May 302019
 


A Daughter’s Truth
Women’s Fiction/Amish
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (May 28, 2019)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716485
ISBN-13: 978-1496716484
Kindle ASIN: B07H1ZQY11

Emma Lapp tries to be the perfect daughter, to earn the loving embrace of her family and her Amish community in Pennsylvania. Yet she can’t quite win her mother’s smile—or her forgiveness for a transgression Emma can’t quite place . . .

Emma knows she’s a reminder of her mother’s greatest sorrow, having been born on the same day Mamm lost her beloved sister. The one bright spot has been the odd trinkets anonymously left at her aunt’s grave each year on Emma’s birthday—gifts Emma secretly hides because they upset her parents. But the day she turns 22, a locket bears a surprise that sends her on an unexpected journey . . .

Searching for answers, Emma travels to the English world and finds a kinship as intriguing as it is forbidden. But is this newfound connection enough to leave behind the future she’d expected? The answers are as mysterious, and as devastating, as the truth that divides Emma from the only family, and the only life, she’s ever known . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Laura Bradford introduces us to Emma Lapp, a 22-year-old Amish woman whose whole life gets turned upside down. The oldest of six children, Emma’s birthday has always had a somber tone. Emma was born the same day her Aunt Ruby died. Emma’s mother mourns her sister’s death heavily. Losing a loved one takes a toll and Emma does her best to be sensitive to her mother’s feelings. But the woman’s attitude toward Emma has never been the same as her attitude toward the other children. Emma works so hard but nothing she does can bring a smile to her mother’s face the way the other children do.

Each year Emma’s birthday begins with a trip to the cemetery. Each year when they arrive there is a small gift left by someone on the grave. It makes her mother sad and her father angry. The gift is quickly tossed in the trash. When Emma turns 7 and every year after she wakes early to go to the cemetery by herself to take the gift and hide it away, both to ease her parent’s pain and because the trinkets bring her a little bit of joy. On the morning of her 22nd birthday, she finds a very special gift, a locket with a picture inside that has her questioning everything about her life. Her need to find answers takes her to forbidden places. The answers she finds are surprising and could come with a very high price. Her life could change in profound ways.

Like her story, A Portrait of a Sister, Ms. Bradford takes her readers and her characters on an emotional roller coaster. Emma’s struggle was real and affected so many people. My emotions clearly mirrored Emma’s. While Emma has led a sheltered life and was only educated through the 8th grade, we see a very determined, strong, and smart woman emerge as the story continues. She learns so much and gets some great advice to help her to make some hard decisions.

Again, you can see that the author has researched the ways of the Amish to paint a very rich detailed story for her readers. The story is so well written. The characters are portrayed realistically and the dialogue flows easily. From the hiding place in a tree to a new litter of kittens in the barn, from Emma’s special rock by the pond to the long country road she travels, I could easily picture everything. A bird’s eye view of Emma’s journey is both heartbreaking and heartwarming.  There is also a poignant lesson taught by the end of this novel. Something everyone should take to heart.

I loved this story and escaped right into it! The author has a way of making her readers truly care about her characters. I was invested in Emma’s Life from beginning to end. She is also a character I wouldn’t mind visiting again. The author leaves us in a great place but Emma has a lot more life ahead of her.

Like the first one, this story is a story that will stick with me. Also, like the one before, the book receives my Paradise Rating earning a spot on my Best Reads List for this year.

Fans of Amish fiction will love this story. If you are a fan of this author’s Amish Mystery series you really need to cross over and read this book and the one before it.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.

Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, the Tobi Tobias Mystery Series, The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey).

In June 2018, Laura debuted her first-ever women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister.  Her second, A Daughter’s Truth was released on May 28, 2019.

Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at www.laurabradford.com.

Author Links

Website     Facebook     Twitter   Pinterest

 

Also by Laura Bradford



Coming September 24, 2019


 


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Jan 152019
 


In Dog We Trust
(Black Dog Bay Novel Book 5)
Women’s Fiction/Romantic Comedy
Setting – Delaware
Berkley (January 8, 2019)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0399584250
ISBN-13: 978-0399584251
Kindle ASIN: B07CG1XTHN

From the author of Once Upon a Wine, a new novel set in the charming seashore town of Black Dog Bay, Delaware.

