The Lights of Sugarberry Cove is a delightful story of family, healing, love, and small town Southern charm by USA Today bestselling author Heather Webber. The book features a charming B&B called the Sugarberry Cottage, where a wide array of quirky guests come to stay. Heather shared with us the literary guests she thinks would show up at the B&B, and the stories they would make along the way.
By Heather Webber
On the shores of Lake Laurel in Sugarberry Cove, Alabama, you’ll find the Sugarberry Cottage B&B, run by proprietress Susannah Scott, who in her almost-sixty years has yet to meet a stranger. With her big heart, booming laugh, affinity for storytelling, and flair for the dramatic, her guests are never lacking entertainment as she serves up an abundance of southern charm. The following fictional guests would leave Susannah with plenty of stories to share in the future.
Literary Guest Wish List for the Sugarberry Cottage B&B
1. Jane Austen’s Mr. Bennet
With five daughters and a histrionic wife, this man needs a vacation. Of course, he’s not likely to get much rest at the Sugarberry Cottage when he realizes Susannah’s personality is a touch too similar to his wife’s. His dry, somewhat sarcastic wit will irritate Susannah, but she’ll enjoy his accent so much she’ll let it pass. He’ll spend most of his time under a sun umbrella with his nose buried in a book, trying to ignore her.
“You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least.” –Mr. Bennet, Pride & Prejudice
2. Hugh Lofting’s Dr. Doolittle
Susannah will bombard Dr. Doolittle with her near-death anecdotes and pepper him with medical questions while he nods sagely and offers little advice. Other than the time he spends on the cottage’s dock, communicating with the loon that floats on Lake Laurel, he can often be found in his room with the “do not disturb” sign hung on the door knob. His self-imposed isolation is viewed by other guests as a means to escape Susannah’s attentions, however upon his departure it becomes clear that he’d been secretly harboring a vast array of animals in his room. Susannah charges him a steep cleaning fee.
“But I like the animals better than the ‘best people.” –Dr. Doolittle, The Story of Dr. Doolittle
3. Anne George’s Patricia Ann (Mouse) and Mary Alice (Sister)
These fun, sassy, snoopy sisters from Birmingham, Alabama, will fit right in at the Sugarberry Cottage like long-lost kin. Patricia Ann will likely fuss about Susannah’s grammar while Mary Alice tries to convince Susannah that the lake needs a floating honky-tonk. Both sisters will agree that the cottage needs a makeover. Sister suggests a vibrant color scheme while Mouse thinks neutrals will be more soothing. By the time the sisters’ stay ends, they’ve all agreed to spend Thanksgiving together, and Susannah plans to bring the brilliant honky-tonk idea before the town council.
“I looked at my sister in amazement. I swear she’s half a bubble out of plumb. In fact, if our mother and father hadn’t sworn that we’d been born at home, I’d have been willing to bet that we had been mixed up somewhere.” –Patricia Anne in Murder Shoots the Bull from the Southern Sisters mystery series
4. Janet Evanovich’s Lula
Susannah will take to Lula like a duck to water, drawn to her loud no-nonsense, bigger-than-life personality. There will be lots of laughing, watching reality TV, and eating (and drinking) their way through the best restaurants and bars in town. By the time Lula checks out of the cottage, Susannah will have ditched her sensible tunic tops in favor of tube tops, and back in New Jersey, Lula will be blessing hearts left and right.
“Lula’s a plus-size black woman in a size seven white world and Lula’s had a lot of practice at pulling attitude.” –To the Nines
5. Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot
If anyone has a chance at solving the mystery surrounding the Lady of the Lake it’s Hercule. Plus, everyone in Sugarberry Cove will love his accent. And his mustache. His patent leather shoes, however, might earn him a side eye or two. Susannah will regale him with tales of Lady of the Lake and turn him into a bourbon aficionado before he knows what’s what. He, of course, will have smugly known about Dr. Doolittle’s smuggled pets the whole time. However, it is Dr. Doolittle alone who knows the truth about the Lady in the Lake—because the mysterious loon told him.
“I, Hercule Poirot, am not amused.” –The Hollow
Pre-order The Lights of Sugarberry Cove—available on July 20, 2021!