Whether you’re a longtime reader of my Sweet Magnolias series or just discovering it with the latest trilogy – Midnight Promises (July, MIRA Books), Catching Fireflies (August, MIRA Books) and Where Azaleas Bloom (September, MIRA Books) — you probably know that these books are about the deep bonds of women, whether lifelong friends or newly-acquainted.
The original Sweet Magnolias — Maddie, Helen and Dana Sue — were childhood friends who stuck by each other through thick and thin, but over the course of the series, just like all of us in real life, they’ve welcomed newcomers to the fold. They’ve even become multi-generational as their daughters and even a few local seniors have been included in their famed margarita nights.
For someone like me, who grew up in a suburb of Washington, DC where military families and, therefore, friends came and went, friendships have always been vitally important in my life. I hang onto the people I love for dear life, keeping in touch despite time and distance.
Lately, though, I’ve been through a period when the loss of dear friends has been more permanent. I have to say it’s come as a disconcerting shock to realize that I’m now at an age when I’m more likely to lose someone to death than a cross-country move.
This is a transition we all must face eventually. As a minister friend points out to me, the cycle of life is inevitable. That doesn’t mean we have to like it, but we do have to learn to deal with the grief and move on. And it’s at times like these that the friends left behind mean more than ever. They provide support and comfort and much-needed laughter amid the tears.
Over the years I’ve been around many people who’ve lived well into their 80s and 90s. One thing they’ve all agreed on is that outliving their contemporaries is tough. From them, I’ve learned to make a decided effort to include a lot of younger people in my circle of friends, just as the Sweet Magnolias have done in these books. It’s something you might want to consider as well.
Because as our lives inevitably change, as people come and go whatever the reason, friendships matter more than ever. I hope your circle of friends is large, that it includes young and old, and that you remember each and every day how those you love enrich your life. In other words, I wish you your own group of Sweet Magnolias!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR…Sherryl Woods, New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author, has written more than 100 romance and mystery novels. After graduating from the School of Journalism at Ohio State University, she spent more than ten years as a journalist and also spent some time coordinating a motivational program at the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Medical Center. Aside from reading and writing, Sherryl also enjoys gardening, tennis, theater, ballet and baseball. Currently she divides her time between Key Biscayne, Florida and Colonial Beach, Virginia, the small, river-front town where she spent her childhood summers.
Where Azaleas Bloom
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sherryl Woods explores the healing power of a love strong enough to join two wounded families.Single mom Lynn Morrow is determined to put food on the table for her son and daughter. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband has failed to meet his obligations time and again—but it turns out that Ed is struggling with his own demons.
Enter contractor Mitch Franklin, an unlikely knight in shining armor. A widower with two grieving sons, Mitch once admired Lynn from afar. Now he sees in her not only the sweet girl who got away, but a woman desperately in need of support. While rushing to the rescue of Lynn and her children comes naturally, he’s also wise enough to encourage Lynn to find her own way…hopefully straight into his arms.
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sherryl Woods captures a community’s heartfelt fight to preserve the innocence of childhood.When bullying threatens to destroy a teen’s life, painful memories resurface for dedicated high school teacher Laura Reed and pediatrician J. C. Fullerton. With the support of the Sweet Magnolias, they bring the town together to ensure that a promising student’s future isn’t ruined. And to establish once and for all that bullying has no place in Serenity, South Carolina.
Both J.C.’s and Laura’s passion for the cause is deeply personal, and their growing feelings for each other are just as strong. But with so many secret hurts to overcome, can these two vulnerable lovers find the strength to believe in happily ever after?
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sherryl Woods draws you into the emotional journey of a marriage worth saving.When Elliott Cruz first courted struggling single mom Karen Ames, it was a romance worthy of any Sweet Magnolia fantasy. The sexy personal trainer made it his mission to restore Karen’s strength—physical and emotional—and to charm her children.
Now, a few years into the marriage, colliding dreams threaten to tear them apart. Elliott’s desire to finance the business opportunity of a lifetime with their hard-earned “baby money” stirs Karen’s deep-rooted financial insecurities. It’s the discovery that their brother-in-law is cheating on Elliott’s sister—and thinks it’s justified—that puts their irreconcilable differences into perspective. Will their own loving fidelity be a bond so strong they can triumph against all odds?
FROM THE BOOK FAERY REVIEWS…To ONE lucky reader we’re giving away an Laura Ashley gardening apron along with copies of each book. This giveaway is open to those with a US/Canadian mailing addresses (No PO Boxes) and will run through the month of July. Just leave a comment below for the author about her post and complete the Rafflecopter widget below.