This photo marks a special day. The official launch of my new summer novel, ON OCEAN BOULEVARD and the date of the first reported sea turtle nest of the 2020 season on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina.



This is amazing for a few reasons. The Isle of Palms is the main setting of ON OCEAN BOULEVARD, which is also the Lowcountry island I call home. the story is set against the backdrop of the loggerhead turtle nesting season and the people who volunteer to protect the species. In real life, I am one of those people, a “Turtle Lady”, as we proudly call ourselves. I’m certified to help locate and protect the nests on our beach to help the species thrive.



May marks the beginning of loggerhead nesting season in South Carolina. Imagine my delight when the team called me on book release day to report the first nest sighting of the season. 147 eggs!

My best friend Barbara Bergwerf is our official Island Turtle Team photographer, and she does an incredible job documenting the season. Here’s the link to our Island Turtle Team page. Bookmark the page if you’re interested in loggerheads. Check in often, and you’ll feel like a “virtual” turtle lady with us. The team patrols the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island beaches.

The photograph above is pure serendipity! What are the chances that our island’s first turtle nesting would happen on the same day as the book release of ON OCEAN BOULEVARD? This moment is just as special to me as the year that a loggerhead laid a nest on my birthday in May! (There’s a chance that could actually happen again, too. I’ll keep you posted).



This is an amazing moment of life imitating art. And it feels like the turtles came to celebrate the new book. What an uplifting moment in a season that has been full of major change for all of us. Anyone who knows me knows my deep affinity for loggerheads (and all sea turtles). And I know I’m not alone…I met many turtle lovers over the years during book tours. Nature has a magical way of delivering a uplifting moment right when you need it.



I’m happy to report that ON OCEAN BOULEVARD is a #1 New Release on Amazon. Thank you readers for making it a bestseller! I believe this is a book that will deliver exactly what many of us want right now–an entertaining escape. So many summer events and vacations are postponed or canceled. A lot of people are staying close to home this season for safety. It’s nice to see people turning to books to fill their free time and lift their spirits. I invite you to meet me ON OCEAN BOULEVARD this summer!




The New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Guests returns at long last to her beloved Isle of Palms in this breathtaking novel about one family’s summer of forging new beginnings against the enduring beauty and resilience of the natural world.

It’s been sixteen years since Caretta “Cara” Rutledge has returned home to the beautiful shores of Charleston, South Carolina. Over those years, she has weathered the tides of deaths and births, struggles and joys. And now, as Cara prepares for her second wedding, her life is about to change yet again.

Meanwhile, the rest of the storied Rutledge family is also in flux. Cara’s niece Linnea returns to Sullivan’s Island to begin a new career and an unexpected relationship. Linnea’s parents, having survived bankruptcy, pin their hopes and futures on the construction of a new home on Ocean Boulevard. But as excitement over the house and wedding builds, a devastating illness strikes the family and brings plans to a screeching halt. It is under these trying circumstances that the Rutledge family must come together yet again to discover the enduring strength in love, tradition, and legacy from mother to daughter to granddaughter.

Like the sea turtles that come ashore annually on these windswept islands, three generations of the Rutledge family experience a season of return, rebirth, and growth.






  1. Constance A. Luck on June 19, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    I discovered your books years ago. I didn’t know about the Loggerhead turtles until I read Beach House and fell in love with Lovie and all of her family. I haven’t had the pleasure of staying on the beach in South Carolina. Through your awesome books, I have been able to visit there. At the age of 78, I don’t know if I will every achieve the goal of getting there in person, but through your books I have felt the sand, the wind and breeze from the water and sat on Lovie’s porch. Thank you for each book you have written because they let me see/feel life in the low country. I am reading your new book and it has brought back so many sweet memories of Lovie’s family. Thank you for the joy and happiness you bring to me through your books.

    • Mary Alice Monroe on July 10, 2020 at 8:10 am

      I’m so glad you enjoy my books. Thank you for your sweet note.

