Thursday, June 23, 2011

Guest post and Giveaway: Summer in the South by Cathy Holton

Today it is my extreme pleasure to welcome Cathy Holton to Pudgy Penguin Perusals. Cathy's new book, Summer in the South, was a big hit with me. A 5* rating means I just couldn't put the book down. Check out my review. Sounds like a good summer read? Most definitely! After Cathy's post, be sure to enter the drawing for one copy of the book. See details below.

How did the idea for Summer in the South originate? 
by Cathy Holton

     Twenty-five years ago I went with a friend to visit her Great-Aunt Fanny in Franklin, Tennessee.  Fanny lived in an imposing house filled with treasures; a large sterling silver collection, oil portraits of dead ancestors, a framed letter from Thomas Jefferson to Fanny’s great-great-great-grandfather.  I was immediately entranced by Randal’s illustrious family history and their quietly understated, old-money wealth.

            Fanny was a lovely woman, intelligent and funny and filled with a buoyant spirit.  There were photographs of her and her deceased husband everywhere; standing in front of a sea plane, crouching beside a water buffalo, having cocktails in a Paris café.  On the second day of our visit, we went with Fanny to the cemetery to visit the dead.  Watching as she knelt to put flowers on a grave set apart from the others, I asked Randal, “Who’s buried there?”

            “Her husband.”
            “The one in all the photographs?”
“No, that’s the second husband.  The one over there is her first husband, Charlie.”
“What happened to him?”
“He died.  We don’t speak of him.”

            I couldn’t get anything else out of her.  Nothing inspires a writer’s imagination like curiosity, and I couldn’t stop thinking about Fanny and her first husband, whom she had obviously loved very much.  And I couldn’t stop wondering what had happened between Fanny and Charlie that would keep her family from mentioning his name sixty years later.

            Twenty-five years later, I wrote Summer in the South, the story of a Chicago writer trying to escape her troubled past who finds love, redemption, and a sixty-year-old murder mystery in a small Southern town.

            Did the love story between Fanny and Charlie happen as I imagined it?  Are the things that happened to Ava there in that old house in Woodburn real?

            The answers to both questions, I suppose, lie clearly in the realm of fiction.

Cathy, thank you so much for visiting with us today.

Thanks to Cathy's generosity, I have one copy of Summer in the South to give away to one of my followers. Open to US and Canada. Deadline to enter is July 1st. Since this is a followers (old or new) only giveaway the 3 bonus entries this month will be for blogging about or tweeting about the giveaway. Be sure to include your e mail address in the comment box. Please, please, please do not leave three comments that you tweeted. One box is sufficient.


  1. This sounds like a great summer read. I would love to read it.
    I am a gfc follower

  2. Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the chance to win it.

    GFC follower
    sgiden at

  3. This author is from my stomping grounds (I work in Chattanooga)! Would love to win this. Thanks for the chance! I'm a GFC follower, and I tweeted here:

    susanaudrey33 at gmail dot com

  4. I am an old follower. This looks like such an enjoyable book. I'd love to be entered.

  5. Sounds like a perfect summer read!
    melanieinoh2003 at yahoo dot come

  6. I wonder what happened to Charlie? This sounds like a wonderful read. GFC follower as Karen B.

  7. This one sounds really good, and the story behind it would have intrigued me as well. Following and posted.

  8. Holy Cow...this sounds fascinating. I loved how she came up with the idea of this story!! 5 stars from you means stellar read for me!!!

  9. WoW, This sounds like a grat summer read. I follow GFC

  10. I like Cathy's story of her own adventure to TN. I think it has a great cover look too!
    I'm a GFC follower.

  11. Thanks for the great guest post and giveaway!

    I'm an old GFC follower.

    susanna DOT pyatt AT student DOT rcsnc DOT org

  12. I've been wanting this one! Please enter me.

    old follower on gfc

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  13. Thanks for the giveaway! I follow via GFC quixoticdreamer

    I tweeted!/QuixoticWeetzie/status/84127242493509632


  14. I'm here from Watery Wednesday, trying to catch up....and I thought I'd post HERE instead of on your posts below, not knowing if you'd miss it. I think your ocean views are terrific, and the lighthouse is super. Good luck to those entering your giveaway!!!

    My post for today: Fact or decide.

    Thanks for the visit Wednesday...your comments are always treasured!

  15. This sounds like such an intriguing read. I really enjoy stories with secrecy and mystery, makes me to uncover them all the more.


  16. This sounds like a wonderful summer read! I'd love to win a copy.

    I follow via GFC


  17. Fanny's house seems delightful and I'm sure the book is too.
    I'll go over to the follower box now.

  18. Please enter my name in the giveaway for the book. Thanks!

    pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

  19. what fun! thanks for the giveaway
    ericandsarita at gmail dot com

  20. This book sounds so good and I live in the South so... Thank you for the giveaway!

    Old GFC follower


  21. I now live in Texas! Would love to read about these Southern Women.

    I am an old Google Friend Connect follower of your blog.

    I tweeted, My twitter name is Carolee888 of 'Summer in the South'


  22. I'd love to read this one. I'm a current follower.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  23. Now I'm curious about what happened and I've love to win the copy of this book. I'm a current follower.
    sdryburgh at hotmail dot com

  24. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

    I am a follower! :)

    Tweet! Tweet!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


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