Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style.
But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man.
Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s is thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever.
Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls.
Pie Girls is a charming Southern tale about a spoiled Atlanta socialite, Searcy, whose wealthy husband leaves her high and dry, forcing her to fend for herself and return to her roots in small town Alabama. This witty and warm novel by Lauren Clark charms with laugh out loud moments and plenty of Southern hospitality, along with a few mean girls thrown in for good measure. I was immediately sucked into Searcy’s story at the outset, and even though she begins the book as a superficial diva with a dangerous shopping habit, I loved Searcy. She had a way of talking herself into situations that were absolutely hilarious. There were scenes I still fondly recall that had me laughing out loud. Seriously, I need this book made into a movie so I can “see” them play out! But Clark is terrific at balancing the storytelling with equally tender moments that pull at the heartstrings. Above all, this is a story about finding yourself and loving yourself, even in the face of adversity. And, of course, finding romance in the most unlikely of allies. Definitely a book to tuck in with at the end of a long day and escape with Searcy into a world of Southern comfort.
Q&A with author Lauren Clark
Q: What was the inspiration for your novel?
A: I visited a place in Greensboro, Alabama called the Pie Lab, a restaurant written up many times in Southern Living, Bon Appetit, and many newspapers around the Southeast. I kind of fell in love with the idea of such a place in Fairhope, Alabama, a lovely waterfront community near where I live. I decided to create a shop named Pie Girls there, and thus, Searcy’s story was born.
Q: Who is your favorite character and why?
A: I do love Searcy, the main character … but when we first meet Searcy, she is a very spoiled Southern belle who’s been pampered and polished to shine in Atlanta’s hottest social scenes. She has a personal shopper, a group of wealthy girlfriends, and a credit card with no limit. She spends her days shopping, going out to lunch, planning parties, and socializing.
What makes her so special is that even in the first chapter, we glimpse the real Searcy. She knows, deep down, that something is wrong, but can’t bring herself to admit it. She projects a positive, upbeat attitude and tries to keep things status quo, because she doesn’t believe she can live without her husband Alton.
Alton’s leaving upends Searcy’s life. At first, it appears that the impending divorce is the end of the world, but Searcy’s journey makes her into an entirely different person—someone caring, giving, empathetic, and truly loving. Best of all, she learns to rely on herself, forgives Alton, and finds true love.
Q: What is your writing method? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A: Plotter, definitely. I am definitely a plotter and an outliner. I work from a one or two line “What if?” idea and work out the plot from there. I end up with at least a few sentences about each chapter before I begin writing. I have the major plot points and twists, as well as the ending, mostly worked out before I begin the manuscript.
Q: Do you have any writing rituals to help get you in the mood to write?
A: I usually write in the morning—early morning, like 530 AM—have some coffee brewed, and I like to have the house quiet. If I can open this windows and let a little breeze in … or sit outside and write … all the better!
Q: What was the first car you owned?
A: Oh no! My parents bought me a 1977 bright orange Cadillac my senior year of college. I thought it was the most embarrassing vehicle ever, but my sorority sisters loved it!
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: I do adore Christmas, especially since my youngest still believes in Santa, but my kids and I really also love decorating for—and enjoying—Halloween.
Q: Who was your first celebrity crush?
A: Oh…LOL. Tom Cruise in “All the Right Moves.” (Old school football movie). I thought he was totally dreamy <3
Q: Do you have a current TV show obsession?
A: I adore Downton Abbey. Love the show, the writing, the drama, the characters. It just proves that you can have a great storyline with no blood, violence, or zombies!
Q: What was the first concert you went to and how old were you?
A: Bryan Adams (Summer of ’69), I was 16, went with my best friend, and was accompanied by my mother! At the time, I was mortified, but looking back, it was a lot of fun and generous of her to give up her evening to spend with a concert hall full of screaming teenagers!
Q: If you could give just one piece of advice to your 16-year-old self, what would it be?
A: Stop worrying so much! You will be blessed with a wonderful life full of friends, love, laughter, and books!
About the Author:
Lauren Clark has been a voracious reader since the age of four and would rather be stranded at the library than on a desert island. In her former life, she worked as an anchor and producer for CBS affiliates in Upstate New York and Alabama. Lauren adores her family, yoga, her new Electra bike, and flavored coffee. She lives near the Alabama Gulf Coast. Visit her website at LaurenClarkBooks.com.
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