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Reaching For Tomorrow by Lou Rossi is a Shake Off Winter Doldrums pick #womensfiction #mustread #giveaway


Title: Reaching For Tomorrow


Author: Lou Rossi


Genre: Women's Fiction


Book Blurb:


Maria Grady leads a lonely, unfulfilled life. She lives and works under the shadow of her Italian American family in Hoboken, New Jersey during the 1980’s. Driven by her search for love, respect, and happiness, she makes a series of bad choices that result in her receiving a prison sentence. Maria is confronted by blatant racism and bigotry in the criminal justice system that she never knew existed in her comfortable family. Incarceration at the only female State Prison in New Jersey is frightening, especially if you are the obsession of a sadistic Lieutenant. Confronted by a criminal justice system that is racist, cruel, and unforgiving, she accepts her new life and strives to help those less fortunate than herself. 



      “Maria Grady, you are hereby sentenced to the New Jersey Department of Corrections for a period of life with a thirty-year mandatory minimum.” Maria bowed her head as the sheriff’s officers allowed her father to say goodbye to her before they escorted her out of the courtroom to the area where the transportation officers would assume custody of her. The judge banged his gavel, asking for silence as Maria was escorted from the courtroom.


      Maria cried for another half hour while the transportation officers drove her to the facility. Finally, they turned off the highway. She had never been to Bedminster, and she thought that the people who lived there must be rich. The houses were more like estates, the town quaint and sophisticated.


      When they pulled up to a light, a Mercedes Benz with a woman and a child in the car seat in the back stared at her. Maria smiled at the child, and she smiled back. Naïve and untouched by the world. Maria thought the child did not realize she was smiling at a convicted murderer.


      They drove for another five minutes outside of town. Then the van turned onto a long road. To the side was a sign, out of view of the public, indicating they had arrived at the women’s prison. How bad could it be? Maria thought. Then she recalled her first days in the Mercer County Jail. She had been beaten so badly that she had to be taken to the hospital for stitches and X-rays.


      They pulled up to the gate, and the officer took the identification from the transportation officers. He stared at Maria, realizing she was the high-profile case they had been expecting. Twenty-one county jails in New Jersey fed female inmates to that facility. In addition to being the reception center for all female prisoners who received sentences longer than 364 days, it was the sole facility for state- sentenced women in New Jersey. 


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):




 What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?


Cooking Italian food and sharing it with my family and friends. Telling stories of growing up in New Jersey and our crazy Italian family!


Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?


A young woman has an awakening of the spirt under the most difficult of circumstances. It is a difficult journey that becomes a blessing in many ways, even with living life on life's terms. It symbolizes growth and possibilities. Like spring and summer coming!


Giveaway –


One lucky reader will win a $35 Amazon gift card



Open internationally.


Runs March 1 – 31, 2024


Drawing will be held on April 1, 2024. 


Author Biography:


Lou Rossi is a retired law enforcement professional living at the Jersey Shore. He has extensive law enforcement experience in the criminal justice system.


Social Media Links:




Lisa J Lickel
Lisa J Lickel
Mar 22

The story sounds so intriguing!


Mar 07

I read a lot of holiday romances!


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Mar 05

Thank you, Lou, for sharing your book in our Shake Off Winter Doldrums!

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