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review 2017-04-18 06:51
Gone Without a Trace
Gone Without a Trace - Mary Torjussen

By: Mary Torjussen 

ISBN: 9780399585012

Publisher: Berkley 

Publication Date: 4/18/2017 

Format: Other 

My Rating: 3 Stars

US Blog Tour Host April 18

GONE WITHOUT A TRACE by Mary Torjussen is a twisty suspense of domestic suspense. When things are not always as they seem. Dark secrets are revealed, a learned behavior with a role reversal in play.

Hannah, age thirty-two is all about appearances. Material possessions, status, and seeking her dad’s approval. Underneath, she is insecure. She is a grown woman and has managed to gain a position as a senior manager for a large accounting firm. She knows her dad would be proud.

She has been away at a training conference in Liverpool and on her 200-mile drive home to her live-in boyfriend, Matt to celebrate. However, when she arrives at home with the champagne, Matt is not home, nor any of his belongings. He has stripped everything in their house of his. Her things are still there in the same place.

At first, she thinks it is a burglar; however, the more she investigates, she realizes some of the more expensive stuff is still there. Things she brought into the relationship.

Everything has been removed erasing all existence of Matt. Including emails, phone numbers, social media, photos, etc. She cannot understand why he left without even a note and she is not able to get in touch with him. Hannah unravels with a capital U.

We learn early on Hannah is an unreliable narrator. You know there is something else going on. Is she blocking out something or events leading up to the time she left for her trip? Delusional?

She recruits her childhood friend Katie and boyfriend James and we soon learn these two have a past. Katie and Hannah are always trying out do one another. Plus then she begins receiving texts and strange things occurring. Is someone playing with her, or is she just plain nuts? Move on. He clearly wants away from you.

Hannah, was maddening! No likable characters here unless it was possibly the mom, which did not a strong voice in the novel. An overbearing controlling dad. She soon loses her career-obsessed with her personal life. She is disturbing.

Even though I had high hopes, here is my take: The first 10% was a great set up. It pulled me in. The next 70% was an obsessive Hannah and crazy friend Katie (could have done without all of this). This could have been covered in one simple chapter. It just went on and on. . .

She actually drove me nuts. I was ready to push her out my 15th-floor apartment window. This girl with a so-called career is now a total mess and narcissistic (she possesses all the signs). Ready to give up on the book numerous times and finally just skipped over all this drama, otherwise would have been a DNF. I knew then I did not like this gal. Very self-absorbed. Do not blame the poor guy for leaving.

Nothing changed until we get to the 80% point (I actually looked down) to see where the action actually started. At this point, hooked again. Of course, the very end, not crazy about though. Basically, if you retain the 30% which was good, then remove all the middle drama, and possibly replace those parts with a dual timeline (Hannah’s childhood) POV.

What I would love to have seen: A POV from Hannah’s mom, would have been interesting. Possibly Hannah’s dad, even Hannah’s POV as a child; then switch to Matt POV or James. Possibly some from Hannah in the present (not all Hannah).

I think the different perspectives and dual timeline would have enhanced the overall book and still deliver a nice domestic suspense thriller. As well, as bringing in some good research and facts about domestic abuse and violence in the home, and how this affects children through adulthood, as well as the male/female role reversal.

Mild spoilers here: Especially the learned behavior and the woman being the abuser versus the man. It is not serving our society well to downplay the fact female violence can also be lethal, towards men and towards children: women account for more than half of all murders of children. Most family violence is two-way aggression as well. Given the shame and stigma associated with being a male victim of family violence, it is not surprising that men downplay these experiences in victim surveys. Sure, there are more than we are aware of.

Children witnessing any form of family violence, including couple violence, suffer high rates of mental health problems and the children are more likely to be violent themselves.

As we have discovered through the hit series Big Little Lies, how domestic violence trickles down through our children with bullying and other fatal events in our schools. This would have been a great opportunity to play in the male versus female reversal role, and show both sides. Of course, I did not care for the book, Big Little Lies, either, however, loved the TV series!

