Friday, March 27, 2020

The Sea Glass Cottage

Title:  The Sea Glass Cottage
Author:  RaeAnne Thayne
Publication Information:  HQN. 2020. 384 pages.
ISBN:  1335045163 / 978-1335045164

Book Source:  I received this book through NetGalley for the publisher blog tour free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "She could do this."

Favorite Quote:  "We're all afraid. The trick is figuring out that the thing you need is just on the other side of that fear. The only way you can reach it is by going right through the center of it."

A beautiful Northern California setting. A cottage by the sea. A small town that stands together. A lingering sadness of the past waiting to be resolved. A family of strong women, each working through her own challenges and all eventually supporting one another. A couple of sweet romances for good measure.

This book has all the makings of a feel good beach read, even if read on indoors on a cool day. The setting is the small town of Cape Sanctuary, California. The Sea Glass Cottage is the current home home of Juliet Harper and her teenaged granddaughter Caitlin. It is also the childhood home of Olivia Harper. For her, it holds love but also sadness from the sudden, shocking death of the father she idolized; the unfortunate choices of her sister Natalie; and her own tumultuous relationship with her mother.

An accident brings Olivia home to care for her mother. The story though is more about the secrets each of these three women hold than the accident or the recovery. For Juliet, the secrets are about her love for her husband, her feelings for a close friend, and a medical diagnosis that threatens her life and her independence. For Caitlin, the secrets are about her search for identity. She is loved and belongs at Sea Glass Cottage, but she craves knowledge about her parents. For Olivia, the secrets are about a traumatic incident that has jarred her life and about a reckoning of her childhood. The lesson each woman learns is the same. "Sometimes being brave wasn't about confronting ... as much as finding the strength to be vulnerable and open about her weaknesses with someone she loved and admired."

The events of the book are real and serious. A beloved firefighter loses his life. A man is haunted by his inability to save the people he loves. A child seeking her place is the result of a teenage pregnancy. A young woman overdoses. A man deserts his wife and three young children. A woman fights disease. A man raises a son as a single father after the loss of his life. A mother regrets her inability to provide the attention a child needed. This book is about about life, family, and perseverance. "That's what life is about, isn't it? We're all works in progress, aren't we, just trying to become a little better every day?"

Yet, by its very nature, I expect that things will work out in this book. The book delivers. The lovely thing about this book is that it is sweet and that it goes exactly in the direction that I expect it go. It ends as it begins - a feel good story perfect for a cozy afternoon.

The Sea Glass Cottage
Blog Tour

Author: Reanne Thayne

ISBN: 1335045163 / 978-1335045164

Publication Date: 03/17/2020

Author Bio:

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

Author Q&A:

What made you write this story? (The "story behind the story")
That’s a very long “story behind the story”! My husband of 34 years was adopted at birth to a wonderful loving famiy 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 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.

Which character do you most relate to in the story and why?
I love all of them but probably am most drawn to Juliet, who yearns for those she loves to be happy. That’s a universal mom need, I think. Also, she hesitates to lean on others even when she really needs the help because she doesn’t want to be a burden and feels as if her role is to caretake those she loves instead of the other way around. I can definitely relate to this one!

Do you have a place you go to in order to clear your head like Olivia did?
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! 

Is this 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!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I started out in journalism in high school and discovered I loved telling stories. After graduating in journalism, I spent ten years at a daily newspaper as a reporter and editor but dreamed of writing a romance novel some day. When I was on maternity leave with our oldest (who is now 30!), I started my first book. It took me about 5 years of tinkering with it, dealing with rejections, rewriting and starting something new before I sold my first two books to Bantam Loveswept in 1995. I’ve been writing full time since 1997 when our second child was born. The Sea Glass Cottage is my 63rd book. I get a little overwhelmed when I think about all those words!

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
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 drew you into this particular genre?
I still consider all my books romance novels at heart because that is the genre I have adored since I was eleven years old. My books will always have some kind of love story in them! But my hardcovers also have provided a wonderful chance to explore deeper relationship issues: Healing a rift between a mother and a daughter, finding peace when a relationship with a sister ended in tragedy, finding common ground between an aunt and a niece. 

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Focus on the emotions you want your readers to feel in your stories. Readers love finding authors who can carry them away with their storytelling, making them feel what the characters feel. They want that emotional ride! Find the kind of stories you love to tell, focus on your strengths and constantly keep stretching yourself in new directions. 

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
Yes! Always ☺ 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 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.

Where is your favorite place to write?
I am the luckiest of writers because I have my own office. Several years ago, we made the impulsive decision to buy the house adjacent to ours. It was rundown and unsightly and kind of blighted the view from our backyard. Our plan was to fix it up to increase our own property value and then rent it out but after the renovation, I loved it too much to rent it out so I took it over. I have loved it! With a special needs son who has multiple disabilities and requires total care, life at my house is at times chaotic and messy but I always have such a sense of peace and calm when I go to my office. And I love that I can walk through the backyard in my jammies to go to work.

What do you like best about your new 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.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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