September 1, 2021 | Issue #57
Five Facts from Our Friend, Laura Lippman
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without during the pandemic:
Beautiful clothes. I know, it makes no sense, but I lived in yoga pants before the pandemic. During the pandemic, the alcove off my bedroom that doubles as my closet was a safe place to escape and fill time. I've been more or less the same size for much of my adult life, so I've kept a lot of clothes and most of them spark beautiful memories. 

Your perfect day: 
I get to work a little, workout, and play a little and, at some point, my daughter and I go to Arby's for mozzarella sticks. 

Your favorite independent bookstore: 
The Ivy in Baltimore.

The last book you raved about:
The Collective, by Alison Gaylin. (It will be published this fall.)

Your next book in ten words or less: 
The title should suffice: PROM MOM
Five Facts from Our Friend, Megan Abbott
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without during the pandemic:
Criterion channel (streaming service). It truly saved me.
Your perfect day:
Morning reading, then a double feature at Film Forum, meeting friends for drinks and snacks, chatting into the night.
Your favorite independent bookstore:
Hardest question! Square Books, of course, and Murder by the Book in Houston.
The last book you raved about:
The Collective by Alison Gaylin, coming in November.
Your next book in ten words or less:
Gulp! (I’m too superstitious to say more.)
Bookseller of the Week
Square Books

Our featured independent bookseller of the week is Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi. Known for its strong selection of literary fiction and books on the American South and by Southern writers, the store hosts the popular Thacker Mountain radio show and over 150 author events a year. Get 10% this week off with code friendsfiction10 on our guest's books including THE TURNOUT by Megan Abbott and DREAM GIRL by Laura Lippman, as well as on new and recent titles from the Fab Five. Visit the specially curated F&F page on the Square Books website to SHOP NOW!
Latest News From "The Fab Five"

KRISTIN HARMEL is wondering whether you know that her little sister, Karen Cleveland, also writes novels. Karen’s third book, YOU CAN RUN, is out this week, and Kristin is looking forward to welcoming her to the show on a Sunday bonus episode later this month. Kristin’s also hitting the road this weekend to spend a few days chatting with readers in the Cashiers, NC area, including stops in Cashiers, Hudson, and Franklin; see event details above.
What Kristin is reading: I’m re-reading Daryn Kagan’s Hope Possible, since she’ll be one of our guests next week! It’s inspiring me anew!

PATTI CALLAHAN is trying not to spend her day watching the Once Upon a Wardrobe video trailer over and over again, the one she premiered last week on the show, and the one that her publishing house made. Meanwhile, she loves hanging out with some of her favorite writers in an Atlanta Journal and Constitution Ten Must Read Books This Fall. And there are so many fun things ahead -- this week Patti will release Chapter One of Once Upon a Wardrobe in her newsletter. Are you signed up? AND she was just cooking dinner last week when her son texted “You are on TV!” The Expedition Unknown episode featuring Patti and the story behind Surviving Savannah was released! You can watch it here as they dive for more treasure and tell the tale of the doomed S. S. Pulaski. 
What Patti is Reading: The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman.

MARY KAY ANDREWS is counting down the days until the Sept. 28 release of The Santa Suit. Watch for the tour details on her social media. She enjoyed interviewing rockstar librarians Virginia Stanley and Nancy Pearl for the F&F Writer’s Block podcast episode released last Friday. And in the meantime, she’s staring down the barrel of an October deadline for her novel for summer 2022 and working with her peeps at St. Martin’s Press on the most adorable cover ever!
What Mary Kay is reading: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY had the best time chatting with @readsrandiread on Instagram yesterday about the second book in her Peachtree Bluff Series, THE SECRET TO SOUTHERN CHARM, ahead of the October 26 launch of CHRISTMAS IN PEACHTREE BLUFF! She is also so excited that Booktrib included CHRISTMAS IN PEACHTREE BLUFF as “One of 8 Fiction Books Revealing the Risk of Fame.”
What Kristy is Reading: Radiate by Cleere Cherry.
An Original Essay by Mary Kay Andrews

Each week, the Friends & Fiction authors take turns
writing an essay for, the online home of
Parade magazine.This week, Mary Kay wrote a column
about how opposites attract.

