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Readers' Favorite awarded Mourning Dove the
2018 bronze medal in the Southern Fiction category.
Mourning Dove was awarded top honors with the Words on Wings award by Literary Classics: 2018 Book of the Year.
Mourning Dove won the 2018 Independent Book Publishers silver medal award in regional fiction (Southeast)
Dancing to an Irish Reel
A Portal in Time
"Finley fascinated me. I used to study him—the way he walked, the way he talked, the way the air changed around him. He was absolutely something. But here’s what bothers me -Finley’s in heaven, and I don’t know why. "
Millie Crossan loves Finley, her golden, blue-eyed brother who hung the moon. What she can't understand, however, is why he died so young.
Reminiscing on a fractured childhood that began in Minnesota and dovetailed into Memphis, Millie ponders how she and Finley navigated the social mores of their mother’s native land as outsiders in a singing milieu that glittered in the south’s cultural nuance. In this manicured world, little is as it seems, yet Finley is so gifted with charisma and insight that together, brother and sister find their way to belonging.
But what mysterious elements shape fate into a life? And how can siblings share a history, yet come to such disparate ends?
Available at Bookstores
Dancing to an Irish Reel
Dancing to an Irish Reel is contemporary fiction and tells the story of twenty five year old Hailey Crossan, who takes a trip to Ireland during her sabbatical from the Los Angeles record business. While on the trip, she is unexpectedly offered a job in the Irish music business that is too good to turn down, so Hailey stays.
Although Hailey works in Galway City, she lives in the rural area of Connemara, a land steeped in history as well as an area famous for its Irish traditional music. When Hailey meets a famous Irish traditional musician named Liam Hennessey, a confusing relationship begins, which Hailey thinks may be the result of differing cultural nuances, for Liam is married to the music, and so unbalanced at the prospect of love, that he won't come closer nor completely go away. And so begins the push and pull of an attraction that Hailey struggles to decipher. Thankfully, a handful of local friends come to her aid, and Hailey comes to love and understand a land and its people with more charm than she ever imagined.
Claire Fullerton’s second novel, Dancing to an Irish Reel, set in Connemara, Ireland tells thestory of 25 year old American, Hailey Crossan, who leaves the record business in Los Angeles and relocates to the beautiful west of Ireland, where she is befriended by a lively cast of Irish locals who help her navigate her budding romance with a famous Irish musician, who won’t come closer, nor completely go away.
A Portal in Time
It is the year 2000: Enigmatic and spirited Anna Lucera is gifted with an uncanny sixth-sense, and is intrigued by all things mystical. When her green, cat-eyes and long, black hair capture the attention of a young lawyer named Kevin Townsend, a romance ensues which leads them to the hauntingly beautiful region of California’s Carmel-By-The-Sea, where Anna is intuitively drawn to the Madiera Hotel. Everything about the hotel and Carmel-By-The-Sea heightens her senses and speaks to Anna as if she had been there before.
It is the year 1902: Young Valeria Sienna has never been in love until she meets the mesmerizingly handsome artist, Anders Kristiansen, at an art gallery in San Francisco. She must make Domenico Sienna, her formidable and prominent Italian father, consent to allowing Anders Kristiansen to court her, and she knows her adored sister, Francesca, along with her genteel, Italian mother, Adriana will help.
Combined, the three women will convince Domenico that the elegant Norwegian artist, Mr. Kristiansen, is worthy of Valeria in every way, even though he is not of their Italian lineage.
Rich in history, mystique and foreshadow, A Portal in Time is an intertwined story of two romances that are steeped in the language and social mores of two different time periods. The words and actions of the unforgettable characters fit seamlessly together, and bridge the time frames like pieces of a puzzle, creating an intriguing whole.
That which draws two people into the arms of love is often times eerily familiar, and that which resounds in the depth of our memory can sometimes spring from a portal in time.
A Southern Season
Claire's novella, Through an Autumn Window, is included as one of four novellas in the book, A Southern Season. The book was released in November 1, 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction.
by Claire Fullerton
"Like sitting in a parlor and catching up on the trials and tragedies
of the reader’s own extended Southern family."
"Claire Fullerton has given us a wise, relatable narrator in Millie. Like a trusted friend, she guides us through the confounding tale of her dazzling brother Finley, their beguiling mother Posey, and a town where shiny surfaces often belie reality. Like those surfaces, Fullerton’s prose sparkles even as she leads us into dark places, posing profound questions without any easy answers.”
Margaret Evans Editor, Lowcountry Weekly, Former Assistant Editor of Pat Conroy
"Mourning Dove is a wise and brilliantly evocative Southern tale enhanced by Claire Fullerton's inimitable wit. You'll be glad you indulged in this eloquent exploration of colorful and complex family dynamics."
Gary Fearon, Creative Director of Southern Writers Magazine
"This is a glorious book. Just glorious. Every sentence tells a complete story. In Mourning Dove, you’ll find no wasted words. Tightly written, each descriptive phrase renders an image so completely — it causes the reader to hunger for the next sentence…This is a beautifully written novel. It deserves recognition and praise. The novel travels through childhood into adulthood with grace, poise, and elegance — a wonderful summer read."
Valerie MacEwan, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature"
"The book has been compared (and) has reminded readers of the works of Pat Conroy, and if you know anything about Southern novels then you know that is the highest praise. You won’t be disappointed. If you want to know the real South of the 1970s, read Mourning Dove. Much like Claire Fullerton’s masterpiece, Dancing to an Irish Reel, you get atmosphere, emotions, characters, not only the main but a wonderful supporting cast, which very much matches what you find in the South. You also find yourself pulled in to the landscape and forget you exist in a present. You are present in the past."
