May 19, 2021 | Issue #42
Five Facts from Our Friend, Pam Jenoff
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without during the pandemic:
My mom and brother! The months we could not see them were the hardest. Also coffee (but we knew that already, right?), those little prepackaged Rice Krispy treats. And butter. So. Much. Butter.
Your perfect day:
Early morning writing time. Nature hike with kids and dog. Outlet shopping with mom. A trip to the library. (I used five library systems weekly before the pandemic.). Nap. Home cooked dinner by my husband. 
Your favorite independent bookstore:
Inkwood Books in Haddonfield, NJ,

The last book you raved about:
Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella and The Nature of Fragile Things by Sue Meissner. (Sorry, that was two!)

Your next book in ten words or less:
Inspired by true story of ambush of train to Auschwitz.
Bookseller of the Week
Our featured independent bookseller of the week is Inkwood Books in Haddonfield, NJ. When the town's only bookstore closed, Julie Beddingfield was inspired to leave her career as an attorney and open her own book shop. Get 10% off at Inkwood Books with the code FRIENDSFIC on THE WOMAN WITH THE BLUE STAR by this week's guest, Pam Jenoff (in stores now!) and on other new and recent titles from the Fab Five. Visit the specially curated F&F page on the Inkwood website to SHOP NOW! 
Latest News From "The Fab Five"

MARY ALICE MONROE is still busy with her book tour for The Summer of Lost and Found. She’s so grateful to see you on the road and meet so many fans of Friends & Fiction. Always a special treat and it confirms the strong community we share. A highlight of last week was being presented the key to the city of McDonough, GA by the mayor! MAM was announced Charleston’s Best Local Author by Charleston City Paper Awards 2021! A title she wears proudly. And she is is thrilled that the anthology she contributed a short story to, along with Patti Callahan, REUNION BEACH, is a New York Times Bestseller! This collection of short stories, memoirs, recipes and poems was created in memory of their friend Dorothea Benton Frank.

MARY KAY ANDREWS is back from two weeks on the road touring with the release of THE NEWCOMER. It was so great to be in the bookstores for in-person events again. The booksellers were so happy to host and it was fantastic to meet readers face-to-face again and get to see so many F&F fans—and introduce F&F to anyone who hadn’t yet heard about us. MKA is so grateful for your support and still celebrating that THE NEWCOMER is a New York Times bestseller. Thanks to the F&F universe, week-one sales at independent bookstores were up 300% over last year’s first week sales. MKA still has a handful of events and is busy racing to the finish to have Coquina Cottage done by Memorial Day weekend. Stay tuned to her Instagram for regular doses of #cottageporn.

KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY is so excited to reveal the cover of her October 26 release, Christmas in Peachtree Bluff, tonight on Friends & Fiction and tomorrow all over the web. Tomorrow, visit to find out more about how you can get your FREE I Read Kristy Woodson Harvey ornament and signed book plate with your preorder and to find out how you can win a set of the first three books in the Peachtree Bluff Series!

On Tuesday, May 25th, KRISTIN HARMEL’s 2020 novel, The Book of Lost Names, will debut in paperback at stores across the United States; she's thrilled that the book will reach a whole new audience at stores such as Costco, BJ's, Walmart, and Target, along with lots of the indie stores we know and love here at Friends & Fiction. Kristin was also thrilled to see The Forest of Vanishing Stars (coming July 6!) receive a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which says of the book, "Harmel’s stirring adventure will captivate readers." 
PATTI CALLAHAN is looking forward to spending some family time for Memorial Day week and weekend in the very place she wrote about in Surviving Savannah! She is also planning some extraordinary things for Once Upon a Wardrobe so keep your ears and eyes open as we draw closer to October. 
An Original Essay by Patti Callahan

Each week, the Friends & Fiction authors take turns
writing an essay for, the online home of Parade magazine.This week, Patti shares a column on digging deep to discover the secrets we hold within.

Ten years ago, in a dusty closet in the countryside of Oxford, England, a woman named Jean Wakeman found an out-of-sight box. She was packing up and moving out of her small country home, one she’d lived in for most of her life. Wondering what it could possibly be, she opened the box to discover that it was jammed full of old, yellowing papers that belonged to her dearest friend, Joy Davidman, a famous poet and the wife of legendary author C. S. Lewis. Davidman had passed away 20 years before and her son, Douglas had come to live with Jean for a bit in 1963.

This sounds like an imagined story—a hidden box in a closet in the countryside of Oxford. But it was very real—and very musty. Astoundingly, inside the box were 300 unpublished poems by Joy Davidman, among other personal papers, short stories, passports and a marriage certificate to Lewis. What else was in the box? A folder, on the front of which “Courage” was written. And inside the folder? Forty-five love sonnets. And not just love sonnets, but 45 lost-to-time love sonnets dedicated to Lewis with a cover letter telling him, “The verse may be a joke; the love is not.”

It’s here in these lost poems that Joy Davidman, in sonnet form, had expressed her deepest heart and most profound love for the man we know as C. S. Lewis, the creator of Narnia, but who she knew simply as Jack—and eventually as her husband.

To continue reading Patti’s essay on, click HERE.
Debut Spotlight
Kristin is bowled over by the depth and wisdom of Objects in the Mirror: Thoughts on a Perfect life from an Imperfect Person, a debut essay collection by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Stephen Kellogg. Kristin was introduced to Stephen and his book by fellow author Alison Hammer (Little Pieces of Me), and she has fallen head over heels for Stephen's music, his wisdom (as seen in this TEDx talk), and most of all, his deep decency and love for his wife and four daughters, which shines through in these bite-sized meditations on life. Watch Stephen's TEDx talk (it's less than 18 minutes long), listen to a few of his songs, and then pick up the essay collection...Kristin suspects that you, too, will fall head over heels for this "first-class songwriter with a poet's gift for fresh imagery" (Planet Bluegrass), who has also won the Armed Forces Entertainer of the Year award.
Listen to the F&F Podcast!

Coming Friday May 21st!
S1E12—Kristin interviews two different pairs of authors who both write as a team. Meet Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb (authors of Three Words for Goodbye) and Christina Lauren, author of The Soulmate Equation.

Out Now! S1E11—Patti & Mary Kay recently interviewed Jen Hart from Book Club Girl.

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—In a recent episode yet, Kristy interviewed Outlawed author, Anna North.
Stay tuned for big news on the F&F podcast coming up soon on one of our Wed night live shows!

Listen, download, subscribe, rate, review & share wherever you get your podcasts!
News from the F&F Official Book Club
The Newcomer is in stores now! Did you miss the Happy Hour with Mary Kay Andrews and Ron Block? If so you can catch up on the fun HERE

The Summer of Lost in Found is in stores now! Did you miss our Luau with Mary Alice Monroe? Click HERE to see the fun.

Did you catch our book club chat with Kristy Woodson Harvey about Under the Southern Sky on Monday, May 17th? Watch it HERE

If you missed our Surviving Savannah book club session with Patti Callahan Henry on Monday April 19th, click HERE to see the fun!

Mark your calendars for these upcoming book club discussions. All events below take place at 7pm ET unless listed otherwise. 

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
And Now a Word from our Partners
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