Posts Tagged ‘maria murnane’

Source: Review copy from author

“Sure, other people go traveling by themselves. I can’t even go to the movies by myself. You know that.”

“Well, maybe it’s time to shake things up a little bit. You’re almost thirty years old. Time to spread those wings.”

(from Katwalk)

I was excited to read Maria Murnane’s Katwalk after reading Wait for the Rain and Bridges and identifying so much with the main character, Daphne White. And I was surprised, once again, to find myself identifying with the heroine in Katwalk, Katrina Lynden. Katrina is twenty-nine and has worked for nearly eight years as an accountant at an advertising agency. She doesn’t like change, and she is awkwardly shy. Her life feels stagnant since she put aside her love of painting at the insistence of her parents, who wanted her to find a practical career and a steady job. But Katrina and her best friend Deb have made a pact to quit their jobs on the same day and leave California to spend two months in New York City — an adventure before deciding what to do next.

However, things don’t go as planned, and Katrina finds herself unemployed and heading to NYC by herself — a move that is completely out of character for her, and frightens and excites her at the same time. She meets two women who live in the building where she is staying, Shana, a yoga instructor, and Grace, a jewelry designer, who immediately take Katrina under their wings. Murnane chronicles Katrina’s transformation to Kat, as she navigates the overwhelming city life solo and balances a flirtation with a charming but unavailable Wall Street banker and a friendship with a kind, observant, and attractive barista. As her time in NYC draws to a close, Katrina must determine whether to follow her heart or return home to the life she left behind.

Murnane has a knack for creating believable, relatable characters. There were times Katrina seemed overly naïve and innocent, but I could relate to her both wanting a change but not wanting to deal with change, and her excitement at the prospect of an adventure but feeling so overwhelmed by the big city. I enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Shana and Grace, who seemed like the kind of people I would befriend if I were in Katrina’s position; they were more personable and genuine than the Wall Street crowd. Even though Katrina’s epiphany about her future came about and fell into place rather quickly, it felt true to her character, and I couldn’t help but root for her.

Katwalk was an enjoyable journey with Katrina as she learns to break out of her comfort zone, embrace change, and not shy away from new, though daunting, experiences. It’s a lesson that many of us should take to heart.

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I read 73 books last year, and while I enjoyed most of them, there are a handful that really stood out. Here are my top 10 favorites, with links to my reviews (in no particular order):

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Darcy by Any Other Name by Laura Hile

The Honorable Mr. Darcy by Jennifer Joy

The Best Part of Love by A. D’Orazio

A Lie Universally Hiddenby Anngela Schroeder


he Darcy Monologues edited by Christina Boyd

Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

These Dreams by Nicole Clarkston

The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen by Ada Bright and Cass Grafton

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

Wait for the Rain by Maria Murnane

Attempting Elizabeth by Jessica Grey

Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey by Ginger Monette

Mendacity & Mourning by J.L. Ashton

A Most Handsome Gentleman by Suzan Lauder

What were your favorite books of 2017? Please tell me in the comments!

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Source: Author
Rating: ★★★★☆

“That’s why they call love a leap of faith. There’s no guarantee it’s going to work out — not for anyone.”

(from Bridges)

Bridges in the second Daphne White novel by Maria Murnane, picking up where Wait for the Rain leaves off. However, Murnane provides plenty of backstory so you can easily read Bridges as a stand-alone novel. In the year since Daphne and her best friends Skylar and KC celebrated their 40th birthdays on the Caribbean island of St. Mirika, she has moved on from her divorce and embraced the promise of a new beginning at this stage of her life. She is in a long-distance relationship with Derek, who also is a divorced parent, but more importantly, she has embarked on the writing career she gave up nearly two decades ago when she became a wife and mother. Daphne has written her first novel, sent it to three dozen agents, and is eagerly waiting for her career as a published author to take off.

She is reunited with Skylar and KC in New York City for a girls’ weekend over the July 4th holiday to celebrate Skylar’s recent engagement. The news came as a shock to both Daphne and KC, as Skylar was always so focused on her career and never planned to settle down. But KC has a surprise for them as well. Meanwhile, Daphne begins to again question her future when the rejection emails start coming in, especially as Skylar’s success and wealth is on full display.

Once again, Murnane has crafted an enjoyable story about the power of female friendship. This time, she added more tension between the women to emphasize the ups and downs in every relationship, the insecurities we all feel from time to time, and the healing that comes with heart-to-heart talks and forgiveness. She brings back some of the secondary characters from the first novel and adds Skylar’s NYC friend, Krissa, an attorney who enthralls them with her hilarious online dating stories, and Sloane, Skylar’s intimidating soon-to-be-stepdaughter. Murnane does a fantastic job keeping these stories lighthearted, humorous, and, most importantly, believable. I really hope there is a next book in the series, as I’m not ready to let go of these characters just yet.

Disclosure: I received Bridges from the author for review.

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Source: Review copy from author

“There’s something about a burst of rain that makes everything fresh and new. It’s as if Mother Nature is giving us another chance.”

(from Wait for the Rain)

Maria Murnane’s Wait for the Rain is a delightful tale about friendship, growing older, and rediscovering yourself as other responsibilities emerge over time and consume your life. Daphne White feels like a failure following her divorce, and focusing on her daughter has kept her afloat. But Emma is 15 now and doesn’t need her mother the way she once did. And her ex-husband has moved on and is getting remarried. These are the burdens Daphne carries when she arrives on the Caribbean island of St. Mirika to reunite with her best friends from college, Skylar and KC, for the first time in a decade. They are together again to celebrate turning 40, which Daphne is set to do on their trip — and the thought hangs over her head like a dark cloud.

