Exciting News!

By Sherry — I’m in Bowling Green, Kentucky today for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest!

I am so excited to announce that I am writing a second series for Kensington – the Chloe Jackson Redneck Riviera series. The setting is in the panhandle of Florida and the town is a fictional version of Destin, Florida. The area is known as the Emerald Coast, LA – lower Alabama, and yes, the Redneck Riviera.

Why am I setting a book there? My parents used to winter on the Emerald Coast and eventually moved to Destin in 1991. My husband was stationed there in the early 2000s. We lived in the area for almost three years. When we left our daughter said “yes, ma’am, no sir,” called her gym teachers coach, and we all ended up talking slower and saying “y’all.” It’s hotter than the blazes in the summer, people hold open doors for you even when your halfway across the parking lot, the beaches are the whitest, softest I’ve ever been to, and the water is a stunning shade of green.

It’s even beautiful on a rainy day!

Here is a bit about the series from the proposal I turned in:  

There are some promises you hope you never have to keep. Thirty-year-old Chloe Jackson made such a promise to her friend Boone Parker before he left for a deployment in Afghanistan. When he didn’t come back, Chloe packed her bags to go help Boone’s grandmother, Vivi, run her Seaglass Bar on the white sand beaches of Destiny, Florida. Destiny is in the panhandle of Florida which is also known as the Redneck Riviera and LA — Lower Alabama. Destiny has four seasons – snowbirds, spring breakers, summer people, and the month and a half in the fall where it’s just the locals.

Chloe won’t miss the cold winters of Chicago, but giving up her job as a children’s librarian just about broke her heart. However, her late father had told her a promise made must be a promise kept. It’s the code Chloe has always lived by.

Chloe thought Vivi would be grateful for her help — she’s anything but grateful. Because what could a children’s librarian who has never mixed a drink add to her business? However, Vivi quickly realizes that Chloe’s past as a children’s librarian gives her a unique ability to handle unruly customers and employees.

Destiny is a town that grew too fast. Greedy developers made shady deals while lining the back pockets of the town council. Resources – police, utilities, and roads – are strained as is the environment. Rich people don’t want the locals to have access to the beach and fights about the mean high tide are ongoing. Harley riding local doctors don’t like the Speedo wearing foreigners coming to town.

Will Wade has owned the Briny Pirate restaurant next door to the Seaglass for thirty years. The two buildings are so close they might as well share a wall. When a Seaglass customer is hungry Vivi calls in an order and someone from the Briny Pirate runs it over.

Cast of Characters:

Chloe Jackson – is a thirty-year-old former children’s librarian who moves to Destiny, Florida to help her college friend’s grandmother run her bar on the beach.

Vivi Slidell – has run Seaglass Bar on the beach in Destiny for the past forty years long before the sleepy fishing village became a tourist hot spot. Vivi doesn’t think she needs help from anyone. She’s grieving the loss of her grandson whose support meant more to her than she ever realized. Vivi is reluctant to accept help from anyone and especially a Yankee who shows up every day unbidden.

Joaquin Diaz – the handsome bartender, a fisherman by day, who ladies flock to see. Overworked, Joaquin seems to be the only one who is happy that Chloe has arrived.

Will Wade – owns the Briny Pirate restaurant next door and has been in love with Vivi for thirty years. Will is a cranky native who doesn’t like how tourists, land developers, and northerners have ruined the once quiet beaches.

I hope you will join me in this new adventure!

Readers: Have you ever been to the Redneck Riviera? If not what is your favorite beach town? I’m at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest today, but will stop by as possible!

 

 

 

91 Thoughts

  1. Congratulations!! How exciting. Yes, Ma’am, I believe this will go right to the top of my TBR list.

  2. Sherry, I am definitely reading this series!! Love the fun setting and the intriguing characters you’ve created. I’ve been to Destin twice, under slightly questionable circumstances, at a packed Fourth of July and on a chilly New Year’s Eve.

  3. Congratulations on this new series! I will definitely be reading! Was on business trip to Wilmington NC and stuck my foot into the Atlantic. Does that count?

  4. Sherry, congratulations on the book series. And thank you, thank you for beginning my day with these gorgeous photos of sun, sand, and water.

  5. How exciting for you and for us, too! I will watch for the book to be published. Fort Walton Beach is a favorite of ours. Those white sandy beaches are lovely.

  6. Congrats, Sherry!

    Never been to the Redneck Riviera, but your photos make me want to take out my albums of pictures from my time in Puerto Rico. Best beaches I’ve ever been on.

  7. Sherry, that’s terrific news. The setting has so much potential. I’ve never been to the panhandle, but I’m sure your mysteries will lure me there. Congratulations!

  8. What a fun premise for a series, Sherry! I look forward to reading it.

    I’ve never stopped in Bowling Green, amazingly, despite driving down I-65 a million times. And the only places I’ve been to in the panhandle are Pensacola and Wakulla Springs. One of these days…

    1. We used to drive by Bowling Green all the time when we lived in Dayton and went to Florida. Pensacola is definitely part of the Redneck Riviera! I love Wakulla Springs! I would never swim there though!

  9. HI, Sherry. Congrats on your good news. I”ll be watching for the first book and it’s snagged my interest for a (maybe) odd reason about the locationi. My parents spent much of of World War II in Fort Walton Beach, right down the road. My dad, an aircraft mechanic before the war started, was stationed at Eglin Field. It was pretty much the backwoods then. Definitely not like Miami! It will be so interesting to read about it now.

  10. I’ve not been to the panhandle, but the beaches and Islands further down that coast of FL. Looking forward to the new series. Congratulations.

  11. Congratulations ❣️ I’ve never been there, but your photos are gorgeous! I love beaches. The new series sounds wonderful, and I look forward to reading the stories.

  12. Congratulations on the new series…I can’t wait to read it! I’ve been to the Redneck Riviera several times. Most of the time, we’ve stayed in Fort Walton’s Beach. The water and white sand are beautiful!

  13. Congratulations Sherry! Sounds great. Back when I was a travel writer one of the best fam tours I ever had was a trip to the Panhandle. Stayed at a wonderful motel–literally ON the beach,]. I went to sleep with the sound of wanes lapping on that impossibl;y white fine sand. I remember great food everywhere, especially Kiss Yo’ Mama Soup at Criolla’s! Looking forward to this series!

  14. This comment is probably too late for you to read it. But I can hardly contain my excitement about your series! I am obsessed (in a good way) with this part of Florida. I can’t wait to support your new series! Congratulations!!!

  15. Congratulations Sherry! You are a great example of never giving up on your dreams. I know it will be as successful as the first one. ❤️

  16. Pictures are beautiful. Can’t want to read the first book! My fave beach is Viriginia Beach, where Mark and I fell in love and where he proposed and where we got married. Hoping to move there soon. Mark just needs to find a job.

  17. My grandparents lived in the Mobile AL area & an aunt had cottages next to her home in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach AL, so I’m familiar with the Alabama portion of this area. I have many fond memories of the area & can’t wait to read this new series. (I also lived in Biloxi for a few years until Camille drove me out, but that area is very different from the AL/FL Gulf Coast.)

  18. It’s so true, once you get past Pennsylvania the people are so polite and welcoming. Also, the town sounds like it could be the state of Ct!

  19. The Gulf will spoil you with it’s bathtub temperature waters. I met my husband working in a 50’s themed diner on Panama City Beach. We got married right down on the water. We live further south now, but I’d go back in a heartbeat. This series will definitely be special to me.

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