Thursday, July 11, 2013

Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio ~ Interview~ Review~ Excerpt

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Interview:

Crystal: I was given a wonderful opportunity to not only read Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio but a chance to ask Joanne a few questions as well. Thank you so much for joining me today Joanne, I'm feeling very honored to have you here. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?


Joanne: Hi Crystal, I’m so glad to be visiting here.  A few things about me?  Well, I love hanging out with my family, enjoying coffee, and walking by the sea.  Throw in a little work in my backyard tomato garden, and it’s a great day. 

On the book side of things, I write contemporary women’s fiction.  My debut WHOLE LATTE LIFE was awarded First Place in the Discovery Awards and honored in the Beach Book Festival.  My second novel BLUE JEANS AND COFFEE BEANS was recently published, and I always love hearing from readers.

Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?


Joanne: Any beach scene is close to my heart.  And that’s because they’re inspired by a very special beach in my life … Connecticut’s Point O’ Woods Beach.  From its sweet salt air, to its whispering lagoon grasses, to its sandy stretch of boardwalk, this real-life seaside treasure winds its way through all my novels.


Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for WHOLE LATTE LIFE?


Joanne: A while back, several friends planned weekend outings to Manhattan.  So I thought that this type of outing with friends in the city would resonate with women readers.  I imagined the drama and plotting possibilities.  So it was up to me to find the “what-if” scenario.  And that was:  What would happen if your best friend suddenly disappeared on a girls’ weekend out?  That question launched WHOLE LATTE LIFE.


Crystal: What are you currently working on?


Joanne:  A new novel set in WHOLE LATTE LIFE’s fictional town of Addison, Connecticut.  I loved writing this one, “brewing” decisions and choices, friendship, and an unexpected love story.  Look for it Spring 2014.


Crystal: Do you have a special routine that you follow when you are writing?


Joanne: I write full-time, but love the early morning writing best.  Those quiet hours are my writing haven, when I clock-in lots of time at the keyboard.  A favorite leather journal is always close-by, filled with writing goals and notes for the upcoming week.  This keeps my production always moving forward.


Crystal: It's very interesting to see where the leather journal idea came from. Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so, do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned and would like to share with us?


Joanne: Part of my research for the novel included taking a Girls’ Day Out to Manhattan with my daughters.  We visited and photographed scenes that influenced the New York side of WHOLE LATTE LIFE.  From the Empire State Building to the Skylight Diner, the day was filled with city landmarks and sweet memories.

One NYC fun fact?  Did you know there are over 12,500 miles of sidewalk in Manhattan?  As my character Michael says “One of the busiest transportation systems in the world.”

Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?


Joanne: I have a small collection of illustrated classics, so I love thumbing through:  Charlotte Brontë’s JANE EYRE, Daphne du Maurier’s REBECCA, and Margaret Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE WIND. 


Crystal:  Is there any genre that you haven’t written that you would like to try?


Joanne: Women’s fiction is just my cup of “coffee” … although I don’t mind changing up the flavor, with a spoonful of suspense or a dash of the beach, it is my constant.


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Review:


Whole Latte Life by Joanne DeMaio  is a wonderful summer time read. I so enjoyed my journey with Rachel and Sarah Beth as they went through many changes in their life. This book is full of emotion, I found myself both laughing and crying my way through the pages. Joanne Demaio has created characters in this book that I could instantly bond with. 

Sarah Beth's life is completely turned upside down by so many losses. I totally felt all her emotions with her along the way. Sarah Beth is very lucky to have some wonderful people behind her as she tries to find herself after all the trauma she has been through.

Rachel is a wonderful best friend to Sarah Beth, she is also a woman who has experienced loss herself. She does her best to help Sarah Beth through all the changes in her life. I admired her for standing behind her best friend when times were tough. Rachel also encounters some unexpected changes in her life.

Whole latte Life is a very emotional read with the characters loss of loved ones and dreams, the strength of love to get through anything, dreams that really can come true and the unexpected joy of finding love again. I love to feel connected to the character I'm reading about and Rachel & Sarah Beth fit that bill completely. I admired their long standing friendship and the ability of their love for each other to over come some obstacles that developed through the story. I don't want to give to much away to spoil this wonderful story for you. You will have to check it out for yourself and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I look forward to reading more work by Ms. DeMaio, I can't wait to see what wonderful story she puts together next. 
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Excerpt:
"What fills their quiet are the birds singing, a boat engine idling.  It would be nice to catch it, she thinks, to reach to the sky and snatch some of that summer sound and put it in a flowered box and when you need it, you open the lid and a robin’s call rises.  Sometimes you’ll hear the boat far off idling, waiting for you to board on a crystal lake framed by tall green pines.  And she thinks the sound of a horse nickering would be in that box as well."
-Bookmarked, P. 143 Whole Latte Life



Joanne's thoughts:
This particular passage evokes memories of summers I’ve spent at a Point O' Woods, a cherished beach along the Connecticut shoreline.  Often during the evening hours, a lone robin might trill until the sun sets, and it is the only sound within a summer stillness.  It is the type of sound I can always recall in a quiet moment, a memory that transports me to a serene place, literally and figuratively, and I'm happy to share it with readers through my stories.  Wishing you all a summer filled with peaceful sounds and memories.

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Author Bio:

Joanne DeMaio is the award-winning author of the bestselling novels BLUE JEANS AND COFFEE BEANS and WHOLE LATTE LIFE, which won First Place in the 2012 Discovery Awards and was named a Kirkus Reviews Critics' Pick.  Her books have been featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post and other outlets.  Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on her next novel.  She enjoys hearing from readers at Facebook.com/JoanneDeMaioAuthor.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for the great interview, review, & excerpt! That was a really fun post to read :) I can not wait to read this book, it sounds like a wonderful summer time book

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  2. Awesome review. This book sounds like a must read.

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  3. Hi Crystal, Thanks so much for the lovely review and for hosting me here this week. I'm so glad you related to Whole Latte Life's characters, I love writing about everyday people that we feel we almost know. Coffee cheers to you and your readers for a wonderful summer.

    ~Joanne

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  4. Interesting interview and beautiful review. The book sounds like an emotional read, thank you for sharing and congrats to the author on her awards.

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