Daphne is only beginning to admit her innermost feelings to herself, and she can’t bring herself to confide in her closest friends. Skylar has achieved the professional success that Daphne gave up to become a wife and mother, and the happy-go-lucky KC is succeeding in marriage where she so dramatically failed. With the help of her friends, the island atmosphere, and a kind and sexy twenty-something staying in the beach house next door, Daphne starts to realize that the big 4-0 is not the end but the beginning of something better.

In Wait for the Rain, Murnane has created an endearing and lovable cast of characters. It is evident from the start why these women are friends, and I loved their bantering, how they bring out the best in each other, and how they remain close even after having been apart for so many years. This is a true friendship, and I grew to love each of these characters so much that I wanted to be part of it! It was easy for me to relate to Daphne’s issues with turning 40 and having a teenage daughter, so that made the story more poignant for me. And most importantly, the romantic aspect of the novel was completely believable, which made the ending so satisfying! So many times in these kinds of novels there are over-the-top adventures and romantic escapades, and I loved that Murnane kept it real.

The best thing is that I don’t have to say goodbye to Daphne and her friends just yet. Stay tuned for my review of the second book in the series, Bridges, which will be posted here tomorrow.

Disclosure: I received Wait for the Rain from the author for review.

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I’m delighted to welcome Maria Murnane to Diary of an Eccentric for the first time today to celebrate her latest novel, Bridges, which will be released tomorrow. She is here to talk about the power of female friendship, and she wants to hear from my readers as well. Please give a warm welcome to Maria Murnane:

The power of female friendship…on and off the pages of my books!

If you’re a loyal reader of my novels, you probably noticed a larger-than-usual gap between my last release, Wait for the Rain, and this one. I didn’t plan for that to happen, in fact I hate that it did, but the unfortunate truth is that I spent more than a year working­­ on–forcing, actually–a lackluster story that was going nowhere. In the process I not only lost my joy for writing, but my confidence. When I finally decided to pull the plug on the book, I honestly didn’t know if I had it in me to write another one.

Fast-forward a few months, and during a visit to see my parents back to California I met up with my dear friend Annie Flaig, who may be the most kind-hearted person I have ever met. A devoted fan of my books—as well as the inspiration for the globe-trotting, ultra successful saleswoman Skylar character in both Wait for the Rain and Bridges–Annie convinced me to get back on the horse, and over dinner we put our heads together and came up with an idea for a story about friendship. It was a bare bones outline, but it got me excited to try again. As soon I got back to my place in Brooklyn, I sat down and started writing.

Maria and Annie at Katwalk launch party

For months I wrote and wrote, and when I finished the first draft of Bridges I emailed it to Annie to see what she thought.

The very next day I got this email from her:

OMG!!!  Maria…it is 554am here in the Canary Islands and I stayed up all night reading your book!!!  I was going to just start it by reading a couple of chapters and fall asleep (on my iPhone…not even my iPad) and ended up reading the entire thing on my phone!  I was pretty much crying or had tears in my eyes the whole book (in a good way!) so I had to expand the text on my phone a bunch of times to read through the water works!

I absolutely LOVE it!  You are an amazing writer (as I already knew) but I agree with you that this one is very special.  You really got to the bottom of these characters and I am with you…I want to be friends with them too!

My book made her cry, and her reaction to it made me cry. There’s beautiful poetry in that.  I never would have been able to write Bridges without Annie’s help and support, and I can only hope those who read it enjoy it a fraction as much as she did. Here’s to the power of female friendship!

Thank you, Maria, for sharing this beautiful story with us! Now I am even more eager to read Bridges! I’m sure a lot of us can relate to your story; I know that the novel I’m working on right now, though in the early stages, would be nothing but a forgotten idea if not for my mother and Serena. 🙂


About Bridges: A Daphne White Novel

It’s the one piece of news Daphne White never expected to hear: Her globe-trotting friend Skylar, who vowed never to get married, is engaged! First on the bride-to-be’s agenda is a celebratory weekend in Manhattan with her two best girlfriends—her treat, of course. After two decades scaling the corporate ladder with ease, Skylar can more than afford it.

While Daphne is happy for Skylar, the timing of the trip couldn’t be worse. Her own relationship is sputtering, and the debut novel she’s finally finished—which she’d hoped would land her on the bestseller lists­­­­—appears to be going nowhere but the trash bin of every publishing house around. She doesn’t want to spoil the weekend with bad news, so she arrives in New York determined to keep her disappointment under wraps. When she sees Skylar’s spectacular Tribeca apartment, however, that becomes a little trickier. She and Skylar were academic peers in college. Could Daphne’s life have been like this if she’d chosen a different path?

Daphne struggles to hide her feelings of inadequacy, but what she doesn’t know is she’s not the only one with a secret. Skylar and KC are also holding something back, but what? As the weekend unfolds, the truth about each woman emerges, along with tears.

And laughter. And love.

The fun-loving trio readers fell for in Wait for the Rain is together once more. Never underestimate the power of female friendship!

Check out Bridges on Goodreads | Amazon


About the Author

Maria Murnane (Photo credit: Chris Conroy Photography)

Maria Murnane spent several years working in high-tech PR before deciding she needed a change. She quit her job and went to Argentina by herself for what was supposed to be a two-week trip before figuring out what to do next. Instead, she ended up staying for a year to play semi-professional soccer, and while down there she also decided to write a humorous novel called Perfect on Paper based on her experiences as a single woman in San Francisco. Fast forward a few years, and she’s now the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series (Perfect on Paper, It’s a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two), as well as Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, Wait for the Rain, and Bridges.

Connect with Maria Murnane via website | Facebook | Twitter



Maria is generously offering a copy of Bridges to one of my readers. This giveaway is open to those in the United States. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address and share a memory about the power of female friendship to bridge various differences. This giveaway will close on Sunday, April 9, 2017. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

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