Not to take anything away from the author, she is very talented; however, I would have loved this one to take a different route. GONE WITHOUT A TRACE is one which will receive a wide range of reviews due to the way the story plays out, as indicated.

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an early reading copy.



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/02/Gone-Without-a-Trace
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review 2017-04-11 12:24
The Night the Lights Went Out
The Night the Lights Went Out - Karen White

ISBN: 9780451488381

Publisher: Berkley 

Publication Date: 4/11/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars + + +


Top Books of 2017

* Join Me. Blog Tour Host April 11 * THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT It’s the first novel Karen has set in her hometown of Atlanta. We are celebrating every day for two whole weeks!

Destined for the Big Screen (see my cast selection on my blog) The queen of the south, Karen White returns following Flight Patterns on my Top 50 Books of 2016 with the highly anticipated THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT.

As sweet as a Georgia peach, and as scandalous as Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane, and Big Little Lies. Set aside the time, readers . . . you are going to love Sugar!

The Southern Queen B has created her best yet! Yay Atlanta . . . From the stunning WOW cover and the memorable characters, Karen White grabs you and pulls you into this Southern suburban neighborhood filled with drama, revenge, secrets and lies, while exploring the true meaning of friendship. It is not always as it appears.

Alternating between the 1930s Depression-era Georgia and a modern-day 2016 Sweet Apple, Georgia (fictional) suburb of north Atlanta. Let the games begin.

Meet the 3 leading ladies:
• Merilee Talbot Dunlap, newly divorcée, single mom, mysterious past
• Alice Prescott Bates, Matriarch aka Sugar Prescott, landlady
• Heather Blackford, Socialite, beautiful, perfectionist

An anonymous blogger offers up entertaining essential Southernisms any Yankee in the South should know, sprinkled throughout. “It’s never about the secret itself, but the keeping of it.”

From the wealthy private school, social climbing moms to a young single divorced mom who discover (the hard way) . . . the true meaning of friendship and the dangers of deception.

Against the modern-day scandals, we meet matriarch Sugar Prescott who is at the center of the novel. A grounding force. A courageous woman you want on your side. Sugar is wise, and has had her own share of tragedy and can relate to her new tenant, on more than one level.

Merilee Talbot Dunlap had learned in eleven years of marriage, it was the simple fact that you could live with a person for a long time and never really know him. One day the mask slips. Her husband, Michael has an affair with their daughter’s third-grade math teacher, Tammy. Merilee decides she does not want to stay in the house with all the reminders. She was traded in for a younger woman. She needs to escape from all the gossip.

However, she is unaware, it may be the lesser of two evils. What lies ahead at the new location, may be even more devastating.

Merilee is the mother of ten-year-old old daughter Lily and eight-year-old Colin. They were now moving into a quaint furnished Craftsman historic cottage (with a cellar) for tornados, located behind Mrs. Prescott’s farmhouse in Sweet Apple, GA.

The landlord is a southern matriarch and well-respected in the community. Some say she is harsh. She is known as Sugar. She is widowed (Tom was killed in the war) and no children. A mystery to some. Fascinating and eccentric to others.

Sugar Prescott (Alice Prescott Bates) is ninety-four years old (what a great character)! She lives alone in an old farmhouse on her family’s land. Her loyal best friend Willa Faye Mackenzie. Willa Faye moved to a senior living facility. While Sugar was staying put as long, as possible. A realtor had found the young mother and her two children as her new tenants.

Not that she had any desire to befriend her new tenants and neighbor, but Sugar had the feeling that Merilee was suddenly on her own and in need of help. Sugar was in a position, to understand that need more than most. She suspected but would deny if anyone asked, that she was getting soft in her old age.

