Category Archives: Southern Lit

The Summer Girls

The Summer Girls Cover

By: Mary Alice Monroe

Lowcountry Summer #1


Three sisters at various stages of life, separated by time and distance, are summoned to their Grandmother’s home to celebrate her birthday. Little do they know, Mamaw has plans to make sure they spend the entire summer with her in their family home, before she places it on the market. Carson Muir has spent her entire life bouncing from one place to the other, and the only place she has ever felt safe is Sea Breeze. Currently without a job and feeling lost, she jumps at the chance to spend time with Mamaw and reconnect with the Atlantic Ocean.

The beautiful setting of Sullivan’s Island provides the backdrop of this series. Told from the points-of-view from each of these four strong women, the story ebbs and flows like the tide. Nature is a powerful healing agent for the soul, but in return humans must respect the rules to protect the wild. This book focuses on accepting the past, accepting and providing forgiveness and learning when to ask for help. Fans of Mary Alice Monroe will be delighted to see old friends from her previous series. Readers will learn about the dangers humans impose on wildlife and will have a desire to reach out and help raise awareness about dolphin advocacy. The Summer Girls is a powerful and poignant start to a promising series.



The author provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Sasee Review


By: Elizabeth Robertson Huntsinger

Virginia Ross’ life has been turned upside down. Now living on her beloved Chaucer, she is determined to document all of her husband’s assets in order to have a fair divorce settlement. (It is the least she deserves after discovering his affair.) However, when she returns home to her boat she is greeted by the shocking news of her soon-to-be-ex’s death. Now under suspicion as a person of interest, Virginia must learn to balance out her new life with the help of her old friends. Along the way, she stumbles across some horrifying details that may connect her husband’s case to some unsolved mysteries. As she tries to make sense of everything, Virginia’s own life becomes hazardous and she must put her own safety, first.

Waterline gives readers of every genre something to appreciate. There’s the suspense with the murder plot, there’s the details of boat life, some romance, and even a feisty, adorable cat. Huntsinger weaves multiple incidents and storylines into one fascinating page turner. Readers who enjoy suspense stories, with a hint of romance will enjoy this book. The story seamlessly envelops the beautiful South Carolina coast and the rich history of its culture, in a contemporary mystery.  Right from the start with the unique quotes that foreshadow Virginia’s twisted life, this book flows quickly. Readers will be swept up in the author’s passion about boats, South Carolina and historical reenactments.





This review was written for Sasee Magazine. To learn more about them, please visit their website.

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My Sister’s Books Review #63

Life is Short, So Read this Fast!

By: Ann Ipock

Life is Short, So Read this Fast! is the second of three books written by Ann Ipock. They are a collection of her newspaper articles and other writings. This particular title covers topics from fun women groups, bare necessities and family memories to the battle of the sexes that occur during every daily routine item. Also included are chapters dedicated to food, shopping and growing pains that females experience.

Ann Ipock has written the ideal book for the busy woman. The short chapters are perfect for squeezing in reading during even the most hectic of schedules. Chocked full of Southern flair and quick wit, readers will be kept on their toes as they are taken on a ride through life. Despite the fact that most chapters are humorous, the writer shows a deeper side by sharing her emotions and fears, as well. Overall, this book is a fast, fun read and one that people will savor and cherish for a long time.


This review was written for Sasee Magazine and My Sister’s Books. To learn more about the Magazine and the Bookstore, please visit their websites by clicking on their names.

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My Sister’s Books #41

The year 1887, was special for Haw County, it was the year that the town got their first railroad, but for the Hartsoe family, it was the year their daughter, Mary Bet was born. Mary Bet suffered the loss of most her family member by the time she was fifteen and as she grows into a young woman she is faced with even more difficulties and must find a way to survive the worst.

Even though the book starts out with a family tree that warns readers of just how many lives are lost in the Hartsoe family, the emotional journey will be exhausting at times. The first half of the book is full of pain, grief and heartache, while the second half is focused on survival and perseverance. Thompson does a remarkable job of writing a poetic prose that will immediately whisk readers back in time. The rich metaphors bring the setting of Haw County alive, while Mary Bet’s strength will leave readers in awe. The narration was a bit strange at times, almost as though it is an outsider looking in and there is more to the story that is being glossed over. But overall, this is a must read for Southern Gothic Literature fans.



