Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Summer in the South by Cathy Holton (GIVEAWAY CLOSED)

First line: The body was lying on a table in the basement of the Purdy Funeral Home.

Why I read it: I was contacted by the author to read and review this book.

From the inside cover: Cathy Holton, author of the popular Beach Trip, returns with an intriguing and mysterious tale of dark deeds and family secrets in a small Southern town.

After a personal tragedy, Chicago writer Ava Dabrowski quits her job to spend the summer in Woodburn, Tennessee, at the invitation of her old college friend Will Fraser and his two great-aunts, Josephine and Fanny Woodburn. Her charming hosts offer Ava a chance to relax at their idyllic ancestral estate, Woodburn Hall, while working on her first novel.

But Woodburn is anything but quiet: Ancient feuds lurk just beneath its placid surface, and modern-day rivalries emerge as Ava finds herself caught between the competing attentions of Will and his black-sheep cousin Jake. Fascinated by the family's impressive history - their imposing house filled with treasures, and their mingling with literary lions Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner - Ava stumbles onto rumors about the darker side of the Woodburns' lore. Putting aside her planned novel, she turns her creative attentions to the eccentric and tragic clan, a family with more skeletons (and ghosts) in their closets than anyone could possibly imagine. As Ava struggles to write the true story of the Woodburns, she finds herself tangled in the tragic history of a mysterious Southern family whose secrets mirror her own.

My favorite quote: "Because that's what families do," he said coldly. "We keep each other's secrets."

My thoughts: This is the first book I have read by author Cathy Holton and I really enjoyed it. The book opens in 1931 with two characters identifying a body at the morgue. It then jumps to the present day (1998) where we meet Ava, who is dealing with the loss of her mother. Taking up a friend's offer to come down South for the summer, she heads to Woodburn, Tennessee. There she meets an interesting cast of characters and gets caught up in the "southern" way of living - the meticulous manners, taboo topics and the five o'clock Toddy Time. As Ava settles in, she comes across a topic that not only interests her, it fuels her creative juices and gets her writing - what happened to in aristocratic family that has everyone tight-lipped. Unable to find anyone to tell her the truth, she turns to the one person who will talk - Jake, Will's estranged cousin. I loved how we come to find out about the body mentioned in the first line. As Ava starts writing and digging into the history of the family, the story shifts back in time to give us an account of what happened. Bit by bit the mystery is revealed. It is a story filled with family secrets and southern charm that keep the book moving along. Summer in the South is a fun, intriguing read that had me captivated from the first page and I look forward to reading more by this author.

About the author: Cathy Holton is the author of Beach Trip, Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes, and The Secret Lives of the Kudzu Debutantes. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I received a complimentary copy of Summer in the South by Cathy Holton from the author to review.


Giveaway Information:

Thanks to Cathy Holton, I have three copies of Summer in the South to give away to my readers and each book will be signed by Cathy!  Entries are open to those from the US and Canada only.

To enter leave a comment including your email address.

For extra entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):

+1 Follow this blog (If you are already a follower, just mention that in the comment.)
+1 Blog about this giveaway (Posting the giveaway on your sidebar is also acceptable.)

3 entry maximum. 
Don't forget to LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT for each entry.


Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

GIVEAWAY ENDS
AT 6 PM, EST, JUNE 21st

45 comments:

  1. I like cozy mysteries, and this one does sound interesting. I would love to enter the giveaway. Thank you for hosting it.

    iowagramma.ann@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am a follower on GFC.

    iowagramma.ann@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I will post about the book on my sidebar.

    iowagramma.ann@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. This book sounds great! I'd love to be entered :)

    jesse.nicole.paul (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm a GFC Follower

    jesse.nicole.paul (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  6. This book would be perfect for summmer reading. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have been hoping to catch a review for this book. I love Southern fiction! Add in a few family secrets and I am there! Great review! Thanks for offering it as a giveaway!

    bthgordon(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am also a gfc follower

    bthgordon(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I read a review of this book a few months ago and really wanted to read it. So happy you are doing a give away!

    kristen.novak09@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am a follower via GFC.

    kristen.novak09@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds great..

    vidishamun@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. GFC follower

    vidishamun@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. This sounds fascinating. Please count me in.

    teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am a GFC follower.

    teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, this sounds like a really interesting read! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Of course I'm a follower on GFC!!!

    handsandhome@gmail.com

    Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

    ReplyDelete
  17. This sounds like a fascinating debut novel! Thanks for the opportunity!


    riverboat38(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am an older GFC follower.


    riverboat38(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for this lovely giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would love to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. GCF follower is down but I follow via subscription.

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. thanks for the chance!
    thewindowseatreader at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've been wanting to read Cathy Holton for a while - this looks like a great book to start with!
    rlawrence110 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm a GFC follower: Michele
    rlawrence110 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've been wanting to read this one!

    dogwoodlane at suddenlink dot net

    ReplyDelete
  26. GFC follower- dogwood

    dogwoodlane at suddenlink dot net

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would love to read this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Sounds intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I"m a follower via GFC. Follow by google name Margie. (But I can't get it to work here, so just using anonymous.)
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh my goodness, I just realized that the author is from Chattanooga - that's where I work (and practically live, since my home is just down the road a few miles). That's awesome! I'd love to win this. If she lives in Chattanooga, then she certainly knows about "Summer in the South" :) Thanks for the giveaway!

    susanaudrey33 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. And I'm a GFC follower.

    susanaudrey33 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. awesome giveaway! ive been wanting to get my hands on this book! thank you!
    shadow_kohler@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  33. i am a gfc
    shadow_kohler@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am a GFC follower.
    alison.fees@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Sounds like a good book.

    jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Looks like a great summer read.
    Cambonified{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm a Southerner and Tennessee is one of "my states." This book sounds like a winner...thanks for offering the giveaway :)

    epkwrsmith@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love books in the south! this sounds like a great one!




    debr97@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. also a GFC follower....




    debr97@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh, this looks great! I love some Southern Lit!

    Shana
    shanaelyse@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I follow you on GFC!

    shana
    shanaelyse@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love a good cozy mystery and this sure sounds like one. Thanks for the giveaway!
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I follow you via gfc (mamabunny13)
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  45. GFC Follower

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete

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