Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book Club: The McCarthys of Gansett Island by ME

Hi there!

Thanks for coming by today to talk about the McCarthys of Gansett Island! If you've already read the books, you know they were inspired by my love of Rhode Island's Block Island, located 14 miles off the state's south coast. As I described it in my author's note, it's the place time forgot, and that's just the way we love it.

I wanted to share some of the inspiration for the series, but first, let me tell you a bit about each of the books:

Maid for Love
The McCarthys of Gansett Island, Book 1

Maddie Chester is determined to leave her hometown of Gansett Island, a place that has brought her only bad memories and ugly rumors. Then she’s knocked off her bike on the way to her housekeeping job at McCarthy’s Resort Hotel by Gansett’s “favorite son,” Mac McCarthy. He’s back in town to help his father with preparations to sell the family resort and has no intention of staying long. When Mac accidentally sends Maddie flying over the handlebars, badly injuring her, he moves in to nurse her back to health and help care for her young son. He soon realizes his plans for a hit-and-run visit to the island are in serious jeopardy, and he just may be “maid” for love.

Fool for Love
The McCarthys of Gansett Island, Book 2

Joe Cantrell, owner of the Gansett Island Ferry Company, has been in love with Janey McCarthy for as long as he can remember. At the same time, Janey has been dating or engaged to doctor-in-training David Lawrence. When things go horribly wrong between David and Janey, she calls her “fifth brother” Joe, one of the few people in her close circle who lives on the mainland. Janey decides a few days with Joe is just what she needs before she goes home to the island to face her parents and family with the news of her broken engagement. It was bad enough for Joe loving Janey from afar, but having her in his house is pure torture. Will he take advantage of this opportunity to show her what they could have together? And what will Joe’s best friend and Janey’s protective older brother Mac have to say about it?

Ready for Love
The McCarthys of Gansett Island, Book 3

For four of the best summers of his young life, Luke Harris was in love with Sydney Donovan, a wealthy seasonal visitor to Gansett Island. Then Sydney went off to college and never came back. She married another man and had two children while Luke remained on the island, working at McCarthy's Gansett Marina and wondering what had gone wrong between him and the only woman he ever loved. Fifteen months after Sydney suffers the tragic loss of her husband and children, she's returned to Gansett to figure out what's next, and that may very well be a rekindled love affair with the one man from her past she’s never forgotten. But is she ready for a second chance at love?

People often ask me if the McCarthys are based on a real family. The answer is no, but McCarthy's Gansett Island Marina is based on a real place called Payne's Dock in Block Island's Great Salt Pond, also known as "New Harbor" (vs. Old Harbor in town where the ferries land). On my fictional Gansett Island, the harbors are known as North Harbor and South Harbor. Click on the link to Payne's to get a visual on how I picture McCarthy's. I spent a lot of time at Payne's when I was a kid because my parents had a boat and we'd go out there for at least a week every summer.

My dad owned an aviation repair company, and because they were always so busy in the summer, my dad "commuted" to work from the island. He used to get picked up by one of his employees in the morning for the short flight back to the airport on the mainland where he worked. My brother and I would pass the day with our mom at the beach, fishing for crabs and then racing the crabs down the dock, eating salt water taffy and Mrs. Payne's famous sugar donuts and basically having all kinds of great kid fun. Late in the afternoon, we'd watch the sky, waiting for the small plane carrying my dad to reappear. They'd fly low over the marina, tip the wings to let us know it was them, and my dad would appear in a cab from the airport a short time later. I haven't thought about that in a long time. I also vividly remember watching Princess Diana marry Prince Charles on a snowy black and white TV on the dock as we sweltered in the July heat. Ironically, I was also there years later when Diana died. There with my parents and young daughter, I made an early-morning call to my husband from the pay phone on the dock, and he told me the shocking news. I think I might've been the first person the dock to hear that she'd died.

When I'm out on Block Island later this summer, I'll take some pictures of the landmarks that inspired some of the other places I've mentioned in the series. One such landmark is The National Hotel, played by the Beachcomber in the books. The Paynes also own Payne's Harbor View Inn, which was the inspiration for McCarthy's Gansett Island Inn where Maddie works in Maid for Love.

To get to Block Island, we rely on Interstate Navigation and it's fleet of ferries. Joe Cantrell in Fool for Love is the owner of the fictional version, the Gansett Island Ferry Company. In a twist from real life, my college boyfriend is a captain for Interstate Navigation and used to love clove cigarettes the way Joe does. That's where the similarities end, however. (I wonder if he reads romance? Uh oh... LOL) I had a lot of fun visiting him in Block Island when we were dating and he was running the launch service that ran people from their boats moored in the Salt Pond to one of the other marinas in the Pond (ooh, is that an idea for a future character? Owner of the launch service? Hmmm). There's a great bar that overlooks the Salt Pond called The Oar, and it's FULL of thousands of painted and decorated oars that boaters and visitors have brought over the years. I never get tired of reading what people have painted on their oars. I can't believe The Oar doesn't have a website, but there's a picture here that gives you an idea of the place. I'll take some others when I'm there this summer.

