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Saturday, June 15, 2024 – 5:00-7:00 PM EDT
Price: Free
Venue: Pat Conroy Literary Center | 601 Bladen St., Beaufort

Website: Facebook Event Page

The nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center is honored to host a free public drop-in launch event for Donna Keel Armer’s Moringa: Tree of Life ~ Book 2 in the Cat Gabbiano Mystery Series. Join us on Saturday, June 15, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 601 Bladen St., in downtown Beaufort. No advance registration required. Books will be available for sale and signing. Refreshments will be provided. The author will speak briefly at 5:45 p.m.

About Moringa: Tree of Life (Book 2 in the Cat Gabbiano Mystery Series)

Who can you trust, when you can’t even trust what is right in front of you?

After the death of her best friend and her own near-death experience in Italy, Cat Gabbiano returns to her home in the South Carolina Lowcountry. During Cat’s absence, her business reputation was tarnished from the ongoing dispute with her most influential client. Her first goal is to reestablish her catering business with the help of her friend and colleague, Cassie Burton.

While scouting out a venue for a wedding reception at a long-vacated plantation, Cat encounters a hammer-wielding assailant. Before the dust settles, she’s contacted by an old classmate who swears he’s an undercover FBI agent. He not only warns her to stay away from the plantation, but he tells her it’s under surveillance for human trafficking and trespassing could result in dire consequences.

Along with this startling revelation enters a Spanish count who insists on Cat becoming his confident as he tries to purchase the abandoned plantation for a life-sustaining project. Perhaps the count is interested in more than a business partnership. Has Cat already forgotten her Italian lover, Lorenzo? Added to this mix of characters is a state senator who sweeps Cassie off her feet and into his web of deceit. Will Cassie betray Cat too?

Will Cat discover the truth before it’s too late? Or will she end up in places far darker than the mafia she encountered in Italy?

“Set against the backdrop of marshes and oaks draped with Spanish moss in South Carolina, Moringa: Tree of Life is a page-turner of a mystery that addresses real life and difficult societal issues. As with Armer’s other novels, readers are drawn into the lives of her characters and their stories and are pulling for them all the way. Moringa: Tree of Life is yet another beautifully crafted masterpiece destined for an award.”—Niles Reddick, author of Who’s Going to Pray for Me Now? and Forgiven

“Donna Keel Armer’s second novel in her Cat Gabbiano Mystery Series continues the spine-tingling page-turning allure of The Red Starfish. After fleeing Italy, Cat returns to her South Carolina Lowcountry home. While struggling to rebuild her business, she stumbles into a covert FBI operation on an abandoned plantation on the cusp of a wedding reception, a setting interwoven with ties to a Spanish count, a state senator, and an undercover federal agent. Once again, fate calls on Cat to solve a seemingly impossible mystery as she struggles to find her footing against the backdrop of corruption, human trafficking, and dangerous liaisons. Armer has gifted new and returning readers with a resolute and emphatic heroine, one who fails and falls, and nevertheless rises again. Cat’s appeal is universal; she is on a journey, as are we all.” —Jonathan Haupt, coeditor of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy

“Donna Keel Armer hits another home run with Moringa: The Tree of Life. An electrifying second novel in the Cat Gabbiano Mystery Series.” —Dana Ridenour, author of the award-winning Lexie Montgomery FBI series

About the Author

Donna Keel ArmerDonna Keel Armer is the author of The Red Starfish, Book #1 in the Cat Gabbiano Mystery Series, and Solo in Salento: A Memoir, which has been translated into Italian as Un’americana in Salento. She recently completed a book tour of Southern Italy. She’s a photojournalist and has published essays for travel anthologies and in magazines featuring photographs and articles on travel, food and wine, home and garden and various other topics. When she’s on the road, she writes a private travelogue.

She graduated with honors from Mississippi University for Women with a double major in psychology and social sciences and graduate studies in theology. Her first job during high school was a gofer for a furniture company and her last position before turning to writing was president of the hospitality business owned by Donna and her husband Ray. In-between she’s been in senior management in both the insurance and airline industries.

She’s a former board member of Friends of the Library, a member of Sea Island Spirit Writers, and a docent at the Pat Conroy Literary Center. Donna and Ray split their time between their forever home in the South Carolina Lowcountry and their beloved Italy.

This program and others like this would not be possible without your financial help for which, as always, Pat Conroy Literary Center gratefully thanks you.

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