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, March 27, 2020

Every Summer by Joanne DeMaio (VBT: Book Review)

In association with Author Joanne DeMaio, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Every Summer!

Book Review

Every Summer by Joanne DeMaio
Book 10: The Seaside Saga Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: Paperback - February 20, 2020 / eBook - March 3, 2020
Format: Paperback - 306 pages
               Kindle - 2381 KB
               Nook - 726 KB
ISBN: 978-1670298188
ASIN (ebook): B083GYK98V
BNID: 2940162999928
Genre: Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Buy The Series: The Seaside Saga Series
Book 1: Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans 
Book 2: The Denim Blue Sea
Book 3: Beach Blues
Book 4: Beach Breeze
Book 5: The Beach Inn
Book 6: Beach Bliss
Book 7: Castaway Cottage
Book 8: Night Beach
Book 9: Little Beach Bungalow 
Book 10: Every Summer
Book 11: Salt Air Secrets (Pub Date: May 12, 2020)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Book Description:

From New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio comes a novel of one unforgettable week at the shore -- during a summer that changes everything.

Every summer has a story. That couldn't be more true for Jason and Maris Barlow, the Bradford brothers, soon-to-be innkeepers Elsa and Celia, and the rest of The Seaside Saga cast. But this particular summer is leaving its mark on the New England beach town of Stony Point. As lone lobsterman Shane settles in for another week at his rented bungalow by the sea, emotional tides turn. Relationships come unmoored; secret love affairs surface; family bonds are tested.

So head under the trestle, walk the cottage-lined streets, sit on the sandy boardwalk, and spend Every Summer with your favorite beach friends. They're waiting for you.

Book Excerpt: (Select The Preview Button)

My Book Review:

In Every Summer, the beach friends' story continues where Little Beach Bungalow, left off. Author Joanne DeMaio transports the reader back to the tranquil seashore town of Stony Point, Connecticut, where the summer season is coming to a close. The story picks up in the the last week of August, where relationship issues and long-held secrets will change the lives of friends: Maris, Jason, Eva, Matt, Kyle, Lauren, Elsa, Cliff, Nick, Paige, Vinny, Celia, and Shane.

In Every Summer, Author Joanne DeMaio easily captivates her readers' attention with this beautifully written tale through a seamless and flowing storyline, and with a wonderful description of a tranquil beach setting that wraps itself around the reader like a sun-warmed beach towel. The characters draw you into their lives with a strong emotional pull, their complexities and flaws are true-to-life, it is easy to relate to them with compassion, empathy, and hope.

With a mixture of intrigue, suspense, drama, humor, heartache, hidden secrets, romance, and a strong bond of friendship, the close of the summer season will take the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride as the beach friends deal with old memories, long held secrets, past hurts, and an entwined history. Shane is in town for one last week, and he hopes to reconnect with his brother Kyle, and put an end to their troubled past. Then there is Maris and Jason, who are struggling in their marriage: their second anniversary is marred when Jason finds out about Maris' secret engagement to Shane fifteen years ago, and it pushes Jason over the edge, especially when he also struggles with the inner demons of the ten year annniversary of the tragic accident that took his leg and caused his brother Neil's death. With so much upheaval and changes this summer, can the old adage: as time heals all wounds, so does the sea air, help this group of friends continue to live by the credo: "salt air, not a care" and "cast away your troubles straight into the sea?"

The shimmering denim blue sea with its calming effect will offer them another end of the summer season of hope, love, family, friendship, heartache, mistakes, forgiveness, redemption, and blissful new beginnings. But alas, mistakes, secrets, past painful issues, and another surprising cliffhanger will leave the reader impatiently waiting to read more in Salt Air Secrets, the next installment in The Seaside Saga Series. So now that I have whet your interest in the beach friends latest comings and goings, drive under the railroad trestle and enter the enchanting beach town of Stony Point ... pull up a beach chair ... and visit with the close-knit longtime friends in author Joanne DeMaio's delightful novel, Every Summer.

