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Beach Trip: A Novel

by Cathy Holton

A reunion of four friends becomes a cathartic journey into the past in Cathy Holton's luminous new novel. Mel, Sara, Annie, and Lola have traveled distinct and diverse paths since their years together at a small Southern liberal arts college during the early 1980s. Mel, a mystery writer living in New York, is grappling with the aftermath of two failed marriages and a stalled writing career. Sara, an Atlanta attorney, struggles with guilt over her son's illness and her own slowly unraveling marriage. Annie, a successful Nashville businesswoman married to her childhood sweetheart, can't seem to leave behind the regrets of her youth. And Lola, sweet-tempered and absentminded, whiles away her hours-and her husband's money-on little pills that keep her happy. Now the friends, all in their forties, converge on Lola's lavish North Carolina beach house in an attempt to relive the carefree days of their college years. But as the week wears on and each woman's hidden story is gradually revealed, these four friends learn that they must inevitably confront their shared past: a failed love affair, a discarded suitor, a betrayal, and a secret that threatens to change their bond, and their lives, forever. Darkly comic and deeply poignant, Beach Trip is an unforgettable tale of lifelong friendship, heartbreak, and happiness.

Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes

by Cathy Holton

kud * zu \kud-zü\ n: a ubiquitous vine/weed found in Southern climes that, left uncontrolled, will grow over any fixed object in its path, including trees, power lines, and the entire state of Georgia. deb*u*tante \de-byu-tänt\ n: a young woman making a debut into society, easily spotted in white dress and pearl necklace. Common names include Muffy, Bootsy, and Bunny. Eadie Boone is no shrinking violet. An artist and former beauty queen who married into one of the first families of Ithaca, Georgia,...

The Secret Lives of the Kudzu Debutantes

by Cathy Holton

Cotillion: A formal gathering of bright young women on the verge of entering adulthood, the society pages, and prospective high-tax-bracket marriages. Think a Civil War reenactment with crisp, clean white dresses. Catfight: An impromptu gathering of not-so-young women on the verge of losing their cool. Think a cotillion with hair-pulling. It's been more than a year since the Kudzu Debutantes exacted sweet, merciless revenge on their cheating husbands, but the repercussions are still palpable throughout Ithaca, Georgia: Nita is anxiously preparing herself for marriage to Jimmy Lee, a man thirteen years her junior; Lavonne, despite having dropped her husband-and eighty pounds-and launched her own business, longs for love; and while Eadie remains married to Trevor, she feels more neglected than ever. So the occasion of Nita's second wedding seems like just the ticket to cheer up the disconsolate Debs. But they've made a formidable enemy in Virginia Broadwell, first lady of Ithaca and the bride's ex-mother-in-law. Hell-bent on vengeance and determined to restore old-school social mores, Virginia hatches a plan so devious it makes her pedicured toes curl in anticipation. Soon enough, the women are knocked for a loop-but you can keep a Kudzu Debutante down for only so long. The one thing stronger than Virginia's wrath is the bond between the three friends, who soon learn that one of Virginia's Jimmy Choos contains an irresistible Achilles' heel. With spirit, wit, and down-home gumption, the take-no-prisoners trio decides it's time to ditch their cotillion manners as they rally to save Nita's marriage, Lavone's business, Eadie's sanity ... and the honor of Kudzu Debs the world over. Packed with authentic Southern flavor and characters as colorful as an azalea in full bloom, The Secret Lives of the Kudzu Debutantes serves up stinging one-liners and earthy wisdom in equal measure.

Summer in the South

by Cathy Holton

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' legacy. 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. From the Hardcover edition.

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