October 14, 2020 | Issue #11
Five Facts From Our Friend, Charlaine Harris
The one thing you’ve learned you can’t live without in quarantine:
​I can't live without my husband. He listens to me talk (or maybe he doesn't actually listen) WAY more than usual, since I don't get to chat with friends nearly as much.
Your perfect day:
I would get to work by 8 in the morning, have great ideas and write six new pages, hear from all my children that they are well and happy, and have supper in the crockpot by noon. Then I could read and watch television all afternoon. Maybe go to Evensong. And it would be my husband's dishes night (we alternate).

Your favorite independent bookstore:
Murder by the Book in Houston, and Mysterious Galaxy San Diego. Always supported me, from way, way, back.
The last book you raved about:
I'm always raving about books, but last week I read The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison and loved it. I'm always bowled over by her work, no matter what name she writes under.
Your next book in ten words or less:
Gunslinger Lizbeth travels to California to free boyfriend Eli from jail. (The Russian Cage) Okay, that's one word over.
Bookseller of the Week
This week’s featured bookseller is Murder by the Book in Houston, TX. One of the nation's oldest and largest mystery specialty bookstores, MBTB was established in 1980. The store stocks over 25,000 books—new and used, hardbacks and paperbacks, first editions, collectibles, gift items, magazines, and more. Every year, they host hundreds of the hottest mystery, crime, and fantasy authors for book signings and events. This week they are offering 10% off with the code MBTBFriends on books by our guest, Charlaine Harris, as well as those by the five F&F host authors.
Celebrating 20k Members!

Wow! We are overjoyed that the Friends and Fiction Facebook Group has just hit 20,000 members! We started this group and our weekly Facebook Live web show—and now podcast!—back in April. What began as a way for us authors to support one another and our beloved independent bookstores during the pandemic, has grown into a beautiful community of book lovers. Thank you to each and every one of you who is helping to make F&F a great place to share our love of books. Join our group if you aren't already a member! And spread the news to your book-loving friends.  
Up Close & Personal with Mary Kay Andrews


