Little Tea!

I woke up this morning to the surprise of this on Goodreads.

This, I think, is proof of the scales balancing in that Little Tea was released at the beginning of the pandemic, which meant the book tour primarily in the Deep South that I had scheduled was canceled. I had ten events scheduled, back-to-back, in three Southern states including radio, bookstores, and television. The cancelation left me, as well as legions of authors, not only disappointed, but baffled about how to get the word out about our books. I owe endless gratitude to WordPress Bloggers, book clubs, podcasts, libraries, Facebook book pages and book groups. ZOOM and StreamYard have been phenomenal venues.

Below is Landis Wade of the Charlotte Reader’s Podcast.

Southern Culture … Old Friendships … Family Tragedy

One phone call from Renny to come home and “see about” the capricious Ava and Celia Wakefield decides to overlook her distressful past in the name of friendship.

For three reflective days at Renny’s lake house in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the three childhood friends reunite and examine life, love, marriage, and the ties that bind, even though Celia’s personal story has yet to be healed. When the past arrives at the lake house door in the form of her old boyfriend, Celia must revisit the life she’d tried to outrun.

As her idyllic coming of age alongside her best friend, Little Tea, on her family’s ancestral grounds in bucolic Como, Mississippi unfolds, Celia realizes there is no better place to accept her own story than in this circle of friends who have remained beside her throughout the years. Theirs is a friendship that can talk any life sorrow into a comic tragedy, and now that the racial divide in the Deep South has evolved, Celia wonders if friendship can triumph over history.

IAN Badge Second Place 2020.png
Little Tea: Book of the Year by the Independent Authors Network: 2nd Place
readers favorite.jpg
Reader’s Favorite: Gold Medal in Southern Fiction
Summer Reading List: Deep South Magazine
Top Shelf Magazine Award Winner
Contemporary & Literary  Novel Writing Contest | Chanticleer Book Reviews
First Place in the Somerset Awards
Zoom Meeting with The Pulpwood Queens Book Club of Jackson, Mississippi . Little Tea was the August, 2020 Selection of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club!
And, if you want to hear my Southern accent, here is the video of the Beaufort, South Carolina Chapter of the Pulpwood Queens, who had me as a guest after they read Little Tea! The Pulpwood Queens Host Novelist Claire Fullerton, author of Little Tea – YouTube

Meggie Daly

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2021 Verified Purchase
Gosh, there were so many wonderful things about this book! I loved the protagonist’s voice, the sassy banter among the girlfriends, tackling hard family, marriage, and race issues. A subtle wisdom fanned out from the pages. Fullerton is an expert in backstory integration! Needless to say I went into mourning for a day or so after I finished the book–as I always do when I have to say goodbye to characters that I have loved!

Little Tea is available at online book outlets and book stores!

Little Tea (

Southern Family Saga, Mourning Dove

As I count the days to the release of Little Tea, lo and behold, this review of my last novel, Mourning Dove was just sent to me by the Chanticleer Reviews. Thought I’d share it here.

Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media

Camille Crossan appears to be living an idyllic life in Claire Fullerton poignant, evocative novel, MOURNING DOVE. Living in a superbly appointed mansion in “magnolia-lined and manicured” Memphis during the 1960s and 1970s, Camille’s family life shimmers with Southern charm. Beautifully penned #SouthernNovels with all the trimmings. One of our favorites. Highly recommended. #SouthernLiterature #PulpwoodQueens #CIBAs



