Saturday, December 7, 2013

Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes by Joanne DeMaio

From Goodreads

Reluctant to leave her cherished New England hometown after her sister's winter wedding, former journalist Vera Sterling makes a sudden decision. She takes what's left of her severance pay and invests it in real estate ... in one particular drafty colonial home and old timber barn set upon the pretty banks of Addison Cove. In that rough-hewn barn, she discovers a secret treasure left behind by the previous owner, the proprietor of the long-forgotten Christmas Barn gift shop.

While restoring her rundown, wood-sided home--its creaking floors, broken banister, and neglected widow's walk--that secret slowly unfolds like a bit of snowflake wonder, crystallizing hopes and dreams for many in this small Connecticut town. But mostly for Derek Cooper whose own tragic story has headlined Addison's news. And whom Vera has come to love.

When the first snowstorm hits during Derek's annual Deck the Boats Festival at the cove, residents become stranded. It is then up to Vera to not only bring the town together, but to mend one man's heart she fears she may have lost.

My Review:

This is the third book from Joanne DeMaio that I have read.   Each one I love more and more.   This is a story of Vera returning home, down on her luck, and finding love and happiness.    But more than a romance this is a story of a small town coming together a keep traditions and the hope of a lost child alive.   I loved most the traditions in this book.  The traditions of the apple festival, scarecrow voting (which is my favorite), and Christmas light parade of boats are all big parts of the story.    The fact that these things really matter to me and my family, we try hard to keep our traditions going, and they really mattered to Vera and her family made me instantly want to get to know her better and become part of her family.  Near where I live we have a whole town that decorates for Christmas and that is how I am picturing Addison, CT.   When Vera started unpacking The Christmas Barn I could not help but think of this town and all the quaint little stores that go all out to make memories for families at the holiday times. 

Derek broke my heart.   I cannot imagine the life he is living.  The grief he feels is so real.  He is someone that I just wanted to walk up to and give a hug to, which is exactly what he didn’t want.   I loved that he started to open up and share his stories and memories with Vera, and that Vera had the correct understanding and response to keep him comfortable in talking about it.    Derek came  through with flying colors and a healing heart to love Vera and start to live his life again.

I have to make a quick mention of all the snow references.  The little bits of trivia and fun facts about snowflakes were enjoyable to learn.

I have to recommend this book.   Joanne DeMaio did it again  and wrote a book that I could not put down.  

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Because I have read and loved Joanne DeMaio's others book I want to share a little blurb about them.

Whole Latte Life...Check out my review (<--- click to read)

Sara Beth and Rachel have been wishing on stars for as long as they've been friends. Sara Beth dreams of her own antique shop, with lace curtains hanging in the windows. For Rachel, a little beach cottage will do, where sea breezes and salt water might inspire her sketches. From sharing wishes to cups of coffee at a cherished cafe, they've stitched pieces of their lives together like a patchwork quilt - a soft quilt of friendship they thought they'd hold close forever.

But while celebrating their birthdays in Manhattan, one makes a decision that will alter the course of their friendship. At a midtown lunch, Sara Beth excuses herself to use the Ladies' Room, and never returns. Instead she slips the waiter a note to pass along to her dear friend, asking Rachel to cover for her disappearance.

Sara Beth's escape begins a summer of change, one that eventually brings her antique shop to life, with a price. Though her decision pulls at her marriage and children, the strongest effect is on Rachel. For her, Sara Beth's disappearance brings a solitary Mounted Police Officer into her life, one who gladly shows Rachel that it isn't always stars that deliver wishes.

Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans...Check out my review (<-- click here to read)

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.

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