Learn about Frank's new book, which is set on South Carolina's Sullivan's Island.

Steve Rosamilia

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank has long been known for her memorable Southern stories set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. This summer brings the arrival of the author's 20th novel, Queen Bee, which will be available to purchase online and in bookstores on May 28, 2019. Frank's new novel is another Lowcountry tale set on South Carolina's picturesque Sullivan's Island. Read on for a synopsis of the upcoming book, which explores love, family, and beekeeping alongside an unforgettable cast of characters, plus a Q&A with the author.

Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank
Courtesy of William Morrow

Courtesy of William Morrow

Open to page one, and you'll "meet Holly McNee Kensen, a beekeeper who spends much of her time tending to her hives and cooking for and waiting on her demanding hypochondriac of a mother, who she refers to as the 'Queen Bee.' Next door to Holly is Archie, a recent widower with two young sons Holly adores as though they were her own. Despite a new job icing cakes part time, things are pretty uneventful in Holly's world, until they're not."

Holly's world is turned upside down when her mother gets sick, a mystery emerges, and a rival enters the picture. In addition to Holly, her mother, Archie, and his sons, expect appearances by Leslie, Holly's older sister; Sharon, a dentist who's also interested in Archie; and Ted, the Chief of Police and one of Holly's old classmates. This warmhearted tale will make you laugh and encourage you to hug your own loved ones a little closer.

Q&A with Dorothea Benton Frank

This is your 20th novel. Did you ever imagine you would write that many books?

"Not in a million years. For those who are considering writing a novel, I think the take away from this question is to know that it's possible. If you can write one novel, you can write another. And another. It's all about the depth of your determination and the breadth of your imagination. It's nice to have a lovely story you've dreamed up in your head, but you must be determined to get it all down on paper. Take a deep breath, tackle that first page, and you'll soon realize that writing a novel is a process, not a sprint. Now you've found your rhythm. Once you've found your rhythm, other questions begin to present themselves. Are you telling your story in a way to have the most powerful impact on your reader's experience? Is it compelling? Is it plausible? And so on."

How do you really feel about bees?

"Bees, all bees, terrify me. I know. I spent a year researching them to understand why bees, honey bees in particular, are so critical to our own survival. Check that box. And all the other benefits they bring to mankind. Check that box too. I don't know. I can't explain it. Don't get me going on spiders and snakes. They're in the center of that nightmare where you're screaming but no one can hear you...Rhett, darlin'? Y'all got my smelling salts?"

About Dorothea Benton Frank

Dorothea Benton Frank is the author of nineteen bestselling novels. She is also an avid cook, enjoys fly-fishing, reading and travel and is a frequent speaker on the creative process for students of all ages. She divides her time between the Lowcountry of South Carolina and New Jersey.

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Queen Bee will be published on May 28, 2019, at which point you will be able to find it wherever books are sold.