My brother and I used to love to walk from Paynes to the Block Island Boat Basin next door (also home to The Oar) to get ice cream sandwiches. I've had a lot of ice cream sandwiches in my day, but none of them were ever as good as the ones we got there.

So there's some of the inspiration behind my series. Does it make you want to visit Block Island? :-) Thanks for coming by today to talk about the series. I'm curious to know who your favorite character is. Favorite scene? Which guy wouldn't you kick out of bed? Luke? Joe? Mac? Grant? Big Mac? LOL! Do tell! I know you have questions about future books, and I've got answers. Grant's book is next, and yes, there will be books featuring Evan, Adam and Tiffany, too. For Grant's book are you Team Abby or Team Stephanie? I will be giving away books from my backlist so don't forget to leave a comment!

In honor of Block Island, I'm sharing recipes for New England Clam Chowder and Clam Fritters, two things you can always get at the Payne's Dock restaurant (run by Stephanie on Gansett Island), along with Mrs. Payne's sugar donuts, but I suspect the donut recipe is locked up at Fort Knox.

New England Clam Chowder

I had to search pretty hard for a recipe that didn't include canned clams. Really? That's not authentic clam chowder. Anyway, I found this one from the Dockside Guest Quarters and Restaurant in York, Maine.

1 quart shucked clams (add water if too dry)

1/3 pound salt pork

1 large onion, minced

2 ribs celery, minced

2 large potatoes, diced

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 quart of milk, scalded (may use half cream for thicker soup)

1/2 cup of butter

1/4 cup of flour

Salt and pepper

Drain and chop clams, reserving liquid (may substitute 5-pound can chopped clams). Fry salt pork in a heavy pan until all fat is rendered; add onions and celery and brown lightly. Add butter; melt. Blend in flour and stir constantly for 5 minutes. Add clams, potatoes, clam liquid, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook until the potatoes are tender. If desired, add fish and/or shellfish to make seafood chowder.

Serves: 4

Clam Fritters (also known in my family as Belly Bombers)

1 pt. clams
1 3/4 c. sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. milk
2 tsp. grated onion
1 tsp. butter

Drain clams and chop. Sift dry ingredients together. Combine egg, milk, onion, butter and clams. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Drop batter by teaspoons into deep fat at 350 degrees or fry. Serves 6.


Mary G said...

Hi Marie
I just started this series & I I'm loving it already. It has been so great to see the love that this series is getting. Must be so satisfying with so many people asking for more already. You deserve every success.

NicolesBlueEyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Felicia said...

I absolutely love the series. I think fool for love is my favorite book but Mac is my favorite man. I loved that you continued Mac and Maddie's story and that I got to read about their wedding. I also like how on each book I get more insight on past characters as well as future characters. I am definitely Team Abby. I would love to see them back together!

NicolesBlueEyes said...

I absolutely loved the entire series, reading each book in record time. I can't pick a favorite one.. The characters were so life like I couldn’t help but fall in love with all of them. I can’t wait to read more!

I think Joe is my favorite male character, sure Mac is great, but Joe was in love with Janey for so long... you couldn't help but cheer him on.
I think Abby's ship has sailed, it's time for Grant to move on...

Angel3 said...

I love, love Fool for Love. I think I read it 100 times already. Joe and Janey are my favorite couple and Joe my favorite man. I loved when Mac asked Joe what David said to him to set him off and he said " I believe it was Hello". Love him. The Mac/Joe friendship really comes through in this book too and I guess I can say that Mac is my favorite McCarthy!

Ronlyn said...

Good Morning all!
I very much enjoy the McCarthys of Gansett Island. In MfL I loved watching all the long held preconceived notions fall apart (or be yanked apart as the case may be). Watching the fall out when Mac showed up to take over Maddie's job at the hotel...ooooo, you just knew someone was going to get an earful!
The occasional "small-mindedness" of small town living came out and I liked seeing it squashed.
Fool for Love was so sweet. I don't know any other word to describe watching Joe and Janey finally come together and muddle their way through their own relationship together instead of having it be linked to Janey's brothers. When Joe told her he didn't want her to give up her dream for him and that he would go with her...~swoon~
And finally Ready for Love. This book was the toughest of the three for me simply because Sydney was living my worst nightmare. But watching her own healing as well as seeing more of Luke and figuring out a bit about what made him tick was wonderful. They probably had to fight the hardest for their relationship of the three couples which both broke my heart and made me cheer all the harder for them in the end.
Thank you Marie for taking us on this trip to Gansett Island. :-)

Angel3 said...

As for Team Abbby or Team Stephanie - I tuly don't know. I lean to Abby because she deserves happiness with Grant after waiting for him for so long, and so far Stephanie hasn't intrigued we'll see.
Plus, the Abby/Grant reminds me a little of Susie/Ryan from Line of Scrimmage, another great Marie Force book with compelling chracters.

Marie Force said...

Hi there!
Looks like we're off to a fun start with book club. I love hearing all your thoughts on the books!

Mary, glad you were able to dive into MFL in time for book club!

Felicia, ironically, Fool was the easiest to write. It just flew off the fingers for some reason. Team Abby, huh? Well, umm, I'm not giving anything away!

