Fireworks Over Toccoa
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Fireworks Over Toccoa

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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,397 ratings  ·  333 reviews
Every so often that story comes along that reminds us 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.

An unexpected discovery takes eighty-four-year-old Lily Davis Woodward to 1945, and the five days that forever changed her life. Married for only a week before...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Angelc
I received an ARC copy of this book for review from the publisher.

"Fireworks over Toccoa" is a well-paced love story destined to be on the big screen. The author definitely makes use of his script-writing and producing credits because this book clips right along at the fast pace found in movies and television.

In her 80's, Lily isn't sure her granddaughter Colleen is as happy in her relationship as she wants everyone to think. When the two ladies find a long lost formula for a firework called Lil...more
Jason Huffman-black
Being from Georgia, I felt at home in the places described, understood the sultry heat, unhurried lifestyle, and unspoken Southern rules described by the author.

Jeffrey Stepakoff weaves a story both jubilant and heart wrenching that left me quietly holding the book once the last page was turned, feeling somehow that it deserved contemplation while I brushed the threat of a tear away. I didn't just become invested in these characters, they became family, and leaving them at the end of the book t...more
Christy B
I was teetering between three and four stars to rate this, until it made me CRY. Crying = automatic five stars. It is rare for a book to make me cry. I probably can count how many times I've cried over a book on one hand.

People are comparing this to Nicholas Sparks, but as I have never read him, I won't.

I read this in about a day; it was a fast read, but by no means a light one. This book proves the term 'quality over quantity'.

It tells the story of Lily Davis, married just three weeks when her...more
Kipi
Mar 19, 2010 Kipi rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2010, arc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Lily Davis was only 17 when she married a boy she had known for a short time. He was shipping out to WWII soon as a supply man for Coca-Cola and it seemed like the thing to do before he went away. Three years later, her hometown of Toccoa, Georgia has scheduled a big homecoming party for all the returning soldiers, including parades and fireworks. Lily stumbles into Jake Russo, the fireworks man, as he's setting up his show and he opens up a world of possibilities for her.

This just isn't my kind...more
Deb
I wanted to like this book, especially since it was the first one I've won from the goodreads giveaways!

I started reading it when waiting on my computer (for reboots, downloads, etc.), thinking that once I got into it, I'd take it to my comfy chair for "serious reading" time.

I finished it at my computer.

One caveat--I generally do not read romance. I don't have a basis of comparison on whether this is a typical book for the genre or not. I found the characters to be flat. Lily, the circa 1945 bel...more
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
I had this book on my wishlist, ever since I saw it on someone's blog, so I was pretty excited to receive this one for review! The excitement wasn't misplaced either. This book delivered!

My opinion
Fireworks over Toccoa spans four days in the lives of Lily Woodward and Jake Russo. Lily had been married three years to a man she lived only a couple of weeks with, before her husband, Paul, was sent to Europe to serve in the war. Anticipating Paul's return, Lily is nervous realizing that she is no lo...more
April
I don't often read contemporary adult romance. Not necessarily because I don't enjoy it, but because I tend to enjoy young adult romance more. I see a book with Nicholas Sparks' named emblazoned on the top though, and feel sort of turned off, he's just not the right author for me. I cannot get into his books, but a few of my friends can. I approached Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffery Stepakoff with trepidation. The plot piqued my interest, but one of the cover blurbs mentioned Nicholas Sparks, wh...more
Teechbiz
I think this is a good book about forbidden love set in WWII
Amy
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.


FIREWORKS OVER TOCCOA opens with an elderly woman named Lily recognizing an artifact from her past in a local museum. It is a "recipe" for a very special firework named after her. The discovery brings back many memories and Lily tells her story to her granddaugther and the museum director. At the end of WWII, small town royalty Lily Davis Woodward awaits the return of her husband who she hasn't seen in three years when he left for the wa...more
Paul Pessolano
If you enjoy fiction/literature and romance you will definately enjoy "Fireworks Over Toccoa". If you enjoy a novel that encompasses southern life and southern morals, you will enjoy this book.

