FLORENCE - Books and stories have the power to encourage and inspire especially during times of adversity. Florence-Lauderdale Public Library hopes to do just that by inviting the community to read and discuss novels about strength and resilience. The library is hosting two online author talks in early May using the online platform Zoom. Kristy Woodson Harvey will talk with readers on Sunday, May 3 at 1pm and Susan Meissner will talk on Wednesday, May 6 at 1pm.  To sign up for these events, email events@flpl.org .

Harvey will be talking about her new novel, Feels Like Falling.  The book  explores modern womanhood through the lenses of two women brought together during difficult patches in their lives. Harvey, a bestselling author of six novels, visited the library last year, and the library staff is excited to offer the opportunity for readers to talk with her online.

“Our patrons loved Kristy Woodson Harvey when we hosted her for an event in 2019,” said  Abby Carpenter, the library’s assistant director. “She is funny, kind, and a great speaker. She’s becoming a major name in southern fiction.”

During the online event, Harvey will be interviewed by community member and library patron, Nicole Sneed. The library will also be giving away 20 copies of Feels Like Falling to participants of the event. Each book will include a book plate signed by the author.

The library will host a second online author talk a few days later on May 6 with Susan Meissner.

Fittingly, her novel, As Bright as Heaven, is set during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. The novel

follows a mother and her daughters who suddenly find themselves in an unrecognizable world as they face a public health crisis.

Bestselling author Lisa Wingate describes As Bright as Heaven as “a story of one family’s heartbreak and hope,” and says that Meissner’s “strong [and] resilient characters step off the page and into history.”

People who email events@flpl.org to sign up for either or both author talks will receive a Zoom invitation that contains the link for the event. 

For all those who don’t know how to use Zoom, the library has video tutorials to help them get started using the app. More free online programs can be found at www.flpl.org and on the library’s Facebook pages.