Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey

 We recently caught up with author Kristy Woodson Harvey and chatted about her new book Slightly South of Simple, available April 25th . Pre-order your copy here!


What inspired you to write Slightly South of Simple, the first book in an all-new series about three sisters and their mother?

This was such a fun book to write. The inspiration came from a lot of different places, I think. For one thing, I am fascinated by first-love stories and the ways in which they can manifest themselves later on in life. Usually, those first loves are the people who know us long before we became the people we were in our adulthood. I think that certainly colors the relationship between Jack and Ansley. I’m also endlessly fascinated by how people react when their “Plan A” doesn’t work out. For Ansley, becoming a young widow with three daughters was obviously not in the plan. Caroline has orchestrated this seemingly perfect life for herself, and she never expects for it to all come tumbling down. In some ways, coming back to Peachtree Bluff is part of Plan B for all of the women.

Caroline Murphy is at a crossroads in her life. What brings this New York City girl back to Peachtree Bluff, Georgia?

Caroline’s New York high society husband, James, is in the midst of a very public, very scandalous affair with one of the city’s newest “it girls.” He’s appearing on a new reality show with her. Caroline is probably as tough as they come, but very pregnant and with an impressionable eleven-year-old daughter in tow. She decides to head home to her mother for a little TLC, despite the fact that she ran out of Peachtree Bluff kicking and screaming. With the whirlwind that her life has become, though, the quiet, slow pace she despised as a teenager is seeming a little more appealing. Being back with her sisters and mother is incredible. Of course, but in a lot of ways, it is the town of Peachtree Bluff that rehabilitates Caroline.

How does matriarch Ansley adjust to having all three of her daughters underfoot?

At first, she isn’t totally thrilled. Tapping into Ansley’s true emotions about some things about her daughters was actually one of the really interesting things about writing this book. I think as the child, we always just assume that our parents are thrilled to be around us! But when I really delved into that, there are certainly some mixed emotions as the parent of adult children. Most of Ansley’s nerves have to do with the fact that the sisters don’t always get along perfectly. Those feelings are justified! Nothing has changed just because they are all grown up. Ansley has also worked really hard to cultivate a life of her own, and she’s a little nervous about what having all of her girls back will do to that.

How does Ansley’s relationship with her daughters evolve from being a mother figure to becoming a friend?

I think in her way Ansley is always a mother to her girls first. But, certainly, being a mother to adult children is a transition. She is walking that line between letting them run their own lives and intervening when they need her. I imagine that must be a very delicate balance. My mom always talks about how hard that is, to be a parent of an adult, because you still want to put your two cents in but you also know that your children need to make their own decisions. I think Ansley strikes that balance well—and you’ll continue to see her struggle with parenting these adult children as the series moves forward.

Are you currently at work on your next project? If so, what may you share with us?

Oh, yes! I just finished the first draft of the second book in the Peachtree Bluff series. The working title is THE SECRET TO SOUTHERN CHARM. This is the middle sister Sloane’s book. I can’t say too much about it because it will give away some of SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE. Let’s just say that both Sloane and Ansley are at major crossroads in their lives. The Murphy women have to rely upon one another—and Peachtree Bluff—more than ever. Grammy also figures heavily into THE SECRET OF SOUTHERN CHARM. It was great to get to focus more on her character and delve into yet another generation of these wonderful women!

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The Guests on South Battery by Karen White

The Guests on South Battery by Karen White is now available wherever books are sold! Check out our exclusive interview with the New York Times bestselling author of The Tradd Street series.

What inspired you to write The Tradd Street Series which is set amid the sights and sounds of historic Charleston?

The main character, Melanie Middleton, whacked me upside the head one morning while I was trying to shower and wouldn’t let me go. Seriously! And, I needed a good excuse to visit Charleston often.

In the latest installment, The Guests on South Battery, Melanie Trenholm is returning to work after maternity leave. How has she evolved as a wife, mother, and real estate agent?

With the help of her growing circle of friends and family, she has begun to realize that she doesn’t really have it all together in all aspects of her life as she’d like to think and that she might, in fact, be a tad dysfunctional. She tries really hard to change, but as it is with all lifelong habits, she takes two steps forward and three steps back. But, she still tries.

What is the driving force behind Melanie’s affinity for the house on South Battery?

A huge commission!  Beyond that, the previous owner was a friend of her mother’s and loved the house.  And Melanie’s best friend, Sophie, who is a professor of Historic Preservation at the College of Charleston, would probably never forgive Melanie if she allowed her client to sell the house as is without giving Sophie a chance to restore it.

How does the appearance of spirits, both malevolent and benign, affect Melanie’s relationships, especially with Jack?

Jack is used to it, accepts it, and even admires this trait in his new wife. Those who love Melanie, like Nola and Sophie, handle Melanie’s abilities like a special talent. But Melanie is aware that others might not be as accepting, and might actually call her downright crazy, so she tries very hard to not publicize the fact that she can see dead people—especially people who might need a real estate agent.

Will there be a sixth book in the series?

There will actually be two more books in the series after this one—and both of those stories are set up in this one!

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