May, 2020
St. Martin's Press
5/5/20
Fiction / Women's Fiction
Hardcover, 480 pages
"Andrews can be counted on for beach-worthy depictions of southern women with chutzpah and a talent for finding trouble with humor and romantic interest mixed in. Fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Kristy Woodson Harvey shouldn’t miss it."
-- Booklist
New York Times bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews delivers her next blockbuster with Hello Summer.

Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.

When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep the family newspaper afloat—and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon Conley is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”

Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman—a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.
Dear Reader:

I’ve always been a newspaper reader and I’ve always been fascinated by obituaries. My late father, John Patrick Hogan, an avid obit-reader himself, referred to them as “The Irish Sports Page.” A few years ago I was scrolling through the death notices in my hometown paper when I spotted a story written by a reporter who also happens to be my oldest childhood friend. 

This was no ordinary obit. It told of how, at the funeral of the district’s octogenarian Congressman, his son, in his eulogy, referred to the Congressman’s “first, secret family.” Heads swiveled in that church. Tongues wagged. Headlines and deep family fault-lines emerged. Once my reporter friend dug in, he found that the Congressman had, over the years, swept away any references to the fact that he’d left his first wife of more than thirty years (and their grown children) to marry a twenty-something secretary in his Congressional office, who was pregnant with his child. 

In my new novel, Hello, Summer, a big city investigative journalist, Conley Hawkins, has returned to her sleepy hometown in the Florida Panhandle, “where nothing ever happens,” and reluctantly gone to work as a reporter for her family’s struggling weekly newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon . Her first week back in town, she and an old family friend discover a smoldering SUV on a remote country road in the wee hours of the morning. The driver, a prominent local politician, is dead. When Conley starts asking questions, she gets push back from the paper’s editor (who happens to be her big sister), from the Congressman’s widow, and from the community. The deeper she digs, the more dirt she finds, and the more trouble she stirs for herself and the newspaper. The timing couldn’t be worse, as The Silver Bay Beacon, like real-life newspapers all over the country, is fighting for survival. 

Writing this, my 28th novel, I tapped into my own background as a former reporter and my love and admiration for print journalism. Come May, I’m hoping readers everywhere will be ready to shout " Hello, Summer !"

Best,

Mary Kay Andrews
Hello, Summer Book Club Menu
Hello, Summer is set in a small Southern beach town, similar to Georgia's Tybee Island just outside Savannah, where I enjoy celebrations with these Southern family favorite dishes.Food and family are two consistent threads in Hello, Summer . From a slice of pecan pie for breakfast to a lovely cocktail at sunset on the porch, there’s never a moment that can’t be enhanced by a delicious meal. The menu below is just a taste of the kind of food I’ll be preparing (and devouring!) to celebrate the release of Hello, Summer with my nearest and dearest family and friends.
—Mary Kay Andrews


Tybee Tea Cocktail
Marinated Shrimp
Savannah Spinach Squares
Smoked Trout Dip
Baked Crab and Artichoke Dip
Marinated Beef Tenderloin with Fig-Onion Jam
Dark Chocolate–Dipped Cheesecake Bites
Lemon Bars* ( see recipe )

Copyright © 2020 The Book Club Cookbook. All rights reserved.