When everything has gone to the dogs . . .

When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce’s pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She’s spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn’t without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she’s confronted at every turn by her late benefactor’s estranged son, Liam, who thinks he’s entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs.

Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she’s determined to keep her new fur family together. As she strives to uphold the “Best in Show” standards her pack requires, Jocelyn finds love, family, and forgiveness in the most unexpected places.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jocelyn Hillier and her mom do tons of laundry each week for the guest houses rented out in Black Dog Bay. Due to a freak almost accident, she finds herself with a part-time job too. Dog sitter for a group of show dogs owned by Mr. Allardyce. She doesn’t care much for him but she loves his dogs. When Allardyce passes away Jocelyn is stunned to find he not only named her legal guardian for his dogs but entrusted her with the house they live in and plenty of cash to see to their every need.

Shortly after the reading of the will, her new boyfriend breaks up with her and Allardyce’s son files a lawsuit to overturn the will. He is not happy to lose his inheritance to a pack of dogs. Jocelyn also needs to deal with the dog’s trainer and their dog show schedule all while one of the dogs is due to deliver a litter of pups any day. With a lawyer trying to advise her of ways to make everyone happy, she decides to take them all on and do everything she can to keep the canines together and with her.

I was thrilled to be back in Black Dog Bay – “the best place in America to bounce back from your breakup. Home to Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast, the Eat Your Heart Out bakery, and the Whinery bar, Black Dog Bay offers a haven for the suddenly single.”  While the books in this series all take place in the same Delaware town, they can all be read as stand-alone and in any order.  

I really liked Jocelyn. She had her hands full not only with the dogs but with the laundry business as well, because her mother is recovering from back surgery. My husband had back surgery right before Christmas so I can totally relate to the care and recovery and the efforts of those helping with that recovery. At first, this character didn’t really show her strength by as the story continued the fight inside her really emerged.  She fought for the dogs and she fought for herself. After a while, she even opened her heart to someone new. Her best friend Bree was there every step of the way, encouraging her on. Friends their whole lives and always there for each other.

Like any great Romantic Comedy, there is a love interest for Jocelyn, in fact, there are two. I wanted to jump right into the pages and punch the first guy right in the nose. He put on a great front at first, but his true colors were soon out for all to see. The second guy was the complete reverse, a jerk to start with, but then he came to his senses.

This is a wonderful lighthearted story. Life, family, romance, dogs, and humor fill these pages. It would make an excellent Hallmark Movie. The ending is a happily ever after as expected, but it is told in a delightful way.  I really enjoy the way Ms. Kendrick tells a story.

I loved this story. It was a fun read, a perfect escape for me!

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About the Author
Beth Kendrick is the author of several novels, including Cure for the Common BreakupThe Week Before the Wedding, and The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service. She lives in Arizona with her family and a pair of unruly rescue dogs. Find out more about her and her books on her webpage here.


 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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#Review – Castaway Cottage by Joanne DeMaio

 2018 Reviews, E-Book Challenge, You Read How Many Books Challenge  Comments Off on #Review – Castaway Cottage by Joanne DeMaio
Jul 132018
 

Castaway Cottage
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Continuing Series
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published (May 12, 2018)
Paperback: 408 pages
ISBN-10: 1717066216
ISBN-13: 978-1717066213
Kindle ASIN: B07C726YJC

Every cottage tells a story. It’s a saying Jason Barlow returns to as an architect designing New England beach homes. The latest cottage story he hopes to tell rises from the Stony Point sand: the last-standing cottage on the beach. It’s the sole survivor–something Jason can relate to–as surrounding cottages washed out to sea in long-ago hurricanes.

The owners aren’t budging, though, keeping Jason’s proposed renovation at bay. But with some help from the beach friends, the tide turns for Jason’s new venture. Problem is, that weathered cottage on the beach? It holds secrets darker than its gray seaworn shingles. And secrets don’t stay buried in this little Connecticut beach town; they wash ashore or get dug up from the sand.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Stony Point and Jason Barlow is trying to nail down his next project for his new cable show. The cottage he has picked out has quite a history, much more than he knew about the place. Now he just needs to get the owners to agree to his plans. Also, a typo on a marriage certificate turns one marriage topsy-turvy. Would a vow renewal ceremony get things back to normal?

