For me, the summer season is synonymous with two things:

  • beach books
  • book tour

My books are almost always released in the summer. It seems it’s become tradition. This year, my new release is THE SUMMER GUESTS. In stores June 11th. For longtime readers of mine, they’ll enjoy the thread of connection between this standalone novel and my bestselling The Beach House series.

In THE SUMMER GUESTS, a cast of characters from Wellington, NC and Isle of Palms, SC evacuate their coastal homes as a major hurricane threatens everything they own. They flee to horse farm for safety in the foothill mountains of Tryon, North Carolina, bringing with them horses and dogs, and whatever else they can fit in their vehicles. This eclectic group of strangers and friends grapple with an important question during the storm: What do you treasure the most– in your life and within yourself?

With every book I write, I go to great lengths to create an authentic story world that accurately weaves together the landscape and wildlife into the lives of the characters. When you finish reading my novels, I want the reader to be both satisfied by a compelling story and pleasantly surprised about the things they learned.

Every new book release also means book tour! This year, I’ll be making more than 30 stops during my national book tour.  Right now I’m busy preparing my book talks and finalizing details of the book tour with my team. Am I coming to a city near you? Check out the book tour schedule

This is the time of year that I also turn into an eager reader, awaiting the release of other great summer beach books. I’ve got a few new titles on my reading list. But, I also have my old favorites on my bookshelf that I return to often. I want to share with you some of my all-time favorites about the beach and sea. They’re perfect for the summer season!

Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher    

This sweeping novel is centered on the life and times of Penelope Keeling, from her youth in the Bohemian art world of Cornwall to the ravages of World War II.  The complicated effects that inheritance and money can have on a family is a strong theme, as is the connection of family. Throughout, however, the call of the sea and a quaint Cornwall cottage remain a constant.

Beach Music by Pat Conroy   

Spanning three generations and two continents, from contemporary ravages in the American South to the haunting horrors of the Holocaust to the lingering trauma of Vietnam, Beach Music reveals the enduring human spirit.  Pat beautifully describes the lowcountry and how magical it was to grow up here.  It is another masterpiece in PAT CONROY’s legendary list of beloved novels.

Voyage of the Turtle by Carl Safina     

This compelling natural history adventure makes clear that the fate of the leatherback turtle—the largest of the sea turtles whose ancestry can be traced back 125 million years– is in our hands.   In his peerless prose, Safina captures the delicate interaction between these gentle giants and the humans who are playing a significant role in their survival. It speaks to our connection to all living things on this fragile blue planet.

I’ve read these books many times over. They are dog-earred, faded, and one even has a torn cover. But I treasure these beach books. May you find time to read them one day. And, I hope you’ll add my new novel, THE SUMMER GUESTS, to your reading list this summer. Are we friends on Goodreads? Let’s connect!

THE SUMMER GUESTS is available June 11. Pre-order your copy today.

And, I hope to see you during summer book tour. Join me for the fun!



  1. Michele Amato on May 22, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    A Curious Matter of Men with Wings…by F.Rutledge Hammes…a must read for anyone that loves the sea islands, this book will have you not wanting it to ever end!

    • Mary Alice Monroe on May 23, 2019 at 11:35 am

      Yes, great recommendation Michele! And he’s local!

  2. Carla Brumby on May 23, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Have already preordered The Summer Guests. Would love to read it on IOP. My copy of Beach Music by Pat Conroe looks battlewarn because it’s been read so often.

    • Mary Alice Monroe on May 23, 2019 at 11:35 am

      Thank you for pre-ordering. I hope you get a chance to enjoy some reading on the beach under a shady umbrella.
      So glad we share a love for Pat Conroy’s work.

  3. Linda Posey on May 27, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    I am delighted to see Shell Seekers and Beach Music on your reading list. I have several copies of both including 2 in my car (just in case) and a treasured copy of Beach Music signed by Pat Conroy. I was lucky enough to attend a talk by him at the Smithsonian shortly after Beach Music was published.
    I have all of your wonderful books also and have pre-ordered The Summer Guests.

    • Mary Alice Monroe on May 28, 2019 at 3:44 pm

      Oh Linda, how wonderful that you were able to attend his talk at the Smithsonian. That had to be unforgettable. Pat was an entertaining author to listen to! I’m so glad we both treasure the same novels. And I’m so glad you enjoy my novels too. The ultimate compliment!

  4. Paula Beiderbeck on June 14, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    I have a group of favorite authors I look for every summer. I live in the midwest (Ohio) but harbor a love of the southeast coastal areas, especially South Carolina. My favorite “low country” beach read authors are: you of course; Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Kaye Andrews, Pat Conroy , Alice Rivers Siddons and Karen White. I know I am guaranteed a good read with any book by one of these authors!

    I was lucky enough to meet you and hear you speak several years ago on Amelia Island. Hallmark had just announced the making of the movie about “The Beach House”. The turtle ladies are among my favorite characters and I love this series.

    I have “The Summer Guests” on order and can’t wait to read it. I just finished DBF’s latest “Queen Bee”
    last week, thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

    • Mary Alice Monroe on June 18, 2019 at 11:27 am

      That’s an excellent lineup of southern authors who share a love for the lowcountry in their lives and in their books. I’m hoping to continue “The Beach House” series in the near future. And perhaps I’ll get a chance to return to Amelia Island soon.

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