People, Places & Things

Ocean House Author Series with Deborah Goodrich Royce

This year’s Ocean House Author Series brings national best-selling authors and highly credited writers to the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Last Friday Ocean House co-owner, and award winning author, Deborah Goodrich Royce welcomed author and CNN Anchor Chloe Melas to speak about the book Luck of the Draw.

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It was an emotional scene as the audience, which included many veterans, listened as Ms Melas spoke about her grandfather, Captain Frank Murphy, and his experiences as an aviator in the Second World War.

Watch the video for the fascinating tale of how Mrs. Royce came up with the idea for her new book ☝

Ocean House Author Series

Growing up Ms. Melas listened to her grandfather recount the dramatic story of how he survived numerous combat missions as a navigator in a B-17 Flying Fortress. Murphy wrote about his adventures in a self-published memoir he called Luck of the Draw about being shot down over Germany, captured, and interred in a prisoner of war camp.

After reading the account years later Melas realized the importance of the story and that it would be appreciated by a wider audience. During the presentation Melas spoke about researching and editing the original story, writing a new forward with her mom Elizabeth Murphy, finding her grandfather’s missing photographs, and working with a publisher to create the book.

This epic true story of an American hero will be featured in an upcoming Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks television mini-series, Masters of the Air. Tom Hanks wrote,

“In the pursuit of authenticity, of accurate history, and undeniable courage, no words matter more than, ‘I was there.’ Read Luck of the Draw and the life of Frank Murphy and ponder this: how did those boys do such things?”

What’s it all about?

During the Q&A session at the end of the presentation many veterans in the audience spoke about their wartime experiences. The veterans were very emotional and it was apparent that the book had struck a chord with them. There was a sense of camaraderie with Captain Murphy and a shared experience with each other.

The 2023 Author Series has an expanded line-up this year of more than twenty-five authors and eighteen events. These events will be the basis of a new podcast, debuting later this year, and a radio series on WCRI-FM and

The Author Series is co-sponsored by Savoy Bookshop of Rhode Island and it offers opportunities for personalized book signings following each discussion. Event attendance includes an autographed copy of the featured book, an insightful conversation, wine, and delicious bites.

For more information on the Ocean House Author series please visit;

Upcoming events and featured authors include:

  • Wednesday, June 28 – Katherine Reay, A Shadow in Moscow
  • Monday, July 10 – Avery Carpenter Forrey, Social Engagement
  • Wednesday, July 12 – Kristy Woodson Harvey, The Summer of Songbirds
  • Wednesday, July 19 – Deborah Goodrich Royce, Reef Road with Robin Kall
  • Monday, July 31 – Beatriz Williams, The Beach at Summerly
  • Wednesday, August 2 – Chris Bohjalian, The Lioness
  • Monday, August 7 – Patti Callahan Henry, The Secret Book of Flora Lea
  • Wednesday, August 9 – Anabel Monaghan, Same Time Next Summer
  • Wednesday, August 16 – Karen White, The House on Prytania
  • Monday, August 21 – Katie Couric, Going There
  • Wednesday, August 23 – Authors’ Panel with Jane Delury, Hedge; Michelle Wildgen, You’re Not You; Megan Tady, Super Bloom; Sandra Miller, Wednesdays at One; and Lauren Edmonson, Wedding of the Season
  • Wednesday, August 30 – Victoria Christopher Murray, The First Ladies
  • Wednesday, September 6 – Ann Hood, Flygirl and Michael Ruhlman, Cocktail Ratios
  • Sunday, October 1 –The return of the popular event, “The Thriller Panel”
  • Wednesday, November 1, Julie Gerstenblatt, Daughters of Nantucket
  • December – Luanne Rice, The Shadow Box and Last Day

For more local Westerly info check out the new Westerly+

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  1. First of all, and most importantly I’d like to personally say thank you to everyone who has fought for our country and is still fighting for our country! God bless you, your family’s (my father included he was an officer in the Navy) and God bless our country! I can’t say it enough! Thank you, Thank you Thank you.
    Secondly, I am so looking forward to watching the TV mini series Masters of the Air and reading Luck of the Draw and life of Frank Murphy..
    Thank you so much

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