This saga continues to draw me in with each new installment. We follow these characters through good times and bad. Through laughter and tears, their lives continue, at times jarring their friendships, and sometimes strengthening them. So much has happened over the course of these stories.

Again Elsa shines as she tries to mother the whole crew through everything. With her inn not yet open she has time to take on another event all while doing her best to help everyone and keep their lives on an even keel. I am anxious for the inn to open, but I don’t know how she is going to be able to handle it all even with Celia’s help.

This cast of characters has to live in one of the most beautiful locations I could ever imagine. I am so envious of the view they see each and every day when they wake up, go through their days and then settle in for the night. Joanne DeMaio’s words have painted every part of this place so clearly, my imagination doesn’t even have to work to virtually take me there.  The sea, the sky, the cottages, the diner, the flowers, just everything is crystal clear.

So much is left up in the air as this installment concludes I can hardly wait for the next book to be released. It will be pure joy to return to Stony Point. My virtual bags are already packed.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

joanne demaio

About the Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love, and choices while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Currently, at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.


Check out my reviews of the previous books here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

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Jul 032018
 

Portrait of a Sister
Women’s Fiction/Amish
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (June 26, 2018)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716469
ISBN-13: 978-1496716460
Kindle ASIN: B07638XPNG

Katie Beiler was always the follower to her twin sister Hannah’s lead. That is until Hannah left their Amish upbringing for an English life—leaving Katie to find her own footing in a world that no longer looks as it once did . . .

Katie has always imagined her life being just like Mamm’s. It’s why she chose baptism and why she’ll soon marry Abram Zook. But ever since Hannah left, the only thing that truly makes Katie smile is the sketchpad in which she indulges her talent for drawing faces—a sin that, if discovered, could get her shunned by her family, her friends, and even Abram. Yet Katie sees her secret pastime as the only way to quiet a growing restlessness she’d just as soon ignore. That is until their Mamm’s untimely death brings Hannah back home to Pennsylvania, with a new outlook on life, a man she adores, and, soon, an invitation for Katie to visit her in New York City.

Suddenly, Katie is experiencing a freedom she’s never had, in a world she never imagined. She’s also spending time in the company of a fellow dreamer, someone who sees her as strong and brave and makes her laugh. But it’s when Hannah shows Katie’s drawings to a gallery owner that she truly finds herself at a crossroads between the only life she’s ever known and the powerful lure of an unfamiliar future.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As a fan of this author’s cozy mysteries, I was very excited to learn she was branching out from the cozies to tell this story. Well, let me just say she hit it out of the park!

Twins Katie and Hannah Beiler may look alike but now grown up their lives have taken very different directions. After their Rumspringa, Katie was baptized and prepared for her Amish life to continue. Hannah left her Amish life and moved to New York for an English way of life. Katie had a hard time after her sister left but she found solace in a sketch pad she purchased while away. She has a lot of talent, but drawing people’s faces is a sin that could have her shunned. When her mother dies, Hannah comes home. Hannah is so happy with her English life. She has a job, an apartment and a boyfriend. She wants Katie to join her in New York at least for a visit. When their father approves the trip for Katie, she is very unsure about his decision. She boards the bus and realizes what happens next could change her life forever.

I was immediately drawn in by Katie’s story. With Hannah gone Katie has many responsibilities for her family. With her mother ill and then dying, those responsibilities grow exponentially. Her marriage to Abram Zook is on hold until her next younger sister can care for the family. Hannah is off living her life and Katie has dreams too. Reading this story was like riding an emotional roller coaster. The weight of Katie’s decisions was very heavy and her sister seemed to not realize the difference between the decision she made and the one that Katie was making.

