Mary Alice Monroe

Novelist & Children’s Author
NYT Bestseller
Travels from: Charleston, SC

“It was a great program! Mary Alice was fantastic and so personable, our audience loved it.” – Hudson Library & Historical Society

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 books, including The Beach House series: The Beach HouseSwimming Lessons, Beach House Memories, Beach House for Rent, Beach House Reunion, On Ocean Boulevard, and her latest The Summer of Lost and Found. Monroe also writes children’s picture books and a new middle grade fiction series, The Islanders.

More than 7.5 million copies of her books have been published worldwide, and she’s earned numerous accolades and awards, including: Induction into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame; the Southwest Florida Author of Distinction Award; South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence; RT Lifetime Achievement Award; the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the prestigious Southern Book Prize for Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Beach House is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie.

Monroe is captivated by the beauty and fragility of the wild habitat around her. In particular, the coastal southern landscape became a strong and important focus of many of her novels. Monroe immerses herself in both academic research and hands-on/volunteering to learn about a species or conservation issue. Then, she uses the knowledge and experiences working with animals and the wildlife experts to craft captivating stories that identify important parallels between nature and human nature. Bottlenose dolphins, monarch butterflies, shorebirds, and loggerhead sea turtles are among the wild species she has worked with and woven into her novels.

Monroe is an active conservationist and serves on the South Carolina Aquarium Board Emeritis, The Leatherback Trust, The Pat Conroy Literary Center Honorary Board, Friends of Coastal Carolina and Casting Carolinas Advisory Board. She is especially proud to be a twenty year plus state-certified volunteer with the Island Turtle Team, the group that first sparked her love for loggerhead sea turtles, and is the inspiration of her Beach House series. Monroe has also published two children’s books, which complement the environmental themes she’s known for in her novels. Her latest novel, Search for Treasure, is the second in The Islanders series, and is due to be released June, 2022.

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Search for Treasure (The Islanders)

Aladdin |
Middle Grade

The sequel to New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe’s The Islanders, a beautiful story of friendship, loss, and the healing power of nature.

Jake Potter is back on Dewees Island for another summer with his beloved grandmother, Honey. This time, Jake is excited that his dad will be there as he continues to recover from his injuries sustained in Afghanistan. But Jake also knows they both need get used to a new normal, which isn’t easy.

Jake also discovers that his two best friends, Macon and Lovie, are struggling as well. Macon is adjusting to being a big brother, while Lovie is navigating a new relationship with her dad, who has long been absent in her life. To cheer everyone up, Jake decides that the trio needs a new mission, just like they had the previous summer in saving the turtles. He discovers that his dad loved spending time in an old tree fort on the island, and there is a special treasure box hidden somewhere nearby. Jake just knows if he can find it, maybe his dad will be happy again—and he knows Macon and Lovie are the perfect fellow treasure hunters!

Their search leads them to discover there might be actual buried treasure somewhere on Dewees, all while they battle some unwelcome guests on the island, of both the two- and four-legged kind! On the three friends’ biggest quest yet, they realize that the treasures they really want in life were with them all along.

The Islanders

Aladdin |
Middle Grade

An instant New York Times bestseller!​

“Storytelling for young readers at its finest—equal parts summer adventure and environmental suspense…[a] love letter to family, friendship, and the natural world.” —Kwame Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The Crossover

From New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe comes a beautiful story of friendship, loss, and the healing power of nature in her first book for middle grade readers.

Eleven-year-old Jake’s life has just turned upside-down. His father was wounded in Afghanistan, and his mother is going to leave to care for him. That means Jake’s spending the summer on tiny Dewees Island with his grandmother. The island is a nature sanctuary—no cars or paved roads, no stores or restaurants. To make matters worse, Jake’s grandmother doesn’t believe in cable or the internet. Which means Jake has no cell phone, no video games…and no friends. This is going to be the worst summer ever!

He’s barely on the island before he befriends two other kids—Macon, another “summer kid,” and Lovie, a know-it-all who lives there and shows both Jake and Macon the ropes of life on the island. All three are struggling with their own family issues and they quickly bond, going on adventures all over Dewees Island. Until one misadventure on an abandoned boat leads to community service. Their punishment? Mandatory duty on the Island Turtle Team. The kids must do a daily dawn patrol of the beach on the hunt for loggerhead sea turtle tracks. When a turtle nest is threatened by coyotes, the three friends must find a way to protect it. Can they save the turtle nest from predators? Can Jake’s growing love for the island and its inhabitants (be they two-legged, four-legged, feathered, or finned) help to heal his father?

