Fans of The Help and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil will delight in this comic novel of family secrets by acclaimed writer, Susan Gabriel (The Secret Sense of Wildflower, a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews).
Every family has secrets, but the elite Temple family of Savannah has more than most. To maintain their influence, they've been documenting the indiscretions of other prestigious southern families, dating as far back as the Civil War. When someone begins leaking these tantalizing tidbits to the newspaper, the entire city of Savannah, Georgia is rocking with secrets.
The current keeper of the secrets and matriarch of the Temple clan is Iris, a woman of unpredictable gastrointestinal illnesses and an extra streak of meanness that even the ghosts in the Temple mansion avoid. When Iris unexpectedly dies, the consequences are far flung and significant, not only to her family—who get in line to inherit the historic family mansion—but to Savannah itself.
At the heart of the story is Old Sally, an expert in Gullah folk magic, who some suspect cast a voodoo curse on Iris. At 100 years of age, Old Sally keeps a wise eye over the whole boisterous business of secrets and the settling of Iris's estate.
In the Temple family, nothing is as it seems, and everyone has a secret.
“The secrets and lies of Savannah, Georgia’s upper crust come to light in Gabriel’s Southern Gothic novel. Gabriel unfolds her story deftly, with well-paced revelations about the complicated relationships between the mansion’s white and black inhabitants…Gabriel also evokes the Spanish moss–covered atmosphere of ghost-filled Savannah, and the Temple mansion in particular, with satisfying spookiness…The author’s thoughtfulness about masters and slaves, employers and servants, and family relations also contributes to a satisfying read. Savannah’s atmosphere, culture, and history flavor this engaging tale of intertwined families.” – Kirkus Reviews
The Secret Sense of Wildflower
The Secret Sense of Wildflower earned a coveted Starred Review from Kirkus Reviews and was named by Kirkus as a Best Books of 2012.
Set in 1940s Appalachia, The Secret Sense of Wildflower tells the story of Louisa May “Wildflower” McAllister whose life has been shaped around the recent death of her beloved father in a sawmill accident. While her mother hardens in her grief, Wildflower and her three sisters must cope with their loss themselves, as well as with the demands of daily survival.
Despite these hardships, Wildflower has a resilience that is forged with humor, a love of the land, and an endless supply of questions to God, who she isn't so sure she agrees with. When Johnny Monroe, the town’s teenage ne’er-do-well, sets his sights on Wildflower, she must draw on the strength of her relations, both living and dead, to deal with his threat.
With prose as lush and colorful as the American South, The Secret Sense of Wildflower is powerful and poignant, brimming with energy and angst, humor and hope.
"A quietly powerful story, at times harrowing but ultimately a joy to read.” - Kirkus Reviews
Get two great southern novels for one great price!
Susan Gabriel is an acclaimed writer who lives in the mountains of North Carolina. Her novel, The Secret Sense of Wildflower, earned a starred review ("for books of remarkable merit") from Kirkus Reviews and was selected as one of their Best Books of 2012.
She is also the author of Temple Secrets, Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories and other novels. Discover more about Susan at SusanGabriel.com.
Whether white or black, living or dead, down home country or upscale urban, Gabriel’s characters are quirky, poignant and deep. They include: A Gullah woman using folk magic to cast her latest spell. A girl coming-of-age dealing with death in 1940s Tennessee. A wealthy Savannah matriarch with gastrointestinal issues guarding family secrets. A good ol’ boy observing himself shortly after his death. An agoraphobic woman striking up a unique friendship with the girl across the street. And a band of seventy-year-olds finding healing in a mountain stream.
Written in the tradition of Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty, the eight short stories in Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories are all rooted in the southern landscape—from the steamy coast of Georgia, to the current day Atlanta suburbs, to the ancient Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.
Pull up a rocker on the front porch, take a sip of your sweet iced tea and lose yourself in these original stories of soulful southerners and their sultry landscape.
Thirteen-year-old Sam lives on a reservation in North Carolina with his beloved grandmother who teaches him the Cherokee ways. To honor his ancestors, Sam hikes to a nearby sacred mountain where he encounters a red-tailed hawk and has a life-threatening fall off a steep trail. Bruised and shaken, he lands at the roots of an ancient oak tree where he discovers, tangled in the roots, an extremely rare star ruby.
When news of the ruby gets out, he confronts bullies and thieves before connecting with a renowned gemstone expert to determine the ruby’s value. In the meantime, Sam calls on his circle of ancestors to help him decide the fate of his treasure. Their message takes him far beyond the boundaries of his home where he will discover if the ruby is a blessing or a curse.
The STONE Age meets the TEENage! Quentin Moss is an average 13-year-old boy with an anything-but-average problem: the cave boy he dreamed about last night has shown up, alive and smelly, in his bedroom.
As past and present collide with comic consequences, Quentin must hide the secret identity of his new friend who is fascinated by zippers and loves to flush the toilet — over and over again. Before the day is over, Quentin and his best friend, Dex, have to find a way to help the homesick cave boy get back to his home — thousands of years in the past. But first they have to get through the school day.
Quentin may not be the cutest, smartest guy in school, but the way he deals with the greatest adventure of his life will have readers of all ages laughing out loud.
Get your copy today and start enjoying Quentin and the Cave Boy today!
Here's what thrilled women writers are saying about this groundbreaking book:
"I will keep referring to this little gift of insight throughout the year. Thanks for the encouragement, the dose of reality, and most of all, the inspiration." - S. Evans
"...reflects in a sophisticated yet highly readable voice on many aspects of the writer's life. It will inspire many creative people, whether writers or not. The book definitely lived up to its title." - Krista L.
"Full of inspiration and pointers from Susan Gabriel and other authors to boost your creativity - it's an all-around excellent book - I'd highly recommend it!" - S. Burnside
"A ton of great tips and inspiration that often apply to life in general, as well as to writing....inspiration and enthusiasm to get you started." - S. Lunsford
In addition to sharing from her own experience as a writer for over 15 years, Gabriel also reflects on thoughts and experiences from a wide variety of writers and other inspiring people including Annie Dillard, Virginia Woolf, Harriet Tubman, Ursula Le Guin, Barbara Kingsolver, Kathryn Hackett, Hillary Clinton, Alice Munro, Jane Austen, Maya Angelou, Fran Lebowitz, Brene Brown, Emily Dickinson, Anne Tyler, Harper Lee, Elizabeth George, Anne LaMott, Nora Ephron, Gail Godwin, May Sarton, Willa Cather, Marianne Williamson, Carson McCullers, Sue Monk Kidd, Alice Walker, Louise Erdrich, Geena Davis, Martha Beck, Mary Oliver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Tina Fey and others.
You'll enjoy the wide ranging and inspiring essays, including:Where ideas come fromThe art of "shitty" first draftsA lesson from Tina Fey101 excuses why people don't writeWriters who are also mothersKill your darlingsWhat writers can learn from coyotesIt's never too late to start your writing career... and much more.
Download Fearless Writing for Women right now and start getting inspired!