Nicole, I love Mac, too. He's so ham-headed sometimes the way men can be. I loved writing him in Ready when Maddie was in the hospital and he had a total freak out. The poor guy was no match for her! Another vote for Team Stephanie!

Angel, that is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. "I believe he said hello." Yep, that's all it took!

Thanks for coming by everyone! I'm so looking forward to today!

Karen W said...

I've said this to you before, but I love all your books. Both of your series are great and the best thing is how different they are. Can't even say which I prefer - but the McCarthys are what we're talking about, so for today, I will say they are my favorite! Mac is one of my favorites because of his wonderful family. I can't wait to get know his brothers better. I love a wise mother as I hope I am one to my four grown children. The setting makes me remember the vacations my family took to Clear Lake in Indiana many years ago. It also had me googling Block Island and trying to get an idea of life there. It would make a great vacation for someday. Are all those brothers going to be moving back home? I'd like to know how to do that - I'd love to have all my kids close too!

Joy said...

I think Mac and Maddie's story is still my favorite of the 3... maybe because theirs was more driven by fate (because Joe & Janey and Luke & Sydney had already known each other for so long). I love how the stories weave in so many little details about life on the island. I totally want to rent a beach house and vacation there!

As a dog lover, you totally killed me with the sick doggie storyline in Ready for Love. Talk about suspense!

Looking forward to more to come! I have to throw my vote to Team Stephanie. She seems to be an interesting and compelling character.

Lady Vale said...

Team stephany all the way! I didn't like Abby at all. I love this series Marie! Please write the next books in this series before any other! I need them now! Lol. You're the best! Kisses from your Uruguayan friend! Vale.

Marie Force said...

Thank you for that lovely recap and for all your help beta reading the series before it went live. I so appreciate all your insightful feedback!

I hear you about wanting your chicks close to the nest. Mine are still IN the nest and I am dreading the day they move out! I think all the brothers will find their way back to Gansett. We'll see!

As another dog lover, the sick dog story about killed me writing it! But I loved being able to bring Janey back in to save the day. That's a reality of island life--if the vet is off island, you punt. You have to work with what's available and make the best of it. Thanks so much for reading!

KaraT said...

I loved reading about your experiences on Block Island. You've given me a new item to add to my "bucket list"...visit Payne's Dock. Sounds wonderful and just my cup of tea.

Now on to the books...I haven't read Book 3 yet (it is on my list of things to do next week when my boys are at camp...all week long...Yipee!!!), but I can say that I love both Mac and Joe...don't know if I can pick a favorite. Will wait until I read Luke's story (his sounds just as intriguing as the first two).

I have to say that I love all your books...the first book I read was Line of a retreat I was attending. I was sitting down by the river, with my book in hand, under the trees...and absolutely engrossed in the story. You have kept me captivated since then.

Marie Force said...

Vale, so great to hear from you! Thanks for coming by! Another vote for Team Stephanie! I will be back to work soon on Grant and ?'s book. LOL! I can't give anything away!

Anonymous said...

I have read all three and loved them all. I think I liked Ready for Love the Best. Luke was so caring.

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much, Kara! So glad you enjoyed the first two. You've been with me since the beginning and I love having you as a reader! Thanks for popping into book club!

I hope all you new folks will join us on a regular basis!

Marie Force said...

Anon, thanks! I loved writing understated Luke. He was quite different from Mac and Joe, which made him fun to write.

So no one is choosing poor Big Mac! LOL! I was snickering as I added him to the list of men, but he is quite a sexy older dude in my mind. :-)

krisgils33 said...

Well, I have all three books, but have yet to read them. Can I blame it on my now dead Kindle???

Michelle said...

I just finished Maid For Love, I loved it. I can't help but feel for Maddie, to have something like that follow you around for so long - it couldn't be easy. Mac, such a typical male! His heart was trully in the right place but they never think things through properly, do they?
I'm loving the little island you have created and I'm looking forward to continuing on with the series :)

Thank you for sharing your characters and a little about your inspiration.

Mary Ann said...

I would have to say grant... Even though I LOVE all of them i would have to say him. I am for team steph, even though I would like to see him and abby have some sort of relationship in the next book! I cant wait for it to come out!!!

Ami said...

I have read each of these books several times! I will have to say that I really have enjoyed Mac and Maddie's characters and am excited to see how they continue to develop. What other characters do you plan on writing about in the series? I can't wait!

Mommy Wis(h)dom said...

Marie - Love this series! Joe/Janey were my favorite. The story was heart wrenching right from the start and I loved how much he loved her, all those years.

I gotta tell you though I am not a Tiffany fan so I'm nervous about liking a book for her.

One of my fave charachters is Mac. I can see him so clearly when you describe him. He is a steady character you can rely on to say/do the right thing everytime. His wife makes me crazy sometimes. It's so fun to meet and care about so many people in your books.

It blows my mind that people can care so much about characters you create in your mind and put on paper. They become so real in the readers mind and I think that is a true testament to your writing ability.

So when is Grant's book due out?

Marie Force said...

