southern humorPlease celebrate with me! I am super-excited to announce the release of my 7th book, Temple Secrets.

2015 has already been a big year, with the release of Grace, Grits, and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories last month, which I like to think of as an appetizer before the main course of Temple Secrets.

Reasons you might enjoy this novel:

  1. You enjoyed The Help and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. (the books or the movies)
  2. You love to laugh and appreciate southern humor, as well as novels that have some depth.
  3. You’ve always wanted to visit Savannah, Georgia (or maybe you’ve been there and loved it!) and enjoy a place rich with history.
  4. You like quirky and down-to-earth characters, and don’t mind a little Gullah voodoo.
  5. You appreciate diversity: people of all colors, young and old, rich and poor.
  6. You are interested in ancestry and family stories.
  7. You’ve enjoyed other books I’ve written, and want to see what I’ve come up with now. Or perhaps you want to check out my storytelling for the first time.
  8. You are fascinated with secrets of all shapes and sizes.
  9. You think characters over the age of forty are the most interesting.
  10. You like to read about the invisible world, as well as the visible one.
  11. You’ve always wanted to go on a ghost tour.

Here’s the novel’s opening line:

“Iris Temple has been threatening to die for three decades and most of the people in Savannah who know her want her to get on with it.”

That’s what I mean by southern humor. 🙂

Here’s the book description, which many of you helped me with on an earlier blog post.  Look how much better you made it! (Thank you!)

Fans of The Help and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil will delight in this comic novel of family secrets by acclaimed writer, Susan Gabriel (The Secret Sense of Wildflower, a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews).


Every family has secrets, but the elite Temple family of Savannah has more than most. To maintain their influence, they’ve also been documenting the indiscretions of other prestigious southern families, dating as far back as the Civil War. When someone begins leaking these tantalizing tidbits to the newspaper, the entire city of Savannah, Georgia is rocking with secrets. 


The current keeper of the secrets and matriarch of the Temple clan is Iris, a woman of unpredictable gastrointestinal illnesses and an extra streak of meanness that even the ghosts in the Temple mansion avoid. When Iris unexpectedly dies, the consequences are far flung and significant, not only to her family, who get in line to inherit the historic family mansion, but to Savannah itself. 


At the heart of the story is Old Sally, an expert in Gullah folk magic, who some suspect cast a voodoo curse on Iris. At 100 years of age, Old Sally keeps a wise eye over the whole boisterous business of secrets and the settling of Iris’s estate. 


In the Temple family, nothing is as it seems, and everyone has a secret.


I started writing Temple Secrets in 2009. After six years, many versions and much editing, the book is finally ready to be out into the world. Like any birth, it’s an exciting — and scary — time. If you choose to read it, please let me know what you think.

In the meantime, you can read the first chapter free on my website here. Autographed copies are available there too (lowest price for paperback). Email me if you want the autograph personalized. Books are also available locally at Highland Books starting this Saturday.

Paperback and ebook versions are available at book stores everywhere, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Books and Kobo or your local bookstore. (By the way, Amazon says the paperback is temporarily out of stock. It’s not. If you order it, it will ship immediately. It just takes a few weeks for the book page to become current and reflect the availability.)

coming attractions
The audio recordings of Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories, as well as Temple Secrets will be available later this spring. I am also currently working on the sequel to The Secret Sense of Wildflower (that takes place fourteen years later), as well as a sequel to Seeking Sara Summers. Look for these books in 2016.


P.S. If you’re feeling a little shy about commenting, or just want to be helpful, please consider posting this on your favorite social media platforms. xo

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