New Release Spotlight! Dolly Alderton’s Ghosts Offers a Sad Glimpse Into Online Dating

About the Book

Nina Dean is not especially bothered that she’s single. She owns her own apartment, she’s about to publish her second book, she has a great relationship with her ex-boyfriend, and enough friends to keep her social calendar full and her hangovers plentiful. And when she downloads a dating app, she does the seemingly impossible: She meets a great guy on her first date. Max is handsome and built like a lumberjack; he has floppy blond hair and a stable job. But more surprising than anything else, Nina and Max have chemistry. Their conversations are witty and ironic, they both hate sports, they dance together like fools, they happily dig deep into the nuances of crappy music, and they create an entire universe of private jokes and chemical bliss.

But when Max ghosts her, Nina is forced to deal with everything she’s been trying so hard to ignore: her father’s Alzheimer’s is getting worse, and so is her mother’s denial of it; her editor hates her new book idea; and her best friend from childhood is icing her out. Funny, tender, and eminently, movingly relatable, Ghosts is a whip-smart tale of relationships and modern life.

My Take

Entirely enjoyable. I loved the characters, the scenes, the banter, just about everything. This is a sad story about dating in the 2020’s. Nina’s relationship with Max seemed so real, a happily ever after, and I felt her angst when he “ghosted” her.

A huge negative for me was the theme surrounding Nina’s father. He obviously has dementia, but that word is never mentioned in the story (although it is mentioned in the book description.) I get why Nina and her mom might not want to speak of it – like many grappling with this diagnosis, they are deep in denial – but it leaves the reader in limbo, especially the reader who is not familiar with the disease and doesn’t understand why Dad is the way he is. The writing surrounding this is exquisite and spot on. The author did a terrific job. But as an advocate for those living with dementia I felt she missed an opportunity here to do some real education on a poorly understood illness.

I also did not like the cover (upside down bouquet). That needs an improvement.

Still, a good read recommended for those who like women’s fiction with strong heroines, lots of drama, and well-placed laughs.

About the Author

Dolly Alderton is an award-winning author and journalist. She is a columnist for The Sunday Times Style and has also written for GQ, Red, Marie Claire and Grazia. From 2017 to 2020, she co-hosted the weekly pop-culture and current affairs podcast The High Low alongside journalist Pandora Sykes.

Her first book Everything I Know About Love became a top five Sunday Times bestseller in its first week of publication and won a National Book Award for Autobiography of the Year. Her first novel Ghosts was published in October 2020 and was also a top five Sunday Times Bestseller.l

Connect with Dolly Alderton

Website

Twitter

Instagram

Books I Love! TJ Newman’s Falling is a Wild Ride in the Sky

I first learned of this book and author on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast (July 6). The combination of debut author, flight attendant, hijacking, kidnapping, New York Times bestseller, and a Universal deal on the film rights intrigued me and I just had to read it. Wow, what a ride! Both the book and the author’s story.

About the Book

You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

My Take

A pilot is preparing for a flight, but his wife is angry with him. He’d promised he’d be home for their son’s Little League opener but he was called in at the last minute, and, duty bound, could not say no to his boss. So there’s tension immediately. Then the cable man arrives, or so they think, which sets off the chain of events. The reader is with all of these characters throughout the book, on land and in the sky, and we meet a number of other key players throughout the story, including the three flight attendants on board who are charged with keeping the passengers safe and calm for what will be a dangerous and unpredictable flight. These characters are all likable and easy to identify and empathize with, very real and human. The character development was great. You can even empathize with the terrorists, who are, after all, humans too with a horrifying backstory that motivates their dastardly act.

There is some political drama which makes a point but does not veer away from the story.

The chapters are short and move quickly; the pace is excellent. I could not stop reading, needing to know what would happen next. And Newman did not disappoint. You want to read this.

This is an author with a brilliant future.

About the Author

T. J. Newman,a former bookseller turned flight attendant, worked for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines from 2011 to 2021. She wrote much of Falling on cross-country red-eye flights while her passengers were asleep. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Falling is her first novel.