Yes, Kris, it's all the DOA Kindle's fault.

Marie Force said...

Michelle, absolutely typical! They always want to "fix" things. I was glad Maddie was able to see that his heart was in the right place--after she made him suffer for a while first of course! :-)

Mary Ann, I picture Grant as very suave and sexy, so good choice. He was also blessed with some of big brother Mac's cluelessness, so be ready for some of that from him too!

Ami, Grant, Evan, Tiffany and Adam will all get stories and I'm hoping to do a Christmas story too. We'll see if time permits this year. Thanks for reading!

Mommy, it blows my mind, too, believe me. People talk about the McCarthys, Sam and Nick from the Fatals and some of my other characters like they are real people. It's very flattering, believe me. Not sure on the timeline for Grant's book yet. I don't want to promise something I can't deliver, but I am hopeful for later this year. Thanks for coming by today!

oklanannie said...

Marie, the "Gansett Island" series is a wonderful "comfort" series. Each of these characters have found a place in my heart. I do adore Big Mac! He's the kind of man you can't help but like and admire . . . although sometimes I wish he would muzzle his wife a bit. The Island setting pulls me in and makes me wish I were right there reading these stories.

By the way, I love Grant and I hope he Stephanie will be his HEA. I, too, think Abby's "ferry" has sailed!!

Asking me to choose my favorite of the first three books is totally impossible. Each offer such a variation in the relationships and each have captivated me. In "Maid for Love," Maddie caught my admiration immediately. Being a single mom and living with the "blemished" reputation gossip would be difficult for anyone and Maddie just forged onward. She was responsible and diligent and deserved a man like Mac, who wowed me with his strengh and ability to overlook and stand strong against the gossip and his mother!! Most of all, Mac's immediate love for Maddie's child scored bigtime with me.

Joe is an amazing character in "Fool for Love." So in love with Janey and still able to want only what's best for her and what will make her happy. The relationship between Janey and Joe was a bit different because it was presented primarily from Joe's perspective. I liked this variation alot.

Luke and Sydney's story in "Ready for Love," put a dent in my kleenex supply. This was definitely the most emotionally heartwrenching read of the three books. Luke's need to comfort Sydney and yet deal with his own doubts and questions was so well written. I'm a sucker for an emotional roller coaster second chance at love relationship.

So, no favorite - I've enjoyed this series in its entirety and can't wait for my next visit to Gansett Island!!!

Beth said...

I haven't started this series yet but I would like to I loved Line of Scrimmage!!

Marie Force said...

Choosing the first winner of the day!

KAREN W! Choose a book from my backlist and contact me at for delivery!

Thanks for all the fun so far!

Kara C said...

Where did my post go? Grrrr... Technology is not my friend this week. Let's try this again.

I actually have in my notes from Maid for Love, "Love that man!" referring, of course, to Big Mac. And you didn't mention Ned. What's not to love about Ned? LOL!

Marie, you have already been told, probably repeatedly, that these books made me want to hop a plane immediately for RI. Now that my younger son is convinced that the state is large enough to have it's own airport, he is helping me plan this imaginary vacation. :-)

I'll be back later to chat about this great series. Congratulations, Marie, on introducing us to a whole new crop of characters to love!

Aly said...

I wish I had time to hang around and talk New England today but I don't! Hopefully later :)

But I did want to say that I love this series mostly b/c...well it is a series! It is often joked about that I am a series whore ;) OK well maybe it really isn't much of a joke! LOL!

I have to say that at this point Mac is still my favorite guy...although Luke is a very, very close second! But hell, I will take them all!!!

And Marie I have to ask...are they whole belly clams or strip clams? B/c you know that outside of New England, no one eats whole bellies! LMAO!

Sorry for my disjointed thoughts but I must get back to work. This being an adult thing really sucks!!

Marie Force said...

Anne, I loved reading your recap of the three books. I always appreciate your insightful comments. Thank you for reading and posting such lovely reviews, too!

Thanks Beth, hope you enjoy it! I still hear a lot about Line of Scrimmage three years after it came out. Ebooks give our books more life than they had when they were just in print.

Kara, I hope you make it to Block Island some day. It's such a peaceful place to visit. I love that Aaron thought RI was too small for an airport. LOL

Marie Force said...

What's that you say, Aly? You're a whore? LOL! I love a fun series, too, and somehow I find myself writing two of them--at the same time! ACK! It's fun, though! Yep, uh-huh, lots of fun. LOL!

I think the clam strips are appropriate for the chowder rather than the full bellies.

I also want to thank Aly and Kara for doing early readings of the McCarthy series and for providing feedback that made it better than it would've been otherwise.

Karen W said...

Now I really love the books!!! Thanks for the prize! (actually it didn't take winning for me to love them) Keep writing such great stories and I'll keep buying them and reading.

Marie Force said...

Karen, you've got a deal! Congrats on winning the first giveaway!

oklanannie said...

"Line of Scrimmage" -- the beginning! Maybe the Sandersons need a vacation to Gansett Island. Texas is awfully hot in the summertime. LOL!!!

cheryll said...