Of course, Sugar did not realize this single mother would be this young and pretty. Mid-thirties. She wonders what happened to her marriage? Surely the woman had flaws. Sugar soon discovers a few. Heaven forbid, the woman does not even know how to cook, nor does she know her proper Southern graces! Sugar must teach her a thing, or two.

. . . “At least by the end of the day, you’ll know how to bake cookies and fry okra. Because it might be against the law for a Southern-born girl not to know how. Along with changing a tire.” . . .

Despite all her attempts to keep her new tenant at arm’s length, a tenuous connection had been formed. They may have more in common that they may suspect. Merilee at first thinks Sugar is a little strange and is judging her. However, soon their bond strengthens.

The best award-winning part Think: To Kill a Mockingbird This is where White always "shines" with the historical past and dual timelines. Sugar begins telling Merilee bits and pieces of her life on the farm as a girl during the Depression, starting from 1934.

Normally she is closed-mouthed about her past (in a world of oversharing), she likes keeping some things to herself. However, somehow, she feels comfortable opening up to this younger version of herself.

Sugar’s dark life during the Depression in Sweet Apple provides a very different look at life compared to the present-day of the same town, especially those in Heather’s world.

A nice edition to the story: Wade Kimball is Willa Faye’s grandson, and he looks in on Sugar. The developer, and handyman. He helps with any of the maintenance issues for Sugar and her new tenant.

As Merilee and her children begin to get settled in, she meets a variety of moms. One, in particular, Heather, which is like “perfection.” The perfect wife, mother, house, children, food, social standing, glamorous, clothes, and home (s) with the good-looking nice husband, Daniel. Merilee feels inferior next to her.

As the kids become involved in their new school and Merilee in carpools and committees. She just wants to be accepted, like a kid at school. Peer pressure is tough. Soon her daughter comes home and tells her about this anonymous blogger.

It is called: THE PLAYING FIELDS BLOG. Observations of Suburban Life from Sweet Apple, Georgia Written by Your neighbor. Who is this person and how does she know so much about their Sweet Apple lives?

The blogger dishes out a variety of gossip and offers a few Southernism tidbits for all the newbies at the end of each installment. No one knows but they think it could be a mom at Windwood since she seems to know a lot about what goes on at school, the community, and their lives. (yes it is spicy, sassy, and oh so funny)!

In the meantime, the perfectionist mother Heather at school is befriending her. Merilee gets pulled in by the attention and her affluent lifestyle. She has taken her under her wing. Merilee grabs on, desperate for new friends and acceptance. Looks can be deceiving. Of course, Sugar does not trust her. A backstory here. Merilee also has a mysterious past; however, she is not so forthcoming, until it all unravels later.

Between Sugar’s stories from the past, Merilee’s own drama with her wealthy friends in the present; the school, her children, her ex-husband, his girlfriend, and a baby on the way, worrying about measuring up to her new friend Heather, and the constant reminders of her life from an unknown blogger and social media; she feels like she is on a reality TV show.

. . . and there are some other strange happenings. Daniel and Heather are acting weird. Plus, Merilee has her own memories and guilt from the past which may be coming back to haunt her.

Then someone is murdered at the lake house (Lake Lanier). The suspicions are pointing to Merilee. Is someone setting her up? How will she prove she is innocent based on her past? What motive do they have for hurting her?

From murder, attempted murder, revenge, and a tornado. It wouldn’t be the South without a little drama and deceit sprinkled with some sugar. Female friendships are at the heart of this page-turner.

5 Stars +++ Top books of 2017! Move this one to the TOP of your list. You are going to love it! (cover obsession) Karen White just keeps getting better and better.

From southern "grit lit", a murder mystery, historical, women's fiction, domestic suspense, family drama, motherhood, social media, bullying, friendship, romance, humor, contemporary, to psychological and suspense! THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT has it all!

Grab a hammock, a swing, head to the beach, or a front porch rocking chair. Mark out the time and sit back and be prepared to be entertained Southern savvy style!

