Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff


From the book’s front cover:

“A luminous love story that readers won’t soon forget…at once
heartbreaking and triumphant—an affirmation of love in all its forms.” 

– EMILY GIFFIN, Bestselling Author of Love The One You’re With

Occasionally The Divining Wand presents a bonus book, from someone other than our authors, and today it’s Jeffrey Stepakoff’s fiction debut, Fireworks Over Toccoa, which will be released on Tuesday, March 30, 2010.

Claimed as “The next great love story,” the novel is described by the following:

Every so often a story comes along that reminds of what it’s like to experience love for the first time – against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

Lily was married for just days before her husband was sent abroad to fight in WWII. Now, he and the other soldiers are returning, and the small town of Toccoa, Georgia plans a big celebration. But a handsome and kind Italian immigrant, responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned, captures Lily’s heart and soul. Torn between duty to society and her husband, and a poor, passionate man who might be her only true love—Lily must choose between a love she never knew and a commitment she’d already made.

Poignant and elegant, Fireworks Over Toccoa is a mosaic of all the emotions that only love can make possible.

The Publishers Weekly review also offers this favorable summation:

“For sure, forbidden love’s been done to death, but Stepakoff’s spellbinding descriptions of Jake’s unusual line of work and the lush countryside of northern Georgia, the unexpected plot twists, and a surprise ending give this story plenty of oomph.”

There is more Praise for this debut love story written by Stepakoff, a veteran television writer. In fact, by reading the Author page on his website, you’ll discover that you may have watched many of his shows:

“Jeffrey has ‘“written by”’ or ‘“story by”’ credits on thirty-six television episodes, has written for fourteen different series and has worked on seven primetime staffs, producing hundreds of hours of internationally-recognized television, including the Emmy-winning THE WONDER YEARS, SISTERS, WILD CARD, HYPERION BAY, THE MAGIC SCHOOL, C16: FBI, ROBIN’S HOODS, LAND’S END, FLIPPER, SONS & DAUGHTERS, MAJOR DAD, THE YAKOV SMIRNOFF SHOW, BEAUTY & THE BEAST, HAVE FAITH, SIMON& SIMON, and DAWSON’S CREEK where he was Co-Executive Producer.”

Impressive indeed, yet a few years ago, Stepakoff returned to hometown of Atlanta, where he lives with his wife and three young children, and began writing Fireworks Over Toccoa.

The backstory of any writing can prove to be almost as fascinating as the completed work and this is true of the author’s ideas, research and ultimate writing process — all explained in a Letter From Jeffrey Stepakoff. By reading this, it’s understandable how the vivid details of this book transport a reader back to a small Georgia town for the four days of June 30 – July 4, 1945.

Why not experience 112 pages of this story for yourself? Now, until the publication date of March 30th, an Enhanced Excerpt is online.

Traveling back to that small southern town and simpler time will likely enchant a reader. Jeffrey Stepakoff knows how to draw an audience in with lush description, evocative glimpses of physical attraction, and cultural mores/traditions of the past. As someone who discovered Robert Waller’s The Bridges of Madison County long before its bestsellers days, I recognized the feel of rhythm and tone lulling readers to fall in love along with the characters.

And, while not wanting to compare the books, there is a difference. “Bridges” told a tale about a once-in-a-lifetime, mature, and passionate love, while Fireworks Over Toccoa tells of a heartbreaking, first true love. Does it matter or is love, love?

Fireworks Over Toccoa is a springtime escape, a wonderful beach read, and/or a perfect spring/summer selection for Book Clubs. Then, of course, there’s always the movie…

FTC Full Disclosure – My review copy came from the publisher, with hopes I would review it.

2 thoughts on “Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

  1. Wow, this does sound like a great read! I love a book that makes me think, “What would I do in that same situation?”. You are young and you marry a young man right before he goes off to war (you hear stories of this all the time, people rushing into marriage before war for so many different reasons), he lives and comes home to you but your heart has already been claimed by someone else. Do you do the honorable thing as defined by our society, or do you do what is right for you? I will have to look for this book and pick it up!
    Thanks for the review!
    Colleen (

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