April 28, 2021 | Issue #39
Five Facts from Our Friend, Chris Bohjalian
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without during the pandemic:
My beloved rescue dog, Jesse. My wife and I got her on February 22, 2020. Not sure I would have survived the last year without her. Also? Gin, Campari, vermouth, and a shaker to make a Negroni.

Your perfect day:
Walking Jesse at dawn, writing until a late lunch, biking 25 to 50 miles in the afternoon, dinner with my lovely bride, and then reading in the tub until I am almost asleep.

Your favorite independent bookstore:
I have many. Many! But I will give a shoutout to the two nearest me where I shop most often: the Vermont Bookshop in Middlebury, VT and Phoenix Books in Burlington, VT.

The last book you raved about:
I am taking the fifth because most of my friends are writers.

Your next book in ten words or less:
A Hollywood starlet’s honeymoon safari goes to hell in 1964.
Bookseller of the Week
Our featured independent bookseller of the week is The Vermont Book Shop, an independent bookstore located on Middlebury's Main Street that's been in continuous operation since 1949.  Get 10% off this week on featured titles with the code FF10. Discounted books include Chris Bohjalian's HOUR OF THE WITCH (in stores May 4th!) as well as other new and recent titles from the rest of Fab Five. Visit the specially curated F&F page on The Vermont Book Shop's website to SHOP NOW! 
Latest News From "The Fab Five"

KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY is so grateful to everyone for the incredible support during the best launch week ever for UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY. Thank you to everyone who has read the book and attended the events both virtually and in-person. She is still plugging away with lots of fun events remaining on her book tour. Visit her website to learn all about her remaining events.

MARY KAY ANDREWS is counting down the days (SIX, y’all!) until THE NEWCOMER is in stores. Check out her website for her full book tour. Yesterday was the book birthday for the paperback edition of HELLO, SUMMER. Visit HERE to see the brand-new fresh look and get all the details & buy links. She’s also busy fluffing Coquina Cottage so it can be listed and ready to welcome guests in May. Remind her to never again launch a new book and a newly renovated beach rental cottage at the same time, K? Thx!

MARY ALICE MONROE is blushing with excitement about the new earrings created for her by Brackish Bowties. “The Mary Alice” earrings were designed in collaboration with Mary Alice and inspired by her lowcountry books.  Crafted with vibrant turquoise peacock feathers and deep yellow and navy blue pheasant feathers, they look to MAM like a lowcountry sunset. Available HERE. She’s also pleased that The Summer of Lost and Found was named One of Country Living’s “30 Can't-Miss Beach Reads for This Summer where it was called “perfect for fans of Summer of '69 and Surfside Sisters

KRISTIN HARMEL is looking forward to celebrating her birthday on Tuesday... which just so happens to be the same day Mary Kay's THE NEWCOMER comes out, so Kristin is jumping to the (possibly incorrect!) conclusion that obviously, Mary Kay wrote the book just for her (I mean, it is set in the area where Kristin grew up.), and she appreciates it, since it's a book she absolutely adored. Kristin hopes you'll celebrate her birthday on Tuesday by buying a copy of Mary Kay's THE NEWCOMER so that Mary Kay writes another book for her next year, too.

PATTI CALLAHAN welcomes the new compilation of short stories honoring Dorothea Benton Frank into the world this week. An honoring and a work of great admiration and love, Reunion Beach is out now; Patti’s short story is called The Bridesmaids. With stories by Mary Alice Monroe, Adriana Trigiani, Elin Hilderbrand and more. Hilton Head Magazine visited Patti at home in Bluffton — you can read all about it (and meet Winnie, the world’s best dog) in the Story of the Storyteller. 
An Original Essay by Mary Alice Monroe

Each week, the Friends & Fiction authors take turns
writing an essay for, the online home of Parade magazine.This week, Mary Alice shares a column on the
hard-fought lessons of this past very difficult year.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. Again. Since the pandemic forced the shutdown in March 2020, I’ve had trouble sleeping. And concentrating. And reading books. I’ve heard this called “COVID Brain.” I worked hard during the day, but at night, when my mind was no longer occupied with work, all those worrisome thoughts and fears I could keep tamped down in the daytime emerged to haunt me.

Throughout the past year, I began writing a novel about life in the time of coronavirus. I was interested in how the experience of the pandemic affected families and interpersonal relationships. Because it did—mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, friends, lovers. I paid attention to my life and the lives of my loved ones, recording what I observed as we marched through the months. I wrote this novel in real-time, and what a roller coaster it has been.

To continue reading Mary Alice’s essay on, click HERE.
Enter to Win!


Announcing our fourth and final birthday month giveaway! That's right, it may be Friends & Fiction's first birthday, but we want YOU to have the gifts! Enter to win a 3-month book subscription from the literary matchmakers at Page 1 Books—PLUS we will throw in a highly coveted F&F jute tote bag! Entry deadline: Sun May 2 at midnight ET. One lucky winner announced Mon May 3. GOOD LUCK! Details & entry form HERE.

CONGRATS to these winners in our first three giveaways:
• Jenny from NC won a 12-pack variety case of cheese straws and an F&F wine tumbler!
• Karen from OH won a Caroline’s Cake and a Charleston Coffee Roasters gift set!
• Susie from CO won the Barn Light Electric reading lamp!
Listen to the F&F Podcast!

Out Now! S1E10—In our latest episode, Mary Kay and Mary Alice sit down with Zibby Owens of Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books
Out Now! S1E9—Have you listened to last week's episode yet? Kristy interviewed Outlawed author, Anna North.

Coming May 7th! S1E11—Patti & Mary Kay recently interviewed Jen Hart from Book Club Girl. Be on the lookout for that episode coming in a couple weeks!
Listen, download, subscribe, rate, review & share wherever you get your podcasts!
News from the F&F Official Book Club
Mark your calendars for these upcoming book club discussions. All events below take place at 7pm ET unless listed otherwise. 
April 30, 7:30pm ET: Virtual Happy Hour with Ron Block and Surprise...Mary Kay Andrews! We will celebrate the release of
The Newcomer, announce our book club schedule for the rest of the year, and we have a few surprises....who might join us for a drink?!🍹
May 7: Happy Hour Luau with Mary Alice Monroe celebrating the release of The Summer of Lost and Found 
May 17: Under the Southern Sky with Kristy Woodson Harvey
June 21: The Newcomer with Mary Kay Andrews
July 19: The Summer of Lost and Found with Mary Alice Monroe
Aug. 16: The Forest of Vanishing Stars with Kristin Harmel
If you missed our Surviving Savannah book club session with Patti Callahan Henry on Monday April 19th, click HERE to see the fun!

And Now a Word from our Partners

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