Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Guest Post, Review, suspense, women on July 9, 2015

Her Sister's Shoes


Set in the South Carolina Lowcountry and packed with Southern charm and memorable characters, Her Sister’s Shoes is the story of three sisters—Samantha, Jackie, and Faith—who struggle to balance the demands of career and family while remaining true to themselves.

Samantha Sweeney has always been the glue that holds her family together, their go-to girl for love and support. When an ATV accident leaves her teenage son in a wheelchair, she loses her carefully constructed self-control.

In the after-gloom of her dreaded fiftieth birthday and the discovery of her husband’s infidelity, Jackie realizes she must reconnect with her former self to find the happiness she needs to move forward.

Faith lacks the courage to stand up to her abusive husband. She turns to her sisters for help, placing all their lives at risk.

In the midst of their individual challenges, the Sweeney sisters must cope with their mother’s mental decline. Is Lovie in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, or is her odd behavior normal for a woman her age? No one, including Lovie, understands her obsession with a rusty key she wears around her neck.

For fans of Elin Hildebrand, Her Sister’s Shoes is a contemporary women’s novel that explores and proves the healing power of family.


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I LOVED this book!  It was hard for me to put down because I wanted to know what happened next with any of the sisters or their mother.  The sisters had a lot to deal with in their lives from abuse to a mid-life crisis to alcoholism to dementia.  I thought that each sister found her strength in different ways and sometimes it took intervention from the rest of the family to make sure they didn’t totally fall apart.  Plus there was their mother, Lovie, who is showing the early signs of dementia/Alzheimers and is obsessed with a rusty key.  She knows it goes to something important but can’t remember what.  Watching how the sisters dealt with this reminded me of my father and his battle with dementia.

There is a little bit of suspense in this book, mostly dealing with Faith’s abuse issues from her husband and not knowing if he is going to go completely off the rails and harm anyone.  And of course the mystery of what the key unlocks for Lovie.  There is some romance, especially for Samantha, who has not really been involved with anyone since her son’s father left them when he found out she was pregnant some 15+ years ago.

Jackie may be the oldest sister but I thought that she was a bit spoiled.  That is probably because while the family grew up somewhat poor or middle class, she wanted to be rich and respected because of money and not who she really was deep down.  Jackie learns a lot about herself and what she is capable of at a turning point in her life, turning 50.

And of course you have the small town feel which brings along the small town “politics” and those that they think own the town and can do whatever they want to anyone they want.  The sisters deal with this in their own way and survive the small mindedness of some townspeople.

I highly recommend this book and I noticed in the Thoughts from the Author below that she plans to revisit Prospect SC with a new set of characters.  I can’t wait and hope that the Sweeney’s make an appearance with their seafood shop!


Thoughts from the Author

When it comes to place, what is your choice, real or fictional? I’m talking mainstream fiction, not sci-fi or fantasy where the setting makes or breaks the novel. As a reader, I don’t have a preference, as long as the author grounds me in place. As an author, it depends on the needs of my plot. I’ve written one of each. Saving Ben is set in three actual locales—Charlottesville, Richmond, and Carter’s Creek, Virginia. While Her Sister’s Shoes takes place in Prospect, a make-believe coastal town forty miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. Time and again, fans of Saving Ben have expressed their appreciation for reading about the places they’ve visited. Or the UVA campus they once called their own. I believe my readers will enjoy Prospect. Early reviewers of Her Sister’s Shoes have referred to the cozy coastal town as charming.

I introduce my setting in the very first paragraph.

Lovie and Oscar Sweeney had been providing vacationers to the South Carolina coast with fresh-from-the-ocean seafood since opening their doors in May of 1959—and little had changed since then. Not the quality of the service or the layout of the store. The same brass ship’s clock still hung on the wall above the door, ticking away the decades. The customers didn’t mind the outdated decor as long as the knowledgeable staff served superior product with a friendly smile. The creaking floorboards and dusty shelves welcomed them back year after year, just as the pungent odor of the marsh at low tide greeted them upon arrival in the small inlet town of Prospect.

In my novel, two of the three Sweeney sisters, along with their mother Lovie, continue to operate Captain Sweeney’s Seafood. With moss-draped trees and ocean breezes and friendly folks with lazy Southern drawls, I based the town of Prospect on Murrells Inlet, a small inlet town north of Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, where I spent a great deal of time growing up. The inspiration for the seafood market came from the Yellow Umbrella, a predominately seafood market in Richmond where I currently live. The house where Samantha Sweeney lives is drawn from my memories of time spent in Raleigh, North Carolina, while my vision of Jackie’s farm comes from a mixture of pictures I found online. Regardless of the source of inspiration for setting in Her Sister’s Shoes, the town and its people have very much come alive in my mind. So much so, I plan to revisit Prospect with a new set of characters somewhere in the near future.

In a nutshell, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to place as long as the author paints a picture that creates a vivid image in the reader’s mind.

About the Author

Ashley FarleyAshley Farley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save. SAVING BEN is not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.

When she’s not working on her next novel, HER SISTER’S SHOES, scheduled for release in July of 2015, she can be found book blogging at

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Enter to win one of 3 prizes: 1st prize: Beach bag with goodies that includes a beach towel, Stay Calm and Buy more Shoes t-shirt, set of cosmetic bags with samples, and an insulated cup. 2nd prize : $25 Amazon gift card, 3rd prize: $25 Amazon gift card (Open to USA & Canada) Ends July 25

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