RI Authors Showcase and Giveaway! Meet David Boiani


Each day this month, meet a Rhode Island author! Comment on the blog post for a chance to win our Grand Prize (a $200 Amazon gift card) or our Bonus Prize (a $100 Amazon gift card). Some authors are giving away books, too – your comment enters you into their drawing as well. (See details at the bottom of this page)

The Redemption is the sequel to David Boiani’s novel A Thin Line. It has been four years since the case of serial killer Silas Alvah shook the town of Seattle to its core. Retired Detective John Corbin has settled into his life of husband, father, and restaurant owner. But detective work is embedded in his heart and soul and the pull has never left him. When a disturbed and twisted killer rises to the surface of Northwestern Washington, it is soon apparent his intention is to draw John Corbin back into the horrors of detective work that has already left him scarred. Will John risk everything to be drawn into the killer’s twisted game of using human beings as pawns? Will he follow his ingrained instincts and attempt to save the innocent from evil? ‘The Redemption’ is a twisting, turning labyrinth that will take you on a thrill ride unlike anything you have experienced before as each life is measured by our most unforgiving enemy… Time.

David has generously offered to gift a copy of The Redemption to one lucky winner. Your comment below enters you into this drawing as well as our Grand Prize and Bonus Prize drawings.

David Boiani is an American author living in Coventry, RI. He writes psychological thrillers mixed with a touch of horror. His most recent novel, Immortal, was published in May of this year. He also has two short story collections available, Dark Musings and Darker Musings. His debut novel, A Thin Line and its sequel, The Redemption are also now available. He is currently working on a novel titled Azreal’s Ledge and his third short story collection titled Darkest Musings. Both titles are scheduled to release in 2021.

David’s short stories have also appeared in the ARIA anthologies Past, Present, and Future and Hope.

You can visit his website here…https://www.authordavidboiani.com/

You can leave a comment on each day’s blog post during November, for up to 30 chances to win. Daily giveaways by authors will be drawn one week after publication. The author will contact the winner to coordinate delivery. Grand Prize and Bonus Prize will be drawn on December 8.

RI Authors Showcase and Giveaway! Meet Joanne Perella


Each day this month, meet a Rhode Island author! Comment on the blog post for a chance to win our Grand Prize (a $200 Amazon gift card) or our Bonus Prize (a $100 Amazon gift card). Some authors are giving away books, too – your comment enters you into their drawing as well. (see details at the bottom of this page)

Joanne Perella, who is currently working on her first novel, has been a regular contributor to the Association of Rhode Island Authors’ annual anthologies. In 2017, her short story “Running on Empty” appeared in Under the 13th Star. In 2018, “The Hat on the Bed” was included in Selections, and in 2019, her story “The Big Ride” was part of Past, Present, and Future. Based on the quality of her writing in these short pieces, I’m looking forward to reading Joanne’s first novel!

Joanne has been writing for as long as she can remember.  She has taken several courses on creative writing and is preparing to fulfill her dream of completing a novel.  Her hobbies besides writing and reading are photography, biking, travel, and collecting/selling antiques.

Joanne’s essay “All Aboard!” was chosen for a segment on National Public Radio’s “This I believe” series.  She read the essay, which is about her love of trains and train travel, on NPR.

Joanne spent most of her career working for the Social Security Administration as a claims representative, but she has also worked as a court reporter and a real estate agent. In her spare time, she volunteers for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

You can leave a comment on each day’s blog post during November, for up to 30 chances to win. Daily giveaways by authors will be drawn one week after publication. The author will contact the winner to coordinate delivery. Grand Prize and Bonus Prize will be drawn and announced December 8.

