Moonshine and Magnolias
by Abigail Sharpe
Just Add Peaches - Book 1
Publisher: Abigail Sharpe
Release Date: June 20, 2019
Reviewed by PJ
Hotel executive Wendy Marsh puts her career on hold when she inherits half of her family’s inn. Her to-do list? It’s simple: teach her spoiled cousin how to manage Fountenoy Hall, then hightail it back to her structured, careful life in Atlanta. Romance has never been part of Wendy's plan – so what is it about the sexy history professor researching the inn that she finds so tempting?
Rob Upshaw would be enjoying his time at the Inn at Fountenoy Hall if he wasn’t secretly hunting for a family treasure lost during Prohibition. Only a few minor inconveniences stand in his way. His uncle’s old journals are cryptic, he has only a vague description of the loot, and the beautiful, uptight innkeeper with a subtle sense of humor might hold the key to his quest. Even though Rob’s career is built on facts, he accepts he might have to lie to Wendy. But falling for her? That’s out of the question.
Moonshine and Magnolias is a Just Add Peaches novel. Each book in the series is a stand-alone, passionate and playful contemporary romance, but you'll want more than one juicy bite.
Looking for a fun, light contemporary romance, filled with southern hospitality, complicated family dynamics, a touch of mystery, and a sweet romance to add to your summer reading list? Abigail Sharpe's Moonshine and Magnolias could be just what you're looking for.
As this is the first book in Sharpe's Just Add Peaches series, there's an extended cast of characters to be introduced and I enjoyed getting to know all of them. Granted, I found a few of them annoying (not the hero and heroine) but isn't it the flaws that keep things interesting? The author is adept at bringing her characters to life and I'm looking forward to discovering more about several of them in future books.
Sharpe also excels at bringing the peaches for which her series is named to life on the pages of her book. I found myself drooling over several passages that feature delicious-sounding dishes conjured up in the kitchen of the family inn. They've made me more eager than ever for peach season to hit its peak where I live.
One of the facets I most enjoyed about Moonshine and Magnolias is the author's ability to "set the scene." Through her words, she pulled me into her world and the lives of her characters. I could smell the sweet aroma of fresh peaches in the orchard, share the hopes, dreams, fears, and frustrations of characters, lose myself in the rich history of the inn, and feel the warmth, strength, and legacy of the generations of women in Wendy's family who had come before.
I'm looking forward to returning to Fountenoy Hall for book two, Cupcake of the Month and excited that I only have to wait another month for it to be released!
Q&A with Abigail Sharpe
Welcome to The Romance Dish, Abigail! Thank you for taking the time to visit with us today.
Thanks, PJ. I’ve been following the Romance Dish for a few years and I’m all giddy that I get to be a part of it.
Congratulations on the release of Moonshine and Magnolias, the first book in your new Just Add Peaches series. It’s such a fun read! Please tell our readers what they can expect from this book and series.
I like to write passionate, playful contemporary romance. So you’ll read Just Add Peaches to laugh and have a good time. I’ve always preferred to read light and fun, so writing it made sense.
I’m already intrigued with various secondary characters in this first book and hoping they’ll get their own stories. How many books are planned for the series? Are you able to share anything about future books/characters?
You won’t have to wait long for the second book, Cupcake of the Month – it releases in July! Jordan meets an old flame and together they heat up the kitchen. The third book is half done, and I do have more planned. In my head, at least. I love these characters and the setting and their world, so I plan on staying here for a while.
Your bio mentions a love of stage musicals (that I share!). What musical production do you most enjoy watching? For what musical would you most like to be a member of the cast? Is there a dream role you’re aching to fill?
Oh, you’re going to get me started now. I love musicals! Some folks go bar hopping – we should go musical hopping.
I love performing, but now it has to be something I really want to do, because rehearsals take a dent out of writing time. Aside from my performances every year with my singing wench group at the medieval faire, the last time I was on stage was in 2010 for Singin’ in the Rain. I played the radio announcer, and got to sing and dance in the chorus. My favorite role ever was Meg from Brigadoon. She was a trip.
As for watching—that’s a really tough question. Every musical has something to offer that makes me want to see it over and over. I’d love to be in Rent. Even the chorus characters have full stories that can make me cry. As for my dream role – the Witch in Into the Woods. Hands down. Oh – and there’s my answer for which one I can watch over and over. Bernadette Peters was amazing. Joanna Gleason (The Baker’s Wife) was amazing. Stephen Sondheim was amazing. I’d also like to be Florence in Chess (more realistic – I can sing her songs without my voice squeaking) and the Lady of the Lake from Spamalot.
I could go on and on about this, so I’ll stop before I run out of column space.
Peaches are one of my favorite fruits and the delicious peach dishes they whip up in the Fountenoy Hall kitchen in Moonshine and Magnolias had me drooling. What’s your favorite way to eat peaches? Do you do any cooking with them? Have a favorite recipe to share?
Cupcake of the Month is going to come with a peach cupcake recipe that my wonderfully creative cousin whipped up for me. You’ll have to wait for that. Of course it has whiskey in it, too, to get that moonshine in there. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
Caramelized peaches are soooo good. Serve them warm over some vanilla ice cream and OMG. But, really, nothing’s better than the sweet juiciness of a fresh peach – the kind that makes you use twenty napkins while you eat it.
Moonshine and Magnolias is a great summer read. What books are on your summer must-read list?
I’m sure it will shock you to know I read a lot of romance. Jill Shalvis is great for summer reads! I’m also a fan of Kat Latham. Anything fun and lighthearted that brings to mind the carefree summer mindset.
For this summer in particular, I’m about to start Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark. Not sure how summery they are, but I’m excited to read them. I’m also part of a book club that reads books that are going to be movies, so on my list are "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James W. Loewen, "Artemis Fowl" by Eoin Colfer, and "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss. (Shhhh – don’t tell my people I already read this one. It was crazy good. But fair warning – it’s the first of three.) I like being part of a book club that makes me read outside the romance genre, since there are so many good romances to read!
I’ll probably also read “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. Both kids had to read it for school and hubby read it as well, so I’ve got book FOMO.
Will you be attending any book signings or events this year where readers will have an opportunity to meet you?
I’m so glad you asked. On August 17, I’ll be participating in a multi-romance author book signing at the Jacksonville Public Library in Jacksonville, FL. My original plan was to wait until at least three Just Add Peaches books were published, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a part of a signing so close to home.
Look for me in 2020, though I’ll probably stay in the southeast. Travel costs, you know. Unless I win the lottery, and then all bets are off.
Where can readers find you online?
I mostly hang out on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/AbigailSharpeBooks
And I’ve been dipping my cyber toes into Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abigailsharpeauthor/
I also have an extremely outdated webpage (I’m working on it!) at www.abigailsharpe.com
Thanks so much, Abigail! Do you have anything else to add? Would you like to ask our readers a question?
I keep dreaming about being the witch in Into the Woods, so let’s all play pretend. What fictional character’s life would you like to take over for a day and why? And not just because they’re married to Jamie Fraser.
One randomly chosen person posting a comment before 11:00 PM, June 27 will receive a $5 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card.