Ronovan (Writes) Hester - Lit World Interviews
"More than a coming-of-age story or a multi-layered family saga—and it is both of those things—MOURNING DOVE is a cautionary tale wrought with beautiful prose and gut-wrenching truthfulness. Readers will fall in love with Finley and Millie, and will root for both of them until the end. And yes, we are also sympathetic towards their mother Posey. A jewel of a novel."
Susan Cushman - Author
Rarely have I read anything with such a finely-tuned and perfectly detailed sense of time and place. The author depicts the cultural enormity of two young children's move from suburban Minneapolis to deeply Southern, Memphis high society at the most vulnerable time of their lives with clarity, heart, and remarkably observed detail.
Alison Henderson – Writer
“Fullerton delivers a punch that impacts the reader in a vein similar to To Kill a Mockingbird—even the coming-of-age protagonists and titles align to a degree. …Like To Kill a Mockingbird, Mourning Dove examines the social mores of masculinity versus. femininity, rich versus poor, life versus death, and maturity versus youth. Unlike Lee’s classic, Fullerton uses these themes in a painfully intimate way with her central characters unapologetically tasked with navigating between these worlds. Where Scout and Jem experience these from a protected and privileged distance in To Kill a Mockingbird, Millie and Finley are more often than not left to their own devices. The siblings maneuver across both literal and figurative borders with no guidance from the adults in their lives—who admittedly seem less prepared or willing to manage these borders for themselves. Fullerton’s novel will transcend generations for this reason. It speaks to readers across different barriers in the same way that her novel oscillates. North to South. Baby Boomer, Gen X, Millennial. The hard-learned lessons she captures know no boundaries and have no mercies. Mourning Dove is a novel we not only read, but listen to as we would a teacher filled hard won wisdom.”
Emery Duffy - Review in The New Southern Fugitives
"Claire Fullerton knows how to get a voice going. I'm talking distinctive, authoritative, original as all get out. Narrator Millie Crossan will grab you by your high-ball-holding hand and set you down in privileged Memphis with her family and not let you go. Get ready for the Crossan layers to be peeled back and universal struggles exposed."
Bren McClain, Author of One Good Mama Bone
"In Mourning Dove, Claire Fullerton deftly weaves the story of a Memphis family into a fine fabric laden with delicious intricacy and heart. A true Southern storyteller."
Laura Lane McNeal, Author of Dollbaby
With a strong sense of place and an authentic voice, Claire Fullerton captures the longing and angst of an aristocratic Southern family. The narrator Millie and her brother, Finley will stay with readers long after this novel is read. Mourning Dove is smart, well-written Southern Fiction.
Johnnie Bernhard, Author of A Good Girl, How We Came to Be
On the Audible Book: Be prepared to be hypnotized by this gripping family story of love read with bravado by the author—
I am writing while listening to the former Rock radio disc jockey Ms. Fullerton read her book MOURNING DOVE in her mesmerizing Southern lilt, and I know I shall do this again and again. One is transported to the atmospheric scenes of this beautifully scripted novel as narrated by the young Camille (Millie) Crossan, the younger sister of the dynamic touchstone Finley. You can hear in your mind the old Memphis house with the mother Posey’s cocktail glasses tinkling in the card room at five o’clock, the grim step-father colonel leaving the house for a quarter of an hour with his vicious dog, the eight-note chimed doorbell ringing, and the resident Mourning Dove cooing from the big Magnolia tree branch outside a second floor bedroom in the big old spooky place. I’m delighted to have purchased the Audiobook as a single purchase.
Laura Jane Sanderson Healy
Audible Audiobook: This book, so well written, contains a story in every sentence. It's absolutely lyrical, such a brilliant study of Southern (US) life and influences. A coming of age book written by the adult, looking back at her extraordinary older brother and his life, how it affected her -- this life strangely led by a charismatic brilliant young man. Read it to be entertained but also read it to learn. I recommend this book most heartily. Claire Fullerton nails it.
Mourning Dove is a wonderful narrative with purpose, direction and an emblematic linchpin. I found myself being drawn back to it again and again. The ending was just brilliant—it must have been Fullerton’s intention all along, which makes the story incredibly moving and masterful.
Dancing to an Irish Reel
"Sometimes an author connects with their subject so well that it is evident in the story. Author Claire Fullerton gives many details of Irish life and culture, and the reader does feel very much inside the Irish landscape, hearing the voices of Irish residents, and breathing in the fresh Irish air.."
"Dancing to an Irish Reel is very much about character and location. It's also about the quality of the writing, which is superb..."
The Bookbag, UK
"An intriguing paranormal story written in two time periods and set in California's hauntingly beautiful Carmel-by-the-sea on the Monterey Peninsula. The words and actions of the characters are uncannily similar and fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Rich in history, foreshadow and coincidence, A Portal in Time asks: "When we are inexplicably drawn to love and a particular region, is it coincidence, or have we been there before?"
Claire Fullerton is the author of three novels and one novella. Her southern family saga set in 1970's Memphis, Mourning Dove (Firefly Southern Fiction) was a semi-finalist in the Faulkner Society's 2017 William Wisdom competition, and the 2018 Readers' Favorite Bronze medal winner for Southern Fiction. Claire's novel Dancing to an Irish Reel (Vinspire Publishing) was a 2016 Kindle Books Review winner in cultural fiction and a 2016 Readers' Favorite finalist. She is the author of paranormal mystery, A Portal in Time (Vinspire Publishing). Claire is one of four contributors to the book A Southern Season, with her novella set in Memphis, Through an Autumn Window, to be released November 1st by Firefly Southern Fiction. She has recently completed her 4th novel, Little Tea, a 2018 Faulkner Society finalist in the William Wisdom competition. Claire is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary Agency.