by Debra Anastasia


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He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him-just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he's homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day.

Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She's the same as a million other girls-certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe.

When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she's surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it's not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives.
Blake's heart beats for Livia's, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right?

In an interwoven tale of unlikely loves and relationships forged by fire, Debra Anastasia takes readers into the darkest corners of human existence, only to show them the radiant power of pure adoration and true sacrifice. Complicated families and confused souls find their way to light in this novel, which manages to be racy, profane, funny, and reverent all at once.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936305940
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Publication date: 11/23/2011
Series: Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 409,376
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Debra Anastasia is busy, just like every other mom. There's dinner, the dogs, the two kids, and her violent IBS--which is under control thanks to medication except for occasional multi-tonal farts. Her first love and crowning achievement is her thriving career as the weirdest mom on the block. Her writing started a decent handful of years ago when--along with the animals and humans in her house--the voices of characters started whispering stories in Debra's ear. Insomnia was the gateway to plots that wouldn't give up, wouldn't let go. Now they stalk her everywhere. Halfway through making lunches, a twist takes hold and--fingers full of peanut butter--she finds somewhere, anywhere to write it down. Debra lives in Maryland with her family. You can find her at DebraAnastasia.com and on Twitter @Debra_Anastasia. But be prepared...

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Poughkeepsie 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 284 reviews.
SB_ReadsALot More than 1 year ago
At its heart, it's a love story between a homeless man and a strong, brave woman, a love story between a man lost in his delusion and invisible to the world and the woman who sees him . At its soul, it is way more than that. It's about friendship, redemption, loyalty, trust, family (be it blood-related or not) and, above all, the saving grace of love. Upon first opening the book, we are introduced to Livia McHugh, a college student who rides the train every morning from Poughkeepsie to the big city to attend her studies in psychology. She has a long-time boyfriend, and a smile for everyone who's waiting with her at the station, including the young, homeless man that everyone ignores and who lingers in the shadows by the station's platform. Blake Hartt watches Livia from afar and counts her smiles every day, knowing that he'll never be with a girl like her since he has nothing to offer. He's too proud to accept charity and too broken from the mistreatment by his late mother to find his way out of homelessness into a 'normal' life. It is enough for him to know that Livia truly sees him - and he is rewarded with her smile every morning, and every night when she returns home. Then one morning, a group of teenage boys accosts Blake with taunts and threats of violence. Livia is compelled to step between them, and getting them to leave Blake alone. He in turn is shocked but grateful that this young woman would come to his defense, and thus begins a friendship and then a love story that will make you laugh and cry and hug these characters to your chest, just to keep them safe. And at the end of the book, when you've followed their story all the way to its culmination, you feel as if you've been part of something amazing. Blake Hartt is a very interesting character. He was abused and mistreated by his alcoholic mother and entered the foster care system at age 12 due to an incident that leaves him feeling guilty and thinking that his skin is made of glass and would repel anyone who'd see him in the sun. After he aged out of the system, he has no place to go. He lives in the shadows until Livia's love gives him the strength to move into the sunlight and become the man he was always meant to be. He has impeccable manners, keeps himself clean with the help of his foster brother Cole's shower, but refuses to accept anything he deems unearned. You cannot help but fall in love with this man and his quiet, proud and thoughtful demeanor. Livia sees beyond the homeless part and begins her fight to bring this beautiful man back into the light. She has help from an amazing cast of other characters that enrich this book in their own special way. One of my 2011 favorites, this book is a must-read. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
ErinKoiso More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this wonderful story - I was moved to tears and laughter so many times. The characters are a colorful bunch - that you grow to love and want to know better. This story shows you exactly what a smile can do for another - and that you may never know what brought that other person to where they are at that moment. I always wonder about the homeless people I see every day - now I will truly look at them differently... Blake is a homeless man - but he is so much more than that - and with each page you realize that the life someone has led doesn't make them the man that they are. I love that Blake lived a hard life yet he has amazing manners and courtesy. Livia - the woman that shares her smile with Blake - opens up a whole new world for him. The sub characters were wonderful too - Loved Beckett and Eve and Kyle and Cole and of course Mouse! Can't recommend this book enough! Read it within 48 hours because I had to know what was going to happen next!
lizabeth602 More than 1 year ago
I remember when this story was once a simple fanfiction. Back then I never would have expected that it would become an actual published work, though many of the readers, including myself wished it. Poughkeepsie is an absolutely amazing novel from start to finish. All of the characters and plot points are so riveting and tantalizing, you'll find it hard to put the book down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was recommended in my Nook recommendations after I read (and loved) Fifty Shades. I read about half of the book, optimistic that at some point I would connect with the characters and that I would be let a little more into their minds in a convincing way. Fail. This was awful and I may have to reconsider whether I trust B and N recommendations in the future.
