Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Guest Blogger: Cozy Mystery Writer Blanche Day Manos @BlancheManos

Photo Credit: Blanche Day Manos
I am so excited to announce that my new friend and cozy mystery Author Blanche Day Manos is our Guest Blogger and will be writing a series of posts about herself, her books, the process and her newest book due out in September. 
Blanche writes in a very genuine, down-home way. If you read some of her blog posts on her website, you'll see what I mean. Having lived most of her life in Oklahoma, she often writes vividly of that place and time, and she incorporates details from her Cherokee heritage into her stories.

From a Classroom to a Murder Mystery

“I have another friend who is a writer,” my neighbor Levern told me. “I’d like you to meet her.”
So, Barbara’s and my mutual friend introduced us. Barbara Burgess and I discovered we were both from small towns, of Cherokee ancestry, and had heard many mysterious stories about the people who lived in the hills of Oklahoma and Arkansas. We collaborated on our first book, The Cemetery Club, and my career as a cozy mystery writer was launched. 
Barbara and I wrote three cozy mysteries together. Grave Shift and Best Left Buried followed our first book, with protagonist Darcy Campbell and her mother, Flora Tucker. Since that time, Barbara has had to take a break from writing because of illness, but I persevered. The fourth Darcy and Flora cozy, Grave Heritage, will be published in September. 

Sometimes people ask me how I got from the classroom to the bookshelf. (I was a kindergarten teacher for many years.) I tell them it was an easy step since I’ve always enjoyed books and writing and encouraged my kindergarteners as well as my son and grandchildren to love reading. As for the genre, well, cozy mysteries are not the hard-core, graphic kind; rather, they are gentler, with most of the violence taking place off-screen.

Although Darcy and Flora’s hometown looks placid and quiet on the surface, such is not the case. This mother-daughter pair faces danger and heart-stopping moments with regularity, but, fortified with coffee and encouraged by Darcy’s old flame, the sheriff of Ventris County, they make sure that justice always wins. A couple of years ago, I began a new series with a new protagonist, Ned McNeil. The first book is Moonlight Can Be Murder. A sequel, Fright of the Silvery Moon is a work in progress. 

A few years ago, I left my native Oklahoma and moved to NWArkansas. It’s a beautiful area, close to my children, and is the perfect place to pursue my writing career. I’ve started a writers’ critique group which meets in my home. We encourage and inspire each other.

Cozy mysteries have satisfactory endings. Life isn’t always like that, but the books I write are! They are great to read when a storm pounds the house or snow settles softly on trees and fence posts. A cup of coffee and a warm fire is the perfect setting for reading, but cozies are intriguing any time of year. Hopefully, the further adventures of Darcy Campbell and Flora Tucker will continue for a good, long while.
I'm thankful to Blanche for sharing her books with us. Please feel free to find Blanche on her website, Facebook or on Amazon and please share this post so that others could learn about her and her writing. I am a big supporter of indie book stores so I would be delighted if you had a look at Blanche's books at your local independent book store. My favorite indie bookstore is Bookworks in Albuquerque, NM.
Photo Credit: Blanche Day Manos

Come back to see the next of Blanche's posts August 1, 2016 ... and leave a comment below to let us know you're a cozy mystery fan.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Journey of a Reluctant Writer

Catch up with my girl Marsha on her adventure into blogging at Journey of a Reluctant Writer. Not only is she baring her soul as a Language Arts teacher who admits that writing is her challenge, but she also has some pretty cool pictures of her recent trip to Cali.

Hey, didn't we all think the Language Arts teacher was supposed to be the perfect writer?

Photo Credit: Journey of a Reluctant Writer

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hallowed ground at the Sugar & Spice Ranch

There is a quiet grace that descends in the evening at the Sugar and Spice Ranch. The land the ranch sits on feels like hallowed ground, and easily you realize it is a special place, and you are experiencing a particular time. Watching the changing sky over the hills while sitting on the porch of the ranch house is almost a quiet meditation.
After a day riding in the arena, there is simple joy in just relaxing and walking the grounds watching the horses in the pasture where they live simply and naturally in a herd. There’s a joy in seeing God’s creature live in the manner intended.
It’s no wonder mothers experience bonding with their daughters, and friends grow closer, and families create memories. Experiencing a connection with horses opens the heart, and the soul and on this land, it is almost a spiritual moment.