For my movie cast wishlist and more about this exciting book and author, Visit my Blog

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an early reading copy. I also purchased the audiobook for an outstanding Southern performance.


▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪

Karen White is one of my favorite southern writers. As a Southerner, myself, (NC/SC, GA, FL), she makes us proud. BTW, now I know where she gets her beauty . . . from Mississippi, of course.

Book Giveaway Contest
Congrats to the winner: Amy Sullivan, Prescott Valley AZ! In celebration of upcoming blog tour:Book Giveaway April 4-11 Flight Patterns  now in paperback format, in time for beach weather.  Thanks for all the participation and entries.

I enjoyed the inspiration behind the book and Author Q&A
of what's coming next. Atlanta Magazine

Audiobook: I am currently listening. So good. Listen to Clip
Narrated by: Carolyn Cook , Susan Larkin, Tiffany Morgan.

Driving Tour with Karen Watch Video From Rena Olsen.

For more Blog Tour author tidbits

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/20/The-Night-the-Lights-Went-Out
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review 2017-03-28 05:18
Beach Breeze
Beach Breeze - Joanne DeMaio

By: Joanne Demaio 


Publisher: Joanne Demaio 

Publication Date:  3/7/2017 

Format: Kindle 

My Rating: 5 Stars 


Blog Tour, Coming March 28.

A long time favorite New England author, Joanne DeMaio returns following Wishing on Snowflakes and Beach Blues (2016) 2016 Best New England Summer & Holiday Reads with her latest BEACH BREEZE, as we continue the journey with the memorable characters of charming Stony Point, a beach town on the coast of Connecticut.

Having read all DeMaio’s books, was anxious to catch up with the characters we have come to love and care about, as family and close friends. There has been a lot of tragedy and some of the characters (more than others), are having a very difficult time with their grief and loss.

An entire community has been shaken to the core, with the loss of a dear friend, Salvatore Deluca. He came into their lives and brought second chances to many. He made a huge impact (larger than life attitude, touching many), and his presence will not soon be forgotten.

Jason is having a particularly hard time. He had a second chance to live when his brother Neil died nine years earlier in an accident. He was able, to walk away after the wreck with the help of a prosthetic leg, below the knee. He also was given a chance at love two years earlier when Maris unexpectedly returned to Stony Point and his life. They married a year earlier.

Then Sal came into their lives like a breath of fresh air. Someone for Jason to fish with. Someone to talk with about construction, design, his father’s Vietnam war stories, and his brother. It felt as though Neil had returned in the guise of Sal. He had just given the eulogy and left shortly afterward.


He was asking himself if he had run out of chances. Everyone was concerned about him but he was not ready to face everyone and his grief. He is not sure he will be anytime soon. He did not get to say good-bye to his friend. He feels cheated. Jason feels as though he has lost his brother all over again.

. . . “In his happiness, he’d been foolish enough to forget one important lesson: On any given day, hour, or minute, life can spin out from under you. It happened nine years ago, when he lost his brother, and Jason nearly didn’t survive the day. So it’s important to be wary and not trust happiness, not too much.”

In addition, Sal’s mom Elsa is also making some drastic decisions, since the passing of her son. She had planned to renovate the Bed and Breakfast Inn (the old Foley’s cottage) and Jason was the architect. However, now she is putting a stop to the project and putting it up for sale; ready to return to Italy.

Celia is also filled with sadness over the life she and Sal will never have. She is also considering going back to Addison. Their engagement only last two days before Sal’s heart surgery. Sal, age 36, would be dearly missed by everyone. Even though his visit to their town this past summer was brief.

Maris is also making changes in her life. She had returned to Stony Point from a Chicago fashion career to settle her father’s estate and reunited with her sister Eva. Now Maris is considering quitting her job since it appears the people in town need her more now than ever.

Everyone was supposed to make a pack not to make any sudden grief-motivated decision that they would regret in time. Not until at least six months had passed. There were many who wanted to pack up and leave their paradise to escape their loss and pain.