"Fireworks Over Toccoa" starts with the discovery of a glass bottle in Lake Hartwell that has not been opened since the late 1940's. An item inside the jar unlocks the forgotten life of Lily Davis.

Jeffrey Stepakoff brings to the reader a stunning story of life in a rural Georgia town that is suddenly swept...more
Betty-Anne
I am not a regular reader of romance-themed books, because all too often I find that they are mere formulaic repetitions of hundreds which have gone before. Nevertheless, I took a chance with Jeffrey Stepakof’s Fireworks Over Toccoa because the description caught at me with the promise of something different. At least partly, the book did deliver.

The story takes place during an unnamed present, and the period toward and after the end of WWII. The main character, Lily Woodward marries her sweethe...more
Siobian
Fireworks Over Toccoa begins with the discovery of a long-lost gift given to Lily Davis Woodward when she was twenty. Lily, who is now eighty-four, begins to tell the story of four days in 1945 that changed her life forever. At the end of WWII, Lily was excited because her husband was returning home from serving three years in the war, but she was also apprehensive because they had spent but two weeks as a married couple before Paul was shipped out. While preparing for Paul's return, Lily meets...more
Virginia Campbell
"Fireworks Over Toccoa", by Jeffrey Stepakoff, is just like life itself--either more or less than what you expect, but never exactly what you anticipate. At times I wasn't sure if I liked it, and then on the next page the story line would turn around and be completely captivating. I did like the characters very much. Lily Davis is a young Southern woman cultivated by her mother, Honey, to be a society belle. Her father, Walter, with whom Lily shares some private family jokes, lets her mother rul...more
Tawnya
Last night was our grand book club where we read Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff. I signed up for the ARC of the books through a book club sponsor with 5minutesforbooks.com. And, as my friend Lora said, it was great that we got the books if only to appreciate it when we choose GOOD books from now on...

There are several questions we needed to consider per our sponsorship and I'll cover those, first, and then get into what everyone thought of the book.

1. Was this a good bookclub book? I...more
Amy
"Every so often that story comes along that reminds us 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."

SPOILER...Sort of:

WELL EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT SHE IS ALREADY MARRIED, HER FIRST TIME LOVE SPANS A WHOPP'N four days, and the passion has not changed me forever.

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy into the I met you, know you for 4 days (one of which is the day he left ... and he didn...more
Kelly Moran
Author Jeffrey Stepakoff has a MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Melon. His television credits include the Emmy-winning Sisters, The Wonder Years, Major Dad, Tarzan, and Dawson's Creek (as a co-executive producer). This is his debut novel, with Billion-Dollar Kiss following. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his family.

Colleen finds herself at a crossroads in her life. She is engaged to be married to a handsome doctor, who wishes only to provide her the perfect house to begin their perfect lif...more
Stacey Lucky


I don't think he loved you that much Lilly..only took him a day to leave you lol!


Being a GOOD military wife who has gone through many deployments,and going through one right now. I do not approve of this type off book. Military wives already have a bad reputation without people writing books about it.

Why did I pick this book from the library if I don't approve? I have a weakness of judging books by their cover.
Christine K
Beautiful. I really enjoyed this Southern small town war time romance. The settings are described so vividly, the love very rich and urgent. There were definitely a few tears shed thanks to the richness of Jeffrey Stepakoff's story telling. It is very evident that the author did work with a tv show giants like The Wonder Years (LOOOOOVE) and Dawson's Creek... this would translate to a very successful movie.
Shirley Bourget
Fireworks Over Toccoa was a mixture of Bridges of Madison County and The Note Book for me. It's the story of an elderly woman and her secret love affair during WWII in 1945.

Although the author did an excellent job of engaging the reader emotionally, there were several paragraphs that I found hard to read because they were basically one, long run-on sentence.

