12 Great Summer Reads – Day 1 – Book Blitz

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 Let’s get Summer started with this great summer read!
Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired. With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she’s offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage. Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia’s story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?
Lauren Clark is the award-winning author of Pie Girls (Aug ’14),
Stardust Summer, Dancing Naked in Dixie, A Very Dixie Christmas (Merry
& Bright), and Stay Tuned. In her former life, she worked as a news
anchor for CBS affiliates in Upstate New York and Alabama. Lauren adores
her family, yoga, her new Electra bike, and flavored coffee. She lives
in Mobile, AL with her family.
Visit her website at



Author Top 10

1. Upstate NY is one of my favorite
places to visit 

2. I Love 80s Music 

3. Technical Stuff Makes my Brain Hurt 

4. I Still Have My Girl Scout Sash and
Merit Badges

5. I’m a Speed Reader 

6. I Scare Easily 

7. Flying Paralyzes Me 

8. Ice Cream Isn’t For Me 

9. I Used to Work at Six Flags 

10. I Have No Sense of Direction! 



The Best Butts in Alabama, the huge
billboard above my head brags. A robust pink pig, dressed in blue overalls and
a cowboy hat, winks down at me. Next to the hog’s turned-up nose, royal blue
letters read ‘Phil’s Bar-B-Q.’ 
certainly knows how to make a first impression. As does Mother Nature.
sunshine beats down on my shoulder through the window. Is it always this muggy in December? I swipe at my forehead with
the back of my hand and do quick surveillance.
is the historic, elegant city I was promised in the letter? There is a normal-looking church across the
street, a run-of-the-mill real estate business to my right, and a tiny
hole-in-the-wall place called The Donut King, which seems to be doing ten times
more business than the Winn-Dixie grocery store I just passed.
So far, all I see
of Eufaula, Alabama is more in-your-face commercial than traveler chic. Of
course, I’m not in the best frame of mind to become one with my surroundings.
After a lousy Thursday
morning of sulking and a rushed packing job, I sent an RSVP with regrets for
the fundraiser, gave away my tickets to the Met, left a voice mail for Andrew,
and changed my ticket to an earlier departure.
Hours later, after
fighting through JFK security and surviving the cramped flight to Atlanta, I
spent the night in Buckhead, Georgia. This morning I picked up my enormous
rented SUV—it was either that or a red minivan—and began driving the
three-and-a-half hours to reach my pinhole-on-a-map destination.
All to save my
Along the way,
Marietta and I burn up cell phone minutes playing our version of Trivial
Pursuit: “Famous Stuff about Alabama.” The short edition.
Lionel Richie and Condoleezza Rice. Songs? “Oh, Suzanna!” and Lynyrd
Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Books? To Kill a Mockingbird and Crazy
in Alabama
, which Marietta insists is about a woman who carries around her
husband’s head in a hatbox. I definitely have to put that on my to-read list, I
Famous movies? Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and
my personal favorite, Sweet Home Alabama
with Reese Witherspoon. Remember the opening scene with the gorgeous white
mansion? It was—drum roll, please—filmed in Eufaula, Alabama. Marietta checks
Google to confirm it.
Food? Never mind.
Phil the pig has that covered.


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