Connect with TJ Newman

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Great Escapes! 5 Stars for Nancy Thayer’s Family Reunion

I featured this book as a New Release Spotlight when it came out but I just had to bring it back as the first in my new Great Escapes Series because I loved it so much! I hope you’ll love it too.

Description

A longtime Nantucket resident is trying to make the best of a lonely summer. Her spirited granddaughter is learning what she wants out of life. Unforgettable surprises await them both in this magical, multigenerational novel from New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer.

Eleanor Sunderland loves living on Nantucket, in a gorgeous cliffside home that has been in her family for decades. Yet this year she can’t help but feel a bit isolated, even as the island begins to come alive with summer tourists and travelers. Her best friend has skipped town on a last-minute cruise, leaving Eleanor feeling lonely and nostalgic about her family’s weekend trips to the island, made less frequently in the years since her husband’s passing. Now, her money-driven children contact her mostly to complain and to beg her to sell her beloved home for a steep payout. Hoping to kick the season off on a good note, Eleanor decides her seventieth birthday may be the perfect occasion for a much-needed reunion.

Fresh off the heels of her college graduation, Eleanor’s dear granddaughter, Ari, has just ended an engagement that felt less like true love and more like a chore. She longs for a change of scenery and to venture far from her parents’ snobbish expectations. Taking advantage of her newfound freedom, she heads to Nantucket to clear her head before graduate school, moving in with her grandmother and taking a job at the local beach camp. As she watches Eleanor begin to form a bond with an old acquaintance, Ari herself becomes completely smitten with a friend’s charming older brother. But just as grandmother and granddaughter fall into a carefree routine, a few shocking discoveries throw them off course, and their ideas of the future seem suddenly uncertain.

Eleanor and Ari make exciting connections, old and new, over the course of an unpredictable, life-changing few months, and learn to lean on each other through every new challenge they face in life and love, in this tale filled with Nancy Thayer’s signature Nantucket magic.

My Take

I’m a huge fan of Nancy Thayer but she has outdone herself with this book. I read it in less than 24 hours. It usually takes me a week to get through a book. From page one I was captivated by the characters and enchanted by the Nantucket setting (Disclaimer: I have visited Nantucket a few times, even honeymooned there. I love this island!)

The relationship between Eleanor and Ari was so precious, so real, that I immediately started rooting for both of them. Alicia (Eleanor’s daughter/Ari’s mother) was distasteful and hard; I disliked her immensely, although she was somewhat redeemed in the end.

I must admit I found Ari’s preoccupation with finding a new guy so soon after breaking off her engagement (and other stressful situations, no spoilers) a bit disappointing. Why is it that every woman has to have a man? Sigh…. It is women’s fiction so I guess it fits the mold, but, still, I’d wished she was less distracted by Beck. A little summer romance is fun but looking for a lifelong commitment after just two months and a breakup from a years-long relationship? Dreaming. (My reasons why would give it away and I promised no spoilers.) However, I loved Eleanor’s little dalliance. I also loved the descriptions of Eleanor in her seventies, no holds barred. She was so authentic. No glitz or glamour. A woman we all would know.

Ari’s work with the children at the beach camp was sweet and I appreciated her following her heart to do something good with her summer, even though she could have earned more money in another summer job. Seeing the working side of Nantucket was also welcome as so often books set there tend to focus on the rich and pampered. Someone has to do the work to keep them pampered and happy and I was glad to see the island folk behind the scenes played a part in the story. That was refreshing.

To say that the book was well written and tied up tight at the end is superfluous. It is Nancy Thayer after all, and she has never disappointed me. Now, if she could only write two releases each summer…

Everything was delicious, including the meals.

It’s unlikely I’ll make it to Nantucket this summer, but I already feel like I’ve been there.

Start reading now!

About the Author

I grew up in Kansas, surrounded by prairie, but thirty-five years ago I came to Nantucket to visit a friend who introduced me to the love of my life. Charley and I have now lived on Nantucket for 33 years–year-round, as we say, so I have a special feeling for this island and for the people who come here. I love the island most in the winter when the waves crash dramatically on the shore.