RI Authors Showcase and Giveaway! Meet Candace Nadine Breen


Each day this month, meet a Rhode Island author! Comment on this blog post for a chance to win our Grand Prize (a $200 Amazon gift card) or our Bonus Prize (a $100 Amazon gift card). Some authors are giving away books, too – your comment enters you into their drawing as well. (See details at the bottom of this page)

From the introduction to Born Different:

I’m not sure when I first discovered my psychic abilities. All I know is that I’ve always had them, as far as I can remember. I don’t ever recall a time when I didn’t know I was born with these abilities…I thought I was “normal.” I had not yet become aware of the cruelty that existed in the world toward people like me. I would very quickly learn to keep my mouth shut…

Increasingly, more people are awakening, and more people are open to receiving messages and guidance. The world is desperate for answers, for spiritual connection, for unity and for peace. Being born different is no longer anything to be ashamed of as we can help guide those who are awakening, and help them realize that they are needed as well.

Candace has generously offered to gift a copy of Born Different to one lucky winner. Your comment on this post enters you into her drawing, and into the Grand Prize and Bonus Prize drawings as well.

Candace Nadine Breen is of West African (Benin, Cameroon) descent and wears many hats. She taught English in Providence, RI for eleven years for grades seven and nine. During that time, she tried to find her place in society while being driven away from various religious organizations for her inability to conform to their standards. While raising a family, she returned to school and earned a Master’s in Human Services with a focus on Marriage and Family Counseling. She was later a real estate agent for a few years but found it unfulfilling, stressful, and time consuming. After taking time to open up herself to her true path, she buried herself in metaphysical studies, earning a Master’s of Science and Doctorate in Metaphysics. She became a Spiritualist Minister, which seemed like the perfect occupation for her at first, but she gradually felt that she was outgrowing the Spiritualist community and was told by a medium unknown to her that her path would not end with the Spiritualist Church.

It was very difficult for Candace to fit into societal boxes and, after falling into depression, she threw caution to the wind and decided to follow her true calling. She embraced her psychic talents, wrote and published three successful memoirs, threw herself into her art and began working on children’s books, young adult fiction books and sci-fi novels.

Although Candace is a Master Gardener, she has always loved gardening and just being outside in nature. She has found satisfaction in earth-based religions and solitary spiritual practices despite the fact that she refuses to be labeled as any particular religion. She enjoys being in her garden, meditating in her wooded and quiet backyard, painting, art, and spending time with her family. She studies earth magick, gives Spirit messages via intuitive tarot reading, runes, herbal medicine and her mediumship abilities. Candace also devotes herself to speaking, helping and healing for the highest and greatest good.

Candace resides in Barrington, Rhode Island with her loving family, consisting of her devoted husband, two very talented and creative children, and their loving and mystical cat.

Find out more about Candace by visiting her website: http://candacenadinebreen.com/

You can leave a comment on each day’s blog post during November, for up to 30 chances to win. Daily giveaways by authors will be drawn one week after publication. The author will contact the winner to coordinate delivery. Grand Prize and Bonus Prize will be drawn and announced on December 8.

RI Authors Showcase and Giveaway! Meet Anne-Marie Sutton


Each day this month, meet a Rhode Island author! Comment on the blog post for a chance to win our Grand Prize (a $200 Amazon gift card) or our Bonus Prize (a $100 Amazon gift card). Some authors are giving away copies of their books, too – your comment enters you into their drawing as well. (See details at the bottom of this page)

            Starting a mystery series set in Newport was one of the best decisions I ever made as a writer. My family always enjoyed visiting Newport as vacationers, and I loved walking the Cliff Walk. One day I started to think about a short story set in Newport where the Cliff Walk was key to the plot. One thing led to another, and my short story became a full-length novel: Murder Stalks A Mansion. Kenwood, my fictional mansion (everybody knows you call Newport mansions “cottages,” but the tourists know they are mansions), was located on the Cliff Walk. Its young owner had turned her family’s estate into an inn. . .money troubles. Caroline Kent was determined to make a go of her new business, but since this was a mystery story…well, what would you expect? One of the first guests gets murdered. The police arrive to investigate, but Caroline is sure she can solve the mystery herself. Her inn’s future was threatened, and another murder could soon occur.