Originally posted in WHERE"S MS. LEIGH | MARIA NORCIA SANTILLANES | APRIL 15, 2016

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016

Simply Priceless at the Sugar and Spice Ranch

Happiness has a smell; it has a feel, and it has a touch! It's the smell of a barn in the early morning, that heady perfume, it's the velvety nose of a happy horse looking for kisses and it's the soft hand to guide, direct and teach a new rider to embrace the world through the gait of a horse. Those words describe the heart experience of The Sugar and Spice Ranch in Bandera, TX headed up by a very special boss-lady and cowboy-girl, Ms. Leigh McCourt

One of the most touching experiences at the ranch has to be the mother and daughter camp experience. There
isn't anything better than the bonding that occurs between mother and daughter when they work together to
care for horses and learn basic ranch duties. Relying on each other, learning together, sharing work and when
the day comes to a close, sharing a beautiful sunset.  
Whether it's a time for mom and child to open their heart to each other in the dark of night or a quiet time spent in watching each other, moms gain a keen understanding of their child's ability and daughters learn a new respect for their parent. 
Bonding with a child is a continuous process of a lifetime and one that reaps the highest rewards, the love that glues family. Horses open up the heart space for that to happen; they are a kind of impetus for building a relationship, for confidence in oneself and each other. Caring for a horse, even for a short time, making sure the horses needs are taken care of builds nurturing skills and discipline. Horses teach humans to trust themselves by trusting in the human. When people work together as a team to care for horses, they learn about each other and most importantly, themselves. They begin to see themselves in a different light. 

I don't know that anyone could put a price tag on a lifetime relationship as important as that of a child and their parent or the experience of building that relationship. I don't know that anyone would. 
But I do know the experience that mothers and daughters leave "The Sugar and Spice Ranch" with is indeed priceless.
Originally posted in WHERE"S MS. LEIGH | MARIA NORCIA SANTILLANES | MARCH 15, 2016

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Review: Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer { @susanmboyer }

"I'd bet my mamma's pearls these folks are eccentric." ~Liz

Susan Boyer's Liz Talbot Mystery series is a cozy paranormal delight. Set in South Carolina's lowcountry with a few fictional places thrown in for good measure, the setting is a delight, and recognizable to anyone who has spent time in the lowcountry.

A paranormal element adds quite a bit of fun to the storyline. Colleen, the guardian spirit, is quite the character popping in when she is most needed and sometimes when she isn't. The mortal characters each seems to have a nice depth to them, with a bit of down home southern humor.

A quick read, Lowcountry Boneyard twists and turn with multiple villains and hidden family secrets that keep you guessing along the way.

Please remember to support you local independent bookstores! 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Review of Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews { @mkayandrews }

I haven't read anything by Mary Kay in quite some times, so it was nice to pick up this book that had been sitting on my TBR pile for so long.

An enjoyable story with a bit of intrigue, a bit of romance and a bit of comedy, but it was also a bit slow in places and didn't have much depth. The tense relationship between jealous Kullen Kane and florist Cara Kryzik could have been an exciting element of intrigue had it been developed more, but overall it was a nice story.

I like Mary Kay's stories and will continue to follow her work. Her next book will be The Weekenders, which will be available May 17, 2016, and can be pre-ordered now. It sounds like it will be a good story!

Please remember to support you local independent bookstores!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Review of The Sound of Glass by Karen White { @KarenWhiteWrite }

The New York Times bestselling author of A Long Time Gone 
now explores a Southern family’s buried history, 
which will change the life of the woman who unearths it, 
secret by shattering secret. 

Ever since first being introduced to her writing, I have found Karen White's work to be enjoyable, a story well told. I enjoy seeing flawed characters find themselves. We are all flawed in a way, we each carry baggage sometimes much to heavy to bear.

The Sound of Glass hit those pressure points for me. Characters who are vulnerable and who have life events that create a nick in their personality. A rich interplay of people who have not much in common but everything in common. A story that is not quick but cleverly moderate in pace so that one has time to feel the characters, the setting and the intrigue that haunts the background of this story.

Beautifully written, heartfelt and slowly simmering, I loved this story about how generations carry scars, a family is sometimes created through tears and secrets always rise to the surface.