I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English literature from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and I still go to KC often to visit my darling baby sister, who inspires many of the characters in my book. Yes, she is blond, and yes, she is 9 years younger than I am. I still love her.

For a few years, I taught freshman English in several states, and had short stories published in literary reviews. My first novel, Stepping, was published by Doubleday in 1980, and started me off on the career I’ve always wanted. I was a Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 1980 and in 2015, I received the RT Career Achievement Award.

I’ve published 30 novels–all available on Amazon–including Secrets in Summer, The Island House, The Guest Cottage, Nantucket Sisters, and Island Girls. A Nantucket Wedding was my 30th. The upcoming Surfside Sisters will be out July, 2019! Champagne for everyone!

When I’m not writing novels–all 30 are available on Amazon–I’m walking the beach with my husband or entertaining our 4 grandchildren & their parents & our friends. All my novels are about family and friendships, which I believe are the foundation of a happy, if complicated, life.

Connect with Nancy Thayer

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Great Escapes

Throughout the summer I’ll be featuring my favorite reads as Great Escapes, perfect for the beach, the pool, camping, whatever you do or wherever you go to enjoy the summer months. Most of these will be women’s fiction, my favorite genre, but you’ll never know what you’ll find because I’m an eclectic reader. Wishing you many happy escapes this summer!

Great Escapes! Viola Shipman’s The Clover Girls is a Trip Back to 1980’s Summer Camp

A perfect read to take you back to youthful summer days!

Description

“Like a true friendship, The Clover Girls is a novel you will forever savor and treasure.” —Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author

Elizabeth, Veronica, Rachel and Emily met at Camp Birchwood as girls in 1985, where over four summers they were the Clover Girls—inseparable for those magical few weeks of freedom—until the last summer that pulled them apart. Now approaching middle age, the women are facing challenges they never imagined as teens, struggles with their marriages, their children, their careers, and wondering who it is they see when they look in the mirror.

Then Liz, V and Rachel each receive a letter from Emily with devastating news. She implores the girls who were once her best friends to reunite at Camp Birchwood one last time, to spend a week together revisiting the dreams they’d put aside and repair the relationships they’d allowed to sour. But the women are not the same idealistic, confident girls who once ruled Camp Birchwood, and perhaps some friendships aren’t meant to last forever…

Bestselling author Viola Shipman is at her absolute best with The Clover Girls. Readers of all ages and backgrounds will love its powerful, redemptive nature and the empowering message at its heart.

My Take

What a joy this was on so many levels! I discovered this author on the Friends & Fiction Show. To my surprise, Viola Shipman is the pen name of Wade Rouse. To think a man wrote this gorgeous book that probes deep feminine issues and ponders the emotional decisions women make that impact and change their lives forever, changing themselves in the process. I got lost in it immediately and didn’t come up for air until I finished it.

The four woman at the heart of the story, The Clover Girls – Emily, Veronica, Elizabeth, and Rachel – are decades past their summer camp days and lifelong friendship pact. Left behind were backstabbing plots, deep hurts, broken hearts, and lost dreams. Their adult lives have been disappointing and difficult and all are “lost,” unsure of their purpose, their places in the world. All of this is etched out in the inner thoughts of each character, the thread that drives the tapestry of this richly woven novel. As they break through the pains of their past and rekindle their friendship, long dormant, they emerge with renewed purpose, both personally and as The Clover Girls. Throughout all is the music and pop culture of the ‘80’s: TV, fashion, John Hughes movies, Molly Ringwald, Boy George, Madonna, and so much more.

I never went to summer camp so am unfamiliar with all that goes on there but reading this book gave me a certain nostalgia for easier times and the benefits of long summer days outdoors, by a lake, with friends who are everything, and I’m certain I missed out on a good thing.

Recommended for lovers of women’s fiction, the 80’s, and women who long to go back to their girlhood and fix things.

About the Author

Viola Shipman is the pen name of Wade Rouse, a popular award-winning memoirist and internationally bestselling author of 12 books translated into 20 languages and selected as Today show Must-Reads, Indie Next Picks and Michigan Notable Book. Rouse chose his grandma’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms inspire his fiction. He lives in Michigan and California, and hosts Wine & Words with Wade, A Literary Happy Hour, every Thursday.

