Putting the finishing brushstrokes on Jake Travis number six, A Beautiful Voice. Jake is assigned to smuggle a man ashore who can help lock a notorious drug lord behind bars. His low-level job (“You’re as low as we go,” Colonel Janssen smirks at him) delivers shattering repercussions. Kathleen searches for, well, she’s not sure what she is looking for. And Morgan burns the candle at both ends, aiding humanity one misfortunate soul at a time. Publication is slated for mid-fall.

Summer reading shouldn’t be any different than the other three seasons, but it is. This summer, I’ve discovered Pat Conroy—terribly embarrassing to have missed him while he was around—and have breezed through four of his books. At the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair in St. Petersburg, I met a bookseller who was prominent in one of Conroy’s autobiographical books. A chance meeting, it was a like a character—no it was a character—walking out of story I’d just read the night before. Surreal. I did pick up an autographed copy of both a Frank McCourt and a Pat Conroy book. People of Irish descent with troubled childhoods make such rattling good writers.

Paula McLain’s Love and Ruins and Charles Frazier’s Varina round out the last few weeks. Both authors stir the magical cauldron of words as well as anyone. And historical fiction rocks.

All for now…keep reading.