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It’s summer, time to seek the shade, a cool drink, and a hot book!  Lots of local authors in this grouping, which is a treat for me to toot the horn of my own tribe.


WHEN CICADAS CRY by Caroline Cleveland

Caroline is a local author, and she is a gifted writer.  You’ll love this one!

“A page-turner of a whodunit that delves deeply into themes of social justice, personal responsibility, and the right to love whom you choose. . . . Life-altering revelations and astute social commentary abound, vexing and enticing characters and readers alike with each new discovery and divulgence en route to the biggest secret of all. The result is a gratifying debut populated by a memorable cast of Lowcountry characters, several of whom seem primed to return in future crime-solving adventures. Cleveland’s novel is destined to appeal to book clubs, the members of which can debate when and if they solved the mystery, and to readers devoted to Southern legal dramas overtly in the lineage of To Kill a Mockingbird.” —Post and Courier


The Final Victory


Another local author, Roger’s heartfelt story of victory over cancer is a book to give someone who needs inspiring. In this notable debut, Roger Jones explores the strength, resilience, compassion, and willpower of a band of athletes who define courage and triumph over unspeakable odds…I laughed. I cried. I was inspired.





Summers at the saint

SUMMERS AT THE SAINT by Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay is always a fun summer read!

“A fun, heart-warming, and intriguing summer read. For readers who’d enjoy a blend of friendships (old and new), budding romance, and secrets held within the walls of a hotel that needs rescuing.” -Library Journal





a happier life

A HAPPIER LIFE by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Love the concept of Kristy’s new book and though I haven’t read it yet, I will def put my feet up to read it this summer. “Full of Southern charm and characters that will stay with you”, this tender novel follows a young woman who discovers the family she has always longed for when she spends a life-changing summer in North Carolina.







We are fortunate in South Carolina to have the naturalist and famed birder, Drew Lanham, a resident of our state.  His books are always must reads for me.

“With his consistently engaging writing, keen eye, and generosity of spirit, Lanham is a writer to whom we should all listen closely. Lanham memorably, vibrantly shows how choosing joy is an act of resilience, courage, and power.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review





I am an avid audiobook fan and a fussy listener, as well.  So, when I give a thumbs up recommendation for a good listen, it has to be a great reader.  Don’t you hate it when a good book has a bad reader? It just ruins the experience.  Here are a couple of raves!

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Harper Lee, read by Sissy Spacek

You probably read this book at some point in your life, but listening to Sissy’s read is like reading the book for the first time!  You’ll thank me!





THE FOX WIFE Yangsze Choo (read by author)

A delightful read, so professional and heartfelt.  This is historical, mystery, fantasy,–it has it all!

In the last years of the dying Qing Empire, a courtesan is found frozen in a doorway. Her death is clouded by rumors of foxes, which are believed to lure people by transforming themselves into beautiful women and handsome men. Bao, a detective with an uncanny ability to sniff out the truth, is hired to uncover the dead woman’s identity. Since childhood, Bao has been intrigued by the fox gods, yet they’ve remained tantalizingly out of reach—until, perhaps, now.


middle grade book RECOMMENDATIONS for the kids


Of course, I must mention Angela and my hot off the press novel Shipwrecked!  As I write, we are launching this final installment of The Islanders Trilogy.  It can be read as a standalone, but I recommend starting with book 1 The Islanders, then book 2, Search for Treasure, first.  I hope you’ll take time with your cuties to share these books—and read them outdoors!

“A powerful coming of age tale.”  – Kirkus Reviews





Also third in a series, this book got a starred review by Kirkus and is a favorite series of my grandson.  It is surprisingly poignant! Plus, the first book in the series, THE WILD ROBOT, is a major motion film out in September. This is the perfect time to dive into a series and then enjoy the movie in the fall.





THE GIRL WHO KEPT THE CASTLE by Ryan Graudin (local author)

Released the same day as our, June 18, Ryan is a fellow Carolina girl author we love.  Each one of her books is a keeper. Here’s the quote I gave for this book:

Ryan Graudin’s THE GIRL WHO KEPT THE CASTLE has it all– an enchanted castle, dead wizard, vegetarian dragon, ancient talking cat, and a big-hearted girl determined to save the place she loves. This heartwarming page-turner will thrill fans of fantasy fiction—and all readers!”