Connect with Viola Shipman

Viola Shipman Website

Wade Rouse Website

New Release Spotlight! Sunset on Moonlight Beach by Sheila Roberts

“Roberts proves again why she is the premier purveyor of small-town, feel-good romance.” Booklist

Description

Jenna Jones has been standing on the shore of the Sea of Love for too long. Even with two good men interested in her, she’s been afraid to wade in. According to her best friend, Courtney, she should. The water’s fine. Life is great! Practically perfect, if you don’t count Courtney’s problems with her cranky ex-boss. Maybe Courtney’s right. It’s time to dive in.

USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts takes readers back to the sun-dappled shores of Moonlight Harbor as its citizens find hope, happiness and humor in the wake of a tragic loss.

When tragedy strikes, everything changes and Jenna’s more confused than ever. But this fresh heartache might help her figure out at last who she can turn to when times get tough.

Full of warmth and humor, Sunset on Moonlight Beach proves that every ending can be the beginning of a beautiful new story.

Don’t miss these other delightful entries in the Moonlight Harbor series
Welcome to Moonlight Harbor
Winter at the Beach
The Summer Retreat
Beachside Beginnings

About the Author

With nearly thirty books to her name, Sheila Roberts is a frequent USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller – and a fan favorite. Her Christmas perennial “On Strike for Christmas” was made into a movie for the Lifetime Channel and her novel “The Nine Lives of Christmas” was made into a movie for Hallmark. Her novel “Angel Lane” was listed as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year. Before settling into her writing career, Sheila owned a singing telegram company and played in band. When she’s not traveling, Sheila splits her time between the Pacific Northwest and Southern California.

Connect with Sheila Roberts

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Books I Love! The Ride of Her Life is an Engrossing Tale of a Woman’s Quest to Realize a Lifelong Dream

Description

The triumphant true story of a woman who rode her horse across America in the 1950s, fulfilling her dying wish to see the Pacific Ocean, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Horse and The Eighty-Dollar Champion.

“The gift Elizabeth Letts has is that she makes you feel you are the one taking this trip. This is a book we can enjoy always but especially need now.”—Elizabeth Berg, author of The Story of Arthur Truluv

In 1954, sixty-three-year-old Maine farmer Annie Wilkins embarked on an impossible journey. She had no money and no family, she had just lost her farm, and her doctor had given her only two years to live. But Annie wanted to see the Pacific Ocean before she died. She ignored her doctor’s advice to move into the county charity home. Instead, she bought a cast-off brown gelding named Tarzan, donned men’s dungarees, and headed south in mid-November, hoping to beat the snow. Annie had little idea what to expect beyond her rural crossroads; she didn’t even have a map. But she did have her ex-racehorse, her faithful mutt, and her own unfailing belief that Americans would treat a stranger with kindness.

Annie, Tarzan, and her dog, Depeche Toi, rode straight into a world transformed by the rapid construction of modern highways. Between 1954 and 1956, the three travelers pushed through blizzards, forded rivers, climbed mountains, and clung to the narrow shoulder as cars whipped by them at terrifying speeds. Annie rode more than four thousand miles, through America’s big cities and small towns. Along the way, she met ordinary people and celebrities—from Andrew Wyeth (who sketched Tarzan) to Art Linkletter and Groucho Marx. She received many offers—a permanent home at a riding stable in New Jersey, a job at a gas station in rural Kentucky, even a marriage proposal from a Wyoming rancher. In a decade when car ownership nearly tripled, when television’s influence was expanding fast, when homeowners began locking their doors, Annie and her four-footed companions inspired an outpouring of neighborliness in a rapidly changing world.

