Judith D Collins
The Beach Inn
By: Joanne Demaio
Publisher: Joanne Demaio
Publication Date: 5/16/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars Blog Tour Host July 31 From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Breeze comes a novel as sweet as the salt air by the sea. 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.
A new season of love, adventure, and heart-healing awaits in the quaint seaside village of Stony Point. So pull up a sand chair and book your stay for a page-turning getaway in The Beach Inn.
A special thank you to the author for an early reading copy.
What another fantastic summer beach read! A longtime favorite New England author, Joanne DeMaio returns following the unforgettable summer beach series (2017) BEACH BREEZE, with her latest THE BEACH INN, as we continue the journey with the memorable characters of charming Stony Point, a beach town on the coast of Connecticut. Having read ALL of DeMaio’s books, and an avid fan of her work was anxious to catch up with the characters we have come to love and care about, as family and close friends. There has been a lot of tragedy and some of the characters (more than others), are having a very difficult time with their grief and loss. “Much of grief and sadness is like the tide here at Stony Point, the way it comes and goes.” An entire community has been shaken to the core, with the loss of a dear friend, Salvatore Deluca. He came into their lives and brought second chances to many. He made a huge impact (larger than life attitude, touching many), and his presence will not soon be forgotten. Jason is having a particularly hard time. He had a second chance to live when his brother Neil died nine years earlier in an accident. He was able, to walk away after the wreck with the help of a prosthetic leg, below the knee. He also was given a chance at love two years earlier when Maris unexpectedly returned to Stony Point and his life. However, now he feels like Neil is not there to give him inspiration any longer. He can no longer hear his voice. Then Sal came into their lives like a breath of fresh air. Someone for Jason to fish with. Someone to talk with about construction, design, his father’s Vietnam war stories, and his brother. It felt as though Neil had returned in the guise of Sal. He had just given the eulogy and left shortly afterward. He feels cheated. Jason feels as though he has lost his brother all over again. Picking up from the last book, Jason returns to his wife and home, and attempts to help Sal’s mom Elsa, also making some drastic decisions, since the passing of her son. She had planned to renovate the Bed and Breakfast Inn (the old Foley’s cottage) and Jason was the architect. However, now she is putting a stop to the project and putting it up for sale; ready to return to Italy. The town rallies to convince her to stay and move on with her plans. Elsa DeLuca is determined to leave; however, it is time for an inn-intervention. Operation "Make Elsa Smile." Will their efforts be enough to change her mind? They will need to come up with something big and momentous. Sal wanted this beach inn to be the premier destination on the Connecticut coast. Celia was also filled with sadness over the life she and Sal would never have. She has gone back to Addison. Even though his visit to their town this past summer was brief. Will Jason try and convince her to return? She also is full of surprises. Maris is also making changes in her life. She had returned to Stony Point from a Chicago fashion career to settle her father’s estate and reunited with her sister Eva. Now Maris has left her job to take care of her loved ones. What is next for her? New beginnings? Everyone was supposed to make a pack not to make any sudden grief-motivated decision that they would regret in time. Not until at least six months had passed. There were many who wanted to pack up and leave their paradise to escape their loss and pain. . . . “Grieving is okay because it comes from love.” Michael, Sal’s friend from New York has delivered all of Sal’s messages and letters, as well as few surprises for those he left behind. Emotions run high. Jason is out of control and pushing everyone away. Cliff and the entire community hold an inn-intervention. The entire family is in crisis. They try and stop the sale of the house. Elsa does not want to think about the business team: Jason, Celia, and Lauren. It was to be the future Ocean Star Inn, and now Sal was gone, Celia has left, and her dream had evaporated into the sea’s midst. Everyone is out of sorts with the grief. Everyone is concerned about the Inn and their loss. A place that holds all their friend’s history. However, will Jason and Elsa be able to bond and carry on with their dreams in Sal’s loving memory as well as the rest of their friends and community? Have they lost themselves when they lost Sal? Is this what he would have wanted? "A new season of love, adventure, and heart-healing awaits in the quaint seaside village of Stony Point. So pull up a sand chair and book your stay for a page-turning getaway in The Beach Inn." A time of healing and rediscovery. The best place to start over . . . by the sea. They each will need plenty of love and magic connections in order to pull off the impossible. A true demonstration of how people handle grief differently. Plus some new unexpected adventures are in store and hopefully, Sal is smiling down at all the new events unfolding. If you have not read Joanne Demaio’s books, you are missing a rare treat. Full of emotion, heart, and soul, with vivid descriptions and settings, memorable characters and sea breezes which transport you. Highly recommend reading in order, to enhance your overall reading experience. Still hoping for a Hallmark TV series! If you enjoy Debbie Macomber and Sherryl Woods, you will devour Joanne Demaio’s storytelling. Characters which linger long after the book ends. Join me for Blog Tour July 31 to highlight this special book THE BEACH INN and this special talented author. Always on my best book list! Review Links:
