraction from the story.  

The characters convey all of their emotions. They are fully dimensional – sometimes you love them, other times you don’t.  But they are authentic which makes the story believable.

Equally, Jack’s descriptions of Taiwan and the Taiwanese culture made me want to visit and “see” more.  These seemingly disparate aspects of the book were joined together for a three-dimensional read.

The balance of emotion, tension, camaraderie, and the interactions of two distinctly different cultures made a wonderful banquet of flavors.

Bridge Across the Ocean will take you on a gentle roller coaster ride as Jack’s characters grapple with human emotion and business intrigue, love and humor.  

I highly recommend this satisfying read!” 

Ramie Friedman
Event management and planning consultant, head of

“Reading Bridge Across the Ocean I first found myself picturing the author, whom I’ve known for decades, writing the story. But then the characters took over and started living the story and Jack faded away. I occasionally glimpsed him again here and there in the geography and settings of New Hampshire and Taiwan, but only because I know he’s been there. Many times. So, it was back to the characters, and, like all good storybook characters, they changed as the timeline progressed.

“The story starts as a mystery, a whodunit, when the technical genius behind the breakthrough Smithworks technology, Luke Lin, is sideswiped by a white Chevy truck on a bike ride with his three close friends, Dave, Rick, and Jed, the quartet that drives the company. It’s no spoiler for me to report that this particular mystery isn’t solved until the end of the book. It never disappears, as colleagues, family, and friends feel Luke’s loss, but it is overlayed by the other themes and intertwining narratives of the book. 

“These themes layer nicely. A start-up negotiating with manufacturing giants of China, the testing and science of a remarkable (and entirely plausible) power train for commuter bikes, a foreshadowing of the Lime-Lyft-Spin bike-sharing explosion, serious industrial espionage attempts, and, finally, a love story. The latter at first seems almost predictable—boy meets girl—but then the surprises come. 

“What I like about the book is all this layering, and the progression from the first mystery to the conclusion. And that it is not a polemic or harangue about bike safety. It gets its message across in a much more subtle and profound way. What I don’t like about this book is that there are such things as “white bikes” and that there are more of them each day.”

John Gantz
author of Pirates of the Digital Millennium, senior analyst with International Data Corporation (IDC), occasional long-distance biker, and a former colleague of Alex Motsenigos, mentioned in the book’ memoriam at the front of the book.

“I like it a lot. I think it’s the best thing you’ve written. It’s engaging, interesting, thoughtful, thought provoking. I like the characters and characterizations and their dialogues and changing use of English depending on where they are from (New Hampshire, Canada, Taiwan). The cross-cultural differences are fascinating and the scenery descriptions lovely, enticing, and inviting, making Taiwan a place I’d like to see even though I never thought about going there before I read this. And the food, wondering what in the hell I’d eat, as I wouldn’t eat most of what they did. When my wife and I went to Japan, I had the American breakfasts . . . Japanese breakfasts’ look and smell made me nauseous. 

“The story/plot/action line holds together well. The chapters flow nicely. The blend of fate and karma and eastern and western ways of being worked for me . . . and so did that little stone house in France. Hurry back!!

“A love story, a spy story, business deals, biking, manslaughter, and espionage; a Taiwanese travelogue filled with an array of international characters, philosophies on living, and bits of Confucius, Thomas Jefferson, and the Tao thrown in . . . exciting, interesting, engaging, and beautiful—a terrific read!”

Mark Greenside
author of I’ll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany, (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living, and The Night at the End of the Tunnel or Isaiah Can You See?

“When two cultures collide, there comes not only inevitable tension from deep-rooted differences, but also opportunities for profound reflection and understanding. Bridge Across the Ocean vividly captures these cross-cultural dynamics as it follows Jedediah “Jed” Smith, a New Hampshire entrepreneur and CEO of a high-end bicycle company, along with his friends in their foray into the business world of Taiwan.

“The three cyclists travel to Taiwan to license an advanced cycling drive they invented to Joyful Bicycle, a global bicycle company based there. Their attempts toward this end become quickly rife with intrigue as they not only have to fend off attempts at industrial espionage, but also have to navigate cultural differences in their business and personal experiences.