My Take

The simple idea of a woman setting out on horseback alone to traverse the country – from Maine to California – in 1954 was enough to get me to pick up this book. Once I started turning pages I couldn’t stop. Annie’s early life was interesting, as she was raised on a remote farm with no modern conveniences, and I enjoyed those well-written early chapters that sucked me into the story. She was never a woman used to comfort, thus she faced her journey with practicality and little expectations for aid. But as the story wound on it became even more fascinating. It describes a way of life long gone as Annie made her way along country roads, avoiding highways becoming more and more congested with cars and danger, and finding kind, generous, trusting strangers along the way who provided food, shelter and support. I wondered how or if someone could make a similar journey today.

Throughout the story I felt like I was riding right behind Annie on Tarzan, little Depeche Toi on my lap. The descriptions of the struggles she faced due to winter weather, cold, heavy rains, overnight stays in jail cells because those were the only available rooms in town, illness, and injuries to her horses were gripping. The beauty she encountered in nature and the landscape, and the goodness she found within the hearts of townsfolk was heartwarming and inspiring. She traveled without GPS, or even a decent map of the country, relying on regional maps and instructions from those she passed on how to get to her destination. It took her a lot longer than she expected but she finally made her way to California, although with some disappointment.

Highly recommended for those interested in Americana, women’s history, and a good road trip.

About the Author

If you want to know why I’m a writer, you’d have to thank Mrs. Barclay, the children’s librarian in the Malaga Cove Library in Palos Verdes, California, and my mother. who has read more books than anyone else I know, and who carted me to the library from the time I could barely walk. From the day I sounded out my first board book (Ann Likes Red), read my first poem (Block City, by Robert Louis Stevenson) and was swept up in my first long chapter book, (Little House in the Big Woods) I’ve been a passionate reader and fascinated by the lives and personalities of my favorite authors. But I was a late bloomer. I spent my twenties and thirties working as a nurse-midwife and raising four children. When I turned forty, I decided that I didn’t want to be one of those people who thought she had a book in her but never gave it a try, and I sat down to write my first novel. Now, writing is my full-time pursuit. My passions are horses and all animals, my children, singing in a choir, and long road trips through the backroads of America. I care deeply about issues that affect women and children, and especially those who are fleeing danger. But my favorite hobby is still the one that Mrs. Barclay and my mom got me started on– reading.

Connect with Elizabeth Letts

http://www.elizabethletts.com
Twitter: @elizabethletts
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/eightydollarchampion
instagram: elizabethletts

New Release Spotlight! The Hotel, a Nantucket Novel for the Beach

If I can’t get my body to Nantucket this summer I can go there in a book. This would make a great beach read, Nantucket sand or not.

Description

Secrets and lies….at Nantucket’s most exclusive and glamorous, family-owned hotel.A new, dramatic family saga series from the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of The Nantucket Inn and The Restaurant.

The Whitley was Nantucket’s most exclusive hotel. It was a sprawling collection of pristine white cottages and an elegant main building on a long stretch of private, white sandy beach. The list of famous celebrity guests that had visited over the years was top secret and a matter of pride to the Whitley family. If you worked in the hospitality industry, landing a job at The Whitley was the ultimate goal. Many of the staff had lived and worked there for years. There were strict rules about the staff keeping their distance from both the guests and the family. But sometimes, rules were broken.

No one is more surprised than Paula Whitley when her grandfather, Wynn Whitley, the founder of the hotel and many other business holdings, makes two big announcements. He is promoting Paula from her quiet behind the scenes role handling the accounting, to being in charge of everything. The rest of the family, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and parents, are stunned and not everyone is happy about it.

And the second big announcement–she’s expected to work closely with a newly-hired consultant, a turnaround expert in luxury hotels. Paula dislikes David Connolly immediately. He’s arrogant and bossy and annoyingly right most of the time. She’d be loving her new role, if it wasn’t for him. And everyone, family and staff are wondering–what is grandfather’s goal? Is he looking to sell The Whitley?

Start reading now!

About the Author

Pamela M. Kelley is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of women’s fiction, family sagas, and suspense. Readers often describe her books as feel-good reads with people you’d want as friends.

She lives in a historic seaside town near Cape Cod and just south of Boston. She has always been an avid reader of women’s fiction, romance, mysteries, thrillers and cook books. There’s also a good chance you might get hungry when you read her books as she is a foodie, and occasionally shares a recipe or two. 