  2. Carole Gross on June 19, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    Just finished On Ocean Boulevard and decided to reread the series again, beginning with the first one. I’m not sure I’m up to reading about Lovie’s cancer and death and the loss of her one true love over the beach. It tore me up the first time I read the books; took me weeks to get over the heartache and grief. What’s wrong with me…..the books are fiction!!!!!

    • Mary Alice Monroe on July 10, 2020 at 8:11 am

      I know exactly how you feel. And your words are a compliment. Thank you for reading my books.

  3. Barbara on July 5, 2020 at 11:16 am

    I can’t wait to read this new book! I just finished rereading the other books in the Beach House series. I love love love them all. I always feel like I am right there on Isle of Palms with Cara and the other wonderful characters and the amazing animals. I think i would definitely be a Turtle Lady if i lived there. Thanks, Mary Alice, for giving us a new book just when we needed it most.

    • Mary Alice Monroe on July 10, 2020 at 8:07 am

      Thank you, Barbara. I am so glad you enjoy my books!

  4. Connie Roessler on July 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    I am reading On Ocean Boulevard and wish it included a list of characters from the entire Beach House series. I often see these in series and find them helpful to refresh my memory. Is there such a list that could be downloaded? Love these books!

    • Mary Alice Monroe on July 21, 2020 at 10:50 am

      This is a great idea! I’ll keep this in mind to release as soon as possible.

  5. Michelle Dalto on July 25, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    I read On Ocean Boulevard first and am now reading backwards. Your writings are so miraculous and make one feel they are on the Isle of Palms. I have always loved turtles and especially sea turtles. Highest now on my bucket list is to get to the low country. I just can’t decide if I want to be there for nesting or hatching! I think either an extended trip or 2 trips will have to occur. It’s really special to read novels that also teach so much about the environment. I would definitely be out there with the turtle teams if I lived there. Thank you for these wonderful books.

    • Mary Alice Monroe on July 29, 2020 at 10:31 am

      Thank you so much for this special note. I’m so glad you enjoyed my new book. And I hope you are able to come to the Lowcountry one day soon. You’ll love it. And be sure to visit the SC Aquarium.

  6. Ellen T. Dayhoff on August 3, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    I, too, have just finished On Ocean Boulevard and had re-read the series prior to reading this one! It was lovely and all along I hoped the ending would be what it was…I live in Gettysburg PA and the discussion Linnea had regarding slavery was so very spot on. I wish so many could comprehend what you said in that one paragraph! So timely. I do hope to read more about the next generation of characters….the series could go on forever! 🙂 Thank you for providing an escape, especially in these trying times.

    My bucket list includes a vacation to the Isle of Palms and Charleston to see what you so richly describe.

    • Mary Alice Monroe on August 6, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the book and series. I enjoyed reading your comments. And I do hope you’ll plan a trip one day to the Lowcountry. You’ll fall in love with the area.

  7. Helen RoweDrake on August 23, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    Thank you so much for your writing. I love escaping to the beach with the turtles and I think of
    your characters long after finishing the books. I have also enjoyed all of your other titles except
    The Secrets We Keep which doesn’t seem to be available or even on your website list–makes me
    curious what its about and the secrets are safe if it can’t be found! I did just spend the weekend
    with On Ocean Boulevard and it was great. I also finished last weekend The Summer Guests and
    enjoyed that very much as well especially since I grew up with horses and could relate to that world tho not
    at their rich, high competitive levels. Those were also interesting characters well developed and I liked
    that you included the spirit trees and native wisdom. I also think of you when I see Monarchs–sadly not
    as often as we used to but we spread milkweed each year. Please keep writing and thank you so much!

    • Mary Alice Monroe on August 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      Thank you so much for your wonderful note. I cherish your words. ‘The Secrets We Keep’ is actually ‘Sweetgrass’. It was just retitled when it was printed overseas.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed The Summer Guests and On Ocean Boulevard this season. Thank you for being a supportive reader and for helping take care of monarchs.

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