“We travel with the same packed bags we’ve always had, 
until we take the time to unpack them.” 
― Karen WhiteThe Sound of Glass

Synopsis: "It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt. 
Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother. 
Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country."   www.karen-white.com
If you are interested in this book, I'd appreciate it a lot if you would support your local community by making your book purchase at an independent bookseller (Indies) in your area. 
Shop Indie Bookstores
Click here to find an Indie near you!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Review of Rough Patches by Deanna Dickenson McCall

This author knows her way around a ranch, understands the ranching community, and knows the hardships as well as the benefits of a life few in this country still grasp.
The short stories in this book range from sad to dark to humorous but each one has a basis in reality, and that is what "Rough Patches" is about, stories about those times in life when things just aren't going right. The thing about going through a rough patch though is that you get over them, the brighter side is just 'over there.'
McCall writes about strong female characters handling tough situations in a challenging landscape and come out of it for the better maybe understanding one more thing about themselves and one more thing about life.

More about this author can be found on her website at http://www.deannadickinsonmccall.com/

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Review - Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey #BookReview

"In life, you have to be prepared for the surprises,
 good and bad, and take them in stride 
with grace and humility." 

Lies and Other Acts of Love
LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE (Berkley/Penguin Random House) is coming in Spring 2016. 

Kristy Woodson Harvey has once again written a heart-grabbing story of family, and what it means to love wholeheartedly even if that means the love is glued together with white lies.

"The best things in life are the unexpected ones." 

Written so beautifully and in a sweet southern voice, "Lies and Other Acts of Love" is an unexpected story examining flawed individuals, imperfect families, and the love that the one has for the other. The story gripped me from the very beginning but this story gets better as it's told and by the near end of it, my tears ran down my cheeks, and it seemed each act was increasingly unexpected. And yet the last chapter, my favorite, provided the closure needed to feel gratified by a story well told.

Kristy Woodson Harvey is fast becoming a favorite author. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good tale, decidedly gracious characters, and a charming southern place.

"But that's the thing about a secret 
that haunts your dreams and fills those
empty spaces in your mind. 
Once you know a thing so huge, 
you can never un-know it again." 

"Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina. She blogs at Design Chic about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at kristywoodonsharvey.com. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's school of journalism and holds a Master's in English from East Carolina University. She is a regular contributor for The Salisbury Post, Domino magazine, and Houzz. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and [young] son."
Add this book to your Goodreads bookshelf or pre-order it at your favorite bookseller.
I'd be delighted if you supported your local independent bookstore.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Review: Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women and Their Adventures in the American Southwest by Lesley Poling-Kempes

Adventures in the American Southwest

Ladies of the Canyons by Lesley Poling-Kempes
Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women and Their Adventures in the American Southwest 
by Lesley Poling-Kempes (Goodreads Author) 
Maria Norcia Santillanes's review 
Nov 12, 15  ·  edit

Read in November 2015 — I own a copy

I enjoyed this book and delighted in learning the history of these ladies and of the incredible lives they lived. It's also a story of place and a story of southwestern arts. In its way, it proves a historical truth about the ladies past, and current for whom the West and New Mexico, in particular, is a strong draw. Poling-Kempes is an excellent writer and I've enjoyed quite a few of her books. This book is well-written, obviously well-researched and a real page turner, a historical work that reads like fiction.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"Saddles and Mats" Women's Only 4-day retreat in Bandera, Texas Thanksgiving week

Allison Kara, who studied at the Kripalu School of Yoga, will be conducting a Yoga Retreat with The Sugar and Spice Ranch in Bandera, TX. The ranch boss, Leigh McCourt offers a slew of programs including Mother/Daughter Horseback getaways. Check out this new retreat.

Photo credit: The Sugar and Spice Ranch
Taken from Miss Leigh's Facebook page, Allison talks about this exciting event and her intention of being real and true.
"(The) Yoga Retreat with The Sugar and Spice Ranch, is a "Saddles and Mats" Women's Only 4-day retreat in Bandera, Texas Thanksgiving week when the kiddos are on break.
If you find yourself splitting holiday breaks and wanting to get away but not be alone - this could be for you OR if you have a super supportive family that recognizes your need to be YOU while being a mother and a partner - this could be for you too.
The intention I will be setting for this retreat is focusing on what is real and true for me at this time, this stage in my life and to connect with other gals that find themselves on a parallel journey. Make that intention your own, or if my intention doesn't resonate with you - set your own(!), it's all about being real and true - no stories to box us in.
Yoga, horseback riding with a Texas backdrop? Perfect.
Morning and Evening Yoga sessions daily, you will be partnered up with a horse for the duration of the retreat, be pampered with optional spa services, fed with delicious home-cooked food, have cozy accommodations in a bunkhouse, beautiful scenery, a chance to connect with nature and an amazing horse, and a break to focus on you.
More details to come - please check out the Sugar & Spice and IM me with any questions and to see if this retreat would be a good fit for you.
The Ranch accommodates 8 and Leigh, the Owner of the ranch, will be putting it on her site shortly. I would love to see some familiar faces staring back at me from their mats (and their horses), and so I'm putting it here first. I have been to the Sugar & Spice Ranch as a guest, and I am looking forward to going back to teach.
Please share this post - and spread the word!"

