by Cade Haddock Strong

Wen Apollo dreams of seeing the world beyond the small riverside town where she grew up. But operating the local mailboat keeps her tethered to Coopersville. Islands dot the river, and their residents rely on her to deliver everything from food and medicine to pet food and plumbing supplies.

On a raw spring day, Wen goes to Owl Island—the summer home of the illustrious Gage family—to deliver a package. It’s addressed to the family’s oldest daughter, Estelle, a woman Wen has long admired from afar.

Estelle Gage fled to the islands seeking solitude and an escape. With the deadline for her latest novel fast approaching, her sole focus is to write. But when the handsome mailboat captain shows up on her doorstep, writing is no longer the only thing on her mind.

A steady stream of packages continues to bring Wen back to Owl Island—and to Estelle. But as summer looms, so does the impending arrival of Estelle’s family. The return of the Gages will most certainly spell the end to Estelle and Wen’s idyllic time cloistered together on the island. What will that mean for their budding relationship?





In stock

Genre Romance
Length 264 pages
Publication Date June 16, 2022
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642473742e
Editor Alissa McGowan
Cover Designer Kayla Mancuso



"My wife and I like to read the New York Times over breakfast on Sundays. One morning, back in 2020, there was an article about a family that has operated a mailboat in Maine since 1905. In that time, four generations of the family have delivered letters, packages, and passengers to their island community. The article spurred something in me.

That afternoon Mailboat was born. I set aside the manuscript I’d been working on and began to craft a story about a female mailboat captain. In my story, the boat captain, Wen, serves a fictional island community in a region called the Thousand Islands along the US/Canadian border. Many of the islands Wen serves are owned by wealthy families and their grand “cottages” serve as summer homes.

A large portion of Mailboat takes place in early April. A time of year when winter finally gives way to spring in that neck of the woods. One of the people I interviewed for the book beautifully detailed the joy of spring in the Thousand Islands—seeing buds sprout on the trees, hearing the first loon, or spotting the first oriole. I worked hard to incorporate that kind of detail into Mailboat."

—Cade Haddock Strong


Abbott F. - The author is a skillful writer who knows how to bring readers into her story and hold them enthralled from the first page to the last. Strong has created two characters, one a successful author and the other a mailboat captain, who will capture the hearts of readers and have them rooting for the two characters to make the relationship work even though readers know the book will have a happy-ever-after ending. Both characters are strong, intelligent, and looking for a relationship that will complete their lives. Strong’s descriptions of life on the river are vividly drawn and will have readers Googling possible vacation destinations in the thousand island area.

If you like your romances between two well-drawn strong and intelligent characters without constant angst, this book is for you, and should be put at the top of your to-be-read list.

Betty H. - The author did an exceptional job with the setting, the characters, and especially with the story itself. This is an easy to read, beautiful romance that I really enjoyed. It would make a great summer vacation novel. You should try it.

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