Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne: Excerpt & Review

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Make sure to wear green today so you do not get pinched!  There are some fabulous new books coming out this month.   They include:  The Darkness We Hide by Debra Webb, The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag, The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm, Berried in the Past by Peg Cochran, and Light Shines at Promise Lodge by Charlotte HubbardOne Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak releases on April 7 and Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr comes out April 14.  The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne is out today (ebook, hardcover, audio cd and audiobook).
About the Book
The life Olivia Harper always dreamed of isn’t so dreamy these days. The 16-hour work days are unfulfilling and so are things with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when she hears that her estranged mother, Juliet, has been seriously injured in a car accident, Liv has no choice but to pack up her life and head home to beautiful Cape Sanctuary on the Northern California coast.

It’s just for a few months—that’s what Liv keeps telling herself. But the closer she gets to Cape Sanctuary, the painful memories start flooding back: Natalie, her vibrant, passionate older sister who downward-spiraled into addiction. The fights with her mother who enabled her sister at every turn. The overdose that took Natalie, leaving her now-teenaged daughter, Caitlin, an orphan.

As Liv tries to balance her own needs with those of her injured mother and an obstinate, resentful fifteen-year-old, it becomes clear that all three Harper women have been keeping heartbreaking secrets from one another. And as those secrets are revealed, Liv, Juliet, and Caitlin will see that it’s never too late—or too early—to heal family wounds and find forgiveness.
FEATURE A historic home gets a new life in Cape Porpoise.   Cape Porpoise resident Ed Sullivan wasn’t thinking of taking on a project when he learned that the house across the street from his was for sale. He wasn’t … Continue reading →

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.  You can connect with the author on Twitter (@RaeAnneThayne), Facebook (AuthorRaeAnneThayne), Instagram (@RaeAnneThayne) and Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/116118.RaeAnne_Thayne). 
Cosy UK country cottages for a great New Year getaway | Travel | The Guardian
Q and A with RaeAnne Thayne

What made you write this story?

That’s a very long “story behind the story”! My husband of 34 years was adopted at birth to a wonderful loving family and never knew anything about his birth parents. He was never really interested, though I always wondered. He took a DNA test a few years ago before going in for a major surgery, just out of curiosity so our kids could know something about his ethnic heritage, and was astonished a few months later when results from Ancestry.com came in linking him to several close relatives on his maternal side. He wasn’t going to do anything about it but through a very strange sequence of events, he eventually connected with three half-brothers, an aunt and several uncles (including one who has been our neighbor and friend for more than twenty years without either us knowing the connection!). Unfortunately, my husband’s birth mother died several years ago so he never had the chance to meet her but my husband now has a wonderful relationship with his brothers, who have embraced and welcomed him. I have heard of these kind of stories before and after living through the amazing results from a simple DNA test, I wanted to write about someone trying to trace her father. That’s one of the underlying subplots to THE SEA GLASS COTTAGE.
The Sea Glass Cottage
Is The Sea Glass Cottage based on a real place?

Cape Sanctuary is kind of an amalgamation of some of my favorite spots along the Pacific coast, a mix of Carmel, California and Cannon Beach, Oregon. It’s loosely based near Trinidad, California. I only wish it really existed!
CARMEL’S NEIGHBORHOODS | Once upon a time..Tales from Carmel by the Sea
One of the storybook cottages in Carmel, California
Do you have a place to go to in order to clear you head like Olivia did in The Sea Glass Cottage?

I don’t live by the ocean, unfortunately, but I do live in the mountains of Utah. Ten minutes from my home, I can be in a gorgeous wilderness area where I can walk and think and meditate. We are heading into the most beautiful time of year here, where the mountains turn green with new growth and wildflowers begin to pop out. I can’t wait! 
What theme or message do you hope readers take away from The Sea Glass Cottage?

Like all my books, the core story is that we’re all here to learn how to take care of each other. All my books have the underlying theme that our lives become better and more fulfilling when we reach out to help and lift someone else. The world can sometimes feel ugly and angry. I feel like there’s an increasing need for us all to focus on trying a little harder to be kind. Life is filled with pain and trials but it can also be beautiful and joyful at the same time.

What do you like best about this book?

I love the peace and healing that came to the characters from being honest with their loved ones and opening their hearts to second chances.

Any new books or projects on the horizon?

Yes! Always J The last book in my Haven Point series, SUMMER AT LAKE HAVEN, comes out June 23. This is Samantha Fremont’s book, for those who have read others in the series. It also includes a surprise novella. Next up will be a standalone Christmas book in an all-new community, Silver Bells, Colorado. CHRISTMAS AT HOLIDAY HOUSE (release date is October 6) will be out in late September. And I recently spent three days at a California beach house with writer friends plotting my next hardcover and can’t wait to start writing it! THE PATH TO SUNSHINE COVE (tentative title!) will also be set in Cape Sanctuary and will be out April 2021.