Contact The Sugar & Spice Ranch at (830) 460-8487 Monday – Sunday: 8 AM – 5 PM for more information on this event and others.


884 Rikki Drive
Bandera, Texas 78003
What do people say about the ranch?
“I’m not much of a horse person, but my wife and daughter have been to Sugar and Spice several times and absolute love it. So, they took me over Labor Day weekend and now I’m a fan too. It’s a rustic experience to be sure, but comfortable and homey. The owner Leigh and her daughters really made me feel like family and, despite my lack of riding experience I felt very at ease with my horse Willow. The food was excellent as well. If you want a real working ranch experience with great folks, this is the place to go.” — (Austin, Texas)

Cover reveal of LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE by Kristy Woodson Harvey #actsoflove @kristywharvey

Well friends, Kristy Woodson Harvey author of Dear Carolina has done it again. Her new book Lies and Other Acts of Love releases on April 5, 2016, but today we have a sneak preview of the beautiful book cover. I think it's swoon worthy fabulous!

and on the back cover you'll find a nice tease:
Dear Carolina was praised as “Southern fiction at its best.”* Now author Kristy Woodson Harvey presents a new novel about what it really means to tell the truth . . .After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies.Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancĂ© and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves . . .

To celebrate the LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE cover reveal, we are giving away three wonderful bundles of books penned by Tall Poppy Writers! Enter below to win! 

Book Bundle 1
THE DOG YEAR, Ann Wertz Garvin; 
VINTAGE, Susan Gloss; 
DEAR CAROLINA, Kristy Woodson Harvey; 

Book Bundle 2
CLOSE TO DESTINY, Adria Cimino; 
LEMONGRASS HOPE, Amy Impellizzeri; 
KEEP THE ENDS LOOSE, Molly Duncan Campbell; 
ROME IN LOVE, Anita Hughes; 

Book Bundle 3
WAKING UP JOY, Tina Ann Forkner; 
ENTANGLEMENT, Katie Rose Guest Prya;
DEAR CAROLINA, Kristy Woodson Harvey

Click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

“LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE by Kristy Woodson Harvey is a richly detailed, intergenerational tale of love, loss, and loyalty. Harvey pulls the reader into the hearts and souls of her characters.” 
-- Heather Gudenkauf 
~ New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence

To pre-order Kristy's new book follow the link of your choice:

LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE releases 4.5.16 from Berkley/Penguin Random House. Currently available for pre-order at your local bookstore, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Here is a list of Bloggers participating in this reveal and giveaway. Stop by and give them some love! Tell them Whiskey Tales sent you.

Participating Bloggers:

 LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE will grab you by the heartstrings and pull hard. A perfect story about the lies we tell and the secrets we keep-- all in the name of love.” 
– Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, 
authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ladies of the Canyon by Lesley Poling-Kempes

I am looking forward to this read. I expect her writing will be excellent as always.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Guest Post by Kristy Woodson Harvey, Author of Dear Carolina ... @kristywharvey

“Characters with rich, complicated lives…
beautifully shows how a family comes to be.”
New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas
 (about Dear Carolina)