Ms. Bradford is an outstanding storyteller. She does her research and that brings the reality of this story to life. The struggle Katie was facing was detailed and reverberated off the pages. I loved reading both about Katie’s home life and her New York experience. I have never been to New York City and I am not Amish but I think my reactions would be similar to Katie’s. That city can be quite intimidating. I have always found the Amish way of life very interesting. We have a community not too far from us here in Wisconsin.  I also enjoyed her descriptions of Katie’s drawings. The words sketched the pictures in my mind perfectly.

This author has written strong, poignant, Portrait of A Sister. I absolutely loved this story. Katie’s story will stick with me for a long time.

Fans of Laura Bradford’s Amish mysteries and Amish Fiction fans will enjoy this story. She has made a wonderful debut into Women’s Fiction too!

This book exceeds a 5-star rating! It will definitely be on my Best Reads of 2018 list and receives my Paradise Rating!

About The Author

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.

Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, the Tobi Tobias Mystery Series, The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey).

In June 2018, Laura will debut her first-ever women’s fiction novel, Portrait of a Sister.

Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo. For more information and all the latest book news, visit her website at www.laurabradford.com.

Author Links

Website     Facebook     Twitter   Pinterest

 

 

Also by Laura Bradford



Coming November 27, 2018

Click here for more books by Laura Bradford.

Click Here for books written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jun 302018
 


I am excited to shine the Spotlight on The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club today.
Holly Tierney-Bedord is a new to me Wisconsin author.
I hope to be squeezing her books into my schedule soon!

The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club
Women’s Fiction / Mystery / Suspense
Independently Published (June 7, 2018)
Paperback: 404 pages
ISBN-10: 1983102954
ISBN-13: 978-1983102950
Kindle ASIN: B07DFTDNXY

From the author of Sweet Hollow Women comes a new novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Megan Abbott about the secrets that hide in the shadows of even the most ordinary-seeming lives. 

~2013~ Idyllic Port Elspeth, Connecticut is rocked by tragedy. Shortly after their high school graduation, Evangeline Maddingly, daughter of one of the town’s wealthiest old-money families, and Oliver Prescott, son of one of the town’s wealthiest new-money families, are found dead in an isolated cabin in the woods outside of town. The circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths are murky at best, thanks in large part to a sweeping effort from those in power to shut down any negative publicity that could harm the reputation of the pristine, oceanside community.

~Five years later~ A small group of strangers gathers to create jewelry for one of Port Elspeth’s many fundraisers. Before long, friendships are forming and old secrets are being revealed. Along with discovering how to make a perfect pair of chandelier earrings or cabochon necklace, these unlikely sleuths find themselves at the heart of solving the murders that took place half a decade earlier.

 

About the Author

Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of several novels and novellas including Sweet Hollow Women, Murder at Mistletoe Manor, Bellamy’s Redemption, and Surviving Valencia. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Visit her website at www.hollytierneybedord.com where you can connect to her blogs and subscribe to her newsletter.

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Check out all her books! 

Dollycas

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Jun 222018
 

Hightail It to Kinsey Falls (Kinsey Falls Series)
Women’s Fiction
1st in Series
Setting – Tennessee
Grace Abraham Publishing (May 22, 2018)
Print Length: 139 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07C46H3WH

Hightail It to Kinsey Falls

All work and no play make Jade a dull girl.

Jade Burt can do without her grandmother’s meddling in her love life. But when Millie finds an abandoned baby possum, it leads her to Caleb Young. Caleb would be perfect for Jade! When Jade meets Caleb, it’s hard to argue with her grandmother’s choice. Still, Jade is determined to push Caleb away, but his friendship with Millie concerns her. What if he’s a slick con man trying to take advantage of a sweet old lady? Jade needs to figure Caleb out before he breaks her grandmother’s heart…and Jade’s too!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

If you need a break in your day from the stress and strife this is a perfect story for you.

An old shopping mall has been converted to a retail/residential facility. Stores on the lower floor with micro-apartments on the upper floor split into 2 sections. One side for senior citizens and the other side for young professionals. There is a community center were residents and shop owners can gather or hold events too.  Jade Burt owns Nothin’ But Knit, one of the retail shops and her grandmother, Millicent Fairchild, lives in one of the apartments upstairs.

