April 21, 2021 | Issue #38
In Stores Now!
Uncovering the biggest story of her career becomes deeply personal when investigative journalist Amelia accidentally discovers that a cluster of frozen embryos belonging to her childhood friend and his late wife have been deemed “abandoned.” These friends discover that love—and family—can be found in unconventional ways in this timely, moving novel from my Friends & Fiction co-host Kristy Woodson Harvey. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think.
Buy your copy of Under the Southern Sky!
Check out Kristy’s full tour schedule!
Bookseller of the Week
Our featured independent bookseller of the week is Booktowne. Located on quaint and bustling Main Street in beachy Manasquan, NJ, Booktowne is a Jersey Shore staple and a favorite stop for many touring authors. Get 10% off this week on featured titles with the code FRIENDS. Discounted books include Kristy Woodson Harvey's UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY as well as other new and recent titles from the rest of Fab Five. Visit the specially curated F&F page on Booktowne's website to SHOP NOW! 
Latest News From "The Fab Five"

KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY is so excited that her new book UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY, released yesterday! If you haven’t picked it up yet, grab a copy from your favorite local bookstore or online retailer. She is so thrilled that it was one of Publishers Weekly’s PW Picks of the Week—and is so grateful to everyone who has already joined her on tour! Want to catch an event? Check out her full tour schedule here

MARY KAY ANDREWS is over the moon excited for Kristy’s book launch and has high hopes for UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY (have you bought your copy yet?!). She’s also as busy as can be preparing for her 28th novel, THE NEWCOMER, to hit shelves in less than two weeks! For her first tour event on May 2, Emily Giffin will come over to MKA’s house in Atlanta and a camera crew will film their chat and broadcast it out over Zoom. GET YOUR TICKET so you can get the Zoom link! The rest of her book tour details are on her website. She hopes to see you at some of her virtual and in-person events in May where she’s paired up with amazing authors including Harlan Coben, Karin Slaughter, Lisa Unger, Katherine Center, and F&F’s own Patti Callahan!

MARY ALICE MONROE is gearing up for the May 11th release of THE SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND. She is getting ready to embark on a tour that’s a mix of virtual and in-person events. You can get all the details on her book tour on her website. Also, be sure to visit her Instagram feed where she is giving away two DVD copies of the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie that honors the beginning of her Beach House series.

KRISTIN HARMEL's The Book of Lost Names is out in the United Kingdom and Ireland this month and has been chosen as an April book club pick by Eason, the largest supplier of books, magazines and newspapers in Ireland--which makes Kristin (whose maternal side of the family is 100% Irish) very happy!

PATTI CALLAHAN is looking forward to a few virtual and live events this week and so absolutely thrilled about Kristy’s new release! She is also thrilled about REUNION BEACH,  which is out on April 27th. This anthology is a tribute of short stories to honor her dear friend, Dorothea Benton Frank. She is working hard on getting Once Upon a Wardrobe  ready for release and can’t wait to start telling you all about it. 
An Original Essay by 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 column on the
definition of family and ways to embrace the families we're
born with—and the ones we create

Growing up, the last week in July was the week I wished would never end. Because that was the week my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins loaded up and headed toward the coast.

We spent our days with toes in the sand and our nights playing Scrabble and spades, eventually falling asleep by the light of the moon, the crashing waves a lullaby.

This annual tradition began well before I was born and lasted until I was 32, until the first year my grandfather—by then, well over 90—could no longer make the five-hour trek. It was a tradition that made memories and built lives, because our grandparents didn’t just give us the gift of a beach vacation—they gave us a family. A real, true, honest-to-God unit of 25, give or take, who don’t just see each other and make small talk at Christmas. My cousins and I remember the year we bought hermit crabs, the year we got horrible mosquito bites and the year we learned to skimboard. The year Raymond got the very first bright yellow Discman and taught me the lyrics to Green Day’s “When I Come Around.” The year Catherine talked her way out of that speeding ticket—two weeks after she got her license. The year Grandmommy nearly took the Scrabble Champion title from Sidney and me by approving Thomas and Rutledge’s use of the word “spinecones.” They are little, nothing moments. But they are also everything.

To continue reading Kristy’s essay on, click HERE.
Enter to Win!
It's Friends & Fiction's first birthday, but we want YOU to have the snacktastic gifts! Enter to win a 12-pack variety case of Mama Geraldine’s cheese straws and cookies—PLUS we will throw in an insulated F&F wine tumbler. Entry deadline: Sunday April 25th at midnight ET. One lucky winner will be chosen at random and contacted on Monday April 26, 2021. When the winner is contacted they will have the opportunity to choose their Mama G's flavor varieties. GOOD LUCK! And snack on, y'all!
PS, CONGRATS to Karen from Troy, OH! She was the lucky winner in our giveaway with Caroline’s Cakes & Charleston Coffee Roasters.!
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!

Five Facts from Our Friend, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without during the pandemic:
Poetry. The Vietnamese poet Phùng Quán wrote "có những phút ngã lòng, tôi vịn câu thơ và đứng dậy - During moments of difficulty, I hold on to the verse of poetry to pull myself up." The pandemic has been challenging because I have family members who live in different countries and I can't see them. Poetry has come to my rescue. In moments of darkness, I have been able to find light in poetry as well as in the poetry embedded in fiction, and for that I am grateful. 

Your perfect day:
Wake up to a steaming pot of Vietnamese green tea, practice yoga for 40 minutes, write for the whole morning, take a break to have lunch with my husband and two children (who cook for me), return to my writing, read for research and for pleasure, cook dinner and enjoy it together with laughter and conversation with my family, take a short walk while listening to my audiobook, participate in a book club or virtual book event, read some more before going to bed. 

Your favorite independent bookstore:
Independent booksellers are my heroes. They have done so much to keep literature alive during the pandemic and I can't thank them enough. I have too many favorite bookstores to name here, but I would like to say that I am proud to be friends with Rick Simonson, who started working at Elliott Bay Book when Gerald Ford was President of the U.S. Rick is a tireless ambassador for literature and has curated many events which bring international authors to the U.S. I am very lucky to have read my poetry at Elliott Bay Book. The bookstore is beautiful and cozy, yet has so many treasures that I wish I could be in the neighborhood so I can visit it often.

The last book you raved about:
THE COMMITTED, the second novel by the Pulitzer-Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen. This novel is about a Vietnamese spy who flees Vietnam for France on a small fishing boat, and in France, he has to become a drug dealer. It's a fun novel to read even though it deals with the trauma of war and the traumatic experiences of refugees. I admire the author's ability to deploy humor to tackle serious issues including racism and the French colonialization of Vietnam.
Your next book in ten words or less: 
Three people search for missing family members, find them, only to face devastating consequences.
And Now a Word from our Partners

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