Every Summer is an intricate story of interweaving friendships, life events, and deep family secrets and drama. It is a wonderful story that continues to demonstrate the power of the magical sweet salt air that will cure what ails you. This installment in The Seaside Saga Series held so much angst, you can't help but feel the full gamut of emotions as Shane and Kyle work out their brotherly issues, while heartbreaking martial troubles plague Maris and Jason. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I wanted to thoroughly throttle Jason, while on the flip side I loved that Shane's story continued in this book, and that the cliffhanger ending certainly whets the readers appetite with a possible Shane-Celia relationship in Salt Air Secrets ... sigh.

The Seaside Saga Series is a heartwarming series of stories of friendship, family, painful secrets, new beginnings and second chances. Author Joanne DeMaio weaves a wonderful tale written in the third person narrative, that is set in the present with flashbacks to the past. The reader is transported to the tranquil seashore town of Stony Point, Connecticut, where they follow along with Celia, Maris, Eva, Matt, Jason, Kyle, Lauren, Nick, Elsa, Cliff, and Shane as their lives change like the tide's ebb and flow on their little tranquil coastal town.


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. Every Summer is her newest novel. Currently at work on her next book, Salt Air Secrets. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Mom Genes by Hilary Grossman (Publication Day: Book Review)

Mom Genes by Hilary Grossman
Book #2: Forest River PTA Moms Series
Publisher: Indepemdent Self Publishing
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Format: Paperback - 234 pages
               Kindle - 414 KB / 268 pages
               Nook - 418 KB
ISBN: 979-8611934326
BNID: 2940162943402
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

Buy The Book: Mom Genes
Barnes & Noble
Apple Books

Buy The Series: Forest River PTA Moms 
Book 1: Go On, Girl
Book 2: Mom Genes
Book 3: Mom Boss (Publication Date: February 15, 2021)
Barnes & Noble
Apple Books

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author via NetGalley in exchange for my honest book review.

Book Description:

Big Little Lies meets Class Mom

The meddling moms of Forest River live for a good scandal. Speculation surrounding Claire Conroy's sex life has fueled the rumor mill for years. Now, when Claire returns home from a trip to Italy separated from her husband of thirteen years, the imaginations of the Lululemon-clad ladies' who lunch spin into overdrive. As the gossipmongers create their own scandalous backstory for the separation, blaming Claire's infidelity, she learns the hard way just how mean mommies can be.

Eager to begin her new life as a single mom of three Claire puts her trust in Jackie Martin, the president of the PTA, to help tell her truth and free her of the false accusations and scandal. But the plan backfires, and Claire is put further into the spotlight when an embarrassed mom declares war.

As Claire dusts off her resume, fights the daily urge not to strangle her ex-husband and his new girlfriend, and dips her toes into the dating world one dud at a time will she find the happiness she craves or succumb to the pressure of the mean girls?

Book Teaser:

Book Excerpt:


To: Claire Conroy

From: Mia Montgomery

Date: 11/10 @ 3:24 PM

Subject: I hate to be the bearer of bad news

Hey Claire!

I know things went a bit too far last summer. The girls worked out their issues months ago. Why can’t the moms? Dumb question – LOL! Everyone knows the mommies of Forest River Elementary School students behave way worse than their kids any day! And when they go to battle…

I’m sorry your personal life is now under attack. You deserve much better, my friend! You should be enjoying this exciting time. New love is the best! I worry about you, though. How you are going to survive another five years at this crazy school is beyond me. I’m so glad I don’t have a first grader in the house and both my kids will be in the middle school come fall.

I shouldn’t be forwarding you this email. But you know me, I care about you, and I don’t want you to be hurt. You have a right to know what Donna is saying behind your back. Hopefully, this message was meant only for me. But there is always a chance she’s mass-blasting her pack of lies to anyone who has a child at the school. I hope not…. Also, is there any truth to what she wrote? Come on, Claire, you can confide in me.



PS – We have to arrange a dinner date one of these days. I’m dying to get to know your handsome Jake a bit better. How about next Saturday?


To: Claire Conroy

From: Donna Warren

Date: 11/10 @ 3:19 PM

Subject: FW: Gearing up for the holidays at Forest River Elementary

Hi Mia,

Seriously, I don’t know how I can stand another seven more months of this term! I’m SO sick and tired of being told what to do and how to act from the high and mighty members of the Forest River PTA. Will they ever stop?!?!