            The fun I had writing that first book has probably never been duplicated. I did drawings of the house, the grounds, the interior layout. I went to my bookshelf and reread the history of the Gilded Age families in Newport. When the book was published, I walked all over downtown Newport to promote my book and got several stores to take it on. I worked festivals, participated in library events and did speaking engagements, including being asked to give a lecture on the History of the Mystery at the Redwood Library in Newport. I did book signings and met interesting people from all over the world.

            I’ve written three more Newport mysteries with Caroline at their center: Gilded Death, Keep My Secret, and Invest In Death. I have notes and research for a future book, which I would like to start in 2021. Working title: The Color of Death.

            Along the way I’ve had several short stories published. Mostly mysteries, in anthologies from the Sisters In Crime, Darkhouse Books, Level Best Books and ARIA (my first ghost story); and online at Mysterical-E.

            This year 2020 is the first year in a long time that I have not been able to travel to Newport for book events. I look at the blank spaces on my calendar and miss seeing the friends I’ve made at my various events. The gift shop at The Breakers had become a comfortable home base for me, and I miss being there so much. I hope 2021 will see the cruise ships come back to Newport and the shops ready to welcome back the visitors. Everybody wants to see the Newport mansions, and I am so fortunate to write about them and have readers want to know their stories.

–Anne-Marie Sutton

Anne-Marie has generously offered to gift a copy of her book Murder Stalks a Mansion to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment on this blog post and you’re entered to win, plus this is your daily entry into the Grand Prize and Bonus Prize drawing.

Author Anne-Marie Sutton has lived in Newport, Rhode Island and uses her knowledge of the city and its fabulous Gilded Age mansions to craft her mystery novels.

“I love walking on the Cliff Walk, and it truly was my original inspiration for the stories in the Newport Mystery series. The Cliff Walk, for those who don’t know Newport, is a three mile stretch of pathways and steps along the high rocky sea wall of the Atlantic Ocean. I love reading mysteries and often thought how pleasant it would be to read something set in Newport, particularly near the Cliff Walk, which is where I placed the stories’ fictional mansion/turned inn, Kenwood Court.

“British mystery books, especially what are referred to as country house mysteries, are some of my favorites. Of course, the wealthy residents of Newport have always called their homes summer cottages, so I guess you could say that what I write are summer cottages mysteries!”

A marketing/communications consultant and former journalist, Anne-Marie  has lectured on mass communications at the college level. She was born in Baltimore and graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in English. Now residing in Connecticut with her family, she continues to spend time in Newport where she does frequent signings and other events.

“Newport is a great place, and I never get tired of being here and meeting visitors literally from all over the world. It’s my real pleasure to introduce them to my books.‟

Learn more at Anne-Marie’s website https://www.newportmystery.com/

Visit her Amazon page here: www.amazon.com/-/e/B0085L3SJG

You can leave a comment on each day’s post during the month of November, for up to 30 chances to win. Daily giveaways by authors will be drawn one week after publication. The author will contact the winner to coordinate delivery. Grand Prize and Bonus Prize will be drawn and announced on December 8.

RI Authors Showcase and Giveaway! Meet Pamela Carey


Each day this month, meet a Rhode Island author! Comment on this blog post for a chance to win our Grand Prize (a $200 Amazon gift card) or our Bonus Prize (a $100 Amazon gift card). Some authors are giving away books, too – your comment enters you into their drawing as well. (See details at bottom of this page)

Whether you’re already going through it or are just in for it eventually, Pam Carey takes you on an often-hilarious roller coaster ride through her own experiences with aging parents who still had their marbles. And she uses it to illustrate her 49 rules for your survival as the “kid.” Sooner or later, it could happen to you! Anyone who has had to care for elderly parents will see their own situations reflected in this witty yet practical guide to surviving the ordeal.

Pam has generously offered to gift her book Elderly Parents with all their Marbles: A Survival Guide for the Kids. Your comment also enters you into the Grand Prize and Bonus Prize drawings.