My Thoughts

The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne has Olivia Harper returning Cape Sanctuary after her mother falls from a ladder and sustaining serious injuries.  Juliet Harper likes to be independent, but her surgery will have her out of commission for a couple of months.  Plus, Juliet will need assistance raising her fifteen-year-old granddaughter, Caitlin and running the family business, Harper Hill Home & Garden.  Juliet is hoping to repair the deep void between herself and Olivia during this time.  The three Harper ladies are each keeping secrets from each other.  This could be the chance for them to mend rifts, tell truths and become closer as a family.  The Sea Glass Cottage involves three generations of Harper ladies:  Juliet, Olivia and Caitlin.  I thought the story was well-written with developed characters.  The book had a good flow which I appreciated.  The story alternates point-of-view between Juliet, Olivia, Caitlin and Cooper Vance.  I thought The Sea Glass Cottage was a multifaceted novel.  The various storylines all work together for one compelling story.  Olivia has many fears that keep her from achieving her dreams or having a fulfilling relationship.  Juliet is hiding a secret from her family and her best friend, Henry Cragun.  Caitlin’s mother died when she was a child.  She never told anyone the identity of her father.  Caitlin comes up with a plan to find out the identity of her biological father.  There is much more which I want you to discover for yourself.  I loved the beautiful descriptions of the Sea Glass Cottage and the sea.  There are secrets revealed throughout the book which I liked.  I was very happy there was an epilogue which nicely wrapped up the book.  The Sea Glass Cottage is a complex, moving story about family, secrets, healing, forgiveness, friendship, honesty and love.  
Whimsical Cottage Originally Built As A Doll Store – Now, It’s A Dream Home By The Sea
Cute cottage by sea in Carmel, California (Originally a doll shop)
Olivia shoved her hands into her pockets against the damp Seattle afternoon. Nothing would take the chill from her bones, though. She knew that. Even five days of sick leave, huddling in her bed and mindlessly bingeing on cooking shows hadn’t done anything but make her crave cake.
Photograph-Woman Holding Large Piece of Cake-10"x8" Photo Print expertly made in the USA
She couldn’t hide away in her apartment forever. Eventually she was going to have to reenter life and go back to work, which was why she stood outside this coffee shop in a typical spring drizzle with her heart pounding and her stomach in knots.

This was stupid. The odds of anything like that happening to her again were ridiculously small. She couldn’t let one man battling mental illness and drug abuse control the rest of her life.  She could do this.  She reached out to pull the door open, but before she could make contact with the metal handle, her cell phone chimed from her pocket.

She knew instantly from the ringtone it was her best friend from high school, who still lived in Cape Sanctuary with her three children. Talking to Melody was more important than testing her re­solve by going into the Kozy Kitchen right now, she told herself. She answered the call, already heading back across the street to her own apartment.
ways to simplify by calling friend Woman talking on the phone outdoors
“Mel,” she answered, her voice slightly breathless from the adrenaline still pumping through her and from the stairs she was racing up two at a time. “I’m so glad you called.”  Glad didn’t come close to covering the extent of her relief. She really hadn’t wanted to go into that coffee shop. Not yet. Why should she make herself? She had coffee at home and could have groceries delivered when she needed them.

“You know why I’m calling, then?” Melody asked, a strange note in her voice. “I know it’s amazing to hear from you. You’ve been on my mind.” She was not only a coward but a lousy friend. She hadn’t checked in with Melody in a few weeks, despite knowing her friend was going through a life upheaval far worse than witness­ing an attack on someone else.

As she unlocked her apartment, the cutest rescue dog in the world, a tiny, fluffy cross between a Chihuahua and a miniature poodle, gyrated with joy at the sight of her. Yet another reason she didn’t have to leave. If she needed love and attention, she only had to call her dog and Otis would come running.
chipoo puppy #chihuahua
She scooped him up and let him lick her face, already feeling some of her anxiety calm.  “I was thinking how great it would be if you and the boys could come up and stay with me for a few days when school gets out for the summer,” she said now to Melody. “We could take the boys to the Space Needle, maybe hop the ferry up to the San Juans and go whale watching. They would love it. What do you think?”

The words seemed to be spilling out of her, too fast. She was babbling, a weird combination of relief that she hadn’t had to face that coffee shop and guilt that she had been wrapped up so tightly with her own life that she hadn’t reached out to a friend in need. 

“My apartment isn’t very big,” she went on without waiting for an answer. “But I have an extra bedroom and can pick up some air beds for the boys. They’ve got some really comfortable ones these days. I’ve got a friend who says she stayed on one at her sister’s house in Tacoma and slept better than she does on her regular mattress. I’ve still got my car, though I hardly drive it in the city, and the boys would love to meet Otis. Maybe we could even drive to Olympic National Park, if you wanted.”
Olympic National Park, Washington
“Liv. Stop.” Melody cut her off. “Though that all sounds amazing and I’m sure the boys would love it, we can talk about that later. You have no idea why I called, do you?”

“I… Why did you call?”  Melody was silent for a few seconds. “I’m afraid there’s been an accident,” she finally said. The breath ran out of Olivia like somebody had popped one of those air mattresses with a bread knife. “Oh no. Is it one of your boys?” Oh please, she prayed. Don’t let it be one of the boys.