The Summer of Lost and Found (The Beach House)

Gallery Books |
Fiction
A timely, tender, and compassionate tale of perseverance, love, and the bonds of family in the face of tremendous and sometimes painful upheaval in this latest novel in the New York Times bestselling Beach House series.

The coming of spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, this spring is a season of challenge. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores, and her family’s finances, emotions, and health teeter on the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England. Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders—is it possible to love two men at the same time?

Love in the time of COVID-19 proves challenging, at times humorous, and ever changing. Relationships are redefined, friendships made and broken, and marriages tested. As the weeks turn to months, and another sea turtle season comes to a close, Linnea learns there are more meaningful lessons during this summer than opportunities lost: that summer is a time of wonder, and that the exotic lives in our own backyards.

Poignant and moving, The Summer of Lost and Found is “a novel of growing up, saying goodbye to the past, and learning to ask yourself the hard questions, including one of the most vital of all: ‘Who do you really want to be’” (Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author).

On Ocean Boulevard (The Beach House)

Gallery Books |
Fiction

This “authentic, generous, and heartfelt” (Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author) instant New York Times bestseller from the author of The Summer of Lost and Found recounts one family’s summer of forging new beginnings against the enduring beauty and resilience of the natural world.

It’s been sixteen years since Caretta “Cara” Rutledge has returned home to the beautiful shores of Charleston, South Carolina. Over those years, she has weathered the tides of deaths and births, struggles and joys. And now, as Cara prepares for her second wedding, her life is about to change yet again.

Meanwhile, the rest of the storied Rutledge family is also in flux. Cara’s niece Linnea returns to Sullivan’s Island to begin a new career and an unexpected relationship. Linnea’s parents, having survived bankruptcy, pin their hopes and futures on the construction of a new home on Ocean Boulevard. But as excitement over the house and wedding builds, a devastating illness strikes the family and brings plans to a screeching halt. It is under these trying circumstances that the Rutledge family must come together yet again to discover the enduring strength in love, tradition, and legacy from mother to daughter to granddaughter.

“A heartwarming story of lowcountry love, loyalty, and longstanding friendships” (Booklist), On Ocean Boulevard is Mary Alice Monroe at her very best.

The Summer Guests

Gallery Books |
Fiction

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Beach House series comes a heartwarming and evocative novel about the bonds and new beginnings that are born from natural disasters and how, even during the worst of circumstances—or perhaps because of them—we discover what is most important in life.

Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. A perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also peak hurricane season.

When a hurricane threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flees for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. They bring with them only the few treasured possessions they can fit in their vehicles. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.

During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them once they leave.

With Mary Alice Monroe’s “usual resplendent storytelling” (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author), The Summer Guests is a poignant and compelling story of self-discovery, love, and redemption.

Beach House Reunion (The Beach House)

Gallery Books |
Fiction

Whisking you back to the shores of her bestselling Beach House series, Mary Alice Monroe weaves together a tale of the struggles and triumphs of the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina. Beautifully wrought and rich with keen insight, this is an illuminating tale of new beginnings, resilience, and one family’s enduring love.

Cara Rutledge returns to her Southern home on the idyllic Isle of Palms. Everything is comfortingly the same, yet each detail is rife with painful memories. Only through reconnecting with family, friends, and the rhythms of the lowcountry can Cara release the hold of the past and open herself to the possibility of a new love, career, and hope for the future.

Meanwhile, her niece Linnea, a recent college graduate who doesn’t know where her life will take her, leaves her historic home in Charleston, with all its entitlement and expectations, and heads to her aunt’s beach house. On the island, she is part of the freer, natural ocean lifestyle she loves, rejoining the turtle team, learning to surf, and falling in love. Remembering the lessons of her beloved grandmother, Lovie, the original “turtle lady,” Linnea rediscovers a meaningful purpose to her life and finds the courage she needs to break from tradition.

In this heartwarming novel, three generations of the Rutledge family gather together to find the strength, love, and commitment to break destructive family patterns and to forge new bonds that will endure long beyond one summer reunion.

Beach House for Rent (The Beach House)

Gallery Books |
Fiction

New York Times Bestseller!

Bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe returns to her beloved Isle of Palms to tell the poignant, charming story of two women, one summer, and one very special beach house.

When Cara Rutledge rents out her quaint beach house on Isle of Palms to Heather Wyatt for the entire summer, it’s a win-win by any standard: Cara’s generating income necessary to keep husband Brett’s ecotourism boat business afloat, and anxiety-prone Heather, an young artist who’s been given a commission to paint birds on postage stamps, has a quiet space in which to work and tend to her pet canaries uninterrupted.

