Details, details…

The boardwalk was cold and blustery, not an anomaly for a December night.  The damp, salt air blew my hair, which had been swept back off my neck in a loose chignon hours earlier, all around.  My heels clicked against the boards as I tried to avoid the gaps between them.  I clutched my grandmother’s classic long, velvet winter swing coat to my body as I walked.  I had no destination in mind, but somehow I was drawn to the pier.  I walked past the abandoned carnival games and listened to the waves crash against the wooden support beams.  It had been over two months since Drew showed me the pier, but as I approached the railing we leaned against that October night, I was back in that moment with him.  I looked back at Atlantic City.  Casinos were lit up, some with red and green lights to mark the upcoming holiday…

Some of my favorite parts of The Other Side of Later are the details.  They’re small, usually sentimental, and probably don’t mean a thing to anyone else, but including them made my debut novel more special to me.  In the excerpt above, I made sure to mention Julia’s coat used to belong to her grandmother.  That’s a direct lift from my life!  There have been several formal occasions through college and my adult life when I’ve gone to my parents’ house and dug through the walk-in closet to find my grandmother’s classic, long velvet winter swing coat.  It’s truly a classic style that finishes off whatever dress I’ve picked and when I wrap it tightly around my body, I smile knowing that she’s extremely happy and smiling down on me because the coat is still getting good use many, many years after she bought it.

I know these small details are most likely overlooked as The Other Side of Later is read, and that’s okay.  But as I continue to share the background behind some of the details in my books, I hope you enjoy them!

Summer days at the beach…

Happy 4th of July!  Here at the Jersey Shore, Independence Day always signals that summer is in full swing.  The area is full of tourists – aka shoebies as us locals call them, days are warm and long, and beach days are plentiful.

The opening paragraph of Chapter 1 of The Other Side of Later always gives me a pang of nostalgia when I reread it.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are from summer days at the beach.  Squawking seagulls, rolling waves, ice cream men ringing their bells from the bulkhead, and lifeguard whistles comprised the soundtrack of my summers growing up.  It may sound rather cliché, but through the craziness of my early 20s, I always found comfort in living – and raising my son – in the same place that held so many good memories for me.  Each time I wiggled my toes in the sand, it took me back to a simpler time.


If you’re looking for another book to add to your summer reading list, check out The Other Side of Later on Amazon for only 99 cents!

Summer Reading Round-up…Part 1

It’s hard to believe it’s already the middle of June, and while I know summer doesn’t technically begin for another week, the summer season has been in full swing here at the Jersey Shore for several weeks now.  I’ve been lucky enough to take advantage of some beautiful, sunny beach days and gotten a good start on my summer reading list.

A couple weeks ago, I shared a few books that were at the top of my list to read this summer, and today, I want to share my quick reviews of them!

Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin

My rating – 4 stars

My review:

I love it when authors revisit the same towns in several of their books. Summer at Rose Island is the third book in the White Cliff Bay series. I enjoyed not only meeting Darcy and Riley, but also revisiting characters from the first two White Cliff Bay books to see what they were up to.  It’s a sweet story with small town charm that was the perfect read for a day at the beach!

Summer at Oyster Bay by Jenny Hale

My rating – 5 stars

My review:

Summer at Oyster Bay is the perfect summer read! The small town in the Chesapeake Bay area is the perfect setting for this light-hearted, summer read!

This is the third book I’ve read by Jenny Hale, and I’m quickly becoming a big fan. She has such a way of creating dynamic relationships between characters. But the best part is the focus isn’t solely on romantic relationships, but also on ones between family members and friends, which makes all of her characters so relatable.

Make sure Summer at Oyster Bay is on your summer reading list this year!

So what’s next on my list?  I’m currently reading The One with the Engagement Party (Bridesmaids Part 1) by Erin Lawless, and then next up will be Kiss Me Forever by Barbara Freethy.  What’s on your summer reading list?  I’d love hear about what you’re reading so that I can check it out!