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Mary Alice Monroe (back right) visits with guests before the book signing.

New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe, an Isle of Palms resident, released a new novel “The Summer Guests” in June. The kickoff included a luncheon at Halls Signature Events in downtown Charleston June 10 hosted by Blue Bicycle Books.

This is Monroe's 22nd published novel. Monroe's 30-city book tour includes a seaside signing at Wild Dunes Resort on July 6.

“The Summer Guests”, is one of Southern Living’s “Beach Reads Perfect for Summer.” The story unfolds in the middle of hurricane season with a group of strangers from the coastal communities of Charleston, S.C. and Wellington, Fla. who evacuate to the foothills of North Carolina at a scenic horse farm where they ride out the storm together. During this short, but intense time at the farm, the evacuees must confront issues with each other and themselves. “The Summer Guests” explores how even during the worst of circumstances — or perhaps because of them — you discover what is most important in life.

“The Summer Guests” is inspired in part by Monroe’s own real life evacuation experiences. Monroe, who is known for weaving inspiring messages of conservation into her novels, thoughtfully weaves in the issue of climate change into “The Summer Guests.”