Feel free to sign up for her list to hear about new releases as soon as they are available as well as extras like early bird discounts. Sign up here.

Books I Love! Little Pieces of Me, Alison Hammer’s Latest Women’s Fiction, is a Fun, Funny Read

This was not the typical woman joins DNA registry, woman finds lost relatives, and they all lived happily ever after (except they seemed pretty happy at the end.)

Paige, 43 (a little older than I expected for this story, but hey) starts an account with FamilyTree.com, does the swab, submits it, and moves on. She wasn’t really interested in learning about her genetic makeup or discovering relatives she doesn’t know. The account was a perk for her job at an advertising firm, research, nothing serious.

So Paige is dumbfounded when she receives an email from FamilyTree.com alerting her that someone new to their database is her father. Which completely throws her because her father has died, and she is still in mourning.

Yet all of her life she has felt as though she doesn’t belong to her family. She looks different. Her mother is strangely aloof. Some things don’t add up. She has to know: Has her mother been lying to her all of her life? Was her dad not her dad? If not who is? And what happened between him and her mother?

As Paige explores these possibilities with the help of her friends Maks and Margaux, and her fiancé, Jeff, we’re entertained with their antics, banter, and dedication to Paige (these are some great friends.)

This is a fun, funny read.

Recommended for readers who like quick reads, a little mystery, and an emotional conundrum.

Start reading now!

About the Author

Founder of Every Damn Day Writers, Alison Hammer has been spinning words to tell stories since she learned how to talk. A graduate of the University of Florida and the Creative Circus in Atlanta, she lived in 9 cities before settling down in Chicago. During the day, Alison is a VP Creative Director at FCB Chicago, but on nights and weekends you can find her writing upmarket women’s fiction.

Connect with Alison Hammer

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Goodreads

New Release Spotlight! Sally Hepworth’s The Good Sister is Twisted and Compelling

Sally Hepworth, author of The Mother-In-Law, delivers a knock-out of a novel about the lies that bind two sisters in The Good Sister.

Description

There’s only been one time that Rose couldn’t stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be…dangerous.

When Rose discovers that she cannot get pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.

Fern’s mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of what families keep hidden.

My Take

Amazing! I was hooked from the start and found the characters of both sisters compelling in their own “twisted” ways. I especially loved the character of Wally. Well written and taut with tension, The Good Sister is a fascinating read into the mind of a narcissist, but the exploration of Fern on the spectrum was spot on. I recommend this for anyone looking for a great escape. Captivated me on a cross-country flight with a three hour layover. I also loved her novel The Things We Keep, which has a dementia theme.

Start reading now!

About the Author

Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives, The Things We Keep, The Mother’s Promise, The Family Next Door, and The Mother In Law. Sally’s books have been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”. Sally’s novels are available worldwide in English and have been translated into 10+ languages. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

Connect with Sally Hepworth

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Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Goodreads

New Release Spotlight! Cover Reveal for Patti Callahan’s Upcoming Historical Novel, Surviving Savannah

New Release Spotlight Driftwood Dreams (4)

New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan delivers a breathtaking novel based on true events.

It was called “The Titanic of the South”—the luxury steamship that sank in 1838 with Savannah’s elite on board. Through time, their fates were forgotten—until the wreck was found.

Now their story is finally being told.

When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski, she’s shocked. The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly can’t resist the opportunity to try to solve some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the devastating night of its sinking.

Everly’s research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together, and the extraordinary stories of two women from this family: a known survivor, Augusta Longstreet, and her niece, Lilly Forsyth, who, along with her child, was never found. The women were part of Savannah society, but when the ship exploded, each was faced with difficult and heartbreaking decisions. This is a moving and powerful exploration of what women will do to endure in the face of tragedy, the role fate plays, and the myriad ways we survive the surviving.

Perfect for fans of Before We Were Yours, Sold on a Monday, and Orphan Train, Callahan’s highly anticipated novel tells the story of a little known chapter of history that has long deserved a spotlight. This transformative tale told from alternating past and present perspectives will sweep readers away and move them to their core.