Love Mac & Maddie- and I think I'm for Team Stephanie- new beginnings for Grant. Love this series, looking forward to reading more!

Marie Force said...

LOL, Anne, Gansett would never be the same after Ryan was there!

Cheryll, I hear you on new beginnings! I think Grant is the one who might have to be convinced that he's in need of one. ;-)

JenM said...

Hi Marie - I just finished Ready for Love, so I'm all caught up on the McCarthys, but definitely ready for Grant (and Stephanie hopefully???). I think it's really hard to find a balance between giving glimpses of previous characters but still giving the current couple enough "face time" and I think you've done that really well. I loved seeing Mac/Maddie and Joe/Janey so well woven into the story.

As for my favorite hero, it's a tough choice, but I think I'll give the edge to Luke. He was just so caring and willing to put himself out there for Sydney, even though he knew she might not be ready. My favorite heroine is a toss-up between Maddie and Sydney. Both were so strong in getting on with their lives in spite of difficult circumstances.

krisgils33 said...

there is photographic evidence of you and the hackett in bed together, so there it is.

no self-respecting new englander eats clams without the bellies (so says the cape cod girl who eats no seafood at all).

Marie Force said...

Jen, I loved your comment and your reasoning behind your favorites. And I'm glad you liked the reappearance of earlier characters. That was something I wasn't sure about going into it, but I like the way it came together. I know some readers don't love so many points of view, but it was fun to write it that way. I probably will do more of that going forward to keep the earlier characters front and center.

LOL, Kris, is that so? Well, I mostly eat them in chowder and don't give too much thought to where they came from. I don't think the bellies make it into the chowder.

JennM said...

Hey, Marie-

I've written you in the past. I just had to comment that I LOVE your Gansett Island series.

Just my 2 cents here...but my fave couple is Mac/Maddie. Mac is to die for!

I can't wait for Grant's story and I was a little disappointed to kinda realize that I don't think he is going to end up with Abby? I really wanted them together but it sounds like Grant will be with Stephanie? Hmmm..... Can't wait to find out.

Thanks for the books, Marie!!!


Sharon B. said...

Hi Marie,
As you know I love your work and especially this series. As for favorite books, it has to be Maid for Love and I adore Mac so much and it's just such a wonderful story. However, Joe and Janey had an interesting story as well and you gotta love Joe sitting around waiting in the wings for year for her. What a guy! I had to laugh out loud when Francine and Ned got together in Ready for Love. I don't know if you remember but I wrote to you after reading Fool for Love and asked if they might have a romance. I love it when I can see characters together before they are! As for team Abby/team Stephanie. I have to go with Stephanie. I think that Abby's ship has sailed. I think this is WAY more to Stephanie than we've seen and she will turn out to be "the one". It's a gut feeling, but I tend to believe my gut! Thanks for keeping me so entertained. I simply can't wait until the next release!

Marie Force said...

Hey Jen,
Thanks for reading the Gansett series. I don't want to give anything away about what will happen in Grant's book, but I want to really shake up his life and his thinking on what's best for him. I won't tell you who he will end up with, but I can promise a fun ride as he figures it out.

YES, I remember smiling because I had already written Ned and Francine's burgeoning romance when you sent me that note. You called that one, girlfriend! There is definitely way more to Stephanie than meets the eye, and I can't wait to write her story. Thanks for stopping by book club today!

Marie Force said...

Let's talk favorite scenes... In all three books, I think my favorite is the one after Janey buys the condoms for Mac and her rant about Mrs. Gold. The idea of Mac having to get his sister to buy condoms for him made me laugh out loud when I wrote it, and that's the scene I always think of that sums up their family dynamic for me. I'll do anything for you, but ohhhh you will pay!

What was your favorite scene?

momof4 said...

I cant wait for the next installment of the Mccarthys because the characters are so lovable and you can see people you know who are similar in your life who might act or do some of the same things. I have read all your books that are out and love each and everyone so far.keep writing cant wait for more.

Jacque M. said...

Hi Marie- as I told you before I love love love the series! My favorite is Maid for love. I love Maddie!!! My favorite scenes are when Mac went to work for Maddie(the really bad room he had to clean) too funny, also when Janey buys his condoms! I am definately team abby! Can't wait to read the rest of the brothers...Hopefully :)

Angel3 said...

OMG Marie, we have talked about this before but my favorite scene in the whole series is probably the Janey/Mac condom exchange as well. Hilarious!!! I love that these books are so relatable, like these characters are real people that we may actually know.

Marie Force said...

I loved when Mac went to work for Maddie. That was so fun and the confrontation with his mom was fun to write, too! Thanks for reading!

Yes, I remember that scene was your favorite too! Thanks for coming by today!

Laura T. said...

I just finished the Gansett Island series and am anxiously awaiting the next installment on Grant. The dynamics of Grant and Abby's relationship intrigues me, perhaps because I've been in the same situation. I feel Grant needs to move on to another relationship. Stephanie is an interesting character and I look forward to learning more about her background. I envision Steph being quite the challenge for Grant, offering him a new perspective on love he ultimately realizes he needs...a breathe of fresh air in his life. However, I would like to see Grant and Abby come to some type of agreeable closure on their past. Since their lives and mutual friendships are interconnected, it would be nice to see them get to place of friendship.