Millie on her way to visit Jade notices an animal near her path. She quickly realizes it is a baby possum and scoops it into her now empty makeup bag and rushes into the pet store next to her granddaughter’s store. Hightail It Pet Supply and Grooming. There she meets Caleb, one of the young professional residents who is working at the store while he gets his graduate degree. Millie decides then and there that she needs to bring Jade and Caleb together. They are perfect for each other.

The characters in the story are fabulous. I love the whole idea of blending these two age groups together. The YPs are so welcoming and willing to help the seniors and the seniors feel the need to bake and cook for the YPs. Having them get together for a welcoming event was delightful. The Kinsey Falls Living and Retail Community Center is a great idea and something I would love to see everywhere. The animal that brought everyone together gave the author the opportunity to shine a light on Wynnwood Wildlife Rehabilitation, a non-profit taking care of animals in need. She also shines a light on an illness and it’s side effects that usually effects seniors.

This author usually writes cozy mysteries. I am so happy she has now brought her wonderful writing style to Women’s Fiction. I am excited about this series and am anxiously awaiting book #2.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

 

 

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

I live in Virginia with my family, which includes my own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series! But, never fear, I’m also working on a new cozy mystery series as well.

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Purchase Links:


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Writing as Gayle Trent



Writing as Amanda Lee


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jun 122018
 


The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go
Women’s Fiction
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (May 15, 2018)
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 150115494X
ISBN-13: 978-1501154942
Kindle ASIN: B075RV4CQN

Three generations. Seven days. One big secret.

Gina Zoberski wants to make it through one day without her fastidious mother, Lorraine, cataloguing all her faults, and her sullen teenage daughter, May, snubbing her. Too bad there’s no chance of that. Her relentlessly sunny disposition annoys them both, no matter how hard she tries. Instead, Gina finds order and comfort in obsessive list-making and her work at Grilled G’s, the gourmet grilled cheese food truck built by her late husband.

But when Lorraine suffers a sudden stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret Lorraine’s kept hidden for forty years. In the face of her mother’s failing health and her daughter’s rebellion, this optimist might find that piecing together the truth is the push she needs to let go…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Gina Zoberski is trying to adjust to life without her husband, May misses her dad like crazy and thinks her mom doesn’t miss her dad enough. Gina’s mom, Lorraine continues to find fault in everything Gina says and does. When Lorraine has a debilitating stroke her real story comes to light and it is surprising.

I know all too well that dealing with the loss of a loved one is hard.  You need to find that balance of grieving in public and in private. My heart ached for Gina and May. Gina put on a brave face and a smile every day as she tried to move forward. Lorraine still took her to task about everything. May had closed herself off from her friends, even those willing to be there for her no matter what.

Amy Reichert has penned an emotional story but it is filled with light moments too. Gina owns a food truck, Grilled G’s, that sells gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. She is always coming up with new recipes and she has a customer that brings her unusual ingredients to try. May also has culinary skills, she excels at baking brownies with some unique twists of her own. This author’s stories always have a food element and I love that!

The author handles the family dynamic very well. I enjoyed how the story unfolded. A big secret is revealed that shines everything that has happened in an entirely new light. I became invested in these characters and that made me very emotional and even had me reaching for a tissue at the end of the story.

Set not far from where I live, Milwaukee and Wauwatosa, I loved all the references to places I knew. She mentions just one of the many Milwaukee festivals, Polish Fest too, but you don’t have to be from Wisconsin to enjoy the book. Her words create the imagery to bring you right here.

This is a wonderful story about mothers and their daughters. Moving and genuine with strong female characters. An absolutely “perfect escape”.

I am so glad I found this Wisconsin author. I have enjoyed her previous books, Love, Life and Lemon Pie, and The Simplicity of Cider. In fact, The Simplicity of Cider was one of my Best Reads of 2017.  The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is waiting not so patiently on my Kindle.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Amy and her books here

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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May 032018
 

Beach Bliss
Women’s Fiction
Continuing Series
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published
Paperback: 370 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1984227119
Kindle ASIN: B079DCBL7X

 

 

Have a seaside seat with the beach friends in this irresistible novel from New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio.

