Unraveling the Pieces by Terri DuLong

  • unraveling-the-piecesTitle:  Unraveling the Pieces
  • Series:  Ormond Beach #3
  • Author:  Terri DuLong
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  November 2016 – Lyrical Press
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  Petra Garfield has no real attachments tying her down to one place. She’s ready for an adventure, so what could be better than an extended stay at Koi House with new friends and old in enchanting Ormond Beach. Having recently lost her mother, Petra is riddled with questions about the father she never knew. She certainly never thought she’d begin to find the answers in a tiny town in Florida…
As much as she wants to search for the truth, Petra knows she can’t spend all her time wallowing in the past, and her friends at the Dreamweaver yarn shop aren’t about to let her. The ladies encourage her to volunteer at a local animal shelter, where she hits it off with a young boy—and his handsome father. Tangled in secrets she didn’t even know she had, Petra must learn to stitch her life back together even as she unravels lifelong mysteries—and perhaps she’ll find unexpected happiness along the way…  (publisher)

My take:  Unraveling the Pieces is the third book in Terri DuLong’s Ormond Beach series. It was fun to see familiar characters from the previous books. I recommend reading them in order.

Petra was in a previous book but as a friend to another woman – more of a support character. Now it’s her time to shine. Petra moves to Ormond Beach where she fits in perfectly with the friends she’d already made when visiting her friend the year before. She works from home so she can usually set her own hours which leaves her time to volunteer, knit, and enjoy her new friends. She also is searching for information about the father she never knew. The search will take her back to the places and people her mother knew when Petra was born.

I enjoyed this novel. There are two narratives: Petra’s and her mother’s. I liked the theme that sometimes you have to unravel the pieces of your past in order to move forward. There were some scenes in the book that were truly emotional. I don’t tear up very often while reading but I did during one particular scene when Petra starts to get answers to her questions.

Knitting is always happening in this series (as well as DuLong’s Cedar Key series). There is a pattern included that was part of the novel. I recommend Unraveling the Pieces to fans of Terri DuLong, Women’s Fiction, and knitting. I can’t wait to read the next novel in the series.

About the author: Born and raised north of Boston, Terri DuLong was previously a resident of Cedar Key, Florida. She now resides on the east coast of the state in Ormond Beach with her husband, three dogs, and two cats. A retired registered nurse, she began her writing career as a contributing writer for Bonjour Paris, where she shared her travel experiences to France in more than forty articles with a fictional canine narrator. Terri’s love of knitting provides quiet time to develop her characters and plots as she works on her new Ormond Beach novels.

You can find out more by visiting her website or Facebook fan page.

Stitches in Time by Terri DuLong

  • stitches in timeTitle:  Stitches in Time
    • Series:  Ormond Beach #2
  • Author:  Terri DuLong
  • Pages:  252
  • Published:  June 2016 – Kensington
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  Isabelle Wainwright is no stranger to heartache. She was just fifteen when her mother left her to be raised by her father so she could start a new life across the country. Rather than crumbling in despair, Isabelle eventually stitched together her own path, graduating from college and starting a family in Atlanta. But her hard-won fairytale ending is beginning to unravel…

The shock of her father’s sudden death is compounded when Isabelle’s husband leaves her and her daughter for someone else. Reeling from being abandoned yet again, she finds comfort in Chloe Radcliffe, her father’s girlfriend, who encourages her to move to Ormond Beach, Florida, and help her run her yarn shop. There, Isabelle may find the strength to confront her past, build new friendships, and perhaps even learn to love in a way she never thought possible… (publisher)

My take:  In Stitches in Time author Terri DuLong takes readers back to Ormond Beach, Florida. This time the featured character is Isabelle Wainwright, adult daughter of Chloe Radcliffe’s (principal character from book 1) former boyfriend. After Isabelle’s father died she remained close to Chloe and that’s how she and her teenage daughter end up relocating to Ormond Beach.

Life is progressing favorably when Isabelle gets a surprise – her estranged mother decides to retire to Ormond Beach and reconnect with her daughter and granddaughter. Can Isabelle ever reconcile with the woman who deserted her thirty years earlier?

Stitches in Time is about forgiveness and second chances. I liked it and especially enjoyed the relationships between all of the women in the novel. Knitting is featured prominently and a pattern for the scarf discussed within the story is included at the end of the book. I look forward to the next book in the series. Recommended to fans of women’s fiction, knitting, and Terri DuLong.

