March 31, 2021 | Issue #35
Five Facts from Our Friend, Stephanie Dray
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without during the pandemic:
My husband. I loved him before, but after a year stuck in the house together pretending we're surviving the Zombie Apocalypse, we are now fully co-dependent. A close second choice is Lysol Wipes.
Your perfect day:
Warm baguettes for breakfast on a balcony overlooking the Seine in Paris, followed by a day strolling the shops in Saint Germaine, returning with fruit and flowers from the market. Perhaps a nap with the windows open while listening to a game of petanque outside in the park. Eventually, a candlelit dinner at a French bistro, followed by Berthillon ice cream and dancing to accordion music on the Pont Neuf.
Your favorite independent bookstore:
I have so many that this is an unfair question, but I'm going to give a shout out to my hometown store since they've been sending out signed copies for me. And that's A Likely Story Bookstore in Sykesville, MD.
The last book you raved about:
Kate Quinn's The Rose Code. Which deserves every bit of praise it's getting and more. But since Kate's right here and I don't want to give her a swollen head, I would rave about Patti's Surviving Savannah and Kristin's The Forest of Vanishing Stars but they're both here, too. So I will give a shout out to Renee Rosen's deliciously dishy The Social Graces about a high society feud between Alva Vanderbilt and Caroline Astor.
Your next book in ten words or less:
Frances Perkins, the most important woman in American history.
Five Facts from Our Friend, Kate Quinn
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without during the pandemic:
My breezy back deck with its view of the mountains and reservoir. In the afternoon sun the steep hills could almost be Amalfi; on a foggy morning I can pretend it's Scotland.
Your perfect day:
Right now this introvert is craving human interaction, so I'd have to say a day game at Fenway Park: drinking Sam Adams, eating Fenway fries, watching the Red Sox whup the Yankees. Followed by a dinner party with all my favorite writer friends, passing plates and hugs.
Your favorite independent bookstore:
The last book you raved about:
Vanessa Riley's Island Queen.
Your next book in ten words or less:
Russian female history-student-turned-sniper becomes Eleanor Roosevelt's BFF. (The Diamond Eye)
Bookseller of the Week
Our featured independent bookseller of the week is A Likely Story Bookstore in historic downtown Sykesville, MD. As Carroll County’s most exciting and only independent bookstore, they are known for their friendly, knowledgeable staff, wide variety of events, and eclectic gift selection. Get 10% off this week on featured titles with the code FFMARCH21. Discounted books include new and recent titles from our guests Stephanie Dray and Kate Quinn, as well as those from the Fab Five. Visit the specially curated F&F page on the A Likely Story website to  SHOP NOW!   
Our Shared Humanity with Kristy Woodson Harvey

Each week, the Friends & Fiction authors take turns writing an essay for, the online home of Parade magazine.
This week, Kristy shares a humorous and heartfelt column about Why She is Counting Her Blessings

My son has two Easter baskets: a large, wicker one for the Easter Bunny to fill with tasty treats and a fluffy sheep-shaped plush one for egg hunting.

“Lamby,” as the sheep is known, is Will’s constant companion during those weeks before and after Easter—because it makes good sense to keep your candy close, especially when you were born to a mother who loves Easter chocolate as much as I do.

In our family, on Easter morning, you have to find the real, dyed eggs the Easter bunny has hidden before you get to dig into your Easter basket. The year Will was 2-and-a-half, he heartily accepted the challenge. The next day, we dumped the eggs—which were well over a week old—into a trash bag, tied it up tight and tossed it out.

A few days after Easter, I started to notice a smell in the playroom... 
To continue reading Kristy’s essay on, click HERE.
Latest News From "The Fab Five"

KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY is so thrilled that Under the Southern Sky—releasing April 20—was named one of The 25 Best Books of Spring by Frolic Media, along with The Newcomer and The Summer of Lost and Found. Huge thanks to Andrea Peskind Katz of Great Thoughts' Great Readers who called it, "simply un-put-down-able!”

MARY KAY ANDREWS is excited to help host old pal Lisa Scottoline for the Fab5's virtual event TOMORROW night with FoxTale Book Shoppe. She’s also thrilled that The Newcomer is called “perfection” and joins Kristy’s & Mary Alice’s new books on Frolic’s list of The 25 Best Books of Spring. And the race is on to get the Coquina Cottage renovation all finished up by tomorrow’s deadline so it can be listed with Tybee Vacation Rentals for the upcoming season. More pics and videos forthcoming on her Insta.

MARY ALICE MONROE is delighted to announce her new website is up and running and she invites everyone to take a look! Thanks to the work of Molly Waring at Ballyhoo, the website includes a backdrop of the batiks of Mary Edna Fraser, the world renowned batik artist, friend, and gives the website a feel of the lowcountry Mary Alice loves. Her book tour for The Summer of Lost and Found is posted, too! Mary Alice spent Monday with a film crew for the Charleston Public Library touring Dewees Island, the private island off Isle of Palms, SC accessible only by ferry. A wild bird sanctuary, there are no cars, stores, restaurants on the island. Mary Alice and Angela May pointed out locations of important scenes for her upcoming middle grade novel The Islanders (June 15, 2021). The film will be released to libraries nationwide. Link coming soon!
KRISTIN HARMEL is hard at work plotting her summer 2022 book, which will be a return to World War II France. Stay tuned for more details in the next few months!

PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY is working on her page proofs for Once Upon a Wardrobe, and it is the last time she will see the pages before they become the book you see in October! She is also spending some longed for time with her daughter and grand-daughter and singing along to Frozen most of the day! A number of podcasts about Surviving Savannah have been released — so many interesting interviews with people like WCBS, Thoughts From a Page Podcast, Hank Gardner and more
Listen to the F&F Podcast!
A brand-new episode is live now! Kristy sits down with our beloved bookstagrammer pals from @meagansbookclub and @the_book_lover_book_club_.


Listen, download, subscribe, rate, review & share wherever you get your podcasts.
Did you catch our special St. Patrick’s Day podcast episode? Mary Kay & Kristin interviewed Dublin-based thriller writer Tana French about her novel THE SEARCHER.

Also be sure to catch Patti’s recent interview with two giants of the book marketing world—Carol Fitzgerald of Bookreporter and Robin Kall of Reading with Robin
News from the F&F Official Book Club
Congratulations to our 5k giveaway winner Mary Zick McKinnis who won a Friends & Fiction Firsts subscription (5 signed first editions of new books by the Fab 5) courtesy of the Oxford Exchange! Subscriptions are still available for purchase HERE.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming book club discussions. All events below take place at 7pm ET. 
April 19: Surviving Savannah with Patti Callahan Henry
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 March 15th discussion of The Book Club with Mary Alice Monroe (plus a guest appearance by Kristy Woodson Harvey to preview Under the Southern Sky!), catch the replay HERE.
We would love to have you!
Debut Spotlight
Kristy recommends this moving and timely debut novel about friendships forged in childhood magic and the high price of secrets. Just published in late January and named a Most Anticipated book by Newsweek, USA Today, CNN, Parade, Buzzfeed, Medium, GoodReads, PopSugar, Frolic, and more, Waiting for the Night Song is a love song to the natural beauty around us, a call to fight for what we believe in, and a reminder that the truth will always rise. Kim Michele Richardson, bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, had this to say about Dalton’s novel: “Smart and searingly illuminating snapshot of nature, betrayal, and sacrifices set in the evocative New Hampshire wilderness.”
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