Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE LAST NIGHT IN LONDON by Karen White
Author Guest / April 16, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write THE LAST NIGHT IN LONDON? Karen: Many things, but mostly my experience of living in a beautiful old building in London for 7 years when I was a teenager, and the frequent emails from readers wanting to know what happened to Maddie Warner from my two previous books, Falling Home and After the Rain.  I guess you can say I’ve been waiting for over a decade to find the perfect story to bring these two inspirations together. What brings Eva Harlow and Precious Dubose together in pre-WWII London? They are both beautiful young women with a passion for beautiful things, including clothes.  They are also poor and needing to earn a living, and they become models for a small couture house while sharing a small flat.  Working and living together brings them to become as close as sisters.  At least at first. When Graham St. John comes on the scene, how does their friendship change? Initially, it doesn’t.  Both women are both enjoying their newfound freedom and access to higher social classes, and the exciting social scene of pre-war London.  It’s only when Eva becomes romantically involved with Graham that she begins to see…

Karen White | Exclusive Excerpt: LAST NIGHT IN LONDON
Author Guest / April 7, 2021

PROLOGUE London March 1941 The cool, clear night shuddered, then moaned as the fluctuating drone of hundreds of engines eclipsed the silence. A wave of planes like angry hornets slipped through the darkened sky over a city already wearing black in preparation for the inevitable mourning. She tasted dust and burnt embers in the back of her throat as she hurried through a crowd of stragglers running toward a shelter. A man grabbed her arm, as if to correct her movement, but an explosion nearby made him release his hold and hurry after the crowd. She shifted the valise she cradled in her arms, the pressure on her chest making it difficult to breathe. Fatigue and pain battered her body, both eagerly welcomed, as they disguised the bruise of overwhelming grief. She staggered forward, the blood dripping unchecked from her leg and forehead, the acrid stench of explosives mixed with the sharp smell of death. Gingerly, she moved through the darkened high street so familiar in the daylight but foreign to her now. The night sky blossomed with fire and scarlet light as the loud bark of the antiaircraft guns answered the banshee wails of the warning sirens. Pressing herself…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE CHRISTMAS SPIRITS ON TRADD STREET by Karen White
Author Guest / October 11, 2019

Jen: What inspired you to write The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street, the 6th book in The Tradd Street series? Karen: My contract!  When I wrote book #4 in the series, RETURN TO TRADD STREET, I knew there were so many stories left to tell, and so much more growth that Melanie had to attain that it seemed there should be more books in the series.  My publisher asked for three more, and I said yes. In order for the story to ring true with readers, how much research was needed? That’s hard to quantify as I’ve been “researching” Charleston for nearly twenty years.  From my first visit, I’ve been intrigued and fascinated by the city–the architecture, history and its natural beauty–and have been eagerly exploring the Holy City ever since as often as I can.  Melanie Trenholm’s relationship with her parents, sister, and husband is in a constant state of motion. In what ways is she evolving in this latest installment?   It’s been a long road for self-sufficient Melanie (and it’s not over) to become more trusting.  Because she was abandoned by her mother at age six, and raised by an alcoholic father, she had to become self-sufficient very…

Fresh Pick | FALLING HOME by Karen White
Fresh Pick / December 31, 2010

November 2010 On Sale: November 2, 2010 352 pages ISBN: 0451231449 EAN: 9780451231444 Trade Size $15.00 Add to Wish List Fiction Buy at Amazon.com A Fresh Fiction 2010 Favorite Read. “as refreshing as a cool breeze on a hot Georgia afternoon.” Falling Home by Karen White You know that saying about how sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug? It’s true. Take me, for example. I shook the Georgia dust from my feet fifteen years ago, vowing never to leave Manhattan. I traded sweet tea for Chardonnay, fried chicken for nouvelle cuisine, lazy days on my aunt’s front porch for ad campaigns and board meetings, and the guy who broke my heart for my handsome boss, who soon became my fiance. Perfect, right? Until my sister called. We haven’t spoken since I left home–because she married the guy who broke my heart. What’s more, she called to say my father is dying–but he refuses to finish until I show up. So I’m back in the hottest, dinkiest small town in Georgia, facing my sister and my old boyfriend over the heads of their–count them– five children. It couldn’t get weirder, right? Unless you count Sam Parker–a long-forgotten classmate,…