Blue skies and smooth seas return to the coastal community of Stony Point. Until a new arrival in this little New England beach town sets forth a competition like no other. As the temperature rises beneath the summer sun, so do the antics and good-natured fun.

Join Jason Barlow, Maris, Kyle, Elsa and the rest of the gang for another unforgettable season at the shore. The sound of gulls and lapping waves are calling you to the page … for a summer read that’s purely Beach Bliss.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is almost time for the tourists to return to Stony Point. Elsa’s Inn is ready to open but she is holding off until September so she can enjoy time with her newly born granddaughter, Aria.  She is so happy that Celia has returned to Stoney Point and agreed to help her with the inn. Jason’s finishing up the last tasks on his list as the debut of his television show documenting the renovation of Elsa’s inn will be premiering soon.  Maris is still working on her deceased brother in law’s novel. Kyle and Lauren are moving into their home on Stony Point. But this story really is all about Aria. Celia has chosen her godmother and before she even has a chance to choose a godfather, the men all decide they want the honored position. So they come up with a competition with the winner becoming the godfather of their friend Sal’s daughter. The whole group is still mourning his death. Everyone wants to be there for Aria in any way that they can.

I will admit, my nose got a little out of joint when the men took the choice of godfather out of Celia’s hands. I am sure she had put a lot of thought into her decision. But, by the end of the goofy competition, I think Celia was appreciative of their efforts and I do think her choice was also the winner. I know the group was not trying to disrespect her in any way and the contests were very interesting. I was surprised though at one of the guys participating in one of the contests that would have been super painful after hurting his back earlier in the story. I get it, it’s fiction 🙂

I really identify with Elsa the most. We have both lost adult sons and that it something you never get over. We just keep putting one foot in front of the other and a smile on our faces even when you don’t feel like smiling. Like Elsa my son left a daughter behind, mine was almost 3 when she lost her daddy. Sadly, Sal never got to meet his daughter. But it is these young little ladies that keep us going. The light shines from within them and we have so many memories to share to keep their fathers alive in their hearts. It also helps when you have the wonderful support system both Elsa and Celia have.

Joanne DeMaio has created such true characters. I feel like I am visiting old friends every time I pick up one of her books. I am engaged by them and interested in their lives. Their friendship is a true bond. I am jealous of the way they see each other every day and are totally involved in each other’s lives. True friendships like this are hard to have these days when the world is pulling everyone in so many different directions.

The author’s words take us to a place where friends, ocean waters and the rich salt air can soothe all your troubles. Our visits there always end much too soon. This was a perfect escape!!

Until next time . . . The Castaway Cottage releases soon, May 15!!

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

joanne demaio

About The Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love, and choices while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Currently, at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

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Oct 192017
 

Barking Up the Wrong Tree

(A Bluff Point Romance)
Women’s Fiction/Romance/Humor
2nd in Series
Setting – Maine
Berkley (September 26, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399584749
Kindle ASIN: B01N9NTXI7

 

 

LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD.

Carly DeCusati returned home to Bluff Point, Maine, with her tail between her legs. But she’s determined to get her life back on track—and that means finding new homes for the elderly golden retriever and overly talkative parrot she inherited before her old life fell apart.

Enter physical therapist and hot one-night stand James Sinclair. James doesn’t care that Carly doesn’t do relationships. He is determined to win her heart, promising to help her with the pets if she’ll just give him the time of day.

Carly agrees to date the irresistible James, and, for the first time in years, she’s dreaming of a happily ever after. But James has secrets, and if he can’t open up to Carly, their future could go to the dogs…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

All the characters I loved in the first book are back. This time the focus is on Carly. Carly DeCusati does NOT do relationships. One night, the guy never sleeps over, and she never sees them again. That all could change when she has moved back to Bluff Point and meets James Sinclair. A physical therapist who doesn’t know about Carly’s rules. She has enough to do trying to find a new job and finding homes for a couple a pets left to her in an old neighbor’s will. She doesn’t have time to deal with a guy wanting to date her, even if the sex was absolutely amazing. James has some secrets too, he just doesn’t feel ready to share with Carly.

I loved this story as much as the first book in this series.