GraceDZ More than 1 year ago
I cannot begin to describe the feelings that consumed me when I finished this story. From the book summary, I thought this story was just about two characters forming an unlikely bond. What you really get is an engrossing story line with a cast of well-developed characters. The plot is compelling and kept me reading to find out what happens next! I ended up caring and relating to the characters who I know will stay with me for a very long time. There is angst, suspense, violence and bloodshed, yet the overall feeling I took away was heartwarming and hope. I laughed and cried throughout this story too! "Homeleth Humper", though a very minor character, was extremely funny! When you get to the end, you will wonder if you would have done the same thing. Ms. Anastasia is an amazing storyteller! I highly recommend letting her take you on a journey to Poughkeepsie. It will all begin with a simple smile. I have to say this book is likely my most favorite contemporary romance fiction for 2011. I read the ebook version, but I also had to buy the paperback too! Thank you, Debra Anastasia, for sharing your story!
LPlank More than 1 year ago
This is hands down my favorite book of 2011... Poughkeepsie is hard to review because it's beauty and love will outshine any of my words. I can't do it justice or ever express the emotions it evoked in me. Here is my humble attempt... When you first meet Livia she's just this grad student catching the train at the Poughkeepsie station. Livia smiles at everyone, she's one of those souls that does not hold back her happiness and on of those lucky smile catchers is Blake. He sees Livia board and exit the train all week, he counts her smiles like they are rays of sunshine more valuable than anything in the world. When they first touch each other it's as if the puzzel that had lost it's pieces became clean or easy to see. Life has not been easy for Blake, his mother was a drunk and he became a word of the state. He bounced from foster home to foster home until the day he landed at Ricks house and found his brother of the heart, Beckett and Cole. Poughkeepsie is not just about Blake and Livia finding a way to be together and get past all the hurt. It's about a group of damaged people finding each other and forming a true family, one that will love, protect and respect each other. This book touched my heart, I felt a connection to these characters that jumped out of this book and took me for an amazing ride.
Alithatgirlfl More than 1 year ago
After reading Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia it has become one of my favorite books! From the beginning of the book it had me hooked, I love how it didn't drag on in the beginning. I hate when you start reading a book and the beginning takes forever so you end up putting down the book because you're over it. I loved all of the characters and Debra's descriptions of them because I could literally see them in my mind as I was reading along. The book had such deep meaning but didn't fail to have me cracking up, it's so whitty! Blake is such a wonderful character and his dedication to Livia is amazing, it's a relationship we all strive to have. Kyle is hillarious & Beckett is a sweet soul trapped in a dangerous body. Thanks Debra for writing an amazing book I hope to read more of your work in the future!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SampurnaRay More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite novels, it touched my heart. Filled with so much love, beauty and hope, Poughkeepsie deserves to be read and re-read. Each and every character is so well-written, and each of their stories are so beautifully told, that you'll get lost inside this novel. The novel made me realize that little acts of kindness that mean so less to us, and cost us such little effort, can mean SO much to a stranger. And that love can be found everywhere, even in the darkest places.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best story Ive read. I loved it and I recommend it to everyone. Its a must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I started reading this, I literally couldn't put it down! I ignored my husband, let the laundry get out of whack and dishes build up! lol Well, no, not that bad, but you get the point? It was an awesome book. I will read more of this author, just because of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Beckett!!! The cast of characters in this book were awesome. I consider any book in which the author can make me love the bad guy a success, and Debra definitely made me love Beckett. While this book is primarily about Blake and Livia, there are so many relationships in this book to watch develop and flourish I found myself fully engaged and entertained. I have read several books in which one of the main characters had a mental illness, but never one in which he was homeless and I couldn't wait to see how the author developed such a character and the subsequent relationship. I must say that I absolutely adore Blake and was rooting for him and Livia the whole time. I grew up with a parent with mental health issues and I found Blake's character to be so real and the way Livia had to interact with him at times hit close to home. Well done Debra! I don't like spoilers, so there's not much more I can say about the specifics of the book. I look forward to reading Return to Poughkeepsie. - A. S. Goodrich
DaniC More than 1 year ago
I was so excited when Debra Anastasia contacted me, asking if I could read and review Poughkeepsie. After reading the synopsis and seeing all the wonderful review, I knew that this would be a book I would like. What I didn’t know is that this book would grab me and make me feel so deeply. That I would ending up crying for these characters and rejoicing when happiness finally touched them. Each of the characters in Poughkeepsie has a tragic, heartbreaking past. Anywhere from a parent leaving them to abuse that they dealt with as children, we see how real families can be form and lives take such different paths in this world. Blake and Livia are two completely different people, living very different lives. Yet through smiles, friendship and then love we are able to see how amazing it is to find that right someone. Let me warn you that is not a YA book. Poughkeepsie has language, violence and adult situations. It also has one of the most emotionally moving plots and such deep, tragically beautiful characters that will stay with you for some time. This is not a book you will ever regret reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was suprised how much I enjoyed this book! Just Finished the 50 Shades books, so this one needed to be really good and it was! Was hooked on it and read it in a weekend! Laters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A story worth reading! The young woman Livia who falls in love with the most unlikely man Blake. They go through much to over come obstacles and the walls that are between them. A truly inspiring story. Debra is a genius!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed and cried! A truly wonderful story that pulls u in. A must read!!