Fresh Pick | ON FOLLY BEACH by Karen White
Fresh Pick / August 15, 2010

May 2010 On Sale: May 4, 2010 368 pages ISBN: 0451229215 EAN: 9780451229212 Paperback $15.00 Add to Wish List Women’s Fiction Buy at Amazon.com On Folly Beach by Karen White The latest Southern novel from the acclaimed bestselling and award- winning author of The Memory of Water. To most people, Folly Beach, South Carolina, is simply the last barrier island before the Atlantic. To some, it’s a sanctuary, which is why Janie Hamilton’s mother encourages her to buy the local book store, Folly’s Finds, hoping it will distract Janie from the loss of her husband in Afghanistan. Janie is at first resistant, but intrigued after finding love letters and an image of a beautiful bottle tree in a box of used books from Folly’s Finds, and decides to take the plunge. The store’s seller insists on one condition: Janie must allow Lulu, the late owner’s elderly sister, to continue selling her bottle trees from its back yard. Historically, bottle trees were brought by African slaves to the American South, and Janie had grown up with one in her backyard, and it has always been a symbol of refuge to her. Janie generally ignores Lulu as she sifts through the love…

Karen White | Filling The Well
Author Guest / May 18, 2010

Right now I’m visiting my parents at their home in Nashville, Tennessee. I’m on my way to the Southern Kentucky Book Festival and my dad suggested that since Nashville is between my home in Atlanta and the Festival in Bowling Green, I might want to stop and stay a day or two. I’ve just emerged from their basement with three suitcases stuffed with about five decades of photographs that will find their way to my car trunk before I leave. Now I know why he wanted me to stop by and “visit.” I’m a self-proclaimed “scrapbooker.” I love pouring over old photographs, peering at the younger faces of my grandparents, parents and siblings, recognizing a favorite sweater or toy, plate, a piece of furniture, and even expressions on those faces. These photographs are like a piece of history I can hold in my hand, and can even relish the hours and hours it will take to sort through them, organize them, put them into albums. Hours I don’t really have right now (ack-two book deadlines this year plus the release of two other books!), but hours I look forward to. My maternal grandmother died this past February at the age…

Karen White | Blending Women’s Fiction with the Paranormal—Is there such a thing?
Uncategorized / November 5, 2008

I’m known for writing ‘grit lit’—Southern women’s fiction. My books are recognized not only by their Southern setting and characters, but also by their emotional intensity. So when I proposed the idea for THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET to my agent, she was a little leery at first—especially after I told her that I planned to make this into a long-running series.In this book I’ve blended my favorite elements of ‘grit-lit’ but threw in my passion for old houses, the City of Charleston, an historical mystery, and ghosts. The main characters are multi-layered with a lot of emotional baggage (ala Karen White books), but their dialogue is lighter, and snarkier, than my readers are probably used to. And, yes, my protagonist, Melanie Middleton, sees dead people. So, how did I sell this idea as a marketable proposal to not only myself but to my agent and editor? After all, isn’t the publishing industry married to the ‘tried and true’ despite their insistence that they want something ‘fresh and new’? I made a deal with the devil (figuratively, of course). I promised my editor that I could still do a ‘grit lit’ novel every year—if I could just be allowed to…

Karen White | Southern Women’s Fiction: It’s More Than Just An Accent!
Uncategorized / May 23, 2008

When people ask me what I write, I tell them that I write ‘Southern women’s fiction’. To clarify, I usually follow that with the (hopefully) more clear ‘grit lit.’ Although that frequently elicits a grin or two, it rarely seems to explain what it is that I try and create on the pages of my novels. I stick with the adage to ‘write what I know’ and I know the South. My father’s family has lived in the South since before the American Revolution and both of my parents were born and raised in Mississippi–my father on the Gulf coast and my mother in the Delta. I have relatives still living there that most people from other parts of the country would need a translator to understand. But when I hear them speak, I simply feel as if I have found home. Yeah, sure, I’ve created more than my share of hunky Southern men who drawl and even use the word ‘darlin’. But writing Southern women’s fiction is so much more than the accent. It’s primarily a sense of place, and stocked with those inherently wacky yet familiarly beloved Southern characters (remember Aunt Pittypat?)–most of whom I’ve met or find…