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Guest post: Mary Alice Monroe

June 17, 2014

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I’ve been a fan of Mary Alice Monroe ever since I read Last Light Over Carolina five years ago.  I love the way she weaves the environmental issues she’s passionate about into her stories without being preachy.  I read The Summer Girls, the first book in her Lowcountry Summer trilogy, last year and loved it, so I’m thrilled that the next book is out!  Here’s what Mary Alice has to say about it:

Book release day!  It’s exciting to see this time come so I can finally share THE SUMMER WIND with everyone.  It’s the second installment of The Lowcountry Summer Trilogy and the follow-up to last year’s bestseller THE SUMMER GIRLS.  If you haven’t read book one though don’t worry.  THE SUMMER WIND stands alone.

I’m on book tour right now, and one of the common questions I’m asked is what inspired the story.  For me, nature is my source of inspiration, and living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina means I’m surrounded by natural beauty and all of its inhabitants.  The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, commonly spotted off shore and in the saltwater creeks, is the backdrop for the trilogy. For years, I had wanted to write a story with a dolphin in it.  And I was compelled to do it now after learning from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that nearly half of the resident dolphins in South Carolina and Florida are sick or contaminated.

Dolphins are excellent in communication and have strong family bonds. So I created a dysfunctional family and each character has a unique communication problem, such as autism.  The parallels of nature and human nature help raise awareness to the real issues plaguing dolphins through the power of story.  It also enriches the plot, characters, and metaphors throughout the novel.

THE SUMMER WIND is about three young women–estranged half-sisters Carson, Dora, and Harper–and their strong, wise and a bit wily grandmother whose lives are changed by the presence of one wild dolphin during their final summer at “Sea Breeze”, Mamaw’s beach home on Sullivan’s Island.  Each book focuses on one woman, and all the characters’ stories move forward in each novel toward a final climax.

THE SUMMER WIND is mainly about Dora, the eldest, who feels like a failed southern belle. She’s lived her life under the pressure of too many expectations and “shoulds.” She is unappreciated and feels like she never measures up to her sisters or the standards set by her mother and society.  Who can, really? Dora’s world crumbles–her marriage fails, her son has special needs, and the only reason her house is standing is because the termites are holding hands!

I love Dora because she is in many ways “every woman.”  I think a lot of readers will identify with the character and cheer her on, as I did, as Dora struggles to shut out the critical voices and listen instead to her own heart.

The other question I’m often asked is what are you working on now?  I’m currently writing book three of trilogy, THE SUMMER’S END, which will be out in June 2015.  I am excited to weave all the threads and tie all the knots so the readers will hopefully sigh with contentment on closing the final book! And, they’ll realize they’ve enjoyed learning a lot about dolphins in the process.

I’m on the road this June and July celebrating the release of THE SUMMER WIND.  I may be coming to a city near you.  View my book tour at www.MaryAliceMonroe.com.  I’d love to see you!

The Summer Wind
Mary Alice Monroe is the bestselling, award-winning author of sixteen novels and two children’s books.  She lives near Charleston, SC.

 

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    June 17, 2014 7:44 am

    Great guest post! I can’t wait to read this installment in the trilogy — I love the setting and the characters. I’ve always loved dolphins — they are smart and often seem so happy.

  2. June 17, 2014 8:53 am

    We go to Isle of Palms–next to Sullivan’s Island–every other summer with a group of college friends, and we’ve always loved see dolphins and go crabbing or on boat tours with environmental guides. I guess that, as much as we feel the area is a kind of second home, I haven’t studied up on what doesn’t get told to tourists.
    At any rate, these books will be another way of spending time enjoying that area.

  3. June 17, 2014 9:23 am

    What a cool guest post.

  4. June 17, 2014 9:57 am

    Oh my…I loved The Summer Girls, too…I can’t wait for this one!

  5. Beth Hoffman permalink
    June 17, 2014 10:29 am

    Lovely guest post. I’ve enjoyed Mary Alice’s books in the past and am looking forward to this one.

  6. June 17, 2014 11:56 am

    Enjoyed this post.

  7. June 17, 2014 12:26 pm

    What a great post! I haven’t read anything by Mary Alice Monroe, I’m afraid to say, but she’s going on my wish list.

  8. June 17, 2014 12:27 pm

    Wonderful post! I just finished The Summer Girls and look forward to continuing on with the story. I hope we find out how Delphine is doing.

  9. June 17, 2014 12:49 pm

    Sounds like the perfect summer read!

  10. June 17, 2014 1:32 pm

    Wonderful guest post! I haven’t read anything by Mary Alice Monroe, but her work sounds very appealing.

  11. June 17, 2014 2:14 pm

    I loved the first two books of The Lowcountry trilogy! Thanks for sharing this post.

  12. June 17, 2014 2:35 pm

    I haven’t read anything by this author, but would like to as her books seem to be very popular.

  13. June 17, 2014 3:12 pm

    Lovely post! I like how she blends environmental issues into her stories.

  14. June 17, 2014 4:00 pm

    Sounds like a nice book

  15. June 17, 2014 6:51 pm

    That book makes me want to curl up on the deck with a large iced tea.

  16. June 18, 2014 7:46 am

    I haven’t read any yet, so it’s good to know readers can just jump in with this one. I need more time to read!

  17. June 18, 2014 5:21 pm

    Great post and that cover makes me want to hit the beach!

  18. June 18, 2014 7:25 pm

    Adding this title to my wish list. I think I’d like it!

  19. Jennifer permalink
    June 24, 2014 1:14 pm

    I absolutely love the way the environment is weaved into the creation of the storyline. Sounds like a trilogy I should be reading!

  20. bookingmama permalink
    June 24, 2014 3:15 pm

    That sounds like the perfect book to pack for the beach!!!

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