Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Little Tea by Claire Fullerton, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Little Tea
Author: Claire Fullerton
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction
Release Date: May 1, 2020
Genre: Southern Fiction
Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy
One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.
For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.
As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if her friendship with Little Tea can triumph over history.
Every group of high school friends has its dynamic center. Ava and Mark Clayton were that sparkling couple that magnetized the filaments of our group by sheer force of charisma. They were breathtaking together, in their opposites. They coexisted so hypnotically they seemed mythological figures born on the wings of decree. Where Ava was light bearing and compelling– a Celtic goddess crowned with a life force of red-gold hair, Mark was dark and reflective, a mysterious black haired, blue-eyed Heathcliff, who joined our group after moving from Kentucky to Memphis in the tenth grade. We were all coupled at the time, except for Ava, but it wouldn’t have mattered if she was. Like can spend an eternity trying to find its likeness, until that fateful day it rises to meet its own match.
Mark Clayton stepped onto the kitchen’s linoleum floor, and already I could see little had changed between him and Ava. They swayed together like reeds in a stream, tall and lithe and fluid, complimenting each other in telepathic, synchronistic gestures of action and reaction, making me feel like an interloper in their private moment.
It had been ten years since I’d seen Mark Clayton, but in no way did it lessen his impact. I assessed the physical changes time had wrought against the image I’d held of him all these years and found their subtleties inconsequential. His thick hair was short and gray at his temples, yet still carried the impression of cobalt darkness. The slow, lazy smile I remembered raised the right corner of his mouth. It was a sly, aw-shucks smile that made him all the more attractive, but then much of Mark’s appeal came from his complete unawareness of his own beauty.
“Celia,” Mark said, coming forward to hug me. Stepping back, he gave me the once over. “California’s obviously treating you well. How you doing out there?”
“Fine,” I said. “It’s great. I have no complaints. I see you’ve changed a little. I never thought I’d see the day you’d be sporting conservative hair.”
Mark ran his hand through his hair as if checking to see if I was right. He swept his eyes over us, shook his head and said, “I can’t believe I’m standing here with the three of y’all.”
“Well, you and I both,” Renny said, but of course, that was typical of Renny, who had a knack for bringing things back to solid ground. “Are all y’all staying at the lake?” she asked. “You bring your kids?”
Mark and Ava exchanged a look that told me Ava already had the facts. “No, not this time,” Mark said. “They’re in Memphis with their mom.”
“So, you’re here alone?” Renny pressed.
“For now,” Mark said, then he looked at me. “Tate’s coming out here tomorrow.”
I needed to secure my footing. The sound of Tate’s name hit me in my middle, as if there’d been no forward progress from the time I wrote his name over and over in my ninth-grade composition book, crafting it in curlicues and hearing it in a melody that tickled my stomach. I looked at Renny and saw her head tilt as if trying to get a better view. She narrowed her blue eyes during a pause so loaded, all movement stopped in the room. “Celia, can you come with me?” she directed, and I followed her down the hallway to my bedroom.
“All right, damn it,” Renny said, closing the door. “This wasn’t the plan.”
“You don’t have to tell me,” I whispered. “I didn’t fly down here from California for this.”
“Let me just say it, we’ve been ambushed. Let’s leave them alone for now, but I swear to God, we’re gonna talk about this later.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claire Fullerton hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA. with her husband and 3 German shepherds. She is the author of Mourning Dove, a coming of age, Southern family saga set in 1970’s Memphis. Mourning Dove is a five-time award winner, including the Literary Classics Words on Wings for Book of the Year, and the Ippy Award silver medal in regional fiction ( Southeast.) Claire is also the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel, a Kindle Book Review and Readers’ Favorite award winner that is set on the west coast of Ireland, where she once lived. Claire’s first novel is a paranormal mystery set in two time periods titled, A Portal in Time, set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She is a contributor to the book, A Southern Season with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, set at a Memphis funeral ( because something always goes wrong at a Southern funeral.)
Little Tea is Claire’s 4th novel and is set in the Deep South. It is the story of the bonds of female friendship, healing the past, and outdated racial relations. Little Tea is the August selection of the Pulpwood Queens, a Faulkner Society finalist in the William Wisdom international competition, and on the long list of the Chanticleer Review’s Somerset award. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary Agency. https://www.clairefullerton.com
(1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Little Tea and $5 Amazon gift card!
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 8, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 15, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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