Seminar by the Sea:
When a Hebrew School Teacher’s Daughter Meets a Former Priest

Seminar by the Sea: A Different Kind of Love

My next writing adventure will be a book which centers on my friendship with Tom Osborne, someone I met at Hollywood Beach in 1982.

Seminar by the Sea will be a compilation of letters, journal entries, emails, and texts between myself and Tom, covering a span of thirty-four years.

Interview with Tom Osborne – May 2016

Hollywood Beach Resort, 2012

Have you ever walked into a hotel room and wondered who stayed there through the years and what took place before you entered? In her debut short story collection, Merle Saferstein captures the essence of the famed Hollywood Beach Hotel and brings to life the characters that have crossed the threshold of Room 732.

Set against the backdrop of Florida’s Atlantic Ocean, Room 732 reflects the hotel’s transformation from an elegant getaway during the ‘20s and ‘30s to a U. S. Navy training and indoctrination center during World War II.  After the war, the upscale hotel re-opened.  Then, in 1971, Florida Bible College moved in, followed by timeshares and condos. More recently, the ever-changing edifice was restored to the vacation resort it was originally intended to be.

Woven through intimate letters, journal entries, and private conversations, each story explores the threads of connection, communication, and life experiences and echoes the culture of the times. Breathing life into the walls of Room 732, the characters experience a range of emotions as they live with the effects of war, the joy of discovering faith, the death of a loved one, the challenges of marriage, and the intimacy in relationships.


Room 732 has been selected as a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree!

“Saferstein’s concept is clever…It’s clear that she did her research before writing; each chapter abounds with accurate historical details.  A good conceit.”  Kirkus Review

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