Deb Whalen

A writer in the north Georgia Mountains

Relatable, Restorative Tales of Contemporary Southern Women

Funny how we think we know a person whether we’ve met them or not because we’ve looked them up, read their profiles, maybe found that tweet.

Now remember the time or two you’ve been shocked to discover that you completely misread someone. Swiped-wrong, dodged, or blew off a person it later turned out you would truly like to know better?

Our mistakes accelerate understanding. Embracing new people and experiences may enrich our own stories, as some of the characters in this book discover when paddleboarding on the lake, baring soul-crushing secrets around a bonfire, or stumbling into the honeymoon suite with Mr. RightNow.

We can always choose to savor life rather than view it online, knowing the only likes that matter are our own.

For now, enjoy lively adventures and a leisurely visit to the shores of Lake Chatuge in the pages of Always, Always Choose Again.

When it comes to fiction, I'm a finicky consumer.

Not as fussy about the haute of the cuisine as the pleasure factor. Give me blue skies, fragile hopes, and deep problems worth solving, all seasoned with layered characters, beautiful settings, and more mischief and laughs than tears, please. Hope that’s what you discover in Always, Always Choose Again.

Back to work now on the concluding story of all those neighbors on Lake Chatuge.


Escape from the Day, the World or Lunch at Your Desk Again

Always, Always Choose Again The Blurb

Despite her insecurities, newly single biographer Eli Sledge has landed the ultimate celebrity client. Soon after, Eli realizes she may have jettisoned a neuro-incompatible marriage for all the wrong reasons, and along the way, conjured a determined enemy. As soon as she believes that her stars have aligned, her fresh start collapses in scandal. Eli retreats to the idyllic lake of her childhood in the North Georgia Mountains.

As she’s making an old family farmhouse habitable again, she encounters a few similarly self-exiled women, some glaciered in beliefs still causing far more damage than the mistakes that ignited them. They piece their lives back together over a year of adventures, heartbreaking revelations, harrowing rescues, and off-kilter celebrations--among these women who never had the time, emotional space, or trust to invest in friends.

For Eli, Mela, Annie Blanche, Beth, Kit, Bernie, and frisky Carly, relationships blossom, wither, and resurrect as they discover how to choose again.


Always, Always Choose Again is available now in e-book, hardcover, and paperback.

Read more about life in the Far North of the Deep South at the Georgia Mountain Journal.