This review was written for the My Sister’s Books bookstore. To learn more about this bookstore, please visit their website.

Similar Authors:

Amy Gail Hawkins, Elaine Hussey


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My Sister’s Books #15

Code of the Forest

By: Jon Buchan

Set along the coast of Georgetown, South Carolina, a battle rages between local environmentalists and the corrupt politicians over whether or not to allow a chemical plant to be built. Wade McNabb, publisher of the newspaper, has never trusted lawyers, but he knows he needs to set those feelings aside in order to expose the dishonesty in the courtroom. Kate Stewart is a female lawyer trying to make her way in the men’s world of politics. Even though she was once burned by the media, she must move forward and trust Wade McNabb, or else her career won’t survive.

The South is where time tends to stand still and the state of South Carolina is no exception. This book demonstrates the delicate beauty that makes up Georgetown County. While it also reveals the crooked side of the judicial system, where it is more of whom you know rather than what you can prove. Buchan’s first novel develops at a fast pace and is an enticing read. Extremely well written, readers will be turned into instant fans.


This review was written for My Sister’s Books Bookstore.


Filed under Fiction Books, My Sister's Books, Mystery Books, Southern Lit

Leaving Tuscaloosa

By: Walter Bennett. Format: Paperback. Read: April 2013.

It is the summer of 1962 and two young men’s lives are about to change forever. Richeboux Branscomb is a young, white male who should have stayed at the dance with his girlfriend. Instead he chooses to ride with his friends into Cherrytown. Acee Waites, is a young, black male who works hard and is just trying to find time to spend with his girlfriend. He is called home, when the cops show up searching for his brother, a civil rights activist who lives with a white, northern woman. This is the journey of these two men and the dividing barrier of one’s race.

This book is a power house of emotions and actions. Walter Bennett will captivate readers with the struggles of Richeboux and Acee. Readers will feel as though they have been transported through time and space, thanks to the intricate details and accurate dialects. Told from various points-of-view, this story allows readers a chance to feel the inner turmoil of the main characters. Leaving Tuscaloosa is a superb example of Southern Literature and this book should be on every adult’s must-read list. Graphic scenes, rough language and harsh content will not be appropriate for all ages.

This book left me breathless and speechless. It is a gripping, action-packed book that provides an excellent representation of a southern community in the 1960s. Have you read Leaving Tuscaloosa? Without giving anything away, did you feel that the consequences of the main characters’ actions were justified due to the time period?


The PR representative for this book, provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about this PR company, please visit her website.

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Disharmony of Justice. By: Byron Suggs. Format: Paperback. Read: November 2012.

    The moment Peter Travers was born, the soul of Buddy Holly was ascending into Heaven. Fifteen years later, Peter was having a wonderful summer with his friends, and his girlfriend, Margie. That dreamy summer turned into a nightmare as their small town of Harper’s Mill learned what hate and evil could do. As people start disappearing and the Ku Klux Klan make their presence known, these five children discover their true destiny. Four famous dead rockers and five teenagers combine forces in order to rid their town of hatred. However unbeknownst to Peter’s friends, a plan is in motion that will have them all reuniting thirty-seven years later, while Peter lies close to death in a coma. As Peter relives his past, will his friends and the rockers be able to save his soul in the present, or will it cost them everything?
Byron Suggs has created a superb and flawless tale of love versus hate. Two stories and two time periods combine into one powerful adventure. A classic coming-of-age story with a magical rocker twist will introduce a new set of readers to the genre of Southern Literature. For fans of Southern Lit, this book will be a must-read! Suggs demonstrates an unbelievable talent as he flawlessly changes dialect between the characters and the time periods. This book will surely give readers goosebumps. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

One of my favorite college courses was my American Southern Lit class. We would read the classics and discuss how race, religion and a hint of magic defined an entire literary movement. Believe me when I say that this book, brought me back into that classroom and I believe that future generations will be adding Rockapocalypse to their curriculum. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and when I finished reading it, I was speechless. As a girl who was born and raised in the South, on Rock and Roll music, this book spoke to my heart. Oh and the playlist was excellent, too! Please go and read this book, so you can come back and discuss your favorite characters with me.


Note: Byron Suggs provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about this author and his books, please visit his website.


Filed under Fiction Books, Southern Lit