BLURBS OF SOME OF MY BOOKS
I LOVE TO WRITE ABOUT STRONG WOMEN FACING CHALLENGES
AND FINDING LOVE AND HAPPINESS ALONG THE WAY
THE HARTWELL WOMEN SERIES – Marissa Cole discovers a family she never knew she had and befriends her cousins Allison and Samantha Hartwell. With scenes stretching from Upstate New York to the coast of Maine to Boston’s gritty neighborhoods and California’s wine country in The Talking Tree, Sweet Talk, Straight Talk and Baby Talk, these three, strong women encounter and overcome challenges and find love and fulfillment along the way. The books have received critical acclaim for their sensitive treatment of the issues each woman faces and how she resolves her problems to create a better world for her family.
FINDING ME – Book #1 in the SALTY KEY INN SERIES – Sheena Sullivan Morelli and her sisters, Darcy and Regan, receive the unexpected news that their Uncle Gavin Sullivan, the black sheep of the family, has left them a hotel on the Gulf coast of Florida. The gift comes with a twist. They must live together for one year at the hotel and prepare the hotel to receive guests within a year. Sheena, eager to escape her role of unappreciated wife and mother, can’t wait for the opportunity to find herself. Dreams of sitting on the beach sipping margaritas are shattered when they see the property in need of renovation. But they begin their work of meeting the challenge. If they succeed, the bulk of Gavin’s estate will be theirs. Facing the unexpected, working together, the three sisters learn a lot about each other and the gift of family love.
BREAKFAST AT THE BEACH HOUSE HOTEL – Book #1 in the BEACH HOUSE HOTEL SERIES – When Ann Rutherford’s husband dumps her for the bimbo in his office, unfairly leaving her without a home or a job, she reluctantly joins forces with Rhonda DelMonte to convert Rhonda’s Florida seaside estate into the small upscale hotel it once was. Ann, quiet and reserved, is no match for brash, bossy Rhonda, who left the family’s New Jersey butcher business after she won the lottery. Amid their struggles to succeed, The Sins of the Children, a soap opera, films a number of episodes at the hotel and things get complicated in unexpected ways when Ann falls for Vaughn Sanders, the star of the show.
FAT FRIDAYS – Book #1 in the Fat Fridays Group –
When Sukie’s husband shacks up with her Pilates instructor, her domestic drama becomes the talk of her small Georgia town. Friends from her married life prove fickle, and Sukie hides at home, terrified of encountering the town gossips at the grocery store. Betsy, Sukie’s neighbor, invites her to join “Fat Fridays,” a weekly gathering at a local café where the women order whatever they crave—no calories counted. Over sausage pizza and sage advice, Sukie gets a grip on her new life and learns to love her freedom.
Judith Keim’s warm, funny novel offers moving glimpses into each of the five women’s very different lives. As they struggle to deal with cruel exes, frustrating families, and forbidden love, the women offer one another the kind of friendship that is as rich and nurturing as their Friday feasts.
A CHRISTMAS STAR – A Seashell Cottage Book – Two years ago, Noelle North’s then-fiancé left her waiting at the church on Christmas—her wedding day and birthday. Now, she knows she cannot endure another holiday season at home in Boston. At the urging of four women at the assisted-living community where she serves as health director, Noelle decides to rent Seashell Cottage on the Gulf Coast of Florida for the holidays. She meets Silas Bellingham, the cutest seven-year-old boy she’s ever seen, and his great-grandmother, Althea. Noelle discovers Althea’s caretaker has been abusing her and goes into action, ending up with the temporary care of both Althea and Silas. Becoming part of the Bellingham household has an entirely different series of challenges when it comes to Althea’s grandsons, Jake and Brett, who are having problems of their own with hotels to run and their parents missing in a plane crash. But after sparring with her, Silas’ father, Jake, realizes Noelle is just what he and his family need, and when she finds the perfect Christmas star for Silas, they both know he’s right.
GOING HOME – In 1970, Violet Hawkins’ only wish at eighteen is to escape her life in the Dayton, Ohio, foster-care system and make her way to the west coast to enjoy a mellow life and find the love she’s been missing all her life. She makes it to San Francisco, but soon learns she needs a job if she’s to live properly. A kind, young man named Kenton Chandler offers her a sandwich and a job at his father’s inn and vineyards. With nothing to lose, Lettie takes him up on his offer and begins a whole new life in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. She immediately falls in love with the land and is fascinated with the idea of growing grapes in order to make wines. She, Kenton, and Rafe Lopez become friends as she learns about running the small inn on the property.
At the same time she marries Kenton, a stroke kills his father. And then before she can tell Kenton she’s pregnant, he dies in an automobile accident. Heartbroken and burdened with the gift of the Chandler Hill Inn and Winery, she’s left with the task of making them a success. Struggling to raise a child alone while working to grow the business, Lettie makes a shocking discovery that changes everything.
CHANGE OF HEART- Emerson “Em” Jordan always wanted a Valentine’s Day wedding. But after being dumped by her boyfriend, she spends the holiday at Seashell Cottage on the Gulf Coast of Florida with Devin Gerard, a family friend who has no interest in her or any other woman and is instead concentrating on his pediatric medical practice and continuing medical missions in Costa Rica.
Em, who’s always wanted a large family, doesn’t mind his disinterest. At thirty-two, she’s decided she doesn’t need a husband to have a child or to adopt one. First, she’s going to fulfill her dream of setting up her own landscape design business in upstate New York and has promised to continue to help run her grandmother’s flower shop.
It isn’t until Em and Devin become friends that Em realizes she might want more than friendship from him. But with his work in Miami and Costa Rica and her busy life in New York, it’s out of the question until something happens that changes everything, even a couple of hearts.
COMING HOME – Camilla “Cami” Chandler comes home from France to take over the Chandler Hill Inn and Winery for her recently-deceased grandmother, Lettie, as she’d always promised. Determined to succeed in this new venture, she finds herself in trouble from the beginning when she discovers most of her grandmother’s estate intended for maintaining the inn’s business expenses was lost in a Ponzi scheme. She forges ahead to provide her guests with wonderful experiences and to produce the best wines in Willamette Valley. After being ditched by her French boyfriend, she decides that being friends with Drew Farley is the safest way to proceed. He loves grape growing and winemaking as much as she does and isn’t looking for anything beyond friendship.
When a bride planning a wedding at the inn tells Cami that she looks exactly like her best friend, life becomes even more complicated. Never having known even the name of her father, Cami searches for a connection and comes to realize how complicated love and family can be.