“The experience of Jed and his fellow Americans in Taiwan is palpably and vividly portrayed in Bridge. The reader is at turns transported into the noisy, congested streets of Taipei or the breathtaking white sand beaches of the Penghu Islands. The cross-cultural tensions experienced by Jed, Rick and David were palpable and exquisitely captured in exchanges over dinner and business meetings.

“At the heart of this story is a budding romantic relationship between Jed and Jung-Shan, the host of the Americans and daughter of the owner of Joyful Bicycle. Bridge captures the growing fondness of these two people for each other with tenderness and conveys their culturally appropriate expressions of love with a heartwarming sensitivity. Jed and Jung Shan’s relationship opens a window into their beliefs and values, and it is through their conversations where we begin to see the emergence of deep understanding and appreciation of cultural differences.

Bridge is a wonderful, brilliantly told story. It is faced-paced and full of suspense, yet reflective; action-packed, yet heartwarming. A must read!”

Hao Yuan Kueh
Ph.D., Biophysics, Harvard University; Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington

Bridge Across the Ocean’s title is reflected in many facets of the book’s content, from the Penghu Bridge, business customs and practices between Smithworks and Joyful Bike, to the personal relationships of the main character Jed.

“There are many stories going on at the same time and it gives the reader a glimpse of what is like to be in a country so different than our own. We have the killing of a close friend on a bike ride, the development of a new technological product being brought to market between two very different cultures, intellectual/technological espionage, and a romance.

“It is evident that Jack has spent time in Taiwan as he writes about the many places visited in the book. There are many passages that make me feel, taste and see the sights. It was fun to read about how the characters in the book used the tunnels that interconnect the city the same way General Chiang Kai-shek would have used them as an escape route from the PLA in the 1970s.

“Jack is also able to write about the cultural differences and business practices with the employees of Smithworks and the employees of Joyful Bike. As a person who straddles both worlds myself, it’s nice to see it written to help people understand why it takes time to develop business partners in Asia.”

Chris Li
Co-owner of Bikeway Source in Bedford, Massachusetts; business and technology graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology

Bridge Across the Ocean contains something fun for nearly every reader. If you like espionage, you’ll find it here. Fish out of water stories? Check. Travelogues? Food journalism? Both are featured here, and will make you want to hop on a plane immediately. The story is also a murder mystery, and you’ll even get a sprinkle of philosophy—that of both the East and the West. 

“While the book’s world seemingly contains a multitude of genres, most of all, Bridge Across the Ocean is the touching story of two people discovering love where neither felt it would find them again. It is this beating heart that keeps you turning the pages most of all. Do yourself a favor and pick it up!”

“The three cyclists travel to Taiwan to license an advanced cycling drive they invented to Joyful Bicycle, a global bicycle company based there. Their attempts toward this end become quickly rife with intrigue as they not only have to fend off attempts at industrial espionage, but also have to navigate cultural differences in their business and personal experiences.

“The experience of Jed and his fellow Americans in Taiwan is palpably and vividly portrayed in Bridge. The reader is at turns transported into the noisy, congested streets of Taipei or the breathtaking white sand beaches of the Penghu Islands. The cross-cultural tensions experienced by Jed, Rick and David were palpable and exquisitely captured in exchanges over dinner and business meetings.

“At the heart of this story is a budding romantic relationship between Jed and Jung-Shan, the host of the Americans and daughter of the owner of Joyful Bicycle. Bridge captures the growing fondness of these two people for each other with tenderness and conveys their culturally appropriate expressions of love with a heartwarming sensitivity. Jed and Jung Shan’s relationship opens a window into their beliefs and values, and it is through their conversations where we begin to see the emergence of deep understanding and appreciation of cultural differences.

Bridge is a wonderful, brilliantly told story. It is faced-paced and full of suspense, yet reflective; action-packed, yet heartwarming. A must read!”

Grael Norton
co-founder of Good Harvest Marketing and former senior faculty member of Wheatmark Authors Academy

“Bridge Across the Ocean is a story about cycling, friendship, espionage, cultural dierences and love. It is a poignant tale very relevant to our current times that tells of respect and honor. I found the story captivating and the book was hard to put down.