For several weeks, I have been sharing the news about the soon to release book Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey. If you read my review of her book, you'll know I was head over heels about the story and her writing. You can only guess how delighted I was that she agreed to write a guest post for Whiskey Tales even with her crazy, busy schedule. So, without any further introduction let's hear from Kristy.
Kristy Woodson Harvey
     One of the most nerve-racking things about putting your book out into the
world is wondering if people are going to “get it.” You worked for months on this
manuscript, and you’ve put so much of your heart and soul into it, and now you’re
launching it into the world. That wondering if people will get it is, probably in a
larger sense, connected to that paramount question: Are people going to like it? (I’m
a bit of a people pleaser, so I always have that question in mind!)
     Maria was one of the first people to review Dear Carolina, and, when I saw
that her post was live, my heart dropped into my stomach. I felt those nervous
butterflies and a surge of adrenaline.  This, after almost two years of writing, editing
and waiting for publication, was the moment of truth.
     Then I clicked on the link. And then I started reading. I realized quickly that
she had enjoyed the book, which, of course, was a tremendous relief. Because your
editor and the other people at the publishing house can like it all they want to, but,
until it’s in the world, that fear is going to be there that it isn’t going to resonate with
     But, as I continued reading, I realized that Maria not only liked the book but
that she also got it. 
     You see, I don’t write in chronological order. Quite frankly, I don’t write in
any order at all! I write what pops into my head, usually the most emotionally
wrought scenes of the book, and then I puzzle piece it together in the ways that
make the most sense. 
     The very first scene of Dear Carolina that I wrote was the one where Jodi is
sitting on the beach, trying to come to terms with this decision that she has to make.
And the very first lines I wrote of Dear Carolina were the ones that Maria picked out:
“I don’t know the theory of relativity or the speed of light or any of that other math.
But I knew right well, watching the moon rise over the water that night that, no
matter what them smart scholars say, love is the hardest equation.”