Michael, Sal’s friend from New York is back in town to deliver all of Sal’s messages and letters, as well as few surprises for those he left behind. Emotions run high. Jason is out of control and pushing everyone away.

Cliff and the entire community hold an inn-intervention. The entire family is in crisis. They try and stop the tag sale. Elsa does not want to think about the business team: Jason, Celia, and Lauren. It was to be the future Ocean Star Inn, and now Sal was gone, Celia has left, and her dream had evaporated into the sea’s midst.

Jason is also upset thinking he no longer hears his brother for inspiration. Now Elsa DeLuca no longer needs his service. He had been so excited about the plans.

Everyone is concerned about the Inn and their loss. A place that holds all their friend’s history. However, will Jason and Elsa be able to bond and carry on with their dreams in Sal’s loving memory as well as the rest of their friends and community?

“It’s never the end, even when we really believe it is.”

Just when Jason thinks he has reached his lowest, Sal has a surprise for him to honor his brother. He had written special notes for everyone. Where second chances happen in the most unexpected ways. New beginnings.

From sadness, love, loss, friends, and special memories of the sea, we get a sneak peak (excerpt) from Joanne’s upcoming book, THE BEACH INN, coming May 16. Where we continue with the special friends of this charming seaside community. Coming up is "Operation, Heal Jason’s heart."


Appears there are some big changes coming. The toughest challenge―learning to heal, love and trust again. Looking forward to seeing what lies ahead.

"A new season of love, adventure, and heart-healing awaits in the quaint seaside village of Stony Point. So pull up a sand chair and book your stay for a page-turning getaway in The Beach Inn."

If you have not read Joanne Demaio’s books, you are missing a rare treat. Full of emotion, heart, and soul, with vivid descriptions and settings, memorable characters and sea breezes which transport you.

Highly recommend reading in order, to enhance your overall reading experience. Still hoping for a Hallmark TV series.


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/02/01/Beach-Breeze
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review 2016-07-12 07:39
I've Got Sand In All The Wrong Places
I've Got Sand In All the Wrong Places - Lisa Scottoline,Francesca Serritella

By: Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

ISBN: 9781250059956

Publisher: St. Martin's Press 

Publication Date: 7/12/2016

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars 


A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Join Me July 14 Blog Tour Host
Celebrate the launch, read an excerpt, and get all the latest updates! 

The seventh in the series, Lisa Scottoline and daughter, Francesca Serritella have teamed up to bring their hilarious and witty perspective on the everyday life as mother and daughter. They speak about their lives separate and together as mother and daughter, in their latest, I’VE GOT SAND IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES.


Their joint humorous collection of short stories are full of wit and wisdom, and a must for your summer beach bag!

They see themselves as normal and ordinary and their hope is that their readers will see more of their own individual lives and families reflected in the stories they share. (except they say, hopefully behave better).


Each summer they take a road trip (book tour) though the Hamptons, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and this year expanding to Virginia Beach and Cape Cod. They love summer and bring a little spice, to readers—helping women ease off the gas emotionally. Mental flip-flops. More laughter. Life unplugged. The beach! Of course, I live at the beach, so it is summer year round!

As with "sand", they reiterate; do not let it bother you. It’s a sprinkling of a summertime mood. A gritty little reminder of summer. The mother-daughter duo, provide "laugh out loud" funny moments. From Does this Beach Make Me Look Fat,this series brings a look at life’s topics told with honesty, humor, wit, and lots of sarcasm.

Timing with the July launch date, the book will find its way into the hands of women of all ages across American while on summer vacation. Even though they discuss in detail the different months of the year (not just summer). A year in their lives, both good and bad. From holidays to the everyday daily routines.

No subject is off limits. From pets, children, family, dating, aging, diet, spandex, time, calories, social security, dogs, celebrities, doormen, and many of life’s moments, both light and dark. From city life to suburbia.