Pamela graduated with a B.A. from Colby College and an M.A. from Columbia University Teachers College.  She taught high school English in Connecticut, Georgia, and Maine, before obtaining an M.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and opening her own interior design firm. She is the author of the above-mentioned Elderly Parents with all their Marbles: A Survival Guide for the Kids, Minor League Mom: A Mother’s Journey through the Red Sox Farm Teams, and Surviving Your Dream Vacation: 75 Rules to Keep your Companion Talking to you on the Road.

Her short story, “An Evening Babysitting” appears in the ARIA anthology Past, Present, and Future (2019).

When not writing, reading for her book clubs, or traveling, Pam can be found on the tennis court as a member of two South Palm Beach County teams. She and her husband reside in Delray Beach, Florida, and in Westport, Massachusetts. 

Learn more about Pam and her books by visiting her website: http://www.minorleaguemom.net/index.html

You can leave a comment on each day’s blog post during November, for up to 30 chances to win. Daily giveaways by authors will be drawn one week after publication. The author will contact the winner to coordinate delivery. Grand Prize and Bonus Prize will be drawn and announced on December 8.

RI Authors Showcase and Giveaway! Meet Mike Squatrito


Each day this month, meet a Rhode Island author! Comment on this blog post for a chance to win our Grand Prize (a $200 Amazon gift card) or our Bonus Prize (a $100 Amazon gift card). Some authors are giving away books, too – your comment enters you into their drawing as well. (See details at the bottom of this page)

The first book in Mike’s The Overlords series is titled Legend of the Treasure. In this book, our heroes set out in search of the fabled Treasure of the Land. Harrison Cross wishes nothing more than to help his hometown of Aegeus secure the land’s most sacred treasure, the bounty of the ancient Overlords known simply as the Treasure of the Land. The original Overlords vanished on one infamous day over 1,000 years ago, leaving behind clues to their hidden treasure in the form of indestructible metallic plates and a map revealing a series of secret rooms. During their journey, Harrison and his friends face countless foes on their way to the sacred Seven Rooms, including the evil Scynthians who want nothing more than to eradicate the human race, and the ruthless and treasure-seeking Lord Nigel Hammer, governor of Concur and his large menacing army. Using the clues discovered along the way, the group must successfully navigate through the hidden mysteries of the sacred Seven Rooms in order to secure the land’s most elusive prize. Only then will their journey be a success. The question is, will they succeed?

The leader of the group is Marcus Braxton, a seasoned fighter who has yearned his whole life to find the Treasure. The town elders of Aegeus allowed him to put together a team of adventurers that would help him on his quest. They are Harrison Cross, a young, talented paladin, Xavier Murdock, one of the finest bowmen in the land, Pondle, a halfling thief, Jason Sands, a strong and seasoned warrior, Aidan Hunter, an expert tracker, and Swinkle, a young and gifted cleric. Together, they hope to bring back to Aegeus the hoard of the ancient Four Kings, enough treasure to help every man, woman, and child in their part of the land.

Mike has generously offered to gift a paperback copy of The Overlords: Legend of the Treasure to one lucky winner. Your comment on this post also enters you into our Grand Prize and Bonus Prize drawings.

Mike Squatrito has been writing The Overlords fantasy book series for over twenty years. Currently, he lives in Tiverton, RI with his wife Lea, and their children, Devin and Samantha. Mike speaks at elementary, middle, and high schools, colleges, local libraries, and writers’ groups, where his sincere hope is to inspire everyone he meets to be creative and follow their dreams. He also is the newly-elected president of the Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA). His short stories have appeared in the ARIA anthologies Selections (2018), Past, Present, and Future (2019), and Hope (2020).

When not working on the Overlords series, Mike is active in fitness and sports. He plays baseball, where he is a knuckleball pitcher for the Rhode Island Brewers, who won the 2008 and 2014 National Championships in Phoenix, AZ. He also runs four to five miles on a regular basis, does interval weight and cardio training, and takes Vinyasa yoga classes twice a week. Did we mention that he’s an engineer working on Homeland Defense projects, too?