I also like the format of "Ready for Love" because of the continued story lines on the beloved characters. Thanks for this!!!

And I have to say my favorite male character is...Joe. Mac made my heart beat faster, but Joe made me all gooey inside. I believe I fell in love with him...just a little bit! Now if he would give up those damn cigarettes! LOL!

Question: Marie, what time of year is the best to visit Block Island? My family and I are seriously considering it as a vacation destination. Your description of it reminds me of Mackinaw Island, but with vehicles!

- Laura T.

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much for your insightful review! I am so glad you've enjoyed the series so much. I love all the guys, but Joe really does it for me, too. :-)

I agree about Grant needing a fresh perspective, but I'm not so sure that this very smart in life guy is going to be as smart in love. I guess we will see.

Best time to visit Block Island is June - September, but it's pricey. Plan your trip at least a year in advance and just a warning to expect some sticker shock that time of year, but that's the best time to be there. I wouldn't want to be on the ferries in the off-season. Too rough for me! Let me know if you make it there and what you think of it.

Joy said...

Oh I hadn't realized that Big Mac was on the list! I was going to suggest him anyway - something about him being an all-around good guy, nurturer, older & wiser, and being able to speak his mind and still make people feel comfortable about making their own choices... he seems like everyone's best friend and the original Gansett Island hunk.

Marie Force said...

Exactly Joy! Yes! I want to come up with a story for him and Linda in future books. Pondering that. :-)

Anonymous said...

I just got them recently on my new nook. Haven't had chance to read them yet. But I know I will love them.

Judy F

Marie Force said...

Time for another giveaway....

MOMOF4 contact me at to claim the book of your choice from my backlist!

Marie Force said...

Thanks, Judy! Love your Google handle--dustmuffin! LOL

Lisa Filipe said...

Ok....So I really loved the first book, Mac and Maddie were so cute together...and I liked Luke and Sydney's story, sad but I was happy they were able to find each other again. But I think it is Joe that holds a special place in my heart. He loved Janey for so long and he finally got what he wanted after all that time. They are such a cute couple.

I am a huge fan of Tiffany, she was just so bitter for such a young person and I knew there had to be a story there for her...I hope she gets all that she desires I know Marie will take care of her.

And as for Grant...ahhhh...I like Stephanie for him, because Abby was tired of waiting for him and finally found someone great, and the Dr. sounds fiiiiiine himself. We will have to wait and see. But the series is so much fun and Im really enjoying getting to know all the characters!

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much for reposting your comment for book club! I'm so glad you're a fan of Tiffany's. I have a feeling I'm going to have to work extra hard on her book because she's been a bit of a pill in the earlier installments. I will try to do right by her!

I have a particularly fun idea for Evan that I am really looking forward to writing. Fun fun fun ahead for the McCarthys!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marie,
So far I have enjoyed all of the books in this series but I think Joe and Janey are my favorite so far. I am definitely on team Stephanie for Grant :)She seems like she could use something good in her life.
I love all of your books thanks for keeping me so entertained!!

Marie Force said...

Hi Anon,
I agree Stephanie is due for a break, but will she get it with Grant? Hmmmm! I am being cagey, I know. Wait until you get a load of the back story I have in mind for her--whoa! :-) Looking forward to it.

Joy said...

I loved the foreshadowing about Stephanie's background in Ready for Love... I think the line was: "What was THAT all about..."
Got me saying hmmmmmm....

Michelle said...

I just finished Fool For Love... I'm really glad Janey finally has someone who respects her and will treasure her forever.

I don't think I'll get to read any more tonight (it's 11pm). Hubby put the boys to bed so I could finish the book in peace! :)

Looking forward to seeing what happens next

ophelia said...

Hi, Marie! Can't say enough how much I love this series. What an amazing cast of characters you have created and I can't wait for Grant's book. I'm definitely Team Abby. I want Grant to have the love of his life. And as to who is my favorite guy - that's hard because they're all great but I have to choose Joe. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Marie. dustmuffin is from my old cat Dusty. I used to call her my dustmuffin. I miss her.

Judy f

Jeanne M said...

Marie -
I didn't realize you were a Block Islander at heart. I live in Wakefield and my oldest son lived on Block Island for a few years. He's a stone and brick mason so I'm sure that you've seen some of his beautiful work on the island.

We are a block from Indian Lake (of the Cowsills fame) and live 2 miles from Narragansett Beach but the trip by ferry to Block Island is a must and not to be missed.

I grew up in up-state New York so I'll be considered a Swamp Yankee even though my husband and I moved
here in in 1971 and his great-great-great grandfather was a colonial governer of Rhode Island (his Mom was a Fenner).

I can't wait to read the series and I'm sure will recognize some of the locals in your characters! They are all unforgetable. Thanks for bringing a little bit of Rhode Island lore to people who think the State of Rhode Island is an island and that people should visit Block Island as well as Newport and not to miss Water Fire (and the Italian restaurants in Providence) while they are here!