Jenn McKinlay creates such strong characters of all types whether she is writing a romance or a mystery. I always am very engaged with them and want to know more. The human characters in this story are terrific but their pets are fabulous too. James has adopted Hot Wheels, a Basset Hound, he has a little mobility problem. Carly inherited Saul, a lovable elderly Golden Retriever and Ike, a foul mouthed parrot that had me in stitches.

I was laughing from the beginning when Carly arrived home and her parents just jumped in their car and took off for Florida. Leaving Carly to deal with her sister who is still living with their parents. The sisters do not get along at all so I knew this going to be very interesting. I was thrilled that Mac’s aunts were also part of this story and really living life to the fullest.

Carly and James romance was steamy and sweet from the start. Their dialogues are fun, kinda snarky, but very believable, and their kisses were toe curling. The morning after their first night together was hilarious. I was laughing out loud and couldn’t stop. How could she think she could walk away from the hunk of burning love? 🙂  I love the way James just didn’t give up though. He was a man with a mission and he was going to make Carly see she could have a real, adult, relationship. I liked James’ story, his secrets, his family. This not only gave his character depth but it gave the entire story more strength as well.

I love a story with a happy ending. I love that there is another book coming soon in this series so I will get to visit these characters again. Every Dog Has His Day comes out January 2, 2018.

Fun, lighthearted, friendship and family with just enough drama to get you invested from the beginning to the end. A positively delightful read!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*Adult language and situations as expected for this genre. 

 

About the Author

Former librarian and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jenn McKinlay is the author of the Bluff Point Romances, including Barking Up the Wrong Tree and About a Dog, as well as the Library Lover’s Mysteries, the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, and the Hat Shop Mysteries. Jenn lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband’s guitars. Find out more about Jenn and her books on her webpage here.



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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jul 132017
 

The Beach Inn by Joanne DeMaio
Women’s Fiction
Continuing Series
Setting – Connecticut
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1544762814
Kindle ASIN: B06XRHJCX9

It was going to be exquisite: a rambling, shingled New England cottage converted into a grand beach inn. Nestled among hydrangeas and swaying dune grasses, this seaside haven would welcome guests on the Connecticut shore. Except the little beach town of Stony Point is no longer feeling like a haven to its residents. Residents including a brooding Jason Barlow, the esteemed architect in charge of the inn’s renovation–until a stubborn, grief-induced For Sale sign puts an end to that.

But with a little help from the beach friends, anything is possible. In an effort to save the inn and convince its cherished owner to stay, the friends band together to stage an inn-tervention, shaking up their own lives in the process.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

…grieving comes from love… It’s the love that gives us the strength to go on without somebody.
~The Beach Inn by Joanne DeMaio

As soon as I read that line, a line I have learned to live by, I knew I was going to love this story.

We arrive at Stony Point to continue our visit. Elsa still grieving the lost of her son has put the Inn up for sale, taking a huge chunk of work out of Jason’s schedule. He is also grieving not for just Sal but his brother Neil as well. He has been able to hear Neil’s voice from heaven and feel him nudging things a certain way in his construction plans. Neil has been oddly quiet since Sal died. All of the characters are dealing with their grief and trying not to make any rash decisions. They all agree that getting Elsa to stay in Stony Point and to have her keep renovating the inn is their #1 priority. Then many other things will fall into place.

This story like the one before hits me on all emotional levels but things are getting a little easier for me and they can for Elsa. I am coming up on 28 months since my son’s death and I just take it one day at a time.  In fact, I have taken on my own Operation Smile to help me through my loss.

I have enjoyed all the books in this series, the journeys we take with these characters are powerful. They share memories, take on new things, and together have such true friendships that keep them afloat when times get tough and when there are joys to share. The last book in this series just crushed my heart but this installment things start to turn around. The realistic ebb and flow of life continues making this another heart warming and heart healing story. I am glad it followed quickly after Beach Breeze.

These stories need to be read in order. Load them all up on your Kindles for some wonderful summer reading. I can’t wait for the next one!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

joanne demaio

About The Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Currently at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Whiskers in the Dark: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery by Rita Mae BrownGet Your Copy Today!
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