Melody had been through enough over the past three months, since her jerkhole husband ran off with one of his high school students. “No, honey. It’s not my family. It’s yours.” Her words seemed to come from far away and it took a long time for them to pierce through. No. Impossible. Fear rushed back in, swamping her like a fast-moving tide. She sank blindly onto the sofa. “Is it Caitlin?”

“It’s not your niece. Stop throwing out guesses and just let me tell you. It’s your mom. Before you freak out, let me just say, first of all, she’s okay, from what I understand. I don’t have all the details but I do know she’s in the hospital, but she’s okay. It could have been much worse.”
Woman Is Laying In A Hospital Bed With Her Mouth Open #dead #death #heart #hospital #inpain #layingdown #moaninginpain #monitor #noheartbeat #novitals #openmouth #screaming
Her mom. Olivia tried to picture Juliet lying in a hospital bed and couldn’t quite do it. Juliet Harper didn’t have time to be in a hospital bed. She was always hurrying somewhere, either next door to Sea Glass Cottage to the garden center the Harper family had run in Cape Sanctuary for generations or down the hill to town to help a friend or to one of Caitlin’s school events.

“What happened?” “She had a bad fall and suffered a concussion and I think some broken bones.”
Olivia’s stomach twisted. A concussion. Broken bones. Oh man. “Fell where? Off one of the cliffs near the garden center?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know all the details yet. This just happened this morning and it’s still early for the gossip to make all the rounds around town. I assumed you already knew. That Cait­lin or someone would have called you. I was only checking in to see how I can help.” 
Ladder Bear Falling Down Greeting Cards
This morning. She glanced at her watch. Her mother had been in an accident hours earlier and Olivia was just finding out about it now, in late afternoon. Someone should have told her—if not Juliet herself, then, as Melody said, at least Caitlin.

Given their recent history, it wasn’t particularly surprising that her niece, raised by Olivia’s mother since she was a baby, hadn’t bothered to call. Olivia wasn’t Caitlin’s favorite person right now. These days, during Olivia’s regular video chats with her mother, Caitlin never popped in to say hi anymore. At fif­teen, Caitlin was abrasive and moody and didn’t seem to like Olivia much, for reasons she didn’t quite understand.

“I’m sure someone tried to reach me but my phone has been having trouble,” she lied. Her phone never had trouble. She made sure it was always in working order, since so much of her freelance business depended on her clients being able to reach her and on her being able to Tweet or post something on the fly.
Garden, Garden shop, Greenhouse, Garden center displays, Garden nursery, Greenhouse gardening - Petersham Nurseries Richmond Surrey   Victoria Skoglund -  #Garden
“I’m glad I checked in, then.” “Same here. Thank you.” Several bones broken and a long recovery. Oh dear. That would be tough on Juliet, especially this time of year when the garden center always saw peak business. “Thank you for telling me. Is she in the hospital there in Cape Sanctuary or was she taken to one of the bigger cities?”

“I’m not sure. I can call around for you, if you want.” “I’ll find out. You have enough to worry about.” “Keep me posted. I’m worried about her. She’s a pretty great lady, that mom of yours.” Olivia shifted, uncomfortable as she always was when others spoke about her mother to her. Everyone loved her, with good reason. Juliet was warm, gracious, kind to just about everyone in their beachside community of Cape Sanctuary.

Which made Olivia’s own awkward, tangled relationship with her mother even harder to comprehend. “Will you be able to come home for a few days?” Home. How could she go home when she couldn’t even walk into the coffee shop across the street? “I don’t know. I’ll have to see what’s going on there.” 
Northern California - The Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary | Above Us Only Skies
How could she possibly travel all the way to Northern Cali­fornia? A complicated mix of emotions seemed to lodge like a tangled ball of yarn in her chest whenever she thought about her hometown, which she loved and hated in equal measures. The town held so much guilt and pain and sorrow. Her father was buried there and so was her sister. Each room in Sea Glass Cottage stirred like the swirl of dust motes with memo­ries of happier times.

Olivia hadn’t been back in more than a year. She kept mean­ing to make a trip but something else always seemed to come up. She usually went for the holidays at least, but the previous year she’d backed out of even that after work obligations kept her in Seattle until Christmas Eve and a storm had made last-minute travel difficult. She had spent the holiday with friends instead of with her mother and Caitlin and had felt guilty that she had enjoyed it much more than the previous few when she had gone home.
Seattle Washington State USA
She couldn’t avoid it now, though. A trip back to Cape Sanc­tuary was long overdue, especially if her mother needed her.
Dreamy Seaside Cottage Living - The Inspired Room
Are you ready to read The Sea Glass CottageThe Sea Glass Cottage is available from Amazon*, Harlequin, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Target, Walmart, GooglePlay, iBooks and Kobo.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I will be sharing my review of The Forgotten Murder by Jude Deveraux.  It is the third book in A Medlar Mystery series.  I hope you have a special day. By the way. . .What is the spookiest kind of author?  A ghostwriter! Take care of yourself, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

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