Thursday, May 23, 2013

Blog Tour: Then, Again by Karen Stivali

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Then, Again
By Karen Stivali
Published:  May 21, 2013
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Source:  Literati Literature Lovers

GR's Summary:

Sometimes you have to lose it all to find what you really need. 

Photographer Kay Turner is dealt a double whammy when she flies home for her grandmother’s funeral to find her boyfriend with another woman. Now with two losses to mourn, she retreats to her newly inherited beach house to clear her head. 

Everything at the beach is familiar: the sounds of the ocean, the scent of her grandmother’s perfume—and the irresistible smile of James Margolis. The man Kay spent her adolescence pining for is every bit as charming as she remembers.

James always thought of Kay as “a nice kid”, but he feels something very different for the woman she’s become. Especially when he asks if she’d be willing to part with some of her grandmother’s recipes for his new restaurant—and they wind up sharing much more than culinary secrets.

But as their relationship deepens, Kay finds herself caught between the demands of her dream career as a travel photographer, and a chance for happiness with the one man she’s wanted for a lifetime.

My Take on this Journey:

Then Again, by Karen Stivali is a wonderful book.  This story starts with Kay, (Kimberly, Kimmy) Turner, coming home to her apartment from a photo shoot two weeks early, to find a woman in her apartment!  She is wearing Todd's, (her boyfriend of 3 years) shirt, cooking in Kay's kitchen, when Todd walks in behind her with a bottle of wine.  What a way to start a book!  Pow!!!  Poor Kay, is speechless.  She has just found out that her beloved maternal grandmother has passed away, and then walks into this den of inequity!!!  Kay is taken aback, but packs her suitcases, and walks out.  I was very proud of her for her strength and resolve from that moment on.

Kay in a traveling photographer, fulfilling her life's dream, going all over the world doing what she does best.  Kay decides to go to her grandmother Maria's house, the house she grew up in, because she had a dead beat mother, Eleanor.  Once arriving, Kay contacts Rosalie and Trixie, her grandmother's lifetime friends, who are hysterically funny sisters.  She can still smell the fragrance that her grandmother wore, the scent of coffee and the ocean breeze in the air, the memories of her childhood with her grandmother, and her friends, and her grandmothers all encompassing love and affection.  Though Kay tries to contact her mother, she gets what she has always received from her, nothing!  Kay's mother is a heartless woman, with no time for her mother, even in death.    Kay has inherited the house, and everything in it.  Kay wraps herself in the comfort of her grandmother's crocheted blanket, and grabs the emergency staples, (oreos), and lays on the couch.  She decides to stay for the summer to reflect on her life, close down the house, pack her grandmother's things, and decide what she wants to do next.  She has to prepare for the memorial service for her grandmother.  While at the beach front house, she decides to go to the fish market, and runs into her childhood crush, the ever handsome, gorgeous, James Margolis.

James was a boy from her childhood that she pined away for, and dreamed of walking out the door from his father's market someday, hand in hand.  Unfortunately, James was older at the time, and he had a girlfriend.  Now, years later, their paths cross again and, the girl he once knew has grown into a beautiful woman, and there is undeniable fireworks flying between these two characters.

This book is set in dual narration.  Then, Again, was so fast paced that I read it through the night in one sitting.  I loved every detail about it.  From the setting on the beach, to the real life romance of these two sweet, kind characters.  There was no agenda, just pure giving, loving, sharing of wants and needs, and concerns for each partner.  Then, Again has it all!  I loved Ms. Stivali's prose.  I was completely enthralled in the love story of Kay and James.  James was sentimental, with many endearing qualities that any woman would dream of.  James is opening a restaurant of his own, and tries out his cuisine on Kay, and asks if she will share her grandmother's recipes with him.  She does, and that leads to seduction, from her grandmother's mouth watering recipes.  It will leave you reeling, and wanting his mouth watering scones.

