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The Heaven Spot

by Mary Frances Hill

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When divorcée Maggie Roberts stumbles into her Virginia bookstore for the last time to close up shop, she expects the morning to be rough. The business failure is hers alone. She took all those opioids. She relapsed. She vows to stay clean and regroup. But as she packs up her books, two cops appear and inform her that her estranged daughter, Lilly, has died in West Palm Beach.

Heartbroken, Maggie heads to Florida to find out why Lilly passed and how she lived. But when she arrives in the Sunshine State, she barely recognizes the young woman in the morgue.

Maggie doubts she’ll ever forgive herself for her past mistakes with Lilly but believes that if she remains local, she can push the detective to focus on Lilly’s case and learn about her daughter. But as she connects the dots, Maggie wonders the unthinkable—could she have played a part in Lilly’s death while relapsing and blackout-high? Can she live with herself if she did?

Mary Hill’s Blog

SHOULD INDIE NOVELISTS AVOID TRIGGER SUBJECTS? Prior to having children, I worked as a counselor in the mental health field. Probably because of this, I’m comfortable discussing almost anything. As...

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About the Author

Mary Frances Hill was born in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The daughter of a music professor and an elementary school teacher, Mary obtained a master's degree in counseling psychology and worked as a therapist before raising two children. Though Mary currently lives in Southern California with her Russian Blue and Scottish Straight cats, her Pyredoodle puppy, her golfer husband, and her adult son and daughter, she spent many happy vacations at her house on Palm Beach Island—the setting of her most recent novel, The Heaven Spot. Mary is an avid dog walker and home renovator and loves binge-watching true crime documentaries and mysteries. Mary’s debut novel, The Worm Man, was published in 2022.

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A Note From The Author

I started writing The Heaven’s Spot for a novel writing course. I’d just moved back from California after splitting my time between New Jersey and Palm Beach. On that first day of class, it’s safe to say that the Florida sunshine and white sandy beaches were still fresh in my mind. When the instructor asked me what kind of book I wanted to write, I told her a mystery. The belief that I wanted to write a story where the setting was front and center was a given, too. I also knew that I wanted to write a story where emotions, not just clues, mattered. I’m a mother of two children and a former therapist. I can’t imagine anything more heartbreaking than facing the murder of your child when you’re emotionally strong. I wondered what it would be like to cope with that kind of tragedy if you were already struggling. This was my initial story question. When the course ended, I worked on The Heaven Spot on and off for nine years. I wrote other novels and led my life. It was only after my mother’s death that I was able to grasp the depth and complexities of real grief, get my emotions onto the page, and finish this story. Thank you for reading this novel. In my mind, though dramatized by a crime and a glitzy setting, at its core, this is a story about a mother’s love for her daughter. Are you allowed to love somebody and mourn their loss if you’ve ‘ruined’ your life and theirs? This was something I wondered. I welcome your comments and suggestions. It is always difficult to write about sensitive subjects like addiction, teen runaways, and suicide. I hope I did them justice.