I was recently asked to write a review for a blog Publishing Tour for author Joanne DeMaio and her book, Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. The author’s website asks you to “Escape to Stony Point, cuff your jeans and walk along the water’s edge in this nostalgic story bringing old friends, and their lives, back to the sea.”
From the website description:
After years of pursuing a denim design career, Maris Carrington never imagined trading her Chicago studio for a New England shingled cottage. But a forgotten home movie tucked inside a dusty attic box leads to an unexpected summer . . . One of uncovering family secrets while settling her father's estate, one of inheriting a forlorn German Shepherd, one of reconnecting with old friends on a weathered boardwalk, beneath starlit skies on a beach nestled in a crook of the Connecticut coast.
Her design career had become a shell, curving around her like the intricate whorls of a conch, shielding her until now. Until fried clam dinners and carousel rides beckon a lost love. But can Maris ever really go back? Can these beach friends ever be who they were to each other all those summers ago? Now one of her circle is dead; another unemployed and struggling in a tenuous marriage; another regretting a fateful decision; while one is missing a mother, ever seeking a connection she longs for.
Can you ever really go home again?
Maris, who lost her mother at the age of three, spent her young life in her father’s home along the Connecticut coast. For the past 10 years or so, she’s been living in Chicago and has made a name for herself as a clothing designer. She returns to Connecticut to close her father’s house after his death and while there, she discovers an old 8mm home movie that proves there is a family secret. Despite the fact that she is newly engaged to a wonderful man in Chicago, she is unable to leave Stony Point until she gets these questions regarding her family sorted out. She rents a little summer cottage and connects with her group of friends, the closest of which is Eva who has issues of her own. In fact, we find that most of her old friends are struggling, especially Jason Barlow, whose brother, Neil, died in a tragic motorcycle crash seven years in the past. The crash left Jason scarred, both emotionally and physically yet he seems to be the rock who is holding everyone together.
This book is definitely chick-lit, and the beginning pages were a little confusing as the characters were being introduced, mainly due to the flashbacks when they were young teenagers growing up in the seaside town. But it’s a nice beach read, and as with her other book, Whole Latte Life, I love the cover design.
[She] squeezes her eyes tight and sits on her hands to keep them off the contract. Not seeing brings the evening birdsong to her: a lone robin settling down, a distant blue jay. She knows this is good, that days like this come few and far between. Something tells her, in her heart, to remember every moment, even touch, every word. This gets you through the rest.
The author renders a novel about friendships and healing, of discovering yourself again, of finding what is missing in your heart and your life . . . and having it all happen at the edge of the sweetly-scented sea.
Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans is available in paperback and e-book. To purchase, visit Amazon.com where it has been featured as a hot new release. To read reviews from this Publishing Tour, please visit Joanne’s Facebook Page for excerpt links. There are also several reviews on the Amazon site.
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 a Kirkus Reviews Critics’ Pick. Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans is her second novel. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on her next book. For more information, visit her website at www.joannedemaio.com.