Susan   Gabriel

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Susan Gabriel

Goodreads Author

in The United States



Member Since
August 2008


Susan Gabriel is an acclaimed southern author who lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Her novels, The Secret Sense of Wildflower (a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012) and Temple Secrets (2015) are Amazon and Nook #1 bestsellers.

Find out more about Susan and her other novels at

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Susan Gabriel Hi Elaine. Thanks so much for your question! I am so glad you enjoyed The Secret Sense of Wildflower and that the story kept you engrossed until the…moreHi Elaine. Thanks so much for your question! I am so glad you enjoyed The Secret Sense of Wildflower and that the story kept you engrossed until the end. That's a great compliment to a writer. It is also nice to hear that my writing style fascinates you and that you now want to read more of my books! Yay! I'm honored.

As for Wildflower's name, I got that directly from Wildflower. She told me.

I think the story of how the book came to me is in the back of the book, but the short version is that I woke up in the middle of the night hearing a voice that was clear as a mountain stream. It was a young girl's voice and she said to me: "There are two things I am afraid of. One is dying young and the other is Johnny Monroe."

When writing fiction, if you can get the "voice," it is a really good thing, and so I got up at 4 am and began writing down the story that Wildflower was telling me. What got me out of bed was the belief that if I didn't write her story, she might go find some other writer to do it. All these years later, I am still honored that she chose me to tell her story.

Something else you might find interesting is that after The Secret Sense of Wildflower was published, I had no idea that I would write a sequel. But I kept hearing from readers over and over again that they wanted to hear more of her story. So I wanted to give my readers more.

The wonderful surprise with writing the sequel was that when I sat down to tell more of the story it was as if the lives of the characters had kept going and they were ready to tell me more. The sequel is the story of Wildflower's daughter, Lily, and is called Lily's Song. Wildflower and Lily both narrate the sequel.

Now, again to my surprise, it turns out that there will be a third and final book. So what I thought was a stand-alone book many years ago, has become a trilogy. Since I love Wildflower so much, I am happy to continue her story with this final book.

Feel free to let me know what you think of Lily's Song, Elaine. I love hearing from readers. And also feel free to ask more questions.

Thanks so much for reading! :) xo

Susan Gabriel My cure for writer's block is to have a mortgage. It never fails to inspire me to keep writing. Seriously, the things that help me stay focused and…moreMy cure for writer's block is to have a mortgage. It never fails to inspire me to keep writing. Seriously, the things that help me stay focused and inspired are walks by the river by my home, or getting out in Nature anywhere. Something about being outside always helps me. Creativity is everywhere. (less)
Average rating: 4.0 · 1,692 ratings · 246 reviews · 10 distinct works · Similar authors
Temple Secrets

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 570 ratings — published 2015 — 3 editions
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The Secret Sense of Wildflower

4.05 avg rating — 600 ratings — published 2012 — 5 editions
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Seeking Sara Summers

3.59 avg rating — 208 ratings — published 2008 — 5 editions
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Trueluck Summer

4.27 avg rating — 122 ratings3 editions
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Lily's Song

4.15 avg rating — 110 ratings2 editions
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Grace, Grits and Ghosts: So...

3.86 avg rating — 50 ratings — published 2015
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Circle of the Ancestors - A...

4.17 avg rating — 12 ratings — published 2014 — 4 editions
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Fearless Writing for Women:...

4.17 avg rating — 12 ratings — published 2013 — 3 editions
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Quentin and the Cave Boy - ...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2014 — 2 editions
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Southern Secrets: Susan Gab...

4.33 avg rating — 3 ratings2 editions
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More books by Susan Gabriel…

In our modern world, it is easy to feel anxious with the constant barrage of news and information that saturates our days. Many of us are discovering the need to calm ourselves and take a break from the seemingly unending things to worry about.

With this in mind, yesterday morning I sat at my favorite local coffee shop (having a cup of tea) and...