Turning sixty, birthdays, gardens, golf, middle age, sex, clothes, writing, health, hair, food, aging, time, politics, holidays, books, panic attacks, post-menopausal parties, and my favorite: Middle age: The new term for sixty-year-olds (since I am in this bracket). Seventy is the new twenty. (love it)

With the span of ages, women get chick-lit advice from travel, family, to everyday living. Short and sassy chapters, light-hearted anecdotes full of emotion. From young and contemporary to experienced and mature - a multi-generational range.

Having read many of talented Lisa Scottoline’s fictional books for years, this is my first non-fictional read by mother-daughter duo. I enjoyed the personal side of these talented women for an easy warm-hearted breezy summer escape!
Also purchased the audiobook, narrated by the two authors!  FUN, FUN. 




About the Authors



LISA SCOTTOLINE is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar award-winning author of more than twenty novels and coauthor of several humor memoirs in this series. She also writes a Sunday column for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has 30 million copies of her books in print, and is published in thirty countries. She lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with an array of disobedient pets.


FRANCESCA SERRITELLA is a New York Times bestselling author and columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She graduated cum laude from Harvard University, where she won the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, the Le Baron Russell Briggs Fiction Prize, and the Charles Edmund Horman Prize for her creative writing.


She lives in New York with one dog and one cat, so far.Lisa and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, have teamed up to bring their hilarious and witty perspective on the everyday life as mother and daughter in their weekly essays, which you can find in their latest collection, Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?



With stories that will have you laughing out loud one minute and tearing up the next, Lisa and Francesca connect with readers on a deeply emotional level because of their honesty, warts and all.


And by the time you turn the last page, you will feel like you just found two new best girlfriends. Earlier collections include Have a Nice Guilt Trip, Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space, and Best Friends, Occasional Enemies.Read More 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Ive-Got-Sand-In-All-the-Wrong-Places/cmoa/57607c330cf2d021c3fd3ca6
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review 2016-05-29 09:57
Beach Blues
Beach Blues - Joanne DeMaio

By:  Joanne DeMaio 


Publisher: Joanne DeMaio

Publication Date: 5/17/2016 

Format:  Kindle

My Rating: 5 Stars   


A special thank you to the author and publicist for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Join me for Beach Blues Blog Tour Stop,
May 31!

Talented Joanne DeMaio (my favorite New England author) returns following (2015) The Denim Blue Sea and Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer with BEACH BLUES, to idyllic Stony Point, a quaint and magical New England Beach seaside town- with some familiar characters and newcomers. Compelling, inspiring, and emotional-a summer bittersweet tale of love and loss.

A poignant portrait of past and present relationships, reminiscing, memories, nostalgia, secrets, grief, hurts, and forgiveness. Some light new romances, difficult choices, connections, and friendships.

Acceptance of the things that cannot be changed, and the courage to change the things they can. This cast of flawed characters, weather the storms of life, on their road to redemption and healing.

Celia Gray arrives at the storybook charming cottage namedSummer Winds, where even the name evokes the promise of easy, breezy days.

Every cottage tells a story. As a home stager, for real estate properties, she looks at a house with a For Sale sign-as a sign, the dream is over. The home, the nostalgia, and anticipation of another summer. Letting go, and saying good-bye of a weathered cottage, similar to life and those precious to us.

She is staging the cottage, for the listing real estate agent, Eva. Celia thinks a beach cottage is a little different than a normal house, because selling a cottage seems sad. Celia knows about lost dreams. Celia is only planning on staying temporarily for a month or two at a friend’s place and picking up some other cottages. Little does she know all the newfound friends she will meet, and come to treasure.

Elsa DeLuca knows the best place to start over is somewhere by the sea. She knows all too well. She is busy transforming her run-down beach house into a future beach chic bed and breakfast inn by the Sea at Stony Point. The Ocean Star Inn.