Patterns of Change by Terri DuLong

  • patterns of change (11:24 Lyrical Press)Title:  Patterns of Change
  • Author:  Terri DuLong
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  304
  • Published:  November 2015 – Lyrical Press
  • Source:  Publisher/NetGalley

Description:  New York Times bestselling author Terri DuLong turns a new page in breezy Ormond Beach, Florida, where a woman looking for a fresh start discovers her dreams coming true in ways she never imagined…

Chloe Radcliffe was ready to shake the dust of Cedar Key off her feet and sink her toes into the warm sands of Ormond Beach with her soon-to-be husband. But when tragedy struck, she found herself alone, unraveled—and unsure where she belonged…

A series of vivid dreams of a Victorian house with a beautiful fish pond convince Chloe to take a leap of faith and rent a condo in Ormond Beach. There, she makes fast friends with a group of knitters and the owner of a tea shop, who also happens to have a house nearly identical to the one in Chloe’s dreams—and she’s willing to rent her the property. Just as Chloe begins casting on her grand plans for the home, her tangled past comes back to haunt her—but her dreams and newfound friends just might point her toward the love she’s been missing all along…  (publisher)

My take:  I’ve read a few of Terri DuLong’s Cedar Key series so I knew I’d want to read her novel set on the east coast of Florida. Patterns of Change is about Chloe who leaves Cedar Key for Ormond Beach and a new chapter in her life. I had to admire the guts it took to make such a change at age 52 but circumstances in Cedar Key made it easy for her to leave.

What Chloe didn’t know was what or who would be waiting for her in Ormond Beach. She certainly landed on her feet and was welcomed into the community by some of the pillars. A person couldn’t ask for more – perhaps it was because she was open to change and her personality reflected that. There were a few times when I wondered how someone could be so fortunate to have things work out the way they did for Chloe but I guess that’s how life can be sometimes.

I liked that the author continued the knitting theme from the previous series. I enjoy knitting and was pleased to see a pattern for a beautiful shawl included with the novel. I’d recommend Patterns of Change to fans of the author, knitting and novels about women’s friendship.

Farewell to Cedar Key by Terri DuLong

  • Farewell to Cedar Key (Nov25)Title:  Farewell to Cedar Key
  • Series:  Cedar Key #6
  • Author:  Terri DuLong
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  November 2014 – Kensington
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Josie Sullivan adores her Cedar Key home. It’s been the ideal place to raise her daughter, Orli, who’s just turning sixteen. Now that Josie has realized her dream of becoming a registered nurse, she’s been offered the perfect job too–helping Dr. Simon Mancini run his new practice. 

Until the clinic opens, Josie is filling in at Yarning Together, where she launches a series of knitting classes for men. Yet for all the vibrant changes, there are some tangled threads. Josie’s romance-author mother, Shelby, receives a worrying diagnosis. And though Josie has always guarded her independence, her connection to Orli’s father, Grant, seems to be rekindling. Most of all, as Shelby’s college classmates rally around their dear friend, Josie begins to see that “home” is more than a place; it’s the relationships woven into each life, strand by strand…  (publisher)

My take:  Terri DuLong’s Cedar Key series is one of my favorites. I loved going back to the Florida island to see what’s up with all the characters I’ve come to know in the first five books. Farewell to Cedar Key could be my favorite of the series! I think that’s remarkable for a sixth book in a series.

This book features Josie, her daughter Orli and many more series regulars. The point that you never know what life will throw at you from one minute to another is the main theme. With the help and support of family and friends you can get through anything and that’s exactly what the people of Cedar Key prove to each other on an almost daily basis.

If you’re a knitter you’ll love that many of the Cedar Key scenes revolve around the local yarn shop. Terri DuLong also takes us to Boston for Christmas.

I enjoyed every page of this novel and recommend it to fans of the series and good contemporary fiction.

Sunrise on Cedar Key by Terri DuLong

Cedar Key #3

Synopsis:  (Publisher) For the second time in ten years, Grace Stone is starting over on Cedar Key. Grace first moved to the serene island to escape a disastrous relationship. Now a visit with her Aunt Maude is interrupted by unwelcome news: Grace’s apartment and coffee shop have been destroyed by fire.

Grace is devastated, yet ever-practical Maude has a plan. While she helps Grace resettle, Maude even has a business venture in mind—weekend knitting retreats where women can craft, chat, and support one another.

But other surprises await, including the return of Grace’s estranged sister, and a tentative romance with the local bookstore owner. Knitting together her past and future will mean untangling the painful threads Grace left behind. But the result could be a vibrant new life—and the courage to live it fully. . .

My take:  Oh how I love my visits to Cedar Key, Florida. Terri DuLong has made this actual location her fictional paradise and populated it with people I’d like to call friends and neighbors.

Sunrise at Cedar Key is the perfect title. The theme of new beginnings and fresh starts is felt throughout the novel. Grace is starting over in a new home, a new business and, quite possibly, a new love. Chloe, Grace’s sister, arrives in Cedar Key looking for a place to regroup after her marriage falls apart. She and Grace have been estranged for years (Chloe’s choice) so there are amends to be made if they are to be a family. Suellen, Grace’s life-long friend, comes to Cedar Key for a new job after losing her old one when her boss passed away. So everyone is on the start of a new direction.

I enjoyed everything about this novel: Terri DuLong’s characters, the plot, and especially how everything wrapped up at the end. I’m glad I have the next in the series on the shelf because I can’t wait to get back to Cedar Key!

Title:  Sunrise on Cedar Key – #3 Cedar Key series

Author:  Terri DuLong

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  November 2011 – Kensington

Source:  Many thanks to my friend Kaye for passing her copy on to me!