Then, Again will leave you feeling fulfilled, and happier than ever, in more ways than one.  There is nothing like that first crush, and then reuniting again in the future with that love.  Ms. Stivali does it best.  I went on this journey along with this wonderfully sweet couple.  There are obstacles they must endure, fun they must have together, real life chemistry to share, seductive cooking encounters, steamy romance, and not so good baby sitting chaos.  You will cry, laugh, sigh, swoon, and melt.  There aren't enough good things I can say about this "Feel Good Romance."  Kay must stop to smell the roses, and decide if love is enough for a lifetime, or her career is more important.  This is a must read book!

What can I say?  Then Again, by Karen Stivali, is a once in a lifetime romance for the ages!  This is one of the most heart warming love stories I have read in a long time.  The innocence of the romance is built on love and trust.  I was captivated and spellbound by the wonderfully poetic prose.  Ms. Stivali, made me fall in love again in my lifetime, with James Margolis, and you will too!

I give Then, Again a big 5 Longing, Loving, Swooning, Comfortable, Caring Stars!

Purchase At:


Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she's not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends, who never seem to mind the excessive quantities she tends to prepare. She attributes her ability to multitask to the fact that she rarely sleeps, which gives her more hours every day. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what's left of her time and sanity.

Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic tales filled with sarcasm and sexy details. Although she writes in three genres (erotic romance, contemporary romance and women's fiction) all of her stories are love stories with happily ever after endings.

Karen has published several erotic romance novels with Ellora's Cave including two award winning stories: Always You (published September 2011, First Place Winner of the RWA Passionate Plume Award - 2012)and Marry Me (published June 2012, First Place Winner in the NEC-RWA Bean Pot Reader's Choice Award - 2013).

Her works of women's fiction, Meant To Be, and its sequel, Holding On, (published by Turquoise Morning Press in August and November 2012, respectively) both made multiple  Best of 2012 lists and are rated as true gems and recommended reads.

Karen's latest release, Then, Again is a contemporary foodie romance published by Samhain Publishing.

To learn more about Karen  and all her upcoming books you can visit her website where she blogs original recipes, sassy commentary on The Bachelor, and tidbits about her journey in the writing world. Karen can also be found attempting witty banter on Twitter!/karenstivali

2 Giveaways:
We will choose the best comment to win an ecopy of Then, Again!!!

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  1. Wouldn't being a traveling photographer in real life be great? Imagine all the places you'd get to see.This sounds great. I added to my TBR list. Love it when I can sit down and read the book in one sitting and really immerse myself.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Yes, That would be Great! I love photography, and writing, so I think it would be wonderful to go from place to place using my photo journalism skills. This was a really good, laugh out loud, cry out loud, book. I am so happy that I have found a new author to add to my list of romance authors I can automatically purchase their books without thinking about it!

    Happy Reading!


  3. Wow....I loved the synopsis for this book & then after reading the review. Holy crap....I cannot wait to read this book! What a dream job it would be to be a traveling photographer. But what caught my attention was not only the synopsis & review, but the setting of the beach house. Perfect for a summer read, but what I can relate to is the many summers I spent vacationing at my grandparents house in Massapequa, NY. They started the beach combing craze back in the early 70s & my sister & I would wander Jones Beach while they used their metal detectors. We'd be there at the butt crack of dawn, leave when the beach goers were coming, go home, eat lunch/dinner, take a nap & then go back to the beach when everyone was leaving. My grandmother commented to me a couple of years before she passed that she felt guilty for getting us up before the sun rose & dragging us to Jones Beach. I looked at her & said, "Gram, do you really think if we didn't have such a great time, that we would have returned to your house year after year?" I think that made her feel a little better.

    1. Jessie, what is your email address? We LOVED your comment, and would like to send you a copy of Then, Again!!!

    2. Thank You so much for your thoughtful comment. That is so heart filled and touching. I loved this book, and that is so great that it can touch a piece of your past with your own memories of your Grandma. She sounds like she was a great woman!

      Happy Reading...



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