Why This Book

Reason #1
You are looking for WELL-WRITTEN entertainment..
Reason #2
You enjoy reading love stories with realistic characters like you, not celebrities.
Reason #3
You love northern Italy, whether you've been there or not.
Reason #4
Shirley Valentine meets Under The Tuscan Sun!


In this elegant love story with a uniquely twenty-first-century twist, the reader is taken on a journey into the soul of relationship. Sara Summers Stanton has raised a family but her 25 year marriage is showing cracks in the facade and now she’s dealing with breast cancer.

In a rare moment of taking care of herself instead of everyone else, Sara takes a sabbatical and goes on the trip to Italy she has always dreamed of taking. This search for a more authentic life leads to Julia, a friend she hasn’t seen since they were inseparable as girls, nearly 30 years earlier. In Florence they reunite and their friendship continues where it left off. An unexpected attraction to one another threatens to turn Sara’s already shaky world upside down.

Sara’s inner conflict and subsequent choices reveal an unpredictable yet dynamic future for everyone affected. An emotional and lyrical novel, Seeking Sara Summers is a timeless story about commitment, transformation and love.

Read the first chapter free right here

Reviews & Testimonials

My retired husband predicts that you have a best seller on your hands (at chapter 20). He grabbed up your book the minute it arrived. Then he adds, you just don’t want to put it down, it is so well written. While I sit here and drool, waiting my turn.

— Josephine L., Summerville, SC

Thank you for capturing so memorably the confusion, frustration, fears and longings–and ultimately the beauty of a woman’s life.”

— Zoe J., Greensboro, NC

I just finished reading Seeking Sara Summers, and wanted to drop you a note to thank you for an excellent story. I loved every moment, it was so very intimate to be inside Sara’s head all through her journey.”

— Elena, Madrid, Spain

“What a great story, a love story that spans time and distance! The characters are fully imagined but also real, and have stayed with me long after I finished the book. As they make their way from confinement to freedom, resignation to aliveness, they push the edge of the possibilities we all have within us for a fuller life. I think many readers will see themselves and will be inspired to climb whatever walls they need to scale to be who they really are. The writing is vivid and lyrical. The scenes set in Italy made me want to run out and buy a plane ticket.”

— J. Reid, Black Mountain NC

I didn’t get much sleep last night! I started Seeking Sara Summers and couldn’t put it down!, the descriptions are just enough to let the mind fill in, and the story, is so universal, and at the same time, NOT . . .I loved it.

—- Deb Hall, Colorado Springs, CO

I started reading Seeking Sara Summers with my breakfast tea and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it—even missed my trip to the gym. I laughed and cried and felt warmed by the Tuscan sun.

— Ann B., Asheville, NC

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About The Author

Acclaimed author Susan Gabriel grew up in the archetypal American South, playing in the shade of mimosa trees and catching lightning bugs as the heat waned on long summer evenings.

In Charleston, SC, Gabriel was a professional flutist playing at the famous Piccolo Spoleto festival, as well as many private gigs in historic homes and sailboats. Gabriel completed a degree in counseling, in part to understand the wide array of characters in her Appalachian gene pool, and became a marriage and family therapist. She was the founder of the Women’s Center in Charleston, South Carolina, which still provides services to women over twenty years later.

Gabriel answered the long-time call to writing, closed her successful counseling practice, and moved with her daughters to Asheville, North Carolina. She simplified her life and took part-time jobs in order to focus the main portion of her day on writing. She worked at a copy shop, made gourmet dog biscuits, cashiered at a home-improvement mega store, and did freelance editing.

Gabriel was a finalist for the 2011 Linda Flowers Literary Award, a finalist for the Women Playwrights’ Initiative Competition, and a finalist for the Robert Ruark Short Fiction Contest. Her poetry has been published in Great Smokies Review and Penwood Review. One of her children’s books is represented by Deborah Warren at East/West Literary Agency.

Gabriel’s first novel, Seeking Sara Summers, the transformative story of a mid-life woman, was published in 2008 and is in the top 2% of all ebooks sold on Kindle. Her second novel, The Secret Sense of Wildflower, the story of a precocious adolescent grieving for her father in 1941 Tennessee, was published in 2012 and earned a starred review (for “books of remarkable merit”) from the esteemed reviewer, Kirkus Reviews, and was named one of their Best Books of 2012.

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