Fellow City Owl Press author Em Shotwell writes southern romance with a touch of magic and lots of heart. Her new novella, “Forget Me Not,” is a prequel to her first book, BLACKBIRD SUMMER, and it is set in 1969, during the Vietnam War.
I’ve come to know Em pretty well during my time with City Owl. She has a warm, generous spirit, and so I was not at all surprised to find out that she is donating all of her royalties from this book to the military charity OPERATION HOMEFRONT. As Memorial Day has just past, now would be the perfect time to support this charity while enjoying a great summer read.
Oh, and I haven’t mentioned that it’s on sale for only 99 cents for a limited time!
What are you waiting for?!
Here’s a short interview with Em to get you excited about “Forget Me Not” and BLACKBIRD SUMMER and the world of Brooklyn, Mississippi, where the Gifted Caibre family live.
Tell us a bit about the novella and what inspired you to write it.
The main characters are actually from BLACKBIRD SUMMER. Evelyn and Rex are Tallulah and Delia’s grandparents. In fact, many people told me how much they loved snappy Evelyn and thoughtful Rex, so I thought, Why not tell their story.
I first got the idea in Feb 2016 when I was hosting a Love Letter Challenge on my blog at www.EmShotwell.com. Authors submitted love letters written in the voice of one of their characters. I originally was going to write one from Tallulah or Logan’s point of view—but they aren’t really the love letter types. That got me to thinking about who would be most likely to pen a letter and it was definitely Rex Somersby when he was a young man. So I wrote the letter in his voice when he was 18. The idea of how they came to be just wouldn’t leave me alone until I explored it. That turned into a short story which turned into a novella and almost a novel! Lol.
Is there anyone else from BLACKBIRD SUMMER in the novella?
Actually, yes! Aunt Trudy, the matchmaker in BBS, is Evelyn’s older sister and we get to meet her as a young woman. She is fun, too. Very dry, but she loves her family. You will definitely want to know more about her before the BBS sequel releases this winter.
What made you decide to donate your royalties to Operation Homefront?
The Vietnam War plays a big part in the story. I started researching the war and the draft and it broke my heart. I chose Operation Homefront because they have a stellar reputation with making sure donations gets used in a way that is actually helpful. They find emergency shelter for vets, they help military families visit their soldier loved ones, and they actually have programs to help vets find treatment for both physical and psychological injuries. Basically, it is a great organization.
Tell us about the cover.
I am in love with this cover! I have a big thing for silhouettes on book covers. As a reader, I gravitate toward them in the book store, so when City Owl Press’s cover designer showed me mock-ups for Blackbird Summer, I was thrilled. We continued the theme with FORGET ME NOT, and I love it even more than BBS, I think. I love the turquoise background, and on the back of the paperback cover, you will see Evelyn’s tree. It has a heart with RS+EC carved in it. So cute!
Where can we get a copy?
FORGET ME NOT is available for preorder on Amazon, and for a limited time the ebook preorder is .99! Snag it while it is on sale (and then buy the paperback to contribute more to Operation Homefront).
Ebook: click here
Print: click here
If this isn’t enough to entice you, Em is running a giveaway of a $5 Amazon gift card through Rafflecopter! Click here to enter for a chance to win!