MaryJoMI More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure what I expected from Poughkeepsie, I can tell you that I was blown away by the characters and the depth of the relationships that are formed. Blake Hartt stole my breath and my heart, he is homeless and he counts Livia's smiles. Livia is a pure soul, she is that person you see on the street that smiles at everyone and she opens her heart to Blake. Blake struggles with this connection, he has closed himself off to the world, everyone except his 2 brothers – Cole and Beckett. The brotherhood grew out of despair while being in foster care – since no one wanted them, they found their own family. Debra Anastasia weaves an intricate tale that starts with Blake and Livia but brings Cole, Beckett, Kyle(Livia's sister), Eve, Mouse(aw) and Chris (don't like him) into the story seamlessly as we move through everyday life and how the people we love are part of all of our ups and downs. Your boundaries will pushed, you will hate some characters one minute and then love them the next but in the end, you will be glad you explored their journey and escaped to Poughkeepsie for a little while.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow!!! What a really really great read!! Double wow!! Livia, a heart of gold and Blake, a selfless, innocent, beautiful person. Beckett and Eve, Cole and Kyle all made this book worth reading... I'm so so glad I bought this book... LOVETOREAD
Sammyjk More than 1 year ago
5 Stars From Sammy's Book Obsession! MY THOUGHTS~  I won a copy of this book from the author in a giveaway! Wow! I loved this book! It was extremely gripping from the very start. I didn't want to put it down! Poughkeepsie encompasses so many things in one book and it is amazing! You get romance, awesome familiar relationships and dynamics, sociology, religion, recovery from abuse, the violence that happens every day in the real world as well as some other extremes, homelessness, loss, love, and just about whatever you can think of. This book has it all and it was presented so well! Debra Anastasia is an amazing author that I had never experienced before reading Poughkeepsie. She did an amazing job at telling this story and wrapping all the different aspects included in awesome book together seamlessly. To say this book was well written is an understatement. The characters were really well developed and complex in their own right. They were a mish-mash of people, personalities, lifestyles, and just everything! However, they all fit together in the way that they were meant to and it was beautiful! I, particularly LOVED the sibling relationship between Livia & Kyle! They put me in mind of my own sister and myself and I loved that! I really have nothing negative to say about this book. It's definitely earned itself a place on my "Favorites List"! I will say though, that this book probably isn't for everyone. I know some people are sensitive to different things. If foul, vulgar, quick-witted language/dialogue isn't your thing, then beware going in. There is a lot of that. I loved it, but some don't. Also, there is quite a bit of violence in some parts as well as a lot of past abuse (and the results of that abuse) explained and that may be an issue for some as well. Personally, I love all this in a book and I love how well everything was explained and put out there! Well done, author Debra Anastasia, well done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
melsdane More than 1 year ago
This narrative on the lives of three brothers and the women who love them kept me reading well into the wee hours of the night. The authors prose is poetic and lyrical and such a pleasure to read that I went on to read "Return to Poughkeepsie" and "Saving Poughkeepsie", the sequels. I feel the need to address some poor reviews regarding some unrealistic actions which take place in the story line. Approach this book as an alternative reality to our world. A reflection perhaps, and don't fixate on those details they have mentioned. Let the story sweep you into their world, as it is, with its own rules and you will enjoy the experience. ...her words are music and her story is a symphony. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazeballs!!!!!im only half way through and ,had to take abreak to catch my breath for a sec. I can't belive i waited so long to read this book Ijust thought I wouldnt care for it but its turning out to be the best book lve read in long time. Dont put it off your list if your unsure like me. TRUST ME when i tell you its AMAZEBALLS!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poughkeepsie is unlike any book I have ever read. I was hooked before the first chapter really got going. Blake, Cole, and Beckett grew up hard in the foster care system, and ended up in the same home. They consider themselves brothers, and would do anything for each other. Each one of them dealt with the pain of their past in a different way. Cole turned to the church, Beckett became the most feared outlaw in the county, and Blake... Well, Blake was homeless. He spent most of his days in the subway train station, waiting every morning for Livia to rush through and flash him a smile. Livia really saw Blake, when others looked through him. Although she is dating Chris, she starts talking to Blake, and can't get him out of her mind, or her heart. This book tells the story of Livia and her sister, Kyle, and how their lives are changed by these three complicated men, and how these men change their lives too. Debra Anastasia is a brilliant storyteller, keeping the reader turning the page, needing to know what happens next. I bought the rest of this series before I was even halfway through this first book. I was not disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a beautiful love story and a reminder that love can be found anywhere and in anyone. I couldn't put the book down and look forward to reading the spin off books.