“The story follows four friends with a passion for cycling through an international business partnership around an innovative cycling “drive” they have developed. As they travel to Taiwan to discuss partnerships with Joyful Bicycle, the guys from Smithworks run into unexpected danger from thieves of intellectual properties. Once there, they experience a business negotiation of the likes they have never known.

“Rochester’s characters are well developed and described in great detail. As the story progresses, the reader learns more and more about the individual characters and their personalities, passions and flaws. 

“His writing style depicts the the activities of the story in great detail as well. I can feel the characters’ love of cycling and the freedom they feel when they ride. The descriptions of the rides and the locales made me feel like I was there watching the riders zip past me. 

“I found myself on pins and needles throughout the book, rooting for the “good guys” from Smithworks and Joyful Bicycle. I was also pulling for Jed and Jung-Shan to overcome their cultural dierences and succeed as a couple.

“I am a big fan of author Jack Rochester. I recommend his novels to anyone interested in a good solid story, well written and well told.

“Even still, I always feel a bit sad when I finish one of his books because I feel like I know the characters so well, it’s like saying goodbye to a good friend you know you won’t see again.”

Laurie Ogg
Director of Advancement Services and Stewardship, California State University, Sonoma

Bridge Across the Ocean, by Jack B. Rochester, is a thrilling adventure about friendship, love, loss, travel, entrepreneurship, grief and of course, bicycling. Jed Smith and his three best friends, Luke, Rick, and David, own and operate a bicycle company together. They are on the brink of launching an innovative technology that will change bicycling forever. When the four friends are out bicycling and testing the prototype, Luke is run down by a truck and killed. After witnessing his grisly death, the three remaining friends are immediately faced with a difficult decision. In only a few short days they’re flying to Taiwan to make a game-changing business deal, but how will they be able to do it now? To honor their fallen friend, they decide to go ahead with the plans. But on the way, they attract the attention of two shady strangers. So begins the story, aptly named Bridge Across the Ocean. Not only is the title a reference to a specific location, but it symbolizes a bridge between cultures, passion, ideas, love—and life and death itself. 

“Bridge encompasses many themes and plots, each interesting and engaging in its own way. The most engrossing storyline is the love story between Jed and Jung-Shan, a woman he meets in Taiwan who happens to be paramount to the bicycle deal. Their evolving relationship is the overarching focus and is consistently multi-dimensional and genuine. I eagerly anticipated Jed’s interactions with Jung-Shan. It was a deliciously slow-burning romance—their chemistry, conversation, and adventures are the ingredients to an enchanting love story. Like peeling back layers of an onion, their personal traumas, family histories, cultural differences—and the fact they work together—become increasingly complex. But Bridge Across the Ocean is also about hope and following your heart. Throughout all the roadblocks and tension, there is always an undercurrent of hope that keeps the reader wanting more. 

“A couple of the Bridge Across the Ocean’s many threads began to fray just a little near the end. This issue is often found in novels that contain numerous themes intertwined simultaneously. Tragedy, technology espionage, business entrepreneurship, love, death, culture shock—all these are such potent themes that I found some had been stretched thin by the end. I felt this lack of detail in the fallout of Luke’s death and the espionage plot. Luke’s gruesome death certainly drew me in immediately, as the action happened in the first few pages. Although the reader finds closure for his death eventually, it falls a bit flat compared to the dramatic build-up of events. This also happens when Jed and the others encounter the espionage agents; it starts with a lot of fiery action and intrigue which kept me on my toes throughout the story, but the climax doesn’t quite deliver an equivalent punch.

“The wonders of travel and Taiwanese culture is beautifully captured through Jed’s observations. His friends, especially Rick, provide a more comedic insight as they fumble through awkward moments in a different country. The interactions feel real and relatable, especially from an American point of view. The sights, sounds, and especially the tastes of Taipei lingered in my mind long after reading. Jack Rochester certainly has a gift for describing delicious cuisine; I found myself craving food I had never tasted. With all the rich sensory details, I can imagine this book as a movie; the ambiance I felt could easily translate into a cinematic universe. It truly feels like the reader is transported into another world while learning about a very real culture through the lens of a fictional story. The characters and atmosphere certainly feel alive. I felt as if I was bicycling right alongside Jed, Jung-Shan, Rick, and David, witnessing the passing scenes with my own eyes. 