           Talking with the delightful Dolan sisters (Lian, Liz and and Julie) of Satellite Sisters fame last week, we touched on the unique gift of sisterhood—and women’s friendships.
           In my own life, I’ve been blessed with several different tribes of devoted girlfriends. Yes, I call them my girlfriends—because in some cases, our mutual bonds can be carbon-dated all the way back to prehistoric days—otherwise known as puberty.
           Women’s friendships, I’ve argued, are markedly different from men’s. We collaborate, commiserate, celebrate and communicate with our girlfriends, thru hours-long phone calls, text strings and long walks around the park. And oh, gurllll—get us sitting next to each other in a chair at the nail salon? We will solve all the world’s problems.
           Men, in my experience, can sit side-by-side for three hours at a baseball and football game and never grunt anything more substantial than “way to hit,” or “manager needs his ass fired.”
In my own life I’ve seen the awesome power of women’s friendships over and over again, and it’s a recurring theme in many of my books. My Savannah-set novels, SAVANNAH BLUES, SAVANNAH BREEZE, BLUE CHRISTMAS and CHRISTMAS BLISS follow the friendship of besties Weezie Foley and Bebe Loudermilk as they navigate everything from murder charges and bankruptcy, to secret marriages and childbirth. In SUMMER RENTAL, three life-long best friends, all at a crossroads in their lives, rent a beach house for the month of August, and LADIES’ NIGHT examines the unlikely friendships forged in a divorce recovery group.
           I’ve got a tribe of journalist friends from college, and another from long-ago newspaper days. Then there’s my posse of neighbor ladies whose friendships formed at the community pool when our kids were toddlers, survived our children’s harrowing teen and college years, and has mellowed and deepened now that we’re marrying them off and enjoying our empty nests.
           My junior high besties date all the way back to our days at Bay Point Junior High in my hometown of St. Pete. Over the decades, we’ve seen each other through some epic bad hair days, divorce, remarriage, mid-life dating (!!!) the deaths of parents and siblings, unfortunate fashion choices, and most sobering, the loss of one of our own.
           We’ve laughed and cried and fussed and fumed at each other. For the past 25 years, we’ve celebrated milestone birthdays with memorable trips—to Mexico for our 40th, a Caribbean cruise for our 50th, and wisely, because we decided not to wait for our 60th, we took a California wine-tasting trip for what we called our “double nickel.”
           Five years later, our destination would be closer to home, the beaches of our youth, because one of the group, our dear Margaret, was facing a terminal cancer diagnosis. That weekend, we danced in the sand and drank fine wine and Swiss chocolate provided by our friend Debra, who was living in France. Harking back to the slumber parties of our youth, we shared hotel beds and rollaways and laughed and talked into the night.
           Six months later, we booked another hotel room in St. Pete, as we gathered for Margaret’s funeral. On our last night in town, three of us drank too much wine—or vodka? The memory is hazy, but I do know that in honor of Margaret’s Greek heritage, we played the Zorba the Greek song and danced in our pajamas around our hotel room until we collapsed. (My friend Sue is saving the video as blackmail.)
           What a gift our girlfriends are to us! As you may know, Friends & Fiction got started early last winter, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, when my old friends Patti Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Monroe and I were dealing with trying to launch our upcoming books—without a book tour.
Patti and Mary Alice had two other author pals, Kristin Harmel and Kristy Woodson Harvey, who were facing the same dilemma. I suggested a Friday night happy hour Zoom meet-up, where we could exchange ideas on how to navigate the world of virtual book tours.
That Friday night we met up on Zoom, cocktails in hand. I expected we would mostly bemoan our mutual fates, but instead, the five of us put our heads together and squeezed lemons into lemonade.
 Before we knew it, we had created a weekly live web show and a Facebook group with more than 20,000 members. Since April, we’ve hosted famous best-selling authors and boosted the work of newbie debut novelists and supported and spotlighted indie bookstores—most of them owned by women who’ve become our friends over the years.
Back in June, we agreed to meet up for daily 7 a.m. writing stints to hold each other accountable. At last count, all five of us have completed at least one book project in that time, and one over-achiever (her initials are Patti Henry) has completed two.
Love that crazy girlfriend energy!
Latest News From "The Fab Five"

Tune in TONIGHT for the COVER REVEAL of
MARY ALICE MONROE's May 2021 novel
The Summer of Lost and Found!

MARY KAY ANDREWS got her favorite text message of the month on Monday when her county board of elections let her know that her General Election absentee ballot had been received. Have you voted yet? What's your voting plan? Register to vote, pledge to be a voter, check your status, and request a ballot HERE.

PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY took part in the incredible Flourish Writer’s Conference running from October 7-23rd. Patti talked about finding the soul of the story. If you have any interest in writing — check it out HERE!

KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY shared some of her favorite reads to BookTrib's Keep You Cozy… Or Up All Night This Fall

Spotted in New York: A video trailer for KRISTIN HARMEL's The Book of Lost Names running on repeat high above Times Square!

Some of the Fab Five will be “taking over” the group page A Novel Bee on Facebook to celebrate the group’s—and founder Kristy Barrett’s—anniversary over the next week or so! Head over for lots of fun surprises from MARY KAY ANDREWS on Oct 16th, KRISTY WOODSON HARVEY on Oct 19th, and KRISTIN HARMEL on Oct 20th!
We're Now a Podcast!

We're so excited to announce that Friends & Fiction is officially available as a podcast!

Never fear! Our weekly web show on Facebook Live is not going anywhere! But we have been working hard to produce our episodes in audio-only format. So, the episodes we've recorded will be up on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and all other major podcasting platforms.

Not in front of the computer? Pop in your ear buds and listen in. Have a road trip planned? Take Friends & Fiction along for the ride!
News from the F&F Official Book Club
Join Patti Callahan Henry on Monday, October 19th at 7pm ET on the Facebook page for the FRIENDS AND FICTION Official Book Club.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis is this month's book club pick! Patti will be joining the group to answer YOUR questions about her bestselling novel.

Patti will be on the book club page all week leading up to the book club discussion posting videos, timelines and answering questions!