AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Award-winning Spartanburg author, Susan Beckham Zurenda, will visit Augusta next week to discuss her latest novel, The Girl from the Red Rose Motel.

Zurenda spent 30 years teaching English in high school and college. She draws upon her knowledge of homeless students living in motels in her new book. The Girl From the Red Rose Motel revolves around two high school students, from vastly different backgrounds, who fall in love and attempt to navigate challenges and complications readers might never imagine.​

She says, “My day consisted of polar opposites: extremely bright and typically privileged AP students working to get ahead with college credit earned in high school versus nearly illiterate teenagers, most from deprived backgrounds, trying to read well enough to pass the exit exam to graduate.”

The Girl From the Red Rose Motel is a multilayered novel that will appeal to readers of love stories, coming of age novels, literary teacher stories, and remarkable alliances between adults and teenagers.

Zurenda will be discussing her novel and signing her books on Monday, September 25th at 6:00pm at The Book Tavern on Broad Street in downtown Augusta.

Her debut southern novel was the award-winning Bells for Eli, which came out in 2021. It has garnered a number of awards including Gold Medal winner in the 2021 IPPY Awards for Best First Book—Fiction, 2020 Foreword Indie Best Book Awards, Winter 2020 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, American Book Fest’s Best Books of 2020, and Shelf Unbound 2020 Notable Indie.

Watch Susan Zurenda discuss her debut novel, Bells for Eli