Designed Graphic_ Surviving Savannah

Pre-order Surviving Savannah Now! 

Win an advanced digital review copy of the book! Enter here.

(NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. US Residents, 18+. Ends August 17, 2020.
See official rules at official website.)

 

Q&A with Patti Callahan

What inspired you to write Surviving Savannah?

Originally I was inspired by the Pulaski tales of survival, how the city of Savannah was part of this story, and how the Lowcountry was affected by this tragedy. I was also inspired and curious about the transformation of each passenger and the ways that each survivor not only lived through the explosion, but also how they chose to live their lives after the sinking.

How, I wondered, do some come to live better lives and others turn toward bitterness and cruelty? Who do we become after such great loss?

AND then!, everything shifted because after a hundred and eighty years, along came a shipwreck hunting crew who found the remains of the Pulaski a hundred feet beneath the waves, thirty miles off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina. While the team went deep to bring up the artifacts and treasure of this beautiful ship, I dug deep to bring up the stories.

My exhilarating hunt for the forgotten story began.

What kind of research was required to write the novel? Did anything surprise you?

The research was as fascinating as it was extensive – from the archives at the Georgia Historical Center in Savannah and the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum to books, newspaper archives, personal accounts and letters, I read everything that I could get my hands on. I devoured books on steamships and Savannah in the 1800’s. I read about the rich history of the colonization of Savannah with General Oglethorpe. I walked the streets of Savannah and visited museums and artifact collections. I interviewed shipwreck experts and became enchanted with the world of wreck salvaging and treasure hunting.

During this journey, I was surprised over and over, but one surprise that opens the novel is the true narrative about a fifteen-year-old passenger named Charles who survived the sinking to become a slave trader with a horrific reputation. As he grew into a man, he earned the nickname “the Red Devil”. How had this young boy survived to become so cruel? I wanted to know.

Finally, after years of research, I put together a complete story of that calamitous night, and one family in particular.

Your story follows three women – Lily and Augusta on the ship in 1838, and Everly in present day. Which of the three women did you relate to the most and why?

While I was writing each section I always felt the most connected to the woman I was writing about at the moment. I don’t think I felt more for one woman than another but of course our modern-day character, Everly felt more relatable only because I know today’s Savannah and I know today’s southern norms and ideas. The historical narratives were almost two hundred years old, and yet I still felt as close to Lilly and Augusta because their plight and their desires and their inner lives feel familiar. As far as women have come in their roles in society, there is still the struggle for independence and agency. There remains the need to burst through familial and collective norms to build a life of one’s own.

All three women had their own tragedies, hardships and losses to navigate. All three needed to discover how they would make meaning and purpose out of their situation. All three found out what they were truly made of and if they wanted to merely survive or if they wanted to thrive and build new lives.

Add SURVIVING SAVANNAH to your shelf: 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54306882-surviving-savannah

Visit Patti online: https://www.patticallahanhenry.com/surviving-savannah

About the Author

PCH

Photo Credit: Bud Johnson Photography, Savannah, GA

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of fifteen novels, including the (Historical Fiction),  BECOMING MRS. LEWIS—The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis (writing as Patti Callahan).

In addition, she is the recipient of The Christy Award—A 2019 Winner “Book of the Year”; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020 and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019.

In March of 2021, a new historical fiction novel — SURVIVING SAVANNAH based on the true story of the Steamship Pulaski wreck will be released.

The author is also the host of the popular seven-part original “Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series” launched, October 2019.  The podcast audiobook collection including bonus material was released in January 2020, and available now. The new expanded BECOMING MRS. LEWIS paperback edition was released on March 24, 2020, and available now.

Patti Callahan is the co-host and co-creator of the popular weekly Friends and Fiction Facebook Live Show and podcast, featuring the five bestselling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Kristin Harmel, and Mary Alice Monroe with endless stories, special guests, and a way to connect readers and writers.

THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER (writing as Patti Callahan Henry—Southern Contemporary Fiction) was launched in June 2019, and THE PERFECT LOVE SONG—A Christmas Holiday novella released October 2019, and available now.

A full-time author and mother of three children, she now resides in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.

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