Today's guest: Shelley Noble Why we love her: She writes the perfect beach reads!
Her latest: Stargazey Point (Out July 9th!)
The scoop on it: Devastated by tragedy during her last project, documentarian Abbie Sinclair seeks refuge with three octogenarian siblings, who live in a looming plantation house at the edge of the world.
South Carolina’s Stargazey Point used to be a popular family beach resort, but the beaches have eroded, most of the businesses have closed, and the crowds have gone. It's the perfect place to hide from the rest of world.
But hiding is harder than she thought it would be. There's a wise Gullah woman who seems to see into Abbie's soul, and an intriguing man on a quest to bring Stargazey Point back to life.
Our thoughts: Loved this story about friendship and starting over.
You should also read Stargazey Nights, the prequel e-novela to Stargazey Point.
Fun fact: Shelley also writes mysteries under the name Shelley Freydont.
Giveaway: Two copies. Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, July 14th after 3pm PST.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...SHELLEY NOBLE'S 5 FIRSTS & LASTS
First: My first kiss was in the cloak room of first grade. We had just finished Rhythm Band. I remember because he got to play the triangle and I only had to be happy with the wooden sticks. We’d put our instruments away and had been sent row by row to the get our sweaters and jackets for the playground. It was fairly dark in the clock room. And I’ll never know whether he actually meant to kiss my cheek, tell me a secret, or what, because as he leaned forward, I turned my head. And our faces bashed together. Luckily it didn’t break someone’s nose. I should have guessed then that the road to love doesn’t always go as expected.
Last: My last kiss was a twofer. Both my children live across two rivers in Queens and Brooklyn. They came out to Jersey this past week, both in the same week! And they both kissed me when I dropped them off at the train station to return home. A perfect culmination of the week.
Book I read
First: My grandmother was pen pals with a lady in England, who always sent me a book for special occasions. Once when she came for a visit, she also introduced me to toasted pound cake and jam sandwiches. Yum. One of the books was a small, beautifully illustrated Sleeping Beauty, the other favorite was the Teddy Bear’s Picnic. They’re both still on my bookshelf!
Last: I just finished The Firebird by Susannah Kearsley. I usually order her books from Canada the minute they’re available, but this year I was so busy with deadlines (yay!) that I didn’t get it until it was available here. I drove to the bookstore to buy the trade paperback because she always writes the kind of book I want to hold in my hand, read and reread and look at on my bookshelf.
Risk I took
First: I’m not sure whether I actually remember this, or whether it was a bit of exaggeration or a cautionary tale. But when I was three I would pull a chair over to the refrigerator, climb up so I could open the door, climb down, move the chair closer, then climb up again and steal the butter, which I ate by the stick while still standing on the chair. Did I think I wouldn’t be caught?
Last: As it turns out, I’m in the middle of a risk taking opportunity. I’ve been living in the perfect apartment for the last five years. Now the landlord is selling the house and I’m not loving the new owner. So I thought, hmm. Empty nest, work at home, I could go just about anywhere that I can afford. Uh. Now what? I’ve been waffling between the town next door, going “down the shore” as we say in Jersey for going to the beach, or even putting my furniture in storage and taking a year to try different places. While also keeping a pretty hefty writing schedule? Maybe the last choice might be more of a pipe dream than an acceptable risk. I let you know how it turns out.
First: My first serious aha moment was the night I arrived at college. I’m from the south, had always been extremely shy, was seen and not heard, sometimes not seen. I was very comfortable making up stories in my head. I also had a very soft southern accent. I was sitting next to a man (who was not from the south) on the plane and I realized as I talked to him, that I was beginning to sound like him. By the end of the flight I had changed my accent. And as I stepped off that plane I realized that if I could change the way I talked, I probably could convince people I wasn’t shy. I could make myself whatever I wanted to be. I’m happy to say I didn’t turn into a con artist but have been a college teacher, a professional dancer and a published author. Every day is a reinvention.
Last: A successful day for me is a lot of a little aha moments. It means I’m paying attention not just going through the day. The kernel of an idea, a blue sky overhead, when I decide not to yell a gypsy curse at the guy who cut me off in the intersection. A few of those each day are enough to make me stop and realize, Wow, how cool is this?
Hell Ya! Moment
First: Before I became an author I was a professional dancer and toured with several dance companies. I remember one performance with Twyla Tharp, I think it was Buenos Aires, we were on stage taking our final curtain call. Bows are taken in full stage light. The “house” lights are dark, so you can only see a few rows of audience. You listen and feel the response for how much they liked the performance—or not. But that night, to thunderous applause, the theatre turned on the house lights. A thousand people, dressed to the nines, were on their feet clapping. They glittered more than we did. There we were face to face with our own success. There’s nothing like that kind of rush. Of course we still had to come back and perform again the next day and the next. But it was definitely a hell ya moment I’ll never forget.
Last: My Hell Ya moment was when my agent and editor both emailed me to say that Beach Colors, my last summer’s women’s fiction, had made the New York Times ebook best seller list. Picture Whoopi Goldberg when she learns she’s the real Santa in the movie Call Me Claus. It was a hell ya, cool dude, yo mamma moment all rolled into one.