Mary G said...

It's been great reading all the comments. It'll give me fun stuff to look forward to.

Marie Force said...

LOL Joy! I'll never tell...

Michelle, tell hubby we said thank you for putting the kids to bed tonight. :-) Glad you enjoyed Fool!

Ophelia, the love of Grant's life is still up in the air, or is it? Hmmm... So glad you're enjoyed the series. It's so fun to write! Thanks for reading!

Judy, I love that. Dustmuffin. Like me calling Brandy Brandana or Branderson Cooper. :-) Nice way to honor your Dusty.

Jeanne, you live so close to me! And I love that you know Block Island so well. It's great to have a fellow Rhode Islander in the group. My husband likes to tease me every time the newscasters compare an oil spill or tornado damage to an "area the size of the state of Rhode Island." LOL. Thanks for dropping by book club. Hope you like the books and feel like you're visiting a place a lot like Block Island.

Mary, can't wait to hear what you think of the McCarthys! :-)

marybelle said...

Amazing books: Team Abby for me. I'm not fussed by the New England Clam Chowder though. Not a favorite.


Amy said...

Hi Marie and fellow vicarious Gansett Islanders from beautiful rural Washington State--

I love this series. But I adore Marie's work (BTW - "Fatal Consequences" is terrific. It was a great way to spend a Monday). I think the men we've met so far are all really appealing. I love Mac's sense of responsibility and his acceptance of Maddie. I love Joe's support and loyalty to Janie and her dreams. But I think I love Luke's silent fidelity, forgiveness, and nurturing of Sydney the most. Although the thought of a windswept Joe, wearing a navy pea coat, boots, and smoking a clove at the helm of a ferry can make my inner nineteen-year-old swoon, my dearest hope for the series is that Sydney gets her tubal ligation reversed and they have little Luke Jr. together. Just sayin'.

As far as the series goes, I've given a fair amount of thought to the Abby vs. Stephanie argument. While reading RfL, I really wanted Abby to jump into Grant's arms and for all to be hunky dory. However, I wonder if that's best for Abby. If one needs to wait and acquiesce and accept all of the whims and desires of their partner and that partner doesn't see the light, is that person really the one for you? That is, if Abby has to wait out Grant and give ultimatums to him and leave him in order for him to appreciate her value, then she would be selling herself short by accepting him. I don't think someone should need that much convincing to realize their love for another. That being said, I think Grant and Stephanie should have a go. I'm more than anxious to hear her back story. Sounds juicy!!!

Have a good one!

Amber said...

I love this series for so many reasons. The love stories are beautiful and I love that in each book the men have to fight for their women in some way. What I love most though is that through these stories you have made us feel like a part of the McCarthy family as well as part of Gansett island. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

Marie Force said...

Thanks Mom of 4. Did you see that you won the second giveaway yesterday? Contact me at to claim your prize.

Amy, I love your thinking on the Stephanie vs Abby debate. It is something I have been giving a lot of thought to as well. LOL on your image of Joe the seafaring captain. Swoon is right! Thank you for reading FC and for letting me know you enjoyed it! I love to hear that! :-)

Amber, I am so glad you feel a part of the McCarthy family, and I too love to read books where the guys have to fight for the woman they love. I am told that's my "pattern" with my heroes, which is fine. My readers seem to dig it. :-) Thanks so much for reading and for coming by book club!

Thanks to everyone who made McCarthy day on the blog so fun! We're digging into the Fatal Series in two weeks, so I hope you'll come back for more discussion and prizes! I can't tell you how much it means to me that you all have embraced the McCarhtys the way you have. I will confess that Maid for Love was rejected all over publishing, and I was very nervous about putting it out on my own in light of all the rejection. Now I just have to say, well, I was right and THEY were all wrong. I know what my readers want from me, and I plan to give you much more of it in the future, so thank you so much for the lovely support and friendship!

One more giveaway before we sign off for this week, and it goes to....

JOY! Contact me at to choose your book from my backlist.

Thanks everyone! xoxoxo

Kalina said...

Hi Marie!

My favorite book was Maid for Love. The way Mac genuinely wanted to make right his wrong doings. It was so sweet.
I am excited to hear that you are going to continue the series. I am definitely looking forward to hearing more about the McCarthys. As for Grant, I am leaning towards Team Stephanie. Abby seems to have found happiness with her fiance. Sometimes if you love the person enough you have to let them go. Either way I can't wait for the next book!

Marie Force said...

Hi Kalina,
Thanks for coming by to say hello. So glad you enjoyed Maid for Love and that you're looking forward to more from the McCarthys! I can't wait to get to work on the next installment. Thanks for your vote on Stephanie vs. Abby! I hope you all approve of what I've got planned for Grant....

The Brewers said...

I absolutely love when authors create characters that i fall in love with and miss when I'm done reading about and places that I look up online to see if they exist so I can visit....thank you, Marie for creating these characters that I am missing so please hurry and bring them back for a visit!!!

Lucy Z. said...