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Grace, Grits and Ghosts (Literature & Fiction)
1 chapters   —   updated May 13, 2015 06:39PM
Description: This delightful collection of southern short stories from acclaimed writer, Susan Gabriel (The Secret Sense of Wildflower, a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews), is rich in humor, as well as mystery and meaning. Whether white or black, living or dead, down home country or upscale urban, Gabriel’s characters are quirky, poignant and deep. They include: A Gullah woman using folk magic to cast her latest spell. A girl coming-of-age dealing with death in 1940s Tennessee. A wealthy Savannah matriarch with gastrointestinal issues guarding family secrets. A good ol’ boy observing himself shortly after his death. An agoraphobic woman striking up a unique friendship with the girl across the street. And a band of seventy-year-olds finding healing in a mountain stream. Written in the tradition of Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty, the eight short stories in Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories are all rooted in the southern landscape—from the steamy coast of Georgia, to the current day Atlanta suburbs, to the ancient Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Pull up a rocker on the front porch, take a sip of your sweet iced tea and lose yourself in these original stories of soulful southerners and their sultry landscape. Available in ebook format.
Temple Secrets: Southern Gothic Fiction (Humor)
1 chapters   —   updated May 13, 2015 06:39PM
Description: Temple Secrets: 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. 1st line: ""Iris Temple has been threatening to die for three decades, and most of the people who know her in Savannah want her to get on with it."
The Secret Sense of Wildflower (Literature & Fiction)
1 chapters   —   updated May 13, 2015 06:33PM
Description: "A quietly powerful story, at times harrowing but ultimately a joy to read....astute observations and wonderfully turned phrases, with nary a cliché to be found. She could be an adolescent Scout Finch" - Kirkus Reviews (starred review, "for books of remarkable merit")and named one of Kirkus Reviews BEST BOOKS of 2012.
Seeking Sara Summers (Literature & Fiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Mar 29, 2010 04:35PM
Description: Was her life ever really fun? Was there ever any passion? Will she find the courage to change? Sara Summers Stanton has raised three children and works as a high school teacher at the same school she attended growing up. Her 25 year marriage is showing cracks in the façade and now she’s dealing with breast cancer. In a rare moment of taking care of herself instead of everyone else, Sara takes a sabbatical and goes on the trip to Italy she has always dreamed of taking. This search for a more authentic life leads to Julia, a friend she hasn’t seen since they were inseparable as girls, nearly 30 years earlier. They reunite in Florence and their friendship continues where they left off, resulting in an unexpected attraction to one another that threatens to turn Sara’s already shaky world upside down. What do you do if you fall in love with your best friend? Sara’s inner conflict and subsequent choices reveal an unpredictable yet dynamic future for all the characters. Seeking Sara Summers is an emotional and lyrical novel, a timeless story about love, commitment and transformation.

Susan’s Recent Updates

Susan Gabriel is now friends with Andy Straka
Trueluck Summer by Susan   Gabriel
"I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
I found this to be a great read. I fell in love with the characters of 12 yr. old Trudy and her grandmother Ida.
The setting in the south during the Civil Rights Movement is well written and ex..." Read more of this review »
Susan Gabriel and 1 other person liked Lisa Abbott's review of Trueluck Summer:
Trueluck Summer by Susan   Gabriel
"I really enjoyed this book. The author has done a wonderful job in making the readers feel like they are sitting with and planning the cohorts of the characters. She makes you wonder what's going to happen next in a racially divided City when chil..." Read more of this review »
Trueluck Summer by Susan   Gabriel
"Susan Gabriel's done it again! This story of Trudy Trueluck, her friend Vel, her grandmother Ida, and the "colored" boy, Paris, whom she befriends, drew me like a moth to porch light. I couldn't put this book down. I grew up in the Midwest during..." Read more of this review »
Susan Gabriel rated a book really liked it
Presence by Amy Cuddy
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Amy Cuddy has a lot of insights to offer our modern world. I will go back and study all the things I underlined! Scientific studies back up her insights. I would give it a 4.5 if I could.

Susan Gabriel
author of Temple Secrets and The Secret Sense of
Susan Gabriel rated a book it was amazing
Southern Secrets by Susan   Gabriel
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I wrote the two books that are in this southern fiction box set, so I am totally biased. It took me a combined total of 18 years to finish The Secret Sense of Wildflower (a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012) and Temple Secrets (Amazon and Nook #1 best ...more
Susan Gabriel added a status update: Ran across this quote today and loved it: In the end, we'll all become stories. --Margaret Atwood. What will your story be? xo
The Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson
“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”
Marianne Williamson
Susan Gabriel rated a book it was amazing
The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
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I loved this book. It is a simple story, yet at the same time complex. It explores the relationship between a grandmother and a granddaughter who spend the summer exploring their small island home. Translated from Swedish, where it is considered a cl ...more
More of Susan's books…
“Nobody is as they seem, I remind myself. Rich talents hide in unlikely people.”
Susan Gabriel, Grace, Grits and Ghosts: Southern Short Stories

“There are two things I am afraid of. One is dying young. The other is Johnny Monroe.”
Susan Gabriel, The Secret Sense of Wildflower

“And honestly, after all those images on the six o’clock news of the horrible things going on in Alabama and Mississippi, I wanted Paris to know that southern white people aren’t all like that. Some of us are compassionate folks. It”
Susan Gabriel, Trueluck Summer

Topics Mentioning This Author

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On the Southern L...: Nominations for June Group Reads, 2013 14 64 May 19, 2013 04:57PM  
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“Not only the thirsty seek the water, the water as well seeks the thirsty.”
Jalaluddin Rumi

“Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”
Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook

“It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.”
William Carlos Williams, Asphodel, That Greeny Flower and Other Love Poems: That Greeny Flower

“It's not forgetting that heals. It's remembering.”
Amy Greene, Bloodroot

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