It isn’t long, however, before both women’s idyllic summers are altered irrevocably: the alluring shorebirds—and the man who rescues them—begin to draw Heather out of the shell she’s cultivated toward a world of adventure, and maybe even love; at the same time, Cara’s life reels with sudden tragedy, and she wishes only to return to the beach house that had once been her port amidst life’s storms. When Heather refuses to budge from her newfound sanctuary, so begins the unlikeliest of rooming situations. While they start out as strangers, as everything around the women falls apart they learn that the only thing they can really rely on is each other.

And, like the migrating shorebirds that come to the island for the summer, these two women of different generations must rediscover their unique strengths so by summer’s end they, too, can take flight in ways they never imagined possible.

A Lowcountry Christmas

Gallery Books |
Fiction

A wounded warrior and his younger brother discover the true meaning of Christmas in this timeless story of family bonds.

As far as ten-year-old Miller McClellan is concerned, it’s the worst Christmas ever. His father’s shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with finances strained, Miller is told they can’t afford the dog he desperately wants. “Your brother’s return from war is our family’s gift,” his parents tell him. But when Taylor returns with PTSD, family strains darken the holidays.

Then Taylor’s service dog arrives—a large black Labrador/Great Dane named Thor. His brother even got the dog! When Miller goes out on Christmas Eve with his father’s axe, determined to get his family the tree they can’t afford, he takes the dog for company—but accidentally winds up lost in the wild forest. The splintered family must come together to rediscover their strengths, family bond, and the true meaning of Christmas.

A Lowcountry Wedding (Lowcountry Summer #4)

Gallery Books |
Fiction

Wedding season has arrived in New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe’s next novel in the “distinct, complex, and endearing” (Charleston Magazine) Lowcountry Summer series, set against the romantic, charming Charleston Lowcountry.

Nothing could be more enchanting than a summer wedding—or two!—in Charleston’s fabled lowcountry. A centuries-old plantation, an avenue of ancient oaks dripping moss, a storied ballroom, a sand dune at sunset…

Yet when a stranger arrives, a long held family secret could silence the bells ringing for the Muir sisters. Scandals surface, family bonds are questioned, and promises are broken and renewed. In A Lowcountry Wedding Monroe delves into the heart of marriage, commitment, and family ties. Huffington Post calls the Lowcountry Summer series “the perfect beach read and a whole lot more.”

The Summer’s End (Lowcountry Summer #3)

Gallery Books |
Fiction
In the powerful and heartwarming conclusion to her bestselling Lowcountry Summer trilogy, New York Times author Mary Alice Monroe brings her readers back to the charm and sultry beauty of Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, to reveal how the pull of family bonds and true love is as strong and steady as the tides.

It is summer’s end and Sea Breeze, the family’s beloved estate on Sullivan’s Island, must be sold. It is an emotional time of transition as Mamaw and the three sisters each must face loss and find a new place in the world.

Harper, the youngest sister, arrived at Sea Breeze intending to stay only a weekend, but a rift with her wealthy, influential mother left her without direction or a home. During this remarkable summer, free from her mother’s tyranny and with the help of her half sisters, Harper discovered her talents and independent spirit.

But summer is ending, and the fate of Sea Breeze hinges on Harper’s courage to decide the course of her own life. To do so she must release her insecurities and recognize her newfound strengths. She must accept love fully into her life—the love of Mamaw, Carson, and Dora, the love of Sea Breeze and the lowcountry, and most of all, the love of a Wounded Warrior who has claimed her heart.

The third book in Mary Alice Monroe’s trilogy that brims with “stories that touch the mind and heart of her readers” (Huffington Post), The Summer’s End follows three half sisters bound by love for their grandmother and the timeless beauty and traditions of the lowcountry.

The Summer Wind (Lowcountry Summer #2)

Gallery Books |
Fiction

The Summer Wind is the second book in Monroe’s Lowcountry Summer trilogy, following the New York Times bestselling The Summer Girls. This series is a poignant and heartwarming story of three half-sisters and their grandmother, who is determined to help them rediscover their southern roots and family bonds.