“Jack Rochester said Bridge Across the Ocean is “a story about love.” And it certainly is. You feel the love poured into the story and its characters, as well as a love for bicycling, adventure, travel, and people. This is a story that you’ll find yourself daydreaming about—the busy sights and sounds of a foreign country, the feeling of wind in your hair as you bicycle down an unknown path, the heat of a long-awaited kiss. Jack Rochester pieced this story together like an epic puzzle, with the utmost care and attention—and it certainly shows.”

Caitlin M. Park
fiction writer and assistant editor at Joshua Tree Interactive

“Bridge Across the Ocean is a fun caper tale set to the cadence of cycling and international intrigue. A group of friends and cycling diehards set out to sell their brilliant bike design, but get caught up in a corporate espionage ring as they travel from the United States to Taiwan to pitch their product. The boys find navigating culture and personal relationships to be quite an odyssey and it seems that every leg of the journey has them crossing paths with ever-multiplying criminal elements. The friends must protect themselves, protect their invention from the corporate spies lurking about, and make the one crucial business deal that will change the face of cycling and bike technology forever. 

“Also on the line is a burgeoning romance between Jed, our protagonist, and his Taiwanese counterpart, Jung-Shan. If their companies can come together, perhaps they can as well, but it’s no easy task—clashing personalities and troubled romantic pasts stand in their way: another obstacle, in this trip of obstacles, that pulls the reader through the story. 

“Well-paced and kind-hearted, Bridge Across the Ocean feels like a scenic ride through a vivid countryside with plenty of humor and charm along the way. Written with a love for cycling and meant to be similarly enjoyed, it’s a fun flick of a book that gives the reader a wonderful setting and clever mystery.”

Michael Piekny
Editor, HubEdits, and fiction editor at The Fictional Café

Bridge across the Ocean has four major plot lines that swirl and interpenetrate like the yin/yang symbol— balanced, flowing sides with embedded opposing dots, light in dark, dark in light, all in energetic motion.

“The story opens with the tragic hit-and-run death of one of the four founders of Smithworks, a custom bicycle company. Was it premeditated, and if so, why? Bereft of their Taiwanese partner, the remaining three are nevertheless on their way to Taiwan to pitch a new technology to Joyful Bike, the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer. Ominous industrial spies pursue them, constantly probing for valuable intellectual property. These are the dark yin elements of the story.

“The light of the yang appears, at first just a glimmer, in the budding romantic attraction between Jed, the Smithworks CEO, and the Jung-Shan, daughter of Joyful’s president. Their flame brightens through exhilarating scenes of cycling through the countryside, towns and cities of the islands, led by Jung-Shan. In this way the reader gets fascinating glimpses of a place and culture little known in America. Culture shock shakes Jed and confuses the others, yet the light and delight of these themes give relief from the grief of their loss and the pressure of espionage. Romance and business underlie both the clashes and the potential fusion of very different cultures.

“The span of the metaphoric bridge across the ocean has one end in New Hampshire and the other in Taiwan. The joy of riding, buffeted by wind over the roaring chaos of the South China Sea below, reads like a real-world analog to the pleasure of reading this novel. The ride continues to a profoundly satisfying and surprisingly spiritual ending.”

Rob Swigart
author of more than a dozen novels including Little America, Portal, Mixed Harvest: Scenes from the Human Past, and the third and forthcoming Lisa Emmer novel, Python

I would love you to write your own review of Bridge Across the Ocean wherever great reviews appear! Amazon, Goodreads, Medium, Substack, your favorite social media or your own blog. They’re all good!

You can learn more about my writing career and read my alternating blogs, Saturday Book Review and My Brain on Grape-Nuts, at JackBoston, my author blogsite.

If you’re interested in publishing an excerpt or interviewing me, please contact my publicist, Pacific and Court, or my associate editor Tori Merkle  and we’ll fix you right up!