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Release Day: The Happy Hour Choir by Sally Kilpatrick & Lavina by Mary Marcus


It goes on sale today! The Happy Hour Choir by Sally Kilpatrick and Lavina by Mary Marcus will be released today. Two novels about the different faces of the American South. Don't forget to catch our blog reviews to these books soon!


Summary

From debut author Sally Kilpatrick comes a hopeful tale of love and redemption in a quiet Southern town where a lost soul finds her way with the help of an unlikely circle of friends. . .

Life has dealt Beulah Land a tough hand to play, least of all being named after a hymn. A teenage pregnancy estranged her from her family, and a tragedy caused her to lose what little faith remained. The wayward daughter of a Baptist deacon, she spends her nights playing the piano at The Fountain, a honky-tonk located just across the road from County Line Methodist. But when she learns that a dear friend's dying wish is for her to take over as the church's piano player, she realizes it may be time to face the music. . .

Beulah butts heads with Luke Daniels, the new pastor at County Line, who is determined to cling to tradition even though he needs to attract more congregants to the aging church. But the choir also isn't enthusiastic about Beulah's contemporary take on the old songs and refuse to perform. Undaunted, Beulah assembles a ragtag group of patrons from The Fountain to form the Happy Hour Choir. And as the unexpected gig helps her let go of her painful past--and accept the love she didn't think she deserved--she just may be able to prove to Luke that she can toe the line between sinner and saint. . .

READ AN EXCERPT HERE.

Advance Praise

“It is hard to believe that this is Kilpatrick’s debut novel. The characters are honest, lively and heartfelt. Beulah deals with a number for relatable challenges. No character is wasted, and they remind the reader that anything worth having is not easy. A good takeaway is that family is what we create, not restricted to bloodlines. Kilpatrick mixes loss and devastation with hope and a little bit of Southern charm. She will leave the reader laughing through tears. This is an incredible start from a promising storyteller. Some yummy recipes are included, too.”

– RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars










***


Summary

Mary Jacob grew up as an anomaly. A child of Louisiana in the early sixties, she found little in common with most of the people in her community and in her household, and her best friend was Lavina, the black woman who cooked and cleaned for her family. Now, in the early nineties, Mary Jacob has escaped her history and established a fresh, if imperfect, life for herself in New York. But when she learns of her father's critical illness, she needs to go back home. To a disapproving father and a spiteful sister. To a town decades out of alignment with Mary Jacob's new world. To the memories of Billy Ray, Lavina's son who grew up to be a musical legend whose star burned much too bright.

And to the echoes of a fateful day three decades earlier when three lives changed forever.

A decades-spanning story both intimate and enormous in scope, LAVINA is a novel rich in humanity, sharp in its indictments, and stunning in its resolution.

Advance Praise

"Lavina is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Mary Marcus gives distinctive voice to three engaging characters, bringing our compassion and sympathy to each of them as she deftly unravels their complex story of heartache, courage, and love."
– Diane Chamberlain, international bestselling author of Necessary Lies

"Lavina is a richly nuanced journey to Louisiana during the civil rights era and contemporary times that encompasses the liberating but pain-filled emergence of R&B and rock and roll. Mary Marcus has a mystical insight into the agony and ecstasy of the creative process and the lives of performers. She also unflinchingly brings alive the insane disparity of lives of rich and poor, and black and white, and sees both the pain, the cruelty and also the love and richness of the South."
– Danny Goldberg, author of Bumping into Geniuses

“Lavina is a taut simmering and thoroughly southern work of art. Prepare to lose yourself in this thrilling novel, beautifully crafted by the awesomely talented Ms. Marcus.”
– Robert Tate Miller, author of Forever Christmas

"Mary Marcus' Lavina is a sprawling, passionate Southern Gothic nightmare which beautifully depicts the transformative power of musical creation. Billy Ray jumps from the page as a living, breathing embodiment of Louisiana's Black roots music."
– Blake Leyh, Emmy Award-winning music supervisor of The Wire and Treme


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