A Bright, Leisurely Read

set in the North Georgia Mountains

Always, Always Choose Again

Always, Always Choose Again Book

Why this book?

Storytelling allows us to share in adventures, spark new perspectives, and experience someone else’s drama. We love a good story whether over lunch, at a movie, or occasionally, on the news. A good book is especially satisfying.

My reading lists aren’t the norm, but 2020 opened some extra hours and I explored a few novels. Rising anxieties around our globe had me in search of an escape—nothing edgy, steamy, or dark—with embraceable characters and an enchanting location. Soon, I was writing a few chapters of my own.

Quite unaware of how much I’ll never know about creating a novel, I wrote the last page in November. Then the real work started. Traditionally published friends recommended the do-it-yourself route. Turns out that, too, takes plenty of planning, or in this late case, punting. When the manuscript landed at Spiro Books in Nashville, they brought the project to life.

Through the pages of Always, Always Choose Again, you’ll arrive in the glorious North Georgia Mountains, the backdrop for this easygoing story of discovering good company amid a little intrigue. There, stilted relationships begin and then evolve as several lives dramatically change course. For more on the story, scroll down this page.

Hope you enjoy the adventure.


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

Always, Always Choose Again Was Released in Late July of 2021

Copyright 2021, all rights reserved.

Published by:
The Georgia Mountain Journal
Print format: 6 x 9; 358 pages
Distributed by: Ingram-Spark

978-1-7371821-0-8 Hardcover
978-1-7371821-1-5 Paperback
978-1-7371821-2-2 E-book
978-1-7371821-3-9 Kindle

Always, Always Choose Again was written by Deb Whalen,
a writer and rookie author who loves living quietly in the North Georgia Mountains.

Always, Always Choose Again More about the book

In this story, always-dependable Eli Sledge is running on empty, keeping up appearances, and struggling to rebalance emotionally, when she lands the client who will establish her as a premier celebrity biographer. That client is David Harrison, world-renowned for his film career, production company, and charitable endeavors. During Eli’s last weeks of research for the book at his Beaufort, South Carolina home, the Harrison family’s warm welcome has given her a glimpse into their close, loving circle—and a hint of their well-kept secret.

Upon returning to work in Atlanta, her fractured world shatters. She discovers her basis for that reluctant divorce may have been an enduring misunderstanding; and that her client, David Harrison, has received a blackmail threat soon linked to Eli. She clashes again with her new boss, who cuts her loose to face the charges alone.

Eli bolts to an empty farmhouse on the shores of Lake Chatuge in the North Georgia Mountains. It was the last stop on her long list of childhood layovers, most recently the home of Eli’s Aunt Ta, the high school principal. Ta had often invited Eli’s mother and later Eli to spend summers at the lakeside home she shared with her husband. It became home for Eli and her then infant cousin, Pete, after an accident had orphaned them both.

To that empty home Eli returns eighteen years after eloping with brilliant, impossible Ted Waller—after nurturing little Pete, after her career collapsed, and after learning that the decision to end her marriage had been misguided. Meanwhile, Ted is moving on with someone new. Eli focuses on repairing the old farmhouse, refusing to face her circumstances as isolation fuels her mounting fears. And along this path, she meets trouble.

More About The Book continued...

Throughout, Eli’s vexation over the failed relationship with her emotionally absent ex begins to wear thin as Ted, his brother Lew, and old friend Mac pursue their passion for racing vintage sports cars, resulting in assorted collisions—vehicular and otherwise.

Yes, there’s drama, but lots of fun, too, as Eli stumbles into tentative friendships, tender discoveries, and adventurous encounters. She and several seemingly average neighbors find new perspectives on their situations during essential morning walks and eventful Sunday night bonfires on the lakeshore. Join them as they discover how to enjoy life again.

And that neurodiverse romance? Those can be chameleon relationships—blending into the background, undistinguished from any other Mars-Venus duo. While Eli may come across as desperate for validation, and Ted may remind you of that tactless date a friend set you up with in college, their dynamic runs far deeper.

Now that you know how their story begins, meet the cast of characters and enjoy your roller coaster year with them in the pages of Always, Always Choose Again.