Monday, March 18, 2013

On Tour: Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans by Joanne DeMaio

Escape to Stony Point, cuff your jeans and walk along the water's edge in this nostalgic story bringing old friends, and their lives, back to the sea.

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.

To the backdrop of seaside cottages and a boarded up beach hangout, to the soundtrack of whispering lagoon grasses and a vintage jukebox, Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans asks if we can really design our own lives, or if our fate lies somewhere in the stars. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts about Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans ~~

I read Joanne's first book, Whole Latte Life, when it came out and absolutely loved it. You can read my thoughts here. When I was contacted to see if I wanted to read her current one, Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans, I jumped at the chance.

Once again, Joanne has woven a wonderful story of friends, relationships, and second chances. When Maris has to go back to Stony Point to take care of things after her father passes away, she sticks around for awhile to settle the estate. She uncovers a family secret while going through some of the things in the attic which really throws her for a loop and she digs until she finds some answers. While she is in Stony Point, the old group gets back together but it's really not the same. Being there makes her stop and think about what she has back home and to question if that is really what she wants or needs.

I loved the setting of this story, a wonderful beach community with good friends all around. Blue jeans and coffee beans takes on a significant meaning in the book but it also made me think of the setting; the blue of the water and the brown of the sand. What a wonderful combination - relaxing on the beach in your jeans while enjoying some great coffee. And in my case, it would also include a good book. So there you go, this book made for such a wonderful escape. It made me smile to read the quick reference to the coffee shop in town, Whole Latte Life, which was the coffee shop in Joanne's other book. I loved the connection.

Joanne has such a way with her writing, it is just beautiful. I marked several places as I was reading that were just amazing. Here is one section that really spoke to me ~~
Time moves like the sea. She always felt so. Living right at the beach, time is placid and calm, soft waves of it rolling onto the shore of her days. One day follows the other, over and over, in a comfortable and reassuring was. No matter what she is doing, at any age, that awareness of the movement of the sea, and the waves of time, keeps her grounded.
But as volatile as the sea can be, so too is any hour, any moment. Washing ashore, overtaking her very self with its insistence, with its forward movement rushing by the force of time. Waves of the past have that way of pulling at her, leaving her gasping and struggling to get her bearings, to breathe evenly.
And another ~~
Is Stony Point the place they forever return to for comfort, or is it the source of all their troubles?
There are several other beautiful passage that I would love to quote here but it would give too much of the story away. And I can't do that. Just trust me when I say that this is such a wonderful story with great prose and characters you just come to fall in love with. And again, as in Whole Latte Life, Joanne includes creative people in her story so you get a lot of art and creative imagery, which appealed to my artistic side.

I highly recommend Joanne's books and consider her one of my favorite authors now. I am excited to see what she writes next!

About the author

Joanne DeMaio is the award-winning author of BLUE JEANS AND COFFEE BEANS and the bestselling novel WHOLE LATTE LIFE, which won First Place in the 2012 Discovery Awards and was named a Kirkus Reviews Critics' Pick. It has also been featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post, Unabashedly Bookish: Barnes & Noble's blog and other outlets. BLUE JEANS AND COFFEE BEANS is her second novel. Both books explore the intricate relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. In addition, her music essays have appeared in literary journals, celebrating her passion for song. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut, where the coffee and stories are always brewing, and is currently at work on her next book.

She enjoys hearing from readers at

Connect with Joanne

Purchase the book on Amazon

And how can you not just LOVE both of these covers?

Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!


  1. Hi Susan, I can't tell you how much I loved your review and am so glad you enjoyed the story and the characters' journeys. I hope that your stay at Stony Point lingers like a warm summer day!


  2. Great review, Susan. I have this book on my Kindle and will be reading it next. Like you, I love the covers too!


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