It’s midsummer and Eudora, nicknamed Dora, is staying at Sea Breeze, the family’s ancestral home on Sullivan’s Island. For years, Dora has played the role of the perfect wife and mother in a loveless marriage. Now her husband filed for divorce, her child is diagnosed with autism, and her house is on the market. Dora’s facade collapses under the weight of her grief and she suffers “broken heart syndrome.” Mamaw and the girls rally around Dora—but it’s up to Dora to heal herself as she spends the summer prowling the beach, discovering the secrets of the island and her heart. This is a summer of discovery for all the women of Sea Breeze. Carson returns from Florida to face life-changing decisions, Lucille confronts a health scare, and an unexpected visitor has Harper reconsidering her life’s direction.

When tropical storm winds batter the island, the women must band together and weather the tempest—both the one outside their windows and the raging sea of emotions within each of them. They must learn again what it means to be a sister. It is up to Mamaw to keep the light burning at Sea Breeze to guide the girls through the lies, the threats, and the rocky waters of indecision to home.

Second Star to the Right

Gems Publishing |
Fiction

“The magic of innocence and the romance of hope will charm the reader.” Nora Roberts

“I laughed, I cried and I felt like a kid again, experiencing the magic of an unforgettable love story. Mary Alice Monroe has won a fan for life with this spectacular book.” New York Times bestselling author Teresa Medeiros

Sometimes fairy tales do come true…

As a single mother of two, Faye O’Neill has no time for fairy tales. She’s not even certain she believes in luck. Practical, smart and desperate to escape a shadowy past, Faye takes a job at a top advertising firm in London where she hopes she and her children can find a fresh start. When she finds the beautiful two-story flat for rent in a stately old Victorian complete with a neglected but tumbling English garden, she can scarcely believe her good fortune. But it’s not long before Faye realizes everything in the old home may be as peaceful as it seems.

A strange light begins to appear in her children’s rooms at night, and then there’s the reclusive elderly tenant, Crazy Wendy, her landlady warned her to steer clear of, the woman who spends her evenings spying on Faye’s children from her garret-room window. The woman who believes she is Peter Pan’s Wendy. To make matters worse, Faye, who has sworn off men, discovers her downstairs neighbor Jack is a disturbingly handsome professor with a talent for charming women and children alike. Before she knows it, Faye has embarked upon a whole new adventure into a world where anything might be possible, where broken hearts can be healed by a kiss, and where Neverland may not be a place of fables, but a forgotten land one can still find if they are only brave enough to follow the second star to the right.

“Mary Alice Monroe breathes new life into the timeless legend of Peter Pan-and the result is nothing short of magical. Second Star to the Right will whisk you away at the whim of this masterful storyteller.” Signe Pike, bestselling author of Faery Tale

The Book Club

Mira Books |
Fiction

 

On the surface, it is a monthly book club. But for five women, it is so much more. 

For Eve Porter, whose husband’s sudden death cheats her of every security she had planned on, the club is a place of sanctuary. For Annie Blake, a brilliant attorney intent on starting a family late in life, it is the chance to finally let down her guard and dream of other possibilities. For Doris Bridges, it is her support group as she acknowledges her dying marriage and finds the ultimate freedom in her husband’s betrayal. For Gabriella Rivera, the “perfect” wife, mother and friend who offers support to everyone but is afraid to ask for it herself, it is a sense of community. And for Midge Kirsch, an artist who has always lived her life against the grain, it is a haven of acceptance. 

They are five women from different walks of life, embracing the challenge of change. And as they share their hopes and fears and triumphs, they will hold fast to the true magic of the book club–friendship. 

The Book Club weaves the individual story threads into a warm, unified whole that will appeal to readers who enjoy multifaceted relationship novels with strong women protagonists.” —Library Journal

A Butterfly Called Hope

Arbordale Publishing |
Children’s

The colorful flowers in Mama’s garden reveal a strange-looking creature. -What is it? Does it sting, does it bite?- Join in this photographic journey as the young girl and her mother care for the caterpillar. Watch as it transforms into a chrysalis and then emerges as a beautiful monarch butterfly. How can the young girl -claim- the butterfly as her own but still let it go free?

The Summer Girls (Lowcountry Summer #1)

Gallery Books |
Fiction

From New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe, the heartwarming first installment in the Lowcountry Summer trilogy, a poignant series following three half-sisters and their grandmother.

Three granddaughters. Three months. One summer house.

In this enchanting trilogy set on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe captures the complex relationships between Dora, Carson, and Harper, three half-sisters scattered across the country—and a grandmother determined to help them rediscover their family bonds.

