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.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Weekly Book Mail: 8/20-26/2023


This Week's Book Mail

Fresh Fiction Box

Introverts Retreat

Bubbles & Books

Just The Right Book!

Monday, August 21, 2023

Fall's Hope by Heather Hummel Gallagher (Book Review)


Fall's Hope by Heather Hummel Gallagher
Book 3: Camden Lake Tales Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publisher
Publication Date: July 25, 2023
Format: Paperback - 202 pages
               Kindle - 1809 KB
ISBN: 979-8387783807
Genre: Women's Fiction / Coming Of Age

Buy The Book: 

Buy The Series: Camden Lake Tales Series
Book 1: Summer's Wisdom
Book 2: Winter's Truth
Book 3: Fall's Hope

Book Description: 

Brett has never met his daughter. Melanie isn’t sure she can trust him again. But can they reconcile his deceptive past and bond over discovering the whereabouts of his only child? 

Brett McGriff is on a straight road to becoming a veterinarian when he learns that somewhere out in the world he has a daughter. His new fiancĂ©, Melanie Piper, struggles when she uncovers the truth of his past after they move to California from Maine to start a new life. 

Brett’s conflicted heart worries about his future with Melanie and battles discovering the whereabouts of his only child. Will Brett learn that life can hold opposing desires and that he can triumph despite his uphill battles? 

Fall’s Hope, a heartfelt and persuasive piece of women’s fiction, is the third in the Camden Lake Tales series and is the backstory of Jamie’s biological father.

My Book Review:

In Fall's Hope, the third book in the Camden Lake Tales series, author Heather Hummel Gallagher weaves a wonderful women's fiction story that follows the backstory of Jamie Jacobson's birth father, Brett McGriff.

The author weaves a fascinating tale that easily engages the reader to follow Brett McGriff's journey as he deals with the knowledge that his ex-high school girlfriend Elizabeth Daniels had a baby girl and gave her up for adoption, and did not let him know until she sent him a letter two years later while he was away at college. 

Brett's story takes the reader from May 1978 through the Spring of 2015. Brett and his college girlfriend Melanie Piper graduate from college in Maine and settle in California where he attended veterinarian school at UC Davis. Brett has thought about his daughter every day since he read the letter, and wonders what her life is life throughout the years. Brett and Melanie get married in May 1983, and settle into their life in Pacific Grove, where he is a veterinarian, and Melanie has established a dog rescue. As the years go by, Brett still thinks about his daughter somewhere out in the world, and on his fifty-eighth birthday in 2014, he and Melanie are watching the news and see his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth featured on there, she is running for Congress and tells her life story and introduces the crowd to her daughter, Jamie. Brett is determined to finally meet his daughter, who lives not too far from them, and hopefully be given the chance to have a relationship with her. 

Fall's Hope is a heartwarming and thoroughly enjoyable story. You can't help but feel for Brett as his world changed after learning that he has a daughter somewhere out in the world, and how he learns to live with his desire to find her throughout the years, until fate finally provides him the opportunity he has dreamed about. The author takes the reader along for the ride as Brett's life unfolds from college graduation in May 1978 to his retirement in the Spring of 2015. Brett's story will pull at the heartstrings, and will leave the reader with a warm fuzzy feeling, and a satisfied smile. 

Fall's Hope is a compelling women's fiction story that will pull at your heartstrings and touch your soul. 


About The Author

Heather Hummel Gallagher is a New York Book Festival award-winning novelist of the Journals from the Heart Series.

A former high school English teacher turned novelist and ghostwriter, Heather followed her grandmother’s footsteps with the written word.

Born in Greenwich, CT, Heather soon left New England and spent her twenties and thirties traveling and living in every corner of the US. Eventually, she settled down and married for the first time in her early-fifties. She and her husband, Stephen, have two black labs, Sox and Lucy. They travel the country in their RV, where Heather satisfies her innate need for exploration.

As a ghostwriter, Heather has penned over a dozen books and counting. Her clients include corporations, politicians, philanthropists, dating coaches, real estate agents, public figures, and business leaders. With experience in both traditional and independent publishing, Heather's diverse background and knowledge of the industry appeals to many authors seeking a qualified ghostwriter.

By personal request from Arianna Huffington, Heather is a featured blogger in the Arts & Culture section of the Huffington Post. Her article titled "Why Agents Reject 96% of Author Submissions" gained remarkable attention in the industry, including ReTweets from Publishers Weekly and many quality literary agents.

Television, print, and radio coverage for her clients’ books include: The Today Show and other regional shows; Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Health, Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 20 million in print alone. A contributing author in Successful eBook Publishing: The Complete How-to Guide for Creating and Launching Your Amazon Kindle eBook by David Wogahn, Heather shares her wisdom in a chapter on ghostwriting.

Heather's second career is as a land and seascape photographer. Her work is represented by Agora Gallery in the Chelsea District of New York City. A graduate with High Distinction from the University of Virginia, Heather holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree with concentrations in English and Secondary Education.