The latest email from Claire Conroy and the crew put me over the edge! I guess there wasn’t anything wrong with what she wrote about Thanksgiving, but I take offense to being ordered how to behave by someone like her!

I hate to gossip, but I finally learned the TRUTH about what happened between Claire and Kevin… He FINALLY came to his senses and ditched her! Good for him, I say!!! How it took so long for a smart guy like him to realize what we all knew for YEARS baffles me. But I guess her stupid plan of trying to hide in plain sight worked. She got away with it for years! Well, her gig came to an abrupt end right after they returned from Italy! Kevin canceled a golf game and came home unexpectedly. Poor guy picked up the house phone to order a pizza and overheard her telling her cousin (you know the relationship blogger in Kentucky) about her feelings for Jake! Kevin hightailed it out of the house so quickly, her head spun. Finally, Jackie Martin’s pawn is getting what she deserves. But I do feel so sorry for Claire’s children… And for Kevin, of course… The poor guy, finally realizing the truth about his wife and his college best friend…so sad!

Don’t tell anyone I told you the truth. As I said, I don’t want to gossip.

Kindest regards,


PS – in case you need proof, here is a picture of Kevin moving out of their house!


I SLAMMED MY LAPTOP SHUT with so much force I woke up my nine-year-old Golden Retriever, Roxy. I knew I shouldn’t take my rage and frustration out on the poor device, but I couldn’t help it.

I was so sick and tired of the petty parental politics that plagued my town. I was exhausted from always putting on an act. I spent my days and nights consumed with which woman I could trust, and which would turn on me the first chance they had. It was draining. I had joined the PTA years ago, in the hopes my coveted role would keep the vultures away. Little had I known it made me more of a target. Many nights, I laid awake in bed, wondering if I should pack up my family and start over somewhere else. But would things be any different?

My Book Review:

In Mom Genes, the second book of the Forest River PTA Moms series, the reader is transported back to Forest River, NY, where they catch up with the lives of the PTA moms. In this installment, the focus is on thirty-nine year old stay-at-home mom, Claire Conroy.

After thirteen years of marriage, Claire and husband Kevin's marriage hasn't been going well for some time, and they decide to separate. The tongues start wagging in this small town, rumors abound that Claire has been unfaithful, espcially after ex-PTA mom Donna Warren sets her sights on bringing Claire down with her non-stop gossip in front of the whole town! Claire is determined to start fresh as a single mom of three kids by finding a job, and even trying the dating scene, but it's not easy when the spotlight is always on her, so what's a girl got to do to find happiness?

Mom Genes is a humorous chick lit/women's fiction story that explores the complexity of living in the suburbs and dramatizes the relationships within the cutthroat world of suburban PTA moms.

I loved reading Mom Genes! This was such a fun story, you can't help but lose yourself in the drama and cutthroat parental politics that Claire encounters from the members of the small town Forest River PTA. With a lot of eye-rolling, smirking, and outright snickering, I really enjoyed following Claire and her co-PTA members as they ruled the roost at Forest River Elementary. It was fun to watch as Claire navigated through the trials and tribulations as she started her life over as a newly-single working mom. So pull up a chair and follow Claire as she finds her footing while dealing with the petty parental politics of the Forest River PTA, and the mean girl rumors that circulate throughout the community. With the help of some of the PTA moms, Claire gains self-confidence, while embracing the bonds of close girlfriends that she never thought she would ever have, and even a second chance at finding romance.

I can't wait to read Boss Mom, the third installment in the Forest River PTA Moms series. In that book, the reader will follow PTA President Jackie Martin's story. The publication date for the third book in the series is set for February 15, 2021, so don't forget to put that on your TBR list!

Mom Genes is a wonderful story of family, the invaluable bonds of friendships, and the ability to make it through anything that life throws at you along the way.


About The Author

By day, Hilary Grossman works in the booze biz. By night she hangs out with her "characters." She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She's been known to walk into walls and fall up stairs. She only eats spicy foods and is obsessed with her cat, Lucy. She loves to find humor in everyday life. She likens life to a game of dodgeball - she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. She lives on Long Island.

Author Blog / Website
Amazon Author Page