Thursday, May 1, 2014

Blog Tour: True Blend by Joanne DeMaio


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New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio returns to small-town New England in this compelling love story where truth is veiled by secrets.

Vintage bridal shop owner Amy Trewist thinks she'll never recover her quiet life at her beloved farmhouse on an old country road. Not after her two-year-old daughter Grace is kidnapped in an elaborate crime. On one clear morning, in mere minutes, Grace is gone and Amy's world spins into a heartbreaking new place.

George Carbone often spends easy time with his brother. Whether at a ballgame or taking a day trip, it's how they connect. Until one sunny day when the trip is to a bank parking lot and George is drawn into a crime he never sees coming. And into a stricken mother's life he cannot ignore.

In a summer that simmers with the unsolved crime, George is haunted by a bankroll hidden behind kitchen tiles, by a brother who dragged him into this, and by a father who instilled in him a conscience. A conscience challenged when a young child and beautiful woman crossed paths with him and unexpectedly took hold of his heart.

Set among the red barns, lush cornfields and sparkling wishing fountain of Addison, Connecticut, True Blend is a captivating novel that steals your heart and does not let go. Because like the lace wedding gowns hanging on Amy's clothesline, waltzing in the summer breeze, love and secrets twist and spin together in their own mesmerizing dance.


True Blend starts off very intensely, with a robbery accompanied by kidnapping a child and a mother following through with the kidnappers demands of not contacting police for one hour.  Intense, right…I know (I could not read fast enough)!!!  As a mother (or any reader for that matter), you are immediately putting yourself in the shoes of Amy, the main character, you feel the loss, fear and stress of being put in that impossible position.  Each second feels like an hour, the waiting to see how it is going to resolve.  You are granted the luxury of seeing both sides of the situation (Amy’s and the kidnappers), making it so much more interesting and maybe a bit more intense???  What follows that intense and grabbing beginning of the story is just amazing.  It is about learning to heal wounds and to trust again, it is about love in various forms, it is about the bonds of a child and their mother, it is about friendship and choosing the course of one’s own life and not letting demons of the past dictate how one lives.   It is different than DeMaio’s other books, in a wonderful way.  It illustrates growth and change.  There are still the elements of DeMaio’s that fans will enjoy, but she has added a new layer to her writing that was quite enjoyable to read.  I recommend this book and rate it 4.5 stars. 

Joanne DeMaio

AUTHOR BIO

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Her fourth novel True Blend was recently published. Currently at work on her next book, Joanne resides with her family in Connecticut. To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com.





What inspires your writing?
Small New England towns, the sound of the sea, friendship, family. And questions, too—those what-ifs that set a story in motion.

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love visiting scenic places near and dear to my heart and bringing those sights to the page … seaside shingled cottages, old colonial homes, town greens, coffee shops, a sunset beach. It’s always a thrill when my readers tell me they’d like to live in my fictional towns, too.

What is the toughest part of being a writer?
Because I love what I do, I’m more inclined to think writing can be complex and busy, rather than tough. So I depend on my writing To-Do list. I have a black leather journal filled with weekly itineraries that keep me centered and keep my writing production moving forward.

If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A photographer. Long before the pen, my artistic tool of choice was the camera. Photography taught me so much: how to zoom in on a subject, find unique angles and balance. It’s intriguing how these tenets carry over to my writing.

What would the story of your life be entitled?
Keep Calm and Write On

What is your favorite book of all time?
I have a couple illustrated editions of Jane Eyre. The pen and ink sketches add so much to the story, which has a little of everything in it—romance, intrigue, mystery, drama.

What character from all of your books are you most like?
My characters are actually not based on me. I believe in crafting varied, layered characters and immerse myself in research to effectively portray their individual lives.

Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. Its Stony Point setting is based on a little Connecticut beach I love called Point O’ Woods. I’d never turn down a weekend at the New England shore, complete with lapping waves, beach walks, and a scoop of chocolate ice cream to end the day … Bliss.

What is your favorite season?
Autumn. Give me a piping-hot coffee, chilly morning, and a view of the changing leaves in New England. The recipe for a perfect writing season.

What inspired your book covers?
Book cover art can truly give a story heart. I feel privileged to work with my daughter and publicist Mary on the covers. She has an incredible eye for design, and is passionate about finding just the right image, and then fine-tuning it with my cover designer. My covers are inspired by special settings in the book—from a cherished farmhouse in True Blend, to a rambling wintry barn in Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes, to a summer beach scene in Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. I’ve even heard from readers who admire the cover art, and would like to purchase them to hang on their walls.

Tell me something funny that happened on your current book’s journey.
As I was about to begin writing True Blend, I stopped by my local Barnes and Noble to pick up a research book I needed. Funny thing, while I was there I heard a customer ask an employee where she could find books by Joanne DeMaio. Imagine my surprise, because literally she could find me in person about two bookshelves over!

Are you working on something new?
Absolutely. I’ve recently completed an in-depth outline for next year’s release and am well-into writing the first draft. The details are quietly under wraps for now, but I’ll be sharing more on my Facebook Page and Author Newsletter.

Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
Thank you so much for visiting with me, and thank you to Emily for hosting me on the tour today. My new novel True Blend was published this spring, and it was an absolute thrill to write. I’m truly excited to share it with readers.

Set in my fictional town of Addison, Connecticut, True Blend is an unexpected love story with a dash of suspense. One that will have two people reexamine all they thought was true—over the course of a hot New England summer. If you’re looking for a book to tuck into your beach tote, I hope you’ll consider it. And if you’d like a custom, signed bookplate from me to personalize your paperback, I would be more than happy to send one along. Just drop me a line on my website Contact Page at Joannedemaio.com, with Bookplate in the subject.



Wishing everyone a wonderful summer of reading…

~Joanne




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