Happy New Year from the Tall Poppy Writers!
We know, 2019 was so…last year. But it was an amazing year for the Tall Poppy Writers, filled with releases and accolades, so we wanted to offer you this recap. First, our biggest news as a marketing cooperative: TALL POPPY WRITERS WIN TWO WISCONSIN INNOVATION AWARDS!
Look what our founder, Ann Garvin (above), is holding in her hands! For the first time in their history, The 2019 Wisconsin Innovation Awards handed two awards to the same organization: the People’s Choice Award, and another for collaboration! To say we were thrilled doesn’t begin to scratch the surface! The Tall Poppy Writers has no headquarters and no budget—this is a completely volunteer effort, and we are so grateful for those of you who support us. This year the Poppies have collaborated with Francis Ford Coppola Winery, BookScents, Bedside Reading, BSwanky, and BookTrib, and continued to support our chosen charitable cause, Room to Read. We published a cookbook and a sampler of first chapters for those who join our mailing list, and we’ve grown Bloom, our Facebook group for readers, to over 8.8K members.
Oh—and we wrote! From among our 2019 releases, you’ll find plenty of great choices to engage your mind and heart as you curl up with a blanket to read this winter.
TRUE PLACES by Sonja Yoerg
Iris, a feral child from the woods, works her way into the heart of stressed-out mom Suzanne Blakemore, as well as the hearts of thousands of readers, as Sonja’s 2019 release worked its way onto the Wall Street Journal bestseller and Amazon chart topper lists.
THE CURIOSITIES by Susan Gloss
The follow-up to Susan’s USA Today bestselling debut, Vintage, is a charming mid-western story of artists, inspiration, and how to reinvent your life with purpose and flair, which Booklist lauded as a “heartwarming journey of uncertainty, growth, and acceptance.”
FORGET YOU KNOW ME by Jessica Strawser
Jessica, named one of mystery’s “rising stars” on Goodreads, spent the year as the 2019 Writer-in-Residence at the Cincinnati (OH) Public Library while also promoting her Amazon bestseller about a video call between friends that captures a shocking incident no one was supposed to see, exposing secrets that threaten to change their lives forever.
WHY WE LIE by Amy Impellizzeri
Named one of the first truly great suspense novels of the year by Kristopher Zgorski of BOLO Books, and featured in Publisher’s Weekly, Amy’s political thriller examines the unexpected consequences of those who tell the truth about abuse and those who lie, and asks the question: is the truth always worth the cost?
UNTIL THE DAY I DIE by Emily Carpenter
From the bestselling author of Burying the Honeysuckle Girls comes a riveting novel about a mother and daughter separated by grief, secrets, and a conspiracy that threatens to destroy their lives.
THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR by Susan Meissner
As Susan launched her new novel, about a German American teenager whose life changes forever when her immigrant family is sent to an internment camp during World War II, she was also busy accepting accolades at the San Diego Book Awards for previous titles A Bridge Across the Ocean (best mainstream fiction) and As Bright as Heaven (historical fiction finalist).
I’M FINE AND NEITHER ARE YOU by Camille Pagán
This Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller explores whether honesty is the best policy when it comes to marriage in this brilliant novel about the high price of perfection, of which Woman’s World said: “An apt and moving look at how the truth makes love stronger.”
THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER by Kelly Harms
The novel that prompted a hashtag! Kelly had an amazing year with this novel, a Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller and a Goodreads Choice Award finalist, that earned a starred review from Library Journal and maintains an average 4.4-star rating on Amazon with more than 3,700 reviews! The New York Journal of Books said, “A laugh-out-loud funny, pitch-perfect novel that will have readers rooting for this unlikely, relatable, and totally lovable heroine, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is the ultimate escape—and will leave moms everywhere questioning whether it isn’t time for a #momspringa of their own.” Kelly also released an audiobook original novella, You Can Thank Me Later, which debuted on Audible at #1 the weekend of its release.
THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF PARADISE by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Readers and media alike were abuzz for internationally bestselling author and “rising star of Southern fiction” Kristy Woodson Harvey’s third and final installment in her Peachtree Bluff series, in which a secret threatens the tight-knit bond between a trio of sisters and their mother: Southern Living, Parade, Entertainment Weekly, BookBub, NetGalley, Frolic, Us Weekly, and Woman’s World.
PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND OTHER FLAVORS by Sonali Dev
Sonali had a 2019 to remember! Not only did she hit the USA Today list as part of a June romance anthology, Once Upon a Wedding, but her gender twist on Jane Austen’s novel, which launches a new series about the Rajes, an immigrant Indian family descended from royalty who have built their lives in San Francisco, earned a starred review from Library Journal as well as mentions on NPR and in Good Housekeeping.
THE KEY TO HAPPILY AFTER by Tif Marcelo
One of BuzzFeed’s “Books Coming Out This Summer That You Need to Seriously Read” and Bustle’s “New Romance Novels to Make Your Spring Reading Even Dreamier Than You Imagined,” Tif wrote a charming romantic comedy about three sisters who are struggling to keep the family wedding planning business afloat—all the while trying to write their own happily-ever-afters in the process.
THE FREELANCE ACADEMIC by Katie Rose Guest Pryal
Part of the Blue Crow Books Critical Higher Education Series, Katie’s book makes the case that higher education has changed—and we have to change with it. Foreword Reviews calls it “a cautionary tale and a beacon of hope.”
THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER by Patti Callahan Henry
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop at Water’s End, comes a lush, heart-wrenching novel about the power of memory, the meaning of family, and learning to forgive, that Booklist says “packs an emotional wallop.”
CRESCENDO by Julie Cantrell and Allen Cheney
Co-written with the man whose grandfather inspired the story, Julie brings us the true story of Fred Allen, a musical genius who forever changed a southern town. Rece Davis of ESPN says, “Destined not just for stardom, but superstardom, Fred discovered that arrival on Broadway’s grandest stage didn’t soothe his soul. The siren of the Great White Way spotlight paled against curtain calls in a tiny South Georgia town… Fred and his talented, devoted wife Winnie, inspired generations of young people. They opened doors, crafted previously unimaginable dreams, challenged, motivated and often helped heal and give purpose to kids wrestling with their own problems. They did it all by using their gift. The gift of music. The story of how it multiplied in Crescendo hits the ultimate human high note.”
MEET ME IN MONACO by Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor
Named as top summer reads by InStyle and Popsugar, Heather’s first 2019 release, co-written with frequent partner, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor, is set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and unforgettable wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, which takes the reader on an evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in a page-turning novel of passion, fate and second chances. Kate Quinn (The Alice Network) calls it “a fragrant French bonbon of a book.“
THE MURDER LIST by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Named “Best of 2019” by both Suspense Magazine and The Strand Magazine, multiple award-winning author Hank’s 2019 release features a law student’s battle for justice that becomes a battle for survival, delivering what Liv Constantine (The Last Mrs. Parrish) calls “a denouement as shocking as it is satisfying.”
WHERE SHE WENT by Kelly Simmons
In one of Sourcebooks’ 12 most popular books of 2019, Kelly delivers a thrilling story about a missing college student that delivers on what Woman’s World calls “an eerie tale of a parent’s worst nightmare.” Kelly also released a Kindle original, The Last Song, about a journalist who emerges from a coma to the sounds of her old boyfriend, a famous rock star, singing to her.
RIBBONS OF SCARLET by Heather Webb, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie, Sophie Perinot, and E. Knight
A breathtaking epic novel illuminating the hopes, desires, and destinies of princesses and peasants, harlots and wives, fanatics and philosophers—seven unforgettable women whose paths cross during one of the most tumultuous and transformative events in history: the French Revolution.
THE PERFECT LOVE SONG: A CHRISTMAS STORY by Patti Callahan Henry
Just in time for Christmas, New York Times bestselling author Patti whisked us away into the perfect love song, the perfect love story, and the perfect dose of holiday magic—and in other news, won the 2019 Christy Award for last year’s release, Becoming Mrs. Lewis.
ALL ABOUT EVIE by Cathy Lamb
Set against the natural beauty of the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest, acclaimed author Cathy’s thirteenth novel tells the emotionally compelling story of one woman’s life-changing discovery about her past.
EVEN IF YOU’RE BROKEN by Katie Rose Guest Pryal
From a rape survivor, law professor, and the bestselling author of Life of the Mind Interrupted comes Katie’s second 2019 release, an essay collection on sexual assault and #metoo that is rich in vulnerability and candor.