My starter husband I were having a “slight difference of opinion” on how the lights should be hung on the Christmas tree. I wanted them artistically swagged and loosely looped from branch to branch. He insisted that only a savage would perpetrate such an atrocity, because as everyone knows, the only proper way to hang lights is in tightly organized concentric circles around the tree.

He did everything short of whipping out a slide rule and tape measure to prove his point, but only because he knew this would mean an open declaration of war.

Our friend Dave, after witnessing this “spirited debate,” took a long pull on his bourbon and water, and offered his unbiased opinion. “Here’s the problem,” he told us. “Tom is an engineer. He sees a problem, calculates the answer and dispatches a resolution using logic and precision. You are a writer. And as far as I can tell, you think the solution to every problem is subject to revision. For artsy-fartsy creative types like you, all of life is just a first draft.”

My husband did a small victory dance. Me? I rearranged the lights on the left side of the tree while he was pouring himself a bourbon, and vowed to fix the rest of the lights once he was busy measuring and diagramming our backyard.

The thing is, our friend Dave (also an engineering school grad) wasn’t wrong.

So what happens when artsy-fartsy loosey-goosey bumps up against slide rule logic? Is there ever a winner in the war of precision vs. revision?

Forty-four years of marriage says . . . maybe.

To continue reading MKA's column
on, click HERE.
Listen to the F&F Podcast!

Coming soon! Out this Friday, September 3rd!—Ron Block interviews S.A. Cosby, author of this summer’s phenomenal bestselling novel Razorblade Tears.
Out Now! WB_S1E12—Ron and MKA chat with Virginia Stanley, the longtime Director of Library Marketing at HarperCollins, and rockstar librarian, bestselling author, literary critic, and the former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book at Seattle Public Library, Nancy Pearl. LISTEN NOW!
Out Now! WB_S1E11—Ron Block and Patti Callahan in conversation with Tracey Lange about how her debut novel, We are the Brennans came to be. Also, Ron and Kristy Woodson Harvey interview Allison Larkin about the origin story of her novel, The People We Keep. LISTEN NOW!
Out Now! WB_S1E10—Ron Block talks with Monica West, author of Revival Season & Wanda M. Morris, author of All Her LIttle Secrets. Both are debuts and stunning examples of Diverse Voices. LISTEN NOW!
Listen, download, subscribe, rate, review & share wherever you get your podcasts!
News from the F&F Official Book Club

Have a look at our monthly book club schedule through January 2022 and be sure to save the dates! 
Sept 20: The Bookshop at Water's End with Patti Callahan Henry
Oct 1: Happy Hour with Ron Block
Nov 15: Once Upon a Wardrobe with Patti Callahan Henry
Dec 3: Happy Hour with Ron Block
Dec 6: The Santa Suit with Mary Kay Andrews
Dec 20: Christmas in Peachtree Bluff with Kristy Woodson Harvey
If you missed our Sun 8/15 one-year anniversary celebration, watch it HERE.
If you missed our Mon 8/16 book club chat with Kristin Harmel about her beautiful book The Forest of Vanishing Stars watch the replay HERE.
Winter Wonderland Subscription Box

Three of the Fab Five (Mary Kay Patti & Kristy) have new books coming this holiday season! Here is your opportunity to be among the very first to read these books just as they are released—and to obtain loads of exclusive extra swag available only to those who subscribe! This package is available for purchase only through our friends at Nantucket Book Partners.
Books will ship when they release this fall.
For the one-time flat-rate charge of $82, subscribers will receive:
  • An autographed first edition copy of each book
  • A QR code distributed only to subscribers which grants access to a private recorded presentation together with all three authors discussing their books
  • An exclusive Friends & Fiction coffee mug
  • A package of Friends & Fiction branded hot chocolate
  • A book club kit sent with each book containing discussion questions, a letter from the author, a recipe, and other special content
Friends & Fiction Merchandise
Our merch is here!

Cozy cotton with a flattering v-neck and our signature Friends & Fiction logo, these comfy
t-shirts are the perfect way to show your
Friends & Fiction pride! ORDER T-SHIRTS HERE
Friends & Fiction wine sippies are available and shipping now from Oxford Exchange!

But that’s not all! We also have F&F 20oz travel tumblers for on-the-go coffee of drinks!
We can’t wait to see you model your merch!