Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Joanne DeMaio, author of Whole Latte Life!

Author Guest Post


We all have favorite passages we enjoy as readers when we're immersed in a novel. I actually keep a book journal in which I write certain details about books that move me, and I enjoy thumbing through that journal, re-reading favorite passages. 

But as a writer, I also have favorite passages I've written for the page. They might be lines that evoke a certain mood, or a reflection of my own heart, or a turn of a phrase that inspires a sweet memory. So from my novel Whole Latte Life, I've Bookmarked certain passages that are favorites of mine, as the writer. I'd like to share one of those here with you.

They found beautiful hand-stitched lace at a tag sale, deep inside an old trunk. She picked it up and it unfolded like a butterfly's wing, and they talked about how the sun would shine through, throwing tatted shadows on the furniture, the brass handles. It made her think of how Monet studied the way light changed and moved on his subjects, creating fleeting colors. sunlight shining through the lace would do the same on her antiques. 

Bookmarked - Page 16, Whole Latte Life

This is one of my favorites for a very personal reason. In the scene, my main character Sara Beth is recalling a memory with her mother, one when they both shared the same passion. There's a quietness and connection with mother and daughter in it. I have so many memories with my own daughters as we share our passion for words, and our garden, and music. So this passage, evokes a tenderness that can only come from spending perfect time with my daughters. 

Thank you, Kathleen, for having me here today to share some of my thoughts behind the words I write. 

About The Author

Joanne DeMaio is an award-winning author of contemporary fiction. Her bestselling novel Whole Latte Life won First Place in the 2012 Discovery Awards and was selected by Kirkus Reviews as a Critics' Pick. It has been featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post, Barnes & Noble's blog and other outlets. In addition, her music essays have appeared in literary journals, celebrating her passion for song. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut, where the coffee and stories are always brewing.


Whole Latte Life Webisode

Book Review

Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Publication Date: March 12, 2012
Format: Paperback - 336 pages / Kindle - 519 KB
ISBN: 1466427507
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Whole Latte Life

Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of this book and agreed to host a virtual book tour event and provide a honest review on my book review blog site.

Book Review:

Would you leave everything behind to know who you are?

Sara Beth Riley never dreamt she'd walk straight out of her life. Actually she'd never dreamt a lot of things that had happened this year ... From being kidnapped by her own best friend, to throwing her wedding rings into the Hudson River, to calling an old love in France, to getting inked with said best friend, painting the passionate constellation of these choices into permanence. But mostly, she could never have dreamt what started it all. How could it be that her mother's unexpected death, and the grief which lingered painfully long, turned her into the woman she was finally meant to become?

Sara Beth's escape begins a summer of change - of herself, of marriage, of the lives of those around her. In a story that moves from Manhattan to the sea to a quaint New England town, Whole Latte Life looks at friends we never forget, at decisions we linger with, at our attempts to live the lives we love.

Book Excerpt:

She dares to consider her reflection and study the woman, who, at forty, had to walk out of her life to find her way back. The eyes are less assured than she had imagined, her skin drawn. Instead of a small thrill, now there’s this nagging doubt. Did she do the right thing? They say that in an oil painting, colors can be painted over each other, changing the nuance of light. So maybe this is what she’ll do. Change just the nuance of Sara Beth.

Excerpt Page 14 ~ Whole Latte Life

My Book Review:

Whole Latte Life is the poignant story about the bonds of friendship, love and self-discovery. Lifelong friends Sara Beth Riley and Rachel DeMartino plan a girls getaway weekend in New York City to celebrate their fortieth birthday. While having lunch in a restaurant, Sara Beth leaves their table for the restroom and never returns. Frantic, Rachel is handed a note by the waiter, in which Sara Beth tells her that she is sorry to cause her worry, but that she needs a few days alone to think and sort her life out. While searching the streets of Manhattan, Rachel meets a NYC mounted police officer, Michael Micelli, who helps her in the search of Sara Beth. This is a story of two women's journey of self-discovery that will have a life-changing affect on their bond of friendship and family relationships through the choices and decisions that they make.

In her debut novel, author Joanne DeMaio weaves an emotional tale about the bonds of friendship, personal growth and discovery, loss, love and forgiveness. Told in the third person narrative with alternating perspectives of Sara Beth and Rachel, the reader is drawn into these two women's journey of self-discovery.  Both women have suffered losses in their lives: Sara Beth's recent loss of her mother throws her life into a tailspin and plunges her into a mid-life crisis where she second-guesses the lifetime of choices she has made. Rachel is a widow with a daughter away in college, who has managed to keep her life together and wonders if she will get a second chance at love. Rachel and Sara Beth are both realistic and complex women, who are  confronting life-altering issues and challenges in their lives. Their journey will transport the reader through their small hometown of Addison, Connecticut; to the bright lights of the city that never sleeps of Manhattan (NYC); to a little summer beach cottage on Anchor Beach, Long Island.

Whole Latte Life is a beautiful exploration into the bonds of friendship, loss, life choices and redemption. It is a multi-layered story that will draw the reader into these two women's quest to find themselves, while exploring the life choices that they have made, the what-ifs and the roads not taken. It is a poignant story that will take the reader down a long winding emotional path of finding oneself through the introspection of loss, grief, longings, healing and new beginnings. Rich in detail and vivid descriptions of picturesque settings; with intriguing characters who are realistic, complex and easy for the reader to relate to and connect with; and a storyline that will tug at your heartstrings; Whole Latte Life is a powerful and compelling story that will remind the reader about the importance of family and friendship, while at the same time leave you pondering about the choices, decisions, what-ifs and roads not taken in your own life.



  1. Wow, what a wonderful feature! I love the passage on the lace - very beautiful. You wrote a great review, and this book will definitely be on my TBR pile soon!


    1. Hi Danielle! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such kind comments. I hope you get to read the book, it is a wonderful story that will stay with you for a long time. I stopped over at your blog, I look forward to reading more of your postings. :)

  2. Thanks so much, Kathleen, for taking the time to read and review Whole Latte Life. I'm truly touched by your thoughts on the story and am so glad you connected with Sara Beth and Rachel. Your review is the kind all authors hope for ... so thank you!

    Danielle ~ So glad you enjoyed the Bookmarked Passage :)

    1. Hi Joanne! I loved Whole Latte Life, it is a poignant story that touched my heart. Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event. :)