New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women and the relationships that move them. Publisher’s Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says, “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” Visit Susan online at www.susanmallery.com.
I live in Seattle. According to a local news website, Seattle averages 226 cloudy days per year, plus 81 partly cloudy days. That’s a total of 307 days – 84% of the time – when the sun is either absent or playing coy. Something about the cool air gathering over the ocean, then pushing inland, hitting the Cascade Mountains… it’s all very complicated and, frankly, not very interesting. Suffice it to say that we go so long without seeing the sun during the winter that I rely on a happy lamp to keep my hormones endorphinated. (Yes, I made up that word. I’m a writer. I’m allowed to do that.)
Some of the local newscasters should seek endorphination, too, I think. As the short, dark days accumulate, their smiles get a little less perky, a little wobbly at the edges.
“Top headline tonight: It’s been 41 days since we’ve seen the sun here in the Seattle area.”
I swear I can hear a tremor in her voice.
I grew up in L.A., where they’re perky year-round. (A little double-entendre there for male readers.)
Books provide a great escape from dreary weather and dreary real-life. For a few hours, we’re transported to the world the author created. When I create a series, I want to ensure that it’s set somewhere that readers will love visiting over and over again. And, frankly, a place that I’ll love to visit, since I spend several months living in that world while writing each book.
BAREFOOT SEASON is the first book of my brand new Blackberry Island series. Although Blackberry Island is
within commuting distance to Seattle, it’s a world away.
BAREFOOT SEASON takes place during the lovely, long summer days, when there’s nowhere as beautiful as the Pacific Northwest. The sun, when it shines, has a different quality here. The light is pure, and the colors are deeply saturated, vibrant. The sky is bluer, the flowers are brighter.
Wounded veteran Michelle Sanderson is eager to return to Blackberry Island, where she grew up. When she discovers that Carly, her former best friend, has been running her family’s inn – and badly, it seems, since the inn is on the verge of foreclosure – Blackberry Island is no longer a haven from her problems. It’s the source of them. Will Michelle run away again, or will she finally make peace with Carly and with the pain she caused so many years ago?
Visit Blackberry Island online at www.blackberryisland.com to read Chapter 1 of BAREFOOT SEASON, see a map and Visitors Guide, get some fabulous blackberry recipes, including a printable version of the recipe I’ve shared below. There’s also a fabulous recipe for Helen’s Chicken Salad within the pages of BAREFOOT SEASON.
OVEN-BAKED PORK CHOPS WITH BLACKBERRY CHIPOTLE SAUCE
¼ C olive oil
2 pork chops, 1-1 ¼” thick
Salt and pepper
¼ C Blackberry Chipotle Sauce (recipe at www.blackberryisland.com)
Preheat oven to 350. Heat olive oil in heavy, oven-safe pan with a lid. Salt and pepper the chops, then brown for five minutes on one side. Flip the chops, cover the pan, and transfer it to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Add 2 T Blackberry Chipotle Sauce on top of each chop. Cover again and bake until the internal temp reaches
165, about 10-20 minutes more.
What’s your favorite time of year? Why? What does the phrase “Barefoot Season” bring to mind for you?
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Thank you, Susan, for being such a wonderful guest! ~Avery