Mary Kay Andrews cracked open an ice-cold Quixie and lit into a sizzling tale.
Seems this girl Annajane was so over her ex-husband Mason that she felt fine attending his wedding to Celia. But when the wedding was called off at the last – and I mean the last – second, Annajane wondered if maybe she wasn’t still soft on Mason.
Lawd, I had to press a Quixie can to my forehead to keep from swooning.
Alright, that didn’t exactly happen. Instead, Andrews tells us all about Annajane, Mason and Celia in her new book, “Spring Fever.” It takes place in the town of Passcoe, N.C., home of Quixie Cherry Soda (not to be confused with Salisbury, N.C., home of Cheerwine, of course).
”‘Spring Fever’ came about last spring, when I kept dreaming of a woman sitting in church,” Andrews told me. “I finally asked her what she was doing there and she told me she was watching her ex-husband get re-married. When I asked if she was okay with that, she said, ‘I am soooo over him.’ But I knew she was lying.”
To get the feel for this season’s beach read, Andrews traveled to Salisbury and interviewed the folks at Cheerwine, returning home with a case of diet and regular and also running by Winston Salem, N.C.-based Krispy Kreme.
”For inspiration, I bought a dozen Cheerwine-filled Krispy Kremes, which you can only get certain times of the year, and usually only in the Carolinas,” she said. (And which Jesus snacks on in heaven, we are convinced. Have you had one?)
Anyway, the result of Andrews’ delicious research is a book you will want to sink your teeth into. Want to meet Andrews and buy it directly from her? A “Spring Fever” launch party is planned for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 4 Harbour Bar & Fish House, 129 Church Street in Decatur. Tickets are $35 and include a copy of the book, a drink ticket and a fun swag bag. See www.foxtalebookshoppe.com.
In other Atlanta beach read news, novelist Karen White was touring the campus of Auburn University, where her son will be a freshman this fall, when we called this week.
It was an apt setting to discuss “Sea Change,” her latest title.
”‘Sea Change’ is all about endings being beginnings,” she said.
Set on St. Simons Island, “Sea Change” is the story of a woman who marries impulsively, then finds herself compelled to research her new husband’s curious past. Just try putting this one down once you dive in.
”There’s mystery, there’s romance,” promised White, “set in one of the most beautiful places in Georgia.”
White has a slew of appearances planned, including a joint one with author Claire Cook at 6:30 p.m. June 5 at the Book Exchange, 2956 Canton Road in east Cobb and solo shows at 7 p.m. June 6 at Bookmiser, 4651 Sandy Plains Road in Roswell; 5:30 p.m. June 7 at Yawn’s Books and More at 210 E. Main St. in Canton and 7 p.m. June 8 at the Barnes & Noble in the Mansell Crossings Shopping Center, 7660 N. Point Parkway in Alpharetta.
”I love to write and read about Southern families,” said White, who spent timing tooling around St. Simons by bicycle for a good sense of place. After finally letting go of a manuscript, she always looks forward to the meeting and greeting of a book tour.
“When I finish a book it’s like saying goodbye to a friend,” she said. “It’s like sending your child off to college.”
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzemail@example.com