I liked the story, and was introduced to new thoughts regarding what it must have been like for many war brides during this difficult time...more
Teryl
This book started out slow. In fact it wasn't until half way through that it really started to pick up. Then, the last 1/4 I couldn't put it down. I did skim entire pages because he over described things. This book was so sweet and sad at the same time. Plus, it had a tiny bit of suspense in it. Who's Lily going to pick? Sigh...so sweet!
Shelby *evil queen wannabe*
I read this book in just a few hours. Doesn't mean that it is a fluff book. I live just a few miles from where this book is set and loved that part. However, the story itself sweeps you up and keeps you invested until the very end. This book will stay with me a long time and every time I see a firework I'll think of it.
Jill
Lily meets Jake, who makes fireworks. Interpersonal fireworks ensue. Gloppy and soppy. Will surely be a movie.
Wilette Youkey
A beautiful story that left me in tears.
Sarah
I was lucky enough to win audio copies of this book for myself and my entire book club. Some of the women in my book club had never listened to an audio book before, so it was a new experience for them. I listen to audio books all the time, so I was really excited when I received these audio books in the mail.
This book was about Lily Davis Woodward, a young woman whose husband has been gone for three years because of the war. Right before her husband is to return home, Lily meets a handsome stra...more
Nancy
Fireworks Over Toccoa lives up to all the hype you've been reading about it - this book is splendid! When Colleen's fiance pushes too hard for immediate children, she runs off to visit her grandmother to help sort out her life. Lily has never tried to sway Colleen's opinion, just listens and things seem to work out. This, however is a pretty big "thing".

While visiting, they look at Lily's wedding dress and pronounce it "perfect". Then something happens that neither foresaw: The local newspaper h...more
Alayne Bushey
Short but light, Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff is a nice novel and a quick read. Opening in 2007, grandmother Lily recounts the story of a love affair she had in the summer of 1945, days before her husband was due to return home from the war. Having only been married for a short time before her husband was sent overseas, Lily feels as though her privileged life has been missing something. Unhappy with her restrictions, yearning to break free from society’s expectations, Lily follows...more
Heather
I was really hoping to like this book more than I did. I'm a fan of love stories and tales of romance that surpasses time and distance a la Nicholas Sparks, but this book just didn't do it for me.

To me this story was just another retelling of the same unrequited young love that gets repeated over and over through the generations of authors who tackle this genre: ; The Notebook; and even the storyline from the movie Titanic. In essence, a free spirited young woman from a well-to-do family has h...more
Jlaurenmc
Southern literature is my favorite genre, but even it can fail to entertain. Thus was the case in the highly lauded, but ultimately disappointing new novel Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff.

The caveat: Fans of Nicholas Sparks will love the novel. I don't happen to be a fan of Sparks. I am among the thousands who loved the movie version of The Notebook, but any attempts to read his books have resulted in much eye-rolling by me. Why? I'm not sure exactly. Overly dramatic. Full of cliche....more
Chocolate & Croissants
A moment in the sky forever in the heart. (Ernesto Russo)


(from the author)
Author Jeffrey Stepakoff, made a trip in the fall of 2003, to Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, to research a TV pilot about a multigenerational fireworks family. One of the more memorable moments of the trip was having dinner with George Zambelli, founder of the Zambelli Fireworks Internationale. Zambelli talked about the magic of his work and the engraving effect of fireworks. It was clear to Stepakoff that Zambelli's wife...more
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Jeffrey Stepakoff was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a BA in Journalism. In 1988, the day after getting his MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon, he drove to Hollywood where he began writing for film and television.

Jeffrey has “written by” or “story by” credits on thirty-six television episodes, has written for fourteen...more
More about Jeffrey Stepakoff...
The Orchard Billion-Dollar Kiss: The Kiss That Saved Dawson's Creek and Other Adventures inTV Writing Love a la Carte (prequel to "the orchard") The Melody of Secrets READER'S DIGEST SELECT EDITIONS: VOL 6 (2011) THE ORCHARD, WORTH DYING FOR, HOW TO BAKE A PERFECT LIFE & ON BORROWED TIME (PAPERBACK) (VOL 6- 2011)

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“I'm just a girl Jake"
"I think you're that, and much, much more."
Another long moment. Lily found herself returning his smile, finding her own sense of knowing. And suddenly she felt at ease, a sense of mysterious calm.”
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“A moment in the sky, forever in the heart.” 0 likes
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