New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery's prose has been called "gritty and magical" and "luscious and provocative" (Publishers Weekly). Now she returns to Blackberry Island with the story of three women whose friendship will change their lives forever.
After Andi Gordon is jilted at the altar, she makes the most impetuous decision of her life—buying one of the famed Three Sisters Queen Anne houses on Blackberry Island. Now the proud-ish owner of the ugly duckling of the trio, she plans to open her own pediatric office on the first floor, just as soon as her hunky contractor completes the work. Andi's new future may be coming together, but the truth is she's just as badly in need of a major renovation as her house.
When Deanna Phillips confronts her husband about a suspected affair, she opens up a Pandora's box of unhappiness. And he claims that she is the problem. The terrible thing is, he's right. In her quest to be the perfect woman, she's lost herself, and she's in danger of losing her entire family if things don't change.
Next door, artist Boston King thought she and her college sweetheart would be married forever. Their passion for one another has always seemed indestructible. But after tragedy tears them apart, she's not so sure. Now it's time for them to move forward, with or without one another.
Thrown together by fate and geography, and bound by the strongest of friendships, these three women will discover what they're really made of: laughter, tears, love and all.
Here is an excerpt:
Not to worry, she told herself. She’d gone over the plans for the remodeling and would be meeting with Zeke first thing Saturday to finalize their contract. Then work would begin.
In the meantime, she had to get ready for the movers who would arrive in the morning. She’d identified an upstairs bedroom where she would store the majority of her furniture. While the construction was going on, she would live in tow small attic bedrooms. They were ugly, but serviceable. The bigger of the two would serve as a living room and pseudo kitchen. If she couldn’t heat it in a toaster oven or microwave, she wasn’t going to cook it.
The tiny attic bathroom had a shower obviously built for those who didn’t hit the five-foot mark and fixtures dating back to the 1940s, but everything worked. Zeke had promised to rig up a hot water heater right away.
She had what she would need to survive the three months of construction. Although she’d told Zeke she wanted everything done by early July, in truth she was planning to launch her practice September first, giving her a nice buffer. She’d seen enough shows on HGTV to know there were often problems and time delays in remodelings.
Andi collected the supplies from the back of her SUV. She needed to clean the room that she would be using for furniture storage, then tackle the bathroom she’d claimed. After that, she was going to reward herself with a pulled-pork sandwich from Arnie’s. Her real estate agent had promised the food was great.
Andi carefully walked up the front stairs. Two of the eight steps were loose. She put her key in the front door and jiggled to make the lock turn. Then she stepped into the foyer.
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Q&A with Susan Mallery, Author of Three Sisters
With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.
- You’ve lived in many places across the country—out of all the places you’ve lived, which has given you the most inspiration for your writing? How deeply does your location influence the setting of your books?
I grew up in California, and I’d say that is the state that has inspired my writing more than any other. My fictional town of Fool’s Gold is based on many of the lovely, small towns I’ve visited in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada on the California side but of course has taken on a life of its own.
That said, Seattle, my current hometown, has influenced my writing quite a bit. All that rain keeps me at my desk! And of course, Blackberry Island, the setting for Three Sisters, is near Seattle.
- What inspired you to create a fictional island off the coast of Seattle for the setting of Three Sisters? How did you come up with such a detailed history about the island (as posted on your website)?
Seattle and the islands in the Puget Sound are breathtakingly beautiful, especially when the sun shines. When you’re out on the water, the sunlight sparkles in the waves, and each inhale feels cool and fresh and liberating. A weekend getaway inspired Blackberry Island, which is both an island and a town, dotted with wineries and quaint B&Bs. (Every getaway should include wine!)
The island has a very interesting history, inspired by real-life events in Seattle and the Puget Sound area. I created the website to enrich the experience of reading the books, as bonus content for my readers. In addition to the island history, there’s a map and lots of great blackberry recipes, including a recipe for Blackberry Chipotle Chicken Tacos that will change the way you look at the world. www.blackberryisland.com
- Who or what in your past made you decide that you wanted to become a writer?
I majored in Accounting in college. For months, I had been intrigued by a flyer for a night school course called “How to Write a Romance Novel.” I was an avid romance fan, so that class sounded like a lot more fun than my Accounting Theory class. (Columns of numbers weren’t boring enough – now we had to talk about the theory behind them.) Although I was taking a full load of regular courses, I couldn’t resist signing up for the fun class, too. Within a couple of weeks, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life. I was a good girl and finished getting my degree, but I never worked as an accountant.
- How do you come up with such dynamic characters? Do you base the characters in your books, like , Deanna and Boston, on people you know in your real life?
I think my characters feel real to readers because they feel so very real to me. Makes for some confusing dinner conversation. At times, when I’m ranting about something someone said that day, my husband has to clarify, “Is this person real?” (I bet that question doesn’t come up in most marriages!)
No, I don’t base characters on people I know in real life. Part of my job as a writer is to torture my characters, to put them into uncomfortable situations and then ask myself, “How can I make this worse?” I’m too nice a person to do that to people I really know!
Most of them, anyway.
- What’s the last book that kept you up all night to finish reading?
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins is a terrific young adult novel. I’m not normally into paranormal, but I gave this a shot because a friend recommended it. I loved it. The book has all the wonderful angst of growing up – the issues of trying to fit in, the cute crush, the awkwardness of making friends, along with the trauma of coming to terms with who we really are.
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