Stay up to date with all of Mike’s events, new releases, and fan extras when you sign up for his newsletter at his website.

FOR MORE ON MIKE SQUATRITO:

You can leave a comment on each day’s blog post during November, for up to 30 chances to win. Daily giveaways by authors will be drawn one week after publication. The author will contact the winner to coordinate delivery. Grand Prize and Bonus Prize will be drawn and announced on December 8.

RI Authors Showcase and Giveaway! Meet Belle DeCosta


Each day this month, meet a Rhode Island author! Comment on this blog post for a chance to win our Grand Prize (a $200 Amazon gift card) or our Bonus Prize (a $100 Amazon gift card). Some authors are giving away books, too – your comment enters you into their drawing as well. (See details at the bottom of this page.

This story of an ordinary woman is a story for all women.

For many women, the third chapter of life is a time to revisit their past and reflect on hos life’s experiences have influenced the person she’s become. Belle DeCosta’s journey down memory lane exposes a path laid bare, one filled with unexpected potholes, bumps, detours, and harrowing hairpin turns.

In her memoir Echoes in the Mirror, Belle reveals the story behind her astonishing journey. One of an unstable childhood with multiple family moves, an alcoholic father, and the drastic steps she took as a young teenager to escape it. It’s a story of secrets kept, failed marriages, single parenting, promises made, and dreams followed.

Belle’s story of inner strength and emotional survival will take you from the lowest valleys to the highest peaks, and finally, down the unique path she follows toward self-acceptance and peace.

Belle has generously offered to gift a copy of Echoes in the Mirror to one lucky winner. Your comment on this blog post enters you into her drawing as well as the Grand Prize and Bonus Prize drawings.

Belle A. DeCosta is the creator and director of Tap N Time, a seated tap and rhythm class designed for the elderly. When not traveling to nursing homes to share her program, she enjoys being in nature, dining with friends, and writing. Belle shares a home in East Providence, Rhode Island, with her beloved hound, J.D., and an aquarium full of assorted fish. Learn more about Belle by visiting her website http://belledecosta.com/index.html

Echoes in the Mirror is her first book. Her short story “An Introduction” appears in Hope, an anthology of prose and poetry by Rhode Island authors.

You can purchase her book, and all Rhode Island author anthologies, at Stillwater Books in Pawtucket, Rhode Island (https://www.stillwaterbooksri.com/), or online at Amazon https://amzn.to/3cyLr1r

You can leave a comment on each day’s blog post during November, for up to 30 chances to win. Daily giveaways by authors will be drawn one week after publication. The author will contact the winner to coordinate delivery. Grand Prize and Bonus Prize will be drawn and announced on December 8.

RI Authors Showcase coming this November!


I hope you’ll join me again this year as I feature a different Rhode Island author every day in November. For the past few years, this has served as a lead-up to our annual RI Authors Expo. This year the Expo will be a virtual event, but the November showcase will be just as much fun, with a couple of great prizes and lots of books to give away!

Each day a member of the Association of Rhode Island Authors will be featured here. You can learn a little about the author as well as their book(s). Many authors will offer a giveaway, and your comment on that day’s blog post enters you into the author’s drawing.

But wait, there’s more! Your daily comment also enters you into our Grand Prize and Bonus Prize drawings. You can get up to 30 entries just by commenting – of course, all of our authors appreciate your likes and follows, too. The Grand Prize is a $200 Amazon gift card, just in time for some serious holiday shopping, and the Bonus Prize is a $100 Amazon gift card.

You can follow this blog by email, and I’ll also be sharing the daily posts to my Facebook pages.

Wilcox Park, Westerly, Rhode Island

Meanwhile, enjoy the month of October! Due to the rainfall shortage here in New England, we have some spectacular color. But we could use some rain. I know that other areas of the country, especially the West, are in difficult shape, so my thoughts are always with all of you on the West coast. Around the globe, there is uncertainty. Know that I’m acutely aware. I just see this blog as a way to momentarily escape, and it’s my intent to give you an outlet, even if for just a few moments, to step away from the news headlines and negativity. Life continues. Breathe.