Camille Crossan appears to be living an idyllic life in Claire Fullerton’s poignant, evocative novel, Mourning Dove. Living in a superbly appointed mansion in “magnolia-lined and manicured” Memphis during the 1960s and 1970s, Camille’s family life shimmers with Southern charm. Her mother, Posey, usually outfitted in a Lily Pulitzer shift, Pappagallo shoes, and a signature shade of pink lipstick, is a beauty with the wryest sense of humor and steel determination.
As a young girl, Camille, known as Millie, sees how those in her mother’s social orbit are captivated by her aura, how men are easily seduced by her flirtatious charm. Society is a game played by those who know its rules, and Posey means to win. Every time. She, however, isn’t even the charismatic one in the family – that’s Finley, Millie’s older brother, who brims with intelligence, startling good looks, and messianic magnetism. A peek beneath the shiny surface of gracious Southern living, however, reveals enormous cracks in the foundation of the Crossan family. One of the first things the adult Millie tells us about her brother is that he is dead. She takes the reader back, though, to their childhood and coming of age, a tumultuous journey that both binds and separates the siblings.
During her first decade, Millie’s family was living in Minneapolis with her tender-hearted, intellectual father who succumbed to alcoholism. Loss of money and, worse, the accompanying loss of social status, motivates Posey to uproot her children and move them to her childhood home in Memphis, a palatial mansion filled with antiques and portraits of forebears. It’s a volatile time, inside and outside the house, as centuries-old Southern traditions clash with the youth counterculture.
Millie watches as her mother holds court during daily cocktail hours, a prospective second husband soon on the reel, and Finley, a gifted guitarist, plunges into the local music scene. But what role will she play? It’s difficult for her to see herself entirely separate from her brother for whom she has, “…a love devoid of envy, tied up in shared survival and my inability to see myself as anything more than the larger-than-life Finley’s little sister.” Millie will grapple with her identity and question her destiny, whether she’ll be a bride in the Southern belle mode of her mother or if she’ll be the blossom that falls far from the magnolia tree. Meanwhile, Finley’s charisma both explodes and implodes in shocking and dangerous ways as he becomes revered by a group of people with no connection to the gentrified life. Like Millie, the reader is transfixed and apprehensive about where this less-traveled road will take Finley. Although the reader knows his grim fate from the outset of the book, his storyline is so engrossing that no drama is lost.
Author, Claire Fullerton, is an enchantress with prose. The writing in this novel will cause you to stop, reread sentences, savor them, and note their architecture. Scenes sparkle as she masterfully summons moods and atmosphere. The reader can see Millie’s lovely but haunting home, and smell the rich fragrance of dogwood on a soft spring day. Fullerton has a keen ear for witty, authentic dialogue, and she deftly reveals much about personalities via conversation. It’s difficult to take leave of such a vivid, fully realized world. Fortunately for readers, Fullerton has written several books, opportunities to spend more time in her richly crafted worlds.



Universal link for Little Tea:



A High Honor ( photo: at right, Georgienne Bradley of Sea Save, with the author. White shepherd: Denali)

Because I’ve grasped the concept that there are no guarantees in life, I’ve relied upon positioning myself for the happy accident in the manner of showing up, doing the work, and turning it over. I believe in the unpredictable timing of the manifestation of good intentions and have been rewarded by what I view as the uncanny actualization of strange convergence. Here is a case in point of disparate variables fallen to alignment: I was blessed to grow up in Memphis, where I went to an all-girls school named Hutchison, whose hallowed halls were graced by the likes of the Jehl sisters: three charming, affable characters with smiles that don’t quit. I am closest in age to Cary Jehl, and although our lives came to spin in separate orbits, I consider Cary “one of my own.” I have followed Cary’s doings in the world with awe-struck admiration. I could knock your socks off with her accomplishments, but for the purposes of sticking to my point, I’ll keep this in the present by sharing a quote about Cary from the Cinderella to CEO website: “A long-time advocate for women, Cary speaks to audiences coast-to-coast and globally about how to successfully navigate issues of integrity, personal and professional development.”
This quote is in reference to a book Cary co-authored, From Cinderella to CEO, which was translated into ten languages and is now the backbone of a nation-wide, yearly event that honors significant “women in the work-place,” as in women who are out there making a contribution to a larger sphere. The Cinderella to CEO organization issued a national call-out for nominations of women worth shouting about under the guidelines of nine, well-defined categories. As I read the category descriptions, two women sprang to mind: Kathy Murphy of The Pulpwood Queens, who, in the name of art for art’s sake, unselfishly created a labor of love for countless authors by serving as the rallying point of The Pulpwood Queens Bookclub, which currently has 785 book club chapters, and holds a yearly, three-day author/reader lovefest in Jefferson, Texas that I call the Mardi Gras of the book world. That’s just for starters on what Kathy Murphy does, for her labors go into literacy advocation and, in her spare time, she makes heartwarming moves such as putting bookshelves in churches. The other woman who came to mind is Georgienne Bradley, who is the mastermind behind a foundation called Sea Save, which is dedicated to campaigns that help educate and advocate for ocean conservation. Georgienne is a scientist. Let’s just say she travels the world to speak before thousands, calling attention to saving the ocean and everything that swims in it. Her magnanimous impact is unending.
It occurs to me I’ve been used as a cosmic facilitator. I met Cary Jehl Broussard in 1970’s Memphis; Kathy Murphy three years ago through a couple of authors who can’t sing her praises loud enough; and Georgienne Bradley in Malibu through a mutual friend. All three women inspire me, and here’s where the idea of strange convergence comes in: Little ole me nominated Kathy Murphy and Georgienne Bradley in two different categories for Cary’s creation: the Cinderella to CEO Awards, which will be held at the JW Marriott Essex House on August 8th in New York City. Both Kathy Murphy and Georgienne Bradley are finalists in their categories, both women will attend the NYC ceremony, and the way I see this, everyone wins!

Cinderella to CEO website:

Sea Save Website:

Pulpwood Queens Website :