For years, Carson Muir has drifted, never really settling, certain only that a life without the ocean is a life half lived. Adrift and penniless in California, Carson is the first to return to Sea Breeze, wondering where things went wrong…until the sea she loves brings her a minor miracle. Her astonishing bond with a dolphin helps Carson renew her relationships with her sisters and face the haunting memories of her ill-fated father. As the rhythms of the island open her heart, Carson begins to imagine the next steps toward her future.

In this heartwarming novel, three sisters discover the true treasures Sea Breeze offers as surprising truths are revealed, mistakes forgiven, and precious connections made that will endure long beyond one summer.

Beach House Memories (The Beach House)

Gallery Books |
Fiction

Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of the Lowcountry Summer trilogy, returns to her beloved South with Beach House Memories, the sequel to The Beach House!

Autumn brings haunting beauty to the sun-soaked dunes on Isle of Palms, where Olivia “Lovie” Rutledge lives in her beloved Primrose Cottage. As the seasons change, Lovie remembers one special summer…

In 1974, America is changing, but Charleston remains eternally the same. When Lovie married aristocratic, well-connected businessman Stratton Rutledge, she turned over her fortune and fate to his control. But she refused to relinquish one thing: her family’s old seaside cottage. Precious summers with her children on the barrier island are Lovie’s refuge from social expectations and her overbearing husband’s philandering. Here, she is the “Turtle Lady,” tending the loggerhead turtles that lay their eggs in the warm night sand and then slip back into the sea.

Then, in the summer of ‘74, biologist Russell Bennett visits to research the loggerheads. Their shared interest brings them together, and soon it blooms into a passionate, profound love—forcing Lovie to face an agonizing decision. Stratton’s influence is far-reaching, and if she dares to dream beyond a summer affair, she risks losing her reputation, her wealth, even her children.

This emotional tale of a strong woman torn between duty and desire, between tradition and change, is an empowering journey through the seasons of self-discovery. Until this autumn, this time of winds and tides, of holding on and letting go…

The Beach House

Mira Books |
Fiction

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of The Beach House The most fulfilling journey is one that leads back home…

“Mary Alice Monroe is helping to redefine the beauty and magic of the Carolina Lowcountry. Every book she has written has felt like a homecoming to me.”
Pat Conroy

Twenty years ago, Caretta Rutledge left her Southern roots far behind for a successful career as a businesswoman in Chicago. But an unusual request from her mother–coming just as her own life is spinning out of control–has Cara heading back to the scenic Lowcountry of her childhood summers.

Before long, the rhythms of the island open her heart as she repairs the family beach house, becomes a bona fide “turtle lady” and renews old acquaintances long thought lost. But it is in reconnecting with her mother that she will learn life’s most precious lessons–true love involves sacrifice, family is forever and the mistakes of the past can be forgiven.

Known for her moving characters and emotional honesty, Mary Alice Monroe brings readers a beautifully rendered story that explores the fragile yet enduring bond between mothers and daughters.

Last Light over Carolina

Gallery Books |
Fiction

Last Light Over Carolina

Every woman in the sultry South Carolina low country knows the unspoken fear that clutches the heart every time her man sets out to sea. Now, that fear has become a terrible reality for Carolina Morrison. Her husband, shrimp boat captain Bud Morrison, is lost and alone somewhere in the vast Atlantic fishing grounds, with a storm gathering and last light falling. Over the course of one terrifying, illuminating day, Carolina looks back across thirty years of love and loss, joy and sorrow: How she rejected a well-to-do upbringing to marry Bud and embrace his extraordinary lifestyle by the sea . . . how hard times and loneliness have driven them apart . . . and how, with one mistake, she may have shattered their once-unbreakable bond forever. While their the close-knit community rallies together to search for one of its own, Carolina knows their love must somehow call him home, across miles of rough water and unspeakable memories.


New York Times
bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe explores a vanishing feature of the southern coastline, the mysterious yet time-honored shrimping culture, in a compelling tale of a strong woman struggling to prove that love is a light that never dies.

Sweetgrass

Mira Books |
Fiction

Mary Alice Monroe returns to the heart of the Low Country with a richly textured story about family, loss and the heartbreaking compromises people make in the name of love.

 

Sweetgrass is a historic tract of land in South Carolina that has been home to the Blakely family for eight generations. But Sweetgrass–named for the indigenous grass that grows in the area–is in trouble. Taxes are skyrocketing. Bulldozers are leveling the surrounding properties. And the Blakelys could be forced to sell the one thing that continues to hold their disintegrating family together.

 

In this poignant novel of hope, acceptance and the powerful gift of forgiveness, Mary Alice Monroe paints an intimate portrait of a family that must learn to unravel old patterns and weave together a new future.

