Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Straight Chatting From the Library: Between Land and Sea by Joanne Guidoccio

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Joanne will be awarding a $75 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click the tour banner for all the dates -- the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

A mermaid is aged beyond recognition and must reinvent herself.

What are you reading right now?

I am reading This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett’s latest collection of articles, essays and speeches.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don’t worry—Librarian Judith won’t hold it against you—much)

In my early twenties, I discovered the world of bookmarks and started collecting and using them. Prior to that, well...

When do you do most of your reading?

I love reading right before going to bed, a lifelong habit that I have been unable to break. Sitting and reading during the day simply does not appeal to me, not even in retirement. I associate the daytime hours with work and tend to read online posts and articles pertaining to writing or current events.

Favorite place to read?

I love reading in my den. Originally, I had intended the second bedroom to be an office, but found the small space too confining. It’s perfect for late night reading. Surrounded by family pictures, overflowing bookshelves, diplomas and Monet prints, I can stretch out on my comfortable sofa and read for hours on end.

Favorite genre?

I have eclectic tastes and enjoy reading contemporary women’s fiction, cozy mysteries, historical fiction, self-help and memoirs.

Favorite book to recommend?

I find it hard to limit myself to one book, so I will recommend my top five during the past year:

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro
The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
The State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

How do you keep your books organized?

I have two bookcases in my den and one in my living area. I don’t use the Dewey Decimal System or even follow alphabetical order. Instead, I group my books thematically. In the living area, I have recent best-sellers, history and art books, while self-help and all other genres are in the den.

What would make you not finish a book?

I use the first chapter of every book as a litmus test. If the author has not been able to “hook” me, I stop reading. Several friends have accused me of being too harsh, but I counter with the following argument: There are so wonderful books out there. Classics I haven’t read. Classics I wish to reread. Memoirs of inspiring women. My reading time is limited, and I refuse to waste it on books that fail to move me.

Keep books or give them away?

As a book reviewer, I receive many ARCs. Several times a year, I gather these books and redistribute them among friends, relatives, and retirement and nursing homes. Periodically, I revisit all my books and give away any that I haven’t read or plan to reread. In spite of these purges, my book shelves are still overflowing.

After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged beyond recognition. The horrified banker abandons her on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England, leaving her to face a difficult human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, Isabella evolves into the persona of Barbara Davies. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers.


Isabella stumbled as she got out of bed and tried to balance herself on the stumps that now served as permanent legs. She willed herself not to cry as she recalled the magnificent tail that had been the envy of the Mediterranean kingdom. Her mother and grandmother had also been blessed with the same tail. Now only Annabella held this birthright.

She heard her stomach growl and thought longingly of her favorite kelp dish. She closed her eyes and visualized the steaming goodness that would satisfy her hunger. And then she remembered that she could no longer manifest her desires.

No more powers. No more comfort and ease.

Her lips trembled as she looked about the small, neat room filled with large wooden pieces and smaller metallic ones. She tried to move one of the larger pieces and then gave up in frustration. Andrew had promised her a beautiful home with servants, and now she must live this life of ordinary humans.

The flickering of a green light caught her attention. She approached and noticed the tablet lying on one of the wooden surfaces. It was blinking at her. Tentatively, she touched the green light. The blinking stopped and a smiling face materialized.

“Greetings, Isabella. I am Lisa738. Annabella has asked me to guide you through your orientation.”

Isabella frowned and tried to recall her connection to this lowly mermaid from the Numbers class.


In high school, I dabbled in poetry, but decided to wait until I had more life experiences before writing a novel. The original plan was to get a general arts degree and take a few years off to travel and write. Instead, I gave in to my practical Italian side and obtained degrees in mathematics and education.

While I experienced many satisfying moments during my teaching career, I never found the time and energy to write. In 2008, I took advantage of early retirement. Slowly, a writing practice emerged and my articles and book reviews started appearing in newspapers, magazines and online.

My debut novel, Between Land and Sea, a paranormal romance about a middle-aged mermaid, was released by Soul Mate Publishing on September 18, 2013.

I live and write in Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne…







YouTube (Trailer #1):

YouTube (Trailer #2):

Buy Link:



  1. Thanks for hosting me, Judith :)

  2. Love that you share with others the wealth of books in your collection of ARCs, etc. A book shared is a book with new life!

    1. I find the people at retirement and nursing homes the most appreciative. I love adding to the small libraries in those institutions. Thanks for dropping by, Linda :)

  3. I agree with you, the first chapter needs to hook me or I drop it. Too many books, too little time! Will pick yours up:)

    1. Thanks Anne! Happy reading :)

  4. I will usually read beyond the first chapter, I've found some gem's that way, but not often.

    1. That's very kind and generous of you, Karen. Thanks for dropping by :)

  5. Great interview, I enjoyed learning more about you.

  6. Great interview! Thanks for sharing it and the book. Sounds like a really good book. Wishing everyone a wonderful and magical holiday season! evamillien at gmail dot com

  7. Thanks, Eva. Good luck with the giveaway :)

  8. Great interview!
    Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
    Sounds like a great read!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Natasha :)

  9. That's a great 10 word description of your book.
    AND, I'm a librarian and I don't organize my books by Dewey or LC. I pretty much group them like you do. LOL.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. It's reassuring to hear that we share the same "thematic" method of organizing books. Thanks for dropping by, Catherine :)

  10. I love the premise of your book - if only we could turn back aging. :) I too love to read quite a variety of books in many genres. Congratulations on your book, Joanne.

    1. It would be wonderful to reverse the years and attempt a few do-overs. Thanks for dropping by, Maggie :)

  11. The story line sounds fabulous.


    1. Thanks Mary! Good luck with the giveaway :)