Another Great Book and Our Week at the Beach

I am on a roll with my summer reading.  Recently, I provided you with some book recommendations and now I have another to add to the list.  (Especially for all you Gone With the Wind fans!)

Please note this post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking my links.

I just finished reading this enchanting novel – Stars Over Sunset Boulevard …

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner - a great book for the beach!

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard

After reading a few of Susan Meissner’s novels, I just knew I would love this one.  She has such a talent for writing historical fiction and I find myself emerging from each book with additional knowledge about a specific era.  This time, she takes us back to Hollywood’s Golden Age and to the filming of the epic, Gone With the Wind.

Here is the excerpt from Amazon:

In this new novel from the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life, two women working in Hollywood during its Golden Age discover the joy and heartbreak of true friendship.

Los Angeles, Present Day. When an iconic hat worn by Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind  ends up in Christine McAllister’s vintage clothing boutique by mistake, her efforts to return it to its owner take her on a journey more enchanting than any classic movie…

Los Angeles, 1938.  Violet Mayfield sets out to reinvent herself in Hollywood after her  dream of becoming a wife and mother falls apart, and lands a job on the film-set of Gone With the Wind. There, she meets enigmatic Audrey Duvall, a once-rising film star who is now a fellow secretary. Audrey’s zest for life and their adventures together among Hollywood’s glitterati enthrall Violet…until each woman’s deepest desires collide.  What Audrey and Violet are willing to risk, for themselves and for each other, to ensure their own happy endings will shape their friendship, and their lives, far into the future.

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?   Get this…I have an embarrassing confession to make…I have never read Gone With the Wind!  I know, I know – how did  this classic American novel get past me?  I just don’t know, but I have seen the movie so I basically know the story.  Of course, now Susan Meissner’s story has gotten me interested so, guess what I just ordered from Amazon?!   Yup!…It should be here any day now but since I recently purchased Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf, I plan to read that one first.  It looks like a quick one and it’s already sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read.  I will let you know how I like both books when I am finished…

This past week, we had plenty of time for reading while we spent time at my in-law’s Jersey Shore house!  We drove down a few days before the 4th of July and enjoyed a week of fun in the sun!

Boardwalk at the Jersey Shore

The weather was perfect all week.  The first couple of days were a bit chilly on the beach due to the ocean breeze but overall, the weather was wonderful!

Jersey Shore beach

Crabbing at the Jersey Shore

The boys enjoyed one of the afternoons crabbing with my husband.  Here they are showing off their catch.  Most of them weren’t large enough to keep so after counting them up, we released them back into the bay.  We just crab for fun anyway.  As always, we ended up giving the larger ones to the people next to us who were crabbing for their dinner.

Theresa's South - great restaurant in Bayhead, NJ

Speaking of dinner, one of the nights we headed up to Bayhead and had dinner at Theresa’s South.  We hadn’t been there in years but the food was just as delicious as I remembered!  I wrote a post about the town a few years ago – Charming Beach Town where you can read more.  Last time, we ate outside on the patio but we were inside this time…good thing because that night was a scorcher!

Lilly Pulitzer Store in Bayhead, NJ

For some reason, I never noticed the Lilly Pulitzer store next door.  As we were walking back to the car, the jeep caught my eye.  One of these days, I’ll have to head back for some shopping…without the boys.

Jersey Shore beach at sunset

We spent some gorgeous sunsets down on the beach where the boys shot off these little light up sling-shot things.  That kept them busy for awhile…

Baby shark at the Jersey Shore

Until a fisherman caught a baby shark!  That may have been the highlight of that evening!

Jersey Shore Sunset on the beach

Another wonderful week spending time with family at the shore.  Really, I couldn’t ask for anything more!

What have you been up to this week?

Any good books to recommend?


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  1. I can't wait to read it – looks like a great one and your weather looks perfect. Gorgeous images! Enjoy!

  2. Love your pics. Thanks for your recommendation. It sounds right up my alley. I just finished Before The Fall which was very good except I did not like the ending.

  3. I am so ready for a beach trip! This looks fantastic. And I will be looking for this book. Thanks.:) gwingal

  4. Your beach pictures are beautiful! Longing for some fun in the sun! I have never read Gone With The Wind either, so you are not alone. I do want to read it, I just never think about it though when I am picking out a book to read. Thanks for the book recommendation too! Have a great week and Thanks for linking up with us for Snickerdoodle Sunday! Pinned to share.

  5. So glad you had a great vacation. Yikes! Don't like to think about the sharks, however. I am reading a great deal this summer, too. So relaxing!

  6. Thanks for this book recommendation. Oh how I miss staying at the JS but our rental house we used to stay at was destroyed from the hurricane. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos of the beach. 🙂

  7. I haven't read Gone with the Wind either but have seen the movie. In fact, I was able to see it on the big screen during one of it's anniversaries because I live in GA where it was filmed. Your vacation pics look great! What beach is that? Looks very pretty.

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