A Cedar Key Christmas by Terri DuLong

Title: A Cedar Key Christmas (from Holiday Magic)

Author: Terri DuLong

Genre: Fiction

About: (Goodreads synopsis) Single mom Josie Sullivan is proud of her young daughter, Orli, for helping local fisherman Mr. Al restore his crumbling home. And when Mr. Al’s nephew, Ben, pays a visit, Josie realizes just how much Christmas magic one good deed can bring.

Descriptive Words: Feel good Christmas season story

Thoughts: When one of Cedar Key’s senior citizens faces losing his home and being placed in a nursing home he finds out he has more friends than he realized.  Led by one eleven year old girl (Orli) and her mother, Josie, the good people of the small Florida island community pull together to help Mr. Al.  They need to convince his nephew Ben that Mr. Al is capable of living on his own. First, Josie needs to lose the chip on her shoulder that keeps getting in the way of her relationships – including the one with Ben.

Terri DuLong’s sweet Christmas season novella introduces characters and brings back old friends from previous Cedar Key novels.  I enjoyed them all and hope to read more about Josie and Ben in a future Cedar Key novel.

Source: Kensington Books, Terri DuLong

Recommend? Yes, to fans of the series as well as Christmas/holiday fiction.  It’s part of Holiday Magic which also contains novellas by Fern Michaels, Cathy Lamb and Mary Carter.  I plan to read the rest of the collection in December.

Casting About by Terri DuLong

Author: Terri DuLong

Genre: Fiction

About: Married only a few months, Monica and Adam Brooks’ honeymoon takes a turn when Adam’s ex-wife is ruled unfit to parent their 8 year-old-daughter Clarissa and the girl is sent to live with the newlyweds. Monica has never considered herself to be mother material so having a child in the house is an adjustment.  The little girl is understandably shy but also happy to be living with her father.  Monica vows to try to be a good step-mother.

There’s also some drama in the little town of Cedar Key.  A big-city developer is sniffing around with plans to buy property and bring in some up-scale businesses. The community has prided itself in maintaining it’s charm so citizens are upset at the thought of becoming a snobby resort town.

Drama on a personal level occurs when illness strikes one of the  main characters.

Descriptive Words:  Heartwarming series.

Thoughts: This is the second book of the Cedar Key series.  Terri DuLong’s Cedar Key is home to genuine, caring, and nice people.  In the first book (Spinning Forward) we met Sydney, Monica’s mother, who arrived in Cedar Key to visit a friend and wound up finding family.  She decided to settle down in the town, opened a yarn shop and started a new life.   In Casting About Sydney’s daughter has purchased her mother’s shop after Sydney moved to France with her new husband.  I really enjoyed how Monica grew as a character throughout the novel.  She has a loving husband and a step-daughter who needs some mothering – and she steps up to the challenge.  Monica finds out what it takes to be a mother.

I liked the supporting characters: Grace, Monica’s best friend who runs the local coffee shop; Dora, Monica’s aunt who would do anything for her niece; and Opal, Adam’s mother who is a bit of an eccentric but has a heart of gold.  There are a few more who add to the charming, small town feel of the novel.

I appreciated that Terri DuLong wrote Adam as such a solid character.  It was nice to see a positive and strong male who is assertive but also respectful and supportive of his wife and daughter.

Casting About is a lovely novel.  I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones in the next book in the series.

Source: Kensington

Recommend? Yes, to fans of the Cedar Key series, small town fiction, heart-warming novels.

Pub. date: October 26, 2010

Spinning Forward by Terri DuLong


A New Englander born and bred, the last place Sydney Webster expects to find herself starting over is on an island off the coast of Florida. Yet here she is in Cedar Key, trying to pull herself together after her husband’s untimely death—and the even more untimely revelation of his gambling addiction. Bereft of her comfortable suburban life, Syd takes shelter at a college pal’s bed and breakfast, where amidst the bougainvillea blossoms and the island’s gentle rhythms, a plan begins to form…

Syd never considered the possibility of turning her passion for spinning and knitting into something more than a hobby, but when the unique composition of her wool draws attention, a door is opened—the first among many. Yet even as she ventures out of her comfort zone, Syd finds herself stepping into the embrace of a community rich with love, laughter, friendship…and secrets. And as long-hidden truths are revealed, Syd faces a choice: spin a safety net—or spin decidedly forward and never look back…

* * * * * * *

Sydney was living a comfortable life until her husband died in a car accident. Soon after, a knock on the door signals the end of that life and sets her on a new path. She visits her college friend (who just happens to own a B&B) in Florida. Ali ends up being not only a great friend but also a guide of sorts – to Sydney finding her true self. Not an easy task.
There are also surprises in store for Sydney. She discovers information that brings new layers to her life. One piece of information is an unbelievable coincidence. She meets wonderful people who offer her acceptance and help. I really liked these characters although I wanted to know more about each of them. Since this is the first in the Cedar Key series I’m sure I’ll learn much more in the books to follow.
I enjoyed Spinning Forward – maybe because I’m about the same age as Sydney and could identify with a few of the things she was forced to face (not so much the major issues but other things women of the same age group might deal with). Because of that, I think this would be a good selection for book groups. Lots to discuss. A Reading Group Guide can be found at the end of the book.

Review copy from Kensington (via LibraryThing Early Reviewers)