For me, those two lines are the heart of the book, its emotional core. Because
this story isn’t just a story about two mothers and their daughter; it’s a story about
the ways we create our families. It’s a story about how we meet our partners in life
and the best friends that are there for us no matter what. Dear Carolina is a book
about love, in any form, and, no matter what relationship that love pertains to, it
isn’t always of the sweet, sticky, Hallmark-card variety. It tends to get tricky from
time to time.
     Which leads into the other essential line that Maria also chose to use in her
review: “You can never have too many people who love you.”
It may be one of the simplest lines in the book, and, on its own, it doesn’t
seem like much. But, today especially, I think it’s an important thing to remember.
With blended families and stepparents and grandparents, in some families there can
be a huge number of people vying for the attention of you, your spouse, or especially
your child. But, as Khaki reminds us, even if it can be complicated, all that means is
that more people love us. And, while the details might be complex, at its core, it’s
really just more love.
     Thank you so much for loving this book, Maria, for championing it, and, most
of all, for “getting it.” I’ll never forget the relief I felt when I clicked on that link and
realized that, no matter what happened, someone out there felt as connected to Dear 
Carolina as I did! Thank you so much for having me today and allowing me to share
with your wonderful readers. It was a privilege!
~~~ # ~~~

Kristy, Thank you for the gracious compliment. I am incredibly excited to learn you are working on your second book due out April 2016, and I am looking forward to another great read.

"Southern to the bone and full of engaging characters,
 Dear Carolina is a strikingly beautiful story of love and sacrifice. 
Kristy Woodson Harvey’s debut novel captures your heart 
and doesn’t let go; her keen insights into a mother’s love 
will stay with you long after the last page."
--Kim Boykin, author of Palmetto Moon

"Kristy Woodson Harvey holds a degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s in English from East Carolina University. She writes about interior design and loves connecting with readers. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and three-year-old son. Dear Carolina is her first novel."

"Dear Carolina is like the Southern women within it’s pages 
and those who will love this book, sweet as sweet tea on the outside 
and strong as steel on the inside. The dialect of the south 
is so entwined in these pages the reader is  
transported to a place where women and children
 are treasured and family rules all. Kristy Harvey is a natural."
Ann Garvin, Author of On Maggie’s Watch and The Dog Year

You can learn more about Kristy and her work as an Author and a Designer by visiting her website where you can also pre-order Dear Carolina that is set to release May 5, 2015. As well, all the usual places including Barnes & Noble and Amazon, but if you are so inclined, I suggest purchasing at and supporting a local independent bookstore in your neighborhood.

Read my review of Kristy's book here!

You can connect with Kristy on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kristywoodsonharvey and Twitter at @kristywharvey

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 5th, 2015 by Berkley
ISBN 0425279987 (ISBN13: 9780425279984)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What's new in this growing TBR

Pretty soon, my mailbox should be exploding with new books just in time for the warmer days to appear. I don't know about you, but I'm still looking around corners for some lemonade and popsicle warmth. Spring is certainly taking it's time this year.

A few of the books will be coming with a lagniappe, a small gift for pre-ordering. How thoughtful and yes, a nice marketing strategy! I find pre-ordering to be very convenient so for me a small gift is a gracious addition. And since I like to see favorite authors when they are in my neck of the woods, I know that many times pre-ordering will give the publisher that push that sets an author on tour. How about you, do you pre-order books or wait until they are available for purchase?

Seems my first book arrival should be here soon. Everything is looking pretty peachy, I'd say!

Available April 21

"Where is Kent Heyward? The twenty-three-year-old heiress from one of Charleston’s oldest families vanished a month ago. When her father hires private investigator Liz Talbot, Liz suspects the most difficult part of her job will be convincing the patriarch his daughter tired of his overbearing nature and left town. That’s what the Charleston Police Department believes. 

But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Rivers and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk.

Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Rivers, the closer Liz dances to her own grave."


"The New York Times bestselling author of A Long Time Gonenow explores a Southern family’s buried history, which will change the life of the woman who unearths it, secret by shattering secret." 

"It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.

Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.

Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country."


"Greer Hennessy is a struggling movie location scout. Her last location shoot ended in disaster when a film crew destroyed property on an avocado grove. And Greer ended up with the blame.

Now Greer has been given one more chance—a shot at finding the perfect undiscovered beach town for a big budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town. There’s one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino—which will be perfect for the film’s climax—when the bad guys blow it up in an all-out assault on the townspeople.

Greer slips into town and is ecstatic to find the last unspoilt patch of the Florida gulf coast. She takes a room at the only motel in town, and starts working her charm. However, she finds a formidable obstacle in the town mayor, Eben Thinadeaux. Eben is a born-again environmentalist who’s seen huge damage done to the town by a huge paper company. The bay has only recently been re-born, a fishing industry has sprung up, and Eben has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. The only problem is that he finds Greer way too attractive for his own good, and knows that her motivation is in direct conflict with his.

Will true love find a foothold in this small beach town before it’s too late and disaster strikes?  Told with Mary Kay Andrews inimitable wit and charm, Beach Town is this year’s summer beach read!"

Book Three of the LOWCOUNTRY SUMMER TRILOGY -- out May 19

Book Three of the LOWCOUNTRY SUMMER TRILOGY -- out May 19

"In the powerful and heartwarming conclusion to her bestsellingLowcountry Summer trilogy, New York Times author Mary Alice Monroe brings her readers back to the charm and sultry beauty of Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, to reveal how the pull of family bonds and true love is as strong and steady as the tides."

"It is summer’s end and Sea Breeze, the family’s beloved estate on Sullivan’s Island, must be sold. It is an emotional time of transition as Mamaw and the three sisters each must face loss and find a new place in the world.

Harper, the youngest sister, arrived at Sea Breeze intending to stay only a weekend, but a rift with her wealthy, influential mother left her without direction or a home. During this remarkable summer, free from her mother’s tyranny and with the help of her half sisters, Harper discovered her talents and independent spirit. 

But summer is ending, and the fate of Sea Breeze hinges on Harper’s courage to decide the course of her own life. To do so she must release her insecurities and recognize her newfound strengths. She must accept love fully into her life—the love of Mamaw, Carson, and Dora, the love of Sea Breeze and the lowcountry, and most of all, the love of a Wounded Warrior who has claimed her heart."

"The third book in Mary Alice Monroe’s trilogy that brims with “stories that touch the mind and heart of her readers” (Huffington Post)The Summer’s End follows three half sisters bound by love for their grandmother and the timeless beauty and traditions of the lowcountry."

Of course I can't forget to suggest a few others that I've read that just tug at my heartstrings since the writing and the stories are so beautiful. I think you'll love these two books:

Due out on May 5th. Read my review here.
You can learn more about Kristy and her work as an Author and a Designer by visiting her website where you can also pre-order Dear Carolina - See more at: http://beachwalkermari.blogspot.com/search/label/Reviews#sthash.WOs07mxq.dpuf 

Available now. Read my review here.
All of Amy's books can be purchased directly from her website where all books are signed by her - See more at: http://beachwalkermari.blogspot.com/search/label/Reviews#sthash.WOs07mxq.dpuf 

All of these books can be found on the authors website or at all the usual places including Barnes & Noble and Amazon, but if you are so inclined, I suggest purchasing at and supporting a local independent bookstore in your neighborhood. 

What books are in your 'to be read' stack?