What I Read this Summer


For the past eight years, my summers have been spent mostly editing and rewriting a novel. Not so much this year – the pandemic and everything else has me stymied, and the new novel I’d started in January has languished. Oh, it’ll get done, eventually. So I read more than I usually do, which is also a good thing. Here’s what I read this summer:

The Last Week of May by Roisin Meaney (2007). One of my favorite writers, Roisin Meaney will remind you of the late Maeve Binchy. Great character-driven stories set mostly in Ireland, The Last Week of May centers around May O’Callaghan and her neighbors in the village of Kilpatrick.

The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz (2020). Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Connie Schultz wrote a novel, although it seems to be based in large part on her own family and life. Like another journalist-turned-novelist, Anna Quindlen, Schultz’s writing style is crisp and uncluttered. Loved it.

Life Happens: And Other Unavoidable Truths by Connie Schultz (2006). This book is a compilation of Schultz’s commentaries and columns. Fourteen years after its initial publication, many of the topics are even more timely today – single motherhood, race relations, voting (or not voting).

The Summer Country by Lauren Willig (2019). My husband gave me this book for Christmas, but I didn’t get around to it until the summer (see first paragraph above). It’s an epic tale about generations on the island of Barbados in the 1800s. Lots of characters, and it’s a good idea to make notes about the relationships as you read (the author couldn’t include a family tree because it would spoil the story). The writing is exquisite.

One Summer by Roisin Meaney (2012). I’m making my way through Meaney’s books, a couple at a time. This one is about a young woman named Nell, who moves from Dublin to the island of Roone, off the west coast of Ireland (loosely based on the island of Valentia, off the Kerry coast). Again, a delightful and quirky mix of characters make for a most enjoyable read.

After the Wedding by Roisin Meaney (2014). This is a sequel to One Summer, so as soon as I’d finished reading One Summer, I downloaded this one. The reader is taken again to the island of Roone, to continue the stories set up in the first book. Meaney’s books are best enjoyed with a cup of tea and a soft blanket (or pet) in your lap.

The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore (2015). Wow. This book hooked me right from the start, and the tension didn’t let up! This is a great story about modern-day parents and kids under pressure to achieve. The Hawthornes may look like the perfect family, but underneath the veneer there’s all kinds of angst and desperation, and secrets!

The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan (2020). I read this one all the way through (because it takes a lot for me to give up on a book), and I liked it enough, but it did feel like there was way too much telling and not enough showing (Writing 101). At time it felt as though I was reading a screenplay.

Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing by Allison Winn Scotch (2020). I’m glad I stayed with this book, because it was worth it. Cleo McDougal will annoy you – because she’s flawed! But you’ll find yourself totally invested, and rooting for her redemption. I loved it.

Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde (2019). Another of my favorite authors, it feels as though she writes just for me. What a gift she has for telling a story. This one is set in the summer of 1969 and features a 14-year-old boy, Lucas Painter, at the center. Can I just say that Hyde captures the spirit of this teenaged boy perfectly?

The New Girl by Daniel Silva (2019). Both my husband and my cousin Becky are big fans of Daniel Silva. I had never read any of his books, but after my husband finished it, I decided it would be my next read. Okay, so now I’m a fan, too. I wasn’t sure I’d take to this thriller, but Silva kept my attention through every twist and turn on the page. I will definitely be reading more.

Something in Common by Roisin Meaney (2013). Another by Meaney, this one between aspiring writer Sarah and hard-edged journalist Helen. Meaney doesn’t feel obligated to give us the cliched happy-ever-after. That’s the easy way. Instead, she tells a more realistic story that will challenge you at every turn. She’s brilliant. Full stop.