2009 Mature Media Awards, Merit Award: Gracefully
2009 New York Book Festival, Women's Literature: Whispers from the Heart
Noted as a top "Books for Grownups" by Publishers Weekly: Gracefully
Essays: Messages of Hope and Healing (Sunpiper Media, 2006) Blue Ridge Anthology (Cedar Creek, 2007)

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Weekly Book Mail: 8/13-19/2023


This Week's Book Mail

Bubbles & Books - Nora Roberts Trilogy Collection

Bubbles & Books - 12 Days Of Self Care Box

Authentic Books - Special Summer Book Box

Books & Treasures

The Book Drop

Harlequin Essential Romance & Suspense Collection

Romance Reveal Book Box

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Weekly Book Mail: 8/6-12/2023


This Week's Book Mail

Aardvark Book Club

Book Of The Month

Once Upon A Book Club - Adult Book Box

Monday, August 7, 2023

Stairway to The Sea by Joanne DeMaio (Book Review)


Book Review

Stairway To The Sea by Joanne DeMaio
Book 19: The Seaside Saga Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: August 1, 2023
Format: Paperback - 316 pages
               Audiobook - 9 Hours 6 Minutes
               Kindle - 2857 KB
               Nook - 1 MB
ISBN: 979-8388741264
ASIN (Audiobook): B0C2DDX243
ASIN (Kindle): B0BZJLK54L
BNID: 2940186262312
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 
Book 12: Stony Point Summer 
Book 13: The Beachgoers 
Book 14: Shore Road 
Book 15: The Wait 
Book 16: The Goodbye 
Book 17: The Barlows 
Book 18: The Visitor 
Book 19: Stairway To The Sea 
Book 20: The Liars (Publication Date: March 4, 2024)

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 Stairway to the Sea, Book 19 of The Seaside Saga.

Dune grasses sway atop the Barlows' craggy bluff. Hidden past a narrow path there is a rickety stairway going down, down, down to the sea. Even in its neglect, the stairway is beautiful, with its sweeping views of Long Island Sound. Depending on the tides, those stairs lead to a tiny secluded beach. But for years, the stairs have been nearly forgotten. Until now.

Until this stairway descending a steep sandy embankment becomes a life ring for the one man who needs it most. A sudden offer to fix up the stairs brings a sea change, both to the stairway itself and to the people who gather on it. Conversations. Revelations. Secrets. Desires. All are intimately told in this sacred spot where sea and sky meet.

And The Seaside Saga continues.

My Book Review:

In Stairway To The Sea, the beach friends' story continues where The Visitor left off. Author Joanne DeMaio transports the reader back to the tranquil seashore town of Stony Point, Connecticut. The story picks up in late September, where our beach friends lives are like the tides, sometimes they keep moving and changing, but they will always have the support of their friends and family. 

In Stairway To The Sea, 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.

Stairway To The Sea is an intricate story of interweaving friendships and ever changing life events. It is a wonderful story that continues to demonstrate the power of the magical sweet salt air that will cure what ails you. In this nineteenth installment in The Seaside Saga Series, the author weaves a story that continues to focus on the internal struggles of Shane Bradford, and how a hidden path on a stony bluff leads to a forgotten and dilapidated stairway to the sea and a tiny secluded beach, helps him work on his personal troubles.

After a week of traumatic grief, Shane is unexpectedly temporarily laid off by the captain of the lobster boat so that he could deal with his grief and get his head on straight. Shane finds himself back in Stony Point, feeling adrift and with a loss of identity since being kept off the sea. Jason offers Shane a job to keep him out of trouble, to replace the dilapidated stairway to the sea. What Shane doesn't realize is that this job will assist him in coping with his grief, and how to deal with his life one wooden stair at a time. And if that isn't enough, the beach friends each discover how this enchanting stairway where conversations, secrets and revelations have a way of coming to the surface, where the sky and sea meet, and the power of the magical sweet salt air that will cure what ails you.

I loved how this installment's main focus continues to be on Shane, and how a traumatic incident provides a life lesson and forces him to focus on his internal issues as he works on repairing the stairway to the sea. I also loved how the beach friends also discover the magic of the stairway, and how it gets them to ponder their own personal issues. You can't help but feel the full gamut of emotions as Shane's internal struggle pulls at your heartstrings, and how intriguing it is to see how the rest of the beach friends deal with daily and past issues that surface. The author teases her readers with another cliffhanger ending that keeps the reader waiting to see how Elsa, Cliff, Mitch, Celia and Shane's relationships will turn out. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what is revealed in The Liars, the twentieth installment of the series ... sigh. 

In this installment in the series, the reader follows along with the beach friends' lives that are full of friendship, love, secrets, lies, regrets, challenges, heartbreak, grief, surprises, and second chances. As you read this installment, the beach friends continue along in their life journey in Stony Point.

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, Stairway To The Sea.

The Seaside Saga Series is a heartwarming series of stories of friendship, family, painful secrets, lies, and regrets, 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, Mitch, 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. The Stairway To The Sea is her newest novel. She is currently at work on her next novel. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page