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. Joanne's novels include the New York Times Bestseller Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans; Whole Latte Life, a Kirkus Reviews Critics' Pick; Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes, a USA Today Bestseller; True Blend; The Denim Blue Sea; and Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer. Her latest summer books are Beach Blues, Beach Breeze, and The Beach Inn. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on her next novel. Read More
* * * * * * * * On a personal note: Many of you have wondered why I have not been reading or posting reviews over the last several months, so will take this opportunity to share with you. (do not want to take away from the review). Joanne and her literary publicist daughter, Mary have been supportive through my own time of grief over the last few months. I was scheduled to host her blog tour on June 13; however, many of you are aware my mom passed away last August with colon cancer, and my dad was living independently in North Carolina at age 85. He was doing quite well until his congestive heart failure became worse. I was his Power of Attorney for health and financial and was coordinating his nursing and hospital care from Florida. He was excited when I hired a wonderful in-home health care company which he loved and was able to go home after two long months in the hospital. I did not want him to go to a nursing home. However, he needed round the clock specialized nursing care and began liquidating some assets. He loved his special nurse and they hit it off. He had less than a week, to enjoy being back at home, and finally getting some sleep. It was short lived. His heart was only working at 15% and wound up back in the hospital in critical care. I hurriedly packed and flew home. They moved dad to Hospice with a Bi-PAP breathing machine 24/7. He was very uncomfortable and could not rest or sleep, nor eat. Only a sip of water at a time. I sat with him every night from 8 pm to 5 am. He was unable to speak with the mask and was unable to remove it for more than a few seconds, gasping for breath. The final night, June 9, I was on my way to Hospice to sit with him and was sitting at a stop light in a string of busy traffic and someone came up speeding behind me (not looking) and rear ended me, doing $10,000 worth of damage to my dad’s new SUV. I am lucky to be alive when the driver ran off the road down an embankment trying to miss me. By the time the cops and medical arrived and the car was towed — my dad passed away that evening. With back and neck problems from the accident, had no time to seek medical condition. They were sold out of rental cars for the night and had to travel hours to pick up one, and then had an allergic reaction to the air freshener in the car. This car had to be towed, then another replacement. Then the insurance company put me in another one since the guy was at fault for the next month. With a funeral to plan (June 15), and being the executor of his estate, there was much to do. A large task, cleaning out all the contents of a large 3BR townhome with double garage to prepare for sale, plus dealing with the insurance company and the car repair taking over 8 weeks, while out of town. All of this plus probate could not begin until 30 days, so was unable to return to Florida until this past week after being gone two months. The house closing is coming up this week on Aug 3 (I sold it the day before the funeral), so we were fortunate. (a long line of people waiting for this development and HOA has a list to call when someone passes). A lovely couple - the man has Parkinson's and they wanted to be closer to town on one level. So sad, to say "goodbye" to mom and dad within one year, and their house they purchased seventeen years ago. Seems like a blur and still quite behind with work, as I continue to settle dad's estate. Not sure I have had time to grieve properly, with all the fast and furious coordinating, plus many other things happening since I have returned with yet another accident. A horrible fall in a pothole at a storage facility. (Still trying to get over this latest). So I feel very overwhelmed and behind with work. Hopefully will get back to reading and blogging within the next month or so. Oh, did I mention, Windows 10 did an auto update and wiped out everything (even windows) on my new Dell laptop, when traveling, and was in the middle of a deadline with two authors, and had to recreate everything since I was traveling with one laptop? When it rains it pours. Something good must be coming! Have since deactivated all Windows updates. Joanne’s staff was very accommodating allowing me to reschedule my Blog Tour. Having read the book back in May - like the book — life can be tough and challenging. The family takes top priority. Things do not always go as we planned. People come in our lives for a season and a reason. We have to grieve, love and heal. Remember those who have passed fondly, with our own special memories. This was a special book for me in many ways and honored to receive an advanced reading copy, even though I am late posting my review. Many thanks for your patience, and for the special notes from other readers. As many of you know, I have been a hotel and inn consultant for many years and still in the business. In my earlier career, I traveled all over the US consulting with owners and investors with the opening and business planning of B&Bs. They hold a special place and LOVE books about quaint inns. I still have a few B&B clients, today. Combine this love with a coastal setting and unforgettable characters, and a fabulous storyteller and genuine author . . . you have a winning combination!