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Please join me in welcoming Melinda McGuire, author of Josephine: Red Dirt and Whiskey, to the blog today! I have been so anxious to share her guest post with you! She made me “homesick,” for lack of a better word, for my younger days and endless, hot Saturdays.
I’m not usually a person who lives in the realm of literal thinking, but when I ventured over to The Introverted Reader and saw the title “Saturdays in the South,” I immediately wanted to be a part of it because I love Saturdays in the South – truly, the real Saturdays.
Saturdays in the South are hot cups of steaming coffee and plates of pancakes with homemade maple syrup. Saturdays in the South are music in the morning, reading in the afternoons and **moon pie faces** and romance in the evenings.
Saturdays in the South are warm, clean sheets out of the dryer, the smell of chili or pinto beans simmering on the stove all day long and a cast iron skillet of cornbread baking in the oven. Saturdays in the South are seeing your plain old house made clean and new again from Pine Sol, baking soda and some elbow grease. Saturdays in the South are old country songs on the radio that you have to adjust your stereo antenna just the right way to pick up. Or, if you’re super lucky, scratchy vinyl records all morning long and singing along with Patsy, Willie, Waylon, Hank and Dolly.
Saturdays in the South are ironing clothes in the morning that you are going to wear out Saturday night and the smell of starch and steam. Saturdays in the South are trips to the beauty salon with your grandma so she can get her hair washed and curled and her nails painted Pale Blush Pink, but mainly so she can catch up on all the news that’s happened during the week. What you get from the Beauty Shop is going to be much more entertaining than what you get from the newspaper and most of the time more accurate too.
Saturdays in the South are hurry up and wait. Everything’s done, time to relax, pick up a book, rest until evening. Saturdays in the South are reading old friends in well-loved and well-worn books. Saturdays in the South are Faulkner short stories or chapters from Absalom, Absalom! that you’ll chew on and mull over for three or four days. Saturdays in the South are falling in love a bit more with Rhett Butler and for hoping against hope that Scarlett will love him this time before it’s too late. Saturdays in the South are visits with Scout and Jem and admiration that grows stronger each time for Atticus Finch. Saturdays in the South are for spending time with Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth and dreaming of fried green tomatoes. Saturdays in the South are following Captain Call and Augustus McCrae on the trail and thinking “if only” Blue Duck had taken a different path.
These Saturdays are the ones that color the memories of my youth – these glorious Saturdays that lasted forever. These are the days that I tap into when I am building my fictional southern worlds, the sounds, the tastes, the experiences. So, I was delighted to spend a Saturday in the South for this feature here at The Introverted Reader.
** For those of you who don’t know what moon pie faces are, when you are head over heels sweet on someone (this means that you are infatuated with them, to put it plainly), and you can’t take your eyes off of them, this is called making moon pie faces at each other. Moon Pies = two graham crackers with marshmallow cream sandwiched between them and coated in chocolate – round, like the full moon. You are staring at each other all the time, so your face looks like the full moon. **
Author Melinda McGuire is a native of Texas. She grew up traveling red dirt roads surrounded by pine trees. Her novels set in the fictional town of Hefner Falls transport readers to northeast Texas from the Civil War to the Great Depression.
Melinda also writes award-winning short stories.
Josephine: Red Dirt and Whiskey is Melinda’s debut novel. It is available through Amazon as both an eBook and paperback.
It’s the Great Depression in rural northeast Texas, and not much has changed, except in the life of Josephine Killian. After losing her mother and her aunt, Josephine finds herself alone and independent.
Loneliness leads her to sacrifice her freedom for the bonds of marriage, and life becomes routine.
But, when a mysterious stranger, Ethan, appears, he draws out what Josephine fights to keep hidden. Ethan opens up doors to lust, secrecy and addiction that could lead to Josephine’s self-destruction.
Will the people she knows from church, her neighbors in Hefner Falls, and her own desire to turn away from evil be enough to overcome the temptations Ethan offers?
Or, has Josephine gone too far to turn back?
You can also find Melinda’s short stories and academic writing guides on Amazon and Smashwords.
A free short story, “When I Met Crazy in the Morning,” is available for all eBook formats.
Thank you so much, Melinda! This post was pretty much perfect from my point of view. Readers, if you’re from the South, what do Saturdays mean to you? If you’re not a Southerner, how do you spend your Saturdays? What do you think of Melinda’s post?
I’m still looking for authors of Southern Literature to participate in this feature. Please click the button for details if you’re interested!
I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.