She has all sorts of challenges rushing to get things finished before the Hammer Law sets (they have to cease construction before the season begins). Summer-Labor Day. She sold her house in Milan and starting over. She had reunited with her nieces after thirty years apart. Her husband died and she moved to this magical place and has found a home and many friends.

For those who have read previous books we also reconnect with Jason Barlow, now an architect at Stony Point and married to Maris (Elsa’s other niece and Eva’s sister). He had a motorcycle accident which killed his brother, and Jason lost his leg years earlier. Maris and Jason married the previous year and she is currently in Europe with her denim fashion business. (Denim Blue Sea line).

Neil had been dead for nine years, after the accident, and this community of friends still feel his strong presence. Jason still talks to his brother, about his thoughts and inspirations. His brother’s was also an architect, and finds his brother’s voice comes to him when he is alone, with no distractions. He also refurbished his father’s old barn for his studio. We also catch up with Kyle and Lauren:

Kyle owns the Sand Bar, a local diner. He is married to Lauren, an artist. Lauren and Neil had a past, and all the gang have many fond memories (old beach hangout) at the old Foley’s house which is now Elsa’s inn property. The beach inn will be turned into a grand destination spot if Elsa can get past the new beach commissioner, Cliff Raines; which she keeps butting heads with (maybe something more).

Elsa DeLuca’s grown son, Salvatore (Sal), age thirty-five lives in Manhattan and works on Wall Street, after growing up in Milan. She is so excited when Sal shows up unannounced and decides to take a few months off to visit with his mom and help her get the inn ready through Labor Day. She has to find a way to get him to stay longer and wants to fix him up with Celia.

Sal is an interesting guy. (love his character) From suits to flip flops, he enjoys the simpler way of life and fits in perfectly with the seaside town. He jumps in helping everyone. A true friend. A teacher of wisdom, how to live in the moment and treasure time.

Drifting in and out of lives, lots of action, with the construction, Celia and Elsa become good friends, and Sal is a delight to everyone. Sal and Celia have an attraction, Jason and Sal become fast friends.

The anniversary is approaching for Neil’s death, and emotions are high. Some are keeping secrets and guarding their hearts. Some have history, sorrows, and regrets, and they are tangled up as the seaweed running along the beach.

“From what I saw today, it’s like your brother was never set free with the beautiful sea breezes and whispering lagoon grasses that were his world. Back home, the Italians say that if you stew in your sadness, you’re not letting it go. You have to find a way to celebrate a life.”

From the nostalgic vibes of journals, scrapbooks, sea glass, secret magical Little Beach, hurricane lanterns, rowboats, sea shells, beach hangouts, sweet salt air, old friends, family, and loved ones.

New friends develop bonds, and learn to rely on one another for strength and support. Simple pleasures, old trucks, fishing, rowboats, good food and faithful friends. Some characters handle problems their own way, in isolation. Some have to confront the past, and forgive in order to move on with the future. Some find they have to let go. Others need more time.

DeMaio has a keen eye and skill for detailing the emotional landscape of her characters; she delves into their hearts and souls; and once again delivers a compelling insightful drama suspense. From the vivid settings, drawing you into this summer magical world, and beautifully written prose—where things are not always tied up in a neat bow. True life storms come with conflicts, choices, unexpected sadness, and obstacles.

She skillfully blends light contemporary romance and friendships, with intense family domestic drama suspense. Having read all her books—(a long time fan) you can expect heartwarming stories about real people, issues, and raw emotional human dynamics. Always anxiously await, the next.

Hoping we will see more of this cast of characters for a continuation of the complex lives at Stony Point. Looking forward to catching up with the gang and the exciting opening of the bed and breakfast. As a consultant and (stager) for coastal vacation properties, hotels, and bed and breakfast inns-always some fascinating stories surrounding the guests!

Make sure to pack this one in your summer beach bag! 


Have your read Joanne's collection?  If not, you are missing a rare summer (and winter) treat!  No time like the present. Buy Now


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Beach-Blues/cmoa/57244c2f0cf2d19e29738c7b
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