The Heartbreak Café by Melissa Hill (2011). I can’t remember who recommended Melissa Hill to me. Maybe just as well. I tried, but I couldn’t finish it. There were way too many grammatical errors and the plot was going nowhere. It’s hard to quit a book, but I needed to move on from this.

28 Summers by Elin Hildebrand (2020). Inspired by the movie “Same Time, Next Year,” Hilderbrand creates her own story based on , of course, her beloved Nantucket island. Hilderbrand is called the ‘Queen of the Beach Read,’ with good reason.

The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor 2017).  I did enjoy reading this book. It felt like it was meticulously researched, and told a compelling story – something a bit different about the Resistance. But…..here’s my pet peeve. When an author uses a phrase or word too often, it settles in my mind and takes away from the enjoyment of reading. In this case, it was ‘a little.’ There are 148 instances of ‘a little’ in this book – too much! Her editor should have picked up on it. Smiled a little, shivered a little, laughed a little. Ugh.

The Reunion by Roisin Meaney (2016). Listen, Meaney’s books are quick reads, that’s why I could tear through them. Plus, I hated to put them down! Returning to a Roisin Meaney novel is one of the best things I can do for myself. I lose myself in her characters, people you wish you knew personally. I indulge in the plot, not cliched or predictable. I revel in the descriptions of places and food.

The Nanny Diaries by Emma Mclaughlin and Nicola Kraus (2002). I returned to this book for research purposes (my new novel is about a nanny). I remember grabbing it from the library nearly twenty years ago – what a delicious read! Still great, if a little dated.

The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand (2014). Some of Hilderbrand’s most fervent fans did not like this book. I loved it. Delving into uncomfortable topics is a good thing – I felt all of it, from Agnes’s relationship with CJ, to Dabney’s relationship with Box. All of it. If you can make the reader cry at the end, to me that’s success! Well done.

An Address in Amsterdam by Mary Dingee Fillmore (2016). It was clear the author did meticulous research for this book. Set in Amsterdam during the World War II years, it tells a story about Rachel, an 18-year-old Jewish girl who sees the atrocities happening to her Jewish friends and neighbors and gets involved in the Resistance. Excellent descriptions of the area (the author lived for a time in Amsterdam). There were a couple of graphic sexual references that just didn’t fit, but otherwise a must-read.

Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde (2019). Unusual title, right? There’s a line in the book that really stayed with me: “People judge you by your most controversial half.” The central character, Raymond (17) is bi-racial and wondering where he belongs. His 92-year-old friend Millie was the daughter of a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father, which impacted her young life at the start of World War II. Together they find a way to reconcile their guilt and fear. This is a beautiful story, as always.

Love in the Present Tense by Catherine Ryan Hyde (2007). Early CRH! I found the pacing a bit slow, but I really liked the characters. It’s about the bond between a five-year-old boy abandoned by his mother and the man who ends up raising him.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (2020). Well, this book kept me up all night recently. I could not put it down. Wasn’t even sleepy. Yes, it’s that good. Gorgeous, lyrical prose. Some say it’s reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, which I now need to read.

The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand (2009). Back when she was writing a Nantucket “series,” this was the second book out of three. I didn’t read her books in order, but it didn’t matter. I liked this one a lot, because it brought out the characters so well.

Two Fridays in April by Roisin Meaney (2015). You can see that I read a lot of Meaney and Hilderbrand. Perhaps because they’re both so well suited to summer reading. Every one of Roisin Meaney’s books is a gem.

The Island by Elin Hilderbrand (2010). I picked this one from my library. While nearly all of Hilderbrand’s novels take place on Nantucket, this one actually is set on Tuckernuck, a little spot of land just off Nantucket, owned by its summer residents and lacking paved roads and public utilities. Perfect spot for a mother to bring her two grown daughters and her widowed sister, where, without the distractions of modern-day life, the women are forced into introspection.

The Daisy Picker by Roisin Meaney (2004). This was Meaney’s first novel, and it’s a good one! Main character Lizzie, 41, is stuck in a rut, with a dead-end job and a reluctant fiancé. After seeing a magazine article about regrets, Lizzie decides to pack it in, leave her parents’ home, and drive 80 miles away to start a new adventure. Bravo, Lizzie!

