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Oak Terrace at Rose Hill Club – Bluffton, SC

The Rose Hill Author Series is a new partnership between the Pat Conroy Literary Center, the Rose Hill Readers book club, and Oak Terrace at Rose Hill to highlight the exceptional stories of lowcountry authors in engaging lunchtime discussions. The inaugural Rose Hill Author Series lunch will be held on Tuesday, September 24, beginning at noon and will feature a conversation between historical novelists Rebecca Dwight Bruff, author of Trouble the Water, and John Warley, author of The Home Guard.

Hosted by the Rose Hill Readers book club and held at Oak Terrace at Rose Hill (4 Clubhouse Dr., Bluffton), this special literary event is open to the public. Registration for the lunch is $25.00. Menu: Chicken Piccata with new potatoes, vegetables, chocolate brownie, and soft drinks. Books will be available for sale and signing following the authors’ discussion. A portion of the proceeds from this event helps support the year-round educational mission of the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center. Register in advance by Friday, September 20.

Tickets available here:

Website: Facebook Event Page

Bruff’s debut novel Trouble the Water is inspired by the larger-than-life true story of Robert Smalls, the first African American hero of the Civil War. On May 13, 1862, the enslaved Smalls commandeered the Confederate vessel The Planter in Charleston harbor, which he sailed to the Union blockade, securing freedom for his own family and the enslaved crew with him. Smalls served with distinction as Union captain of the Planter during the duration of the war and was later a U.S. Congressman representing his native lowcountry. New York Times best-selling novelist Julie Cantrell praised, “Rebecca Bruff has made her mark with this exceptional examination of family, freedom, and what it really means to fight for the light.”

Opening in 1861, Warley’s fifth novel The Home Guard follows the adventures 12-year-old Carter Barnwell and his 80-year-old grandmother as they flee their elegant home along the Beaufort River to shelter in the wilderness of Cane Island. There they struggle to survive as the Civil War lays waste to the existence they’ve known and loved, a way of life doomed from its unholy inception. In this classic coming-of-age story, Carter is thrust into an early manhood as he faces the challenges of living off the land, caring for his ailing grandmother, and wrangling with his awakening conscience. When he meets an abolitionist missionary from the North–who happens to be a beautiful young girl–Carter begins to see his world through new and critical eyes, even as he maintains fierce loyalty to the people and homeland he loves. “Warley is a knowledgeable writer, weaving in period detail and historical fact to develop a rich, engaging narrative,” praises Kirkus Reviews.

About the authors:

The author of Trouble the Water, Rebecca Dwight Bruff earned her bachelors degree in education at Texas A&M and master and doctorate degrees in theology at Southern Methodist University. In 2017, she was a scholarship recipient for the prestigious Key West Literary Seminar. She volunteers at the Pat Conroy Literary Center in Beaufort. She has published nonfiction, plays a little tennis, travels when she can, and loves life in the lowcountry with her husband and an exuberant golden retriever.


John Warley, a native South Carolinian, is a graduate of The Citadel and the University of Virginia School of Law. Now a full-time writer, he divides his time between Beaufort, South Carolina, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Warley is the author of the novels Bethesda’s Child, The Moralist, The Moralist II, A Southern Girl, and The Home Guard. He is also the author of the nonfiction book Stand Forever, Yielding Never: The Citadel in the 21st Century and The Citadel at War, a narrative history of the college etched into the granite walls of The Citadel War Memorial, which opened to the public in October 2017.


TripAdvisor’s top-ranked destination in Beaufort, the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center is located at 905 Port Republic Street in historic downtown and open to the public from noon to 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays through Sundays. Winner of the 2019 Civitas Award for Tourism Leadership presented by the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Conroy Center is South Carolina’s first affiliate of the American Writers Museum and second American Library Association Literary Landmark. Through its interpretive center, year-round educational programs, and annual literary festival, the Conroy Center preserves and continues the literary legacy of Pat Conroy (1945-2016) as a teacher, mentor, advocate, and friend to readers and writers alike.

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.