B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree
When Rowdy Murphy’s husband, Mark, abandons her for a younger woman, leaving behind a dog that Rowdy hates, never wanted, and vowed she’d never walk, feed, bathe, or poop scoop, she is livid. But the divorce, Mark’s new family, and breast cancer forge an unlikely friendship between Rowdy and the much-reviled dog, Nick Nack. LESSONS I LEARNED FROM NICK NACK is the story of one woman’s journey through anger, loneliness, illness, pain, and fear and her ultimate surrender to the power of unconditional love.


Padgett Gerler’s debut novel follows the lives of Colonel Thomas McChesney Albemarle, III and southern debutante Lydia Rose Carlyle, known as Ma’am, from their first meeting at the USO during World War II to the Colonel’s death forty years later. While Colonel Tom physically and emotionally batters his family, Ma’am escapes the turmoil with alcohol. Their children, Percy, Sis, and Oops, with no adult guidance, learn to sidestep their family minefields alone, forming a loving bond that will sustain them through the most poignant and tragic of circumstances. Told with captivating grit, humor, and insight, this tale of family discord carries the Albemarles through decades of turbulence until tragedy teaches them to forgive and understand by GETTING THE IMPORTANT THINGS RIGHT.


A collection of fictional short stories about the lives of women who make their homes in the Appalachian Mountains, these works depict the strength and wit of mountain women—some from decades past, others from contemporary times. Leading difficult and hard-scrabble lives, these women face adversity head-on and overcome obstacles with dignity and grace. Their stories portray women who possess the qualities it takes to be considered a “mountain girl.” Padgett Gerler’s short story, “I Know This Happened ‘Cause Somebody Seen It,” is featured in SELF-RISING FLOWERS.

(Coming 2015)
When Jinx Collier’s husband, Charlie, dies without reconciling with their estranged son, Knox, Jinx is angry and distraught. Determined to rekindle her relationship with her only child, Jinx, along with the family’s maid, Polly Ann, travels from her home on Tybee Island, Georgia to New York City, leaving behind all the family and friends she has ever known and loved. With a warm welcome into Knox’s new family, Jinx forges a new life, a new career, and new love in her adopted home, New York City. And it is there that she learns that family is not what you’re given; family is what you make.     

(Future Release)
When Ally Albright’s husband and unborn child are killed by a drunk driver, Ally is certain her life has ended, as well. But a request from a beloved professor to teach a first-grade class on Pelican Isle draws Ally from the security of her parents’ home to the remote island off the coast of North Carolina. Planning to teach only until a permanent replacement can be hired, Ally is immediately captivated by her enthusiastic and adorable students. Befriended by the islanders, including charming and handsome Dr. Chris Cruz and eccentric neighbor Joy Summers, Ally accepts the community’s hospitality, embraces Pelican Isle, and discovers that there is life after loss.

(Future Release)
When Naomi June Lockleer moves from the holler and renders Bit Sizemore best friendless, Bit takes to the living room sofa to pout and have an all-out pity party. Then orange-haired, freckled and bespeckled Wisteria Calliope Jones (who made her debut in SELF-RISING FLOWERS) careens into Bit’s life, leaving the memory of Naomi June in the dust. The girls’ friendship is instantaneous and secure until handsome, worldly Palmer Lee Compton shows up and tests their bond. But pretty boys and the mysterious demise of the town’s pets can’t come between this duo. Armed with their wit and sassiness and Wisteria’s wisdom beyond her years, the best friends set out to discover who is offing the animals and to show Palmer Lee that he’s no match for these holler girls.