Rogue’s Isles by Thomas Briody (1995). How did I not know about this book?? Thanks to Stillwater Books in Pawtucket, Rhode Island https://www.stillwaterbooksri.com/ I found Tom Briody’s novel, loosely (very loosely) based on the credit union crisis and subsequent disappearance of the notorious Joseph Mollicone on the early 1990s. A great read!

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham (2013). I remember when this book was released, saying I wanted to read it. Well, seven years later, I got around to it. Graham is best known as Lorelei Gilmore on “The Gilmore Girls” and Sarah Braverman on “Parenthood.” It seems to be semi-autobiographical, and is definitely in the voice of Graham/Gilmore/Braverman. Funny, light (mostly), and touching, it defines the hopefulness of a newcomer in New York City, hoping to make it big.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (2016). I had this book at the cottage last week, and spent many days by the pool. I stuck with it, but I did find myself turning pages rapidly, just to get through a chapter. The plot was somewhat compelling, and the characters were okay, but I don’t think I’ll remember much about this book.

Okay, I counted 29 books – I don’t think I’ve read that much in a summer since I was eight years old. How about you? What did you read that you loved? Any recommendations?

A COVID test and a Primary Ballot


I had my first COVID-19 test on Sunday morning. After staying home for the past six months, my husband and I are taking a little vacation to Maine this week, and we both needed tests before traveling. I scheduled it online – easy – for 9:00 in the morning on a Sunday. I thought we might be the only ones there. Nope.

By registering online, I’d already provided our names, birthdates, address, telephone number, health provider information. We showed up at 9:00 on Sunday and found at least ten cars ahead of us in line. This was in Providence, at the designated facility in the Convention Center garage. Windows up. Camouflage-wearing National Guards patrolling. We inched along. I looked to my right and noticed another line of cars, but they seemed to be moving. I realized that the National Guard volunteers (thank you) were working the two lines, only the line to my right was being run very efficiently – a volunteer was walking up and down the line, taking pertinent information, and slipping a test kit under the driver’s windshield wiper. Our line didn’t have anyone walking up and down the line, so nothing happened until we reached the head of the line.

With the windows up (“Windows Must Stay Closed!” “No Cellphones! No Cameras!” – would someone actually take a selfie at a COVID test? Of course they would), my husband pressed his license to the window, while a guard wrote down by hand all of his information – the same information I’d provided online. Why couldn’t he just scan the license, I thought. Then it was the same for my license. Meanwhile, the cars to my right were moving forward. We waited for our test kits to be stuck under the wipers, then we inched ahead. The test itself took seconds. Yes, I was nervous – all I’d heard was that a Q-tip was pushed up your nostril until it reached your brain. So, that wasn’t the case, and it only took seconds. And that was it. We had instructions for how to find our results online (we’re both negative). All in all, it took one hour from the time we arrived – on a Sunday morning, six months into the pandemic.

So this morning I voted in the primary. My little town didn’t have much of a primary – my representative in the US House of Representatives, Jim Langevin, had an unknown challenger, and there were two men vying for an empty state senate seat. So, two races. But it was right up the street and my husband and I always vote, so off we went. No lines. We were all masked up, as it’s the norm these days, and I walked up to the desk. A Plexiglas panel was between the volunteer worker and me. I took out my license and boom! “Just set it right there, dear. That’s right. I’ll scan it.” See? That was easy. She handed me a pen, that I was to keep (no more sharing pens, right?) and I made my little circles on the ballot, then I fed it into the machine. I was #34 at 9:30 this morning. I’m sure November will be a lot busier.

Perhaps the National Guard couldn’t scan our licenses because we had to keep our windows up? I don’t know, it was just ten times easier to vote today than it was to get a COVID test on Sunday. But the test results are good, and I hope the primary results are as well.