Newsletter
🍀 March 17, 2021 | Issue #33 🍀
Five Facts from Our Friend, Jennifer Robson
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without during the pandemic: 
My garden. It’s a small city garden, but I’ve jammed the beds full of perennials and we have a pair of chatty cardinals who live in our apple tree. I cannot wait for the Canadian winter to retreat so I can start spending my days there again. 
 
Your perfect day: 
At home with my husband, kids, pets, books, and a bottomless cup of vanilla tea. I thought 2020 would cure me of being a homebody, but instead it made me appreciate my house and family even more. (Most of the time.)
 
Your favorite independent bookstore: 
Sparta Books in Sparta, NJ. Linda and her colleagues have hand-sold more than 350 copies of The Gown — an incredible number for an independent bookstore in a small town. I am so grateful for all they do to support me and other authors.
 
The last book you raved about: 
Courage, My Love by Kristin Beck. It’s set in WWII-era Rome and focuses on two very different women and their connections to the Italian Resistance. It was so wonderfully immersive — I completely lost track of time when I was reading it. 
 
Your next book in ten words or less: 
“Stay at Oliver’s Hotel in 1953 London for Coronation Year."
Five Facts from Our Friend, Ariel Lawhon
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without during the pandemic:
Exercise. Apart from trying to avoid the dreaded Covid19 (both the virus and the weight gain), I realized that moving my body kept me sane. Now it’s just habit and a vital part of my life.
 
Your perfect day:
A rainy spring day with nowhere to be, a warm cup of coffee, a quiet house, and all the time I need to spread a story in front of me and write.
 
Your favorite independent bookstore:
My local bookstore, Parnassus. Followed closely by a wonderful, rambling bookstore in Vermont called Northshire Books.
 
The last book you raved about:
Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series. They are my go-to books when I want to remember the simply joy of reading.
 
Your next book in ten words or less:
A midwife solves a murder that unhinges her small community.
Bookseller of the Week
PARNASSUS BOOKS
Our featured independent bookseller of the week is Parnassus Books, the independent bookstore for independent people in Nashville, and co-owned by bestselling novelist Ann Patchett. Use the code friendsfiction10 to receive 10% off this week on featured titles including new and recent books by our guests Ariel Lawhon & Jennifer Robson as well as those by the Fab Five. Visit the specially curated F&F page on the Parnassus website to  SHOP NOW!   
🍀 Making Your Own Luck with Mary Alice Monroe 🍀

Each week, the Friends & Fiction authors will take turns writing an essay for Parade.com, the online home of Parade magazine. This week, Mary Alice celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in a column that takes a look at what luck is—and how you can be your own lucky charm.

I’ve always considered myself a lucky person. I’m not alone. A recent survey polling 1,000 Americans revealed that 72 percent believe luck contributes to their success. As St. Patrick’s Day rolls around and we see countless good-luck charms and age-old beliefs (find a four-leaf clover? It’ll bring you good luck!), it begs the question, what, really, is luck? Can you gain it by finding a talisman? Or are some people just born lucky?

In a 10-year study published in Skeptical Inquirer: The Magazine for Science and Reason, Dr. Richard Wiseman, the author of The Luck Factor, explored just this question. He concluded that, to a large extent, people made their own good fortune based on four basic principles: They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, they make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition; they create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations; they adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.
In looking back at my own life, I reflected on these principles. Do they influence my belief that I am a lucky person?

To continue reading Mary Alice’s essay on Parade.com, click HERE.
And Now a Word from our Partners

MAMA GERALDINE'S
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PAGE 1 BOOKS
The Page 1 Book Subscription provides the personal touch of an indie bookstore, with the delight and surprise of an online subscription service, curated just for you. Because real-life indie booksellers know that you are more than an algorithm. Enter your preferences and choose the 3-, 6-, or 12-month subscription. First-time subscribers get 10% off with the code FABFIVE. Visit Page1Books.com and tell them what you love!

Follow Page 1 on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Subscribe to their email Newsletter!
Latest News From "The Fab Five"

PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY is so excited for all of you to see the gorgeous cover for her forthcoming book, ONCE UPON A WARDOBE (coming October 19th from Harper Muse). She will show the cover on the show TONIGHT! Parade.com is also featuring a reveal sometime today so be on the lookout for that! Then tomorrow a slew of amazing book influencers on Intsagram, Facebook and in the book blogosphere will be sharing the cover. Learn a bit more about the book HERE.
 
KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY’s UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY is having a good week! Brit + Co named it a “Book You Should Buddy Read with Your BFF,” SheReads called it one of the “Best Books of Summer 2021,” and it’s the #1 Most Pre-sold book at Target! Thanks to all of you for all the advance love and praise you have given it!

MARY KAY ANDREWS is on deadline! But this one is more stressful somehow than a book deadline. She is racing to get Coquina Cottage finished and ready to list for the summer season via Tybee Vacation Rentals by April 1st. Follow her on Instagram to follow along as this beach cottage renovation comes together in real time.

MARY ALICE MONROE redesigned her website and the new look launched this week. Check it out! You can now ORDER Mary Alice’s exclusive Beach House Blend Coffee from Charleston Coffee Roasters. Perfect for a beach house—and YOUR house! MAM had a wonderful time discussing her novel THE BOOK CLUB with the Friends & Fiction Official Book Club on Monday. Congratulations to the winners of a copy of THE BOOK CLUB: Laurie McKenzie, Robin Bowlin, Diane McGuire, Dee Clark!

KRISTIN HARMEL is excited that early reviews are beginning to come in for The Forest of Vanishing Stars. It's always so wonderful to see what readers like you think of books that are coming down the pipeline, and she's grateful to those of you who have received a copy (through Netgalley or giveaways) and have taken the time to share your thoughts. Add The Forest of Vanishing Stars to your Goodreads "Want to Read" list (and see what others have to say about it) here.
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. 

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 discussion of The Book Club with Mary Alice Monroe last week, click here to see the replay.

We had a great pub week kickoff for Surviving Savannah with Patti Callahan Henry. If you missed it live, catch the replay HERE.

Lisa & Brenda had a fabulous Happy Hour with Ron Block on 2/19 filled with surprises and special guests! Click here to see the replay.
 
Listen to the F&F Podcast!
We have a brand-new episode of the F&F podcast live now! Tune in to hear Patti talk with two giants of the book marketing world who have spent years building vibrant communities of book lovers. Carol Fitzgerald of Bookreporter builds author websites, publishes a string of newsletters for book nerds like us, and created the vibrant book club world of ReadingGroupGuides.com. She is joined by Robin Kall of Reading with Robin who has been running hugely successful author events all over New England for years, is a former talk-radio host and podcaster, and runs a fab author interview series on her social media feeds. Listen in as Patti talks to them about their long careers boosting books and connecting readers with writers. If you like what you hear, please download, subscribe, rate and share!

LISTEN NOW!
 
Mary Kay & Kristin also recorded an interview recently with Ireland-based thriller writer Tana French about her novel THE SEARCHER. Keep your Irish eyes peeled as this one will post today! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
 
Posting at the end of March, Kristy has an episode already in the can with our beloved bookstagrammer pals from @meagansbookclub and @the_book_lover_book_club_.
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