I LOVE this series. Ready to Love was probably my favorite and that's saying alot since I've loved them all so much. I think I liked it so much because you incorporated so many of the previous stories in there and I felt like we got to see Mac, Maddie, Joe and Janey (and of course the others) some more and watched their stories unfold more...which usually doesn't happen in continuation stories. The older characters are maybe mentioned but their stories aren't really continued. Thank you so much! I can't read to hear about Grant and Stephanie ;)

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much, Lucy! So glad you're enjoying the series. Looking forward to writing the next book!

Laura said...

I have fallen in love with the series and CANNOT wait for book 4...when can we expect it? :)
Hard to pick one but I guess my favorite so far is Joe and Janey (love the loving from afar for so long). Couldn't help but like and love him!
Have to say I am team that Grant is already intrigued by her! And boy does she have a back story to tell...though I am thinking it is very sad and/or tragic.
Anxiously waiting for this one!

Marie Force said...

Hi Laura,
No timeframe on the new McCarthy book. Hoping for later this year, but no promises yet. :-) Thanks so much for reading. So glad you're enjoying the series.

I think Joe is my favorite of the guys, too, and YES, Stephanie has a heck of a back story. Can't wait to write it! Thanks for reading.

Jen said...


This is my first time leaving a comment but I could not resist. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series. My favorite guy has got to be Mac. I just fell completely in love with him. I am so glad that you continue their stories in your other books. I am just beginning Luke and Sydney's story. I am looking forward to future books in this series.

New England Girl said...

I absolutely love this series and can't wait for the fourth installment. Is it coming out soon?

Marie Force said...

Thanks for the comment NE Girl. Not soon, but hopefully in the next few months!

Anonymous said...

HI Marie -

I am new to your work and LOVE all your books! I have been on a Marie Force reading binge and love the depth of emotions you bring to your characters. I was very intrigued by Grant and Abby and hope we get to see their romance play out! I agree that it seems like she has moved on but sometimes you never know what you had until you've lost it! I hop Grant realizes the errors of his ways and goes after her! No matter who he ends up, I know I will enjoy reading it!

Marie Force said...

Hi Anon,
Thanks for your post. I'm so glad you enjoy my books and you're looking forward to Grant's book! Falling for Love will be out in mid-January! I hope you like who ends up with! :-)

Melanie said...

Will there be a book regarding Laura and Owen? I read all 4 books in the series within a week. I'm waiting for Evan's book to be published!

Marie Force said...

Laura and Owen's story will unfold slowly over several books. I don't expect to give them their own book.

Jeanette said...

I just stumbled upon your Gansett Island series through Amazon-- loving my Kindle and I am completely hooked on to your books! I love how I can catch up with characters from previous books. Very few authors actually do that. Thank you!! I love Mac and Maddie's story, but I just finished reading Evan's story-there were some funny moments. Loved all your books- can't wait to read Tiffany's story. Do you know when that might be coming out? Later this year?

Marie Force said...

Hey Jeanette,
Thanks for your note. So glad you're enjoying the McCarthy series. I hope to get Owen and Laura's book out by June at the latest. We'll see!

In the meantime, if you want to join our McCarthy reader group on Facebook, the address is Also, please send me an email at to join the mailing list so you'll be notified when new books become available.

Thanks again for reading!

Jessica said...

Marie- I just happened to download your free book on Kindle, and as I started reading I said, hmm this sounds a lot like Block Island! What an amazing coincidence as my parents have a cottage there and I spend many weekends there. Love reading this series and love all the island references!

Marie Force said...

So glad you discovered the McCarthys and could see the parallels to Block Island. It's such a great place to while away a summer day! Thanks for reading and for writing to me! If you'd like to join my mailing list for news of future books, send an email to Thanks!

Anonymous said...

The McCarthys of Gansett Island Series... LOVE, LOVE LOVE IT!

Belinda Schnabel said...

Hey girls!!!
I just started reading this series last week and I haven't dared to stop! I just finished "Ready For Love" and I can't wait to start "Falling For Love"!!! Actually, I can't wait to finish the whole series and go back and start all over! I know there will be sooo much that I missed the first time through!

Marie, I love the world you've created in this Gansett Island series! There's such a deep sense of community, family, and LOVE!!! There's so much about this rich environment you've crafted, I just know I'll have to read each book AT LEAST(!) a dozen more times to get the full extent of the series!

I have to say, so far, my favorite character is Riley (the two-legged German Shepard)!!! The way he appreciates Janey and the home she's given him is inspiring! I just love how he's so protective of her!!
Although, Buddy made a strong case for being top dog in "Ready"! The way he reacted to seeing Thomas made me quiver with emotion! That poor guy has been through so much!!! It felt soooo good seeing him just be able to be a dog again! Chasing tennis balls on the beach, and burying dead birds! But poor Riley can't do any of that-cause he only has two legs-so he's still my #1 guy!!!

Anyway, I can't wait to discover what the rest of this series has in store! I just loveloveLOVE it!!!!!!!!!!

Marie Force said...

Thanks Belinda! Hope you continue to enjoy the McCarthys. Much more to come from Gansett! Make sure you check out my other books too, including Fatal Affair, book 1 in the Fatal Series, which is FREE this month! :-)