Whenever I read one of Kristy Woodson Harvey’s books, I head to the south.

Not, literally, unfortunately. But with a skip and a little jump, I head to the south in my mind.

White front porches with columns.

Mint juleps.

Hot, humid summers.

Charming, fancy, old homes with history and mysteries.

I landed in the south yet again when I read The Southern Side of Paradise (Gallery Books), the third book in the Peachtree Bluff series.

If you have not read this series, do. Three sisters, one mother, and behind the southern manners and the steel magnolias, you have what we all do: Families that are, at best, complicated. Marriages and relationships that are confusing mazes. Sisters you love and adore who can turn you upside down with one little comment. Mothers and daughters who lovingly share everything with each other… almost… sort of… maybe.

Perhaps this line from The Southern Side of Paradise sums up the story best, “It just goes to show that even in a small Southern town that you know is full of secrets, there’s still one that can shock you every now and then.”

I love a story with secrets, with intrigue, a story that gets inside the characters’ heads so well you feel like you’re their best friend hearing everything. And that’s how Kristy writes: She lets you fully into her characters–quirks, flaws, conflicts, hidden fears, inner anxieties, insecurities, and all.

You know her characters.

Told through the mother, Ansley’s eyes, and her daughter, Emerson, an actress who is pulled to Los Angeles for work, yet pulled home for love and family, the Murphys grapple with life as we all know it-the joys and the messes.

Emerson is engaged, but is it to the right man? And what about her current, alarming health issues? Where does career fit in with family, and will she even be able to have a family? How do you really know that you’re headed in the right direction? And what about her future mother in law? Can she even live her life with a woman like that leaning over her shoulder like a vulture?

Ansley is in love with Jack, but there are complications, as there always are when a couple holds a secret as long as they did.

Go to the south, at least in your head. Grab The Southern Side of Paradise, a glass of sweet tea, a few pink chiffon cookies, and you’ll be all set to sit down with Kristy Woodson Harvey on her front porch.

The Southern Side of Paradise is now available.


About Kristy Woodson Harvey:

Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina, Lies and Other Acts of Love and the Peachtree Bluff Series, beginning with Slightly South of Simple. Dear Carolina was long-listed for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, has been optioned for film and has appeared on numerous “must-read” lists. Lies and Other Acts of Love was a Romantic Times top pick and a Southern Booksellers Okra Pick, and is a finalist for the Southern Book Prize.

She blogs with her mom daily on Design Chic, the inaugural member of Traditional Home’s design blogger hall of fame, about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life. She loves connecting with readers on her website.