Time Is a River

Gallery Books |
Fiction

With a strong, warm voice that brings the South to life, New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe writes richly textured stories that intimately portray the complex and emotional relationships we share with families, friends, and the natural world. “Every book that Mary Alice Monroe has written has felt like a homecoming to me,” writes Pat Conroy, bestselling author of The Prince of Tides.

Time Is a River is an insightful novel that will sweep readers away to the seductive southern landscape, joining books by authors such as Anne Rivers Siddons and Sue Monk Kidd.

Recovering from breast cancer and reeling from her husband’s infidelity, Mia Landan flees her Charleston home to heal in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. She seeks refuge in a neglected fishing cabin belonging to her fly-fishing instructor, Belle Carson.

Belle recently inherited the cabin, which once belonged to a grandmother she never knew — the legendary fly fisher and journalist of the 1920s, Kate Watkins, whose life fell into ruins after she was accused of murdering her lover. Her fortune lost in the stock market crash and her reputation destroyed, Kate slipped into seclusion in the remote cabin. After her death the fishing cabin remained locked and abandoned for decades. Little does Belle know that by opening the cabin doors to Mia for a summer’s sanctuary, she will open again the scandal that plagued Belle’s family for generations.

From her first step inside the dusty cabin, Mia is fascinated by the traces of Kate’s mysterious story left behind in the eccentric furnishings of the cabin. And though Belle, ashamed of the tabloid scandal that tortured her mother, warns Mia not to stir the mud, Mia is compelled to find out more about Kate…especially when she discovers Kate’s journal.

The inspiring words of the remarkable woman echo across the years. Mia has been learning to fly-fish, and Kate’s wise words comparing life to a river resonate deeply. She begins a quest to uncover the truth behind the lies. As she searches newspaper archives and listens to the colorful memories of the local small-town residents, the story of a proud, fiercely independent woman emerges. Mia feels a strange kinship with the woman who, like her, suffered fears, betrayal, the death of loved ones, and a fall from grace — yet found strength, compassion and, ultimately, forgiveness in her isolation. A story timeless in its appeal emerges, with a power that reopens old wounds, but also brings a transforming healing for Mia, for Kate’s descendants, and for all those in Mia’s new community.

Swimming Lessons (Beach House #2)

Mira Books |
Fiction

Toy Sooner has dealt with enough rough waves in her troubled past. It’s only been through the enduring love of a close-knit group of women on this tiny island that she’s finally started to find her footing. But as new challenges in her career arise for this young single mother, the choices and demons of her past will catch up to her. Soon Toy will learn that, like the steadfast sea turtles she cares for, a mother must find the strength within herself to make it safely to shore.

Turtle Summer: A Journal for My Daughter

Arbordale Publishing |
Fiction

This is a companion book to Mary Alice Monroe’s novel, Swimming Lessons, the sequel to The Beach House. In the novel, the readers witness a young mother, Toy, writing a journal for her daughter, Little Lovie. This is the journal Toy is writing. Using original photographs, this scrapbook journal explains the nesting cycle of sea turtles and the natural life along the Southeastern coast, including local shore birds, shells, and the sea turtle hospital. Adults and children will enjoy the images, information and the journal with or without the novel. The -For Creative Minds- educational section includes turtle nesting facts, a shell identification activity, and a make-your-own nature journal.

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The WHY of My Writing

Evolution of a writing career to create stories that bring awareness to nature, wildlife and our profound connection to them. This explores the process of story creation and examples of experiences with animals.

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Sea Turtles: The Animal, the Icon and What I’ve Learned from 20 Years On the Beach

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What Animals Teach Me

Our Connection to Nature and Animals Experiences with wildlife explored

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The Power of Story Structure (for writers)

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Unplugging from Electronics

Discussion of the many benefits to both children and parents of unplugging and incorporating non-screen activities in a family lifestyle (boosts creativity, offers opportunities to learn social skills, and enhances family relationships).

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Learning About What Is Wild

Discussion of why it’s beneficial–and fun–to learn the names of the things in your own back yard, and how parents can help bring their children into nature.

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Middle Grade vs. YA Fiction

Discussion of the difference between the two and what to do if your child excels at reading and is ready to “move up” a level between middle and YA.

Resources for Book Clubs

Mary Alice’s Blog

Mary Alice’s Essays

Upcoming Events

Honors, Awards & Recognition

NYT Bestseller
USA Today Best Seller
Southern Book Prize
Indie Next Pick

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