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review 2017-04-22 03:21
One Good Thing
One Good Thing (Ten Beach Road Novel) - Wendy Wax
Ten Beach Road Novel #5
ISBN:  978-0451488619
Publisher: Berkley 
Publication Date:  4/25/2017
Format: Other
My Rating:  4.5 Stars 


Southern storyteller, Wendy Wax returns following Sunshine Beach #4 Top Book of 2016 with my favorite summer series ONE GOOD THING (#5 Ten Beach Road). We continue the journey with the gals, each at a crossroad both personally and professionally, with critical decisions to be made.

A tale of four women trying to rebuild more than their lives. Before you can fix it up, you might have to tear it down…

From friendships, humor, loyalty, and self-discovery — each of the characters is looking for “one good thing” to be thankful for their nightly gathering discussion. However, with everything going on and so many unsettled issues, often they find it hard to think of the good, versus the bad happenings.

This time around, Maddie, Kyra, Avery, and Niki receive a surprise visit from their former investor/sponsor and friend, Bitsy Baynard (Palm Beach matron).

Unfortunately, her husband decides to take all his wealthy wife’s money and makes off with a younger woman, leaving her penniless and homeless. Bitsy is too proud to tell the gals what is going on in her perfect life and shows up looking for a place to stay with her dog.

Bitsy assumes she can have the money back she invested in the project, which of course is still tied up. Her pampered rich lifestyle is no longer and she is forced to move into the small one bedroom Sunshine Hotel cottage, which is quite small since meant to be a vacation cottage, not for year-round living, especially someone like Bitsy.


She had an Ivy League education and has volunteered to coordinate galas and events over the years and she knew how to hire help. However, she has no marketable job skills. At her age, was going to be hard to start over with nothing.

All the characters’ lives are up in the air. They are unsure what is going on with the TV show, and at the same time, they need to sell off the last real estate design project/real estate to pay their debts and not risk losing Bella Flora.

Madeline Singer and William Hightower (age 62) are back. William is on the road with his music career and wants Madeline to come along as they continue their relationship. However, she has her own life even though it is difficult to spend time apart.

However, she worries about him out of the road without her and all the women and his addiction; and having to communicate with his new assistant. They are trying to grab any time they can to be together. (love this couple)

They all had suffered from the Malcolm Dyer’s Ponzi scheme; however, they had become stronger and bonded when they started over with their TV show, Do Over. Rebuilding their lives. However, life has its ups and down.

The ladies had recently renovated the Sunshine Hotel and hoped would be their own version of Do Over. They had quit the network publicly and they were being sued for breach of contract and claiming that the name Do Over does not belong to them.


Kyra has put up the house as collateral to have money for their projects until the cottages sold/and the show they had filmed. Daniel, her celebrity husband gave her the house to live in with her mom and dad and son, Dustin. She has kept this as a secret until things worked out. Plus he wants to turn Dustin into a Hollywood star.

Their only real hope of income was finishing and selling the documentary of their renovation of the midcentury Sunshine Hotel, featuring the reopened investigation into the mysterious death and disappearance that had taken place there. They were all under a lot of pressure, which did not make for a whole lot of creative thinking.

Nikki is pregnant with twins and is miserable with her hormones, weight gain, and the summer heat. Joe (FBI) and Nikki have moved in together in one of the new cottages at the Sunshine Hotel. However, he and his family are pressuring her to get married before the babies are born. After the problems with her brother, she is unsure of her capability of being the perfect wife and mother.

Avery is dealing with her boyfriend, Chase’s teenage son’s drinking problems, and his erratic behavior. Maddie’s ex-husband Steve is still hanging around; however, has his real estate license now, and trying to help sell the cottages.

However, the gals will need to pull together and utilize all their creative skills in order to survive the storms and surprises of life. They each must be strong and be able to always come up with a least One Good Thing!

PS This series reminds me a little of Schitt's Creek which I love, and cannot wait for Season 4! (watched every episode). Both are about having it all, losing it, and starting over in an entirely different direction. Humorous and heartwarming.

Love these ladies. This time around the gals have more challenges than usual and have not moved on to a new exciting project yet, dealing with things left over from the last book.

Even though this installment did not offer the same excitement as the others, I enjoyed it and again found Maddie to be my favorite character. However, also nice to see Bitsy realize her worth when having to do without money. A good example of the resilience of women when faced with challenges of life, mixed with humor.

My #OneGoodThing is being able to live in South Florida overlooking the water; work from home office in a T-shirt, leggings, and flip flops!

Highly recommend this talented Atlanta Southern Author and all the books in the series. A perfect beach read. As always love the Florida coastal setting and familiar places. Looking forward to seeing what is coming next for these four ladies!


Ten Beach Road #1
Ocean Beach #2
Christmas at the Beach #2.5
The House on Mermaid Point #3
Sunshine Beach #4

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an early reading copy. (cover love)!

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/02/One-Good-Thing
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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 2016-08-02 23:14
An OK beach read
The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena

Anne and Marco Conti are the blessed parents of a beautiful little 6-month-old baby, Cora. But Cora is a fussy baby and Anne is having problems with post-mortem depression and Marco’s business is on the skids.  There’s a party next door one night but the babysitter cancels.  The baby is left home alone, being checked on every half hour by alternating parents.  Oh, did I mention the grandparents are filthy rich?  Without too much imagination, I’m sure you can figure out what happens next to Cora.


The blurb of this book said it would leave me breathless. It didn’t but it did keep my interest and yes, there were plenty of twists and turns and some surprises as lies and secrets were disclosed.  But there wasn’t much depth to the story or characters.  I didn’t have much sympathy for any of them except baby Cora and the ending seemed a bit unrealistic to me.  It was a light summer read that kept me occupied and interested to see how it all turned out.


This book was given to me by the publisher through First to Read in return for an honest review.

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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 2016-06-14 09:57
Codex - Lev Grossman
Codex - Lev Grossman

This is just such a weirdly-conceived book.


I think it wants to be a more cerebral Da Vinci Code, but what it ends up being is neither particularly cerebral nor particularly successful as a thriller.


It follows Edward, a hotshot financial lawyer person (I think?), as he's hired by the mysterious aristocratic Went family to catalogue their extensive library. Soon, the Duchess is asking him to find a codex (or, in normal English, a book) in the library which holds the key to some mysterious and terrible secret about the Went family.


There are a few interesting bits - I particularly found medievalist Margaret's speculation about the codex's contents (she thinks it's a fake) fairly convincing. But some of Grossman's history is just plain wrong (Chaucer was the only person reading Dante? Um, not so much, given that Dante was the thirteenth-century equivalent of J.K. Rowling), and the novel is strangely and aimlessly plotted, with Edward spending much of his time playing a computer game that turns out to have only a tangential relationship to anything.


The secret the codex contains is disappointingly mundane, and the ending of the book just seems to continue the theme of overall aimlessness. I don't know why we're supposed to care here.


(Oh, also? Edward's attempts to contact Margaret after their first chance meeting in a library are seriously stalkerish.)  

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